The Barque ‘Shandon’

When I enquired of Mrs. Catchpole about the story behind her grandfather making the model of the ‘Santa Maria’, she wrote telling me about his maritime background, listing the ships he served on.  My curiosity was aroused, the result of which was some Google research.  To my surprise Google turned up a number of newspaper articles about the Barque ‘ Shandon’, the first ship that Sidney Newing served on when aged 15.  This ship turns out to have quite a history.

The Argus dated September 4th, 1934 reports on the ‘acquisition’ for one peppercorn of the ‘Shandon’ by the Ship Lovers Society of Victoria.  The article explains the work involved.  The London Borough of Poplar is lending 14 authentic ships flags and Bristol are lending some marine relics.

Follow this link to the article:

The Age dated September 17th, 1934 has an article and photograph.  This is reporting her reconversion from a coal hulk to some semblance of her former glory for an exhibition organised by the Ship Lovers Society of Victoria.

Follow this link to the article:,1866312

The Age dated October 11th, 1934 has an article on page 11 about the ‘Shandon’ being the centre piece of an exhibition and being moored at Spencer Street in Melbourne, Australia.

Follow this link to the article:,4329845

The Argus dated January 19th, 1935 reports that now the exhibition is over the ‘Shandon’ is to be towed away and reconverted to a coal hulk.  The article reports some interesting facts about her.  ‘She was built 51 years ago (1884) as a 1,397 tons iron clipper.  She traded under the British flag for 30 years before being sold to Norway.  Sold on to the Commonwealth Government for War Service (WW1) soon after peace was declared she was sold to her final owners as a coal hulk.

Follow this link to the article:

The Age dated October 9th, 1935 then reports on the ‘Shandon’ Ship Lovers Society being sued over an unpaid bill.

Follow this link to the article:,3683747

There you would think the story ends, but no, there is a final chapter.

The Queenscliffe Maritime Museum of Victoria, Australia has the following on their website and I quote from that:


The Shandon was an iron sailing ship of 1397 tons, with dimensions – length 245.9 feet, beam 37.8 feet and draught of 21.3 feet.  Built in 1883 at Port Glasgow she had a chequered career as a trader for nearly 40 years.  She was converted to a lighter until the end of WWI then re-rigged as a barque and spent the next four years trading across the Pacific Ocean.  In 1922 she was in use as a coal hulk in Adelaide. During WWII she was a coal hulk in Townsville.

Shandon had one moment of glory in 1934 when she was involved in Victoria’s 100th anniversary celebrations.  Shandon returned to Melbourne sometime in 1961 and was broken up at Coode Island in that year.

In need of some restoration, the Shandon will eventually open as a public display.

Follow this link to their site:

Makes me think of the current ‘challenges’ facing the preservation of the ‘City Of Adelaide’.

Some things never change in the world of ship preservation, eh?