Rowallan Castle at Greenock

Rennie Cameron
10th December 2012, 16:27
Can any Union Castle guys remember when three UC vessels docked in Greenock (in quick succession). I am sure it was the Rowallan, certainly the Roslin and one other. They were in for a rather large refit. They had Double Acting H and W engines. Would anyone recall these and have any knowledge of the work. It was circa 1962 and I was serving my apprenticeship in Kincaids. We used to go onboard at lunchtime but memory fades and I wondered what they were actually in for, and who did the work???

Chris Isaac
11th December 2012, 08:07
Cannot help much except to say that Greenock Dockyard was, I think, owned by British & Commonwealth. That would explain why the work was done there.
As for the nature of the work, sorry I cannot help.

Rennie Cameron
12th December 2012, 09:31
Chris, Thats correct it was, but "the Dockyard" as you probably know, was only steelwork altho next door to Kincaids. Memory recovers from time to time and I am wondering if it was for conversion to Heavy Fuel. FRom recall it was all engine room work and we visited regularly during our lunch. Each of the vessels were shut down on shore power and ceratinly no crew living onbaord. Hopefully someone will recall tghis. Indeed it could have been Kincaids doing the work, I simply dont know.

Chris Isaac
12th December 2012, 15:51
Rennie
I think you may have it. Most UC motor vessels went to heavy fuel in the early sixties.

Rennie Cameron
13th December 2012, 11:17
Thanks Chris..maybe someone will read and recall taking them in or out of Greenock. Curiosity only.

A.D.FROST
13th December 2012, 13:12
perhaps it was Harland & Wolffs,Glasgow, (Finnieston Engine Works) because they were H&W/B&W and the engine works and shipyard were closing down.

macca57
14th December 2012, 12:44
perhaps it was Harland & Wolffs,Glasgow, (Finnieston Engine Works) because they were H&W/B&W and the engine works and shipyard were closing down.
Obviously not from the Clyde or its environs. In the early sixties the Clyde yards were full to capacity, the only shortage that they suffered from was lack of skilled personnel.
Would seem strange for H&W of Glasgow to carry out repairs at Greenock some 20 miles away.
Kincaids were also B&W engineers

A.D.FROST
14th December 2012, 14:17
Obviously not from the Clyde or its environs. In the early sixties the Clyde yards were full to capacity, the only shortage that they suffered from was lack of skilled personnel.
Would seem strange for H&W of Glasgow to carry out repairs at Greenock some 20 miles away.
Kincaids were also B&W engineers

H&W engine works last engine was built in1961(BRITISH MERLIN)although they may have continued to do some out fitting work for the Shipyard.Last 2 ships had Belfast built B&W 1962 after which the yard shut down.Although Kincaids were licencees of H&W/B&W as Mr.Cameron was an apprentice to Kinkaids he seemed to sugest that some other company carried out the work other wise he would have known if was Kincaids.Fairfield-Rowan engine works shut 1965.Stephens engine works shut 1965 John Browns engine works shut 1966.Denny engine works closed 1962 Blythswood Shipyard close 1963 and Barclay,Curles closed1967. This was not as you sugest a busy time.I was an apprentice with Geo.Clark & NEM Sunderland at the time who got all the Sulzer contracts of Stephens & Fairfields but even we closed down in 1967.(INDIAN CITY)

Rennie Cameron
14th December 2012, 15:38
Thanks guys I started in Kincaids as they were on their last few opposed pistons and poppet valves the order of the day. It could have been Kincaids "Outside Squad" and I wouldnt have known. I am certain H and W Govan were well and truly closed. There was certainly a lot of activity at that time on the lower reaches where the wages were less than up river...but I guess thats another story! Kincaid had a good order book for newbuilds at that time and throughout until I went to sea in 66.

Castleline
7th March 2017, 21:51
The last B&c ship out of Greenock Shipyard was the m.v. Clan Alpine. I was on board, have to revert with details as travelling at present

R58484956
8th March 2017, 10:04
Welcome back Castleline to SN. Bon voyage.

Rennie Cameron
21st March 2018, 14:40
Hi Folks I thought if I might re-seek more details on the R Boats which were in Greenock early 60's. As Chris pointed out may have been HFO Conversion. I was always curious going onboard most lunchtimes from my Kincaids apprenticeship. Perhaps someone has joined since my last post? When in Greenock I wander along and it is like yesterday.

robpage
21st March 2018, 15:08
I Remember the Riebeeck , Rowallan , Rustenburg , Richmond ,Rochester and Roslin Castles , I think they were all pre 1950 , and the double acting two stroke certainly took the prize as the least favourite engine I ever came across

jimthehat
21st March 2018, 23:38
My father served his time pre WW2 at Kinkaids and i know he was back there in 1957 when I was up for second mates at James Watt and he was still there when all the labour trouble started, he refused to go out on strike and got blacklisted,

Rennie Cameron
22nd March 2018, 11:03
Rob, the Rowallan, Roslin and Richmond came in for a couple of months. They were downmanned, but I thought there must be someone on here who was on the delivery crew or the subsequent sailing crew. Not sure exactly which company worked on the ships, but in later years and thinking about them, I suspected they were in for changeover of DO/HO. The fact tanks were open would suggest that,.....maybe I will never know!

MWD
22nd March 2018, 12:12
Rob, the Rowallan, Roslin and Richmond came in for a couple of months. They were downmanned, but I thought there must be someone on here who was on the delivery crew or the subsequent sailing crew. Not sure exactly which company worked on the ships, but in later years and thinking about them, I suspected they were in for changeover of DO/HO. The fact tanks were open would suggest that,.....maybe I will never know!

Not sure of the dates but after I left her as a J/E in Feb. 57 Roslin Castle had a substantial engine refit in Hamburg to rectify a crankshaft problem.

Having made this investment B&C, would most likely have then switched her to HFO.

She went on to be one of, if not the last, lavender hulled UCL vessel in service. Broken up in Twian in 1967 after 35 years service.

I have to say the memory of that mass of reciprocating kit in the crankcase is almost enough to give me nightmares. Just glad that the biggest job I experianced was hanging up a unit at sea following a bent lay shaft connecting rod.

Would not have liked to change a bottom exhaust piston at Sea.

MWD.

Chris Isaac
22nd March 2018, 13:39
She went on to be one of, if not the last, lavender hulled UCL vessel in service. Broken up in Twian in 1967 after 35 years service.

MWD.

Rowallan Castle arrived at the breakers on 2nd Sept 1971 after 28 years service

Rennie Cameron
23rd March 2018, 14:05
Guess the fuel changeover and the resulting piping would be the answer! at last I can shut that curiosity down! These were the days my friends...and yep did we ever think they would end?? Thanks all.

mbaan
5th April 2018, 08:01
Hello, I am wondering if there is anyone who knows whether the Rowallan castle carried passengers from Italy to South Africa? My late foster mother travelled that route, from Venice to Durban if I am not mistaken, by boat via the Suez Canal just after WWII and wondering if it could have been the Rowallan Castle she took...

double acting
14th August 2019, 12:00
According to my discharge book the Richmond Castle entered Greenock on the 21st of October 1963, for conversion to heavy oil. That was the reason no cards were taken on the homeward voyage.

This turned a "normal" engine room temperature into a nightmare of an environment, see accountants, I hate them.

Dickyboy
14th August 2019, 13:25
Hello, I am wondering if there is anyone who knows whether the Rowallan castle carried passengers from Italy to South Africa? My late foster mother travelled that route, from Venice to Durban if I am not mistaken, by boat via the Suez Canal just after WWII and wondering if it could have been the Rowallan Castle she took...

More likely to have been the Rhodesia Castle methinks.