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Ships and Harbours Photos

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Ships and Harbours
No: 14630   Contributor: Paul Strathdee   Year: 1959   Manufacturer: Brooke Marine, Lowestoft, United Kingdom   Country: United Kingdom

Associated Humber Lines' passenger cargo vessel at Hull in July 1959. She was built by Brooke Marine at Lowestoft in 1959 and operated between Hull and Rotterdam.
In 1972 she was sold and renamed AEGEON EXPRESS being scrapped in Greece in 1980.

Photo courtesy of Donald Robertson.
Picture added on 26 May 2010 at 07:01
add commentComments:
hi i used to have my dinner on this ship when it was in alexandria dock hull . i was 4 years old at the time and uesed to have an adults meal witch was very nice. my farther was captain william h crisp . he also captained the early melrose abby out of humber dock hull .would it be possible to send me some pictures of the two vessles.many thanks paul crisp

Added by Paul Crisp on 09 June 2010.
I only have this plus one I took in Rotterdam when I went on her in 1967. If Marcel is able to send me your Email address I'll send them on.

Editor: Paul S. all you have to do to get Paul C's email is click on his (blue) name......

Added by Paul Strathdee on 09 June 2010.
Thanks - got it OK.

Added by Paul Strathdee on 11 June 2010.
Very evocative picture for me - my father sailed for 25 years with AHL until they folded in 1971 - also I remember the Riverside Quay in Hull which features in the picture was in the 50's/60's a hive of activty but nowadays is sadly derelict.

Added by Martin Smith on 19 June 2010.
This photo is very nice, I have hunted all over for a photo for my father. He sailed on her numerous times. Now he is 75 and often speaks highly of this ship. Excellent

Added by Tracey Chaney - Nr Hull on 11 May 2011.
Glad you like it and it brought back great memories of her.

Added by Paul Strathdee on 12 May 2011.
If you want some other pics of the Melrose Abbey I can e-mail them to you - I have some colour images in Parkhaven in Rotterdam (which your dad will remember)- my dad was the Purser on the Melrose (Phil Smith) along with Tommy Mannfield. Infact if your dad sailed on any other AHL boats I have pictures of most of them.
Martin Smith

Added by Martin Smith on 13 May 2011.
Hi Martin
I would really love some more photos, I would love to show my dad them. My email is I look forward to seeing them and many thanks


Added by Tracey Chaney on 13 May 2011.
My dad is still alive and has told me he remembers your dad really well and Tommy. He tells me the captain was called Blackburn. This is a small world but great that this can be shared.

Added by Tracey Chaney on 13 May 2011.
Sad to say Tommy and Captain Blackburn (aka "the old man") crossed the bar many years ago - Tommy in the early 70's and Joe Blackburn in 1993 - my dad in 2008 - I have a crew picture from 1966/67/68 at their Xmas dinner at the seamens mission on Anlaby Road - maybe your dad is on it - if so would your dad like a copy -some well known AHL characters Les Drew, Rosco the cook and Mary the stewardess are on the picture ? PS did you get the other pictures of the Melrose I sent to your e mail address?

Added by Martin Smith on 29 May 2011.
I have read with interest the above. I am the daughter of Captain Joe Blackburn and I remember Phil Smith well and Les Drew and Mary the Stewardess.

Added by Jean Druery on 24 August 2011.
Sorry to hear your father is no longer with us. He was on the Melrose often when I went trips with my Dad (Joe Blackburn) and I have very many happy memories of those times.

Added by Jean Druery on 24 August 2011.
I am a share holder envolved with the restoration of sail trawler "PILGRIM" BM 45 Brixham.We were give a ships bell to replace ours stolen.I was imformed this bell was from the "MELROSE ABBEY" 8inch/brass. Ship scrapped in Greece 1980. Looking for a photo please for the record. Unfortunately the ships name had been filed off when I was given it but I could just make it out. "MELROSE ABBEY 1959"

Added by Dennis Rowe on 09 November 2011.

If you want a few more pictures of the Melrose Abbey (forerunner of the RORO North Sea Ferries) send me your e mail and I will oblige.

Editor: Martin, just click on his name (in blue) and it will open your email program with his address.

Added by Martin Smith on 09 November 2011.
Hi my dad worked on the Melrose Abbey sailing from Hull to Holland, Albert Morton is his name as a child we had trips on the ship and I remember captain Blackburn and Mary too

Added by Derek Morton on 16 November 2011.
Your dad and my dad were mates for years. My dad is Harry Wilson. I recall seeing him when he was working down Whitefriargate. Its good to see we all have an interest in our dads times on the Melrose Abbey.

Added by Tracey Chaney on 17 November 2011.
hi Tracey thanks for the reply, yes I remember your dad Harry too , my dad still lives in garden village

Editor: Please note that you can email people directly by clicking on their name (when blue)

Added by Derek Morton on 18 November 2011.
Delighted to see a picture of the Melrose Abbey. One of my earliest memories (when I was about 4) in 1968 was the trip with my parents from Hull to Harburg for a c.2 month stay with family in Germany. My parents have died now but I remember that my mother said she loved the trip across, that my father was sick much of the time, and that I (as a little 4-year old) loved every minute. Even have some photos of the Melrose Abbey in my late parents' photograph albums.

Added by Andreas King on 26 January 2013.
I remember the Melrose Abbey fondly, my father was Assistant Purser under Tommy Mansfield. Had a lot of good times travelling on the vessel.

Added by Paul Smith on 28 September 2013.
1949-1955 George Jennings (father) a steward on Melrose Abbey does any one know of him

Added by Mrs M.J.Allen on 13 October 2013.
I was able to get some superb photos from West Mersea Museum of the Melrose & Bolton Abbey being launched and fitted out at Brooke Marine, Lowestoft. For a small fee they will download all 9 photos. Apparently taken by the ship's architect.

Added by Paul Smith on 27 November 2013.
Hi, I would be interested in the photos how much are they?

Added by Paul Crisp on 28 November 2013.
thank you for this information

Added by Margaret Allen on 28 November 2013.
Cost £10.00 for all downloads. Tony Millem is the contact at West Mersea Museum

Added by Paul Smith on 29 November 2013.
Hello, lovely to see the photo of the Melrose Abey, I have fond memories of sailing on her from Rotterdam to Hull every year with my Mum who came from Stornoway and married my Dad , a dutchman in 1945 and lived in Holland all her married live, would love to receive some more photo, s of her

Added by Marion de Lange- on 18 April 2014.
Hi.... I would love some pics of crew/ great grandad was a stoker on their for years....Percy "Pop" email is

Added by Jamie Brooks on 19 July 2014.
Hi Jamie. See what can be done. My brother has quite a few of my father with shipmates over the years.

Added by on 22 July 2014.
Thats great thank you... :o)

Added by Jamie Brooks on 23 July 2014.
Jamie - my pictures of AHL crew date from the 1960's - sadly after the days of the SS Melrose Abbey - as explained the photo above is of the MV Melrose Abbey its successor on the Hull -Rotterdam Service - as mentioned there is a fine print by Adrian Thompson - who is based in Mytongate of the AHL steamers at birth in the old Humber Dock circa 1950. Hope your dad enjoys the pictures of the old Melrose Abbey

Added by Martin Smith on 23 July 2014.
i think my dad worked on the melrose abbey, his name is cyril watson

Added by Robert Watson on 31 October 2014.
nice picture of the Melrose Abbey my husband was chief engineer on Melrose and Bolton from 1968 till 1971.

His name : Leslie Allison

Added by Renny Allison Antwerp on 15 March 2015.
Renny. I have a few pictures of the Abbey boats. If you want I can send them via E-Mail ?

Added by on 18 March 2015.
pictures very welcome-thank you, but don't know who is the sender.also looking for information about captain Shipley and others. Renny

Added by Renny Allison Antwerp on 18 March 2015.

My late father Phil Smith who was a Purser on the Melrose Abbey used to mention Leslie in his recollectionS of times gone by. Did he also sail on the York to the Meditteranean in 1968? I have a picture of the Melrose Abbey Crew at their Xmas party in 1968 - I am sure your husband is on it - would you like a copy? Also I see you are in Antwerp - my mum came from Deurne Noord.

Added by Martin Smith on 18 March 2015.
e-mail address Renny Allison :
would like e-mail address of Martin Smith : I have
sailed with your dad.

Added by Renny Allison Antwerp on 19 March 2015.
Martin, Would like to e-mail you but cannot find your e-mail address.

Added by Renny Allison Antwerp on 19 March 2015.
does anybody know if captain Shipley is still around.After AHL, last known in Portsmouth/Weymouth.
Renny Allison Antwerp

Added by Renny Allison Antwerp on 04 April 2015.
I believe Captain Shipley died a few years ago. I know his sister in law and she told me.

Added by Jean Druery on 07 April 2015.
Thank you Jean. Are you the "Jean" who used to be stewardess on the Melrose and/or Bolton Abbey? My husband was Chief Engineer, mostly third crew as was Captain Shipley.

Added by Renny Allison Antwerp on 08 April 2015.
My father was Captain on the Melrose Abbey - Joe Blackburn. He was Captain when AHL finally folded. Regards

Added by Jean Druery on 10 April 2015.
Jean, I have not been able to receive any mails for 3 days. Everything O.K. now.
Hope to hear from you. Renny

Added by Renny Allison Antwerp on 11 April 2015.
Thank you Jean. I remember your father very well. Also the mate, cannot remember his name. He once asked me to jot down the shipping forecast for Thames and Humber when he could not listen himself.

Added by Renny Allison Antwerp on 14 April 2015.
I'm amazed at all the memories generated from putting on this photo. Very gratifying indeed!

Added by Paul Strathdee on 21 April 2015.
Paul- it was a special ship as was her sister the Bolton Abbey - everyone seemed to know everyone - regular passengers were on first name terms with the crew - not the impersonal cattle pens that are today's P&O; North Sea Ferries.

Added by Martin Smith on 30 April 2015.
Norwave & Norwind developed a similar culture to Melrose & Bolton Abbey. As North Sea Ferries no longer exists in title since P & O took over 100% the charm and atmosphere is long gone.

Added by on 01 May 2015.
It has been very interesting to see all these comments. My family used to travel to and from Holland on the Bolton and Melrose Abbey, as well as SS Bury and SS Melrose Abbey. My mother coming from Holland. The crews were always friendly and, yes, we did know them by their first names. Fond memories. Thank you for bringing them back

Added by Edwin Todd on 23 June 2015.
Hi stumbled upon this site from Google . My father George Moody sailed on many of the abbey ships started 6/4/51 (that's what his seamen a record book says)until they stopped in 1971 , on the ss Melrose abbey he was chief steward and later on the mv ships was assistant steward / barman . My father passed away in 1995 and would love to see any pictures of the ships he sailed in and pictures of the crew he sailed on Ss Melrose abbey , ss aire , ss rother , ss alt ? , ss selby ss don Ss bury , mv bolton abbey and mv Melrose abbey with a total off 55 stamps in the book my father later went on to have Neptune inn and oriental in hull

Added by Edwin moody on 14 July 2015.
Have been working away -will get pictures of all these ships to you over the weekend -
Cheers Martin Smith

Added by Martin Smith on 17 July 2015.
My dad worked on the Melrose his name was Derrick Cunningham 'Curly' I would love to see some pictures as my Dad passed away 1973.

Added by Pauline Cunningham on 16 December 2015.
Will forward some pictures - send me an E mail - just click on my name on my message dated 18th March -this will open my mail address.
Martin Smith

Added by Martin Smith on 18 December 2015.
I have been trying to find any images of m.v. Aegeon Express (ex Melrose Abbey). So far without success. Chion Shipping Co. who bought the Melrose Abbey no longer exist. I did locate an image of m.v. Capalonga in her new guise (ex Bolton Abbey)

Added by Paul Smith on 04 May 2016.
My Dad sailed the Melrose abbey from Hull to Rotterdam, we have a picture of the Melrose on his grave its beautiful. I also use to go on the ship when I was a teenager with my friend as her Dad was cook on it. Her Dad is no longer with us also, but we both have the memories.

Added by S Reid on 11 September 2016.
I remember a cook on the Melrose Abbey. He was a real larger than life character called Rosko? Bushy black hair and glasses - old sea mate of my dads.

Added by Martin Smith on 04 November 2016.
I used to be one of the passenger agents for this ferry and also the Bolton abbey. Pursuers were Tom Mansfield MA & Len Theakstone BA.They both sailed from Riverside Quay. I left the company in 1965.

Added by Malcolm Burton on 02 December 2016.
I sailed on both the Melrose and Bolton Abbey, and remember many of the crews mentioned, I was a galley boy at first on the Melrose under the larger than life character Roscoe then A/S, left to go deep sea then returning as 3rd crew barman after training by George Moody, stayed until they were sold in December 1971, great ships and crews.

Added by Paul Rennison on 13 November 2017.
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Brooke Marine, Lowestoft, United Kingdom

Cypriot heavy-lift ship 'Starman' of 1974Putford Sky    Gt.Yarmouth     03/03/2012MELROSE ABBEY in RotterdamSAINT PETERSPORT GUERNSEYHMS Beagle, pennant no. H319, in the Gulf, 1969HM Bark Endeavour, Replica
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