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Unloading Passengers by Basket

One of our West Cape Tractor & Engine Club members from Swllendam, Ronnie Crowther has vivid memories of passengers being transferred on to and off a Mail Ship at Mossel Bay.

Ronnie was on his way to England in 1953 on the Llandovery Castle. He remembers it was the Coronation Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II that year. He was working in Durban at the time and boarded the Mail Ship there. On his way to Cape Town to be joined on board by his mother for the onward trip, the vessel called in at Mossel Bay and he witnessed and photographed the process of passengers being hoisted between the deck of the liner and the deck of the tug. 

Unfortunately, our Alwyn Vintcent hadnít been built at that time, so the tug in the photo Ronnie took is probably the William Messina, her predecessor. The difference is noticeable in the non-streamlined funnel.

There is a very much enlarged photo of the operation taking place, in the stair-well of the Maritime Museum, not far from where our vessel is tied up at the moment.


There is no information on which vessels are involved here, nor where the transfer is taking place. 

Andy Selfe
22nd January 2011

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