Friday, January 29, 2010

Friday phone - Adrastus

Today I started to scan in pictures in batches.  I've begun with the 'As' and the images that are in printed photo format rather than the negatives and slides.  The first of these is the ss Adrastus below.

The Adrastus was built by Scotts Greenock in 1923 for the steamship company A Holt & Co.  The records of Holt & Co. are held by Hull City Archives (details).


Friday, January 22, 2010

Friday photo - Davaar

Today's cheeky chappy is the figurehead of the ss Davaar.  Built by the  London & Glasgow Engineering & Iron Shipbuilding Co. and launched in 1885 as a passenger cargo vessel.  She was owned by the Campbeltown & Glasgow Steam Packet Co.

More details are available from the Clydebuilt database here.

There are also plenty of mentions of the Davaar in this publication about Campbeltown Steamers by P. Donald M.Kelly: Campbeltown Steamers - 2004


Friday, January 15, 2010

Friday photo - Magdalene Vinnen

Today's photo is a little more abstract as it just shows the rigging and mast of the Magdalene Vinnen.  This was a four masted barque, built in Germany and launched from Kiel in 1921.

Like the Padua, she was given to the Soviet Union in 1945 as war reparation and renamed the Sedov.  She is still in working operation today, used as a training vessel for the Navy and based in Murmansk.

The Australian Maritime Museum has several images of the Magdalene Vinnen on Flickr.  They are taken from their collection of photographs by Samuel J Hood who also had a passion for ships and took lots of photos of them over 72 years.  He sounds very similar to our Dan McDonald.  My favourite of theirs it this one of a sailmaker doing repairs:


Friday, January 8, 2010

Friday photo - Charmer

First photo of 2010 and I've chosen the SS Charmer.

This was an American built ship, originally called the "Premier" and built in 1887 in San Francisco for the the Canadian Pacific Navigation Company.  She was built by the Union Iron Works of San
Francisco, and was two hundred feet long.

She was renamed the "Charmer" in 1892 when she moved to Canada following a collision with a freighter SS Willamette in heavy fog.  She would remain in Canada, changing ownership in 1903 to the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) company who owned and operated the British Columbia Coast Steamship Service.  She worked the Vancouver to Nanaimo route to Newcastle Island before being set up as the first floating hotel on the Island by the CPR.  She was finally scrapped in 1935.


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

2009 on the Web

Now that 2009 is over, I've been pulling together some statistics on this blog, our website and also our flickr pages for the year.  Overall, I'm very happy with how our online presence has developed over the year and I plan to continue blogging (hopefully more frequently), with more posts about the practical side of our work and participate in Flickr more actively.

Blog at the Ballast
I decided to start the blog in addition to the website as a way to raise the profile of the Trust, engage with Web 2.0 technologies and provide a snapshot of some of our collections.  I didn't have any clearly defined goals for the blog, other than to post at least once a week, share the photographs in the Dan McDonald collection and try to convey the unique way things work around here.  I'm delighted to have had so many visits and hope that 2010 will bring us our first commentor!

2009 Statistics - full report

  • 630 visits from 421 visitors from 50 countries.
  • Top 5 countries are UK (420 visits), USA (61), Canada (21), Ireland (10) and Netherlands (7).
  • 1,308 pages were viewed in total (this includes views of the same page).
  • Top 5 pages visited were home (516), McMillan Yard (37), About this blog (37), Dan McDonald (31), Strongbow (30).
Ballast Trust website
An official website for the ballast trust was essential to provide basic information about what we do, the history of the Trust and how to volunteer with us.  While this site will continue to be updated, the structure and content of it will not change greatly in 2010.  The main piece of information we are planning to put up is a comprehensive history of the Trust and all the collections it has worked on since 1988.

2009 Statistics - full report
  • 411 visits from 228 visitors from 17 countries.
  • Top 5 countries are UK (350 visits), Brazi (20), USA (13), Japan (5) and New Zealand (3).
  • 1,353 pages were viewed in total (this includes views of the same page). 
  • Top 5 pages visited were home (427), about us (148), contact us (121), our collections (88), current projects (65)
In addition to the website and blog and to showcase our image collections, I also decided to join Flickr.  Since joining in July 2009, I have uploaded 82 photographs which have had a total of 1,075 views.  Recently, we've been added as contacts for 5 users including the British Postal Museum and Archive.  Nine images have been favourited by other users, appeared in galleries created by other users.

Future plans for Flickr are to upload more pictures and think about particular themes and sets that we can develop on Flickr from our collections.


Friday, January 1, 2010

Friday photo - Isle of Skye

Today's photo is of the Isle of Skye paddle steamer.

I liked the close up of the paddle wheel and the fact that you can see the detail of the people on board which makes a change from the usual remote image of a boat from afar.

The Isle of Skye was originally launched as the PS Madge Wildfire by S McKnight in Ayr in 1886.  She was renamed as the Isle of Skye in 1915 and would end her life in 1945 as PS Fair Maid.  Information about her career can be found here like the fact she served in both world wars and could carry 983 passengers as well as the usual details from Clydebuilt here.


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