A Dinner in 1953 to celebrate the launching of the Calton

One of a 100 coastal minesweepeers ordered after WW2

Peter Hill

There was a dinner at the Red Lion in Colchester on 24th October 1953 to celebrate the launching of the Calton, the first of three minesweepers built by Wivenhoe Shipyard Ltd for the Royal Navy.
Invitation loaned by Neil Johnson
Workmates of Bobby Johnson in the Wivenhoe Shipyard, possibly working on the minesweeper Calton
Photo loaned by Neil Johnson
The launch of H.M.S. Calton, the first of the three Coastal minesweepers built by Wivenhoe Shipyard Ltd, was launched on 2nd June 1953.
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The Calton M1118 on trials, note that she is flying the red ensign denoting that she has not yet been handed over to the Royal Navy, and is still the property of Wivenhoe Shipyard Ltd.
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The Calton being launched
Photo by Alf Jefferies. Copyright Lynn Ballard.
Coastal minesweeper, the Calton
Photo by Alf Jefferies. Copyright Lynn Ballard.
The invitation to Alf Jefferies aged 21 to the dinner to mark the launching of the Calton in 1953.
Copyright Lynn Ballard
The menu card at the Calton dinner with signatures of other people attending along with Alf Jefferies.
Copyright Lynn Ballard
The menu card of the dinner held at the Red Lion Hotel in Colchester which was kept by Alf Jefferies aged 21.
Copyright Lynn Ballard
Alf Jefferies' menu card with the signatures of his fellow shipyard workers who also attended the dinner held to celebrate the launching of the Calton.
Copyright Lynn Ballard
The menu card of the dinner held to mark the launching of the coastal minesweeper, Calton, in 1953. THis menu card was kept by shipyard worker Alf Jefferies.
Copyright Lynn Ballard

A Dinner was held at the Red Lion in Colchester on 24th October 1953 to celebrate the launching of HM Coastal Minesweeper ‘Calton,‘. The invitation to Bobby Johnson suggests that other shipyard workers were invited too.

This was the first of a pair of minesweepers commissioned by the Royal Navy from Wivenhoe Shipyard Ltd; a third was commissioned a little later and completed in 1960. In total the Royal Navy ordered some 100 of these small ships from small shipyards as Wivenhoe Shipyard Ltd. They were known as the ‘ton’ class as they all had names ending in ‘ton’ as the Calton, and the Carhampton and Wiston which were the other vessels built at Wivenhoe.

There is a road in the Wivenhoe Port development named Carlton Mews. This road celebrates these coastal minesweepers built at Wivenhoe although the road name was inadvertently spelt incorrectly when it was approved. It should of course been spelt Calton. At least the intention was good.

For more information about the ‘ton’ class of coastal minesweepers provided by John Collins – click here

Bill Ellis made a model of the Wiston – click here

For more about the Calton, picture of then shipyard worker Alf Jefferies and dinner to celebrate its launching  – click here

This page was added on 04/03/2017.

Comments about this page

  • Hi Peter, These two have been autographed with different signatures, I am scanning them for you, can I upload photo’s? I have the photo’s of two ships if you would like to have them on your page too. Dad was 21 then, his name was Alf Jefferies.

    By Lynn Ballard (04/09/2017)
  • Hi Lynn
    Could you possibly send them to me by email to my personal email address and I will insert them into the page.
    Many thanks
    Peter

    By Peter Hill (14/09/2017)
  • I just came across 2 Menus from the Calton Dinner, they have many signatures on both including the Chairman Robert w Buckingham. They were my Dad’s, he also has negatives photographed by him of the launch and a second Minesweeper built at Wivenhoe, Carshalton.

    By Lynn Ballard (17/08/2017)
  • Dear Lynn. The menu from that Dinner didn’t have any signatures on. Do you have a different copy I wonder? Who was your father?
    Peter Hill

    By Peter Hill (28/08/2017)
  • As a young boy in St Mary’s Choir I took part in the launching ceremony for several of these minesweepers. Do not have the names but probably the latter ones. John Stewart has a photograph of one of these ceremonies (in which we are both featured!!)

    By Graham Wadley (04/03/2017)
  • Thanks Graham. Will check with John.
    Peter

    By Peter Hill (05/03/2017)

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