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Leith Shipyards

A history of the Ships built at the Henry Robb Shipyard in Leith, Scotland. Also a testimony to the men who built the Ships and to all who sailed in them.
 
     
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Home Ships Built in Leith 1946 to 1984 SALERNO - Yard No 495 - Diesel Cargo - Ellerman Wilson Line - Built 1965
 
 

Leith Shipyards

 
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SALERNO - Yard No 495 - Diesel Cargo - Ellerman Wilson Line - Built 1965
Salerno-Ship-No-495-sml
M.V.SALERNO Ship No 495
   
Owners    Ellerman Wilson Line (Wilson Line)
           
Registered    Hull Keel Laid    
Type of Ship    Diesel Cargo Launched    24/11/1965
      Handed Over    
Ship Details          
Length Overall    308' 0" Launch Details    
Length B.P.    280' 0" Weather    
Beam    45' 6" Time to Water    
Depth Mld     26' 0"      
Draught           
G.R.T.    1559      
DWT          
           
Engines   6 cyl oil engine built by Mirrlees National Ltd, Stockport, England      
Props   1      
Speed          
           
Other known names   1974-City of Corinth, 1978-Pyrgos Star    
           
Current Status        
 
 
as content on the MV SALERNO become available it will be added here. 
Salerno-05
 
Ships History
Once a ship had been built and launched she then had to be out-fitted, and then complete sea trials
before being handed over to her new owners, who would look to have that ship at sea, as long as possible to pay for her build costs and of course to make the company good profits.

To this end one company may have had no requirement for a particular ship after a time and would then sell her on just like any other disposable commodity.
Hence a ship may have had a few owners and would go through many changes and names during what was hoped for a long and successful working life.
 
The SALERNO was the lead ship in what was the largest order for ships to be built in the Leith Shipyards of Henry Robb.
The order was from The Ellerman Wilson Line and was for a total of seven (7) ship of which five were to form the new “S” Class of cargo vessel for the Wilson Line with the other two ships to be Papayanni Line ships.
This was a big order for the shipyard and it meant continued employment for the highly skilled shipbuilders of Leith for the next three years or so.
One of the Leith Shipyards biggest customers, who when it was time to replace aging ships in there fleet turned once more to the shipbuilders of Henry Robb.
More functional than and not as elegant as the previous Ellerman vessels built in the yard, but a very welcome order, all built to the highest craftsmanship.
She was the third ship of the Ellerman Line to have the name of SALERNO
The Wilson line were in the process of developing a modern fleet equipped for speedy and efficient cargo-handling, the “S” class ships had on board cranes to allow the handling of general and containerised cargo and loaded pallets as well as refrigerated containers.
They also had side-loading doors port and starboard or driving cargo straight into the tween decks.
She was fitted with a bow thrusters to aid berthing and docking, all in all very modern ships for the time.
She had a couple of well known mishaps in her time including breaking the inner dock gates of Horten Verft costing a couple of million Norwegian Kroner and she also damaged her rudder on rocks in the Stockholm Archipelago.
 
 
Named after the town of Salerno in Italy, perhaps better known as the place where the main invasion force landed around Salerno on the western coast in Operation Avalanche, while two supporting operations took place in Calabria and Taranto this was the start of the Allied invasion of mainland Italy during World War II.
The “S” Class ships as they were to be known, while still fitted out to a high standard did not quite have the same opulence as previous Ellerman ships built at Leith.
 
 
 
 
My mother with the hat and flowers! Mrs Anna Elisabeth Brown. Wife of Edward Brown, Ellerman Wilson Line about to launch the MV SALERNO in 1965.(Photo from Nick Brown)
 
With her super structure aft as was becoming the norm for ships at this time to give more hold space and a smaller shaft coupled to the engine, this was a big saving in cost for the owners.
She was used on the trade routes from London to Stockholm in Sweden, across the unpredictable North Sea, also used on the Mediterranean route with frequent stops in Lisbon. As part of the Ellerman Wilson Line reorganisation around 1973/4 she was transferred into the Ellerman City Line and she was renamed CITY OF CORINTH.
She continued with the City Line for another four years before being sold on to Perivale Maritime Inc and renamed again as Pyrgos Star.
 
 
 

We try here to give as full an account of her history as time and research permits, if you know of missing info or you have any photographs of her, then please get in touch and we shall update her story as we go along.
 
 Salerno-06
 
Tales from the Ship
Here you will find the stories from the men and women who sailed on the ships, what was it really like to be working on a ship in a raging sea and in the pitch dark of night, the real stories some funny some sad, some good and some bad.
The photograph shown below was sent into the website by Gordon McDonald who sailed on the MV SALERNO in 1969
 
MV SALERNO crew after having to spend Xmas in Falkenstien, after the ship had collided with the Dock gates while the ship was being repaired in 1969.
Back row (L to R ) Gordon McDougall – Who sent the photograph in to the ships pages about the MV SALERNO – Mike-AB, Bert-AB,

Seated (L to R ) Arthur-AB and Mike Madon Cook

The following photographs were sent into the website by Rod Baker who sailed on the ship for a 3 month stint in the winter of 1967
As part of a book he is writing about his time at sea and the MV SALERNO features in the book, so we look forward to that.
 
Rod contemplating going up the ladder to the top of the crane
 
 
We have a couple of more photographs sent in by Rod with his time spent on MV SALERNO in the winter of 1967
 
Interesting to see the cargo being unloaded into lighters as containerisation was about to completly transform this type of trade and the shape of ships to come as well.

Dedicated to all the brave men and women who sailed the vessels from the Leith Shipyards.
Should you know of anyone who may have sailed on her, then please feel free to get in touch so that we can add the story here.
 
 
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Comments   

 
0 #11 alistair heelas 2017-02-08 00:27
Quoting Stephen Lyalls:
Quoting Alistair Heelas:
My dad John Heelas was on the Salerno when he died in Istanbull early 70's very sad loss, he was a great guy. His son Alistair


Hello Alistair I sailed on the MV Salerno from 16jan until 3may 1973 as a very Young catering Boy and was aboard when your father became ill with appendicitis he was a kind and friendly man indeed a sad loss


Thank you Stephen, for your kind comments, good to hear from someone that sailed with my dad, cheers, take care, Alistair
Quote
 
 
0 #10 Stephen Lyalls 2017-02-05 18:08
Quoting alistair heelas:
Hello, My dad sailed on the salerno, and was taken very ill on board in 1972 he later died in the French colonial Hospital in Ismir Turkey.
be good to chat with anyone that new my dad, John Heelas, he was Chief Purser and Chief Steward also on the Spero and Boridino.


Hello Alistair I sailed on the MV Salerno as catering boy from Jan until May 1973 and was aboard when your father was taken ill with appendicitis I remember him as a kind and friendly man indeed a sad loss
Quote
 
 
0 #9 Stephen Lyalls 2017-02-05 17:02
Quoting Alistair Heelas:
My dad John Heelas was on the Salerno when he died in Istanbull early 70's very sad loss, he was a great guy. His son Alistair


Hello Alistair I sailed on the MV Salerno from 16jan until 3may 1973 as a very Young catering Boy and was aboard when your father became ill with appendicitis he was a kind and friendly man indeed a sad loss
Quote
 
 
0 #8 robbie gibson 2016-02-08 21:50
i sailed on the salerno in 1968 and i remember
Mick the cook Ithink he was from Hull I am from Liverpool and I was a galley boy Ialso remember
Charley the cockney he was a deckhand two great lads
Quote
 
 
0 #7 Bruce LeCren 2015-11-23 16:44
I remember MV Salerno bringing the annual resupply to communities in the Canadian Arctic in the summer of 1974. I was an electronic tech at Coral Harbour and went aboard her to repair a radio.
I remember the skipper apologizing for the gift of a case of Crown Royal, saying the Canadian whiskey wasn't up to his standards. We ashore certainly felt otherwise!
Quote
 
 
0 #6 Rod Baker 2014-03-25 15:22
I signed on the MV Salerno on the 14th of September 1967. It was my last ship before I left for Canada. I have fond memories of the run through the Kiel canal to Sweden. Of the lovely swedish girls that would be waiting on the dock for us when the ship arrived. ( Lena Johanson, where are you now?) of making money by smuggling, booze, cigarettes, cigarette papers and chewing gum past the Swedish customs. Of very cold times spent on watch on the foc'sle head as we passed through the Kiel canal. I got my AB's ticket on the Salerno, then left the sea and England to live in Vancouver Canada
Quote
 
 
0 #5 Gordon McDougall 2013-12-26 20:35
This was my first ship from leaving the training school at Gravesend. I was a catering assistant when she crashed into the inner dock gates of Horten Verft. Recall Mike Maden was the cook at that time and following the accident we spent the Christmas & New Year in Falkenstean. 8)
Quote
 
 
0 #4 alistair heelas 2013-12-09 23:34
Hello, My dad sailed on the salerno, and was taken very ill on board in 1972 he later died in the French colonial Hospital in Ismir Turkey.

be good to chat with anyone that new my dad, John Heelas, he was Chief Purser and Chief Steward also on the Spero and Boridino.
Quote
 
 
+4 #3 Steve Smith 2013-12-09 20:18
I served on the Salerno from 1969 to 1971 as galley boy then steward with many sea stories to tell and many good memories
Quote
 
 
+2 #2 Alistair Heelas 2013-01-29 23:44
My dad John Heelas was on the Salerno when he died in Istanbull early 70's very sad loss, he was a great guy. His son Alistair
Quote
 

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