Brixham Pilot

Trevorw
4th September 2007, 16:14
Although I worked for them for ten years, I never understood why Blue Funnel and Glen Line, when bound for London, always embarked their pilot at Brixham. It seemed such a hell of a long way from London!

Peter4447
4th September 2007, 16:24
Hi Trevor

Just spoken to my colleagues at the Brixham Pilot Office and the practice continues to this day. From what I can gather it is to do with having a pilot onboard going right up through the Channel.

Unfortunately could only speak to one of the younger hands as the others were putting a pilot onboard but will have a chat with some of those that have been there much longer and give you a definate answer.

Regards
Peter(Thumb)

Hugh Ferguson
4th September 2007, 19:25
The simple explanation for this practice was that "selected" pilots (those who were employed by certain liner companies to pilot their ships) were not permitted to ship from the Dungeness Pilot Station. All shipping from that cutter-and the Sunk-was by turn, and so for somebody to ship out of turn, as would be the case with a pilot going to a specific ship, was not permitted.
Selected pilots for Blue Funnel never took charge until entering the London Pilotage District at Dungeness.

Ron Stringer
4th September 2007, 23:59
From memory, in the early 1960s we took a 'North Sea Pilot' at Brixham when I was with Ellermans. Yes we did usually go into London/Tilbury but often we would do Dunkirk, Antwerp or some other near-Continent port first. So we weren't really taking a Thames Pilot. Berry Head and Start Point come to mind from the ETA telegrams that I would send ahead to arrange the pilot. The telegraphic address escapes me after all those years.

Bill Davies
6th September 2007, 09:47
I seem to recall that Blue Funnel had their own 'choice' Pilots for the Mersey.
They were referred to as the 'Four S's' meaning Small, Sweetman, Smart and another I cannot remember. I hope this entry works as it is my first!

Tai Pan
6th September 2007, 15:18
Brixham is a very sheltered spot especially for the prevailing westerly winds in the channel. Holts also has their own picked pilots. they could nearly always be guaranteed to be able to board at Brixham. also if not able then alternative arrangements could be made, were as at the thames if he could not board you were banjaxed (K)

Tai Pan
6th September 2007, 15:22
the same reason why pilots were picked up at Holyhead and not the bar. nothing to do with the cigges that went ashore with the pilot cutter when the ship had a welsh crew!!!![=P]

Bill Davies
6th September 2007, 15:34
the same reason why pilots were picked up at Holyhead and not the bar. nothing to do with the cigges that went ashore with the pilot cutter when the ship had a welsh crew!!!![=P]

Similarly, the choice Pilots were sent up to Glasgow (KG5) for the voyage to Birkenhead or Liverpool if she was an Australian ship.

Peter4447
6th September 2007, 16:00
Brixham is a very sheltered spot especially for the prevailing westerly winds in the channel. Holts also has their own picked pilots. they could nearly always be guaranteed to be able to board at Brixham. also if not able then alternative arrangements could be made, were as at the thames if he could not board you were banjaxed (K)

Greetings John

Whilst I say this with the greatest respect, it needs to be said that the simple fact that Brixham has such a marvellous reputation for the transfer of its Pilots is due in no small part to the skill and seamanship of the launch crews. To watch a launch leaving the shelter of the Brixham Breakwater and heading out into the teeth of a Force 8/9 sou'westerly mid winter storm to a point a mile and a half off Berry Head leaves one filled with admiration. What is even more amazing is that those launches do it regularly on pitch dark, stormy and moonless nights when all good folks are tucked up warm, safe and snug in bed.

Regards
Peter4447(Thumb)

Hugh Ferguson
6th September 2007, 21:56
Greetings John

Whilst I say this with the greatest respect, it needs to be said that the simple fact that Brixham has such a marvellous reputation for the transfer of its Pilots is due in no small part to the skill and seamanship of the launch crews. To watch a launch leaving the shelter of the Brixham Breakwater and heading out into the teeth of a Force 8/9 sou'westerly mid winter storm to a point a mile and a half off Berry Head leaves one filled with admiration. What is even more amazing is that those launches do it regularly on pitch dark, stormy and moonless nights when all good folks are tucked up warm, safe and snug in bed.

Regards
Peter4447(Thumb)


Hear, hear to that!

Bill Davies
8th September 2007, 23:31
Hugh,
Were you Piloting in Aden at the same time as John Hawkins?

cheddarnibbles
9th September 2007, 10:53
Although I worked for them for ten years, I never understood why Blue Funnel and Glen Line, when bound for London, always embarked their pilot at Brixham. It seemed such a hell of a long way from London!

Like everything else AH did, taking the London pilot at Brixham was simple,safe and sensible.

In the early sixties, whilst on supertankers,we had to start slowing down at St.Catherines Point in order to stop for the Dungeness pilot. The majestic Blueys and Glens just sailed on by.

Hugh Ferguson
9th September 2007, 21:01
Hugh,
Were you Piloting in Aden at the same time as John Hawkins?

No, Bill, I was there for just the 2 years 1955/56. The only ex Aden pilot I am at present in touch with is Graham Allen. He was the unfortunate 4th mate of the RHEXENOR, who was taken aboard U.217 after the ship had been torpedoed in 1943.
Graham remained in Aden until the insurrection. I'll ask him, if you wish, as to whether he knew John Hawkins. Hugh.

Bill Davies
9th September 2007, 21:22
No, Bill, I was there for just the 2 years 1955/56. The only ex Aden pilot I am at present in touch with is Graham Allen. He was the unfortunate 4th mate of the RHEXENOR, who was taken aboard U.217 after the ship had been torpedoed in 1943.
Graham remained in Aden until the insurrection. I'll ask him, if you wish, as to whether he knew John Hawkins. Hugh.

Hugh,

John went to Jebel Dhanna after Aden but retired from there about 1984. His assistant Barney Fulton was with in Aden.

Brgds