Coaster Vehelini/Dunlossit

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Coaster Vehelini/Dunlossit

Post by gmdevents » Sun Mar 27, 2011 2:13 pm

I am trying to complete the history of the building and life of the steam coaster Vehelini, which may also have used the name Dunlossit sometime early on. She plied the slate trade for the Dinorwic Slate Quarries from 1893 to the 1950s between Wales, Ireland and Scotland. She was built by MacKnight boatbuilders of either Ayr or the Clyde of whom I can, as of yet, find no reference. There are models and drawings available. Dunlossit is on the Isle of Islay so I wonder what the connection is there. Any help with references or the story of this well worked vessel to complete a history of the Welsh slate industries would be much appreciated. My back ground is marine diesels, tugs, ferries, steam models etc, so this is a bit out of my normal sphere but very rewarding. Thank you in anticipation.
Replies to the forum or to would be appreciated

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Re: Coaster Vehelini/Dunlossit

Post by yorkieman » Sun Mar 27, 2011 5:18 pm

Her name was VELINHELI, an old name for Port Dinorwic, and fortunately her full history is in 'Cambrian Coasters' by R.S.Fenton / World Ship Society (1989)

ON 102461 126grt 95ft x 18.5ft x 7.5ft
Compound 2 cyl. steam engine by William Kemp, Glasgow

Completed 03/1892 by S. McKnight & Co., Ayr (yard no.34) for their own account as VELINHELI, having been ordered by G.W.D. Assheton-Smith who had refused delivery, he was the owner of Port Dinorwic Quarries.**
Sold 1893 by McKnight to Francis M. Allan, Glasgow and renamed DUNLOSSIT
but in 1894 was 're-purchased' by Assheton-Smith and given her original name again VELINHELI.
Various managers are listed, changes of recorded owner are ...
1907 to Walter W. Vivian
1935 to Walter W. Vivian and Frederick H. Mills
both of whom were associated with the quarry company

She ran mainly to the company's depots at Preston and Runcorn, sometimes to Ireland, and occasional return cargoes of coal from Point of Air colliery.

1941 to William R. Metcalfe, Skipton
1947 to Buchan Marine Servcies, Peterhead.
Laid up after the end of the War, eventually sank at her moorings, was raised and broken up locally in the late 1950's.

** the quarries had been in the Assheton-Smith family from 1700's and in 1858 passed to a nephew George William Duff who then added Assheton-Smith to his name, hence G.W.D. Assheton-Smith.
Later members of the family became part of the shipowners Duff, Herbert & Mitchell.

The book has two fine photos of her, one from collection of Kevin O'Donoghue and one from coll. of John Clarkson.
If you PM me I can offer contact details.
George Robinson
Freeman of Eriskay

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Re: Coaster Vehelini/Dunlossit

Post by gmdevents » Tue Apr 05, 2011 6:25 pm

Thank you for the information about Velinheli. I've now got some of the relevant books and sources on this ship and will be contacting Glasgow and the other museums and databases to fill in all the gaps. Engine data is proving difficult to obtain but must be there somewhere. Thank you again

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