The Loftsman
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 1939 to 1945 KINGFISHER - Yard No 333 - Coaster - General Steam Navigation Co Ltd - Built 1943

Leith Shipyards

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KINGFISHER - Yard No 333 - Coaster - General Steam Navigation Co Ltd - Built 1943


The M.V.KINGFISHER Ship No 333 ordered by the General Steam Navigation Co, Ltd (Part of the P&O Group)


 M.V.KINGFISHER a classic small coaster built at the Leith Shipyards of Henry Robb Ltd.  
Owners    General Steam Navigation Co, Ltd
Registered     Keel Laid    
Type of Ship    Diesel Cargo Launched    15/11/1944
      Handed Over    
Ship Details          
Length Overall     Launch Details    
Length B.P.    160' 0" Weather    
Beam    27' 0" Time to Water    
Depth Mld     14' 0"      
G.R.T.    493 Tons      
Engines   6 cylinder diesel engine built by British Polar Engines Ltd, Glasgow, Scotland       
Speed    9 knots      
Other known names   1961-Dunure    
Current Status   Scuttled in 1983    
Content on KINGFISHER will be added as and when available. 

The M.V.KINGFISHER arriving in harbour

(Photograph copyright of the P&O Heritage collection and shown here by kind permission)


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.

Although the second world war was raging all around there was still the requirment now more and more for ships of all types to still be built in the Leith Shipyards of Henry Robb.

The KINGFISHER was in fact one of a two ship order for the GSN Co, Ltd which had been cancelled at the outbreak of war to make way for the construction of warships. Sister ship to the later launched M.V.STORK.

The M.V. Kingfisher was the fourth ship of the company to have this name and she was eventually sold in 1961 to Puddister & Bennett of St Johns, Newfoundland and re-named Dunure.

Another of the small coasters built in the Leith Shipyards of Henry Robb to make her way across the North Atlantic to continue on with her trade, she was scuttled of St Johns Newfoundland in 1983.

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.

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.

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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0 #1 james petrie 2017-05-13 12:51
crew member from 1952 till 1956 sailed to arc angel Russia cargo pit props not allowed ashore, 1957.then bouloign paris,dunkirk,l e-harve paris,dublin, captain strainger over the 4 years I sailed on her very happy ship, if we had to spenda weekend in le-harve we had a 4 pice band we entertaind customs and agent I was the drummer. a very happy ship. gd- day.

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