Southampton Castle

Steve
27th March 2004, 11:50
Southampton Castle

tanker
6th June 2004, 14:54
Southampton Castle

Hi Steve
SOUTHAMPTON CASTLE was sister of GOOD HOPE CASTLE built in
england in 1965 they were reefer carriers.
They were sold to Italian COSTA LINE in 1978 and they served this Italian owners until the end of 1980 under the name FRANCA C and PAOLA C.
they were broken up under this name.
GP

sombrero
4th July 2005, 23:15
Most people remember where they were when Elvis died.
I was aboard .....Southampton Castle completing the last two voyages down to the Cape where we were given a magnificent send off as you would expect.
Can any other members remember where they were then?

sombrero
4th July 2005, 23:37
Strange trip that one Dave. If I remember right Marc Bolan of T Rex went as well !!

rms
16th July 2005, 07:19
I am interested in the union castle ships, Southampton Castle and Goodhope Castle.As a child i travled on these ships to St helena from Southampton and cape town.Now later on in life i am trying to compile as much infomation, photos ec of these ships as there is not much recognition given to thse elegent and fast ships.And also catch with peole who served on these ships.

rms
16th July 2005, 07:34
Thank you , her last sailing by the looks of it

flyer682
16th July 2005, 07:56
Welcome aboard, rms.
I too have an interest in these two ships and it's a bit difficult being so far away to always find relevant material.
In particular, I would like to see an itinerary for them - everything I have come across so far seems to concentrate on the passenger vessels. Any ideas as to where I may find any?

rms
16th July 2005, 08:15
Hi
you are right there is not much information on these ships, i only have photos
i have found on the web and my family photos on the ship and of the ships themselves.I have good photo of the Windsor castle in port at Cape Town taken from the Southampton Castle.I want to try and compile as much technical info on these ships ships layout, Accommodation and especially life on board.I am hoping ex crew members, Passengers can share information and may be photos. I will be going to the uk next year and will try to get some plans of the ship from the maratime museum.Thank you for your reply keep in touch.

flyer682
16th July 2005, 08:56
There was a big article on her when she was new in the British shipping magazine "The Motor Ship" June 1965 issue. Includes plans, and a marvellous cutaway drawing of her.

rms
16th July 2005, 09:56
I will see if i can get more information from the British shipping magazine many thanks

fred henderson
16th July 2005, 14:54
In the early 1960s Union Castle was facing the problem of declining passenger demand, balanced by a strong demand for express cargo. The passenger service was very dependent upon cargo earnings with most of the north-bound passenger voyages carrying over 10,000 tons of citrus fruit, pineapples, avocado pears, beef, wool and mail. Union Castle decided to improve the economics of the service by making a two day reduction in the voyage time from Southampton to Cape Town, thereby enabling the service to performed by 7 ships instead of 8. The post-war passenger ships were capable of operating the new schedule, but the 3 pre-war ships were too slow. These were replaced by two new all cargo ships Southampton Castle and Good Hope Castle, both built by Swan Hunter.

The Southampton Castle was launched at Wallsend on 20 October 1964 and named by Princess Alexandra. She was delivered in May 1965. 13,152 grt, 11,200 tdw. 592 feet 9 inches overall. Twin screw with two 8 cylinder Wallsend-Sulzer RD90 diesel engines, she was the fastest cargo ship in the world at the time of delivery, achieving the 25 knots needed for the new service on two-thirds power.

After the new service was introduced the pre-war Capetown Castle operated the Extra Service for a while, with a 16 day run from Southampton to Cape Town via Madeira, calling sometimes at Ascesion, St Helena or Walvis Bay. There was insufficiant demand for this operation and in 1967 it was decided to convert the two cargo ships to each carry 12 passengers for Ascension and St Helena. The allocation of the accommodation was controlled by the Government of St Helena. Southampton Castle made her first southward passenger carrying departure on 1 December 1967.

Southampton Castle's normal route was Southampton - the Atlantic Islands - Cape Town - Port Elizabeth - East London - Durban and return. She was scheduled to arrive in Durban sixteen and a half days after leaving Southampton.

In 1977 the mail contract was terminated. Container ships took over. Southampton Castle was laid up in Southampton and sold the following year to Costa as the Franca C and I believe reverted to being an all cargo ship. She was scrapped in China in 1984.

Hope this helps

Fred

rms
16th July 2005, 23:09
Fred thanks for the info .It was in 1967 we joined Southamton castle from Southamton to St Helena via Assension Island.
regards
Steve

flyer682
23rd July 2005, 23:36
Great information there Fred - thanks. Did she call at Ascension & St. Helena on the return trip as well?
Don't happen to have an old timetable tucked away somewhere would you?

fred henderson
24th July 2005, 00:44
The two ships made two calls in each direction every seven weeks. Must have made forward planning an interesting exercise for the islanders.

Fred

Shipbuilder
25th July 2005, 08:05
I was two years in GOOD HOPE CASTLE from 1974 to 1976. I joined her in Bilbao where I stood by for several months towards the end of her year-long refit following a serious fire at sea which caused her to be abandoned and drifting for over a week. What a mess! Although the two ships only carried 12 cabin passengers, we could carry another 48 on deck between Ascension & St. Helena. When Union-Castle sold all the passenger ships in 1978, the run was taken over by Curnow Shipping with the 3,150 gross ton RMS ST, HELENA which was built by the Burrard Drydock Company, Vancouver in 1963 as the coastal ferry NORTHLAND PRINCE. In 1978 the ship was converted to a Class 1 long-haul passenger ship with a capacity for 76 cabin pasengers and a total of 110 (The surplus being carried in dormitary style accommodation on the boat deck). The deck passengers were carried between Ascension & St. Helena. The run began in Avonmouth and went down to Cape Town. We called at Tristan da Cunha once a year. I was in this ship from 1979 until 1990 when I transferred with all my shipmates to the new ship of the same name which carried 132 passengers and is still running today. The old ST. HELENA was my favourite ship, though not a great beauty, we had some interesting times including 13 months in the Falklands 1982 83, first as a minehunter supports ship to the Task Force, escorting HMS BRECEON & LEDBURY down and back. Then a year as a mini-troopship Port Stanley, Grytviken, Ascension Island. Then we nearly lost the ship in a serious engineroom fire in the doldrums on Halloween Night, 1984. We drifted for a week and were towed for a week to Dakar by Geman salvage tug FAIRPLAY IX and spent a month repairing and then went back on our normal run again. The two ST. HELENA's were the last British ocean passenger liners in service, I don't mean the odd liner run by big ships such as QUEEN ELIZABETH 2, but a constant year-in-year-out service to take care of St. Helena Island which has no airport. That is all to end soon as an airport is being built there and when it is finished the shipping service will probably come to an end.

Fred Wood
22nd August 2005, 12:40
I will see if i can get more information from the British shipping magazine many thanks
Hello RMS,

Did you get any luck from the magazine?

rms
24th August 2005, 11:49
Fred thank you regarding your reply regarding if i obtained information on the Southampton Castle. I am in the process of ordering prints from Graham white in the UK and some articles from Ship Builders magazine.

Fred Wood
25th August 2005, 17:22
Fred thank you regarding your reply regarding if i obtained information on the Southampton Castle. I am in the process of ordering prints from Graham white in the UK and some articles from Ship Builders magazine.
Hello RMS, I know it very cheeky of me, but would it be possible to purchase copies from you in due course?

danube4
4th November 2005, 01:11
I have 20 postcards of castle ships,old ships pic's taken before 1950. samples in my gallery if interested ,name ship, if I have will post.

Principe_Perfeito
14th December 2005, 17:39
Costa was thinking of turning them into cruise ships, but turned away from that ideia because of the high cost of the project.
They could have followed the same path as the PORT SIDNEY/MELBOURNE and they probably could have survived into the 21th century.

It was not to be, so they remained cargo ships until the end.

Best regards from Lisbon,
Paulo Mestre

Hi Steve
SOUTHAMPTON CASTLE was sister of GOOD HOPE CASTLE built in
england in 1965 they were reefer carriers.
They were sold to Italian COSTA LINE in 1978 and they served this Italian owners until the end of 1980 under the name FRANCA C and PAOLA C.
they were broken up under this name.
GP

bobarr
15th December 2005, 23:08
Although I served in a number of 'Mail Boats'. my favourite Union Castle vessel was the 'Tantallon Castle' a heavy-lift cargo ship of around 8000 tons, built in Belfast my H and W and launched in 1954. The Captain was a South African called 'Swivel-eye' Lloyd.
A 'firm but fair man' as he repeatedly told us! Although it is over 50 years ago, is there anyone out there who remembers the ship and the wonderful trips around Africa?
Bobarr

dowling
11th April 2007, 21:00
hi rms,i have a postcard photograph of the good hope castle which i bought from the ships bond which crew members were allowed to do.i sailed on the good hope as a boy rating in 1971,also have photo of her looking aft from the fo,castle.if required i can put them on the gallery.regards dowling.

rms
18th April 2007, 11:51
hi rms,i have a postcard photograph of the good hope castle which i bought from the ships bond which crew members were allowed to do.i sailed on the good hope as a boy rating in 1971,also have photo of her looking aft from the fo,castle.if required i can put them on the gallery.regards dowling.
It would be great to view the pot card and photo

dowling
17th May 2007, 15:47
sorry it took so long to reply to your request,just back from sea.photo,s of good hope castle put on gallery for cargo ships.rgds graham dowling.

Andy McKay
21st May 2007, 12:33
Hi all,
I was a boy rating on the Good Hope Castle from 1971/2, it's possible we know each other. I've lost most of the photo's from those days, i'll have to check with my family to see what they've got left.
(Thumb)

Andy McKay
21st May 2007, 12:54
Hi again, like "shipbuilder" I joined the Good Hope Castle in Bibao after her refit, we conducted the sea trials then headed for Southampton to load up for the Cape, I stayed on her for about another year or more

murph
21st May 2007, 14:59
i was an engine room boy on the southampton castle and was then sent on to the good hope castle for the eventful trip when we had to abandon ship after the fire nearly quit after that but didn't thank god went on for a few more good years murph.

dowling
21st May 2007, 20:53
hi andy mckay,i also sailed on the good hope around the same time.i was engine room boy,in last double berth cabin,port side.only other name i will never forget was andy zurribida,he done one trip e.r.boy then switched to deck boy.there is a photo in members gallery with a few of the boy ratings,just after we all got a bollocking from the bosun.rgds graham dowling.

Andy McKay
23rd May 2007, 01:30
Hi Dowling, I left the Good Hope about two trips before the fire...I was an engineroom boy and shared a cabin with Billy Ditch, I joined the Rotherwick castle and was on it when the girl stowaway was killed....that was round about the same time as the fire on the Good Hope.....I remember Andy Zura from Bristol too he was EDH then.

Andy McKay
23rd May 2007, 02:09
Hi Murph, you must remember Billy Ditch?

Andy McKay
23rd May 2007, 02:10
Hi Dowling, I looked at the photos but didn't see anyone I can remember.

dowling
23rd May 2007, 20:38
hi andy,i was on the rotherwick castle same time as you,done a few trips on her.spitfire welch was the chief eng.i stayed on her after all the police had been onboard,just after we all had to go to hospital for chest x-rays.got off her up in birkinhead,15-10-73.if my memory serves me right the maltese storekeeper and the j.o.e.r. steve marley.

dowling
23rd May 2007, 21:01
the mentioned guys in the rotherwick castle stowaway murder,i tink steve marley got a couple of years for manslaughter.have got a couple of photo,s of rotherwick crew,will put them on members gallery.regards graham dowling.

dowling
23rd May 2007, 21:54
photo,s of rotherwick castle crew now on members photo,s.wonder what happened to the st.helena lads that were on there at that time?

Andy McKay
24th May 2007, 12:15
Hi Dowling,
My memory is crap just now, I reckon the old saying that "old age doesn't come itself is true" but I'm only 52?? Anyway I'm about to view the photos you posted and I'll get back to you....The storekeeper's nick-name was "Giovanni" or Anthony Turner, he got 3 years for his part and Steve got 7 for manslaughter I think.

Andy McKay
24th May 2007, 12:36
Photos are great Dowling, they kick-started my memory a bit, I can remember Peter Love, Ken Grindrod and Pine-tops, the rest are a bit vague to say the least, I remember the hullabaloo when we got to the cape coast after the murder..."Murder ship hits South Africa" and "Girls banned from Rotherwick Castle" We put paid to those headlines!! do you remember the parties..........."Totaly Mad"(Jester)

Andy McKay
24th May 2007, 12:43
I remember us all getting xrays for T.B. because the young catering lad was taken to hospital for it and we were all held back and missed the early trains.

dowling
24th May 2007, 18:09
i stayed on and done my first home trade run,southampton up to birkenhead.done one voyage back on the rotherwick,got made up to storekeeper with a saudi shields pool crew down below,they were all somali,s.did not get offered another contract with them as i went awol in p.e.

Bluefunnel
2nd August 2007, 15:50
Hi Folks, I'm doing research on the Southampton and Good Hope Castles and what I'd like to see are snaps taken by crew of these ships. If you have any, can you post them up on the site. I'd be most grateful.
With best wishes
Robert

R58484956
2nd August 2007, 20:20
Greetings Bluefunnel and welcome to SN from an ex crew member on the GHC. Enjoy the site and thanks for signing on. Bon voyage.

pine tops,
6th December 2007, 09:19
andy, were you on board when it caught fire? also did you eventually go on the rotherwick? murder etc etc. pine tops here. what did ever happen to those st helena crew members?

pine tops,
6th December 2007, 09:25
the parties were loony. do you remember doing that double header and going into the medi. italy in particular. wine and chocolates to kingdom come. where did they all come from?

Andy McKay
8th December 2007, 00:02
Pine tops! How are you doing? I left the Good hope the trip before the fire then joined the Rotherwick, I was on it when Steve Marley murdered Michelle Knox, I can remember sailing with you but i'm struggling to remember what ship we were on. Still it's great to hear from you and the other guys.

Andy McKay
8th December 2007, 00:05
I've no idea what happened to the St Helena guys, they were great people to know and sail with, I left the boats around 1980.....and regreted it ever since might I add!

dowling
10th December 2007, 17:10
hi andy,enjoyed your comments with pinetops,if you have sailed with him then we must have been on the rotherwick together.shall be putting more photo,s on the gallery,there are already a few there from the rotherwick so maybe those ones might be able to put a name to the faces.

Andy McKay
19th December 2007, 00:31
Great photos, I remember the cricket days on the Rotherwick..... I recognize Old George (his wife sailed with him on one voyage)the Bosun standing next to wee Gerry Pitendrich (Liverpool fc fanatic and allways dressed in red, Ialso see Peter Love on deck. Keep the photos coming!

Andy McKay
19th December 2007, 00:35
I also recognise Billy Ditch (the Geordie from Sunderland) back row far right on the Good Hope football team, and Dave the mechanic in the middle of the King James trio

dowling
19th December 2007, 16:15
glad someone can put names to the faces in the photos,will add them to the originals so that when the old grey matter starts to let me down,i should remember who and where i was,gerry pitendrich was if i remember correctly,a south african who loved liverpool f.c. and if they lost he used to chuck his radio up and down the port alleyway then go on a bender with one of the st.helena lads,billy,cannot remember his surname.you not got any old pictures of the castle days?

Andy McKay
19th December 2007, 23:03
You're right on the money about wee Gerry, I was a boy rating on the Rotherwick with him, one of my jobs was cleaning out the "pig" every morning for a couple of hours.....Gerry would come in 1st thing for a triple brandy before he even went out on deck.........I heard much later the poor guy was crushed between the ship he fell off and a tugboat, I think he was with the Unicorn line operating from South Africa.
I recognise big Keith (Anderson I think) the mechanic sitting next to P.J. on the King James Photo...I sailed with him on the Good Hope after the fire.
Incidently I went to the same school as PJ and sailed with him on another ship, Balmoral Castle I think, strangely I live in West Calder now after moving fron my native Bathgate several years ago.

Andy McKay
19th December 2007, 23:07
The St Helena guy was called Billy but like you I can't remember his surname, I liked all the St Helena guys they were very easy to get on with.

dowling
23rd December 2007, 16:45
Hi Andy. you would,nt know if P.J. is still around the West Calder area?

Andy McKay
24th December 2007, 23:54
Hi Dowling,

Merry Christmas to you, as far as I can tell PJ lives in the Midlands somewhere, I'll do some asking around and get back to you on this.

R831814
3rd February 2008, 23:08
i was an engine room boy on the southampton castle and was then sent on to the good hope castle for the eventful trip when we had to abandon ship after the fire nearly quit after that but didn't thank god went on for a few more good years murph.
Just posted photograph of Good Hope adrift after the fire.
http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/gallery/showgallery.php/cat/500/ppuser/7321
I was 2nd Mate on the Southampton Castle when we put a boarding party onboard the Good Hope the day after the fire.
Hope the memories aren't too raw. She was a sorry sight.

R831814
3rd February 2008, 23:09
Hi Folks, I'm doing research on the Southampton and Good Hope Castles and what I'd like to see are snaps taken by crew of these ships. If you have any, can you post them up on the site. I'd be most grateful.
With best wishes
Robert
http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/gallery/showgallery.php/cat/500/ppuser/7321

dowling
7th February 2008, 22:06
hi andy,sorry i did not get back to you in your last message,had to leave the u.k. for a while,back to work down under,thoroughly enjoyed it.back home for a couple of weeks,any luck contacting p.j?

rkm
5th January 2014, 06:40
hi andy,i was on the rotherwick castle same time as you,done a few trips on her.spitfire welch was the chief eng.i stayed on her after all the police had been onboard,just after we all had to go to hospital for chest x-rays.got off her up in birkinhead,15-10-73.if my memory serves me right the maltese storekeeper and the j.o.e.r. steve marley.

I remember Spitfire Welch. He was c/e when I done two trips. I was also on the ship when it was sold. He was there then. It was at Teeside. I can remember some of the crew.
If anyone wants to get in touch e mail, mbz5uk@yahoo.com