© British Railways Board (National Railway Museum/Science & Society Picture Library)Ts Duke of Lancaster (III) – Past and Present

Ts Duke of Lancaster III

© British Railways Board (National Railway Museum/Science & Society Picture Library)

© British Railways Board (National Railway Museum/Science & Society Picture Library)

Steel twin screw motor vessel built by William Denny & Bros, Ltd., Dumbarton in 1956 (Yard No 1540) for The British Transport Commission originally as a passenger and cargo vessel.

Technical Data

  • Length: 114.64m (overall) 107.91m (between perpendiculars)
    Breadth of hull: 17.48m (extreme)
    Depth: 5.95m
    Draught: 4.522m (maximum)
    Tonnage: 4,450 gross/1,962 gross/849 deadweight
    Engines: Four Denny Pametrada double reduction geared steam turbines
    Power: 7833 kW/ 10,500 shp
    Speed: 14 knots (service), 21 knots (max)
    Capacity: 600 first-class and 1,200 second-class passengers (1956)/1,200 passengers and 105 cars (max)(1970)
    Call Sign: GVDY
    IMO Number: 5094496 Official Number: 165014
    Registry: Lancaster/United Kingdom.

History

December 14th 1956: Launched. The first of third Dukes, the others being DUKE OF ARGYLL, DUKE OF ROTHESAY.


Launch

© British Railways Board (National Railway Museum/Science & Society Picture Library)  © British Railways Board (National Railway Museum/Science & Society Picture Library)

© British Railways Board (National Railway Museum/Science & Society Picture Library)  © British Railways Board (National Railway Museum/Science & Society Picture Library)

© British Railways Board (National Railway Museum/Science & Society Picture Library)


Trials

© British Railways Board (National Railway Museum/Science & Society Picture Library) © British Railways Board (National Railway Museum/Science & Society Picture Library) © British Railways Board (National Railway Museum/Science & Society Picture Library) © British Railways Board (National Railway Museum/Science & Society Picture Library) © British Railways Board (National Railway Museum/Science & Society Picture Library) © British Railways Board (National Railway Museum/Science & Society Picture Library)

© British Railways Board (National Railway Museum/Science & Society Picture Library)

© British Railways Board (National Railway Museum/Science & Society Picture Library)


August 1958: Delivered to The British Transport Commission (Midland Region).

Courtesy of Jim Ashby  Courtesy of Jim Ashby

Courtesy of Jim Ashby

Courtesy of Jim Ashby


Interior

     

     

     

     

© British Railways Board (National Railway Museum/Science & Society Picture Library)


August 1958: Commenced services between Heysham – Belfast.

June 1958: Maiden cruise sailing from Southampton for Amsterdam, Ostend and Rouen.

July 12th 1958: Collided with PRINCESS MAUD in Heysham Harbour.

January 1st 1963: British Railways Board succeeded British Transport Commission.

1964: Vessels painted in the new livery of British Railways, (blue hull and red funnels) and the “Double -Arrow”.

‘til 1966: Various long-distance cruises, to the Western Highlands, Norway, Denmark, Holland and Spain etc.,

© Derek Longly

© Derek Longly (Southampton)

1967: Required continuously on the Heysham – Belfast service

November 1969: It was announced that British Rail’s Shipping and International Services Division (S.I.S.D.) had adopted the new brand name Sealink and as a consequence all vessels were painted in the new house colours.

Courtesy of Jim Ashby  Courtesy of Jim Ashby

Courtesy of Jim Ashby

January 3rd 1970: Last passenger sailing before entering Harland & Wolff for conversion to car ferry.

Courtesy of Jim Ashby  Courtesy of Jim Ashby

Courtesy of Jim Ashby

April 25th 1970: Resumed commercial service between Heysham – Belfast.

1973: Sealink trading name painted on hulls

Courtesy of Jim Ashby  Courtesy of Jim Ashby

Courtesy of Jim Ashby

Courtesy of Jim Ashby

April 5th 1975: Service closed and made last sailing from Belfast – Heysham.

April 1975: Laid up in Barrow.

June 19th 1975: Relief on Fishguard – Rosslare service.

July 15th 1975: Support vessel on Holyhead – Dun Laoghaire services.

© Chris Howell   © Chris Howell

© Chris Howell (06/1977)(left), (07/1977)(right)

November 9th 1978: Last commercial sailing as relief between Holyhead – Dun Laoghaire, then laid up in Holyhead.

January 1st 1979: Registered to Sealink UK Ltd.

Januaruy 21st 1979: Sold to Empirewise of Liverpool and towed to Barrow.

August 10th 1979: Arrived at a landlocked berth at Llanerch-y-Mor, near Mostyn, North Wales, where she currently lays. Plans to convert her to an entertainments centre have never materialised.

© Malcom Cranfield  © Carsten Dettmer

© Malcom Cranfield (07/05/2005)(left) © Carsten Dettmer (19/10/2016)(right)


We would like to thank: Jim Ashby, Terry Conybeare, Malcom Cranfield, Carsten Dettmer, Chris Howell and Derek Longly for their assistance in producing this feature. All information is believed to be correct and no responsibility is accepted for errors and omissions.

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

 

 

 

 


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