Ahoy There! Part 2

A few days after we moved Noah’s Ark, I helped Ian Whitehead remove a ship model from its wooden and glass case, so it could be photographed for insurance purposes.

This was a 58 inch long scale model of the M.V. Geddington Court – a merchant and cargo motor vessel. The model was built for Court Line by C. Crawford and Sons at the St. Mark’s model works in Sunderland. The ship it represents was built by Short Bros. in Sunderland in about 1954 and was later acquired by Jayanti Shipping Co. in 1962, who renamed it Rama Jayanti.

Follow this link for a picture of the real ship and more information about its service history.

The model had not been taken apart before and was dusty when we retrieved it from its storage shelf. As it didn’t need to be moved far, we used a normal scissor lift table to work on the model. The table’s hydraulics meant it was easy to raise and lower the model to suit us as we took it apart piece by piece.

Model on scissor lift table

Model on scissor lift table

We had to dismantle the case in a particular order. After we took the lid off, we first removed two adjacent sides. This left an ‘L’ shaped frame so that the other sides wouldn’t fall in on the model.

We labelled all of the case parts as we went along, so we’d know how to put everything back together again. Following Ian’s fondness for all things maritime, we used common nautical terms ‘port’ (left hand side), ‘starboard’ (right hand side), ‘forward’ (bow or front of the ship) and ‘aft’ (stern or rear of ship) when labelling.

Labelled case parts

Labelled case parts

We also used glass suckers to safely remove the larger panes of glass.

Ian removing front of case

Ian removing front of case

The back of the case had been replaced with a painted backdrop. This was not very attractive and obscured the view of the ship, so we removed the backdrop and it will be replaced with glass when the model is put back together.

The Geddington Court model is very detailed, and many of the deck objects are plated with gold.  The model has even been painted with draft marks on the stern and bow and a Plimsoll Line in the middle of a ship’s hull. Draft marks show how deep a ship is sitting in the water, and a Plimsoll Line shows how much cargo a ship can be loaded with for specific water types and temperatures. Plimsoll shoes are named after the Plimsoll Line, because of their appearance: if water goes above the line of the rubber sole, the wearer will get their feet wet!

Close up: showing detail of model

Close up: showing detail of model

Draft marks on the stern

Draft marks on the stern

Side view: showing white Plimsoll Line underneath the walkway

Side view: showing white Plimsoll Line underneath the walkway

Close up of Plimsoll Line

Close up of Plimsoll Line

The model will now be gently cleaned by the Conservation team so that all of its fine details will show up when it is photographed professionally.

8 Responses to Ahoy There! Part 2

  1. Lawrence E Willoughby says:

    Dear Sir I have been trying to find plans for this ship for ages i wish to make a model of it .My brother was a cabin boy, he was murdered on board his body was never recovered,it has alot of sentemental memories for me. I have a lot of photos of the ship but none of the deck layouts or rigging and supper structure I would appreciate if you could supply me with some photos of same,or plans would be better. If you could supply same this would be great.If there are costs involved this is no problem I could pay with paypal or deposit into your bank account Thanks A Lot Yours Larry.

    • Ian Whitehead says:

      Dear Larry
      I’m the chap in the overalls pictured in Katie’s blog above.
      I’m sure we will be able to help you with photographs of the deck and superstructure of the model although we don’t have any plans of GEDDINGTON COURT.
      I have sent a full reply to your e-mail address.
      Regards
      Ian

      • Val says:

        Hi Ian
        I have a model of the MV Geddington Court which my Dad owned. Would you be able to tell me how much it is worth and where I might be able to try selling it. It does need work and is currently in St Lucia.
        Thanks for your help
        Best
        Val

    • Wilbert Jackson says:

      Dear Larry,

      I do have a client of mine who is in the market of selling a model in the M.V. Geddington Court in the glass case. Her father passed on a few years ago. The model needs some work as the upper white paintwork on the hull has flaked into a powder form. The rest of the hull is in need of a restoration and the rigging is 95% intact. It needs some tender loving care. The glass case is needs some attention in the form of a good sand down filling and varnishing.
      You could make it restoration project of the actual model which woould save you plenty time of starting from scratch.
      This model resides in the Carribean at the moment.

      Regards

      Wilbert

    • Wilbert Jackson says:

      Dear Larry

      I did forget to mention if you require photos I could supply them.

      Wilbert

  2. Bryan Paxton says:

    I have an interesting query,
    Is there any relationship between C Crawford the model maker and Jack Crawford the hero of the battle of Camperdown?

  3. Mavis White says:

    Cousin Bryan, I have researched our Crawford f/tree and our joint ancestor Christopher Crawford (& sons, ship model makers) whose company made the m.v.Geddington Court model. I have not found any connection to the Sunderland hero Jack Crawford.

  4. Hazel Freeman says:

    Hello, does anyone know where the name Geddington in Geddington Court comes from? I live in a village called Geddington and wondered whether there is any connection at all.

    Many thanks, Hazel

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