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ALFRED HOLT & CO
THE BLUE FUNNEL LINE

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DOLIUS (3) was built in 1955 by Harland & Wolff at Belfast with a tonnage of 7960grt, a length of 491ft 6in, a beam of 62ft 5in and a service speed of 15 knots. Sister of the Demodocus she was built for the Ocean Steam Ship Co. She was transferred to Glen Line and renamed Glenfruin in November 1970 and reverted to Holt's and her former name in April 1972. In the following November she was sold to Nan Yang Shipping Co. of Macao and renamed Hungmien. Registered at Mogadishu she flew the Somali flag and was operated by the Golden City Maritime Corp. S. A. a member of the Ocean Tramping Co. of Panama. She was sold to the Bureau of Maritime Transportation of Canton, China and renamed Hong Qi 119. Renamed Zhan Dou 51 she was based at Guanzhou under the same owners. Her eventual demise is unknown and she was deleted from Lloyds Register in November 1991. (Photo: John Clarkson Collection)

ANTENOR (4)/DYMAS (2) was built in 1957 by Vickers Armstrong, Walker Naval Yard at Newcastle with a tonnage of 7965grt, a length of 491ft 6in, a beam of 62ft 5in and a service speed of 15 knots. Launched on 4th October 1956 she was similar to the Demodocus but the first of a class of three ships designated Mark A6. She was completed for the Ocean Steam Ship Co. in July 1957. In November 1970 she was transferred to Glen Line and renamed Glenlochy but reverted to Blue Funnel in 1972 when she was renamed Dymas. She was sold to Nan Yang Shipping Co. of Macao in April 1973 and renamed Kaiyun. Three years later, in 1976 she was sold to Highseas Nav. Corp S.A. of Panama without a change of name and in 1983 was broken up at Huangpu in China. (Photo: John Clarkson Collection)

ACHILLES (5)/DARDANUS (5) was built in 1957 by Vickers Armstrong, Walker Naval Yard at Newcastle with a tonnage of 7969grt, a length of 491ft 6in, a beam of 62ft 5in and a service speed of 15 knots. Sister of the Demodocus she was built for the Ocean Steam Ship Co. Renamed Dardanus in May 1972 she was sold to Nan Yang Shipping Co. of Macao ,but registered in Somali, who changed her name to Kiago. Four years later she was being operated by the Highseas Navigation Corp. S.A. of Panama, a Chinese owned company with the same name. On 5th June 1982 she arrived at Calcutta where she was broken up. (Photo: John Clarkson Collection)

AJAX (4)/DEUCALION (5) was built in 1958 by Vickers Armstrong, Walker Naval Yard at Newcastle with a tonnage of 7969grt, a length of 491ft 6in, a beam of 62ft 5in and a service speed of 15 knots. Sister of the Demoducus she was completed for the China Mutual Steam Navigation Co. and cost £1,450,000 as compared with £650,000 which was the cost of the first A5/A6 vessel. In May 1972 she was renamed Deucalion and in the following February was sold to Nan Yang Shipping Co. of Macao for operation by the Brilliance Steam Ship Co. who renamed her Kailock. She arrived at Kaohsiung in Taiwan in August 1982 where she was broken up. (Photo: John Clarkson Collection)

MENELAUS (4) was built in 1957 by Caledon Shipbuilding & Engineering Co. at Dundee with a tonnage of 8538grt, a length of 494ft 10in, a beam of 65ft 5in and a service speed of 16.5 knots. The first of a class of eight ships she was built for the Ocean Steam Ship Co. These ships were the first Holt ships to be equipped with Macgregor single pull hatch covers and a rudimentary form of air conditioning in the public rooms. In 1972 she was transferred to Elder Dempster Lines, renamed Mano and operated by the British & Burmese Steam Navigation Co. She was switched to Elder Dempster Lines in 1977 and given the name Oti to conform with the others of the 'O' class. By this time Elder Dempster were operating all the former Blue Funnel 'M' class, with the exception of the Melampus, with name beginning with 'O'. In the following year she was sold to Thenamaris Maritime Inc. of Pireaus and was operated by Leon Rivera Lines of Cyprus as the Elstar. On 27th February 1979 she arrived at Busan in Korea where she was broken up. (Photo: Fred Parkinson Collection)

MENESTHEUS (2) was built in 1958 by Caledon Shipbuilding & Engineering Co. at Dundee with a tonnage of 8510grt, a length of 494ft 10in, a beam of 65ft 5in and a service speed of 16.5 knots. Sister of the Menelaus she was built for the Ocean Steam Ship Co. In 1977 she was transferred to Elder Dempster Lines and renamed Onitsha. She was sold to Thenamaris Maritime Inc. of Piraeus in 1978 and renamed Elisland for operation by Palermo Shipping Co. of Cyprus. On 19th March 1979 she arrived at Kaohsiung in Taiwan where she was broken up by Lung Fa Steel & Iron Co. (Photo: Fotoflite)

MACHAON (3) was built in 1959 by Caledon Shipbuilding & Engineering Co. at Dundee with a tonnage of 8529grt, a length of 494ft 10in, a beam of 65ft 5in and a service speed of 16.5 knots. Sister of the Menelaus she was completed in February 1958 for the Ocean Steam Ship Co. She was transferred to N.S.M. 'Oceaan' in 1975 and then to Elder Dempster in 1977 when she was renamed Obuasi. In 1978 she was sold to Thenamaris Maritime Inc. of Piraeus for operation by the Palermo Shipping Co. of Cyprus as the Elsea. Within a few days she was transferred to Tartan Shipping Ltd of Monrovia, renamed Med Endeavour and broken up at Kaohsiung, Taiwan in 1979. (Photo: Maritime Photo Library)

MEMNON (4)/STENTOR (5) was built in 1959 by Vickers Armstrong (Shipbuilders) Ltd at Newcastle with a tonnage of 8504grt, a length of 494ft 6in, a beam of 65ft 5in and a service speed of 16.5 knots. Completed for the China Mutual Steam Navigation Co. in 1959 she was renamed Stentor for deployment on the South East Asia - Australia service in 1975. In 1977 she was transferred to Elder Dempster Lines and renamed Owerri. After only one year she was sold to Thenamaris Maritime Inc. of Piraeus for operation by the Henlow Shipping Corp as the Europe, realising £172,000. On 3rd July 1982 she was laid up at Stylis and five years later was renamed Primus for her last voyage to Alang in India where she arrived on 5th February 1988 for demolition. (Photo: World Ship Photo Library)

MELAMPUS (2) was built in 1960 by Vicker Armstrong (Shipbuilders) Ltd at Newcastle with a tonnage of 8509grt, a length of 494ft 10in, a beam of 65ft 5in and a service speed of 16.5 knots. Sister of the Menelaus she was launch on 15th December 1959 and completed for the Ocean Steam Ship Co. in the following June. In June 1967 she became trapped, together with the Agapenor, in the Great Bitter Lake when the Suez Canal was blocked at both ends during the 'Six Day War' between Israel and Egypt. The trapped ships were abandoned to the Liverpool and London War Risks Association who eventually sold them to the Grecomar Shipping Agency Ltd. When the canal was cleared the Melampus left on 20th May 1975 under tow and bound for Port Said, Dhekelia, Cyprus and Trieste where, after an overhaul, she was sold to the Greek Leventakis Group for operation by the Korissianev Shipping Co. S.A. and renamed Annoula II. After a further seven years trading she arrived at Gadani Beach, Karachi in November 1982 and after remaining at anchor for some time was broken up during 1983. (Photo: Fred Parkinson Collection)

MARON (3)/RHEXENOR (3) was built in 1960 by Caledon Ship Building & Engineering Co. at Dundee with a tonnage of 8538grt, a length of 494ft 10in, a beam of 65ft 5in and a service speed of 16.5 knots. She was launched on 26th February 1960 and delivered to Ocean Steam Ship Company in the following April. In 1975 she was moved to the South East Asia to Australia and renamed Rhexenor. Two years later she was transferred to Elder Dempster Lines and renamed Opobo, staying with the company for only one year. She was sold to Thenamaris Marine Inc. of Piraeus in 1978 and renamed Elfortune. Later in the same year she was operated by Belton Shipping Corp. of Monrovia with the name Europe II. In 1984 she was sold to Trade Shipping Ltd. of Malta, retaining her name, and was laid up at Piraeus. She was broken up at Aliaga during April 1987.(Photo: World Ship Photo Library)

GUNUNG DJATI was built in 1936 by Blohm & Voss K.a.A. at Hamburg with a tonnage of 16662grt, a length of 578ft, a beam of 72ft and a service speed of 18 knots. She was launched as the Pretoria on 16th July 1936 for the Deutsche Ost-Afrika Linie and commenced her maiden voyage from Hamburg to South Africa via Southampton on 19th December. In 1939 she was requisitioned by the German Navy as an accommodation ship based at Hamburg. She was taken over by the British Government as a war prize in 1945 for use as a troopship. Renamed Empire Doon she was managed by the Orient Line for the Ministry of War Transport but it was soon ascertained that she had problems with her boilers and was laid up. She was reboilered in 1949, brought up to troopship standard and renamed Empire Orwell in recognition of Orient Line management retaining also the MOWT's 'Empire', the Troopship's 'River' and the Orient Line's 'O' nomenclature. In 1958 she was chartered to Pan-Islamic Steam Ship Co. of Karachi to carry pilgrims and at the end of the season was laid up in the Kyles of Bute. Alfred Holt & Co. purchased her in November of the same year for pilgrimage duties. It was Holt's intention to rename her Dardanus but she entered service as the Gunung Djati, the name of the leading Javanese Haji and an Islamic missionary. Operated by the Ocean Steam Ship Co. she was refitted by Barclay Curle at Glasgow who replaced the troopship accommodation with space for 2000 pilgrims and 106 first class passengers. On 7th March 1959 she sailed from Liverpool bound for Djarkarta where she joined the Tyndareus which was operating a similar service. After three seasons she was sold to the Indonesian Government in 1962 who continued to operate her for pilgrimages. In 1965 she was sold to P. T. Maskapai Pelajaran 'Sang Saka' of Djakarta without a change of name and transferred to Pan-Islamic Steam Ship Co. who continued the Mecca Pilgrimage service. She was converted to diesel in 1973 and refitted at Hong Kong in 1975. She returned to the Indonesian flag in 1980 as a naval accommodation ship and was renamed Kri Tanjung, Penant 971. By 1984 she was no longer operating as a seagoing vessel. (Photo: Glasgow City Libraries & Archives)

CENTAUR (3) was built in 1964 by John Brown and Company Ltd in Glasgow with a tonnage of 8262grt, a length of 480.11in, a beam of 66ft 4in and a service speed of 20 knots. She was launched on 20th June 1963 by Mrs. D Brand, wife of the Prime Minister of Western Australia. Equipped with stabilisers she carried a crew of 98 and had the luxury of a swimming pool. Built for the Singapore-Fremantle service she was Blue Funnel's first twin-screw motorship since the end of World War 2 and was a replacement for the Charon and Gorgon. Carefully designed to meet growing competition she could carry 190 passengers and 4500 sheep or 700 head of cattle. Considered expensive at a cost of £2,500,000 she proved to be popular with regular passengers which justified the investment. She was originally registered with Ocean Steamship Company but in 1975, as part of the separation from Straits Steamship, she was transferred to Eastern Fleets Ltd, Singapore – a company in which Strait Steamship Company Ltd had a 64 % holding – and three years to Blue Funnel (S.E. Asia) Private Ltd; Singapore. Centaur was withdrawn from service in 1981, but during the Falklands war she was chartered by the St Helena Shipping Co Ltd. as a substitute for their requisitioned St Helena. Regrettably she did not remain on this service, and in May 1985 she was sold to China and renamed Hai Long by The Shanghai Haixing Shipping Co and after 1986 as Hai Da. She was broken up by the Xinhui Scrapyard in China during 1995. (Photograph by D P Manders)

PRIAM (5) was built in 1966 by Vickers Armstrong Ltd at Newcastle with a tonnage of 12094grt, a length of 563ft 10in, a beam of 77ft 11in and a service speed of 21 knots. Built for the Ocean Steam Ship Co. she was the first in a class of eight ships of which four were initially operated by Glen Line. In 1978 the growth of the containership rendered them obsolete and the Priam, the Piesander, the Prometheus and the Protesilaus where sold en bloc to C. Y. Tung. Operated by Panocean Shipping of Liberia the Priam was renamed Oriental Champion. In 1980 she was transferred to C. Y. Tung's Carterfold Shipping Co. retaining her name, and in 1982 was sold to Vanderhoff Shipping Co. of Panama, again, retaining her name. Two years later she was sold to Island Investment & Agency Corp. Ltd and Wattling Nav. Inc of Panama without a change of name. On 18th October 1985, during the Iraq-Iran war, her steering gear housing was hit by an Iraqi missile and she had to be towed to Bahrain. The cost of repairs proved to be uneconomical and she was towed to Kaohsiung in Taiwan where she was broken up. (Photo: World Ship Photo Library)

PEISANDER (2) was built in 1967 by Vickers Armstrong Ltd at Newcastle with a tonnage of 12094grt, a length of 563ft 11in, a beam of 77ft 11in and a service speed of 21 knots. Sister of the Priam she was delivered to the Ocean Steam Ship Co. in 1967 and transferred to the China Mutual Steam Navigation Co. Ltd in 1972. Sold to C.Y. Tung's Panocean Shipping Co. of Liberia in 1978 she was renamed Oriental Exporter. In 1981 she was transferred to Carland Shipping Ltd of Hong Kong and renamed Main Express. Later in the same year she was sold to the Foreland Shipping Ltd of Monrovia but with registry in Panama. Three years later she was sold to Island Investment & Agency Corp. & Wattling Nav. Inc. of Liberia and renamed Oriental Exporter for the second time. On 11th December 1985 she left Bahrain for Kaohsiung, Taiwan where she was broken up. (Photo: John Clarkson Collection)

PROTESILAUS (2) was built in 1967 by Vickers Armstrong Ltd at Newcastle with a tonnage of 12094grt, a length of 563ft 11in, a beam of 77ft 11in and a service speed of 21 knots. Sister of the Priam she was built for the China Mutal Steam Navigation Co. and became the Oriental Importer when she was sold to C. Y. Tung's Panocean Shipping Co. for operation by Balcombe Co. Ltd of Hong Kong in 1978. She was transferred to Tung's Carbrook Shipping Ltd in 1979 and then to Flint Shipping Ltd of Panama in 1982 without a change of name. Two years later she was sold to Island Investment & Agency Corp. Ltd and Wattling Nav. Inc of Panama without a change of name. On 1st June 1985, during a voyage from Damman to Kuwait in the Persian Gulf, she was hit by two Iranian missiles and set on fire. One of the twenty eight crew members was killed, two went missing and one was injured. The fire was extinguished on the following day and she was towed to Bahrain where repairs were deemed to be uneconomical. She was subsequently towed to Kaohsiung in Taiwan for breaking up and arrived there on 18th September 1985. (Photo: Fotoflite)

PROMETHEUS (4) was built in 1967 by Vickers Armstrong Ltd at Newcastle with a tonnage of 12094grt, a length of 563ft 11in, a beam of 77ft 11in and a service speed of 21 knots. Sister of the Priam she was completed for the Ocean Steam Ship Co. in June 1967, ten moths later than scheduled. In 1972 she was transferred to the China Mutual Steam Navigation Co. with whom she stayed for five years before being sold to C. Y. Tung's Blound Co. Ltd of Hong Kong and renamed Oriental Merchant in 1979. In the following year she was sold to Panocean Shipping Co. Inc. of Liberia and had her name modified to Oriental Merchant No.1. Later in the same year she was transferred to Calm Isle Shipping Ltd of Hong Kong and her name reverted to Oriental Merchant. In 1984 she was sold to Island Investment & Agency Corp &Wattling Nav. Inc.. On 21st March 1986 she arrived at Kaohsiung, Taiwan where she was broken up. (Photo: John Clarkson Collection)

PHRONTIS (2) was built in 1967 by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries at Nagasaki with a tonnage of 12299grt, a length of 563ft 10in, a beam of 77ft 11in and a service speed of 21 knots. Sister of the Priam she was built as the Pembrokeshire for Glen Line. By this time Alfred Holt & Co. had become somewhat disillusioned with British shipbuilding as ships were being delivered late due to miss-management at the shipyards. Consequently, they placed two orders with Mitsubishi but even so the Pembrokeshire was delivered three months late, delays which cost Holt's money. Renamed Phrontis in 1972 she was firstly transferred to the Ocean Steam Ship Co. and later in the same year to the China Mutual Steam Navigation Co. In 1978 she was chartered to Wilhelm Wilhemsen. She was sold to Gulf Shipping Lines of London in 1982 and renamed Gulf Osprey. In the following year she was sold to the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines and renamed Iran Ejtehad. In April 1985 she arrived at Gadani Beach, Karachi with the name Dolphin VIII where she was broken up; the last of the Priam Class to meet that fate.

PATROCLUS (5) was built in 1966 by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries at Nagasaki with a tonnage of 12299grt, a length of 563ft 10in, a beam of 77ft 11in and a service speed of 21 knots. Sister of the Priam she was completed as the Glenalmond for Glen Line and, because of delays at British shipyards, was actually the first Priam Class to enter service. In 1973 she was transferred to the China Mutual Steam Navigation Co. and renamed Patroclus for deployment on a joint service with the Swedish East Asia Co. In the following year she was transferred to N. S. M. 'Oceaan', the only Priam Class vessel to fly the Dutch ensign. On 4th April 1978 N. S. M. 'Oceaan's flag was run down for the last time on the Patroclus as the decline in conventional cargo services had compelled the company to cease trading. Returning to British registry as a consequence she was laid up at Liverpool before being deployed on the Ben-Ocean Joint Service. In February 1982 she was sold to Rajab & Co. of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia and renamed Rajab 1. On 18th July 1984, during a voyage from Bangkok to Dubai with a cargo of maize, wheat, corn, rice, beans and wood, she arrived at Port Rashid on fire. After four days the fire was extinguished but water had seriously damaged her electrical and firefighting equipment. On 20th August 1984 she incurred serious damage to her main engine when salt water entered the crankcase and, as a result, was sold to Molasses Trading & Export Co. Renamed Sahar for her final voyage she arrived at Gadani Beach, Karachi on 26th November 1894 where she was broken up. (Photo: A Duncan)

PERSEUS (4) was built in 1967 by Vickers Armstrong Ltd at Newcastle with a tonnage of 12094grt, a length of 563ft 10in, a beam of 77ft 11in and a service speed of 21 knots. Sister of the Priam she was completed for Glen Line as the Radnorshire. In 1973 she was transferred to the China Navigation Co. and renamed Perseus. After only eleven years with the Holt Group she was sold to John Swire's China Navigation Co., a company in which Holt's had a substantial interest, and renamed Kwangsi. Three years later, in 1981, she was sold to undisclosed owners and renamed Asia Dragon with registry in Panama. Shortly afterwards she was sold on to the Saudi Venture Corporation of Jeddah, later to be restyled Saudi Falcon Navigation Co., and renamed Saudi ZamZam. Two years later, in 1984, she was sold to Chinese shipbreakers. (Photo: Richard Cornish)

PHEMIUS (5) was built in 1966 by Vickers Armstrong Ltd at Newcastle with a tonnage of 12094grt, a length of 563ft 10in, a beam of 77ft 11in and a service speed of 21 knots. Sister of the Priam she was built for Glen Line as the Glenfinlas and renamed Phemius when she was transferred to Blue Funnel in 1972. When Alfred Holt & Co. gave up its interest in the Swire Group in 1978 she was sold to the China Navigation Co. as part of the financial settlement. Renamed Kweichow she remained with the company until she was sold to the Saudi Venture Corp. in 1983 and renamed Saudi Kawther. She was broken up by Chinese shipbreakers in 1984. (Photo: John Clarkson Collection)

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