Which ship in the fleet transported wild animals

Jonesy0
30th September 2014, 17:00
Hello everyone,

I hope you can help me. I'm trying to research into a story my (deceased) father used to tell me about his time on board Ellerman Lines. I have photographs to support the story but sadly they contain no detail as to the year or the ship that it took place on.

His career began with Ellerman Lines in 1954 and at some point between then and the early 60's he was on board a ship that transported live wild animals from South Africa (I'm afraid I don't know which port) to varying zoos across Europe. During his time on board he befriended a cheetah which he used to take for walks on deck and even shared his bunk with him. He would have been in his early 20's by the look of the photo I have of him and the cheetah, and having graduated from HMS Conway in 54 I'm guessing was a junior officer at the time.

I have been trying to trace this story as I'm keen to turn it into a children's book. I'm not getting anywhere really with maritime archives etc as most seem to stop around the 1940's and I have no idea where to find further details on Ellerman Lines crew lists/records of voyages.

Would anyone happen to know which ships in the fleet may have been transporting wild animals around that time so that I can at least try to nail down a year? I know the cheetah ended up in a zoo in the UK and I'm trying to trace him through their records also but without knowing the year it makes it tricky.

I would hugely appreciate any info or suggestions you may have.

Many thanks.

Jonesy0

Michael Taylor
30th September 2014, 20:25
Hello everyone,

I hope you can help me. I'm trying to research into a story my (deceased) father used to tell me about his time on board Ellerman Lines. I have photographs to support the story but sadly they contain no detail as to the year or the ship that it took place on.

His career began with Ellerman Lines in 1954 and at some point between then and the early 60's he was on board a ship that transported live wild animals from South Africa (I'm afraid I don't know which port) to varying zoos across Europe. During his time on board he befriended a cheetah which he used to take for walks on deck and even shared his bunk with him. He would have been in his early 20's by the look of the photo I have of him and the cheetah, and having graduated from HMS Conway in 54 I'm guessing was a junior officer at the time.

I have been trying to trace this story as I'm keen to turn it into a children's book. I'm not getting anywhere really with maritime archives etc as most seem to stop around the 1940's and I have no idea where to find further details on Ellerman Lines crew lists/records of voyages.

Would anyone happen to know which ships in the fleet may have been transporting wild animals around that time so that I can at least try to nail down a year? I know the cheetah ended up in a zoo in the UK and I'm trying to trace him through their records also but without knowing the year it makes it tricky.

I would hugely appreciate any info or suggestions you may have.

Many thanks.

Jonesy0

I sailed with Ellermans late 50 and 60's starting as apprentice. We carried animals every once in a while from S. Africa. We always loaded them in Cape Town being the final port before sailing to the UK. I remember well bringing Letchwe Deer for Chester Zoo and landing them for some reason in Milford Haven. Frogs for pregnancy testing were sometimes loaded into water tanks in Beira. Sheep Dogs were frequently taken to New Zealand In all cases the apprentices assisted however sometimes when a number of animals were taken onboard shore personal accompanied them.

John Briggs
30th September 2014, 20:30
If you post the photos on the site you may have a chance of identifying the ship.

Jonesy0
30th September 2014, 20:36
Hi Michael,

That's so helpful thank you. I wonder if you knew my father then as you would have been working at the same time. I know he worked up the ranks to captain whilst in his 20's with Ellermans. His name was John Jones. Ring any bells??

Any idea which ship it would have been that did the voyage? Perhaps City of Liverpool I thought...

Thanks again.

H

Jonesy0
30th September 2014, 20:38
Hi John,

There's really no detail of the ship in the photo that could define it I don't think. But I shall try posting one anyway just in case anyone recognises the old man...

Michael Taylor
1st October 2014, 13:18
Hello again....yr boat deck photo looks like the Liverpool but have a friend on this site who am sure will recognise it. I remember the name and maybe it will come back to me.

Jonesy0
1st October 2014, 15:27
Hi Michael,

Wow, that would be great. Yes, let me know if your friend recognises it or if you remember the old man. ;-)

Jonesy0

Michael Taylor
2nd October 2014, 13:10
Am sorry but hit a brick wall but we believe the vessel to be one of Ellerman 12"s (small passenger ships). If I can help anymore feel free to contact.

Mick Spear
2nd October 2014, 18:53
The Geest boats used to take animals to the Caibbean from Barry and or Avonmouth. I remember horses were hrequently carried. But one unusual live cargo was an Elephant from Avonmouth apprx 1982/83 i think it was the Geest Port the Elephant was named Mimi and it was discharged at Saint Lucia. A big crowd were gathered at the docks for the arrival of the Elephant.Mick S