PortCities London

The Blue Star Line ships

Founded by the Liverpool-based Vestey Brothers, the Blue Star Line was formed to import refrigerated meat from South America and China. In time, the line developed a thriving trade with Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. Its vessels carried mainly meat and fruit.

 


The 'Ulster Star'.

The 'Ulster Star'.

The 'Townsville Star'.

The 'Townsville Star'.

The refrigerated cargo ship 'Ulster Star' (1959, 10,413 GRT), built at Harland & Wolff for the Blue Star Line's Australian service. She was broken up in 1979.

The Blue Star Line's 'Townsville Star' (1957, 10,632 GRT) in the Royal Albert Dry Dock. She was scrapped in 1980.
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The 'South Africa Star'.

The 'South Africa Star'.

The 'Scottish Star'.

The 'Scottish Star'.

The Blue Star Line's 'South Africa Star' (1943, 8529 GRT) in the Royal Albert Dock. Built at Seattle-Tacona as the escort carrier USS 'Winjah', she was transferred to the Royal Navy in 1944 as HMS 'Reaper'. After the war, she was converted to a merchant ship, and became the 'South Africa Star' in 1948. She was scrapped in 1967, only two years after this photograph was taken.

The Blue Star Line's 'Scottish Star' (1950, 7224 GRT), built by Fairfield Shipbuilding & Engineering of Glasgow. Her effective career ended a few years after this photograph was taken. In 1967, while returning from Australia with a cargo of fruit, she was trapped in the Suez Canal during the Six Day War. She remained there until 1969, and was eventually broken up in 1979.
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The 'Tasmania Star' and 'Waveney Star'.

The 'Tasmania Star' and 'Waveney Star'.

The 'Santos Star'.

The 'Santos Star'.

The Blue Star Line vessels 'Tasmania Star' (1950, 12,605 GRT) and the 'Waveney Star' (1962, 487 GRT) at the the Royal Victoria Dock. The 'Waveney Star' was a small coaster used to feed the line's main services.

The Blue Star Line's 'Santos Star' (1959, 3594 GRT) in Gallions Reach. Acquired in 1962, she was far smaller than most vessels used by the line. She was transferred to a subsidiary in 1966 and broken up in 1984.
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The 'New Zealand Star' and 'Sydney Star'.

The 'New Zealand Star' and 'Sydney Star'.

The 'Newcastle Star'.

The 'Newcastle Star'.

The Blue Star Line's 'New Zealand Star' (1935, 12,436 GRT) and 'Sydney Star' (1936, 12,696 GRT) in the King George V Dock in 1966. Both these vessels were scrapped in the following year.

The Blue Star Line's 'Newcastle Star' (1956, 8398 GRT) in the Royal Victoria Dock. She was sold in 1973.
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The 'New Zealand Star'.

The 'New Zealand Star'.

The 'Wellington Star'.

The 'Wellington Star'.

The Blue Star Line's 'New Zealand Star' (1935, 12,436 GRT) in the King George V Dock, with the tug 'Moorcock' (1959) alongside.

The Blue Star Line's 'Wellington Star' (1952, 12,539 GRT) in the Royal Victoria Dock.
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The 'Melbourne Star' and 'Canberra Star'.

The 'Melbourne Star' and 'Canberra Star'.

The 'Brisbane Star' and the 'Wivenhoe'.

The 'Brisbane Star' and the 'Wivenhoe'.

The Blue Star Line's 'Melbourne Star' (1948, 13,179 GRT) and 'Canberra Star' (1956, 8257 GRT) in the Royal Albert Dock in 1962. The latter vessel was transferred to the line's South American service in 1972, and renamed 'Buenos Aires Star'.

The Blue Star Line's 'Brisbane Star' (1936, 12,791 GRT) and the 'Wivenhoe' (1898) in the Royal Victoria Dock in July 1963. The 'Brisbane Star' was sold to a Panamanian line later that year.
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