Half-ship model, SS 'Ulmarra', wood / metal / glass, made by Lithgows Limited Shipbuilders, Port Glasgow, Scotland, 1923
This shipbuilder's model of the SS 'Ulmarra' represents one of the signature vessels that was owned and operated by the North Coast Steam Navigation Co Ltd in the early half of the 20th Century. The 'Ulmarra' was a steel steam ship that mainly worked the Clarence River in northern New South Wales, among others.
When the North Coast Steam Navigation Co Ltd went into voluntary liquidation in 1954, the SS 'Ulmarra' and SS 'Uki' (two of the oldest vessels in the fleet of nine), were still trading under the familiar red and blue house flag. Although both of these vessels were extremely dissimilar in design, they became the prototypes for two, new distinct classes of vessel to be produced for the Company. The 'Ulmarra' was more conventional in appearance, as it was little more than a "three island" ship with a raised quarter deck from the bridge aft, while the 'Uki' class of ship was developed from Sir Allen Taylor's wooden boats (which characterised very long bodies). The 'Ulmarra's' shape, on the other hand, developed from the SS 'Poonbar' and 'Gunbar' before her.
In 1955, the SS 'Ulmarra', along with the 'Arakoon' and 'Bangalow' was sold to John Manners & Co in Hong Kong. Like the other vessels, the 'Ulmarra' was renamed twice to 'Rozelle Breeze' and later 'Papagayo'. While the renaming of vessels was a particularly common trait to follow when being sold into new hands, it is unique that a vessel's name should change twice under the ownership of the same company.
Models such as this one would have been made for presentation purposes after the construction of the full-scale vessel and acts as a legacy for the full-scale version which no longer survives.
Richards, M., "North Coast Run: Men and Ships of the New South Wales North Coast" (Killara, 1977) pp.109-111
Scottish Archives Network, "Sir James Lithgow", http://www.dswebhosting.info/SCAN/dserve.exe?&dsqIni=Dserve.ini&dsqApp=Site20&dsqDb=Persons&dsqSearch=Code=='GL68'&dsqCmd=Show.tcl (Downloaded 10/4/2007)
This half-ship model of the SS 'Ulmarra' was produced by Lithgows Limited Shipbuilders in Port Glasgow, Scotland in 1923.
Lithgows Limited was a British shipbuilding company that was incorporated in 1918 from Russell & Co (the original name of the family shipyard belonging to Sir James Lithgow's family). The company grew throughout the early 20th Century and acquired many lower-Clyde heavy industrial businesses such as Dunlop, Bremner & Co in 1919; Fairfield Shipbuilding & Engineering Co in 1935 and Ferguson Bros in 1961. The company ceased to operate in 1988.
The SS 'Ulmarra' was owned and operated by the North Coast Steam Navigation Co Ltd from 1923-1954. In 1955, the 'Ulmarra' along with the 'Arakoon' and 'Bangalow' were sold to John Manners & Co in Hong Kong where it was later twice re-named to 'Rozelle Breeze' and 'Papagayo'.
This particular model was donated to the Museum by the North Coast Steam Navigation Co Ltd in 1954.