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!!