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 RRS BRANSFIELD - Yard No 508 - Antarctic Survey Vessel - N.E.R.C. - Built 1970

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RRS BRANSFIELD - Yard No 508 - Antarctic Survey Vessel - N.E.R.C. - Built 1970


The following is from another crew member of this fine ship Graham Mawdsley

Who has also sent in the following amazing photographs from his time on BRANSFIELD and the "ICE"

My association with the Bransfield spanned the period
November 1974 to May 1977. As temporary
crew on our way to the various bases operated by the British Antarctic Survey
(BAS) we were expected to undertake a number of duties during the voyage. These included the normal watch-keeping,
weather observations, cleaning, etc., but also countless hours on deck chipping
away rust spots and priming and re-painting whenever the weather
permitted. This latter activity was a
particular feature of our return trip in early 1977 in preparation for her
appearance in the Spithead Review for The Queen's silver jubilee in June of
that year.

Graham Mawdsley

BAS Meteorologist,

Halley Bay (Base Z) over-wintering team 1975 & 1976

BRANSFIELD unloading stores at Halley Bay Antartica-Photo by G.Mawdsley

The above photograph taken by Graham Mawdsley shows ·
Unloading from the hold onto the sea ice using
cargo nets. The Sno-Cat is waiting with a train of 4 cargo sledges.




The 'quayside' at Halley bay. Sno-cat and loaded cargo sledges in the
foreground. Muskeg tractor in the near
distance and a glimpse of the ramp leading up onto the ice shelf in the far


To be continued.




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0 #13 Andrew Denley 2017-05-01 14:02
Tim, thanks for the info...STS Winston Churchill eh? I was a watch leader on that Schooner for a couple of cruises. Small world.
0 #12 Roy Felton 2017-05-01 10:27
I sailed on the Bransfield in 1977/78 /79 as Motorman and EDH great time and great ship mates many good memories
+2 #11 Tim Leggett 2015-06-29 16:56
Andrew, after Bransfield Kevin Vicars was a cook on John Biscoe. I later saw him as a relief cook on STS Sir Winston Churchill. I've not heard of him for sometime. I seem to remember that he had a flat in the Bournemouth area.
+1 #10 Andrew Denley 2015-06-29 09:01
I was working the radio at Rothera in summer 1980. We were wating for the Branny to arrive for the end of season relief when Hugh O'Gorman came on the radio "We may be delayed a bit, we seem to have run aground!" We all rushed up to Rothera Point to see the ship listing, very alarmingly to starboard. She had apparently traversed two rocky outcrops at 8 knots resulting in a huge underwater gash.
+1 #9 david crawford 2015-06-28 09:24
Ahh! memories ! She looked far better without the funnel extension which she got later . Happy days with spike.Jan, Larry and cliff, Stuart,nick at al and of course Stevie Vallance the doctor.
+4 #8 Andrew Denley 2014-03-31 14:56
I sailed south in the Branny - October 1979 and returned in her May 1981. I remember Tim Leggett, Captain Cole and Stewart Laurence -whatever happened to Kevin Vicars? Last time I saw her I was with the FCO in Montevideo and had he pleasure of going aboard to take the official Embassy papers. I was at Rothera base when she hit submerged rocks and then sailed north in her to Argentine Islands. Happy days!
+3 #7 Howard Stoneham 2013-10-25 05:14
I sailed on the maiden voyage of the Bransfield. She took me to Halley Bay where I served as a tractor / diesel mechanic for two years. I returned to Southampton in May 73. The most fun I have ever had.
+1 #6 Lauren Herschell 2013-04-10 12:36
My dad sailed on the Bransfield, it was before I was born in 1982- so it would be late 70's early 80's. His name is Paul Herschell. Be nice to know if anybody remembers him?
+3 #5 daz beck 2013-04-03 21:33
i sailed on this great ship RSS BRANSFIELD,an met so many great people, i hope i gave them some fantastic an funny memories,as they have me , :lol:
+2 #4 TIM LEGGETT 2012-06-09 14:47
I sailed as Second Steward in RRS Bransfield during her 1978/79 season.. Still one of the best years of my life.. John Cole and Stewart Lawrence were the Masters who changed over at Punta Arenas during our season.. I keep seeing a ship called CCGS AMUNDSEN of the Canadian Coast Guard on Mighty Ships.. She looks almost identical to Bransfield but twin screw and other modifications.. They must have used Bransfield's plans for this ship as dear old Branny has now been broken up.. Almost a sister ship but with a helicopter house over the after hatch..

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