Blue Funnel Name Changes

21st January 2019, 07:55
SN thread on WW2 Victory class Talthybius brings up a question that's intrigued me for many a year ie why all the chopping and changing of AH & Co ships and names between its various associated companies?
Talthybius...Launched 1944 as Salina Victory bought by AH & Co to be renamed Polydorus and run by Dutch subsidiary NMSO then reverting to Ocean SS and renamed Talthybius later transferred to ED's and on her final journey to Taiwan breakers transferred to Glen Line when calling at the port of Durban.

21st January 2019, 11:08
tax fiddle

Dave McGouldrick
21st January 2019, 17:42
tax fiddle

Oh My Goodness!!
The very idea that a reputable British shipping company would be involved as something as sordid as a tax fiddle.

Surely it would be known as something like consolidation of amounts payable on final amortization of physical assets.(K)

21st January 2019, 19:03
Basically one company making a loss would sell a vessel to one making a profit so the money moved around, avoiding tax as it was the profitable company re-investing in their business. "Skilful" accountancy!

21st January 2019, 19:37
During my time and though it would be hard to tell between in-house companies China Mutual and Ocean SS I cannot remember any switching but why in a foreign port from BF to Glen Line halfway thru the ship's final voyage to the knackers.

Barrie Youde
21st January 2019, 19:55
#5 (

Why not?

22nd January 2019, 05:17
My only thoughts are before the Taiwan breakers Talthybius did a normal Far East cargo run that may have required a change from ED's to Glen Line.
If not and unlike "Ile de France" for sentimental reason can anyone actually give a tangible explanation for the change or elaborate on tax-fiddling/voyage profit on any final run to a breaker.

Pat Kennedy
22nd January 2019, 19:56
I believe that usually the need for a name change for the final voyage to the scrapyard was that the name was needed for a new build. This was not the case with Talthybius, as there was never another ship of that name.
Polydorus was a name consistently associated with the Dutch arm of Blue Flue, so once the Polydorus was transferred to the UK flag, the name would have to be changed.

Farmer John
22nd January 2019, 22:44
I know someone posted up a photo of the name plate for "Cyclops" recently, how does that go on when the ship changes names?

23rd January 2019, 03:47
Another reason for name changes on scrap voyages is that sometimes the ship was already sold to the scrapyard when it made the delivery voyage. Rhexenor and Stentor went from Singapore to Kaohsiung as Hexeno and Tento. In my second company, Jardines, I sailed on 'Borg' from Norway to Kaohsiung, the scrapyard having engaged us to deliver the ex 'Berge Borg' VLCC.
Quite a few of the Blue Funnel 'A' class were renamed in the 70s to give up the names for a series of bulk carriers.

23rd January 2019, 09:55
Thanks all for the input and on reflection I erred #5 ( as my first deep-sea the lovely old Melampus/GMBZ had served most of her life with NMSO and another golden oldie Ajax/GJXM after years on the De-la-Rama run did one trip to Oz (via the Cape) then transferred to Glen Line as Glenlochy.
For what it's worth my own theory on AH & Co in-house swapping was down to the various cargo conferences that existed and I don't swallow tax-fiddling or Blue Funnel (Ocean SS/China Mutual) and Glen Line plus NMSO ever being unprofitable until of course later with the evaporation of quality management.

The Greeks were past masters at buying up ships then filling them to the gunwales with scrap for the final voyage to the knackers and frequently they didn't follow thru and returned the ship to further trading.

CGT's (French Line) favorita ss "Ile de France" was bought by Japanese breakers and renamed Furanzu Maru
Due to the national affection for the I-d-F I understand she was allowed to leave Le Havre for the last time under her original name and flying the French tricolor. Later I-d-F became the star ss Claridon in the film "Last Voyage" and the French prudently sued the producers to ensure the name "Ile de France" and CGT funnel colours would not be used in the film.

23rd January 2019, 19:06
I know someone posted up a photo of the name plate for "Cyclops" recently, how does that go on when the ship changes names?

Do you mean the builders plate, situated below the bridge? The Ubena kept hers, after being renamed to Empire Ken.

Farmer John
23rd January 2019, 23:00
That's it. I suppose you wouldn't chisel it off.

Geoff Rae
25th January 2019, 04:00
# 11.
You are quite correct as to conference requirements as ED were not members of the Far East Conference (FEFC), but Glen (and Shire) were. When Holts purchased competing lines, such as China Mutual, Glen and Shire they also bought the relevant Conference membership seats (and votes). To maintain that status, Blue Funnel ships switched ownership between Ocean Steam Ship and China Mutual with no change of name or Port of Registry. Ships going to Glen/Shire changed ownership, name and funnel colour, but precious little else and frequently changed back again to meet the requirements of trade! In most cases Port of Registry remained as Liverpool, except for a few early 1960 newbuilds which were registered in London.

The cases of the aged Stentor and Rhexenor were a little different as the two ships were being immediately replaced by M-class vessels and trade wanted to retain the familiar names in the Straits/E.Australian service. A simple, but rather inglorious, method of changing the names, with a black laden paint brush!

One other point, regarding ships going for demolition. Holts insisted on the main engines being permanently disabled on arrival at the scrapyard. For motorships, mostly B&W powered, the aftermost crankweb was cut such that the shrink fit cracked. In steamships, a bar of steel was placed in the gear case and the engine turned slowly on steam until a rather raucus noise came from the gears. No further trading for these ships! Mind you the scrapyards loved the ships because of all the cupro-nickel pipework!

25th January 2019, 21:10
The most likely reason why 'blue flu" changed their names is that nobody could ever spell or pronounce the bloody things properly. Why they did,nt follow Federal or Bibby lines and give their ships good old English names is beyond me.

Farmer John
25th January 2019, 22:41
The names rang of the the ethos of the company. Who wouldn't want to sail on Jason, Ajax, Priam.

Also, pronunciation and spelling was a doddle for the men of the Welsh Navy.
The crew of the "llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysilio gogogoch" deserted and joined the Ixion.

27th January 2019, 03:26
I did,nt know that Taffies went to sea? never saw or heard one while I was in the MN. Barry Island does not qualify as deep sea!!

27th January 2019, 13:23
Loved your post. My welsh is not that good so I could not translate it but I do know it is to do with St Mary's church if I remember correctly.

Farmer John
27th January 2019, 13:24

A really good site about the Welsh Navy.

1st February 2019, 02:22
Penarth to Weston Super Mare on a Campbells paddle steamer does not constitute foreign going therefore how can the taffies talk about a welsh navy ?

Pat Kennedy
1st February 2019, 09:38
Penarth to Weston Super Mare on a Campbells paddle steamer does not constitute foreign going therefore how can the taffies talk about a welsh navy ?

Blue Flue was indeed the Welsh Navy. I never sailed in one without at least two or three Welshmen on deck. I was in one where apart from me, the lampy and the bosun, every member of the deck crowd came from the Anglesey village of Amlwych. All good seamen, if a bit clannish.

Barrie Youde
1st February 2019, 11:16
In Blue Flue's ss Jason in 1959/60 we had at least thirteen native Welsh-speakers, one of whom was the Master, Captain John Gould.

1st February 2019, 12:54
Ref the Welsh navy, I wonder if somebody is having somebody on? My boss on the Alcinous came from Rhyl.

Farmer John
1st February 2019, 15:30
I wonder if somebody is having somebody on?

It has been known. (Jester)

Swansea Jack
1st February 2019, 17:58
From a new member of only a few days-- Yes I was with Elders, 1961 - 1967, born in Llandrindod Wells, now live in Swansea. Plenty of Welsh boys in the Welsh MN.