Right at the very end of her career, after withdrawal from the Fishguard - Rosslare service, the side-loading car ferry St David found herself thrust back into the spotlight in 1969 as relief steamer at Holyhead.
Built in 1947 as a passenger ship for the Fishguard & Rosslare Railways & Harbours Company the St David rarely strayed from St George's Channel. The ship was converted in 1964 to carry cars through side doors in her hull. Within two years traffic had outgrown her small car deck and so the Duke of Rothesay was moved to join the St David at Fishguard.
Cammel Laird, Birkenhead, 1947
Port side aft side shell doors.
The Duke of Rothesay was an outstanding success at Fishguard, which numbered the St David's days. As relief steamer at Holyhead the St David had a quiet time, until the Britannia Bridge fire which severed the rail link between Anglesey and mainland Wales. With the Dun Laoghaire mail service transferred to Heysham the St David saw a more active end to her career running in support of the Hibernia and the Cambria until sold in 1971 to Chandris Line of Greece. Renamed Holyhead, the ship left Holyhead for Perama where she was to be converted into a cruise ship. These plans came to nothing and in 1979 she was scrapped having never operated for her new Owners. The first ship to carry your webmaster across the Irish Sea (as a baby), the St David has much to answer for!