FerriesPast and PresentTownsend Thoresen

TS Halladale – Past and Present

IMO Number: 5114478

Ferrymar III

ex Turist Expressen, Norden, TS Halladale, K-417

Imperial War Museum

Imperial War Museum

Royal Naval “River” class frigate, built in 1944 by A. & J. Inglis Ltd., Pointhouse, Glasgow (Yard No 1266).

Technical Data

  • Purchase price in 1949:  £15,000
  • Length on deck: 91.93m (overall) 86.52m (between perpendiculars)
  • Breadth of Hull: 11.56m (extreme)
  • Depth: 5.34 m
  • Draught: 3.30m
  • Tonnage: 1,370, 1,441 gross/491 – 477 net
  • Engines: 4 Parson’s steam turbines, single reduction gearing, each set of turbines connected to two screw shafts
  • Power: 4898 kW/6500 shp
  • Speed: 20 knots
  • Capacity: 368 passengers, 50 – 60 cars, 650 passengers, 40 cars (after rebuild)
  • IMO Number: 5114478
  • Registry: Dover/UK 🇬🇧, Pampatar/Venezuela 🇻🇪


October 2nd 1942: Ordered.

June 25th 1943: Laid down.

January 28th 1944: Launched.

April 11th 1944: Delivered to the Royal Navy as K-417.

Imperial War Museum

Imperial War Museum

May 11th 1944: Commissioned.

May 31st May 1944: HMS UNA (Lt. C.A.J. Nicholl, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Tobermory with HMS DUNCAN (Lt. D.G.D. Hall-Wright, RN) and HMS HALLADALE (Lt.Cdr. J.E. Woolfenden, RD, RNR). (1)

June 1st 1944: HMS UNA (Lt. C.A.J. Nicholl, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Tobermory with HMS DUNCAN (Lt. D.G.D. Hall-Wright, RN) and HMS HALLADALE (Lt.Cdr. J.E. Woolfenden, RD, RNR). (2)

June 6th 1944: HMS UNA (Lt. C.A.J. Nicholl, RN) conducted A/S exercises off Tobermory with HMS BULLDOG (Lt.Cdr. C.G. Walker, RN) and HMS HALLADALE (Lt.Cdr. J.E. Woolfenden, RD, RNR). (2)

1944: Mediterranean service

Date convoy sailed Joined convoy as escort Convoy Number Left convoy Date convoy arrived
10/06/44 11/06/44 ON 240 12/06/44 28/06/44
18/07/44 18/07/44 KMF 033 31/07/44 31/07/44
09/08/44 09/08/44 AB 043 14/08/44 14/08/44
21/08/44 21/08/44 BA 077 26/08/44 26/08/44
15/09/44 15/09/44 ABF 004 20/09/44 20/09/44
20/10/44 20/10/44 ABF 005 25/10/44 25/10/44
28/11/44 28/11/44 ABF 006 04/12/44 04/12/44
13/12/44 13/12/44 AP 075A 17/12/44 17/12/44
04/01/45 04/01/45 AJ 007/2 11/01/45 11/01/45
11/01/45 11/01/45 MB 080A 14/01/45 14/01/45
18/01/45 18/01/45 BAF 009 23/01/45 23/01/45
05/02/45 05/02/45 PA 084 11/02/45 11/02/45
16/02/45 16/02/45 AJ 008/2 21/02/45 21/02/45

1947 -1949: Reserve at Portsmouth

April 1949: Sold to Townsend Bros. Ferries Ltd. for £15.000 as a replacement for their FORDE

1949: Towed to and rebuilt at Cork Dockyard Company at Rushbrooke (Cork Harbour), Eire who quoted a fixed price of £77,000 for the conversion.

Courtesy of Timo Selkälä “Before & After”

Courtesy of Derrick Packman

Courtesy of Derrick Packman (Cork 1949)

April 6th 1950: Maiden voyage from Dover – Calais. At the end of her first season, the HALLADALE was sent to Immingham to refit and continued to visit the Lincolnshire port until being caught there by an industrial dispute some years later, Amsterdam was used for refits instead.

April 10th 1950: Grounded on a mud bank inside Calais Harbour whilst leaving for Dover, a heavy squall forcing her off course whilst she was proceeding at some speed. Re-floated later that day.

© Fotoflite Ref BW 1990 © Fotoflite Ref BW 1991

© Ken Smith (1) 🆕© Fotoflite (Dover, 01/06/1950)

April 11th 1950: Returned to Dover.

April 12th 1950: Left for repairs in Cardiff.

Steve Salter Archives

🆕 Steve Salter Archives

May 18th 1950: After repairs returned to Dover.

May 19th 1950: Returned to service.

Steve Salter Archives

🆕 Steve Salter Archives

During the first overhaul, at Immingham, the HALLADALE’s looks were altered by raising the line of her hull paint. A new passenger promenade deck was also constructed forward of the bridge, thus making even more of her ample outside deck space.

Roy Thornton Collection Roy Thornton Collection Roy Thornton Collection

Roy Thornton Collection

May 14th 1951: Collided with the 377-ton German motor vessel HANS HOTH just after the former had passed through the Eastern Entrance at Dover, bound for France. She suffered considerable damage and was taken to Tilbury for repairs.

© P Ransome-Wallis © P Ransome-Wallis

Courtesy of Derrick Packman (© P Ransome-Wallis)

Steve Salter Archives

🆕 Steve Salter Archives

Steve Salter Archives

🆕 Steve Salter Archives

Nigel Thornton Collection Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection

June 1st 1951: Returned to service.

Roy Thornton Collection  

Roy Thornton Collection

Roy Thornton Collection

Roy Thornton Collection

June 27th 1951: Inaugurated the new car ramp at Calais. This was a donation from Townsends and meant that at the French port at least cars could now be driven on and off the ship by means of a ramp which was lowered on to the stern after she berthed.

June 29th 1952: She had just entered Dover Harbour and was manoeuvring to go astern when she collided with the Belgian car ferry PRINSES JOSEPHINE CHARLOTTE. Only slight damage was sustained this time.

June 29th 1958: Collided with the jetty by the Eastern Docks loading ramps, an accident which was attributed to a failure of her bow rudder mechanism. Only slight damage was sustained this time.

April 1959: In thick fog, struck the end of the Southern breakwater whilst leaving Dover Harbour.

(SkyFotos postcard. Dover 01/06/1959)


Nigel Thornton Collection (all)

© Fotoflite

© Fotoflite (passing Compiegne )

November 5th 1961: Made her last trip, from Calais to Dover.

January 4th 1962: Sold to W. Rostedt of Turku, Finland and renamed NORDEN. Employed on a ferry service across the mouth of the Gulf of Bothnia between Turku and Norrtelje, Sweden

Venezuela en la memoria

🆕 Venezuela en la memoria

1962: Rebuilt at Rosteds Latokari Oy’s Yard and from June she was renamed TURIST EXPRESSEN then being introduced between Turku – Stockholm and re-registered to Uuno Heinonen.

Courtesy of Micke Asklander

November 1962: Sold to Ferry Boats Margarite C.A. ‘Ferrymar’ of Venezuela. and renamed FERRYMAR III for a service from Margarita

1987 – 1988: Seen in a semi-dismantled state in Curacao and further information sought.

Frank Heine Collection Frank Heine Collection  

Frank Heine Collection (Curacao, Jan 1988)

All information is believed to be correct and no responsibility is accepted for errors and omissions. All items included in this article are subject to ©. We would like to thank: Micke Asklander (Faktaomfartyg), FotofliteFrank Heine and Ken Smith for their assistance in compiling this feature.

Special thanks to Derrick Packman, Timo Selkälä and Steve Salter

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


  1. The information about the scrapping of Ferrymar III is incorrect. It was scrapped in Curacao, a different country but very near to Aruba. I was working on an ex ferry, the Tambu Express, running Miami to the Dominican Repbulic, Aruba and Curacao. One day, whilst out for a walk from the commercial port towards the main town I came upon the scrapyard and took a couple of photographs of the vessels being taken to bits. I did not find out the name until I arrived home and had the slides developped. This was a shame as our Captain was ex Townsend Thoresen and would have been very interested in this. The voyages I took there were in the summer of 1981. The two photographs are not very good as I had no telephoto lens and the ship was far away but I managed to work out the name after a few attempts. You are welcome to have digital copies of these slides if you want.

    1. Richard,

      Thanks for the comment and, yes, I would be interested in digital copies of the slides.

      The histories are generally based on what’s on the internet and I have done little research on this vessel. This leads to duplication of possible incorrect info’.

      I am currently in correspondence with a photographer who took a photo of her as Ferrymar III and still await his reply.

      I always welcome comments/corrections/ confirmed additions as this is what this site is all about. Making information/histories as accurate as possible.

      Nigel T

  2. I do not have any pictures, or anything Naval to add, only that as a young child I travelled 3 times on the Halladale from Dover to Calais. I came across this site through tracing the origins of the Martins Bank branch in Coniston which led me to find that the first sea-going bank was put on the Halladale – I remember the bank as my father used it to buy French Francs for our to Switzerland.

  3. I sailed on the halladale as a young sea cadet in the 1950s with Elam valley sea cadets

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