From the past
A workhorse in its day and built in Aberdeen
Credited with London (England) to Hobart (Australia) in 89 days. That was considered fast one-hundred and forty years ago
Yard Number: 265
Date of Build/Launch: January 1870
Registered: MacDuff (Banff according to Lloyd's 1871)
1871: Master J. Hodge; Voyage Aberdeen - China
1872/73: Voyage London - Australia
1874: LUFRA was sold to a Captain Alexander McGregor, of Hobart, Tasmania for £11,000 [Hobart Mercury, 8th July 1874]. He ran her as the Tasmanian Line, very successfully, between Hobart and London for a total of 23 years.
Hobart Mercury (Tasmania), 25th August 1874:
'To the Editor from 'A Tasmanian Shellback' - Re. para concerning ship Lufra, I think your reporter rather exaggerated her merits. We are all aware that she is a remarkably fine ship, but it is going too far to say she is the finest and handsomest vessel in the world or which has entered our waters. We all know that Tasmania is rarely visited by ships of any note, but still I think there are some lying at our wharves which might compete for looks and good qualities even with the Lufra.'
Glasgow Herald, 8th August 1874:
'Ship Lufra has on previous voyages discharged har cargo satisfactorily, but on present occassion much merchandise damaged irreparably by rats, there was great anxiety during voyage when vessel was found to be making water. On discharging cargo it was found that the mainmast was saturated and rats had eaten through the upper scupper, when this was submerged a torrent of water was poured into the hold. Had she experienced tempestuous weather it would have been impossible to keep the ship afloat.'
1875: Owner A. McGregor & Co.; Registered Hobart, Tasmania.
1876: Special Survey - London.
1876/77: Master R. Copping; Registered Adelaide.
1878: Registered Hobart, Tasmania.
1880/81/82/83/84: Master Rogers.
Morning Post (London), 23rd July 1889:
'During violent gale on Sunday two ship wrecked crews were landed at Deal by a lugger from barque Lufra, Capt. Rogers, of Hobart, and barque Erageroe (Norwegian). Crew of Lufra state their ship left London docks Wednesday with general cargo for Tasmania when off Isle of Wight in severe weather they fell in with the Norwegian barque. During the gale the two ships collided. The Norwegian vessel was struck in stern and binnacle light exploded, setting fire to her. Lufra had large quantity of gunpowder amongst her cargo and as she was close to the burning ship Lufra's captain ordered crew to take to the boats and they pulled to a safe distance. After Norwegian vessel sank Capt. Rogers and 12 of his crew pulled back to the Lufra, but other boats were unable to reach her because of the gale. After three hours men in one of Lufra's boats (and the Norwegian crew) were picked up by another Norwegian vessel, however, Lufra's remaining boat with three men, drifted off into the darkness. They had oars but no rowlocks. It is hoped that they will be able to keep afloat till another vessel falls in with them. Men from Lufra's rescued boat report water was
breaking over it and they were up to their waists in water.'
1898: Vessel now named LETIZIA; Master from 1897 is D. Cacace, Owner L. Castellano and Port of Registry Naples.
Extract from 'The Tea Clippers Their History & Development' 1833-75, pages 216-217 (illustration on p216):
"She was the last composite built sailing ship to be constructed by A. Hall & Sons, bearing their yard number 265. She was built for Anderson & Co. Banff. She began life as a full-rigged ship with a single topsail on the mizen. She made 2 voyages to China and then 3 out to Adelaide. In 1874 she was bought by Alexander McGregor & Co., Hobart and was reduced to a barque. She was placed in the Hobart to London trade for the next 23 years and proved to be a fast vessel. Her average time on the passage to London was 89 days and for the passage to Hobart the average was 90 days. In 1876 she had a close race out to Tasmania with the "Wagoola": both vessels sailing from London, left England on the same tide - 20 July - and reached Hobart on the same tide on 25 October - 97 days out.
The "Lufra" was sold to L. Castellano of Naples in 1897 for £1,250 and was renamed "LETIZIA". She was broken up in 1905".
Please see link to State Library of Tasmania for images of this vessel on Useful Links page.
[Information courtesy Mr S Ross, Tasmania and State Library of Tasmania]
A. HALL & Co., Aberdeen
W. Anderson & Co.
length 179'7" x breadth 31'1" x depth 17'9"
gross tonnage 704 tons