Some amusing incidents on the "Splendour".

red devil
12th November 2008, 21:22
In November 1969 I joined a wonderful old timer the "British Splendour" in Wallsend as a second trip apprentice. A couple of days later I was in charge of the telegraph and movements book as we came out of the dry dock,the old man, whoes name I forget, had obviously seen from my details that I lived in Barton on Humber in Lincolnshire. He remarked that Barton was'nt much of a place (it's actually quite nice) so I asked him were he was from, he replied Brigg (a town just 7 miles from Barton), I rather cheekily replied that Brigg definatley was'nt much of a place either!! I was ejected from the bridge in no uncertain terms!! Not funny at the time but years later I thought it was hilarious.
Our first port of call was Rotterdam and I was on the bridge again as we approached the pilot station. An ancient Greek tramper was crossing on a steady bearing and should have given way, but as the ships cat was on the wheel there was no way he was going to loose any ground! The old man, by this time was beside himself especially as the 3/0 who seemed to be looking at something dead ahead announced there was a bird of prey having a breather on the fo'castle! I was shouted at to give the usual short blasts on the whistle to wake up the Greek ship but as you know the whistle control was a long lever connected to a wire which ran up to the funnel. Once pulled, the first minute is taken up by a gurgling sound as water and steam rush out of the whistle! By this time the other ship was almost on us so it was hard over on the wheel and the "Splendour" had to make a full circle course alteration.The old man rushed out of the bridge but tripped over the sliding door track and fell headlong onto the bridgewing deck!
He payed off a short while later and several officers came out of the accomodation to cheer him on as he walked down the gangway!!
Later, on a voyage to Stockholm we were in open water near Bornholm in southern Sweden after fighting our way though many miles of thick ice when the ship juddered violently, engines were stopped and the c/o and myself went for'd to check things out.It looked as though the ship had hit a large growler which had gone right through the bow and into the paint locker.When the access hatch was opened the locker was flooded with water, ice and green and white paint all mixed together!
After discharging our cargo we were treated to almost a week in South Shields having the damage repaired, much to the delight of everybody!

BillH
12th November 2008, 21:29
In November 1969 I joined a wonderful old timer the "British Splendour" in Wallsend as a second trip apprentice. A couple of days later I was in charge of the telegraph and movements book as we came out of the dry dock,the old man, whoes name I forget, had obviously seen from my details that I lived in Barton on Humber in Lincolnshire. He remarked that Barton was'nt much of a place (it's actually quite nice) so I asked him were he was from, he replied Brigg (a town just 7 miles from Barton), I rather cheekily replied that Brigg definatley was'nt much of a place either!! I was ejected from the bridge in no uncertain terms!! Not funny at the time but years later I thought it was hilarious.
Our first port of call was Rotterdam and I was on the bridge again as we approached the pilot station. An ancient Greek tramper was crossing on a steady bearing and should have given way, but as the ships cat was on the wheel there was no way he was going to loose any ground! The old man, by this time was beside himself especially as the 3/0 who seemed to be looking at something dead ahead announced there was a bird of prey having a breather on the fo'castle! I was shouted at to give the usual short blasts on the whistle to wake up the Greek ship but as you know the whistle control was a long lever connected to a wire which ran up to the funnel. Once pulled, the first minute is taken up by a gurgling sound as water and steam rush out of the whistle! By this time the other ship was almost on us so it was hard over on the wheel and the "Splendour" had to make a full circle course alteration.The old man rushed out of the bridge but tripped over the sliding door track and fell headlong onto the bridgewing deck!
He payed off a short while later and several officers came out of the accomodation to cheer him on as he walked down the gangway!!
Later, on a voyage to Stockholm we were in open water near Bornholm in southern Sweden after fighting our way though many miles of thick ice when the ship juddered violently, engines were stopped and the c/o and myself went for'd to check things out.It looked as though the ship had hit a large growler which had gone right through the bow and into the paint locker.When the access hatch was opened the locker was flooded with water, ice and green and white paint all mixed together!
After discharging our cargo we were treated to almost a week in South Shields having the damage repaired, much to the delight of everybody!
BRITISH SPLENDOUR (2nd of name in fleet) (1950 - 1972)

O.N. 184335. 11,233g. 6,500n. 16,823d. 525.5 x 69.8 x 37.5 feet.
6-cyl. 2 S.C.S.A. (26-3/8" x 91-5/16") Doxford type oil engine manufactured by the Wallsend Slipway Company Ltd., Wallsend. 6,400 bhp.
Ocean going tanker.
16.8.1950: Launched by Swan, Hunter & Wigham, Richardson Ltd., Wallsend (Yard No. 1789), for the British Tanker Company Ltd.
12.1950: Completed.
1.6.1956: Owners restyled as BP Tanker Company Ltd.
At 15:30hrs. 3.3.1972: Sold, at Swansea, to Recuperaciones Submarinos S. A., Santander, for demolition.
26.3.1972: Arrived in tow at Santander.
9.6.1972: Work commenced.

John_F
12th November 2008, 21:39
Red Devil,
Amusing incidents indeed. The old 16s were great vessels & I was fortunate to serve on 2 of them - Guardian & Renown - the less said about the latter the better.
By 1969 the Splendour's bow plating must have been wearing a bit thin & she did well to last to 1972 before being scrapped.
Hope to hear more from you on this site & maybe see some photos as well.
Kind regards,
John.

red devil
13th November 2008, 12:56
Thankyou for your replies, the "Splendour" was indeed a happy ship once the first captain left! You will recall that several of the 16's plied their trade in and around the Baltic sea which was lovely in the summer but awful during the long winter when temperatures would never rise above -20deg! The shell plating took a real hammering and I remember the ship being in hot water more than once for having leaking rivets were the ice had worn the heads away. At least she carried warm fuel oil which kept the decks relatively clear of ice, I felt for the lads working on the white oilers who had to go round with a steam hose before they could do anything on deck.
In 1972 I was on another terrific 16, this time the "British Chivalry" which was the oldest ship in the fleet and the happiest (in my opinion).After over 4 months on her we recieved her final orders to load at Whitegate with the "Splendour" and make our way accross to Barry where both ships were to be laid up. Everybody was saddened to see this lively little ship sat quietly in one corner of the dock.
The "Splendour" came alongside the following day and used her boiler to supply steam heating for both ships cargoes.
I stayed on the "Chivalry" for a week helping to pack up stores and equipment before being transferred to the "Vine" in Barry dry dock. That was in September 1971 and I see from the records that both ships stayed there until March 1972 where they discharged cargo in Swansea and then both were towed to Santander for scrapping.
When I came ashore to work at the Immingham oil terminal I occaisionally had the pleasure of visiting ships similar to these and it never failed to put a smile on my face!!

averheijden
26th January 2015, 09:56
Thankyou for your replies, the "Splendour" was indeed a happy ship!!

L.S.

I heard another story, from an Engineer Jim S:

A friend of mine was a mate on British Splendour a 6 cylinder Doxford engined tanker of 1950 vintage.
She suffered what is believed to be a side rod failure but he cannot be sure, perhaps it was a main connecting rod. Anyway the failed rod came through the entablature. The engineers isolated the affected unit and she limped into Durban on five legs. She was there for 3 weeks while the con rod was straightened (which I guess makes it more like a main con rod rather than side rod) The ship left Durban still on five legs.
Any information would be greatly appreciated.
Regards
Alfons

bfraser47
26th January 2015, 13:37
Hi folks,
I was R/O on the Splendour from May 68 to end of August 68 with Cptn Fred Terry, lovely old guy from near Edinburgh. I joined her at Mina al Ahmadi and we did the Indian coast and round up to Chittagong, for a bit then round the Cape to Nouhadibou (took ages for the mate to find it on the charts) Finally paid off in Tilbury (think that must have been Isle of Grain) at which point I left BP and tried shore side...only lasted 2 years then went back to sea with Ocean Fleets.

Cheers Brian

Hamish Mackintosh
26th January 2015, 17:41
I was on the splendour circa1954 A happy ship, did the gulf, south America (Eva Peron) Aruba thence onto Bergen and Oslo,the funniest thing well two things realy that happened aboard her, were first, the mate telling the pilot on approaching the dock at Eva Peron, he would head for the focsle head to let go the anchor and the pilot saying"no need mr mate, cos as soon as I take way off this baby we'll be on the ground. which we were, but the funny part was the 2nd engineer throwing a dickie fit because nobody had said a word to him about being in such shallow water, and I guess we had been plowing a furrow all the way up the river, and throwing up mud which had clogged up some of the vital parts in the Engine room, they went at it right there on the bridge,The second amusing thing was picking up the pilot off Bergen I was on the wheel and the old man rang down to slow the engine as we approached the pilot cutter,nothing happened, the beat of the engine never changed, so he rang the telegraph again, by this time we were very close to the cutter, again nothing, the old man who was a rather excitable chap yelled at the second mate, get on the phone and find out what the #$%^ those $%@# apes are doing down there by this time we were passed the cutter and heading for the entrance, the second mate,got off the phone and said they say they can't stop her she won't stop,(maybe some engineer could explain why they couldn't stop her)by this time the mountains are getting very close, and the old man is getting very excited, then everything goes quiet they got her stopped, but we are too close in to turn away, so the old man grabs the telegraph and gives about seven cranks to full astern, I thought that that old ship was going to break in half when they got her going full astern, I was standing on the duckboard behind the wheel, and I swear both my feet left the deck together, and the foremast looked like it was going to part company with the deck, it was swaying so much however alls well that ends well, the pilot cutter caught up with us and we got alongside ok , but I heard the old man had all the engineers up to his dayroom the next day, and according to a steward there was a right old barney, so maybe she was not THAT happy a ship

averheijden
26th January 2015, 18:48
the old man who was a rather excitable chap yelled at the second mate, get on the phone and find out what the #$%^ those $%@# apes are doing
but I heard the old man had all the engineers up to his dayroom the next day, and according to a steward there was a right old barney, so maybe she was not THAT happy a ship

L.S.

It looks a bit strange to me.
Normally the Chief Engineer is responsible , and will be invited to the Captain to explain the situation

Regards
Alfons (http://users.telenet.be/doxford-matters)

brummiechris
26th January 2015, 21:14
I had a similar experience on one of the P boats (I think). On our way to Finnart when we tried to slow down for the pilot nothing happened! The linkage from the prop shaft to the rev counter failed resulting in all the instrumentation thinking the shaft had stopped. Since telegraph was on half ahead more steam! Brown trousers all round until the problem was identified.

Les Gibson
26th January 2015, 22:09
On the 'Blanchland' (Stevie Clarkes.) P type Doxford either first or second one built. We were approaching Pimentel on the West coast of South America, Peru I believe, to load sugar. That damned engine wouldn't stop, usually it wouldn't start. Heading for the cliffs of Pimentel at a fair rate and they looked VERY close when we finally got the thing to stop and eventually go astern. Apparently this was a common fault with Doxfords, never found out why.

Hamish Mackintosh
26th January 2015, 23:02
L.S.

It looks a bit strange to me.
Normally the Chief Engineer is responsible , and will be invited to the Captain to explain the situation

Regards
Alfons (http://users.telenet.be/doxford-matters)

Don't remember seeing the Chief ever go down the engine room on the Splendour, he seemed to lord it on the upper deck all the time in his #1's And as an aside when on the Ivybank the standing joke was the chief didn't know where the engine room was, he was a very old gentleman, and the believe was, that if he ever found it and got down there, he would never get back up