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 washoped for a long and successful working life.
M.V.ORIOLE was requisitioned by the Ministry of War (Transport) as soon as she was ready for sea, She was launched from the yard on the 15th of August 1939 just a month before war was declared. Her service during the conflict was eventful and she took part in the D-Day invasion of the Normandy Beaches.
ORIOLE- War Service on D-Day
She was tasked with the supply of cased petrol for the American Landing beaches of Utah and Omaha sailing from ports on the Welsh coast to the beaches to supply the constant demand for petrol to keep the Allied Armies on the move in the invasion of Europe.
ORIOLE was involved in a couple of collisions with friendly ships while at anchor and after repairs she continued on her way with supplies.
Once the River Seine was opened up to Allied shipping she was diverted to the port of Rouen.
The motor vessel ORIOLE survived the war and was returned to her owners General Steam Navigation to go on with her peace time trade around the coasts of the British Isles.
The M.V.ORIOLE was a typical design for a small coaster of her time with bridgehouse aft and low funnel to allow her to navigate up rivers and not obstruct the many bridges encountered whilst navigating inland from the coast.
The General Steam Navigation Company Ltd, was to end up a part of the huge P&O shipping group, while retaining identity as a subsidiary company.
With a shallow draught of only 8' 3" and powered by a 6 cylinder diesel engine by British Auxiliary Ltd, producing 560 bhp and giving her a service speed of 9 knots.
With a cargo capacity of 31,000 cubic ft for her cargo which was mostly grain in peacetime.
She was used by her owners for 23 years before sailing across the North Atlantic to her new owners L. Gagne of Matane Canada, who renamed her L'Oriole.
She was to go through a number of name changes in the next two decades, with her last registered name being Notre Dame De Lourdes, it was under this name that she was to eventually come to an unfortunate end on new years day of 1991, on a voyage from Miami to Gonalves she took on water off Santo Domingo Cay in the Bahamas and sank with the lose of 5 lives.
So ended a useful working life of 52 years, when you consider that 25 or so years is a more normal working span for a ship this shows just how well these old riveted ships were built.
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.