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March’s Mystery Ship Answer

maymystreplyThe two Mystery Ships in March jumped out at me as soon as I saw them. One is Kye Torrent, the former RMAS torpedo recovery vessel Torrent A127, which I helped build during the summer of 1971 at the Clelands Shipyard, a small yard which was part of the Swan Hunter Shipbuilding conglomerate in Howden, Northumberland. Her sistership, which was built almost simultaneously, was Torrid A128.

These were torpedo recovery vessels with a centerline stern ramp to pull the torpedoes up to the main deck for return to the submarine base. A small boom was mounted from a foremast and a hydraulic crane was mounted aft. Two tracks carried the torpedoes along the sides of the main deck. Both participated in the Falkland Islands campaign as minesweepers. Only these two were built in this class.

 
May's mystery ship

mystery shipJohn Burling sent the accompanying picture of three old ships laid up in the river Itchen at Southampton. It was taken a few years ago and all have now gone, but he has been unable to find out their names. At least one appears to be an old tug. But can any reader supply the names of any or all of the ships, and maybe also supply information about their careers. Where and when were they originally built, and by whom? What were they used for during their lives? And when exactly were they dismantled?

 
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

 

 
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