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Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Classic Shipyard Photographs from 1937 to 1939/40

This un-named ship as yet under construction at the Leith Shipyards of Henry Robb in 1937 amazing to think that some 40 years later we would be climbing up the self same staging upright in roughly the same conditions.

We are pleased to announce that the website is now in possession of some fine original old photographs of the Leith Shipyards of Henry Robb Ltd, covering a period from 1937 to the beginning of the Second World War in 1939.

Some of the fine ships shown include the MV SPINEL, MV CUBAHAMA, the classic and famous SS South Steyne ferry and the very first ship order for Henry Robb from the Union Steamship Co of New Zealand (USSCo, Ltd) a company which went on to order more than 20 ships from the Leith yard.

This was a continuation of a long line of ships built for the New Zealand Company beginning with orders secured by the Ramage & Ferguson yard in the previous century.

Along with some firsts for the Royal Navy including the Dog Class ships, HMS MASTIFF and Ships No 299 and No 300 HMS HAZEL - HMS HICKORY, the first of a long line of warships built during World War Two along with many more from this busy period at the shipyard, some will be shown on the website and some will go into the forthcoming books about the ships built at the Leith Shipyards.

The photographs will now be able to be seen rather than hidden away as many of them are along with much of the information both by individuals and archives. They will be there now for all to see in time as they should along with many more.
Tramp Ships Tramp Ships
The tramp ship was the taxi of the seas. With no regular schedules, it voyaged anywhere and everywhere, picking up and dropping off cargoes, mainly bulk cargoes such as coal, grain, timber, china clay and oil. It was the older and slower vessels that tended to find their way into this trade, hence the tag 'tramp', though new tramps were built, often with the owner's eye on chartering to the liner companies. In this new book by the well-known author Roy Fenton, their evolution is described over the course of more than 100 years, from the 1860s, when the steam tramp developed from the screw collier, until it was largely replaced by the specialist bulk carrier in the 1980s. An introduction looks at the design and building of tramps before going on to describe the machinery, from simple triple-expansion turbines to diesel engines. Their operation and management and the life of the officers and crews is also covered. The meat of the book is to be found in the 300 wonderfully evocative photographs of individual ships which illustrate the development of the tramp and its trades through the last years of the 19th century, the two world wars, and the postwar years. Each caption gives the dimensions, the owners and the builder, and outlines the career, with notes on trades and how they changed over a ship's lifetime. Design features are highlighted and notes on machinery included. This will become a classic work, to inspire all merchant ship enthusiasts and historians.

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