MV Celtic (1903)

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United Kingdom
Port of registryLondon
BuilderKievits & Van Reede, Papendrecht, Netherlands
  • Official number 118314
  • Code Letters JGMC ( -1933)
  • Code Letters MKFZ (1934- )
StatusUnder restoration
General characteristics
Class and typeSailing barge, later coaster
Tonnage148 GRT
Length90 ft (27.43 m)
Beam23 ft 2 in (7.06 m)
Depth9 ft (2.74 m)

MV Celtic is a former Thames sailing barge[1] which was built by Kievits & Van Reede in Papendrecht, Netherlands in 1903 for E J & W Goldsmith Ltd of London and Grays, Essex.[2][3] She is currently under restoration at Sittingbourne, Kent.


Celtic under restoration at Sittingbourne, Kent

Celtic was built with a steel hull and was spritsail-rigged.[3] She was used to trade around the coast of Kent and Essex, and the Thames Estuary, mostly in the brickmaking and papermaking trades, and was operated by E J & W Goldsmith for 38 years.

In 1941 she was requisitioned for war service, passing into ownership of the Ministry of War Transport, under the managementmof the London & Rochester Trading Co Ltd, and at that time was fitted with twin screws a pair of Bergius diesel engines.[1][4][5] She was used as a barrage balloon base at Portsmouth, later serving as a parent vessel in Chichester harbour during January 1943.[6] She saw further service in Scotland after this with Detachment Celtic; part of the RMBPD[6]

Postwar, Celtic returned to commercial service in the ownership of Vectis Shipping and, later, Alfred Horatio Sheaf, both of Newport, Isle of Wight.[7] She was mainly in the cement trade, working between Asham Cement Works on the River Ouse and the Isle of Wight. In 1967 the cement works closed, and she then worked between the Isle of Wight and Shoreham by Sea or Greenhithe[1] and was laid up at Newport in 1969.[1] She finally ended her days working in the ballast trade[4] in the Thames area.[1]

Official number and code letters[edit]

Celtic had the UK Official Number 118314 and used the Code Letters JGMC until 1933.[2] From 1934, her Code Letters were MKFZ[8]


  1. ^ a b c d e Langley, Michael (June 2006). Kent Seaways, Hoys to Hovercraft. Midhurst: Middleton Press. pp. 50–51. ISBN 1-904474-79-9.
  2. ^ a b "Lloyd's Register of Ships" (PDF). Plimsoll Ship Data. 1930. Retrieved 15 January 2008.
  3. ^ a b Mercantile Navy List. London: Spottiswoode & Co. 1904. p. 513.
  4. ^ a b Dolphin Yard Sailing Barge Museum, Sittingbourne.
  5. ^ "Lloyd's Register of Ships" (PDF). Plimsoll Ship Data. 1942. Retrieved 21 August 2014.
  6. ^ a b Quentin Rees; Cockleshell Heroes- The Final Witness
  7. ^ "Non Active Barges". Colchester: The Society for Sailing Barge Research. Retrieved 21 August 2014.
  8. ^ "Lloyd's Register of Ships" (PDF). Plimsoll Ship Data. 1934. Retrieved 23 February 2009.