Sailing ship Willowbank – the first ship owned by Andrew Weir starting out as a ship owner…

Willowbank SV (+1895)WILLOWBANK SV was originally the full rigged ship Ambrose, with double top sails. Originally ordered by J Smirthwaite of Sunderland and launched by Master Ambrose Schilizzi (son of the owner) in 1885: When bought by Andrew Weir it started the nomenclature for his fleet (to be) having “Bank” as a theme for the ships. On the 22nd December 1895 at 4:30 am in thick weather with a Sw gale running, SV WILLOWBANK was in collision with the Red Star liner SS Berlin (5,526/95) and sank in 5 minutes, 12 miles west of Portland. Ss Berlin was on a cruise en-route from Antwerp to New York, while SV WILLOWBANK, loaded with nitrate was making for Hamburg via Falmouth from Caleta Buena. One life was lost.

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