Searching the Internet/passenger liner Largsbay


Bob wrote at 2006-11-08 07:49:42
I was on the last voyage of the Largs Bay to Australia in 1957. We came around the Cape of Good Hope because the Suez was blocked  after Prime Minister Eden ordered the bombing of shipping there.

There was a reported fire in the Indian Ocean but it turned out to be lit by some of the passengers in a porthole well - they were cooking sausages. The bosun saw flames shooring through an open porthole and, because the ship was otherwise in darkness, it appeared to him like a very big fire. It was doused with half a can of beer! The ship was then running on a back-up generator, the main system having been put out of action when hit by a storm.

There was a near riot on the wharf when we reached Fremantle, the passangers and crew, threatening a sort of mutiny. (No great threat really.) The engine failed again in The Bight and the skipper rigged a sail during that night. Someone has a picture of the ship with a sail rigged! I'd love to see it.

Still unable to steer, we nearly ran into Kangaroo Island and eventually made it to Adelaide. We never reached our destination - Sydney. I seem to recall one of the passengers threatening to sue the shipping company because he was deprived of his 10 year wish to sail under the Harbour Bridge on returning home.

I hope this is entertaining Roger, but not sure if it answers your question.


Mr.S.T.Roker wrote at 2007-08-05 12:10:35
My mother and father meet each other when they came from England to Australia in 1949 on the Largs Bay. The ship left England in August of 1949 after delays. The ship caught fire near Suez and the passangers were off loaded in Aden for some weeks. To put the fire out the ship was flodded and sunk. They then refloated it and after repairs continuied to Australia in Oct 1949.

Regards Roy

bourkie wrote at 2008-08-29 11:32:27
I was actually aboard the SS Largs Bay during the Suez Incident. I was however just 9 years old and on my way to Australia with my family. I am not sure exactly why we were kept in the Suez Canal but we were there for around 4 weeks. I can also remember having Arab soldiers aboard (all very frightening for a 9 year old) It was not a pleasant voyage at all as we also broke down several times and I recall one time being somewhere in the middle of the Indian Ocean. I have also searched the internet for any further information, including passenger lists with no luck at all.

Leslie Johnson wrote at 2009-09-27 20:11:46
My mother and her parents returned from Australia to England in 1934 on the Largs Bay, after approximately 12 years in Australia.

I believe it docked at Southampton June 4th (1934)

I have photographs of my mother on the ship along with a few female passengers that she met during the voyage.

My mothers name was Elsie Sheperd and returned to her home city of Sheffield.

Berny wrote at 2009-10-16 11:58:11
I was also a passenger on last voyage of the Largs Bay to Australia in 1957, I came with my brother and parents. I was almost 4 yrs old, I have some of my fathers diary and some newspaper clippings about the ship breaking down and unhappy passengers. We were going to Melbourne. When we arrived in Adelaide we were put on the train from Adelaide to Melbourne. I have some of my fathers photos from the voyage. Hope you find this ineteresting. Berny

Ron Shapiro wrote at 2011-08-07 13:35:14

Our family was on the Largs Bay in 1949 on way to Australia when the hold fire put passengers ashore at an air force base for several weeks. I was eight at the time and clearly remember the unloading of burnt cargo on to a barge in the middle of Aden harbour. And I remember the fish we caught by line from the promenade deck, many exotic fish visible for the days we spent on board (about a week) before being offloaded. Ashore everyone slept on so-called biscuits, beds made up in padded segments, laid out on the floor of a large communal area. There was a swimming pool plus a netted area on the beach for swimming, and so on.  Made a vivid impression on this eight year old.

Ron Santen wrote at 2011-12-14 09:57:07
Hmmm - I thought I was one of the last from the voyage on the Largs Bay in 1949 that had the fire on board and was in Aden for 4 weeks or so.  There seems to be some others from that trip still around. My family came out on the ten pound scheme.  I was 10 years old, and my sister still lives in Melbourne.  My father has died but my mother is still in Melbourne. She is almost 102 years old.  Still remember some aspects of that trip, I guess Aden is different now!

Dwap wrote at 2012-01-31 04:17:00
I was aboard the New Australia in May/June 1957. We had gone the long way around and docked at Dakar and Duban. After leaving Durban it was announced that we would turn back and shadow and maybe tow a sister ship, the Largs Bay. Her generators had failed and she was adrift. Our engineers went aboard with spare parts and repaired the generator, we then turned around again and continued our journey to Fremantle. I have a photo I took of the Largs Bay under way from the deck of the New Australia just before we changed course. A day or so later we had a death and burial at sea. It was exciting stuff for a 12 year old.

David wrote at 2012-03-24 09:09:58
I was a Junior Ordinary Seaman on the Largs Bay's final voyage. I remember the Australian press were offering a small fortune to anyone who had taken a picture of the ship under sail.

At Geelong, the crew were paid double time to unload passengers luggage because of equipment failure.

B. Priesley wrote at 2012-12-10 03:29:50
We were also passengers on the Larges Bay, in 1956 .

We came via Cape Town then Durban I think being the first vessel to come that route due to the Suez Crisis.

We ended up in Hobart disembarking in Melbourne then sailing to Tasmania on the MV Taroona. Being warned about the potential rough passsage across Bass Strait on the Taroona a "flat Bottom" ferry.

My memory is quite clear of a smooth pleasant overnight jouney on a vessel that after 6 weeks on the Larges Bay the Taroona didnt smell of oil!  

Ron Turton wrote at 2015-03-17 23:10:36
I was aboard the Largs Bay in 1949 when it caught fire. I was only four at the time. There was my mum and dad and sister on board. Yes four weeks in Aden dad told us. Mum and dad have passed away and so has my younger brother who was not born but aboard the ship in mum's tummy. My sister and myself still in Australia.

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