The Mystery Ship is the 847gt steam collier Ballyhaft, completed by George Brown & Co (Marine) Ltd at Greenock in November 1952, for John Kelly Ltd of Belfast. For financing purposes, and while retaining Kelly management, her registered ownership was transferred to John Milligen & Co, also of Belfast, in 1955, in whose funnel markings she is shown in the photograph. Her boilers were converted from coal to oil fired during late 1956.
Ownership (and funnel markings) reverted to that of Kelly’s during 1959 upon full redemption of her marine mortgage. Consequent to the insertion of a 40 ft constant section hull ‘plug’ between her midships deckhouse and aft hold in 1963, and at which time her cargo handling derricks and associated winch equipment were also removed, her gross tonnage increased to 991.
The location of the photo is difficult to inpoint due to the rather innocuous background, but perhaps it was taken while she was inbound to Belfast between Whitehead and Carrickfergus, or alternatively inbound to Derry on Lough Foyle. Ballyhaft traded until sold to Belgian shipbreakers during late 1970.Alan W. Blackwood, Troon