August 1942 ROCHESTER CASTLE was one of 5 ships to successfully get through to Malta in Operation Pedestal. The Chief Officer on board when she arrived in the Blackwater in the 1960s said that when painting the superstructure, they still found bullet holes that had been papered over and then painted and painted.
ROCHESTER CASTLE was in the Blackwater again in 1968. Paul Williams writes:
I joined the ship in the Blackwater Estuary sometime in the latter half of Oct. '68 by tender from Maldon harbour in the early hours of the morning after staying at the Seaman's Mission in Tilbury overnight. We left on the tide (mid AM) for Greenock round the Lizard (very seasick, first voyage!) I was 'Peggy' for the duration and then back to Birkenhead for a week and then sailed for Durban.
As other mariners have remarked about the condition of her, she was riddled with rust and holes, the afterdeck was asphalt over steel and when we shipped any water the asphalt used to float on a layer of water between the steel & asphalt, altogether a real 'rustbucket'. She still had the remains of her gun emplacement on her poop deck, rusty but still recognisable.
See SHP_DAVIS for an article about the ROCHESTER CASTLE arriving in the river September 1962.
Renamed GLENDA-1970. Broken up Whampoa 13 Nov 1970.
Oyster Company ledger 15 September 1962 compensation 1 week 1 day.
16 January 1963 compensation 1 week 4 days.
Voyage Record cards give a total of 7 visits. Not listed above are
9 September 1967 to 10 October 1967
28 September 1968 to 19 November 1968
Union Castle Line
Above: ROCHESTER CASTLE arriving Malta August 1942 Date: August 1942. Source: Mersea Museum
Above: ROCHESTER CASTLE in the River Blackwater 1964 Date: c1964. Source: Mersea Museum / Malcolm Cranfield Collection