VIC56

VIC 56 is technically a steam coasting lighter or a "puffer". She is one of the 98 Victualling Inshore Craft built to the orders of the ministry of war transport between 1941 and 1945, which were a part of the enormous Government wartime ship-building programme.

After launching at Faversham in 1945, VIC 56 was sailed north after only a day of trials. She was given a loadline certificate by Lloyds (not necessary for naval vessels), allowing her to trade around the British Isles, except for the west coast of Ireland. By 1947 she was allocated to the Victualling Store Officer, Rosyth and so began a 30 year life spent almost entirely in the Firth of Forth, taking stores and ammunition between Rosyth and Crombie, and on occasion to Leith and Port Edgar, and also to Bandeath near Stirling.

She was due to be disposed in September 1978, but was bought for preservation by J. H. Cleary, the present owner. She presently lies at Chatham historic Dockyard.

Master (1513 performance): J. H. Cleary