Anchor at Conwy quay
Anchor at Conwy quay
Nobody knows which ship this anchor belonged to. It was discovered on the seabed near Llandudno when fishing nets got caught in it. The Conwy-based trawler Kilravock (pictured right by John Lawson-Reay) raised the anchor, which weighs about three tons, and brought it ashore. The anchor is formed of one piece of iron, split to form the prongs.
It is mounted near Conwy quay to commemorate the actions of Kilravock’s crew on 6 May 1968, when the coastal passenger cruise ship St Trillo (pictured below left by Peter Clark) had lost power and was drifting perilously close to the Little Orme, the rocky headland east of Llandudno. That day it had been acting as tender for the luxury cruise liner Kungsholm. It was ferrying 325 American passengers back to their liner, anchored 2km off-shore, after a coach trip to Snowdonia when its propeller became entangled in one of the liner’s ropes. Soon afterwards one of its engines broke down. Also on board were about 50 local people taking a short trip out to sea to view the glamorous liner.
In heavy seas, with a 35mph wind, many of the passengers began to feel ill. Llandudno lifeboat, with coxswain Gordon Bellamy, managed to get a line to St Trillo, steadying the ship until Kilravock arrived.
The crew of Kilravock were unloading their catch at Conwy quay when they heard radio messages which suggested a disaster could happen nearby. The trawler, skippered by Jack Williams, raced out to sea with fish still on board. It cleared the estuary bar shortly before the tide was too low, and proceeded to tow St Trillo back to Llandudno pier. The rescue was watched by thousands of people on the shore.
There’s a postcript to the story. The following year, John Lawson-Reay went on St Trillo to film a party of children entertaining another set of Americans on Kungsholm off Llandudno. When it was time to return to shore, the weather was too rough. Kungsholm and St Trillo set sail for the Isle of Man, the children sleeping on floors in the liner. St Trillo took the party ashore at Douglas next morning. “We were flown to Liverpool and had a coach back home,” recalls John. “I think that after these adventures they decided to leave Llandudno out of their itinerary!”
You can see John’s photo of the party leaving Kungsholm on St Trillo at Douglas on the Footnotes page. Above right is his photo of the liner off Llandudno.
With thanks to Cathryn Williams, of Aberconwy Historical Society, and John Lawson-Reay
FOOTNOTES – Details of the vessels involved
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