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I, like Dr Chris Haughton, was quite surprised to see Andrew Linington quote the top speed of the Tokyo Bay in the April 2020 Ships of the Past as 30.06 knots. I only did one voyage on her as senior second engineer in 1978 and also two voyages on the Osaka Bay in 1975, when they were powered by steam turbines, and was told that the top trial speed was around 36 knots. Unfortunately I only saw them operate at cruising speed.

Apparently, the Osaka Bay was the fastest of the class on trials, but as she was owned by P&O, this was not publicised very much, all the others being owned by Ocean Steamship (Blue Funnel) who manned all the ships in the class initially.

They were lovely ships to sail on; the engineroom while I was on them almost trouble free. I couldn’t class myself as a ‘Bay Boat Man’, but hopefully there are still some around to give more accurate figures. Ocean was a great company to work for and I was fortunate to be the chief engineer on ‘the last voyage of the last ship’, which was the MV Memnon in 1989.

Thanks for a great Telegraph, keeps us oldies in touch.

Ian Aitken

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