WINDSOR CASTLE (3) was built in 1960 by Cammell Laird & Co. (Shipbuilders & Engineers) Ltd at Birkenhead with a tonnage of 37640grt, a length of 783ft 1in, a beam of 92ft 7in and a service speed of 22.5 knots.

She was the largest ship owned by the company, Cammell Lairds first building for Union-Castle and the largest liner Built in England.

Replacing the Winchester Castle she completed her maiden voyage to Cape Town in 11.5 days.

On 12th August 1977 she made her 124th and final sailing for Union-Castle and left Southampton with much ceremony which included an RAF fly past.

On her return she had been sold to John Latsis of Piraeus and renamed Margarita L.

She proceeded to Greece where she was converted for use as a static luxury accommodation ship at Jeddah in Saudi Arabia.

There, she was deployed as an office and leisure centre for the Petrola International S.A. construction company replacing the Marianna IV.

A special jetty was built two miles north of Jeddah with car parks, swimming pools and other sports facilities and the ship was equipped with a helicopter pad on the fore deck.

In 1983 she was overhauled in Bahrain before returning to Jeddah where she remained until June 1991 when she returned to Piraeus to be laid up.

In 2003 an abortive effort was made to save the vessel and use her as a hotel/conference centre. The effort was cursed by monumentally inept leadership by a town planner from Liverpool who resented any involvement by ex Union-Castle staff. The height of his incompetence is exemplified by his choice of sponsor. Instead of approaching any luminary with significant maritime connections his selection was none other than the actress Prunella Scales. I still gasp in amazement!!!!!!!!!!

The only connection I can see between this fool, Prunella Scales and Windsor Castle is that none of them had any connection with the others.

I still have a copy of the “master plan”. If anyone would like to see it then please let me know.

Windsor Castle (3)

Eagle v11 #37 (dated 10 September 1960) and showed the passenger/cargo ship, RMS Windsor Castle, which was then used by its owners, Union Castle Line, to sail between England and South Africa. The ship had a relatively tall superstructure and funnel in comparison to its length and to help overcome this within the confines of the requirement for a long, narrow illustration, he buried the lower bow well into the sea and effectively off the page to allow more room for the height required.

From B&C Review February 1968

Tourist Class Lounge

Tourist Class Dining Room

Fire Aboard SS Northern Star in Durban

From Peter Lane:

 I was on the Northern Star at that time.

As a friend and I were just heading back on board we could see smoke bellowing out of the passenger lounge. We ran along the Passenger gangway and into the passenger Lounge area.  My mate put on the old breathing gear and I started pumping by foot the air line.  

The supposed plan was to get in the Lounge armed with a fire extinguisher and see where the fire was. Once the Lounge doors were open it was just thick smoke everywhere. I could not breath nor pump the air line, so we quickly abandoned that idea.

Shortly the shore side fire crews arrived plus a fire tug.

It Appears the fire started a few decks down in a Stewards locker.  I'm sure that had we been at sea she would have burnt right out and gone down.

But that wasn't the end of things to happen that trip. Leaving Tahiti we ran aground, The small tug that was trying to pull us off from the after end broke its towing line which then smash into the Tugs bridge and I believe it killed the Skipper.

It was the Captains last trip and I think he was due to retire .* WHAT A WAY TO GO *We did manage to get through the Panama with out damage.

Leaving Cammell Laird bound for Southampton and the Mail Service

Launch of Windsor Castle 1959

Sea Trials 1960

Leaving Birkenhead for Southampton

The Maiden Voyage

Life After Union-Castle Line

As Margarita L in Eleusis Bay

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