In North Wales, on the Menai Strait, Port Penrhyn was built to export slate, but the last trade here seems to have been sand.
About thirty years ago, Kim Mould of West Mersea started the Menai Strait mussel farming from Port Penrhyn and now, four large steel mussel dredgers operate from here. This is also the homeport of Scott Metcalfe’s well-kept tops’l schooner Vilma, a former Danish fishing motor ketch built in 1934.
Scott Metcalfe has bought another former Danish motor sail fishing ketch, the Kelevia, and took her from Dartmouth to Port Penrhyn to finish rebuilding her. She should be sailing by 2018. The Kelevia was built in 1936 by Jensen & Laundsen at Esbjerg and has been re-decked by Tommi Nielsen. These wooden motorsail fishing vessels from the west coast of Denmark were called ‘haj kutters,’ haj means shark, because they were so effective at catching fish. The haj dominated the ‘Western Sea’ (North Sea to English speaking) from about 1910 to mid-1970s.
Also on the coast of North Wales at Conwy, the community venture to rebuild the 40ft Morecmabe Bay prawner Helen II, was started in 2009 and she is now planked up, decked and has a small cabin. John Crossfield originally built the Helen II in 1910 at Arnside.