North East Lincolnshire Council

Ross Tiger

The Ross Tiger is a 1950’s Grimsby trawler, thought to be the oldest diesel side-trawler to survive in the UK.

The history of Ross Tiger

Ross Tiger was constructed at a climax in the local fishing industry, during the 1950’s, when official railway publications labelled Great Grimsby as ‘the world’s premier fishing port’. A magnificent celebration of this was held in 1956, to coincide with the centenary of the fish docks, and it was at this time that Ross Trawlers Ltd decided to construct a new, state of the art, class of fishing vessels. Yard number 1416, the Ross Tiger, was designed and built by one of the top shipyards for trawler construction, Cochrane & Sons of Selby, and took her maiden voyage in early 1957. Her powerful modern diesels, by Ruston of Lincoln, and her agility, strength and stability impressed all who sailed in her. The luxuries of her internal spaces, with central heating, flushing toilets, baths and even a shower, were almost unheard of to trawlermen that were more accustomed to using a bucket for washing and the ship’s rail as a lavatory!

Ross Tiger is a physical reminder of the advances to the fishing industry that were developed at Great Grimsby and is now understood to be the earliest diesel side-trawler of her kind, left in the UK. This is an astonishing fact considering how many trawlers were operating locally at that time and how many vessels were constructed throughout the 1950’s.

Despite her pedigree and technology, Ross Tiger was still built for a dangerous task. Although sadly losing some men at sea, Ross Tiger managed to survive almost 30 years of a job described as the most dangerous peacetime occupation in the UK. She has kept many men safe.

Grimsby alone lost a shocking 32 ships in the one decade of the 1950’s. Over the years, thousands of men have lost their lives from this port in the endeavour to catch fish.

Ross Tiger is preserved as a memorial to so much, including the magnificent Yorkshire shipbuilding industry, the engineering heritage of the city of Lincoln, the bravery and skill of generations of British trawlermen, and the thousands that sailed from our port never to return.

The attraction

Ross Tiger was restored as a tribute to the trawlermen of the town by Great Grimsby Borough Council, opening to the public in 1992. Now berthed alongside the Grimsby Fishing Heritage Centre in Alexandra Dock, you will learn the ropes from our passionate trawler guides, most of whom are ex-trawlermen. They will entertain you with a tale or two of sea life and also take you on a journey of discovery where you will find out what life was like aboard. This is an experience not to be missed, aboard a very special survivor of the maritime past of Great Grimsby. Come on, Climb aboard!

Tours of the Ross Tiger are available 6 days a week and last approximately 45 minutes to an hour. You can book a tour by visiting the admissions desk inside the museum, where your boarding passes may be collected. The tours are now available all year round. All tours are subject to availability, weather conditions and some restrictions apply.

We advise that the tours may not be suitable for persons with certain mobility problems, those who suffer from vertigo and claustrophobia. Under 5’s are not permitted on board due to Health and Safety guidelines. Extra care must be taken on uneven decks, vertical ladders and high sills, particularly during wet weather. In extreme weather conditions the trawler tours may be cancelled.

Please feel free to contact the Museum for further information on 01472 323345 or email us at fhc@nelincs.gov.uk on the day of your visit to ensure that the trawler is available.


Ross Tiger trawler tours

Tuesday to Friday & Bank Holidays: 11 am, 12 noon, 1.30 pm, and 2.30 pm. A 3.30 pm will also run during summer season (1st April to 31st October).

Saturdays and Sundays: 11 am, 12 noon, 1.30 pm and 2.30 pm.

ROSS TIGER tour times are subject to change, please contact us 01472 323345 to confirm times on the day of your visit to avoid any disappointments. We will also aim to update our Facebook and Twitter pages for latest news too.

The full fleet of ‘Cat’ class trawlers, in order of building, were;

  • Ross Tiger, February 1957 (The first of the true Cat Class!)
  • Ross Leopard, October 1957
  • Ross Jaguar, December 1957
  • Ross Panther, April 1958
  • Ross Cougar, April 1958
  • Ross Cheetah, November 1959
  • Ross Lynx, February 1960
  • Ross Jackal, April 1960 (actually a kind of dog!)
  • Ross Puma, August 1960 (The only Cat Class to be lost, 1968 at Hoy)
  • Ross Genet, October 1960
  • Ross Civet, October 1960
  • Ross Zebra, November 1960 (actually a kind of horse!)

Grimsby Fishing Heritage Centre, Alexandra Dock, Grimsby, North East Lincolnshire, DN31 1UZ

Email: fhc@nelincs.gov.uk

Telephone: 01472 323345

Opening times:

Tuesday to Friday & Bank Holidays: 11 am, 12 noon, 1.30 pm, and 2.30 pm. A 3.30 pm will also run during summer season (1st April to 31st October).

Saturdays and Sundays: 11 am, 12 noon, 1.30 pm and 2.30 pm.