MV Bloemfontein Castle

MV Bloemfontein Castle

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MV Bloemfontein Castle

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The MV Bloemfontein Castle was a passenger liner. She was launched at Harland & Wolff's yard at Belfast on 24 August, 1949 by Mrs Leif Egeland, wife of the High Commissioner for the Union of South Africa in London. She was completed on 25 March 1950. Built for Union-Castle Line's Intermediate service to South and East Africa, she was their first one-class ship. She took her name after the town of Bloemfontein, capital of the Orange Free State.

The Bloemfontein Castle was given the familiar Union-Castle profile of well-raked rounded stem, cruiser stern, a low streamlined funnel and a single mast abaft the bridge, giving a well-balanced appearance. There were two hatches forward and three aft, served by six 10-ton and four 5-ton capacity derricks. Cargo 'tweendeck spaces were insulated for the carriage of fruit, with certain compartments for chilled and frozen produce.

The Bloemfontein Castle was the first intermediate liner to be built since the war had ended, and the institution of a single class-tourist was an innovation for Union-Castle. She was built to cater for an expected emigrant boom and to alleviate the still considerable pressure at the time for accommodation at lower range fares. The main public rooms were on the promenade deck, a large lounge forward being extended the whole width of the ship so there were no passageways either side. Aft of this was a combined library and writing room, connected by a long gallery to a commodious smoking room. On the upper deck...
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