Grimsby trawler ship's bell returns to crew's relatives

  • Published
Ships's bell
Image caption,
The ship had lain undiscovered for 56-years

A bell salvaged from a sunken Grimsby trawler has been handed back to the lost men's relatives in a special ceremony.

The Laforey sank off the coast of Norway on the 8 February 1954, with the loss of 20 lives.

The wreck lay undiscovered until Norwegian divers found the vessel in September last year.

The bell has been installed in the town's Fisherman's Chapel as a permanent memorial to the lost crew.

Allen Brydges lost his 16-year-old nephew, Tony Craven, who was working on the ship.

Mr Brydges said it was the biggest tragedy in Grimsby's fishing history.

"It was terrible," he said. "It was the most that were lost on a trawler.

"Lots went down before but there were usually 12 or 13 on board, there were 20 on this, it was absolutely devastating."

For many years the Laforey lay on the Norwegian Sea bed undiscovered.

In September last year, divers Trond Fjellestad and Frode Ellingsund found the wreck near the coastal city of Floro. The divers filmed their findings.

Trond Stromgren, a historian from Floro, has researched the Laforey and, along with the divers, will attend a service at Grimsby's fishermen's chapel on Friday.

Image caption,
Twenty crew members were lost when the ship capsized on 8 February 1954.

Mr Stromgren said the bell had been so camouflaged under the water that the divers did not even realise what it was.

"They found this bell by accident," he said. "It looked like a rock, they cleaned it.

"They're good guys. They say the bell must belong to Grimsby."

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