Social & Cultural Revelution of Mao tse Tung

Eggo
9th March 2007, 20:17
I sailed on several Blue Funnel ships in the sixties and returned home with a poster of Mao tse Tung & his lapel badge .W(A) e used to spread a giant size union flag on no 3 hatch while near China. One 3rd mate got sentenced to life imprisonment in Shanghai for spying . I think his name was Peter Crouch from Liverpool. I think he only served a couple of years though. Does anybody know the full story as I got it 2nd hand and facts do tend to get distorted. Has anyone still got his 'Book of Mao's' thoughts

bitterlakes67
10th March 2007, 22:47
I do not have knowledge of the 3rd Mates sentencing however I have quite a number of Mao's booklets and also I have a little Red Book in English from 1967.

Ex Junior lecky Melampus 1967 [via Bitterlakes 1967

Mao chu che man su e {pheonetic chinese]
May Moe Tse Dung live for one thousand years.
Red Guard Chant

benjidog
11th March 2007, 20:12
I do not have knowledge of the 3rd Mates sentencing however I have quite a number of Mao's booklets and also I have a little Red Book in English from 1967.

Ex Junior lecky Melampus 1967 [via Bitterlakes 1967

Mao chu che man su e {pheonetic chinese]
May Moe Tse Dung live for one thousand years.
Red Guard Chant

Bitterlakes,

Fortunately the evil bugger didn't make the 1,000 years, and with his passing the country started to advance!

Despite the fact that China has a long hard struggle ahead with many internal problems, I predict that the SN equivalent in 2207 will be in Chinese rather than English. Fortunately I will be long gone and won't have to learn it.

Regards,

Brian

Tmac1720
11th March 2007, 20:15
Can't be Peter Crouch, he's still trying to play centre forward for Liverpool(Jester)

slick
12th March 2007, 08:28
All,
I had the benefit of a trip to Shanghai during the Cultural Revolution 1964-65, and well remember the wrecked Christmas Dinner, the Red Guards actually burst in and stopped us during the Turkey course and ordered us out of the Saloon for a few hours on a freezing cold deck to be harangued by Red Guards about the virtues of the Great Leader and the Great Leap forward that China was undertaking.
You always felt that you were walking on egg shells and that a minor infringement would set it all off again.
Yours aye,
Slick

cboots
12th March 2007, 12:53
I have a very vague recollection of the incident and I think it was a second mate who was accused of being up to espionage when his story was he was merely making corrections to the charts. As I say my recollections are vague and my knowledge only second hand, but I did sail with several ex-Blue Flu people in Panocean and one of them told me that the guy was definitely up to something, albiet of a very minor nature.
CBoots

trotterdotpom
12th March 2007, 16:41
Wasn't there a Blue Funnel or Glen Line Master locked up in China during those dark days?

By the early '70s the Red Guard were just a bit of a pest - walking into your cabin for "a wide ranging discussion". I used to encourage this as I found it quite entertaining: "There are three things: Communism, Capitalism and Revisionism!" It turned out that "Revisionism" meant the "Polar Bear from the North" - the Russians, who were out of favour at the time. I could be wrong, but I think they were also knocking off cabin maps showing Taiwan in a different colour to China.

I recall having to have an armed guard with me while I performed repairs on the ships radar - not only did he not know what a "klystron" was, he couldn't even say it! The 3rd Mate got a gun pointed at him when he went to read the draft marks. Paranoia ruled OK.

An abiding memory of the Bund in Shanghai is the little steel pots with a foot pedal all along the footpath. I couldn't resist pressing a pedal with my foot, the lid opened and exposed about a pint of phlegm! Lovely. Let's hope they've sorted out that little problem before the Olympics.

Recently I met a Chinese student in Australia, complete with short shorts and enticing "decollotage". How she laughed when I told her about the blue suits of yesteryear.

John T.

Hague
12th March 2007, 22:35
Usually called at Shanghai, Hsinkiang and Chingwangtao early sixties.
In Shanghai remember being collected at the gangway each evening and taken to the 'Friendship Store' which was reported to have the 'longest saloon bar in the world' no less. Every morning we 'the crowd' were assembled at No.4 Hatch (seamans house being abaft No.4 on the As) to mumble support for the regime whilst holding a very small 'Red Book' raised aloft in ones hand. In Hsinkiang, ALL hands had to use one WC to enable the Red Guards Medical Official to take a sample. One can imagine it was in ones own interest to go shortly after arrival otherwise ' that pyramid could get very close.
Brgds
Hague

trotterdotpom
13th March 2007, 01:04
[QUOTE=Hague;114609] "...In Hsinkiang, ALL hands had to use one WC to enable the Red Guards Medical Official to take a sample. One can imagine it was in ones own interest to go shortly after arrival otherwise ' that pyramid could get very close."

Imagine the memoirs of the Red Guard Pooper Scooper: "The Big Brown Book"!

I remember being bombarded with a barrage of patriotic music from the wharf. This may have been for the benefit of the Chinese wharfies rather than to annoy us, but, in retaliation I gave them a blast of Jimi Hendrix from the monkey island loud speaker. This only lasted for a few minutes, partly because of the angry glares from some of the crowd on deck, but also because I never could stand Jimi Hendrix.

John T.

KIWI
13th March 2007, 02:30
\About 1951 sometime before the Red Guards things were not much different.Went from Hong Kong to Tsingtao not thru the straits but around the outside of Taiwan.In Tsingtao armed guard on gangway & we were not allowed ashore.Bit of a shame it looked interesting with the German style buildings.Then onto Dairen.This was serious stuff,armed guards at gangway also bow & stern ropes.Not allowed ashore.Pretended to work on mainmast light to have a dekko over wharf sheds.The rail yards were full of wagons carrying tanks,guns & different types of motor transport.Chinese entered Korea within days.As we left bound for Chingwantao they started artillery fire which was a bit nerve wracking.At Chingwantao much the same,armed guards etc but the crew in two lots were allowed ashore for an hours walk protected from Nationalist agents by two platoons of armed soldiers.Again a bit of a shame as two old USSCo colliers were berthed ahead & would have liked to inspect them.At all ports Political Officers were aboard to look after our welfare.Asking if they had any old Time magazines brought forth a copious supply of propaganda material.It was not a pleasant three weeks & then we had the long haul to Rotterdam. Kiwi

cboots
13th March 2007, 04:39
Re the question of maps with Taiwan/Formosa shown as a separate state, I was told, again by an ex-Blue Flu man, that he'd had his world map ripped from his cabin bulkhead apparently because it had Tibet shown as a country. Mark you he did also tell me that it was a Daily Telegraph World Map, so perhaps the Red Guard held similar views to myself in regard to that venerable publication.
CBoots

Hague
13th March 2007, 09:24
[QUOTE=Hague;114609] "...In Hsinkiang, ALL hands had to use one WC to enable the Red Guards Medical Official to take a sample. One can imagine it was in ones own interest to go shortly after arrival otherwise ' that pyramid could get very close."

Imagine the memoirs of the Red Guard Pooper Scooper: "The Big Brown Book"!

I remember being bombarded with a barrage of patriotic music from the wharf. This may have been for the benefit of the Chinese wharfies rather than to annoy us, but, in retaliation I gave them a blast of Jimi Hendrix from the monkey island loud speaker. This only lasted for a few minutes, partly because of the angry glares from some of the crowd on deck, but also because I never could stand Jimi Hendrix.

John T.

Perhaps you should have tried broadcasting The Shadows from the monkey Island taking great care not to play on of their hits named 'Frightened City'.
Brgds
Hague

makko
15th March 2007, 21:13
I have quoted before on another thread, my father was on a BF in China when they took the 3E off to prison for insulting the Chinese nation.

Rgds.

Dave

John Briggs
16th March 2007, 00:03
I was mate on a ship in the sixties chartered to the Chinese Govt. and running to Cuba. The only place we were allowed to go ashore was the friendship store and one evening the master, myself and the chief engineer went ashore in Chingwantao for a feed and a few bottles of the local beer. We purchased bicycles at the store and asked the red guards for permission to ride them back to the ship which was eventually granted. So, well oiled and with a red guard escort, we headed back to the ship. At the old man's signal we took off at full speed and all went down different little steets. It was great fun for a while with red guards going in all directions. All we got was a big lecture and the bikes were banned from further use. Thinking back, the consequences could have been far more serious.

rothesian
21st March 2007, 05:25
My recollections are that the Master was a J.C. Rae from Dundee, the Second mates name I Can't recall but he was married to Kate D'Arcy who used to work in the Middy's department at India Buildings. The quote at the time of their release, when asked if they would go back was "Not for all the tea in China"
best regards

Hague
21st March 2007, 09:55
My recollections are that the Master was a J.C. Rae from Dundee, the Second mates name I Can't recall but he was married to Kate D'Arcy who used to work in the Middy's department at India Buildings. The quote at the time of their release, when asked if they would go back was "Not for all the tea in China"
best regards

J C Rae, a fine Master whom I had the pleasure of sailing with several times.
Hague

Trident
21st March 2007, 11:17
I served with Blue flue and while on a Glen boat (I think) in shanghai we had a Chinese worker killed when a winch that was heaving cargo hit a hatch beam lifting it out of its sockets ( I think it was only retained with rope at one end the sheared the bolt at the other) this fell into the hold and seriously injured one of the Chinese working below, the ships doctor was not allowed to attend to him and after several hour when there own doctor arrived he was dead, so was lifted out on a hatch board.
During the time he was lying injured the shore side speakers were pumping out propaganda and according to our Chinese crew we were the evil villains that had killed there gallant worker.

We all had a fear that the ship would be held there for a very long time, but this never came about.

rothesian
21st March 2007, 11:29
Been raking my memory - I think the ship was the Perseus around 1967/68
I sailed with J C Rae when he was mate on the Maron 1964

Hague
21st March 2007, 12:45
Been raking my memory - I think the ship was the Perseus around 1967/68
I sailed with J C Rae when he was mate on the Maron 1964

Maron : Capt Davidson, C/Off Rae then Bold, Hartnett, Troup etc.....Bosun Mick McEwan Senior Middy Doug Jones, Second Bas Unite. Jimmy Turnbull etc
Hows that!!

Hague

rothesian
21st March 2007, 13:26
Pretty good
I can't remember the master's name, but the bosun was certainly Mick Mcewan, Other apprentices were Duncan Mclaren, A. J Mole, Bob Wyllie, Hugh Sparkall, John Levick and myself.
Lamptrimmer was a Chinese Scouse.

Doug Jones and Bas Unite I sailed with on the Machaon

Capt Davidson was on the Theseus when I was there


Maron : Capt Davidson, C/Off Rae then Bold, Hartnett, Troup etc.....Bosun Mick McEwan Senior Middy Doug Jones, Second Bas Unite. Jimmy Turnbull etc
Hows that!!

Hague

Hague
21st March 2007, 14:02
Pretty good
I can't remember the master's name, but the bosun was certainly Mick Mcewan, Other apprentices were Duncan Mclaren, A. J Mole, Bob Wyllie, Hugh Sparkall, John Levick and myself.
Lamptrimmer was a Chinese Scouse.

Doug Jones and Bas Unite I sailed with on the Machaon

Capt Davidson was on the Theseus when I was there

Rothesian

To be more PC that 'Chinese Scouse; lamptrimmer was Norman Wong (Changed his name to Norman Morley on becoming Bosun around 1967.

Brgds
Hague

rothesian
22nd March 2007, 07:06
Think 2nd mate was Peter Duffy or Duff

makko
22nd March 2007, 07:21
sailed with Master J C Ray in 82, Phrontis.

Hague
22nd March 2007, 21:04
sailed with Master J C Ray in 82, Phrontis.

He must have been close to retirement Makko.

makko
22nd March 2007, 21:26
Probably was, if it was the same Master, as this was the last voyage of the Phrontis (ex-Pembrokeshire) for OTT. We were laid up in Singapore pending sale of the vessel. I joined Antwerp 26-12-81 and signed off Singapore end 02-82.

Regards,

Dave

Hague
22nd March 2007, 23:42
Probably was, if it was the same Master, as this was the last voyage of the Phrontis (ex-Pembrokeshire) for OTT. We were laid up in Singapore pending sale of the vessel. I joined Antwerp 26-12-81 and signed off Singapore end 02-82.

Regards,

Dave

Probably was as he was a senior Ch.Off ('P' boat) when I sailed with him around 64/65 which implied he was around 45. Command did not come early in 'The China' unless you were destined for a shore job when you were given a 'token' command of 'Tantalus', 'Talthybius' or some victory. Even then you were 39/40.

makko
23rd March 2007, 01:15
BF were famous for Dead Mens shoes. 4E twenties, 3E thirties, 2E forties and CE fifties and retirement! Although there were exceptions, especially for shoreside jobs, they would give the guy a trip as 2E for example to keep his credentials up. On the other hand there were the bad boys, kept as fourths or thirds to keep them in line. However, was a great company - I was third generation. My Grandfather was a bosun (sunk twice and inerned Milag Nord), my father and me engineers.

regards,

Dave

DURANGO
23rd March 2007, 08:04
Been raking my memory - I think the ship was the Perseus around 1967/68
I sailed with J C Rae when he was mate on the Maron 1964 I was A.B. in the Perseus in 62 on the Japan express service, got into Blue funnel by chance as i come from London , i paid off sick in Shanghai from an old tramp in jan 62 spent a month in the seamans hospital, from the ward you could see the docks and the famous A.H. on the dock shed roofs , great shipping company sadly all now long gone .

Hague
23rd March 2007, 08:05
BF were famous for Dead Mens shoes. 4E twenties, 3E thirties, 2E forties and CE fifties and retirement! Although there were exceptions, especially for shoreside jobs, they would give the guy a trip as 2E for example to keep his credentials up. On the other hand there were the bad boys, kept as fourths or thirds to keep them in line. However, was a great company - I was third generation. My Grandfather was a bosun (sunk twice and inerned Milag Nord), my father and me engineers.

regards,

Dave

You must be very proud Dave. Blue Funnel Bosuns were legendary and respected throughout the British Merchant Navy as such. Very few achieved this rank less than 45 and then only if they were destined for the shore gang.
I sailed with Paddy Proctor, Joe Cavanagh, Jack Cleary and also the younger generation like Angus Cummins, Vic Blower .

Hague
24th March 2007, 10:50
Sad to think of the decline in the'China Boats'. Remember so many able officers quite happy to hold on th the belief that times would never change and content with the unbelievably slow promotion. Unfortunately, too many Chief Officers I actually sailed with never saw command in the company. Fortunately, I saw the 'writing on the wall' in 67 and went elsewhere. But saying that, the training offered initially in the Odyssey Works (OB & Co) and then at sea amongst the finest Bosuns and ABs the the British Merchant Navy could muster was second to none. Later, on entering the world of 'Knives,forks and tea cups' the officers were also of a caliber unlike I found elsewhere.
Brgds

R651400
24th March 2007, 15:35
Can't be Peter Crouch, he's still trying to play centre forward for Liverpool(Jester)
Not quite the same Crouch but it was definitely 2m Peter Crouch possibly on Demodocus.
Hope to get the complete story via ex BF R/O Yanto Morgan.
With a name like that entry into BF would be automatic!

makko
24th March 2007, 17:22
Sad to think of the decline in the'China Boats'. Remember so many able officers quite happy to hold on th the belief that times would never change and content with the unbelievably slow promotion. Unfortunately, too many Chief Officers I actually sailed with never saw command in the company. Fortunately, I saw the 'writing on the wall' in 67 and went elsewhere. But saying that, the training offered initially in the Odyssey Works (OB & Co) and then at sea amongst the finest Bosuns and ABs the the British Merchant Navy could muster was second to none. Later, on entering the world of 'Knives,forks and tea cups' the officers were also of a caliber unlike I found elsewhere.
Brgds

Quite true Hague. It was drummed into us as Cadets that we were Officers with all that it entails! There was no snobbery about it, you understood what was required of you and what was expected of you. On the Barber Blue Sea run, there were many times visitors from HO in New York and I think that they got a kick from coming on board. On one memorable occasion, they had the Middys with white gloves and the bosun piped them aboard! It was "authentic" and spoke reams about the company and values! During my cadetship, Eng Cadets were moved over to Iliad House. Meal times in the dining room were with ship´s silver and full service. The menu was designed to replicate the typical two or three mains etc on board.

Regards,

Dave

Eggo
24th March 2007, 19:17
Cant imagine the 'Bangor Bull' or any of the other bosun's I sailed with piping anyone on board.Believe me Bosuns in BF were real VIPs ?

Hague
24th March 2007, 19:37
Cant imagine the 'Bangor Bull' or any of the other bosun's I sailed with piping anyone on board.Believe me Bosuns in BF were real VIPs ?

And quite rightly so Les, they didn't come any better.

Sow-Sow-La
28th March 2007, 16:13
Apart from the 2nd Mate, there was also an Blue Funnel A.B. arrested in Shanghai, for (whilst drunk) drawing a pair of 'B_____'s (testacles) on a poster picture of Mao. He had to face a 'kangaroo' court and was sentenced to 2 years hard labour. He was a Welsh lad, and used to work on the Holyhead ferries. As far as I know he still lives in Holyhead.

Geoff Bray
5th April 2007, 17:01
Chairman Mao
I have just returned from a trip to Beijing and you may all be interested to know that Mao's Tomb was closed until September for renovation. it appears that his body is deteriorating in his glass coffin,(they lower him into a refrigerator every night and raise him up every morning) Which you can only view from about 150 feet away, and that they may replace him with a plastic model. More like Disneyworld every day
They are busy getting ready for the Olympic Games
Best Regards
Geoff Bray

Eggo
6th April 2007, 15:54
Do they still wear those blue boiler suits Geoff

Ron Stringer
6th April 2007, 21:08
Do they still wear those blue boiler suits Geoff

No they wear much the same clothing as people do here. I was in China several times prior, and tight up to the Tian An Men upheavals and everyone was dressed in blue. Went back about 8 months later and for the young people mini skirts and jeans were the rule in the bigger cities. A year after that and you wouldn't have known if you were in Hong Kong or the PRC. Even important Party officials were wearing Western dress.

The bicycles that choked the streets have been replaced by cars (which also choke the streets but in addition choke the life out of you with their exhaust fumes).

Sow-Sow-La
10th April 2007, 16:31
Here's some mementoes.

cboots
11th April 2007, 01:19
Ah, Mao's little red book, now that invokes some memories. I sailed quite a bit with Hong Kong crews in the early seventies when a lot of the troubles were going on. I always took a copy of the Chairman's thoughts along with me on voyages and would make a point of leaving it open on my desk when I went on watch. Provided one remembered to turn over the pages every day, it did wonders for crew relations.
CBoots

Sow-Sow-La
16th April 2007, 15:24
On one trip to Shanghai, one of our deck lads was soft-soaping the 'commissar' who was responsible for our ship. He was saying how wonderful communism was, and extolling the virtues of Chairman Mao. This chit-chat obviously conned the commissar because the commissar organised a coach to pick-up the lads and take them on a tour of some local factories. The mate & skipper were going mad because there were no crew on board to do the work, and there was nothing they could do about it.

tunatownshipwreck
16th April 2007, 19:23
On one trip to Shanghai, one of our deck lads was soft-soaping the 'commissar' who was responsible for our ship. He was saying how wonderful communism was, and extolling the virtues of Chairman Mao. This chit-chat obviously conned the commissar because the commissar organised a coach to pick-up the lads and take them on a tour of some local factories. The mate & skipper were going mad because there were no crew on board to do the work, and there was nothing they could do about it.

That could be a more appealing tour for seamen than it sounds like, if those factories have a female workforce.

lakercapt
17th April 2007, 15:23
In 1974 or there abouts the Great leader was still doing the things that were obviously falsified. Was a photo of him swimming in the Yangze River.
Still have the little red book that was given by those people that used to visit the ship for english lessons (a Scottish crew) must have been difficult for them. Tsingtoa was an ex German section and the visit to the brewery was great. Still did it the German way and was great beer. That and the shrimp in the freindship store were worth the visit ashore. Was very backward with limited eletrical power and at night was near black.
Had the soldiers roaming about the ship and on guard at the bow, stern and gangway.
Remembered we were all mustered in the crew mess while they searched the vessel and checked our "papers"
Good to see it over the stern and a few hours later were in Japan was as differant as night and day.
A great powerhouse now but I won't be going back.

Trevorw
18th April 2007, 15:16
When I was on "Glengarry" in 1958, we had to get the crew lists translated into Chinese characters in Hong Kong before we went to Shanghai and Tsingtao. The Chied Officer was called Mackenzie, and his name translated perfectly into three Chinese characters, "Ma Ken Zie"

trotterdotpom
18th April 2007, 15:38
The beer at the Friendship Store in Shanghai, about 1974, was called "Seagull" and was also made to a German recipe - top stuff, I drank enough to join the Chairman in the Yangtze if he'd asked.

I did a few of the trips to those Shanghai factories mentioned by Sow Sow La (is that a Cantonese name or what?). The star attraction was a "Commune" outside the city which was nothing like the dope ridden "communes" of Europe at the time. This was a massive self-contained community which traded its product of light bulbs with other necessities made by communes elsewhere in the country.

Our guide, dressed in blue suit and muddy wellies, took us to the "showpiece" hospital and showed us around. She disappeared through a door then quickly reappeared, saying: "That is the operating theatre, but they're not operating so no point going in there." What a huge disappointment that was. The banquet that they laid on for us wasn't a disappointment though - magnificent! Funnily enough, all the bigwigs of the place showed up for that. That is where I learned that the soup is the last course eaten in Chinese cuisine - I've had arguments with western Chinese about that!

I also made a quick visit to Peking from a port near Tiensing which I can't recall the name of ("Beijing" is up there with "Mumbai" to this "running dog western reactionary" - never happen). Tiensing had just experienced a massive earthquake and everyone was living outside, too scared to go back into the buildings. The Big Guy had just died and they were installing him in the crypt at Tiananmen Square, but he was too fresh for us to have a look. The trip was organised by the Seamen's Club and cost us the price of the petrol and entrance to attractions like the Forbidden City, the Zoo (must see pandas) and a couple of great meals - peanuts for a bunch of well heeled "Paper Tigers".

Recently I read that the body of Chairman Mao is becoming a bit of a health hazard and they're thinking of replacing it with a plastic replica. What a pity Airfix has gone bust, we could have all had one.

John T.

PS I just realised that I read about the plastic Mao on this thread - must try harder.

Trader
19th April 2007, 23:11
Wasn't there a Blue Funnel or Glen Line Master locked up in China during those dark days?

John T.

I was on the "Astynax" in 1954 and the trip before I joined her the Master, Godfrey Brown, was locked up when he had to go ashore and bail out some of the crew who had been "naughty boys". The crew were released but poor old Godfrey was locked up.

He was a lovely man from Northern Ireland but because of this experience on the next trip to Shanghai there was no shore leave allowed. I can't remember how long he was locked up for, but it wasn't for long.

On a different note, I have never seen Taku Bar mentioned in this thread. It was an anchorage port in Northern China which I visited several times in the early 50's.

Trader

tunatownshipwreck
20th April 2007, 06:45
I was on the "Astynax" in 1954 and the trip before I joined her the Master, Godfrey Brown, was locked up when he had to go ashore and bail out some of the crew who had been "naughty boys". The crew were released but poor old Godfrey was locked up.

He was a lovely man from Northern Ireland but because of this experience on the next trip to Shanghai there was no shore leave allowed. I can't remember how long he was locked up for, but it wasn't for long.

On a different note, I have never seen Taku Bar mentioned in this thread. It was an anchorage port in Northern China which I visited several times in the early 50's.

Trader

That must have been one anguished crew, no chance to tour People's Factory Number 121, or a chance to read Chairman Mao's little black book with some comely comradette.

Hague
20th April 2007, 07:35
I was on the "Astynax" in 1954 and the trip before I joined her the Master, Godfrey Brown, was locked up when he had to go ashore and bail out some of the crew who had been "naughty boys". The crew were released but poor old Godfrey was locked up.

He was a lovely man from Northern Ireland but because of this experience on the next trip to Shanghai there was no shore leave allowed. I can't remember how long he was locked up for, but it wasn't for long.

On a different note, I have never seen Taku Bar mentioned in this thread. It was an anchorage port in Northern China which I visited several times in the early 50's.

Trader

Trader,
Taku Bar was the anchorage for Hsingkiang and I believe I have mentioned it in a previous thread along with Chingwangtao etc. Memories are that the mosquitos , if that is what they were, were enormous. Last there in 61

universalskipper
21st May 2007, 01:58
Was in Shanghai anchorage the day cultural revolution started as I saw the changing of white uniforms & peak caps to plain drabs with red armbands of pilot, immigrations & customs. Pointed shoes were bourgeois and so was rolling stones/beatles hairstyle. Saw the "light n taught a lesson in life" experiencing the extremity of people's deprivity/exploitation in both Communist China and Democratic India, tripping between these two. I suppose everybody has own conclusion to this. History changes just like the way seaman & ships do nowadays lol.

Taleso
16th June 2007, 17:15
Incredible stuff! The thread "Crews From China, 1960s-1970s" under Ben Line is in a similar vein but you guys were right in the thick of the Hong Wei Bing right enough!

Taleso

Split
17th June 2007, 17:55
We went to Chingwangtao to load coal for Japan in Feruary 1950. The war in Korea was on, then, and we took the Chinese soldiers very seriously. They stood us out on deck and searched our cabins. All radios were locked up in the radio room. As a cadet, I was given the job of counting all the pills in the medicine locker and was warned by the Mate not to make any mistakes. I wondered what the British government could have, or would have, done to help us if we had run foul of the authorities of the day.

We were glad to get out of there.

Howard S
26th December 2007, 19:32
I have a very vague recollection of the incident and I think it was a second mate who was accused of being up to espionage when his story was he was merely making corrections to the charts. As I say my recollections are vague and my knowledge only second hand, but I did sail with several ex-Blue Flu people in Panocean and one of them told me that the guy was definitely up to something, albiet of a very minor nature.
CBoots
It was indeed Peter Crouch, who was 2/O at the time. I sailed with him in ED's when he was C/Off - "Kabala" I think - wonderful vessel! The Master taken ashore in China was Capt. J.C.Ray. I have stayed in contact with Peter Crouch ever since, over 30 yrs now. He reached command in Saudi Tankers and is now retired and still living at the same address at Southsea. The MN truly made for lifelong friendships. The last time as I recall I actually saw him was some time in the 70's in Takoradi when I was in Palm Line and he in a "Bluie" sailing under ED colours - somehow those ships never looked quite right on the West Coast!!

davemac
30th December 2007, 15:02
Interesting site! Haven't logged on for a while.
I was 3/0 on the Diomed in the winter of '67 in China.....we only had 4 days cargo but were kept there for the best part of a month. We received continual abuse and lectures from the Red Guards. Passed the weeks at anchorage shooting at beer cans moving past the ship on the ice, with our chinese made air guns!
I still have my red book and a collection of Mao's badges!
Dave M.

Hugh Ferguson
31st December 2007, 20:57
On one of my 3 times to Mao's China, circa. 1951/52, when I was 2nd mate of the GLENROY, Captain Walter Simmonds called me aside in Tsingtao one day to tell me that the Admiralty wanted to know the depth of water at the berth we were in. It was left to me to think of a way to do it!
It being the dead of winter all of the passenger accommodation had been taken over by Red Guards so, to avoid using the promenade deck, I dropped my lead line from various locations on the boat deck, the poop and the fo'c'stle during the midnight hour. Couldn't possibly use a light so I had to ascertain the mark by feel. I don't think there would be many people around these days who would know how that was done.
I got away with it and the Admiralty duly expressed appreciation. I wonder what they would have done had I been marched of to prison.

Has anyone ever heard of the chief officer? who was imprisoned and was astonished to be served his meals by a Chinese steward he had sailed with?

trotterdotpom
1st January 2008, 11:18
Big of Captain Simmonds to lumber you with that, Hugh. Where was Wally while you were risking your neck?

I'm sure the Admiralty made good use of the information you supplied - of course, if you'd been nabbed it would have been: "Hugh who?"

John T.

Boydian
16th April 2008, 17:29
Think 2nd mate was Peter Duffy or Duff

His name was Pat Duff, I was with Royal Mail at the time but was up for mates with him in Liverpool some months before the incident. I seem to remember that he came from Rugby but moved to Crosby when he got married to Kate.

chrisgofton
2nd July 2008, 15:42
Pat Duff was 2/O on the Glenfalloch, I was 4/O when we were arrested in March 1970. Ch.Off was also arrested. We were ashore for a couple of weeks and released but Pat was kept for 2 weeks more than myself and Ch.Off Brian??. Old man was Edwards. Think J.C.Ray was on the Anchisses which was there at the same time as us. By that time Peter Crouch had been in jail for about 18 months. We were arrested for marking the new position of buoys on the chart. Still have the little red book that the guards gave me with the passages that I had to learn marked in it.

Rickmers
1st September 2008, 23:56
One day in late 1967/early 1968, when I was on the PETER RICKMERS (out of Hamburg), anchored in Shanghai, all crews of all ships in the port were minus one each were bussed to a huge indoor arena. After whipping up the enormous crowd, consisting of Red Guards, worker and soldiers, all cutting the air with their "Mao Bibles", those in charge led what I think were 5 British Blue Funnel officers into the arena. The translation was poor but we were made to understand that they had been convicted of espionage and that this was the time for the verdict. Those men looked pitiful, haggard, long beards and all. They were led around the circle, beaten over the heads if they raised them etc. The affair lasted a couple of hoursWe did not catch what the sentence ended up being but after having see the insides of Chinese hospitals, we had no illusions about conditions in their jails.
From what I understand, the shipping company contacted our master (Friedrich Moeller) about further information about these men's fate. But he had nothing to report.
I had never heard anything else about this until I came this note.

john meekin
2nd September 2008, 17:26
i dont remember the date but we were in singapore a "a" boat berthed astern,she had just come down from shangai,she had been arrested for three weeks i think,and the crewhad had a rough time with the red guards.the second mate had been "asked"in hong kong to note the numbers of navel ships on the way downriver,a guard passing the lounge spotted him arrested him,the ship turned round and back to shanghai were he was tried and sentanced.thats all ican recall. regards to all yorky meekin

muldonaich
2nd September 2008, 18:40
why did we ever put up with all this crap from anyone just dont go to these ports in times like that kev.

Succour
22nd May 2009, 10:13
Your'e right it was an awful long way to go for frozen rabbits.
I was up there on Glenaffric in 1969 and we had to wait 3 weeks for the famous rabbits to arrive from the interior. Our clever young fireman went ashore to a demonstration, got drunk, quarelled with a red guard and got himself shot. We returned to Hong Kong for crewchange one man less.
24/7 the loudspeakers on the berth rattled on continuously with the occasional tune for good measure. The red guards would keep you awake and read from the little red book while insisting you drink copious amounts of Kwaichow brandy...do you remember it in a white bottle and red label. They still sell it here in Malaysia. I will never forget being drunk for 3 weeks waiting for that cargo. Never drank another drop of the stuff again and have gone off rabbit pie which my old lady used to make so well, with a lovely light crust, of course.
Aah! those memories lads.
Succour.

Peter Martin
22nd May 2009, 17:50
My memories of 'Red' China are of being at anchor in the intense cold for a week awaiting a berth. Keeping ancho watch and chipping and scraping. When eventually alongside we worked cargo during the day only. One evening we were 'invited' to the Friendship Store for a Chinese meal, some shopping, a drink or two and a film show.
Each group was given a Red Guard to 'look after' them whilst eating. I had, of course heard of chop sticks, but had never used them. Our host called for a bowl of salted peanuts. We spent the next 30 minutes mastering the art and I have to say that after this session we were all fairly proficient!
The meal itself was very good and was washed down with Tsing Tao beer. (A brand now very popular in Chines restaurants in the UK).
And so to the entertainment. One Guard between two by this time, the better to explain what was going on,
The first movie was about The Great March and Chairman Mao's thought on protracted warefare. Followed by a documentary about the Sino Russian conflict which depicted lots of Chinese soldiers advancing into the teeth of Russian tanks and being crushed.
The Store sold lots of what we would call today 'ethnic' items. Some of which I still have today.
The most popular buy was a black fur hat with flaps that you could let down to keep the ears warm.
Copies of the Little Red Book were issued as well as badges depicting the Great Leader.
We were than asked to sing several songs praising Mao and to recite some quotations fro tme Book. One I can still remember was "People of all countries unite and defeat the US agressors and all their running dogs!" I did ask a Red Guard if I was considered to be a 'Running Dog' but he said he didn't think so as we were working to help China in its revolutionary struggle by carrying away exports to the rest of the world. We were a testement to China's power as a world-class manufacturer and industrial nation.
As one can imagine Hong Kong, our next stop, came as a bit of a culture shock!

Graham McMorine
25th May 2009, 14:34
All,
I had the benefit of a trip to Shanghai during the Cultural Revolution 1964-65, and well remember the wrecked Christmas Dinner, the Red Guards actually burst in and stopped us during the Turkey course and ordered us out of the Saloon for a few hours on a freezing cold deck to be harangued by Red Guards about the virtues of the Great Leader and the Great Leap forward that China was undertaking.
You always felt that you were walking on egg shells and that a minor infringement would set it all off again.
Yours aye,
Slick

Would that by any chance have been on board the " Ajax ". If so we may have sailed together.........................Gra.

Barber Hector
26th May 2009, 13:53
R651400. You mentioned in post 31 Yanto Morgan.
Well theres a name from the past. Whats Yanto up to these days. Met him briefly on numerous occasions a life time ago.

seeanji
28th October 2009, 23:03
Remember taking two large transformers to Hsin Kiang in the Glenshiel (ex Stentor). They were carried in No2 hold for access by Jumbo derrick. It's a long story and a long stay what with waiting at the bar, waiting to offload and listening to the wailing of the Chinese soprano extolling the vitues of Chairman Mao and "the great leap forward". another amazing event was the crocodile of schoolgirls in red skirts, white blouses, dustpans and whisks who swept the dockside from 6 a.m. till 8 a.m each day. We were told to take down the world maps in our cabins because the British Empire was coloured red, no doors could be locked and armed guard were all over the place!.

TonyAllen
29th October 2009, 00:40
Guys if you thought it was bad in the 60s should have been there 55/56 I saw a guy killed just for asking for bread and water on the Elpenor[ under Captain A K Hole] just outside the the galley door,I was the galley boy Tony

Farmer John
14th March 2012, 22:53
I know this is going back some time, but I was Middie on, perhaps the Cyclops?, the 4th was known as "Hoss" as he was a robust individual, his main claim to fame was the ability to drop a pint in well under 3 secs., it seemed quicker than you could throw it out of the glass. As middies, we were dry, but we could watch. I was told later that he was arrested and taken off a boat for taking too much interest in the approaches to a Chinese port, and tried in a football stadium. This seems to be in line what is said before on here.

colinbusby
15th March 2012, 08:07
Further to Chris Goftons entry I was also on Glenfalloch (2nd Eng) when detained in Shanghai in March 1970. C/O was Brian Hood. R/o was Walter Beebee who I believe lived to be a 100. Mail nurse Tom Rainford. C/E D.D.Hutchinson (on retirement voyage) with wife Marjorie. As I recall all deck officers were taken ashore for interrogation and then capt. Edwards was told to get the ship in to the river on the bouys. Male Nurse for'd, R/o Aft.

makko
16th March 2012, 06:01
I re-read this thread. and remembered that I sailed with J. C. Ray in the 80's, Jackie Benn C/E. Interesting memories.......
Rgds.
Dave

SuperClive
1st August 2012, 19:34
Is that the Colin Busby who, with Pete Sorahan drydocked Cardigan Bay in Hamburg in 1974?

I was an Engineer Cadet on the Anchises that 1st March when we were 'Shanghied' and Hamish Ray was taken ashore accused of being a spy and breaking an obscure harbour regulation (that had never been published) whilst we were coming up the Huang Poo to the berth. We heard nothing for 3 days until after lunch, I was taking the outside route back to the engineroom and the godown doors adjacent just burst open and about 100 Red Guards came running out heading for our gangway.

We were all rounded up and taken to the saloon where a courtroom had been set up. We were told that our Captain had been sentenced to 30yrs hard labour for spying and we were then duly sentenced to 20yrs for being spy accomplices. Annie Stobie, wife of 2/O Walter, collapsed as this sentence was passed. We wondered what next and were escorted under armed guard to our cabins which were then searched for further evidence. Meanwhile the ship was taken off the quay and moved to mid stream. We were detained there for 4 days under armed guard and with the East is Red blaring over loudspeakers 24hrs a day - so no sleep, whilst they completed discharge. Then, without warning, we were told we were to get the ship out of Chinese Territorial Waters within 4 hrs or we WOULD be kept for 20yrs hard labour.

The main engine (Harland 8cyl double acter) was stone cold and took some starting but eventually fired. We were taken within hailing distance (but still with armed Red Guards aboard) couldn't make contact with our Glen Line friends on the Glenfalloch. It would have been no use as they had arrested my old shipmate, 2/O Pat Duff, for the same trumped up charge.

John Brumskill, our Mate took command and got us into International waters. Bill Rutter was R/O and got cramp in his hand sending and receiving many telegrams from the 'Kremlin - India Buildings - Blu Flu's HQ, Royal Navy in Hong Kong, UK Government etc. Our orders were to continue down to Singapore (where we had some major repairs to do on the main engine due to the cold start). Capt Stan Arnold joined us to take us home to Liverpool.

Some weeks later, whilst loading tea in Trincomalee, we heard via the BBC World Service, that Pat and Hamish had been unceremoneously thrown across the border into Hong Kong.

So, there you have it, the full story from someone who was there. It's the first time I've told this to anyone for many, many years...

colinbusby
2nd August 2012, 08:18
Is that the Colin Busby who, with Pete Sorahan drydocked Cardigan Bay in Hamburg in 1974?

I was an Engineer Cadet on the Anchises that 1st March when we were 'Shanghied' and Hamish Ray was taken ashore accused of being a spy and breaking an obscure harbour regulation (that had never been published) whilst we were coming up the Huang Poo to the berth. We heard nothing for 3 days until after lunch, I was taking the outside route back to the engineroom and the godown doors adjacent just burst open and about 100 Red Guards came running out heading for our gangway.

We were all rounded up and taken to the saloon where a courtroom had been set up. We were told that our Captain had been sentenced to 30yrs hard labour for spying and we were then duly sentenced to 20yrs for being spy accomplices. Annie Stobie, wife of 2/O Walter, collapsed as this sentence was passed. We wondered what next and were escorted under armed guard to our cabins which were then searched for further evidence. Meanwhile the ship was taken off the quay and moved to mid stream. We were detained there for 4 days under armed guard and with the East is Red blaring over loudspeakers 24hrs a day - so no sleep, whilst they completed discharge. Then, without warning, we were told we were to get the ship out of Chinese Territorial Waters within 4 hrs or we WOULD be kept for 20yrs hard labour.

The main engine (Harland 8cyl double acter) was stone cold and took some starting but eventually fired. We were taken within hailing distance (but still with armed Red Guards aboard) couldn't make contact with our Glen Line friends on the Glenfalloch. It would have been no use as they had arrested my old shipmate, 2/O Pat Duff, for the same trumped up charge.

John Brumskill, our Mate took command and got us into International waters. Bill Rutter was R/O and got cramp in his hand sending and receiving many telegrams from the 'Kremlin - India Buildings - Blu Flu's HQ, Royal Navy in Hong Kong, UK Government etc. Our orders were to continue down to Singapore (where we had some major repairs to do on the main engine due to the cold start). Capt Stan Arnold joined us to take us home to Liverpool.

Some weeks later, whilst loading tea in Trincomalee, we heard via the BBC World Service, that Pat and Hamish had been unceremoneously thrown across the border into Hong Kong.

So, there you have it, the full story from someone who was there. It's the first time I've told this to anyone for many, many years...

Yes superclive I did drydock Cardigan Bay in Hamburg. Enjoyed reading your account of Anchises in Shanghai. Similar experience on Glenfalloch - how the world has changed.

Twerp
12th March 2014, 12:43
I sailed on several Blue Funnel ships in the sixties and returned home with a poster of Mao tse Tung & his lapel badge .W(A) e used to spread a giant size union flag on no 3 hatch while near China. One 3rd mate got sentenced to life imprisonment in Shanghai for spying . I think his name was Peter Crouch from Liverpool. I think he only served a couple of years though. Does anybody know the full story as I got it 2nd hand and facts do tend to get distorted. Has anyone still got his 'Book of Mao's' thoughts

Indeed it was Peter Crouch and I am still in touch with him now.

Hugh Ferguson
13th March 2014, 09:41
Anyone remember this? Google:- "Chinese admit raid against British ship" 1950

Hugh Ferguson
13th March 2014, 10:59
Anyone remember this? Google:- "Chinese admit raid against British ship"

The way I heard/remember this event was that the Chief Officer was shot in a lung and that he survived the wounding.
The telemotor was wrecked but the Chinese quarter-master was untouched!
The Glenearn had to return to Japan for urgent repairs.

A diplomatic face-saver was then devised by which the Glen ships would hence-forth alternate voyages so as not to call at mainland Chinese ports and Nationalist ports during the same voyage.

(I remember, at a slightly later date, when I was 2nd mate in the Glenroy keeping a "graveyard" watch homeward and approaching Taiwan, being suddenly bathed in the glare of a search-light; only then did I hear the sound of the Nationalist fighter from which the light emanated! T'was quite a ghostly experience.
I resisted an urge to flatten myself on the deck in the chart-room!)

ericfisher
13th March 2014, 17:54
Hugh, Wonder if you sailed the Yellow sea in 1950? I was on the Audax in that area between June '50 and December '50.

I earned a DR along with the First and Second Mate, First and Second Eng. for refusing to sail again from Japan with scrap iron to Chinese ports.

We were all badly abused and beaten quite often in a number of ports in the Yellow Sea. As a result the British Consul was brought from Kobe and read us the M.N. Regs.

After waiting in Tokyo for a week we flew home to U.K. A long and sad story. Regards, Eric

Hugh Ferguson
13th March 2014, 19:11
Eric, I was in the Glen boats from Aug.1949 (2 trips starting with Glenartney as 3rd mate followed by 7 voyages in the Glenroy, as 3rd & 2nd mate, ending Nov. 1952).
I think it was my first Glenartney voyage that we passed HMS Amethyst as she made for Hong Kong after her escape from the Yangste-sent her a congratulatary message on the Aldis.
I don't recall going to a North China port until Glenroy voyages-no problems but always relieved to get away: ports visited were Taku Bar & Tsingtao.
Cargo was frozen pork for Hamburg and frozen eggs for London.
They tried to kill me just once by overloading a sling of frozen eggs; clipped the coaming depositing 5 tons of the bloody things onto the 'tween deck hatch boards so that they bounced and came down for a second go!
Happy days, especially in Japan.

Julian Calvin
14th March 2014, 11:21
Forgive me for the change of subject but need to satisfy my curiosity.
Frozen eggs --- are they defrosted prior to use? Do they return to their 'natural' state?

DURANGO
14th March 2014, 12:40
Strange how we all remember China in different ways , I paid off sick there and spent 5 weeks in Shanghai all told in 1962 ,for me I only have fond memories of how they cared for me, in all my time in the hospital which was 4 weeks I never once ate Chinese food they tried to cater for me as best they could , the only Chinese food I ate was in the Shanghai seamen's club or as it is known the friendship club on the Bund where I spent a week before being put on a train to Hong Kong a journey which took 2 days and 2 nights I still have my visa printed on rice paper and my 3 train tickets I have often thought about going back for a visit with my wife but I doubt that the Shanghai seamen's hospital is still there I would love to go back just to thank them for the care they gave me all those years ago best regards to all hands Dave .

Tom(Tucker)Kirby
14th March 2014, 15:01
Can't be Peter Crouch, he's still trying to play centre forward for Liverpool(Jester)

That's a tall story. (==D)

Dod Caukie
20th March 2014, 17:55
Peter Crouch and Pat Duff were both arrested in Shanghai about the same time. Several others were also arrested including J C Rae. Peter Crouch served about 3 years in jail before being released. I sailed with him on the tanker Clytoneus and on the El Gurdhabia when he was Chief Mate. Later he sailed as master on the Libyan tankers manned by Ocean. Sailed with Pat Duff on the tankers. He also made Master on the Ocean manned Libyan tankers.

George T

Twerp
20th March 2014, 18:03
That is correct.
I sailed with him when he was Master in Ocean Fleets on one of their product tankers and in Petromin Tankers Saudi Arabia.

Hugh Ferguson
20th March 2014, 18:54
Forgive me for the change of subject but need to satisfy my curiosity.
Frozen eggs --- are they defrosted prior to use? Do they return to their 'natural' state?

I would assume that they would returnj to their natural state.
They were all for cake and biscuit manufacturors etc..

Hugh Ferguson
20th March 2014, 18:54
Forgive me for the change of subject but need to satisfy my curiosity.
Frozen eggs --- are they defrosted prior to use? Do they return to their 'natural' state?

I would assume that they would return to their natural state.
They were all for cake and biscuit manufacturors etc..

vinvictor
6th April 2014, 22:14
I did two trips to Shanghai one was at Christmas, marched off the boat and put into a very nice hotel. But there was a lot going on in the streets, Red Guards with there gongs running up and down the docks, a very large white statue of Mao was blown up, and the longest bar ? in the world damaged, with sand bags at the entrance to the hotels like W11 films, I was given a little red book too.(EEK)