Part of the Acorn Archive

Hearts of Oak



W H Podd of Lowestoft


W H Podd Ltd Established 1886

Established and Managed by Walter Humphrey Podd.




Directory Entries

1890  Walter Podd  387, London Road South, Lowestoft.

1896 Walter Podd Fish Merchant/Buyer  58, St Leonards Road, Lowestoft.

1902-1909   29, Trawl Fish Market and

58, St Leonards Road, Lowestoft ( Residence Of Walter Podd).

1912  Walter Honey Podd Fish Salesman 9 & 10, Trawl Fish Market, Lowestoft. This entry in the Directory gives his middle name as “Honey”. In view of all other records being shown as “Humphrey”, the directory entry must be an early typographical error.



From 1909 until 1954 they were still at 29 Trawl Fish Market Lowestoft but were no longer at St Leonards Road Lowestoft, their other premises being in Ontario Road, Lowestoft. These premises at Ontario Road became a net loft and are now converted into houses.


The Podd company’s fishing boats were largely named after family members.


From 1925 the owner was named as Walter Humphrey Podd, residing at The Poplars, London Road South Lowestoft. Walter Humphrey Podd died two years later and was buried 18th October 1927 at Kirkley Cemetery. John D Mummery writes … he took over a part of my Gt. Grandfather's fish wholesale business here in Lowestoft. He has a very large memorial in Kirkley Cemetery, in South Lowestoft, indicating that he was a man of substantial substance.   


They became a limited company in 1938. During World War II, the Podd Fleet was requisitioned by the Merchant Navy for mine sweeping. Under the management of Edward William Podd, six trawlers went to Milford Haven, namely PILOT JACK, J.A.P., BOY CLIFFORD, HELPING HAND and HOLKAR. In 1941 they were moved to Padstow, Cornwall. Whilst fishing there, two vessels managed to pick up the survivors ( commander and crew ) of a submarine which had been hit. There was also another incident where they had been hit by machine gun fire, but managed to get back to port. This little fleet returned to Lowestoft in 1946, and were all sold, save for the J.A.P. The fleet was replaced by the JOHN WILLMENT, LORD WENLOCK and EAGER.


The business expanded in 1954 with one business as General Engineers operating from Whapload Road, Lowestoft, near to Mariners Score and a second business as Fish Merchants at 12 Waveney Road, Lowestoft.


In 1957 two 100 foot wooden trawlers ( W.F.P. and ADA KERBY ) were built at Fraserborough. Two other steel trawlers were sold to Ghana, sailing to Accra. One of them, was later said to have sunk after striking into a lighthouse.


The first mention as trawlers owners in the Company title appears in 1959 when they are shown as Trawler Owners And Fish Merchants at 5 Battery Green Road, Lowestoft.


Three steel trawlers were built at £75,000 each, the BRYHER, MINCARLO and ROSEVEAR. They were  named after three isles in the Isles of Scilly, because of the welcoming kindness received by David Podd, when he stayed at a school-friend’s house with his mother and father. His friend at Truro School was Barneslie Ward, who, with his father Rodney Ward, of the Isles of Scilly, had strong associations with the Isles of Scilly Steamship Company

( featured on another part of Hearts of Oak ).


From 1967 the different branches were together as W H Podd Marine And General Engineers And Trawler Owners with them moving to new premises at the corner of Hamilton Road and Battery Green, Lowestoft. The company were taken over by Small & Company in the late 1970s. Some family members then set up Metal Coating Motors in Pakefield whilst another became a Veterinary Surgeon in Tonning Street, Lowestoft.


Inshore Trawlers Ltd were a subsidiary of W H Podd but they do not appear to have owned or operated from premises of their own. No mention could be found of Lowestoft Motor Trawlers Ltd.


In 1970, a decline in the fishing industry, due to shortage of crew, forced the ships to lay in port, at great expense.  The White Fish Authority re-possessed the ships as it was impossible to repay the loan. BRYHER and MINCARLO were sold to Boston Deep Sea Fisheries, Lowestoft as stand-by ships for oil rigs in the North Sea.  WH Podd continued with the marine engineering business, but with so few fishing vessels operating, it meant it was impossible to maintain the business and David Podd sold the engineering works, around 1985, to Klynne Tugs of Lowestoft.


Chris Cleveland writes …. WH Podd was sold out to Klynne Tugs of Lowestoft, I used to know Roger Klynne when I was in the industry, and  Keith Ashby was a foreman ( just retired from Klynne ), they are located at Whapload Road Lowestoft.



1962 : W H Podd is the oldest trawling firm in Lowestoft. In fact, for the whole Fishing Industry in this country, for diesel engine conversion on vessels of 75 feet and over, W H Podd were the pioneers.  W H Podd gave the first order for a full size motor trawler, the J.A.P.  W H Podd were the first to construct a full size trawler using the largest controllable pitch propeller. W H Podd were the first to construct  and design diesel machinery to suit fishing conditions and last the life of the hull.


1977 : Fifty years ago, October 11th 1927, Walter H Podd, one of Lowestoft’s best known trawler owners, died. He became successful because of his earnest application and unswerving perseverance.


WH Podd Premises 1977


Letterhead shows address

Engineers and Agents,

Battery Green Road, Lowestoft

On Admiralty List

Diesel Engines

Trawl Winches

Hydraulic Capstains

Diesel Engine Maintenance

Marine Engineers


Besides the kind help I have received from other sources,

especially that of David Podd, of Lowestoft, grandson of Walter Humphrey Podd,

I am very grateful for the kind assistance and extensive information from

Lowestoft Record Office

Central Library, Clapham Road, Lowestoft, Suffolk, NR32 1DR

Terry Lynes Assistant Project Manager

Heritage Workshop Centre,

80a High Street, Wilde's Score, Lowestoft, Suffolk, NR32 1XN

My Thanks to Roger Griffiths for his persistence and assistance.


Raymond Forward