Sarpedon, 7,797tons, was originally named Ajax, and in February 1958
she carried what was perhaps her most unusual cargo since she was
built in 1931. The Sarpedon loaded a full South American Circus at
Hong Kong for Singapore, comprising of animals, eight attendants and
550 tons of equipment. The circus had been featured in two films,
“The Big Circus” and “Night Life in Europe”. It consisted of six
elephants, three camels, two zebras, two lions, two tigers, six
chimpanzees, three bears, two monkeys, one baboon, one eagle and six
dogs. In addition, there were nine caravans, seven motor vehicles,
three motorcycles and various trailers, tents, etc. the freight
charged was £1,000.
transpired however, that the Circus had suffered so poor a season in
Hong Kong that this sum could not be raised. Even after various
securities, including the circus managers’ jewellery had been
lodged. However, after a safe arrival at Singapore it was arranged
that payment could be made after their two month season had begun.
Better attendance must have been experienced because the freight was
soon paid, the securities returned and Blue Funnel’s temporary
association with the world of the “Big Top” given a happy ending.
Built 1931 as the Ajax transferred in 1957 to Glen Line renamed
1958 reverted to Blue Funnel Line renamed Sarpedon, 1962 scrapped.