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Sunday, 19 August 2012

MV KOONYA update

The MV KOONYA on route in the Bass Strait on the way to Burnie in this photograph sent in by Mike Gostt and shown her by permission.

We have some fine photographs of another Union Steam Ship Co of New Zealand ship built in the Leith Shipyards of Henry Robb as Ship No 461 She was a sister ship to the MV KUMALLA Ship No 456

Saturday, 18 August 2012

MV POOLTA maiden voyage out to Australia

A great tale told by a guy who sailed as “Peggy” on the maiden voyage of MV POOLTA Ship No 465 out to Australia on a ship which turned out to be the last ship built at the Leith Shipyards of Henry Robb for one of the yards best customers the Union Steam Ship Co of New Zealand.

Over the Mountains of the Sea Over the Mountains of the Sea
Over the Mountains of the Sea is a lively, well-illustrated and very readable book that draws on shipboard diaries and archival sources to give a vivid picture of the voyage out to New Zealand during the crucial Vogel period. Using information on individual ships, voyages and passengers, author David Hastings follows the narrative of the voyage and the way in which the space on the ship was allotted according to gender, class and marital status. He then explores the social dynamics on board dealing with the routines of daily life, crime, mutiny, health, religion and an interesting chapter on the virgins' cage' where the single women were confined. He convincingly shows the ship as a microcosm of the society British migrants brought to these islands. Over the Mountains of the Sea is generously illustrated with photographs, sketches and magazine illustrations. It will be warmly welcomed by genealogists, professional historians and the many New Zealanders who enjoy reading about our history.

It’s a great story of how he survived as a young teenager the mad lunges of a drunken ship’s cook who was intent on carving out his liver at the time with a sharp blade.

So if you want to know what or who was a “Peggy” on the ship then read the story on the site as told by Rodney Giddens who also contributed a great photograph of MV POOLTA arriving in Sydney Harbour all flags while sailing under the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Henry Robb Shipyard photographs

A photograph of the TRINITY HOUSE Flagship PATRICIA fitting out at Henry Robb Shipyard, taken from the dockside crane by Barry Booth Shipwright

 We are indebted to the ex Henry Robb shipwright Barry Booth for allowing us to show a great collection of photographs taken at the Leith Shipyards of Henry Robb while working there first as an apprentice shipwright then journeyman.

The photographs will start to appear on the website over the next few weeks so keep checking back to see what’s on the site.

There are many more photographs of various ships old and new in the ship photo library on the website which continues to grow thanks to the many contributors who are now sending in some great photographs of ships to be shown.

This is the part of the website which can only grow and get better with your help so we stress again if you have any ship photographs which you would like to share with the world then please contact the website and they will be shown on the ship photograph pages.

To the many who have contributed up to now we say thanks for your time and interest, and the website continues to receive more and more visitors with according to Google more than 60,000 visits and not yet 2 years old.

Saturday, 11 August 2012

M/V UNDERWOOD Ship No 291 New Book on her Sinking

There is now a new book that has been written by Dave Betts about the sinking of the M/V UNDERWOOD she was attacked by German E-Boats in a daring attack which had Further tragic consequences in the build up to D-Day when American troops exercising of the South West Coast of England suffered some tragic losses which were attributed to the threat of E-Boat attacks by the fast and deadly boats.

15 crew and 3 passengers were lost in the attack on the M/V UNDERWOOD which had been built at the Leith Shipyards of Henry Robb for the shipping company of France Fenwick, she was in fact still on the stocks at the outbreak of World War II on 3rd September 1939 and her build was completed during the early days of the war.

The author's Grand Father was a (DEMS) gunner on board her and the book can be found at   let him know that you heard about the book here at    And if anyone out there can help with some photographs of this old ship then please get in touch with the website.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Update on PORT TUDY

We have some news on the website about the small tanker PORT TUDY Ship No 506 and she could still be around having last been seen in the waters of Nigeria.
Now under the name of OCEAN CHALLENGER "Has anyone seen this ship recently"

We hope that someone out there will be able to shed some light on what has become of this old Leith Shipyards built ship, she was the first ship to be built at Henry Robb shipyards using the what was then the new European Metric System.

Update on the Ferry MV PIONEER


MV POINEER as Brenda Corlett seen here in W.Africa in a photograph by Ian Fraser

Pleased to be able to tell you that we now have some fine photographs of the MV PIONEER ship No 515 which is now still working away off the coast of West Africa.

Thanks to Ian Fraser who while delivering another ship down that way was invited onto the PIONEER now called the Brenda Corlett and he has sent us in many exclusive photographs of her.

Offshore Ferry Services of England and Scotland The ship photo library continues to grow thanks to a few more contributors and we would like to invite all to send in there photographs of ships of all kinds for show on the ship photo’s page of the website.

Good to see that some things on the ex MV PIONEER still remain and this shows one of her old destination boards still with her in the waters of W.Africa, seen in this photograph taken by Ian Fraser
and sent into the Leithshipyards website.

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Review of the Boat Factory Play

Seems like the play at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival has been quite a hit going by the review sent to the Leith Built Ships Blog.

See "The Boat Factory"