Last week we shared a glorious colourful matchbox label of passenger ferry the Sarnia.

Since then, we've discovered more information about this vessel, which ran between Weymouth and the Channel Islands.

Sadly this marvellous ferry had a tragic end.

Here, historian Brian Searle recalls the day when she made her final voyage.

On September 10, 1977, passenger ferry Sarnia made her final voyage on the Weymouth to the Channel Isles route with a day trip to Guernsey.

When Captain Gwyn Evans sailed his ship back into Weymouth for the last time, and rang 'Finished with engines', it brought to an end an era almost unparalleled in the history of the Dorset port.

Launched on September 6, 1960, at that fine shipbuilding yard of J Samuel White at Cowes on the Isle of Wight, the Sarnia joined her equally illustrious 'sister' Caesarea on the Channel Isles service in June 1961, and these two vessels carried thousands of passengers in safety and comfort for 14 years until, with the coming of the car ferries, the Caesarea completed her Channel Island duties on October 6, 1975, and was transferred to the Dover Straits.

Dorset Echo: Matchbox label of the Sarnia boat ferry, WeymouthMatchbox label of the Sarnia boat ferry, Weymouth

The Sarnia had been in the news on more than one occasion during her distinguished career with British Railways and Sealink, initially when she was despatched to the Dover Straits during the bitter winter of 1962/63 as long-term relief for the Invicta on the prestigious Golden Arrow service to Calais. On the December 12,1962, RMS Sarnia created an all-time record on the route by carrying 2,863 bags of Christmas mail between Dover and Calais. Later, in June 1977, she was selected to represent Sealink at the Queen's Silver Jubilee Review of the Fleet at Spithead, bringing much credit to Sealink and her crew.

On completion of her Sealink years, the Sarnia was sold to Supasave Supermarkets (Midlands) Ltd, and following a winter's lay-up, she finally left Weymouth on May 24, 1978, bound for Hull, for conversion into a floating supermarket named Aquamart, and operated by Channel Cruise Line of Guernsey. Unfortunately, the service between Ostend and Dunkirk collapsed within a few days, and the decline of the once proud Sarnia was about to begin.

She was sold to Greek interests in December 1978, re-named Golden Star and operated in the Greek domestic trade for some two years. In the autumn of 1981 she was sold on again, this time to Saudi Arabian owners, who re-named her Saudi Golden Star, and, for a time, she was employed ferrying pilgrims between Port Said and Jeddah. Sadly, her condition whilst in the Eastern Mediterranean deteriorated rapidly, and she was laid up in the mid-1980s.

She was never steamed again, and after being sold to Pakistani ship breakers she was towed to Gadani Beach and put to the torch in 1987, a tragic end to a marvellous passenger ferry.