Shahristan was a cargo ship built for Strick Line and completed in 1945. She served with that company for just 17 years and was taken to Monfalcone to be broken up in 1962.

I am grateful to Malcolm Salter who has provided most of the information about her service history.

Shahristan - Location and date not known. [1]

Basic Data

Item Value
Type Cargo Ship
Registered owners, managers and operators Owners: Strick Line (1923) Ltd.
Managers: F.C.Strick & Co. Ltd.
Builders John Readhead & Son.
Yard South Shields
Country UK
Yard number 544
Registry London
Official number 180552
Signal letters N/K
Call sign GJLR
Classification society Lloyd's Register
Gross tonnage 7,309
Net tonnage 4,806
Deadweight 10,100
Length 431.2 Ft.
Overall Length N/K
Breadth 56.3 Ft.
Depth 35.6 Ft.
Draught N/K
Engines Triple expansion steam engine with cylinders of bore 24½", 37" and 70" and stroke 48"
Engine builders J.Readhead & Co. Ltd.
Works South Shields
Country UK
Boilers N/A
Power N/K
Propulsion Single screw
Speed 11 knots
Cargo capacity N/K
Crew N/K

Additional Construction Information

  • Her contract price was £236,601 including machinery
  • She was built with oil-fired boilers
  • Two decks and cruiser stern
  • Radio direction-finding equipment and gyro compass
  • Machinery aft
  • Constructed using electric welding

Career Highlights

Date Event
27 February 1945 Launched
April 1945 Completed
19 December 1962 Taken to be broken up at Monfalcone

Service History

1945 to 1952

Malcolm Salter has provided the following information.

Date Event
29 April 1945 Steamer Shahristan returned to the Tyne the previous day with engine trouble.
30 April 1945 Shahristan commenced her maiden voyage to New York and on to Suez, Aden, Bombay, Ceylon, Sandheads, Cochin, Durban, Mombasa, Suez, Port Said, Haifa, Gibraltar, Falmouth, Eastham arriving at Manchester on 13 December 1945.
1946-1949 Traded UK to Persian Gulf
4 September 1946 A survey was held at Basrah on September 2nd on steamer Shahristan London for Basrah, in consequence of grounding at Bandar Sharpur. Soundings taken showed no apparent increase in previous soundings and surveyor therefore assumed that the vessel was sound and tight, and believed that the vessel was not damaged in any way. A certificate of seaworthiness was granted. The vessel was to be dry-docked for further examination at owner's convenience.
30 November 1947 Portishead Radio received the following from steamer Shahristan Basrah for London, timed 11.53 Hove to in strong gale 70miles West of Gibraltar, cargo in Nos. 2 & 3 'tween decks badly adrift. Impossible to secure at sea, proceeding to Gibraltar as soon as sea permits to secure cargo.
4 December 1947 Steamer Shahristan Persian Gulf ports for London, cargo scrap iron and general, put into Gibraltar on December 1st on account of heavy weather and cargo shifting in Nos. 1 & 2 holds. Vessel was alongside wharf to unload and secure cargo. It was anticipated that the work would take one week.
9 December 1947 Vessel sailed for London the previous day.
8 March 1949 According to a statement made by her Master, at Manchester, steamer Shahristan London for Abadan, with general cargo, grounded on the bank in the Shatt el Arab on 19 January.
12 March 1949 The vessel sustained no apparent damage.
1950 onwards Shahristan traded from the UK and continental ports to the Persian Gulf, East African and Indian ports.
17 September 1950 Steamer Shahristan reported the previous day that while bunkering at Abadan, Jeddah cargo of bagged barley spontaneously ignited. Vessel moored at Bawards with fire under control and was discharging Jeddah cargo.
18 September 1950 Vessel reported fire in No.2 'tween decks was extinguished. No serious damage was anticipated.
26 September 1950 The fire on steamer Shahristan Vessel’s agents advise General Average declared and requested survey and weightment of about 400 tons of bagged grain discharged into lighters. It was understood cargo was not insured. A survey was held on board at Bawards Reach, Abadan on September 16th and at Basrah the same day, in consequence of fire, which occurred in cargo of bagged barley in No.2 hatch on September 16th. Only one hatch board was found to be damaged by fire, no damage by fire or water to cargo was ascertained.
2 February 1952 Steamer Shahristan Liverpool and Antwerp from Basrah, with cargo of sugar and general, arrived at Falmouth, with pipe leaking from forepeak to engine-room, fractured in deep tank. The owners reported that a certificate of seaworthiness was granted to the vessel and she was proceeding to Newport.


Malcolm Salter has provided the following information.

Date Event
18 March 1958 Steamer Shahristan which had arrived at Mauritius on March 17th from Banda Shapur, reported that, on advice of local authorities, she was deliberately beached in Port Louis harbour at 22.43 to avoid heavy cyclone damage, after attempts to maintain position with usual moorings had failed.
19 March 1958 During a cyclone the vessel broke her stern moorings and beached on mud. The weather was moderating and her position was not considered dangerous.
26 March 1958 The owners of steamer Shahristan received the following messages from Mauritius:

Dated 21 March: Shahristan refloated at midnight on March 20th. Divers inspecting.
Dated 22 March : Shahristan commenced loading, expected date of departure March 27th.
Dated 24 March: Shahristan seaworthiness certificate issued on March 24th. Divers report no damage.
30 March 1958 Vessel left Port Louis for the UK.
24 May 1958 Lloyd's Register surveyor reported that steamer Shahristan, Hull for Cardiff, made contact with the lock on entering Queen Alexandra Dock, Cardiff on May 17th.
This is the movements card for Shahristan for 1956-58. [1]

1961 to 1962

Malcolm Salter has provided the following information.

Date Event
22 March 1960 Great seaworthiness in Storm force 11 increasing Hurricane force 12 in Atlantic off the coast of Southern Spain. Cargo held in place despite steering gear problems. Green seawater taken bow on spray plus covering forecastle holds 1,2 and half of 3. Basically hove to for 12 + hours.
30 March 1960 Straddled Suez canal in sand storm and then hove to for 2 hrs no damage.
7 July 1960 Struck sand bank on entrance to Port Sudan no damage echo sounder other electrical components failed.
12 August 1960 A dispute among 1,000 dockers about the handling of cargo at Avonmouth brought nineteen ships to a standstill. The stoppage began over a cargo of red oxide brought to the port from Hormuz Island by the steamer Shahristan Basra for London. The dockers handling the cargo, part of the total load of 4806tons of ore and feeding stuffs, began their dispute the previous day. They said that they were dissatisfied with the "dirty money" extra pay for unloading such cargoes.
14 June 1961 Steamer Shahristan was surveyed at Mormugao on May 22nd, and subsequently in respect of damage to hull plating on port side, stated to have been sustained through bumping against the quay there on May 21st while loading. Plating was found to be indented in way of frames Nos.107-108 and 111-112, and rivets slack and one deep frame and one beam knee buckled. Temporary repairs were effected by fitting a cement box in way of frames Nos. 107-108 and welding rivets and seams. The vessel was considered seaworthy to proceed on voyage to a North European, where it was recommended that permanent repairs would be carried out and in any case not later than the end of June 1961.
19 December 1962 Arrived Monfalcone to be broken up.
8 January 1963 Breaking up commenced.
This is the movements card for Shahristan for 1959-61. [1]
This is the movements card for Shahristan for 1961-62. [1]

Image Credits

  1. By courtesy of Malcolm Salter