Melbourne Steamship Co
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You Yangs


Melbourne Steamship Co
as Melbourne Coal, Shipping & Engineering Co Ltd
Belle Of The West


Melbourne Steamship Co

Port Australia







Founded 1864
W H Smith & A G Robinson (coalfactors ) united as shipowners with the purchase of the steamer 'Kieff' brought out from England in 1863. They renamed her 'You Yangs'. 1864 saw J L Burke also a coalfactor, join the partnership and late 1864 they traded as the Melbourne Steam Ship Company. The company was not incorporated and in October 1883 saw W H Smith exit the partnership to form his own shipping concern.
William H Smith's own steamship company survived up to 2001, taking over the 'second' Melbourne Steamship Concern in 1961. whilst J L Burke ventured North to Queensland setting up his own shipping concern based in brisbane



This company had its origins in three separate businesses
A. and J. McIntyre, established in 1854; Hugh R. Reid and Co. (later Reid, Poole and Co.) established in 1861; and James Deane and Co. established in 1864.
In 1884 the businesses James Deane and Co., Melbourne Coal Co. and
Hobson's Floating Dock Co., were sold to a private company directed by H.R. Reid,
Captain James Deane and Captain James McIntyre and managed by Reid's
brother-in-law, D. York Syme, who had been connected to the ventures since 1873.
In 1884 the businesses, now Melbourne Towage Lighterage Co
Port Phillip Engineering, Shipbuilding and Dock Co. and Melbourne Coal Company
were incorporated as the
Melbourne Coal, Shipping and Engineering Co. Ltd
Officially registered as a business in 1885
Built up a fleet of colliers bringing coal from Newcastle, New South Wales to Melbourne, including the ownership of several tugboats.
The fleet at 1885 included Beeswing, Belle of the West, Hercules, Kelpie, Pharos, Melbourne and Williams.
They also owned an engineering workshop
With the advent of the goldrush era in the Western state of Australia, circa 1890-91 they added passenger accomodation to their vessel 'Beeswing' and placed her on that run. In 1892 their new fleet addition, the steamer 'Melbourne' was also despatched to the Fremantle run
In June 1893 they changed the Company name to
In 1895 this concern reconstituted becoming the
They opened their first branch in Fremantle in 1898 followed by Sydney (1905), Adelaide (1908) and Newcastle (1909)
Replacements and additions were made to the fleet in the 1920s
The last interstate vessel built was "Duntroon" in 1935
In 1961 Howard Smith Ltd took over the company
Howard Smith Ltd was in turn acquired by Wesfarmers Ltd in 2001

W H SMITH & Partners
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YOU YANGS image in original rig courtesy State Library Victoria
DANDENONG image courtesy State Library Queensland
YOU YANGS 583 gross tons, 474 net. Built by John Scott Russell, London as the Kieff. 1863 purchased from Imperial British Government by A G Robinson & W H Smith and renamed You Yangs and registered in London. 1864 J L Burke added as part-owner and these three partners under the trading title 'Melbourne Steam Ship Company', ran her from Melbourne, Sydney and Newcastle New South Wales. November 1869 became of Melbourne registry. Sustained a refit in 1871 with tonnage increased to 672 gross, 457 net and dimensions of 185'2" x 27'9" x 15' as well extra passenger capacity. October 1883 owned by W Howard Smith & Sons Limited. 12th June 1890 wrecked on a reef near Pelorous Island, South Australia
DANDENONG 743 gross tons, 575 net. Lbd: 201' x 28'2" x 15'7". Iron steamship built by Palmer Bros at Jarrow-on-Tyne as the Stellafor A. G. Robinson, London. Held a 2 cylinder engine = 90hp. 1867 owned by the partnership of A G Robinson. W H Smith and J L Burke trading as the Melbourne Steamship Company. Registry transferred from London to Melbourne November 1869. A passenger-cargo vessel, she could accomodate approximately 80 persons in two classes. Serviced between newcastle, SYdney and Melbourne. 11th September 1876 her propeller shaft broke off and punctured the hull during heavy gale conditions and ship sank the following day off Jervis Bay, New South Wales with a loss of 40 souls
MACEDON 826 gross tons, 532 net. Lbd: 220'6" x 29'8' x 15'8". Iron steamship, built as a passenger vessel by W H Potter & Co., Liverpool, England. Barque-rigged vessel with one deck was powered by 96-hp 2 cylinder inverted engines. Built for W H Smith & Partners as the Melbourne Steamship Co.1881 chartered to Anderson & Marshall & Lilly, Melbourne, with the option to purchase. Worked the coast of Western Australia on that State Government's mail run until 21st March 1883 when she drifted onto Transit reef off Rottnest Island. Remaining there overnight and, the next morning, with engines full astern she coursed backward onto Phillip Rock, sustaining damaged stern and holing the hull. To save live and cargo, she was thrust forward onto transit reef, becoming a total loss. All lives saved
RODONDO 1,119 gross tons, 915 net. Lbd: 239'8" x 30'2" x 21'3". Iron steamship, passenger-cargo as built by Potter at Liverpool England for W H Smith & Partners, Melbourne (Melbourne Steamship Co Ltd). Compounded engine - 150 horsepower designed by J Jack & Co. Intended for and placed upon the Australian intercolonial trade. 1883 under full ownership of W Howard Smith & Sons Ltd, registered Sydney. Here then she saw a continual trade on the east coast taking in various Queensland ports, later serving most of the ports of call under this ownership. 6-7 October 1894, whilst on her first and only journey to Western Australia, she was wrecked on Pollock Reef, 45nm S Cape Arid, South East Island, Western Australia

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BARRABOOL (b38695) image courtesy State Library Victoria
BARRABOOL 942 gross tons, 588 net. Lbd: 224'8' x 30'5" x 14'8". Iron steamship built at Palmers Ship & Engineering Co., Jarrow-on-Tyne for W H Smith & Partners who traded as the Melbourne Steamship Co., Melbourne. Designed as a passenger-cargo vessel, 2 funnels machinery aft and being 2 cylinders producing 140 horsepower. February 1881 engine compounded and reboilered and one funnel removed. 1883 owned by Howard Smith & Sons Ltd, Melbourne. Her registry was later transferred to Port Adelaide and since to Sydney. Collided with three ships in her travels, sinking two and gaining the nickname "The Great Australian Ram" and was said to steer so badly that other ships got out of her way when they saw her approaching. Her 'victims' were - the steamship 'Queensland' of the E & A Line on August 3rd 1876, the 'Bonnie Dundee' on March 10th 1879 and the 'Birksgate' on August 9th 1884. 1912 Barrabool was blown ashore in Fitzroy River, Queensland and seriously damaged. Later converted as a coal storage hulk at Sydney, 1944 sold to K Selvinen, Sydney, 1950 scuttled off Sydney Heads
EDINA 323 gross tons. 1880 increased to 380 gross with dimensions 171' x 23'6" x 12'7". Iron steamship passenger vessel with sail capacity built by Barclay, Curle & Co., Glasgow for probably the Leith, Hull & Hamburg Steam Packet Co., of Leith Scotland. 1863 acquired by S G Henty of Melbourne. October 1863 owned by S & E Henty. March 1868 Warrnambool Steam Packet Co., Victoria. June 1875 purchased by W H Smith & Partners (Melbourne Steamship Co) registered Melbourne. October 1883 fully owned by W Howard Smith & Sons Ltd. July 1901 of Howard Smith Limited and December 1913 transferred to Australia Steamships Pty Ltd. 1938 sold to The Victorian Lighterage Co., of Melbourne, converted into a lighter and renamed Dina. Broken up in Melbourne 1957. Her career included being chartered by the British Admiralty during the Crimea War, visits to New Zealand at the height of their goldrush era, occassional visits to Tasmania as well as the Melbourne Western coastal ports of Victoria. She also serviced Sydney - Brisbane and Maryborough until returning in the late 1880's to Victorian waters for the Port Phillip excursion trade. Later to that she regularly serviced Melbourne Geelong run and was an extremely popular vessel in her career. Up until 1938 she was the oldest active steamship in Australian coastal service. A scale model almost 2 metres long of the Edina can be viewed at the Melbourne Maritime Immigration Museum, Customs House Flinders St., Melbourne Victoria Australia
TAMBAROORA 406 gross tons, 262 net. Lbd: 162'2" x 24' x 14'2". Iron passenger steamship, compounded engine producing 80 horsepower. Built by A Stephens & Sons, Glasgow for Parbury & Gilchrist, Sydney. Worked the Sydney - Queensland ports run as passenger - cargo. 1877 spent time on same trade route under the auspices of W H Smith & Partners' Melbourne Steamship Co., clearly under charter. July 22nd, 1879 wrecked upon Masthead Reef, Rockhampton Queensland

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KEILAWARRA & LEURA images courtesy State Library Victoria
DERWENT Iron steamer, 478 gross tons, 351 net. Lbd: 196' x 25'3" x 13'3". Iron steamship built by A & J Inglis at Pointhouse, Glasgow as a 3 masted barquentine ship and of a 2 cylinder engine producing 120 horsepower. First recorded owner J Alexander, London. During 1864 owned by J Wright, registered at Hobart Town, Tasmania. Hulked in Queensland 1915. Scuttled 1925. December 1864 owned by W Rout & Partners. October 1867 owned by Tasmanian S N Co, who continued her on the Bass Strait run. March 1879 owned by Howard Smith & Partners as Melbourne Steamship Co. Melbourne. Placed upon the Northern Queensland run ex Sydney. December 1883 of W H Smith & Sons Ltd. Employed on the western coastal districts of Victoria. 1891 re-engined, compounded producing 96 hp. July 1901 of Howard Smith Ltd. 1909 gross tonnage now measured at 459. 1913 of Australian Steamships Pty Ltd. October 1815 of Howard Smith Ltd. 1915-16 converted into a hulk and employed in North Queensland. 1925 scuttled off Townsville, Queensland
CHEVIOT 1,226 gross tons, 764 net. Lbd: 230'2" x 32'2" x 17'5". Iron steamship built as a cargo vessel by C Mitchell & Co., Low Walker on Tyne. Held a 2 cylinder engine = 170 horsepower. First owners - Watts, Milburn & Co., London. 1873 Laughlan & Gunn. 1876 purchased from Foley & Co., London, possibly acting as agents, by W H Smith & Partners (Melbourne Steamship Co). Fitted at Sydney August 1877 to carry passengers as well as cargo for the Melbourne-Sydney-Newcastle service. Possibly had her engine compounded at this juncture. October 1883 owned outright by W H Smith & Sons Ltd. Had a history of breakdowns and on the night of 19th October 1887, in stormy weather her tailshaft broke or was stripped and just outside of the heads at Port Phillip she set sails before the wind to no avail. Wrecked near Point Nepean after being blown ashore and breaking in two, with a loss of 36 souls. Cheviot beach named since as a reminder in the modern day
KEILAWARRA 784 gross tons, 486 net. Lbd: 200'2" x 29' x 19"2". Compounded inverted engine 140hp. Engine by builder. Iron steamship, passenger-cargo built by J Keys & Sons, Kinghorn for W H Smith & Partners, Melbourne as the 'first' Melbourne Steam Ship Company. Serviced Melbourne - Newcastle New South Wales run.1883 under full ownership of W Howard Smith & Sons Pty Ltd., registered Sydney. Ran the service from Sydney - Brisbane. Involved in two collisions on Brisbane River - May 1883 vs a steam launch and, December 18, 1883 when struck by the steamer 'Victoria' at her stern starboard side and cut down to the waterline. The enquiry to this collision extended until 1889 when Victoria's Captain found at fault. 8th December 1886 sunk in collision with ss Helen Nicoll in Trial Bay, off North Solitary Island, New South Wales. A loss of 28 souls as passengers and crew plus the Captain himself persihed. Another four persons who leapt aboard the Helen Nicoll also perished. First Mate of the Helen Nicoll censured for not slowing down or stopping when the Keilawarra disappeared into the smoke (the main culprit here) billowing out from the Helen Nicoll. The late Captain of the Keilawarra found at fault for steaming full ahead into the smoke
LEURA 1,186 tons. Iron cargo steamship built by Potter at London for W H Smith & Sons, Melbourne (Melbourne Steamship Co Ltd). Of W H Smith & Sons, Melbourne from 1883. Serviced Portland, Victoria and Tasmania. 1920 sold to Electrolytic Zinc Co., Melbourne. stripped Melbourne from August 1921 & scuttled Storm Bay, Tasmania 30th June 1934

The Second
as the
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BEESWING image courtesy State Library Victoria
BEESWING 1,119 tons. Passenger/cargo steamship built by Dobson & Charles, Grangemouth Yard No 72 as the Beeswing for Alexander Steamship Co. (Capper Alexander) 1882 sold to Melbourne Coal, Shipping & Engineering Co, name retained. Employed as Collier - general cargo vessel. During 1893 arrived at Brisbane Queensland with cargo and returned south, empty only stopping at Bellambi, New South Wales to load coal for Melbourne. Switched to the Fremantle run after being refitted to carry passengers for the goldrush trade to Western Australia. Over the years travelled twice again August 1893 and 1897 to Queensland ports including Townsville. with little success for the company. Named changed to Brisbane in 1897. Foundered near Saddle Group, Chusan 5th January 1920
BELLE OF THE WEST Wooden steamship of 14 gross tons, built 1872 by White at Williamstown. Last registered owners were Melbourne Steamship Company. Register closed 1913 as 'broken up'
HERCULES 97 gross tons, 36 net. Lbd: 83'7" x 17' x 9'. on: 41471 Paddle steamer, 2 cylinder Beam engine of 62 horsepower. Built by R B Williamson, Dundee for the Dundee, Perth & London Shipping Co Ltd, Dundee. 1853 owned by Dove & Oswald, registered Melbourne. December 1857 owned by W G Bruce & Thomas Norton, Melbourne. August 1858 owned by T Norton & S W Graham, Melbourne. 1871 owned by James Deane, Melbourne. 1883 rebuilt dimensions becoming - 88'5" x 18'9" x 9'. 1886 owned by Melbourne Coal, Shipping & Engineering Co. 1894 owned by Melbourne Shipping Co Ltd. 1925 owned by W M McBain & G B Morwick, probably for demolition purposes. Upon first arrival at Melbourne she was mostly employed in towage services, from her original dimensions and rebuilt dimensions the carriage of passengers and cargo not out of the equation. At some later date was converted into a water supply vessel

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PHAROS 1st image (b37946) & 2nd image (mp001372) courtesy State Library Victoria - 1st seen here full length with topside boiler alongside wharf and the two funnelled tug 'James Patterson' on the outside
PHAROS Government steamer, tug, wood, 156 tons. Built Williamstown, 1864 for the Victorian Government. Operated for many years in Port Phillip. Later transferred to the Melbourne Coal and Shipping Company (pre 1887). Hulked in 1917, broken up in 1934
KELPIE No details known. More likely a tug/tender or coal lighter. Another (perhaps the same) vessel carrying this name was owned by W Holyman & Sons, Melbourne
WILLIAMS 327 gross tons, 219 net. Lbd: 155' x 20'8" x 11'. Iron paddle passenger steamer, two funnels built by Scott & Co., Greenock Glasgow for Hunter River New S N Co., Sydney. Purchased by Australasian S N Co October 1862 after they initially chartered her in June to continue their Brisbane - Rockhampton run (when they lost the Prince of Wales). Placed on the New Zealand run when that particular 'goldrush' era occured, visiting Auckland as the main port of call. Once the rush ended, she was sold May 1872 to James Deane, (Hotelier) Melbourne. Mr Deane had her altered as a salvage tug and utilised as a part-time excursion steamer on Port Phillip Bay. Lengthened 1872 - 322 gross tons, 203 net with Lbd: 166' x 22'4" x 11'. Commencing excursions on 9 November 1872 to Queenscliff and Sorrento. Used as an excursion steamer in the summer and a tug in winter. Here then, where he owned a Hotel on the Penninsular, he was innovative enough to utilise this vessel as a weekend excursion vehicle from Melbourne to the nearest jetty to his Hotel. It is quite possible this was the first of the 'Bay Steamers" that became so popular on Port Phillip Bay, Melbourne, Victoria. Sold October 1885 to Melbourne Coal, Shipping & Engineering Co Ltd., which itself merged with other parties in creating the Melbourne Steamship Co. 1894 this vessel was removed from the register as reported broken up

Company, Melbourne

Commenced with the vessels Pharos, Hercules, Beeswing, Melbourne and lighter ex steamship Bendigo

1,739 gross tons. Lbd: 260'6" x 36'5" x 18'2". (79.4 x 11.1 metres) Steel single screw steamship, triple expansion engine, built by Gray at W Hartlepool for Melbourne Coal, Shipping & Engineering Co Ltd, Melbourne as a collier-cargo vessel, servicing the Melbourne - Sydney route. Had limited passenger accomodation added and placed on the Fremantle run coinciding with the goldrush demand of the time. Placed in 1893 onto the Brisbane run via Sydney, with little success. Of Melbourne Steamship Co Ltd 1894. Sold to the Tasmanian Government in 1920 and under their flag her first voyage was one from Geelong Victoria with shipment of wheat. Hulked at Noumea April 1925


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2nd BRISBANE image (P11991) courtesy Wollongong City Library, PERTH, HOBART images & MAITLAND image (b41866) courtesy State Library Victoria
BRISBANE 1,119 tons. Passenger/cargo steamship built by Dobson & Charles, Grangemouth Yard No 72 as the Beeswing for Alexander Steamship Co. (Capper Alexander) 1882 sold to Melbourne Coal, Shipping & Engineering Co, name retained. Employed as Collier - general cargo vessel. During 1893 arrived at Brisbane Queensland with cargo and returned south, empty only stopping at Bellambi, New South Wales to load coal for Melbourne. Switched to the Fremantle run after being refitted to carry passengers for the goldrush trade to Western Australia. Over the years travelled twice again August 1893 and 1897 to Queensland ports including Townsville. with little success for the company. Named changed to Brisbane in 1897. Foundered near Saddle Group, Chusan 5th January 1920
PERTH 1,799 gross tons, 1,126 net. Lbd 264' x 37' x 16'7". Steel steamship powered by triple expansion steam engines producing 181 nautical horsepower. Built by S P Austin & Son Ltd., Sunderland for the Melbourne Steamship Co Ltd., Melbourne. Was the first purpose built passenger - cargo vessel constructed for this concern. Operated on the run to Fremantle in passenger - cargo capacity taking in smaller ports along the way. Since, she traded regularly between Australia and New Zealand carrying timber. Bound for Sydney, she ran aground at North Tiphead, Greymouth , New Zealand, 21st November 1921. A total wreck
MAITLAND 150 tons gross, 116 under deck and 40 net. Lbd: 100' x 18'2" x 9'5". Iron single screw steamship built by J. Knox & Co., at Hylton near Sunderland. Composite engine producing 45 horsepower. 1 deck; Quarter Deck 15 feet. Bridge 5 feet. Passenger-cargo vessel first recorded owner being the Gulf Steamship Co Ltd., Port Adelaide. Used for their St. Vincent Gulf services. September 1887 owned by W F Walker of Melbourne. Frequented the smaller coastal ports of Victoria up to the Gippsland Lakes area. August 1891 owned by Vannifax & Arkhurst. December 1893 owned J M Walker. 1899-1928 owned by Melbourne Steamship Co Ltd., Melbourne. They employed her on a mail contract to the southern coast of Western Australia as well as on the Port Phillip Bay, Victoria service, possibly as a lighter. November 1928 owned by F & H Greening. December 1929 owned by the Marine Board of Launceston., Launceston who used her purely in a 'tug' capacity. Dismantled and consequently scuttled December 1955
HOBART 2,463 gross tons, 1,577 net. Lbd: 306'4" x 45'1" x 20'1". Steel steamship built by W Gray & Co Ltd., Weste Hartlepool England for this concern. Triple expansion engines producing 231 horsepower and 2 coal fired boilers of 180 psi. Passenger - cargo vessel that serviced the ports of Sydney, Melbourne and Hobart. 1924 sold to Japanese interests and renamed Fushimi Maru. Renamed in 1938 to Husimi Maru. October 14th 1944 she was torpedoed and sunk by an American submarine off Manilla

1,989 gross tons, 1,183 net. Lbd: 280'2" x 38'2" x 19'6". Steel steamship built as a passenger-cargo vessel at Dundee by the Caledon Shipbuilding Co for the Melbourne Steamship Co Ltd. Triple expansion engine producing 249 nhp. Serviced the Melbourne -Sydney - North West Tasmania run that included Twofold Bay, New South Wales as required. Also worked other routes of this concern. November 1917 purchased by Burns Philp & Co Ltd., and renamed Melusia. March 1927 sold to China and renamed Shung Tsze, and again renamed Shun Chin. She was scuttled in Hong Kong as the Japanese Army invaded in 1941. Salvaged by the invaders and renamed Shunyo Maru. Torpedoed and sunk 8th May 1945 off Moji
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postcards at Devonport
above images personal postcard collection

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as Julia Percy
LEEUWIN 1st image courtesy State Library Queensland, 2nd image courtesy State Library Victoria
MONARO (a638573r) image courtesy State Library New South Wales
LEEUWIN 496 gross tons, 282 net. Lbd: 197' x 24'2" x 13'. Iron steamship built by T Wingate & Co., Glasgow as the Julia Percy for the partnership of C V Robinson, J Lilly and J Marshall, Melbourne. January 1877 of the Warrnambool Steam Navigation Co., Warrnambool which later reformed as the Western S N Co., Melbourne Victoria. Worked the western Victorian seaports as a passenger - cargo vessel until the railway opened up in stiff competition and she was sold to Howard Smith & Sons Ltd., Melbourne in October 1886. Reputedly lengthened in 1877 to be of 580 gross tons, 335 net and Lbd: 219' x 24'2" x 13'. She worked the Queensland service until sold in June 1903 to G T Bell who placed her on the Western Australian service on that state's official mail run as contracted to that owner. May 25th 1905 she struck the jetty piles and sunk at Dongarra, Western Australia. Raised and sent to Fremantle for repairs she was soon after sold in 1906 to the Melbourne Steamship Co Ltd., Melbourne who then renamed her Leeuwin. They gained the Western Australian Government's passenger & mail contract to the port of Eucla and placed her on that service for the duration. Later placed upon the Eden (New South Wales) - Melbourne - Tasmanian ports run only to be found economically unviable, and she was hulked in 1910. Demolished 1934
MONARO 2656 gross tons. Lb: 93.3 x 13.7 metres. Single screw, triple expansion engine making 11 knots. Passenger/cargo steamship built by Gray at West Hartlepool England for Melbourne Steamship Co Ltd, Melbourne. on: 1119892 Year: 1926 sold to Sato Shoten renamed Zawosan Maru. 19 June 1945 torpedoed/sunk by submarine 50.23N/155.06E

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Antique crockery

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1908-16 Yarra River, Melbourne artist postcard real photo
Far left image courtesy State Library Victoria, Far right image courtesy State Library New South Wales
KAPUNDA 3,097 gross tons, 1,970 net. Lbd: 330' x 45'1" x 21'3". Steel steamship built by W. Gray & Co. West Hartlepool for this concern. Triple expansion engine producing 497 nhp. As a limited capacity passenger-cargo vessel, she ran Sydney, Melbourne and several of the smaller ports to Fremantle. This Company accepted an offer they couldn't refuse from Moss & Co. of Liverpool in 1915 and she was sold only to be torpedoed 205 miles ESE off Malta by a German submarine on November 12th 1916

Dry Dock

Generic Company Issue Postcard, image - Dimboola

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1912-53 official postcard sepia 1915
1st image courtesy State Library Victoria
2nd image personal collection
4th image courtesy Australian War Memorial
DIMBOOLA 3,886 gross tons, 2112 net. Lbd: 360'2" x 50'1" x 23'6". single screw steamship built by Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson at Newcastle-on-Tyne as a passenger cargo vessel for the Melbourne Steamship Co Ltd. Of quadruple expansion engines = 350nhp with 3 single ended coal-fired boilers, 210psi. Serviced the Melbourne Fremantle trade. 1930 chartered out to Australiasian United S N Co as a temporary replacement for their engine-troubled Orungal. 1932 serviced the east coast 'trunk' line ports taking in North- west coast of Tasmania at the nadir of the loop up to Brisbane, Queensland. mid 1933 again placed on the Melbourne - Fremantle run until August 1935 when sold to Singapore interests and renamed Hong Siang. 1951 she had been operating under the auspices of Ministry Of War Transport UK until acquired outright 1952 and renamed Empire Longford. Scrapped in 1953 at Dover

3051 gross tons. Lb: 350' x 47'1 " x 12'1" (106.7 x 14.3 metres). 385 n.h.p.; triple-expansion engine making 11 knots. on: 1133564 Cargo steamship built by Swan Hunter Wigham Richardson, Low Walker on Tyne for Melbourne Steamship Co Ltd, Melbourne. July 1928 commenced cargo services from Newcastle, New South Wales to West Australia. Seviced ports of Fremantle and Albany. Known to have visited Auckland New Zealand three times between 1928 - 1930. On the Australian coast up to 1935 as known. Since under ownership of Borge's Rederi AjS, Norway , date unknown. Woolgar did not receive news of the fall of Java, and proceeded to Tjilatjap where she was bombed and sunk by aircraft attack 150nm SW Tjilatjap 7th March 1942. Thirty-eight of her crew were killed or lost at sea. The captain was taken prisoner and four officers and two men reached Port Blair, Andaman after 88 days in a boat; one of these died after landing

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1st image courtesy State Library Victoria
centre image courtesy Australian War Memorial
3rd image courtesy State Library New South Wales
COOLANA 2197 gross tons. Lb: 86.9 x 12.7 metres. on: 1145467 Cargo vessel, steamship as built by Swan Hunter WR, Southwick England for Melbourne Steamship Co Ltd, Melbourne. Single screw, triple expansion engine making 11 knots. Was shelled by a Japanese Submarine north of Cape Howe, Victoria on the 7th August 1942. She escaped without damage or casualties. 1951 sold to Cyprus Merchants Shipping renamed Fair Med. 1952 sold to D T Petropoulos, renamed Punta. 22 July 1955 wrecked off Seven Stones, Land's End England

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bhp funnel 1921-60 Kings Wharf, Newcastle Hobsons Bay
1st image courtesy Australian War Memorial, (2nd a637357r) & 3rd images courtesy State Library New South Wales, 4th image courtesy State Library Victoria
ELLAROO 4747 gross tons, 2799 net. Lbd: 364'5" x 52'8" x 24'3". Steel steamship (cargo) built by J L Thompson & Sons Ltd., Sunderland as the Aslang Haugesund for John K Haalands Rederi, Haugsund Norway.1922 purchased by the Melbourne Steamship Co Ltd, Melbourne and renamed Ellaroo. 1936 chartered by BHP up to and including 1959 when purchased by Scott Fell Shipping Pty Ltd, name unchanged. 10 October 1959 time chartered by BHP for specific service run from Newcastle and Port Kembla to Melbourne and Adelaide with cargoes of limestone, dolomite and scrap metal as required. 1960 sold to Hai Ann Steam Ship Co Ltd., Hong Kong and scrapped at Hong Kong

3031 gross tons. Lb: 101.8 x 14.3 metres. Steamship, cargo only as built Dunlop Bremner & Co at Inch Yard, Port Glasgow. on: 1151814 Single screw, triple expansion engine making 12 knots. July 1928 commenced cargo services from Newcastle, New South Wales to West Australia. 1955 sold to V Madrigal (George Grimble & Co, Hong Kong )renamed Ameise. 1960 sold to Kimberley Shipping Corp., Panama (J Lee) renamed Dennis1. Broken up at Hong Kong early 1961
1st LOWANA image (A1200 L849) courtesy of National Library of Australia, 4th image courtesy State Library Victoria

KEERA (gr001358) image courtesy State Library Victoria
KEERA 100 gross tons. Built 1926 tug, 1961 taken over by Howard Smith Industries Pty Ltd, Melbourne. 1967 sold to Antonios Miltonis, Williamstown and converted to trawler

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World War 11 1926-58 Melbourne 1943
1st & 3rd images courtesy Australian War Memorial
centre image courtesy State Library Victoria
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All 3 images courtesy State Library New South Wales
MERNOO 2455 gross tons. Lb: 87 x 12 metres. on: 1153918 Steel hulled cargo steamship built at Swan Hunter WR, Low Walker Newcastle England in 1926 for the Melbourne Steam Ship Co. and employed upon the Australian coast. Single screw, triple expansion engine. Service speed 11 knots. Serviced predominantly as a collier, taking general cargoes as required. 1943 saw her refitted as a cable laying vessel, under Australian Military Command. 1952 known to have loaded coal ar Balmain Coal Wharf. 1956 sold renamed Tyne Breeze. Broken up at Hong Kong January 1958

Ed At some stage - possibly mid 1930's the Company flag underwent changes in design and the funnel colour of blue replaced by black. Company renamed as Melbourne Steamship Line Ed

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Above images personal collection
10,346 gross tons, 5,805 net. Lbd: 455' x 65'2" x 30'2". Steel twin screw motor vessel built by Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson Ltd, Newcastle-on-Tyne. Purpose built as the flagship for the Melbourne Steamship Co Ltd., Melbourne. Of twin diesels rated 7,200bhp. Capable of 19 knots, and had accommodation for 373 passengers. Worked the east coast to Fremantle service until requisitioned 1940 for war duties. Whilst loaded with troops and bound from Melbourne for Sydney,she struck the minesweeper HMAS Goorangai in Port Phillip Bay on November 20, 1940 with the loss of all hands on the minesweeper, a total of twenty-four. She did not stop and search for survivors with her searchlights. War is hell and she was on a mission. Requisitioned fully as a troopship in 1942, she served admirablyhaving transported a total of 138,000 troops and traversing 317 sea miles. Brought back former prisoners of war from Singapore and also carried the first contingent of troops from Australia to Japan for occupational duties. Returned to her owners in 1950 and resumed east coast - Fremantle services. Noticle throughout most of her career were engine problems from the very onset of her australian coastal services. On 23 October 1950 she was damaged by fire when berthed along the Yarra river Melbourne. 1960 sold to Grosvenor Shipping Co, Hong Kong, then resold to Kie Hock Shipping Co., Hong Kong. 1961 renamed Tong Hoo and used on Hong Kong - Indonesia passenger service. 1966 sold to Africa Shipping Co, renamed Lydia and used for India / Pakistan - East Africa route. 1967 laid up at Singapore. Scrapped Taiwan 1973

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Centre image Company's Wharf at Sydney

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RIVER MITTA image (178742r) courtesy State Library Queensland
DALBY image courtesy Matterson Marine/Shipping Database
RIVER MITTA 5,010 gross tons. 2,843 net. Lbd: 449'1" x 56'8" x 24'7". Built at the Commonwealth Naval Dockyard Williamstown, Victoria for the Australian Government with Melbourne Steamship Co Ltd., appointed managers. October 1947 transferred to Australian Shipping Board. 1952 refrigerated cargo machinery removed. Transferred March 1957 to the Australian National Line. July 1959 sold to Albert Sims Ltd., Australia with registry taken in Hong Kong. July 1959 transferred to Hang Fung Shipping & Trading Co Ltd of Hong Kong. 1959 demolition at Osaka began
DALBY 2,349 gross tons. 1,111 net. Lbd: 291"4" X 46'4" X 19'0". General cargo steamship built by Evans Deakin & Co., Brisbane for the Australian Government with Melbourne Steamship Co Ltd., as appointed managers. Transferred Oct 1947 to the Australian Shipping Board. 1956 through until 1957 underwent reconstruction at Mort's Dock & Engineering Co Ltd., Sydney, including being fitted with oil burning engine as well as extra cargo hold forward and a re-positioned funnel. January 1958 transferred to the Australian National Line. October 1969 sold to Cronulla Cia Nav S.A. Panama and renamed Hualien. 14th November 1971 grounded off Peng Chia Hsu Island near Keelung China mainland during a Typhoon and abandoned as a total loss


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