Posts tagged: 1969

The Vortigern – 40 years ago

March 5, 1969 was launching day for British Rail’s Vortigern at Swan Hunters’ Tyneside Neptune yard. The ship would go on to have a succesful UK career of 19 years before being sold to Lindos Lines of Greece where she would achieve fame as the Milos Express, for 15 years the much-loved lifeline for the islands of Sifnos, Serifos and Milos and a centrepiece of island life in many ways.

Under her final operational name of Nisos Limnos, the ex-Vortigern was one of the last to succumb to the Greek Maritime Ministry’s ill-starred 35 year rule, now abolished, and was scrapped with several good years left in her machinery and passenger spaces, after the 2004 season.

The forty year anniversary of her launch is an opportune moment to consider how much things have changed since that day in 1969. British Rail has gone, Swan Hunters have gone, the Vortigern herself has gone. Sealink didn’t even exist as a name but that, too, has gone. All that are left are the memories, and to commemorate the anniversary the Vortigern subsite has been updated with a few more pictures from her UK and Greek career.

Here however we re-present some of the images from that memorable day when Lady Celia McKenna did the honours and launched British Rail’s most advanced car, train and passenger ferry.
Click for larger images

5 March 1969

5 March 1969

5 March 1969

5 March 1969

5 March 1969

5 March 1969

5 March 1969

5 March 1969

The finished ship (courtesy Roy Thornton collection)

The finished ship (courtesy Roy Thornton collection)

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