MADDISTON  was built by Harland and Wolff, Belfast. Yard Number 1525.

She spent most of her career in Operational Reserve at Aden and then Malta.

She does not appear to have been commissioned into the RN and was broken up in Sunderland in February 1975.

No further information available at this time [Feb 2020]. Any contributions are welcome.

FROM: Gerry Nunn, Bournemouth, April 2021 edition of TON Talk

Mystery Ship - MADDISTON

I recently acquired the photo below of 1145 DUFTON alongside 1164 MADDISTON.

Both look as if they are ready for disposal.

My question is where and when ?

Given that DUFTON was scrapped at Ligua Marine Sittingbourne in June 1977 and MADDISTON in Feb 1975 at Sunderland when did these two meet ?

Editor’s reply - here you have me !   Maddy is the real Mystery TON.

When we were putting together our book Jacks of All Trades we found a small photo of her leaving Malta flying a White Ensign on her stump mast BUT we could not find any record of her ever having been commissioned !

We speculated that she may have been in reserve in Malta and put to sea for trials and maybe wore the ensign so as not to attract comment ! We know that she was towed from Malta to Aden in 1961. We even have a member who was in that passage crew - Mike Smith, who now runs Marshland Maritime Museum.


Above: Waiting for the scrappie with Corunna and Agincourt [courtesy Brian Hargreaves]

Brian Hargreaves found her in Reserve at Gib in 1963 (below) and provided several photos of her being broken up.

Can anyone fill in the gaps in her story ... Editor ?

Further to Gerry Nunn’s question about MADDISTON and DUFTON being photographed together in the April 2021 edition of TON Talk, I believe that the photo was probably taken in Portsmouth round about January 1975.

MADDISTON spent her whole career in Operational Reserve until attempts were unsuccessfully made to sell her in the early 1970’s.

She had been laid down at Harland and Wolff in Belfast on 2nd March 1955 and was launched by Mrs Duckworth, wife of Captain A.D.Duckworth RN rtd, Secretary of the Institute of Naval Architects, on 27th January 1956. After completion on 8th November 1956 she was ferried to Hythe, where she underwent the usual trials and storing. During 1957 she was at Beaulieu for preservation before being towed back ti Hythe for preparation to be towed to Aden, still in Reserve.

The tow took place in the summer of 1958, via the Mediterranean and Suez and she remained, partially preserved at Aden until 1961, when she was towed to Malta to await a refit.

This took place in No.2 dock from June 1962, when she was alongside PAS Tug Frisky. She remained at Malta until April 1963, when she was towed to Gibraltar, again in Reserve.

Except for occasional refits and sea trials, she remained alongside at Gibraltar until June 1969, when she was again towed to Hythe, this time for the Disposal List (Sales). She was not sold and by 1973 she was at Portsmouth for de-equipping, which took place in 1974. At this time only BOULSTON, DUFTON and MADDISTON were at awaiting disposal. Although BOULSTON and MADDISTON were both sold for scrapping in October 1974, neither ship appears to have been moved straightaway.

It is likely that BOULSTON had gone to Hythe by the time of the photograph – leaving just DUFTON and MADDISTON alongside each other for a brief time.

Michael Dyson, Selby, 12 April 2021