Sailing Day Procedure

Sow-Sow-La
15th March 2007, 19:34
Sailing Day Procedure

In order that Seamen joining Company's vessels at Birkenhead should be usefully employed, the following timetable has been drawn up so that Chief Officers can use it as a guide to stimulate interest and usefulness prior to vessel's departure from Birkenhead on her foreign voyage without conflicting with work already being carried out by shore organization.

It is emphasized that the following items are suggestions and should not hinder priorities as they arise. The common aim of ship and shore personnel is to prepare the vessel for sea in all aspects in a safe and expedient way.

Midnight or 0800 Join vessel with deep sea gear and report to Bosun
0830 Bosun reports to Chief Officer whether all crew members are accounted for.
0830 Crew members receive stores and linen from Catering Officer and settle in, change into working gear.
0930 Voyage Inspection by Management.
0930 to 1030 Crew members (Sailors and Bosun) should be in their rooms in order that the Bosun can introduce them to -the Management.
1030 Boat Drill, Fire Drill, Boat swung out, relevant hoses run out.
1100 Sailors stow and check deck stores, re-stowing stores from containers into lockers and fo'castle store.
1200 to 1300 Meal Break
1300 Flags checked in wheelhouse, all fire hoses run out and checked. Continuation of stowing stores as required. Surplus mooring ropes to be stowed away, that is one from each end. Surplus mooring wires to be reeled away and covered, top poop to be cleared of debris, domestic rubbish to be run ashore, hazardous cargo gear, i.e. protective clothing, to be opened up and tried out. All defects to be reported immediately to Chief Officer by way of the Bosun.
1700 Tea
Time as required. Derricks and wireless aerial ready for sea. Ship squared away. Singled up. Tugs fast fore and aft, vessel sails.

oldbosun
16th March 2007, 12:27
What year was that Sow-Sow-La?

9.30 - 10.30 Crew members (Sailors and Bosun) should be in their rooms in order that the Bosun can introduce them to -the Management.
Am I missing something here? Like.........who are 'Management'? Shoreside wallahs? or, No! it can't be..........Not the captain and officers? They are Management???

What Company was this?

The only thing I remember about sailing days is that the bosun , if sober himself, would be lucky to find enough guys sober enough to get ANYTHING done, let alone wait patiently in their cabins to be introduced to 'Management'.

It's not you I'm laughing at Sow-Sow-La, it's that direction from the office you quote. Have I really left the sea that long ago that they are doing idiotic stuff like this that I don't know about?

Introduce the sailors to the Management indeed! Shiver me timbers. Where's that Peggy?. Is it Smoko yet? What the *#%+'s going on aboard ships these days?

duquesa
16th March 2007, 15:22
Old Bosun, He is talking "Blue Funnel" as it was run. No funny business there, that was the way things were. If you didn't agree with or like it then you knew where the gangway was. Anyone joinng a Blue Funnel ship or one of the associated companies would not have gone up the gangway in the first place without being in full possession of the knowledge of their style of management. Damned fine company. For the likes of you and me - and many others- things were just a tad different-Eh!!

lakercapt
16th March 2007, 15:41
I don't know if any ex Palm Line members remember that they also had a sailing day proceedure.
There was also a large CYA form that was to be signed by department heads to say that you were satisfied that all the equipment and parts required to carry out the voyage were in order.
Chief engineer for E/R
Sparks for radio equipment etc
Thrid mate life saving appliances
2nd mate navigational stuff
Chief steward catering supplies
Purser (they were seperate identities then) whatever he looked after.
Electrician winches etc
Chief officer the stowage, cargo equipment etc

On one occassion I did not sign as the radar (we only had one with a lock!!!!) was not operating up to standard. I was summoned to see the captain and told in no uncertain manner to sign. Wrong approach. I refused and eventually they had the Decca man down and fixed it.
I was not popular with that captain but there again the feeling was mutual and all the crew likewise!

oldbosun
16th March 2007, 16:00
Many thanks for the enlightenment duquesa. Like I say, I wasn't laughing at Sow-Sow-La, it's just that the whole thing seemed so unreal from anything I was used to.

Blue Flue eh? Hmmm.........Matter of fact, I was in the Blue Funnel shore gang for a few months one time. The KGV London shore gang that is. This was at the time when they were re-engining some of their Glenboats in London. Captain Marwood was the shore super in those days and the Engineer in charge was an Australian who's name escapes me. (Mid fifties I think it was)

We (Deck crowd) would take a ship over from arrival to sailing. They all had Chinese crews if memory serves me right and I think there was a difference between the Hong Kong Chinese and the Shanghai Chinese. Hong Kongers were good at smuggling watches and gold bars but daren't try and get them out , so they would get some of our lads (No names, no pack drill!) to take stuff out and meet them ashore in Chinatown around the West India docks.
More money than wages were made in those days.
I remember I did have a good steady job there, we were well paid too. I made much more than my relations who worked in the Ford factory in Dagenham.
Funny enough though, seeing the ships coming and going got to me, and as good as I had it, I dropped it all and went back to sea. Just like that.
I joined Royal Mail's "Essequibo". All this much to my wife's chagrin. She thought I was ashore forever. But I had about another more than 20 years to go yet.

duquesa
16th March 2007, 16:44
Old Bosun. I expect there were a few companies around with their own little quirks. Anyhow, I'm sure you may get some postings from ex.Blue Funnel chaps on this forum, and there are many. I'm not one of them. Bye

Hague
16th March 2007, 16:47
Old Bosun,
I don't think we should get hung up on Sow-Sow-La's use of the 'management ' word.
My memories of the China boats on sailing day, early/mid 60s, was a very relaxed affair.
Yes, we joined at about 0800 on sailing day but there was not a lot to do as the shore gang did everything for you from ' battening down' to 'flattening her out'.
Lunch time depended on where you were berthed. Cathcart Street - The Dolphin, Vittoria Dock maybe the The Duke or Park, Gladstone Dk - The Caradoc.
Afternoon was spend sharing 'a case' ( Tennants 'Thistle' if lucky, Barclays if not). More often than not you were assisted by shore gang in the transit between between berth and lock (depended on 'Big Sid Bainbridge' on the day). It was not uncommon whilst in the Birkenhead locks for 'the crowd' to be allowed up the 'The Stump' near the Four Bridges for a final pint.
All in all, we in the 'China Boats' were spoiled. From the moment we locked into the Gladstone Locks from foreign going the 'Shore gang' ( memories of Jock Flett, Johnny Rowan and Co.) took over. The ships were deserted within an hour of 'All Fast'.
Brgds
Hague

Eggo
16th March 2007, 20:02
Capt Hague , you make it sound like a holiday.As for going to the 'Blazing Stump' for a pint while the ship was in the lock well it never happened on the vessels I sailed on. In fact shore leave was granted at 'The Masters Discretion' in the 60's and on the Automedon the master stopped shore leave in Singapore at 1700 while the ship wasnt sailing until 0400 the following morning 'In case the crew came back intoxicated'True enough Blueys were better than most regarding food etc but the upstairs downstairs mentality was rife and as a peggy I still remember going to the 2nd steward on sunday morning for the deck crew's issue of soap, linen & 'crew brand' tea

Sow-Sow-La
16th March 2007, 20:44
Hope I can explain.
The 'Sailing Day Procedure' is an exact copy of an A4 sheet which was produced in the '1960's at the Liverpool head office, 'India Buildings'. A copy was issued to each ship.

quietman
16th March 2007, 21:05
I was with blue flue in early seventies, if this procedure was still used I must have missed it due to some mental problem induced by alcohol. In fact Im sure some hands probably couldn't remember crossing the Bay of Biscay never mind the Mersey bar

makko
16th March 2007, 23:48
I was with Blueys- I note the emphasis on safety. This was probably after the Pyrrhus burnt out (61?). Was this the work of Dennis N? It was great fun to attend his fire fighting course at Aulis - "Fiiiiightttt Fiiiiiire!". As to "Management", this probably referred to the department superintendents assigned to the vessel in the offices (putting a face to a name). Unfortunately, as I have mentioned before, I never sailed into Birkenhead or Liverpool, and in the latter years, such the contact was lost with the particular superintendent. I remember one story where the super was required to go out to a ship in HK or somewhere. It perfectly demonstrates the loss of intimacy with the vessels towards the end of BF when he complained that the ER was "too hot" and could the skylight be opened! (This was a positive pressure engine room!)

Regards,

Dave

Allan James
17th March 2007, 12:29
Makko,

Trying to remember Dennis N's name, he was an ex-Chief Engineer who had been landed ashore for some reason or another. His fire fighting courses were ledgendary amongst the Middies, on one of them (as the story goes) he was wearing these new firemans wellies and red fireproof suit. He was standing in a fire, thus proving their worth, however (and rather sadly for him) he had to be extinguished by the Middies!!!!!!!!! I think his pride and beard were both singed that day!

Think characters like that couldn't survive in this Health and Safety concious society we live in.

I can also remember sailing day with both Elders Dempster and Ocean, watching my Father and the shore supers conducting an inspection prior to sailing. The main players in this theatre were the Master and the Ships Husband......who in my formative years was usually my Godfather, Julian Holt (Yes one of Alfreds family!) This would end just prior to lunch, when the supers would adjourn to the Masters cabin and I would take on the duties of drinks waiter! I was famous for the excessive amount of gin I could get into a G&T! Hope I never caused any drink driving offences! Lunch would then be taken and the supers would then hand the ship over as passed for sea.

As a Middy I can remember the excitement of sailing day, tinged with a bit of sadness.......but as all Middies all I could think of was getting the show on the road and getting that first can of beer open! No romance in the half-deck!

Thanks for starting this thread and reminding me of a simpler and happy time

Regards

Allan

makko
17th March 2007, 19:42
Allan,

Naylor is the name! Definitely a larger than life figure! I doubt that he is still around. Apparently deported from Japan after knocking out most of the Tokyo police force and wrecking a Black Maria with his bare hands! Anyway, that is the legend that I remember. There were still a few "legends" at sea in my time and in the offices. You being deck will not remember the mega legendary Daggy. I remember him with only fondness, as I have mentioned in other threads.

On one fire course at Aulis, there was a broken water main, thus there was just a trickle of water out of the hose. Dennis told us to imagine "Solidddd RRRods of RRRushing water and Cooooooling Waaater Waaaalls! - Fiighttt Fiiire!". On the same course, the foam machine couldn't even generate more than "shower dregs"! Great times!

There was definitely a HSE mentality on Blue Funnel after the Pyrrhus, something that was transmitted to me by my father who was BF in the 50s & 60s. BoT sports were always treated with the greatest seriousness and the simulations made to be as real as possible. However, I will probably never forgive my shipmates for making me fake a broken leg on the ER bottom plates and then stretchering me out of the stair well on the B. Priam. I have a fear of heights, and I did not appreciate being passed inmobile, at times face down, from stairway to stairway, across the well!!!!

Regards,

Dave

Allan James
17th March 2007, 20:30
Dennis NAylor....thats him! At the conclusion of Phase Three training and elevated to the dizzy rank of a Cadet Officer, we were reintroduced to proper ships by him. This involved being taken to the docks at Liverpool on a ship visit and we had to tour the ship finding H&S faults. My collegues and I visited the Egori in Huskisson Dock finding a number of problems. Back at Aulis we created a report to Dennis and he apparently took this back to India Buildings. This apparently resulted in the Mate being given an almighty bollocking. Felt guilty about this later when I sailed with the Mate, who was a really good bloke and didn't deserve the problem we created!

Kept my head down when I realised who the Mate was!!!!! You may call me a coward, but it made for a more comfortable trip than it could've been if he had found out I was one of the troublemakers!

Regards

Allan

jim barnes
17th March 2007, 20:58
cant realy remember joining days, usually glad to be back but missing the ones left ashore, finding your cabin signing on, finding out when sailing, is there time for a run ashore, leaving and stowing every thing, any one aboard you know and every one just a bit quiet, soon get into the run of things, whats the bosun like whats the captain and mates like and most important who is the cook? probably lucky i missed the bluey's

DURANGO
17th March 2007, 21:58
Old Bosun. I expect there were a few companies around with their own little quirks. Anyhow, I'm sure you may get some postings from ex.Blue Funnel chaps on this forum, and there are many. I'm not one of them. Bye
I sailed in 4 blueys Agapenor ,Antilochus ,Pyrrhus ,Perseus , during the 60,s each one put the lifeboats down in the Indian ocean during lifeboat drill the ship steamed off ,then came back and picked us up great shipping company i was a pool man out of London but i have very fond memories of my time with the Blue Funnel line

makko
18th March 2007, 01:42
I have just spoken with my father.It was his birthday on the 14th March - 71 years old! He confirmed the Pyrrhus line. O'neil, Stephenson, Naylor, Dagleish and Dalgleish, all remembered. BF was a great and very professional company! I am proud to have served!

Regards,

Dave

eldersuk
18th March 2007, 02:14
You guys will be glad to know that Dennis Naylor is still with us, although no longer fighting fires! Up until a couple of years ago he was secretary of the Blue Funnel Pensioners Association, 'The Nestorians.'
John Dalgliesh (Engineers Personnel) sadly died about two years ago.

Talking about what went into the Middies logs and what was censored by the Old Man, I am friendly with ED's ex freight manager who used to chair the Master's inward meetings. He swears that a ship is the best self defence mechanism ever and that he found out more about the voyage over lunch with the Master than ever came out at the meeting.

Derek

barrypriddis
19th March 2007, 02:13
Lakercapt
Yes I remember signing those forms as 3rd and 2nd mate prior to Palm boats departing for the coast. I remember on one occasion delaying the sailing of the Ikeja Palm from Rotterdam due to a gyro problem.

Keith Adams
19th March 2007, 04:20
Bibby Line had the same sailing day routine and since it was privately owned
the actual owners showed up and everything had to be ready for a walk around inspection ... probably thought we weren't going to make it back as their ships were so tender ... complete stability calculations made and logged every 4 hrs
during loading and/or discharge.Snowy

settling tank
22nd March 2007, 01:09
There were two Dalgleish's to engineer cadets-engineer officers. The Eng. cadet Supt. was Hamish (Daggy) dalgleish.... ex 2nd and a complete one off.
I remember in the 60's the sailing day march of the unemployed...the Bowler Hat brigade and as cadets more often than not been told that we needed a haircut.
Naylors breathing apparatus drills were always amusing...especially those carried out behind Oddy works in a tent...the smoke bombs were usually orange and dyed boilersuits and underwear the same colour.
How many companies in the 70's allowed Chinese or european bosuns, Nš 1 firemen and Nš 1 steward to take their wives on a foreign voyage?
On the Tokyo Bay Class it was common.

Hague
22nd March 2007, 20:17
There were two Dalgleish's to engineer cadets-engineer officers. The Eng. cadet Supt. was Hamish (Daggy) dalgleish.... ex 2nd and a complete one off.
I remember in the 60's the sailing day march of the unemployed...the Bowler Hat brigade and as cadets more often than not been told that we needed a haircut.
Naylors breathing apparatus drills were always amusing...especially those carried out behind Oddy works in a tent...the smoke bombs were usually orange and dyed boilersuits and underwear the same colour.
How many companies in the 70's allowed Chinese or european bosuns, Nš 1 firemen and Nš 1 steward to take their wives on a foreign voyage?
On the Tokyo Bay Class it was common.

My memories of Dalgleish is of him always wearing a Brown suit and matching trilby. Can picture him now walking home from Odyssey Works, across the Duke Street Bridge in the Liscard direction. Never recall seeing him in any other coloured suit. Used to think he may have been a quaker or similar.
Brgds
Hague

Hugh Ferguson
22nd March 2007, 20:26
I was with blue flue in early seventies, if this procedure was still used I must have missed it due to some mental problem induced by alcohol. In fact Im sure some hands probably couldn't remember crossing the Bay of Biscay never mind the Mersey bar

No wonder I preferred sailing with Chinese crews!

Hugh Ferguson
22nd March 2007, 23:16
I sailed in 4 blueys Agapenor ,Antilochus ,Pyrrhus ,Perseus , during the 60,s each one put the lifeboats down in the Indian ocean during lifeboat drill the ship steamed off ,then came back and picked us up great shipping company i was a pool man out of London but i have very fond memories of my time with the Blue Funnel line

The Blue Funnel safety code not only related to the ships but to the crews as well. Very early, during the war, it was recognised that the major loss of life after attack, was occurring at the time of abandoning ship and the problem of surviving in the boats thereafter.
With this in mind, Mr Laurence Holt, in consultation with the founder of Gordonstoun School, Kurt Hahn, set up the Outward Bound Sea School in Aberdovey, where a great emphasis was layed on the fast launching of life-boats and their manning.
There is no doubt that this initiative made a huge contribution to the loss of life statistics which, for the M.N. as a whole, were approximately 17.5%, whereas for Blue Funnel they were about 9%. In other words 48% more crew in Blue Funnel & Glen ships lived to sail another day!

R651400
24th March 2007, 16:59
There's a picture in my gallery of full lifeboat drill in the Red Sea when I did my last trip on Adrastus under Captain Archibald McLelland Pilcher, my one and only time with British crew mainly Liverpudlian.
Similar exercise, Ajax to Aussie via the Cape during Suez closure, skipper George Carney actually sailed off and left us.
I understand there is a set procedure to return to the spot for man overboard if seen immediately and it wasn't long before wee George came back to pick us up.
Seeing a tall blue funnel disappearing over the horizon was an uncanny experience
Pre voyage inspections were the norm even to having hats at least displayed in the radio room. I do remember Ajax as it was a women who inspected the ship, said to be the wife of George Holt BF's then owner.

makko
24th March 2007, 18:14
I belive that lifeboat down at sea was suspended after a couple of incidents where the boat was lost! The boat would be swung out but not lowered during BoT sports. However, during Lloyds Surveys, typically in Panama, the boat was lowered and run around the dock. Lifeboat engines were started every week however, fuel checked etc. The Barber Priams lifeboat fuel tanks were very susceptible to moisture ingress, something that I never could solve. Hence we added draining of water to the weekly routine. I envied the Old Days, when you could take the lifeboat to the nearest island for a barbeque!!

Regards,

Dave

Trader
25th March 2007, 23:19
No wonder I preferred sailing with Chinese crews!

Hugh Ferguson,

A little unfair I think. Of course you are entitled to your crew preference. I joined Blue Funnel as deck boy in 1952 and stayed there for 4 years. In that time I never ever saw a crew p--sed up on sailing day, it was more than they dare do. A few pints in the "Duke" in Birkenhead waiting for the tide,yes, but not as "quietman" described his time in the 70's p-ssed even across the Bay of Biscay.

We got 2 bottles of Red Tower Lager at sea per day at lunch time with the tops taken off so they couldn't be saved up for the weekend, so no chance to get drunk unlike a few R/Os and engineers I knew who had access to bottles of spirits and cases of beer. Good luck to them, but there certainly was a class barrier in those days.

I notice that you were with Glen Line, so you probably didn't come across a European crew, I could be wrong.

Trader.

Hugh Ferguson
26th March 2007, 23:46
Hugh Ferguson,

A little unfair I think. Of course you are entitled to your crew preference. I joined Blue Funnel as deck boy in 1952 and stayed there for 4 years. In that time I never ever saw a crew p--sed up on sailing day, it was more than they dare do. A few pints in the "Duke" in Birkenhead waiting for the tide,yes, but not as "quietman" described his time in the 70's p-ssed even across the Bay of Biscay.

We got 2 bottles of Red Tower Lager at sea per day at lunch time with the tops taken off so they couldn't be saved up for the weekend, so no chance to get drunk unlike a few R/Os and engineers I knew who had access to bottles of spirits and cases of beer. Good luck to them, but there certainly was a class barrier in those days.

I notice that you were with Glen Line, so you probably didn't come across a European crew, I could be wrong.

Trader.

Yes, Trader, it was unfair and I immediately regretted it. I sailed mostly with Chinese crews and, strangely, with a largely Liverpool crew in the old coal burning Glenfinlas which actually was the ex. Elpenor. When she reverted to being the Elpenor again I was in her for another 3 voyages with a super crowd mostly from Liverpool. I can still remember some of their names, Bill Brabner, Jimmy Newall come to mind. The demon drink never seemed to afflict the Chinese, even in Hong Kong where they were able to relax for a couple of days on the outward passage.

Hague
27th March 2007, 09:35
I was with blue flue in early seventies, if this procedure was still used I must have missed it due to some mental problem induced by alcohol. In fact Im sure some hands probably couldn't remember crossing the Bay of Biscay never mind the Mersey bar

Good morning Quietman,
The Blue Funnel Line you describe bears no relationship to the one I sailed in during the early sixties. I would agree with 'Trader' with his description of 'sailing day' and the rationing throughout the voyage. I do recall it in vogue to request 'green gremlins' (Guinness) rather than lager as that was looked upon as 'two for one'. Insobriety on sailing day would have you off in the locks. But that never happened as a 'China Boat' sailor new exactly what was expected and behaved accordingly. I am aware that after I left in 67 things changed and there was an influx of 'pool men' (nothing wrong with 'pool men' I hasten to add) but when you add water to wine its not quite the same.

jim brindley
27th March 2007, 10:36
Sailing Day Procedure

In order that Seamen joining Company's vessels at Birkenhead should be usefully employed, the following timetable has been drawn up so that Chief Officers can use it as a guide to stimulate interest and usefulness prior to vessel's departure from Birkenhead on her foreign voyage without conflicting with work already being carried out by shore organization.

It is emphasized that the following items are suggestions and should not hinder priorities as they arise. The common aim of ship and shore personnel is to prepare the vessel for sea in all aspects in a safe and expedient way.

Midnight or 0800 Join vessel with deep sea gear and report to Bosun
0830 Bosun reports to Chief Officer whether all crew members are accounted for.
0830 Crew members receive stores and linen from Catering Officer and settle in, change into working gear.
0930 Voyage Inspection by Management.
0930 to 1030 Crew members (Sailors and Bosun) should be in their rooms in order that the Bosun can introduce them to -the Management.
1030 Boat Drill, Fire Drill, Boat swung out, relevant hoses run out.
1100 Sailors stow and check deck stores, re-stowing stores from containers into lockers and fo'castle store.
1200 to 1300 Meal Break
1300 Flags checked in wheelhouse, all fire hoses run out and checked. Continuation of stowing stores as required. Surplus mooring ropes to be stowed away, that is one from each end. Surplus mooring wires to be reeled away and covered, top poop to be cleared of debris, domestic rubbish to be run ashore, hazardous cargo gear, i.e. protective clothing, to be opened up and tried out. All defects to be reported immediately to Chief Officer by way of the Bosun.
1700 Tea
Time as required. Derricks and wireless aerial ready for sea. Ship squared away. Singled up. Tugs fast fore and aft, vessel sails.

what a load of codswollep .since when were we called sailors .you daft sod we are and were seamen[=P]

Hugh Ferguson
27th March 2007, 19:16
what a load of codswollep .since when were we called sailors .you daft sod we are and were seamen[=P]

That language is quite uncalled for; he's only trying to draw a distinction between stewards, greasers and the deck crowd (sailors).

Santos
27th March 2007, 20:22
Come on Hugh, lighten up, that language is clean and was normal on deck, not a swear word amongst it. Sod was a term of endearment when I was at sea not a insult and how can anybody be upset with codswollop !!!!!!!!!!!

Chris.

Hugh Ferguson
27th March 2007, 22:36
Come on Hugh, lighten up, that language is clean and was normal on deck, not a swear word amongst it. Sod was a term of endearment when I was at sea not a insult and how can anybody be upset with codswollop !!!!!!!!!!!

Chris.

O.K. Santos, I'll lighten up, but my remark was in order! Everyone who goes to sea I reckon is a seaman but you still need to know who does what.

Hague
29th March 2007, 23:50
Yes, Trader, it was unfair and I immediately regretted it. I sailed mostly with Chinese crews and, strangely, with a largely Liverpool crew in the old coal burning Glenfinlas which actually was the ex. Elpenor. When she reverted to being the Elpenor again I was in her for another 3 voyages with a super crowd mostly from Liverpool. I can still remember some of their names, Bill Brabner, Jimmy Newall come to mind. The demon drink never seemed to afflict the Chinese, even in Hong Kong where they were able to relax for a couple of days on the outward passage.

Hugh,
Is it possible that the Bill Brabner you referred to could have been Mick Brabender if so he was the first Bosun Instructor in the Odyssey Works Deck School 1958. He returned to sea after a year / 18 months. The new Instructor was Dennis O'Brian (OB) another legend.

Sow-Sow-La
30th March 2007, 10:24
what a load of codswollep .since when were we called sailors .you daft sod we are and were seamen[=P]

Good morning Jim
The wording of this article is not mine. Its a copy of a 'memo/circular' drafted in the 1960's at Head Office (India Buildings)for issue to all ships.

Bearsie
30th March 2007, 11:07
Every company has "Employee Directives" some more bombastic than others.
Mostly written by some office person with the best of intention and not always reflecting reality. I don't think Blue Funnel would be alone in that.
My current employer has a little blurb on the paychecks that sounds like a mix between a Mao verse and an advert for Greenpeace....
Needless to say it is not quite how we run the business (there wouldnt be enough cash for paychecks if we did...)

And so it goes :)

makko
30th March 2007, 17:24
I remember the kit list we were given when we were to go deep sea for the first time, it was probably drafted when the company started and never changed! (No socks, only stockings!) I will have to have a rummage and see if I can find any BF memos (although I doubt it).

Rgds.

Dave

Hugh Ferguson
30th March 2007, 19:12
Hugh,
Is it possible that the Bill Brabner you referred to could have been Mick Brabender if so he was the first Bosun Instructor in the Odyssey Works Deck School 1958. He returned to sea after a year / 18 months. The new Instructor was Dennis O'Brian (OB) another legend.

I don't think they could be the same. I have some old ships' "articles" from those days: I'll see if I can find them.

wee bobby
30th March 2007, 23:54
I Can Only Remember (hic) Signing Articles And Waking Up At Sea---some-where!!!!!

Sow-Sow-La
31st March 2007, 10:27
Hugh,
Is it possible that the Bill Brabner you referred to could have been Mick Brabender if so he was the first Bosun Instructor in the Odyssey Works Deck School 1958. He returned to sea after a year / 18 months. The new Instructor was Dennis O'Brian (OB) another legend.
Mick Brabender was the Bosun in charge of the Deck Boy Training School before O'Brien. I did my first trip as Deck Boy with Mick Brabender on the Memnon. I will always remember the night when we were squaring up before leaving Penang, homeward bound. Before a derrick was lowered the last couple of feet, Mick put his hand into the crutch to clear a preventer and the derrick came down on his hand. He said "Suck me f$!*!&!* off, me fingers have gone". At the sight of his hand with all that blood, I passed out on the focsle.

Hague
31st March 2007, 11:08
Mick Brabender was the Bosun in charge of the Deck Boy Training School before O'Brien. I did my first trip as Deck Boy with Mick Brabender on the Memnon. I will always remember the night when we were squaring up before leaving Penang, homeward bound. Before a derrick was lowered the last couple of feet, Mick put his hand into the crutch to clear a preventer and the derrick came down on his hand. He said "Suck me f$!*!&!* off, me fingers have gone". At the sight of his hand with all that blood, I passed out on the focsle.

What was the outcome to the hand damage????. Oh, and I hope that topping lift was taken to a drum end 'pretty sharpish'!

Hugh Ferguson
31st March 2007, 14:57
What was the outcome to the hand damage????. Oh, and I hope that topping lift was taken to a drum end 'pretty sharpish'!

All I know is second hand information: Mick was determined that his ship would not be leaving without him, so he "jumped" hospital and joined before she sailed. A tough character, like they all were. Does anyone remember Tommy Boswell, an old "shell-back" if ever there was. I knew him as bosun of the old Glenfinlas in 1946 and again when he was signed off out east someplace to get home to his wife who was very ill. Strangely, it was in the same ship but she had been renamed Elpenor. The best they could do to accomodate Tommy was in some kind of lazarette in the fo'c'stle. I remember feeling very sorry for him and shall always regret not offering him the use of my settee (I was 3rd mate). I wonder if he went back to sea after his wife died, as he was getting on a bit. I remember he had a hugely muscled back, no doubt inherited from his days "fisting" canvas on the yards of the old square riggers he sailed in.

jim brindley
1st April 2007, 02:31
Good morning Jim
The wording of this article is not mine. Its a copy of a 'memo/circular' drafted in the 1960's at Head Office (India Buildings)for issue to all ships.i had no intention of upsetting anybody on site , jim (Cloud)

Sow-Sow-La
6th April 2007, 14:26
All I know is second hand information: Mick was determined that his ship would not be leaving without him, so he "jumped" hospital and joined before she sailed. A tough character, like they all were. Does anyone remember Tommy Boswell, an old "shell-back" if ever there was. I knew him as bosun of the old Glenfinlas in 1946 and again when he was signed off out east someplace to get home to his wife who was very ill. Strangely, it was in the same ship but she had been renamed Elpenor. The best they could do to accomodate Tommy was in some kind of lazarette in the fo'c'stle. I remember feeling very sorry for him and shall always regret not offering him the use of my settee (I was 3rd mate). I wonder if he went back to sea after his wife died, as he was getting on a bit. I remember he had a hugely muscled back, no doubt inherited from his days "fisting" canvas on the yards of the old square riggers he sailed in.

Yes youre right. Mick did sign himself out of hospital and was back on board before we sailed. A real tough man.

Split
7th April 2007, 09:21
We used to get some daft letters from the office about certain points of company policy but, thank God, we never got anything like that!

Split

barnsey
18th May 2007, 12:12
Jim and Hugh ... and Blue Flu in general ...

I make a point these days of using the term Seafarers, not seamen, firemen, Engineers or deck officers. I can understand Jims defence of being a seaman because I understand that was as he served ... fair enough but, in my book to all and sundry and in particular shoreside people he stands alongside me and with everyone who served at sea as a Seafarer.

As for serving with Blu Flu .... thank goodness their reputation for stifling initiative and their stuffiness bordering on RN was much discussed amongst us on Worcester. One item/myth was the courses inked on the charts and positions not rubbed off until presented to the Marine Supt. at HO in Liverpool on return. Having just put up with 4 years of Naval routine on Worcester there was no way I was going for that. Besides every question about tankers and how they worked were evaded on Worcester ( no one had served on any!! ) and visiting British Valour, 35,200 tons just returned on her maiden voyage sold me .... and I have never ever regretted joining BP and seving on tankers most of my life...... everything I have ever heard about Blu Flu seems to have been right. Loved all their ships coming past on their way to and from London docks as they were certainly lovely ships although I liked them in Glen line colours best.

Barnsey

Ventry
18th May 2007, 14:10
Barnsey,
Cannot agree with your comments about Blue Funnel.
As for 'their reputation for stifling initiative and their stuffiness bordering on RN difficult to comprehend. First of all, I must declare that I never sailed for 'Blue Funnel' but sailed with many, officers and ratings' from that company all of whom were absolutely 'top class' . In hindsight, I wish I had joined but I did not as I started in Irish Shipping and 'the China' did not take people it did not train in the Odyssey Deck School. I am talking 59/63.
Amongst Deck Ratings Blue Funnel was ' Cream' with much talk of that company's legendary Bosun's and such. Similarly, the Officers had a training second to none. I experienced several who were Senior officers with Blue Funnel and never made command through the decimation of that fleet. I had the good fortune to have two as my Chief Officer on Cape Bulkers in the early 80s. One thing they all had in common was that they were all professional. The safety record of Blue Funnel Ship was the envy of the industry. This business of courses laid off in ink. So what!
If I had my time over again I would have joined that 'elite' team of Blue Funnel men.

Hague
26th May 2007, 20:25
Well Ventry, what can I say!. How could I possibly disagree.

railroadbill
2nd June 2007, 09:47
Ventry wrote: If I had my time over again I would have joined that 'elite' team of Blue Funnel men.

Could not agree with you more.
'Blue Flu' was a superb company, simply the best!
(Thumb)

Geoff Garrett
3rd June 2007, 10:14
This is rapidly becoming the saddest thread on the Site. With all these fine chaps running what was one of the most reputable shipping companys' in Europe, tell me this, what was it that caused its rapid exit down the gurgler of shipping history?

Hague
3rd June 2007, 10:42
In a word 'Bad Management' in India Buildings. The bad management cut in around the late 60s but that should not distract from the great things that happened before. Make no mistake, it was different to other companies. Judging by your profile you chose the early command route and the 'good life'.
Like yourself I went for early command but I pursued money in FOC. The manner in which I was trained in the Blue Funnel left a lasting impression which guided me over the years.
I suspect by the 'tenor' of your post that you are a 'closet' Blue Funnel admirer' and just didn't make it.

HENNEGANOL
3rd June 2007, 11:41
I sailed with two Chief Engineers in BP Tankers who were both ex. Blue Flue and who were adamant that they were better off in BP rather than staying with BF. As most of the posts on this thread are from the deck department, I'm wondering if the engineering side was/is of the same opinion.

I don't recall an air of superiority whilst at sea, friendly rivalry yes, between what were well established companies, you made your choice and took your chance as to who you sailed with. If you were not happy you moved on.

If all those Mariners who deserted the Red Ensign to sail with FOC, had stayed with the Red ensign would the British Shipping industry still be in the same mess?

Gerry

Hague
3rd June 2007, 12:07
Gerry,
Were they ex Blue Funnel Chief Engineers ?.... I doubt it. They were probably 2/Eng and moved for promotion and a little more money. Tankers were always considered a 'quick route' for promotion.
You may be confusing superiority with confidence.
As for deserting the Red Ensign. I went to what I considered the best possible place for training in1959/60. At that time Blue Funnel offered that. On passing Second Mates (FG) promotion prospects were abysmal. I moved to tankers and Bulk Carriers until in 72 when old Blue Funnel friend who was Marine Superintendant in LA, Calif offered me a position in FOC. My life. prospects and financial security changed and I never looked back. Ironic that the Red Ensign that people 'clung to' is now nothing more than a FOC. My sympathies for those who did not see the 'writing on the wall'.

HENNEGANOL
3rd June 2007, 12:43
Hague,

In hindsight I'm sure you are right, that promotion was the incentive to change companies.

I transferred from Shipping to Exploration for the same reasons as you changing flags, as I outlined in an earlier post. Fortunately I remained with the same parent Company and retained the benefits that continous employment brings.

Gerry

Hugh Ferguson
3rd June 2007, 15:36
This is rapidly becoming the saddest thread on the Site. With all these fine chaps running what was one of the most reputable shipping companys' in Europe, tell me this, what was it that caused its rapid exit down the gurgler of shipping history?

That must rank as the easiest question ever, to answer. Somebody could do it cheaper!

railroadbill
3rd June 2007, 16:40
The demise of British Shipping.

The Thatcher Government's inability to grasp the situation regarding foreign flag ships utilising subsidized fuel oil.......their answer to British shipowners was 'learn to stand on your own two feet'!
Containerisation replacing conventional cargo liners.
The BIG WHITE ELEPHANTS Nestor and Gastor. A big Ocean management faux pas.
Say no more.(POP)

cheddarnibbles
3rd June 2007, 16:56
Having served my time with Blue Funnel and foolishly choosing to go elsewhere, there was no opposition from my employer. He was quite happy for me to go away and sink some other companies' ships whilst gaining my experience. However, he did say 'Come back when you get your Master's '.
Apparently, this had been their policy before the war, hence their 'superior' clutch of personnel.

Ventry
3rd June 2007, 17:15
Well Geoff Garrett,
I don't think you have much of a 'fan club' in this thread. I stand by what I have already said.

steviej
3rd June 2007, 22:41
I sailed with Ocean in the late sixties as a jun/eng. I left and went elsewhere. I have always regreted leaving a great company.
steviej

eldersuk
3rd June 2007, 23:39
I was with Ocean until 1978 when about 400 from all departments were made redundant. This was largely due to the advent of containerisation and the competition which appeared in the shape of various 'National Lines'. Like a lot of senior officers who had 'grown up' with the company I left with mixed feelings. We had a great deal of loyalty but could see the way the company was going.
The rot set in in the late 1960s when the various companies in the group, each of which had its own management, were put under a single management structure to form Ocean Fleets, while at the same time the senior management, who were vastly experienced in liner shipping, were getting long in the tooth and gradually retiring to be replaced by accountants and bean counters who, as the saying goes, knew the cost of everything and the value of nothing.

Derek

Geoff Garrett
4th June 2007, 06:00
Please accept my most sincere apologies, I retract what I said. I forgot where I was.

makko
4th June 2007, 16:41
Geoff,
You raised a valid point. I was a proud third generation Blue Flu and what Eldersuk says is the bottom line. Without wishing to appear maudlin, I am jotting a few lines that BF'ers inherently understand but if you weren't one would maybe give rise to a mistaken opinion!

During my cadetship, I was sent to Loch Striven to reactivate the Nestor for drydocking, later on I spent several weeks in the "Drawing Office" (it had all gone). Looking through the individual archives for every vessel, I found the last Nestor - Projected cost 13 million final cost nearly 80 million! On a ship that never carried a paying cargo! I agree, it was meltdown in the offices. But, and I hope that I speak for all, the operational people, those on the vessels and in the workshops were very well trained and as Hague says, they are habits that I still use in my work to this day. Again, it was confidence in your ability to do the job probably better than the next man, and dealing with peers under the same understanding. I suppose this is what is misconstrued by many people who were on the outside looking in.

It always makes me laugh - How was the mindset in the offices towards the end? Alfred Holt became a Marine Engineer first and then founded his own shipping line, designing his own vessels and engines - The focus was always the vessels, the line routes and, more importantly, the seastaff that maintained the vessels and the company's name, with high reliability and quality.

I remember one memorable occasion prior to joining ship, going to pick up plane ticket, docs. for the C/E etc in India Buildings. I was with a couple of younger brothers and we were literally emptying the (free) drinks machine. There was a gaggle of people peeking around the corner until one brave soul (pushed I think) came to tell me that the drinks were for the office staff and that I would have to leave. I just turned and snarled "Sea Staff!" which caused a stampede away from me!! I imagine them, to this day with garlic cloves and crucifixes to ward off the savage seafarer! Ha Ha!

And these are not just nostalgic musings. Over time I have come to realize that far from being merely training, a way of life and of doing things was, without you noticing, embedded in you and that was the Blue Funnel way and it showed. Just ask any EngCadet that passed through the Odyssey summer workshop!

I hope that my comments will not be misconstrued and that I haven't rambled too much!

Regards to all,

Dave

Geoff Garrett
5th June 2007, 00:33
A purely hypothetical question and no offence intended here - Had somebody of vision in India Buildings all that time ago, had the foresight to have had all BF staff sent to be retrained at say, Maersk or Evergreen Lines, then would BF still be a familiar feature of the Liverpool landscape today or indeed at its rightful place on every container terminal in East Asia?

makko
5th June 2007, 00:59
Geoff,

Remember that I was engine room side, so I can claim no special knowledge. Onboard, it was business as usual, and so when the end came it was all very sudden and unexpected. Right up till the end, we were still beating other lines vessels for the cargo (the RoRos were capable of 21+kts), in other words, there was no cooperation with any other company or rationalization of routes/cargo, simply competition. We were even beating the Wilmhelmsen boats on nominally the same liner service! I feel that it was almost the whim of someone, somewhere to call it quits, no compassion or desire to continue: quits it was!

I agree, if that someone had existed and had the vision and the weight to pull it off......but, the rest is history. A decision was made and in less than two years it was all gone!

Maybe thats why we bleat on about BluFlue etc, because maybe, just maybe we are still a little hurt about how the rug was pulled out from under our feet! I still feel a tinge when on the odd occasion I walk past India Bldgs and the AH houseflag is still flying or Vittoria Dock with the BF logo. A word picture comes to mind - we became, one and all, ghosts!

Regards,

Dave

rothesian
5th June 2007, 05:20
Back to original thread I hope - There is a story about one ship in Gladstone dock - the day before sailing was visited late in the evening by George Holt - the Middy on gangway watch stopped him coming on board. George Holt complained "Don't you know who I am. I am George Holt"
The middy replied " and I'm J.C. who on your bike"
Next day being sailing day there was a ship's inspection led by George Holt, who, on encountering the same middy greeted him with "Good Morning Mr. Christ" and then moved on. Apparently he was quite impressed by shipboard security.

Hague
12th June 2007, 21:57
Geoff Garret,
It is a question I have often asked myself. Maersk was no bigger in the 60s and Evergreen only small by comparison. I put the failure down to an archaic management systems (you had to experience India Blgs and Odyssey works to understand but, the ships and the manner in which they were run actually on board were second to none. And I think that is what the 'outsider' finds difficult to understand. I got out in 67 as I saw the 'writing on the wall'.

James_C
12th June 2007, 22:05
It didn't help either that a lot of the men on the ground were vehemently against the 'new methods' - both seamen and dockers.
After all, the old ways kept a lot of us employed in a very easy comfortable lifestyle. Jobs for the boys and jobs for life, after all, the modern methods meant a cut in the number of men required to do the job, and for those that remained, it meant they had to work a bit harder (or indeed work).

Geoff Garrett
13th June 2007, 00:22
James C,
You've said it all for me, and I am sure that the Holt family would have seen it also and pulled out not wanting to throw good money after bad.
Rgds.

makko
13th June 2007, 02:41
Geoff, James, John,

That is a good point also. On the RoRo's we had a total crew of 28 - The Norwegian vesels ran with 15, and I am talking about 1984!

Regards,

Dave

Hague
13th June 2007, 23:46
Geoff, James C & Makko,
I seem to recall a post several months ago where I addressed the above by way of the 'work practice' in Odyssey Works ( HMBS Trucks ...one tiny parcel on the aft end of a departmental truck etc...remember) and also India Buildings were it was 'in vogue' to walk around the 6th Floor with a piece of A4 in ones hand to look important. On board ship it was a different story and, it is important you understand this. The deck crew of 15+ men really were needed as they were heavy ships and there were no spare men. The utilization was perhaps questionable as we used to overhaul ALL the 'running gear (24 derricks and Jumbo outward bound). This was on top of the 'runners being replaced on sailing day by the 'shore gang' in Birkenhead. The runners on completion of cargo were taken ashore and a HMBS truck used to arrive on the quay with 26 'runners' (not new but having been inspected) and deposited on board.
The 'nostalgia' that binds men of 'the China' is that we all knew (or knew of) each other. The training was excellent and given by Bosun's who were like no others in the industry (real sailors).
James C refers to the dockers and I think of 'the welt' which was worked by these men and only recently I drove past an 'infamous pub' close to Cathcart Street which was were the dockers used to drink whilst working the welt and that was the Vittoria Vaults (known as 'The Piggy'.) I like to think I was 'privileged' to sail with 'the China' but I am aware of there failings and their demise was very sad.

makko
14th June 2007, 06:53
John,

Not just on the deck side - standards were very high in the engine dept. In the training workshop in Odyssey, there was a lathe with a wooden bed! The bl**dy thing didn't run concentric either...........I was more clued in,after having been involved in Marine Repairs from an early age, but from the many complaints of other Cadets, the dreaded Daggy showed up. After a few moments silence, he picked one individual out who had worked previously in the Royal Armamnent factory or somewhere, "So, what is wrong with the lathe?". He let the guy blather on, then cut him dead - "You are on board ship. Water all around. And all your companions are praying that you can fix that part. What are you going to do, Laddie?". He went on to expound on various miraculous repairs at sea - "And thats why you're here! If you can't do it, you know where the door is!". We've been through this before - PRIDE.

I was probably born Blue, I still work the Blue way and I will probably die Blue too! So there!

Dave

Proud third generation Blue Funneler.

Hague
16th June 2007, 11:07
The 'M' Class.
Does anyone remember a fire on board the 'Maron' in the Indian Ocean around 64/65. If memory serves me correctly, it happened in a Stewards room and was quickly extinguished (Blue Funnel Efficiency). The point I am making is that a sailing day procedure stemmed from this incident.
The were two points of access to the Stewards quarters located on the main deck. The forward access was located in the fore part of the Sailors alleyway (outside the Lampy's room) and and the after access outside the Ch.Stwds cabin. The Ch.Stwds cabin and hence the aft access was separated from the Sailors alleyway by a door which was locked 'personally' by the Ch.Stwd every evening at 2100hrs because the 'crowd' used to disturb the Ch.Stwd on their way to the Bridge. This weakness was 'highlighted' during the incident.

makko
18th June 2007, 06:08
John,
Regarding locked doors........I still can´t do a No.2 with the door shut......at sea, cabin door always open unless sleeping and never close the bathroom door.......Blue Funnel habit? or does anyone else remember this.

Rgds.

Dave

Geoff Garrett
19th June 2007, 00:20
I was probably born Blue, I still work the Blue way and I will probably die Blue too! So there!

Dave

Proud third generation Blue Funneler.

Take care Buddy,
You're the kinda guy George Bush would call a Bluey Fundamentalist and there's a place for guys like you, its called "Gitmo"!

so watchit.

Hague
19th June 2007, 21:16
Good evening Geoff,
Some days ago an old Blue Funnel man joined the site and 'low and behold' he was an 'Old Worcester' and I immediately thought of you. I suggested to him that you would be eager to make contact as I know how you hold us 'China Boat' men in such high esteem.

demodocus
30th October 2007, 03:41
Adrastus under Captain Archibald McLelland Pilcher

He used to sunbathe every warm afternoon on the monkey island in the "altogether". Made going up to take an error interesting. :-)

demodocus
30th October 2007, 04:29
I commenced my BF first deep sea voyage on 10 Feb 1959 on Atreus, the Mate was R*****n. I completed my last deep sea BF voyage Dec 1962 also on Atreus and the Mate was still R*****n.

In that I was at sea for MY benefit rather than Alfies I left them and was on a Comet flight to Hong Kong 5 weeks later with a still wet 2nd Mates ticket in my pocket. Just over 4 years later I was Chief Officer with a FG Masters.

In mid-1967 I had dinner with R*****n in Kobe. He was still Chief Officer in Blue Funnel and I was a brand new Master of a much larger and more modern ship than his (FOC). He was a bitter and angry man, but he wouldn't leave BF because he'd 'lose his seniority'. A lot of good it did him.

Yes, I am grateful to BF for having given me training which stood me in good stead throughout my sea going career. But by the same token I gave them 4 years of very cheap labour. If I'd stayed with Alfies then by 1967 it was just possible that I'd have reached the dizzy heights of 2nd Mate.

Blue Funnel hired me, they didn't buy me.

Bill Davies
30th October 2007, 14:40
I commenced my BF first deep sea voyage on 10 Feb 1959 on Atreus, the Mate was R*****n. I completed my last deep sea BF voyage Dec 1962 also on Atreus and the Mate was still R*****n.

In that I was at sea for MY benefit rather than Alfies I left them and was on a Comet flight to Hong Kong 5 weeks later with a still wet 2nd Mates ticket in my pocket. Just over 4 years later I was Chief Officer with a FG Masters.

In mid-1967 I had dinner with R*****n in Kobe. He was still Chief Officer in Blue Funnel and I was a brand new Master of a much larger and more modern ship than his (FOC). He was a bitter and angry man, but he wouldn't leave BF because he'd 'lose his seniority'. A lot of good it did him.

Yes, I am grateful to BF for having given me training which stood me in good stead throughout my sea going career. But by the same token I gave them 4 years of very cheap labour. If I'd stayed with Alfies then by 1967 it was just possible that I'd have reached the dizzy heights of 2nd Mate.

Blue Funnel hired me, they didn't buy me.

Demodocus,
Interesting post and almost quotes verbatim one of my previous. On obtaining Second Mates (FG) end of 61 I was told in India Bldgs that if I kept my 'nose clean sonny' I would have my own command by the time I was 50 (tell that to a 21 year old). I subsequently obtained command at the age of 30 (FOC).
Saying that, I still maintain that our training in Holts was the best available at the time. I am trying to figure out who R......... was but a very similar thing happend with me with Hughie Davies. I caught up with him for a drink in Chester in 66 . He was probably the most Senior Ch.Off at the time (Peleus) and I was mate of a British tramp. He was mate when I was Deck Boy in 55 The really sad thing is there were many in BF who'hung on' and never got command. Some ending up on the coast etc..

Brgds

Bill

R651400
31st October 2007, 09:43
He used to sunbathe every warm afternoon on the monkey island in the "altogether". Made going up to take an error interesting. :-)
Spot on GTCW (Demod's call letters) A-Mc-P did exactly same on Adrastus.
Another example of a cradle to grave BF skipper as it was reputed he had the biggest dongle in the outfit when he was a middie.
A good enough skipper who typically never once socialised with his officers or crew.

selwyn thomas
23rd March 2008, 23:49
just remembering one joining day /sailing same, when the 2nd cook arrived in his own chaffaur driven rolls royce. Can't remember his name but he was loaded and went to sea for the booze 'so i was told'. This was mid 70's in birkenhead. Lycaon ('A' class)

oceangoer
23rd March 2008, 23:59
Another example of a cradle to grave BF skipper as it was reputed he had the biggest dongle in the outfit when he was a middie.


I think that honour goes to a Middy called Safi-el-Din (son of a Suez canal pilot). Spent most of his time in port exercising his equipment which reached to just short of his knee. :)

KIWI
24th March 2008, 01:08
As an outsider reading this & other threads on Blue Funnel it seems to me that management were sadly lacking in man management among other aspects of running a shipping company.To not have been able to harness the company loyalty expressed to more efficient operational procedures etc speaks for itself. Kiwi

makko
24th March 2008, 02:56
Kiwi,
An astute analysis with which I concur. I believe, and this from a "family" tradition person, that all went out of the window when it stopped being Holts or China Steam and became "Ocean Transport & Trading" with the sea side becoming "Ocean Fleets". Maybe I was too young to realize it then.......! Well, I was just a pimply faced 17 year old Eng Cadet in 1980!! Looking back, I expected more and didn't find it.

Thx and Rgds.
Dave

rothesian
24th March 2008, 23:53
I think that honour goes to a Middy called Safi-el-Din (son of a Suez canal pilot). Spent most of his time in port exercising his equipment which reached to just short of his knee. :)

my guess it might be Safi Samil , same connection (no chain locker ), lived at Aulis while taking his 2nd mates in 1966 but spent most of his time near by in a towerblock. He often complained that "she" just wouldn't leave him alone.(Thumb)

sailingday
25th March 2008, 15:05
Sailing Day
Panic in the restaurant,no fixed seats, the longer you could keep your table occupied the better. From Liverpool we had all been for a final bevvie, Cunard men used the Stile House CPR frequented the Pig & Whistle

john meekin
3rd September 2008, 00:39
sow-sow-la,where was i when all this palava was going on? i did 21 trips deep sea with B.F.as ab ls, and i didn,t see any of this. i just signed on got aboard got my cabin,my bed linen,met up with the rest of the deckies,and "socialised",till it was time for stations.i think the bosun would come round with the watch list.we just made the most of our last few hours,and i enjoyed every trip regards yorkie meekin

Pat Kennedy
3rd September 2008, 09:21
Exactly my experience John. It tended to be a bit quiet, most people lost in their own thoughts. My main concern was trying to nab the bottom bunk.
Pat

seeanji
2nd March 2011, 18:20
You can also put LORD JOHN PRESCOTT in the frame for the demise.