Ross Trawlers - Company Timeline

Ross Trawlers Company Logo

Founded in 1920 Thomas Ross Ltd were a Grimsby based fish merchant that eventually expanded to become the UK's largest trawling and fish distribution company.

A family run business, the company has been successfully passed down through three generations over the years. Whilst their business was predominately related to fish trawling, in latter years their aquisition of shipyards and engineerng workshops put them well placed to build their own ships.

On this page we look at the significant events that form the company history. Every company have their 'ups' as well as'downs', but as you can see below the Ross Group have well and truly earnt their place in fishing history.

Thomas Ross retires passing the company onto his son, John [ Carl ] Ross, who becomes Managing Director of the company.

Fish Merchant to Trawler Operator - Carl Ross takes the company into the trawler business [ Trawlers Grimsby Ltd ] by ordering three new trawlers, British Columbia - GY153 (Built 1935) | British Guiana - GY331 (Built 1936) | British Honduras - GY513 (Built 1937)

1939 saw the outbreak of World War 2 during which year the company had placed orders for its fourth trawler, Le Royal - GY400. As was common in times of war the Admiralty requisitioned Le Royal to act as a Navy minesweeper.

Thomas Ross Ltd were placed into liquidation leaving Carl Ross as the majority shareholder of Trawlers Grimsby Ltd.

Charleson Smith, a Hull based fishing company, aquired by Trawlers Grimsby, operating as a subsidary.
Carl Ross secures processing and distribution rights of american based refridgeration company Jackstone Forster.

Trawlers Grimsby Ltd aquire Derwent Trawlers

Trawlers Grimsby Ltd aquire H Croft Baker

Trawlers Grimsby Ltd aquire TC&F Moss Company annual turnover reported as being £7.5 million

Trawlers Grimsby Ltd aquire trawler fleet, engineering workshops and workforce of GF Sleight Ltd
Trawlers Grimsby Ltd start replacing older vessels with new trawlers built by Cochranes of Selby

Trawlers Grimsby Ltd parent company renamed [ The Ross Group ] Ross Group aquire Cochranes Shipyard - Selby

Trawlers Grimsby Ltd aquire Hudson Bros Trawlers (Hull) and Rinovia Steam Fishing Co Ltd (Grimsby)

Trawlers Grimsby Ltd renamed [ Ross Trawlers Ltd ] - five subsidary companies also formed. All trawlers now renamed - prefixed with the name Ross Last of Ross side trawlers built, Ross Renown - GY666, built at Cochranes Selby.

Ross Trawlers aquire Freyr RE1, the UK's largest side trawler, and rename Ross Revenge - GY718 Ross Trawlers take delivery of Ross Daring - GY707, the first of three stern trawlers.

Ross Group 11 storey headquarters built in Grimsby at a reputed cost of £450,000.00 Ross Trawlers take delivery of Ross Valiant - GY729 (Stern Freezer Trawler) Ross Group aquire JS Doigs Shipyard - Grimsby Ross Trawlers purchase side trawlers Welsh Consort and Welsh Monarch and rename Ross Badger (GY1386) and Ross Beaver (GY1387) respectively

Ross Trawlers take delivery of stern trawlers Ross Fame (GY1360) and Ross Fortune (GY1365) Ross Trawlers aquire the Queen Steam Fishing Fleet Ross Trawlers aquire Herbert Crampins fleet of vessels After boardroom disputes Carl Ross leaves the Ross Group Ross Group annual turnover reported at £91 million making the group the UK's largest fish distributor

Several unsuccesful attempts made to aquire Associated Fisheries trawler fleet

April 1969 - permission granted for the Ross Trawler fleet to amalgamate with Associated Fisheries, the two becoming [ British United Trawlers ] September 1969 - Imperial Foods purchase the Ross Group for £47.5 million.

With the rise in oil prices and the Icelandic fishing limits imposed during the 1970's the UK fishing industry saw a sharp decline reslulting in British United Trawlers selling off, or transferring, most of their distant water fleet.

Ross Revenge lands the worlds largest catch of the time, 3000 kits of Icelandic cod, which sold for a record £75,597.00

July 1985 saw Ross Cougar, the last of the Ross 'Cat' class trawlers, land at Grimsby.