Birdy Boats, we loved you R.I.P.

barnsey
23rd February 2009, 03:05
Another item I came across in BP Fleet News today was this item ....

I hope those who took them over treated them well ....(Sad)

Coastie
23rd February 2009, 07:17
Interesting reading, Barnsey, thanks for posting it.

barnsey
23rd February 2009, 07:31
Love the plane comment Coastie ... brilliant!!

Lanzabry
23rd February 2009, 13:19
Many thanks Barnsey for the posting. I was on the Kestrel in 63(my first ship) and a couple of years later the Cormorant. Excellent ships and very pleasing to the eye. I suppose both are now scrapped.!!

John McAuslin
23rd February 2009, 13:34
Excellent nostalgia. I was second trip navigating cadet on the Swift in 1972.

Any Fleet News crew lists from around that time???

Thanks

paul0510
23rd February 2009, 14:41
Hi Barnsey,

nice to see the Fulmar on the cover. 2M on her around 72. Think it was on her when we took JP4 to Sattahip for the B52s and nearly got mortared by the Viet Cong. Interesting trip.

richardc
23rd February 2009, 20:00
Thanks for the posting Barnsey, brings back good memories of the Trust and Merlin, my last ship before heading shoreside in 72.
Regards, Richard.

David Williams
23rd February 2009, 21:15
Hi Barnsy.
I sailed with B.P. back in the fifties,but not on any
of the "birds"I sailed on the British Pioneer,Resource
Envoy,Hero and the Duke,apart from the "Duke",they
were all pretty good ships with single berth cabins,not
bad for the fifties!!!.

Dave Williams(R583900)

John_F
23rd February 2009, 23:02
Hi David,
We'll never forget the Birdies (in my case, Gannet & Trust). Didn't do too long on the Gannet (my first ship as Uncert 3/0) but spent spent 8 months on the Trust, mainly cruising the Baltic in the Summer of '64. Happy ship, Tinkle Bell was the Master who just let you get on with your job. My 3/0's cabin had almost as much space as the 3/0's on a 42. Very comfortable vessel.
Happy days! Thanks so much for posting David.
Kind regards,
John.

barnsey
23rd February 2009, 23:31
My pleasure John ......I have a whole load more BP Fleet News and our Library here has just been given an A3 scanner ... wonderfull machine, fast and super detailed..... whatsmore its free to use .... expect more items.

Graham Wallace
24th February 2009, 01:18
My pleasure John ......I have a whole load more BP Fleet News and our Library here has just been given an A3 scanner ... wonderfull machine, fast and super detailed..... whatsmore its free to use .... expect more items.

Believe it guys he really does have a scanner and now knows how to use it.
Bluddy near burned my printer out.

Great stuff David.

Graham

GeorgeM13
24th February 2009, 02:07
Hi David
Spent 4 1/2 months on the Merlin as 3/O late '73 early '74 wandering about Northern Europe apart from when we got lost and landed up in Ceuta opposite Gibraltar. Great ship carrying black oil which was a sod to get off the deck and paintwork when it escaped, as it did a few times, in the colder climes.
Only other experience of the "Bird" boats was at Barry laying them up and I was based on the Cormorant in May and June of '76.
Cheers George

P.S. John F which Tinkle Bell? I had R E Bell as master on the Queen at the beginning of '71 and he was known as Tinkle. That was I believe his last trip as he was paid off sick in Tripoli, Lebanon. I think there were others.

John_F
24th February 2009, 11:57
Hi David

P.S. John F which Tinkle Bell? I had R E Bell as master on the Queen at the beginning of '71 and he was known as Tinkle. That was I believe his last trip as he was paid off sick in Tripoli, Lebanon. I think there were others.
George,
Yes - He's the one. He was Master of the Trust in '64.
Kind regards,
John

richardc
24th February 2009, 21:03
Hi John,
I share your view of Tinkle Bell. I sailed with him on the Engineer when I was a first trip 2nd Mate and found him to be very fair. Unfortunately we had a very dodgy gyro which was always falling over and causing me untold amounts of grief, let alone extra work. Basically it was clapped out and had been giving trouble for months and Tinkle wasn't impressed. Got my own back in the end, stuck a screwdriver between the mercury rings and shorted the whole lot out. Got a nice replacement unit in Singapore, I think, and then Tinkle was impressed!!
Sad to hear he paid off sick from the Queen, I hope he recovered.
Regards, Richard.

JohnBP
24th February 2009, 21:52
Thanks, sailed as 4th on the Curlew for 7 months, good plant nice ship...

GeorgeM13
24th February 2009, 23:42
John, Richard,
I paid off off in the next discharge port, Ravenna, and called in to see him on my way home with some stuff he had left on board. North shields I think or thereabouts. Came away thinking he was not sure who I was and was quite saddened by the whole thing. Never found out what happened to him.

Cheers George

derekhore
25th February 2009, 12:54
Sailed on the Trust as 1st trip D/C at the end of 1970 with G. Cambell & G. Barber as Capts; the Robin as senior D/C in 1973 with D. C. Dalton as Capt; and was promoted to 3/O on the Kestrel in 1973-1974 with N. Roberts as Capt.

All great little ships, loved the way the smokeroom/bar opened out with double doors onto the decking overlooking the maindeck!

Solongago
25th February 2009, 14:05
Hi David,
Just popped in to have a look after a wee absence and picked up your post re the Birds.
Between 67 & 69 I sailed on Mallard, Gannet and Robin as a Nav Apprentice. As most report they were great ships and so much kinder than the Ensign on which I had previously sailed and my last ship the Ambassador. Because they were happy ships the crew where similarly happy. I might have stayed in if I had not been so disillusioned by my time on the latter ship.
Look forward to further reminders of what were, in retrospect, pretty interesting and ocassionally exciting times.
Regards
Kevin

richardc
25th February 2009, 21:00
George,
Sorry to read your comment regarding Tinkle I hope he recovered, one can only suppose that command in BP was bad for ones health. From what I remember the Fleet News regularly had ex Masters in the obituary column, some of whom had only survived short periods in retirement. I suspect it was the good ones that went early too.
Derekhore, we must have sailed together on the Trust as I joined her in late august 70 and left in early december 70, also sailing with G Campbell as Captain. Were you at drydock in Falmouth during september?
Regards, Richard.

derekhore
26th February 2009, 14:29
Hi Richard...

No, I joined her at the IOG on 02 October with 2 other first trip D/C's .. Mike Evans and Neil Henderson.

Who were you then....I can remember the senior D/C was a Richard Squires but other names allude me!!

ron fletcher
27th February 2009, 22:44
Was gallyboy on the Gannet in 1969. Freeman was the captain.Great ship and a great trip.Grew up a lot.Will never forget that period of my life.Happy days.

barnsey
28th February 2009, 10:34
Well Well Lads ... don't thank me ... thank those lovely ships. They had such an influence on us that they couldnt be but happy ships and glad I popped that bit on about them .... lovely comments.

Derek, those smokeroom doors you mention are in the attachment and the deck they opened out onto are in the other ... a common place for the Table Tennis table. Both pics taken on British Fulmar ...the Nav Apps were a terrible foursome, one of whom nicked a parking meter from Stockholm Kungsgarten ... brough it back under his dufflecoat ... we of course disowned him. Dennis the Menace??? (POP)

Noel Roberts was our Mate on my first ship British Sergeant .....good bloke ..

OllieUK
28th February 2009, 20:50
Oh happy days spent on the British Kestrel in the early 70's. A very happy ship from the Captain's (Captain Freeman and Captain Roberts) the engineers, and the crews. Rock dodging around the Baltic, north Europe, and Mediterranean. Capt Freeman even organised a trip into Cairo when we discharged a cargo at Alexandria. :cool:

RAF
4th March 2009, 20:05
Did my honeymoon trip on the "Gull" 2nd Off - 7 months from Dec 1970. Joined in Dubai then African coast,Canada,USA East Africa then Drydock in Durban then back onthe African coast again, new wife getting home sick by this time! South Africans would not let wife sign off by boat so back up to the Gulf before we could get off.
I did alot of time on the "Mallard" in 73-74 before going for my Master ticket and moving on the pastures new.
Great strong, comfortable ships and always had a great atmosphere onboard.
Fond memories.

blankpig
8th March 2009, 16:22
Hi Everyone,
This is the first time I have submitted a reply so please bear with me.I sailed on Br. gannet as J/Eng from April 1968 to December 1968 and if my memory is not failing me this ship was quite a workhorse.I think the generators were Ruston VEB 5 x with Napier blowers and always used a lot of lube oil.The 2/Eng ( a Scouser) can`t remember his name had us working extra hours nearly every day as both generators had to be overhauled twice.The Ch/Eng was S.S. Ritchie and I think the Skipper was D. Alexander.I have to agree though that these were beautiful looking ships.your comments would be appreciated.

barnsey
8th March 2009, 20:49
Blankpig,

Thats a pretty good first post ... especially as its about a Birdy boat and the Gannet in particular. I was Mate on her in 1971 - 1972, great trip Europe, South Africa, Australia, Fiji and India. The maindeck winch was clapped out and using it to lift a piston out caused problems in more ways than one, it seemed to have an eliptical shaft and ran with what you could call a limp. When it got stuck on top dead centre ( a navigators term !!!) with a load on it you had to reverse and then whack it straight across into heave and hope to God it worked. However whether or not they got it fixed is another story I suppose.

This is the best ship site on the web bar none ... its extra special because of posts like yours bringing evermore expertise in ...great stuff.

richardc
8th March 2009, 22:02
Derek,
Apologies for the delay in replying. I was the 2nd Mate, but I can't remember the names of many others onboard. The Old Man for the first part of the trip was Bruce Keer, I think Campbell joined in Grangemouth, the Chief Eng was George Donaldson but I can't remember any of the others apart from the Lecky who was Richard Angus, now deceased unfortunately. I'll have to ask my wife who was with me on the trip as she remembers more than I do!! I can't remember if it was the Trust or the Merlin where there were 3 Johns, one of whom was referred to as 'John the biscuit'. If it was the Trust then the 3rd and 4th Eng's were Johns, Big John and Little John, Big John (Smith maybe) being a very large chap.
It was a good trip though with a good crowd on board and we must have worked together on cargo or bridge watches.
Regards, Richard

derekhore
10th March 2009, 19:25
Hi Richard...

If my memory serves me your surname is Cridland, I remember the 2nd mate had his wife with him.

Neil Campbell I think was the guy after Bruce Keer, or was he the mate .. short, tubby guy with a front tooth missing!

Yes, I do remember you I think! .. we did some good ports...Honingsvaag, Harstad, Tromso from the IOG.. all fish factory ports if I remember, how the fumes from the fish factory's stank!

richardc
10th March 2009, 20:58
Hi Derek,
That's me alright. I think Neil Campbell was the Mate, I thought the Mate was short and tubby so Neil would be right, a nice easy going bloke from what I remember. G Campbell, who was another decent Old Man took over from Bruce Keer in Grangemouth.
Were you onboard for the trip around the Tuborg brewery in Copenhagen? I missed out as I was on cargo watch but everybody came back plastered, including my wife. I was trying to reset the gangway when they all arrived and it was chaos.
Regards, Richard.

derekhore
11th March 2009, 13:47
Hi Richard...

Indeed I was on the Tuborg trip, I still have a beer mat stuck on the inside of my old suitcase as a souvenier! We had a great time if I remember, the 'tasting hall' being the best part, where I seem to recall young ladies in national costume serving us at long tables with every type of Tuborg beer available, in unlimited quantities, .. your wife may remember better than me!

You are right about the mate, I think we used to call him 'creeping Jesus' because he always seemed to appear around corners from nowhere, especially when us first trip cadets were 'By-Proxing' and sand washing down the wooden decks!!
Taking cargo temps was a nightmare, time it wrong and you were speckled in black oil as the ullage pipe blew instead of sucking!!

A good trip for me, sadly cut short by the need to pay off and have my tonsils out!! (2-10-1970 to 4-11-1970). I then joined the Unity on 6-2-1971 after having them out on New Years Day!!

richardc
12th March 2009, 20:54
Hi Derek,
I do remember my wife explaining her state by saying that there were numerous types of Tuborg beer on offer and that it would have been impolite not to have tried them all, especially after being made so welcome by Tuborg!!
Shame about the tonsils, bad timing really.
Regards, Richard.

Geoff_E
12th March 2009, 23:23
I was cadet on the "Kiwi" in 1972. Joined in the Gulf and we did various runs with clean products, including the famous "Aden - Sattahip" (still a conundrum when you think of the politics of the day! - remember the B52's taking off in pairs from Sattahip to bomb Vietnam? Quite a sight.)

We eventually loaded a full cargo of Das Island crude (Yes - open loading with sandbags over the ullage pipes, loading rate was about their normal topping off rate!) then around the Cape to ?? - can't remember where we discharged. After that we went to Cardiff for drydock and from there onwards, until lay-up and conversion she always carried fuel oil.

Just about the only name I can recall is the Mate, Bob Denholm (missing part of one digit after nameless escapade in N. shields (I believe). I met Bob many years later when I was Mate on the Sulair and he was working in BP Dyce. If memory serves me I believe he ended up as Marine Supt. for the "Scotia", running out of Aberdeen. A long time ago, so I stand to be corrected on the latter. Whatever, he was a good guy.

barnsey
13th March 2009, 09:32
Most gratifying to find all these posts on Birdy Boats .... we really did enjoy being on them didnt we? One Birdy boat I was on ... I was very lucky .. Swift, Kestrel, Gannet, Fulmar, Trust ... we went into drydock and then had all the tanks blasted and expoxy coated .... can anyone recall which ones in fact had their tanks coated?

I cannot for the life of me remember where and which ship...

derekhore
14th March 2009, 10:17
Hi Richard..

Funny thing is, I don't think a drop of Tuborg has passed my lips since!
Your wife was right of course, it would have been rude not to!!

I do also remember that the ships bar was stocked to the rafters with beer mats, cloths, bottle/can openers, lights etc!!

paul0510
14th March 2009, 23:19
Barnsey!

Gleaned from my 'Navigating Cadet's Record Book'.

BTW, the Mate on this trip was a certain Don McGeachy, an 'eloquent' gentleman from north of the Border, a great Mate from whom I learned much and respected, and who in later years, I do believe, made headlines in the Northeast by diving into the Tyne to rescue some poor soul. If you are still with us, Don, it was a great f***ing pleasure to serve as a piece o' shite under yoor f***ing hospices. May yoor f***king lum forever reek! (Thumb)

John Crossland
15th March 2009, 01:53
Good one Paul,
I like the engine type (typical deck cadet) .... BMW, .... oops B&W !!!! [=P]

richardc
16th March 2009, 20:18
Hi Derek,
From what I remember I think I looked after the bar for a while on the Trust. It was well used and as you say had a lot of 'goodies' in it.
Regards, Richard.

blankpig
17th March 2009, 10:22
Hi Barnsey,
many thanks for reply to my posting and going back to my time on the " GANNET" ( a 9 month trip in all) I too can remember going to Sattahip and when it was time to leave being fully discharged and high in the water we were untied by the locals who used a large wooden barge with no engine, so using the tide only.This barge had drifted under the stern unknown to us in the engine room when we rang the bridge for permission to kick the engine on air.The prop knocked a large hole in the barge but fortunately no one was injured,no damage to the "GANNET"and sailing delayed 1 day for court of enquiry

paul0510
17th March 2009, 10:48
..talking of Sattahip reminded me of something I wrote long back,here:

http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/showthread.php?t=4141&page=2&highlight=sattahip

thread nr. #26

Was on the Fulmar at the time, I believe. (Thumb)

derekhore
17th March 2009, 15:02
Hi Richard

I remember that as 1st trip Cadets we were only allowed to purchase beers from the bar, except on Walport film nights when we were able to sneak a few spirits into a glass whilst the room was in darkness and all eyes faced the screen!
Was there an extra 2/0 also, can't seem to remember a name, nor can I think of the 3/0.

d.r.wing
18th March 2009, 17:14
Hi Barnsey
I haven't been on the site for a while found this a great posting seems you and I were the only ones to sail on the Swift!

David

barnsey
18th March 2009, 21:30
We must have been going around sampling the ships eh? Bit different from the 'Sergeant' ?

jimthehat
18th March 2009, 23:45
barnsey,i have to disagree with your remark"Birdy boats best site on the web"have you ever tried reading the prince of cargo lines site,"bank line.
JIM

richardc
19th March 2009, 20:35
Hi Derek,
I think the xtra 2/O was called Chris and the 3/O Tim, but I stand to be corrected. Can't remember their surnames.
Regards, Richard.

barnsey
19th March 2009, 21:57
Jim the Hat .... having read, this morning about how you were diddled out of a considerable amount of money when you finished your apprenticeship with Bank Line and were held captive by them ..... why on earth would I, a dyed in the wool tankerman and professed "Birdy Boat" fanatic want to read anything about Bank Line. Apart from which what are you, a layabout Bank Line laddie doing nosing around in our neck of the woods???

This of course recognises that Bank Line and BP Tankers, at one time had an agreement to give their respective apprentices a trip on their vessels to gain experience...all it did was swap them permanently as each liked the "Other side" though why BP lads thought Bank Line was better I wouldnt know ... must have been mad.

Will now await incoming flak.....

derekhore
20th March 2009, 19:12
Hi Derek,
I think the xtra 2/O was called Chris and the 3/O Tim, but I stand to be corrected. Can't remember their surnames.
Regards, Richard.


Hi Richard....

I think it was Chris Sargent and Tim Strickland, brother of Nick the illustrator for the old 'Fleet News'

ray.c
20th March 2009, 19:28
Hi Barnsey
I haven't been on the site for a while found this a great posting seems you and I were the only ones to sail on the Swift!

David
as the Mallard been mentioned(Thumb)

barnsey
20th March 2009, 22:52
Not until you did ... what about her please?

ray.c
21st March 2009, 20:48
Not until you did ... what about her please?
I think she was a bit bigger than the Beacon, at dwt 15866, loverly
boat all single cabins as i remeber, DB signed by what looks like
g.r robson, & k.g.l dixon only a short trip to mina and back, had
no orders, so payed off in falmouth, jan/feb 63, may be another
member can fill in the gaps. built 59, at H&W Belfast.

barnsey
21st March 2009, 21:08
Ray.c

No, the Mallard was one of our Birdy Boats with dwt as you say.

The Beacon was a much larger vessel ... one of the infamous group built in Italy ...a 35,000 dwtonner.

What did you load in Mina ... perhaps it could have been Gas Oil ??

Andrew147
23rd March 2009, 18:28
Lovely ships that went to interesting places.
I was an acting junior on the above, had my 21st on it to.
Chief, lovely bloke from Leith, made me join the pension plan (hoping to collect shortly). Verde Orford & Reg Wheeler were the seconds, the first had a temper and the second had the beer!.

chrisk
9th April 2009, 19:45
hi all ,im chrisk just joined the site and found this thread,god what memories!!
joined first ship british merlin as an engine room boy ,(i was 16 1/2) joined in stockholm 1973 with 12 other boy ratings fresh from bps own sea training school in dover(prince of wales sea trng school)i may have been on her when georgem13 was onboard??? also sailed on merlin,mallard and trust,efectionately known as br rust!! often painted out by deckies for a laugh,to read rust,
progressed thru the ranks to po mechanic pump man, took merlin to barry island and stayed for 2-3 trips mothballing various birdies had a great time there ,went on to go thru bp gp training scheme became gp1 then po pumpman stayed with bp for 12 years in all

barnsey
9th April 2009, 21:51
Crisk ... have you seen the photos of the Barry Lay-up in the gallery? They are pretty good ... great Nostalgia ..

chrisk
14th April 2009, 10:35
Hi barnsey,yes had a look thanks
ive loads of old photos various bp tankers will
post when i get chance
chris

barnsey
14th April 2009, 12:06
We will all look forward to those very very much Chris ... hope some are colour too??

(K)


Hi barnsey,yes had a look thanks
ive loads of old photos various bp tankers will
post when i get chance
chris

barnsey
25th April 2009, 09:52
For some marvellous pics aboard British Robin please look at this folder on Picasa .... and will someone please let me know who Dennis is ... love to contact him....I have started a new thread dealing with his pics....

http://picasaweb.google.com/spaarks/1966BritishRenown#

Ron Stringer
25th April 2009, 10:03
He is

Denis William Campbell, of 23, Belmont Ave, Bangor, Co. Down, N. Ireland BT19 1NG

His date of birth was 13 March 1945. I will spare you the details of colour of hair, eyes, etc.

Elementary Dear Barnsey to an ex-R/O, a breed of men who always were first with the news - helped by the fact that Denis has posted a copy of his U.S. Pilot License on Picasa.

barnsey
25th April 2009, 23:46
Bingo Ron, have him in my sights ....hopefully an e-mail will be forthcoming and we are in business to get those pics on SN.

The British Robin photos are some of the most detailed I have seen ...and its rare to get so many colour photos.

Mind you you ruddy Radio types had oodles of time to skive off ashore and do such things as taking photos and getting p*^%$@ed ....

Good job such items as Cossor and Marconi radar sets were invented to keep you lot occupied most of the time.... but then you asked us Mates to give you a hand !!(Smoke)

Ron Stringer
26th April 2009, 08:51
Thanks Barnsey, for the recognition of our fabulous skills. Glad I could help.

Although the Marconi equipment never went wrong, the kind shipowners did provide us with enough other toys (they called it essential ship's equipment) to keep us occupied in those long, long, off-watch hours and in those ports where there were insufficient attractions, like Ras Tanura. Otherwise our massive brains and our overwhelming work ethic would have become bored and frustrated.

Now, back to the book of fairytales that my granddaughter left here last week. When I have finished that, I will start on the grandson's Captain Marvel comics.

All the best.

barnsey
26th April 2009, 09:09
Ron,

Oh Ho .... yet another Spark on looney juice ..... you might have sent that lot in morse !!!

Great fun ..... wait till we get Denis the Irish Sparky on here ... he seems quite a character .... at least we know what he lost in Santos ...LOL

His later photos show his Ginger hair has turned grey ... didnt know Ginger hair ever lost its lustre ... come to that has anyone seen my hair knocking around ? I woke up one day and it had gorn ....

JamesM
14th May 2009, 13:35
Hi Everyone,
This is the first time I have submitted a reply so please bear with me.I sailed on Br. gannet as J/Eng from April 1968 to December 1968 and if my memory is not failing me this ship was quite a workhorse.I think the generators were Ruston VEB 5 x with Napier blowers and always used a lot of lube oil.The 2/Eng ( a Scouser) can`t remember his name had us working extra hours nearly every day as both generators had to be overhauled twice.The Ch/Eng was S.S. Ritchie and I think the Skipper was D. Alexander.I have to agree though that these were beautiful looking ships.your comments would be appreciated.

Hi there blankpig,
From the information you have provided, I'm going to take an educated guess at who you are, although I'm pretty sure I know.
Here goes: John ------? from Gainsborough, Lincolnshire.You took over from a lad called Godbeer and you were on the 12-4 with the 3/E who came from Dundee. The C/E was indeed S.S."Steamboat" Ritchie, who was on his last trip. The 2/E was J.P.Sherlock from Rock Ferry(Birkenhead) and the Old Man was Jim Ward, at least he was when I paid off in Bandar Mahshar, Aug '68.
How am I doing ------ am I anywhere near the mark??

Getting back to the original thread, yes the Gannet had good accommodation,as did most of them that I sailed on, but I'm afraid that's where the similarity ends. You are quite correct ----- she was a workhorse.
If it was'nt the Main Engine, it was the Genrs, or the Evap, or the Boiler Feed Pump, or the Air Compressors, etc, not to mention field days on deck machinery or down the pump room.
Do you remember stopping, after we had cleared the bar, having loaded a cargo in BM, so that the ER lads could clean the scavenges? It was our job to take off the scavenge doors and apart from being bloody heavy they were also red hot. No gloves or protective clothing in those days. Just the sort of job you wanted in July in the Gulf.
Character building I think they would have called it.
Anyway, just a few memories to be going on with for the time being.
Regards, James.
PS. Hope to hell I've got the right bloke, otherwise I'm going to look like a proper plonker.[=P]

barnsey
14th May 2009, 22:48
Nothing changed .... I was Mate on British Gannet in 1971 -72 and the poor old 'Gingerbeers' worked hard then ... it was also the days of the efficiency drives ... red spots and green spots plus the weekly 'management' meetings. We were going from Singapore to Kwinana and in Singapore we had hoisted pistons/cylinder liners in and out of the engineroom. The maindeck winch eccentrics had gone pear shaped and hoisting was a really touchy operation ... if it stopped halfway with the item neither in or out of the engineroom it was lower and then whang the lever over straight into hoist ... everything sang and groaned....to guide the item out we had a couple of those wooden 'Capstan bars' and the lift took charge bowling me over on the deck with no recollection for a minute as to where I was or what I was doing.

This came up at the next sunday meeting and the Ch/Eng said the winch needed a new camshaft ... so we put it on the meeting notes requiring H.O. to organise a new one. 'Safety and efficiency issue'.

After I got up from my afternoon nap the Old Man called me into his cabin. It was obvious he the Ch.Eng and Ch Stwd (with whom he was mates with from previous ships) had been on the turps since lunch. The Chief is not happy for that winch item to be on the meeting list ... !!! Thats silly says I ... how is it ever going to be fixed if it isnt .... the discussion went on for quite a while...but you cant have a rational discussion with booze. It was quite daft.....on the one hand he wanted these meetings, pushed the limits to achieve the green spots everywhere and was most particular about the minutes but when you got to the stage where you need action taken .... it all falls down.

MikeBrown
20th June 2009, 18:48
Hi guys

I was u3/O on the Curlew in late 1969, UK & Near continent, and 2/O on the Gannet in 1974. That trip was cut short when a mooring line snapped whilst berthing in Swansea. They don't 'arf 'urt when the hit you!
Do we class the Trust as a Birdy? I was a cadet on her in 1969

Mike

John_F
20th June 2009, 21:20
Mike,
The Trust was definitley a Birdie. My last ship with BP as 3/0 before deciding to swallow the anchor in 1964 & pursue a life ashore.
She was launched by Dame Patti Menzies, wife of Sir Robert Menzies, Australian Prime Minister, (as you probably remember, there was a signed photo by her in the saloon). Rumour had it that she was going to be named the "Thrush" but this name had obvious hygienic connotations for a female. An alternative name was the "Kiwi" but as this was the National emblem of Australia's next door neighbour & had already been allocated to another vessel, it was also discarded. Bearing in mind that BP was at that time (1959) 55% owned by the Government, "Trust" couldn't offend anyone.
Kind regards,
John.

Gilbert MacLellan
21st June 2009, 00:24
Hi all,
I was 2nd cook and bricklayer on the Gannet from 20/5/70 to 5/11/70 a great ship, She had a oil fired cooking range that kept going out,I dont know how many times I blew the small lids of the stove along with a few pans as I tried to relight the burners.(Thumb)
Gilbert
ps she always had scavenger fires and once a new liner

Lanzabry
21st June 2009, 01:44
Had the joy of serving on two of the "birdies"(Kestrel and Cormorant) but when fully loaded the 35's,42's and the midship 50's were very pleasing to the eye. But the birdies had the interesting ports.

George Simpson
31st July 2009, 14:54
I was on the Curlew in Jan 75 to April 75, I remember one of the AB's got badly hurt tying up in Bordeaux a pig of a place to tie up, wires everywhere. The deckcrew were mostly off their heads one guy I remember was Gordon Anderson I think was his name from the Channel Islands he was a nice guy and had been with BP for a wee while.

Ryder
13th August 2009, 01:40
Late as usual, haven't been on the site for a while!!. I spent 8 months as first trip 2/O on the Curlew and 2 1/2 years as junior mate on the Merlin, with Peter Waller as O/M and Colin Burley as the yo yo mate. Best trip I ever had, fuel oil runs up the Baltic and Scandanavia. Could be messy cleaning up though. I had just rejoined the ship Gothenborg when the loading hose let go and covered the maindeck and midships in fuel oil. Luckily it was the middle of winter and it all solidified be any ran over the side. It went up the stbd alleyway to the 2nd engineers cabin and then ran back and covered the bar deck !! We did get some new furnishings and bar out of it. Emptying the stbd lifeboat took some time though !!
Very comfortable well built ships, and the accommodation was probably as good as we had in BP. Very happy memories.
Tony White

jmirvine
21st August 2009, 18:07
It's a while since I've been on this site, and was most surprised to find this thread. I was Lecky with BP Tankers as below -

British Merlin
Joined 11th July 1969 Grangemouth Left 16thJan 1970 Isle of Grain

British Fulmar
Joined 22nd March 1970 Luanda, Angola Left 14th Oct 1970 Capetown

British Crusader
Joined 1st Jan 1971 (YES!) Falmouth Left 28th June 1971 Grangemouth

British Mallard
Joined 27th Aug 1971 Isle of Grain Left 19th Feb 1972 Copenhagen

British Patrol
Joined 28 Apr 1972 Stockholm Left 24th Sep 1972 Rotterdam

I then had leave, and re-joined British Patrol
Joined 24th Dec 1972 Rotterdam Left 14th May 1973 Gothenburg

British Curlew
Joined 1st Aug 1973 Saltend Left 5th Jan 1974 Grangemouth

British Cygnet
Joined 22nd March 1974 Rotterdam Left 9th Aug 1974 Swansea

British Merlin
Joined 31st Oct 1974 Grangemouth Left 21st Mar 1975 Kristiansand



Then transferred to (what was then BP Petroleum Developments, later BP Exploration) in about August 1975, First on the Forties Field, later Buchan, Millar & Bruce Fields. There were quite a few ex-BP Tanker guys, as this was about the time that a lot of ships were laid up.

Finally made redundant in December 1995. Went to work in Perth, Western Australia for 18 months, and finished my working career with AMEC in Aberdeen (on BP contract work !)

frank brant
7th January 2010, 12:51
I think the birdie boats were good looking ships
I sailed on three of them the Cormorant - Curlew - Robin in 1962/63
plus one of the bigger ships the Prestige

mikeharrison
10th January 2010, 21:07
I can only agree that the Bird boats were great ships and that they had a great crowd onboard. They were a lovely follow on in design to the earlier "16s" such as the British Resource, which were great ships too.
I sailed on the British Robin and laid her up in Barry and then sailed on the Forties Kiwi (ex British Kiwi), gingerly manouvering her extremely close to one of the Forties platforms by using the joystick control up on the stern. North Sea ops were a real eye opener and the food gladdened a young 2/O's eyes ; fresh cream cakes for tabnabs every morning!
Warmest Wishes, Mike

tugboat
3rd May 2010, 09:06
' Morning all. I've recently been looking at the SN site properly having registered some time ago but drifted off, so to speak. Being an ex BP tankerman (Strong in t'arm and thick in t'head) I've been having a good old wallow reading some of your posts. I was on 4 Birdies (Mallard, Fulmar, Trust and Merlin) in the early 70s and they were always my favourites too, of all the BP ships I sailed on. I put it down to several things. They were small so we were invariably 'coasting', thus we all put in a lot of extra hours with all the standbys etc. We spent more time interacting through the work and we went to more intimate types of port. The furnishings, with those varnished wooden bulkheads that I didn't appreciate at the time. The layout, with the aforementioned smokeroom opening onto the patio outside. A lot of 'in-port' time and at teatime those offwatch used to meet in the smokeroom before tea and trek aft together, and gather there again after tea and spend the evening together. There was no 'oil and water' syndrome and we all got on like a house on fire. When someone went on leave there was usually regret at seeing a friend go (though maybe it was because we weren't going home too!), and let's face it life on board most ships was generally more about colleagues than friends. The ships seemed to have a 'heart' to them that I never felt on an all-aft vessel.
Does anyone remember a Master called D O W Jones, big Welshman known as DOW Jones, for obvious reasons. I sailed with him at least 4 times over the years. He was a regular on the Birdies until the Dragoon was converted and then he and Mike Goulding did back to back Mastering on there.
I joined the Merlin in Barry in '75 to take her out of lay-up. The OM was a really nice young guy, I think maybe a first-tripper with 4 rings, not sure, wish I could remember his name but it's not in my Discharge Book. He had his racing bicycle with him and whenever we were alongside he used to go off on it. My wife made him a cycling cap out of duck canvas. In Barry we used the motor lifeboats to ferry stores between shore and ship so we must have been alongside dolphins or something. We were finding lentils and split peas in the lifeboat bilges for months afterwards. If anyone's interested I'll tell a funny story about Merlin lifeboats another time!

barnsey
3rd May 2010, 09:14
Lovely post tugboat .... more tales please and how come tugboat?

billyboy
3rd May 2010, 09:15
Cant wait to read it Tugboat, Can we lads!

tugboat
3rd May 2010, 15:12
The new OM on the Merlin was Robin something, I think, heck of a nice guy. After we took the Merlin out of layup we were anchored off Swansea for ages waiting for orders. After about a week we were all going a bit stir-crazy with the beach so close so we started pestering the OM to let us take a lifeboat ashore for newspapers etc. To give him his due he was very reluctant, but we pestered him and wore him down. After all, we had been using the lifeboat in Barry so it was running OK, what could go wrong? Doh!

So......at slack water, we launched the stb'd aft lifeboat (was that no 3, I forget?) with me 2/O in charge, the 3/E as engineer, sundry Juniors, cadets and a couple of wives. It was August, a nice morning, no more than a popple on the surface or so it seemed from on board. It was a bit bouncy as we let go the falls, but off we set towards the shore...........for all of about 50 yards, then the engine stopped. Ooooooerrrr! Lots of consternation, lots of heads in the bilges trying to clear choked fuel line. Me chatting heartily with the Sparky via walkie-talkie.

The tide starts to ebb and, as many of you will remember from your coasting days, the Bristol Channel tides don't go at it in half-hearted fashion! Before very long we had gone some distance Westwards, the ship was hull down and the walkie-talkie reception was iffy. We couldn't get the engine going, so I told the ship, and Sparky said the Mate would come and get us with the other motor lifeboat. "When?" says I. "After smoko" says the Sparky! I know it's funny now, but it wasn't at the time!

The sea was getting a bit lumpy and with the stink of diesel a few of us were feeling a bit icky. We drifted along, the ship was disappearing rapidly. I remember a beautiful boxy looking Blue Flue cargo ship passing us Westbound well inshore of us. Made us feel a bit small. Eventually the other lifeboat appeared and took us in tow, but we couldn't make any progress against the ebb. The Mate told the ship which was long disappeared and the VHF reception was very broken. Eventually the Mate shouted over to us "They're coming to get us". "Who's coming to get us?" I asked. "The whole bloody ship" shouts the Mate. 'Uh-oh' thinks I 'Now I'm in deep doodoo'!!

Eventually the ship came bumbling over the horizon, turned downstream of us and stopped so we could get under the falls and back on board. Once secure, we all went to the smokeroom. I think it must have been a Sunday cos there was scoff in the bar and we were all starving, it being about 1300 by this time. All the other barflies had a good laugh at our expense, of course.

I went up to the bridge to see the OM and he was brilliant about it all. He could justifiably have had a good rant at me but he was just concerned to know we were all OK. With hindsight he must have been incredibly relieved that he got us back OK and of course it raised some maintenance issues re the lifeboat fuel system which could be sorted before it became an emergency.
We all had a few 'Heh heh' nervous laughs about it afterwards. I can't remember what went into the logbooks, it was probably all hushed up or logged as an 'exercise' maybe! The Merlin was a really happy ship and it was a good trip once we got back to work. Some good memories there for me.

Oh, I'm 'tugboat' cos when I got my Masters ticket I left BP and went into the North Sea towing oilrigs. Now that was much more fun than tanker work!

Billieboy
3rd May 2010, 19:29
I seem to remember the Merlin being nicknamed, the "Welsh Wizard".

barnsey
3rd May 2010, 23:09
Thanks for that tale 'tugboat' .... typical of the fun most had on the 'Birdy boats' ...lifeboats down in lots of Scandinavian ports .... great fun and hard work on the European coast but then for the most part we had an extra mate which made everything workable in the winter and fatigue kept well at bay during long stand by's working the locks at Avonmouth, Swansea, Antwerp, Grangemouth.

Towing is an acquired art I grant you ..... you should try it here working 8,000 to 12,000 ton barges over a Bar Harbour entrance with 0.8 metre under the keel, one tug a stern anchor and a set which changes its mind at the critical moment as you try to get in a 150 metre gap.

On the balance, whilst Ive had great fun and learnt a whole new trade here I would give a lot to do just one more 6 month stint on a 'Birdy Boat' on the European coast ...as per late '60's.

billyboy
3rd May 2010, 23:31
Look forward to reading about some of your North sea experiences as well tugboat. I know there were plenty of tales, close calls and bumpy rides pout therel.
Regards
Billyboy

tugboat
4th May 2010, 10:55
Look forward to reading about some of your North sea experiences as well tugboat. I know there were plenty of tales, close calls and bumpy rides pout therel.
Regards
Billyboy

The UT704 thread below might make some jolly bedtime reading. Oh the japes we got up to!

beverlonian
6th May 2010, 22:00
"Does anyone remember a Master called D O W Jones, big Welshman known as DOW Jones, for obvious reasons."

Yes, a real jovial gentleman you would never forget - sailed with him on the Mallard in '74.

tugboat
8th May 2010, 15:54
Towing is an acquired art I grant you ..... you should try it here working 8,000 to 12,000 ton barges over a Bar Harbour entrance with 0.8 metre under the keel, one tug a stern anchor and a set which changes its mind at the critical moment as you try to get in a 150 metre gap.

On the balance, whilst Ive had great fun and learnt a whole new trade here I would give a lot to do just one more 6 month stint on a 'Birdy Boat' on the European coast ...as per late '60's.

0.8metres under the keel? Eeeee, luxury, when I were a lad.........Hehe!

As for a 6 month trip, you must be pretty fit, Barnsey, the state I'm in, one 6 hour cargo watch with a bit of valve swinging and I'd need a week off to recover!! And a few bevvies in the bar too.

tugboat
8th May 2010, 16:22
"Does anyone remember a Master called D O W Jones, big Welshman known as DOW Jones, for obvious reasons."

Yes, a real jovial gentleman you would never forget - sailed with him on the Mallard in '74.

I could tell a story or two about Jonesy, but not for public consumption unfortunately. One thing I remember on the Mallard as 3/O was, his wife either sailed with us briefly or visited when we were in port. I remember on more than one occasion sitting in my cabin in an evening with the curtain across the door, and the curtain would flutter and a couple of toffees would land on the daybed.
I sailed with him again on the Merlin, and then when I was 2/O I joined the Dragoon where he was a back to back regular. We had 2xC/Os and 3x2/Os (no 3/Os) on the Dragoon as she was lightening the VLCCs in Lyme Bay in those days. I joined when Jonesy was on leave and when he rejoined he reached the top of the gangway and saw me on deck and said "Oh no xxxxx, what are you doing here?" with that big laugh of his. However when it was time for me to go on leave, he talked me into going back for a second trip so I must have been doing something right. I enjoyed the Dragoon, it was good to be doing something a bit different. It was interesting being on the bridge while going alongside a VLCC, not the easiest of jobs with the slower engine response of a steamship. I'm quite enjoying recalling some of this stuff that I haven't thought about for many years.

Eric Farrelly
10th July 2010, 12:38
GTZX

Have just "joined" this ShipNostalgia and thoroughly enjoyed reading Birdie news.
Joined BP as a sparks Aug 68.
Joined Hussar 68(1st ship as Junior...Dave Bone was senior sparks) then Skill 69 finally Robin 69-70.
It's true the Robin very happy ship.

Ref DOW Jones om joined us on skill taking over from Tanner at Las Palmas and lifted the spirits (not alcoholic) on board within 24hrs. Organized a party with local hospital nurses...from then on Skill was a great ship!

Have a few "blue Ship Movements" crew lists if anyone interested??

bcnu

Sparks

Georgeallan
9th August 2010, 19:47
Have just returned to site after a long lapse and have been following the posts with interest. Was on British Mallard as 2/0 from July to November '72. DOW Jones was O/M and Bob Friar was Mate. I even got engaged on the Mallard and still have fond memories of the ship, so it can't be bad! Sailed with Derek Hore (in previous post) on Cavalier. Just loved your summary of weather in the logbook, Derek, "light fluffy clouds with just a hint of wind etc...", I'm sure it wound J.R. Scott up quite a bit.
Finished my deep sea career as Mate on Forties Kiwi, with characters like Gil Barber, Jack Hobbs, Jimmy Guy, Gordon Gough (cracking guy and very sad that he died so young. (Especially as he was Mate on my first ship, the "Sportsman"). Ian Anderson, Fraser Betts, Bob Morton, Arthur Beattie, Chris Spinks, Derek Palmer and a few others were Mates on her. I then transferred over to BP Pet. Dev. and was Marco on Forties Alpha before moving to the Buchan as Marine Officer and Sea Conquest as Master/OIM. After that I was one of the Project Supers with Len Short. I'm sure I must know "Tugboat" as I spent the rest of my time in the North Sea on various projects and rig moving then was heavily involved in the formation of the Marine Safety Forum, so spent a lot of time with ships, Masters and crews, firstly with ASCO and then with Promarine.
Best regards to all I've sailed with. Now in enforced retirement due health reasons, but enjoying life so far.
George Allan

derekhore
10th August 2010, 15:40
Sailed with Derek Hore (in previous post) on Cavalier. Just loved your summary of weather in the logbook, Derek, "light fluffy clouds with just a hint of wind etc...", I'm sure it wound J.R. Scott up quite a bit.


Hi George ... I remember you...just!!

Good times on the Cavalier up the Gulf if I remember rightly, can you remember any other names that were with us at the time?

I was 3rd Mate on her from Jan 75-May 75.

kevjacko
10th August 2010, 21:36
Have just returned to site after a long lapse and have been following the posts with interest. Was on British Mallard as 2/0 from July to November '72. DOW Jones was O/M and Bob Friar was Mate. I even got engaged on the Mallard and still have fond memories of the ship, so it can't be bad! Sailed with Derek Hore (in previous post) on Cavalier. Just loved your summary of weather in the logbook, Derek, "light fluffy clouds with just a hint of wind etc...", I'm sure it wound J.R. Scott up quite a bit.
Finished my deep sea career as Mate on Forties Kiwi, with characters like Gil Barber, Jack Hobbs, Jimmy Guy, Gordon Gough (cracking guy and very sad that he died so young. (Especially as he was Mate on my first ship, the "Sportsman"). Ian Anderson, Fraser Betts, Bob Morton, Arthur Beattie, Chris Spinks, Derek Palmer and a few others were Mates on her. I then transferred over to BP Pet. Dev. and was Marco on Forties Alpha before moving to the Buchan as Marine Officer and Sea Conquest as Master/OIM. After that I was one of the Project Supers with Len Short. I'm sure I must know "Tugboat" as I spent the rest of my time in the North Sea on various projects and rig moving then was heavily involved in the formation of the Marine Safety Forum, so spent a lot of time with ships, Masters and crews, firstly with ASCO and then with Promarine.
Best regards to all I've sailed with. Now in enforced retirement due health reasons, but enjoying life so far.
George Allan

Hi George

I sailed with Bob Friar he was Captain on the Wye 86 I think it was. He was a great Skipper in my eyes because amongst other things he had a fantastic dry sense of humour. I was 2nd cook at the time, myself, the chief cook and Bob Friar had a sort of running wind up going all trip. Yep definetly good times.

Graham Wallace
11th August 2010, 20:03
Hi George ... I remember you...just!!

Good times on the Cavalier up the Gulf if I remember rightly, can you remember any other names that were with us at the time?

I was 3rd Mate on her from Jan 75-May 75.

Derek,
Ships Movements 11 dec 1974 ( closest I can get)

Master, AJ Lockwood
C/O, HJ Stribblehill
2/M, GSM Allan
3/M, KW Bainbridge
D/C, I Sloan & DY Tully
R/O, RAE Laing
C/E WM Stuart ( died 1999)
2/E, AS Frankish
3/E, SM Andrew ( lives Vancouver)
4/E , MT Fadden
4/E, AW Leigh
4/E, JD Williams
J/E ,Peter Bantick & JG Dron
AJE ,MG Reynolds
Lecky,PJ Butler
E/C, DI Fuller
Cat /O, AD Gelson

Graham

derekhore
12th August 2010, 10:07
Thanks Graham....

Captain Lockwood and John Stribblehill were both on the Cavalier with me .... Captain Scott relieving about midway through the trip.

barnsey
12th August 2010, 11:09
Gee I never realised this thread would be so long and so interesting .... we sure did love the Birdy Boats ....

Tell me, has anyone got an accommodation plan of them ....??? I'd love to have a copy ...surely there are some around somewhwere?

Georgeallan
12th August 2010, 23:33
Hi, Derek, apologies for late reply, I'm just beginning to find my way around the forum and have only just discovered your posts! You relieved Keith Bainbridge and I left 1st March '75 at Ras al Khaimah. So we sailed together for about a month. I sailed with Alan Lockwood on the Mokran in '76/'77. I joined as 2/0, got my Master's exam results shortly after then was promoted to Mate on board to fill a gap in the ship's self relieving system. Alan was brilliant to be with on my first trip as Mate. So laid back and really supportive. Happy days!

George

Georgeallan
12th August 2010, 23:42
Hi, KevJacko, I got it wrong, I'm afraid. I didn't sail with Bob on the Mallard at all, it was the Fern I was on with him. She was carrying lub. oil so we got some brilliant ports and quite long spells in port. The Old Man used to organise cultural trips ashore for the wives and Bob's wife always came with us. His sense of humour certainly did take some beating.
George

derekhore
13th August 2010, 19:01
Hi, Derek, apologies for late reply, I'm just beginning to find my way around the forum and have only just discovered your posts! You relieved Keith Bainbridge and I left 1st March '75 at Ras al Khaimah. So we sailed together for about a month. I sailed with Alan Lockwood on the Mokran in '76/'77. I joined as 2/0, got my Master's exam results shortly after then was promoted to Mate on board to fill a gap in the ship's self relieving system. Alan was brilliant to be with on my first trip as Mate. So laid back and really supportive. Happy days!

George


Yes, I remember Alan Lockwood now ... used to wear very 'baggy' shorts I think! He made the Gulf bareable with his laid back attitude to things, one of the good guys at the top!

kevjacko
13th August 2010, 21:54
Hi, KevJacko, I got it wrong, I'm afraid. I didn't sail with Bob on the Mallard at all, it was the Fern I was on with him. She was carrying lub. oil so we got some brilliant ports and quite long spells in port. The Old Man used to organise cultural trips ashore for the wives and Bob's wife always came with us. His sense of humour certainly did take some beating.
George

We were running MOD charter and Cpt Friar was entertaining some MOD bigwigs alongside in Plymouth. The dining saloon was on the Port side on the Wye with bigger than usual square portholes so the Chief cook and myself grabbed a broomshank each and started doing sword fencing up and down the walkway in the middle of the main course. Cpt Friar was sat at the head of the table and the MOD bigwigs were there in all their scrambled egg glory, when these two DAFT B*****DS ( Captains words) started to fence up and down in the middle of the main course. Much hilarity in the saloon with Bob Friar swearing revenge.

Satanic Mechanic
13th August 2010, 22:42
Yes, I remember Alan Lockwood now ... used to wear very 'baggy' shorts I think! He made the Gulf bareable with his laid back attitude to things, one of the good guys at the top!

Ah old Letcher Lockwood - sailed with him on his last trip on the Tamar, his wife was with him and the following happened.
Sitting at dinner the ship 'dug in' a bit and gave an almighty shudder.

AL " Oh did the Earth just move"
Mrs AL " If it did its been the first time in decades"

It was one of those soup down the nose, choking on bread buns, sliding off the chair under the table moments that will live with me for ever

derekhore
14th August 2010, 08:27
Ah old Letcher Lockwood - sailed with him on his last trip on the Tamar, his wife was with him and the following happened.
Sitting at dinner the ship 'dug in' a bit and gave an almighty shudder.

AL " Oh did the Earth just move"
Mrs AL " If it did its been the first time in decades"

It was one of those soup down the nose, choking on bread buns, sliding off the chair under the table moments that will live with me for ever


(Thumb)

brooksy
17th August 2010, 22:47
Have just returned to site after a long lapse and have been following the posts with interest. Was on British Mallard as 2/0 from July to November '72. DOW Jones was O/M and Bob Friar was Mate. I even got engaged on the Mallard and still have fond memories of the ship, so it can't be bad! Sailed with Derek Hore (in previous post) on Cavalier. Just loved your summary of weather in the logbook, Derek, "light fluffy clouds with just a hint of wind etc...", I'm sure it wound J.R. Scott up quite a bit.
Finished my deep sea career as Mate on Forties Kiwi, with characters like Gil Barber, Jack Hobbs, Jimmy Guy, Gordon Gough (cracking guy and very sad that he died so young. (Especially as he was Mate on my first ship, the "Sportsman"). Ian Anderson, Fraser Betts, Bob Morton, Arthur Beattie, Chris Spinks, Derek Palmer and a few others were Mates on her. I then transferred over to BP Pet. Dev. and was Marco on Forties Alpha before moving to the Buchan as Marine Officer and Sea Conquest as Master/OIM. After that I was one of the Project Supers with Len Short. I'm sure I must know "Tugboat" as I spent the rest of my time in the North Sea on various projects and rig moving then was heavily involved in the formation of the Marine Safety Forum, so spent a lot of time with ships, Masters and crews, firstly with ASCO and then with Promarine.
Best regards to all I've sailed with. Now in enforced retirement due health reasons, but enjoying life so far.
George Allan

Hi George I was on the Forties Kiwi the same time as you.Looking at all those names has bought back memories of over thirty years ago. You missed one name of and that was Mate Dennis Coombes.I was an AB on her for 3 years with Bosuns Len Inglis and Malcom Davis.From the Masters and Mates the Engineers down to the lowly galley boy everybody pulled together and made her a happy ship.There will be a lot of guys on this forum will think she should have
gone the same way as the rest of them but she was the last Birdy although much altered in BP service.Remember spending the afternoon in your little shack when you were Marco.All the best Brooksy

John Cassels
18th August 2010, 07:13
Anyone ever come across a Jim Little with BP.

Came from Lanarkshire and was with him on the MAR course , King Ted's ,
1966 ?.

JamesM
18th August 2010, 10:39
Morning John,
Yes, I sailed with Jim on the Patrol, 1969/70, he was 2/0. We never came across each other again during our BP careers, but we still send each other Xmas cards( think that's down to the ladies ). He used to live in Bathgate, but moved to Livingston when he retired.
Regards James.

John Cassels
18th August 2010, 12:20
Thanks Jim, still got some photos of him from 1966 which I'll try to scan
and post.
He's one of the few that I can still put a name too.

mikeharrison
21st August 2010, 16:33
Hello John,

I remember Jim too. Jim was a great 2/O to sail with and he had a good sense of humour, which was always appreciated. I can remember navigating with him up the "belts" on the way past Denmark to the Baltic.

Warmest Wishes, Mike Harrison

sparks69
27th September 2010, 21:29
Hi Everyone,
This is the first time I have submitted a reply so please bear with me.I sailed on Br. gannet as J/Eng from April 1968 to December 1968 and if my memory is not failing me this ship was quite a workhorse.I think the generators were Ruston VEB 5 x with Napier blowers and always used a lot of lube oil.The 2/Eng ( a Scouser) can`t remember his name had us working extra hours nearly every day as both generators had to be overhauled twice.The Ch/Eng was S.S. Ritchie and I think the Skipper was D. Alexander.I have to agree though that these were beautiful looking ships.your comments would be appreciated.

2/Engs name was Sherlock and the Captain was Windsor Alexander and I was the sparks for the same period. I came across a picture of, I think it's the Gannet, on the RAF Gan Island web site. My cabin faced aft and was b****y terrible with no a/c. Great ship & great trip !!

backsplice
30th September 2010, 09:48
I was fortunate to spend a while on the Mallard 62/63 as EDH a great wee ship (see post "duck on ice") we had a cold cold run up the baltic and european coast i have a front page copy of a local paper which has a photo of a "Barry Thompson" trying to open a frozen valve there is no doubt about it "THE BIRDIE BOATS" had a lot of style and class well said RIP

Seabeast
8th October 2010, 21:11
Another item I came across in BP Fleet News today was this item ....

I hope those who took them over treated them well ....(Sad)

One was enough in a Birdie. Joined Br Robin as J/Eng in Dec 72 and had a month solid of massive scavenge fires for best part of a month then was told I was to transfer into the Br Liberty at the IOG in January.
My next nearest brush with a Birdie was when we were chosen to be the first crew for the Forties Kiwi but I was elbowed off from that one for being a bit to voiciferous about terms and conditions. Also fell out with a Jock mate who had joined from one of the BP pltfms as a coms type officer and he seemed to consider the rest of us to be some form of inferior being. Anyway after some irate exchanges of words I was banished to the the Br Humber I think it was.
One thing I do remember being good about the Birdies was the dining saloon and officers bar.

Hotson
5th November 2010, 20:56
Hi all,
Can anyone remember the sound of the Mallard as she went up on the rocks south of Tromso in November 73. When we finally limped into Cardiff it was the stated that it was the worst bottom damage they had seen since WW2.

barnsey
5th November 2010, 21:12
Hotson ... got any photos? .... and tell us more of the story please....

Hotson
5th November 2010, 22:34
Hi Barnsey,
Will collect my thoughts and get back to you

RAF
9th November 2010, 19:02
Hi all,
Can anyone remember the sound of the Mallard as she went up on the rocks south of Tromso in November 73. When we finally limped into Cardiff it was the stated that it was the worst bottom damage they had seen since WW2.

I joined at Cardiff after the grounding. I remember lots of overflows during the first couple of loadings as all the extended spindles on the tank valves were bent making it very hard to close the valves. A nightmare for quite some time afterwards - line setting was a real pleasure !
We went back up to Tromso soon afterwards and the tension on the bridge was high to say the least when we past the spot of the grounding. On checking the Timebook afterwards the Apprentice had all the various marks out of sequence ! good job we stayed afloat.

RAF