Thank you for the most interesting June 2018 issue of Sea Breezes.
Being ex Blue Funnel, the piece on Taikoo Dockyard struck many chords, and I attach an image of its advertisement in the Official Shippers Guide, 1931-1932 (Osaka Shosen Kaisha), in the section on Hong Kong, which sums up the capability of that Dockyard.
The Yard’s work for Holts included, in January 1939, the reconditioning of Holt’s MV Centaur. According to the West Australian (13 Feb, 1939), passenger and crew accommodation was reconstructed and upgraded, increasing 1st class to 64 and 2nd class to 44. A new wireless room was built and internal strengthening amidships was fitted. Supercharging the engine added a knot and half to her speed. An extra ballast tank of 270 tons was installed, and a new Eriz streamlined rudder was fitted. These must all have been factors in selecting Centaur as a hospital ship three years later, though in May 1943, she was torpedoed with heavy loss of life in the committal of a major war crime.
As a teacher of coastal and astro-navigation for a quarter of a century, I was also pleased to see the article on Mrs Janet Taylor as a “mathematical practitioner” and one of the many women contributing innovations and practising in the wider maritime industry in the nineteenth century.