Elmina Palm - Collision Dakar 1969

storybooks
19th August 2007, 11:22
Another member, William Dillon, (hi again, Billy) was asking (some time ago) if anyone recalled the “Elmina Palm” being in collision with another ship off Dakar in the late 1960s.
You asked for it and I’m sorry the photos are a bit faded after all this time.
I joined the “Elmina Palm” as a Writer (aged 22) at Liverpool in March 1969, my first trip in Palm Line and the British Merchant Navy.
I had just spent an 18 months spell based on a Panamanian registered shrimp fishing /freezer/factory/ stores supply ship in the Persian Gulf. As a challenge to you ship historians out there, she was called the “Ross Keletchekis” – amongst other things!! She was bought by Ross Group (frozen foods, trawlers etc) as the already clapped out well past her “sail by date” French wine boat (?) “Tell” and converted in Grimsby before being sent to the Gulf where we arrived after many delaying adventures in Algeria, Malta, Suez and an Egypt/Israeli war! For some obscure reason, she had an ice-breaker bow! Very useful in the Gulf. Anyway, the story of that voyage is possibly for another time.
We duly sailed out of Liverpool and I really enjoyed being part of the great Palm Line “family” from the off. I loved the wood lined cabins and alleyways. A touch of class. A real “proper” ship. I still think of those older Palm boats in these terms particularly when compared to today’s huge container carrying, off-the-shelf, impersonal “barges”.
I was made really welcome by all but I regret to say that many of their names now elude me after nearly forty years. How I wish I’d kept a copy of all the crew lists. Forty years! Good grief!
The Captain, however, was Hughie Bunker (a “bear” of a gentleman with a huge handlebar moustache) and my Purser was Norman “Mitch” Mitchell, great fun and a great teacher and friend (despite his being a Scouser and an Evertonian to boot!)
I remember Hughie insisted that we had to wear “No 10s” in the bar before and during dinner. How that dress code had changed by the time I left in 1977!
Up and down the Coast with nothing out of the ordinary happening (i.e. we were beaten about 10-0 at football by every team from Freetown to Port Harcourt and back – even if the barman on the Sapele Club team had to play on the wing nearest to the clubhouse so that he could keep nipping back inside to serve drinks!) No, nothing out of the ordinary.
Until we approached Dakar in Senegal for bunkers, that is.
We were coming up to the fairway buoy just before midnight and I was called as Mitch had left it to me on this occasion to quickly deal with the Port Health, Customs, Immigration etc. In those days, the separate Chief Steward did the sweetener “entertaining” and we were only going to be there for a couple of hours with no cargo work. Ha! Little did we know.
Suddenly there was one almighty bang and the ship heeled over about 45 degrees to starboard and then slowly righted herself.
Rushing out on deck, we were all greeted by the sight of the Norwegian ship “Hoegh Augvald” slowly slipping down our port side and facing the same way as us.
I cannot repeat the remarks shouted across to the other ship by the Liverpool deck crew but the mildest was a ”polite” enquiry as to whether the Norwegian captain had obtained his Certificate of Competency from the rear of a cornflakes packet!
We limped into Dakar, now somewhat down by the head, followed (at a distance) by the Norwegian.
Daylight showed us what a lucky escape we had had. As you will see from the photos, the bow was nearly taken off and it was probably only because the logs in No 1 lower hold floated up under the deck plates, that we actually stayed afloat. First trip to sea in the MN, I thought, and they try to drown me! Come back, Panama!
I never did find out the full “official” story of what had actually happened that night (does anybody really know?) but it appeared to us (in the simplest of terms and to the best of my knowledge) that as we were sailing towards Dakar, the “Hoegh Augvald” was sailing out and, for some unknown and unexplained reason, she suddenly and at the last moment turned to port and impaled herself in our bow. She then swung round with our momentum to hit us again poop to pop – so to speak. I may be wrong but that’s how I remember it and the photographic evidence of the shape and angles of the holes seems to bear this out.
We were in port for about seven weeks. Most of the cargo was unloaded (thankfully, no tally in a French port), railway lines were inset and welded horizontally across the VERY large breech and then steel sheets were welded over the top of them as a temporary repair.
We idled the time away partying both ashore and on board with the girls and boys from the British Embassy, the Peace Corps and the VSO, playing rugby, learning Scottish dancing, inventing and learning yet even more extreme and frightening drinking games (Cardinal Puff, Tizz Fuzz Buzz etc), and fishing off Goree Island most days in one of the lifeboats to recover. Apart from handing out the odd few Francs to the crew once a week to spend ashore, there was little else for Mitch and me to do.
Just a thought. Why DO all expat communities have Scottish Dancing classes?
I was even asked at one point if I wished to transfer and go home on another passing Palm boat?? As if!!
I don’t think the engineers had such an enjoyable break though. It’s amazing what outstanding heavy maintenance Chief Engineers can find to have done when time is not of the essence! I don’t think that Doxford had been in so many bits since the day it was built.
I also recall the chipping hammers going for eight hours a day on deck.
Eventually, the cargo was reloaded, we bid our fond farewells and we finally left for home on what was probably the most careful and slowest ever passage from Senegal to the UK – and the longest trip ever for me (4 months) down the Coast.
Happy Days!
I'll post the remaining photos in another link

storybooks
19th August 2007, 11:26
The Remaining Photos:
The group on the afterdeck after a good day’s fishing? Top right was the bosun (John/Jim Broadbent?), thin guy on the left – John (Lightfoot?) the Carpenter (remember when we had those? – and Second Stewards), bottom right – Chief Engineer? And middle in the white shirt was, I think, the second mate – Dick Blomfield? Bloomfield?
And that’s me in the photo of the hole in the bow. I’d forgotten what a mess the foscle was – just look at the state of that windlass!
E & OE

storybooks
19th August 2007, 11:31
Sorry, forgot the windlass picture!

PollY Anna
19th August 2007, 12:15
Hi Storybooks

Ouch!!!

Sailed on the Elmina Palm back in 1963 28/02 to 09/05. I see one of the photos shows the Bosun J Broadfoot he was with us in 63 so I can only assume that it was his permanent home. He had been on her some time before I sailed on her.
He knew the ship, which made for easy handling with all deck work. The boat deck was holystoned every morning on the west coast by the local crew boys and it was spotless you could have eaten your meal off it your right the wood used on her was beautiful.

You mentioned Crew lists in your post, you can still obtain them, that is how I found the correct name of the bosun, but you were close after 40 plus years it is hard to remember all the names.

Thanks for the post Ron

storybooks
19th August 2007, 12:24
Yes, I think the bosun had been there from Day One. They probably sold him on with the ship later! Thanks for the correction on the name - was only sure if it was Broad-something. Probably got the capernters name wong as well. But I know he came from Grimsby (a neighbour of mine) and died only a few years later.
This is my first time of posting photos so they are a bit small - if anyone wants a better size/resolution then just email me.

stan mayes
19th August 2007, 16:49
Hello Storybooks, - J.A.Cook ?
Thankyou for posting so much detail of the ELMINA PALM collision.
I knew all the names you mentioned and John Broadfoot Bosun was a good friend..I think he was with the ship 5 or 6 years..
He lived in Balmore Road Glasgow...I received a card about 20 years ago from Sadie his wife,sadly John had crossed the bar..
I have a Palm Bulletin, Summer 1969 issue with crew list for ELMINA PALM..
Capt H.Bunker - C/O K.Cauldwell - 2/O R.Bloomfield - 3/O Z.Wain - Cadets W.Spoors and M.Stanley -C/St W.Hall- Fletcher - Purser N.Mitchell -Writer J.A.Cook - C/E K.Roberts - 2/E I.Leckie - 3/E D.Anderson - 4/E M.Shaw - Jun/E W.Dillon [ is that Billy ?] Sen Elec J.Bartley - Jun Elec C.Routledge ..
So that is the crowd you were with Storybooks...
Did Hughie Bunker leave Palm Line following this ?...I can't remember seeing him in other Palm ships..
Regards Stan...

storybooks
19th August 2007, 17:26
Hi Stan
Yes, that's me - you've found me out.
Now that you mention the names, it stimilates the memory and I (think) I can visualise several of the officers.
I now remember that the 3/0 was a very pleasant young lad of Chinese or Malay extraction and that he took most of the blame on our side (if anone was to blame on our side) as he was on watch at the time.
No, I never came across Hughie Bunker again either. I know that he was really cut up about the collision so he may have retired (or been retired?)
As far as I am aware, the whole thing seemed to just die a death and was never spoken of again.
Many thanks again for the crew list
Cheers.
John

stan mayes
19th August 2007, 23:54
John, -Of the mention of John Broadfoot Bosun,it reminded me of other long serving Bosuns -I prefer to call them loyal - of Palm Line...
Tommy Parkin,about 30 years with eleven of them in LOBITO PALM...Sadly Tom has crossed the bar..
George Mathews - Bill Loudon - Colin Towse - two named Flynn...
also Chippies who became Handyman..-Billy Hall sailed with Tom Parkin about 5 years then to IBADAN PALM another 5 years..
George Green - Dick Cracknell and Jack Wilson..
These names may be remembered...
I could go on forever with names ...Palm People were Special...
My best wishes to you all...Stan..

storybooks
20th August 2007, 00:14
Yes, Stan, I cetainly remember George Matthews and I had the pleasure of meeting Tommy Parkin on many occasions during turnrounds in Holland and Germany when he was already "our bosun ashore sur le continent".
I never quite figured out exactly what he did but he was always held in the highest esteem so he must have done it extremely well!
J

storybooks
20th August 2007, 00:18
PS Wasn't George Matthews the one who spent all his free time (and some of his working time) turning out multi wooden fruit bowls on a lathe in the engine room?! I think I've still got one somewhere!
J

stan mayes
20th August 2007, 11:31
John, All correct. Tom Parkin was Continental Shore Bosun for Palm..Based in Hamburg,married to Annemarie and lived there..My wife isalso from Hamburg and when on holiday there we visited Tom...
Tom would organise riggers,order dunnage etc and relieve Bosuns while they were on leave.
You are spot on with George Mathews .I think he must have made fruit bowls etc for everyone who sailed with him..I have 2 and a pen holder...
He retired to live in Spain,but after 6 years he is now in Plymouth..
George is quite a character as you probably remember......Stan.

stan mayes
20th August 2007, 13:20
John,
Re George Mathews Bosun.
During his 5 years in IBADAN PALM he acquired masses of mahogany.
At the time he lived in a bungalow in Corringham Essex.
With the help of Billy Hall Chippy, and during voyages they made window frames,doors and frames and fitted them into his home.
Also built a summer house in his garden and erected 100 feet of mahogany fencing around his garden..He should have called it Sapele Villa...
Regards Stan

Peter (Pat) Baker
20th August 2007, 13:44
Polly Anna,

You mentioned in your posting about Palm Line that crew lists could still be obtained.

Could you let me have more details, as I would like copies of crew lists for the Palm Line ships that I sailed in.

Regards,
Peter (Pat) Baker.

PollY Anna
20th August 2007, 14:21
Hi Peter

I did my research via Kew / Greenwich Maritime Museum and The University of Nova Scotia (Canada) these 3 buildings have on file all log books crew lists and various other useful data. All has to be paid for nothing for nothing in this World.

If you wish to know more send me a message listing what you wish to know and I will help you, if I can.

This is why we are on this site to help each other and meet old friends.

Regards Ron

william dillon
20th August 2007, 23:05
Hello Storybooks, - J.A.Cook ?
Thankyou for posting so much detail of the ELMINA PALM collision.
I knew all the names you mentioned and John Broadfoot Bosun was a good friend..I think he was with the ship 5 or 6 years..
He lived in Balmore Road Glasgow...I received a card about 20 years ago from Sadie his wife,sadly John had crossed the bar..
I have a Palm Bulletin, Summer 1969 issue with crew list for ELMINA PALM..
Capt H.Bunker - C/O K.Cauldwell - 2/O R.Bloomfield - 3/O Z.Wain - Cadets W.Spoors and M.Stanley -C/St W.Hall- Fletcher - Purser N.Mitchell -Writer J.A.Cook - C/E K.Roberts - 2/E I.Leckie - 3/E D.Anderson - 4/E M.Shaw - Jun/E W.Dillon [ is that Billy ?] Sen Elec J.Bartley - Jun Elec C.Routledge ..
So that is the crowd you were with Storybooks...
Did Hughie Bunker leave Palm Line following this ?...I can't remember seeing him in other Palm ships..
Regards Stan...

Hi, Stan, Thanks for the crew list, I remember all the names now.
The chief engineer was a quiet guy, a gentleman, the 2/E was known as "The Letcherous Lord Leck" from Lammington Rd. Bombay..............
The 3/E Davie Anderson had a glass eye (honest), you can imagine the tricks he got up to with it (keep a eye on my beer etc).
I remember the 2 leckies, great guys.
The 2/O I,m sure was nicknamed "Dickie Mint" the reason escapes me at present.
We used to use the lifeboat extensively for "recreational" trips, I remember one of the cadets getting badly stung by a jelly fish on one outing also if I recall correctly he nearly lost a foot in the prop, not a very lucky boy(Jester)
I well remember the fishing trips to Gorree island (spelling), great fun.(Thumb)

Peter (Pat) Baker
21st August 2007, 15:40
Polly Anna.

I have sent a private message to you. Please let me know if you receive it safely.
Regards,
Peter Baker.

william dillon
21st August 2007, 23:13
Polly Anna.

I have sent a private message to you. Please let me know if you receive it safely.
Regards,
Peter Baker.

The PM has not arrived as yet Peter.

Sorry Peter, I thought that you were trying to send me a PM, Senile Decay has set in !!!!!!!!!!!!!

Peter (Pat) Baker
22nd August 2007, 11:59
William Dillon.
Billy,
Don't give it another thought Billy, I have trouble with my own name these days.
Cheers,
Peter.

christopher.ryan1
22nd August 2007, 18:56
The Elmina must have been an unlucky ship, as i was on her in Jan/Feb 73 off Bremerhaven when we had a collision.We managed to ge back to port where the fire brigade were waiting to pump us out, we were then transfered to a dry dock for repairs.We were going to stay on her, then go off to the coast, but they said she was going to be there for about 8 weeks, so we decided to sign off.Tommy Parkin was the bosun then, great guy Tom, we got on really well with him, we had been around the land with him on the Enugu and later i was with him again on the Ilesha.Many good memories of Tom and Palm Line.Chris Ryan.(A)

stan mayes
22nd August 2007, 19:36
Thankyou Chris for your very nice and fitting comments about Tommy..
He was a very competent seaman - a wonderful pal sadly missed...

PIP
23rd August 2007, 23:02
I have posted a notice on the Palm Line heading concerning george matthews. he died suddenly this year in late May. his family had noted my telephone number incorrectly and could not get hold of me or the MNA !! He crossed the bar in style and the local MNA branch members in Plymouth saw him off. Hois coffin was draped in the Red Ensign. He was a great bloke and he used to have loads of timber from the Sapelke Saw Mills. teh Ibadan Paolm was loded with cargo and georges wood. A lorry would appear very quickly at the quayside in Tolbury and all Georges stuff was offloaded . Such a nice blok and his hoby was making wooden stands for the Palm Line football team on the Ibadan Palm. I still have one and will post a picture some time. he also liked to listen to the radio and had some really big rigs in his cabin. The chippy on the old Ibadan was a Scottish guy whose name evades me at present. But george taught me some of the crafts of the seaman when I was an engineer cadet on Ibadan Palm so I kept in touch over the years/. he moved to Spain but had to come back here because they did not really want ailing old English seamen there and he was not getting the health assistance he should have had. He certainly went well with old Gunboat Smith and Andy Bryce the Purser/Chiefsteward. He will be sadly missed, one of the old brigade of seamen.

PIP Keith Langridge

stan mayes
23rd August 2007, 23:26
Hello Pip,
I did not realise you were Keith [ we corresponded some years back ]
I saw your other posting and replied to that.
Yes,old George will be sadly missed ..I knew him from early in the war in Grays...
PS I was a rigger in Tilbury Docks and I had a crane drivers licence. All the masses of mahogany imported by George were lifted off the ship onto a lorry by me...bound for Sapele Villa Corringham ....

stan mayes
23rd August 2007, 23:55
Keith, Another bit regarding IBADAN PALM .
I live in Gravesend and used Tilbury ferry to go to work in the docks..One morning I left the first ferry -5.30 am - it was during 1978 and I saw IBADAN PALM at end of the landing stage - it was still very dark...I went along,up the gangway and into the accomodation and hearing voices above I went up the stairway intending to go along to see the Chief Steward [ I knew them all ]
Two Indians asked me what I wanted and when I told them I wanted to talk to the Chief Steward they took me to him - he was Indian also..
I then discovered the ship had new Indian owners ..She had been taken over on the Continent,sailed and had engine trouble and towed to Tilbury..
On going ashore I looked at her name - IBADAN PALM was stilled embossed on her bows but in 6 inch lettering below it was HIND..
I thought I knew everything about Palm Line but I had not heard she had been sold..

Hugh Ferguson
24th August 2007, 11:07
Hullo Storybooks, Much appreciated your meticulously written piece about the collision: it was a pleasure to read.

storybooks
24th August 2007, 17:21
Hi Hugh.
Glad you enjoyed it.
Even as a newcomer to this site, may I say that I think any memories of the ships, ports and Palm folk should be written down before they finally fade into the mists of time – none of us are getting any younger. AND I cannot believe how quickly Palm Line as we knew it (and EDs) disappeared off the face of the earth so quickly in the 70s/80s. It was such a large organization which seemed to vanish overnight. Stan’s tale about the selling of the “Ibadan Palm” just about sums it up.
Thank you, PIP, for letting us know about George Matthews. I liked the Red Ensign touch and I wonder if his casket was made up of his various and beloved African hardwoods, iroko, sapele and utile, to name a few. He would have liked that.
Rest In Peace, George.
You also mentioned “Gunboat” Smith and Andy Bryce, the Purser. I did a couple of trips as Assistant Purser with them and remember that we were allowed to fly the Blue Ensign as Captain Smith was ex-RN and Andy was a lieutenant in the RNR. I’m sure that we used to speed up, reduce speed and alter course to pass as many Palm boats as possible, as close as possible, in daylight so that they had to dip to us first, command seniority notwithstanding!
“Gunboat” was a very private man and abhorrent of the demon drink, “When the wine is in, the wits are out!” but he used to have a small sherry in the officers’ bar on Christmas Day during his annual and only visit therein.
He was probably (in my humble and ignorant experience of these things) the best ship handler with whom I sailed. He would often say (with his original Liverpool accent slipping through on occasion), “When I was in command of His Majesty’s Ship “Marauder”…………” A recent quick “Google” shows this to be a large fleet/rescue tug. Funny name for a tug, I know, but this may well be where he learned the skill. If Captain Smith reads this, perhaps he could enlighten us.

http://www.clydesite.co.uk/clydebuilt/warships/vessel.asp?id=12207

I remember that we were sailing into Lagos on one occasion – would be in early 1970ish, soon after the latest in a long line of Israeli/Egyptian wars had closed Suez Canal again. A lot of the redundant Egyptian Suez pilots were now employed by the Nigerian Ports Authority. To be honest, they were probably OK as canal pilots, pointing a ship down the waterway but, for some, their ability as harbor pilots left a lot to be desired.
As usual, I had “volunteered” to be on the bridge to keep the Movements Book, a role I enjoyed greatly. As you will all know, Apapa quay was always busy, day and night, with very little space between the ships parked alongside. After about a dozen attempts and a few close brushes with the ships either side of our allocated berth, we were back mid channel when Captain Smith roared, “Get this idiot off my bridge!” and with a couple of “left hand/right hand downs”, a “full ahead”and a “full astern”, there we were, tied up neatly alongside. As I said, a great ship handler. Greatly admired for that.
Other characters who come immediately to mind are Captain Vic Fisher who “allegedly” started off as a boy seaman and came up “through the hawse pipe” to command. He never lost his Cockney accent and used to regale us with stories of his “bruvver Lofty” and his “five ton truck and ten ton o’ canaries”! “Apples and Pears” to the end. I also did a couple of memorable trips with Chief Engineers Colin Bennie- Coulson and Bert Scully, both of whom I don’t think I ever saw in a boiler suit! But, after all, what are Second Engineers for!?
Any other reminiscences out there?
Sun is shining, have a good weekend, everybody.
John

PollY Anna
25th August 2007, 12:48
Hi Storybook

I sailed on the Elmina Palm early 63. Skipper was J.C. Salvidge he also was reputed to have come up the hard way "through the hawse pipe" Looking at the crew list J Broadfoot was Bosun as earlier mentioned and a D Scully from Cork who was snr 2nd Eng was he the same guy.

I am sure this will bring back memories entering the Niger Delta, all these canoes would all come out flying the Company House Flag offering their service as pilots for the run up the delta and the Skipper would lean over the wing of the bridge and point to one take him on board, thereby securing a pilot for the run up river and back. As you say great days, of course there were other delights on the way up the Delta but this is an open forum but we all know what I am talking about when I mention soap. I see one of the guys has taken the trouble to open a site just for palm line so I think you have got your wish, with regards to all our stories.

Regards Ron

storybooks
25th August 2007, 13:47
Hi Polly Anna
Yes, sorry, DON Scully – don’t know where I got “Bert” from! My apologies to Mr Scully.
My lasting memory of Mr Scully was him sailing over my head back into the waters of Apapa after we all attempted to climb the ladder out of a friend’s speedboat back onto the quayside after “a day out” round the corner on Victoria Beach. This was accompanied by hilarious laughter and cries of, “Come on, Chief, stop b*****ing about”!!
Certain Captains always insisted on taking their own creek pilots and would send a telegram from Lagos to some totally obscure address like “Blackie Tom, Pilot, The Jungle”, giving a rough ETA. Amazingly, the guy would be always there in his canoe with “his boy” at the designated time and place. Still don’t know how the system worked.
The canoes were always empty on arrival but always full on the return trip. Strange that, don't you think?
And, yes, we used to carry additional supplies of soap for creek runs but there was certainly more “dash” than.......
Cheers. John
PS By the way, Victoria Beach was sadly the place where they later held all the public executions on a Sunday. I was invited and went to one once. Don’t know why I did but wish I hadn’t.

kernewekmarnor
25th August 2007, 14:38
did either of you gents sail with my old fella' george morris?

PollY Anna
25th August 2007, 16:38
Hi Kernewekmarnor

Sorry mate only did the one trip with Palm Line and your Father was not in the crew, I never had the desire to become a company man, I was drawn more to Tramps. The sort of ships that went 3 times round the World before you even left the UK coast.

Hi Storybooks

The system must have been Jungle Drums I didn't know that they were ordered (pilots) by bush telegraph. Mind you I was only a deck hand so not really privy to the workings of midships with regards to general running of the ship ie paper work


Regards Ron

barrypriddis
25th August 2007, 23:20
Dickie Blomfield and Jack Bartley were on Lagos Palm, along with Captain Kopec, on my first trip to sea on Lagos Palm.
Matt Shaw and I became good friends on Badagry/Bamenda Palm some years later.
Hughie Bunker was Master on Badagry palm when I was third mate. He came straight from the Elmina, and I was always aware that he never went to sleep until well after the midnight handover. He was a very eccentric man, but one of the best.
I am also sure that I sailed with George Morris, but will have to check on that.

johntmorley
27th August 2007, 01:48
The Remaining Photos:
The group on the afterdeck after a good day’s fishing? Top right was the bosun (John/Jim Broadbent?), thin guy on the left – John (Lightfoot?) the Carpenter (remember when we had those? – and Second Stewards), bottom right – Chief Engineer? And middle in the white shirt was, I think, the second mate – Dick Blomfield? Bloomfield?
And that’s me in the photo of the hole in the bow. I’d forgotten what a mess the foscle was – just look at the state of that windlass!
E & OE

I sailed as junior engineer my first trip on the Elmina out of Liverpool in the December on th deep south run down to Angola.
I recognise some of the crew in the picture. Tricky Dickie Bloomfield was 2nd mate, Ian Leckie was 2nd Eng, Davey Anderson the ayrshire bull was 3rd engineer, Jim was rhe chippy , Ian the 2nd electrician chief engineer I thought was Kenny Roberts. John M.

johntmorley
27th August 2007, 01:51
did either of you gents sail with my old fella' george morris?
I sailed with George Morris when he was 1st mate, seemed to remember he had a saying of "Boxed Off" that seemed to apply to every job.

speedbird501
27th August 2007, 23:01
Storybooks,
I agree, these stories should be recorded before memories fade. I used to work in marine personel in Shelly house, but eventually ended up flying as a steward for BOAC and BA. I remember an occasion when two first class passengers coming from, I think Delhi, told me that they both worked for Unilever which naturally became a talking point re my previous career, they were adamant that Palm Line was a thorn in the [financial] side of Unilever and that it would have to go, although at that stage I believe bits of it had been sold off. I remember thinking how sad it was to see how these things work out, however, in view of some things that have happened since ,it may have been a taste of things to come.
I enjoyed your tale of the 'Elmina', there must be many more tales out there, lets hear them!
Sorry if this is irrelevant but thought I would add it.

Andrew Hogan
9th September 2007, 03:19
Hi Stan,
I sailed with Hughie Bunker in the Badagry Palm in 1971, and you forgot on of the Chippies that being Arthur Wiesenborn
REGARDS
ANDY

tonyc3
9th September 2007, 08:02
Hi Storybooks.
The Elmina was my first deep sea ship in 1957. I was an SoS thenShe was preety new then. The Bosun was a scouse, name escapes me. Off Dakar we recieved a distress from a spanish trawler which had a bady burnt engineer on board. We took the patient on board and headed for Dakar but the poor man passed away during the night. I had sat with him during my watch in the sick bay. We buried him at sea the next day. It was the first time I had ever seen a dead person so I was spooked about the whole thing.
It was a good trip but I only did one trip in her.
Memories

Tonyc3

zealandic
27th September 2007, 10:50
i sailed a few times with george matthews... he was a great bosun..he must have reached a good age..and my mate tommy buist from tayport was on the wheel of the elmina palm when she had that collision..iv just spoken to him and he recalls that the skipper of the other ship was drunk..tom had to attend a court hearing over this episode..it brings back some great memories...there was something about that coast..ill post some pics in due course z just checked my dis. book and sailed twice with george morris on the lagos palm

elmina man
3rd October 2007, 15:18
http://i240.photobucket.com/albums/ff150/elminaman/palm4.jpgHello,
Been a while since i visited this great site, but reading all these threads has brought back a lot of the memories i have of spending my school holidays
etc on 'Palm Line ' ships that my Father always called his home's. I know he wasn't aboard when she had her collision's but somewhere i have two large black and white photographs of one of them, shall have to find them. Names that bring back memories, Ken Roberts C/E a great man whom i am sure is on one of my photos, R 'dickie mint' blomfield whom i am sure got his nickname from my mother,Capt Hughie Bunker what a man, he taught me how to play chess, always listened and answered my questions on Ships etc. Norman mitchell an evertonian like myself then a purser, i am certain he left Palm Line to become the Manager of the rotating restaurant above the Liverpool tower in the centre of liverpool. My school holidays spent around the UK or even on the continent were superb, wouldnt have swapped them for the world. Quite liked the 'Elmina' dads fave but mine was the Bamenda followed close by the Andoni, was aboard the Bamenda when she was sold whilst we were in dry dock in Glasgow,saw a painter from ashore renaming the life boats 'Lenio' first person i spoke to of this was Dickie Bloomfield who told me that no way would we stay aboerd a ship called Lenio as they were the Bamenda Palms crew, Next person i spoke to about whae dickie had said was Capt Davidson who assured me to take no notice to what Tennents extra said about the name of the ship. being 12 i said no it was Dickie he replied exactly. On the last day that we were all together due to leave her he gave me the Palm line house flag that and the Red ensign wish i knew where they were now.
Shall try and post some pics of my dad and the Bamenda as the Lenio.

elmina man
3rd October 2007, 15:29
Here is my late Father Hughie McFeat who always preferred to be known as Chief Steward without the attached Purser title,
Tony Mc.http://http://i240.photobucket.com/albums/ff150/elminaman/Dad2001.jpg

elmina man
3rd October 2007, 15:32
http://i240.photobucket.com/albums/ff150/elminaman/Dad2001.jpg

elmina man
3rd October 2007, 15:38
http://i240.photobucket.com/albums/ff150/elminaman/Dad4.jpg

This is my Dad aboard the Elmina in 1970 i know it was then as that was the year
my mother sailed to west Africa with him,and i do have lots of photographs of that trip,
Tony Mc

elmina man
3rd October 2007, 15:41
Forgot to add, the Bamenda was sold in 1973, and the photo was taken in Cape Town in 1974, sorry,
Tony Mc

stan mayes
3rd October 2007, 17:03
Tony - Whatever your Dad's preference of title was,Chief Steward or Purser - he was a very friendly and sociable person.
Regards Stan..

elmina man
3rd October 2007, 20:03
Thanks,
Stan most appriciated,hope to post more photo's soon.
Tony Mc

storybooks
4th October 2007, 16:46
Hi Elmina Man
Thanks for the postings and photos.
Nice to hear from you again. I think we corresponded a while ago when you bought some Palm Bulletins from me (janetandjohn) on eBay. I assume that you are bloxy1 – please correct me if I’m wrong.
Couldn’t place your dad earlier but, having seen his photo, I think I took over from him on one occasion.
I know that Norman Mitchell left Palm Line in the early 70’s to manage a nightclub in Liverpool but I didn’t know about the revolving restaurant. He later joined Bibby Line and persuaded me to do the same in 1976, a decision that I regretted from Day One! Fortunately, I was made redundant after only two voyages! Mitch and I went out for his stag night drink in Rotterdam in May 1970. Unfortunately, that was the night that Feyenoord beat Celtic 2-1 in the San Siro Stadium European Cup Final. As the Dutch couldn’t tell whether we were English or Scottish, we were plied with drink all night ("Celtic! Ha, ha, ha!" -their chant, not mine, I hasten to add) and Mitch didn’t get home to get married the next day!
Sorry, Brenda!
Cheers. John

elmina man
4th October 2007, 17:42
Yes John i did purchase one mag from yourself in the hope my Dad would be in it, unfortunately it wasn't to be though there were a few folk i did remember. The ship crews that are printed in them was what i was after, not to worry one day i will come across one with his name in i am sure.
As for your stag night Dad would have been quite pleased for you being the Rangers fan that he was. Great to hear from you and what a small world eh.
Tony Mc

Howard S
4th October 2007, 18:09
Yes John i did purchase one mag from yourself in the hope my Dad would be in it, unfortunately it wasn't to be though there were a few folk i did remember. The ship crews that are printed in them was what i was after, not to worry one day i will come across one with his name in i am sure.
As for your stag night Dad would have been quite pleased for you being the Rangers fan that he was. Great to hear from you and what a small world eh.
Tony Mc

Tony; I recall your father and relieved him on the coast once, Elmina I think. He was a gentleman. I will dig up some Palm Bulletins and see if I can find his name. I have kept them for years and they have travelled with me - now sitting here in Jamaica!
Rgds

elmina man
4th October 2007, 20:17
Nice to hear you thought well of my Dad, it would appear he wasn't such a bad old scots soul was he. If you come across his name in one of your bulletins i would be delighted, thanks a nice thought.
Tony Mc

storybooks
7th October 2007, 21:30
Hi Tony Mc
Glad that you're on the thread.
However, I noticed that your Dad dropped (and apparently didn't like (?))the "Purser" bit out of his officer rank. Why was that? Just curious. Cheers. J

stan mayes
7th October 2007, 22:23
I think I am correct in stating that Jimmy Rutherfofd also declined the title of Purser/Chief Steward....Stan.

storybooks
7th October 2007, 22:31
Hi Stan
Did a few folk turn down the name or the job and stay as Chief Steward?
I forget. When I first sailed with PL as Purser, I always sailed with a CS as well.
J

stan mayes
7th October 2007, 22:43
A good point..I remember some ships having a Purser and Pursers Office and had a Chief Steward also and he had a small office adjacent to his cabin..Stan..

storybooks
7th October 2007, 22:57
Yes, when I first started (1969), the Chief Steward normally had the big last cabin on the after starboard end of the officer's deck which he used also as a sleeping cabin. You could also see the pantry and saloon from there.It was often used as an an ertainment area as well. I remembetr well certain CS 's having a full range of optics hidden away on the other side of the desk!
Pursers' cabins tended (on later ships) to be next to the Old Man's Suite on the next deck up and we had the office on the port size deck level.
When the roles merged, we had the choice but most of us took the old CS cabin as being more convenient for "entertaining" and keeping an eye on things.

Topherjohn
14th February 2008, 12:34
Hello Storybooks, - J.A.Cook ?
Thankyou for posting so much detail of the ELMINA PALM collision.
I knew all the names you mentioned and John Broadfoot Bosun was a good friend..I think he was with the ship 5 or 6 years..
He lived in Balmore Road Glasgow...I received a card about 20 years ago from Sadie his wife,sadly John had crossed the bar..
I have a Palm Bulletin, Summer 1969 issue with crew list for ELMINA PALM..
Capt H.Bunker - C/O K.Cauldwell - 2/O R.Bloomfield - 3/O Z.Wain - Cadets W.Spoors and M.Stanley -C/St W.Hall- Fletcher - Purser N.Mitchell -Writer J.A.Cook - C/E K.Roberts - 2/E I.Leckie - 3/E D.Anderson - 4/E M.Shaw - Jun/E W.Dillon [ is that Billy ?] Sen Elec J.Bartley - Jun Elec C.Routledge ..
So that is the crowd you were with Storybooks...
Did Hughie Bunker leave Palm Line following this ?...I can't remember seeing him in other Palm ships..
Regards Stan...
As a recent joiner I've just read this Palm Line thread including your message. I sailed Palm Line 1963 - 1970 3/O & 2/O including voyages with Hughie Bunker as Master of Makeni Palm 1967. I had not known of the Elmina collision; I may have been working in Australia at the time. I didn't meet Hughie Bunker again but he has lived in Hertfordshire for a number of years.
I remember him as well respected in command, a quiet decisive person, and considerate to those he commanded. Notably I remember his special lifeboat "drills" for off-duty crew members. On his instruction we would launch and motor to the beach near the Lagos breakwater, once even to an island in the middle of the R Congo, loaded down to the gun'les with cold chicken and cans of beer! Just his idea of relieving the West African hardships for crew members working away from home.

Mike Stanley
16th October 2011, 21:45
Guys

This thread is just fantastic.
Look at the crew list for that trip and the collision off Dakar and my name is on it!!!!
I'm Mike Stanley (Deck Cadet) along with Mick Spoors.

I've been a member of Ships etc for sometime now but only found reference to the Elmina - the best ship in the fleet as there were no bl**dy deep tanks, after trawling through some steam engine pics of the Shaw Savill and there was a pic of my old ship..
I was with Palm Line from '68 to '74, spent five trips on the Elmina including one to the Medi and Carribean as 3/O. So if you remember me - get in touch - I would love to hear from you.

I'm now a retired Civil Engineer living near Bristol. I teach and play guitar (doing a Pete Townsend thing).

Mike

Mike Stanley
16th October 2011, 21:55
Storybook - I'm the prat in the clean whites on the right in your picture taken from the bridge. It was my worst trip suffering with Gastro Enteritis, I lost a fight with a Portugese man'o'war off Bathurst, got groundnut cake in my eye and first degree burns falling asleep on the beach after two all night parties in Dakar - great days.

william dillon
18th October 2011, 23:44
Mike, I remember the "Jelly Fish" incident very well, did Dickey Mint or some other comedian not suggest Pis*ing on you to relieve the pain ?, I believe it does work.
I also seem to recall that you had a very close call with the lifeboat's prop. when we ran her onto the beach, not one of your better days !!!.
Good to hear from you after such a looooong time, Happy Days.(Wave)

Mike Stanley
27th October 2011, 21:47
It was a damned Portuguese man-o-war with half mile long tentacles - I was paralysed for two days then the Skipper announced that they would have to leave me in Bathurst hospital and I recovered quickly - jumped hospital with a EDH who's name I can't remember only to join the ship 24 hrs before the collision.

Still the few weeks in Dakar were just great - I was one of the few who could speak any french and I remember being invited to a french party at a shirt factory. Thought I'd died and gone to heaven - pity my french was v. poor.

Great time.

Mike