THROUGH THE ARCHIVES: Launch of the Ulster Steamship Company’s ‘finest ship’ at Harland and Wolff

From the News Letter, May 27, 1948

Thursday, 27th May 2021, 6:00 am
Duke of Edinburgh visiting Harland and Wolff during the Jubilee visit in July 1977. Picture: Pacemaker

The SS Ramore Head, which was said by a director, Mr W A Eakin, of the Ulster Steamship Company, to be the finest ship that had ever been built for the company, was launched by Harland and Wolff Ltd from their Abercorn yard in Belfast this week in 1948, reported the News Letter.

The Ulster Steamship Company, reported the News Letter, operated both the Head and Lord Lines and the latest addition to their fleet was a cargo line of 9,000 tons “deadweight” with accommodation for 12 passengers.

The SS Ramore was 455 feet in length and its navigational aids included the latest radar equipment. The naming ceremony at the launch was performed by Mrs Eakin from Montreal, who was the wife of Mr W A Eakin, a director of the Ulster Steamship Company.

Also present from the company were Mr W A Edmenson, CBE, the chairman, Mrs Kraneburg and Mr John Bailey and his wife, meanwhile the Northern Ireland Prime Minister, Sir Basil Brooke, also attended the launch along with his wife. Harland and Wolff were represented by Sir Frederick Rebbeck, the chairman and managing director of the Belfast shipbuilders, as well as a number of other directors and senior officials.

Presiding at the luncheon following the launch Sir Frederick had remarked that it had always been the aim of Harland and Wolff to meet deadline set by steamship companies and he promised that the SS Ramore head would be fully fitted out by early autumn.