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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Anyone know anything about this ship?

The attached photograph of SS Eaglescliffe Hall has been lying around MRCC Holyhead for years now. The photographer's stamp on the back is J H Bascom, 100 Whitehall Road, Toronto.

Many Canadian ships saw war service on this side of the Atlantic and there is evidence on the internet to suggest that SS Eaglescliffe Hall, 1900 grt, (Hall Corporation) was damaged by German aircraft, in the North Sea off Sunderland, on 12 August 1941.

Coxswain Dumble of Sherringham (Norfolk) RNLI Lifeboat "Foresters' Centenary" was awarded the RNLI Bronze Medal for the rescue of 15 men from SS Eaglescliffe Hall on 29 and 30 October 1941.

Both these incidents took place off the UK's east coast. Does anyone have any idea why a photograph of the ship has been retained for so long in MRCC Holyhead (west coast UK)?

The photograph clearly shows the ship with radar fitted so, I presume this is a post war addition, which suggests that if this is the same Eaglescliffe Hall, she survived her war service.
 

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The radar is certainly post war in origin, from the scanner it doesnt look too elaborate a radar, 50's in origin if that helps any.
 

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I remember seeing the Eaglescliffe Hall several times in the Tyne and Thames circa 49/50 She was then on the Tyne/London coal run.

Ivor
 

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Hi Gulpers:
The 'Eaglescliffe Hall' was built in 1928 for the Hall Corporation of Canada by Smith's Dock Co. at South Bank-on-Tees. A "canaller", she measured 1,900GT, 253' x 44' , 3exp, single screw.
Renamed 'David Barclay' in 1955 when she was sold to Colonial Steamships Ltd. She went to Scott Misener four years later, apparently without change of name.
Leaving the Lakes in 1961, she was sold to Kingcome Navigation Ltd., Vancouver, BC and reduced to a log barge. She sank in British Columbia waters while under tow on October 25, 1961.
I see her mentioned participating in North Atlantic convoys and picking up survivors from a stricken ship in 1940.
An online source states she was damaged by bombs from Luftwaffe aircraft on August 12, 1941 off Sunderland, but survived with substantial damage. There is no mention of the later incident and I wonder if the award was in fact given for the August action.

http://www.familyheritage.ca/Articles/merchant1.html

Bruce C.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the comments guys.

The deck cargo is certainly timber - possibly pit props?!?

I posted the same photograph in the Gallery and it may be a bit clearer there.

Bruce - the second incident off Norfolk is recorded here http://www.sheringhamlifeboat.co.uk/history.htm .... if you scroll down to the section about RNLI Lifeboat "Foresters' Centenary" you will find the detail of the second incident 29/30 October 1941. RNLI stations keep meticulous records so it would appear that 1941 was not a good year for EAGLESCLIFFE HALL. The account is based on the rescue of 15 men, it doesn't say what the ship's problem was.

It's nice to hear that she ultimately survived, in whatever form, until 1961.

I still can't understand why we have kept a Canadian photograph of the ship for so long in Holyhead. Was she perhaps involved in Liverpool convoys during the war?
 

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Gulpers,I had seen the RNLI site. If the ship was bombed in August, it just doesn't seem like there would be time for her to be repaired and on her way again by the end of October, especially given the bottlenecks at the shipyards under wartime conditions.
I guess we'll never know.
The picture dates from the late forties to the very early sixties and is taken on the Lakes.
Quite probably it has really nothing to do with the War, but concerns an event at a later date. An English sailor visiting the Lakes and picking up a maritime postcard or two or a Canadian of English origin visiting his old home town on vacation and handing friends a picture of his ship. The possibilities are staggering. I wish we knew the answer.

BTW, timber loads like that in the picture were common on the canallers on the Lakes.

Bruce C.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Bruce,

Yes, thanks again for your comments. I figured the picture was taken on the Lakes due to the photographer's stamp. Just intrigued to know if there was any connection with Holyhead!

Maybe someone will know! (Thumb)
 

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Hamish Fraser

These ships ( lakers ) tended to have only one hold and it would be very dangerous to cross the Atlantic . Lakers which were esigned for deep sea voyages were called " Salties " This was Not a Saltie .

When I first came to Canada I met up with a Hall Superintendent Eng . bye the name of James Fraser ( Hamish to his friends ) Anyone know him ???


Derek
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Derek,

From your last message, do you think that the pictured vessel is not the EAGLESCLIFFE HALL which was in the North Sea in 1941? If she is indeed the vessel, and clearly not designed for a deep sea passage, all credit to her Master and crew for bringing her accross the Atlantic. (Thumb)
 

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Hi All:
Dangerous it must have been during the war, but it has to be remembered that these ships were canallers, only 259' in length and not full sized Great Lakes bulk carriers. Their structural integrity, I should think, would be much greater than a typical Lake freighter.
The 'Eaglescliffe Hall', her sisters, and many other Canadian canallers came from British yards and began their life with a successful North Atlantic crossing.
A sistership, the 'Westcliffe Hall' was also bombed and damaged by the Luftwaffe off the English coast.
Some of the canallers did end up on salt water after their careers on the Lakes were over. The second 'Eaglescliffe Hall' and her sisters ended up in the Caribbean--not the North Atlantic, I know, but still subject to storms.
As for the the wood cargo: canallers were the ships of preference to carry pulpwood used in the making of newsprint. The Chicago Tribune had a small fleet of such ships to supply their needs.

Bruce C.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Bruce,

Thanks once more for your excellent input. That's cleared things up nicely.
The photograph, although taken in Canada, obviously shows the same EAGLESCLIFFE HALL that sailed in UK waters during WWII. (Thumb)
 

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Hi Gulpers:
I gotta get a life. This damned computer has taken over.
Anyway, I thought I would plug the photographer's name into Google.
Damned if I didn't get three photographs of Chicago Tribune ships taken by him between 1925 and 1958.
Looks like he had a specific interest in canallers.
Just in case anyone is interested in that type of vessel.

http://www.hhpl.on.ca/GreatLakes/Do***ents/Scanner/03/04/Figures.asp?ID=f3
http://www.hhpl.on.ca/GreatLakes/Do***ents/Scanner/03/04/Figures.asp?ID=f1
http://www.hhpl.on.ca/GreatLakes/Do***ents/Scanner/03/04/Figures.asp?ID=f2

Bruce C.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Bruce,

You are a star! Why didn't I think of that?

Nice shots too. Judging by the amount of smoke coming out their funnels, I think the same Chief Engineer was on board EAGLESCLIFFE HALL and NEW YORK NEWS when Mr Bascom snapped them!

Thanks again Bruce. (Applause)
 

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Gulpers ;
She would have been able to cross the Atlantic ( and from your info seems she did ) We have no way of knowing as to if she was subdivided from the pics ( perhaps she was ? )
Single hold vessels have made the crossing and also to scrap in India ( some didnt make it )
A full cargo of timber / lumber however would still give her bouency /stability even when flooded ( should it occur )

Judging by the smoke I am sure She s burning the Cargo !!!! ????

Derek
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Bruce and Derek,

Good stuff! The website you directed us to is fascinating Bruce. There is no doubt in my mind that you have correctly identified the type of vessel. Two holds, coal fired etc. The section on the limiting dimensions of the ships is interesting - to think that a bulging wall on Lock 17 ultimately defined the breadth of the ships.
There is a lot of reading on the Canallers’ site and that will certainly pass a couple of hours. Maybe the answer to this is buried on the site but, what is the purpose of the little bowsprit on these ships? Is it perhaps an aerial fixing point?
(Thumb)
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·

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Gulpers, that's the steering pole, which was found on the vast majority of Great Lakes' ships, whether canallers or regular bulkers.
These ships were steered from the pilot house at the bow and gave the wheelsman a point of reference forward. It made lining up objects much easier: I think most were twenty to thirty feet in length and were hinged.


Bruce C.
 
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