The Thames Estuary has always been busy with shipping of all shapes and sizes visiting London and the various wharves along the river. Peter Flack supplied a series of images showing container ships that called in the 1980s.
The 19,095gt container ship Columbia Star, pictured on 12 July 1980, was built in 1971 by Bremer Vulcan-Vegesac for Blue Star Line. Powered by a nine-cylinder MAN diesel of 26,100bhp, she had a service speed of 22.5 knots and was later Mandama (1986) and New Zealand Star (1992), before being broken up at Chittagong in 1998.
The small container ship Pioner Vyborga (1973), pictured on 29 June 1980, was built by Vyborg Shipping-Vyborg, being registered in Leningrad, USSR. The 4,787gt ship measured 130.31m overall and had an ice-strengthened hull divided into four holds. She was later named Vigo Stone and Galicia Stone.
A stern view of Visurgis (1971) taken on 15 July 1980. Built by Elsflether Werft AG for Horst-Werner Janssen, the 6,666gt ship measured 128.43m overall. She was later named Atlantic Prospekt, Sofati Europe, Hua Ning Hai, and in 2002 became Yue Heng.
The container ship T.F.L. Franklin (ex-Seatrain Bennington), pictured on 30 October 1980, was built in 1979 for Navi-Fonds CMBH & Co, Dusseldorf. The 16,198gt vessel was later named Franklin I, European Senator, Cmb Motion, Sea Breeze and Eagle Integrity.
Rochefort (7,749gt), pictured on 26 June 1981, was built in 1976 by Marine Industries Ltd, Sorel for Delmas Shipping, based in Le Havre, France. The 11,873dwt vessel measured 159.09m overall and was equipped with four holds and eight hatches. She was later renamed Maris Otter, Silver Glory and Jin Shan Bao, and was scrapped in 1998.
Radeburg (1972), pictured on 30 June 1980, was built by Schiffswerft Neptun-Rostock for Veb Deutfracht/ Seereederei. The 3,089gt vessel measured 104.91m overall and had two holds.