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S.S. Intaba
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S.S. Intaba

Historic Photographs
David Oswald
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S.S. Intaba
Historic Photographs
S.S. Intaba
A postcard showing the launch of the steamship Intaba on 6th September 1910. The ship was constructed by Hall, Russell & Company at their York Street yards for John T. Rennie, Son and Company of Aberdeen and London. The launch was watched by a crowd of thousands.

The Intaba was the largest vessel built in Aberdeen at the time. It was 387 feet in length and weighted 4,832 tons. It was designed to transport passengers and cargo, initially between London and the province of Natal in the Union of South Africa. It could accommodate 70 first class passengers and 60 in second class. The ship's name means mountain in Zulu.

The Intaba and passenger liners like it were fundamental to continuing the British colonisation of southern Africa following the Second Boer War (1899-1902). In May 1910 the British Government had unified its existing and newly acquired regional colonies into the Union of South Africa.

The Intaba went on to have a long and varied career, including working trade and pilgrimage routes. It sailed for 43 years, under various names and owners, and in many different parts of the world, before its eventual demolition in Belgium in 1953.

The Aberdeen Built Ships website (link here) gives considerable detail on the ship's history and states that it was renamed twice; as the Waitomo in 1916 and the Englestan in 1927.

Silver City Vault user Ed Fowler notes that the new ship is being maneuvered primarily by two steam paddle tugs, one on either side, and that a smaller screw steamer tug is also in attendance. He suggests one of the paddle tugs may by the Fairweather. It was built by Richard Stobbs, North Sheilds, in 1871 and was stranded in the entrance to Aberdeen Harbour in 1912.
Ships and Shipbuilding
Aberdeen Local Studies
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