15th June 2005, 21:06
Hi my name is Barry I am 59 years old and have been a subscriber of Ships Monthly for longer than I care to mention, I am looking for any info on a North Sea ferry called Bolton Abbey I hail from the North and would like any info you can offer on said named vessel. Thank you Barry
15th June 2005, 21:44
Hi Barry and all,
I signed up yesterday via the Ships Monthly advert, I believe the BOLTON ABBEY you have referred to may have belonged to Associated Humber Lines of Hull, built 1957 and of 2706 gross tons, my info comes from Ian Allan's Coastal Ships of 1967, written by D. Ridley Chesterton.
Hope this is of help.
Beryte (Tony Westmore)
15th June 2005, 22:33
The Bolton Abbey and her sister Melrose Abbey were both built by Brooke Marine, Lowestoft for Associated Humber Lines and delivered in 1958 and 1959 respectively. They were 302 feet long, had two holds with full cargo handling gear and all accommodation and machinery aft. They carried 96 passengers and were introduced onto the Hull - Rotterdam service.
At the time the container revolution was starting to affect North Sea operations, but neither terminal had container handling equipment. So the ships were designed to take containers in the holds if required, using the ship's own gear. A total of 45 containers could be carried inefficiently. By the mid 1960's both terminals had container handling facilities and the economics of the two ships became even worse.
During the winter of 1967/68 both ships went to Smiths Dock, North Shields where all cargo handling gear was removed and the ships were lengthened to 345 feet. They could now carry 65 containers and 88 passengers. When they returned to service they additionally operated on the Hull - Antwerp route.
The concept of operating a passenger and container service was misguided and the company began to suffer mounting losses, whilst other companies in the National Freight Corporation who were operating passenger / ro-ro services on the same routes were profitable. In 1971 the company closed down and both ships were sold to Greek owners the following year.
Hope this is of interest.