Ships Plans

Newly digitised technical drawings

Our volunteers have been busy making digital copies of original general arrangement plans of vessels built by Cook, Welton & Gemmell at the Grovehill shipyard in Beverley, East Yorkshire.  Here are some examples of the excellent work they’ve been doing for us here at East Riding Archives:

‘Lord Heneage’ / ‘SS Sir James Reckitt’ (1909) – steam trawlers


Lord Heneage & SS Sir James Reckitt (1909)
‘Lord Heneage’ / ‘SS Sir James Reckitt’ (1909) Copyright:  East Riding Archives

Lord Heneage’:  Launched 10th March 1909

Requisitioned by Royal Navy as a minesweeper/bomb thrower in February 1915

Intercepted a large cargo of weapons being sent from Germany to the Army of the Irish Republic in April 1916.

‘SS Sir James Reckitt’:  

Requisitioned by Royal Navy as a minesweeper with hydrophonic listening equipment in September 1915


‘Bardolph’ / ‘Caliban’ (1911) – steam trawlers

Bardolph & Caliban (1911)
‘Bardolph’ / ‘Caliban’ (1911)  Copyright: East Riding Archives


‘Bardolph’:  Launched 29th June 1911

Captured by German U-Boat and sunk by gunfire 115 miles southwest of Sumburgh Head, Shetlands on 5th June 1915 during the First World War.

‘Caliban’:  Launched 15th July 1911

Captured by German U-Boat and sunk by gunfire 45 miles northeast of Rattray Head, Scotland on 12th April 1917 during the First World War.

Both vessels were among the first trawlers to be fitted with wireless radio.


‘Varanga’ (1929) – steam trawler

Varanga (1929)
‘Varanga’ (1929)  Copyright: East Riding Archives

‘Varanga’: Launched 14th March 1929

Requisitioned by Royal Navy as a minesweeper in August 1939 and served during the Second World War.

Re-named ‘RED CRUSADER’ in 1946.

Scrapped in 1957.


‘Kingston Cornelian’ (1934) – steam trawler


Kingston Cornelian (1934)
‘Kingston Cornelian’ (1934)  Copyright: East Riding Archives


‘Kingston Cornelian’: Launched 12th June 1934

Sold to Royal Navy as an anti-submarine vessel in 1939 during the Second World War.

Sank following a collision east of Gibraltar on 5th January 1940.  Her depth charges exploded as she sank, and all crew were lost.


‘Yorkshire Belle’ (1938) – passenger pleasure ship


Yorkshire Belle (1938)
‘Yorkshire Belle’ (1938)  Copyright: East Riding Archives


‘Yorkshire Belle’: Launched 7th May 1938

Originally intended to serve as a pleasure cruiser at the seaside resort of Bridlington, East Yorkshire.

Requisitioned by Royal Navy for patrol duties during the Second World War and sunk by a mine near Haile Sand Fort, River Humber.  All crew were killed.

A new ‘YORKSHIRE BELLE’ was built in 1947 and remains in service at Bridlington.


‘Westella’ (1959) – motor trawler



Westella (1959)
‘Westella’ (1959)  Copyright:  East Riding Archives


‘Westella’:  Launched 18th November 1959

First trawler to be powered by Mirrlees ‘Monarch’ turbo-charged direct reversing diesel engine.

Re-named ‘SEA SHEPHERD’ in 1978 and used as a scientific vessel for the study and protection  of marine creatures.

Rammed the pirate whaler ‘SIERRA’ off the Portuguese coast in an attempt to put her out of action in 1979 ( the ‘SIERRA’ had reportedly killed an estimated 25,000 whales). Due to the damage inflicted on the ‘SIERRA’ she was put into port for repairs and then sunk by saboteurs with a limpet mine.


‘Arctic Cavalier’ / ‘Arctic Corsair (1960) – motor trawlers


Arctic Cavalier & Arctic Corsair (1960)
‘Arctic Cavalier’ / ‘Arctic Corsair’ (1960)  Copyright: East Riding Archives


‘Arctic Cavalier’:  Launched 18th January 1960

First Diesel-engine trawler to be built for the Boyd Line.  Despite taking its name from the North Pole region, it fished in the South Pacific and Costa Rica.  As of 1999 it was still in service.

‘Arctic Corsair’: Launched 12th February 1960

Severely damaged by collision with a collier vessel in 1967 off Duncansby Head, Scotland whilst homeward bound from Greenland.

Vessel sold to Hull City Council in 1993 and opened to the public as a museum on 9th May 1999.  It remains a highly popular museum for maritime heritage in Hull, East Yorkshire.

4 thoughts on “Ships Plans

  1. Hello,

    I live in Germany and I build model ships as a hobby. Recently I read about the discovery missions and enjoyed it so much that I decided to build a model of the RRS William Scoresby.

    To be as accurate as possible to the original vessel I searched the internet for old pictures and construction plans/drawings and stumbled across your site.

    As the Williams Scroseby was built by Cook, Welton & Gemmell in Beverley in 1926 (Yard number: 477) I was wondering whether you could assist me in obtaining copies of the ship plans (general arrangement, line plans etc.)

    Thank you very much for your consideration and a short reply.

    Kind regards,

    Michael Fuhrmann


    1. Thanks Michael,

      We’re currently working on the cataloguing and digitisation of the Cook, Welton & Gemmell archive, and will be in a position to say exactly what plans are available when the work is completed next summer (2019).
      However, early indications are that the plans for the ‘William Scoresby’ are sadly not present in this archive collection. If that’s the case, then my hope is that they have survived elsewhere, perhaps in the hands of a private collector.

      Kind regards

      Sam Bartle
      (Digital Archivist & Project Co-ordinator)


      1. Hello Sam,

        thanks for the reply. I have found the general arrangements of the RRS William Scoresby in “Cook, Welton and Gemmell: Shipbuilders of Hull and Beverley 1883-1963” by Michael Thompson (
        This book includes several general arrangements of ships built by Cook, Welton and Gemmell.
        I am looking for the line plans though which are not included in the book.
        According to the web the should be at the Hull Martime museum ( but they have told me that they do no longer have the records. Thus I thought they might be within your project.

        Anyway thanks for the support and everything.




      2. Hi Michael,

        Indeed, this is a very useful book. Our volunteers have found it invaluable during the cataloguing process. We are currently working on a lot of lines plans, but as I say, there’s currently no indication that the ‘William Scoresby’ has survived into our collection, which would be a great shame because the book does indicate that the general arrangement at least was in existence somewhere at the time of writing. I hope the Scoresby plans will emerge during the course of the project, but obviously I’m unable to guarantee this.

        Kind regards

        Sam Bartle
        (Digital Archivist & Project Co-ordinator)


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