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Here/s a shot I took of MONTSERRAT/S running mate in Southampton in 1973.In the black looked very smart.
 

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Begoña

Hi folks...

I live in Vigo so I have these 2 pictures of the "Begoña" and "Montserrat" visiting the city.
The aerial view is the "Montserrat" in 1961. The other picture of the Begoña I do not know the date.

The difference between the two vessels is "Montserrat" had a deck less. You can apreciate this in the pictures...

They were sailing in the route Southampton, Vigo, Tenerife, Port of Spain (Trinidad), La Guaira (Venezuela), Cartagena de Indias (Colombia), Kingstown (Jamaica), Curaçao (Dutch Antilles) and back to Spain.

Regards
 

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Happy days. In my day (1969 -74) these ships arrived in Southampton carrying mostly Galicians who worked in the UK catering and domestic sector and Jamaicans who had settled here and had been visiting home. The port authorities sometimes boarded by tender in order to ensure a quick turn-round, most formalities being completed between Cowes Roads and Southampton. The Fundador was good.
 

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I was in the Begoña in Oct 1974 when was adrift for several days in the middle of the atlantic. When in Tenerife having engine trouble was said whole not sail due to the nature of the damage but pressure from more than half of the passengers coming from Southampton destined to Kingston Jamaica forced the captain and the Trasatlantica Española to sail to La Guaira Venezuela and then Kingston we did not make it. The engine died and there was a fire trying to restart it. And on October 12 after drifting for several days without electricity not food. My mother kept my brother and I alive thanks to tubes of condensed milk she had.bough in Tenerife and bottles of water she manage to get from the waiter that used to serve our table prior to the trouble. we were rescued and towed by the towboat Oceanic that came from Cape Verde. The towboat would not tow us to La Guaira or kinston because all the passengers would have been put on quarantine due to the risk of diseases. Intead they towed us to Barbados where no quarantine was would be issued, and then via airplane to Venezuela. Many of the Jamaican-British passengers revolted not wanting to leave all their baggage in the ship to be send via merchant ship. I don't know the outcome of that situation because our mother took us on the first.chance they had a.taxi to the airport and then to Venezuela. My father was frantic in Venezuela not having any news of us and the ship, all they told him there was no communications with the ship. I was 10 at the time and was a very traumatic time for me. I hope someone that was on the Begoña then could contact me to talk about those moments. My email [email protected]
 

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I was in the Begoña in Oct 1974 when was adrift for several days in the middle of the atlantic.
According my information, the ship was not drifting too much time. Before the sttopage, the ship have had many problems in the boilers, sailing at reduced speed during days. For this reason, as precautionary measure and beforehand, the Captain required one tug to escort the ship (german tug Oceanic). So when ship finally stopped, she was in a very isolated area of the Atlantic with no commercial routes near, but the salvage tug Oceanic was only 200 miles away.
I think that the tug could reach Begoña's position in less than 24 hours.
 

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I ate a delicious spicy stew with rice for lunch in Southampton. One of my colleagues told the purser (whom we always referred to as "Napoleon") how we were all enjoying the meal and asked him what it was. He replied "Horse stew".
 

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My father sailed on the Begona in 1960 from Jamaica to Southampton via Vigo, spain. He told me fascinating stories about the passengers and treatment meted out to him. Thanks for the forum
 

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Hi there Filipvs
Check out my pic of Begona in Gallery, manoeuvring at Las Palmas 1962. Taken during my first deep sea voyage. Nice looking ship.
rgds Tim
 

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I was in the Begoña in Oct 1974 when was adrift for several days in the middle of the atlantic. When in Tenerife having engine trouble was said whole not sail due to the nature of the damage but pressure from more than half of the passengers coming from Southampton destined to Kingston Jamaica forced the captain and the Trasatlantica Española to sail to La Guaira Venezuela and then Kingston we did not make it. The engine died and there was a fire trying to restart it. And on October 12 after drifting for several days without electricity not food. My mother kept my brother and I alive thanks to tubes of condensed milk she had.bough in Tenerife and bottles of water she manage to get from the waiter that used to serve our table prior to the trouble. we were rescued and towed by the towboat Oceanic that came from Cape Verde. The towboat would not tow us to La Guaira or kinston because all the passengers would have been put on quarantine due to the risk of diseases. Intead they towed us to Barbados where no quarantine was would be issued, and then via airplane to Venezuela. Many of the Jamaican-British passengers revolted not wanting to leave all their baggage in the ship to be send via merchant ship. I don't know the outcome of that situation because our mother took us on the first.chance they had a.taxi to the airport and then to Venezuela. My father was frantic in Venezuela not having any news of us and the ship, all they told him there was no communications with the ship. I was 10 at the time and was a very traumatic time for me. I hope someone that was on the Begoña then could contact me to talk about those moments. My email [email protected]
Hi my name is David. I was also on the Begona in 1974. I am the eldest of then five children for my mother who was on the boat when it left Southampton on 10th September 1974. My father stayed back in London as he had not sold a couple of houses he had.

I was ever so glad to finally hear from someone who was actually on the boat back then. I am still looking for pictures of the Begona but so far am unsuccessful.

I was 15 years old at when I entered the boat. My youngest brother was just two years old. My recollection is the boat was a Spanish liner whose original captain was not on board as he told his bosses he didn't think the boat would actually make the journey to the West indies. We set of on 10th September 1974, went to Spain, Tenneriffe and then set off across the Atlantic. Three days later the boat not only broke down, but started taking in water and listed. We ran out of food, water and the large fams that were on the three lower decks stopped spinning. This meant that below decks were so hot and uncomfortable, that many brought their mattresses to the dinning room and other places where they could sleep. We did that a few nights too. There was a lot of choas during this time as lots of people had children and babies and there was no food or water made available to them. The racial segregation of black and non black restaurants added to the already stressful situation. My mother struggled to get food for us and especially my two year old brother. He was still on bottle at the time and I remember the moment he took it out of his mouth and threw it in the ocean.

An SOS was sent out and the Oceanic (which was then the largest tug boat in the world) picked up our SOS and came and towed us to barbadoes. The first thing they did was give all the children a bowl of porridge which went down well after days of not eating properly. The Oceanic took three days to get us to barbadoes. It took another three days to fly out all the passengers to their various destinations. We flew out to Jamaica on the third day. We had two large crates on board which we eventually received. I witnessed other crates in the large holding areas on the boat damages and many things scattered. they were held behing large giant bars so no one could actually reach some things, but others were actually at hands reach.

Funny point. My dad had a minibus whcih he brought over from the UK when he eventuall came over to join us in Jamaica. The minibus kept breaking down and we (the kids) nicked named it begona.

It was a time I will never forget. My mother who is still alive, started writing a book about the experience. it is still to be published. I can be contacted on email: [email protected] if anyone wishes to contact me regarding their experience of pictures of the Begona.
 

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My recollection is the boat was a Spanish liner whose original captain was not on board as he told his bosses he didn't think the boat would actually make the journey to the West indies.
In Madrid there were contacts with Cunard to buy the FRANCONIA in order to substitute the old Begoña. Finally no purchase agreement was signed with Cunard... and Begoña was not retired.

So, the company told the Captain that Begoña had to be provisionally repaired and make one more trip...
The Captain was in time to go home for rest, so the chf officer took the command of the ship in Vigo.

Regards and thanks to Tim for the photo!!!(Thumb)
 

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Hi there

Well, some years ago last Begoña's Captain (Mr Carlos Peña Alvear) wrote his professional memories. I attach here a picture of the book's cover whith one Begoña included in it (this paint was made by the Captain I think). The book was published in Spain and in reduced quantity. But I have one, so If anybody want ask something about book's contents, pls do not hesitate in ask here. I will translate to english all info that you need.
 

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Did any nation, other than Spain and Holland, convert the wartime-built Victory type ships into passenger ships?
 

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Did any nation, other than Spain and Holland, convert the wartime-built Victory type ships into passenger ships?
Also Italy. In fact, the ss"BEGOÑA" was the ex-CASTEL BIANCO (1957) and she was, together CASTEL VERDE, part of the SITMAR fleet before being adquired by Spain. Both ships were Victories converted in liners
 

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Thanks for that, Fil.
Glad to help. I forgot to mention six Argentine vessels, all of them Victory type ship converted in emigrant ships.
After WW2 Argentina opened doors to emigration from Europe. About five millions of europeans went there (mainly from Italy and Spain). And these ships were adquired to be employed in this service and were converted in italian shipyards. The ships were:

CORDOBA ex-Nyv Victory
MENDOZA ex-William and Mary Victory
BUENOS AIRES ex-Smith Victory
SANTA FE ex-Gustavus Victory
TU***AN ex- La Crose Victory
ENTRE RIOS ex-Rock Hill Victory

All were part of COMPAÑIA DE NAVEGACION ALBERTO DODERO.
 

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good morning filipvs,yesterday.00:26.re:begona.i have watched your clip re:compania de navigation.very informative.great photos.and historical content.great post,p.s your English is o.k.i don't think many menbers speak Spanish?have a good day,ben27
 

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Begona 1960

My father sailed on the Begona in 1960 from Jamaica to Southampton via Vigo, spain. He told me fascinating stories about the passengers and treatment meted out to him. Thanks for the forum
Hello Sharon-T, my Father also sailed on the Begona in 1960 and I would be grateful if you could share some of your Father's stories with me as I do find history very intriguing. My late Father passed in April of this year and I would love to hear from others who also had parents that travelled on the Begona in 1960.(*)) I am new to Ship Nostalgia and I am loving it already.
 

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Re: Memories

This is a fascinating forum. I travelled with my parents from Southampton to Kingston in January 1969 on the Begona. I was amazed to find a picture of the ship in this forum and I have some memories of the journey. Both of my parents have now passed on so it fills me with great nostalgia to hear stories of what happened to that venerable ship. I don't know when it went out of service, but this ship and the Montserrat were famous in Jamaica for taking people to and from England as they emigrated back and forth between the former colonies and the "Mother Land."
 

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Hello Maurice, I am not always on the site due to time constraints. Is it possible that I could supply you with a contact number and I can hear what information that you have you. Not only do I like to hear about history about the Begona but also to share your parents experiences of what they endeavoured when they came to England. Kat
 
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