Illiad House

Succour
15th March 2009, 08:07
Do any of the members remember Illiad house in Birkenhead where we as young would be engineers and deck officers were berthed when working by.
I seem to remember a charming lady who was the manageress I think, and she would join us for meals and provide us with some Matronly assurance.
They had a snooker room and a small library. I dont think it had a bar so we would walk to the nearest pub beside the Birkenhead tube station. they had a couple of lads who played guitar and sang Oldies.
It was a very large Building in it's own grounds someone said it was once a shipowners home.
when you get to 60 yrs plus you start to think you imagined it.
would love to hear from anyone who remembers this nice old place.
Succour.

makko
15th March 2009, 17:04
Hi Succour,
Your memory is fine! I joined then Ocean in the Jan 80 Eng Cadet intake. We were originally at Aulis then, in March, we were all shipped out to Iliad House. My first room was over the firing range under the second house. We had to go to the pub to evade the reek of cordite on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

There were two houses, in Ashville Road. House one contained the dining room with all silver AH cutlery. The small room by the stairs was an office. House two had the snooker room and in the basement a television lounge. The menu was superb and was standard AH shipboard menu and fare.

The pub was the Park View - a bit dicey at times! Tuesday nights were lectures with Daggy down at Odyssey Works. We were picked up by coach and transported daily to Birkenhead Tech.

My second room was on the first floor of house one, immediately above the office and had a small "terrace" actually the roof of the bay window. My first ship (albeit dead) was Nestor, the LNG carrier. Reactivation from lay up in Loch Striven for survey in France. I had gone to ask Daggy on a Monday morning during Odyssey time if (against all orders) I could go and take my driving test. He saw me outside his office and beckoned me in, telling me I was "off to Scotland" as someone, at the weekend had imbibed and whilst "tightrope" walking the bannister in house two, had fallen from the top floor, bouncing from bannister to bannister "...which did not kill him (Harumph-Hee-Tee-Hee)........He is however in hospital and, Hee-hee, and will not (Harumph!) be with us for a while...He-hee---ho-ho!". If you knew Daggy, you will know how he enjoyed this episode!

I had a great time at Iliad. We used to pub crawl Birkenhead and the dock area once a month. The houses were and still are beautiful - Basement and three floors plus a loft area. They are apartments now. Just in front, on the corner, was the Memorial Rose Garden, donated by the Holts.

Regards,
Dave

makko
15th March 2009, 17:26
Just another thought regarding Iliad house.......

When on various threads there are often contrary opinions against AH/BF/OTT, I think that it is important to point out the BF set up in Birkenhead. There was their own: Dock (Vittoria), repair works (Odyssey), dry-dock (West Float), officers hostel (Iliad House) and just a short Merseyrail trip away, India Buildings (With a dedicated exit underneath from James St. station). It is no wonder we were company men and proud of it!

I remember one written recollection of someone who, in the thirties probably, considered Iliad their home! They had no home as such and would simply do a trip, go on leave to Iliad and then join their next ship!

I forgot to mention, Ashville road divides the two halves of Birkenhead Park. Iliad House is not far from the lake and Japanese Bridge - We used to toss people in there on their birthdays!

Rgds. again,
Dave

Trident
16th March 2009, 06:07
Do any of the members remember Illiad house in Birkenhead where we as young would be engineers and deck officers were berthed when working by.
I seem to remember a charming lady who was the manageress I think, and she would join us for meals and provide us with some Matronly assurance.
They had a snooker room and a small library. I don't think it had a bar so we would walk to the nearest pub beside the Birkenhead tube station. they had a couple of lads who played guitar and sang Oldies.
It was a very large Building in it's own grounds someone said it was once a shipowners home.
when you get to 60 yrs plus you start to think you imagined it.
would love to hear from anyone who remembers this nice old place.
Succour.

I remember Illiad house in Birkenhead well and agree with all that has been said, the only problem i found was getting back at night from Liverpool after a night out to find the front door was locked, this meant ringing the door bell to be let in by the charming lady( wish i could remember her name) in her dressing gown, there was always a little reminder of the correct time the door was closed.
No matter how many times you stayed there and even when she really got to know you she would always address you as Mr............Happy times......Al

gordy
16th March 2009, 12:53
The memories come flooding back! I'd be there the back end of '66, working by, I think they called it a Vittoria Dock, doing engine room repair work.
I do remember the lady who looked after us, and I'm sure I can remember some very senior looking captains who stayed for a night or two.
The crowd I got in with were a great bunch. They introduce me to the Kop end at Annfield and a nerve jangling exit from a Chinese restaurant where we all went to the bog together and escaped through a back door without paying. Linford Christie couldn't have caught us!
My 'working by' period was short as a coasting crew slot became available on the Jason in my home town, Glasgow, and so began my very fulfilling sea time with a great British shipping company.

Pat Kennedy
16th March 2009, 21:13
I passed Iliad house twice a day for five years, My school was at the top end of Birkenhead Park. I never knew what it was, I saw a few uniformed men coming and going from time to time, but it aroused no curiosity in me.
It wasnt until a few years later, when I was at sea in Blueys, that my younger brother commenced employment as a junior engineer with the China, and brought home three or four of his colleagues who were staying at Iliad House while they were all working by in Vittoria Dock.
Apparently the food wasnt up to much at Iliad House and our Jimmy had my mother cooking sausage egg and chips every night for these hungry engineers . I came home on leave in the middle of all this and took them all for a few beers down in the fleshpots of New Brighton.
I wonder if there are any old chiefs out there who remember scoffing a load of grub at Mrs Kennedy's, way back in 1964.
Pat

seeanji
29th October 2009, 00:13
Mrs Hopwood was the name of the lady who managed Iliad house, I cannot remember the name of her "assistant" a Miss ??/. I made a journey of memories to the area a couple of years back there is now no sign of it's Holts connection it is now private flats.
If I remember rightly Jimmy Quinn was the electrical with Bill Pope at Odyssy works and he made the appointments.

Ian Stanley
3rd January 2010, 04:45
Some happy memories there. I was there in '71/'72 during my cadetship. Started in '68 before moving on and ending up in Aussie.
Ian

Graham McMorine
5th March 2010, 20:01
Stayed there overnight of the first day of my employment with BF. As I remember , that first day was quite hectic, after having the compulsary medical and injections, Then to Illiad House ,where I was fed and showed to my room. By this time my left arm felt as tho` it was hanging off and the arm pit on the right ached like hell ( or was it the other way round ). Collapsed onto the bed hoping to die, only to be kept awake all night by music, television , wireless, and drunken stupers in a steady procession through out. Illiad for me was a bad experiance, however I look back on it and laugh at myself................Gra(Cloud) (Jester)

Barber Hector
7th March 2010, 20:25
Mmm. I had the misfortune to stay at Illiad House on a few occasions when I was seconded to India Buildings Accounts Dept/Personnel Dept/Dogsbody Dept [for 6 weeks on one occasion] and I hated it. Perhaps I was just peed off being ashore instead of at sea. There was certainly a very noticable 'class' system in effect where the Captains and C/Engineer Officers were fawned over by the old ladies running the place. Which is fair enough I guess looking back.

Chohrge
17th May 2010, 10:39
Miss Holden was the boss lady in the "junior" building of Illiad Hose.
I am talking about 1958 and a bit later.

Geo

Kingham SJ
9th June 2010, 16:38
I remember Illiad [ideal]house,I used to stay there with my dad [Charlie Kingham c/e].I remember playing snooker,big table for a small lad.I think we had to go next door if my memory serves me right.only stayed a couple of times.good breakfasts.

Barber Hector
22nd June 2010, 00:18
I remember your Dad, Charlie. Sailed with him on the old Monmouthshire around 1959/60. Real nice chap and he played the piano well. We did a 'duet' on the piano at the International Seamens Club at Shanghai. I wasnt as good as him.
He was a happy and cheerful guy and was friends with everyone regardless of rank.
Regards.

sparkie2182
22nd June 2010, 00:23
"We used to toss people in there on their birthdays!"

An enlightened company, Blue Flue.

:)

Kingham SJ
24th June 2010, 14:56
Thanks for that about the old man,Hes still arround and playing the piano.He left blue flu early seventies.Worked for Gulf East Shipmanagement/Atlas Shipping,as a superintendent.

Barber Hector
25th June 2010, 16:20
Glad to know he is 'still around' although he must be in his 80's now ?
I knew he disapeared from the Blue Funnel scene but didnt know what happened to him. No use me saying give him my regards as he wouldnt remember me, especially after 50 years !

Macphail
26th June 2010, 00:32
4th and 5th Engineer, both from the north of Scotland, 1963, We paid off the "Antilochus" in Avonmouth, required to report to floor five of Indian Buildings before heading north on leave.
Booked into Illiad house for two nights, what a lovely lady in charge.
After a heavy night on the ale in Birkenhead, first thing next morning we headed off to Indian Buildings, in the packed lift heading for the 5th floor, the fiver dropped one,
much coughing and holding of breath, he shouted, it was the BASS.

Happy days,

John.

makko
26th June 2010, 05:19
I remember being "accosted" by an office wallah who said I shouldn't be on the 5th floor - I turned menacingly and snarled "Sea Staff!" which sent him running for cover!
Rgds.
Dave

seeanji
26th June 2010, 11:33
Thanks Chohrge, Miss Holden, that takes me back, little slightly built lass with glasses.

sparkie2182
26th June 2010, 13:13
"I remember being "accosted" by an office wallah "

It wasn't your birthday. was it" ?

makko
27th June 2010, 03:05
No, Sparks. I had been motocrossing most of the day and had to make an urgent visit to the office.
Makko therefore was not his usual impeccable "Saville Row" self, more "indigent after a rough night"! The bloody creep told me that I couldn't be there and had to leave and that I certainly couldn't have a free soup out of the machine (7th floor, I think!)!
Dave

Kingham SJ
27th June 2010, 14:19
Yes hes in his eighties.I will mention to him about the monmouthshire,see if it ring any bells??. While he was working for gulfeast,He ended up overseeing the purchase of many blu flu ships.ironic rearly.But they were well built and always above spec, from what he tells me.

Larry Brownson
5th March 2012, 13:41
SJ Kingham,
I sailed with your dad for three voyages on the Glenfalloch He was chief I was second, your mam hazel was also with us one trip ask him if he still has the palm trees I gave him at the end of our final trip.
I picjed up the coconuts in the philipines and planted them in buckets in my cabin they were about 3feet tall when charlie took them for his garden.
Knowing charlie he is probably selling coconuts on the local market by now.
Give him my regards.

colinbusby
7th March 2012, 01:21
I stayed in Illiad House for some time in 1971. I recall a lady managing as Miss Palmer with her faithful dog Pepper. My first post on this excellent web site.

TimPlayfair
30th July 2014, 15:28
I used to visit Illiad House in the 1950s/60s with my parents because the lady who was manager then was Eva Beaumont, who was a childhood friend of my grandmother. As was common then she had the honorary title of 'Aunty Eva'. I remember being very impressed that I had an 'Aunty' who appeared to own such a splendid house. It was even better when she rang for tea to be served to us!

larryb
1st August 2014, 17:38
I joined blue funnel in January 1961 and after going to our interview I was sent with a fellow Junior engineer to Illiad House, I don't remember a lovely lady but a real old dragon. We were shown to our room and given all the warnings what we could and could not do and she left.
The room was freezing and had a slot meter for the gas I got some coins out and put them into the meter, The other junior engineer a lad from southern Ireland said beejeesus larry what are you doing, he took out a screwdriver and removed the front off the meter and worked on it and said there you are that will last us a few days, he was a great character and was much more streetwise than me. we eventually joined our deep sea ships after working by at Birkenhead and I never crossed his path again.

IAN M
1st August 2014, 19:40
I remember Illiad [ideal]house,I used to stay there with my dad [Charlie Kingham c/e].I remember playing snooker,big table for a small lad.I think we had to go next door if my memory serves me right.only stayed a couple of times.good breakfasts.

I sailed with a J.E. Kingham on the Glengarry in 1950. He was an uncertificated Assistant Engineer, aged 22. I was 1st RO/Purser and have described the voyage in my Kindle book, VIA SUEZ.

AGAMEMNON
26th August 2014, 11:55
Often called "The Blue Funnel Playboy Club" in the 1960s. Oh what wags we were!

Steve Hogg
27th September 2014, 12:07
Stayed there during third phase 1966/67 manageress was Miss Bishop,and Housekeeper a Mrs Ohagan,

Derek Roger
28th September 2014, 19:06
Stayed there during third phase 1966/67 manageress was Miss Bishop,and Housekeeper a Mrs Ohagan,
Were you also there at Riversdale for OND\Derek Roger ??