ANDREW FIRTH (Sea Breezes, May 2012, p56) is mistaken in his recollection that Stirling Castle (ii), 1936, of the Union-Castle Line had two funnels.
She and her sister, Athlone Castle, 1936, were each built and served their entire operational lives with a large single streamlined funnel and set the fashion for this configuration in the Union-Castle fleet of mail ships. Following their introduction three earlier Union-Castle two-funnelled mail ships were rebuilt with similar large single streamlined funnels. Carnarvon Castle (ii) of 1926 in 1937, and Winchester Castle (i) and Warwick Castle (iii), both of 1930, in 1938. See Duncan Haws’ Merchant Fleets, volume 18, Union, Castle and Union-Castle Lines at pp 113-120.
In 1951 Union-Castle still had several two-funnelled liners in service and perhaps Mr Firth travelled in one of them. I rate the 45 volumes in Duncan Haws’ Merchant Fleets series published between 1978 and 2005 containing particulars, operational histories, fates and profile drawings of ships as the most useful reference books on merchant ships ever written.
The final volumes were written by Norman Middlemiss in succession to Mr Haws.
Bunkers, Route des Carrieres
Alderney, GY9 3YD