I enjoyed Murray Paterson’s letter in the December 2015 issue of Sea Breezes and particularly the nostalgic way with which he evoked memories of Ferguson’s yard in its active days.
I share his hopes for its future. It is interesting to see that a new order has been awarded to the Cammell Laird Yard at Birkenhead and for a very specialised type of vessel, similar to one that had its origins at Port Glasgow.
All this reminded me of correspondence I had with Sea Breezes in 2008 shortly after I returned home from a trip to the Antarctic. In a book I bought in the Museum in Grytviken, South Georgia, I found a photograph of the British Research Ship, Discovery II. My inquiry resulted in a wide range of responses including one from a reader who had seen the vessel in Lerwick, Shetland and another from a reader in Cobh, Ireland, where she was broken up in 1963. He was able to supply me with copies of the ship’s Certificate of British Registry.
Of particular interest were letters from Capt George H Ball from the Commissioners of Irish Lights. His father, Commander Ball, was appointed to Discovery II from December 1947 until February 1949 during which time she served the CIL pending the delivery of the new Granuaile.
All speak highly of the versatility and adaptability of the ship. Also of particular interest were responses from Murray Paterson together with a photograph of the ship when built and dressed overall, I would assume when she was being handed over by the builders to her owners. Captain Murray has spoken with pride of his father’s role in the design of this vessel. I well understand the hopes he has for the future of the new Fergusons yard and I am sure readers will agree and share in that.