11th September 2007, 13:31
OK Lads tales of the BP T2's and as importantly photos.
To start with I am looking for ones of "Beecher Island"
I did not get to have a ride on one of the T'2s and could only listen to John Searle our senior apprentice who was on Beecher Island reckons it was his best ship.
other tell of wonders aboard we only imagined .... ice water machines??
So, lets hear please.. (POP)
11th September 2007, 13:40
At least a photo ...
11th September 2007, 15:04
I remember as a D/C on the Prestige Isaac Black C/O and Lennie Pugh O.M. regaling each other with tales of the Rogue River, Smoky Hill etc., and at the time I wasn't too sure what they were talking about but I always felt a bit disappointed when John Wayne didn't come crashing through the bar door as the names sounded like the names of some of his films. Ahh to be young and innocent again.
11th September 2007, 15:26
BTC - T2 tanker EL MORRO..
This tanker arrived in the Thames from the US with an American crew on 20th Jan 1948.. With a crew from Tilbury Shipping Pool I joined the ship on the following day at Purfleet..
The voyage was 21st Jan 1948 to 7th March 1948..
After discharging her cargo of petrol we moored to buoys and a gang of ship repairers boarded the ship.. The funnel had metal bands welded around it with various spacings and was then painted in BTC colours..
The dining area aft was a large communal messroom and in it was a large refrigerator stocked with milk,fresh fruit and fruit juices.This was emptied and the fridge was taken to the Stewards storeroom below..
Bulkheads were erected in the dining area to form a saloon for officers and engineers - a messroom for seamen and firemen/greasers and a messroom for POs..
All carpets and runners from the crew accomodation were taken ashore..
In the messroom there was a selection of cereals and sauces unheard of in most British ships at that time..
On completion of the work by the ship repairers we sailed on 24th January for the Persian Gulf..The Master was Captain W.Michie a Scot..
On arrival at Port Said on 3rd February our black painted hull was painted grey by shore painters and we passed through the canal the same evening..
Arrived at Abadan on 13th Feb - loaded crude oil and sailed on 15th Feb for UK.. Passed through Suez Canal on 25th Feb.and arrived at our discharging port Swansea on 7th March..and paid off.
As I remember,none of the crew signed on for another trip - on joining we had witnessed " Them and Us " from BTC..
I wonder if later crews of BTC T2s were aware of the changes to the original accomodation..
11th September 2007, 22:54
As usual a first class post from you .... it was as though "I was there" ... I can imagine the thoughts of you all .... I trust you managed to liberate some of the "Tucker" before it disappeared?? How stupid to lift up the carpets and runners and such .... what in the hell use were they stored away and did they ever get used or were they flogged in Port Said??
This thread has the makings of some good yarns.... the T2's were a legend in themselves we need the stories for posterity.
11th September 2007, 22:58
my first ship deep water rogue river swansea to freamantle 28 day loaded with fuel oil she could move for 1952 back to mena up to sweden then tilbury did not have three months regards graham
12th September 2007, 00:09
A good question re the carpets and runners..
While on the buoys off Greenhithe they were taken ashore in a ships lifeboat which was manned by the 3rd Mate - two engineers and two cadets..
Rumour has it that on reaching the causeway labels were attached to the carpets and they were addressed to the Master and Chief Engineer..... only rumour of course !!!
It would be great if a SN member was in the boat crew that day and would verify this incident - so step forward,it is too late to log you for telling us..
12th September 2007, 01:35
Now theres a thing Stan .... on the buoys off Greenhithe? which ones? which causeway? The Worcester one or the White Hart one by Everards.
As you know I am on Old Worcester so know the area ( That was of course) like the back of my hand with my eyes shut.
12th September 2007, 01:50
I was not in boat crew but presume it was White Hart ..It is still in use but WORCESTER causeway is obsolete..
Your memories of that area would be shocked by the changes..Unbelievable that Everards had a large site there - now completely redeveloped as is the training school area ..Hundreds of newly built homes....
12th September 2007, 02:49
The buoys off Greenhithe were there many years ago - during the war and after .Then moved further up river - they were used by ships awaiting a berth at Purfleet. During the 1970s buoys were again off Greenhithe and used by cargo ships unloading from lighters and tankers discharging palm oil into lighters - I often worked on ships there...
12th September 2007, 03:00
I have the photos and description of the merry murder, rape and pillage of Greenhithe and our grounds....Some people made a bloody fortune out of it all with little or no regard for what was a significant part of british Maritime history .... thats both Worcester and Everards ....the tales on the Coaster forum are a testimony to that ....
5th June 2009, 01:36
Having found this thread and read with interest let me declare that 50+ years ago(1957) I sailed on the Smoky Hill as a deck apprentice. It was my second vessel with BP Tankers and we 2 deck cadets had been transfered from the "benign" British Piper after 5 months sea time on her.
Joined her in Llandarcy Refinery (Swansea) discharging. Sailed for Mena (Kuwait) via Suez where we loaded full cargo of crude for La Plata and Montevideo, bunkered at Capetown there and back. Returning to Abadan and Fao where we loaded full cargo for Europe via the Suez canal. Eventually orders to proceed to Hamburg for full discharge.
The bulk of the cargo was sent ashore in a day or so but the stripping and final remnants of the cargo took us 19 days to fully discharge the cargo...!!due to the leaks in the internal pipework which meant we could not maintain suction. In desperation the C/E and 2/E along with the 2 deck apprentices in rotation were fitted with Siebe Gorman air helmets (fed via foot pump from the deck), harnesses and phospherer bronze tools and lowered into the tanks to knock in vulcanised rubber plugs on the pipeline. I kid you not!!!! This went on for days and each day end we would strip down and be scrubbed with Byprox solution to remove the oil. I can't believe that we remained on the oil facility for all that time as I recall we were working daywork only and could go ashore in the evening!
During the return trip from Montevideo we were in the South Atlantic when the German sail training ship Pamir was lost due to bad weather and probable cargo shift as she had loaded grain in Montevideo some time before our arrival.
The thing that amazed me at the time was the way that the T2s bent and flexed in bad weather. At the stern and midship ends of the flying bridge were 21" elongated bolt holes and did they move!
One of the worst jobs we had while on board was the cement washing of the 2 mild steel fresh water tanks in the midship housing. Crawl through the mud hatch with bucket and bag of cement, mix to course paste and apply to bulkheads, decks and deckheads until all signs of rust disappear. No ventilation and with temperatures in the Gulf well over the 100 degree mark.
On the positive side, of which there were many. Due to the attitude of the Mate towards his deck apprentices the engineers took pity on us and more than made up for his/our short comings.
With current H&S plus human rights such vessels would never have left port!!!!
2nd November 2011, 18:24
Hello barnsey. Was on the Fort Frederica,her very last voyage before being sold to Chinese shipbreakers in Hong Kong 2-11-1959.Joined her at Finnart 8-5-1959 and had the most enjoyable and interesting voyage - Venezuela,Italy,Iran,Italy,Kuwait,Australia,Kuwait ,South Africa,Argentina,Uruguay,Southeast Africa,Aden,Singapore and HK. Then flown home BOAC Britannia flight via India and Germany.
I liked the T2 very much,I was fortunate being the R/O and had super accomodation,but was aware that the crew living aft did not fare so well -it was grim for them especially in the extreme heat of the Gulf. It was like that on all American built ships at the time,the officers living it up and the crew treated like crap,accomodationwise.
However,the T2's were good tankers and served their owners well for maybe 14 years and were only meant to do perhaps 3 transAtlantic voyages. Interesting ships!
2nd November 2011, 19:09
Pleased to find you have started so now let us hear of your interesting voyages.