The GLADSTONE STAR/GCJH of 10,250 grt was built in 1957 and is seen above in the Port of London in the early sixties.
Two Blue Star vessels sit in 'limbo' during the 1966 strike which virtually paralyzed the British merchant navy.
An attractive view above of the Blue Star Cargo/passengerliner URUGUAY STAR (1948/10,723 grt).
Equipped to carry 53 First Class passengers, the URUGUAY STAR was powered by steam turbines. She was sold for demolition at Kaohsiung in 1972.
The CALIFORNIA STAR above (ex-WILLOWBANK) offered accomodation for 12 passengers on voyages from USA to New Zealand. Passengers were provided for by the use of an owner's cabin, a double suite, three double and two single cabins, all with private facilities. Passenger amenities aboard included a lounge with TV/VCR, pantry, laundry and a small plunge pool.
An evocative Falmouth scene features the funnel of the British-flag motor vessel ENGLISH STAR (1985/10,291 grt)
Photograph taken in July of 1989.
The CALEDONIA STAR (1942/9,205 grt ex ROYAL STAR, ex EMPIRE WISDOM) was built at Greenock Dockyard as a twin screw steam up-and-downer with Scotch boilers. Re-engined with twin screw MAN diesels in 1962, the vessel was finally broken up at Kaohsiung in 1971.
Below is pictured the CALEDONIA STAR's crew photographed in Tokyo in 1971 with Captain Kinghorn centred.
In 1990 Blue Star's container ship SOUTHLAND STAR had accommodation for two passengers in the owner's suite and, at that time, is seen above departing from San Francisco on a 20-day trans-Pacific voyage to New Zeland.
The SAXON STAR (above) was built in 1942 of a modest 7,355 grt and when this picture was taken was captained by Sandy Kinghorn who has written many interesting articles for Ships Monthly. The following is an excerpt from an article published in October of 1990 written by Captain Kinghorn.
"We berthed in Victoria Dock where were many similar ships to our 'little' SAXON STAR. It was Saturday morning and no work would begin until Monday, so we had the weekend to relax and see the sights. The Australian coast, at that time, provided employment for many ships, from the elegant passenger 'mini' liners of the Adelaide Steamship Company, McIlwraith & McEachern, the Melbourne Steamship Company, Huddart Parker etc. to the heavily built general cargo vessels of the Australian Coastal Shipping Commission. A class of these river boats was built 1944-7 in Australia with reciprocating engines and LP turbines driving single screws. Sturdy, engines-and-bridge-amidships vessels, their colours were: black hull with a yellow line just below the bulwarks, stone brown upperworks, black funnel with two narrow yellow bands.
The docks were busy with British cargo liners - at one time I saw together at the same quay the WELLINGTON and TASMANIA STARs, handsome twins, identical except for their engines; the 'Welly Boot' had twin screw Doxfords while the 'Tazzy' was a single screw steam turbine vessel. While we were there the TROJAN STAR came in, a grand old lady of Blue Star at that time, built in France in 1916. Down in Port Melbourne the SS. RHODESIA STAR loaded wood at Princes Pier - one of a pair of U.S. built former aircraft carriers whose sister, SOUTH AFRICA STAR, had me as chief officer ten years later"
The ARGENTINA STAR (1978/22,635 grt) glides down the still waters of the River Elbe near Cuxhaven in August 1996. This ship carried a limited number of passengers on services to South American ports.
Above, the reefer AVELONA STAR lies aground off Ternuezen, Netherlands on the morning of March 15th 1990. Refloated on the afternoon tide, the vessel was subsequently on charter to the Horn Linie (yes, linie!)and was renamed HORNSOUND.
Above, QUEENSLAND STAR's final departure from New Zealand.
The legendary Blue Star Line, with its distinctive funnel design, has made its final voyage. When the 1971 built AMERICA STAR arrived in Auckland from Houston, Texas in January to discharge her last load of containers she was closing an important chapter in Commonwealth shipping. Blue Star Line was founded in 1901 and its cargo passenger liners used to sail from UK ports to South America, Australia and New Zealand and North America. In the 1960s some 40 vessels were sailing under the Blue Star name.
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