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 1946 to 1984 ROLLO - Yard No 438 - Cargo/Passenger - Ellerman Wilson Line Built - 1954

Leith Shipyards

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ROLLO - Yard No 438 - Cargo/Passenger - Ellerman Wilson Line Built - 1954


Second steamship of the three ship order for the Ellerman Wilson Line the ROLLO was launched from the Leith Shipyards of Henry Robb in 1954
Owners    Ellerman Wilson Line
Registered    Hull Keel Laid    
Type of Ship    Cargo/Passenger Vessel Launched    12/10/1954
      Handed Over    
Ship Details          
Length Overall     Launch Details    
Length B.P.    290' 0" Weather    
Beam    48' 6" Time to Water    
Depth Mld     27' 0"      
G.R.T.    2499 tons      
Other known names   1970-Ocean Empress    
Current Status        
 Content the SS ROLLO will be added as and when time permits
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.


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.

So if you know any of the men or women who may have sailed on her, then please feel free to get in touch and we shall add the story here. 

 The following is a great little story from one of the ex-crew of the SS ROLLO

SS Rollo Football Team

I sailed on the Rollo in 1957, at this time she had a football team that was registered in an amateur league in Gothenburg. A local sportsman arranged the matches to coincide with the vessels time in port. I played a couple of matches and the local teams used to be amused when at half time we lit our fags and opened a case of Hull Brewery Export beer. I believe the ship won the league shield one year. Alan Vickers


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0 #2 stuart johnston 2016-01-05 13:25
as cadet, i did one trip hull to gothenburg, she lived up to her name as with a beam south easterly gale all the way to the skaggerak/katte gat(?) she rolled like i never experienced. a fellow cadet had warned me beforehand that he reckoned she would roll on a damp patch of grass!other than that she was a nice ship.
0 #1 Paul Lee 2013-09-14 06:09
I sailed on SS Rollo in the early 1970's as a Cadet Officer.
She was a beautiful ship and carried 12 passengers down the Med, on a 6 to 8 week voyage.
I sailed on her on her last trip down the Med until she was sold and run to the Moldives.

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