A Success-ful trip

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Reading your article about the restoration of the Progress brings to mind an episode of my life involving the Progress’ sister ship the Success.

In the early fifties, two far-seeing fishermen heard that there was to be big money made fishing for crayfish in the Caribbean.

The Success was completely overhauled at the White Hall Shipyard (Manager Marcus Fletcher) complete with a refrigerated fish room and modernised crew’s quarters.

She was booked to be shipped to the West Indies as deck cargo on a Royal Mail ship from the Royal Albert Docks in London.

The standard practice for the shipyard to deliver a boat to another port was to get any merchant seamen on leave to supplement the shipyard crew of Joe Fletcher (bosun) and Wilf Young (engineer).

Unfortunately at the time there was no seamen on leave.

I was an apprentice at the yard and I pestered Mr Fletcher who, having no alternative, reluctantly agreed that I could make up the crew.

It was a very eventful trip during which a faulty compass sent to us too far inshore and left us dodging sand banks and having to ask directions from a customs launch but we eventually made it and saw the Success installed on the deck of the Royal Mail ship.

I wonder if anyone still remembers any of these incidents and hope that Mr Dunn finds it interesting to hear where the Progress’ sister ship went.

John Waters, Hall Farm Road, Low Hawsker