Agapenor manoeuvring in Bombay (Mumbai) Roads
By Gordon Frickers on March 31st, 2009
Greek heroes provided the names.
A “lost” painting found while re organising at my new home at Itzac.
This charming painting of a “blue flue” is one of a series and the only one I have left after I painted ships with links to the Alfred Holt & Company businesses.
Not so long ago you could not visit the Port of Liverpool without seeing a Blue Funnel Line ship or several, likewise the Suez Canal and many renowned ports of the east.
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Greek heroes’ provided the names of almost all the Blue Flue ships because the company founder, a Liverpool man, Alfred Holt, who had trained as a railway engineer but found ships more interesting.
His brother Phillip who joined him in 1865 after the first voyages considered their shipping line the biggest adventure of their lives and for them the Odyssey was the finest adventure story ever written.
Alfred Holt started his vocation buying shares in the 3 masted ship “Dumbarton Castle” mostly because the “Dumbarton Castle” had 2 direct acting 44 horse power steam engines.
After hand over Alfred found his purchase included a surprising number of bibles and a quantity of a rather good blue paint.
Can you guess the rest?
It was over 100 years before the name Blue Funnel Line became a registered company.
My contacts with the Blue Funnel line which included visits to the offices in Liverpool were encouraged by many ex employees who clearly had a great affection for the company and in particular by my friend the former editor of Sea Breezes magazine, (Harry) CH Milsom.
Agapenor 1947 to 1981 was built by Scotts’ Shipbuilding and Engineering Company of Greenock for the China Mutual Steam Navigation Company who in turn were part of the famous Ocean Steam Navigation Company otherwise known as The Blue Flue Line or The Blue Funnel Line.
1967 saw Agapenor trapped by an Arab Israel war when the Suez Canal was closed. I remember seeing the ships on BBC TV; it was an on going story.
In 1968 the company proposed abandoning the ship but the insurers would not accept that. Eventually the ship was abandoned, in February 1969, and placed in the care of a nearby Czechoslovakian ship, the “Lednice” in 1971.
It was 1975 before the ship was finally ignominiously towed from the canal to Trieste to off load her rather dated cargo.
She was sold to Faynar Shipping Co SA, registered at Panama and renamed Nikos. As such she served until broken up in 1981 at Karachi.
This painting is for sale, no reasonable offer refused
Gordon Frickers © 2009
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Tags: Agapenor, Alfred Holt, Alfred Holt & Company, blue flue, Blue Funnel line, CH Milsom, China Mutual Steam Navigation Company, Liverpool, Scotts’ Shipbuilding and Engineering Company, Sea Breezes magazine