9th May 2008, 18:52
Delighted to be a member of this group.
This is what I have been doing for the past few years: 1960 accepted by Union-Castle as apprentice, but decided against it, and instead had two years shore job with Clan Line, at Tilbury Docks; 1962 one of six founder members of Thames Ship Society; 1962-66 sub-editor “Lloyd’s Confidential Index”, Lloyd’s, London; 1966-72 deputy archivist Lloyd’s Shipping publications, and worked on what is now the Lloyd’s Maritime Collection at Guildhall Library, London; 1972-84 managing editor Lloyd’s publications; 1976-80 director and editor Marinart Ltd, maritime publishers; 1980-90 director and editor Offerpace Ltd, maritime publishers. From 1964 to date freelance maritime writing, including several shipping company histories in “Sea Breezes” and “Marine News”, and author of “The World’s Merchant Fleets 1939” (published by Chatham Publishing and Naval Institute Press 2001) and currently working on “The World’s Merchant Fleets 1945”. I keep an extensive maritime library, including most Lloyd’s Registers back to 1904, and about 4,000 other maritime directories and books. Joined the Maritime Information Association and its committee several years ago, and became its Ireland representative when I moved from near London to very rural County Mayo early 2007. Have also been involved with Royal National Lifeboat Institution as a fundraiser since 1965 and am a member of the RNLI Supporters Panel.
Regards from sunny Mayo
9th May 2008, 18:59
Welcome to the crew, Roger.
An excellent introduction which will make a few onboard sit up and take notice.
We look forward to your input and putting us straight when we go wildly off course.
Find your way around the ship, join in and enjoy the voyage.
9th May 2008, 19:10
Roger, a warm welcome to you. A nice introduction piece, thank you for joining the community; enjoy the site and all it has to offer, and we very much look forward to your postings in due course. Bon Voyage
9th May 2008, 19:29
From Michigan, a warm welcome to Ships Nostalgia, Roger.
As has been mentioned, a nice introduction: thanks.
I hope you find much of interest on SN--good to have you onboard.
9th May 2008, 19:39
Like the others, I'd like to welcome you to the site Roger,I see you live in my old country of yore,I am originaly from Newry in the ould County Down,now living in Kamloops BC Canada.I started out on the Newry coal boats in 1950,went deep sea on a tramp steamer from Newcastle on Tyne,and then in the next 12 years to many ships to mention.I'm sure you will have a wealth of maritime knowledge to share in the future,Paddy.
9th May 2008, 23:06
Welcome from Lancashire.
I hope you will enjoy the site.
10th May 2008, 19:12
Greetings Roger and a warm welcome to SN. Thank you for signing on and look forward to your contributions in the future, you are possibly the man with all the answers with your collection of books. Bon voyage.
10th May 2008, 22:14
Would your time with Clan Line in Tilbury been in the era of Capts. Seargent & McInnes mainly at 17/18 sheds before the formation of Metropolitan Terminals (Bill Barret) when Scruttons were your stevedores.
Phil Wilkins (Wilco)
11th May 2008, 10:23
Yes, spot on, Captain Sargeaunt (note spelling) was dock superintendent for all of the time that I was there, at the offices between 18 and 19 sheds. Captain Legg was deputy superintendent, and Fred Usher, whom I believe later went over the Metropolitan Terminals (MT) for the rest of his career, was a one-time first officer, and he was “deputy deputy super”. I recall that Fred Usher spent most of his time at home and only put in an appearance when a ship was in.
Angus Meek was engineer super and ---- Barnard was catering super.
As for other names that I recall (this is much against my wife’s contention that I am losing my memory), Arthur Halliday was wharfinger and head of the freight department, and his team consisted of Bernard Williams (later with MT), Horace Peterson and John Watson.
In the superintendent’s office were Bill Bandick, Alan Murray and me.
The only name that I recall from Scruttons was Jack Rooney. He was based in the “big office” near the Ellerman berth. Scruttons had a small office between 16 and 17 sheds (between 19 and 20 sheds was the Clan Line canteen).
As for Captain McInnes, I thought that he was Union-Castle dock superintendent but got involved with Clan Line vessels when they were on the UC berth in the Royal Docks.
When I first joined Clan Line at Tilbury, the office building was single storey, but for much of the time that I was there, building work was in progress to make it a 2-storey building. The first occupants of the new “upstairs floor” were Bill Barrett and others.
When I left Clan Line in 1962, I joined the Corporation of Lloyd’s and became a sub-editor on Lloyd’s Confidential Index. One of the reasons why I left Clan Line was the rumours that were rife that there were big changes, not employee-friendly, on the way with the setting up of MT.
Around 1965, I got an “out of the blue” phone call at home from Bill Barrett, and he asked if through my Lloyd’s connections I could come up with a complete list (for a fee of course) of all of the vessels that had come into the port of London during 1964 and 1965 with loading ports in the Indian subcontinent. I completed this in about three days, for which Barrett was very grateful, and he stood me lunch on one of the Elder Dempster E class vessels. Never got paid the fee, though. Maybe it was the lunch!
11th May 2008, 11:57
A name from my distant youth ! You may remember me ? I used to meet up with you at Tilbury and sometimes Dover along with my pals Pat and Tony Coultrip, all from the Isle of Sheppey. That was back in the 60's before I went to sea.
The love of ships has stood me in good stead since then. Ended up as Captain with Buries Markes then came ashore in 89 as a Medway Pilot, which I'm still doing.
The ship enthusiasm has not died in me , not quite an anorak but I still take plenty of photos some of which get published through Fairplay and Lloyds.
I browse this site quite regularly so no doubt will see your crop up with info. Enjoy !
11th May 2008, 13:46
Well, well! Certainly I remember you, and your pals the Coultrips. I am sending you a private message soonest.
Best regards from sunny County Mayo
11th May 2008, 14:44
Welcome from a Cork member. Some really great information in your posts.Way before you started I used pass up Tilbury on my way to Daganham.And to Paddy Mc Donnell who answered your post earlier may I say how much I enjoyed my trips to Newry on various Coasters in the early sixtys just before they shut down the Newry Sea canal. Greetings to ye all.TMULL
11th May 2008, 23:15
Hi again Roger,
Certainly some names from the past. Fred Usher, was a fellow cargo supt. at MT which was formed out of the West African Terminals & Clan with Capt Work as No.1 with Bill Barrett as his No,2. Strange enough during the war they had filled the same capacities on a R.N. destroyer. Bill Barrett was a real long range stevedore, he could discharge a ship from any of the holes at Orsett Golf Club, his favourite being the 19th!!!!!!!
Regretably Fred Usher died at a very early age during the late 60's but his wife, Marion, also a Geordie, remained with the family in Gravesend.
Capt. McInnes took over at Tilbury when both SARGEAUNT & Legge retired.
Bernard Williams joined MT as Admin Chief & was a real gentleman, & was still there when I left for Saudi in '75.
Nice to hear from someone from what I recall as the good old days, when although life in the docks was hard, it had a humour all of its own.
Phil Wilkins (Wilco)
12th May 2008, 01:46
Welcome onboard to SN and enjoy the voyage
12th May 2008, 09:03
Welcome onboard Roger, enjoy the site.
13th May 2008, 18:54
My grateful thanks to you for all your excellent well researched and very informative publications.