Haynes World - ships, ferries, a laugh on the ocean wave, and other interesting things...


Summer 2011 Part 13 Hamburg

Summer 2011 Part 13
Happy in Hamburg

Saturday 16th July
After a plentiful breakfast on board CAP SAN DIEGO we set off down the long gangways

The Schaarhorn was just across the river

to the pontoon, and then across the old bridge with its newish roof covering. At the end was a little shop selling all sorts of souvenirs from the ship, which were hard to resist. When I think about buying Union-Castle Line goodies, I usually ask myself if I can wear it or use it; if the answer is no, then I probably won’t buy it. Today, I asked myself the usual question and ended up buying a rather lovely china mug, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the ship.

Just outside the shop was a sign set into the pavement, describing how the 3 funnel ships of yore used to come into Hamburg.

Quayside sign

There was a picture of one, with no name or date to be seen, obviously berthed just where we were standing, so I think that might be a good clue as to where the ARANDORA STAR might have berthed in August 1931 and 1932 when Father was working on there as an Assistant Engineering Officer. I took a few photos of the view this morning from the CSD deck. Father’s photograph includes one of the many churches and by checking his picture, I think I can identify it as St. Nicholas’s Church which is quite distinctive. Nowadays just the outer walls and spire of the church are intact and much-visited.

Hamburg in 1931 and 1932

Possibly the same view

As a first-time visitor to this city I was happy to walk to a wonderful bookshop, which also sold ship models – the Galerie Maritim. What a glorious place that turned out to be, as the 3 of us spent a very happy time there and the usual ‘wear it or use it’ question had to be put to the back of my mind when looking at the hundreds of 1:1250 models for sale in the glass cabinets. Conversation with the proprietors naturally covered all our favourite ships and shipping lines, and some of our favourite maritime authors too: Anthony Cooke, Bruce Peter and William Mayes (when is his next book due out, they asked) and Les Streater. I left the shop clutching a small bag – I seem to be a new addict… Oh well, I was warned.

The next bookshop we went to had a maritime section, so that was interesting too. I found a box of old photographs and when I started looking through them the young lady behind the counter asked if she could help with anything in particular. I smiled and said I wondered if she had any photographs of the ARANDORA STAR in the 1930s in Hamburg, and showed her one of Father’s photographs. She said she had more pictures in the back room and went to look for them. She re-appeared a short while later and handed me two black and white photographs of Father’s ship said to be taken in the early 1930s in Hamburg. They were obviously not taken at the same time, as her masts are different in the two pictures as are her forward arrangements.

Arandora Star arriving in Hamburg

The ship in Hamburg

One photograph had the name of Wolfgang Fuchs of Hamburg printed on the back. I was so astonished and of course I bought them. Life takes extraordinary turns, doesn’t it? I think this morning we all realised that Hamburg just loves its ships and shipping, and it is truly a maritime city to enjoy.

One of my chums had to catch a train after lunch so we saw him off safely at the Hauptbahnhof, and took a train ourselves to go to Wedel and the Welcome Point. Of course, as it was a weekend there was the inevitable engineering work on the line which meant we had to get a replacement bus (coo, it’s just like home) from Blankenese and then walk to Welcome Point. It is obviously a very popular place to visit and enjoy the cafĂ©, restaurant or snack bar; we decided not to visit the ‘Ship in a Bottle Museum’, but did enjoy sitting on benches built in front of a long mural which we had seen from the HALUNDER JET yesterday. We waited in the warm sunshine to see several ships and hear the music.

Team Lines' Tina

Grimaldi's Grande Francia

The journey home was the expected walk, bus and train, followed by dinner in the city,

Restaurant toilet sign

Interesting thought, but NO.

and a soiree on deck to complete the day.

Ships seen: Transvaal Castle, Capetown Castle, Reina del Mar, S. A. Oranje (OK, they were models but what a collection they came from!), Grande Francia, Apollo, Tina, Lion King Ferry and lots of other ferries of all shapes and sizes.

To be continued…