Aberdeen White Star Line Centurion Wreck 1887

Inger Sheil

Member
Dec 3, 2000
5,342
34
208
Yesterday saw the unveiling of a heritage plinth at the Centurion wrecksite - NSWelshmen might have caught it on the news last night.

The Centurion was built as timber clipper ship, and later transformed to a barque rig, square-rigged on two masts. Built in Aberdeen, Scotland in 1869 for the Aberdeen White Star Line, she sank in 1887 after colliding with North Head.

The National Maritime Museum, working with NSW Heritage, played a large role in surveying the wreck, and designed the plinth that was placed on the wrecksite. I was on the Museum heritage fleet boat that carried divers from the Museum out to take part in the event. It was a lovely, if foggy, morning out on the Harbour, with the heads drifting in and out of view.

The plinth was draped in an Aberdeen White Star Line house flag - a nice touch - and was lowered from a barge to the sea floor. The NSW Deputy Premier (a keen diver), then donned his gear and dived down to unveil it. Was quite nifty to see the ROV deployed to film the event.

I'll admit to being very envious of the divers (still shaking a cold, so I'm out of the water for the moment)...particularly when a small shark was sighted!

Always good to see some of our rich maritime heritage acknowledged. And to spend an early summer morning on the Harbour.
 
Mar 22, 2008
4
0
31
Inger,

Read your post with interest. I have been studying the A.W.S.L for some 25 years and am half way through a definitive account this, at the time of its dissolution, the longest serving line to Australia. I have copies of the marine archeological report on the wreck of CENTURION, but would be very interested to be brought up to date. Any sources would be appreciated.

Peter King
 

Inger Sheil

Member
Dec 3, 2000
5,342
34
208
Hallo Peter - welcome to the board. I'll check with the archaelogical dive team to see how the interpretative plaque is going. I can ask our curatorial team and library staff if there's much new in the way of material here in Oz - sounds like you're well across the primary and secondary material available for the AWSL, but if there is anything I can assist with I'd be more than happy to do so.

Great to see that a definitive account of the Line is being undertaken.
 
Mar 22, 2008
4
0
31
G'day Inger,
Many thanks yours. Problem with the AWSL is the lack of primary research material. Everything seems to come from round-about routes. Anything which you may be able to cull would be much appreciated. I am currently deep into The Mogul House of Lords ruling, which involved the s.s."Aberdeen" ( again indirectly...). If there is anything which I can provide in terms of info on AWSL wrecks in Oz please let me know. I have prepared a detailed chronology of Geo. Thompson's shipping activities which I would be happy to let you have, if of interest.
Cheers, PHK