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 Steam Hopper GALLIONS REACH also had her part to play during World War II, and also took part in the rescue of troops from Dunkirk. She was an order from the Tilbury Contracting & Dredging Co Ltd for a Hopper Dredger to work on the river Thames, built at the Leith Shipyards of Henry Robb in 1936 just three years before the outbreak of World War II.
At the outbreak of war she was converted for service as a salvage vessel, a rams horn and sheaves were fitted over her bows, her main deck was strengthened and a large winch placed forward of the wheel house, she was also painted in the colours of the "Grey Funnel Line". (Royal Navy)
After the war she was laid up in the Norway Dock with only a watchman on board, early in 1951 she sailed under her own steam to Hull, where she was converted back to a hopper grab dredger.
"The Gallions Reach" returned to Surrey Docks about six months later, repainted in PLA colours. She was oil fired with two single ended scotch boilers, each with three furnaces; and she was fitted with three modern Priestman cranes, these cranes were fitted with separate totally enclosed duplex slewing engines., The machinery and driver were protected from the weather by a spacious cab.
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.