Model of ship that hit mine off north Norfolk goes for auction

The model of the S.S. Chatwood, which could fetch thousands at auction. 

The model of the S.S. Chatwood, which could fetch thousands at auction. - Credit: Supplied by Charles Miller Ltd

It was the month Norwich was bombed by the Luftwaffe and Zsa Zsa Gabor married hotel magnate Conrad Hilton.

The film My Gal Sal starring Rita Hayworth was released, and American bombers launched from a carrier led a first daring attack on Tokyo in what later became known as the Doolittle Raid. 

The model of the S.S. Chatwood, which could fetch thousands at auction. 

The model of the S.S. Chatwood, which could fetch thousands at auction. - Credit: Supplied by Charles Miller Ltd

And on an explosive night in north Norfolk, the coal ship SS Chatwood struck a mine and sank to the bottom of the sea.

Now a model of the ship which met its fate at the height of the Second World War in April, 1942, is going under the hammer.

Charles Miller, of London-based auction house Charles Miller Ltd, said he expected the model - which is over a metre long - could fetch £4,000-6,000.

Mr Miller said it was rare to find a model like this in such good condition. 

A plate with the specifications of the S.S. Chatwood, which sank off Cromer in 1942 after hitting a mine. 

A plate with the specifications of the S.S. Chatwood, which sank off Cromer in 1942 after hitting a mine. - Credit: Supplied by Charles Miller Ltd

Mr Miller said: "It's a builder's model for the S.S. Chatwood built by S.P. Austin and Son Ltd in Sunderland in 1929.

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"The ship's builders would have had their own modelling workshop in the yard, and made it as part of the contract price of the vessel for its new owners.

"It would have been displayed in the boardroom or the company offices - if they wanted to show their customers what ships they were running at the time - which was better to have than a photograph."

A file photo of the S.S. Chatwood, which could fetch thousands at auction. 

A file photo of the S.S. Chatwood, which could fetch thousands at auction. - Credit: Supplied by Charles Miller Ltd

Mr Miller added:  "Some of these models can be too large, but this is an attractive size."

Chatwood, a 3,950-tons ship, was en route between the Tyne and London with a cargo of coal when she struck a mine off the East Dudgeon Buoy, near Cromer, on April 23 of that year.

Her crew of 24 including three gunners were all saved.​

The auction will take place on Tuesday, November 2, see https://www.charlesmillerltd.com