New NorthLink freight vessel to be named after Orkney island

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A name has been chosen for NorthLink’s new freight vessel which will replace the Clare. It will be called Helliar following a competition.

The winning entrant – picked out of 200 suggestions – was put forward by Orkney postman, Dave Ridealgh.

Helliar Holm is a small island near Orkney’s Shapinsay and the choice of the Helliar name – which in the Old Norse means a cave into which the tide runs – continues the NorthLink fleet tradition of vessel names beginning with the letter H.

NorthLink has chartered the freighter Clipper Racer from Seatruck Ferries and she will be formally re-named at a ceremony to be held at Hatston Pier, Kirkwall, on 17th January.

The new freight vessel will be a sister ship to Hildasay which entered service with NorthLink earlier this year. Like Hildasay, the new vessel is being time-chartered with crew from Seatruck Ferries.

NorthLink commercial director Cynthia Spencer said: “Helliar Holm is a small island near Shapinsay which the ship will pass on the run into Kirkwall Bay so the choice of name is particularly appropriate.

“According to the experts, Helliar is the modern spelling of the name from the Old Norse Hellir meaning a cave or a cave into which the tide runs. For all of these reasons it was a name which appealed to us and also fits perfectly with our ‘H’ boats naming scheme.”

NorthLink chief executive Bill Davidson said: “Clare and her crew have given us great service and we’ll miss her as, I’m sure, will many of our regular freight customers. However, we are replacing a 37-year old vessel with one which was built in 1997.

“I’m sure that while we will all be sad to see Clare and her crew go, our new acquisition will be welcomed by our many freight and livestock customers.”

The soon-to-be-renamed Helliar is presently undergoing dry-dock modifications in Liverpool before joining the NorthLink fleet where she joins Hildasay which was also renamed following a similar competition earlier this year.


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