Houlder Offshore Ltd

JohnMac068
3rd April 2007, 22:23
Uncle John - Multipurpose Diving Support Vessel.

A dynamically positioned semi-submersible with six columns, the first completely original design and the first vessel to be built to meet the demands of offshore oilfield construction and maintenance. Commissioned in 1977.
Length of pontoons 77.00 metres
Width overall 57.63 "

Accomodation 102 persons, 98 berths in two man cabins, 4 in single cabins.
Generation plant, 5 diesel generator sets generating a total of 7,500 kW at 6000V (UMS)

Propulsion. Two fore and aft VP thrusters each 3,000HP, Six transverse thrusters each 1,000 HP.

Firefighting. 3 Fire pumps giving in total 32,000 US gallons/min or 7,200m3/h in up to Force 12.

Diving System. Saturation complex. Four living chambers rated to 450 metres, each with four bunks, 2,300mm diameter, capable of three working levels. One transfer and shower/toilet chamber. Two 3 man diving bells rated to 350 metres.

Cranage. Two 100/50 tonne Aker cranes. Main hoists rated at 100t at 11m outreach to 160m water depth and 50t at 20m outreach to 360m water depth on single fall. Frd crane one 10t whip hoist to 360m water depth, after crane one 15t hoist.

non descript
3rd April 2007, 22:47
John,

Nice to see this addition. My knowledge of this unit is extremely limited, but I am aware that such was the confidence of the Board of Directors in John Houlder’s unique ability, that the Board Minute agreeing to the ordering of this semi-submersible merely had this text: “A submission by Mr J Houlder was approved” – as David Burrell writes in his book: “brief and to the point"…

I also gather that the name Uncle John started merely as friendly gossip and a nickname within the yard and eventually went from nickname to real name. (Jester)

Regards
Mark

vectiscol
6th April 2007, 22:39
This semi-submersible was built at Nylands Verft at Oslo, and offered a sauna and the best cuisine in the North Sea. I remember when "Uncle John" was still quite new, having to be flown onboard late one filthy winter's afternoon to investigate contamination of diesel fuel by sea water. We found a nasty crack in one of the horizontal braces where it joined one of the legs. The ends of the crack were located by ultrasonics and then drilled to prevent propagation. A doubler plate was formed in the workshop onboard; the local area inside the brace was pre-heated until we could tolerate no more; and then the doubler was welded as quickly as possible.

It was intended only as a temporary repair, but served its purpose to maintain structural integrity and prevent further leakage until "Uncle John" went to dry dock, which was not often. I believe that she had to occupy two docks on the Tyne, one pontoon in each with the deck straddling the quay between - perhaps somebody could confirm this with a photograph.

JohnMac068
13th December 2007, 22:18
Just a note to tell all former UJ folk that I heard today that Norman McSween had passed on several weeks ago. Part of the UJ crew who went with her to Caldive and hung in there for many years, sadly missed by all his former shipmates.

marinero
14th December 2007, 10:14
That's very sad news John. A depleting band of seafarers. We have some good memories though.
All the best for the festive season .
Regards
Leo

Geoff of Hull
30th December 2007, 07:00
What a shock to hear Norman had crossed the bar..Norman had been a friend of mine since the UJ s last trips with Stena and we have kept in touch all the time ,But when I got home last trip I phoned him as usual,and his phone would not accept incoming calls!So I was very worried and I was not able to chase it up as I was on a quick change over of trips..
We went back as far as the Pacific Northwest in 65 but did not realise we had been on the same trip till together until a few years ago..
What a man and I am proud to say I was a mate..
On the lighter note please find a photo promised to a few people of the UJ reunion.....Geoff

marinero
8th January 2008, 11:58
What a shock to hear Norman had crossed the bar..Norman had been a friend of mine since the UJ s last trips with Stena and we have kept in touch all the time ,But when I got home last trip I phoned him as usual,and his phone would not accept incoming calls!So I was very worried and I was not able to chase it up as I was on a quick change over of trips..
We went back as far as the Pacific Northwest in 65 but did not realise we had been on the same trip till together until a few years ago..
What a man and I am proud to say I was a mate..
On the lighter note please find a photo promised to a few people of the UJ reunion.....Geoff

Hi Geoff.
Like you I knew Norman as a lovely bloke. Sad to hear of his passing.
Thanks for the photo of the reunion, all I have to do is figure out who's who now.
Regards(Thumb)

Geoff of Hull
9th January 2008, 09:21
Hello Marinero...Well will try and sort out some names and locations on the photo...(to the best of my knowledge)
Back row..white shirt..Simon McAdam...to the right Sam Angey..back row 2nd from end grey hair an ex captain of the UJ..?
On the left in orange shirt Capt Jim Gilchrist
Middle row in the centre red shirt purple tie Capt Ian Scott (ret),2 to the right blue shirt white jacket Capt Mike Bolan,far right black hair grey jacket 3rd eng Colin Maynard..to the left of Capt Scott black & white chequered tie Mike Gibbs IT...
2nd row from front white jacket glasses Capt McAdam to the right of him is my wife and me!
Right at the front with a pint is Ben the organiser and ex engineer from Fife.....That's the best I can do but believe the guy with a white shirt grey hair 2nd row from the back to the right is an ex Crane op

marinero
9th January 2008, 17:30
Hello Marinero...Well will try and sort out some names and locations on the photo...(to the best of my knowledge)
Back row..white shirt..Simon McAdam...to the right Sam Angey..back row 2nd from end grey hair an ex captain of the UJ..?
On the left in orange shirt Capt Jim Gilchrist
Middle row in the centre red shirt purple tie Capt Ian Scott (ret),2 to the right blue shirt white jacket Capt Mike Bolan,far right black hair grey jacket 3rd eng Colin Maynard..to the left of Capt Scott black & white chequered tie Mike Gibbs IT...
2nd row from front white jacket glasses Capt McAdam to the right of him is my wife and me!
Right at the front with a pint is Ben the organiser and ex engineer from Fife.....That's the best I can do but believe the guy with a white shirt grey hair 2nd row from the back to the right is an ex Crane op

Thanks for that Geoff.
Now that you have mentioned names I can put a few faces to them. Sam the Turk and I sailed together on the Furness Bridge in the 70's. The Crane Op with the white hair is Phil(Scouse) ?? last saw him on Shelf Explorer. Dereck McKay is there, he's still an ugly buggar. Where is Jim Gilchrist(Yardog) now? It would be brilliant to meet up with these guys again.
Regards(Thumb)

captkenn
9th January 2008, 18:14
I believe that she had to occupy two docks on the Tyne, one pontoon in each with the deck straddling the quay between - perhaps somebody could confirm this with a photograph.
There was a Semi-sub docked at Smiths Dock North Shields in this way and it may well have been the UJ.

Geoff of Hull
10th January 2008, 09:28
Hello Marinero ...Jim Gilchrist is still with Technip which is about 4 times down the line from Houlder Offshore now...He is master on the last of the Houlder boats "Orelia"The new one of course or should I say latest as she must be 25+ now, remember, the DSV designed and thought of by John Houlder on a scrap piece of paper in a pub in his dinner hour the story goes,the original scrap piece of paper is still on the bridge of the Orelia unless it was washed away when she was in trouble last year when the seas smashed her bridge windows in and disabled her got her on the national news at the time...
I served in the 1st Orelia and did 7 years on the DSV along with Capt Ian Scott who served on them both too..I believe Danny Harrington did also serve on them both..

RayJordandpo
11th January 2008, 11:49
I was on the 'Uncle John' in the Gulf of Mexico. Norman was there then, a really nice guy very sad to hear he passed away. The UJ was owned by Caldive although most of the marine crew (if not all) where working for agencies, I was employed by C-Mar of Aberdeen and a lot of the Canadian crew on board were through C-Mar Canada. She was a tough old rig which certainly got the job done and I enjoyed my time on her.
Ray Jordan

ALAN TYLER
13th January 2008, 12:17
Thanks for that Geoff.
Now that you have mentioned names I can put a few faces to them. Sam the Turk and I sailed together on the Furness Bridge in the 70's. The Crane Op with the white hair is Phil(Scouse) ?? last saw him on Shelf Explorer. Dereck McKay is there, he's still an ugly buggar. Where is Jim Gilchrist(Yardog) now? It would be brilliant to meet up with these guys again.
Regards(Thumb)

Leo, just spotted Dereck McKay on the reunion photo. Any idea of his whereabouts? or Mervyn Underwood. Regards Alan T.

marinero
13th January 2008, 16:09
Leo, just spotted Dereck McKay on the reunion photo. Any idea of his whereabouts? or Mervyn Underwood. Regards Alan T.

Hi Alan.
Mervyn went back to New Zealand, and from all accounts became a bit of a recluse. When it was realised that he had not been claiming his pension someone from Aberdeen notified the authorities out there and they went to his home and found him dead. (At least that's what I was told) Sad way to go for someone who was so active in life. Dereck McKay, the last I heard of him, he was in quite a high position with a crewing agency in Aberdeen. You have heard I take it, that Bill Connolly had also died. From all accounts he suffered a heart attack whilst being driven to hospital for the results of a previous checkup. All of this is gleaned from the grapevine so I cannot vouch for the accuracy of it. If anyone knows otherwise please post it.
Regards

MARINEJOCKY
13th January 2008, 23:47
I was on the Uncle John when she came up the Tyne for the first time. She was their to have additional ballast tanks installed on the outside of each leg as it was found during the sea trials that these were required. We had to continue with the commisionig work as it was brand new. I knew I was only there for a short time so would stuff myself with all of the food available while the rest of the crew looked on.

I was only there a short time and was being shuffled around the offshore division to see if I wanted to transfer from the ships but after looking at the Oregis aground on the Black Midden rocks at the mouth of the Tyne and joining the Kingsnorth by a supply boat out of Aberdeen I decided my life would be spent well away from the North Sea.

Chedds
10th February 2008, 18:48
Hi Alan,

Dave Cheeseman here, just to let you know that Mervin Underwood passed away approx 3 years ago in Tasmania.

ALAN TYLER
23rd February 2008, 11:42
Hi Alan,

Dave Cheeseman here, just to let you know that Mervin Underwood passed away approx 3 years ago in Tasmania.

Dave, Thanks for the info on Mervyn,sad though it may be. Hope life is treating you kindly, what are you up to these days?

norsea
11th March 2008, 21:44
Saddened to learn of the passing of Harry Farrer and John Rogers. I had the pleasure of serving with both shipmates in Coupler 1/Oregis over the 1970`s.
Also served at that time with Mike Waterton, John MacAdam,Jim Ghilchrist and the late Magnus Tulloch. One member of the Office Staff who deserves a mention is the late Don Gilbertson who was transferred from Liverpool office to Aberdeen and who proved invaluable in overseeing storing and Personnel changes whether landing at Dyce or by supply boat at an East coast port.
Some of the crew changes were indeed very enjoyable.One in particular was by helicopter transfer to a Stena Line ferry which then spent the day cruising round various installations changing personnel before an overnight passage to Aberdeen(Sheer luxury!!!)
On another occasion we transferred to Stavanger by Norwegian helicopter (obligatory survival suits).Overnight in a school hall of residence(College vacation time). From there to Sumburgh by chartered Dakota with one aircrew,the pilot, and Duty Free, not to be consumed on board,in an honesty box at the rear of the aircraft. Choice of overnight in a hotel on Shetland or flight to Aberdeen. by Piper aircraft for those with the farthest to travel.
Regards to all former Houlder Offshore staff, Angus Davidson.

non descript
11th March 2008, 23:04
Angus, thanks for the update.
(Thumb)
Mark

marinero
12th March 2008, 14:39
Saddened to learn of the passing of Harry Farrer and John Rogers. I had the pleasure of serving with both shipmates in Coupler 1/Oregis over the 1970`s.
Also served at that time with Mike Waterton, John MacAdam,Jim Ghilchrist and the late Magnus Tulloch. One member of the Office Staff who deserves a mention is the late Don Gilbertson who was transferred from Liverpool office to Aberdeen and who proved invaluable in overseeing storing and Personnel changes whether landing at Dyce or by supply boat at an East coast port.
Some of the crew changes were indeed very enjoyable.One in particular was by helicopter transfer to a Stena Line ferry which then spent the day cruising round various installations changing personnel before an overnight passage to Aberdeen(Sheer luxury!!!)
On another occasion we transferred to Stavanger by Norwegian helicopter (obligatory survival suits).Overnight in a school hall of residence(College vacation time). From there to Sumburgh by chartered Dakota with one aircrew,the pilot, and Duty Free, not to be consumed on board,in an honesty box at the rear of the aircraft. Choice of overnight in a hotel on Shetland or flight to Aberdeen. by Piper aircraft for those with the farthest to travel.
Regards to all former Houlder Offshore staff, Angus Davidson.

Hi Angus.
I was there with you on "Oregis" for quite a while. Don Gilbertson was one of the "Characters" from Houlder Offshore and indeed he was one of the mainstays of the Liverpool Office, in fact, who he did not know in that port was not worth knowing. He was invaluable to the smooth operation of the Company there.
Regards(Thumb)

JohnMac068
12th March 2008, 23:44
Just heard this evening that the next UJ reunion will be on the 13th/14th June at the usual venue (Airport Hotel, Newcastle if they still call it that !!!) Expecting final details by mail soon.

marinero
13th March 2008, 13:35
Just heard this evening that the next UJ reunion will be on the 13th/14th June at the usual venue (Airport Hotel, Newcastle if they still call it that !!!) Expecting final details by mail soon.

Thanks for that John. Will await details before booking flights.
Regards
Leo(Thumb)

ALAN TYLER
16th March 2008, 17:23
Hi Alan.
Mervyn went back to New Zealand, and from all accounts became a bit of a recluse. When it was realised that he had not been claiming his pension someone from Aberdeen notified the authorities out there and they went to his home and found him dead. (At least that's what I was told) Sad way to go for someone who was so active in life. Dereck McKay, the last I heard of him, he was in quite a high position with a crewing agency in Aberdeen. You have heard I take it, that Bill Connolly had also died. From all accounts he suffered a heart attack whilst being driven to hospital for the results of a previous checkup. All of this is gleaned from the grapevine so I cannot vouch for the accuracy of it. If anyone knows otherwise please post it.
Regards

LE0, Thanks for the e mail thought this photo might bring back some memories, good ones i hope Alan T.

marinero
16th March 2008, 20:08
LE0, Thanks for the e mail thought this photo might bring back some memories, good ones i hope Alan T.

Well done Alan.
Two for the price of one. I'm building up quite a nice collection of Houlder Vessels. Regarding the message about Mervyn I think I should have said Tasmania instead of New Zealand as per Chedder's post.
Regards
Leo
(Thumb)

JohnMac068
16th March 2008, 23:14
Well done Alan.
Two for the price of one. I'm building up quite a nice collection of Houlder Vessels. Regarding the message about Mervyn I think I should have said Tasmania instead of New Zealand as per Chedder's post.
Regards
Leo
(Thumb)

As far as I know, Mervyn went back to Tassie, but, either could'nt settle there or wanted pastures new, so he went to West Australia, he died in a small community, inland from Perth, not far from the town of Midland. When I check back, I'll try to let you know the place. Anne Lowe was an executor for his will and eventually found out all the details.

marinero
17th March 2008, 11:42
As far as I know, Mervyn went back to Tassie, but, either could'nt settle there or wanted pastures new, so he went to West Australia, he died in a small community, inland from Perth, not far from the town of Midland. When I check back, I'll try to let you know the place. Anne Lowe was an executor for his will and eventually found out all the details.

Hi John.
Thanks for that info. Is Anne Lowe the Anne who used to work in the Kingsnorth side of the Catering Office, if so can you remember her maiden name and do you have an e-mail address or could pass a message on for me.
Regards
Leo

JohnMac068
17th March 2008, 15:39
Hi John.
Thanks for that info. Is Anne Lowe the Anne who used to work in the Kingsnorth side of the Catering Office, if so can you remember her maiden name and do you have an e-mail address or could pass a message on for me.
Regards
Leo

Thats the one, I got the info from DereK McKay, don't have an email address for him, but will put his address and phone number on a PM for you, he will probably be at the "do" in June.

B.Bass
18th March 2008, 04:28
Did anyone come into contact with a lecky Fred Woodings on the Offshore side,believe he was on the UNcle John

marinero
18th March 2008, 13:42
Did anyone come into contact with a lecky Fred Woodings on the Offshore side,believe he was on the UNcle John
Good Morning Brian.
I worked with Fred on the Offshore side of things, although I cannot remember if it was "Oregis" or "Uncle John" The memory gets a bit dim with age you know. I'm sure he was with France Fenwick prior to that and might have been on the "Star Pinewood"
Regards
Leo(Thumb)

JohnMac068
18th March 2008, 13:47
Did anyone come into contact with a lecky Fred Woodings on the Offshore side,believe he was on the UNcle John

Fred was on the Oregis, and later on the Uncle John for a short while. If my memory is correct, he left to take on a pub. I think it was in the West Country somewhere, close to where he lived.

B.Bass
19th March 2008, 04:59
Thanks for that guys,yes he was originally with FF on the Star Pinewood,but of course moved on when the Pinewood was sold, as did I.

ALAN TYLER
23rd March 2008, 17:19
Hi Angus.
I was there with you on "Oregis" for quite a while. Don Gilbertson was one of the "Characters" from Houlder Offshore and indeed he was one of the mainstays of the Liverpool Office, in fact, who he did not know in that port was not worth knowing. He was invaluable to the smooth operation of the Company there.
Regards(Thumb)

Hello Angus, Dont know whether you remember me on the Oregis/Coupler1. You are exactly right about Don Gilbertson he was a very welcome sight once back on shore.
Alan Tyler.

norsea
25th March 2008, 23:06
Hello Alan, The old grey matter aint what it used to be but, according to a notrebook I still have we served quite a bit together on Oregis.I think John Melrose and Charlie Brodie were also on the Catering Staff then and also
during the long lay up off Invergordon. Happy days.
Best Regards
Angus D.

Chedds
1st April 2008, 22:30
Just heard this evening that the next UJ reunion will be on the 13th/14th June at the usual venue (Airport Hotel, Newcastle if they still call it that !!!) Expecting final details by mail soon.

Robin Burgess doing the organising, no information in print as yet to be sent out, although understand hotel booked. Should hear anytime soon.

Chedds(==D)

ALAN TYLER
3rd April 2008, 15:55
Robin Burgess doing the organising, no information in print as yet to be sent out, although understand hotel booked. Should hear anytime soon.

Chedds(==D)
Hi just wondering if there,s any spare places at the reunion,as I,d be interested if there was.
Alan T.

JimC
3rd April 2008, 17:52
Uncle John - Multipurpose Diving Support Vessel.

A dynamically positioned semi-submersible with six columns, the first completely original design and the first vessel to be built to meet the demands of offshore oilfield construction and maintenance. Commissioned in 1977.
Length of pontoons 77.00 metres
Width overall 57.63 "

Accomodation 102 persons, 98 berths in two man cabins, 4 in single cabins.
Generation plant, 5 diesel generator sets generating a total of 7,500 kW at 6000V (UMS)

Propulsion. Two fore and aft VP thrusters each 3,000HP, Six transverse thrusters each 1,000 HP.

Firefighting. 3 Fire pumps giving in total 32,000 US gallons/min or 7,200m3/h in up to Force 12.

Diving System. Saturation complex. Four living chambers rated to 450 metres, each with four bunks, 2,300mm diameter, capable of three working levels. One transfer and shower/toilet chamber. Two 3 man diving bells rated to 350 metres.

Cranage. Two 100/50 tonne Aker cranes. Main hoists rated at 100t at 11m outreach to 160m water depth and 50t at 20m outreach to 360m water depth on single fall. Frd crane one 10t whip hoist to 360m water depth, after crane one 15t hoist.

Was this design based on the Sedco 700 series?

Also sad news about Norman. was in touch with him recently about his brother in law who I last saw in 1955. I renewed aquaintance with Norman via this site. We had N. Sea common interests in the old days. Very sad indeed

JimC
3rd April 2008, 17:57
Was this design based on the Sedco 700 series?

Also sad news about Norman. was in touch with him recently about his brother in law who I last saw in 1955. I renewed aquaintance with Norman via this site. We had N. Sea common interests in the old days. Very sad indeed

Sorry Norman! 'the reports of your death are somewhat exaggerated'.

I feel a right 'tit' (and sometimes a left one!

JimC
3rd April 2008, 17:59
Sorry Norman! 'the reports of your death are somewhat exaggerated'.

I feel a right 'tit' (and sometimes a left one!

I'm actally a complete set! - this is really for Roddy McSween
(Cloud)

JohnMac068
4th April 2008, 15:00
Was this design based on the Sedco 700 series?

Also sad news about Norman. was in touch with him recently about his brother in law who I last saw in 1955. I renewed aquaintance with Norman via this site. We had N. Sea common interests in the old days. Very sad indeed

More like a scaled down Aker H3. The principal designer was Tor Harvie, with tweaking from John houlder and the Houlder Drawing Office team. It was a one off !

JohnMac068
8th May 2008, 22:14
At last have received confirmation that there will be an "Uncle John" Reunion on the 13/14th June at the Britannia Airport Hotel, Newcastle. Any interested parties, can PM me for details of contacts, prices etc. All ex UJ guys welcome, will be pleased to see you all. With luck, UJ himself will be there, he usually attends.

ALAN TYLER
26th May 2008, 11:26
At last have received confirmation that there will be an "Uncle John" Reunion on the 13/14th June at the Britannia Airport Hotel, Newcastle. Any interested parties, can PM me for details of contacts, prices etc. All ex UJ guys welcome, will be pleased to see you all. With luck, UJ himself will be there, he usually attends.

Would loved to be at the reunion, unfortunately it clashes with our first granddaughters christening in Bedfordshire. Please convey my very best to all who attend, I,ll be there in spirit!!!
Alan Tyler

JohnMac068
12th January 2009, 14:23
Any of you ex Oregis/Uncle John hands heard from Dennis Moore recently. I have had a Christmas Card from him every year since he left the UJ, last year it was a real work of art, a collage of pictures of his house boat and Little Venice scenes, this year - nothing, so am a bit concerned. Any news would be appreciated.

marinero
12th January 2009, 17:20
Any of you ex Oregis/Uncle John hands heard from Dennis Moore recently. I have had a Christmas Card from him every year since he left the UJ, last year it was a real work of art, a collage of pictures of his house boat and Little Venice scenes, this year - nothing, so am a bit concerned. Any news would be appreciated.

Hi John.
Have you tried the authorities at the canal as I am sure he is registered with them. Found a link on Google, a short film about Dens Dens on youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=REDiEg6wzMU Hope it works. Trust you are well and a happy New Year.
Regards
Leo

JohnMac068
13th January 2009, 13:31
Thanks for that Leo, that clip looks as though it was in October, so hopefully, he is still OK. I've got an email address for him somewhere, will have to try and find it.

ALAN TYLER
15th January 2009, 14:39
Hi John, Just watched the clip of Den, great to see him after all these years. I certainly hope he,s well, he was a real character and a main man in the catering department, well liked by all.
On another note John what became of Houlder offshore as a company. I left in 1986 and there was talk of a merger with Stena. Thanks for any info. Alan

marinero
16th January 2009, 12:37
Hi John, Just watched the clip of Den, great to see him after all these years. I certainly hope he,s well, he was a real character and a main man in the catering department, well liked by all.
On another note John what became of Houlder offshore as a company. I left in 1986 and there was talk of a merger with Stena. Thanks for any info. Alan

Hi Alan.
You're right about Den being a character. I first met him on the "Furness Bridge" and I upset him one day when giving him a bollocking. He went on strike on me and locked himself in his cabin and I had to bribe him out with a bottle of vodka.
Mind you though Alan I think we remember ships by the characters we sailed with.
Regards
Leo (Thumb)

duquesa
16th January 2009, 13:12
Anyone know if John Pickles is still "with us"?

ChandlerBird
18th January 2009, 09:17
When the High Seas Driller was delivered from South Korea she was piggy backed on a ship. When sorting out boxes looking for my discharge book I came across the video of her loading, voyage and delivery. What luck, I’ve not seen the film for years. Sorry to say all I got was a very misted picture for about 10 seconds and the odd squeak. Would be grateful if anyone got a copy.

George Simpson
4th June 2009, 15:31
Gents I only just found this site and as much as I have enjoyed reading the posts from many ex-crewmates, to see some of the names of those who have passed away was a shock! Norman Mac, I remember his first day on the UJ we shared a cabin then years later I was in personnel with *** and was ordered to go to the airport with the Breathalyzer for Norman as he had been bounced at the heliport. I blew in the tester and Norman passed shh. Norman was one of the nicest guys I ever meet. As for DenDens Simon Mac sent an interesting article about DenDens from the Guardian all about his life in little Venice. Bill Connolly did die while being taken to the hospital to get results of some tests he had done, the results of which were he had terminal cancer, so perhaps a blessing in disguise. He had been alowed home for the weekend and was on the way back to get the results. Bill had left a message on my phone which I heard when I come home from holiday but by the time I got it he passed away, to many a sad loss and a very good friend.

George Simpson
9th June 2009, 22:34
A photo to go with the UJ

http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/181270/ppuser/37197

LE0, Thanks for the e mail thought this photo might bring back some memories, good ones i hope Alan T.

marinero
10th June 2009, 10:07
Hi George.
That's a brilliant photo. Nice to see you on the site. Lot's of old mates here. Enjoy.
Leo (Thumb)

JohnMac068
10th June 2009, 14:55
Anyone know if John Pickles is still "with us"?

Funny enough, I thought the same thing just before Christmas, I knew that he had been converting a big old house near Tarves, north of Aberdeen, a job that had been going on forever ! Anyway, I asked the guy who used to be our accountant in Houlder-Comex (David Heklaar) who had recently moved to Tarves, if John was still there. David told me that he had seen him at church just before Christmas.

JohnMac068
10th June 2009, 15:23
Hi John, Just watched the clip of Den, great to see him after all these years. I certainly hope he,s well, he was a real character and a main man in the catering department, well liked by all.
On another note John what became of Houlder offshore as a company. I left in 1986 and there was talk of a merger with Stena. Thanks for any info. Alan

Sorry that I have not got back to you on this, before. Stena Offshore bought Houlder Offshore, including Houlder Marine Drilling in 1989 ( I think thats right !!) Can't remember the figure, but, it was a good deal for Stena. This came about, when the long involved tale of FW, C Y Tung, and China Merchants got involved. China Merchants were not interested in the offshore section and sold it on. Stena later sold most of the rigs to Transocean, making a handsome profit. After a couple of years, UJ was sold to Caldive, now Helix, and as far as I know, she is still working, 32 years after commissioning. Some personnel went to Caldive with her, others stayed with Stena, now Technip !! Technip still operate "Orelia" and have recently put a proper bow on her !! The Houlder-Comex office staff went to Stena in Westhills, but not for long, they made me redundant, six months later (best thing that ever happened !!) and the rest resigned shortly after. The only part of Houlders that still exists, is what was Houlder Offshore Engineering, now Houlder Ltd. This was formed by JMH when he made all the Houlder Drawing Office staff redundant, and got them to put their redundancy money into forming a stand alone company, which Houlders had an interest in. That interest passed to Stena, but, HOE later bought the interest out, so they are completely independant now.Hope that answers your question, long time ago now, so had to rack the old memory cells a bit !

George Simpson
10th June 2009, 15:29
John Pickles was working out of Venezuela a couple of years ago I believe he and his kept the house going in Tarves.

DenisM
30th July 2009, 21:23
C-MAR have crewed the Uncle John since CDI bought her. I supply a few Canadians from C-MAR Canada, some have now been on UJ for more than 5 years. Present Master is from Newfoundland.

ALAN TYLER
1st August 2009, 13:01
Hi John, thanks for the information on the company. I.ve done a history on my days deep-sea and now moving on to my time offshore. Its just purely for my own interest and possibly any of the family that might want to know what dad did in his younger days.
all the Best Alan.

ALAN TYLER
1st August 2009, 13:05
A photo to go with the UJ

http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/181270/ppuser/37197

Great photo George, have you thought of photography as a new career? Alan

George Simpson
2nd August 2009, 19:17
Alan it was taken by a dive tech and he played around with it to get the finished result. I leave the japanese tourist bit to my wife Mrs Snap Happy!

ALAN TYLER
10th August 2009, 13:03
Anybody out there remember John Mc Nelis (Mc Nasty) the medic offshore, he was a great guy and a top medic. He went to New Zealand after finishing offshore and we lost touch, wondering if anyone knew how he,s getting on.

BOB.WHITTAKER
11th August 2009, 13:23
ALAN, regards Mc Nasty, the last I heard about was that he had found Jesus in a big way whilst in N.Z. Bob Whittaker

ALAN TYLER
11th August 2009, 19:47
ALAN, regards Mc Nasty, the last I heard about was that he had found Jesus in a big way whilst in N.Z. Bob Whittaker

Thanks for that Bob, a touch hard to take in at first but if thats the way he went fair play to him. I,ve many happy memories of my time with him at work and play!!

BOB.WHITTAKER
12th August 2009, 09:58
Bay Driller and Morecambe Flame ALAN,you enquired about the two Morecambe Bay rigs, the Bay Driller became the Glomar Adriatic XI and has been working pretty much worldwide for many years. The Morecambe Flame was very heavily modified around the early 1990 s and has been a semi permanent maintenance and sevices platform on the Douglas Field just of the North Wales coast since then.Somewhere between Mostyn and Rhyl there is or was a visitors centre with various displays. However I am not sure if the centre or the rig are still there.

Geoff of Hull
13th August 2009, 07:04
Uncle John is most definately still working in the GOM as I am out there myself right now working with some guys who have come off her in the last couple of months,They tell me the accomodation has had a bit of updating but not to much the cinema is the same by all counts ..The main contractors to which I am working for at the moment has some sort of project on there (Wild Well) If anyone would like any specific info it would not be any trouble for me to find out for them if at all possible.I myself have been trying to beg some of the new T shirts but no success at the moment!!

ALAN TYLER
20th December 2009, 15:14
Anybody out there who remembers Eddie Moore. He used to "commute" to the Oregis from Spain. Later I think he moved back to the UK. He used to stay at my house quite often then we,d travel up to Aberdeen together. He was quite a ladies man, no offence Eddie if you ever get to read this!!!

George Simpson
20th December 2009, 16:31
Alan, Eddie is still offshore with Stena Drilling he works on the Stena Spey as RO.

ALAN TYLER
23rd December 2009, 12:33
Alan, Eddie is still offshore with Stena Drilling he works on the Stena Spey as RO.

Hi George, Thanks for that, suprised he,s still working especially offshore. I was presuming he would have retired by now, if memory serves me right he was a couple of years older than me. All the Best and have a great Xmas. Alan.

Geoff of Hull
23rd January 2010, 00:12
RIP CYRIL STAINTON
It is with deep regret That I am informing members and friends of the sad crossing of the bar of Cyril Stainton of Hull ..well known stalwart of Houlders offshore..Having just left his brother this afternoon it came as a great shock to all his old shipmates and friends although not been seen in the usual seamens hangouts for a number years his memory will live on.

George Simpson
23rd January 2010, 09:51
Very sad news about Cyril I first meet him on the Kingsnorth Rigs in the mid70s. He then agreed to transfer to the DKN when I had enough of West Africa that was 1990. Geoff can you pass on my condolences to his family, he was a good guy.

marinero
23rd January 2010, 11:02
Hi Geoff.
That's sad news. Cyril was another of the characters with Houlders. Please pass my condolences alongside those of George's to his family.

Regards

Leo

ALAN TYLER
26th February 2010, 11:27
Hi George, Thanks for that, suprised he,s still working especially offshore. I was presuming he would have retired by now, if memory serves me right he was a couple of years older than me. All the Best and have a great Xmas. Alan.

Hi George, Just to let you know Eddie has been in touch over the last week. Great to hear from him and he,s well and fit and as you said still working offshore. Alan

ALAN TYLER
18th April 2010, 21:37
Couple of photos of the of two rigs I was on.

ALAN TYLER
18th April 2010, 21:38
Couple of photos of the of two rigs I was on.

Oops only got the KUK!!

ALAN TYLER
19th April 2010, 14:45
Second time lucky!! (Thanks Mark)

non descript
19th April 2010, 15:12
Second time lucky!! (Thanks Mark)

Well done (Thumb)

marinero
19th April 2010, 15:48
Hi Alan.
Any idea where the KUK was at the time the photo was taken.

Regards

Leo(Thumb)

ALAN TYLER
19th April 2010, 16:41
Hi Alan.
Any idea where the KUK was at the time the photo was taken.

Regards

Leo(Thumb)

Hi Leo, Not 100% but it could have been taken in Haugesund in Norway. Alan.

ALAN TYLER
23rd April 2010, 09:44
Hi Alan.
Any idea where the KUK was at the time the photo was taken.

Regards

Leo(Thumb)

Hi Leo, Thought I,d answered to this but obviously the memories going!! I think the photo was taken in Haugesund in Norway, but as I say with my memory I could be wrong Alan.

marinero
23rd April 2010, 13:18
I always told you to slow down on the Gin & Tonics Alan, it addles your brain.

Regards

Leo (Thumb)

ALAN TYLER
27th April 2010, 16:20
I always told you to slow down on the Gin & Tonics Alan, it addles your brain.

Regards

Leo (Thumb)
I,m afraid to say you might be right there Leo, trouble is I only drink beer nowadays and certainly not the strong stuff!!! Got to keep within the Government guide lines and not exceed my 28 units per week. Regards Alan.

marinero
28th April 2010, 14:10
I,m afraid to say you might be right there Leo, trouble is I only drink beer nowadays and certainly not the strong stuff!!! Got to keep within the Government guide lines and not exceed my 28 units per week. Regards Alan.

Hi Alan.
I no longer drink or smoke now. It's supposed to make you feel better but I can't say I notice the difference. Can you remember the "Oregis" and sending Bruce up the road to bring back a carry-out to have at Smoko, those were the days eh! Alan.

Regards

Leo (Thumb)

ALAN TYLER
29th April 2010, 11:16
Leo, I still do remember the "carryout", good old days. I,ve gave up on the cigarettes many years ago. At the same time as Ann, it was a matter of you,ll start again before I do. No "patches" just will power or stubborness, my fitness level is pretty good (thats what the Doc says) as I cycle 100+ miles every week nad love it. Alan

marinero
1st May 2010, 15:48
Hi Alan.
I e-mailed a picture from the "Oregis" to your Tiscali e-mail address but it came back as undeliverable. Have you changed it and if so could you send me your new one. The picture is Xmas 1976. How old is that!!!!

Regards
Leo(Thumb)

George Simpson
22nd September 2010, 13:12
This may take back a few memories :

http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/250167/title/uncle-john-early-days-1977-2f78/cat/500

George Simpson
27th September 2010, 22:18
Early Days in North Shields:

http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/251502/title/uj-in-refit/cat/500

marinero
28th September 2010, 10:40
That's a brilliant shot George. Have saved it to my collection. Trust you and the family are all well.

Regards Leo (Thumb)

Geoff of Hull
29th September 2010, 07:28
Hi George Leo and all, Has there been any more talk of another UJ reunion I was offshore for the last which I gather was not that well attended due to quickness of organising ..
But certainly would like to be in on another.
Incidently George did danny ever get on the site or have you been in touch with him again?
Regards to Geoff Johnson (offshore China)

ALAN TYLER
29th September 2010, 14:03
Great picture George, another for the collection. Did you spot mine Post 23 of the UJ and Oregis together on the Tyne.
All the Best Alan.

marinero
29th September 2010, 20:37
Hi George Leo and all, Has there been any more talk of another UJ reunion I was offshore for the last which I gather was not that well attended due to quickness of organising ..
But certainly would like to be in on another.
Incidently George did danny ever get on the site or have you been in touch with him again?
Regards to Geoff Johnson (offshore China)

Hi Geoff.
I haven't heard anything regarding a reunion yet. I'm sure it will appear on the Board if there is one in the offing.

Regards Leo (Thumb)

George Simpson
5th October 2010, 19:08
Hi George Leo and all, Has there been any more talk of another UJ reunion I was offshore for the last which I gather was not that well attended due to quickness of organising ..
But certainly would like to be in on another.
Incidently George did danny ever get on the site or have you been in touch with him again?
Regards to Geoff Johnson (offshore China)

Geoff I last spoke to danny about 4 months ago he is doing fine.

George

George Simpson
5th October 2010, 19:10
Great picture George, another for the collection. Did you spot mine Post 23 of the UJ and Oregis together on the Tyne.
All the Best Alan.

Hi Alan yes I did see the picture of both the Oregis and UJ I have it somewhere but like so many photos they get packed away and forgotten about.

George

Geoff of Hull
6th October 2010, 18:46
Thanks for the info George nice to know he is doing Ok ...(Thumb)
Geoff

George Simpson
18th February 2011, 17:43
Hi all for those of you who remember (at some of your ages I'm that's not so easy) lol.

Anyway I bumped into Mike Mitchell the other day at a petrol station. First time I have seen him in many years. Mike being Mike all he said was Hi, hows life and have you heard how everyone is. I did mention this site so he added "Give my regards to all those who remember me."

Anyway the old bugger is well.

George

marinero
20th February 2011, 15:16
Hi all for those of you who remember (at some of your ages I'm that's not so easy) lol.

Anyway I bumped into Mike Mitchell the other day at a petrol station. First time I have seen him in many years. Mike being Mike all he said was Hi, hows life and have you heard how everyone is. I did mention this site so he added "Give my regards to all those who remember me."

Anyway the old bugger is well.

George

Hi George.

It is indeed nice to know that Mike is still around. Last time I saw him was at their house(The Old Station at Monymusk) at least that's where I think it was.

Regards

Leo (Thumb)

George Simpson
20th February 2011, 15:21
Hi George.

It is indeed nice to know that Mike is still around. Last time I saw him was at their house(The Old Station at Monymusk) at least that's where I think it was.

Regards

Leo (Thumb)

Leo yes he still stays at the same place in Monymusk.

George

ALAN TYLER
31st December 2012, 13:36
There was a programme on the tv this week about the DSV Arctic Skandi a modern vessel with all sorts of technology. Just one point why did it have to put into port for a crew change when the sea-swell reached 1 metre!!, too rough for the chopper to land. If it had been like that on the Oregis we would have been in port for nearly all crew changes, it was amazing at times to watch the Bristow pilots land on a heaving heli-deck.

JRMacGregor
31st December 2012, 14:45
There are published limits of heave, pitch and roll on the helideck that are now fairly rigidly enforced - and are more onerous (smaller values) than the limits of before.

Since they came in (I forget when - perhaps about ten years ago) these limits have seriously reduced the weather that helicopters can land and take off in offshore (speaking of floating vessels, not fixed platforms).

Having said all that - a 1 metre swell should have been no problem for a vessel the size of Skandi Arctic. Maybe someone else had a reason to get the vessel to a harbour somewhere.

marinero
31st December 2012, 14:48
There was a programme on the tv this week about the DSV Arctic Skandi a modern vessel with all sorts of technology. Just one point why did it have to put into port for a crew change when the sea-swell reached 1 metre!!, too rough for the chopper to land. If it had been like that on the Oregis we would have been in port for nearly all crew changes, it was amazing at times to watch the Bristow pilots land on a heaving heli-deck.
Hi Alan.
That reminds me of the time on the "Oregis" we had to pay off via the "Skandi Shore" and I think you were there when we took some fillet steak for the skipper and got a case of beer to help pass the time en route to Aberdeen and when we arrived Don Gilbertson had no offshore payments for us as he had spent it all although he repaid us later on.
Talking about helicopters landing on the heaving foredeck. Where you there when we had to whistle up a Norwegian chopper to get the mate of the anchor handling boat we had with us who got crushed by a fender. Now that was rough weather and it was quite tricky to accomplish. We sent the medic (Clem) to accompany him and he sat in the lifting harness instead of putting it under his arms and when it lifted he ended up being suspended by the backs of his knees. If it hadn't been so serious (the mate died) it would have made a good training film.

Regards
Leo (Thumb)

JohnMac068
31st December 2012, 17:47
Best wishes and a Happy New Year to all Houlder Offshore folk.

BOB.WHITTAKER
31st December 2012, 18:56
I would like to second John Mac's best wishes to all involved with Houlder Offshore.It was a steep learning curve for everyone in the mid 70s early 80s but eveyone benifited from it.
Whilst listening to local radio yesterday (Radio Lancashire) a programme called " Joe Fish Country " there was a real " blast from the past " they played Johnny Cash giving it his all with " Ring of Fire ". It took me back to1977 and the Scotsman Bar in Oslo with Joe Sharkey matching anything that Cash could do . Best regards, Bob Whittaker.

norsea
31st December 2012, 22:06
Adding my Best Wishes to all Houlder Offshore personnel for 2013.
Angus Davidson.

JohnMac068
31st December 2012, 23:47
I would like to second John Mac's best wishes to all involved with Houlder Offshore.It was a steep learning curve for everyone in the mid 70s early 80s but eveyone benifited from it.
Whilst listening to local radio yesterday (Radio Lancashire) a programme called " Joe Fish Country " there was a real " blast from the past " they played Johnny Cash giving it his all with " Ring of Fire ". It took me back to1977 and the Scotsman Bar in Oslo with Joe Sharkey matching anything that Cash could do . Best regards, Bob Whittaker.

I remember it well, best wishes Bob & Hazel.

marinero
1st January 2013, 11:40
I would like to second John Mac's best wishes to all involved with Houlder Offshore.It was a steep learning curve for everyone in the mid 70s early 80s but eveyone benifited from it.
Whilst listening to local radio yesterday (Radio Lancashire) a programme called " Joe Fish Country " there was a real " blast from the past " they played Johnny Cash giving it his all with " Ring of Fire ". It took me back to1977 and the Scotsman Bar in Oslo with Joe Sharkey matching anything that Cash could do . Best regards, Bob Whittaker.

Hi Bob.

I still have the Johnny Cash Collection on two rather old tapes but my tape deck gave up a long time ago, so I have nothing to play them on.

Happy & Prosperous New Year to all Ex Houlder Staff.

Regards

Leo

ALAN TYLER
1st January 2013, 13:38
Hi Alan.
That reminds me of the time on the "Oregis" we had to pay off via the "Skandi Shore" and I think you were there when we took some fillet steak for the skipper and got a case of beer to help pass the time en route to Aberdeen and when we arrived Don Gilbertson had no offshore payments for us as he had spent it all although he repaid us later on.
.

Regards
Leo (Thumb)
Hi Leo, Vaguely remember both incidents, fillet steak for beer!! would we do that? Also best wishes to one and all for the New Year. Alan

marinero
2nd January 2013, 11:46
Hi Leo, Vaguely remember both incidents, fillet steak for beer!! would we do that? Also best wishes to one and all for the New Year. Alan

All just memories now Alan. Have a good new year and love to Ann. Spoke to Cheddar and Jonesy yesterday and both are quite well

Leo