Further Talking Points

RMS Windsor Castle / RMS Kenya Castle / Nord Norge (North Norway) / Model Locomotives – in Restaurant / The 'Grosvenor' & the 'Hussar'Bradshaw's World's First Railway Timetable / Compass Motif Tables / Bits and Pieces / Ship Builder Models /  David Roberts / Technical Specification

RMS Windsor Castle
The RMS WINDSOR CASTLE was launched on June 23 1959 by HM Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, in a greatly publicised ceremony. All this aroused considerable interest, but particularly exciting was BBC Television's decision to cover the launch live, the first time the naming and launching of a great liner had received such coverage. Wynford Vaughan-Thomas was named as the commentator for the event.

The launch party and media travelled on the 07:45 special train from London Euston to Liverpool Lime Street. They arrived in Liverpool at 11:30 and were taken by coaches over to the shipyard in Birkenhead where the launch party and media were on the launch platform by 12:45 for the launch ceremony. The Queen Mother was scheduled to name and launch the vessel at 13:30. Unfortunately at 13:25 she had a severe nosebleed which threatened to delay the event, but the calm Queen Mother took control and carried out the christening only one minute past its scheduled time of 13:30.

A great roar of applause greeted her as she came on to the launch platform, from where she successfully carried out the launching ceremony in magnificent style.

On the 11 of May 2005 the vessel under its own steam made its way to Alang in India where it was hauled up on the beach and then broken-up.

The following artifacts from the RMS Windsor Castle can be found onboard:

  • The illuminated glass Mermaid ceiling panel in the Restaurant
  • Decorated mirror in the public Restroom
  • Bathroom fittings including coat hooks, towel baskets and soap trays
  • Three bar stools now refurbished
  • Restaurant carver chairs – ex RMS Windsor Castle First Class Restaurant.
  • Lifejacket chest-seats on the aft and side of the vessel
  • Illuminated ceiling panel in the Reception.

RMS Kenya Castle

RMS Kenya Castle commenced duty on her owners' request around the Africa route from London in March 1952. However by 1962, due to dwindling patronage, the voyages were terminated at Durban, South Africa. Kenya Castle and her sister ships then retraced their (now all east about) journeys back to Britain via the Suez Canal. During an early 1960's refit the passenger complement was reduced to 446, while technical upgrades included the ship's funnel being heightened by the fitting of a streamlined, ventilated dome.ship-model Faced with continual decline in demand for their services, Union-Castle withdrew all three sister ships from the Africa trade during 1965-67, each vessel having operated for around 15 years. Kenya Castle was laid-up in early 1967 and was broken up in 2001.

Items from the Kenya Castle include the magnificent brass friezes at the skirting level in the lounge and main entrance doors.

Nord Norge (North Norway)
Nord Norge was a name given to a long line of vessels that operated along the isolated communities on Norway’s western shore. The artifacts here were sourced from the Nord Norge scrapped at Alang Bay in India in the 1970’s. 

Items from the Nord Norge – all wall light fittings in the lounge and restaurant.

Model Locomotives – in Restaurant
There are two large working model locomotives in the lounge bought at auction in 1979 but thought to have been built in the 1950's by ex- British Railway Locomotive drivers.

The 'Grosvenor' & the 'Hussar'

  • Locomotive 'Grosvenor'
    Built in 1874 by William Stroudley, the Chief Mechanical Engineer of the London, Brighton & South Coast Railway, was the 'Grosvenor' was first of 26 of his Class 'G' 2-2-2 locomotives. It was sold in 1907 to the Italian State Railways, although there does not seem to be any records as to where it worked or what was to be its eventual fate. Some do think it was destroyed in the Messina earthquake in 1908. Certainly it hasn't survived in the Italian Railway Museum in Milan, and why they bought it in the first place is a bit of a mystery, as it would have been well obsolete in 1907 even by Italian steam locomotive standards at the time, which were a good ten years behind everyone else. The model on display in the lounge is thought to have been built in about 1960 and was bought at auction in 1979, first being displayed in the company's office window (until the police advised them to remove it), then the company owned hotel in Stow on the Wold and more recently onboard MS Lord of the Glens in Scotland.
  • Locomotive 'Hussar'
    No. 6154 of the LMS (London Midland and Scottish Railway)Hussar is one of a total of 71 express passenger 4-6-0 locomotives of the 'Royal Scot' class, introduced in 1927 by Sir Henry Fowler (the railway's Chief Mechanical Engineer) for work on the West Coast route (i.e. Euston - Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester, Carlisle and Glasgow). They originally had parallel boilers but were rebuilt with taper boilers by Fowler's successor, William Stanier, in the mid 1940's, along the lines of Great Western Railway locomotives (Stanier had previously worked for the GWR at Swindon workshops). All bore names of famous regiments in the British Army. The Royal Scots in general and 'The Hussar' in particular, lasted until the mid 1960’s which were when steam finished on BR anyway. Two of her sister engines are preserved - No. 6100 'Royal Scot' herself, and No. 6115 'Scots Guardsman'.

BradshawBradshaw's World's First Railway Timetable
The first Bradshaw timetable is generally accepted as that which appeared on October 19th - 1839. It was a small pocket book with a stiff green cloth cover, on the front of which was embossed in gold 'Bradshaw's Railway Timetable'. The cost was 6 pence and the contents comprised times, fares for the northern railways, together with engraved maps of towns and a coloured map of the railways of Lancashire. The scope was later extended to cover all railways in Britain. Bradshaw was the undoubted source and inspiration for Jules Verne's Around the World in Eighty days commemorated here as the name of the lounge deck.

Original displayed in the lounge.

Compass Motif Tables
The tables (as well as all the loose furniture)Compass onboard the 'Spirit of Chartwell' were especially commissioned so as to fit comfortably with the 'Riviera' armchairs and are now used onboard Lord of The Glens. The tables are beautifully crafted in mahogany with a central compass motif with nautical lip surround and central pedestal for easy access. The furniture was made and designed by 'Oliver Design' in Bilbao to an original ship design. All furniture fabrics and blinds etc were supplied by the Northern English company 'Skopos' who in turn have produced fabrics for many of the world's great ocean liners.

Bits and Pieces
Crockery and cutlery onboard have been provided by Villeroy & Bosch. Decking & Dodgers by Scottish craftsmen. Carpentry craftsmen from Spain have created splendid examples of rich hardwood finishes throughout with special care taken with beautifully rounded edges and lacquered finishes. The piece de resistance perhaps being the oak floor with compass motif in forward lounge.

Ship Builder Models
There are two scaled models built in advance of the actual construction of the ships themselves which can be found in the bar/lounge and reception.

David Roberts
RA (24 October 1796 – 25 November 1864) was a Scottish painter. He is especially known for a prolific series of detailed lithograph prints of Egypt and the Near East that he produced during the 1840s from sketches he made during long tours of the region (1838–1840). These, and his large oil paintings of similar subjects, made him a prominent Orientalist painter. He was elected as a Royal Academician in 1841.

A set of original lithographs hand painted can be found in the reception and in the restaurant.

Technical Specification:
The Lord of the Glens is a Maritime Coastguard Agency Class III vessel. She is exactly 150 feet long and 34 feet on the beam – this being the maximum that can be accommodated within the locks of the Caledonian Canal. She has twin propellers and bow thrusters together with wing controls, and sprinklers systems.


Magna Carta Steamship Company Ltd. 136 Hamilton Terrace, London. NW8 9UX - Tel: (call back) 0207 372 2077
Company Number: 3760533 - Registered Office: 843 Finchley Road, London NW11 8NA - Registered in England