Brandon Priory

Bombersman
26th May 2008, 15:55
The poor old Brandon Priory seems to get little mention here, so I felt that I might add a little bit of her early history.

Built at Hawthorn Leslie (Shipbuilders) Hebburn with compound turbine and double reduction gearing made at Hawthorn Leslie (engineers) St. Peters works, she ran her HP turbine thrust on her maiden voyage in 1960. I don’t think that the cause was ever resolved. The LP turbine had the steam from the HP turbine entering in the middle and expanding axially in both directions.

At this time she had a Rory Macdonald as Chief eng. And Ellis Mason as 2/E and Willie Wood as junior second. A lad called Matty Galataly (sp?) was a first trip junior and served his time with me at Hawthorn Leslie (engineers) St. Peters works. A man who I was to become good friends with, Albert Scurr 3/E also sailed. Willie Wood, of bowls fame, died a few years ago as I am reliably informed on another thread re the Bidford Priory and has the Brandon Priory etched on his gravestone.

After running the HP thrust, she was run on the LP turbine only, presumably with the HP primary pinion disconnected and the HP turbine by passed. Returning to Hawthorn Leslie (Shipbuilders) the HP turbine must have been removed and transported to Hawthorn Leslie (engineers) at St Peters works where I was still serving my time. The turbine was moved to “seven shop” where a group of apprentices were set to work removing the insulation. Although the dangers of asbestos were known at this time it seems to have been kept quiet and most folk were unaware of the dangers.

A very small part of the work fell to me as I prepared the new HP thrust prior to being white metalled. I little dreamed at the time that I would be standing next to this for years to come while on watch.

After sea trials on the Clymene, I had hoped to join this superb ship, you can imagine my disappointment when I was transferred to the repaired Brandon Priory the same day that I started work for Houlder Bros, especially with her track record. She was also a large ship for the time at 35,000 tons. A 50,000 ton ship for Shell was being built over the river at Wallsend Slipway.

Ellis Mason, I believe was sick and the chief Rory Macdonald brought his brother Bill Macdonald along as second. Bill was a motor man and an extremely nice bloke as opposed to his dour brother. I started my trip on the 12-4 with Ron Duke who was replaced by Pat Cafferty,(sp?) from whom I was given a very good grounding on what was expected of me along with detailed explanations. Pat was a fine figure of a man and had his chiefs (motor) ticket and was getting steam time. Pat sailed on the ore carriers for a while I believe.

My first trip was from Hawthorns to Bandar Mashur - Aden - mina Al Ahmadi then back to Wilhelmshaven. At Wilhelmshaven Ellis Mason and his wife Dorothy rejoined the ship and displaced Bill Macdonald. The chief was very upset at this and left with his brother. I presume that they left the company at this point as I never heard of them again. The chief engineer who replaced Rory MacDonald was a Mr Richards who I never met again. He was notorious for field days but never troubled us.

After another trip up the Gulf with further discharges at Aden, we returned to Thameshaven where I signed off completing my first trip.

The captain during my first trip was a Captain Welsh and chief mate Mr. Saunders. Harry fieldhouse was chief steward.

non descript
26th May 2008, 16:04
Nice one; well done Bob and thank you for an excellent write-up on this one. (Applause)

Bombersman
26th May 2008, 16:54
Good on you Mark(==D)

marinero
26th May 2008, 18:03
Hello Bob.
You mentioned Captain Welsh. I did my first trip with Houlders on the "Abadesa" with him and met him on numerous occasions throughout my time with the company. The "Abadesa" was built in Tyneside by Swan Hunter, Wigham Richardson 1962 That was a nine month trip.
Regards
Leo(Thumb)

Bombersman
26th May 2008, 22:01
Hi Leo,

I never sailed with or heard of captain Welsh after that. I think that he was followed by a captain Richardson.

Paddy Slevin was chief officer on the Brandon when she was in dock at Leslies after her maiden voyage trouble, but I didn't meet him again untill I joined the Bidford for the first time. He was there for a long time. I met him as captain, last, when I joined the Oregis for a short while.

Other captains that I recall are Jim Taylor, Stan Jakobson and the last captain Mulligan who had his wife aboard the Bidford on my last trip. A Mr Charlesworth was chief officer on that last trip. Others will no doubt suface in due course as I get aboard the tardis and go back mentally in time.

Best wishes

Bob(Thumb)

Bombersman
1st June 2008, 10:33
After the HP turbine failure,(Cloud) I don't think that Houlder Bros had any more ships built at Hawthorn Leslie's yard, but I am open to correction. Had there been a fall out with Houlders and Hawthorne Lesle at this point? Perhaps Fred of Hawthorn Leslie (shipbuilders) could enlighten me or anyone else for that matter.

Bob W

NINJA
1st June 2008, 10:41
Hello Bob,

Years later the FARADAY was built at Hawthorn Leslies (1970), but she was a J type Doxford.

Regards

Ninja,

Bombersman
1st June 2008, 10:48
Thanks for that Ninja. You have answered a question that has been at the back of my mind for ages. It would seem that a fallout didn't occur. Good on you Ninja.(Thumb)

A change in the whole shipping world was taking place in that era.

Regards

Bob W.

rob mcc
22nd April 2009, 23:34
sailed on brandon priory as je 4e and 3e some of the best and some of the worst times in my seagoing experince

MARINEJOCKY
25th April 2009, 00:40
My second trip to sea was onboard the Brandon Priory, Joined in Cherburg and after arriving at midnight was turned too and told to get inside the main condensor to clean it out. I told the 2/E there was no way I would get in or out of there at which point the pro' third proceeded to come out along with his huge beer gut.

Memories,

Welding up the baffle plate inside the boiler and falling off the ladder, recovering to find the C/E just about to start mouth to mouth, string vest and beret on his head and all.

Shuffling around the gulf in July & August before going to Aussie.

Closing the main steam stop valve which stuck out from the platform making you having to sit on the pipe to use the pipe wrench

Nine turns in and nine turns out three times for each soot blower and I think there were eighteen between the two boilers.

Automatic gland steam valve not working on auto and having stand up on the plates just inside the crews alley door way watching the pressure and trying to keep it as 180, was that the correct figure after 37 years.

Little brass plates at the bottom of each sheet of veneer on the bulkheads in my cabin which I think was the first cabin to port in the mid-ships block.

The 5/E pissing in his sink on the other side of the bulkhead to me and not running his taps to flush it.

Getting drunk in Freemantle and accepting a lift back to Kiwana but then these guys pushing me out of the car in what seemed a desert. I walked for 1/2 the night with only the flames from the refinery as a guide to get back to the ship.

93 days from the Gulf, around the Cape, Cape Verde for bunkers 30 days after BP thought we were going to be there and finally leaving the engine room at FWE and smelling the pine trees as we were at anchor off Portland, Maine, USA. Alongside and a quick flight back to Boston before heading home.

Brandon Priory certainly loved her and like alot of women in my life also hated her but will always have many many memories.

fred henderson
25th April 2009, 14:53
Houlder ships built by Hawthorn Leslie after the launch of Brandon Priory in 1959 (by launch sequence) were: -

1960
Ship 744 – Hardwicke Grange
Ship 740 – Clymene
1961
Ship 751 – Ocean Transport
1966
Ship 759 – Clerk Maxwell

In 1968 the Hawthorn Leslie shipyard at Hebburn was taken over by Swan Hunter & Tyne Shipbuilders. In 1972 Hebburn built Faraday (SHATS Ship No 12) for the Houlder part of the Furness Withy empire. Shortly after that date Houlders were in terminal decline and ceased to be a separate entity.

Fred (Thumb)

Bombersman
14th May 2009, 20:51
Marinejockey said: -
"Nine turns in and nine turns out three times for each soot blower and I think there were eighteen between the two boilers. "
The "Clyde electromek" automated soot blowers fell into disrepair bit by bit as I recall giving need to blowing tubes by hand. I can still see the control panel in green in my minds eye. The Bidford had pneumatic automated soot blowers which went the same journey as the Brandon's, mainly due to quality of compressed air combined with heat I suspect. As Jun eng. with Mike Mitchell on the 4-8 it was my job to blow tubes every morning. I remember that in the gulf in summer when the temperatures were at their highest, being unable to breath when blowing the economisers and having to run round aft of the economisers where the air temperature was breathable, getting a lungful then blowing the economisers while holding my breath.

"Little brass plates at the bottom of each sheet of veneer on the bulkheads in my cabin which I think was the first cabin to port in the mid-ships block." saying "English Cherry" if I remember correctly.
That was also my cabin on my first trip.

Kind regards

Bob W.(Thumb)

MARINEJOCKY
15th May 2009, 22:00
Hi Bob,

I remember that panel now that you mention it. Was there not white lights on to indicate power and the green ones came on once the things worked and had gonwe thru' the cycle.

I am trying to remember things about her. was there two steam turbine generators up on the port-side, the control platform was down to starbaord with two steam reciprocating pumps outboard of that. Above the control panel was the main steam supply valve. The door for direct access to the crews alley way was way up high to port outboard of the boiler.

Like I said my worst jobs was the automatic gland steam valve that did not work, the soot blowers and closing that main steam supply valve.

Coming from my first trip onboard the Cumbria when she was only about 1 year old to the Brandon was an eye opener and too be honest that did it for me. I had been onboard the Cerinthus as a kid with the super' Bill Robson when that ship was in dry dock at Bringum & Smashums and thought that was going to be my life, sailing the world on steam tankers but reality set in after the Brandon and I stuck to motor. I could not believe I was expected to pass out from the heat just to complete my job.

I can not remember anybody from the Brandon but maybe it was Paddy Slavin who was old man and the chief always wore bermuda shorts, a vest and a berot. All good guys and I wish I had written down all of their names, in fact I wish I had done that on all of my old ships but I did not and nvever kept in touch.

It is fun trying to remember the layout though and I certainly did not remember the name of the veneer in "our" cabin but I have repeated the story many times on how the sheets had the name at the bottom.

I think the bar was directly inboard from that cabin door. I also seem to remember a 3rd or 4th had smashed up the bar one night after their watch but I heard and saw nothing.

As for the deck side, I can not remember doing any work out there at all, indeed the only thing I remember is crawling out of the passageway onto the port-side deck after closing that F---ing valve at the end of each passage. I think the duty mess was also on the port-side.

Also I think the walk in refrigerators and freezers were on the starboard side which we visited during the night while on watch. In fact i think the 12/4 watch got enough food for them and us on the 4/8.

Best regards, Malcolm

Bombersman
16th May 2009, 16:02
Malcom said: -

I am trying to remember things about her.

How about this then Malcolm to refresh your memory (after all this is ships nostalgia)

Two Allen (I think) Turbo-alternators Port and starboard either side of the main electrical panel which was forward and at a level above the main HP and LP turbines. At this level on the port side going from aft to forward was a Fresh water evaporator which double distilled the raw feed from the two Caird and Raynor “Vavacs” which could each produce 4 ton of raw feed water per watch. At the same level on the starboard side and behind the Starboard Turbo-alternator were two Steam/steam generators producing steam for purposes where oil contamination was possible such as cargo heating coils and fuel oil heater in the stokehold. Aft at this level and mounted on the bulkhead separating the stokehold from the engine room were the steam distribution pipes with their isolating valves supplying superheated steam at 600 psi and 85o deg of superheat to the various items in the engine room.

At level of the main turbines. On the port side were the various pumps associated with the “Vavacs” etc. Forward was the LP feed water heater port and Cargo pump condenser (of ill repute) starboard. On the port side (forward to aft) was the Tank which received condensate from the steam produced by the steam/steam generators then the two Lub. oil coolers. Tucked behind these were two heat exchangers. Next were the control panel and main steam control valves for the forward and astern control along with a separate isolating valve for astern steam. Aft of the controls was the vertical HP feed water heater with IGEMA boiler water level gauges mounted. Forward of the main turbines were two air ejectors.

At the next level down were most of the pumps. On the starboard side were three boiler turbo feed pumps running forward to aft with the third one offset towards the ship side. Two large reciprocating feed pumps supplying the steam/steam generators and a smaller large reciprocating feed pumps tucked to the ships side outboard of the second Turbo-feed pump. On the port side were the two main condenser circulating pumps, Main condenser and main feed tank. Dropping down forward of this level was the cargo pump level with three cargo pumps and ballast pump all turbo driven. The De Laval purifiers lived down here as well. Aft of the main engine reduction gearing was the main thrust followed by the prop shaft. Port side of the shaft was the de-aerator with two compressors for the bailey board and on the starboard side was the emergency diesel alternator and just aft of that was a compressor for staring the diesel.

I’ll stop there on my tour of the engine room, as I am beginning to even bore myself, so heaven help everyone else.

I mentioned above the cargo pump condenser of ill repute and will bore everyone who has struggled this far by explaining why I give it this title. On what was to be my last trip on the Brandon, I was senior third engineer and carried out the boiler water tests. When we came into port the chlorides generally climbed a bit and were kept down by blowing down the boilers a bit and the consequent adding of boiler water treatment to maintain alkalinity and phosphates. I drew this fact to the attention of the chief and was told to just continue to go on as I was to maintain the required levels. I also suggested that this situation only arose when in port (when the cargo pump system was in use). In all fairness, the deck condenser which was in series with the cargo condenser with regard to sea water cooling, was opened up and checked for sea water leaks to no effect. My next trip was on the Bidford where similar conditions started to show. This time the cargo condenser was opened up and sea water leaks discovered from the main stay rods. This was cured effectively and the problem solved. Shortly after this we heard that the Brandon had had a severe case of priming from the main boilers arising in damage to various turbines. I suspect that the ongoing problem resulted in an excess of boiler chemicals causing the priming.

Warmest good wishes

Bob

MARINEJOCKY
16th May 2009, 19:17
Bob,

Obviously your memory is much better than mine, maybe as you were on both more than me, and it was great reading your post.

I will re-read your post a few times and see if it brings back more memories but already I remember those reciprocating pumps better.

Was I right about that gland steam valve being up high outboard of the port boiler and it never worked on automatic so when on stand-by some one (me when I was onboard) had to stay up there. I seem to remember a door into the crews alleyway being close by so you could get some cool air but it was impossibe to stand still on the upper platform due to the heat melting your shoes.

How much more do you remember about the accommadations, both forward & aft. Was there teak planking on the side decks.

I'm sitting here smiling, reading your post Bob and thinking back to those days, certainly nostalgic, good & bad memories and this is what this site is all about.

Have a great weekend,

Regards, Malcolm

Bombersman
17th May 2009, 10:40
Bob,

Obviously your memory is much better than mine, maybe as you were on both more than me, and it was great reading your post.

I will re-read your post a few times and see if it brings back more memories but already I remember those reciprocating pumps better.

Was I right about that gland steam valve being up high outboard of the port boiler and it never worked on automatic so when on stand-by some one (me when I was onboard) had to stay up there. I seem to remember a door into the crews alleyway being close by so you could get some cool air but it was impossibe to stand still on the upper platform due to the heat melting your shoes.

How much more do you remember about the accommadations, both forward & aft. Was there teak planking on the side decks.

I'm sitting here smiling, reading your post Bob and thinking back to those days, certainly nostalgic, good & bad memories and this is what this site is all about.

Have a great weekend,

Regards, Malcolm

You're quite right Malcolm; I spent most of my sea time on the Brandon and Bidford Priories which has burnt into my brain some unforgettable memories. This will account for mental pictures of those ships that are as clear as if I had just signed off yesterday (well almost (==D) )

Was I right about that gland steam valve being up high outboard of the port boiler and it never worked on automatic so when on stand-by some one (me when I was onboard) had to stay up there. I seem to remember a door into the crews alleyway being close by so you could get some cool air but it was impossibe to stand still on the upper platform due to the heat melting your shoes.
Quite right Malcolm, but I don't recall any problems with the gland steam pressure so things must have worked during my time. I can still picture the pressure gauge on that steam line and almost feel the heat coming through my engine room shoes at that point. The door to the port side fireman's accommodation was placed conveniently near as you have pointed out. This was also used for a breather when working in the higher parts of the boiler room. I remember one morning during my first trip when working a field day with the second, Bill McDonald, using this bolthole and the second coming up with some nice cold apples from the fridge. I don’t think I have enjoyed apples as much since.

How much more do you remember about the accommadations, both forward & aft. Was there teak planking on the side decks.
I do remember that our accommodation amidships was superb, with the bulkheads lined in polished veneer as you have mentioned. The Bidford wasn’t quite up to the same standard as the Brandon; as the electrical cable on the Bidford in the alleyway were exposed whereas on the Brandon they were boxed in making things feel smarter. The cabin that both of us occupied on the port side aft was opposite to another cabin inboard on the other side of the alleyway. Forward of this cabin was the Pantry where we made coffee or tea and had a fridge for our beer to be cooled. The pantry led inboard to the smoke room. Going for’d from our cabin there were two more cabins before the Chief’s cabin at the point where the alley way turned athwart ships ( one of the chiefs I sailed with use to love that word ). Two more cabins facing the foredeck were followed by the Lecky’s cabin then the Second’s cabin. With the exception of the Lecky’s cabin and the chief’s I occupied all of these at one time or another on both the Priories.

I remember the external decking throughout the ship being in timber with smart black caulking in the joints but I don’t know if the timber was teak. The accommodation decking was covered in ships lino. A chief steward called Don Sally (sp?) made an excellent job of the lino in our accommodation by painting it with “Gleam”. Unfortunately the deep gloss soon was lost with the constant passing of feet. Our friend Marinero, on these boards, recalls stripping this “Gleam” soon after.

Going Aft from the Midships accommodation along the flying bridge with it’s three refuge points for bad weather took us to the aft accommodation with the Saloon on the port side serving excellent food. As we walked along the portside we passed an inboard entrance leading to the steward’s accommodation before the second entrance which had the saloon on the immediate right. Turning left in this alleyway and heading forward, there was a cloakroom followed by the chief’s office then the duty mess and finally the engineers changing room all on the outboard side. On the inboard side was of course the bulkhead of the engine room.

When I first went to sea the engineer’s duty mess was used by the 12-4 for a breakfast of bacon, eggs, sausage and toast which was left out for when they came off watch in the morning. Sadly, this service was abused by someone and I was disappointed on rejoining the ship to find that this facility had been stopped and was never again re-instated.

Oh! How I ramble. I could go on all day but will relieve you at this point.

Getting away from the sea for a bit, I do a lot of walking and frequently pass or stop at Wark, which I always now associate with you Malcolm.

Kind regards

Bob

MARINEJOCKY
17th May 2009, 19:14
Hi Bob,

I am going to PM you with my parents number in Wark, they are getting on a bit, my dad was 80 last thursday but would make you welcome. Leo called in to meet them many years ago when they had the post office in the Village.

Reading your postings reminded me of the possibility that the decks were covered in planking, I seem to remember making it out of the engine room and collapsing onto the deck through heat exhaustion. 30 to 40 salt tablets a day was the norm'.

It is funny how you remember things, that gauge for the gland steam was about 4" diameter and apparently had been changed from a smaller size just so that an engineer or in my case a cadet could see it from the door. Yes I made it through that door a few times when I was blowing tubes manually.

Another thing I well remember is being inside the boiler welding patches onto the dividing plate between the furnace and up-takes (probably there are proper names for that). Using asbetos gloves that gopt soaked with sweat so when you went to change the welding rod you got a buzz, one time that buzz was really bad when I was welding the spokes onto the plate that secured the insulation in place and it knocked me off the ladder. The chief was going to give me the kiss of live until I came too (thank Goodness).

I am sitting here writting this in an air conditioned office in my home and realise I am remembering that taste in your mouth from the extreme heat and dust from moving around the top of the boiler's.

I had better have a beer.

regards, Malcolm

Bombersman
17th May 2009, 20:00
Hi Bob,

I am going to PM you with my parents number in Wark, they are getting on a bit, my dad was 80 last thursday but would make you welcome. Leo called in to meet them many years ago when they had the post office in the Village.

Reading your postings reminded me of the possibility that the decks were covered in planking, I seem to remember making it out of the engine room and collapsing onto the deck through heat exhaustion. 30 to 40 salt tablets a day was the norm'.

It is funny how you remember things, that gauge for the gland steam was about 4" diameter and apparently had been changed from a smaller size just so that an engineer or in my case a cadet could see it from the door. Yes I made it through that door a few times when I was blowing tubes manually.

Another thing I well remember is being inside the boiler welding patches onto the dividing plate between the furnace and up-takes (probably there are proper names for that). Using asbetos gloves that gopt soaked with sweat so when you went to change the welding rod you got a buzz, one time that buzz was really bad when I was welding the spokes onto the plate that secured the insulation in place and it knocked me off the ladder. The chief was going to give me the kiss of live until I came too (thank Goodness).

I am sitting here writting this in an air conditioned office in my home and realise I am remembering that taste in your mouth from the extreme heat and dust from moving around the top of the boiler's.

I had better have a beer.

regards, Malcolm

I am going to PM you with my parents number in Wark...
Good!

...they are getting on a bit, my dad was 80 last thursday but would make you welcome. Leo called in to meet them many years ago when they had the post office in the Village.

I'll make a point of doing just that and incorporate a visit with one of my walks. When my two sons were about 9 and 11 (now 41 and 39) Stonehaugh up the Warksburn was a regular place for us to camp. When my older son was a bit older he camped there with friends a few times. Wark being the nearest place for a beer was frequently visited.

A couple of years ago some friends and I walked from Wark to Redesmouth via Countess Park where we passed the Duke of Northumberland fishing. The return was in heavy rain.

I had better have a beer.
All this talk of the boiler tops etc; I think I'll join you.[=P]

Kind regards

Bob

MARINEJOCKY
17th May 2009, 23:41
Do you remember the Totem poles at Stonehaugh, they were made by Joe & Barty Pott's, friends of mine. Kind of unusual to see them down by the burn.

My mother came from Redesmouth and her dad was a local train driver in that area until they shut the railway down and he moved to Bishop Auckland. I have six black & white photos of my granda's train in and around Redesmouth from the 50's I think plus another photo of other relatives on the platform at Wark station before it too was closed. All of those photos have pride of place in my office here in Florida.

Redesmouth was a busy place as it was the crossroads of trains coming from the south and then heading either due north or west.

As a kid my mother took me to Darlington station to meet Granda and the idea was for me to ride on the foot plate of the steam engine back to West Auckland or Shildon. I was lifted up onto the plate but then the fireman opened the furnace door and the flames shot out, I too shot off and never turned around until I was save in my grandma's arms. A great experience missed or so they told me.

Make sure you talk to my parents about walks as they have lived there all their lives and there are alot of walks that were made by the Romans and are now covered in grass and are hard to find unless you know of them. Also did you go to Long Lea to check out the long pack when in that area.

Another good walk is from Redesmouth continuing up to Woodburn. Part of that walk passes what was the Tank testing area to the east of the River and the farm called the Hole to the west. Bill Robson who was a super' with Hadleys and also sailed on the Priory's and who now lives over here had cousins who ran that farm and I was brought up most summers on the same place from being a wee boy.

All good memories again, Regards, Malcolm

Bombersman
18th May 2009, 16:41
A very interesting post Malcolm.

The last time that we did the walk that I mentioned earlier we also bumped into the present resident of the signal box at Redesmouth, now converted into a house, and had a good chat with him. I believe that the “Diver” a sardonic nickname for the engine involved in the Tay bridge disaster was housed in the sheds at Redesmouth junction for a time. This was the engine that Scottish engine drivers refused to drive after it’s recovery on superstition, or so I am told. No doubt a chat with your mam and Dad will add to this story.


Do you remember the Totem poles at Stonehaugh, they were made by Joe & Barty Pott's, friends of mine. Kind of unusual to see them down by the burn.
Yes I remember them well Malcolm and I also remember when they were put there being mentioned on the tele. Some thought them incongruous but we liked them.

Make sure you talk to my parents about walks as they have lived there all their lives and there are alot of walks that were made by the Romans and are now covered in grass and are hard to find unless you know of them. Also did you go to Long Lea to check out the long pack when in that area.
I’ve been to the churchyard in Bellingham where a grave commemorating the long pack is to be found

Long Lea, I don’t know but will investigate further. I believe the incident happened at Lee Hall or so I have been told, but stand to be corrected.

Bill Robson who was a super' with Hadleys and also sailed on the Priory's…
When was Bill on the Priories? I don’t recall his name other than from earlier posts by yourself.

Kind regards

Bob

MARINEJOCKY
18th May 2009, 21:47
Bob,

You are correct, it was Lee Hall and not Long Lea.

I have been looking at the old photos of Redesmouth which show the signal house at the end of the platform with one set of rails coming in towards the signal house and the lines to either side which I assumed head either to the north or west.

There is a big building directly behind the signal house that I understand had the very large water tank above. If I remember correctly there was a maintenance shed somewhere in the station yard and also a turn-table.

My grand-parents house was Rose Cottage which was down the wee lane to the right as you enter the village.

Back in the day I went to Bellingham secondary school and we had to do our runs for PE along to Redesmouth tunring around below the Viaduct. Next to that Viaduct was a gate into the field and there was an old road covered in grass that was the old road to Woodburn. As far as I remember all of those roads had a name and were public right of ways.

I will ask Will Robson when he as on the Priory's the next time I see him. He did his apprenticeship on the Tyne and his Ucle was Mr. Hill who ended up as Senior Super' for Houlders/Furness. The last I heard was Mr. Hill lived on Brunton Bank which is above Cholerford.

MARINEJOCKY
18th May 2009, 23:29
Hi Bob,

I spoke to my parents tonight so you are all set to stop there anytime, give them a call and I am sure they will make you welcomel. My mother was telling me (for the first time) that she planted a shrub the day I went off to sea for the first time and this year the thing is flowering like never before. I hope that is nothing but good signs.

Anyway, the people who converted the signal box were called Scotts and the engine from the Tay bridge was nicknamed the "Dipper".

Another interesting item they told me was that during the war Stephenson's "Rocket" was hidden away inside the engine shed at Redesmouth under a cover. I think it is now on dislay at York. My granda would let my mother & her sister drive his engine into the shed and my mother said her sister and her were just talking about it last week, wondering what would have happened if they had bumped the Rocket.

Maybe when you get to Wark they may have some photos of the Brandon as I am sure I left a load there and they keep saying I will get them all when they are gone.

Bombersman
19th May 2009, 10:12
I have been looking at the old photos of Redesmouth which show the signal house at the end of the platform with one set of rails coming in towards the signal house and the lines to either side which I assumed head either to the north or west.
If these photos were on the internet then I have also seen them. Seeing these shots fills me with regret that I didn't ride those old lines when they were still in use. I did however do a few trips on the Alston line before it was closed taking my two sons with me, it was like stepping back in time.

There is a big building directly behind the signal house that I understand had the very large water tank above. If I remember correctly there was a maintenance shed somewhere in the station yard and also a turn-table.
Little change there Malcolm other than the fact that the area is now all residential.

My grand-parents house was Rose Cottage which was down the wee lane to the right as you enter the village.
I’ll certainly look out for it.

Next to that Viaduct was a gate into the field and there was an old road covered in grass that was the old road to Woodburn. As far as I remember all of those roads had a name and were public right of ways.
I must check that out and incorporate it on one of our walks.

The last I heard was Mr. Hill lived on Brunton Bank which is above Cholerford.
I must have, unknowingly, passed his house many times.

Kind regards

Bob

Bombersman
19th May 2009, 14:43
I spoke to my parents tonight so you are all set to stop there anytime, give them a call and I am sure they will make you welcomel.
That was very thoughtful of you Malcolm. I have given them a call as mentioned on my Email.

[I}…the engine from the Tay bridge was nicknamed the "Dipper". [/I]
I have always heard it referred to locally as the “Dipper” but the websites that I have visited called it the “Diver”. Either nickname is appropriate. 

The Rocket’s last working days were on the mining tracks in the area near Tindale Tarn. I found this out in a book called “The Roman Ring”, a walking guide written by a Mark Richards who writes walking guides and is a contributor to radio programmes in the Carlisle area. I met Mark near Tindale Tarn on one of my walks and had a good chat with him and his wife who were both very friendly and amiable people.

All of my photos are on transparencies which were all the rage at the time when Alan Lowery and I bought cameras at Little Aden. I have meant to get these transferred to prints, but never yet got round to it.

Kind regards

Bob

MARINEJOCKY
19th May 2009, 14:51
I wonder what ever happened to Alan Lowery, does he have any family in Newcastle who could help. As I have posted previously I thought Alan was great and learnt so much from him and always had a good laugh.

Bombersman
19th May 2009, 14:59
With tongue in cheek, I might build up some courage and visit the house where Alan used to live with his two brothers, the oldest caled Fred. A lady called Nell and a lot older than the lads lived there, but I never had the temerity to ask what relation she was. I suspect guardian.

Welsh Dragon
19th May 2009, 16:48
Alan was living in Santos Brazil. Sure his wife was from there.

MARINEJOCKY
19th May 2009, 17:17
Alan was living in Santos Brazil. Sure his wife was from there.

I know for certain Alan was living there in 1979 but after paying off from the Cavendish that year I loast touch with him. I did have an address for him in Santos and sent him a letter but about 3 years after sending it I got it back and assumed he no longer lived at the same address. (or he did not want to hear from me, joking).

I know he had two kids and then his wife was rushed to hospital when carrying the third. He was C/E on the Cavendish with me as 2/E and he left to be with his wife so I was C/E for a couple of weeks until they found another one to come out.

Peter Warrender (Thor)
23rd October 2009, 14:54
Hi all
The fire started in the boiler room feb 1975. We were off Port elizabeth, It actually started on my job while I was working on the forced air fans at the very top of the boiler room. I had washed out a bearing with some fluid the Scottish 2nd engineer had given me. The heat up there was tremendous. all I can think happened was the cleaning fluid self combusted due to the heat. I was always having to be operating the dreaded Gland valve while we were on standby. I lost a stone or two in 3 months. This was first and last trip at sea. I am sure all the Engineers and crew will remember my trip with them.

Regards Peter Warrender (Thor)

Bombersman
23rd October 2009, 20:03
Hi Peter and a warm welcome to SN.

Malcolm, Marinejockey, has mentioned that valve in earlier posts here. I don't recall having any trouble in that direction, but I left in Houlder Bros. in 1966 having been mainly on the Brandon and Bidford for six years.

It certainly was hot up by the forced draught fans in the boiler room. I remember blowing tubes by hand when I was J/E when it was too hot to breath up by the economisers in the gulf at the hottest part of the summer. Any attempt to do so would give a burning sensation in the mouth so that it was necessary to nip round to the back of the economisers, get a breath and hold it till the economiser sootblower had been operated.

Despite having everything on the menu and a return on the main course at every meal, I used to come home on leave a mere ten and a half stone, quite light for a bloke of five foot eleven.

Best wishes

Bob W.

MARINEJOCKY
28th October 2009, 15:19
Hi Thor,

I was on the Brandon between March 74 and July 74 as a cadet eng. and I remember that Gland steam valve like I was standing in front of it right now. The gauge was about 4" in diameter and the valve was about 10 to 15 feet aft of the door that gave you direct access to the port-side crews alleyway.

I think we had to keep the pressure above 90 PSI. Any standing still on the plates or grating in front of the valve resulted in your shoes melting. Those temperatures must have conditioned my mind to stay away from the cold as I live in Florida and here we are at the end of October and it is 91 degree's outside and it is just after 9am.

Hi Bob, any walking lately or any good photo's of the old country.

Bombersman
29th October 2009, 21:35
Hi Bob, any walking lately or any good photo's of the old country.

Yes, I was up at Kielder two weeks ago, and sent you an Email with a link to photos of a walk around the Bull Crag peninsular, which it sounds as if you didn't get.

Kind regards

Bob

Bombersman
29th October 2009, 21:52
Those temperatures must have conditioned my mind to stay away from the cold as I live in Florida and here we are at the end of October and it is 91 degree's outside and it is just after 9am.

This sounds very familiar Malcolm. I was surprised to find that after decades away from the REAL heat, exposure to higher temperatures has less effect on me than on others who have not had that baptism of fire up by the economizers at the peak of Persian Gulf and Red Sea summers. Nora my wife and her sister Blanche were wilting at Palm Springs with temps of about 100 deg f and I had to refrain from saying "What, this is nowt man"

In Majorca recently when my son and his wife accompanied me on a couple of walks of about 8 miles when it was 93 deg. F, according to the car thermometer, I wasn't at all bothered.

Cold weather is a different matter!

Bob

lesleywoodhouse
9th November 2009, 18:59
Dear Bombersman, l have found my way to this forum whilst trying to research my family tree. You mention an Albert Scurr, who may be a relation of mine. Do you recall any other information about Albert, such as birthplace, did he mention any siblings etc. It may be that your Albert Scurr is not the one l hope he may be, but nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Anything you may remember about him would be appreciated, if only to rule him out.

Bombersman
10th November 2009, 14:55
Hi Lesleywoodhouse, and my I extend a warm welcome to Ships Nostalgia (SN).

Albert was born (I think) or spent the early years of his life in North Shields and lived in the area previously known as "The ridges" or Ridgeway estate later renamed The Meadowell estate. Whether or not he was born there I am not certain, but believe he was.

I seem to recall that he mentioned that he had sisters, two at least but seldom mentioned his family.

He was older than me by about a year or two which would make him 72 or 73 years old. He sailed with Houlders from 1960 till about 1964/5. This included a trip on the brandon Priory on her maiden voyage when she ran the HP turbine thrust. Prior to that he had sailed on a coaster called the "Bokum" (sp?) which was a steam recip. job.

I think that he served his apprenticeship at North eastern Marine.

He now lives in Howdon, North Tyneside, Tyne and Wear. Previously after marrying he lived at Percy Main.

I hope that this helps.

Kind regards

Bob W.

steam train
17th November 2009, 23:11
Hi All,

I sailed with Pete on the voyage that had the engine room fire.I was sailing as 4th Engr.Joined the ship in the gulf on the way to Ras Tunura.Capt Luff was master,2nd mate Drake,3rd mate Jim Gray.C/E Ellis Mason,Sammy Mcgarray,2E Ronnie Marr,3E Ron Pennycook J/E Gordon Morcom.
Lots of extra engineers joined after the fire along with Welders from the U.k. to help carry out repairs.

A few more trips were made to Bonny for oil before we took the ship to breakers yard in Spain.

Given more time probaly remember other names of other guys.
Kind Regards

steam train

rob mcc
26th March 2011, 04:35
150psig was the de-sup range pressure on the brandon on my first trip to sea i joined in hambourg on leaving going down the elb i was placed in front of said valve at 0400hrs being told that if the pressure dropped to much the turbo alternators would loose vacum and we would blackout [total electrical failiour] i stayed until about1400hrs at wich time i staggered down to the boiler room the third engineer looked after me and abused the second for forgeting about me looking back i find this quite amusing i was told by an old fireman/donkeyman that if you could put up with this you could sail on any ship he was spot on

MARINEJOCKY
29th March 2011, 00:54
150psig was the de-sup range pressure on the brandon on my first trip to sea i joined in hambourg on leaving going down the elb i was placed in front of said valve at 0400hrs being told that if the pressure dropped to much the turbo alternators would loose vacum and we would blackout [total electrical failiour] i stayed until about1400hrs at wich time i staggered down to the boiler room the third engineer looked after me and abused the second for forgeting about me looking back i find this quite amusing i was told by an old fireman/donkeyman that if you could put up with this you could sail on any ship he was spot on

Hi Rob, was that the valve at the top of the boiler room on the port-side that was manually operated by the youngest or newest first tripper or by a cadet or junior who had p155ed the 2nd off. It was supposed to be automatic but like the soot blowers the automation had long gone.

I had the privelege of doing that job at each stand-by up the gulf in July & August. Standing up there I often wondered what the heck was I thinking but as you said if you could do that job you could do anything including operating those soot blowers by hand, what was it nine turns in and nine turns out for each 11 blowers, what ever it was, it was frigging hard.

Happy memories :sweat:

steamship
1st April 2012, 10:56
I wonder what ever happened to Alan Lowery, does he have any family in Newcastle who could help. As I have posted previously I thought Alan was great and learnt so much from him and always had a good laugh.

I remember Alan and yes he was a good guy. Mason then Donker were the chiefs. Years later I was in the Leadenhall office downstairs and met my wife's uncle Jimmy Reid for the first time and Harry Donker was there though I'm not sure what he was doing then.

steamship
12th April 2012, 20:37
Hi there all,
Anyone remember when we caught the chief steward and the chief cook selling
food in Las Palmas. Ron Duke called the local police as the captain wasn't on board. The food was pretty lousy anyway, then we knew why. We used to get frozen chickens and cook them on the turbines gland steam

BillH
13th April 2012, 08:09
Warwick Tanker Company Ltd.

Founded by Houlder Bros. & Company Ltd., to take over the contracts from, and operate the ships on guaranteed contract to the B.P. Tanker Company Ltd.


BRANDON PRIORY (1960 - 1975)
O.N. 301101. 22,735g. 12,582n. 35,703d. 683' 0" x 86' 5" x 37' 8˝"
Two, steam turbines by Hawthorn, Leslie (Engineering) Ltd., Newcastle, double reduction geared to screw shaft. 15,500shp.
5.10.1959: Launched by Hawthorn, Leslie (Shipbuilders) Ltd., Newcastle (Yard No. 741) for Warwick Tanker Company Ltd., (Houlder Bros & Company Ltd., managers), London.
5.1960: Completed.
9.6.1975: Arrived at Castellon for demolition.


BIDFORD PRIORY (1960 - 1975)
O.N. 301242. 22,748g. 12,596n. 37,148d. 683' 2" x 86' 5" x 38' 11˝"
Two, steam turbines by the shipbuilder, double reduction geared to screw shaft. 15,500shp.
27.4.1960: Launched by Cammell, Laird (Shipbuilders and Engineers) Ltd., Birkenhead (Yard No. 1280) for Warwick Tanker Company Ltd., (Houlder Bros & Company Ltd., managers), London.
10.1960: Completed.
29.10.1975: Arrived at Faslane for demolition by Shipbreaking Industries Ltd.

steamship
13th April 2012, 10:30
Warwick Tanker Company Ltd.

Founded by Houlder Bros. & Company Ltd., to take over the contracts from, and operate the ships on guaranteed contract to the B.P. Tanker Company Ltd.


BRANDON PRIORY (1960 - 1975)
O.N. 301101. 22,735g. 12,582n. 35,703d. 683' 0" x 86' 5" x 37' 8˝"
Two, steam turbines by Hawthorn, Leslie (Engineering) Ltd., Newcastle, double reduction geared to screw shaft. 15,500shp.
5.10.1959: Launched by Hawthorn, Leslie (Shipbuilders) Ltd., Newcastle (Yard No. 741) for Warwick Tanker Company Ltd., (Houlder Bros & Company Ltd., managers), London.
5.1960: Completed.
9.6.1975: Arrived at Castellon for demolition.


BIDFORD PRIORY (1960 - 1975)
O.N. 301242. 22,748g. 12,596n. 37,148d. 683' 2" x 86' 5" x 38' 11˝"
Two, steam turbines by the shipbuilder, double reduction geared to screw shaft. 15,500shp.
27.4.1960: Launched by Cammell, Laird (Shipbuilders and Engineers) Ltd., Birkenhead (Yard No. 1280) for Warwick Tanker Company Ltd., (Houlder Bros & Company Ltd., managers), London.
10.1960: Completed.
29.10.1975: Arrived at Faslane for demolition by Shipbreaking Industries Ltd.

BillH, Could just be Bill Hunt or maybe not. Were you on the Hornby Grange Bill?

John.Wilkinson
5th July 2012, 13:40
There is an article in yesterdays Shields Gazette regarding Hawthorn Leslie's and the Brandon. Includes a photo of her on the stocks.

tzinieres
5th July 2012, 14:50
I was on the Brandon Priory from sept66 to April67.Joined late at night in Falmouth roads,broke down in the Bay of Biscay,waited 24hrs. for a tug from Hamburg called Eros to tow us to Vigo, had to slip the anchor and pull the cable aboard from which she towed us.Blacked out for 3 days.affected temporary repairs.Sailed to Genoa shipyard,there for 4 weeks, down the Black Cat and various others each night, while there the aft ballast tanks were convert to carry oil which increased her deadweight from 35 to 42,000 tons also put storm doors on the stewards cross alleyway which were wood. Sailed from Genoa several uneventful trips from the Gulf to Aden and the Med.eventually LEFO paid off in Flushing,the Capt. was JW Richards from Falmouth I believe.

Bombersman
5th September 2012, 10:27
Marinejockey aka Malcolm has, like me, wondered about Alan Lowry.

I have not posted here for a long time due to suspected online identity theft causing me to discontinue all internet activity. I am posting via a friends computer.

You wil be pleased to know, Malcolm, that Alan rang me at home on Saturday night last and has been reading our posts. He is reluctant to post here however!

Alan had been visiting his brothers who live in the street that I used to live in but was due to fly back to Brazil next day and didn't have time to visit me. He is returning to UK next year and I hope to meet him again then.

Kind regards

Bob W

MARINEJOCKY
6th September 2012, 05:01
Hi Bob, I just posted a question to you on another thread about Alan wondering if he was aware of this site and now I know obviously he is.

I can see his face laughing at some of the BS on here, so say Hi to him from me and ask him if he still has the pillow case stuffed with Pu--- hair from his exploits ashore, before he was married of course.

Bombersman
6th September 2012, 11:39
Mornin' again Malcolm.

I posted on both boards to ensure that you got the info.

Warmest good wishes

Bob W