SS Ethel - Any More Information? - Ships Nostalgia

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SS Ethel - Any More Information?

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Old 25th June 2018, 18:18
Nswstar2 Nswstar2 is offline
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SS Ethel - Any More Information?

As part of my research into the wreck of the SS Camlough, I've ended up looking at the various small steamers which took part in the Camlough salvage operations from the beach at Monreith.

One of these was the SS Ethel.

Her details (thanks to Bill H) on this forum are:

O.N. 110597. 97g. 60n. 73.1 x 18.6 x 7.5
13RHP engine.
1899: Built at Rotterdam.
1900: Registered at Liverpool by William Gossage & Sons Ltd., (William Winwood Gossage, manager), Widnes.
6.1933: Sold to Samuel Gray, Belfast. (sale apparently not recorded).
13.11.1933 Wrecked whilst salvaging scrap metal cargo from the wreck of CAMLOUGH (540g/1920 wrecked 14.1.1932) at Monreith Bay.

Various other sources refer to the Ethel as being 'wrecked' during the Camlough salvage operations.

The account from Peter C. Miller's Galloway Shipwrecks says:


SS 110 Tons - Ashore 19.9.1933

'Arriving in Luce Bay on the 18th September 1933, the steam lighter Ethel owned by a Mr Gray was to be used to take away scrap material removed from the wreck of the Camlough.

The Ethel was alongside the wreck taking on a load, when there came a sudden change in the weather. The wind strengthened and the sea became rough, tossing the little steamer around so violently she smashed her rudder on teh wreck and was driven onto the beach close to the Camlough, receiving a great deal of damage.'

So according to this account, the wee Ethel didn't survive more than a day on the salvage works. [But note the discrepancy of the dates of her stranding].

As the other (very few) accounts refer to her as being 'wrecked', I was surprised to have a brief reply from Peter Miller to a Facebook message I'd sent some time ago (he apparently doesn't look at Facebook very often) which attached an absolutely LOVELY photo of the wee ship.

So it would appear that the damage incurred in 1933 was repaired and The SS Ethel somehow managed to survive afloat from 1899 into the era of colour photography!

I'm sharing this information here, thinking that others might appreciate seeing the photo and just possibly might know something more about the later days of this ship.
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Old 26th June 2018, 11:58
Roger Griffiths's Avatar
Roger Griffiths Roger Griffiths is offline  
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Her registration documents should tell you more about her last days. available from
According to the Mercantile Navy List of 1933 she was nominaly owned by Mrs Bessie Gray of 21 Glendore Avenue, Belfast and managed by Samual Gray, of 43, Pilot Street, Belfast.
ETHEL has no entry in the 1934 MNL.
For some reason.There appears to be a glich when searching for her last logbook from MUN Newfoundland

Dim ateb yn well nag ateb anghywir. Nid oes dim yn ddall fel rhai nad ydynt yn dymuno gweld
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Old 26th June 2018, 17:08
Nswstar2 Nswstar2 is offline
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Thanks, Roger.

This is a wee bit more information... but not much.

It would appear that at the time of the stranding and damage while working salvage, the ship was actually nominally owned by someone who was almost certainly a female relative of the Samuel Gray, who was running the salvage operation on the Camlough.

Your finding no records after 1933 is consistent with most of the slim records on this wee ship, from which most people appear to believe was wrecked and lost as of 1933.

I may have to wait another 6 months until the author of 'Galloway Shipwrecks', Peter C. Miller, next looks at his 'Galloway Shipwrecks' page on Facebook and sees that I've responded to his sending the photo by asking for more details about it and about any later life of the ship after the disastrous damage it incurred while attempting to load salvage from the Camlough.
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Old 26th June 2018, 17:42
eddyw eddyw is offline  
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The photo looks like a 'colourised' version of a monochrome original so could well have been taken before 1933. Location possibly River Avon at Bristol.
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Old 27th June 2018, 12:02
Nswstar2 Nswstar2 is offline
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I had wondered if it was a 'colorised' photo. But it's such a lovely, clear image - and the effect of colour is quite startlingly emotional on the viewer, when you've been perusing lots of blurry photos in black and white.

Thanks for suggesting a possible location.
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Old 27th June 2018, 19:13
BillH BillH is offline
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Fairly certain it is River Avon
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Old 27th June 2018, 22:24
Nswstar2 Nswstar2 is offline
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Thanks, Bill.
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