John Kellys Coal Boats

davidhab
13th January 2010, 16:56
Anyone out there served with kellys Ballymoney Ballylesson Ballylumford Ballyrush during the period 1965-1979. davidhab

Alistair Macnab
18th January 2010, 15:56
When I first started hanging around Ayr harbour in the late 40s (My Dad's business was on the South Quay and I subsequently went to school at Ayr Academy which is practically on the South Quay!) all the Irish boats had Irish place names like "Inishtrahull" or "Coleraine". Sometime in the early 50s, the names were changed to "Bally...." and were well recognised as Kelly's Coal Boats.
Was this a corporate naming change to give identity to the fleet, or something else?
Used to see several coal boats a week in Ayr harbour. Kelly's and Robertson's seemed to have all the contracts sewn up. One contract was certainly for the Coleraine Power Station which required a constant supply of Ayrshire coal 'beans' loaded under the conveyor in the Wet Dock on the north side. Household coal was loaded at other Wet Dock berths or in the two river berths where they lifted up the entire coal wagon and tipped its contents into the ships' holds.

duquesa
18th January 2010, 19:01
Cut my teeth on those old tubs in the 50's. I learnt most of my basic seagoing knowledge there which stood me in good stead for the rest of my career. Happy days intermixed with unbelievably hard work and very harsh weather. It was an enviroment where you quickly learned what makes human beings "tick". Wouldn't have missed it. There are people about who have a massive font of knowledge and have written books on Kellys. There are also some retired seafarers on another "coasting" forum who have many sea miles under their belts on the Irish colliers.

eriskay
18th January 2010, 19:52
When I first started hanging around Ayr harbour in the late 40s (My Dad's business was on the South Quay and I subsequently went to school at Ayr Academy which is practically on the South Quay!) all the Irish boats had Irish place names like "Inishtrahull" or "Coleraine". Sometime in the early 50s, the names were changed to "Bally...." and were well recognised as Kelly's Coal Boats.
Was this a corporate naming change to give identity to the fleet, or something else?
Used to see several coal boats a week in Ayr harbour. Kelly's and Robertson's seemed to have all the contracts sewn up. One contract was certainly for the Coleraine Power Station which required a constant supply of Ayrshire coal 'beans' loaded under the conveyor in the Wet Dock on the north side. Household coal was loaded at other Wet Dock berths or in the two river berths where they lifted up the entire coal wagon and tipped its contents into the ships' holds.

Alistair and Duquesa :

You are probably aware already of this, but just in case not, there were two publications brought out in December 2009, one on the Kelly boats, another good one from W.J. Harvey, and the other one of Robertson's Gem Line, by Roy Fenton. Both really excellent products and recommended.

The change in naming policy for the Kelly boats came about in the early 1950s, a couple of years after the Company was bought out by the partnership of Wm. Cory & Sons with the Powell-Duffryn Group. After that they were all known as Bally .................. something or other. Like Alistair, I too spent many a day at Ayr Harbour watching these Kelly and Robertson workhouses running a shuttle service, transporting coal over to various Irish ports for the Power Stations there.

duquesa
20th January 2010, 22:55
First one I sailed on was the old "Ballybeg". She was renamed in 1952 following the policy to give them all Bally names. What an old soldier she was - previously named Balmarino and built in 1898 in Troon. At that time she was the oldest and smallest in the fleet. Quite an eye opener for a young chap.

BillH
21st January 2010, 10:43
First one I sailed on was the old "Ballybeg". She was renamed in 1952 following the policy to give them all Bally names. What an old soldier she was - previously named Balmarino and built in 1898 in Troon. At that time she was the oldest and smallest in the fleet. Quite an eye opener for a young chap.
BALMARINO (2)
O.N. 108628. 461g. 89n. 510d. 161.7 x 25.1 x 9.8 feet.
C.2-cyl. (21” & 42” x 30”) engine made by Muir & Houston Ltd., Glasgow. 80 RHP.
1.10.1898: Launched by Ailsa Shipbuilding Company, Troon (Yard No. 75), for John Kelly.
11.1898: Completed.
1904: Willed to Mrs Susannah Kelly, (Samuel Kelly, manager).
1911: Sold to John Kelly Ltd., (same manager).
26.11.1923: Wm. Clint appointed as manager.
1952: Renamed BALLYBEG, (J. G. Christie appointed as manager).
1955: Douglas Watson appointed as manager.
1.1957: Sold to the British Iron & Steel Corporation and allocated to the West of Scotland Shipbreaking Company Ltd. for demolition at Troon.
9.2.1957: Arrived at Troon.

I think that BALLYBEG was not the smallest but BALLYADAM and BALLYARDS for the following reason

The new owners’ naming policy

To stamp a readily identifiable style to the Kelly fleet, it was decided to standardise the naming system, as in the partners’ fleets. Cory vessels at the time started with COR whilst Powell Duffryn’s shipping division Stephenson Clarke Shipping carried names of Sussex towns.
The first sign of that change came about in 1951 when the Kelly fleet began to be renamed. Although remaining with the use of Irish place names, henceforth, they were to be those beginning with BALLY. Similar names were allocated to the new ships on order, replacing their previously allocated names. The names however were carefully chosen for the new vessels. The first letter after BALLY, reportedly, gave an indication of the deadweight tonnage of the vessel. The later the letter appeared in the alphabet the higher the tonnage. BALLY’s HILL and HAFT were both around 900 tons whereas BALLY’s MENA and MONEY were 1,700dwt.

P H
31st May 2010, 20:02
yes i served on the ss ballymoney in the late 50s, my skipper was
captain burns from larne,


from P H