TS Avalon, Past and Present

TS Valon

ex Avalon

Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection

Steel twin screw passenger steamer built in 1963 by Alex. Stephen & Sons Ltd, Linthouse, Glasgow (Yard No. 680) for British Railways

Technical Data

  • Length on deck: 113.46m (404.0 ft) (overall), 372.0 ft (between perpendiculars)
  • Breadth: 18.20m (59.8 ft)(extreme)
  • Depth: (29.0 ft)(moulded)
  • Draught: 8.85m (15.9 ft)(maximum)
  • Tonnage: 6,707, 6,584 gross/3,297 net/842 deadweight
  • Engines: Two Stephen-built Pametrada double reduction geared steam turbines provided by Foster-Wheeler water tube boilers
  • Power: 15000 shp
  • Speed: 21 knots
  • Capacity: 750 passengers, 200 cars (after conversion 1974)
  • Call Sign: GLME
  • IMO Number: 5418915
  • Official Number: 305491
  • Registry: Harwich

History

Nigel Thornton Collection  Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection  Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection  Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection (all) 13/03/1963

May 5th 1963: Launched, without a christening ceremony.

Nigel Thornton Collection  Nigel Thornton Collection

Trials

Nigel Thornton Collection  Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection  Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection (all)

July 1963: Delivered to British Railways, and christened by Dr Beeching , Chairman of British Railways.

Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection

July 25th – August 31st 1974: Introduced between Harwich – Hook of Holland

Nigel Thornton Collection  Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection  Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection  Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection  Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection  Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection  Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection  Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection  Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection

Occasional cruises were: April 24th 1964, Amsterdam. May 1966, Oporto and Lisbon.

Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection

August 22nd 1966: Chartered to Ellerman Wilson Line for use between Hull – Gothenburg.

January 1st 1967: Vessels would be painted in the new livery of British Railways, (blue hull and red funnels) the “Double Arrow” and registered to the British Railways Board.

October 26th 1967: Chartered to the Gulf Oil Corp to act as a tender to the VLCC tanker UNIVERSE IRELAND, during the opening of the Whiddy Island oil terminal in Bantry Bay.

www.Photoship

Photoship

May 28th 1970 – June 10th 1970: Cruising from Harwich to Copenhagen – Stockholm – Leningrad – Rhone.

June 18th 1970 – September 6th 1970: Reverted to Harwich – Hook of Holland.

© A G Jones

© A G Jones

September 17th 1970 – September 30th 1970: Cruising again to from Harwich to La Coruna – Gibraltar – Casablanca – Vigo.

Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection

May 8th 1971: Cruised from Harwich to Bergen – Narvik – Trondheim – Stavanger.

September 18th 1971 – October 1971: Cruises from Harwich to Lisbon – Tangier – Vigo -St. Nazaire. on April 28th 1972: A weekend cruise to Emden.

Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection

May 6th 1972  – May 17th 1972: Cruising from Harwich to Visby – Copenhagen – Oslo.

J Arthur Dixon, Nigel Thornton Collection  © Ted Ingham

J Arthur Dixon, Nigel Thornton Collection (left) © Ted Ingham (right)

September 16th 1972 – September 29th 1972: Cruising  the “Fiesta Cruise” from Harwich via Dover to Bordeaux – Seville – Gibraltar – Santander.

Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection

© Ted Ingham  © Ted Ingham

© Ted Ingham

1973: Sealink trading name painted on hulls.

August 31st 1974: Last day in service between Harwich – Hook of Holland.

December 20th 1974 – December 21st 1974: Extra sailing between Harwich – Hook of Holland.

Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection  © Brian Fisher

Nigel Thornton Collection (left) and © Brian Fisher (right)

Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection

December 29th 1974: Sailed (ex Parkeston Quay) for Swan Hunter Ship Repairs Ltd., North Shields for £1.75mn conversion to a car ferry.

Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection

July 14th 1975: Departed North Shields.

July 15th 1975: Re-delivered.

July 18th 1975: Served Fishguard – Rosslare.

January 11th 1975 – March 1976: Transferred to the Holyhead -Dun Laoghaire route.

March 17th 1975: Collided with the breakwater at Holyhead. She received a 6.1 metre gash to her hull which took three weeks to repair.

January 1st 1979: Registered to Sealink UK Ltd and laid-up acting as a reserve vessel for Holyhead – Dun Laoghaire.

June 1979 – September 1979: Came out of retirement for the Fishguard – Rosslare route.

© Justin Merrigan  © Kenneth Whyte

© Justin Merrigan (left) and © Kenneth Whyte (right)

May 22nd 1980 – September 1980: Operated between Holyhead – Dun Laoghaire, during which she suffered boiler troubles in May and had to be withdrawn for the necessary repairs.

September 8th 1980: Last trip Holyhead – Dun Laoghaire.

© Ken Larwood   © Ken Larwood

© Ken Larwood (both)

September 24th 1980: Laid-up at Barrow.

Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection

November 25th 1980: Sold to Seafaith Navigation Co., Limassol, Cyprus for £100,000 and renamed VALON.

December 20th 1980: Sailed under her own steam to the breaker’s yard.

January 22nd 1981: Arrived at H.H. Steel Ltd, Gadani Beach, Pakistan for breaking.


All information is believed to be correct and no responsibility is accepted for any errors or omissions found. All items included in this article are subject to © copyright. We would like to take this opportunity of thanking: Bernd Crause, Aubrey Dale, Ton Grootenboer, Ted Ingham, A G Jones, Ken Larwood, Aleksi Lindström, Justin Merrigan, Matt Murtland, Kenneth Whyte, John Wilson Ken Larwood and Andreas Wörteler. A special thanks also goes to Terry Conybeare for his assistance in compiling this feature.

Article © Nigel Thornton and Ray Goodfellow (Dover Ferry Photos Group)


1 Comment

  1. This is absolutely a fantastic Web Site I’m a Port Line Moderator with over 600 Members and a lot of our Members sailed from Dover
    Kind Regards M A Wyatt

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