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 SS TINTO - Yard No 355 - Cargo Steamer - Ellerman Wilson Line - Built 1946

Leith Shipyards

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SS TINTO - Yard No 355 - Cargo Steamer - Ellerman Wilson Line - Built 1946



The S.S.TINTO was the first of many such ships built for the Ellerman Wilson Line at the Leith Shipyards of Henry Robb.

A classic looking Cargo Steamer from just after the war.

 S.S.TINTO underway with a full load of cargo

(Photo credit unknown)

Owners    Ellerman Wilson Line
Registered     Keel Laid    
Type of Ship    Cargo Steamer Launched    27/08/1946
      Handed Over    
Ship Details          
Length Overall     Launch Details    
Length B.P.    280' 0" Weather    
Beam     42' 0" Time to Water    
Depth Mld      24' 3"      
G.R.T.    1795      
Props    1      
Other known names   1966 re-named Kate M.G.    
Current Status        
As content on the SS TINTO  becomes available it will be added here.
A Century of Sea Travel

A Century of Sea Travel

This book is a voyage through the life of the passenger steamship, a voyage described by travelers who sailed on these vessels, and it carries within it their thoughts and experiences, mirrored here in words and pictures. The pictures are memories of ships and places in times gone by, glimpses of steamship travel through the years. In memoirs and letters home, diaries and journals the writers recorded every aspect of their seagoing experiences: they wrote of their ship, its crew and their fellow passengers, of the food and entertainment on board, of romance, accidents and disasters, and of being dreadfully sick. They noted incidents on board that amused or angered them, described the ports at which their ship called, and the fear and excitement of storms at sea. The writers were emigrants or colonial rulers, men of letters, young men seeking their fortune, wives on their way to new homes abroad; some were rich, many were poor and escaping the hardship of downtrodden lives; all had in common the experience of voyaging at sea. The author has woven their words into a narrative that describes so evocatively a world that has now disappeared, and with the huge range of illustrations brings back to life the golden age of the steamship.Beautifully designed and printed, this book will delight armchair travelers, ship enthusiasts and all those who still go to sea to seek romance and adventure.


S.S.TINTO with her hull painted white

(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.

The Ellerman Wilson Line was to order many ships from the yard, after the losses of the second world war the company was building up again, as indeed were most of the shipping lines that were left after the war had ended.

The TINTO was a classic looking steamer of her time when ships looked like ships and not square boxes.

The steam ship TINTO was the first in line of many ships built in the Leith Shipyards of Henry Robb.

Ordered by the Ellerman Wilson Group of shipping companies, she was similar to some of the Liberty ships built in mass numbers during World War II although a little smaller at around 300 feet long, and of course with a much higher spec and well crafted interior along with the traditional steamer look having the bridge amidships, with hold forward and aft. With most of the surving shipping lines needing to rebuild the Fleet after war loses this was to be a very busy time for shipyards in Britain.

All riveted as it was to be some time before the British shipyards were to be convinced that welded hulls was the way forward for shipbuilding in the future.

She was launched in 1947 and was to serve the Ellerman Wilson Line for 19 years before being sold to a shipping company in Gibraltar in 1966 and re-named. Still awaiting information of what happened to her after this time.

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.


S.S.TINTO from an old postcard

(Photo credit unknown)


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.


 Tinto in dry dock Hull for repairs ice damage that is me (Sam) on the shell, and Snowie on the stem, about 1958

(Photo from Sam at the Ships Nostalgia website)





 TINTO all iced up from a photo by Mike Murphy who was AB on her, and it is shown with kind permission of Pete B.


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0 #1 Michael Matthews 2017-04-16 16:28
My dad Fred Matthews sailed on Tinto as motorman and was aboard when she rang onto rocks off Aalesund in Norway in the winter of 1956.

The crew had to abandon her by using the Norwegian pilot cutter. Tinto was holed in number one and two holds. She was re floated and patched up to get her back to Hull.

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