Comrade – Working History

The Humber Keel COMRADE was built in 1923, at Warren’s shipyard at New Holland. Originally named WANDA, she was built for Turner Carmichael of Hull. The steel hull was made to Sheffield size of 61ft-6ins (18.75m) length and 15ft-6ins (4.72m) beam, with a hold capable of carrying up to one hundred tons of cargo. Initially, she traded in barley and coal between Wakefield and Hull.


WANDA was sold to John Herrings-aylor, who renamed her ADA CARTER after his wife. In 1929, the ship was acquired by Arthur Schofield of Beverley, in a part-exchange deal with his Keel GALATEA, keeping all the standing & running rigging, mast & spares. Its not clear whether ADA CARTER had ever been rigged at this point, she may have been built for work as a lighter. After rigging he renamed her COMRADE and she subsequently worked the general cargo trade in the West Riding and South Yorkshire, returning to Hull and Beverley with coal.

Two incidents in COMRADE’s working life recalled by Fred Schofield:

“In about February of 1932, during the construction of training walls at Trent Falls, piles were driven into the riverbed to mark its position. The tide set across Trent Falls into the West Trent then across the submerged training wall into the slack of the East Trent, creating a hazard for both powered and sailing craft. On the tide previous to COMRADE arriving in the Trent, a powered craft had passed right over the wall, colliding with and carrying away two of the piles. This was not know to Captain Arthur Schofield (Freds father) at the time COMRADE left King George Dock in Hull bound for Mexborough with 450 quarters of wheat. The wind was easterly with frequent snow flurries as she sailed into the Trent, Arthur could see the remaining piles but, not knowing about the missing ones, expected to clear the hazard safely. To his amazement, COMRADE hit the wall with her forefoot and went onto the top of it, stopping diagonally across the wall with her head to the south-east. She laid there for the remainder of the tide and as it ebbed her bows were high and dry on the wall while her stern got lower in the water until the whole of her afterdeck was underwater. Many vessels would have filled with water and broken up but COMRADE floated off on the next tide without making any water at all and delivered her cargo safely to the mill at Mexborough. After discharging her cargo she made her way to Thorne and was put on the slip for survey, her bottom was found to have been set up over one inch”.


“Three years later, on February 13 1935, COMRADE was proceeding up the Trent this time under power, again loaded with 450 quarters of wheat for Mexborough, when they came upon the Sloop NOBLE aground on the ness at the lower end of Man Reval. The NOBLE was laid with her head to the east, the wind was fresh westerly which was holding her onto the ness. As COMRADE approached the master of the NOBLE held up a rope and requested some help to get afloat. He knew if she did not get off before high water she would be in danger of straining herself and may have filled with water. Arthur Schofield knew that COMRADE would also be at risk but decided to try. The first attempt was to try pull her off stern first but this had to be abandoned. The rope was then made fast on NOBLE’s port bow and COMRADE’s starboard bow, then by towing and sheering her across the tide they finally made it into deep water. George Harness of New Holland was master of NOBLE, her owners were J J Tomlinson and Sons of Hull who offered £1.00 for COMRADE’s services. Arthur Schofield was not impressed and decided to sue for salvage, when the case was heard he was awarded £50.00 plus full costs”.

An Ogle 40 hp semi-diesel engine was first installed in 1933, replaced in 1942 by a 21 hp Lister diesel engine. At that point COMRADE’s sailing rig was also removed. The 31 hp Lister diesel engine fitted in 1953 is still in use today.

Sole ownership passed to Arthur’s son Fred Schofield in 1958. He continued to work her in general trade, which by then was already beginning to decline. COMRADE was acquired by the HKSPS in December 1974 but continued to carry cargo until her commitments were fulfilled in March 1975.


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