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11th April 2008, 08:48
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22nd January 2009, 23:10
Good Morning Ivor
I did a trip on the MV Sutherland in 1951. We went first to Freetown where we took on board a very large gang of negros; crewboys they were called. They camped on No's 2 & 4 hatches under tarpaulins like enormous tents, They had a headman, two or three seconds-in-command, a carpenter, five winch drivers and a cook. Before we left Tilbury a large cooking pot was installed, It was heated by a steam pipe from the engine room. We loaded timber up the creeks in the Niger delta - places called Sapele, Warri and Port Harcourt. When at anchor we used to fish over the stern and the only fish we managed to catch were enormous cat fish. We didn't fancy eating them but the crew boys loved them. It made a change from their diet of boiled rice I suppose. We called at Lagos, I can't remember why, and the headman nearly missed the ship. They were a happy, friendly mob; all except the headman.
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