Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

45 Years since Gaul Tragedy; NOSTALGIA DAVE MORTON Recalls the People and Places of the North East CHECK US OUT ONLINE AT WWW.CHRONICLELIVE.CO.UK/NEWS/HISTORY EMAIL: David.Morton.Editorial@ncjmedia.Co.UK TELEPHONE: 0191 2016437 WRITE TO: Dave Morton, ncjMedia, Eldon Court, Percy Street, Newcastle, NE1 7JB. @DaveSMorton Newcastle Chronicle - History Photosales - 0191 201 6000

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

45 Years since Gaul Tragedy; NOSTALGIA DAVE MORTON Recalls the People and Places of the North East CHECK US OUT ONLINE AT WWW.CHRONICLELIVE.CO.UK/NEWS/HISTORY EMAIL: David.Morton.Editorial@ncjmedia.Co.UK TELEPHONE: 0191 2016437 WRITE TO: Dave Morton, ncjMedia, Eldon Court, Percy Street, Newcastle, NE1 7JB. @DaveSMorton Newcastle Chronicle - History Photosales - 0191 201 6000

Article excerpt

Byline: DAVE MORTON

THIS weekend marks 45 years since the disappearance of a trawler which took with it six North East fishermen.

The Gaul - a deep-sea factory freezer ship - sailed out of Hull on January 22, 1974, never to return.

It sank in an icy storm in Arctic waters 70 miles off Norway on the night of February 8 and 9, 1974, claiming the lives of all 36 crew.

The vessel, called the Ranger Castor while based at North Shields, later operated out of Hull and was renamed Gaul.

Among those perished on the trawler were Ronald Bowles, 29, of Wallsend, and Jim McLennan, 18, James Woodhouse, 45, James Wales, 30, Neil Petersen, 51, and chief engineer John O'Brian, all of North Shields. The other lost crew members were from Humberside.

Now, to mark the 45th anniversary of the sinking, Hull-based poet Norman Redmond has written a poem called January 22nd 1974.

Norman, whose mother hails from South Shields and son attended Northumbria University before settling here, says: "The poem is about the last night and following few hours before the Gaul set sail from Hull for the last time.

"The title is the date she sailed. She was lost sometime between the 8th and 10th of February, 1974."

A commemorative event is being held on Saturday, starting at 2pm, at Rayners pub on Hessle Road, Hull.

Norman added: " All the proceeds will be going to the Fishermen's Mission. On the day of the event there will be an unveiling of a memorial bench and plaques."

An investigation in 1974 concluded the Gaul was capsized by a succession of heavy seas.

The wreck of the stricken ship was found at the bottom of the Barents Sea in August 1997.

Prompted by Deputy Prime Minister and Hull East MP of the time, John Prescott, the Marine Accident Investigation Branch conducted a new survey of the wreck.

The inquiry found the Gaul had been flooded as a result of two open waste chutes on the main deck. …

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