The Last Union-Castle Mailship Leaving Southampton
This is a set of pictures of the very last Union-Castle mailship, the Southampton Castle, leaving Southampton for South Africa on the 16th September 1977. The weather was very poor, as can be seen, and very few people turned out on the Royal Pier, unlike the departure of the final passenger sailing, with the Windsor Castle, which had left on 12th August. The Royal Pier has also been closed since these pictures were taken. Southampton Castle left Cape Town on the 11th October, for the final return journey, arriving back in Southampton on 20th October. She was then sold to Costa Lines, who used her as Franca C until 1984 when she was sold for demolition.
The photos were taken from the Isle of Wight ferry Netley Castle. My plan had been to pass the Southampton Castle in Southampton Water, but she departed late and we had already docked as Southampton Castle passed.  
Click on this link to open a new window showing a superb photo of Paolo, ex-Good Hope Castle, photographed by Ian Shiffman on her final voyage.
Southampton Castle
Southampton Castle on 16th September 1977.
Photos: ©1977-2004 Copyright Ian Boyle
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