British Light

Steve Hodges
29th March 2007, 22:35
Any of you out there sail on the British Light? My first ship, joined her as E/C in 1972 - if I remember correctly after all this time, Jock Strachan was master and Chris White was C/E. A happy ship then, although she was falling to pieces. The "eyeties" were supposed to be an engineer's nightmare and a real "punishment posting", but because I was a first tripper I didn't know any better - I even volunteered to go back on them later as Junior and the office staff nearly bit my hand off, they put me back on the Light before I had the chance to change my mind. When I later sailed on British-built steamers, everything seemed much, much simpler...
Steve

Graham Wallace
30th March 2007, 05:58
Steve,
I know of 21 others who sailed on her excluding you and I . I did not like her in 1961, god knows how she lasted until 1975
Graham wallace

Gulpers
30th March 2007, 06:33
Steve,

Had you by any chance returned to British Light by January 1974, when she was struck by Captayannis off Greenock?

Captayannis thread here (http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/showthread.php?t=2464&highlight=clyde+wreck)

Steve Hodges
31st March 2007, 09:24
Steve,

Had you by any chance returned to British Light by January 1974, when she was struck by Captayannis off Greenock?

Captayannis thread here (http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/showthread.php?t=2464&highlight=clyde+wreck)

Hi Ray,
No, I got let off for good behaviour in March 1973. I would imagine that if anything hit her after that she would have fallen apart.
Regards
Steve

Gulpers
31st March 2007, 13:16
Hi Ray,
No, I got let off for good behaviour in March 1973. I would imagine that if anything hit her after that she would have fallen apart.
Regards
Steve

Steve,

That good, eh! Must have been an "interesting" ship! (==D)

All the best,

Steve Hodges
2nd April 2007, 11:55
Steve,

That good, eh! Must have been an "interesting" ship! (==D)

All the best,

Yes, Ray, very "interesting". The class had very complex steam systems - high, low and intermediate pressure bled steam circuits - I had to trace out and draw the lot for my cadet's notebook. All the engineering drawings were annotated in Italian, and all the auxiliaries were of "exotic" manufacture. Also the steel pipework seemd very prone to corrosion, I never used so many fibreglass patches in my life. If the hull was made of the same stuff its a wonder they survived as long as they did.
I would like to have seen the Greek engineers' faces when they first went below after they bought her...
Best regards
Steve

Jim Glover
11th April 2007, 22:37
Joined 1st August 1970 Dubai as 1st trip junior engineer,hated every minute onboard,glad when I paid off,and joined my next ship British Courage in Durban,that was another experience. Eventually joined Shell Tankers until 1980,

Steve Hodges
15th April 2007, 21:16
Joined 1st August 1970 Dubai as 1st trip junior engineer,hated every minute onboard,glad when I paid off,and joined my next ship British Courage in Durban,that was another experience. Eventually joined Shell Tankers until 1980,

Jim,
As J/E you will no doubt remember the joys of sootblowing by hand because all the electric motors were buggered - 13 on each boiler, cranking the handle umpteen turns in then the same back out. In the Gulf on the 12-4 I used to have a curry before I went on watch, blow tubes on our boiler, stagger out of the uptake casing into the cross alley behind the saloon, then go and throw it all up over the rail. The Old Man and the Chief complained because I was putting them off their lunch, told me to use the other side.
Steve

Jim Glover
27th April 2007, 10:51
Steve,
That was my very first job (sootblowing)on the Light as a first trippper,1st August just of Dubai ,HSE would have a field day if they saw the conditions then.In fact I remember we had an engineer cadet who had come up for morning smoko and keeled over dead ,the lecky who was an experienced first aider brought him back to life.

Steve Hodges
28th April 2007, 22:11
Steve,
That was my very first job (sootblowing)on the Light as a first trippper,1st August just of Dubai ,HSE would have a field day if they saw the conditions then.In fact I remember we had an engineer cadet who had come up for morning smoko and keeled over dead ,the lecky who was an experienced first aider brought him back to life.

Crikey, Jim, the prospect of being given "mouth to mouth" by any of the leckys I sailed with would have had me up and running in no time.

david freeman
3rd May 2007, 11:00
the ITS were workhorses.Tanker

wedgewood
30th January 2008, 20:10
My first ship as J/E was the Light from May to Dec 1963. I do remember sootblowing, these new fangled air operated control valves not to mention (as others have ) the turning gear. I did enjoy the ship however. Stylish looks and good accomodation for its time

jehumble
21st May 2013, 17:47
My first trip as a cadet was the Star in 62, seem to remember the Stbd. boiler ending on the boat deck, looked just like a nuclear explosion, happened just after the evening meal, Jimmy Kinsella was 2nd. engineer. Hadn't the slightest idea what was going on but loved every minute of it. My first trip as junior engineer was on the Signal, spent nearly a year on her learned a little bit more, more importantly after my previous two ships the Courage and the Councillor,I realised the Italians were far more advanced than British ships of the same period, possibly a reason people did not like them. My first trip as chief engineer was on the Light!!! A previous trip had been on the Light as 2nd Eng with Chris and Beryl White (1971), the vessel had just had all her auto gear overhauled or replaced, materials were still poor and welding skills were a must, but so long as you used the systems as they were designed she was a joy to sail on. My first trip as chief, I had relieved a chief called Dickenson? and my job was to take her to scrap, we sailed from Genoa and before we reached Gibraltar the charter rates had gone through the roof, so we made one more run to the Gulf, is there any body out there who can remember it? Everything happened to us, Bulkheads collapsed, Boilers contaminated with oil, Blackouts, at one stage I fell out with my third engineer and if he is on this sight I apologise, you were correct. At the end of the trip she went to the clyde for a complete refit. Yes I joined her again as 2nd/ch eng and had a reasonably uneventful trip. I agree the materials used in these ships were poor, but the concept was good, on my final trip on the light I was asked to sail them with a single watchkeeping engineer, we tried it on a number of occasions and other than for topping up the stm,stm gen. tank the auto gear looked after all plant fluctuations.

twogrumpy
21st May 2013, 18:08
Crikey, Jim, the prospect of being given "mouth to mouth" by any of the leckys I sailed with would have had me up and running in no time.

Hey, watch it!!

2G

Graham Wallace
22nd May 2013, 00:09
Ah! memories of the Light's ER circa1961

#1 The young one on the right is me 4E. on the left is Fred Wilson 3E , he was 2E on the Crown and killed in 1966 hence my specific interest in the Crown Disaster

#2, Main control panel

#3 All you soot blower's take notice there is the result of your actions. I also blew them when JE, just a tad warm !

#4 Not a good pic of bolier room , thats me again looking around 15 this time!

I have one of the TA's but cannot find it at present.

Graham

Hugh Ferguson
22nd May 2013, 09:37
See HERE (http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/showthread.php?t=49180&page=8#191) for a night in the Light!

twogrumpy
22nd May 2013, 16:06
Ah! memories of the Light's ER circa1961

#1 The young one on the right is me 4E. on the left is Fred Wilson 3E , he was 2E on the Crown and killed in 1966 hence my specific interest in the Crown Disaster

#2, Main control panel

#3 All you soot blower's take notice there is the result of your actions. I also blew them when JE, just a tad warm !

#4 Not a good pic of bolier room , thats me again looking around 15 this time!

I have one of the TA's but cannot find it at present.

Graham

Goodness Graham she looks quite clean.

2G

sparks69
22nd May 2013, 17:04
My memories of the Italian ships were that they only carried a Chief Engineer who just kept sending telegrams for spares require urgently at the next port to keep the job going. I never saw any other engineers. Well that was the view from my shack !
:)

twogrumpy
22nd May 2013, 19:04
The Comet, what a mess.

2G

(Cloud)

Graham Wallace
22nd May 2013, 19:29
The Comet, what a mess.

2G

(Cloud)

Goodness 2G, she looks a bloody wreck.

Graham

Hugh Ferguson
22nd May 2013, 19:59
I was piloting one of that class that shut down half way up the Medway buoyed approach channel-seemed a very long ten minutes before they got her going again.

Alan Dunk
23rd May 2013, 10:17
I also was a first trip J/E on the British Light I joined on the 7 Nov 1960
and paid off on the 28 November 1960. I did not find the ship bad, all modern cons etc it was certain engineers and cadets a clique that could not break into. Within a week of leaving I joined another company and was at sea for a total of 16 years.

Alan J Dunk

Steve Hodges
23rd May 2013, 21:07
Ah! memories of the Light's ER circa1961

#1 The young one on the right is me 4E. on the left is Fred Wilson 3E , he was 2E on the Crown and killed in 1966 hence my specific interest in the Crown Disaster

#2, Main control panel

#3 All you soot blower's take notice there is the result of your actions. I also blew them when JE, just a tad warm !

#4 Not a good pic of bolier room , thats me again looking around 15 this time!

I have one of the TA's but cannot find it at present.

Graham

Thanks for digging these photos out, Graham, they really brought back memories.

Graham Wallace
23rd May 2013, 21:24
I finally found the Light TA platform, The photo is taken from the main control panel looking forward.

2G. Hells bells she looks clean there too. Unfortunately I have no recollection of that area at all.

Graham

Steve Hodges
23rd May 2013, 21:33
My first trip as a cadet was the Star in 62, seem to remember the Stbd. boiler ending on the boat deck, looked just like a nuclear explosion, happened just after the evening meal, Jimmy Kinsella was 2nd. engineer. Hadn't the slightest idea what was going on but loved every minute of it. My first trip as junior engineer was on the Signal, spent nearly a year on her learned a little bit more, more importantly after my previous two ships the Courage and the Councillor,I realised the Italians were far more advanced than British ships of the same period, possibly a reason people did not like them. My first trip as chief engineer was on the Light!!! A previous trip had been on the Light as 2nd Eng with Chris and Beryl White (1971), the vessel had just had all her auto gear overhauled or replaced, materials were still poor and welding skills were a must, but so long as you used the systems as they were designed she was a joy to sail on. My first trip as chief, I had relieved a chief called Dickenson? and my job was to take her to scrap, we sailed from Genoa and before we reached Gibraltar the charter rates had gone through the roof, so we made one more run to the Gulf, is there any body out there who can remember it? Everything happened to us, Bulkheads collapsed, Boilers contaminated with oil, Blackouts, at one stage I fell out with my third engineer and if he is on this sight I apologise, you were correct. At the end of the trip she went to the clyde for a complete refit. Yes I joined her again as 2nd/ch eng and had a reasonably uneventful trip. I agree the materials used in these ships were poor, but the concept was good, on my final trip on the light I was asked to sail them with a single watchkeeping engineer, we tried it on a number of occasions and other than for topping up the stm,stm gen. tank the auto gear looked after all plant fluctuations.

Sir, I salute you for your perseverance! I always thought that the Eyeties were sophisticated for their time; I can imagine that they were a shock to anyone joining after years on British-built steamers and in their later years probably most engineers found themselves too busy "firefighting" to appreciate the niceties of design.

John Paul
23rd May 2013, 22:32
I never sailed with BP but remember the British Light drydocking in Falmouth in 1964. The engine room pumps were stripped and all the rotating parts brought over to the drawing office where they were measured and drawings prepared.
Not sure now if these were sent to London and or a copy placed on board.
this was an interesting job
cheers
john paul

david freeman
23rd June 2013, 10:47
My first trip as a cadet was the Star in 62, seem to remember the Stbd. boiler ending on the boat deck, looked just like a nuclear explosion, happened just after the evening meal, Jimmy Kinsella was 2nd. engineer. Hadn't the slightest idea what was going on but loved every minute of it. My first trip as junior engineer was on the Signal, spent nearly a year on her learned a little bit more, more importantly after my previous two ships the Courage and the Councillor,I realised the Italians were far more advanced than British ships of the same period, possibly a reason people did not like them. My first trip as chief engineer was on the Light!!! A previous trip had been on the Light as 2nd Eng with Chris and Beryl White (1971), the vessel had just had all her auto gear overhauled or replaced, materials were still poor and welding skills were a must, but so long as you used the systems as they were designed she was a joy to sail on. My first trip as chief, I had relieved a chief called Dickenson? and my job was to take her to scrap, we sailed from Genoa and before we reached Gibraltar the charter rates had gone through the roof, so we made one more run to the Gulf, is there any body out there who can remember it? Everything happened to us, Bulkheads collapsed, Boilers contaminated with oil, Blackouts, at one stage I fell out with my third engineer and if he is on this sight I apologise, you were correct. At the end of the trip she went to the clyde for a complete refit. Yes I joined her again as 2nd/ch eng and had a reasonably uneventful trip. I agree the materials used in these ships were poor, but the concept was good, on my final trip on the light I was asked to sail them with a single watchkeeping engineer, we tried it on a number of occasions and other than for topping up the stm,stm gen. tank the auto gear looked after all plant fluctuations.

Hi John, What a trip? This reminds me of my time on this rust bucket. Water generation gone to hell in the 'Scams', Dry firing the main boilers, loss of tubes. Losss of Emergency diesel generator (Black Start). Mid Indian Ocean light trip, total black out, no power, brought the Ship back to life with use of Natuarl Draught, hand operated fuel pump ( After 11 days adrift), Stm/Stm genys used as scotch boilers fired on seawater, with continual blowdown. Scams , and evap trying to bring boiler water doen from a taste of salt, when tested. Coupled boilers limped into Bahrain for voyage repairs at some 4Knots. Not too suceesful, but an experience as one might say. No one came out of this lot smelling of roses.
The original trouble-we could not isolate the 'Scams' Both of them from periodic boiling over and generating boiler water purer than 140-250ppm. So this was the boiler feed, and leaks galore such that the consumtion was over 80/120 tonnes per day. The 'scam ' kept on priming every 5/10 minutes. The problem was located by our Super at Voyage reapirs of the Cowling within the scam that seperated the sea water from the vapoour take of was fractured, and when the vacuum was drawn this cowling became open and allowwed sea water to pass into the vapour space-hence continual priming.
John you certainly put a tired old lady to bed. Previous to my trip from Voyage repairs at Malta to the UK The casing between both main boilers after tube repairs was shuttered with cement between the superhater uptakes. This lot also had had a dreadful trip. The Light It was a S--t house. No romance here for an ITI.