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Ships and Harbours
No: 13064   Contributor: Paul Strathdee   Year: 1973   Manufacturer: Other   Country: United Kingdom

VARDA was the first of the Clyde Class of 18000dwt standard design of general cargo ship designed by the newly formed Upper Clyde Shipbuilders consortium which they hoped would win orders.
However the much documented troubles of the yards resulted in long delays- over a year from launch to maiden voyage- and only 4 were built all for the Haverton Shipping Company.
VARDA was launched in December 1971 at the Clydebank yard but was not delivered until March 1973.This was taken at Greenock where all the class started their maiden voyages following delivery.
She lasted until 1998 and was scrapped as ASIA STAR.
Picture added on 12 January 2010 at 12:44
add commentComments:
Can you tell me the names of the other three "Clyde Class" general cargo ships? Was the "Sam John Pioneer" one of them?

Added by James Dodds on 19 November 2011.
There was SAMJOHN GOVERNOR and SAMJOHN PIONEER but I can't remember if they were classed as Clyde Class.
VARDA, ORLI, HILLA ans ALISA were Clyde Class.

Added by Paul Strathdee on 21 November 2011.
I can confirm that there were SEVEN Clyde Class vessels built in total, the first being SIG RAGNE(Denholms) and the last ALISA(Haverton Shipping)

SAMJOHN GOVERNOR No.117 U.C.S. Launched4/72 GRT11, 506 Scrapped 8/99 Guanghzou

SAMJOHN PIONEER No. 112 U.C.S. 1/72 11, 506grt Scrapped 2000 Jiangyin

SIG RAGNE No 110 ScotstounSB 6/71 11, 857grt Scrapped 11/98 Alang

VARDA No.118 U.C.S. (in liquidation) 3/73 11, 895 grt Scrapped 5/98 Alang

HILLA No. 121 Scotstoun SB 4/73 11, 897grt Scrapped 3/98 Alang

ORLI No. 119 U.C.S.(in liquidation) 7/73 11, 897grt Scrapped3/98 Alang

ALISA ** No. 120 U.C.S.(in liquidation) 12/73 11, 897grt Scrapped 4/98 Alang

** = Last Vessel built at Clydebank

Added by David Smith on 12 June 2012.
Thanks David. Was never sure about the first three.

Added by Paul Strathdee on 13 June 2012.
All four later renamed Gold Varda, Gold Hilla, Gold Orli and Gold Alisa while chartered to Gold Star Line of Hong Kong. These sturdy but straightforward, somewhat utilitarian ships with sophisticated cargo gear, spent many highly successful years in scheduled container service between Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore to West Africa calling at Durban westbound and eastbound. British registered - I spent ten satisfying years with them, 79/89, first as chief officer then as master. Now retired.

Added by Barry Cullen on 09 November 2012.
Nice to hear they were good ships. They were built at the time of the Upper Clyde Shipbuilders' Work In when the remaining yards were under immediate threat of closure throwing thousands out of work. Thankfully the government relented.

Added by Paul Strathdee on 13 November 2012.
I was the last Project Manager to switch off the lights at the superintendents office on 29 December 1973, a very sad day.

Added by Amiram Gal on 18 June 2016.
Shalom Amiram,

Do you happen to remember which one was launched by my mother (Mrs. Navarsky)? All I remember is that it was the summer vacation time.

Added by Eliezer Navarsky on 17 May 2018.
Hi Eliezer.Your Mum must have named the Alisa or Orli.I know because I have a programme of the double-naming ceremony of the first two vessels.Varda and Hilla.That was on Mon.19th February 1973.Varda was named by Mrs.A.Libin and Hilla by Mrs.H.Por.A toast to the Owners was made by Mr.R.C.Smith of U.C.S.(in Liquidation) and the reply was made by Mr.M.Tzur , Chairman, Haverton Shipping Ltd;London.There was a buffet luncheon aboard m.v.VARDA, with the vessel then being open for inspection until 1430 hrs.
Varda sailed from Greenock, after fitting out , on 12th March 1973.I think Hilla followed about two to three months later, with the last two, Orli and Alisa probably following after completion in early 1974?
Kind Regards

Added by David S. on 23 May 2018.
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