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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STORK - Yard No 334 - Coaster - General Steam Navigation Co Ltd - Built 1943


The M.V.STORK Ship No 334 ordered by the General Steam Navigation Co, Ltd (Part of the P&O Group)
 The Coaster M.V.STORK built at the Leith Shipyards of Henry Robb Ltd.  
Owners    General Steam Navigation Co, Ltd
Registered     Keel Laid    
Type of Ship    Diesel Cargo Launched    30/01/1945
      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      
Engines   6 cylinder diesel engine built by British Polar Engine Lt, Glasgow, Scotland      
Props    1      
Speed    9 knots      
Other known names        
Current Status   deleted from Lloyds 1999    
Content on STORK will be added as and when available. 

The M.V.STORK at sea

(photo credit unknown)

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 M.V.STORK was the second vessel of a two ship order from General Steam Navigation Co. Ltd which in fact had been cancelled in 1939 with the outbreak of war, she was a sister ship of KINGFISHER and was a typical small coaster design of the time.

STORK was also the fourth ship of this name with the company, and she along with her sister ship Kingfisher was sold on in 1966, with Stork being sold to Greece and re-named Nikos Litochoron.

The M.V.STORK was only deleted from Lloyds register in 1999

This MV STORK should not be confused with the previous ship of the same name and owners which was involved in many wartime actions including the shooting down of a German bomber while under sustained air attacks in 1940 off the coast of Boulonge.

Another remarkable span for a ship to continue working, they built them little coasters tough and this ship lasted for more than 55 years.

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.


The M.V.STORK underway (Photograph copyright of P&O heritage and shown here with kind permission)


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 following is from Alastair MacDonald who sailed on STORK

 I served on board Stork in 1964-65 when she plied her trade between Felixstowe, Amsterdam and Harlingen (Up on the German border).

We spent three days stuck in the North Sea in a GF-9/SF-10 barely holding our way. I kissed the ground when we got back to Felixstowe and believe me for 3 days I had reason to thank Messrs. Robb Shipyards of Leith as I was convinced the entire ship was going to plunge to the bottom of the sea with the next wave she took.  I was the only crew member who was not sick and I almost died of malnutrition during those three days. A nightmare! I relive it regularly even today.

When I sailed on her it was out of Felixstowe before they turned it into Europe's biggest container port and the harbour was a square about the size of two or three football fields. The harbour was dominated by a mill but we never took cargo from there. We usually carried farming machinery and boxed and sacked materials which were loaded by crane and we sometimes off-loaded them by on-board boom!

We always sailed at 4 in the afternoon as the tide did not affect our small ship and we sailed to a marker half an hour out and just opposite the Felixstowe town pier before we settled for the voyage which was on a course of NE. At 5 o'clock the next morning we had arrived off Oijmounden which was the entrance to the canal that took us inland about 20 km to Amsterdam.

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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