BP Shipping history article - anecdotes sought

ali07
4th August 2008, 11:48
Hi

I write and edit BP's outlook magazine for the Middle East. In the autumn issue, we will have a feature on the history of BP Shipping. This will just really be an overview of the company, but I like to make the features as interesting as possible. There are a few areas I'd like to get some more info on - specifically the early days, involvement in WW2 and the Falklands conflict, what the first supertankers were like compared to previous ships, what it felt like to find yourself in a conflict zone, what it was like being on your first ship, what it was like for the first female staff - that kind of thing.

I was wondering if anyone had any anecdotes they might care to share with our readers?

I really appreciate any help you can offer.
Thanks,
Alison

david freeman
21st August 2008, 19:01
Hi

I write and edit BP's outlook magazine for the Middle East. In the autumn issue, we will have a feature on the history of BP Shipping. This will just really be an overview of the company, but I like to make the features as interesting as possible. There are a few areas I'd like to get some more info on - specifically the early days, involvement in WW2 and the Falklands conflict, what the first supertankers were like compared to previous ships, what it felt like to find yourself in a conflict zone, what it was like being on your first ship, what it was like for the first female staff - that kind of thing.

I was wondering if anyone had any anecdotes they might care to share with our readers?

I really appreciate any help you can offer.


Alison
I was Xtra 3/E on the ss British Diplomat in 1967(French Built and fitted out-transfered from the BP French fleet to the UK BP Fleet.) (Time-months I am unsure of?). I sailed with my wife and on board were the wives of the C/E, 2/e Master and I beleive the C/o. During one trip we loaded at Mina Al Ahmadi and took on board executives from BP Middle East Staff and shipped them home. Among the guests where 4 Exnumery Ladies signed on for the voyage as supernumaries for a Queens Shilling as per the articles: making the ships compliment in those days sail with 7 ladies. We Left Mina sailed vis Suez/Port Said to Cagliari (Sardina) discharged( I think we made this trip first- all though we have have had LEFO?. (We then loaded I believe in the easten med (BANIAS (Syria) for lefo and discharged in the UK. The exact facts escape me, but I do remember the 4 BP executive wives who made the trip home. It made the ships company a very pleasent place and less macho dominated.
Thanks,
At the time I belive this was unusual for BP executives or their wives to hitch a rid home in a company tanker. There was no mid east emergency at the time.

Another Time in 1965 I was aware the fire on the ss British Queen, and it docked in DAS Island, the engineers whos accommodation had been gutted by fire, where issued with No1 MN uniforms in the garb of the Indian workers on Das Island and shoes where clarks Sued uppers and crape soles (Brothel Creepers). The doctor who was sent out to the ship was the company doctor on Das Island 'Doctor Jolly' a Siek? complete with turban. I was greatful for the way the BP Company treated us Das Island after the incident. It gave a heart to a faceless company, and a shield on the side of the funnel.

david freeman
22nd August 2008, 15:19
I was Xtra 3/E on the ss British Diplomat in 1967(French Built and fitted out-transfered from the BP French fleet to the UK BP Fleet.) (Time-months I am unsure of?). I sailed with my wife and on board were the wives of the C/E, 2/e Master and I beleive the C/o. During one trip we loaded at Mina Al Ahmadi and took on board executives from BP Middle East Staff and shipped them home. Among the guests where 4 Exnumery Ladies signed on for the voyage as supernumaries for a Queens Shilling as per the articles: making the ships compliment in those days sail with 7 ladies. We Left Mina sailed vis Suez/Port Said to Cagliari (Sardina) discharged( I think we made this trip first- all though we have have had LEFO?. (We then loaded I believe in the easten med (BANIAS (Syria) for lefo and discharged in the UK. The exact facts escape me, but I do remember the 4 BP executive wives who made the trip home. It made the ships company a very pleasent place and less macho dominated.
Thanks,
At the time I belive this was unusual for BP executives or their wives to hitch a rid home in a company tanker. There was no mid east emergency at the time.

Another Time in 1965 I was aware the fire on the ss British Queen, and it docked in DAS Island, the engineers whos accommodation had been gutted by fire, where issued with No1 MN uniforms in the garb of the Indian workers on Das Island and shoes where clarks Sued uppers and crape soles (Brothel Creepers). The doctor who was sent out to the ship was the company doctor on Das Island 'Doctor Jolly' a Siek? complete with turban. I was greatful for the way the BP Company treated us Das Island after the incident. It gave a heart to a faceless company, and a shield on the side of the funnel.

Correction.
Alison Memory is not what it should be-Here I submit a correction which I have taken from the ships log. Note there were 5 Officers wives and two executive ladies (Not 4) who sailed on the Diplomat from Mina Abdulla to Rotterdam direct through Suez, not via Cagliari Porta Foxi in Sardina and a loading port in the eastern Med.
Sorry for the mis information.

twogrumpy
22nd August 2008, 20:12
On the subject of passengers, on the Osprey in 69, Admiral Sir Peter and Lady Cazalett joined in Durban for the trip back to the UK. At the time Peter Cazalett (the son) was MD of BP.
On the Trident we stopped off at Aldabra to pick up some boffins for the trip down to Cape Town. Very interesting as they gave a couple of talks about their work on the island, which had to of course include the mating habits of the giant tortoises.

DaveO
24th August 2008, 11:10
I was first trip E/C on the British Patience in 1977 and we picked up some scientists in Capetown and dropped them off at Aldabra. I think the ship was bigger than the island ! Got some lovely fresh fish in exchange for some beer and bacon. Took some scientists to the Gulf to fly home.