Look at the date stones of Fraserburgh's finest buildings and you will see that the years either side of 1900 were a period of great prosperity. Confidence was high, fuelled by a seemingly endless demand for herring from the Continental markets.
Eager to share in the boom, two Broadsea friends - John Buchan and Benjamin Noble - made the decision to have fishing boats built. They chose another ambitious Brocher for the job - Alexander Noble - who, only a couple of years earlier had started a boat repair business. Alexander rewarded their faith by producing two fine 70ft Fifies. Benjamin named his the "Comfort" FR 965 while John chose the "Victoria" FR 971.
With a busy order book, Alexander invited his two sons to join him in the family business. They went on to build another four 70ft Fifies. However the days of the Fifie and Zulu were numbered. Steam power was rapidly overtaking sail. Realising this, the yard, now called Wilson Noble's, changed over to building steam drifters in 1907.
Times were becoming increasingly hard for John Buchan and the "Victoria". Obsolete sail boats could not compete with the bigger, faster drifters. Like many owners, John decided the only way to keep fishing was to fit engines. 30hp and 15hp Kelvins were installed in 1918, driving propeller shafts. The engines proved to be a success, and the "Victoria" worked profitably up to the outbreak of World War Two, when the Kelvins were upgraded to more powerful Gardners.
"Victoria's" long career was cut short when, in 1959, she collided with another vessel 3 miles off Rosehearty. Damaged and taking in water, she made a dash for Fraserburgh. Unfortunately the Authorities, worried she would sink and block the harbour entrance, refused to let her in. "Victoria" was beached behind the South Breakwater. An inspection revealed she was damaged beyond repair. The yard that built her, Wilson Noble's, went out of business the same year.