Ships Monthly Magazine


April's mystery ship

mystery shipHarry Pollitt, of Ashford, sent in the accompanying photo, which was taken in Manchester Docks in the summer of 1964. He wrote: ‘The photo was stored away with many others and only came to light recently. I am now intrigued by this ship and wonder if any reader can provide information about her?’ Where and by whom was she built? What was she used for? By whom was she operated? And what became of her?

February’s Mystery Ship Answer

replyThe February 2014 mystery ship is the motor vessel Lancashire Coast, built for Coast Lines, Liverpool. One of a class of two (the other being Cheshire Coast), Lancashire Coast was a product of the Bristol firm of Charles Hill and was completed in April 1954, with a length of 256ft and a service speed of 12 knots. Registered in Liverpool, Lancashire Coast (1,283gt) was employed on various Coast Lines trades, becoming well known in Belfast as she operated on the Antrim Ore Traffic trade. On 29 September 1965 she was transferred to the Belfast Steamship Co, but ownership reverted to Coast Lines from 1967 to 1972. She was rebuilt by Harland and Wolff in 1969, and in 1972 was again transferred to the flag of the Belfast Steamship Co, averaging of three round trips a week between Belfast and Liverpool. In 1980 Lancashire Coast was sold to Middle East interests, renamed Paolino, and used as a sheep carrier until being broken up in 1985.

Joe Hamilton, Preston

January’s Mystery Ship Answer

Mystery Ship replyThe mystery ship is the Swedish-owned passenger/car ferry Öresund, the hull of which was built in 1960 by Sölvesborg Varv Ab, Sweden (yard no.55) and towed to Aalborg Værft, Aalborg, Denmark to be fitted out. She was completed in 1960 (yard no.132), named Öresund and entered service with RAB Öresund, on the Malmö-Copenhagen route.

In 1980 she was sold to Ångfartygs Ab Saltsjön-Mälaren, Stockholm and rebuilt for cruising by Nico Group, Göteborg, being renamed Lindblad Polaris and used for various cruises. In 1986 she was sold to a Bahamas-based shipowner and renamed Polaris and used for cruising in the Galapagos Islands. In 2008 she was renamed National Geographic Polaris but two years later reverted to Polaris for a final voyage to breakers in Ecuador.

March's mystery ship

mystery shipCan anyone identify these two  vessels moored at Lowestoft? They appear to have seen better days, but where and by whom were they built? Who operated them and what happened to them during their careers? The names read Torch and Kye Torrent, but were these their original names or are they recent additions?

February's mystery ship

mystery shipCan anyone identify this smart-looking cargo vessel? She appears to be quite new in this picture, so when might the photograph have been taken? And where and by whom was she built? Who was she operated by and what happened to her during her career?

December’s Mystery Ship Answer

Mystery Shop replyThe December 2013 mystery ship shows Anzac, a Clyde puffer. She was one of many similar small cargo coasters which were once numerous around the Clyde and West Highlands of Scotland.

Anzac was built in 1939 by Scott & Sons of Bowling (so she is another ‘wee Scott’), 13 miles downstream from Glasgow, for the fleet of John Hay, and carried all manner of goods around the Clyde and Highlands before and after World War II. In common with most of her type, she was 66ft in length to allow her to fit into the locks of the Forth and Clyde Canals, and as a result she would probably also have been familiar at some of the east coast ports.

She and her sistership, Lascar, were the last puffers built before World War II and became the prototypes for a large fleet of 54 steam and nine diesel puffers (or VICs – Victualling Inshore Craft) built to her design by the Ministry of War Transport to serve as small cargo carriers and water carriers at allied ports worldwide. After World War II most ended up in commercial service. The picture shows the vessel moored at the Coal Pier at Dunoon on the Firth of Clyde.

Colin J. Smith, Glamis, Angus


November’s Mystery Ship Answer

Can anyone identify this small passenger ship? Where was the photograph taken? When and where was the ship built, and what was her usual area of operation? Is she still in existence, and if so where can she be found?The Mystery ship is Lifeline, which was built in 1944 for the Admiralty as a coastal salvage vessel by Smith’s Dock, Middlesbrough and completed in February 1944. She was chartered to Risdon Beazley Ltd, Southampton in June 1947 and purchased by them in February 1959. She was not a conversion, and the only modification she underwent was the substitution of her original goalpost mast forward of the bridge by two derricks with the single mast and derrick shown in the photograph. She served mostly in home waters, including at Normandy in 1944, and in a varied career took part in the salvage of the submarine HMS Truculent in the Thames in 1950. She was broken up in Singapore in 1981.

A. J. Smythe,
Rayleigh, Essex


January's mystery ship

mystery shipCan anyone identify this small passenger ship? Where was the photograph taken? When and where was the ship built, and what was her usual area of operation? Is she still in existence, and if so where can she be found?

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