Arlanza and Penang

Published in ‘Sea-Breezes’ magazine “ARLANZA” and “PENANG” by David Bray and Simon Adams We have a breakfast bar in our kitchen, but it has never seen a cornflake or boiled egg. It is the place where I paint the pictures seen in the “From the brush of…” series. But the breakfast bar also has another function. With the full approval of my wonderful wife Mary, it is often converted into a shipyard!This month’s article features …

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From the brush of David Bray Arlanza “Arlanza” was one of three ships built by Harland and Wolff, Belfast, for the Royal Mail Line services to South America. Always known as “the ‘A’ boats” they were a familiar sight in London’s Royal docks. “Arlanza” entered service in 1960, along with her two sisters, “Amazon” and “Aragon”. A large part of her cargo capacity was refrigerated, to accommodate meat imports from Argentina. She operated primarily between …

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Brunel’s ‘Great Western’

Great Western

From the brush of David Bray The Great Western In the development of merchant and naval shipping, the ocean-going paddle steamer was ultimately a dead end. From around 1810, small wooden-hulled paddle steamers were being built in numbers for river and estuary service, carrying passengers and cargo over relatively short distances. The inefficiency and weight of the simple-expansion engines and low-pressure boilers precluded long distance operations. Also, the unreliability of the machinery led to frequent …

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SB Big ships painting

Big Ships Need Big Tugs

From the brush of David Bray Big Ships Need Big Tugs “Big ships need big tugs” said Sir William Hoy, Chairman of the South African Railways and Harbours. Union Castle Line was introducing ever bigger liners on the mail service, and a series of tugs was going to be needed to handle them at the ports on their itinerary. The first of these was the “Ludwig Weiner” built by Ferguson’s, Port Glasgow in 1913. From …

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38 Yeoward Alondra


From the brush of David Bray Alondra ALONDRA in the Mersey When I was about 11 I started reading “Sea Breezes”. At that time the most interesting regular article was “Steamers of the Past” written and illustrated by Capt. J H Isherwood. Each article featured a passenger vessel, and gave a detailed description of the vessel followed by her history. Each article was illustrated by an exquisite line drawing of the vessel, sometimes two or …

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Royal Archer

From the brush of David Bray Royal Archer Almost forgotten nowadays is the fleet of small passenger-cargo vessels running regular services around the UK and in Home-Trade waters. In the mid-19th century, such steamers provided a viable alternative to the arduous business of road travel. Primary routes centered on London, plying to Leith and Aberdeen, and Liverpool to Glasgow, Dublin and Belfast. Toward the end of the century competition from the railways saw a change …

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Yellow Peril

Yellow Peril

From the brush of David Bray Yellow Peril As a kid in Great Yarmouth, the coasters of F T Everard were a familiar sight. There was always at least one in port, if not unloading cargo, then undergoing repairs at Fellowes shipyard on the Gorleston side of the river. A scan through H M Le Flemings “Coastal Cargo Ships” of 1960 shows F T Everard as by far the most numerous fleet with 102 vessels …

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Sea Breezes article - Saga Ruby

Saga Ruby

From the brush of David Bray Saga Ruby Delivered in 1973 for Norwegian American Line, and originally named “Vistafjord”, the “Saga Ruby” was the last ocean liner to be built in a British shipyard. Launched at the Neptune yard of Swan, Hunter on 15th May 1972, the vessel was a development of the earlier “Sagafjord”. She was a very fine-lined and well-proportioned ship, her hull not being configured with a bulbous bow. The latter feature …

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Sea Breezes cover - Larpool


From the brush of David Bray Larpool The “Larpool” was a tramp steamer built in 1924 by Pickersgill’s in Sunderland for Headlam & Sons of Whitby. She was 3,872 tons gross and 363ft overall. As was almost universal for vessels of her type at this date, she was powered by a Triple-expansion steam engine, coal-burning Scotch boilers, giving around 11 knots. In 2018 I was contacted by Paul Adamson regarding the possibility of me painting …

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