Unusual shot of the three Clans laid-up during the off season.
Ranald became Dover Castle, Ross - Kinpurnie, and Robertson - Balmoral. The Clan Ramsay, became Winchester Castle. They looked just as brilliant as Castles as they did as Clans! Interestingly, they were all owned by U-C since building, with the exception of Ross, which was listed as owned by Houston Line, a Clan subsidiary. Sadly, they were all scrapped under foreign owners before they reached twenty!
The LADY MADONNA, ex WINCHESTER CASTLE, ex CLAN RAMSEY made a call to Timaru NZ in December 1980, arriving on the 12th from Singapore. She loaded a full cargo of meat for Iran and sailed on the 24th. I remember being impressed with the size of her funnel - I had never seen one so big before. Regrettably, I never got a photo.
Interesting she loaded meat, as these 4 were designed for the fruit trade from South Africa to Northern Europe, and had only very limited, if any, true freezer capacity as far as I recall. The were able to cool down to about +1 or +2 deg C. Voyages lasted about 14 days from final loading port to first discharge port. Usually ballast out to SA, fruit back to Europe, except in the winter when we took out general cargo if available.
If anybody has any 35mm slides of her, or the others, in NZ waters on this occasion, or elsewhere under their new names, (but not as UC names) I'd appreciate a copy. All costs would be reimbursed.
My interest; simply that I was Radio Officer on 3 of the 4 at various times, but missed out on the Clan Ross.