g Star Ferry.

Sat, 03/09/2019 - 22:26
Date picture taken


The ship in the background is one of three S class passenger cargo liners built between 1947 and 1950 for the British India Steam Navigation Company’s APCAR service between Calcutta, Chinese and Japanese ports. The bulk of the passengers carried – up to a thousand – were deck class passengers hence the large number of double-banked life boats.

SANGOLA (1947-1963), SIRDHANA (1947-1972) & SANTHIA (1950-1966)

Once a dominant presence in Eastern waters, British India by the 1950s was in decline due to political and economic changes and the growth of air travel. However, the ships found employment carrying British Gurkha troops to Malaysia, Singapore or Hong Kong until 1962 when passenger services ceased. This military association was commemorated when the bell of the scrapped SANGOLA was presented to the Brigade of Gurkhas in recognition of their role in ensuring the safe evacuation of the ship when she ran aground on the River Hooghly in 1953.

Ref: B.I. The British India Steam Navigation Co. Ltd. – Laxton & Perry

            World Ship Society ISBN O  905617 65 7

Regards  degahkg


I think it's the Sangola and that the date is either side of 15th May. The Sangola was on buoy A2 (i.e. roughly off the present day Pier 1 of the Central Ferry Piers) and - if you look at the right background - the Blue Funnel Pyrrhus was on Holt's Wharf. That's the only date in 1956 I can find when one of the BI 'S' ships was on buoys A1 or A2 and an appropriate Blue Funnel ship was berthed at Holt's Wharf.

Happy to be corrected!


Intriguing - could the date be pre 1956?  In the BI reference book there is a picture of the SANGOLA with an all white hull in the Hong Kong & Whampoa Dry Dock dated February 1956. An internet site states that BI passenger vessels were painted all white in 1955.



This is a colourpostcard, l uploaded the exact copy on 5 may from my album, not realising Andrew had already uploaded it,. I bought it in 1957 not long after arriving in Hong Kong so suspect the photo was taken in early 1950s. Hope this helps with I D. -Bryan Panter.


Thanks everyone for the informative comments.  I’ll not change the date as other comments clarify things. Interesting to hear, Bryan, that it is a postcard - very difficult to know when uploading images from so many 367 members! Best wishes, Andrew