Whisky for all!

The stranding of the 'SS Politician' and the true story behind 'Whisky Galore'

Please note that this display has now closed

This online feature was created to mark the 70th anniversary of the stranding of the 'SS Politician'. It was accompanied by a Maritime Archives and Library display, 21 January to 27 March 2011. There was also a showcase featuring a whisky bottle from the wreck in Seized! in the basement from 21 January to 8 May 2011.

archive photo of a cargo ship
The Politician on the Mersey, c1940. B/HAR/13/9/427, Harrison Line archive, copyright unknown, Courtesy of Charente Ltd

The 'SS Politician', owned by T & J Harrison, left Liverpool on 3 February 1941 bound for Kingston, Jamaica and New Orleans. She was carrying a mixed cargo including 28,000 cases of malt whisky. The story of the stranding was later immortalised in the book 'Whisky Galore' by Compton Mackenzie and the Ealing comedy film of the same name. It remains the subject of much speculation and mystery.

Here we examine the true story of the 'SS Politician', the ship behind the legend. Follow the links below to find out more.

Further information

To find out more about the history of the 'SS Politician' and the Harrison Line archives held at the Maritime Archives and Library please see the online information sheet about T & J Harrison Ltd.