Ocean Monarch

On the 19th March 2011, my dad found a photo!  He had already found the original Oriana earlier that day and now presented us with a mystery.  What was this ship sailing past Calshot towards Cowes and when was it taken?  First thought was P&O's Arcadia, due to the black funnel top but her mast was in a different place and the stern was different.  There was nothing else for it so I opened it up to my ship nut friends on Facebook because one of them was bound to know.  Quality was rubbish, the scan making it lighter, so I had to darken a little to make out her shape even though I could do nothing about the marks.  David Greenwood got it immediately - Ocean Monarch.  The ship began her life as Empress of England, the penultimate Canadian Pacific liner, in 1957 and 25,585grt when she made her maiden voyage from Liverpool to Montreal in April of that year.  In 1970 she was sold to Shaw, Savill & Albion, becoming Ocean Monarch, based and registered in Southampton.  She did a couple of cruises before having a refit at Cammell Laird in Birkenhead, Merseyside.  New passenger cabins replaced cargo holds as well as a new stern including a pool, tonnage increasing to 25,971grt.  However, this took longer than planned and as a result she undertook one Mediterranean cruise in October 1971 before heading to Australia and New Zealand for the winter.  She stayed from late 1972 to 1974 when she returned to UK cruising in the summer. Boiler problems brought about her end and she was broken up in 1975.

The photos below were taken by my dad at Calshot on the 13th June 1975 as Ocean Monarch left her home for the last time, heading for the breakers in Taiwan, arriving on the 17th July.

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© Kevin Dempsey 13th June 1975 & Patricia Dempsey 2011
Not to be reproduced without permission