Bristol City Line of Steamships

A.J.McMahon
2nd May 2008, 19:28
Bristol City Lines, or Charley Hills as the locals affectionately called the company, which had evolved originally from chartering vessels to owning and building. An interesting glimpse of the company is contained in a book by one of the family, “Ship shape and Bristol fashion“, the inscription put on new vessels built at their Albion yard. The modern fleet were Sulzer engine Motor ships, built at Burntisland, which lasted until the demise of many excellent companies, about 1965/70.I was interested to know how many remember the modern lines of the motor ships of that period, running from the U.K. to the Easton seaboard during the winter., Then during the summer up the St. Lawrence river to Montreal, then on up the lakes, to serve many American and Canadian ports. Sadly most have now gone but some out there must have some good memories of the fog and ice on the Grand Banks, or the unbelievable seas on the North Atlantic winter runs.-----or the wonder of the thousand islands and some the great places west of Montreal. Good memories or is it only me getting on a bit.
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John Rogers
2nd May 2008, 20:49
Hello AJ, You are not getting old you are just mellowing. I sailed on Charley Hills ships for a number of months,three trips on the Bristol City,first one in November 1949,then two more trips in June of 1951. Then I sailed on Fyffes and Donaldson's for awhile then I did four trips on the Montreal City December 1952 until June of 1953. We called them Charley Hills submarines in the winter time,we submerged leaving the dock gates at Avonmouth and surfaced a few miles off of the coast of the USA or Canada. Even today I am still in touch with some of the members of the crew.Shipshape and Bristol Fashion,or Bristol Born,Bristol Bred,strong in the arm, but weak in the head.

John.

A.J.McMahon
2nd May 2008, 21:50
Hi! John, You must have sailed on the Montreal (2) Canadian built 3cyl. She was built as the FAIRMOUNT PARK and renamed. She sailed with B.C.L.1946-59 I have a photo of her leaving Avonmouth,I was on the ship that took her name. Regards AJM.

John Rogers
2nd May 2008, 21:54
Yes thats the ship I sailed on,happy ship with a great crew,they never seemed to leave her,I guess it was the voyage and being home every six weeks.

John.

ian petrie
2nd May 2008, 22:50
i joined halifax city just of the stocks at burntisland shipyard in 1964 and spent a good year on her going up the lakes from montreal to chicago and all ports in betweenl then back over to swansea then avonmouth for a spot of leave agood company to work for

A.J.McMahon
2nd May 2008, 23:42
i joined halifax city just of the stocks at burntisland shipyard in 1964 and spent a good year on her going up the lakes from montreal to chicago and all ports in betweenl then back over to swansea then avonmouth for a spot of leave agood company to work forHi! yes I agree with all you have said, skipper was Stoodley great man,or E. Irish,great team all round bosun I think was Johnny Greatch. Great pity to see that shipyard go.I still have some photo`s of some electricial engineers from the yard. regards, AJM.

Bruce Carson
2nd May 2008, 23:59
Hi! yes I agree with all you have said, skipper was Stoodley great man,or E. Irish,great team all round bosun I think was Johnny Greatch. Great pity to see that shipyard go.I still have some photo`s of some electricial engineers from the yard. regards, AJM.

Mr McMahon:
The first post at the beginning of your thread was modified by me as the font used on the first sentence was outrageously large.
Your last post has font so small that many of our members may not be able to decipher what's posted.
We have many members, like myself, who are at, or beyond, the age of retirement. Our vision often leaves something to be desired.
PLEASE follow normal practice and use font appropriate to our site.
Thanks,
Bruce Carson,
Spectacled Moderator

John Rogers
3rd May 2008, 00:02
Johnny the Bosun and I were very good friends, I heard he was found murdered in a seamans mission up North,we were on the Montreal City together.

John.

A.J.McMahon
3rd May 2008, 01:03
Hi! Bruce, I Really am Most greatful for you modifiying my initial thread, in fact I was pondering how to contact to express my gratitude thankfully you have come to me maybe not for the ideal reason, however I am greatfull.The trouble is unlike my mother I am not a touch typest so to put it frankly it is easier to work on the lathe than the keyboard,but bless you have patience I`ll get there. Kind regards AJM.Mr McMahon:
The first post at the beginning of your thread was modified by me as the font used on the first sentence was outrageously large.
Your last post has font so small that many of our members may not be able to decipher what's posted.
We have many members, like myself, who are at, or beyond, the age of retirement. Our vision often leaves something to be desired.
PLEASE follow normal practice and use font appropriate to our site.
Thanks,
Bruce Carson,
Spectacled Moderator

Keltic Star
3rd May 2008, 05:52
Hi! yes I agree with all you have said, skipper was Stoodley great man,or E. Irish,great team all round bosun I think was Johnny Greatch. Great pity to see that shipyard go.I still have some photo`s of some electricial engineers from the yard. regards, AJM.

I was Marine Superintendent for Clarke Steamship, agents for BCL in Eastern Canada in 69-71. Remember Eddie Irish well, what a great gentleman. had many a good time aboard and as our guest at home with him and his crew.
At that time Les Stoodley was was shore superintendent for BCL. He and I flew in a chartered Piper Aztech from Toronto to Searsport ME and Saint John NB. to handle the loading of the Toronto City during the US Longshoremens strike which just happened to coincide with an Air Canada strike. Got snowbound in Searsport and the liquor store was closed so persuaded the pilot to get a taxi out to the plane to get the complimentary bar off the Aztech. Fortunately Les Stoodley did not drink so that left enough for the pilot and I. Result was delayed departure as pilot needed 12 hours between bottle to throttle. Fellow traveller, a member of PB not too impressed.

Oh Happy days!

"Jo" Johansen
4th May 2008, 01:53
i joined halifax city just of the stocks at burntisland shipyard in 1964 and spent a good year on her going up the lakes from montreal to chicago and all ports in betweenl then back over to swansea then avonmouth for a spot of leave agood company to work for

Hello Ian,

I think we must have sailed together on the "Halifax City". I joined her on November 23 1964 and did two trips as 2nd Mate until March 10 1965, when I was transferred to the "New York City" as Mate. I'm sorry but your name doesn't ring a bell after all those years - perhaps you can jog my memory a bit!
Stoodley was Master; I think the Mate was Norman Childs, and the 3rd. Mate Phil Hickling. We had Christmas 1964 at sea, homeward bound.

Charlie Hills was a great company to work for, and the Marine Superintendent Capt. King was a man for whom any of us would do anything he asked. Certainly the best of 22 years at sea.

Sincerely,

Anthony [Jo] Johansen.

A.J.McMahon
4th May 2008, 16:00
Oh Happy days!

Hi Keltic Star !
We must have met Iím sure, in the mates cabin just prior to lunch to discuss ships matters. Eric Mace, Dave Simpson, Jo Jo, Don Watchorn to name a few. It says something when some 40--50, Deck, Engine ,Purserís including two Hillís directors of B.C.L. had a reunion recently canít say a kneeís up the Zimmer would get in the way, canít say a -iss up - we are all far too mature and much wiser. It was good however to see one another, dare I say a blessing at some of our ages and we would sail again given the opportunity - and the rolling back of the years. I sailed with B.C.L. for best part of 10 years. Some of the chiefís I recall are, Bert Rapson, Jeff Lewis, Ron Larkham, Ian Baker. Some of them had endured WW2, yet they were still on the N.Atlantic run with a sense of humour. I know I have missed out many, not that any are forgotten.They were great feeders with a good crew all round, crew changes each voyage was minimal which is indicative of a good ship the whole ethos of the company was excellent - the point which you brought out in your thread.

A.J.McMahon
19th July 2008, 14:02
i joined halifax city just of the stocks at burntisland shipyard in 1964 and spent a good year on her going up the lakes from montreal to chicago and all ports in betweenl then back over to swansea then avonmouth for a spot of leave agood company to work for
Ian, I would have posted these photo's sooner, (post #5) if I could have found them.However I am sure it will bring back afew memories of that "Great" shipyard at Burntisland
A good crowd up there,a sad day to see that yard close. There cannot be a great deal of work in that area now, since the Alcan works closed, I guess all heavy engineering has gone now?

Tony Breach
20th July 2008, 13:16
Great thread. I served my time 1960-63 on BRISTOL CITY & GLOUCESTER CITY. sailed with masters: Steaming Jim Ramsey, Freddie Neil, Eddy Irish, mates: Davie Braid, Norman Childs, Tony Couch, Bill Coombes, 2nd mates: Alan Winter, Tony Johansen, Pete Wright (met him in Long Beach when I needed a surveyor about 12 years ago), 3rd mates: Alan Pound, Laurie Judd, Denis Williams (still meet him today), chiefs: Benny Winspear & Mr. "Old" Crowe, second: George Clark, sparks; Marty Brett, bosuns: Dorrington, Squires, Snudge & Johnny Gretch, ABs: Jack Treseder, Lofty Crapp, Bill Sharman, gays: Trixie, Stella & Charlie. Other apprentices were Alfie Davies, Tim Groves, Sid Clements, Noakes, Phil Burrow. I used to live in the same street as Ossie Watson. Johnnie Eames, Reg Keepings, Tudor Phillips. I can still picture other faces but their names are lost. I also sailed with Jack George, master of BRISTOL QUEEN who sailed with BCL just to get seatime for masters FG - otherwise the rest of his life was spent with Campbells.

Charlie Hills was a good outfit & I beleive there was a claim that they had been longer trading continuously than any other UK shipping organisation as the claimant to being the oldest shipping company had laid all their ships up during the depression. Don't know how true that was.

When & where is the next Bristol City Banquet - I'll put my name down!

Tony

A.J.McMahon
21st July 2008, 22:21
Good to see a few Ex B.C.L. people popping in. I may have just missed you in B.C.L. as I was Standing-by the Montreal City @ Burntisland, went up there end of Aug 62 then sailed late Jan 63. then a year later went up again to St-by the Halifax City. I shall post some of the names I recall from both the motor and steam ships Deck Off;------Jim Campbell, Jim Ramsey, Freddie Neil, Eddy Irish, Les Studley, Eric Mace, Archie Ashton, Mike Winter, Dennis Williams, Roy Griffiths, Keith Miller, Mike Pain, Derrick Flowers, Bernie Champion, Tim Groves, --Noakes, Tony Hursey, Don Watchorn, Pete Doble, Dave Simpson, Jeff Chawner, Tony Johansen, Tony Couch, Cris Thomas, Tony Payne, Phill Barling, Peter Bowditch and Peter Wright, who incidentally has published a book titled "A Drop Of The Hard Stuff". I am awaiting my copy at this time.-----------Engineering Off;--- Bill Crowe, Bert Rapson, Jeff Lewis, Ron Larcombe, Ian Baker, Malcombe Rudwick, Morley Walters, Ken Williams, Gordon Bubbear, Aggie---? Headley Northover, Howard Davies, Alan Paterson, Graham Rees, Don Peacock, Rodger Chicken, Marshall Butler, Bob Horte, Ian Dunford, Bob Channon, Dave Maddy, Brian Kenny, Dave Linton, Jim Kennedy, Jim Mair, Henry Grerson, Pat Goley, Tony Scott, Theo Trigg, Michael Hill (sailed supernumerary for one voyage to gain experience,we showed him Jo Beef's in Montreal) Others on the team were ; Alf Hammer, Jas Brain, Tudor Phillips, John Wright, Tommy Porter,Harry Higgins, Roy Clark, Alan Clark, Chris Watts, Alec Grant ( shipwright who stoodby construction) Mary Gregorie, Ossie Watson, Capt. King. I'm sure there are many more I can picture faces but I cannot recall the names.

jg grant
21st July 2008, 23:44
Tenakwe from the shaky isles.I did a few trips on the Toronto city around 1964. Great ship and great crew.We took a real hiding one WNA and coming into Avonmouth The boss himself came down to the ship and gave us a well done. My shipmates were Tony Ashton Chief cook, Roy Clark,,Chief steward,Jack Thomas 2nd steward, Bill Young Asst steward, Mr Kooch (Koochy) chief off, Triggy engineer, Treseder deck. Taught the chippy to play chess. Check out allatsea web for picture of Toronto city up the lakes somewhere. Regards Ronnie Grant second crook and bricklayer.

A.J.McMahon
20th August 2008, 18:48
Hi ! J G, Greetings from a wet and windy U.K. I don't know about you being the shaky isles, I would say that is more in keeping with this country,with the present crowd of cowboys who are running the show. I was of the opinion that the Scots were canny with money,the man in charge of the cash for the past ten years, ran far too close to the wind,we are just about to turn over.Saw and spoke to Roy Clark few months ago, speak to Triggy every few months and see him at our engineering reunion's. Tony Couch is still going strong at last count, some months ago. The Boss he went "home" about five months ago. Sure they were good ships with great crews, good runs, in summer, winter north Atlantic can be very tiring on a rough crossing as you know.Were you the 2nd cook on the Toronto City. I could not find the website you mentioned. Best Regards AJM.

Gadd
22nd September 2008, 20:34
I served 'my time' on the BCL ships 66-69 but only on the steamers. New York City first, and then when she was sold, the Bristol City. Many happy memories!

M29
1st October 2008, 19:11
Good to see a few Ex B.C.L. people popping in. I may have just missed you in B.C.L. as I was Standing-by the Montreal City @ Burntisland, went up there end of Aug 62 then sailed late Jan 63. then a year later went up again to St-by the Halifax City. I shall post some of the names I recall from both the motor and steam ships Deck Off;------Jim Campbell, Jim Ramsey, Freddie Neil, Eddy Irish, Les Studley, Eric Mace, Archie Ashton, Mike Winter, Dennis Williams, Roy Griffiths, Keith Miller, Mike Pain, Derrick Flowers, Bernie Champion, Tim Groves, --Noakes, Tony Hursey, Don Watchorn, Pete Doble, Dave Simpson, Jeff Chawner, Tony Johansen, Tony Couch, Cris Thomas, Tony Payne, Phill Barling, Peter Bowditch and Peter Wright, who incidentally has published a book titled "A Drop Of The Hard Stuff". I am awaiting my copy at this time.-----------Engineering Off;--- Bill Crowe, Bert Rapson, Jeff Lewis, Ron Larcombe, Ian Baker, Malcombe Rudwick, Morley Walters, Ken Williams, Gordon Bubbear, Aggie---? Headley Northover, Howard Davies, Alan Paterson, Graham Rees, Don Peacock, Rodger Chicken, Marshall Butler, Bob Horte, Ian Dunford, Bob Channon, Dave Maddy, Brian Kenny, Dave Linton, Jim Kennedy, Jim Mair, Henry Grerson, Pat Goley, Tony Scott, Theo Trigg, Michael Hill (sailed supernumerary for one voyage to gain experience,we showed him Jo Beef's in Montreal) Others on the team were ; Alf Hammer, Jas Brain, Tudor Phillips, John Wright, Tommy Porter,Harry Higgins, Roy Clark, Alan Clark, Chris Watts, Alec Grant ( shipwright who stoodby construction) Mary Gregorie, Ossie Watson, Capt. King. I'm sure there are many more I can picture faces but I cannot recall the names.

Hi all
Feel a bit of a stranger here as a Bibby Line man but had to join in as I recall many of the names mentioned.
I commenced my career on Coventry City which was operated by Bibby Line as a partner to BCl. The crew were all Bristol men and the Officers were all Bibby Line. Some great trips with wonderful scenary, horrendous North Atlantic weather, Ice fog etc. this was in 1967.
Later on BCL became part of the "Dart Container Consortium". Bibby bought out BCL to increase their share of the consortium. Because the R/O's were MIMCO they chose to leave the ships and so I was probably the first Bibby Line Officer to sail on the container ships. The two ships Dart Atlantic and Dart America were mostly BCL men (although there were a number of Southampton Men, mostly on the catering side). Looking at the list above.
I sailed with Archy Ashton, Norman Childs and Mike Winter as Masters. Also Mike Payne as C/O. Kenny Williams as C/E, "Aggie" as 3/E, also Chris Thomas.
Good voyages with a good bunch of blokes.
Alan

Sarky Cut
1st October 2008, 19:58
I joined the Dart America just as it was bought by CY Tung, those ships were hard worked across the pond, Capt Winters and Kenny Williams were on there for that trip.

It was a busy run, Southampton, LeHarve,Halifax, NewYork, Baltimore, Norfolk, Southampton, Antwerp, Hamburg, Antwerp, Southampton. 28 days round trip.

Summer and winter not that there was much differance once the UK had been left, just more fog in the spring, summer and autumn with icebergs in the spring and summer.

A.J.McMahon
7th October 2008, 15:30
Hi Alan (M29), Good to see you here, I know the feeling of a stranger, or new kid on the block so to speak ! For on the odd occasion I was asked to look at something or other on the Coventry City or the Toronto City when they were on charter to Bristol City Lines, whilst they were in port at Avonmouth.I was wary when boarding, but was always made wellcome, if viewed with a degree of suspicion.At that time I was shore side with B.C.L. and doing the odd trip. Proir to the commissioning of both Coventry and Toronto City, on I believe the Halifax City we carried a number of Bibby Lines captains. The names, Captain Butterworth and Hines or was it Haines, I seem to recall. I am not sure if they were on for the complete voyage or just the St. Lawrence seaway transit. I can only guess it was for familiarisation or possibly to obtain a pilot licence for the transit of the seaway/lakes. All the B.C.L. names you mentioned are still around , with the possible execption of Norman Childs, he seems to have gone off the radar screen. I don't miss the Dart boats the alarm in my cabin seemed to have me attending spurious alarms most of the time! The automation might be good on a static platform, but the dynamic Dart boats were another thing. I often woundered if the OBO's of Bibby's had the same bilge/ballast control system as the Dart ships. I would like to think that things have moved on a bit. Best regards AJM.

Keltic Star
8th October 2008, 05:31
Hi Alan (M29), Good to see you here, I know the feeling of a stranger, or new kid on the block so to speak !

............. Proir to the commissioning of both Coventry and Toronto City, on I believe the Halifax City we carried a number of Bibby Lines captains. The names, Captain Butterworth and Hines or was it Haines, I seem to recall. I am not sure if they were on for the complete voyage or just the St. Lawrence seaway transit. I can only guess it was for familiarisation or possibly to obtain a pilot licence for the transit of the seaway/lakes. . Best regards AJM.

Yes there was Dougie "Hines", a great chap, always very cooperative with the shore staff, took him for several good runs ashore in Toronto. I believe he passed away sometime in the mid seventies when he was then with the Dart division. Had also worked with him when he was Master of the Devonshire, Bibby's ship on charter to Mitsui OSK and I was Charterers superintendent.

Johnny Butterworth was on I think the Coventry City during those last pre-containerization days of the Great Lakes run. Also had him under Mitsui OSK charter but can't remember which Bibby ship it was.

As an aside, there were no pilotage exemptions for the Seaway, only Canadian and US ships can operate without a pilot.

A.J.McMahon
8th October 2008, 11:05
Yes there was Dougie "Hines", a great chap-----

As an aside, there were no pilotage exemptions for the Seaway, only Canadian and US ships can operate without a pilot.Hi ! Keltic Star,thanks for your post,as one who was driving blind, my "mates" were on the "steering wheel" I'm almost sure some of our Mates had pilot tickets, for at least some parts of the lakes run, maybe you would clarify. I tried to ring a few mates, now Captains(Ret'd) but they seem to be all away, guess in Eire to insure pensions are intact !!

John Rogers
9th October 2008, 01:54
A BRISTOL CREW

Now listen all you sailor lads who sail the ocean blue
I've got an old sea story with an ending that rings true.
When Columbus found Ameri-key on that far distant shore
They found a crew of Bristol lads from 20 years before

Is that true ? Aye it's true! Now would I lie to you!
I heard it in that pub down Cumb'land Basin,
Where they love their ships with passion,
It's Shipshape and Bristol Fashion,
When you ship out on the Matthew with a Bristol crew.

Now hear this all you skinboat men who wouldn't tell a lie;
Here's another little story you can set yer compass by.
There's a lad who sailed with Johnny Bull, a name of world renown
Found the girl that bent bananas down in Kingston Town.

Is that true ? Aye it's true! Now would I lie to you!
I heard it in that pub down Cumb'land Basin,
Where they love their ships with passion,
It's Shipshape and Bristol Fashion,
When you ship out on skinboat with a Bristol crew.

Now stand by all you firemen, and all you trimmers too,
When the Skinners go to graveyards there may be work to do.
When they tried a Hong Kong Blackgang, it was a big mistake
Cos they cut down all the banjos and need four men on each rake.

Is that true ? Aye it's true! Now would I lie to you!
I heard it in that pub down Cumb'land Basin,
Where they love their ships with passion,
It's Shipshape and Bristol Fashion,
When you change some wonky fireman with a Bristol crew.

So they sent for China Bailey and he brought Tom the Turk,
And Cracker Blake with Frankie Yard cos he could do the work,
Then Harry the Horse brought Wisby who had his own banjo,
And with these Bristol lads aboard, the ship was glad to go.

Is that true ? Aye it's true! Now would I lie to you!
I heard it in that pub down Cumb'land Basin,
Where they love their ships with passion,
It's Shipshape and Bristol Fashion,
When you're sailing to a graveyard with a Bristol crew

If you listen to the deep sea men who never lie at all;
There's a tunnel out of Bristol that comes up in Montreal,
When you sign on Charlie's City boats you'll never see the sky
But they have a snooker table and their balls are nice and dry.

Is that true ? Aye it's true! Now would I lie to you!
I heard it in that pub down Cumb'land Basin,
Where they love their ships with passion,
It's Shipshape and Bristol Fashion,
When you sail the North Atlantic with a Bristol crew

Now there's a story of a tanker man who went to Abadan,
He's a Bristol lad named Carey, now believe this if you can;
They used to call him lanky but he wore down both his legs.
Cos his Ma had chickens everywhere and he collected eggs ...


Is that true ? Aye it's true! Now would I lie to you!
I heard it in that pub down Cumb'land Basin,
Where they love their ships with passion,
It's Shipshape and Bristol Fashion,
When you sail on British Tankers with a Bristol crew

If you sail on Bristol Steam ships, to Rotterdam or France,
There's a story of a Bristol lad quite fond of quick romance..
He met Olga up in Denmark and got frozen to the core,
And he couldn't stop romancing till they had the summer thaw.

Is that true ? Aye it's true! Now would I lie to you!
I heard it in that pub down Cumb'land Basin,
Where they love their ships with passion,
It's Shipshape and Bristol Fashion,
When you dine on Danish bacon with a Bristol crew

So there you have the story lads, and we all know it's true,
There's be changes made in history if they'd had a Bristol crew.
There's be no Bounty mutiny in spite of Cap'n Bligh,
And Nelson on the Victory would have his other eye.

Is that true ? Aye it's true! Now would I lie to you!
I heard it in that pub down Cumb'land Basin,
Where they love their ships with passion,
It's Shipshape and Bristol Fashion,
When you sip the Hotwells' nectar with a Bristol crew


Reg Kear Australia 98.

Keltic Star
9th October 2008, 06:44
Hi ! Keltic Star,thanks for your post,as one who was driving blind, my "mates" were on the "steering wheel" I'm almost sure some of our Mates had pilot tickets, for at least some parts of the lakes run, maybe you would clarify. I tried to ring a few mates, now Captains(Ret'd) but they seem to be all away, guess in Eire to insure pensions are intact !!

The entire transit from Les Escoumains, Quebec to Cape Vincent, NY is compulsory and again for the Welland Canal, St.Claire River and the St. Mary's River. The actual open waters of the Great Lakes were optional pilotage as were most of the ports within the Lakes.
You may be thinking of the open waters across the lakes, foreign ships rarely took a pilot crossing Lake Ontario to Toronto or the Welland Canal and vice versa although some did in order to get some rest after a 36 hour transit of the Seaway. The run in those days was usually a day in each port, the job ashore was to get them in and out in the same day while the ships motive was to get a night in port somewhere. It made for some interesting moments in the Captains cabins between Port Superintendents and Masters.

Of course if Dougie Hines or Eddie Irish wanted a night in, there was no problem whatsoever, in fact it had usually been "pre-arranged" without consultation with Bristol!

A.J.McMahon
9th October 2008, 17:57
[QUOTE=John Rogers;253315]A BRISTOL CREW

Now listen all you sailor lads who sail the ocean blue
I've got an old sea story with an ending that rings true.
ect. ect.----

It's Shipshape and Bristol Fashion,
Hi John, Great poem but I sense a touch of poetic licence. You are surely not old enough to have sailed on Charlie Hill's from Cumberland basin- city docks. Next time I'm in Avonmouth I'll post a copy at the Miles Arms or the George Hotel, the Merchant Navy Club has long gone However I sense that you are not Bristol born and bred, but like myself a "Taff" who came over on the Aust ferry and could not find the way back, I did have a permit to stay as my mother's family came from Pill, they were pilots or did she say Pirate's. You'd a know how the Bristol's ur talk. Regards to you AJM.

M29
10th October 2008, 13:45
Hi Alan (M29), Good to see you here, I know the feeling of a stranger, or new kid on the block so to speak ! For on the odd occasion I was asked to look at something or other on the Coventry City or the Toronto City when they were on charter to Bristol City Lines, whilst they were in port at Avonmouth.I was wary when boarding, but was always made wellcome, if viewed with a degree of suspicion.At that time I was shore side with B.C.L. and doing the odd trip. Proir to the commissioning of both Coventry and Toronto City, on I believe the Halifax City we carried a number of Bibby Lines captains. The names, Captain Butterworth and Hines or was it Haines, I seem to recall. I am not sure if they were on for the complete voyage or just the St. Lawrence seaway transit. I can only guess it was for familiarisation or possibly to obtain a pilot licence for the transit of the seaway/lakes. All the B.C.L. names you mentioned are still around , with the possible execption of Norman Childs, he seems to have gone off the radar screen. I don't miss the Dart boats the alarm in my cabin seemed to have me attending spurious alarms most of the time! The automation might be good on a static platform, but the dynamic Dart boats were another thing. I often woundered if the OBO's of Bibby's had the same bilge/ballast control system as the Dart ships. I would like to think that things have moved on a bit. Best regards AJM.

Hi AJM
Thanks for reply.
Yes, both Butterworth and Hine were masters of the pair. Butterworth had Coventry City & Dougie Hine the Toronto City. Sailed with both these masters in other Bibby Line ships, in fact, because of the N. Atlantic experince, they both ended up on the Dart Container ships serveral years later.
Coventry City in particular was fast for her day and she was known as "Mr Bibby's Greyhound of the Atlantic"
Later on, other masters such as Mike Butler, took over. We always had pilots for the seaway's but I recall that when travelling across the lakes we did not need one.
Both these ships had variable pitch systems and I remember that the Pilot was always warned that the prop would be still turning when the ship was stationary. They were fully fitted for Lakes trade with self tensioning winches, built in rubbing strakes for the locks, forward sloping windows and window wipers for the weather.
They also had cranes rather than derricks and these proved to give a lot of problems, especially in the really cold weather.
Because of the variable pitch system, engine starts were virtually none existant and so the air start system had less capacity than a normal ship. When the lakes trade finished, they went world trading with the prop pitch fixed, due to growing problems. This caused the engineers problems I heard, due to the low air supply for starts.

With regard to Bibby Line taking over BCL, the BCL guys thought that this was underhand and were quite upset about the end of a long era, however, good seafarers that they were, they never passed on any animosity to us Bibby Line Officers. There were some references however, I well remember that the canvas cover on the deck log of Dart Atlantic had the famous Bibby Family "Dagger in Hand" crest, except is was inverted with blood dripping of the blade!!

Alan

A.J.McMahon
10th October 2008, 22:48
[QUOTE=Keltic Star;253342]The entire transit from Les Escoumains, Quebec ----

Of course if Dougie Hines or Eddie Irish wanted a night in-
Hi Keltic Star, Many thanks for your clarification,having read your post the memories flood back. I remember the Pilots at Three Rivers, Quebec and the Welland Canal, in fact I recall a rather tense moment coming down bound on the Welland. We were just approaching the top flight lock one warm sunny Sunday afternoon, I was just off duty, taking in the sights from the vantage point of the "Boat Deck", thinking to myself--and I get paid double time for this today. We were in the process of lining up on the lock entrance and by the note of the engine going dead slow ahead. I heard the telegraph ring, what must have been stop, for the engine beat ceased. I am wondering if we are going to kick ahead or are they going to leave it and come astern shortly. I was acknowledging the greetigs of the sightseers who were at the lock, I'll bet that has all changed since 9/11. Next there was a telegraph ring followed by a blast of starting air, followed by another blast of air and yet another longer blast of air, followed by what I know must have been Astern, Full Astern. As I am thinking, so the Panic Bell sounds. Moments later we are down in the engine room to see how we can assist. The telephone is ringing from the bridge, they must have been as spooked as we were, we are fast running out of starting air, there is oil pouring from a tale tell under the camshaft and the fuel pump servo is not operating, so with a bit of ingenuity, a little force and a large spanner as a lever we lift the servo in order to go astern. The outcome of all this was we had to make a part to fit, test it and have it inspected by the regulating authority before we could proceed. A bit of a close shave----I wondered if you know of any vessel that has hit the arrestor cables situated at the lock end----I think I would prefer not to put it to the test. Incidently I had noticed that we seem to do well for the odd night in port with Capt.E.I. but I had put it done to the luck of the "Irish". Best Regards AJM.

Keltic Star
11th October 2008, 04:25
[QUOTE=Keltic Star;253342]The entire transit from Les Escoumains, Quebec ----

Of course if Dougie Hines or Eddie Irish wanted a night in-


Incidently I had noticed that we seem to do well for the odd night in port with Capt.E.I. but I had put it done to the luck of the "Irish". Best Regards AJM.

Eddie Irish was also pretty good at arranging parties on board particularly in Saint John NB in the winter season! He was an excellent host.

M29
21st October 2008, 11:42
Hi all, for those of you who knew him, here is his Obituary taken from the "Bibby Gazette" No 33 Spring 1974.

"We must sadly record the death of Captain E. Irish on 11th December 1973. Having joined Bristol City Line in 1944 as Chief Officer, Captain Irish was promoted Master in 1954. On the acquisition of that company, he transferred to Bibby Line in 1972, his last command being Dart America in April last year. At the time of his death, Captain Irish was on sick leave and was due to retiere on grounds of ill health"

Best wishes

Alan

paddy jefferies
2nd November 2008, 22:02
I shipped on a few of the Bristol City ships,up the lakes mostly.longest trip was on the Toronto city about 15 months,running from South America to far east.Those were very good times, we were well looked after.I wonder is there anyone out ther that was on her at the time. Charlie Hills was always good for a pierhead jump.
Paddy Jefferies

Roy Whiting
30th November 2008, 19:31
Great thread. I served my time 1960-63 on BRISTOL CITY & GLOUCESTER CITY. sailed with masters: Steaming Jim Ramsey, Freddie Neil, Eddy Irish, mates: Davie Braid, Norman Childs, Tony Couch, Bill Coombes, 2nd mates: Alan Winter, Tony Johansen, Pete Wright (met him in Long Beach when I needed a surveyor about 12 years ago), 3rd mates: Alan Pound, Laurie Judd, Denis Williams (still meet him today), chiefs: Benny Winspear & Mr. "Old" Crowe, second: George Clark, sparks; Marty Brett, bosuns: Dorrington, Squires, Snudge & Johnny Gretch, ABs: Jack Treseder, Lofty Crapp, Bill Sharman, gays: Trixie, Stella & Charlie. Other apprentices were Alfie Davies, Tim Groves, Sid Clements, Noakes, Phil Burrow. I used to live in the same street as Ossie Watson. Johnnie Eames, Reg Keepings, Tudor Phillips. I can still picture other faces but their names are lost. I also sailed with Jack George, master of BRISTOL QUEEN who sailed with BCL just to get seatime for masters FG - otherwise the rest of his life was spent with Campbells.

Charlie Hills was a good outfit & I beleive there was a claim that they had been longer trading continuously than any other UK shipping organisation as the claimant to being the oldest shipping company had laid all their ships up during the depression. Don't know how true that was.

When & where is the next Bristol City Banquet - I'll put my name down!

Tony
Hi Tony,
I must have served my time as deck aapprentice on Bristol City and New York City just after you (1963/66). Freddie Neil was Master, Archie Ashton was Mate and Keith Miller was 2nd Mate. Paul Jones was senior apprentice. I remember Ken Williams 2nd Engineer. Bosun was Harry Higgins and Graham Holt was on deck also. The stewards were Queen Charlotte, Bubbles and Trixie.
Well remember Jo Beefs in Montreal, going to the World fair in New York around 1966. Remember long dock strike in Boston which was great for us apprentices and Graham Holt because we had three girls lined up with their Ford Fairlane 500 who picked us up each day!! Remember in Philadelphia when the Beatles were performing at the start of their fame. Dressed as Beatles with the haicut and decent suits plus the English accent, we never made it downtown but were spotted and the three of us raced back to the ship before we became souveniers.
Respects must be paid here to a great friend, a deck boy. Brian Poole from S.Wales was up the top of the funnel with me painting. He was one side, I was the other side. I came down for a smoko and found his body.
Yes, memorie of the bad times and good times will live with us all forever.

Royston Whiting

A.J.McMahon
12th January 2009, 13:04
Seeing Royston's thread brought back some of the real moments of Hell. It was not all honey and roses, shortly after I left the Montreal city, Cedric the third engineer was lost over the side, apparently after finishing his watch at 04.00hrs he was never seen again. Most probable cause was checking the steering gear and she took one over the stern. In heavy weather with a following sea, one had to think twice to go back to the steering flat on either the Montreal or Halifax City, and I'm sure many other vessels, it is better to dwell on the GOOD times.Thankfully the bad moments are few, but not forgotten. I and a few others attended the service in his memory at Shirehampton. Best Regards to everyone for 2009, AJM.

Paul Haysom
12th February 2009, 21:44
Royston, your memory for names is quite incredible, I did my first trip to sea with you on the Bristol City up to Chicago (Calumet). I remember you left after that trip.(September/October 65?)

Paul Haysom

Roy Whiting
1st March 2009, 01:27
Royston, your memory for names is quite incredible, I did my first trip to sea with you on the Bristol City up to Chicago (Calumet). I remember you left after that trip.(September/October 65?)

Paul Haysom

Yes, I remember that grain berth in Chicago which was miles from anywhere. We had to flag a train down at night with a torch to get to South Chicago. I remember one night the streets became totally deserted fairly rapidly and there I was alone as if a nuclear bomb had dropped. Because of the gang problems(I presume) there was a time curfew operating. Fortunately someone told me from their house to get off the streets before I got arrested.
I went on to the New York City after the Bristol City. I should know you, please tell me more about yourself as your name rings a bell :)

ian petrie
8th March 2009, 15:42
i joined halifax city just of the stocks at burntisland shipyard in 1964 and spent a good year on her going up the lakes from montreal to chicago and all ports in betweenl then back over to swansea then avonmouth for a spot of leave agood company to work for
can anybody that was on that first trip remember when we left burntisland to go north about to avon mouth we picked up a distress call and done a box search on the east coast with a number of other ships it was thick fog during this time does anybody remember if it was a lifeboat or trawler that was lost that day

John Rogers
12th March 2009, 17:20
[QUOTE=John Rogers;253315]A BRISTOL CREW

Now listen all you sailor lads who sail the ocean blue
I've got an old sea story with an ending that rings true.
ect. ect.----

It's Shipshape and Bristol Fashion,
Hi John, Great poem but I sense a touch of poetic licence. You are surely not old enough to have sailed on Charlie Hill's from Cumberland basin- city docks. Next time I'm in Avonmouth I'll post a copy at the Miles Arms or the George Hotel, the Merchant Navy Club has long gone However I sense that you are not Bristol born and bred, but like myself a "Taff" who came over on the Aust ferry and could not find the way back, I did have a permit to stay as my mother's family came from Pill, they were pilots or did she say Pirate's. You'd a know how the Bristol's ur talk. Regards to you AJM.


Just found your post AJ. The poem was written by a mate of mine who was Bristol born and sailed out of the mouth along with me. Yes I came from Wales in 1932 and the Aust ferry was my first trip (Not in my book) but I was raised in Avonmouth and Shirehampton. With the money I left at the George and the Miles I must be a part owner. My sailing days started in August 1947,never sailed out of Bristol docks but stood by a couple of times while crew was on leave.

John.(Thumb)

Stuart Reed
12th April 2009, 04:57
Hi Royston,

I must have been on the New York City with you. I joined her in March 1964 and did three trips, the last one ending in August of that year.

I was a fireman / greaser. I remember the Boston dock strike, when we stuck outside the harbour for a few days and being in dry dock for a while in Newark?

I'm afraid I've got a terrible memory and can't remember any names but I've attached a couple of pictures in case you recognise me. One was taken during a trip to Niagara Falls I think. I didn't own a camera then so I don't know who took them.

I am currently trying to organise my photos and experiences so my kids will have something to remember me by, so any memory-joggers would be great.

Cheers,
Stuart Reed

PS I vaguely remember my cabin mate was an old Irish guy

Roy Whiting
18th April 2009, 11:01
Hi Royston,

I must have been on the New York City with you. I joined her in March 1964 and did three trips, the last one ending in August of that year.

I was a fireman / greaser. I remember the Boston dock strike, when we stuck outside the harbour for a few days and being in dry dock for a while in Newark?

I'm afraid I've got a terrible memory and can't remember any names but I've attached a couple of pictures in case you recognise me. One was taken during a trip to Niagara Falls I think. I didn't own a camera then so I don't know who took them.

I am currently trying to organise my photos and experiences so my kids will have something to remember me by, so any memory-joggers would be great.

Cheers,
Stuart Reed

PS I vaguely remember my cabin mate was an old Irish guy

Hi Stuart,
From 1964/1966 was the World Fair in New York. I went there with my mates off the steam turbine :) ss Bristol City. I finished off my apprenticeship on the triple expansion ship ss New York City around 1966 so I don't think we were on the New York City at the same time. The only fireman/greaser who really comes to mind was 'nobbie' who used to cut a loaf of bread in half, scoop out the insides and use it as a sieve for his occasional drink of BRASSO!
I think Brasso must have had a high alcoholic content in those days!

Stuart Reed
3rd May 2009, 01:01
Does anyone else remember a white haired old guy from Pill (near Bristol) ?

I remember being so excited on my first trip and couldn't wait to get ashore in Newark but he just sat on the deck with his roll ups & told me there wasn't anything he wanted to see but could I buy him some razor blades as it was the only thing he'd forgotten to bring...

Fazcam
16th May 2009, 22:35
Hello to you all,
Just joined today so be gentle with me!
I know you deckies never saw us catering staff as 'proper seaman' but I was a typical cocky cabin boy back in 1970. In 1972,I was offered the QE2 but having seen my so called cabin,I told some Purser to stick it. He couldn't believe I had refused 'The QE2'! Too much BS on passenger ships anyway. I was then offered & sailed on the Dart Atlantic & occasionally on the Dart America for about 18 months on & off. Attained the dizzy heights of Silver Service Steward. Lol. Both were new of course & were fantastic ships for their time & the various crew were a great bunch! I have a very large framed picture on a wall of the Dart Atlantic at sea in all her glory. After that, I sailed on the Bristol City late 1973. Trip lasted about 6 months before we were all flown home from Rotterdam I think & was my last trip at sea.
Does anyone have a good picture of the Bristol City of that time, that I can have a copy of?
Regards & respect
Stephen

Jim Spratt
7th August 2009, 07:22
G,day from Western Australia to all you Charlie Hills - Bristol city seafare'ers. I shipped out of Avonmouth 23/6/1960 on the Gloucester City . According to my pay off slip which I still have the the captain was E. Irish. She was my 1st ship and as a deck boy I was also the peggy. The bosun was Johnny Gretch A Maltesian and some of the other crew I can remember by first or nick names were, (jos) Ian Waddle, I think he lived near the city ground at Ashton Gate - a sos or dhu was a Steve or Chris ???, (A.b's) Purdy and Jock, [they use to make ships in the bottle models] and an A.B. called Pincher Martin. We went over the pond to dock in Newark [ tied up in front of The Port Chalmers ] . We then went down to the Bethlehem steel at Sparrows Point in the Chesapeake bay. Then down to Norfolk Viginia to pick up Tobbaco for W.D. and H.O.Wills. I remember Johny Gretch sent me ashore to pick up cigars at a shop just outside the dock gates. We then headed home to the Bristol channel calling at Port Talbot then Cardiff and then paid off in Avonmouth. My total wages for the voyage of 1 month and 8 days inc overtime was 31pounds-0 shillings and 7 pence. After deductions for subs etc I nearly walked down the gangway with 21 pound 13 shillings and 2pence in my pocket But then the N.U.S. [union] also took a few shillings so I finished with about 21 quid square . An A.B. [or engine room worker ?] who was very well known on the B.C.line during the 1950's was a neighbor of ours at St' Annes Park. A very likeable bloke by the name of Tommy Oxenham I believe as late as 2005 he was still partaking of the singing syrup in the pubs around Bedminster Parade area. Although I have lived in Western Australia since 1970 I manage to get back home to Bristol every year to see family and friends. Good luck and all the best to you all. jrsxbristol Great thread. I served my time 1960-63 on BRISTOL CITY & GLOUCESTER CITY. sailed with masters: Steaming Jim Ramsey, Freddie Neil, Eddy Irish, mates: Davie Braid, Norman Childs, Tony Couch, Bill Coombes, 2nd mates: Alan Winter, Tony Johansen, Pete Wright (met him in Long Beach when I needed a surveyor about 12 years ago), 3rd mates: Alan Pound, Laurie Judd, Denis Williams (still meet him today), chiefs: Benny Winspear & Mr. "Old" Crowe, second: George Clark, sparks; Marty Brett, bosuns: Dorrington, Squires, Snudge & Johnny Gretch, ABs: Jack Treseder, Lofty Crapp, Bill Sharman, gays: Trixie, Stella & Charlie. Other apprentices were Alfie Davies, Tim Groves, Sid Clements, Noakes, Phil Burrow. I used to live in the same street as Ossie Watson. Johnnie Eames, Reg Keepings, Tudor Phillips. I can still picture other faces but their names are lost. I also sailed with Jack George, master of BRISTOL QUEEN who sailed with BCL just to get seatime for masters FG - otherwise the rest of his life was spent with Campbells.

Charlie Hills was a good outfit & I beleive there was a claim that they had been longer trading continuously than any other UK shipping organisation as the claimant to being the oldest shipping company had laid all their ships up during the depression. Don't know how true that was.

When & where is the next Bristol City Banquet - I'll put my name down!

Tony

Abbeywood.
13th September 2009, 08:40
Reading through the previous postings I feel I should add my two pennyworth
As a Bibby-man I was seconded to the BCL and joined the Dart Atlantic in May 1975, one, Douglas Hine in command, and thumbing through my discharge book I note that I alternated between the 'Atlantic and the 'America until September 1977 when I believe 'CY' took over the 'America, That was also the last discharge signed by Dougie as on the following trip, in the 'Atlantic, he unfortunately suffered a heart attack while in Port Newark. I believe the ship was brought home by Capt John Woodfield, but I may be completely wrong on that assumption. Corrections welcome.
Thereafter I remained in the Dart Atlantic until February 1980, at which time she still retained a few of her BCL crew members, Jas' Brain, for one, and Gordon 'Aggie' Agnes, was another
A great ship, in all respects, and a great crowd. I'll not see the like of either again

A.J.McMahon
29th November 2009, 17:22
Sailed with some GOOD men from Bibby Line. Both Dougie Hine and Butterworth did trips as supernumerary on either the Montreal City or Halifax City. If you thought "Dart" line was good, I am sure you would have appreciated Bristol City Line as it was prior to the demise of the British Merchant Fleet, I realise that I may have a tinge of bias, but the facts are, that even with a WINTER NORTH ATLANTIC run, the same faces were there trip after trip.!!! I rest my case . Thinking about it if I were younger, and the vibrational problems and the ballast system on those Dart boats were eliminated, I might think about another trip !!!!

Abbeywood.
1st December 2009, 14:02
While browsing through previous postings on the BCL thread and with reference in particular, to the above 'two-some' I would take issue with a point made by 'M29', with regard to the ships having 'locked' propeller blades, After the termination of their Great Lakes charters. and while it is true that both ships went into world-wide trading, I would venture that having sailed in both ships, (CC; 7/5/71-16/12/71, and TC; 25/5/73-14/11/73) neither had any inhibitions to their Kamewa variable pitch propellers, at that time.
Indeed the major problems in both of the ships, - Toronto City being the worst, - was the Main alternator drivers, (Davey, Paxman's) and the deck crane hydraulics, (Stothert & Pitt), although the mish-mash of cargo gear was not without its difficulties, (cranes, Hallen derricks, normal boom derricks
and (more) hydraulics on the lower hold/'tween deck hatch covers
A day-working 3rd Eng was embarked in the Toronto City to keep up with the maintenance and also a Rolls-Royce emergency generator was carried on the top of the aft deckhouse, and wired into the Main Switchboard

A.J.McMahon
1st October 2010, 20:30
Reading through the previous postings I feel I should add my two pennyworth
As a Bibby-man I was seconded to the BCL and joined the Dart Atlantic in May 1975, one, Douglas Hine in command, and thumbing through my discharge book I note that I alternated between the 'Atlantic and the 'America until September 1977 when I believe 'CY' took over the 'America, That was also the last discharge signed by Dougie as on the following trip, in the 'Atlantic, he unfortunately suffered a heart attack while in Port Newark. I believe the ship was brought home by Capt John Woodfield, but I may be completely wrong on that assumption. Corrections welcome.
Thereafter I remained in the Dart Atlantic until February 1980, at which time she still retained a few of her BCL crew members, Jas' Brain, for one, and Gordon 'Aggie' Agnes, was another
A great ship, in all respects, and a great crowd. I'll not see the like of either again

I know Jas went a long while back, but what became of Aggie ?Did he remain on the "Dart" boats or did he go on the other Bibby ships?

Abbeywood.
3rd October 2010, 15:45
I was in the Coventry City, (ante-Great Lakes trade), joining in Lourenco Marques, (now Maputo), and completed a round the world trip, ending with a jaunt across the Southern Ocean from Geelong to Valparaiso where the crew change took place. I was then posted, ignomineously, to the Toronto City, which having ended her Great Lakes runs, for which she was built, was then operating in an area for which she was not very well suited at all, and by the time of my joining, in Santander, Spain, she was, to put bluntly, approaching the status of ' nearly clapped-out', especially the generators, which instilled a loathing of all things Davey, Paxman
Somehow we got to most of the West African ports, and as far south as Lobito, in Angola, The best part of that trip was the flight home from Copenhagen.
I then spent five years, initially rotating, between the Dart America and Dart Atlantic, spending the last three years entirely in the 'Atlantic, which carried a mixed crew from both Bristol and Southampton. As mentioned elsewhere they were hard running ships, but the crew got on well together and readily helped each other dept' during emergencies, and there were a few.
Capt Dougie Hines passed away while in command of the Dart Atlantic, alongside in Newark, NJ, Gordon Agnes from Hully-gully land was my relief and I sailed with Kenny Williams when in the Dart America, Willy Crook and Don McDonald, (Chiefs in the Dart Atlantic), M29 and I crossed paths in several Bibby ships but never sailed together.
In spite of all that the North Atlantic could throw at us, I really enjoyed sailing in the ships, but then one had to be certifiable to have joined in the first place
Pete' Lambert, 3rd Eng, (long retired).

A.J.McMahon
8th March 2011, 19:58
Hello Ian,

I think we must have sailed together on the "Halifax City". I joined her on November 23 1964 and did two trips as 2nd Mate until March 10 1965, when I was transferred to the "New York City" as Mate. I'm sorry but your name doesn't ring a bell after all those years - perhaps you can jog my memory a bit!
Stoodley was Master; I think the Mate was Norman Childs, and the 3rd. Mate Phil Hickling. We had Christmas 1964 at sea, homeward bound.

Charlie Hills was a great company to work for, and the Marine Superintendent Capt. King was a man for whom any of us would do anything he asked. Certainly the best of 22 years at sea.

Sincerely,

Anthony [Jo] Johansen.

Regretfully I tell you older ex Bristol City Lines personnel that Jo after an illness of about eight weeks has died

bev summerill
23rd December 2011, 22:08
Just found this page for charlie hills .I served my time with the from Sept 1960 till I had my sea time in, 1963 I think, I will have find my indentures I enjoyed my time with them but not the weather First ship New York City then Birmingham City Bristol City and Toronto City. I am of an age now when I like wandering down memory lane. Does any one out there remember me

Bev Summerill

Split
24th December 2011, 14:21
Hello Ian,

I think we must have sailed together on the "Halifax City". I joined her on November 23 1964 and did two trips as 2nd Mate until March 10 1965, when I was transferred to the "New York City" as Mate. I'm sorry but your name doesn't ring a bell after all those years - perhaps you can jog my memory a bit!
Stoodley was Master; I think the Mate was Norman Childs, and the 3rd. Mate Phil Hickling. We had Christmas 1964 at sea, homeward bound.

Charlie Hills was a great company to work for, and the Marine Superintendent Capt. King was a man for whom any of us would do anything he asked. Certainly the best of 22 years at sea.

Sincerely,

Anthony [Jo] Johansen.

I was invited for an interview with BCL. I went somewhere else, instead. One of those things. If I had done so, I might have worked at sea all my life- One of the crossroads in life. You take the right road or the wrong one! I went ashore and things worked out well but....I left the sea. There had to be a reason. The company was good but something was missing in my life.

A.J.McMahon
22nd January 2012, 20:31
Just found this page for charlie hills .I served my time with the from Sept 1960 till I had my sea time in, 1963 I think, I will have find my indentures I enjoyed my time with them but not the weather First ship New York City then Birmingham City Bristol City and Toronto City. I am of an age now when I like wandering down memory lane. Does any one out there remember me

Bev Summerill

Hi Bev,
Your name rings a bell, but I cannot put a picture to the face. The apprentices that I sailed with are Bernie Champion. ? Noakes ? Bowles and Tim Groves and Chris New, often wonder how all the lads have fared. Shalom and Best wishes. AJM

Peter G Bowditch
25th January 2012, 11:47
Hi Bev,

I was a deck apprentice for the whole of my time from Dec 1958 til Jan 1962 on the New York City, therefore we must have sailed together during that time, do you remember me, Peter Bowditch.

andrew guthrie
25th January 2012, 14:30
Hi,
i worked with Bernie Champion in Durban South Africa for Lykes lines he was Operations manager, we shared a house together. he died of a brain tumour in 1990-91. His widow Mary still lives in Westonbirt and he has two sons Luke and daniel.
Regards Andrew Guthrie PS I did 2nd Mates Cert with Phil Burrows and was a cadet with Cris Thomas in NZScoy.

bev summerill
25th January 2012, 16:44
Hi Peter

The name rings a bell. Did you live in Bedminster

Bev

John Rogers
25th January 2012, 17:06
I envy you lot that sailed on Chas Hills luxury liners, I spent my time in the old ships they called Charlie Hills submarines. But the names mentioned in recent posts all came from the early days,good men and the best of seaman.


John.

hugdavliv
4th December 2014, 10:44
My late father sailed on a few ships of the company, Wells City, Montreal City and Bristol City. This would be in the mid 1950s. I have a lovely black and white print of the Bristol City and the sky has been coloured in. I also have a good print of the Wells City and that came from the maritime museum in Halifax.