S/S Ayrfield floating-forest

Ship Photo Of The Week – S/S Ayrfield, The Floating Forest

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June 9, 2013

Photo of the S/S Ayrfield by mezuni

On the south bank of the Parramatta River, 16 kilometers west of Sydney, is Homebush Bay. Established in the 1800s the area served various purposes until 1970 when the Australian government leased the bay to private companies looking for a spot to break-up old ships.

The S/S Ayrfield, a steel-hulled, single screw, steam collier of 1140 tonnes and 79.1m in length, arrived in Homebush in 1972. Built in the UK in 1911 she had carried many different kinds of cargo for 61 years, including American Troops during WWII, and was ready to be recycled. But she never was. Operations at the ship-breaking yard ceased and parts of several large vessels including the Ayrfield were left behind

Today the S/S Aryfield, at the age of 101, is carrying a more natural cargo… trees. According to ThisIsColossal, from 2008-2010 a concerted effort was made to remove many of the lingering chemicals in Homebush left from the industrial era. With the chemicals now gone a the forest grew up inside the SS Ayrfield and, today, the bay is now a popular place for photographers taking pictures of this historic ship.

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