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When I was working for Union-Castle in Cape Town, before I went to sea as an R/O, the Southampton Castle was the first ship I berthed for passengers on the South African coast. She carried 12 pax (so no doctor) and it was far more difficult to arrange the pax berths than on the bigger ships, as there was no room for mistakes.

Passengers often wanted to travel from Cape Town to Durban on one ship and return on the next one. If the next one was the Southampton or Good Hope Castle, not only could they mostly not be accommodated, they didn't like it as there was no entertainment. Between Cape Town and Southampton, the berthing was in the hands of the St Helena Government, and between St Helena and Ascension, deck passengers were carried on what was normally a sundeck/sports area.

Rose King

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