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The Ship Rattray Head

The following photograph and extract are reproduced with kind permission from Alf Cook, author of his own merchant ship website. Please visit Alf's website for further history about this or indeed other merchant ships.

The merchant ship Rattray Head. Click to return to the Rattray Names page.

1950. Early in the year the EMPIRE ISLANDER was sold to A.F.Henry & McGregor Ltd., Ship owners, of Dock Place, Leith. The ship was then renamed after a headland that is about ten miles north of Peterhead in northern Scotland. It was now named the RATTRAY HEAD. Sam Bruce, a Chief Steward with A.F.Henry for many years informed me that the new owners paid deep sea wages while on coastal work, and that they had an excellent reputation among seafarers.

May the 27th. While in Kruisschans Lock at Antwerp there was a collision with the M.V. GLENEARM (built 1938. 9869 gross tons). The GLENEARM that was just sailing for London and Kobe, with a general cargo, was extensively damaged. Only slight damage was received by the RATTRAY HEAD which after the exchange of the usual verbal courtesy's carried on her way. During the following years the ship was kept fully employed carrying various cargoes to, and from the continent and around the British Isles. These cargoes consisted of coal from the North East ports to London, Cement was carried from the Thames Cement works to Grangemouth and to Leith in Scotland. Timber was loaded from the Baltic ports and also from Norway. There was more voyage’s to Antwerp on the Continent to load up again with more cement. If fact anything and everything was carried, there was always another cargo waiting to be transported somewhere. At some date during this busy period the RATTRAY HEAD, like many other coal burning ships, was converted to burning oil. This was much cleaner fuel, and at the time more economical, however it did mean that three firemen would have to lose their jobs.

1960 May the 28th. The river Thames. The ship entered the Poplar dry dock for a presale survey and overhaul. Present master Captain Hardy of Sunderland. The following day the entire crew signed off articles. The ship has once again changed hands. It is now owned by Gino Gardella an Italian Ship owner of Genoa in Italy. As usual the ships name was again changed. She is now called the BRICK QUARTO.

Many thanks Alf. It's all very interesting stuff.

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