Under the Parish Lantern

Under the Parish Lantern

The United Tour of Manchester

The United Tour of Manchester

Union Castle Liners

From Great Britain to Africa 1946-1977

Publication Date15th March 2013

Book FormatPaperback





Every Thursday at 4 p.m. a Union Castle express liner left Southampton for the Cape. William H Miller tells the story of the post-war Union Castle ships.
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It was one of the most important British liner routes of all - the express run from Southampton to the South African Cape. Carrying passengers as well as cargo, including the all-important mail, it was a byword in travel - 'every Thursday at 4', as one of the big Union-Castle liners set off for Cape Town and beyond. By the late 1950s, these mail ships included the Arundel Castle, Carnarvon Castle, Winchester Castle, Athlone Castle, Stirling Castle, Capetown Castle and two post-war sensations, the Edinburgh Castle and Pretoria Castle. Three new liners arrived in 1959, the last great ships built for Union-Castle. They were Pendennis Castle, Windsor Castle and Transvaal Castle. The route was not just to the Cape - for Union-Castle also offered a service down the East coast of Africa and a round-Africa route too. In 1977, with the mail contract and passengers lost to the jet and cargo to container ships, the service ceased in October that year and Union-Castle was no more.

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