Looking Back

The British Flag oil tanker (image from Shields Weekly News 1969).
The British Flag oil tanker (image from Shields Weekly News 1969).

On January 7, 1966, Shields Weekly News headlines featured Smith’s Dock shipyard in North Shields winning an order for a six-week repair job.

BP Oil Tanker British Flag was originally built by Hawthorne, Leslie and Company Ltd at Hebburn-on-Tyne in 1953.

She was damaged by an explosion during the cleaning of her tanks on December 8, 1965, at Swansea, killing a member of the crew and injuring another.

Temporary repairs were being carried out to her damaged hull in order to get her safely to the Tyne by January 15 for a refit at Smith’s.

British Flag was a 16,070 tonne deadweight oil carrier – she survived until 1971.

An even larger 18,420 tonne Austin and Pickersgill, Sunderland-built ore carrier, with Doxford Engines fitted by North East Marine Engineering in Wallsend, was expected at Smith’s for repair around the same time after she collided with a dredger.

The Finnamore Meadow was leaving Ijmuiden in Holland on Wednesday, January 5, 1966, for Narvik to load up for the Tyne, but was diverted to Smith’s for bow damage to be repaired after the accident.

Finnamore Meadow and her sister ship Finnamore Valley were built in 1961 and were owned by Falaise Ore Carriers Ltd, registered in London with Lloyds.

Finnamore Valley became the Lanka Rani in 1971, registered to Ceylon Shipping Corporation and scrapped in 1986.

Finnamore Meadow was renamed Don Manuel in 1977 by Seas Carriers Corporation of Greece, and Palamidi in 1981 by Palamidis Shipping Company, before she was scrapped in 1982.

If anyone has further information please ask for Discover at North Shields Customer First Centre on 0191 643 5270 or email discover@northtyneside.gov.uk