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 M.V.HIRONDELLE Ship No 396 was an order from the General Steam Navigation Company Ltd, this small coaster was the first of a two ship order to be built at the Leith Shipyards of Henry Robb.
In what was to be a golden era for British Shipbuilding, with all yards having full order books and working to maximum capacity, what with the shipping companies trying to replace war losses. The next ten years were to be very profitable for the Henry Robb shipyard.
This was at a time before the German and Japanese shipyards were to get there acts together with all the new funding and tooling supplied in principle by the victorious allies (mostly American money as Britain was skint)
The HIRONDELLE was a modern single screw diesel engine ship for use on short inshore coastal routes. With her low funnel astern and collapsible masts for navigating up the inshore river ports, they were the principle method of transporting goods at a time before air and road transport had taken a hold of transportation.
She was a sister ship of the M.V.SWIFT also ordered from GSNC Ltd, which although an autonomous company in operation the parent company was in fact P & O shipping group, which had taken them over in the 1920's.
A modern design for the time she was to be used by her owners for around 16 years before being sold on to Canadian shipping interests, so it was in April of 1966 that the small coaster made her way across the stormy seas of the North Atlantic to take up her new duties with the Lake Shipping Co Ltd, St Johns, Newfoundland, and renamed Clyde.
She continued voyaging around North America until 1986 when she was used as a target ship and sunk by the Royal Canadian Navy off Halifax, Nova Scotia.
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.