Falls of Halladale

Falls of Halladale.—On July 21st, Messrs. Russell & Co. launched from their Greenock shipbuilding yard a four-masted sailing ship, named the Falls of Halladale, a vessel of 2,000 tons net register, and measuring 280 ft. by 42 ft. by 24 ft. She has been built to the order of Messrs. Wright & Breakenridge. This is the seventh vessel built by Messrs. Russell & Co. for the ‘Falls’ Line of sailing ships.”

From Vol. VIII of The Marine Engineer (1 September 1886)

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Falls of Garry

Falls of Garry.—On June 4th Messrs. Russell & Co. launched from their Greenock yard a four-masted iron sailing ship of 2,000 tons nett [sic] register for Messrs. Wright and Breakenridge, shipowners, Glasgow. Her dimensions are:—Length, 280 ft.; breadth, 42 ft.; and depth, 24 ft. On leaving the ways she was named the Falls of Garry. She has been built to Lloyd’s highest class, and is the sixth vessel which the Messrs. Russell have within the last few years built for the same owners.”

From Vol. VIII of The Marine Engineer (1 July 1886)

Falls of Earn

Falls of Earn.—On May 30th Messrs. Russell & Co., shipbuilders, Greenock, launched from their yard at Cartsdyke a four-masted iron sailing vessel of about 2,300 tons register for Messrs. Wright & Breakenridge, shipowners, Glasgow. Her dimensions are:—Length, 300 ft.; breadth, 42 ft.; and depth, 24 1/2 ft. On leaving the ways she was named the Falls of Earn. The new vessel has been built under special survey to class 100 A1 at Lloyd’s, will have four masts (square-rigged and double top gallant yards), and will be furnished with all modern improvements calculated best to facilitate the discharge or loading of cargoes. She is an exact duplicate of the Brownrigg, recently launched by the same firm of shipbuilders for Captain Houston, Liverpool. The Falls of Earn will be fitted out for sea at Port Glasgow.”

From Vol. V of The Marine Engineer (1 July 1884)

Falls of Foyers

Falls of Foyers.—On April 12th Messrs. Russell & Co. launched from their Greenock yard a four-masted iron sailing ship, which they had built to the order of Messrs. Wright & Brackenridge [sic], Glasgow. Her dimensions are:—Length 268 ft.; breadth, 41 ft.; depth of hold, 23.9 ft; and 1,900 tons register. Her dead-weight carrying capacity is about 3,500 tons. As she left the ways she was named the Falls of Foyers. She is similar in every respect to the Falls of Afton and Falls of Dee, built by the same firm, and has been classed 100 A 1 at Lloyd’s.”

From Vol. V of The Marine Engineer (1 May 1883)

Falls of Dee

Falls of Dee.—On April 20th, Messrs. Russell & Co., shipbuilders, Greenock, launched from their shipbuilding-yard a four-masted iron sailing ship of the following dimensions:—Length, 275 ft.; breadth, 41 ft.; depth, 23 ft. 9 in.; and of 1,900 tons registered. She is fitted up with all the latest improvements for facilitating the loading and discharging of cargo, and nothing has been neglected by her builders to make her complete in every respect for the East India trade. The vessel, which is owned by Messrs. Wright & Breakenridge, Glasgow, was, on leaving the ways, named the Falls of Dee, and is a sister ship to the Falls of Afton, recently launched and fitted out for sea by the same firm.”

From Vol. III of The Marine Engineer (1 May 1882)

Falls of Afton

Falls of Afton.—On February 20th, Messrs Russell & Co., Cartsdyke, Greenock, launched a four-masted iron sailing ship, of 1,900 tons, which has been built to the order of Messrs. Breckinridge [sic] & Co., of Glasgow, and is to be employed in the East India Trade. The dimensions of the new vessel are:—Length, 268 ft.; breadth, 41 ft.; and depth, 23 ft. 9 in. On leaving the ways the vessel was named the Falls of Afton.”

From Vol. III of The Marine Engineer (April 1881 to March 1882)

Tragic End of the Falls of Bruar

The Falls of Clyde is a survivor. The oldest and last remaining ship of Wright and Breakenridge’s Falls Line, she is a testament to the quality of Clyde-built vessels. She is also lucky.

Over the years, there have been some close calls. Newspaper stories speak of near collisions, foul weather, and dangerous lee shores. Had the Fates been against her, she would not be here today.

Her sister ship, the Falls of Bruar, was not so fortunate.

The Falls of Bruar was launched in March of 1879, just three months after the Falls of Clyde. She was the second ship built by Russell and Co. for the Falls Line.

‘Falls of Bruar’ anchored in an unidentified harbour

On a stormy night in September 1887, she foundered off the east coast of England near Great Yarmouth.

From The Times (5 Sept 1887):

“…laden with salt, [she] was bound from Hamburg to Calcutta. She encountered the heavy gale on Friday, and during a squall some of her sails were blown away, her cargo shifted, and she was hove down on her beam ends and sank. The crew only had time to cut away two of the boats, one of which was instantly smashed and the other drifted away bottom upwards.”

Only five men, out of the 29 (crew + pilot) on board the ship, managed to survive. They were picked up by the smack Cygnet and taken to Great Yarmouth.

(Thanks to Mil for the copy of the article from The Times.)