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Jeff is keen to have a model made of Ocean Monarch and is looking for photographs and plans to help in the construction.  We asked Allen Davidson if he knew where all the models had ended up. 

Allan replied “There definitely was a model of Ocean Monarch.   It was prominently displayed in Furness House, London at the far end of the 56 Leadenhall Street entrance near to the Fenchurch Street entrance [remember it well, Ed].  It was quite large, though not as large as the earlier models of, Queen of Bermuda and Monarch of Bermuda.  I didn’t win any ‘brownie points” when I pointed out to Capt J Baird, Chief Marine Superintendent, that the propellers were reversed with the port on the starboard side and vice versa. I don’t know what became of the model but ,if anyone should know, it would be George Swaine.

Not content with chasing builder’s models of former ships of the line, Ian Denton (left) told us about a new Furness ship with the famous red and black funnel.  Ian says, “Believe it or not, there is a new ship for Furness Withy Australia, in the shape of a bulk carrier, Furness St Kilda .”

To see examples, click here and then click on ‘photo’.  Those shown are Furness Australia, Furness Hartlepool and Furness Melbourne.

Images: Courtesy of Furness Withy & Co. Ltd, Australia at




Simon Mitchell

Furness Line’s red and black funnels live on today!

The model of Queen of Bermuda (left) was presented to the Bermuda Maritime Museum.  

Photograph: Allan Davidson

Our thanks to George Swaine for solving the puzzle posed by Jeff Macklin, whose own research found a model of Monarch of Bermuda at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, London.  To see a photograph, click here




Photographs: Ocean Monarch models from George Swaine

At our suggestion, Jeff contacted the National Maritime Museum and the Science Museum in London and, following Allan’s lead, we asked George Swaine, a director of Furness Withy, for help.

George (right) replied “When Furness Withy, closed their 34 Whitehall Street New York office in the 1970s, two of the ship models found their way to the nearby South Street Maritime Museum, on a loan basis.  One was Ocean Monarch, which had originally been in the London office (to which Allan Davidson referred).  Furness Chartering stayed in New York a little longer but eventually moved to Houston in 1978 until 1985, closing as a result of the Tung bankruptcy in 1985.

In the early 90s, I decided that these two models should be moved from New York (where they were in store). The model of Ocean Monarch came back to London, where she is still on display of the boardroom of Furness Chartering. I attach some photos of this model.” (Below)

Jeff is seen in his father’s arms (above) as his first sea voyage begins

Photographs: Collection of Jeff Macklin

The website was contacted by Jeff Macklin (right) about Ocean Monarch.  Jeff says, “I'm most interested to know if a builder's model of TSS Ocean Monarch was ever made and where it may be today.” 

“In August 1957, my parents and I took a cruise to Bermuda on the ship.  I was only 3 but the cruise must have had a big impact on me as I have been involved with ocean liners and ships all my life.”  Jeff tells us that he worked with Tropic Oil Company of Miami for most of his life and was responsible for the marine end of the business, working with all the major cruise lines.





Where are the builder’s models now? …

Queen of Bermuda and the rescue of Student Prince II in January 1955

This remarkable photograph has come to us from the United States Coast Guard archives.  It depicts Queen of Bermuda in rough seas, following her rescue of Student Prince II on 6 January 1955.  Records show that winds were gusting up to Force 8 when Queen of Bermuda answered a distress call and raced to assist the stricken vessel, in danger of foundering.

In the photograph (above left), No 3 lifeboat can be clearly seen hanging in its davits.  The inscription on the reverse reads “After rescuing ten crewmen off the foundering Newfoundland fishing vessel Student Prince II on January 6, 1955, 200 miles north northeast of Bermuda, the Furness liner Queen of Bermuda plows through heavy seas on its way to Bermuda.  The “Queen”, which raced 150 miles off her course to effect the rescue, was guided to the scene by three Coast Guard and two Air Force planes.”


Captain Leslie Banyard (right) was in command of Queen of Bermuda at that time. Staff Captain Magnus Musson (left), with seven able seamen and the ship’s coxswain as crew, launched the No 3 emergency lifeboat and rescued the captain and crew of Student Prince II, for which they were all honoured by the Royal Humane Society.

Photographs from collections of: left, Mike Clark and, right, Sir Alan Duddle


Image above provided by United States Coast Guard archives.  We are grateful to Dick Levesque and USCG for permission to reproduce them here.

Photographs: Two lifeboat images from collection of Mike Clark and attributed to the then Ship’s Photographer of Queen of Bermuda. 

Newspaper cutting: From collection of John Woods and attributed to Grimsby Evening Telegraph, January 1955.

For further information, see ‘Queen of Bermuda and the Furness Bermuda Line’ by Piers Plowman & Stephen J. Card, pages 240-241, Bermuda Maritime Museum Press, 2002.

Mike Clark (right), former navigating cadet and Junior Officer was serving on the bridge during the incident and remembers it well.  He writes, “In Archive Section 4, you show a photo of the ship taken from a USCG plane during the rescue of the crew of the Student Prince II on 6 Jan 1955. It shows the No 3 lifeboat on the falls after it returned to the ship. The new photo (below left) shows the No 3 lifeboat coming alongside after the rescue.    Captain Musson can clearly be seen at the helm (below right). The boat was hauled level with the promenade deck so that the nine (I think) rescued crew members [Ed: USCG say 10] could be landed onto the deck. One had broken his leg when he jumped into the boat.”

Mike continues, “The second photograph (below) shows only our crew members in the boat as it was hauled back into the davits on the boat deck.  At one stage during the rescue operation, our boat got about two miles away from the ship and disappeared from view each time it dipped into the trough of the swell. British able seamen of that time were not particularly well drilled at rowing boats in heavy seas but, by some good fortune, we had signed on a deck crew from the Western Isles of Scotland, who were natural oarsmen and seemed to regard it as a normal day's work.” 

Mike also remarkes, “During the rescue, Captain Banyard ordered the discharge of fuel oil into the sea to calm the waves. It may have done so but the oil also covered the boat and everything in it. According to the crew, the oars and thwarts became very slippery making it difficult to balance and row the boat. The oil is clearly visible on the photos. It also covered the entire ship’s side which had to be cleaned and repainted afterwards.”

“We were lucky for another reason. A few months before the rescue, soon after leaving Pier 95, we had the usual boat drill demonstration for the passengers. The No 3 boat was swung over the side and suddenly broke in half, pitching two sailors into the Hudson river. Captain Banyard deftly swung the ship around and picked them up. An examination of the wooden boat revealed that parts of it were rotten. So, fortunately, the boat used for the rescue of Student Prince II was a new one!”  

We are also grateful to Captain John Woods for sending us the newspaper cutting on the right.  He says, “This is a report taken from the local paper, Grimsby Evening Telegraph, about a local lad, Captain Musson, and his heroic rescue of the crew.”

Photograph: John Woods

John Woods (left) as a cadet on Queen of Bermuda in the 1950s

Photograph: John Woods

George Swain. Photograph: Simon Mitchell

Dramatic movie newsreel of the rescue

The rescue of Student Prince II was reported in cinemas around the world in 1955.

The movie came to light  when John Musson, Captain Magnus’ son, contacted the website about this article.  He says, “I was very exited to see the photos the website. When I was about 6 or 7,  I saw a newsreel of the rescue at the Rosebank Theatre in Bermuda, which featured the events in great detail filmed from an US Coast Guard rescue plane circling above. Can you put out your feelers to find a copy of this epic?”

We did find it  -   and to see it ,  click here.  It contains dramatic footage of the lifeboat in heavy seas and has a soundtrack.  We are grateful to British Pathé historical archive for the use of this link here and the image (right).

Copyright: British Pathé historical archive 

For Archives, section 1, click here, section 2, click here, section 3, click here, section 4, click here, section 5, click here, section 7, click here, section 8, click here, section 9, click here, section 10, click here and section 11, click here.