Benvorlich

Joe Freeman
26th May 2008, 04:23
Since there is no activity on this Ben line page I thought that I should just start one.
I joined the old Benvorlich on January 20th. 1976 in Liverpool as fourth engineer for the coast voyage. She was a nice old ship having been built in 1945/6 with geared steam turbine engines. When I joined the Chippy paid off with a broken leg, the second engineer had suffered some deep cuts to his face and body from broken razor blades allegedly being imbedded into his soap. There was also some other incident but I can't quite remember what it was.
When we arrived in Dundee a fire was discovered in number 5 hold that was filled with jute and burned for about five days before being smothered with foam from the shoreside Fire Brigade. The Chief Engineer injured his back quite severely while assisting in replenishing the CO2 cylinders in their racks. He was taken to hospital and never returned to the ship. The Second replaced him until the end of the voyage I was promoted temporarily as was the other fourth engineer.
While entering Antwerp the tow rope broke loose fron the tug, came through the fairlead and clipped the Second Mate on the side of the head, he was taken to hospital returning a few days later. I broke my nose with the starting handle from the air compressor diesel when it jammed on the crankshaft after it started. I spent some time in the hospital in Dundee getting it fixed, and that's another story.
Does anyone out there have any recollections of these incidents.
All in all it was a great ship with great people.
Joe.

joller6
26th May 2008, 06:35
Nice little exert from you young days Joe,its always nice to remember things like that,even if they were not too pleasant Oouchh!!
Although i wasnt on the Ben Lines,i think they were another Flet that had good looking Vesels like my old ships the UCastle Liners.
I suppose you allready have seen this site but in case not then here it is.
Good writeups and Pics on a lot of the old Ben Boats.
Isnt Nostalgia a great thing!
Cheers
joller6

http://www.merchantnavyofficers.com/benline2.html

Also

http://www.teesships2.freeuk.com/05020140yearsb3.htm

wild welshman
4th July 2010, 15:31
hello lads,I was on the Benvorlich in the 60,s,me and David Williams,only 2 welshmen on board,the rest were mixed,a few from the north of Scotland and the Islands, big John l Jammieson and Jimmy Jammieson,Mordoc Macloud and a few more,all realy good AB,s,I was the junior ordinary seaman,my first cargo boat,it was chatty but often happy,I learnt a lot on that first trip,I even signed on for a second trip when we docked in Cardiff. It was all of south Wales verses me and Robin Hughes from the north.Anyone remember any of the above also Gyn Jones,if so, please drop me a line thank you.

R58484956
4th July 2010, 16:37
Greetings WW and welcome to SN. Enjoy the site and join in. Bon voyage.

Gulpers
4th July 2010, 20:32
hello lads,I was on the Benvorlich in the 60,s,me and David Williams,only 2 welshmen on board,the rest were mixed,a few from the north of Scotland and the Islands, big John l Jammieson and Jimmy Jammieson,Mordoc Macloud and a few more,all realy good AB,s,I was the junior ordinary seaman,my first cargo boat,it was chatty but often happy,I learnt a lot on that first trip,I even signed on for a second trip when we docked in Cardiff. It was all of south Wales verses me and Robin Hughes from the north.Anyone remember any of the above also Gyn Jones,if so, please drop me a line thank you.
wild welshman,

Also on behalf of the SN Moderating Team, a warm welcome aboard from the Isle of Anglesey - I guarantee you will thoroughly enjoy the SN experience!
You will certainly spark many happy memories when you have a chance to explore our threads and, who knows, you may even re-establish contact with old shipmates.
Good luck! (Thumb)

Joe Freeman
4th July 2010, 23:18
I was beginning to think that there was no one left out there who sailed on the Benvorlich. I must say the food on board was very good and I remember curry for breakfast which took me a few days before I could try it and found it to be very tasty. One thing that surprised me was the amount of cockroaches. We would sit around with a few beers, put the lights out for a few minutes, switch them back on and beat the little buggers with our shoe heels.
The engine room was in excellent shape even after 20 years of service even the boilers seemed to be in good shape. After a tube inspection I was informed that it would be my job to check the bask-side hand hole covers. OK when cold but a bit uncomfortable after being fired up with pressure in the boiler. After being wrapped up in damp towels, asbestos gloves and face mask, I had to quickly pass from one end of the back of the boiler to the other and on the way inspect each hand hole cover for leaks. Luckily I only had to do this once. Soot blowing was another scorcher of a job and required a rest to cool down between each blow.
None of the other machinery gave any trouble and the turbine ran as smooth as silk.
The story about the fire in No 5 hold I will relate later.
Joe.

binliner
5th July 2010, 09:14
in the late 60s was there not another Benboat with a jute fire when she was in Dundee?Have vague memories when on leave driving to Dundee for some reason and seeing a benboat with what seemed like Dundee's full fire brigade alongside.

Tom S
5th July 2010, 11:08
Binliner
You are correct I am sure it was the Benhope just after I left her there was a story about one once they had brought the fire under control a Cadet was put on duty and told to allow no one down the hatches. Along comes Captain Liston Marine Supt whom the Cadet had never met he wanted to have a look down the hatch but the Cadet wouldnt let him and and ejected him from the deck it caused quite a laugh afterwards. Cant remember all the names it was a long time ago
It would have been 1962/3
Best regards
TomS

john fraser
5th July 2010, 12:08
Binliner
You are correct I am sure it was the Benhope just after I left her there was a story about one once they had brought the fire under control a Cadet was put on duty and told to allow no one down the hatches. Along comes Captain Liston Marine Supt whom the Cadet had never met he wanted to have a look down the hatch but the Cadet wouldnt let him and and ejected him from the deck it caused quite a laugh afterwards. Cant remember all the names it was a long time ago
It would have been 1962/3
Best regards
TomS

In the later 60,s the Bencleuch also had a fire in the hold but I can,t remember if it was Dundee or Rotterdam

binliner
5th July 2010, 12:18
Tom S. it must have been later than 62/63 at that time just out of short trousers and had never heard of Benline.

john fraser
5th July 2010, 16:45
in the late 60s was there not another Benboat with a jute fire when she was in Dundee?Have vague memories when on leave driving to Dundee for some reason and seeing a benboat with what seemed like Dundee's full fire brigade alongside.
Think it was a regular thing to have a fire in a jute cargo.Remember being told of one Ben boat having a fire in Dundee,and the crew being told to standby the lifeboats.Naturally if one set of boats had been lowered,they would have landed on the quay.

Joe Freeman
10th July 2010, 01:37
The date of the fire in No 5 hold of Benvorlich was late January 1967.
Initially the ship was tied up in the middle of the river but was brought alongside near a power station where the fire brigade came on board and eventually snuffed out the fire.

shipsivanhoe
17th July 2010, 15:45
hi
i was on the benvorlich in 1974 and ben line had not long bought her from fred boltons .she was a 30,000 bulk carrier, is that the one you were on.
regards john

Joe Freeman
22nd September 2012, 22:16
I have a correction to make about my initial thread, the date was 1967 and not 1976. I just happened to review the thread and noticed my mistake.
When I discovered the fire in No5 hold I tried to raise the alarm by breaking the glass on an alarm initiator but no bells rang. I knew most of the engineers and deck officers were in the 2nd's cabin having a party. no one seemed interested until I told them that there was smoke and sparks coming out of the mastheads. The bosun was first on the scene and when the masthead door was unlocked a blast of hot air just about knocked us over. The crew jumped to it with fire hoses and CO2 was discharged into the hold without much success. After sometime the ship was tied up to a dock next to a Power Station and the shore-side fire department took over and eventually extinguished the fire with foam blanket.
I can't remember what happened afterwards as I spent most of the time replenishing the CO2 bank along with the rest of the engineers. During this time the Chief Engineer damaged his back while wrestling with a CO2 cylinder at the bottom of the stairwell, he twisted round and the cylinder slipped on the wet deck and fell on him. He was shipped off to hospital never to return. We were all given a temporary promotion and I was now on the 12 to 4 watch for the rest of the coast trip.

oldman 80
23rd September 2012, 08:09
Hmm - Benvorlich of the 67 era was another good cargo carrier for her size .
She was similar to the Benhiant (if not identical),which I did one voyage in.
These ships may have been ok on the european coast, but far east they were sweat boxes.
Although I never sailed on the Vorlich - I do remember the fire aboard her as I was on leave in Tayside at the time.
Jute ship fires were not uncommon in the Port of Dundee, and the tayside fire brigade were experts at dealing with them - they had handled a few in their time.
Benvorlich and Benhiant of the 1967 era attached herewith.

Edit:- Just for the record, the large hatch #3 on these ships had 27 hatch beams (9 in each tween deck and main deck coaming) [12 king beams and 15 queen beams in total]. It took a bit of time to sort them out on completion of discharge lift them and lower them into place. That had to be done, - you could sail with the hatch boards off in the tween decks, but the portable beams had to be in position.

ernhelenbarrett
24th September 2012, 08:54
Only did a coastal trip on the BenVorlich in 1954 when I was at leith Nautical sitting for my PMG Cert. Had been with Ben Line on deck and during the summer break at Leith Nautical Ben Line let me do a Coastal on full AB's Pay with full bonus, a great Company to sail with. Only time we had a fire in the hold was on the old BenVrackie ex SamAffric, loaded Beancake in Shanghai
and had to discharge the lot in Singapore due to spon combustion.
Ern Barrett

rowantree
1st October 2012, 15:48
Only did the one coast on the Vorlich during January 1961 as cadet a, cold continental winter as I recall. I was also on the Benreoch again as cadet in
Grangemouth when a fire started in number three, jute, timber rubber in the tweens and manioc meal in bags lower hold. The hold sealed and holes cut in the ship's side and steam pumped in and eventually suffocated the fire, that would have been 1963

oldman 80
2nd October 2012, 02:23
Only did the one coast on the Vorlich during January 1961 as cadet a, cold continental winter as I recall. I was also on the Benreoch again as cadet in
Grangemouth when a fire started in number three, jute, timber rubber in the tweens and manioc meal in bags lower hold. The hold sealed and holes cut in the ship's side and steam pumped in and eventually suffocated the fire, that would have been 1963

The reoch - correct me if I am wrong but she was in the same class as the vrackie, the lomond and the doran.
I used to believe they were the finest looking cargo ships of all time, and still do.
Unfortuntely despite 10 years with Ben Line, I was never fortunate enough to either voyage or coast on that class of vessel, something I regret to this day.
I believe they could be a bit "tender" at times, - if not quite frequently. I seem to recall a few stories of them acheiving an alarming angle of loll on a few occassions, but maybe it was just Bar talk. ?
(Pint)

P.S. Grangemouth fire brigade must surely have been a bit behind the times - 1963 Hi-Ex Foam was the favoured method by most brigades by that time, - I think. Very impressive stuff.

rowantree
2nd October 2012, 19:30
Yes Oldman they were of the same class in fact I was also on the Lomond from Jan. 1967 until Dec. 1968 as second mate.As far as being tender, they were a bit. I remember during the closure of the Suez Canal, homeward bound bunkering in Durban and home port Hamburgon altering to starboard to head for the Elbe along the P.route we heeled to starboard and stayed that way til we tied up.

oldman 80
2nd October 2012, 22:09
Yes Oldman they were of the same class in fact I was also on the Lomond from Jan. 1967 until Dec. 1968 as second mate.As far as being tender, they were a bit. I remember during the closure of the Suez Canal, homeward bound bunkering in Durban and home port Hamburgon altering to starboard to head for the Elbe along the P.route we heeled to starboard and stayed that way til we tied up.

O.K. - #4 was generally considered the culprit, - in the bar.
Just goes to show - even the bar can be educational - and in Ben Line it frequently was.
Great Company - Great People in the main.

chengnomore
8th January 2013, 13:13
The c/e who hurt his back was jimmy 'whispering'smith from edinburgh. He was still chief with b-line up till his retirement in 1977.
Died in a car accident at corstorphine roundabout in edinburgh soon after retiring. One of the good guys.
Tom R843345


I have a correction to make about my initial thread, the date was 1967 and not 1976. I just happened to review the thread and noticed my mistake.
When I discovered the fire in No5 hold I tried to raise the alarm by breaking the glass on an alarm initiator but no bells rang. I knew most of the engineers and deck officers were in the 2nd's cabin having a party. no one seemed interested until I told them that there was smoke and sparks coming out of the mastheads. The bosun was first on the scene and when the masthead door was unlocked a blast of hot air just about knocked us over. The crew jumped to it with fire hoses and CO2 was discharged into the hold without much success. After sometime the ship was tied up to a dock next to a Power Station and the shore-side fire department took over and eventually extinguished the fire with foam blanket.
I can't remember what happened afterwards as I spent most of the time replenishing the CO2 bank along with the rest of the engineers. During this time the Chief Engineer damaged his back while wrestling with a CO2 cylinder at the bottom of the stairwell, he twisted round and the cylinder slipped on the wet deck and fell on him. He was shipped off to hospital never to return. We were all given a temporary promotion and I was now on the 12 to 4 watch for the rest of the coast trip.

chengnomore
8th January 2013, 13:23
Problem with stability fixed in 1973 by adding permanent ballast in yes you guessed it #4. Only problem afterwards was that we were required to carry more deck cargo to compensate for the loss of stowage space in #4.
Tom R843345

O.K. - #4 was generally considered the culprit, - in the bar.
Just goes to show - even the bar can be educational - and in Ben Line it frequently was.
Great Company - Great People in the main.

Ali Bain
9th January 2013, 06:56
[

QUOTE=chengnomore;646810]The c/e who hurt his back was jimmy 'whispering'smith from edinburgh. He was still chief with b-line up till his retirement in 1977.
Died in a car accident at corstorphine roundabout in edinburgh soon after retiring. One of the good guys.
Tom R843345[/QUOTE]

Certainly agree that Jimmy Smith was one of the good guys, he was my chief when I was 4/e on the 'Lomond and he was a pleasure to sail with.
Ali. Bain.

alecg
16th May 2013, 17:59
wild welshman,

Also on behalf of the SN Moderating Team, a warm welcome aboard from the Isle of Anglesey - I guarantee you will thoroughly enjoy the SN experience!
You will certainly spark many happy memories when you have a chance to explore our threads and, who knows, you may even re-establish contact with old shipmates.
Good luck! (Thumb)

my old man jimmy griffiths from the far north of scotland was ab on the vorlich in 1967..

Graham the pipe
28th September 2013, 07:53
Since there is no activity on this Ben line page I thought that I should just start one.
I joined the old Benvorlich on January 20th. 1976 in Liverpool as fourth engineer for the coast voyage. She was a nice old ship having been built in 1945/6 with geared steam turbine engines. When I joined the Chippy paid off with a broken leg, the second engineer had suffered some deep cuts to his face and body from broken razor blades allegedly being imbedded into his soap. There was also some other incident but I can't quite remember what it was.
When we arrived in Dundee a fire was discovered in number 5 hold that was filled with jute and burned for about five days before being smothered with foam from the shoreside Fire Brigade. The Chief Engineer injured his back quite severely while assisting in replenishing the CO2 cylinders in their racks. He was taken to hospital and never returned to the ship. The Second replaced him until the end of the voyage I was promoted temporarily as was the other fourth engineer.
While entering Antwerp the tow rope broke loose fron the tug, came through the fairlead and clipped the Second Mate on the side of the head, he was taken to hospital returning a few days later. I broke my nose with the starting handle from the air compressor diesel when it jammed on the crankshaft after it started. I spent some time in the hospital in Dundee getting it fixed, and that's another story.
Does anyone out there have any recollections of these incidents.
All in all it was a great ship with great people.
Joe.

Good morning to you Joe. Firstly let me explain why I, as a long retired Elder Dempster Mate, should be leaving a message on the Ben Line section of this excellent site. In the early part of '57 I was at King Edward V11 th Nautical College, in London, prior to my first voyage in September of that year. Between intensive tutorials we were, very occasionally, taken to 'various places of seagoing relevance'. One such was the ship you refer to here. She was berthed in the West India docks, discharging. This was the first 'proper', ocean going vessel any of us had been aboard and we were all 'taking in as much as possible' so that when it came to the inevitable debriefing afterwards, we would be able to respond.

My most poignant memory is the smell of the spices being discharged. Why I should remember her somewhat unusual name eludes me but - to this day - the aroma of spices, to me, says Benvorlich '57.

Your time on her was - to say the least - eventful. Kind regards to you and yours GTP

Bearskin
19th October 2013, 09:36
Only did a coastal trip on the BenVorlich in 1954 when I was at leith Nautical sitting for my PMG Cert. Had been with Ben Line on deck and during the summer break at Leith Nautical Ben Line let me do a Coastal on full AB's Pay with full bonus, a great Company to sail with. Only time we had a fire in the hold was on the old BenVrackie ex SamAffric, loaded Beancake in Shanghai
and had to discharge the lot in Singapore due to spon combustion.
Ern Barrett

Hi I was on the vrackie I was edh and got my a b cert on board. John innes