December 13, 2009

Lyttelton on a day in 1882

Lyttelton on March 24th, 1882: twenty-four overseas sailing vessels in the inner harbour.

A valuable link with the past has been presented to the Seamen's institute by Mr J. B. Milsom, of Kaikoura, and a former Mayor of Lyttelton. The gift is a panoramic photograph of Lyttelton Harbour, taken from the Corsair Bay road on March 24th, 1882, when there were no fewer than twenty-four overseas sailing vessels in the inner harbour. All are berthed except one, which is moored in the western part of the basin. The total tonnage of overseas vessels is 27,752 tons, and there are ten vessels at the Gladstone Pier and Breastwork. The names of all the vessels are given, as follows: - Carnavon Castle, 729 tons; Midlothian, 1085 tons; Pet, 266 tons; Lurline, 761 tons; Guy Mannering, 807 tons; Ione, 520 tons; Mataura, 853 tons; Wigtonshire, 899 tons; Duncraig, 699 tons; Duchess of Argyle, 1699 tons; Euterpe, 1197 tons; City of Perth, 1189 tons; Inch Murren, 2254 tons; Cairnbulg, 1567 tons; British Yeoman, 1898 tons; Glamis, 1150 tons; Seriol Wyn, 1065 tons; Roman Empire, 1545 tons; Alexra, 1425 tons; Glenburn, 1476 tons; Gairloch, 1177 tons; Loch Dee, 700 tons; Brilliant, 1613 tons; and Woollahra, 942 tons. The last-named was wrecked at Tongue Point, near Cape Terawhiti, while en route from Wellington to Kaipara in ballast. The Brilliant, owned by Duthie's, was a fast sailer, and in 1877 had made the passage from Plymouth to Sydney in 79 days. She was sold to the Italians in 1905, and broken up at Genoa a few years later. The Cairnbulg, also owned by Duthie Bros., after being sold first to the Russians, and then to the Norwegians, who renamed her Alexandra, met with an unusual end. Leaving New Castle, New South Wales, in November, 1907, for Panama, she was abandoned 500 miles off the South American Coast in the following May, in calm weather, solely owing to provisions having run out. Her remains were found later on the rocks at Iguana Cove, Albemarle Island. The New Zealand Shipping Company's Mataura was, at the time the photograph was taken, loading the first cargo of frozen meat from New Zealand, to be landed in England, where she arrived on September 26th. She ended her career in 1900 as the "Alida", under the Norwegian flag, being dismasted in the Pacific and abandoned. The Euterpe, then flying the Shaw, Savill flag, is believed to be still afloat in Canadian waters, under the name of "Star of India". The City of Perth, already famous for some fast passages, was later better known as The New Zealand Shipping Company's Turakina. Soon after the photograph was taken she went to Timaru and loaded wheat for Home, but while at anchor at Timaru a gale arose, and she was blown ashore. She was successfully refloated, and sold for £500 to the New Zealand Shipping Company, for whom she made many fast passages, notably one from Wellington to the Lizard in 69 days, and on one occasion she raced and beat the Company?s mail steamer Ruapehu. Sold to the Norwegians, she is probably still afloat under the name of Elida.
24 March 1882

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