Brayshaw, Norman Henry
Stace, Henry Joseph (Harry) (Junior)
||New Zealand Refrigerating Company Limited
||Sailing ship Edwin Fox. Housed in a purpose built dry dock at the Edwin Fox Maritime Museum, Picton. It is the world's last East Indiaman and its ninth oldest ship.
Images 1 and 2 are scans of coloured postcards for sale at the Edwin Fox Maritime Museum and show the ship as she was in 1965 when the hulk was purchased for one shilling by Norman H. Brayshaw, the founder of the Edwin Fox Restoration Society (name since changed to Edwin Fox Society) and as she was before 1867, after which she was re-rigged as a barque.
Ship's dimensions (see also images 21 and 22):
Registered tonnage - 909 tonnes
Water line length - 44.1 metres
Overall length - 49.4 metres
Water line breadth - 9 metres
Depth - 7.16 metres
Poop - 16.46 metres
Forecastle - 6.7 metres
Build - Carvel 2 decks
Signal letters - J D M N
Official number - 4673
For information regarding the living quarters on board see images 30 and 31.
For cargo space see image 33.
For an explanation of scarph joints and an example see images 34 and 35.
For erosion on the stanchions see image 36.
For information about the ceiling see image 37.
For the Historic Places Trust registered building plaque see image 44. The Edwin Fox is number 7450.
Image 48 is a coloured photograph of a black and white photograph of a 1985 original by Ross Shardlow that is hanging in the foyer of the Edwin Fox Maritime Museum. It shows the ship in full sail pre 1867. For how she looked as a barque see EFS2003.001.0001.
Image 49 is a coloured photograph of a black and white photograph that is hanging in the foyer of the Edwin Fox Maritime Museum. It shows the Edwin Fox as she was about 1899 after being converted to a freezer. She is tied up at the old wharf on the Picton Foreshore, near Wellington Street.
The following information is taken from the booklet, "Edwin Fox - Hard-won Heritage", published by the Edwin Fox Society in 2004, to mark the 150th anniversary of the ship's launching at Calcutta, India. It was compiled by Society members Tom Kennedy, Ron Weetman, and Tony Mortiboy, from notes provided by Harry Stace and archival material held by the Society. [Information in square brackets is from "The Salvage and Restoration of the Edwin Fox", compiled by Norm Brayshaw, no date]. Words in these brackets ( ) are mine (Jenny Pierson).
The Edwin Fox was built in 1853 at Sulkeali [Sulkoali] (modern spelling is Sulekha) on the Hooghly River on the Ganges delta near Calcutta. She was built by William Henry Foster as a standard Moulmein trader, typical of ships designed and built in Moulmein, Burma. The last of ships of her type, and similar to those built for the East India Company. She is constructed exclusively of teak and saul woods native to the region. The hull was later clad with Munz metal (a hand beaten mixture of copper and Zinc), to protect it from the teredo or ship worm. The ship exists today because of the quality and durability of the materials used. Prior to launching, the ship was sold to Sir George Hodgkinson of London. He named her Edwin Fox.
Her maiden voyage, from Calcutta to London via Cape Town was on 14 December 1853. The ship was surveyed and classed 'A1 12' - the highest rating - by the Lloyds Register of shipping, and registered LONDON. Less than a year later Edwin Fox was sold to Duncan Dunbar, who paid 3000 [30,000] pound for the vessel, said to be a record at the time. [The Edwin Fox carried her official number '4673' intricately carved on one of the beams].
She was immediately chartered to the British Government and used as a troop transport. Late 1855 she was re-fitted to carry civilian passengers and general cargo and made voyages to the Southern Ocean. In 1858 she was chartered by the British Government to transport convicts to Fremantle in Western Australia.
Duncan Dunbar died in 1862 and Edwin Fox was sold to Messrs Gallatly [Gellatly - see note 1], Hankey and Company of London. In 1867 [1878 - see note 2] she dropped her designation as a fully rigged ship when her cross-jack yard was removed and she was re-rigged to become a barque. The change meant less maintenance and fewer crew. That year she also changed her port of registration to SOUTHAMPTON.
In 1873 Edwin Fox became an immigrant ship, chartered to the Shaw Savill Company to carry immigrants from England to New Zealand under the scheme for assisted migration initiated by New Zealand Prime Minister, Sir Julius Vogel. She made four immigration voyages, carrying a total of 751 passengers. The voyages were made in 1873 from London to Lyttelton, 1875  from London to Wellington, 1878 from Plymouth to Nelson, and 1880 from London to Lyttelton. [A fifth voyage, without immigrants, was made on 31 December 1880 from London, arriving Bluff 19 May 1881].
Between 1880 and 1885 Shaw Savill and Company purchased Edwin Fox and, in London, had her converted to a freezer hold. She sailed for the last time from England in June 1885 for Port Chalmers, Dunedin. [Here she was dismasted - see note 3]. At Port Chalmers all the necessary freezing equipment was installed and the ship was utilised to freeze sheep meat which had been killed ashore. The mutton was later loaded onto ships sailing for England. Subsequently, the Edwin Fox was moved to Lyttelton, Bluff and back to Port Chalmers as a freezer. She was finally towed to Picton, arriving 12 January 1897. She never again left Queen Charlotte Sound.
She was berthed at the old wharf near lower Wellington Street and used as a freezer. The carcassess of sheep were taken by rail to Picton and stored in the freezers on Edwin Fox. She could hold 14,000 [30,000] carcasses. When the Picton Freezing Works was built in 1900 the ship was moved across the harbour with the intent of continuing it in service as a freezer hold. However, the machinery had deteriorated and it was impractical to repair or replace it, so it was removed. In exchange for a three-year contract to exclusively carry meat to England, Shaw Saville gave Edwin Fox to the meat company.
In 1902 she was registered in LYTTELTON, but the word SOUTHAMPTON was not removed from her stern, and LYTTELTON was never added. In 1905 the ship was reduced to becoming a landing platform and coal hulk. She continued to serve in those capacities until the 1960s.
In May 1965 the late Norman Brayshaw formed the Edwin Fox Restoration Society, and he purchased the Edwin Fox for one shilling from the New Zealand Refrigerating Company with the condition that it be removed to another site. Due to changing opinions and Councils the original idea of moving it to the Picton foreshore was disallowed and the Edwin Fox was moved to Shakespeare Bay where it lay for 19 years.
On 4 December 1986 Edwin Fox was moved from Shakespeare Bay to a berth which had been dug out especially for her at what became known as Dunbar Wharf. She moved once more while a dry dock was built for her and on 18 May 1999 the dry dock became her final resting place alongside Dunbar Wharf.
In the early 1990s the Society realised that restoration was too costly and would result in a 'replica' ship, not what they desired, so it was agreed that preservation was best and it is to that purpose that many dedicated volunteers and a few paid staff have spend a great deal of their time.