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Thames (Royal Mail)

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Thames (Royal Mail)

Postby shipstamps » Thu Jul 31, 2008 2:57 pm


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Built by Napier on the Clyde, and in service from 1880 to 1914. (An earlier Royal Mail Thames is shown on a 50c stamp of Jamaica — a paddle steamer built in 1842). The later vessel was a steel screw, 3-masted, schooner-rigged passenger steamer of 5,645 gross tons, 3,369 net, with dimensions 436 ft. 3 in. x 50ft. 2 in. x 25 ft. 4 in. Originally her two funnels were black, but buff funnels were adopted by the company in 1901, together with salmon-coloured boot-topping, black topsides, white above the sheer strake, white superstructure, with buff masts, ventilators and derricks. The Thames was chartered by the Corporation of Lloyd's to attend the Royal Naval Review at Spithead on June 24, 1911, in honour of the Coronation of King George V. However a seamen's strike at Southampton played havoc with the arrangements, and three other Royal Mail ships, having full bookings for the occasion, had to cancel them at the last moment. Sightseers in the Thames were more fortunate. She was manned by a crew of volunteers, proceeded to her anchorage and was present throughout the Review. Sold in August 1914 to the Forth Ship-breaking Company, she was re-sold for sinking as a blockship in Holm Sound, Scapa Flow. SG468
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