BLUE FUNNEL - MYTHs AND LEGENDs

CaptJim
6th July 2008, 14:05
I am fairly new to SN and have been reading the various comment and remarks about the old blue funnel line and in some cases with astonishment . Things that I take for fact seem to have slipped into the realms of myth. Therefore for anyone that is interested I thought I would put down a few facts that I can back up with documents or photos
In 1949 I was offered an apprenticeship (midshipman)with A. Holt &co which I accepted ( I could have refused ) I still have my indentures printed on linen? with
the red seals joind my first ship in Birkenhead on 23rd sept. . she was built on the clyde in 1911 and burnt 72 tons of coal a day .
I think it is fair to say that the 34 years as a midshipman would not suit everyone but what I will say is if you did stay the course then you could have no better training as a seaman .
During your apprenticeship you took your EDH and Lifeboat Cert. Spent time in the sail loft and boat yard also attended the classes in the Midshipman`s Dept. of India Buildings At sea , you had study program set by the company ;were taught rope and wire splicing as a matter of course . One middy was on watch with the second mate to learn chartwork and navigation all in all an all-round education in the art of the sea . I think the fact that over 90% of holts midshipmen passed their second mate`s ticket is the proof.
If you were keen and hard working then there was the chance that you could get promoted to 4th. Mate during your last year as an apprentice ( I did two trips as 4th mate on the Pyrrhus in 1952 ) This had the advantage that your two months` study pay was about three time as much!
A final note,They had two types of letter a) wishing you well in your exams and would be pleased to hear from you when you have passed. b) wishing you well in your exams and in your future career !
PS if anyone is interest I was 20 years with BF before going into teaching ,so it could be said I was there during part of the golden age. So if anyone is interest I can write chapter 2 at a later date

CaptJim

NoR
6th July 2008, 14:27
I think the fact that over 90% of holts midshipmen passed their second mate`s ticket is the proof.

I guess you mean at the first attempt Jim?

Bill Davies
6th July 2008, 15:03
Capt Jim,

Interesting post. I look forward to reading the follow up.

Brgds

Bill

Graham McMorine
6th July 2008, 16:49
Ahhh Jim lad, Carry on with the story.We are all waiting for the next esi pode.(==D) (==D)

CaptJim
8th July 2008, 10:22
I guess you mean at the first attempt Jim?
yes first time .mind you i know of one who never past.but that is another story jim