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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TENNYSON - Yard No 449 - Diesel Cargo - Chine Lines Shipping Co - Built 1956


The M.V.TENNYSON Ship No 449

 The bulk cargo vessel M.V.TENNYSON

(Thanks to Jim for the use of the photograph)


Owners    Chine Lines Shipping Company
Registered    London Keel Laid    
Type of Ship    Bulk Cargo Launched    20/11/1956
      Handed Over    
Ship Details          
Length Overall    356' 7"  Launch Details    
Length B.P.    335' 0" Weather    
Beam    50' 6" Time to Water    
Depth Mld     21' 9"      
G.R.T.    3894 tons      
DWT    5630 tons      
Engines   Sulzer 5 cylinder Diesel, producing 2,000bhp      
Props    1      
Speed    11 knots      
Other known names   68-Ashington, 78-Arlington, 80-Gianna A, 83-Chrys    
Current Status    Broken up, Gadani Beach 1984    
Content on TENNYSON will be added as and when available. 




The builders plate
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 M.V.TENNYSON was one of the larger ships built in the Leith Shipyards of Henry Robb, part of a 3 ship order for Chine Lines.

The TENNYSON was the smaller of the three ship order which would keep the yard going at full employment for some time.

The M.V.TENNYSON was a typical design at a time when ships were beginning to be designed to maximise space and therefore cargo capacity in the hope for larger profits for the ship managers and owners.

She had 2 holds one at 108 feet and one at 106 feet long, with 4 hatch covers by MacGregor.

With her structure aft she had a some what bland look above the water, but with her bridge and engine room aft she had a far shorter shaft length and more space for the cargo. This type of ship design provided lot's of work (and overtime) for the "Black Squad" but created a bit less work for the Outfitters.

She was employed by Chine Lines for 11 years with most of her journeys  being out of Middlebourgh to Africa, She then sailed out of the Port of Immingham predominantly for the Coastal ports of Europe, after she had been sold to Stephenson Clarke Shipping Ltd, London, and renamed ASHINGTON.

She was sold on a couple of more times after being called ASHINGTON but the enevitable for a steel constructed ship can not be avoided and she was another Robb ship to end up at the ship graveyard of Gadani Beach in Pakistan in 1984

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.TENNYSON re-named as Arlington

(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.

The following two photographs were sent into the website by Simon Quail and shown here by permission

This is Ashington Ex Tennyson sailing up canal to Tunis August 1975

This is Ashington sailing up canal to Tunis August 1975 and being discharged by an old steam crane; took nearly 2 weeks!

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.



 The M.V.TENNYSON Ship No 449 underway in a calm sea

(Photo is shown by permission of Jim P.)


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0 #4 Dermot Patterson 2017-04-09 16:38
My deceased father, Duncan Patterson, was 1st Mate on the Tennyson in the late 1950s. I have his Seaman's Record Book which shows his last discharge being 26.06.59 signed by T.W. Pilbin. Dad always told us that he was in command of the Tennyson before coming ashore in the early 1960s to become a river pilot at Boston, LIncs. I'm very interested in the comment from Liz Jones about Tommy Pilbin being Captain. My dad had a Master's Ticket, but was he ever actually Captain of the ship? I'd love to know.
+1 #3 Liz Jones 2016-11-18 11:05
My Uncle, Tommy Pilbin, was Captain of the Tennyson in the 50's/60's. We visited him when he was docked in Middlesbrough several times. It was quite a thrill to be eating at the Captains table being treated like Royalty. He brought us some lovely leather bags from Casablanca, and I remember he gave Mum a transistor radio from the USA, you couldnt buy them over here in those days. His house was full of wonderful items collected on his travels.
+1 #2 Simon Quail 2016-02-22 18:35
I was second mate on the Ashington from 14.7.75 to 26.8.75 loading coal for Tunis. I remember steaming up a narrow canal with pink flamingos placidly feeding in the shallow waters of the flat calm lake. It took at least two weeks to discharge by an old steam crane which belched black smoke. Nobody wanted to go ashore except me and the radio officer, so I was able to take the train to Carthage,and Sidi bou Said, and explore ashore.
+1 #1 Colin Chambers 2014-11-30 15:08
:-) I worked for The Manchester Ship Canal Company, for 46 years and I am reasonably correct in saying, this vessel has sailed up the Canal to Manchester, under at least one of her names.

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