Northern Irish Colliers

LewJack
6th June 2009, 22:49
Hi folks - just joined to see if I can find any more information on the following colliers that sailed in/out of Northern Ireland ports of Larne, Belfast or Londonderry. In particular, the MV Kathar on which my older brother, David Jack served but from which he and his chum drowned when the ship was in Norwegian waters way back in 1965. Also the Mayfair Sapphire on which my father, Jimmy (Scotty) Jack served. It was owned I believe by A S Davidson. I served on it for a few months before a 27 year service in the Royal Navy. I have many fond memories of overnight sailings from Belfast to Garston for coal and a couple of trips to Blyth. Loved identifying the many Kelly boats that passed us in various parts of the Irish Sea.

Lewis Jack

Alistair Macnab
6th June 2009, 23:16
Lewis.....
One summer when I was at high school in Ayr, I signed on as a deck boy on a Robertson coaster, the "Beryl" and participated in the coal trades although not to Northern Ireland but to Dublin and Drogheda.
Point of my responding to your thread though, is that at school in Ayr which was on the south side of the harbour, I was familiar with all the Kelly boats that came into Ayr for loading coal to the Coleraine power station. Several ships a week, in fact and before they all got "Bally-" prefixes! Loved to stroll down the South Quay past my father's grain store during school lunchtime and explore the north side of the harbour over the weekend.
I remember the coal conveyor belt on the east side of the Wet Basin which was full of Kelly and Robertson boats waiting their turn at the loading tipple or working at a berth where the mechanical apparatus lifted a whole rail wagon loaded with coal and tipped it out into the ship's cargo hold.
Your family seems to have had a close connection with the coasting coal trade. Were you ever in Ayr or Troon?

billyboy
6th June 2009, 23:49
Welcome aboard from the Philippines. Enjoy all this great site has to offer

K urgess
6th June 2009, 23:52
Welcome aboard from East Yorkshire, lewis.
Find your way around our ship, get to know the crew and have a good voyage.

benjidog
7th June 2009, 00:31
Welcome from Lancashire.
I hope you will enjoy the site.

GWB
7th June 2009, 03:02
Welcome aboard from Brisbane Australia enjoy the trip.

GWB

BillH
7th June 2009, 08:53
Hi folks - just joined to see if I can find any more information on the following colliers that sailed in/out of Northern Ireland ports of Larne, Belfast or Londonderry. In particular, the MV Kathar on which my older brother, David Jack served but from which he and his chum drowned when the ship was in Norwegian waters way back in 1965. Also the Mayfair Sapphire on which my father, Jimmy (Scotty) Jack served. It was owned I believe by A S Davidson. I served on it for a few months before a 27 year service in the Royal Navy. I have many fond memories of overnight sailings from Belfast to Garston for coal and a couple of trips to Blyth. Loved identifying the many Kelly boats that passed us in various parts of the Irish Sea.

Lewis Jack
The KATHAR was owned by Rainey of Larne (Kath R = wife or daughter) and was originally the Belgian SANTIAGO
She spent some time runnining limestone from N.Wales to Maydown before being laid up at Londonderry. If memory serves me right she was sold and chartered to Bell as BELL COMBAT around 1970

MAYFAIR SAPPHIRE was indeed owned by A S Davidson and was formerly Robertsons SAPPHIRE

bert thompson
7th June 2009, 08:53
Welcome to this great site
Best wishes
Bert.

R58484956
7th June 2009, 11:18
Greetings Lewis and welcome to SN on your first posting. Bon voyage.

mcgurggle
7th June 2009, 11:46
Welcome from sunny Belfast. (Thumb)
McG

SeaShipDev
7th June 2009, 12:44
G'day and welcome from Tassie, Australia!

Don Matheson
7th June 2009, 12:56
Lewis Welcome to this wonderful site. Cant help about the ships you ask and I am very sorry about the loss of your brother.
Spent a lot of my childhood at Troon in Ayrshire and one of my great memories is of the colliers being loaded by railway trucks being upended over the hold. They were mostly loading for both parts of Ireland, a trade which seemed to always have ships loading in Troon and Ayr.
I am sure your fathers and your brothers ships would have called there at some time but have no idea how to check this.
Good luck with your search.
Don

gdynia
7th June 2009, 14:13
Welcome onboard to SN and enjoy the voyage

Jim McFaul
12th June 2009, 21:13
Hi Lewis, the Kathar was built as the Santiago in 1954 for Armement L Hermans, Bruges, one of a number of very similar vessels they owned. When they went into liquidation in 1966 Rainey's bought the Santiago and renamed her Kathar. In 1968 when Rainey's also went into liquidation, Nolans of Dublin purchased her. In 1969 she went to George Bell Chartering Ltd, sold or chartered I'm not sure, and was renamed Bell Combat. Within the year she was sold to the Cypriot company Propellor Shipping Co Ltd and renamed Apollo. Two years later on 29th September 1971 she was wrecked 4 miles north of Skye.
[Don't know if my notes are wrong or not but they indicate the Santiago did not become the Kathar until 1966. As the Santiago she was still trading around the Med and NW European ports in early 1966.]
When the Kathar first visited Larne, she anchored off the Bank Heads. We recognised her as one of Hermans vessels and thought she was bringing in pulp or timber and did not know until later she had been brought by Rainey's. The big R on the funnel rather than Herman's H might have been a clue.
On a more personal note I remember your brother, and yourself, when we went swimming at the Bank Heads. David was a good swimmer and it was a terrible shock to hear how he was drowned not long after going to sea trying to rescue his friend in the icy waters of Narvik Fjord.

ferrandou
14th June 2009, 18:47
Hi Lewis,

I knew the Mayfair Sapphire as a friend's father was captain "Billy Mann", his son is at present a councillor in Newtownabbey at present and if I am not mistaken the present person who heads the RNLI in Belfast was also captain for quite some time. Both should be contactable.
Oh! the councillor is named Jack Mann.

Good luck,

Bob Hollis

Charlie Stitt
12th July 2009, 20:30
In 1968, I was working for Thomas Jack & Company Shipping Ltd when Paddy Nolan paid us a visit, He had just aquired the Kathar with container trade in mind. I accompanied Sandy Clarke of Plant & Marine to Derry Docks where Derricks etc were removed, as they were surplus to requirments and as far as I remember, she then went on charter to Bell.

doc2009
13th July 2009, 02:21
Iwas on the Mayfair Sapphire 1969/70 when Walter Donaldson was skipper Along with Richard Mackay who has just retired from being harbour master at Portrush. If you click on search button and type in Mayfair Sapphire there a some good photos of the oldgirl even one of myself and Richard on the foscal. If I remember Scotty was the cook a scot living in Larne.

Brian Campbell
19th July 2009, 18:48
There a nice we clip on youtube
about type in ayr and then under Hazric
some old kelly boats being loaded by the trains
Cheers Brian

mcgowanjohn
7th July 2017, 01:00
I have just joined SN, MV Kathar belonged to Rainey Shipping of Larne, (Jack Rainey) I joined the ship in August 1966 after David jack and James O'Donnel were lost in Odda, Norway. She was sold around 1968/69 to bell Shipping, Waterford and renamed, Bell Combat, to the best of my knowledge she was lost off the Lizard around early 70's.