Sailing with the Cape Mails - RMS Stirling Castle

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Union Castle Liner RMS RMMV Stirling Castle on the Cape Mail Run

 

The “Lavender Ladies” of Union Castle Line were always popular sights at any of their stops on the route from the U.K to the Cape.

 

The Royal Mail Motor Vessel (RMMV) Stirling Castle was ordered in reaction to a requirement to speed up the mail service to the Cape and back. Built at the Harland & Wolff yard and entering service in 1936, the ship enjoyed a long and successful life, her large diesel engines being most unusual in a British ship of the era. 

 

One of two near identical sisters, the other being the RMMV Athlone Castle, the ship broke the record for a journey to the Cape in August 1936, arriving in 13  days and 9 hours. 

 

The ship would see war service as a Troopship before rejoining the Union-Castle fleet in 1946. By the early 1960s, the ship was considered slow, and with the introduction of ships such as the RMS Pendennis Castle and RMS Windsor Castle the ship was retired in 1966.  

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