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ISLAMOUNT

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Updated July 1999 with latest news plus images

 A steel barque built in 1896 by Anderson Rodger & Co., Port Glasgow, for Sterling & Co., Glasgow as the GLENLEE. Dimensions: 245'.63,38'.91;17'.72; 2757 GRT and 1620 NRT. Several similar vessels were built at this yard. They were not romantic ships like the "Cutty Sark" but were built to carry unglamorous cargoes with small crews hence their shortened "Bald headed" rig. My grandfather's cousin, Captain William Cadwalader, was master of one of the near sisters, the "HEATHFIELD", which was sunk by a German U Boat in 1916 off the coast of Ireland.

Purchased by R.Thomas in 1905 on behalf of a group of local people and managed under the name of "Flint Castle Ship Co" a single ship company which was the usual way local ships were managed. Judging by the name of the company it looks as if the original intention was to rename the vessel FLINT CASTLE in line with the naming convention which had developed. This did not happen and the vessel kept the name ISLAMOUNT. By 1905 R.Thomas had moved his office from 49 High Street, Criccieth (previously 5, Bryntirion Terrace) to 26, Chapel Street, Liverpool.

This picture was sent to me by Dick Thomas. His Grandfather sailed on the ISLAMOUNT in 1912.
(He was possibly a shipmate of A. Bestic who mentions being on her at this time, in his book "Kicking Canvas)

 
1896 December Launched at A. Rodgers, Glasgow as the GLENLEE, and delivered to Sterling & Co., Glasgow.
1899 Sold to the Islamount Sailing Ship Co. (R. Ferguson & Co), Dundee, and renamed ISLAMOUNT
1900 August 6th Grounded at Holyhead
1905 23rd August. Arrived Liverpool after a voyage London - Australia - Falmouth
1905 Sold to Flint Castle Shipping Co. R. Thomas & Co, managers, Criccieth and Liverpool.
1905-16 Captain Richard Owens of Nefyn (WMD)
1909 20th December. Valued by Kellocks of Liverpool at 4,750 to 4800 pounds
1910 May. Grounded outside Adelaide.
1917 February. While under tow outside Melbourne the hawser parted and vessel nearly went aground.
1918 Operated by J. Stewart & Co., London, for the Shipping Controller.
1920 Sold to Societa Italiana di Navigazione "Stella d'Italia", Milan, who modernised her, renamed her Clarastella and registered her at Genoa.
1922 March 29 Accquired by the Spanish Navy to be used as a sail training ship. Rebuilt at Cautieu Navale Triestino,onfalcon (Triest) and renamed the Galathea.
1927 Became a training ship for non-commissioned officers and used for special training exercises.
1946 October Lost almost the entire rigging in a severe storm, but managed to put into Santa Cruz de Tenerife.
1960 (?) Laid up at El Ferrol del Caudillo.
1993 Rescued from a Spanish scrap yard by the Clyde Maritime Trust to be turned into a museum ship in
Glasgow. Presently (1999) berthed at Yorkhill Quay, Glasgow.




Nov 1997. Received following information from Jamie White who is in charge of re-rigging the vessel for the Clyde Maritime Trust.

The GLENLEE was built for A. Sterling & Co. LTD. And sailed for them until
1898.  She was purchased by  Robert Ferguson on 25 March 1888 and was renamed
the ISLAMOUNT.  In 1905 she was bought by R Thomas and Co. and sailed for them
until1919.  R. Thomas & Co. planned to rename her FLINT CASTLE but never did.
In 1918 she was placed under the management of John Stewart & Co., London and
sailed under the red duster until Oct. 1919.  The Italian Navy bought her in
1919 and re named her the CLARASTELLA installed an auxiliary engine and sailed
her as a naval sail training ship for 3 years.  In 1922 she was sold to the
Royal Spanish Navy and re named the GALATEA.  She operated as a sail training
ship until being laid up in Ferrol in 1969.  In her laid up state she served
as a rigging training ship. 

In 1981 she was dry docked and replated below the
waterline.  During the mid 1980's she was rigged down  and  towed to Seville
where she was later vandalized.  She sank at her berth after some vandals
removed her bronze sea cock valve.  In 1992 she was purchased by the Clyde
Maritime Trust and towed to Glasgow in 1993 after making the hull sea worthy.


Many details of her rigging were changed by the Italians and the Spanish.  A
jiboom was added along with main brace boomkins,etc.  My task is to return her
to her rig to her original Cape Horn configuration.  As the GLENLEE and
ISLAMOUNT she rounded Cape Horn 14 times and had 4 circumnavigations.



May 1999 received an email from Ron Williams who is in charge of the website for the "Clydebuilt Association". There  is a section on the GLENLEE. The URL is http://www.hypernet.co.uk/clydebuilt/

June 1999 Received correspondance from Jamie Whyte. He sent much information on the history of the vessel and the recent renovation including several photos. Two are reproduced below (Thanks Jamie)

July 1999.  According to the latest "Ships Monthly" she is to be drydocked at Grenock and painted in the colours of her trading days i.e. light grey hull with painted ports.


The vessel was towed down to Greenock to act as a centrepiece for the Cutty Sark "Tall Ships" race at the end of July 1999. She then returned to her permanent berth at the Clyde Maritime Centre.

September 1999. Unfortunately I was unable to attend the above but Alastair Mckenzie did and took some wonderfull photos. These can be found on his website at http://www.langbank.freeserve.co.uk

September 1999. A website is under development solely for the Glenlee. This is at http://www.glenlee.co.uk

I was recently in Criccieth, North Wales, where the Glenlee (as the Islamount) was owned from 1905 to 1917. R.Thomas's office was at 49, High Street, above the shops, next door to Midland Bank. It is being totally gutted and rebuilt at the moment because of dry rot. There is a photo of the High Street in my personal pages.


Sources:
Ventures in Sail by Aled Eames,
Lars Bruzelius,
Sea Breezes
Jamie White
Clyde Maritime Trust.


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