India Buildings

Trevorw
21st March 2007, 20:21
Do any of you ex Blue Flu' R/O's out there remember Stan Lidgate and *** Metcalfe? They used to look after the Sparkies in H/O. Both absolute gentlemen. I remember in 1960, I was about to be promoted 1st R?O, but Stan Lidgate said, "You haven't been to Indonesia yet, so I had to do two four monthers on "Antilochus" before I got my promotion on "Demodocus"!

Hague
22nd March 2007, 13:27
Assuming that the asterisks were not implying something else, would it be Stan Metcalf as that name does ring a bell.
Brgds
Hague

R651400
24th March 2007, 16:03
Charlie Metcalfe, I think is correct. Stan Lidgate, one of nature's gentleman also had a brother Wilf that I met in later years who also sailed with BF.

Graham McMorine
25th March 2007, 23:02
Charlie Metcalfe, I think is correct. Stan Lidgate, one of nature's gentleman also had a brother Wilf that I met in later years who also sailed with BF.

Charlie is indeed correct as I have many letters from him during my time with blue flue. He always signed off as Chas. and a nicer guy you could never meet.(Thumb)

Hague
1st April 2007, 10:36
We can all recall the various stores within the Odyssey Works i.e,
The Marine Stores (Jach Ratchford), The Engineers Stores (Bob Farquhar), The Boat Shed ( Dougie Jardine). Each Store has its very own truck to transports its goods to the ships. These blue open trucks had HMBS (Holt's Mutual Benefit Society) on the side. My observations of working in the stores for several months before I entered the Deck School was that no matter how small the parcel ( a fuel pump) it would be centralized on the back of the truck and made fast with many turns of heaving line. This truck was obviously belonging the the Engineers stores. If the Marine had a 'Gantline' or the Boat Shed had a Cargo Net destined for the same vessel, say in Gladstone, forget it. It had to go on it's own truck even if it was elsewhere. It was my very first introduction as a 15 year old to what was to come in the country in general..........All that after Sunday morning breakfast!!

eldersuk
1st April 2007, 22:51
When Elders came under the Blue Funnel wing we had the "privilege" of being serviced by Odyssey Works. I well remember these trucks shuttling backwards and forwards through the Mersey Tunnel carrying a tin of paint or a box of nuts and bolts. All this at a time when we on the ships were being browbeaten to save money.

It seemed that OW were a law unto themselves, their fitters were most reluctant to cooperate with ships' engineers on repairs and some of the stuff returned to the ship after so-called overhaul was worse than when it went ashore. There was an apocryphal story that some bright spark there fitted a cooler with stainless steel sacrificial anodes - because the zinc ones were wearing out too quickly!!!

It seems that the management shake up when the companies re-invented themselves as Ocean Fleets was not entirely successful.

Derek

R651400
2nd April 2007, 07:17
The long and the short of it Derek, blue is still around today but it is all Maersk.
A company no bigger and possibly even smaller than Blue Funnel when I first went to sea but obviously without any of the suicidal tendencies you have explained above.

Hague
2nd April 2007, 08:19
When Elders came under the Blue Funnel wing we had the "privilege" of being serviced by Odyssey Works. I well remember these trucks shuttling backwards and forwards through the Mersey Tunnel carrying a tin of paint or a box of nuts and bolts. All this at a time when we on the ships were being browbeaten to save money.

It seemed that OW were a law unto themselves, their fitters were most reluctant to cooperate with ships' engineers on repairs and some of the stuff returned to the ship after so-called overhaul was worse than when it went ashore. There was an apocryphal story that some bright spark there fitted a cooler with stainless steel sacrificial anodes - because the zinc ones were wearing out too quickly!!!

It seems that the management shake up when the companies re-invented themselves as Ocean Fleets was not entirely successful.

Derek

Good morning Eldersuk
The management of the new styled Ocean Fleets was nothing nothing more than the product of the two amalgamated dinosaur management systems. Even at sea, which most of the readers are interested in there was a great deal of resentment in the seniority. I recall being on the 'Priam' when we were outward bound and the C/Off (very senior by definition of the Ship and abt 45) went almost ballistic because he learnt on passing 'Rhexenor' that an ED man was Master. And, to add insult to injury the ED man was a 'mere child' of 38. The fact that he was senior in EDs didn't matter.

Eggo
2nd April 2007, 09:34
The relevence of visiting Indonesia for a R/O Trevorw is not clear to me , do their coast stions have different WT procedure ??????????????????

eldersuk
2nd April 2007, 22:31
I agree with Hague, the amalgamation of two companies the size of Blue Funnel and Elder Dempster was guaranteed to foster resentments in the seniority structure. As Hague can quote Blue Funnel people who lost out, I can quote probably as many ED people including one who went through all the rigmarole of being promoted to command only to be told later that he had slipped to 14th on the list.
It appeared that when the management was sorted out a lot of very able men from both companies who had proved themselves over the years found themselves out of a job, conversely a lot of people found themselves promoted beyond their abilities. The results of this policy are there for all to see with the fiascos of the gas carriers and the Titan - two trades about which Ocean knew nothing at all and yet invested many millions of pounds. Policies which forced the eventual demise of the group.

Derek

Trevorw
3rd April 2007, 12:47
The relevence of visiting Indonesia for a R/O Trevorw is not clear to me , do their coast stions have different WT procedure ??????????????????

Nothing to do with W/T. In Blue Flu' the 1st R/O was "Purser" and had to deal with everything to do with Cargo, Agents Port Health etc. etc. etc. If you hadn't been to Indonesia you were't familiar with the routines there.

Eggo
3rd April 2007, 13:09
Trevorw ,yes I remember now the R/O did deal with other things.Les

makko
3rd April 2007, 15:14
Regarding OTT and the ship´s office.....We knew things were on the way down when called to the office on B.Memnon, still in boiler suit and recently finished with engines, having arrived in Houston, to have a mug shot for our Liberian papers (We had to sign off and on too!). Then on Barber Priam getting Panama papers......Yes, the RO and C Steward handled the office work in port. On the Barber Priam, we had a shore office specifically for cargo and bills of lading, installed in a 20' container and fitted with satellite (?) comms. This was installed on dockside, next to the ramp.

Rgds.

Dave

Sow-Sow-La
14th April 2007, 08:54
Here's a good website for all the Sparkies out there.
http://www.wirelesscollege.freeserve.co.uk/

Tom Inglis
7th May 2007, 17:12
I spent 10 years at sea with Blue Funnel then after aotain ing Masters ticket i spent six months in the office working with Charlie Metcalfe. yes a lovely chap. sadly he died about 5 years ago. I then [1968] went to Jakarta and spent 5 years based there as Suprtintendent for Blue Funnel in Indonesia.
After that I was in Taiwan as Shipping manager for Harrison & Crossfield [shipping agents] . After 4 years there I returned to UK andspent the last 30 years in Herefrodshire workingh in Transport and logistics.
The demise of Blue Funnel was very sad and has to be blamed on the directors responsible at the time. The formation of Ocean Fleets was the start of the slippery slope. I am still in touch with a number of seagoing friends from thise days including Peter Brown who was on the Agapenor alongside Melampus in the bitter lakes .
In Taiwan I was agent for Maersk and have to agree with comment about how successful the are
All the best
Tom Inglis

Hague
7th May 2007, 18:15
Well Tom,
You will find plenty of like minded people on this site. I saw the writing on the wall in 67 and left but , I am the first to say that there was no other company like it for training and sheer professionalism. Pity about the Directors.

Mike Kemble
10th May 2007, 22:16
I took this a long long time ago in Birkenhead docks

Trevorw
11th May 2007, 20:54
What's the one astern of "Clytoneus" - is it "Atreus"?

Mike Kemble
11th May 2007, 21:13
This is a shot from further up the dock looking back = Ixion ??

Trevorw
11th May 2007, 22:41
Yes, of course it is! But then you had the gift of foresight whilst I only had hindsight and an intuition for Blueys with shorth names!! When wre you with AH?

Hague
11th May 2007, 23:30
Mike/Trevorw
The photo was not taken in Birkenhead docks.
The 'IXION' was an Australian boat and as such did not grace the fair waters of Birkenhead. Gladsone in Gladstone out!
But just look at those moorings. Bites on the breast lines and Eye and Bite on the springs ( can only be 'the China').

Mike Kemble
12th May 2007, 17:55
Mike/Trevorw
The photo was not taken in Birkenhead docks.
The 'IXION' was an Australian boat and as such did not grace the fair waters of Birkenhead. Gladstone in Gladstone out!
But just look at those moorings. Bites on the breast lines and Eye and Bite on the springs ( can only be 'the China').

I am fairly sure it was Birkenhead and possibly during the time they were building the container section, or starting it, in Gladstone. Do not understand you "china" references" though.

Hague
12th May 2007, 18:24
Mike,
Virtually the whole on the British Merchant Navy referred to the Blue Funnel Line as ' the China'. Clearly derived from the ships being 'China Boats'.
As for location I would say 'Gladstone Dock'. However, what happened after 67 is another story. I am afraid my 'China Boat' nostalgia is in the range 59 through 67.

Mike Kemble
12th May 2007, 20:46
Ah I see, thanks for that info.

eldersuk
2nd June 2007, 00:09
India Buildings, Water Street, Liverpool, also known as 'House of Mirth', 'The Kremlin', 'Disneyland' etc.

Derek

R651400
2nd June 2007, 06:16
Mike,
Virtually the whole on the British Merchant Navy referred to the Blue Funnel Line as ' the China'. Clearly derived from the ships being 'China Boats'.
As for location I would say 'Gladstone Dock'. However, what happened after 67 is another story. I am afraid my 'China Boat' nostalgia is in the range 59 through 67.

Was recently in my old watering hole Masons Arms next door to Belhaven brewery in Scotland and another ex MN local remarked "The China boats," when I told him what shipping company I was with. In my four years with BF 56-60 I never once heard this term mentioned. Charlie Metcalfe ran the radio section as number two alongside Stan Lidgate. Charlie was a dapper Clark Gable type in those days.

Mike Kemble
2nd June 2007, 12:02
Dont know if any of you have seen India Buildings of late but the "mall" that runs through the ground floor centre is just as I recall it in the mid 60s. The elaborately decorated ceilings are gleaming, a real treasure!!!

Tai Pan
12th June 2007, 13:48
Nothing to do with W/T. In Blue Flu' the 1st R/O was "Purser" and had to deal with everything to do with Cargo, Agents Port Health etc. etc. etc. If you hadn't been to Indonesia you were't familiar with the routines there.

Remember Tanjong Priok, ugh

Tai Pan
12th June 2007, 13:52
Do any of you ex Blue Flu' R/O's out there remember Stan Lidgate and *** Metcalfe? They used to look after the Sparkies in H/O. Both absolute gentlemen. I remember in 1960, I was about to be promoted 1st R?O, but Stan Lidgate said, "You haven't been to Indonesia yet, so I had to do two four monthers on "Antilochus" before I got my promotion on "Demodocus"!
Charlie Metcalf, and what did you do to upset him, sending you to Tanjong Priok etc.

makko
12th June 2007, 15:18
If I remember right, Tanjong Priok means Ship Port. Remember Times Square. We had a memorable New Year`s party in one of the bigger bars! (we rented it with food layed on etc.)

Rgds.

Dave

Mike Kemble
16th June 2007, 20:38
I can confirm that Ixion & Clytoneus were taken in Birkenhead (by me) - I found the old album and surrounding it are images of the "Four Bridges" and of Spillers Mill where I worked 69-71, the period of which I took the images. They (the ships) were moored on the West float, Wallasey side, not far from Duke Street Bridge.

makko
18th June 2007, 05:03
Mike,

Any memories of Edward "H" Hooper at Spillers (13 driving awards!).

Rgds.

Dave

Mike Kemble
18th June 2007, 17:26
Hey Dave, no sorry. I was working on No 1 Floor with the chargehand Roy. Never got to see the drivers.

makko
18th June 2007, 17:38
Thanks Mike.

Rgds.

Dave

Mike Kemble
23rd February 2008, 21:05
I am fairly sure it was Birkenhead and possibly during the time they were building the container section, or starting it, in Gladstone. Do not understand you "china" references" though.I found this image of the Clytoneus leaving the Birkenhead Dock lock gates.


http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v660/elbmek/Clytoneus.jpg

ascanius
21st March 2008, 00:30
Dont know if any of you have seen India Buildings of late but the "mall" that runs through the ground floor centre is just as I recall it in the mid 60s. The elaborately decorated ceilings are gleaming, a real treasure!!!

Apart from the fact that the doors are now automatic, the lift operators have gone, the central lifts upto floors 6, 7 & 8 are no more. The chemist's shop vanished and is now an Antique shop *** barber. Lloyds Bank moved out to cheaper premises.

Mike Kemble
21st March 2008, 19:55
Yeah ok, apart from the new roof, new walls, refitted offices, loss of all the shipping companies and new century, its just as I recall (Thumb)

Bill Davies
21st March 2008, 20:07
India Buildings?? That's were the BF Officer's reported! I used the arcade many times as a shortcut from the Pig & Whistle to the Slaughter House. I used to stop momentarily dreaming of the day that I too would be called to those hollowed offices but alas that was not to be and Odyssey works was my lot.

R651400
22nd March 2008, 13:14
Dont know if any of you have seen India Buildings of late but the "mall" that runs through the ground floor centre is just as I recall it in the mid 60s. The elaborately decorated ceilings are gleaming, a real treasure!!!
The mall I remember all the way along both sides had superb ship-builders models of post-war Blueys in glass cases.
Made one proud to be part of the outfit that owned them