Posts tagged: vortigern

Things seen – October 2011

  • The Villandry is captured on Youtube in the 1960s in these timeless home movie reels – she is seen at Newhaven here and here and at Dieppe here. The ship also makes an appearance in this video which captures some excellent scenes of Britons at leisure in the 1960s but the star of the show is undoubtedly the Falaise, arriving at Newhaven stern-first.
  • Later in her life, the former Villandry is studied in this video at Kefalonia in 1990 and here arriving at Delos.
  • The Villandry and Valencay, as built, joined the Dieppe-Newhaven car ferry pioneer, the Falaise, and that ship’s first season is captured at the start of this Pathe newsreel, which continues past the ferry operation with a consideration of Dieppe and the surrounding area.
  • The former Heysham steamer Duke of Lancaster remains something of an enigma but the dukeoflancaster.net website now has dozens of past and present pictures which help to answer a few of the questions as to what she is like aboard.
  • The Arran steamer the Marchioness of Graham had a notable career, staying close to home through the Second World War and surviving locally until the late 1950s. Later rebuilt in Greek service, this video documents her launch back in 1936.
  • The Munster of 1968.

    The Munster of 1968.

  • Alongside modern coverage of Stena’s Irish Sea ships, this remarkable retrospective featured on RTE’s Nationwide programme includes footage of and on board B+I Line’s 1960’s Munster. “Form filling and tiresome customs delays have largely disappeared. A visitor only needs a current driving licence, an international motor insurance card and a pass covering the temporary exportation and re-importation of his car…”
  • A couple of years ago the former Hovertravel AP1-88 Double-O-Seven found herself in trouble in her new home of Sierra Leone. On a related theme, James’ Hovercraft website has had an overhaul and is worth a look.
  • The hoverport at Boulogne is captured in its heyday in this video from 1982.
  • Trouble for the Tor Anglia in 1976.
  • The famous Danish motorship Jens Bang, which went on to have a lengthy Greek career as the Naias, lives on in this outstanding model by Per Rimmen which came up for auction a couple of years ago. Meanwhile some classic DFDS views of a vintage similar to the Jens Bang can be found here.
  • This significance of this remarkable video, including close-up views of the open bow visor and ramp arrangements of the Wasa King (ex-Viking Sally, later Estonia) arriving at UmeÃ¥ is self-evident.
  • Was Gothenburg the coolest place on Earth in 1973? One would think so from this video – and if, like the folk seen from 10:15 onwards, you could sail in and out on the Stena Jutlandica, Stena Olympica, Prinsessan Christina and Tor Anglia or jet around on those Finnair or KLM DC-9s who can argue?
  • The Stena Danica of 1965 at Gothenburg.

    The Stena Nordica of 1965 at Gothenburg.

  • The first Stena Nordica burnt out in Venezuelan service in 1980 but the wreck remains off the island of Cubagua where it is popular with divers. The original Stena bow markings are still visible in this shot.

    What, meanwhile, has become of the ‘Nordica”s sister, the first Stena Danica? The ship saw lengthy service after 1969 as the Lucy Maud Montgomery in Canada before disposal in 1999. The most recent images I can find of her are as the Lady Caribe I, laid up in Key West in the early 2000s. In late 2007 Shippax reported her sold to “Dominican buyers” but there the trail goes cold.

  • Jadrolinija capers in Drvenik Mali. The ship is the PeljeÅ¡canka, locally-built in 1971 and based on the design of the earlier trio of ships bought by the company from Greece.
  • It is not always plain sailing in Croatia as this rough weather film taken aboard the Ero (ex-Aero) in the late 1960s demontrates. This ship was laid up several years ago and reported sold for scrap in late 2009; however as of May 2011 she still lay amongst the Jadrolinija reserve fleet in Cres.
  • The Lovrjenac seen during her terminal lay up at Mali Losinj in August 2008. The bridge of her similarly retired fleetmate, the Novalja, can be seen to the left.

    The Lovrjenac seen during her terminal lay up at Mali Losinj in August 2008. The bridge of her similarly retired fleetmate, the Novalja, can be seen to the left.

  • The latest edition of Ferry & Cruise Review includes a picture of the Lovrjenac (ex-Norris Castle) being scrapped at Aliaga, to which she was towed, along with the Novalja (ex-Kalmarsund V) in late May. The Lovrjenac’s Red Funnel and Jadrolinija fleetmate the Nehaj (ex-Cowes Castle) also found her career at an end this year – like the Božava she was scrapped near Venice.

  • With her interlude as a floating bar in Mali Losinj apparently not a success the veteran Marina (ex-Kronprinsessan Ingrid (1936)) has been relocated to Rijeka which will hopefully be better able to support her activities.
  • Although it is hard to establish whether the Middle Eastern operator Namma Lines are still operating, a few months ago the company did post some Youtube guides to two of their ships: the Mawaddah (ex-King Minos) and the Masarrah (ex-St Columba).
  • The sister to the Mawaddah, the former N Kazantzakis/Shiretoku Maru is today the Kowloon-based cruise ship Metropolis.
  • The Lissos.

    The Lissos.

  • ANEK’s Lissos was sent for scrap earlier in the year and her arrival in Alang was captured for the record. The Lissos was an interesting and slightly-awkward looking ship but one I will miss. Certainly the officers of the cargo vessel featured in this near-miss video will not quickly forget her.
  • The final demise of the GA Ferries fleet was extensively recorded locally – here is an interesting video taken on board the Daliana just before her departure for the scrapyard whilst the final, slow, death march of the Romilda out of Piraeus can be seen here. Similar videos can also be found showing the final departures of the Daliana, the Marina and the Samothraki.
  • This 1994 video of Chandris’s The Azur (ex-Eagle) transiting the Corinth Canal shows what an exciting part of any voyage on any ship this is for passengers.
  • Crazy drivers in Piraeus are nothing new it seems – various classic passenger ships make cameo appearances in this clip from the movie The Burglars of 1971.
  • © hhvferry.com

    © hhvferry.com

  • The author of the the guidebook Greek Island Hopping, Frewin Poffley, sometimes appears to be lacking in any real understanding of the ferry business but has managed to carve out a niche selling his book to travellers to the Greek islands. Good luck to him – but repeated requests that he address the unauthorised use of the Aqua Maria image featured here (taken by me on the quayside at Drapetsona on 23 November 2010 and included in this post last year) have met with no response. Poor show old chap.
  • If you are going to plagiarise images from across the internet, then at least there should be the upside of creating a useful resource; this plundered collection of photographs of the Greek Naxos show the ship throughout her Greek career.
  • Another locally-built Greek ship, a few years younger than the Naxos, was the Santorini which subsequently passed to Indian owners, remaining there until apparently being withdrawn earlier this year. The ship is pictured here alongside the former Suilven (now Bharat Seema) in India whilst there are some interal pictures here and an outstanding voyage report here.
  • The Kefalonia.

    The Kefalonia.

  • Since the original company was absorbed into Attica several years ago it has been a rare sight to see more than one Strintzis ferry in port at a time. On the occasion that the current pair of ships of the revived Strintzis Ferries switched routes in July, however, it was possible to view the Eptanisos and the Kefalonia side by side.
  • The state of the Greek economy means rumours fly around regarding the futures of several of the ferries owned by operators in that country. Whilst Endeavor Lines earlier in the year strongly denied those concerning their operations, their Ionian Queen has recently appeared as a ‘premium listing’ on the website of a well-known ship broker. For six years this ships and her sister, the Ionian King, have been the best ships in Southern Adriatic service and the sale of the ‘King’ back to Japanese owners by Agoudimos Lines earlier this year was tempered somewhat by the survival of the ‘Queen’. The departure of both ships would be a sad loss to the ferry operations out of Brindisi and Bari.
  • Endeavor’s other operational ship is the Elli T which one has to think stands a chance of heading to the breakers rather than further service were she to be sold. Leaping back to her original life as the Japanese Okudogo 3, this series of images show what an eccentric but fascinating ferry she was (and to large degree still is) aboard.
  • A ship which sailed from Japan to Greece in 2010 was the 1991-built New Hiyama, purchased by ANENDYK for local Cretan service. The ship, renamed Sfakia I, berthed in the port of Souda (Chania), ostensibly for rebuild, but has remained there ever since – to the intrigue of locals. An interesting video providing a tour of the accommodation has appeared on Youtube.
  • Last but not least:
    Hengist (as Agios Georgios)
    Horsa (as Penelope A)
    Vortigern (as Milos Express)
  • 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)

    Happy New Year

    Season's Greetings

    Season's Greetings

    Happy New Year & Welcome to 2009!

    With special reference to the website this blog is supposed to support, I suppose I should mention that this is the 40th year since the Vortigern first hit the water. At some stage I might do a retrospective over how much has changed in those 40 years, but the volume of change is so immense it perhaps isn’t even worthwhile to compare the eras.

    The launch of the Vortigern, March 5 1969 (courtesy Roy Thornton collection)

    The launch of the Vortigern, March 5 1969 (courtesy Roy Thornton collection)

    However one slice of optimism for the New Year which the Vortigern herself might relish is the return, in fully-fledged conventional form, of the Dover-Boulogne route the ship was built for. Allied to the revival in recent years of her ‘other’ route, Dover-Dunkerque, with ships which match the ‘V’ herself for their dilemma-ridden mix of earnest contemporary style and occasional inherent impracticality, and in some ways the good old days are back.

    One thing that romantics like myself will miss however are the terminals on either side of La Manche: the Dover train ferry dock is gone; in fact the entire Western Docks is now devoid of ferry traffic – for the time being. Meanwhile the cosy Eastern Docks of 1969 is replaced by a thunderous lorry pit-stop and, by Summer, the Gares Maritime in both Boulogne as well as the old Dunkerque will have regressed into memory as ferry terminals.

    Looking ahead rather than back for a moment, 2009 promises a host of new ferry adventures – the main website itself will relaunch, fully updated and with the largest collection of ferry deckplans on the internet as a new feature. And I hope to sail on more classic ferries – top of the list are the Apollon (ex-Senlac), Rigel (ex-Bore I) and Isla de Botafoc (ex-St Anselm). And, time permitting, three of my all-time favourites may be sailed on once again: the Ancona (ex-Svea/Hispania/Knossos), the Agios Georgios (ex-Hengist) and the Penelope A (ex-Horsa).

    But one thing HHVFerry has always stood for is a simultaneous appreciation of the best of the new as well as the best of the old. Today’s top-end newcomers are tomorrow’s classics, so we hope to venture to sea this year on the new Armorique, the Mega Express Five and the Elyros, all of which give great hope for being models of contemporary style and modernity.

    Just as the Vortigern herself was, forty years ago this year.

    The Okeanis (ex-Free Enterprise (I))

    The Okeanis (ex-Free Enterprise (I))

    A last word on hopes for the New Year; my thoughts turn to those classic ferries which are still clinging on in the face of adversity: the Georgios Express (ex-Roi Baudouin), the Royal Iris and the Okeanis (ex-Free Enterprise) are all at death’s door. Three more different but more significant ex-UK ferries you couldn’t hope to find. Let’s hope each of them is still with us in 12 months time.

    Matt

    The Georgios Express (ex-Roi Baudouin) laid up at a scrapyard in Elefsis. Having evaded the scrappers in 2008, merely surviving 2009 is yet another challenge for perhaps the most beautiful of all of Dover's car ferries.

    The Georgios Express (ex-Roi Baudouin) laid up at a scrapyard in Elefsis. Having evaded the scrappers in 2008, merely surviving 2009 is yet another challenge for perhaps the most beautiful of all of Dover's car ferries.

    WordPress Themes