Midshipman's Log

cheddarnibbles
17th March 2007, 13:54
I was a middie with Blue Funnel from November'58 until March '62. The shoreside boss was one R.E.Hutson.Between voyages he stored the mddies' logs in a small cupboard on the sixth floor of India Buildings.

We were obliged to write half a page of foolscap for every day on board and so it became the diary of a young man's prime of life. Every port visited and every single task undertaken was logged in detail.(Not shoreleave though, you kept those details to yourself for obvious reasons ??? !!!)
Okay, so most days began " Called at 0545. Cleaned bridge brass scrubbed the decks and holystoned the taff rails" .Breakfast at 8, Turned to at 9 et cetera...... But what of Semarang, Shanghai,Port Alma , Cairns, Labuan and all those wonderful places. What about cargo watching in Nakhodka and cleaning wells out after a cargo of bulk copra. A veritable treasure chest of nostalgia written in ones own fair hand......

What happened to all those stiff backed foolscap books ?? And did fellow middies leave theirs behind when you went away to other companies ?

The worst mistake I made was leaving Blue Flue, the second worst was leaving my log in that cupboard in Liverpool.

colinj
17th March 2007, 17:47
I still have mine,the last entry being for the week July 10/16 1960 aboard 'Eumaeus' recording the last few days of her voyage from the Far East to London where she was to be transferred to the Dutch flag(NSMO).As you say many of the duties recorded each week were very mundane.Brass polishing,scrubbing out the wheelhouse,sand and canvassing the wooden rails
bu also a great record of ports visited,shipmates ,cargo carried and weather experienced.On several ships,the logbooks were examined and initialled each week by the Chief Officer-presumably to ensure no incriminating entries were included which might be picked up when the books were looked at in India Buildings

John_F
17th March 2007, 19:48
Cheddarnibbles,
We had a similar discipline in BP. We had to submit a double page of foolscap writing once a week to the Old Man. He read it, censored it if he thought there was anything of a delicate nature which would have upset personnel in Head Office & signed each weekly entry. Twice a year the journals were submitted to Head Office for marking.
I still have my journal in its entirety plus most of the letters that I wrote home which my mother kept. I regret now that I did not put more effort into the journal writing - it was always a bind as there always seemed something better to do with one's time. In addition, when you were on the Coast, there was never much time anyway. One day, when I fully retire, I will get it all down on disc & hope my kids will appreciate it in years to come.
Kind regards,
John.

cheddarnibbles
17th March 2007, 20:17
colinj Amazing isn't it ? How useful those records could now be....and I thought nothing of it at the time.

John F. You are about to do what I wanted to.....good luck with the CD....the kids will love it !

thunderd
18th March 2007, 00:22
This is great stuff and although this is not the venue to do it, those of you who feel inclined to do so should publish these logs on other sites that cater for this sort of thing and make a note where you have done so in this thread.

I personally would enjoy them immensely and would love to read them.

cheddarnibbles
18th March 2007, 13:19
This is great stuff and although this is not the venue to do it, those of you who feel inclined to do so should publish these logs on other sites that cater for this sort of thing and make a note where you have done so in this thread.

I personally would enjoy them immensely and would love to read them.

Nice one Derek.

I also think they would make fascinating reading and look forward to getting some links to sites via this thread.

Come on lads.....don't be shy....get 'em posted.

John_F
18th March 2007, 22:47
Cheddarnibbles,
Its not a question of being shy, more a question of time. Certainly, when I retire, it will be one of my first jobs (along with all the others that my wife has lined up!). I also have my father's & my grandfather's diaries as well to commit to disc.
I think I may stay at work.....
Kind regards,
John.

Allan James
19th March 2007, 21:56
Cheddarnibbles,

I joined Ocean as a Middie in 75, and Mr Hudson was the boss at Aulis then, think he retired in about 76-77 when Terry Beggs took over.

You say he was the shoreside boss was Mr Hudson when you were a Middie, when did he start???? I can remember a nice gentleman who enjoyed having Middies around him. Still got my agreement signed by him when I joined Ocean, one of these days I've really got to get myself sat down and copy photos and other bits and pieces I've got around, someone may enjoy them!

Anyone else remember him?

I read somewhere earlier that Mr Beggs is living in Menai having been the principle at Indifatigible. He was another splendid man with a great sense of humour and the ability to get the best from the laziest Middie (Me??)

Regards

Allan

Peter Martin
11th June 2007, 11:16
Hmmmm. Got my log on the shelf next to my desk. Transcribed two voyages and posted them on "All At Sea".

Strachan
22nd November 2011, 00:37
Cheddarnibbles,

I joined Ocean as a Middie in 75, and Mr Hudson was the boss at Aulis then, think he retired in about 76-77 when Terry Beggs took over.



Actually that name was Hutson :-)

Jardine
22nd November 2011, 09:13
Actually that name was Hutson :-)

We've got that right! I heard he had a son in T & J Harrisons?

Strachan
9th December 2011, 05:29
We've got that right! I heard he had a son in T & J Harrisons?

I don't know about his son, but the other fellow in the 6th Floor office was L. Richards who used to initial our Logbooks in red or green biro "LR". I believe he was a 2nd Mate who had eyesight trouble. Nice chap.

Jardine
10th December 2011, 10:27
I seem to recall a Second Mate who suffered serious injuries in a tween deck fall on the 'Ajax' or 'Antenor'. Adrian ????? (ginger haired). He ended up in Odyssey works training middies and deck boys.

Hugh Ferguson
2nd February 2012, 18:21
Midshipman's joining letter from Holts

Barrie Youde
2nd February 2012, 19:21
I still have my log-book, too; and also I recall receiving a similar letter from India Buildings in 1959, even though Alfred Holt & Co knew that my time in the company would be a mere twelve months or so before going into pilotage.

Being reminded of the warnings against the "vices which are all too apparent in the seaports of the world" reminds me of the shock-horror expressed by my dear Mama when she read a letter which I had sent home to my older brother describing in some detail my own experiences of some of those vices. Dear Mum said "How could the Captain allow you to go ashore so late at night?"

Dear Ma.

Ron Stringer
2nd February 2012, 23:13
Midshipman's joining letter from Holts

Reads like an excerpt from "Scouting For Boys" 1908, rather than an article of employment written in 1958.

trotterdotpom
2nd February 2012, 23:52
Sound advice except for the bit about not drinking p*ss.

John T

Tai Pan
3rd February 2012, 11:25
WE Radio Officers have done that, formed an association and we publish a quarterley journal, all contributions from members. so we are building a history, journal is on show at Greenwich and Liverpool museums. We need the history of the MN, how it actually was and not through some shore side writers imagination. good luck chaps.

cheddarnibbles
3rd February 2012, 13:11
Midshipman's joining letter from Holts

Thanks for that Hugh. It makes a pleasant change from the daily rubbish written about 'Costa Concordia'.

I have printed it off for my grandchildren.