Recalling Ellerman’s super ships

SS City of Winchester.
SS City of Winchester.

The recent articles about ship-building and ship repairing here on South Tyneside have prompted Richard Simpson to get in touch.

He writes:“I was very impressed by the story of the old ship repairers, Brigham and Cowan, published in the Shields Gazette on Wednesday, December 9.

“They were definitely a big name in the ship repair world.

“But what really brought old memories back was the wonderful photo of the City of Winchester, which was just one of the super ships owned by the great old company Ellerman & Bucknall Lines.

“Many of their ships (my own one of them) were built on the Tyne, mine was the City of Exeter – one of four great cargo passenger liners of the time.

“Built with her other three sisters by another famous name on the Tyne (John) Wigham Richardson, the Neptune Yard, Wallsend, in the 1950s, their names were City of Durban, City of Port Elizabeth and, last but not least, City of York.

“Many seafaring guys will remember these, and other ships with great affection even after all these years.”

Here, Richard presents a factfile about the City of Winchester:

l Built by William Denny & Brothers (Dumbarton) for Ellerman & Bucknall Lines.

l Launched on Thursday 27/03/1952. Yard No: 1430.

l Sold to William Thompson & Co Edinburgh (Ben Line), 1970.

l Re-named: Benvannoch,

l Met her demise by being broken up 02/07/1975, in Kaohsiung (China).

“I hope this information is of some use as I know many seafarers read the Shields Gazette, which over the years was a very important means for families to keep track of their loved ones who were on the high seas – giving them information of shipping movements around the world, and was at this time a part of our maritime history.”