The Mystery Ship in the December 2010 issue was the 4,949gt City of Lancaster, the second of three sisterships of the City of Guildford class built for the Ellerman Hall Line Ltd of Liverpool in 1958 by Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson, Newcastle. She had a designed service speed of 14.5 knots and was powered by an eight-cylinder Sulzer diesel. She proved to be a comfortable ship, often reaching 14.8 to 15 knots, her main sphere of trading being from the UK to Bombay/Karachi, Mauritius via South Africa, or to East Africa, with an odd foray to the Persian Gulf.

In 1973, following rationalisation of the Ellerman group of companies, she was transferred to Ellerman City Liners. In 1979 she was sold to Lancaster Shipping of Greece and renamed Lancaster. On 25 September 1979, while on passage from Calcutta to Glasgow, she collided with the tanker Thistle Venture and put into Dublin, where she was abandoned.

In March 1979 she was towed to Glasgow to discharge her cargo, the owners deciding to scrap her. She was taken over by the Clyde Port Authority following non-payment of dues, and put up for sale. She left the Clyde under tow for Spanish breakers on 25 November 1981, arriving at Aviles in January 1982.

P. D. LesterDorking, Surrey


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