On the withdrawal of of the venerable cattle boats Slieve Bloom and Slieve More the Associated Humber Lines general cargo ship Harrogate was transferred, from the North Sea service between Goole and Rotterdam, to Holyhead to join the Slieve Bawn on 15th April 1965.
The Harrogate's sisters, the Selby and the Darlington, became frequent visitors to Holyhead although neither were particular favourites of the port's masters as they were single screw. They would berth port side to at the coal crane to discharge and load containers - the easiest side with a right handed single propellor. Getting the bow to seaward for departure was accomplished by running a rope from the bow, outboard to a bollard astern of the ship. Then, after heaving the stern in as much as possible with a stern line, heaving on the bow rope to pull her around.
Arriving at the North Wall it was a different story, starboard side to and the 'fresh' in the River Liffey to contend with.
In preparation for Holyhead's entry into ISO and the container revolution the Harrogate was converted into a celluar container vessel and on 2nd January 1968 ISO 20ft containers were shipped through the port for the first time.
The Harrogate loading at Dublin's North Wall. © Ian Collard
Receiving attention under the Sheerlegs. © Andrew Jones.
Alongside at Heysham. © Jim Ashby,
In November 1969 she inaugurated a container service from Fishguard to Waterford, but was switched back to Holyhead-Dublin in 1972, being replaced by the Container Enterprise. Later that year the Harrogate was sold and renamed Stork, and in 1974 becoming Alouette. On passge from Rochester, Kent to Beirut in 1977 she was abandoned on fire in the English Channel and was towed gutted into Cherbourg. Later that year she was towed to Piraeus and laid up. She was sold once more in 1978 and renamed Dimitrios was repaired at Perama. Having changed her name to Dimitris under the same ownership she sprang a leak off Crete on 24 September 1981 and sank.