In September 1927 a couple of prominent Scarborians left the town to accompany an Icelandic trawler - the Lord Weir - in a three week round trip. They were Mr Harry Whitehead (son of Alderman Whitehead) who had many connections with the fishing industry and Mr F Tindall of 3 Blenheim Terrace.
The weather was not as severe as it would be in mid winter yet they encountered very rough seas virtually all the trip. These landlubbers were complimented on their ability to withstand the stormy conditions.
The Lord Weir was a new trawler built in 1927. It had electric lighting and steam heating throughout. They had a wireless receiving set and but for this they had no contact with the outside world the entire trip. The only contact came when they went alongside other trawlers and discussed the fishing.
Fishing attracts characters and this trip was no different. The cook was known as the Aga Khan - he was from Demerara. He had been a ships cook all his life and Mr Whitehead commented how
"I have never known a man to love an argument as well as this man did. On one trip I was told he looked up a word in the dictionary, preceeded to the crew and argued for hours with them about its meaning".
Many of the men who sail these waters know them as well as Scarborough fishermen know the Scarborough coast. Many served in these waters in minesweepers in The Great War.
"When the trawler had full steam the decks were always awash and except when they were fishing the crew on watch were on the bridge and those off watch were down below. It is absolutely necessary for them to rest when off watch because the work, especially during fishing operations is particularly strenuous".
As the vessel passed Iceland several huge mountains and extinct volcanoes were seen. One of the highest was Snaefell Jokel - known to the fishermen as Snowy Jokel.
On one occasion when the weather was bad they came into a Fiord known as 'Breezy Budget' which was 43 miles across. It was much calmer here and they were able to trawl for twenty minutes.
Often the vessel went at half speed. This was necessary otherwise everything on the deck would have been smashed to pieces.
On one occasion the men were gutting fish when a huge wave enveloped the vessel where they were working and men, fish and everything movable was swept from one side of the vessel. The Bo'son thought he had been swept overboard and began striking out. These were everyday occurences.
They ran into whales. Sometimes these came very close indeed. The most beautiful sight was the northern lights which Mr Whitehead assured were well worth seeing. He said
"It was absolutely pitch dark one night, when suddenly they began to flash. They kept going in and out and swept the sky like searchlights, but the colours were really wonderful, only to be compared to those seen in the most beautiful rainbow. They lit the whole sky up and on occasions were so brilliant that it was almost possible to read a newspaper".
Mr Whitehead took several photos. These included the snow capped peaks of Iceland. He also captured a 6ft Halibut which weighed 14 stone.
Overall the trip did give Mr Whitehead
"an insight into the hardship which these men have to go through".
They covered 4000 to 5000 miles during the journey. The actual distance as the crow flies was only 3000 miles but the extra resulted from the steaming about during fishing operations.
- The Mercurey, October 28th 1927.