When the St Columba suffered engine trouble at the height of the 1983 summer season a Holyhead crew was dispatched to Calais to collect the French flagged Villandry on charter from Sealink partners SNCF. Arriving in the Welsh port on 7 August, the ship took up the run immediately.
Capt John Bakewell was at first appointed Staff Captain with a very pleasant Breton as Captain. Capt Bakewell recalls, "He asked me if we could swap jobs as he was unfamiliar with the Irish Sea. This was agreed so he went as Staff Captain with me in command of a ship flying the French Tricolor!! My claim to fame is that I am the only Englishman to have been in full command of a French ship!!! If that is so, I must tell President Chirac!"
Dubigeon-Normandie S.A., Nantes-Chantenay, France, 1965.
288 metres freight
Bow and stern