|Elder Dempster Line|
Builders Alexander Stephen and Sons, Ltd, Govan, Glasgow
Overall length 537ft 1in
Total passengers 396
Speed 16 knots
The Aureol was the flag ship of the line. She traveled between Liverpool and Lagos stopping at Las Palmas, Freetown, Monrovia, Tema (southbound) Takoradi (northbound). She entered service in October 1951.
Most of the accommodation was in first class and the public areas included a verandah, cocktail bar and lido, swimming pool, dance spaces, lounges, smoking rooms and libraries for both first and tourist class. There were shops and hairdressing salons as well as a hospital unit. The dining rooms were large - the first class running the full width of the ship.
The hull was white with a yellow line and green boot-topping. The funnel was yellow.
I remember we invariably arrived late for the sailing as we came from Cornwall and getting to Liverpool by train was a protracted journey. We were always late for dinner but were met by trays of snack in our cabin and always (for me) a bottle of pink champagne! I must have had dreadful taste in those days! I remember being told that the bar opened at 6 am for those 'old coasters' who could not do without their brandy and ginger - I did not believe it. On my first early morning walk around the deck - there was the bar - 6 am and open - with a following (I never did ask if they were drinking brandy and ginger!)
I traveled on the Aureol perhaps 7 or 8 times between Liverpool and Ghana during the 1960s. She was a friendly ship with a wonderful crew, excellent service and good fitments - making her a comfortable and elegant way to travel to West Africa.
I have many stories to tell about my voyages on her and will share these with you in time.
Not since the heartbreaking procession of passenger ships to the breakers at Kaohsiung during the peak of the fuel crisis in the 1970's has there been such an alarming list of liners on a one-way voyage to doom. The Indian scrap yards on the dreaded beach at Alang are dismantling many favorites that in a better world would have been saved for their singular beauty and precious maritime heritage. On June 5 2001, the Aureol, as the MARIANN VI - one of the most splendid-looking ships of her time, arrived at Rival Taiwan for scrapping.
The Leaving of Liverpool
From the ‘ Liverpool Echo’ – 16th March, 1972
Today the graceful liner Aureol, the flagship of the Elder Dempster fleet and last of the great liners of ply from Princes Landing Stage, says ‘farewell’ to the Mersey and writes ‘finis’ to a proud era in Liverpool’s maritime history.
‘Echo’ readers will have watched with sadness over the past decade as our columns have chronicled the passing of some of the most illustrious names in Lloyd’s Register of Ships. And, on each occasion we have said ‘goodbye’, we have wondered what there could be left to write about.
Yet, as the last echoes of the sirens fade, the ghosts of other great ships will slip by in the wake of the Aureol as she passes into the hazy distance beyond Perch Rock.
Ships like the Britannic, the Georgic, the Mauretania, the Scythia, the Circassia, the Reina del Mar, the Nova Scotia , the Voltaire and the Hubert, and the utterly magnificent Empress of Scotland.
It was in Liverpool that the age of luxury afloat came into being with the introduction of steamships on the North Atlantic .
We can truly claim to have seen it all.
Elder Dempster cannot be blamed for taking their great white ship to Southampton . Circumstances have dictated the decision for them. It would have hardly have been an economic proposition to have provided a landing stage for a passenger sailing just once every six weeks.
The Port of Liverpool has today said ‘goodbye’ to some of the glamour that contributed to its greatness.
Or perhaps not.......
See Rebuilding a Dream where one person has tried to salvage and save not only the internal trappings of the liner but also her spirit.
In harbour - West Africa
Hello, I recently discovered this site, and enjoyed reading the history of
EDs, living in Lagos from 1955
to 1957 my family and myself were very familiar with the ships, going to and from Tarkwa Bay
every weekend they were hard to ignore. My name is Sheena Muntz-Macdonald from Warrington,
Cheshire, I would like to know if anybody has any information about an old friend Mick Johnson
from Bristol. I met Mick on my third and last voyage on the MV "Aureol" in July 1957, he also served
on the "Tamele", Winneba" , he was 3rd Officer on the "Sekondi in 1960 to 1961. I would be very
interested to hear from Mick or anyone who knew him.
My email address is :- firstname.lastname@example.org
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