HMS 'Ludlow'

Scale: 1:48. Builder's full hull model of a paddle sloop used as a minesweeper. Represents the HMS 'Gatwick', HMS 'Goodwood', HMS 'Ludlow' (all 1916) and HMS 'Shincliffe' (1918).

In May 1915 the Admiralty reported that the experience gained during the First World War with hired paddlers proved that they were far more efficient as minesweepers than trawlers. They were also cheaper to build and required smaller crews than comparable screw vessels. The Admiralty commissioned Ailsa Shipbuilding Company to prepare plans and specifications for a paddle minesweeper, based on its vessel the ‘Glen Usk’. When the design – the ‘Racecourse’ class (also known as the ‘Ascot’ class) – was finalized 32 vessels were built under the Emergency War Programme to two closely related designs and delivered between April and October 1916.

HMS ‘Ludlow’ was built by Goole Shipbuilding Co Ltd. She was sunk off the Shipwash on 1 May 1916 by a mine that blew off her stern. The explosion killed five men and wounded seven others. She was taken in tow by a sister minesweeper, ‘Pontefract’, but eventually foundered, water gradually filling her engine room. Another sweeper in the group, ‘Totnes’, hit a mine but managed to remain afloat. However the unit, which had included the ‘Gatwick’, ‘Cheltenham’ and ‘Doncaster’ found and destroyed 53 German mines in less than five months.

Belying the hurried development, and utilitarian nature of the class, the model has been lavishly turned out with fittings finished in gunmetal, a process involving arsenic or painted a matte pale blue colour. The mahogany case has been superbly and subtly decorated around its top with a carved classical frieze. The model seems to have been a collaboration between the Goole Shipbuilding Company, and the Dundee Shipbuilding Company, who built the other three ships named on the model’s technical information plaque: ‘Gatwick’, ‘Goodwood’ and ‘Shincliffe’.

Object Details

ID: SLR1438
Collection: Ship models
Type: Builder's, Full hull model
Display location: Display - Forgotten Fighters
Creator: Dundee Shipbuilding Co Ltd; Goole Shipbuilding & Repairing Co Ltd
Vessels: Goodwood 1916; Gatwick 1916 Ludlow 1916 Shincliffe 1918
Date made: circa 1916
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Measurements: model on spigots: 573 mm x 1605 mm x 385 mm x 15 kg
Parts: HMS 'Ludlow'

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