9th February 2006, 17:48
Please can anyone remember how the forecastle deck & the fore welldecks of these ships were covered when they were built, before the conversions - wood-sheathed or painted steel? If painted steel - what colour.

Would be very grateful for any light you can shed on this.

Bob Wilson

tom e kelso
12th February 2006, 06:58
An earlier reply as gone adrift somewhere...apologies

The well-decks in both ships were sheathed with Burmese teak from a large stock laid down by BI well before the war. As for the forc'sl'head, this was bare steel. Initially this, and the well-deck scuppers were coated with a bitumastic concoction called Presomet C, made by the National Coal Board. Black in colour it had very poor keying qualities. From roughly, the early sixties Kenya (and presumably Uganda) had these steel deck painted with Wood's "Red deck paint"....a deepish brownish red.

As mentioned in my earlier reply, the well decks (which were quite hazardous in very bad weather) were designed into the ships to facilitate working cargo into barges when anchored in East African roadsteads. Without this, and if the Upper ("A") Deck had been continued to the for'csl'head , because of the pronounced flare of the bow,a dummy barge would have had to be placed inboard of the working barge, for the derrick to plumb properly.

I was very attached to Kenya and during my career, having joined her as 3/O at the builder's yard in July 1951, went on over the ensuing 16 years , to sail in every deck officer position, including 7 years as C/O and a short period in command. A splendid ship in every way on a very pleasant, but hard-working run.


Tom Kelso

tom e kelso
12th February 2006, 07:14
Me again, Bob,

Seeing the mention, "minature shipmodels" in your message, and your query regarding the initial paint scheme of the decks, you might be interested in the fact, that when Kenya was completed, she came out with both masts painted a milk-chocolate colour, as was the jumbo derrick abaft the foremast. This colour, contrary to the older BI passenger ships on the Indian Coast which had the same chocolate colour on topmasts, with lowermasts black, was carried right down to the deck. This was changed some time later, but before 1958, to "BI stone colour" (yellowish shade) ....the same colour as were painted the derricks and samson posts right from the start. To add to the confusion, meanwhile, post war BI Coast passenger ships, the D's and S's among others, had stone colour topmasts but with black lower masts!

The ships , of course, came out with black hulls with white riband, and red boottopping, to be changed after a few years to white hulls with black riband and black boottopping

Are you producing commercial models of the ship?

12th February 2006, 15:06
Hello Tom,
Thanks for the information which is very useful to me. I have noted it on my plans of KENYA. No, I am not producing commercial ship models. I am retired R/O and really just build whatever I feel like. I had planned on KENYA, but didn't know what above mentioned decks were. As I was anxious to make a start on something, my wife (being daughter of a soldier) suggested a British India troopship which we knew had all-wood decks and we settled on DILWARA of 1936.

Click on Miniture shipmodels below for more.

12th February 2006, 15:38
Bob a very interesting web site, I think it must be a miracle for the Jhelum to arrive in the US undamaged, must have been delivered in an armoured plated box. !!

12th February 2006, 15:50
Thank you. The JHELUM model was not very big, of course, a mere 6 1/2 inches long on the waterline. It was packed inside a light plywood carrying case and that was put in stout cardboard box with 3 inches of crumpled newspaper all round. Sent it off at 1200 hrs 17th Jan and its safe arrival was confirmed the following day at about 1800 hrs - amazing really, but the airfreight cost 150!

29th December 2006, 11:23
Found this nice "Lady" as a company postcard B.I.S.N. CO.LTD.;
s.s. Kenya 1951
Type: Passenger / general cargo
Displacement: 14,434 tons
Dimensions: 540 x 71 ft.
Machinery: Steam turbines, twin screw = 16 knots
Passengers: 300 (167 first class, 133 tourist class)
Builder: Barclay, Curle & Company, Glasgow, Scotland, 1951
Service: Built for British India Line. London-East Africa service via Suez Canal. Sister ship Uganda

tom e kelso
29th December 2006, 20:03
This photograph was taken probably about 1967, when the ship was moored at No.4 Red, in Port Said (just opposite Simon Artz' "department" store". Southbound to Mombasa and ports beyond, she is shown flying the Canal signal for requiring a pilot (G Flag over a black ball) . She would have taken about 1000 tons of fresh water from lighters....a rather demanding job for the two cadets who had to "dose" each of about twelve tanks with chlorinating chemicals.