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ALFRED HOLT & CO
THE BLUE FUNNEL LINE

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TELEMACHUS (4)/GLAUCUS (4) was built in 1943 by Caledon Shipbuilding & Engineering Co. Ltd at Dundee with a tonnage of 8265grt, a length of 489ft, a beam of 61ft 4in and a service speed of 14 knots. Although slightly smaller she was built for the Ocean Steam Ship Co. as a direct replacement for Telemachus (3). In 1957 she was transferred to Glen Line and renamed Monmouthshire. She reverted to Ocean Steam Ship Co. in 1963 and was renamed Glaucus. In the following year she was chartered to the China Navigation Co. who renamed her Nanchang and she was broken up at Hong Kong during 1968. (Photo: John Clarkson Collection)

RHEXENOR (2) was built in 1945 by Caledon Shipbuilding & Engineering Co. Ltd at Dundee with a tonnage of 10199grt, a length of 496ft, a beam of 64ft 4in and a service speed of 15 knots. One of two vessel she was laid down for the Ministry of War Transport at a cost of £673,000 and completed to Alfred Holt's specification for use by the China Mutual Steam Navigation Co. in 1945. She was designed to carry heavy cargoes and made several voyages transporting railway engines for the Victoria State Railway. In 1975 the company required the name for a newer vessel and consequently removed the first and last letters of her name and she made her final voyage to the breakers yard at Kaohsiung as the Hexeno. (Photo: John Clarkson Collection)

STENTOR (4) was built in 1946 by Caledon Shipbuilding & Engineering Co. Ltd at Dundee with a tonnage of 10203grt, a length of 496ft, a beam of 64ft 4in and a service speed of 15 knots. Sister of the Rhexenor she was laid down for the Ministry of War Transport at a cost of £673,000 and completed to Alfred Holt's specification for use by the Ocean Steam Ship Company. In 1958 she was transferred to Glen Line and renamed Glenshiel. Five years later she was briefly transferred to the China Mutual Steam Navigation Co., reverting to her former name, before returning to the Ocean Steam Ship Co. In 1974 she was back with China Mutual operating Elder Dempster routes and in the following year, on 1st April 1975, was sold in Singapore to Taiwanese shipbreakers. For her final six day voyage to Taiwan she was renamed Tento by removing the first and last letters of her original name. (Photo: John Clarkson Collection)

MEDON (2) was built in 1942 by Harland & Wolff at Belfast with a tonnage of 7376grt, a length of 448ft 2in, a beam of 57ft 4in and a service speed of 12 knots. She was completed as the Empire Splendour for the Ministry of War Transport with G. Heyn & Sons as managers. Management of ships built for government service were assigned to companies who would most likely purchase them after the cessation of hostilities. Management of the ship was passed to Holt's in 1945 and was purchased by them for the Ocean Steam Ship Co., who renamed her Medon, in 1946. On 23rd November 1962 she was laid up in the River Fal and in the following year was sold to Olistim Nav Cia of Monrovia in Liberia and renamed Tina. Five years later she was sold to Sanspyridon Shipping Co. of Cyprus with Olistim as managers and broken up in 1970. (Photo: John Clarkson Collection)

CALCHAS (3) was built in 1947 by Harland & Wolff at Belfast with a tonnage of 7639grt, a length of 487ft, a beam of 62ft 4in and a service speed of 15.5 knots. She was launched on 27th August 1946 by Mrs Lawrence D. Holt and known as the Anchises class Mark A1 she first of a class of 21 ships built over a period of seven years as part of Holt's post war re-building programme. Up until 1956 she was used as the company's training ship whereby the normal deck crew were replaced by 22 midshipmen (cadets) and 14 engineering cadets. Whilst from a training point of view this was an excellent arrangement it is believed that maintenance tended to suffer. In 1957 she was transferred to Glen Line and renamed Glenfinlas and remained there until November 1962 when she reverted to Ocean and her original name. During 1971/72 she was operated by Elder Dempster Lines as part of the Holt Group's fleet restructuring programme. On 22nd July 1973 she had the distinction of being the last of only 14 Blue Funnel ships to be lost following an accident or fire. Whilst in Port Kelang a petrol engined fork-lift truck fell into the cargo in a deep tank whilst working in a tween deck and caught fire. She was towed out of the harbour and beached but she was completely gutted. Refloated during the following August she was found to be beyond repair towed towed to Singapore where she was demolished. (Photo: John Clarkson Collection)

ANCHISES (4)/ALCINOUS was built in 1947 by Caledon Shipbuilding & Engineering Co.Ltd at Greenock with a tonnage of 7642grt, a length of 487ft, a beam of 62ft 4in and a service speed of 15.5 knots. Sister of the Calchas she was launched in September 1946 and completed for the Ocean Steam Ship Co. in April 1947, behind schedule. On 21st June 1949, during a passage from Woosung to Shanghai on the Wangpoo River, she was bombed by Chinese Nationalist fighter bombers. Her engine room was flooded and she settled by the stern in shallow water. She was later refloated and towed up river where she discharged her cargo during which time she was bombed again but without any damage. Towed to Kobe in Japan she was repaired before resuming commercial service. In January 1973 she was renamed Alcinous when she was transferred to NSM 'Oceaan'. Two months later she moved across to China Mutual Steam Navigation Co. and in August 1974 was transferred to Glen Line without a change of name. After three months she was transferred back to China Mutual. In September 1975 she was sold to Chi Shun Steel Co. Ltd at Kaohsiung for breaking up but before facing the torch she was sold on to Hang Hua Enterprises Co. Ltd who completed the work. (Photo: John Clarkson Collection)

AENEAS (2) was built in 1947 by Caledon Shipbuilding & Engineering Co. Ltd at Greenock with a tonnage of 7641grt, a length of 487ft, a beam of 62ft 4in and a service speed of 15.5 knots. Sister of the Calchas she was completed for the China Mutual Steam Navigation Co. After an uneventful career she was broken up at Kaohsiung in Taiwan in July 1972. (Photo: Dave Edge)

AGAPENOR (2) was built in 1947 by Scott's Shipbuilding & Engineering Co. at Greenock with a tonnage of 7664grt, a length of 463ft, a beam of 62ft 4in and a service speed of 15.5 knots. Sister of the Calchas she was completed for the China Mutual Steam Navigation Co. in June 1947. In June 1967 she became trapped in the Suez Canal as a consequence of the Six Day War between Egypt and Israel. She was transferred to Agepenor War Risks Ltd ( Liverpool & London War Risks Insurance Association) in 1968 and remained in the Great Bitter Lake with other merchant ships until the canal reopened in 1975. When released she was towed firstly to Port Said, then to Dhekelia in Cyprus and finally to Trieste where she discharged her cargo. She was then sold to the Grecomar Shipping Agency and renamed Nikos. After lying idle for eight years she arrived in Piraeus on 28th July 1975 where she received a much needed refit which, in reality, extended her normal working life. On 27th December 1981work began on her demolition in Pakistan. (Photo: John Clarkson Collection)

ACHILLES (4)/ASPHALION (2)/POLYPHEMUS (5)/ASPHALION was built in 1947 by Caledon Shipbuilding & Engineering Co. Ltd at Dundee with a tonnage of 7632grt, a length of 487ft, a beam of 62ft 4in and a service speed of 15.5 knots. Sister of the Calchas and delivered in December 1947 for the Ocean Steam Ship Co. she was the 28th ship built for them by Caledon. In April 1949 she was transferred to Glen Line and renamed Radnorshire. She returned to Blue Funnel in December 1962 but had to be renamed Asphalion because her former name had been allocated to a new building. In January 1966 she was transferred to N.S.M. 'Oceaan' and renamed Polyphemus. She reverted back to Ocean Steam Ship Co. in November 1972 with the name Asphalion and in October 1975 was sold to Gulf (Shipowners) Ltd of London who renamed her Gulf Anchor. In 1979 she was broken up at Kaohsiung in Taiwan. (Photo: National Maritime Museum)

ASTYANAX was built in 1948 by Scott's Shipbuilding & Engineering Co. Ltd. at Greenock with a tonnage of 7654grt, a length of 463ft, a beam of 62ft 4in and a service speed of 15.5 knots. Sister of the Calchas she was built for the China Mutual Steam Navigation Co. and delivered in 1948. In November 1957 she was transferred to Glen Line and renamed Glenfruin. After five years she returned to Blue Funnel in September 1962 with her former name. In December 1972 she arrived at Kaohsiung in Taiwan where she was broken up. (Photo: John Clarkson Collection)

CLYTONEUS (2) was built in 1948 by Caledon Shipbuilding & Engineering Co. Ltd at Dundee with a tonnage of 7620grt, a length of 487ft, a beam of 62ft 4in and a service speed of 15.5 knots. Sister of the Calchas and completed in 1948 for the Ocean Steam Ship Co. she was the first of a class of six ships, Mark A2, with 'tween deck accommodation for carrying pilgrims from the Far East to Jeddah. The main deck was clad in wood and additional port holes, ventilators, sanitory and kitchen areas were installed. The lifeboats were double banked, one on top of the other. When the dedicated pilgrim ship Gunung Djati joined the fleet facilities for pilgrims were removed. In December 1971 she was transferred to Elder Dempster Lines where she remained until June 1972 when she arrived at Kaohsiung for demolition. (Photo: World Ship Photo Library)

CYCLOPS (3)/AUTOMEDON (3) was built in 1948 by Scotts' Shipbuilding & Engineering Co. Ltd at Greenock with a tonnage of 7632grt, a length of 463ft, a beam of 62ft 4in and a service speed of 15.5 knots. Sister of the Calchas she was built for the Ocean Steam Ship Co. In September 1955 after sailing from Liverpool for Kobe she was in collision with Henderson's Prome south-west of Holyhead and had to return to the Mersey for repairs before continuing on her voyage ten days later. During 1975 her radar was reinstalled on the funnel top when it was discovered that, with the scanner installed on the bridge, there was a large blindspot aft of the funnel. New ships were equipped with a radar mast but as this was expensive older ships had the radar reinstalled on the funnel. In July 1975 she was renamed Automedon in order to release the name for a new tanker and in December of the same year she was transferred to Elder Dempster Lines retaining her name but being repainted in their colours. She was chartered to the Nigerian National Line during Jan-Mar 1977 and in August of the same year was broken up by W. H. Arnott Young & Co. at Dalmuir.

AUTOLYCUS (3) was built in 1949 by Vickers Armstrong Ltd. at Newcastle with a tonnage of 7635grt, a length of 487ft, a beam of 62ft 4in and a service speed of 15.5 knots. Sister of the Calchas she was built for the China Mutual Steam Navigation Co. In November 1974 she was transferred to Elder Dempster Lines without a name change and in June 1975 was laid up at Bromborough Dock, Birkenhead. Later in the same year she was chartered to the Nigerian National Line and in the following year was sold to Gulf (Shipowners) Ltd. of London and renamed Gulf Trader. Registration was later changed to Gulf Shipping Lines of Liverpool and she was again chartered to the Nigerian National Shipping Line and given their funnel livery. In June 1978 she was broken up in Taiwan. (Photo: John Marshall)

ANTILOCHUS (2) was built in 1947 by Harland & Wolff at Belfast with a tonnage of 7635grt, a length of 487ft, a beam of 62ft 4in and a service speed of 15.5 knots. Sister of the Calchas she was built for the Ocean Steam Ship Company. In 1975 she was transferred to Elder Dempster Lines without a change of name and two years later was sold to Gulf (Shipowners) Ltd of London being renamed Gulf Orient. On 9th May 1978 she arrived at Gadani Beach, Pakistan for demolition after being sold to Al Noor Steel Ltd.

AUTOMEDON (2) was built in 1949 by Vickers Armstrong Ltd at Newcastle with a tonnage of 7636grt, a length of 487ft 2in, a beam of 62ft 4in and a service speed of 15.5 knots. Sister of the Calchas she was completed for the Ocean Steam Ship Co. in August 1949. On 17th December 1972 she collided with the Greek ship San George in the River Scheldt whilst proceeding in fog. As she was beyond economical repair she was temporarily laid up before being made seaworthy for a voyage to Kaohsiung where she arrived in March 1972 and was broken up. (Photo: World Ship Photo Library)

LAERTES(4)/IDOMENEUS (3) was built in 1947 by Vickers Armstrong Ltd at Newcastle with a tonnage of 7664grt, a length of 487ft 4in, a beam of 62ft 4in and a service speed of 15.5 knots. Sister of the Calchas she was the last Mark A2 vessel and completed for N.S.M 'Oceaan'. After 23 years flying the Dutch ensign she was transferred to Ocean Steam Ship Co. in August 1972 and renamed Idomeneus. In 1975 she was briefly operated by Elder Dempster Line without a change of name before being sold to Gulf Shipping Lines of Hong Kong, who renamed her Gulf Voyager, in June 1976. On 8th May 1978 she arrived at Gadani Beach at Karachi where she was broken up by Al Noor Steel Ltd. (Photo: William Schell Collection)

BELLEROPHON (3) was built in 1950 by Caledon Shipbuilding & Engineering Co. at Dundee with a tonnage of 7707grt, a length of 487ft, a beam of 62ft 4in and a service speed of 15.5 knots. Similar to the Calchas she was the first of of the Mark 3 A Class vessels and was built for the Ocean Steam Ship Co. In 1957 she was transferred to Glen Line as the Cardiganshire and remained until 1972 when she reverted to the China Mutual Steam Navigation Co. with her original name. She was transferred to Elder Dempster Line in 1975 without a change of name and in the following year was sold to Saudi-Europe Line Ltd and renamed Obhor. In 1978 she was chartered to a film company who were making a film called 'The Sailor who fell out of Grace with the Sea'. For this she was given the name 'Belle' and Boston as her port of registry but the Registrar of Shipping was never advised of that change. On 23rd September 1978 she arrived at Gadani Beach, Karachi where she was broken up.(Photo: A Duncan)

ASCANIUS (3) was built in 1950 by Harland & Wolff at Belfast with a tonnage of 7692grt, a length of 487ft, a beam of 62ft 4in and a service speed of 15.5 knots. She was built for Ocean Steam Ship Co. where she remained until 1972 when she was transferred to Elder Dempster Line and renamed Akosombo. In the following year she returned to Blue Funnel with her former name but ownership was changed to China Mutual Steam Navigation Co. In 1976 she was sold to Saudi-Europe Line Ltd and renamed Mastura and on 4th April 1978 arrived at Blyth where she was broken up by Hughes Bolckow Ltd. (Photo: John Clarkson Collection)

ATREUS (2) was built in 1951 by Vickers Armstrong Ltd at Newcastle with a tonnage of 7800grt, a length of 487ft 2in, a beam of 62ft 4in and a service speed of 15.5 knots. Sister of the Calchas she was delivered to the China Mutual Steam Navigation Co. In Octocer 1977 she was sold to Sherwood Shipping Co. of Singapore and renamed United Valiant. On 23rd February 1979 she arrived at Kaohsiung in Taiwan where she was broken up.

ALCINOUS (3)/POLYDORUS (3) was built in 1952 by Vickers Armstrong at Newcastle with a tonnage of 7799grt, a length of 487ft 2in, a beam of 62ft 4in and a service speed of 15.5 knots. Originally intended to be named the Cadmus she was completed for Ocean Steam Ship Co. in April 1952 as the Alcinous. She was transferred to N.S.M. 'Oceaan' in August 1960 and renamed Polydorus. As a tactical ploy she was sold to S.H. Alatas & Co. of Jeddah in April 1976 who renamed her Johara. S.H. Alatas were Holt's agents at Jeddah and transferring ownership to a local company was a means of avoiding port delays as priority was always given to domiciled companies. The ploy was unpopular with the crew members as being under Muslim law alcohol was forbidden so in November 1976 she was transferred Elder Dempster Line as Polydorus. In November 1977 she was sold to Hesperus Navigation Corp. of Monrovia and renamed Matina. On 23rd April 1978 she arrived at Gadani Beach where she was broken up. (Photo: National Maritime Museum)

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