Built by William Denny and Brothers Limited, Dumbarton, City of Lucknow was launched in November 1945 and, after fitting out, was delivered to the Ellerman Hall Line in May 1946. Designed to be a general cargo vessel of 9,961 gross tons (5,954 net) with a length overall of 475 feet, she had accommodation on the promenade deck for 12 passengers, and her single screw was driven by Parsons turbines of 880 nominal horsepower.


In 1958 City of Lucknow was transferred to Ellerman and Bucknall, and her passenger accommodation was converted to house a total of 25 cadets, an Instructional Chief Officer and a Schoolroom. City of Lucknow had four hatches forward of the bridge and two aft of it, and, although the cadets did not entirely replace the normal complement of Indian deck crew, they were responsible to the Bosun for all the deck work forward of the bridge. Two Quartermasters provided instruction in seamanship, and the cadets manned the fo’castle and the accommodation ladder when entering and leaving port. With a Master in the Royal Naval Reserve and a Bosun who had served in the Royal Navy, the cadets were expected to perform their duties and routines in a most efficient and disciplined manner.


The cadets were divided into 3 sections – Junior, Intermediate and Senior – and normally spent 3 or 4 voyages on City of Lucknow, before transferring to other vessels in the Ellerman fleet. Whilst in this role, City of Lucknow usually operated between the UK, USA and Australia with voyage lengths of less than 6 months duration.


In 1963, City of Lucknow was sold, and cadet training on this scale within the Ellerman Lines fleet was discontinued.


Further information on this Company and its cadet training operation would be most welcome.