History of the Atlantic Cable & Undersea Communications
from the first submarine cable of 1850 to the worldwide fiber optic network

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Built in 1964 by Cammell Laird & Company, Birkenhead

Length 371 ft 4 in Breadth 49 ft 2in Depth 19 ft 1 in Gross tonnage 4058

CS Cable Enterprise (2) moored at Bukit Chermin, Singapore, 1967
Image courtesy of Jeff Shenstone

Built for Cable & Wireless for cable maintenance. Based at Manila, Philippines for the maintenance of cables in the Indian Ocean and South East Asian waters. Fitted with diesel electric propulsion supplied by English Electric. Also fitted with a Voith-Schneider transverse propulsion unit and a bow rudder to improve manoeuvrability, as well as three cable tanks with a coiling capacity of 30,000 cubic feet.

Johnson & Phillips supplied all the cable machinery, which consisted of a forward paying out-picking up machine which could be used to pay out astern if required. Three 7.0 ft diameter bow sheaves and a stern chute were fitted. The ship could stay at sea for up to six weeks and had a range of 6000 miles. Transferred to Global Marine Systems Ltd in 1999. Withdrawn from service and scrapped in 2002.

CS Cable Enterprise (2) at Vigo, 1976
Image courtesy of David Griffiths

Pathé News Film of CS Cable Enterprise (2) in 1964 (no sound)

CS Cable Enterprise (2) ship’s badge
Image courtesy of David Howard


1964 SEACOM shore ends Singapore - Hong Kong section
1982 ANZCAN route survey on Hawaii - Fiji section
1982 ANZCAN laid shore ends at Port Alberni, Fiji and Hawaii
1999 JIH Cleared over 1800 km of old cable over a period of 160 days prior to the laying of the Japan Information Highway network of cables.

CS Cable Enterprise (2) moored astern of Subsea Viking
in the Port of Victoria, BC, Canada

Football at Vigo

David Griffiths sends these photo of the CS Cable Enterprise football team at Vigo in 1977 (additional IDs by Jeff Shenstone and David Howard):

Top Row: Clive McClure (3rd Eng) - Malcolm Chase (2nd Elect) - Spanish Crew? - Don Taylor (Cable Eng) - Tony Howbrigg (Chief Eng -Spanish Wife) - Allan Morgan (2nd Eng) - Tony Myers (Purser Mr. 10%).
Bottom Row: Spanish Crew? - David Griffiths (Snr Elect) - Glyn Wrench (2nd Mate) - Bert Porter (Mate) - John Connolly (Cable Officer)

Top Row: Mike Farn (Deck Officer) - Keith Dommett (4th Eng) - Don Taylor (Cable Officer [Liverpool]) - ?? - Paul Money - ?? - John Neal (Captain).
Bottom Row: John Connolly (Cable Officer) - Bob Owen (3rd Eng) - David Griffiths (Snr Elect) - Allan Etherington (4th Eng) - Jeff Shenstone (Cable Officer) Allan Morgan (2nd Eng).

In its issue of February 1970, the Cable & Wireless house magazine Zodiac published these notes:

It is probably true to say that the Eastern Telegraph staff at Vigo was the first to introduce football to Spain. In 1893 or even earlier they were playing matches against local sides when, outside Vigo, there were few who even knew of the existence of the game, and as early as 1903 the Faro de Vigo was regularly reporting on the matches played in the Malecon.

In return for the introduction of what was then a friendly sport, the local male population became a recruiting ground for the crews of the Company’s cable ships, and many a man from Vigo or the neighbouring villages of Chapela and Redondela served therein and their sons very often followed suit.

As one cable ship Commander said, "They are invaluable both for their toughness at their work and the fact that they are magnificent seamen. There are cases where we have both fathers and sons on the same ship."

Eastern Telegraph Company Offices, Vigo

Superintendent's Quarters, Vigo

Zodiac text and Vigo images courtesy of
Porthcurno Telegraph Museum,
Cable & Wireless Archive

Cableships Index Page

Last revised: 9 August, 2019

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