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Mystery crew and pier
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Mystery crew and pier

There is nothing on the back of this Photo to say what Ship or what Pier she's tied up at.I think it will be in Orkney somewhere,around 1900 period, I hope some of them that know will come up with an answer.Added by Phil Brough.
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Picture added on 28 June 2011 at 11:19
This picture is in the following groups
Mystery places or things or people
Comments:
Well Phil I have seen this picture before,in fact I may even have a copy somewhere in my vast collection.

I will take a stab at it and suggest it is the S.S.Express which sailed out of Kirkwall at the beginning of the 20th century and disappeared with all hands sometime in the first world wartime.
It was suggested at the time that she either struck a mine or was rammed by another ship somewhere in the Pentland Firth region.
It was something of a mystery at the time
This was well documented at the time so perhaps some one with a better (and older) memory than mine will be able to help.
Added by Peter Burges on 28 June 2011
Did the man 2nd from right move side-to-side during exposure, or is he a remarkable example of macrocephaly? Answers on a post please.
Added by Ian Hourston on 29 June 2011
I think I can answer my own question, at least in part. No macrocephaly, just a distortion somewhere in the imaging process between camera and computer screen. The ship's funnel is bent directly above the man's head, the man above him has a fat left arm (and a bit of a big head) and the man first right has a fat right arm.
No wotsit, Sherlock?
Added by Ian Hourston on 02 July 2011
this could be the s.s.express or her sister ship thes.s.s.ruby it was the ruby that struck a mine about a mile south of the mouth of the string she went down very quickly and captain mason and five of the crew were lost my grandfather was the fireman onboard her and was lost this happened on the 28 march 1917. i gained more information on this from captain irvine westbank st ola who was on the amelia steaming about a mile behind them they put on full steam and were able to get the survivers and others on board the amelia
Added by .JIM MARWICK on 04 July 2011
This could be the S.S. Express or her sister ship the S.S. Ruby. It was the ruby that struck a mine about a mile south of the mouth of the string. She went down very quickly and Captain Mason and five of the crew were lost. My grandfather was the fireman onboard her and was lost. This happened on the 28 March 1917.

I gained more information on this from Captain Irvine of Westbank, St Ola, who was on the amelia steaming about a mile behind them. They put on full steam and were able to get the survivors and others on board the Amelia
Added by .JIM MARWICK on 04 July 2011
On doing some more research further to what Peter has added, there was only one person picked up from the S.S. Express when she sank. He was George Foulis from Kirkwall, he was alive when rescued but died shortly after. He was a Grandfather to George Foulis and John Foulis who both live in Kirkwall and St.Ola respectively, George being a former Kirkwall Harbour Master who can be seen walking daily around Kirkwall at the same time every day. Added by Phil Brough.
Added by Phil Brough on 15 July 2011
If 'we' are talking of the s.s. Express which was previously the s.s. Hebridean then I am fairly sure that this is not the Express. I have a few pictures of the Hebridean and there are significant differences.
Added by Ewen on 10 October 2013
Found this same photo in Orkney Herald, and Weekly Advertiser and Gazette for the Orkney & Zetland Islands - Tuesday 14 December 1948 which states this is the SS Express (I) taken about 1909. The Hebridean became the Express (II) after the loss. The article also names a few of people in the photo.
Added by Kevin Heath on 02 June 2021
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