Captain Massarella Ben Line

johnnie
22nd November 2008, 16:48
Did anyone Know My uncle Captain Henry Massarella I believe He ended up superintendant based in Germany. I also sailed as edh on Benlawers and Bencruachan in the sixties. My father was engineer and went to USA to pick up the Sam Vern for the Ben Line.

regards
Johnnie

john fraser
22nd November 2008, 17:23
Johnnie
Knew Capt Masserella,when he was cargo super in Hamburg.Kaiser Willem Hoft. We used to give him all the leftovers for his dog,but the meat had to be cooked first.(was it really for the dog) Met a German coaster skipper once who asked me if I knew Captain McShifty,as I believe that is what the German crane drivers called him

johnnie
22nd November 2008, 20:00
Hi John,
Thanks for the reply and info can,t remember him having a dog!

ian keyl
27th November 2008, 01:29
HI John,
Yes i remember henry well and what a character,he was the type of person who always reminded you of some american gangster film star.
He always wore a trilby hat large doble breasted suits and braces to keep up his trousers and to cap it a cigerette hanging out of his mouth stuck to his lip. Our stevadores in Hamburg were Gerd Buss and there was a very large foreman called Hienz he used to tower over your uncle and they used to have some great arguements on deck over different stows but henry would shake his fist and the job was eventually done . Ben Line had some large contract cargoes which came out of central europe via Hamburg and henry used to know many of the shipping managers of these cargoes so some of them were like his own cargos and would always insist on certain stows for quick discharge out east. I remember he used to have a small Opel kadet car which he used to park at the end of the shed . He was a popular man with most ben line deck mates and not so with a few. I alwys wondered if there was any conection with te Ice cream familes with such an Italian sounding name.
I never asked Henry if it was the case.

He was always chasing the mates when we loaded Turberg beer from Denmark and and Erykel pilsner from the Cech republic he wanted it in secure stows so there was no piferage. The Hamburg dockers wereworse than some as they came on board with huge brief cases and went back ashore with alsorts in them hoping the green jacketed police were not at the bottom of the gangway waiting for them.
In the saloon at lunch time was a good time to have a yarn with Henry he liked Ben grub.

One of the great Ben Line cargo supts who did a splended job turning the ships round with vertulay no shut outs.

Ian.

johnnie
27th November 2008, 13:11
Thanks for the info Iain and yes his family had an ice cream shop
Johnnie

Enri
12th February 2013, 00:15
Although I have been a member of SN since Iwas retired 5 years ago, I have only just read this bit. I remember discharging timber from Rejang in Hamburg, and he was upset that he could not find a small consignment of timber, three or four planks, (I don't know what was so special about them), and he was even more upset when he recognised the marks on a couple of bits of wood that had been used as dunnage! As for his mate Hienz, I remember him as a hulk of a man. That was nearly 40yrs ago, where have the years gone?

oldman 80
15th February 2013, 04:16
I recall Capt Massarella from the 1960's, and I believe I am correct in saying at that time he was Cargo Superintending in the U.K., (London) - probably before being sent to Hamburg.
At that time Derek Hume was another Cargo Superintendent within the UK having gone ashore after serving in the rank of 1st Mate, - who was the cargo officer and 4-8 watchkeeper in those days. [The Chief Officers role was more Administration and Maintenance (ie a dayworker) back in those times.]
As someone mentioned previously, the trilby hat was very much a part of Capt. Massarrellas' "personal insignia".
As for the regular stevedore foreman in Hamburg - (Hienz) - I remember the name, but am damned if I can still "picture" him, unlike the guy whom I cannot remember the name of, and who invariably worked the Ben Boats in Hamburg as Night Watchman. He too was a big guy, and always wore a leather jacket and a peaked cap.
Perhaps someone else can throw some light on that one.

john fraser
15th February 2013, 08:29
I recall Capt Massarella from the 1960's, and I believe I am correct in saying at that time he was Cargo Superintending in the U.K., (London) - probably before being sent to Hamburg.
At that time Derek Hume was another Cargo Superintendent within the UK having gone ashore after serving in the rank of 1st Mate, - who was the cargo officer and 4-8 watchkeeper in those days. [The Chief Officers role was more Administration and Maintenance (ie a dayworker) back in those times.]
As someone mentioned previously, the trilby hat was very much a part of Capt. Massarrellas' "personal insignia".
As for the regular stevedore foreman in Hamburg - (Hienz) - I remember the name, but am damned if I can still "picture" him, unlike the guy whom I cannot remember the name of, and who invariably worked the Ben Boats in Hamburg as Night Watchman. He too was a big guy, and always wore a leather jacket and a peaked cap.
Perhaps someone else can throw some light on that one.

The Hamburg nightwatchman was affectionately known as"Emden"having served aboard the warship.Derek Dunn an ex Ben Line engineer mentioned him and his life in an article in one of the monthly shipping magazines.Derek Hume finished up as manager in Southampton for Ben Line Containers.He was a character,but was so upset at the end of Ben Line as a shipping company,couldn,t bring himself to visit us in Southampton before the ships were sold.

ian keyl
15th February 2013, 16:33
Yes John , he was on the Emden and he looked like one of the henchmen in the early bond films that used to wear a leather jacket and steaming bonnet. His surname was Kohen and used to have in the early days the nickname of "three kohens in a fountain" I understand the longtime coastal Chief Off (the Broon) Jimmie Brown started the nick name. If any of you can remember his weird sense of humor..
I have made a mistake in Capt Massarella's make up it was not a trilby hat it was a homberg. A scots Colombo pacing up and down the fore and after deck in and out of the stevadores office ,up to the mates cabin for smoko, coffee and biscuits and pre lunch drinks with the old man and Ovie from Menzells.
I have just been taking to Ted Travers in Dalgety Bay and he tells me that Derek Hume is undergoing some severe treatment for the big C .
I know he had both knees done some years ago since he retired and used to go and see his son on SA but I don't think he goes now due to hi knees.

Aberdonian
15th February 2013, 16:48
Hi Ian,

Sorry to hear such unwelcome news regarding Derek Hume. I sailed with him on the coast in '63 when he was First Mate. A pleasant man.

Aberdonian

oldman 80
16th February 2013, 01:37
Hmm - some interesting comments appearing here, - sparking a few more memories.
I sailed with Derek Hume on my 2nd Coast as an exceptionally novice cadet in 1963. The ship was Bennevis, and I joined her in Liverpool on 1st October 1963.
Derek was 1st Mate, JC Allen was Master, and I am fairly sure it was "The Broon" who was Chief Officer, although my memory is slightly hazy on that one.
From Liverpool we went to Hamburg, JC opting for the " North About " option, which was forecast to be rough, I recall, but which he much prefered to the predicted heavy Fog for the "South About" option.
In hindsight, a good decision, no doubt, as in those those days - Traffic Separation Schemes did not exist, and Dover Straits transits could, under such circumstances, be exceedingly chaotic, and exceptionally time wasteing - anchored in fog.
The met office predictions turned out to be exceptionally accurate on that occassion, - that " North About" passage was a rough one, with the wind and sea picking up shortly after passing the Mull of Kintyre.
The passage through the Pentland Firth was particularly memorable from the perspective of a very green, and still novice cadet, experiencing his first encounter with heavy weather at sea. (Flowers)
Something one never forgets.
I clearly remember coming to regard Derek Hume as an exceptionally decent fellow, but never sailed with him again. However, I repeatedly met him again in London, where he was Cargo Superintending at KG V docks, prior to his appointment elsewhere. - ( KG V - "F" shed {Ben Line - Exports}, if my memory serves me correctly.)
As for "EMDEN" Kohen, the Ben Line nightwatchman in Hamburg back in those days - well No - that is not the guy I am thinking off - a nickname like that, I would, for sure, never have forgotten.
Maybe the confusion is partially due to my initial description in which I used the terminology "leather jacket" - I can today clearly picture the guy in my mind - it wasn't a leather jacket (sorry about that), - it was in fact, a full length black leather coat. (Scribe)
As for Capt Masserells "insignia" hat - well it was a Trilby - in London -but the subsequent reference to a "Homberg" Hat, may well be accurate, at least from the geographical perspective, ( i.e. " Up the Elbe." ) (Wave)
Returning to Derek Hume, - Aberdonian's comment ( "A Pleasant Man") is in my view, a huge understatement - as my memory says much more than that.
My memory says, "A kindly, courteous, considerate, and exceptionally fine human being", - without any shadow of doubt.
Not suprising, I suppose, as in those days of the Ben Line, the majority of sea staff were, in essence, just that.
The Red Ensign - at it's best, - I suggest. (Pint)

Edit:- Come to think of it, Derek Hume wore a "Trilby" as well - Yes - I'm sure that he did.
They were considered to be "trendy" at the time, - Indeed, I think I eventually purchased one - about the time - the Ganex Coat (I think that's how you spell it) - also became very trendy - Harold Wilson's Legacy - no doubt.

Aberdonian
16th February 2013, 10:45
I did two trips “round the land” as Second Mate under J C Allen. First in the Bendoran (Jan – Mar ’63) then the Benalbanach (Mar – Apr ’63). The Broon was Chief Officer in one or both vessels and Derek Hume First Mate.
Yes, Derek has all the virtues you describe, oldman, along with a certain “style.” As for the Trilby, this was generally accepted as the insignia of a shoreside guv’nor in the London Docks.

To round off with a query: Does anyone know if Rowan Logan (Second Mate in Bencleuch ’62) is still gan aboot?

Aberdonian

ian keyl
17th February 2013, 01:26
Foo ye doing Aberdoian,
I can advise that Rowan Logan was still with us when we became EACben and rowan was sent to Japan,here he took it to heart and became very Japanese wearing the gown and slippers in all.I think before that he was in a HR position .Rowan was a very witty bloke and always rubbing his hand as if he was going to show you some magic trick. A good friend I sailed on two coasts on the valla with him as mate then Ch/off. Ithink he is back in UK but I will try and find out for sure as there is the Ben Luncheon in Edinburgh next month.

I heard the other day of this belated news to some that Duggy Cranna died late last year,he was living somewhere near Polment in Stirlingshire. Duggy was also out east in Hong Kong and married a chinese lady out there. Duggy would have been about 81 year old. And yes he wore a trilby and was a shoreside gaffer.
Does anyone remember from F shed Royals in London the London Cargo super Reggie Falconner he was a another character. He worked with Jack Shields and JET James Taylor London Dock office manager a tall gent with horn rim galsses.

Jack Later worked for Curry Line in Edinburgh after the demise of ben and he died a few years ago ,just another absolute gent and pro.

Well i will try and get some updates for you all soon .
Ian Keyl.

oldman 80
17th February 2013, 04:16
None of the foregoing names ring any bells in my head, with the exception of Reggie Falconner - that name I recognised immediately - but at this time I can no longer picture the man.

john fraser
17th February 2013, 10:01
Foo ye doing Aberdoian,
I can advise that Rowan Logan was still with us when we became EACben and rowan was sent to Japan,here he took it to heart and became very Japanese wearing the gown and slippers in all.I think before that he was in a HR position .Rowan was a very witty bloke and always rubbing his hand as if he was going to show you some magic trick. A good friend I sailed on two coasts on the valla with him as mate then Ch/off. Ithink he is back in UK but I will try and find out for sure as there is the Ben Luncheon in Edinburgh next month.

I heard the other day of this belated news to some that Duggy Cranna died late last year,he was living somewhere near Polment in Stirlingshire. Duggy was also out east in Hong Kong and married a chinese lady out there. Duggy would have been about 81 year old. And yes he wore a trilby and was a shoreside gaffer.
Does anyone remember from F shed Royals in London the London Cargo super Reggie Falconner he was a another character. He worked with Jack Shields and JET James Taylor London Dock office manager a tall gent with horn rim galsses.

Jack Later worked for Curry Line in Edinburgh after the demise of ben and he died a few years ago ,just another absolute gent and pro.

Well i will try and get some updates for you all soon .
Ian Keyl.

Hi Ian. Knew them all, at lunchtimes.Lol!!!

Aberdonian
17th February 2013, 12:15
Foo ye doing Aberdoian,
I can advise that Rowan Logan was still with us when we became EACben and rowan was sent to Japan,here he took it to heart and became very Japanese wearing the gown and slippers in all.I think before that he was in a HR position .Rowan was a very witty bloke and always rubbing his hand as if he was going to show you some magic trick. A good friend I sailed on two coasts on the valla with him as mate then Ch/off.
Ian Keyl.

Chavvin’ awa’, Ian, as I hope you are, too.

Your references to Rowan Logan have had me chuckling to myself on and off all morning! Maybe you need to have known the man to realise how outlandish he must have appeared in his Japanese outfit.

I was Third Mate when I did a voyage with Second Mate Rowan in the Bencleuch in ’62.
Witty he sure was. I recall stony-faced Captain J P Robertson (Foggy Robbie) reacting to laughter coming from Rowan’s cabin with a barked out, “There’s too much hilarity in this ship!”

With thoughts of matrimony on my mind, Rowan advised me to go the extra mile and get the best engagement ring I could afford since I would not always be “on the bones” but the ring would always be there. It turned out to be sound advice.

Reggie Falconer’s name leapt from the page but I can’t yet put a face to it. Thanks for sharing your recollection of a thoroughly decent man.

Aberdonian

Tom S
17th February 2013, 12:39
I had. Trip round the coast on Benalder in 1958 Tich Wilson was the Captain two Chief officers Reg Falconer and the Broon ,Jimmy Mitchell was the Mate and to top it all Extra Mate King who used to do the lifeboat surveys as we had survey coming up in London. It was an education sent up the road in every uk port to put. A Bet on for the Broon
Tom

john fraser
17th February 2013, 16:50
I had. Trip round the coast on Benalder in 1958 Tich Wilson was the Captain two Chief officers Reg Falconer and the Broon ,Jimmy Mitchell was the Mate and to top it all Extra Mate King who used to do the lifeboat surveys as we had survey coming up in London. It was an education sent up the road in every uk port to put. A Bet on for the Broon
Tom

If a ship was in the locks in London and the Broon would be late for the bookies he used to come and ask if the catering boy could run ashore with his bets.The Broon would be dressed with either a Ben Line tie or MN tie,used as belt round his waist.Told me nothing stated where the tie had to be worn.

ian keyl
18th February 2013, 14:29
Reggie Falconer London Cargo Super.

Gents Reg was medium height slim and typical London docks man wore a maroon or paisley style scarf round his neck like we used to wear Hong Kong short time towels round our necks out east ,but Reg was not breaking any sweat.I think they used to call them mufflers (english type and not american).
Wore the Gaffers trilby and standard issue colombo cream coloured rain coat.
Always held his cigerette away from himself .If he turned round in the the stevadores office you had to be careful you didn't have his fag stubbed out on you.He used to give some of the gangs hell if they were not doing as they were told he would lean over the hatch and those which had low combings he would put his leg on and lean over and shout into the tween decks where the gang would hide out of his way especially if it was Ford or Bedford CKD. Reg used to always come down to Chapmans Anchorage with the Black gang if we were loading explosives .Maybe it was to get another docking bottle. Most of the Ben supers lived out at Upminster.
He would take mates to west ham game if at home.
Well I will away and have my lunch i could do with a pot of stovies and a few rowies I miss the to good scottish food. Rgds Ian Keyl.

john fraser
18th February 2013, 15:43
Reggie Falconer London Cargo Super.

Gents Reg was medium height slim and typical London docks man wore a maroon or paisley style scarf round his neck like we used to wear Hong Kong short time towels round our necks out east ,but Reg was not breaking any sweat.I think they used to call them mufflers (english type and not american).
Wore the Gaffers trilby and standard issue colombo cream coloured rain coat.
Always held his cigerette away from himself .If he turned round in the the stevadores office you had to be careful you didn't have his fag stubbed out on you.He used to give some of the gangs hell if they were not doing as they were told he would lean over the hatch and those which had low combings he would put his leg on and lean over and shout into the tween decks where the gang would hide out of his way especially if it was Ford or Bedford CKD. Reg used to always come down to Chapmans Anchorage with the Black gang if we were loading explosives .Maybe it was to get another docking bottle. Most of the Ben supers lived out at Upminster.
He would take mates to west ham game if at home.
Well I will away and have my lunch i could do with a pot of stovies and a few rowies I miss the to good scottish food. Rgds Ian Keyl.

Ian.If you are going to the Ben Line dinner.why not get some of the Aberdeen crew to get you the rowies and McIntosh of Dyce do stovies that can be microwaved Lol!!!available from Tesco

munroejah
7th March 2013, 03:30
Johnnie,

I knew your uncle as a wee kid living in Liberton, a southern suburb of Edinburgh. I was mates with his son whose name escapes me. They lived in Longformacus Rd in Liberton. I always thought what an exciting job that Capt Massarella had travelling here there and everywhere. Later on when with Ben Line myself I imagined that Capt M was possibly a supercargo as we would know them today.
Regards, John Munroe

ernhelenbarrett
9th March 2013, 07:14
Sorry to hear about Derek Hume, knew him way back in the days when Ian Hamilton, Craig Alexander etc were Cadets, used to meet at the Buttery on Princes Street on a Saturday arvo , or in Ma Scotts in Rose Street or at Pilton Avenue if we were all on leave from the various Ben boats
Ern Barrett

Tricks
11th March 2013, 12:06
I am very sorry to hear about Derek Hume.

As 3rd Mate I spent 4 months at Southampton Container Services working with Derek. He was a great guy and everyone knew him, a larger than life character. Get well soon Derek!

Also in Southampton at that time was Peter Wilkinson. We had some great lunchtimes in "The Pilgrim" pub, Marchwood, before going and buying live crabs and then racing them across the office floor in the office.

Great times!

oldman 80
14th March 2013, 02:57
Reggie Falconer London Cargo Super.

Gents Reg was medium height slim and typical London docks man wore a maroon or paisley style scarf round his neck like we used to wear Hong Kong short time towels round our necks out east ,but Reg was not breaking any sweat.I think they used to call them mufflers (english type and not american).
Wore the Gaffers trilby and standard issue colombo cream coloured rain coat.
Always held his cigerette away from himself .If he turned round in the the stevadores office you had to be careful you didn't have his fag stubbed out on you.He used to give some of the gangs hell if they were not doing as they were told he would lean over the hatch and those which had low combings he would put his leg on and lean over and shout into the tween decks where the gang would hide out of his way especially if it was Ford or Bedford CKD. Reg used to always come down to Chapmans Anchorage with the Black gang if we were loading explosives .Maybe it was to get another docking bottle. Most of the Ben supers lived out at Upminster.
He would take mates to west ham game if at home.
Well I will away and have my lunch i could do with a pot of stovies and a few rowies I miss the to good scottish food. Rgds Ian Keyl.

Reggie - Falkner, Faulkner, Falconer.
From your description I now have a bit of a glimmer of the man (in my minds eye) - no more than that though. I think it's the black gang/Chapmans bit that started the process of "subconscious re focusing".

The stovies & the haggis (once a year) that I do remember - good stuff, so it was.

Duncan McG
26th May 2013, 02:34
Ben Supers,

I worked with most of the blokes mentioned, Rowan, Derek, Henry M, Jack Shields and Archie Watters . All good blokes and a lot of hard workers and players.
I had been Mate on the Benledi for 6-7 trips when Ossie Tucker was the boss. and after that 3- 4 coasts with the Broon etc. Bill Atkinson had his secretary ring me at home, ( between coasts) instructing me to repair to Edinburgh poste haste, it was the 21 / 22 Dec , just after the Cleuch and Attow had a collision off Penang, I had done the coast on the Benattow & naturally thought I was to be grilled on the stows in No 4 .To my surprise he interviewed me for a superintendents job. We were living in outside Southampton at the time and the company said not to move to Upminster or Hornchurch but to stay put. The reason became clear of few years later when Archie Watters and I started the BLC terminal in Soton. Derek Hume replaced me when I was despatched to Singapore to help Doug Cranna when the Ben-Ocean set up began. Dealing with some of the "older" Blue funnel and Glen line masters was always a bit tricky, couldn't hack a Ben line super running the show. The younger mates were only to happy to have a job.
Re Henry M and Hamburg, during one of the London dock strikes, Jack Shields rang me at home, just after lunch, and told me I was booked on a flight from Heathrow to Hamburg. Take off 4-5 pm that afternoon. When I asked jack what it was about and roughly how long, he replied " Find Henry and help him as most of the London and U.K. cargo which would be discharged in Germany and eventually transhipped back to U.K. " O.K. I thought, Oh and by the way Jack, where is Henry, I asked. "In Germany, you'll find him now get going or you'll miss the plane". Such was some of the life of the Supers, it was a great job with great blokes, and of course sad to read that some have passed on and that Derek is not too well. If anyone is in touch with him, please say G'day from the Aussie.

Regards to all

Duncan Mc Geachie

IANMAIN
12th July 2013, 00:17
I remember Capt. Masseralla well .We loaded a coule of containers onto a lighter in Hamburg it must have had a hole above the waterline when the second container was loaded the lighter filled with water with only the mooring lines keeping it up he ordered the ropes cut and it sank completely leaving the containers floating. I also remember Weirder Emden he hated the young lady called the Ferret.