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 SILVIO - Yard No 498 - Diesel Cargo - Ellerman Wilson Line - Built 1967

Leith Shipyards

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SILVIO - Yard No 498 - Diesel Cargo - Ellerman Wilson Line - Built 1967



M.V.SILVIO Ship No 498 

Owners    Ellerman Wilson Line (Wilson Line Ship)
Registered    Hull Keel Laid    
Type of Ship    Diesel Cargo Launched    30/11/1967
      Handed Over    
Ship Details          
Length Overall    308' 0" Launch Details    
Length B.P.    280' 0" Weather    
Beam     45' 6" Time to Water    
Depth Mld      26' 0"      
G.R.T.    1559      
Engines   6 -cyl oil engine built by Mirrlees National Ltd, Stockport, England      
Props    1      
Speed    13 KNOTS      
Other known names   1973-City of Patras, 1978-City of Tema    
Current Status   Broken up in 2009    
as content on the M.V.SILVIO become available it will be added here. 


(photo from Stuart, re-produced here with permission)


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 SILVIO was the FOURTH ship in what was the largest order for ships to be built in the Leith Shipyards of Henry Robb.

The order was from The Ellerman Wilson Line and was for a total of seven (7) ship of which five were to form the new “S” Class of cargo vessel for the Wilson Line with the other two ships to be Papayanni Line ships.

This was a big order for the shipyard and it meant continued employment for the highly skilled shipbuilders of Leith for the next three years of there build.

More functional than and not as elegant as the previous Ellerman vessels built in the yard, but a very welcome order and a nice ship.

 SILVIO was in fact the second ship for the Ellerman group to be built at the Leith Shipyards, the first SILVIO that was built was launched in 1947 as Ship No 358

She was also the FOURTH ship of the Ellerman Line to have the name of SILVIO and sailed as a Wilson Line ship.

The "S" Class ships as they were to be known, while still fitted out to a high standard did not quite have the same opulence as previous Ellerman ships built at Leith.

With her super structure aft as was becoming the norm for ships at this time to give more hold space and a smaller shaft coupled to the engine, this was a big saving in cost for the owners.

The Wilson line were in the process of developing a modern fleet equipped for speedy and efficient cargo-handling, the "S" class ships had on board cranes to allow the handling of general and containerised cargo and loaded pallets as well as refrigerated containers.

They also had side-loading doors port and starboard or driving cargo straight into the t'ween decks.

She was fitted with a bow thrusters to aid berthing and docking, all in all very modern ships for the time. 



She was used on the trade routes from Hull to East Sweden and Finland most of the time, across the unpredictable North Sea, and also used on the Mediterranean routes from London, as part of the Ellerman Wilson Line reorganisation around 1973/4 she was transferred into the Ellerman City Line and she was renamed CITY OF PATRAS.

She continued with the City Line for another 4 years before being sold on in 1978 to Ghana and renamed City of Tema. She was then sold on to a number of obscure shipping lines and renamed many more times, she was last under the Cambodian flag before she was eventually broken up in July 2009. 


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.

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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