Built as REGINA. 1929 renamed WESTERNLAND. Purchased by the Admiralty in November 1942 and converted into a repair ship, becoming a destroyer depot ship, still as the WESTERNLAND, during 1943. Decommissioned in 1945, Cunard - White Star became her temporary managers and they had the idea that she could be converted for their Canadian service which was being operated by only one vessel. Due to her age the concept was dismissed as being unfeasible and she was laid up in the River Blackwater. In October 1946 she was sold to Christian Salvesen for conversion into a whaling ship but this idea was also abandoned because of the work involved and she was sold on 15th July 1947 to BISCO for breaking up. On 1st August 1947, still a coal burner, she arrived at Blyth where she was broken up by Hughes Bolckow.
The above history from www.red-duster.co.uk/WSTAR10.htm There is another history of this remarkable ship at www.lardex.net/TONSBERG/salvesen/skipstekst/1946Westerland.htm A photograph in Northumberland County Archives shows her arriving Blyth in tow tug ENGLISHMAN and is dated 16 July 1947, adding a little confusion to the dates. See
www3.northumberland.gov.uk/catalogue/dserve.exe?dsqServer=w2k3calm1.woodhorn.org.uk&dsqIni=Dserve.ini&dsqApp=Archive&dsqCmd=Show.tcl&dsqDb=Catalog&dsqPos=16&dsqSearch=%28%28text%29%3D%27tow%27%29 7 April 1947 listed in Blackwater by Jeff Curtiss - grey hulk, funnels, boats & masts gone (one funnel laying on superstructure).
From Oyster Company ledger:
- 29 September 1945 Compensation 8 weeks 4 days Cunard White Star
- 20 July 1947 Compensation 5 wks 1 day.
Shields Daily News 24 Jul 1947 WESTERNLAND arrived Blyth 23-07-47 from River Blackwater in tow of tugs NORMAN and ENGLISHMAN. Article 24 July 1947 is titled 'Liner's last days at Blyth'.
Essex Newsman 7 September 1945 and Belfast Newsletter 30 July 1945 have some details of her career.
Above: A cut-down WESTERNLAND laid up in the River Blackwater. Date: 7 April 1947. Source: Mersea Museum / Newall Dunn Collection