Clan line livery a question.

31st January 2009, 17:36
Having been viewing numerous photographs used in a recent publication on the Cayzer, Irvine Group I became aware of a variation on the superstructure front.

From sometime in the 50's/60's some of the vessels were adorned with a large painted red oval with the red lion rampant contained therein just below the bridge whereas others had not.

Looking at trials photos of many units of the fleet it did not appear so is presumed to have been added later.

Can anyone say what the reasoning behind this anomally was.

Was it vessels on a specific route?

I would have thought that had it been a company standard then it would have been on all vessels.



Steve P
3rd February 2009, 09:08
Sure this is not the correct answer, but it's a snippet of information anyway. Most of the 60's built ships had the Clan Line shield mounted on the bow. This would swing inward into the focs'le space creating a portal for a Suez Canal searchlight which all ships transitting the canal, even today, have to carry. Clan Line, if I remember correctly, used to carry their own and other companies would rent from the Suez Canal Company.
Regards Steve

Bill Dancer
12th February 2014, 21:41
As a Cadet in Clan Line the house flag plaque, where carried, and the builders plate were part of the homeward bound painting that was allotted to the Cadets. They first appeared on the Clans Mactavish and Clan Mactaggart as bridge front bulkhead plaques. They remained in this position on the S, Turbine R and Mac I class vessels. In the remaining builds after this these plaques were placed on the bow and as previously stated acted as the portal for the Suez Canal searchlight. There was an exception to this as the motor R class vessels did not sport this plaque at all. Perhaps because these vessels were originally to have King line names the plaque was not part and parcel of the build order.

I always thought these plaques added to the look of the vessels but have no idea how they came about. I expect a probe into Board Meeting minutes circa 1947 may give the answer. I am visiting the Cayzer Archive this spring and will take the opportunity to investigate further.

13th February 2014, 19:25
Bill, If you are talking about the Clan "R's" they were originally ordered for U.C and transferred because of Union dispute to Clan Line.
The King Line order was for the Clan MacG class.

Bill Dancer
13th February 2014, 22:57
Hi Bill. Oops, yes you right about the MacG's, I should have remembered as I was the Third Mate on the Clan Macgregor on her maiden voyage.

So in the case of the latter motor R's the absence of the plaque was because they were laid down as Castle boats. I see from photographs the even latter (last) Clan built (Clan Alpine) did have the plaque on the bow, so presumably this rather nice embellishment was reserved for Clans only.

I enjoyed just over 13 happy years with CLan Line (54-68) which looking back had to be just about the best years to be sailing in break bulk cargo liners.