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ALFRED HOLT & CO
THE BLUE FUNNEL LINE

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SARPEDON (6) was built in 1938 by Nederlandsche Scheepvaarts Maats in Amsterdam with a tonnage of 8983grt, a length of 507ft, a beam of 66ft 4 in and a service speed of 18 knots. She was built as the Denbighshire for Glen Line. In 1941 she took part in two of the regular Malta convoys, 'Substance' and 'Halberd' and after the latter was set on fire in Malta and spent some months there before making a break for Alexandria. During the period of the Malta convoys there were 31 solo runs, single ships carrying food and general supplies making a dash with minimum cover.. Of the 31 runs 9 ships were sunk, 1 ship had to turn back and 22 were successful. The Denbighshire undertook several of those solo runs. However, Malta was really dependent on the massive convoys, 'Pedestal' being the most well known, as these carried the vital fuel oil and ammunition. In 1945 Denbighshire served in the Pacific Fleet alongside the Glenartney until late 1946 when she resumed commercial service. She was transferred to the China Mutual Steam Navigation Co. in December 1967, renamed Sarpedon. In May 1969, after 28 years and the longest serving Glen Line ship, she was sold for scrap realising £49 per light ton and arrived at Kaohsiung on 11th August 1969 where she was broken up. (Photo: John Clarkson Collection)

DARDANUS (6) was built in 1940 by Burmeister & Wain at Copenhagen with a tonnage of 9311grt, a length of 507ft, a beam of 66ft 4 in and a service speed of 18 knots. She was laid down as the Glengarry for Glen Line but before completion she was seized by the Germans when Denmark was invaded and allocated to the Hamburg Amerika Line and renamed Meersburg. She was later used as a depot ship for U-boat flotillas 25 and 27, based at Kiel. In 1942 she was converted into a mine laying Armed Merchant Cruiser, renamed Hansa and equipped with 9 x 3.7in guns, 26 Anti-aircraft guns and four torpedo tubes. Although used, in 1944, for mine laying training in the Baltic she never undertook her intended role which was to mine the Russian Convoy routes. Recovered by the British on 4th May 1945 at Kiel she was renamed Empire Humber, and in 1946 she was released back to Glen Line when, after an 18 month refit rejoined the fleet as the Glengarry. She was transferred to Blue Funnel in 1970 and renamed Dardanus but reverted back to Glen and Glengarry in 1971 for her final voyage to Sakkaido in Japan where she was scrapped. (Photo: Malcolm Cranfield)

TITAN (4) was built in 1972 by A/B Gotaverken at Gothenburg with a tonnage of 113,551grt, a length of 1090ft 4in, a beam of 149ft 11 in and a service speed of 15.5 knots. She was an oil tanker built for Ocean Titan Ltd but in 1973 ownership was recorded as being Elder Dempster Lines. However, when she entered service the time was not right as the oil crisis of 1973 following the Arab-Israeli War had increased oil prices and reduced the demand for tankers. Consequently, in October 1975 she was sold to Mobil Shipping and Transportation Co. of Monrovia and renamed Mobil Condor. On 8th June 1982, although less than twelve years old, she was sold to Nissho Iwai Corp and subsequently broken up by Dongkuk Steel Mill at Pusan, Korea. (Photo: George Scott Collection)

TANTALUS (5) was built in 1972 by Nippon Kokan at Tsu with a tonnage of 120,787grt, a length of 1074ft 8in, a beam of 164ft 2in and a service speed of 15.5 knots. She was an oil/ore carrier built for the China Mutual Steam Navigation Co. In July 1978 she was laid up but brought back into service during the following November. On 23rd April 1982 she was laid up at Ocean Dock, Southampton where she remained for two years. In June 1984 she was sold for £4,700,000 to Orca Shipping Co. of Cyprus who renamed her Tantra for operation by Bulk Shipping of Norway. Three years later she was sold to Yellow Diamond Co. of Cyprus and renamed Antarctica. On 25th November 1986, while she was being used as a storage vessel at Larak Island in the Arabian Gulf, she was attacked and set on fire by Iraqi aircraft. Although the fire was quickly extinguished she was only fit for scrap and, consequently, sold to Chinese shipbreakers. (Photo: Fotoflite)

ACHILLES (6) was built in 1972 by Mitsui Shipbuilding & Engineering Co. at Fujingata, Japan with a tonnage of 16406grt, a length of 551ft 4in, a beam of 75ft and a service speed of 15.5 knots. A bulk carrier she was completed for Blue Funnel Line Ltd with the Ocean Steam Ship Co. as managers and in 1974 ownership was recorded as Elder Dempster Lines Ltd. In 1977 she was transferred to Blue Funnel Bulkships Ltd. In June 1978 she was sold to Silverdale Shipping Co., owned by a German based in Antwerp, but continued to be managed by the Ocean Steam Ship Co. under the British flag although registered in Bermuda. In 1983 she was being operated by Flores Maritime Pte of Singapore with the same same. During the subsequent twelve years she had several owners and traded as the Arko in 1987, the Patmos in 1988 and the Winner in 1995. In April 1998 she arrived at Alang where she was broken up. (Photo: Malcolm Dippy)

AGAMEMNON (4) was built in 1972 by Mitsui Shipbuilding & Engineering Co. at Fujingata, Japan with a tonnage of 16402grt, a length of 551ft 4in, a beam of 75ft and a service speed of 15.5 knots. Sister of the Achilles she was built for Ocean Fleets Ltd and managed by Elder Dempster Lines Ltd. In 1974 ownership was recorded as Elder Dempster Lines but she continued to operate in Blue Funnel colours. The Japanese designed bulk carriers were built to the maximum size capable of using the St. Lawrence Seaway, which they frequently did, and, contrary to established tradition, they were constructed without any supervision by Holt management. She was transferred to Blue Funnel Bulkships in 1977. However, the diversification into bulk carriers was ill-timed and after only six years service she was sold to Protoporos Maritime Corp. of Greece and renamed Protoporos. In May 1984 she was sold to Placido Shipping Corp of Greece who renamed her Alicia and in 1985 she was sold to the Black Sea Shipping Co. of Odessa and renamed Annaba. Her subsequent history is unknown and she no longer appears to be owned by BLASCO. (Photo: World Ship Photo Library)

ANTENOR (5) was built in 1972 by Mitsui Shipbuilding & Engineering Co. at Fujingata, Japan with a tonnage of 16406grt, a length of 551ft 4in, a beam of 75ft and a service speed of 15.5 knots. Sister of the Achilles she was initially delivered to Ocean Fleets Ltd but by the following ownership was recorded as Elder Dempster Lines. In 1977 she was transferred to Blue Funnel Bulkships Ltd and then back to Elder Dempster Lines. She was sold to Mermaid Sea Carriers Corp. of Liberia and renamed Sideris in 1978. Since then she has operated for Norwegian owners as the Solbulk and is currently trading as the Kyklades K for Aldebarran Shipping Ltd. of Piraeus. (Photo: VH Young & LA Sawyer)

ANCHISES (5) was built in 1973 by Mitsui Shipbuilding & Engineering Co. at Fujingata, Japan with a tonnage of 16406grt, a length of 551ft 4in, a beam of 75ft and a service speed of 15.5 knots. Sister of the Achilles she was completed for Ocean Fleets Ltd and transferred to Blue Funnel Bulkships Ltd in 1977. In January 1984 she was sold to the Black Sea Shipping Co. of Odessa and renamed Aytodar. She was sold to a Maltese company in 1991 and renamed Aitodor. After six years further service she arrived at Alang in early 1997 where she was broken up. (Photo: FW Hawkes)

AJAX (5) was built in 1973 by Mitsui Shipbuilding & Engineering Co. at Fujingata, Japan with a tonnage of 16406grt, a length of 551ft 4in, a beam of 75ft and a service speed of 15.5 knots. Sister of the Achilles she was built for Ocean Titan Ltd with the Blue Funnel livery and transferred to Blue Funnel Bulkships in 1977. In March 1984 she was sold to the Black Sea Shipping Co. of Odessa and renamed Adler. She subsequently sailed with the names North Wind, and Cannes and is currently trading as the Elizabeth under the Panamanian flag for undisclosed US owners. (Photo: John Clarkson Collection)

TROILUS (5) was built in 1974 by Mitsui Shipbuilding & Engineering Co. at Osaka, Japan with a tonnage of 141,288grt, a length of 1087ft 8in, a beam of 183ft 11in and a service speed of 15.5 knots. An oil tanker she was completed for the Ocean Troilus Ltd in 1974. Due to a surplus of oil tanker capacity and high operating costs she was sold in 1975 for $43,750,000 to the Al-Dhrafrah Tanker Co. of Monrovia who renamed her Al-Dhrafrah. The quick sale cost Holt's some £2,000,000. The Al-Dhrafrah Tanker Co. engaged British managers, firstly Denholms of Glasgow and then P&O. In 1985 she was sold to Smith Tak International Ocean Towage and Salvage Co. who renamed her Alda for her final voyage to Kaohsiung where she arrived on 9th November 1985 for demolition. She had only operated for eleven years. (Photo as the Al Dhafrah: Fotoflite)

HELENUS (3) was built in 1973 by Burmeister & Wain at Copenhagen with a tonnage of 30078grt, a length of 718ft, a beam of 100ft 2in and a service speed of 15 knots. She was a bulk carrier built for Rea Ltd and managed by Ocean Titan Ltd. In 1977 ownership was transferred to Ocean Helenus Ltd. She was converted into a car transporter in order to fulfill a two year contract with a Japanese company in 1978. In 1983 she was sold as a car transporter to Eurocolor Shipping Ltd of Cyprus who renamed her Seafarer and reconverted her to a bulk carrier in 1988. She is currently owned by Thenamaris (Ship Management) Inc. of Athens and trading as Seafarer I. (Photo: John Clarkson Collection)

HECTOR (6) was built in 1973 by Burmeister & Wain at Copenhagen with a tonnage of 30078grt, a length of 718ft, a beam of 100ft 2in and a service speed of 15 knots. Sister of the Helenus she was launched for Ocean Transport & Trading Ltd but completed for Cory Maritime Services which had been acquired by the Holt Group in 1972. In 1979 she was sold to Cast Motorvessels Ltd of Canada and renamed Orca. Three years later, in 1982, she was sold to Ocean Tramping Co. of Hong Kong, a Chinese Government company, who changed her name to Tramco Asia. In the following year she was sold to Armadora Maribella S. A. of Greece and renamed Marijeannie. On 1st April 1995 she arrived at Alang where she was broken up. (Photo: FW Hawks)

CYCLOPS (4) was built in 1974 by Van der Geissen-de-Noord B. V. at Krimpen in Holland with a tonnage of 32576grt, a length of 689ft 1in, a beam of 106ft and a service speed of 16.75 knots. She was built for Ocean Titan Ltd but transferred to Blue Funnel Bulkships Ltd in 1977. On 18th December 1982 she became the largest vessel to be laid up in the River Fal where she remained until 26th May 1983 when she arrived at Falmouth to be handed over to Pequat Shipping Corporation of Greece who renamed her Procyon. She then operated as the Nova Europa and is currently owned by the Avin International Corp. of Panama S.A., a Greek company, with the name Demos. (Photo: World Ship Photo Library)

CLYTONEUS (3) was built in 1976 by Van der Geissen-de-Noord B. V. at Krimpen in Holland with a tonnage of 32576grt, a length of 689ft 1in, a beam of 106ft and a service speed of 16.75 knots. Sister of the Cyclops she was launched on 14th June 1975 for the Ocean Steam Ship Co. and delivered on 6th August 1976 to Ocean Titan Ltd. In the following year she was transferred to Blue Funnel Bulkships Ltd. She was sold to Transpetrol Nav. Pte. Ltd of Singapore in 1985 and renamed Affinity. Two years later she was sold to Transporti Internazionali Petroliferi S. p. A. of Italy and renamed Cervino. She is currently owned by Navimar S.A. of Switzerland with the name Nunki and flying the Maltese flag. (Photo: Fotoflite)

CHARON (3) was built in 1975 by Sasebo Heavy Industries at Sasebo, Japan with a tonnage of 24512grt, a length of 636ft 10in, a beam of 99ft 11in and a service speed of 14.75 knots. She completed for Koninklijke N.S.M. 'Oceaan' in January 1976 and transferred to Blue Funnel Line Ltd. in 1979. In 1985 she was sold to Ceres Hellenic Shipping Enterprises of Greece and renamed Finesse L. She is currently owned by International Andromeda Shipping of Monaco and operating as the Yellow Star. (Photo: GJ de Boer)

 

LAERTES (5) was built in 1976 by Kherson Shipyard at Kherson, USSR (Ukraine) with a tonnage of 11804grt, a length of 533ft 2in, a beam of 74ft 2in and a service speed of 18.3 knots. A vessel of the Dnepr class she was built for the China Mutual Steam Navigation Co. to take advantage of the need for increased container capacity. Originally intended for N.S.M. 'Oceaan' she arrived at Birkenhead on 6th January 1977 with Amsterdam still showing as her port of registry. In 1982 she was transferred to Elder Dempster Lines for service on the West African routes and in May of the same year was requisitioned for duty during the Falklands War because she was capable of carrying heavy military equipment, a capability built into most Russian 'civilian' designs. As soon as the conflict was over she was sold to the Dimskal Shipping Co. of Panama and renamed Evia Luck. In 1986 she was trading as the Vigor for Sponge Maritime Co. of Cyprus and in 1992 as the Joy D. She was reported to have been broken up in India in July 1998. (Photo: John Clarkson Collection)

LYCAON (3) was built in 1976 by Kherson Shipyard at Kherson, USSR (Ukraine) with a tonnage of 11804grt, a length of 533ft 2in, a beam of 74ft 2in and a service speed of 18.3 knots. Sister of the Laertes she was completed for N. S. M. 'Oceaan' but with a month was transferred to the China Mutual Steam Navigation Co. to meet the need for a sharp growth in container capacity. She arrived at Birkenhead on 6th January 1977 twenty minutes after the Laertes. During 1979 she was chartered for work in the Caribbean and South America and, in 1980, between Europe and West Africa. Early in 1983 she was laid up at Falmouth in Elder Dempster colours until the April of that year when she was chartered by the Ministry of Defence for use during the Falkland's war. In 1985 she was transferred to Blue Funnel Bulkships Ltd and later in that year sold to Mersey Transport Inc. of Panama and renamed Chrysovalandon Faith. Later in 1985 she became the Eleftheria K under the ownership of Estuary Shipping of Panama. On 13th April 1998 she arrived at Alang where she was broken up. (Photo: World Ship Photo Library)

NESTOR (5) was built in 1977 by Chantiers de L'Atlantique at St-Nazaire, France with a tonnage of 78951grt, a length of 902ft 2in, a beam of 138ft 1in and a service speed of 19.75 knots. A liquid gas carrier costing £62,400,000 she was delivered to Odyssey Trading Co., a subsidiary of Ocean Trading Fleets Ltd. on 4th October 1977. She was, in reality, a big mistake. The idea of transporting natural gas was first considered by Holts in the 1960's when the carriage of LNG was in its infancy. By the time the Nestor was completed there were too many gas carriers chasing too little gas and, as a result, she was immediately laid up in Loch Striven, Scotland. It was intended to charter her for 20 years to the Pacific Indonesia LNG Co. to carry gas between Indonesia and California but for one reason or another the charter failed to materialise and she remained at Loch Striven. She was sold in 1989 for a sum which meant that the Ocean Group had to write off over £41,000,000 and is currently owned by Bonny Gas Transport Ltd of Bermuda, operating as the LNG Port Harcourt. (Photo: John Clarkson Collection)

MENELAUS (5)/BARBER MENELAUS/MENELAUS was built in 1977 by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries at Nagasaki, Japan with a tonnage of 16031grt, a length of 540ft, a beam of 85ft 4in and a service speed of 17 knots. She was the first of four multi purpose cargo ships built for British Petroleum as an alternative to the cancellation an order for two super tankers with the appropriate penalty charges. Launched on 16th April 1977 she was delivered in the following July to Airlease International Nominees (Moorgate) Ltd, a subsidiary company of BP, for charter to Liner Holdings. On 14th December 1980 she was renamed Barber Menelaus, operated by Barber Blue Sea and managed by Ocean Fleets. She was sold to Barber Menelaus Shipping Corp. of Liberia in 1982 retaining her name and continuing to be managed by Ocean Fleets. She reverted to Menelaus in 1984 and returned to European waters under the ownership of Airlease International Nominees (Moorgate) Ltd. On 8th February 1985 she was transferred to Elder Dempster Lines and was subsequently disposed of when that company was sold in 1989. She has subsequently traded as the Trade Green, MSC Nicole and is currently owned by the Chartworld Shpping Co. of Pireaus with the name North Sea. (Photo: John Clarkson Collection)

MEMNON (7)/BARBER MEMNON/MEMNON was built in 1977 by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries at Nagasaki, Japan with a tonnage of 16031grt, a length of 540ft, a beam of 85ft 4in and a service speed of 17 knots. Sister of the Menelaus she was delivered to Liner Holdings in August 1977. Renamed Barber Memnon in 1980 she was operated by Barber Blue Sea but managed by Elder Dempster Lines and flying the Panamanian flag. Between 1980 and 1984 she was part of Blue Funnel's contribution to the Barber Blue Sea Consortium which operated a service between the Far East and the USA. In 1982 ownership was transferred to Barber Menelaus Shipping Corp. of Liberia. She briefly became the Memnon again in 1984 when she returned to the ownership of Airlease International Nominees (Moorgate) Ltd. before being chartered to Lloyd Brasiliero and temporarily renamed Lloyd San Francisco. At the end of the charter in 1886 she reverted to Memnon. Later in the same year she was sold to Pacific International Lines (Private) Ltd of Singapore, with whom she still trades, and renamed Hai Xiong. (Photo: John Clarkson Collection)

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