There's a wreck on the Hamble River in Hampshire. Everyone's favourite wreck. It has been there forever, well, the early 1980s anyway. I used to tell a story about it, then I found out my story was about a different boat altogether, so I tried to find the real story.
Hey Pete, you know the wreck by Crableck, the Terminist?
Terminist my arse, old son. That's the William Allen
If you look closely at the bow, below, you can make out the letters and numbers BM137.
And if you look at the picture below you will see the same letters and numbers. And if you look closer you may be able to make out the name William Allen
Knowing that makes it easy to find that BM137, William Allen was a Motor Fishing Vessel built in 1944. Prior to 1956 she had a Lowestoft registration LT393 and was named Ala.
1944 built at Wivenhoe, Essex, an MFV or Motor Fishing Vessel, built at a time when Britain's fishing fleet was depleted.
1948 sold on, registered as Ala, LT393 of Lowestoft
1956 sold on again, reregistered as William Allen, BM137 of Brixham
Dimensions: length 92 ft, breadth 22.6 ft, draft 11. Carvel construction, rounded cruiser stern
Tonnage: gross 118, net 58 tons
Call sign: GFXS
Official nnumber 166716
Engine: 240 bhp by Crossley Bros
1948-1954 – Ala, owner G. Claridge, Wheathampsted, Herts. Registered Lowestoft - LT393
1955-1957 – Ala, owner Hunley Fishing Company, Lowestoft, Suffolk. Reg Lowestoft - LT393
1957-1962 – renamed William Allen, owner Torbay Trawlers Ltd. Reg Brixham - BM 137
1963-1964 – William Allen, owner Fresher Fish Ltd, Brixham. Reg Brixham - BM137
1965 - William Allen, owner Spincraft Ltd, London. Reg Brixham - BM137
continued trawling until 1966
1966-1993 – William Allen, owner Philip M. Tree, Gosport. Reg Brixham - BM137
at some point became a houseboat, for the King family, may have been involved in a collision with the Floating Bridge at Itchen, Southampton, in 1960s
then Bill Smith who lived on board and ran a fibreglass boat repair business. Also poet and local radio broadcaster. Abandoned in its current location in the 1980s
In Autumn 2016 the starboard bow gave way. Perhaps her days are numbered now. The river knows this: There is no hurry, the sun still rises, the river keeps on flowing.
Finally, if you're going to have a look don't do it on a falling tide: