Auke Visser´s Esso UK Tanker's site     |   home
Different articles
Coastal ships of the 1950s
From the Book Sailing ship to Supertanker.

Esso Abingdon - 05.1952, 446 GRT
Built by Henry Scarr Ltd., Hessle.
Measurements: 168 feet (loa) X 32 feet 6 inches breadth.
Engines: Oil.
1966: Babmgdon (Bowker & King Ltd.).
1975: (Belcon S. and T. Co. Ltd.); arrived Milton Regis, Kent,
09.07.1975 for scrapping.
Designed specifically for the carrying of bulk products on the River Thames, the Esso Abingdon could carry 500 tons of petroleum spirit in seven tanks - the maximum permitted under Port of London Authority regulations in 1951.
"Esso Abingdon" drawing.

Esso Poole - 12.1955, 754 GRT
Built by Henry Scarr Ltd., Hessle.
Measurements: 196 feet (loa) length X 34 feet 7 inches breadth.
1968: Mary J. (Celtic Coasters Ltd, Dublin).
1984: Broken up, Haulbowline.
Launched on 23rd June, 1955, the Esso Poole on completion inaugurated a daily service from Fawley Refinery to the new Central Electricity Generating Board station at Marchwood and also did bunkering work at Southampton Docks. Her deadweight tonnage was 1,070 and she was driven by an 8 cylinder diesel oil engine.

Esso Preston - 03.1956, 1,965 gGRT
Built by Hall, Russell & Co. Ltd., Aberdeen.
Measurements: 299 feet (loa) X 42 feet breadth.
Engines: T3cyl.
A bitumen/oil tanker, 2,790 tdw.
31.1.1975: Grounded offWhitegate and sustained somedamage.
Laid up at Cardiff, then sold for breaking up.
01.04.1975: Arrived Aviles, Spain, in tow.
The Esso Preston was the most highly-specialised ship in Esso's coastwise fleet. A vessel of 1,965 gross tons, she looked like an ordinary coastal tanker, but whereas most modern coasters were diesel driven, the Esso Preston was an exception, being steam driven - and for a very good reason. The ship was designed and equipped for the bulk transportation of bitumen, as well as for the carriage of oil. The thick, sticky bitumen7 was loaded at a temperature of 280-300 degrees and remained heated during voyages by a bank of steam-heated coils in each of the five cargo tanks.
In her later years she was on a near-regular run supplying fuel oil to the oil-burning power station at Barking, on the River Thames - a service she took over after the demise of the two previous ships on the service, Esso Chelsea and Esso Fulham.
On 31st January, 1975, the Esso Preston was approaching Whitegate (Cork Harbour, Republic of Ireland) on a voyage in ballast from Belfast, when she grounded off the port. Subsequently refloated, she was found to be holed in Nos 1, 3 and 4 cargo spaces. On 2nd February she sailed for Cardiff, where she arrived the next day. Laid up for a short time, she entered the Mountstewart Dry Dock on 16th February for examination. The inspection found severe damage to her internal pipework in addition to the hull damage. Considered not worthy of repair, the vessel was sold for breaking up and towed to Aviles by the tug Sea Bristolian.

Esso Brixham - 11.1957, 758 GRT
Built by Philip & Son Ltd., Dartmouth.
Measurements: 196 feet (loa) X 34 feet 6 inches breadth.
Engines: Oil.
Intended for bunkering work at Liverpool in addition tocoastwise voyaging. Carried 1,080 tdw in eight tanks.
1979: Brixham (Tyne-Tees Waste Disposals Ltd. (Panamaflag).
1980: (Capella Finance & Trading Co.;
resold B.D.K. Engineering Co. Ltd.).
05.1980: Scrapped Middlesbrough.

Esso Tilbury - 1957, 15 GRT
Built by Thames Launch Works, Twickenham.
Measurements: 40 feet (loa) X 11 feet breadth.
Motor tug for service on River Thames.

Esso Woolston - 02.1958, 856 GRT
Built by Henry Scarr Ltd., Hessle.
Measurements: 209 feet (loa) X 35 feet breadth.
Engines: Oil.
1982: Kinhrace (Salvesen Offshore Services Ltd.) (oil pollution recovery vessel).
15.10.1985: Arrived Santander for breaking up.

Esso Lyndhnrst - 04.1958, 856 GRT
Built by Henry Scarr Ltd., Hessle.
Measurements: 209 feet (loa) X 35 feet breadth.
Engines: Oil.
1981: Bunker I (Saudi Bunkering Transport Co. Ltd.)
1982: (El Hawi Shipping, Saudi Arabia).

Esso Hythe - 05.1959, 856 GRT
Built by Henry Scarr Ltd., Hessle.
Measurements: 209 feet (loa) X 35 feet breadth.
Engines: Oil.
1981: Rim (Tristar Shipping Ltd., Lebanon).
The Esso Woolston, Esso Lyndhurst and Esso Hythe were sisterships, except for machinery. They were built for coasting and bunkering work, mainly at Southampton Docks. Their capacity was 1,300 tons in eight tanks.