From: Clive Spencer, Tauranga, New Zealand

John Richardson’s feature “A Trip on the ss Hawkinge” during 1958 (STD&YD August 2104) certainly had me tripping ‘Down Memory Lane’. John’s old ship had two exact sisters, the steamers Beltinge and Garlinge. They were owned by Constants South Wales Limited (Constants of Cardiff) and as was customary for the firm the ships they took their names from Kentish villages or hamlets. They were good looking little ships this being born out by the accompanying Fotoflite picture of the Hawkinge when she was carrying a good sized deck load of either pit-props or pulpwood from one or the other of Canada’s Maritime provinces. This being a regular trade for these ships.

John mentions the ship’s call at Hornillo Bay for an iron-ore cargo. He is spot on with his description of the place since there really was not very much there, the main feature being the ore loading facilities. I think it was some time during 1960 that the Garlinge, aboard which I was serving as 2nd Mate, called at this port. I remember the pleasant walk over the hills to the village for a beer with one of the engineers. “Dos cervezas per favor Senor” It is quite on the cards that most readers will never have heard of Hornillo Bay. Well, it also rejoiced in the local names of Aguilas or Peurto Hornillos and it’s Latitude/Longitude co-ordinates are: 370 24′ N & 10 34′ W.


Just a small correction to what John had to say about the vessel’s cargo handling equipment. These ships only had six derricks to serve their four holds since numbers 1 and 4 possessed but a single derrick apiece. The outcome here being that when cargo was being loaded or discharged by ship’s gear the work at numbers 1 & 4 always lagged behind the other two holds. The sale of the ship mentioned in the concluding paragraph of John’s feature must have fallen through since the Hawkinge was still trading for Constants Ltd. well into the 1960’s

Keep up the good work with the magazine.


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