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Tuesday, 29 December 2009


Significant as up to this moment this Ship is the oldest ship built by Henry Robb that I have a photograph of, I am sure that over the course of time and with the help of some of the old hands from Robb’s we shall manage to fill in the gaps as regards photographs and histories of some of the older Ships that were launched from Leith.
She was Called “Ulundi”

The Ulundi is the oldest surviving pilot tug in South Africa. Built by Henry Robb Ltd, Leith, she is 75ft 6 inches overall length with a beam of 18 ft. She was powered by a direct acting compound expansion engine and was in service from 1927. After being withdrawn she was earmarked for the fledgling Port Natal Maritime Museum. Placed on a cradle next on the quayside, she has had doors cut into the side of her hull. Ship No 78 is now a visitor attraction in Port Natal, South Africa.
Ship No 78
On the quayside at Port Natal South Africa, where she is now a visitor attraction.
The photogragh is copyright of D.Walker, who has a great site on Ships in South African waters at

History of the name Ulundi.
Ulundi is a town in the Zululand District Municipality. It was at one time the capital of Zululand in South Africa, and later the capital of the Bantustan of Kwazulu. It is now a part of KwaZulu-Natal Province and from 1994 to 2004 took turns at being the capital with Pietermaritzburg. There is an airport, a five-star hotel, and some museums. Estimated population: 11,102
When Cetshwayo became king of theZulus on 1 September 1873, he created, as was customary, a new capital for the nation and named it uluNdi (the high place). On 4 July 1879 the British army captured the royal kraal and razed it to the ground, in the Battle of ulundi - the final battle of the Anglo – Zulu War. Nearby is Ondini, the site of king Mpande’s's kraal, Cetshwayo's father. Mpande's kraal is a big Zulu hut.

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