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Dunelmia - Launch


Launch at Gray’s Central Yard.


Northern Daily Mail, 21/9/29.

Messrs. William Gray and Co., Ltd., yesterday launched from their Central Shipyard, West Hartlepool, the steel screw steamer Dunelmia, which is being built to the order of Messrs. Metcalfe Son and Co., Ltd., West Hartlepool.

The vessel will take the highest class in Lloyd’s Register and is of the following dimensions: length over all, 434ft. 4in., breadth, 54ft. 3in., depth moulded to upper deck, 30ft. 1 in. with long bridge, poop and forecastle.

Constructed on the cellular double bottom principal, with fore and after peaks for water ballast, the framing being of the deep channel type, and has seven watertight bulkheads, together with a steel centre line bulkhead and wood shifting boards dividing the holds for grain carrying.

Spacious accommodation for the officers is arranged in a steel house amidships. The engineers will be berthed in large steel houses alongside the casing, and the crew in cubicles in the forecastle with separate mess rooms.

For the quick handling of cargo ten powerful steam winches are to be provided to work 12 derricks. A direct steam windlass forward and steam steering amidships are also to be fitted. The topmasts are telescopic, lowering to a height suitable for the Manchester Ship Canal Bridges.

The Dunelmia will be completed in all respects as a first-class cargo steamer, her equipment including an efficient wireless installation and electric light throughout.

                                                               THE ENGINES

Triple-expansion engines having cylinders 26-43-71 inches diameter, by 48 inches stroke and three boilers working at a pressure of 180lbs. per square inch will be supplied by the Central Marine Engineering Works of the builders.

A number of auxiliaries of the “CMEW” type will be installed, including a pair of independent feed pumps, surface feed water heater, winch condenser, combined drain and scum tank, evaporator, general service pump, and two ballast pumps.

The ship and machinery are being built under the supervision of Mr J. B. Williams, of Williams Bros., Middlesbrough, on behalf of the owners, and the ceremony of naming the steamer Dunelmia was performed by Miss Caroline Metcalf, daughter of Mr. John Metcalf.

The owners were represented by Mr. John Metcalf and Mr R. B. Williams.

The builders were represented by Sir William Gray, Bart., chairman, Mr. F. C. Pyman, Managing director, Mr. T. McCarthy, director; Mr. T. S. Simpson General manager; Mr O. Stephenson, Secretary; and Mr. W. Hird Yard Manager. Amongst others present were Lady Gray, Mrs John Metcalf, Misses Jane and Ethel Metcalf, Masters Thomas and Ovington Metcalf, Mrs. Ovington Stephenson, Mrs. R. B. Williams, Mr. and Mrs J. J. Nattrass, Mr. T. Nattrass, Miss Muriel Nattrass, Mrs. R. H. Stephenson, Mrs. R. B. Carter, Miss Esther Stephenson, Master Geoffrey Stephenson, Miss McCarthey, Mr. and Mrs. H. McGoverne and Mr. McGoverne, junr., Messrs C. A. Millar and L. Storey, representing Lloyd’s Register of Shipping.

                                                               THE SPEECHES

After the launch the company was entertained by Sir William and Lady Gray at Tunstall Manor.

Sir William Gray, in proposing success to s.s. Dunelmia and in welcoming the guests, recalled that his firm had built the s.s. Manchuria in 1905 for Metcalf Simpson and Co., and expressed pleasure that they were to be building a steamer now for their successors – Metcalf, Son and Co., Ltd.

Since the days of the Manchuria shipbuilders had made great strides in the design of cargo carriers, and the ship that they had seen launched that afternoon – the result of exhaustive tests thaqt his firm had made in the test Tank – represented the latest fruits of their efforts.

                                                                EXAMPLE TO OTHERS

He felt sure the Dunelmia would prove economical to run, and would be a profitable investment for her owners, and he hoped that it would not be long before they had built up a fleet again – a result that they fully deserved for the enterprise and courage that they had shown under the guidance of Mr. John Metcalf in building a new steamer today.

Sir William added that it was interesting to recall that before the war there were no fewer than 30 shipowners in the Hartlepools. Today there were but six, and he would like to see others follow Messrs. Metcalf, Son and Co.’s example which could but benefit the town.

He then asked them to join in wishing the Dunelmia every success, coupling with that toast the name of the young lady who had so successfully performed the naming ceremony.



                                                                AN OPTIMIST.
Mr John Metcalf, in replying, thanked Sir William for his speech. He said that when his firm decided to build a new steamer their first thought was to come to William Gray and Co. because of the confidence they had in them – a confidence that was based on previous experience – and they were very relieved that William Gray and Co. were able to give them a turn with a good delivery.

 Sir William had said that shipowners must have economical ships to be able to prosper in these days of keen competition. He thought that the saying “A shipowner is an optimist, and an optimist is a man who is still a ship owner,” summed up the situation. He, however, and his superintendent, Mr. Williams, were quite satisfied that in the Dunelmia they had a steamer that would give most economical results.

 In conclusion, Mr Metcalf said that he was very pleased to have the opportunity of wishing success to the builders William Gray and Co. Ltd.



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