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Hello there, I am researching family history and looking for info on an Anchorline passenger-cargo ship called Caledonia, it had sister ships Cilicia and Circassia, was built to do the Liverpool-Bombay route in late 40s. I had two family members use this ship in 1950s and I am very curious about their experience. They have passed away now so I cannot ask them. I want to know specific things like how they passed the time, would there have been entertainment on a ship this size, I know it wasn't huge...I am guessing the voyage would have been around 6 weeks? Just wondered how they passed the time. Also what kind of food would they eat? And would it be noisy in the cabins from engines? Also, I have read the route would be Gibraltar then Port Said, Aden then Karachi/Bombay. Would passengers disembark at these ports? I am also curious about whether they would have passed many other ships during the voyage and what the sunsets and sunrises are like. Thanks so much for any details you can give which might be of interest. As you can tell, I really know very little!
Hi it’s been interesting reading about the Caledonia, my Grandfather was the Chief steward on her.
I can remember being taken to the docks in Glasgow by my parents to see my Grandfather he instructed one of the crew to SHOW THE BOY OVER THE SHIP,
Family history suggests Grandfather was the commodore chief steward, the Senior chief steward in the company, could this be correct ? He was certainly with the Anchor Line for many .
My Grandfather served on the Caledonia from first to last sailing, he served in the merchant navy throughout his working life, he was torpedoed twice, first occasion during WW1 then again WW2, he received an MBE on the
first January 1949.
 

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My parents travelled to England aboard the Circassia in 1955.
I have some menus and post cards from their trip and happy to share images if anyone is interested.
Does any one know the approximate cost of travel from India to UK in the 1950s?
Ogdens produced a cigarette card set in the 1930s with 2 cards showing the Circassia
 

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Suspect I may be a bit late for this. I did two trips on the Caledonia. The first was a return to Karachi leaving Liverpool on or about the 7th January 1962. It was my first expereince at sea, I was 7 years old and was returning along with my sister and Mother to Karachi aftetr a 6 month leave in the UK. The trip started badly with a big storm that seemed to last for days. All I recall was laying in my bunk watching the "porthole" alternate between full sky and full sea. I remember my sister and I trying to go to breakfast while crossing the Bay of Biscay but found it too difficult to stay upright. Eventiually things calmed down and we had a great trip. A very Scottish ship, it suited us because, we were Scottish. We had all sorts of things to keep us busy including walks all round the promenade deck. A sports day in which we were led by a bag piper and always afternoon tea at 4pm on the deckchairs on the promenade deck when we had tea cakes. The ship's shop also seemed awesome. Gibraltar and the rock apes was interesting and Gibraltar, being duty free, provided a good opportunity for our parents to buy stuff. The trip through the Med was good and things started to warm up. We seemed to transit Port Said at night as I don't remember much. I do recall the trip through the Suez canal and the Red Sea. At Aden we could go ashore but I don't think we did. We then sailed on to Karachi. I made a good friend on the ship, Johnny Milne. We returned to the same school in Karachi afterwards. I still have a keepsake from that trip. A small Scottish Rampant Lion flag.
Then
We came back on the same ship in April 1964 when I was 10. I can remember a lot more. There were indeed washing lines rigged on the focs'l because my Mum was washing nappies for my infant sister. There was a friend of my father who provided daily rope splicing classes on the focs'l hatches where we would meet in the morning, usually accompanied by several flying fish that somehow managed to find their way onto the deck.They would rig a screen and show a movie on the afterdeck at night. I remember sneaking out of our cabin to watch a movie one tropical night I think it was called "The Counterfeit Traitor". I was hiding behind a ventilator on the deck above. At Aden my dad bought a Japanese cine camera and projector. I still have the film they took of life at sea on the Caledonia. My dad also bought me a small red portable transistor radio with an earpiece off a bum boat trader in Aden. I have since written a song about it. The Red Sea was awesome and the trip through the Suez Canal was very poignant as I recognised the desert from the Lawrence of Arabia film I had seen earlier that year. My mother left the ship at Port Suez and went on a bus trip to visit the pyramids, returning to the ship at Port Said. It was quite warm in the Med but the swimming pool on board became very rough as we neared Gibraltar where we went ashore for the day. I got supposedly lost and they sent out search parties. I was actually sitting below deck in the PAS boat totally absorbed by a Victor comic. When I emerged I was pounced on by everybody. I think the ship may have been delayed. We eventually returned to Liverpool and for some reason I can still remember the last breakfast on board very vividly. It was in fact the end of a wonderful era for me. It was a sea journey of a lifetime. It just seemed luxurious to us. I had to leave the family and go to Boarding School for a year with out seeing them. I have digitised the video of life on board.
 
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