The Whitby community has sent their messages of support to Parkol Marine and Lockers Trawlers after the largest trawler built in over a decade, Our Lass III, was christened on Saturday.
In an emotional ceremony which saw Dana Locker, the wife of skipper James Locker shatter a glass bottle - at the second attempt - on the hull of the boat, the vessel was officially launched.
“It was an absolutely brilliant day,” said Arnold Locker. “Last time, when we launched Our Lass II, it was absolutely chucking it down, but this time the weather was on our side.”
A superstitious bunch, Mr Locker had asked Wolverhampton clergyman Rev Malcolm Lockey to bless the boat, as he had done so for all of Lockers Trawlers’ previous vessels.
A potentially bad omen was the fact the bottle swung against the ship’s hull did not break first time, but Mr Locker said this may not necessarily be the case: “It didn’t smash first time on Our Lass II either. Dana was very nervous, but James in good old-fashioned chivalrous style, took over and made sure she smashed it the second time.”
Following the christening, a function was held at The Stables.
Members of the Whitby community, who rely upon the town’s fishing industry, have paid tribute to the ambition of Parkol Marine, the vessel’s designer Ian Paton, and Lockers Trawlers.
Ian Robson, The Magpie Cafe
“It is great to see two Whitby businesses at the forefront of their respective industries and doing Whitby proud. Well done to Locker Trawlers and Parkol Marine, keeping British fishing and British shipbuilding alive.”
Laura Whittle, Whitby Seafoods
“All of us at Whitby Seafoods congratulate the Locker family on their success. To have built the largest trawler made in this country for decades is a huge achievement. But to also have used a Whitby firm, Parkol, and had the project delivered on time is testament to the quality of the boat building in Whitby. It puts Whitby even more firmly on the map and was on the front page of the nationally renowned Fishing News. We couldn’t be happier for all those involved and we wish Our Lass III every success and many, many excellent landings.”
Anne Hornigold, Whitby Fishing School
“Yet again another superb build from Parkol Marine. Lockers Trawlers are forging the way ahead with Our Lass III and its cutting edge new technology. James Locker and Stephen Veart must be thrilled at the opportunity to lead the way in the future of fishing.”
Richard Brewer, owner of the fishing vessel Copious
“It’s a very good thing to see the investment is still there. It’s an absolutely beautiful ship, but it’s a shame that she won’t land in Whitby. It’s just a shame the Yorkshire coast has been hit with the reduction in catching. We are just hoping that the EU don’t waste the chance, they can’t afford to get it wrong.”
Shaun Wood, Whitby Fish Sales
“Arnold and his lads have come from very small beginnings. They’re never home because they work so hard. That lad has put that many orders and brought that much business to Parkol that he, as a local person, has kept a lot of people employed. It’s a fantastic partnership that these two companies have together and it promotes Whitby in the future of building ships for fishing.”
Robert Goodwill MP
“What a fantastic vessel she is. I think the people of Whitby can be very proud that the shipbuilding tradition that goes back to the days of Captain Cook is still being kept alive by Jim and his guys at Parkol. Of course, the launch at the weekend is doubly good news for Whitby because it’s a Whitby skipper that’s taken delivery of the vessel.”
Coun Mike Cockerill, chair of Whitby Harbour Board
“It’s an excellent example of the craftsmanship of Parkol for which they are well-renowned.”