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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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ATHENIAN - Yard No 501 - Diesel Cargo - Ellerman Wilson Line - Built 1966


M.V.ATHENIAN Ship No 501

 The Papayanni Lines M.V.ATHENIAN in the dock unloading

(Photo credit unknown)


Owners    Ellerman Wilson Line (Papayanni Line Vessel)
Registered    Liverpool Keel Laid    
Type of Ship    Diesel Cargo Launched    04/05/1966
      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.    1,587      
DWT    3,970      
Engines    6-cyl, 4 stroke diesel engine by mirelees of Stockport, producing 2580 bhp at 300 rpm      
Props    1      
Speed    13 knots      
Other known names   1974-City of Valleta, 1979 Kota Jade    
Current Status   Broken up in 1986    


(from a photo on the shipsnostalgia website)

(photo credit unknown)


as content on M.V.ATHENIAN become available it will be added here. 
For the original of this neat photograph see below
© Ken Lubi
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.ATHENIAN was the SIXTH 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) ships 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.

M.V.ATHENIAN was allocated to be a Papayanni Line vessel and as with tradition she had a name ending with “IAN”

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.

The Ellerman 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.

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.

She was used primarily on the trade routes to the Mediterranean, as part of the Ellerman Wilson Line re-organisation around 1973/4 she was transferred into the Ellerman City Line and she was renamed CITY OF VALLETA.

She was to stay with the Ellerman City Line until 1979 before being sold to Singapore shipping interests and renamed KotA Jade.

She was eventually broken up in Taiwan in 1986.

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.




 Nice picture of the M.V.ATHENIAN

(From the Les Harris collection)


Named as KOTA JADE For the original of the photograph above see below
© timbo2
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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