BANANA BOATS

Shipments in distinctive cargo ships

By Stephen Morris

A number of photos taken around 1970-71 when bananas were imported through Newhaven for a while. This even provided work for rail transport at the time as bananas were loaded onto freight trains behind the East Quay.

Some interesting banana ships visited the port with Golfito being the star as a handsome passenger/cargo ship near the end of her economic life as she was scrapped not long after these pictures were taken.

Although Fyffes had a warehouse in Avis Way for a while, there was a missed opportunity to build a dedicated refrigerated warehouse at Newhaven for banana imports, and the trade was lost to Portsmouth where modern refrigerated banana carriers now unload their cargoes.

Photo:Leon unloading bananas at East Quay

Leon unloading bananas at East Quay

Photo:Dockside activity as Golfito unloads bananas

Dockside activity as Golfito unloads bananas

Photo:Registered in Glasgow; passenger carrying cargo ship between UK and Jamaica

Registered in Glasgow; passenger carrying cargo ship between UK and Jamaica

Photo:A handsome ship built 1949 and scrapped in 1971. Note the tiny pilot boat alongside the quay used around 1970!

A handsome ship built 1949 and scrapped in 1971. Note the tiny pilot boat alongside the quay used around 1970!

Photo:Meeching pulling the Pecos off the quay for departure

Meeching pulling the Pecos off the quay for departure

Photo:Moving astern through the narrows. Pecos, built in USA in 1947; scrapped in 1971. Showing her age with counter stern.

Moving astern through the narrows. Pecos, built in USA in 1947; scrapped in 1971. Showing her age with counter stern.

This page was added by Stephen Morris on 28/06/2016.
Comments about this page

The banana boats were nearly always good looking, some in a rather old-fashioned way, like Pecos, and some just handsome 'mini-liners' like Golfito and her sister Camito.

Leon and Lempa were an odd couple, I don't think being 'stretched' amidships helped their appearance.

Other banana boats that spring to mind include Patuca, Tinto, Chririqui, Tucaringa and the elegant 'C' class ships like Chuscal. Some were transferred within the United Fruits group and turned up with new funnel markings and new names. Omoa, Mardinia Importer and Mardinia Exporter were all ex 'C' class, I think.

I can remember towing a few of these in with Dad on the tug Meeching. Golfito and Leon, for sure.

By Andy Gilbert
On 29/06/2016

A fine selection of photos of ships now long gone.  Note the counter stern on the Pecos - a really outdated feature on ships of her age. 

It was especially interesting for me to see the views of Golfito as I was lucky enough to go aboard her sister ship Camito at Southampton in 1972 when she, too, was about to reach the end of her days.  They were lovely compact and well appointed mini-liners with a lot of character.

 

By Derek Longly
On 02/07/2016

We're Fyffes the only importer through Newhaven or did others, such as Geest also use the port please?

By Andrew
On 09/08/2016

Great photos of the various Fyffes ships, as a young man I sailed on several of these ships. Do you have any photos of the interiors. 

There is a Facebook page called Elders & Fyffes they would welcome some of your excellent photos. 

Thank you again.

By Colin Green
On 12/11/2016

replying to Andrew (09/08/2016)- no record to my knowledge of any Geestline ships to Newhaven.

and to Colin (12/11/2016) sorry, no interior photos as never went on board the Golfito.  (There was a recent Sea Breezes article on the Golfito and Camito with more photos.) 

By Stephen Morris
On 21/11/2016

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