ABERDEEN BUILT SHIPS


Name
DARRA
Construction
COMPOSITE
Type
SHIP
Date
1865
Description
Yard Number: 241
Rig: SHIP

Description: 2 decks, 3 masts, ship rigged, round stern, carvel buit, iron frame, shield figurehead.
(Souce: Aberdeen Register of Shipping (Aberdeen City Archives))

1866-67: Master R. Stiger; Owner W. O. Young; Voyage Aberdeen - India
1868-73: Master B. Lodwick; Owner Anderson & Co.; London - Australia
1874-76: Master W. Edward: Owner Anderson & Co.; Voyage - not recorded
1880-84: Master W. H. Mitchell; Owner Anderson & Co.; Voyage not recorded
1898: Owner J.C. Ellis
Some repairs in 1868, 1870, 1883
(Source: Lloyd's Register of Shipping)

Reported as being one of the six fast ships built for the Orient Line and initially used as a tea clipper in the Indian trade.

In 1874, owned by Anderson & Co., of London and sailed to Australia with emigrants.

In 1879 she was used to carry coal between Australia and America, returning with a load of timber.

In 1887 sold to new owners and used as an emigrant ship between England and Australia.

In 1899, gutted by fire in Sydney Harbour. The ship was then purchased by the Westport Coal Company and taken to Dunedin where refitted before being towed to Lyttelton and put into service as a coal hulk. The DARRA served steamers in the port of Lyttelton for over 50 years. During this period, a community of hulk-keepers lived aboard with their wives and children. Circa 1910 J P Barnes was keeper of DARRA, the last of the hulks and once among the fastest and finest of the Orient Company's fleet. Barnes with his wife and three girls, lived in roomy, comfortable quarters and in the big, well proportioned and beautifully panelled saloon, which was their living room, entertained various guests.

On 16 December 1950, DARRA was spruced up and fully rigged to represent the emigrant ship Charlotte Jane for the Canterbury Centennial celebrations. Once the celebrations had been completed, the DARRA was dismantled, cut down and sold as scrap.

In 1951, DARRA was beached at Quail Island, in Lyttelton harbour. In April 1953 an attempt was made to destroy the vessel by the New Zealand army, who attempted to blow her up. The only damage sustained was a blown out portion of one side. Vessel is still there.

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Newspaper Reports:

South Australian Chronicle, 16/04/1870:
Description of narrow escape of fine ship DARRA in cyclone from Cape Argus, 20 January:- arrived Table Bay 18 Jan. after fine passage of 59 days from Adelaide with cargo for London of 436 ingots silver, 7631 ingots copper, 3269 bags copper ore, 3920 bales and 29 packages wool, 1 pipe and 6 cases wine, 25 tons bark, 50 kegs preserved meat, 483 casks tallow, 13 bales leather and 9 passengers. Capt. Lodwick reports cyclone experienced 17 December 26.20S, 78E [Southern Ocean]. With barometer falling fast shortened sail and set hands to making everything secure. Fore and main topsails blew away into the clouds. Terrific gusts of wind. Lee main deck under water. Lee boat, hanging under water, was cut away so as not to injure ship. Appeared danger of everything being blown away. Sea made clean breach over ship fore and aft, washing everything moveable from decks, including most of livestock. In vortex of cyclone wind died away, but sea was tremendous, tumbling over ship, washing right through saloon and cabins. Ship then put under bare poles and allowed to drift. She behaved herself nobly in the sea and, had she not been strongly built, she must have gone down as at times sea was something frightful to look at as it rolled down upon the ship.

Brisbane Courier, 24/05/1873:
Death - Thomas Samuel Marjoribanks. Age 18, lost at sea from ship DARRA approaching English channel.

Glasgow Herald, 09/02/1875:
DARRA, Adelaide - London, 21 Jan. 8S, 34W.

Aberdeen Journal, 023/02/1876:
DARRA, Adelaide - London, spoken off The Horn.

Aberdeen Journal, 20/07/1880:
DARRA, for Melbourne, off The Lizard 16 July.

Aberdeen Journal, 15/01/1881:
Aberdeen Shipping 1880 (made up at Custom House) - sailing ship DARRA: built Aberdeen 1865, transferred from London 16 July.

Bristol Mercury, 15/09/1883:
Ship DARRA sailed from London for Brisbane with a number of emigrants from this city and surrounding district. They were despatched by local agent for Queensland Govt.

North Coast Advertiser, 19/09/1919:
Death of Grandma Tucker, who was a nurse in the Old Country and came out to Queensland in sailing ship DARRA, of Aberdeen - left Gravesend for Brisbane direct on 14 Sept. 1883 and arrived 27 Dec.
Shipbuilder
A. HALL & Co.
Owner
W O Young, London
Dimensions
length 191 1/12' x breadth 33 1/12' x depth 21 5/12'
gross tonnage: 999 ton

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