Anchor Line

Brian Purvis
14th April 2004, 20:51
Would like to hear from colleagues from Anchor Line. Its such a long time ago but from 1957 - 1962 I served with some great people. Ian Cadenhead was a Scottish engineer on Tarantia, Egidia etc. It would be very good to get back in touch with him again. Also Chris Hodson.
There are so many other names which spring to mind. Donald Goodfellow who worked with me in James Nourse and Hain Nourse.
I remember also Tommy McAlpine and Ian Hassan who were apprentices with me. Gordon Perry was my first senior apprentice on the Trevaylor and we were together again on the Circassia.
I am now a grandfather but just thinking of these people brings me right back to my youth again.

27th August 2005, 10:37
which pier in new york did "anchor line" dock..I,think they stopped the new york run in 1956. the bad news is yorkhill quay was seriously damaged by fire last night the east end of it next to the old ferry,i think foul play is suspected your's edcasey.

12th September 2005, 22:16
Hi Brian
Did my first trip on the Egidia 22/8 /56 as D H U . She was requisitioned by the government for the Suez crisis. The memory for names is not too hot but I do remember that the old man was Mc Vicker, brother of the Rev Angus , author of Salt in my porridge. The mate was Mr Mc Clarty, The bosun was John Russell and the engine room storekeeper was John Docherty. For the rest I can see the faces and even remember the voices but the names escape me. That was some trip , we lay at anchor in the Cowes roads for thirteen weeks with no shore leave . A convoy of around fifteen ships and we had 300 squaddies aboard in hammocks in the upper tween decks of five and six hatch.
My only other Anchor boat was the Tyria on the yankee east coast runs with the whisky and a few prize cattle and race horses. The old man was Thomson. January 59 till July 59 was four trips of about six weeks. We were all for the most part Glesca keelies and Teuchers and really got along quite well but as you'll know there were the occassional outbursts over the gaelic just to liven things up for a change. Many great memories though. We never did much mixing with the midshisps crowd but you might have some name for me to jog the old memory eh! Joesoap.

5th June 2006, 07:48
Please , help me out, t.s.s. Nankin. A ship I am not sure of,
which company it belonged to. Thanks, Cees.

13th November 2007, 18:55
Hi Brian,

I remember 'Cuddles' Caidenhead well, infact I new him when I was a boy in Lochfiled Paisley where he came from and sailed with him when he was 2/E.
I too sailed in Anchor LIne from 1962 to 1965. In the Sidonia, Circassia and Cilicia. I was 3rd.Mate then Xtra 2nd Mate. Your name rings a bell but age has dulled my hearing somewhat.

Jim Currie

14th November 2007, 12:21
Hi Brian, Do you come from Belfast (Bangor). I sailed on the Egidia early 1961 as a junior R/O, one of the apprentices was ? Purvis. regards Robin

14th November 2007, 12:59
Hi Brian, Do you come from Belfast (Bangor). I sailed on the Egidia early 1961 as a junior R/O, one of the apprentices was ? Purvis. regards Robin

Robin, yes he comes from Bangor. I knew him well. Was up for 2nd.Mates with him at Belfast. Sent him a PM with no response. Regards Colin

14th November 2007, 22:05
Thanks Colin it seems the same chap, if so I remember visiting his home when we sailed into Belfast. Regards Robin

14th November 2007, 22:09
which pier in new york did "anchor line" dock..I,think they stopped the new york run in 1956. the bad news is yorkhill quay was seriously damaged by fire last night the east end of it next to the old ferry,i think foul play is suspected your's edcasey.

Hi Ed, Just been told it was pier 51. I know it was at the end of Jane Street on the edge of Greenwich Village. We were still sailing there in 1964-65. Regards Robin

16th November 2007, 19:57
I posted the following last year:

A friend of mine William (Bill) Irons (engineer), sailed on the Caledonia and Tyria in the late 1950's.

I noticed on this thread that there was reference to the Tyria, any takers?

31st March 2008, 19:55
Sailed on the Camaronia,Caledonia,Hazelmoor & Kirriemoor 76-77.Kenny.

5th May 2008, 22:30
Hi Banni
Twas I on the Tyria late fifies . EDH then . I mentoned a few mames on that previous post if you care to read it you could possiblyl add to it well hopefully . Lotsa great memories from the states and the Mersey ports .

6th May 2008, 20:00

Tell me what was the Hazelmoor like in 76-77. I did my first two trips lasting nearly 2 years as from 1957. Of course that was when she was Moor Line.
My first ship and many happy memories however she was hardworking even then.

Pat Kennedy
6th May 2008, 20:55
perhaps some of you Anchor Line chaps remember the incident in the Clyde, early sixties, when the Circassia came steaming into the side of the Blue Funnel Jason, which was alongside at Meadowbank Quay.
We were all coming back from a night ashore and were actually on the gangway when there was a hell of a bang and all the moorings parted like ropeyarn. If it hadnt been for the insurance wires, Jason would have drifted off down the river.
We spent all night tying her up again, without the aid of any shoregang.
I never found out what exactly went wrong on the Circassia, but whatever it was, it put us in Barclay Curles drydock for six weeks

6th May 2008, 21:46
Hi Pat
First I've heard of that meadowbank incident . Surely not the best way to fnish off a good run ashore . Worse though must have been six weeks in Govan and Betty's bar for orders. Cheers !

Pat Kennedy
6th May 2008, 21:53
Actually, its a good long way from Barclay Curles to Betty's bar, but we found a good pub just outside the yard gates.

7th May 2008, 15:50

Tell me what was the Hazelmoor like in 76-77. I did my first two trips lasting nearly 2 years as from 1957. Of course that was when she was Moor Line.
My first ship and many happy memories however she was hardworking even then.
Hello baileysan.It was a bit of a shock to the system.Yes I had been on Ships like her in the 60s,but things had moved on.After being on UMS ships it took some getting used too.The Chief asked me what I thought of her & I said I didn't think Ships like her were still at sea.I had just finished a 6 month trip on the Caledonia,2 days at home when the office phoned up & asked me to relieve for 1 wk. Stayed 6 wks. Joined Manchester payed off Glasgow.Good lads on board made it a lot easier.Kenny.P.S. bunks were made for matchstick men & I was only about 10st-4lbs.

8th May 2008, 20:02
Riptide. Thanks your reply. I was "fiver" on her down the alleyway Stbd side.
I think I spent more time cleaning the scavenge belt out then anything else, we had fires quite often.
I sailed with Moor line for quite a while ending up as 2/Eng, good times whilst it lasted.
I have noted a few names from Anchor Line that I knew in both Moor Line and UASC. Bobby Watt, nice guy and good master, Tommy Rowe ex Moor Line a really nice chap.
I am well retired from the marine world now but away tomorrow on a cruise up the Baltic rekindle a few memories I hope.

11th May 2008, 22:45
I have noted a few names from Anchor Line that I knew in both Moor Line and UASC. Bobby Watt, nice guy and good master, Tommy Rowe ex Moor Line a really nice chap.

I sailed with Tommy Rowe when he was Master of "Star Assyria". In my opinion he was a first class man and one that I will remember all my days. He was a delight to sail with - WillieB

19th December 2011, 23:22
Hi Brian, Do you come from Belfast (Bangor). I sailed on the Egidia early 1961 as a junior R/O, one of the apprentices was ? Purvis. regards Robin

HI Robin. Sorry to be so long to reply. After I registered with SN, I didn't log in again for quite a while and then it took me some time to find my way around the website. Yes I am from Bangor but now living in Newtownabbey, Co Antrim. I retired at the end of 1998 but continued doing part time survey work around Port of Belfast. I'd be very interested in hearing from you again.

20th December 2011, 11:12
Hi Brian, Good to hear from you will send a PM. I will always remember my first trip to sea on the Egidia and I think you were onw of apprentices. Robin

Barrie Youde
23rd January 2012, 08:20
Hi, Chaps!

What a delight to read this thread! Some of you might remember my Dad, Ronald Fergus Youde, who was Anchor Line's pilot in Liverpool 1948-64. He died in 2005 at the age of 95, razor sharp to the end. My own childhood memories of Anchor Line are amongst my happiest; and to reminisce on them with Dad at the end of his days was a real privilege.

Anchor Line Masters I remember well were Brown, Sinclair, Thompson, Rammage, McVicar, Colquhoun.What a privilege it was, as a small boy, to be accepted into the Master's room aboard Cilicia, Circassia or Caledonia! I remember Brownie showing me how to flush the heads!

Naturally I followed my Dad into the Pilot Service and was privileged in the late 1970s to pilot for Captain Lamont one evening from Eastham to Point Lynas. I think it was aboard Egidia, or it might have been Hazelmoor.

With every good wish,

Barrie Youde

Barrie Youde
23rd January 2012, 09:58
Other well-remembered names are BP Robinson, Captain Harris, Captain Mackenzie and Captain John George, the last two being Marine Supeintendents when I knew them.

I recall (perhaps wrongly) that Captain Harris died at sea, in the Mediterranean outward bound to Bombay, and Colquhoun the Chief Officer remained in command immediately thereafter, After almost sixty years, the memory begins to play tricks!

BP Robinson was, I think, a Director. He lived in Higher Bebington, Wirral.

v best,


23rd January 2012, 20:45
Thank you for reminding me of Captain AJF Colquhoun. He was a real gentleman - a lovely guy. I think his son was with Ben Line. He treated all us cadets so well - as if we were his own sons. I remember he was a keen birdwatcher and he kept bird books on the bridge. I remember once in the Bristol Channel he asked the lads to rescue the birds who had sought heat from the steam pipes leading to the windlass and winches and bring them to his room for safe keeping until we got to Avonmouth where they were released none the worst for their cruise with Anchor Line.

Barrie Youde
23rd January 2012, 21:09
Hi, Brian!

Yes, Dad always spoke kindly of big Angus, and of many others. Another name I remember (I think?) was Kenny McAskill of Skye. Kenny (as I understood it) had been a quartermaster in Circassia from the slipway to the scrapyard (so to speak). (For "scrapyard", please read "decommissioning".) Dad thought the world of him, purely for his loyalty to the old firm. Doubtless Kenny thought likewise of Anchor Line. I do remember Dad going to see Kenny in hospital on one occasion. As I write, the memory returns that this was some time in the early 1960s, when, more accurately, I understood it that Kenny had never missed a trip since Circassia was launched.

Dad thought kindly of all in Anchor Line, as do I.

v best,


11th February 2012, 14:38
At the age of 6 weeks, I sailed from Liverpool to Bombay on an Anchor Line vessel with my mother. We departed Liverpool in either late March or early April 1962. I am hoping that you may know the name of the ship so that I can jog my mother's memory and track down a photo of the ship.

Thank you, Simon

Barrie Youde
11th February 2012, 15:50
Hi, Simon,

Anchor Line operated only 3 passenger ships to Bombay at that time. They were Cilicia, Circassia and Caledonia, so it would have been one of those three. Sailings were always at 4pm on Saturdays, from Birkenhead via Liverpool Landing Stage for passengers, maintaining a monthly schedule.

My Dad's records for 1962 indicate that Circassia sailed from Birkenhead via the Landing Stage outward bound on Saturday 17th March.

His records also show that Cilicia arrived inwards fom Bombay on 10th April, thus ruling out Cilicia as a possibility.

As to Caledonia, she sailed outwards on Friday, 30th March (from Birkenhead), but there is no mention of the Landing Stage; and neither would that fit with the monthly schedule: and so she was quite possibly bound for either the Clyde or the Bristol Channel at the time.

There is no record of a passenger sailing at mid-April. But Cilicia sailed outwards with passengers on Saturday 10th May, thus resuming the mid-month schedule.

This leaves open the possibility that Caledonia sailed(without my Dad) with passengers in mid-April - but on Saturday 14th April, Dad was aboard Anchor Line's cargo ship Eucadia from Avonmouth to Liverpool. But as Dad would not have missed a passenger-sailing if he had been at all available (and he clearly was available), this suggests that there was a break in the schedule at the time.

Thus, your likely answer seems to be Circassia, 17th March, unless you can possibly identify your date more closely.

Hope this helps,

Best wishes,


11th February 2012, 17:10
Hi Barrie,

That's so exciting! I really appreciate that you've taken the trouble to investigate that for me. Thank you! The date of 17 March is almost certainly correct as it chimes with my mother's memory that we sailed 6 weeks after I was born on 5 Feb. Now, the last piece of the jigsaw is to see if we can find a photo of Circassia which my father, who came to the dock in Bombay to collect us, probably has the best recollection of. He recalls being astonished by how small it was.

Could I prevail upon you to kindly put your super-sleuth hat back on to see if there are any photos of the ship?

Best, Simon

Barrie Youde
11th February 2012, 18:30
Hi, Simon,

It's my pleasure, believe me! I owe some of my happiest childhood memories to Anchor Line and her kindly people.

As to a photograph, Cilicia, Circassia and Caledonia were very, very similar and there are many photographs of them. Cilicia & Circasssia were built about 1935/36, while Caledonia was new in 1948 (give or take a year or two in all references).

I was born in 1943. Dad joined Anchor Line in 1948 when Caledonia was new and James McGill Brown was her first Master. There was an article about "A ship and her Master" (being Brownie and Caledonia) in Sea Breezes in (I think) September 1948 - in which Captain Brown was shown wearing a roll-neck submarine jersey under his uniform and I remember my mother being horrified by his state of undress! But I digress. More significantly I remember my Dad's comment that Caledonia was ten years old when she was launched.

I'm sure that there will be a photograph of Circassia(or Cilicia or Caledonia) in the SN gallery. If not, I will try to email you something.

V best,


Barrie Youde
11th February 2012, 18:37
Hi, Simon,

Yes, I confirm. Please go to the Gallery (above) then click on "search", and type in "Circassia" as the Keyword - and there she is!



21st October 2012, 20:43
Hello, I stumbled on this forum when researching my grandfather who I never met. He died in Glasgow in 1968 when I was three. His name was John Wilson Kendall (known as Jack) and he was ship's surgeon on Circassia. I know this from a reference in one of his letters. He mentions the Captain, James McGill Brown (Cocky Brown). Does anyone recall my grandfather, altough I appreciate its a long time ago now ? Thanks.

Bob L
24th July 2014, 21:23
Barrie - I have fond memories of your Father on the Cilicia and Circassia from 1961 until 1965 - especially on the bridge with Captain Barclay ( Cilicia ) - both totally cool,calm and collected no matter what the problems were. I sailed on Sidonia,Cilicia,Circassia,Elysia- then Hazelmoor, Glenmoor,Pentland,Gothland,Star Assyria and Fernmoor before leaving the Company for Saudia Arabia,North Yemen and Kuwait- all marine related - have some happy memories of the Anchor Line - good company and some great shipmates - seems a long time ago and when the "C" Boats were sold it was, in my opinion, the end of a long tradition - things seemed to change dramatically for all the well known shipping companies after that. Your msg names brought back so many memories and stories. Bob Logan - Edinburgh

Barrie Youde
24th July 2014, 22:28
Dear Bob,

Thank you!

That is most greatly appreciated.

Happy days indeed!

Best wishes,


PS - Amongst my Dad's many words of advice were "Whatever happens, in any circumstances whatsoever, you have to keep a straight face!"

Never forgotten!

Bob L
25th July 2014, 16:31
Barrie - Re. The Caledonia - Cilicia/ Circassia were built by Fairfields in 37/38 - a third vessel was required to maintain a monthly service but the war intervened and the only quick way to get Caledonia built was to utilise all the plans and templates at Fairfields to complete the vessel promptly - there were a number of minor modifications to the interior of Caledonia but other than that she was very much a "sister" vessel.
Noted your Father's comment when/if things went wrong - and it was practiced to perfection by both your Father and Captain Barclay on Cilicia but only very ocassionally if my memory serves me correct !!!!!!

Kind regards,
Bob Logan.

Barrie Youde
26th July 2014, 09:12

Am pleased to let you know that I'm still in contact with Rev Murdoch Mackenzie, son of Captain John (?) Mackenzie who was Marine Superintendent of Anchor Line at Liverpool in the 1950s and later at Glasgow. No doubt you will have known Murdoch's father. Am uncertain of his first name. I very rarely, if ever, heard it used!

I knew his successor Captain John George at Liverpool quite well, in the early 1960s.

26th July 2014, 10:22
The website has a lot of entries of Anchor, Cunard, Head Line, etc in Glasgow in 1960's

Bob L
26th July 2014, 13:18
Barrie - Captain Mackenzie interviewed me at Yorkhill Quay Superintendents Office in early 1961 - Peter Young was his assistant - always remember Captain Mackenzie wore a bowler hat when visiting the ship !!!! - The Liverpool Director was Arthur Jenkins - John George took over from Captain Mackenzie but all this changed when we "almalgamated" with Moor Line - Captain George was always very approachable and good to work with - until you asked him for more dunnage for the cargo hold decks and he claimed that Anchor Line vessels used up more forest for dunnage than any other liner company - but he always agreed in the end !!!

Bob Logan

Barrie Youde
26th July 2014, 20:31
Dear Bob,

It all fits!

There is a story behind MacKenzie and the bowler hat, told to me by my Pa. He was docking at Birkenhead one day with Circassia (Captain James McGill Brown). Mackenzie was on the lockside, in his brand new bowler hat. Brown (his senior in Anchor line) called down from the bridge, via the megaphone, "Hello Mac! Have you been to a funeral?"

31st July 2014, 03:59
Was Pier 95 in the 50's at the foot of W 57th Street. I was Cadet in the Egidia & Tyria on the Atlantic run.

Bob L
31st July 2014, 07:01
Bobmac - In 1961 it became Anchor-Cunard Joint Service to USA with Sidonia (Anchor Line Newbuild) and Andania and Alaunia (Cunard Line) - Pier 51 North River was the Cunard Berth used - the service also called at Norfolk,Newport News,Baltimore and Philadelphia - Sicilia (Anchor Line Newbuild) joined the service a couple of years later.
Captain Walter Thomson was first Master with A.R. Hutcheon as Mate- George Prior was Chief Engineer, I. McAskill was Second Engineer, John Scrimegour was Second Mate and Hugh McAskill was Bosun.
Sidonia was the first vessel the Company built outside the U.K. and I recall there was some disappointment from the Clyde Shipbuilders although the sister vessel Sicilia was built by Bartrams - Sidonia was a comfortable and handy vessel and certainly well designed - unfortunately with the container revolution she became "obsolete" for the Atlantic Service and too small for the Indian Service by the mid sixties.

18th August 2014, 23:04
Enjoyed reading the thread, brings back memories of a great Cadetship, sailing with the likes of Captain Calquhoun, Bobbie Crawford, Capt . Thomson( who was stabbed on my first voyage on the Circassia by his Tiger) etc. +Then it was cleaning bridge windows on the Sidonia on the way to New York , oh the good old days !! Now ashore gardening and golfing
Best Wishes
Angus MacVicar

11th September 2014, 15:41
My father, James Hawthorne served as an engineer on the Caladonia late 50's and as i remember he did the Bombay route and was also on an amercan route possibly different ship. Anyone know him, he had such fond memories of his time with anchor line and in particular on the Caladonia.

Bob L
11th September 2014, 16:17
PH1966. - Sorry - cannot recall him - after the Caledonia it could have been one of the "E " Boats - Egidia, Elysia or Eucadia - or the " T " Boats - Tarantia, Tahsinia or Tyria - "E " boats were mainly on New York run - 12 Passenger vessels and the " T " boats did the Bombay run but they did change round the runs at times.

Bob L.

11th September 2014, 17:28
Thanks Bob, he did mention the elysia but the caladonia was the one he spent most time on. He wasn't on the boats for long probably 5 or 6 years. joined as a time served engineer and was working on his "ticket" as he called it, some kind of engineering qualification i expect. Think he got to either 2nd or 3rd engineer before leaving when he got married and the family started. i was just looking for anyone who might have known him and could share some info. As previously stated he had very fond memories of his time on the boats.