The final days of a South Shields ship

The Readhead's-built Trebartha.
The Readhead's-built Trebartha.

Pictures in Cookson Country have seen so many ships sail out of the Tyne over the years, but we’ve less-seldom caught up with them in their final days.

That cannot be said, however, of the Trebartha, which we saw the other day having a final dry dock at Brigham and Cowan’s yard in Shields, in the early 1960s, with that shipspotter’s panorama of other vessels across at Smith’s in the background.

She had earlier come out of the yard of Readhead’s and had been built for Hain’s, who were old-established customers of the Readhead’s shipbuilding concern.

An earlier Trebartha of their’s had been a casualty during the Second World War, sunk by German bombers in 1940.

I’ve since had this picture of the later Trebartha come to me from reader Richard Simpson in the town, but which shows her in her final days as the m.v. Zak.

Built in 1962 by Readhead’s, Richard tell me she subsequently transferred to P&O in 1972, who, three years later, changed her name to the m.v. Strathtay.

She was later sold on to the Marikog Shipping Co, SA Panama, and renamed Zak but was destined for the breaker’s.

Says Richard: “Her sad and final destination was Lianyungang, China, in 1985.”