British Builder

tugger
11th March 2007, 07:52
Hi all.
This is my first attempt at a post so here goes.
I just read in the BP list about the British Builder being towed from Aus to Sunderland. I joined the Builder in Newcastle-on -tyne, out of dry dock, on Nov 1955,after she had been repaired. Was away for twelve months,paying off in Sep 56. As we didn't break down in that time they must have done a pretty good job in the dry dock. The trip convinced me to emigrate, I did two trips on the East coasters while waiting to come to NZ, where I went on the coast with the Union Co .
Cheers Tugger

ruud
11th March 2007, 11:08
Ahoy.
Here the BUILDER

HENNEGANOL
11th March 2007, 11:48
One of the striking features of this photograph are the awning spars. If I remember correctly all the ships of this vintage and earlier, were capable of rigging double awnings when in the warmer climes. However I can never remember them being fully utilised, as I recall only single awnings were occasionaly rigged.

Gerry.

R58484956
11th March 2007, 17:26
MV British Builder 8699 tons ,Built 03/1951 by Wm Doxford & Sons Ltd, Sunderland. 469.6 x 62.0 x 33.9. 4 cylinder diesel built by Wm Doxford. DF,ESD, GyC, Radar. Code flags GCCL. Machinery aft. Cruiser stern.
Registered London, British flag. Carrying petroleum in bulk.Owned by British Tanker Co Ltd.

John_F
11th March 2007, 17:52
One of the striking features of this photograph are the awning spars. If I remember correctly all the ships of this vintage and earlier, were capable of rigging double awnings when in the warmer climes. However I can never remember them being fully utilised, as I recall only single awnings were occasionaly rigged.

Gerry.
Gerry,
I don't think we ever rigged awnings on any vessel I was on & we certainly didn't have air conditioning (apart from the super tankers which had aircon in the officers' smokeroom). When you think of the number of times the spars & stanchions were painted plus the space of the awning locker it all seems a bit of a waste.
Kind regards,
John.

HENNEGANOL
11th March 2007, 19:40
John,

My thoughts entirely, as you say "all a bit of a waste".

I can't remember which class it was that had the air conditioned smoke rooms/hospital, you could have one or the other but not both. The A/C unit was located in the deck office if I remember correctly. Which was considered to be a possible scource of the explosion on the British Crown. On the Sailor the OM and C/E's bedrooms had A/C as did the saloon.

After the British Crown incident, BP reviewed their operating procedures and a program of retro fitting Inert Gas Sytems and Air Conditioning was implemented. The Honour had a chilled water system installed whereby chilled water was circulated through the Thermotank units. The water was chilled by means of steam eductors, which created a high vacuuum causing the circulating water to boil which in turn reduced its temperature, sadly the exact details escape me now nearly 40 years later.

It proved to be quite an effective system, however, on the down side I seem to recall that it increased our daily bunker consumption by about 4 tons/day!

On some of the older ships we use to rig the wind sails, supplied for gas freeing the cargo tanks, through the engine room sklights to assist in cooling the engine room. Thinking about it I could probably write a book about those days.

I also remember being on one ship fitted with electric ventilation fans for the engine and boiler rooms, when we passed through a swarm of Locusts which were sucked into the fans and emerged in the engine room with something akin to a bullet. You can imagine our consternation as we tried to avoid these projectiles shooting from the vents!

On another occasion on the "Lantern", I decided one afternoon, to top up the amidships A/C plant with gas as the ammeter showed that the plant was only running at about 25% load. (For the refrigeration Engineers on this site my own rule of thumb is for the plant to run effectively, the amps should be just below the red! Please correct me if I am wrong.) I therefore charged the sytem with about 100lbs of freon, which brought the amps up to the red.

Later that day the Mate, whose name I cannot recall, came to my cabin, apparently it was his custom, as he was on the 4-8 watch, to sleep on top of his bunk after lunch in his birthday suit. He complained that he had woken up from his afternoon nap absolutely frozen and wanted to know what was the problem with the A/C? He was quite amazed when I informed him that it was now working as per design!

Am I right in thinking that the 16's had an air conditioned hospital?

The more I become involved with the nostalgia on this site, the more convinced I am that the comments in my school reports 50 years ago were justified "Lacks concentration", "Inattentive". How I wish that I had paid more attention in those days and that I had had a camera to boot.

Never mind, as my father in law use to say, "we ain't doing bad for Numb Buggers"

Regards.

Gerry

John_F
11th March 2007, 22:17
Gerry,
I served on the Glory in 1959 as a first trip Navigating Apprentice. She was one of the later "32s". Her Officers' Smokeroom was on the Engineers deck & opened on to the flying bridge over the maindeck, leading to the aft accommodation. As far as I remember, this was the only area that had air conditioning although the hospital may have had it but I was fortunate to avoid spending time in there!
The Smokeroom was used as the cargo office when loading & discharging & I think that this was common practice on the 28s & 32s as it was in a convenient position, being midway between tanks 5 & 6. I believe that the cause of the explosion on the Crown was a spark from a faulty commutator in the aircon unit in the Smokeroom. Graham Wallace on this site has far more info about the Crown tragedy than I have.
My second ship was the Beacon, a sister to the Lantern & I do not recall the aircon system amidships ever working (& I was on her maiden voyage!).
As far as the 16s go, I served on 2 - the Guardian & the Renown. I don't think that the Guardian (built 1953) had a hosptal with aircon but the Renown (built 1957) did.
Like you, I wish I had taken more photos - not just of the scenic sights but of every day happenings aboard ship. I have no photos of anyone with an ullage stick in their hands while loading cargo or pushing a holystone backwards & forwards while at sea - every day events in those days. My son does not believe the hours we used to work. For an apprentice in those days, photography was an expensive hobby - colour film was off limits until I got my 2nd Mate's ticket.
One comment on this site can stir the memory cells into action & suddenly it all comes flooding back, actions & things that I have long forgotten.
Kind regards,
John.

graham
11th March 2007, 22:23
i was in a few bp tankers they all had air conditioning a tin air catcher you put out of the porthole regards graham

HENNEGANOL
11th March 2007, 22:37
Ian,

You were lucky, we often had to use an old beer case!

John,

The hospital on that class was right aft starboard side behind the european galley!

Gerry

John Hunter
12th March 2007, 20:16
When I joined the Reliance as 3rd mate at Mena I was concerned that i had no matress on the bunk. The 3rd I was relieving pointed out the window and there were 3 matresses on the deck and told me thats where I would sleep while in the Gulf. When he left the first job I did was retrieve the mattress.......2 days later I put back on the deck and had a half decent sleep. When I was on the Hussar she had air con but frequently it stopped because when the air con was switched on people opened the ports !!!

tugger
26th March 2007, 09:07
Ahoy.
Here the BUILDER

Thanks ruud, I had a photo but from for'd so this one will be great in my George Robie photo album.
Tugger.

tugger
26th March 2007, 09:14
Gerry,
I don't think we ever rigged awnings on any vessel I was on & we certainly didn't have air conditioning (apart from the super tankers which had aircon in the officers' smokeroom). When you think of the number of times the spars & stanchions were painted plus the space of the awning locker it all seems a bit of a waste.
Kind regards,
John.
Quote= Tugger
Hi John.
I did nine trips on BTC and rigged the awnings everytime we were in the red sea to the Gulf and back. I can remember once up in Abadan when the uprising against the Shah was going on we put the double awnings up owing to the heat up there.
Cheers Tugger

Roberth1
26th March 2007, 11:13
Gerry
The chilled water a/c units worked well, the only trouble was the principle was at the bottom end of the steam tables (who remembers those) and unless the vac gauge was kept right round the clock, the chilled water went very quickly from being chilled to being hot!!
There is not many more details to that you described basically just a big chamber with two huge steam driven educters (hence the bunker cost) keeping the high vacumm causeing the water in the chamber to flash off and reduce in temperature. Bit like a vavac in principle.

Both the 12's and the 16's had an air conditioning unit for the hospitals.
I was always led to understand that this was a B.O.T. requirement for ships trading up the Gulf etc.

Who remembers those dormotories arranged to be air conditioned with self contained units down aft after the Crown where you were supposed to go and get a kip after watch along with everyone else!
Robert

richardc
27th March 2007, 20:37
I remember the dormitories when I was 2nd mate on the Engineer - terrible things, only ever used one once. The a/c wasn't that good either and the "aroma" when you opened the door was enough to put anyone off!!

Richard.

barnsey
26th April 2007, 12:04
G'dday everyone .... Must agree about the lack of photos on board during those 50's and 60's ... the bain of our life was writing up our Navigating Apprentices Journal ... LUCKILY I still have it would you believe after shifting house and country !! Not many photos of the type we want now. Collectively this site has some wonderfull examples and I have gathered a great many into my Piccy folder but oh for more. Air Conditioning yup .. having spent many an hour in the "Cargo Office" on 12's and 16's I can confirm that the mid fifties ships had an Air Conditioning plant for the hospital situated there. I can remember only one ship where we "Flashed" the unit up and that was on my "unhappy ship" British Vigilance .. sister to the "Renown" ... the last two 16's built and endowed with semi-streamlined funnels .. easy ones to recognise.

John, I do have a photo of a Nav.App. with an ullage stick and the appropriate "Spotted Skin Lergy" which I will post later in the tanker gallery. We rigged the awnings on British Sergeant, my first ship and we took it in turns to wet them down on sunset to a) tighten them and stop them flapping but b) the evaporation had the cooling effect. never did rig any double awnings though ... quite agree about the spars and canvas not to mention the huge masts and rigging to keep them up!!! The cost of fitting it all, the expense of upkeep and then the tonnage of cargo it shut out ... When you cast your eye over the 16's of the "Border boats" you can see what a difference it made and wonder why BP Tankers never copied them?

John_F
26th April 2007, 18:35
G'dday everyone .... Must agree about the lack of photos on board during those 50's and 60's ... the bain of our life was writing up our Navigating Apprentices Journal ... LUCKILY I still have it would you believe after shifting house and country !!
Barnsey,
I still have my journal in its entirety as well, also most of the letters I wrote home. Unlike the journal, the letters weren't censored by the Old Man. When I retire properly I'll get it all down on disc, for whose benefit I'm not quite sure, probably my own. I don't think that my offspring are remotely interested.
You're so right about the Border Boats. I once went aboard the Border Shepherd, the first of their all afters, at the IoG & also wondered why BP were not doing something similar. Of course, they were, but some years later. Having said that, I still think the designs of the 35s, 42s & Bird class were probably the most attractive looking, when down to their marks, of any tanker fleet at the time (late 50s, early 60s).
Kind regards,
John.