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The CAPETOWN CASTLE, with the Blue Peter at the foremast, prepares to leave Southamapton at 1300 Friday for yet another trip to South Africa. She will stop at Las Palmas on the southward journey and probably Madeira on the home run. Following her initial stay at Capetown she will continue around the coast to Port Elizabeth, East London and Durban. After a short stay in Durban she will head southwards for another longer stay in Capetown before the voyage home to Southampton.
 

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Castles to the Cape.

Hi. All the Lavender Ladies sailed from Southampton on Thursdays at 4pm on the dot, was delayed once, something to do with Winston Churchill but I've forgotten the details now. I did three trips on the Stirling and spent many a happy hour in Del Monicos. Does anyone remember the Ticky Hock bar at Capetown station, hic hic. Cheers to all. Ken.
 

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Hi served on Capetown Castle 1960 officer steward boy. Itoo spent many an hour at Del Monicos or at the ticky hock bar at the station 6d a tot then up to Salt River on the train bit the worse for where. Good ship . Ray Woodward
 

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Hi served on Capetown Castle 1960 officer steward boy. Itoo spent many an hour at Del Monicos or at the ticky hock bar at the station 6d a tot then up to Salt River on the train bit the worse for where. Good ship . Ray Woodward
Just wonder if you remember my grandfather, Robert Newsom - he was medical officer on the Capetown Castle late 1950s/early 1960s?
 

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Sailed as passenger on Union Castle 3 times . First in 1947 as a little kid Durban to Southhampton then return trip and finally in 1953 Durban to Southhampton when I emigrated to Scotland .
 

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ReKenline's sailing time and day, the mail service was 'speeded up' in the late 1960s, changing the sailing day to Friday from Thursday. The speed on the North / South run was increased by 2 or 3 knots which took a day or more off that part of the run, time in port was reduced so they could run the service with one ship less than before. The three passenger ships of the Capetown Castle class were taken off and the two fast (25 knot) motor cargo ships, Sothampton Castle and Goodhope Castle, were put on the run. The total round trip was reduced by seven days. sailing was by the clock because of the mail contract. Even if no cargo and all passengers on board they could not sail early without Post Office approval.
 

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I did two voyages on this "extra service" as it was called as a cadet. They were the last two voyages before the seamen's strike in 66.
On the second voyage I was nominated to be one of the bears in the crossing the line ceremony (southbound). My task was to duck the victim once he had been tipped off the chair.
One victim was a very large german bodyguard who was travelling with some rich gentleman. He thought it would be a great idea to put up a fight in the water. He punched me on the left ear that was at the time full of water. It completely took away the ear drum. I was hauled out of the pool, my ear streaming with blood and was confined to the ship's hospital all the rest of the way to Capetown. Whilst my ear healed I was advised not to go out into windy conditions so watchkeeping was out. So all the way home I was virtually a passenger.
No long term bad effects apart from a fear of german bodyguards.
 

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hello Bob here,was a engine room trimmer then a refridgeration technitian.served 1960 -62,and was on the trip where the boat blew up,in madeira port,they were manouvers and put it into reverse and brooke the crank.,boiler went and blew a hole right up through the ship,9 dead if i remember right,one of them was the cheif engineer.it happened at 16:20 ish i had just come out of the showers when it blew having just finished shift.i used to chill the coke bottles and sell them at a profit.
i stayed on board when it was towed back to victoria and albert dock.
anyone still alive that worked engine room at that time?(POP)
 

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I sailed on the Capetown 18th April 1961 to 2nd June 1961 then again in February 1963 to April 1963 as 1st class steward,So good I went on her twice.(Thumb)
 

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I have a picture of my mother and father taken with the Captain which I will post when in Scotland in a couple of weeks . You chaps will no doubt know him .
Derek
I also have an ash tray my father bought on the voyage ; its inscription is ,
R.M.M.V Capetown Castle . " Royal Mail somthing Vessel " ???
Perhaps you can enlighten me .
 

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R M M V

Seems to be Royal Mail Motor Vessel, Derek. A trifle pretentious perhaps, as the usual deignation was RMS = Royal Mail Ship. The mail contracts were the main subsidy to British passenger liners. It was a fixed payment made to the selected company, just for sailing on particular dates on a designated service.

Fred(Thumb)
 

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RMMV and RMS

Capetown Castle was a motor ship (diesel) and was the largest motorship afloat when built. Hence she was RMMV (Royal Mail Motor Vessel) Capetown Castle.

Most of the fleet were propelled by steam turbines, and hence were, for example, RMS (Royal Mail Steamship) Edinburgh Castle.
 

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Royal Mail Ship

Saltydog

I notice that you have just made your first post to the site and I extend a warm welcome to you. I hope that you will forgive me for expressing slightly different views from those that you set out in your post.

The standard prefix placed before the name of all British merchant ships licensed to carry the Royal Mail was RMS, short for Royal Mail Ship. This was used regardless of the ship’s propulsion system. Other steamships were of course given the prefix SS.

I will stick my neck out and suggest that RMMV seems to be a long forgotten Union - Castle marketing gimmick. Having made that statement, some members will probably come up with other companies that used this prefix. (A)

Capetown Castle was 27,002 grt when she was delivered to Union – Castle by Harland & Wolff in 1938. The same yard delivered the slightly larger Georgic (27,759 grt) to White Star in 1932. Two fine liners built by a shipyard at the height of its form. Both ships were powered by H&W built Burmeister & Wain diesel engines.

I hope that my alternative information has not put you off making further contributions to the site. The main objective is to increase our mutual knowledge of maritime subjects and all members’ views are equally valid.

Best regards

Fred(Thumb)
 

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Thanks for the info Gents . I will try and scan the ashtray so you can see the RMMV and not think Ive been on the Gin and Tonics too much .
Derek
 

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I recall the Capetown Castle incident, but not at sea at the time. I had heard she was B&W blast injection and the starting air valve jammed opened with the explosion going back to the starting air bottles? I seem to recall that it was blamed on a piece of weld getting stuck in the valve. I also seem to think it resulted in ssome modification - safety valves on bottles, I simply cannot recall.....anyone?
 

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Churchill on the Capetown Castle

Hi. All the Lavender Ladies sailed from Southampton on Thursdays at 4pm on the dot, was delayed once, something to do with Winston Churchill but I've forgotten the details now. I did three trips on the Stirling and spent many a happy hour in Del Monicos. Does anyone remember the Ticky Hock bar at Capetown station, hic hic. Cheers to all. Ken.
Hi Ken,When Churchill travelled on the Capetown,he demanded a fresh water bath in his cabin ,which was duly installed. It was still in situ until the old girls demise. You probably know that the baths on the Cape boats were salt water with fresh water rinse. The only thing the salt water soap was good for was doing one's dhoby

Regards samdar
 
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