Robertson's of Glasgow

bobarr
21st August 2005, 16:45
I started my career at sea in 1953 on a 500 ton coaster 'Citrine' owned by the above company. All their vessels were named after semi-precious stones i.e. Gem, Sapphire, etc.
Does anyone out there know what happened to the company. When did it cease to exist? Is anybody from the golden years of the British coaster still around.
Also, when was my last ship, the 'Cara' (Glens of Glasgow)
scrapped?
Bobarr

lakercapt
21st August 2005, 17:08
Hi BOBARR
your question about Robertsons of Glasgow (West Nile Street)
They were taken over by Stevie Clarks in 1970.
I know as I have a silver chalice that was presented to their captains to commemorate the ending of their ties.
Robertsons were in existance from 1852 until 1970.
The ships were still operating under their original names etc for a while afterwards.
If you sailed one one of their ships you would be well acquainted with that famous loading "PORT" Llanddulas on the north Wales coast.
I was on several of their ships, the last being the Tourmaline.
A great learning experiance, one I still have many tales to tell about to the amuzement of my friends who never had small ship experiance.
A sad day when Robbies changed hand as their were many characters on the ships.
I came to Canada shortly afterwards and was glad I did when I hear what happened to the Red Duster fleets.

R58484956
21st August 2005, 18:40
Captain Bill awaiting some of your small ship storieswith anticipation

oldbosun
21st August 2005, 19:46
I was AB in "Axinite" Dec. Jan. Feb of 53/54, A winter on the coast that I'll never forget.
Axinite was very old, built I think in 1897. She had a big old steering wheel almost as high as I was and we steered quarter points on a spirit compass. No radar, but I seem to remember she had Decca Navigator. There was a little steam engine attached to the wheel and that was the only power steering there was but not for just anybody, that was for the Captain when he was wheeling her in enclosed waters. I remember once when a big sea hit the rudder and spun the wheel I was holding, almost broke my jaw before getting thrown across the wheelhouse. Capt. Thomas Barmer had her then. A very nice manI found him to be.
I remember Llandulas quite well. we used to go there to load stones.
We took quite a battering in the Irish Sea coming there from Belfast one time and all the ceiling ( heavy wood planking bottom of the cargo hold) was strewn around like matchsticks and we had to fit it all back before we could load those stones for Liverpool.

"Fairfield", a very knowledgable researcher and contributor to this website sent me a Tribute in poem form to the ships, Masters and Mates of Robertsons, managing to mention so many of them by name. I'm sure you both (posters) will find it intriguing. I'll ask for his permission to forward it on. It really is a well done piece, quite amazing really........Peter

lakercapt
21st August 2005, 20:23
On a trip to Northern Norway with a new 2nd mate. we had reasonabily fair weather until we cleared the Pentland Firth when it got rough. It was not uncommon for mal de mer to show its ugly head. Poor second mate was convinced he was in serious condition as he was vomiting blood. Nothing that bad as he was doing what was required over the port bridge wing and as it was flowing past the port light it did seem that was a life threating condition.
It was a wonder that the cooks managed to put food on the table with the fiddles raised and the cloths dampened we managed to eat with one hand and hold on with the other.
I did get seasick after every leave and I did not look forward to the first few days back.
Our trips through the "Minch" were where we got fresh fish. Many of the crew were from the western isles and had relatives on the fishing boats. When they had hauled and we were about an exchange for a couple of bottle of Scoth (duty free) and a couple of cartons of cigarettes would have us loaded up for ages. Earlier on we had a barrel and salt and we would salt down our own herring and have that old Scottish staple, boiled spuds and salt herring. Food for the gods!.
Could go on but I have to BBQ now
Regards to all
Bill Ross

Pat McCardle
22nd August 2005, 16:56
Go to Ports & Harbours, I have just posted a pic of Ferring loading at Llandulas in '81. I was on this ship for 18months then had a fall down the hold,keeping me on the beach for 6.5years. Had a spell on Gem too for 4 weeks, a well looked after ship. Roddy Micholson (Barra) was Bo'sun on her. I believe he was on her from new to her being sold?

lakercapt
25th August 2005, 00:15
A quick tale of woe.
The Tourmaline loaded puper pulp in Nowray for Savona in Italy.
All went without incident.
On appraoch to the port they had to anchor as Italian pilot would not take ships into port except at daylight.
The second mate was on watch (the mate and second mate worked watch and watch)
He fell asleep sitting on the wheelhouse chair. In the engineroom the 3rd noticed that the engine temperatures were rising but could not undersatnd why so went up and got the C/E.
When wakon he noticed that there were cars going bu on a raod just in front of the ship.
He called the captain (who will remain nameless) who went to the wheelhouse and found the 2nd mate asleep until he kicked ovcer the chair.
The ship had run aground avoiding the fully loaded tanked anchored off Vada Port and went up on the only sandy beach for miles.
I was talking to a pilot many yaers later when I was on the canadian ship and he remembered the incident.
I was fortunately on vacation when this happened but was asked if all the navigation gear was working when I left.
Working watch and watch was normal for Robbie Boats as they only had two mates and although they were paid extra it was very exhausting, especially goig to Italy. Worse if you were going to Ancona whish was about 14 days sailing.
Regards
Bill Ross

Oliver Hawes
25th August 2005, 00:32
I enjoyed two voyages on this vessel when she was the Fergus H.
As an enthusiast it was very exciting to sail on this old lady to Bremen with a cargo of stone from Arklow. I was looking forward to sailing up the English Channel to see and photograph the ships but it was fog all the way to the North Sea.
I think she is still trading in the Gulf as Socutra (spelling?) Perhaps another member may have more up to date news on her?

raymond f mills
26th August 2005, 12:16
You mentioned you served on a Glen & Co - Glasgow ship called the "Cara" I was familiar with this company cant remember this one. Have you got the correct name?

raymond f mills

R58484956
26th August 2005, 15:36
Glen & Co SS Cara 1856 tons. Built 1929 by Burntisland SB Co; 271.6 x39.7 x 19.0.
3 cyl; up and downer by D Rowner glasgow. code flags GSZJ.

bobarr
27th August 2005, 21:17
R58484956 from bobarr.
Indeed we are talking about the same ship. The 'Cara' was a typical 3-island tramp. I joined her in Dublin in June,1959 in the Alexandra Basin. We sailed for Finnish ports to load timber, including a full deck cargo, for Glasgow. I remember we lost a substantial amount of our deck cargo due to bad weather on the return voyage. I also remember that the Master was a gentleman of the old school who disapproved of strong drink (and presumably loose women) and came from the Western Isles.[QUOTE]

Ben Boat Jim
23rd October 2005, 02:10
I sailed on the Gem, paid off and rejoined her in Troon, when she was lengthened and renamed Cameo. i also joined the Topaz, brand new in Troon.
( the red oxide on the winch islands were still wet when we sailed for trials)
Has anyone out there have a photo of the Gem and Cameo, to complete my Discharge Book R628596 collection.
Regards Jimmy Morrison.

Pat McCardle
23rd October 2005, 15:31
I sailed on the Gem, paid off and rejoined her in Troon, when she was lengthened and renamed Cameo. i also joined the Topaz, brand new in Troon.
( the red oxide on the winch islands were still wet when we sailed for trials)
Has anyone out there have a photo of the Gem and Cameo, to complete my Discharge Book R628596 collection.
Regards Jimmy Morrison.

See GEM in ports & harbours while at ODDA.

Ben Boat Jim
23rd October 2005, 21:07
Hi Pat,
I found the Pic of Gem at Odda, but that ship in the photo is not the Gem, her funnel is not black, there is no white line painted on the hull, her superstructure is too streamlined, the stern shape is curved instead of up and down. The Gem had two tall masts, also the name when 'enlarged' has too many letters.....Not the ship I was on in the early sixties. Jimmy Morrison.

lakercapt
25th October 2005, 21:14
I have a picture of the Cameo somewhere in my archives(Commonly known as my box of old pictures)
Will see if I can find it and post it.

Gordon Steel
17th January 2008, 15:04
Gordon Steel

I did three years with Gem Line from 1971-1974 on Amethyst, Tourmaline and Topaz( Nuclear waste dump in 74 ) Company not sold tilll later, some of the best kept ships in MN. Great runs to some good ports.

tazdevil

lakercapt
17th January 2008, 21:59
Gordon Steel

I did three years with Gem Line from 1971-1974 on Amethyst, Tourmaline and Topaz( Nuclear waste dump in 74 ) Company not sold tilll later, some of the best kept ships in MN. Great runs to some good ports.

tazdevil

Sorry Gordon but Robertson's ceased to exist as a seperate entity in 1970 when they became part of the Powell Dufferin group.
Glad you are still around after doing the nuclear dump as there are a few that did it have passed away.
See my earlier post.
Their ships did retain their "Robbie" names but the office in Glasgow took their instructions from Stevie Clarks in London..
The Robertson family that took great pride in "their" ships moved out of the picture. Sadly things were never the same. Course that is a long time ago but still rememeber the Tourmaline fondly as it was my last boat in Robbies.
Bill

Peter Eccleson
18th January 2008, 15:36
Lakercapt (Bill)
Did you know a Robertsons Capt who lived in Colwyn Bay, North Wales? Almost in spitting distance of Llandulas pier.

ARRANMAN35
18th January 2008, 16:45
Sorry Gordon but Robertson's ceased to exist as a seperate entity in 1970 when they became part of the Powell Dufferin group.
Glad you are still around after doing the nuclear dump as there are a few that did it have passed away.
See my earlier post.
Their ships did retain their "Robbie" names but the office in Glasgow took their instructions from Stevie Clarks in London..
The Robertson family that took great pride in "their" ships moved out of the picture. Sadly things were never the same. Course that is a long time ago but still rememeber the Tourmaline fondly as it was my last boat in Robbies.
Bill

Hi,
Memories have come flooding back, joined the Tourmaline in early 1964 at Liverpool, for a short trip to complete sea time, she was on charter to John Bruce of GLASGOW part of the Ellerman Pappayani group, in the end I stayed for nearly eight months, like youself I have many stories to tell of my short period on her, indeed a vertible culture shock to a "big ship" man.
Our run was to the Medi ports via Oporto and Lisbon, Marseilles, Leghorn, Naples and Salerno, the reverse on the way back, general cargo as she was well endowed with handling gear.
Loading on a special trip to Porto Torres, Sardinia (I think) with parts for a lignite burning power station there, the transformers were loaded by Mersey Mammoth at Birkenhead, An A frame was constructed at the discharge port
to recieve the gear, on taking the load the quayside began to show signs of stress and the ship began to rise as the load was taken,not allowing clearance
between the ship and the quay the wing tanks were hastily filled and clearance was obtained.
One other trip, on the way home we loaded hogsheads of wine at Oporto, some were stowed on deck, there was a number of enamel pails of the red liqiuid around, all it took was a flattened welding rod insterted between the stave and then turned to allow the liquid to run into the bucket.
The deck crowd were all Dubliners and the bridge complement from the North, perfect harmony a first class working relationship.
My time there was definately an experience I can never forget, indeed sad that the company like many others have disappeared, but I see that Stevie Clarks is still in the shipping business.

lakercapt
18th January 2008, 18:04
Lakercapt (Bill)
Did you know a Robertsons Capt who lived in Colwyn Bay, North Wales? Almost in spitting distance of Llandulas pier.

Yes Knew him.
His name was John McKinnley and he was the shore captain for the loading at LLandullas. Was originally a Robbie captain but when in Llandullas he did not work for Robertsons but the quarry company (all the same but differant pocket) When they became part of the Powell Duffern group all became one.
He called up the ship and told them how the seas were running at the jetty and if they would load the ship. Course to my best recollection he never said it was too bad. Got close on the approach a couple of times and aborted as the seas rolling in were something to behold. Call to Capt. John saying we were not coming in and would try for the next tide. Never liked that but as it was a very exposed place once in getting out into the bay could be difficult and bum puckering.

Peter Eccleson
21st January 2008, 17:33
Thanks for that Lakercapt...... name comes back to me! I used to give his son a lift to Liverpool (Riversdale College) in the early 70's. He was training for his Radio Officers Ticket.

Thanks again!

(Thumb)

James MacDonald
21st January 2008, 17:51
I was AB on Pearl, Mate on the Brilliant & Turquiose, I remember Ginger who loaded us at Llandulas. The Best Captain in the fleet at that time.in my opinion was an old guy called Jimmy MacDowel from White Abbey N.I.

Trader
21st January 2008, 20:01
I sailed in the Emerald in 1960 on the Casabanca/Whitehaven phosphate trade on charter to Marchon products. We also did several other cargoes such as coal to Ireland. The Captain was Don MacKinnon from I think Barra.

I joined the Amethyst in 1965 in Manchester with the same captain. We were mainly on the Llandulas/Odda run with stone and paper pulp back to UK. We also did many other cargoes such as cement from the Thames to Belfast, phosphate from Casablanca to Lisahally N.I., coke from Bristol to Lisbon. I paid off in Port Talbot just before Christmas 1965, the old man by then was Capt. Kerr from Larne.

I really enjoyed my time in those ships, they were well run, good feeders and great crews. We had a good mix, Scots, Irish (North & South) and English and never a bad word.

Does anyone remember the names of the small ports in North Norway where we loaded paper pulp.? Nord Statland comes to mind but I can't find it on the map. Lakercapt. may know this as he did the navigating.

I remember a small place with just one jetty for loading pulp and there was another small jetty there where the small supply ship tied up. I think that the only way in was by sea. It was a lovely little village with very friendly people. We were there in summer when it never got dark and I remember buying a case of beer from the store on the jetty and going for a row up the fjord in the jolly boat with my mate (there were no bars in this place bye the way). We rowed up the fjord having a drink on the way and found out it was only 2% alcohol. No wonder we couldn't get a glow on.

We were also there in the winter and had great fun sledging down the main street, which was quite steep, on home made sledges with the locals.

I have got some photos somewhere, I must dig them out.

Trader,

shipsivanhoe
21st January 2008, 22:22
i sailed on the cairngorm 1973.we picked up pulp from salsbruket then discharged it in ancona.the cairngorm was a new ship and the crew were great as were the people of salsbruket.

lakercapt
21st January 2008, 22:31
Trader
Alas time has taken its toll and all those small Norwegian ports that we visited in Robbies have escaped me and I can't recall their names. Many just had the mill. Worst was when we loaded for Ancona in Italy as that usually was a 14 day run. Be sitting down some evening and they will spring to mind. One that does come is Mo-I-Rana.
Remember the runs you mentioned and one of my favourites places was Odda.
Good for business too as we used to buy Vodka in Poland and hide unill we got to Norway, very profitable.
If not we would buy it in a UK Tesco store. Remember buying two cases and the lady asking if I wanted the "Green Shield" stamps. No give it to the woman behind us. She was thrilled as there seemed to be reems of them spewed out from the cash register.
Summer time in the north was daylight 24 hours and your body did not know what was going on. Conversely in the winter it was nearly dark all the time.
Understand why booze was so popular!!!
I looked on our atlas but it is not large enough to have many places on it.
Biil R

Bill Davies
21st January 2008, 22:47
Gentlemen,
Probably the most interesting posts I have read on this site. Seems there is a big gap in my experience as these little ports and fellow shipmates are obviously held in high regards by you all.

Rgds to you all

Bill D.

Don Sangster
28th January 2008, 03:48
Joined the Obsidian of Robertsons in Barry Dock as she was going out the lock
bit of a culture shock as I had just paid off one of Hains got used to her and I saw a lot of ports around the UK and Ireland which otherwise I would never have
seen. she was built in 1922 as the River Ely for Llewellyn Merret to Robertsons 1925 and to R A Graysons becoming the Oro paid off in Aberdeen Jan 1st 1954 when she was sold which was good as I saw a lot of family members I had never seen, my Father was an Aberdonian, sailed with 2 Captains One named Gibson from Methil and the other Hood who was from Northern Ireland if anyone has a photograph of the Obsidian I would be grateful. Like Old Bosun said the wheel was as big as me and we steered by quarter points the steering engine was only started when we had a pilot on board
Regards to All
Don

Barry Man
8th February 2008, 00:30
I got my copy of the February "Coastal Shipping" magazine on Monday. It says there will be an article about Robertsons in the April magazine.

fringe
18th July 2008, 20:43
The Tourmaline was my first coaster. Having just come from Deep Sea on a Panamax I thought it was a joke - it looked about the size of a lifeboat! Stayed with Stevies until 85 and sailed mostly with Robbie's Men. Alan Jamieson, Murdoch McArthur, Arthur Hulley, Carl Jenny, Jack Denny, Willie Thompson, Joe Wrathmall, ? McTighe, Jimmy Gillies, Angus McInnes, Patrick Wrathmall, Peter Thompson, Peter Rutherford, Alaistair McKay, Peter O'Brien. To name but a few. Although I'd joined Stevies I was know as a Robbie's Man because of the company I kept and the ships I sailed on! I was on the Malling when we had an horrendous trip from Galway to Seville with scrap. Nine days for a five day run! On arrival Malcolm Berne (Old Man) asked the office if there was any objection to discharging the cranes with the cargo - and no - I haven't got that wrong. After that trip they WERE scrap and were taken off at the next dry dock (as were the Ferring's). Good feeders on the little 1599's - much better than the bigger ones.

pamick2
4th August 2008, 23:57
I joined cameo in cardiff 1962 sailed north wales to odda also poland limerick ardrossan good ship great crew pamick2

lakercapt
5th August 2008, 04:21
Hi Fringe
Although you said the Tourmaline (my first captains job) was a coaster we did sail to far away places in the Medi from North Norway ( Mo I Rana)and that was a 14 day trip.
Classed as coaters by many but on foreign agreement.
Many an interesting trip on that boat and some good places we visited a favourite being Odda but unfortunately you had to go to Llandulas first!!!

BillH
12th September 2008, 17:58
16.4.1949: WILLIAM ROBERTSON SHIPOWNERS LTD. incorporated (Co. Reg No. SC026998) and the fleet sold to the new Company whilst the old Company
WILLIAM ROBERTSON, remained to become their Managers

1958: WILLIAM ROBERTSON SHIPOWNERS LTD. restyled as GEM LINE LTD.,
whilst managers
WILLIAM ROBERTSON restyled as
WILLIAM ROBERTSON SHIPOWNERS LTD

1970: GEM LINE LTD was acquired by the POWELL, DUFFRYN GROUP and was restyled as WILLIAM ROBERTSON SHIPOWNERS LTD.

There was an inbuilt sale proviso that at least one “Gem” name would always be retained in the fleet

1978: THE FLEET WAS ABSORBED INTO THE ASSOCIATED FLEET OF
STEPHENSON CLARKE SHIPPING LTD. -
THE SHIPPING ARM OF POWELL DUFFRYN GROUP.

15.7.1987: WILLIAM ROBERTSON SHIPOWNERS LTD. was restyled as GEM LINE (MANAGEMENT) LTD.

1990: 60% of STEPHENSON CLARKE SHIPPING LTD.
SOLD TO UNSPECIFIED INVESTORS

JUNE / JULY 1994: Remaining 40% of STEPHENSON CLARKE SHIPPING LTD.
SOLD TO SAME INVESTORS

21.3.1997: GEM LINE (MANAGEMENT) LTD. of Maritime House, 143, Woodville Street GLASGOW G51 2RQ Dissolved.


9.1997: STEPHENSON CLARKE SHIPPING LTD
SOLD TO INTERNATIONAL MARITIME GROUP, ISLE OF MAN

There were still gems in use up to late 1990's.

eriskay
13th September 2008, 22:59
With reference to Trader's message dated 21-01-2008, Donald Mac Kinnon was my late Father and originated from the Island of Eriskay rather than Barra, but as many of the Eriskay folk's ancestors came from Barra, including our family, no problem !

Would be interested to know if anyone out there remembers my Father, who was also known as 'Hurricane Dan'. He first sailed with Robertson's Gem Line in 1937 (MV Sapphire of 1935) then went deep sea from 1938-1940, seconded on Admiralty duty for the rest of the war years, rejoined Gem Line in 1945 and remained with the Company until retirement in 1983, having served 35 years as master.

His brothers, John Michael and Angus James, also served on Robertson vessels.

Angus Mac Kinnon

eriskay
13th September 2008, 23:10
Good Evening :

New to the Site and still trying to fathom out how it all fits together. The message below I seem to have managed to post on a separate messages thread relating to Robertson's coasters, whereas it should have been on this thread - apologies.

Repeated Message :

With reference to Trader's message dated 21-01-2008, Donald Mac Kinnon was my late Father and originated from the Island of Eriskay rather than Barra, but as many of the Eriskay folk's ancestors came from Barra, including our family, no problem !

Would be interested to know if anyone out there remembers my Father, who was also known as 'Hurricane Dan'. He first sailed with Robertson's Gem Line in 1937 (MV Sapphire of 1935) then went deep sea from 1938-1940, seconded on Admiralty duty for the rest of the war years, rejoined Gem Line in 1945 and remained with the Company until retirement in 1983, having served 35 years as master.

His brothers, John Michael and Angus James, also served on Robertson vessels.

Angus Mac Kinnon

lakercapt
13th September 2008, 23:36
Hi Angus sailed in Robbies the same time as your Dad who was affectionally known to all by the nickname as "Hurricane Dan"
He was proud to sail the "Emerald" for many years and referred to it as a three fathom boat as its loaded draft was 18 feet. I only ever met him once when a bunch of masters who were home on leave were invited to the Glasgow office.
He too will have been presented with a small silver chalice to commemorate the end of Robertsons as a seperate entity.

|

Bill Davies
14th September 2008, 03:17
Angus,

Not clear as to whether you are a native of Eriskay but I sailed with an Angus Cummings in 'the china' in the late 50s who was a native of Eriskay.

Bill

muldonaich
14th September 2008, 12:56
i sailed with his father in 1960 bill kev ps on lismoria

bert thompson
14th September 2008, 21:54
Seem to recall that twin brothers were Supers for this company. One Deck and the other Engine. Have I got the right company? . Worked on their ships in TDE on the Tyne
Bert

Binnacle
14th September 2008, 22:12
Thoroughly enjoyed this thread. Salvesen ships on the Norwegian trade carried Norwegian coastal charts as they were in colour and sector lights stood out clearly, also carried a copy of Sam Trovik's coastal distance tables. I have a note of those places visited over the years, may jag a few memories. Aalesund,Aalvik,Ardalstangen,Bangsund,Bergen,Brevi k,Drammen,Egersund,Floro,Follafoss,Fredrikstad,Gre aker,Halden,Haugesund,Hommelvik,Honningsvag,Knarre vik,Kopervik,Kopsvik,Kragero,Kristainsand,Kristian sund,Larvik,Lauvsnes,Lodingen,Maloy,Mo-I-Rana, Molde,Mosjoen,Moss,Muruvik,Namsos,Odda,Oslo,Porsgr unn,Salsbruket,Sande,Sandnes,Sarpsborg,Skien,Stava nger,Steinkjer,Stord,Sundalsora,Svelgen,Tofte,Tons berg,Tromso,Trondheim,Tvedestrand,Vadheim. Always had a high opinion of Norwegian coastal pilots. A dirty night going round Stadtland in a snow storm was not for the feint hearted.

lakercapt
15th September 2008, 00:38
The place names certainly jogged my memory Bill.
As you rightly mention the Norwegian coastal pilots were very skilled and throughly dependable.
Strange ships with magnetic compasses and at times strange crews.
Going round Stadtland was one of the few places you had to poke your nose out and brave the elements. Many a wild time going round there and after the comfort of the inside passages it took a few by surprise.
Remember going in to one port after a sudden snow storm (don't recall the port) we were going in on the range light (no pilot) but for some reason got suspicious and slowed to a dead slow and sent the mate for'd.
Was correct in my fears as the snow had caused the lense on the range light to show white all round instead of sectors. A shout from the mate warning me that there were rocks ahead. Got the boat stopped and gingerly backed up. Very bum puckering. Did make it in in daylight and I guess you can't have bad luck all the time!!!

Brian Locking
15th September 2008, 11:27
Binnacle/Lakercapt

How did Leirpollen grab you. A nightmare in February!!

Brian

BillH
15th September 2008, 11:56
Mention of casualties or near misses prompted me to look at my records on Gem Line vessels and the following are recent incidents in company history.

140. EMERALD (4) (1952 - 1975)
O.N. 184970. 1,382g. 678n. 230.0 x 38.1 x 13.2 feet.
7-cyl. 2 S.C.S.A. (340 x 570mm) Polar type oil engine made British Auxiliaries Ltd., Glasgow. 1,310 BHP.
26.2.1952: Launched by Grangemouth Dockyard Company Ltd., Grangemouth (Yard No. 498) for William Robertson Shipowners Ltd., (William Robertson, manager), Glasgow. 6.1952: Completed. 1958: Owners restyled as Gem Line Ltd., and managers restyled as Wm. Robertson Shipowners Ltd. 7.3.1967: Grounded at Feolin Ferry, Jura, and the Islay Lifeboat was launched at 12:45 pm to standby the casualty, but was stood-down at 19:00 hrs. 8.3.1967: Tugs from the Clyde attempted to refloat without success. 9.3.1967: Refloated, at 03:00hrs by the tug CAMPAIGNER and taken to anchor in Whitefarland Bay for inspection before proceeding for repair. 1970: Owners acquired by Powell Duffryn Group and restyled as Wm. Robertson Shipowners Ltd. 1975: Sold to Daglas Brothers, Greece, and renamed IOANNIS D. 1977: Sold to Sea and Land Transport Company ‘Marina’ S. a. r. L., Lebanon, and renamed HANADI. 1984: Sold to Rachid Kobbora, Lebanon, and renamed RANIA. 1986: Sold to shipbreakers at Perama.


141. GEM (5) (1952 - 1960)
O.N. 184997. 1,354g. 685n. 244'10" x 38'2" x 14'10½".
Post 1960: 1,597g. 789n. 274’7” x 38’2”x 14’6”
7-cyl. 2 S.C.S.A. (340 x 570mm) Polar type oil engine made by British Polar Engines Ltd., Glasgow. 1,310 BHP. 10.5 kts.
26.6.1952: Launched by Ailsa Shipbuilding Company Ltd., Troon (Yard No. 476) for Wm. Robertson Shipowners Ltd., (Wm. Robertson, manager), Glasgow. 2.9.1952: Completed. 5.1.1956: Whilst outward from Rotterdam in dense fog, with coal for London and in the Nieuw Waterweg was struck by the Norwegian tanker KOLLGEIR off Poortershaven and was put aground to prevent sinking, being badly holed along one side. Visibility estimated at 100 yards. 6.1.1956: Refloated by two tugs and a 200-ton capacity floating crane and taken stern first back to Rotterdam for repair. 1958: Owners restyled as Gem Line Ltd., and managers restyled as Wm. Robertson Shipowners Ltd. 1960: Lengthened and renamed CAMEO. 1970: Owners acquired by Powell Duffryn Group and restyled as Wm. Robertson Shipowners Ltd. 1976: Sold to Stamalco Shipping Company Ltd., Cyprus, and renamed MANIA. 1983: Stavrou Management Company S. A., appointed as managers. 31.10.1986: Class withdrawn - surveys overdue. 1987: Demolished.


145. AMETHYST (4) (1958 - 1978)
O.N. 300208. 1,548g. 856n. 258'0" x 39'7" x 17'1¼".
6-cyl. 4 S.C.S.A. (420 x 660mm) Deutz type oil engine made by Kloeckner-Humboldt-Deutz, Koeln. 1,400 BHP. 12 kts.
5.11.1957: Keel laid by Ailsa Shipbuilding Company Ltd., Troon (Yard No. 502) for Wm. Robertson Shipowners Ltd., (Wm. Robertson, manager). 6.5.1958: Launched for Gem Line Ltd., (Wm. Robertson Shipowners Ltd. managers). 14.7.1958: Completed. 20.1.1965: At 16:00 hrs GMT, sailed from Gothenburg bound to Marseilles with a cargo of paper pulp. 20.1.1965: At 19:30 hrs GMT, in calm seas suffered a severe cargo shift causing a heavy list to starboard and main deck to become awash whilst at a position 6 miles west of Vinga. 8 crew abandoned ship in a lifeboat and the remaining six in a life raft. All crew were rescued by the Swedish tug RUDOLF and the tanker OKTANIA whilst the Dutch BRINIO also stood-by. With Captain Gibson, the Chief Engineer and Chief Officer aboard to assist, RUDOLF secured a towline and at 22:30hrs began a very slow passage toward the shelter of Hono Island, where the casualty would be stabilised. During this passage ½ of her 500 ton deck cargo was jettisoned to reduce her 15% list. Ironically her holds were found to be dry although her accommodation was flooded and engine room suffered slight water ingress. 22.1.1965: Towed into Gothenburg by the tugs ROLAND and BIRGER for repair and cargo to be restowed. 7.2.1965: Resumed voyage to St. Louis, Rhone.1970: Owners acquired by Powell Duffryn Group and restyled as Wm. Robertson Shipowners Ltd. 1980: Sold to Surbuvan Shipping Company S. A., (Sutas Shipping Services Ltd, managers), Panama, and renamed FAITH. 1982: Removed from management. 9.9.1983: LR class suspended surveys overdue and repairs required. 1985: Sold to Mariteco Navigation Company Ltd., Honduras, LR class withdrawn and renamed TASOS. 1987: Sold to Jupiter Shipping S. A., Honduras, surveys overdue and class suspended. 1992: Nini Shipping Company appointed as managers and LR class withdrawn.


146. BRILLIANT (2) (1958 - 1968)
O.N. 300211. 1,143g. 563n. 1,442d. 224’3” x 33’9” x 14’6”
8-cyl. 4 S.C.S.A. (320 x 450mm) oil engine made by Kloeckner-Humboldt-Deutz A. G., Koeln. 1,060 BHP. 11kts
10.1958: Completed by Scheepswerf “Gideon” v/h J. Koster Hzn, Groningen (Yard No. 240) for Gem Line Ltd., (William Robertson Shipowners Ltd., managers), Glasgow. 1968: Sold to Scotspark Shipping Ltd., (same managers). 10.2.1969: Whilst on passage from Tofte, Norway with wood pulp for Barrow and Mostyn, grounded on rocks 3 miles north of McArthur’s Head Lighthouse in the Sound of Islay. Islay lifeboat launched at 13:25hrs to assist. 16:50hrs, returned to station to load cement to seal the casualty’s damaged forepeak, returning to casualty at 18:15hrs., and was stood down at 01:00hrs. 12.2.1969: Refloated at 15:00hrs by the Clyde tug FLYING FOAM with the Islay Lifeboat standing by. Anchored in White Salmon Bay for inspection before proceeding on passage. 13.2.1969: Finally arrived at Barrow in Furness. 19.2.1969: Whilst outward from Mostyn Docks for grounding damage repair at Troon was blown ashore by southerly gales at 00:10 hrs. 19:2.1969: At 08:30hrs Liverpool tug JAMES LAMEY departed in adverse weather conditions for the casualty site. Successfully refloated by the tug in heavy seas on the P. M. tide. 1970: Acquired by Powell Duffryn Group and transferred to William Robertson Shipowners Ltd. 1978: Integrated with the Stephenson Clarke Shipping Ltd., fleet. 1978: Sold to Inishmoyle Shipping Ltd., Belfast, (Shamrock Shipping Company Ltd., managers) and renamed SLEMISH under Panama registry. 1978: Sold to Shamrock Shipping (S) Pte. Ltd., (Shamrock Shipping Company S. A., managers), Panama. 1979: Sold to Polybus Shipping Company, Panama. 1980: Renamed BRILLIANTE. 19.11.1980: L.R. class suspended - surveys overdue and repairs required. 25.11.1982: Whilst on a voyage from Cayenne to Maracaibo her unspecified cargo shifted and pierced her hull off French Guiana and she sank at a position 04.56.30N., 52.10.W.


148. TOPAZ (7) (1962 - 1978)
O.N. 304135. 1,597g. 835n. 267'9" x 39'9" x 17'1¼".
8-cyl. 4 S.C.S.A. (400 x 580mm) Deutz type oil engine made by Kloeckner-Humboldt-Deutz, Koeln. 2,000 BHP.
5.4.1961: Keel laid by Ailsa Shipbuilding Company Ltd., Troon (Yard No. 512) for Gem Line Ltd., (Wm. Robertson Shipowners Ltd., managers). 5.4.1962: Launched. 29.6.1962: Completed. 25.5.1970: Departed Sfax for Portland. 26.5.1970: Grounded on sandy beach at position 37.02N., 11.05E., near Ras ed Drek. 26.5.1970: Refloated late evening with assistance from the tug RAS ADAR I that had arrived at 18:00hrs from Ile de la Galite. No damage was suffered and vessel continued on voyage. 3.6.1970: Arrived at Portland. 1970: Owners acquired by Powell Duffryn Group and restyled as Wm. Robertson Shipowners Ltd. 1978: Integrated with the Stephenson Clarke Shipping Ltd., fleet. 1982: Sold to Universal Seaways Inc., (Sutas Shipping Services Ltd., managers), Panama, and renamed SUTAS. 1985: Sold to Ege Deniz ve Ticaret Ltd., Sirketi, Malta and renamed NAZ. 1987: Sold to Cavusogli Denizcilik Turizm ve Ticaret Ltd., Sirketi, Malta, and renamed YILOS. 1989: Sold to Sparta Shipping Company Ltd., St. Vincent registry, and renamed PANAYOTIS. 1989: Renamed AMAFHH TWO.

149. TOURMALINE (3) (1962 - 1978)
O.N. 304147. 1,581g. 855n. 267'9" x 39'9" x 17'1¼".
8-cyl. 4 S.C.S.A. (400 x 580mm) Deutz type oil engine made by Kloeckner-Humboldt-Deutz, Koeln. 1,800 BHP. 13kts.
2.6.1961: Keel laid by Ailsa Shipbuilding Company Ltd., Troon (Yard No. 513) for Gem Line Ltd., (Wm. Robertson Shipowners Ltd., managers). 18.9.1962: Launched. 28.11.1962: Completed. 1970: Owners acquired by Powell Duffryn Group and restyled as Wm. Robertson Shipowners Ltd. 27.10.1971: Whilst on a voyage from Uddevalla to Savona and Naples with 1,000 and 500 tons resp. of woodpulp, was at 02:00 hrs, driven onto rocks between Albisola-Capo and Celle Ligure, seven kilometres east of Savona. Holds remained watertight. 12:30hrs refloated with assistance from three tugs and taken to Savona with a 10 degree list. Damaged forepeak pumped dry and caulked to rectify list. 30.10.1971: Sailed for Naples for discharge, thence dry-docking for repair. 1978: Integrated with the Stephenson Clarke Shipping Ltd., fleet. 1982: Sold to Trafalgar Marine Ltd., Cayman Islands registry, and renamed PROBA. 1983: Sold to Concord Leasing Ltd. 198 : Sold to Captain G. Courtney & Others, Bangor, County Down, trading as Proba Shipping Ltd., under Cayman Islands registry. 1986: Sold to J. Hawes, Dublin, trading as Plaza Shipping Ltd., (Sprante Schiffahrtges m.b.H & Co.K.G. managers), Honduras registry, and renamed FERGUS H. 1987: Sold to Socotra Steamship Inc., St.Vincent registry, and renamed SOCOTRA. 1990: Sold to Sorocco Shipping Co.Ltd., (Pilar Shipping Co.Ltd., managers), Malta, and renamed SOROCCO.1993: Sold to Mohamed Mehiddin Tumeh & Ahmad Abdelkader Abou Bakr, Honduras, and renamed AKRAM V

Binnacle
15th September 2008, 22:00
Binnacle/Lakercapt

How did Leirpollen grab you. A nightmare in February!!

Brian

Never been there Brian, is that it up in Porsanger Fjord ?. Would imagine 9 months winter and 3 months bad skiing. What on earth did you load there ?

Pat Hughes
27th September 2008, 00:44
Never been there Brian, is that it up in Porsanger Fjord ?. Would imagine 9 months winter and 3 months bad skiing. What on earth did you load there ?

Leirpollen is found in the Tana Fjorden. Used to run there in Jebsens. Not one of my favourite places.

Alistair Macnab
27th September 2008, 01:33
Rather belatedly, I have found the messages about Robertson's. I left school, Ayr Academy, in June 1953 and was to be apprenticed to Bank Line in October. In the interim, my father who was with John A. Steele the grain merchants on the South Quay, Ayr, persuaded Robertson's to take me on as a deck boy or was it OS? I can't remember.

Anyhow, I was appointed to the "Beryl" and joined her in Troon where she was loading coal for Stornoway. We lived in the fxl, AB and me on the port side and the three firemen on the starboard side. Pretty basic.

Although it was summer, we encountered heavy seas at times and I was terriby seasick every time. Ports of call included Llandulas, Avonmouth, Dublin, Barrow, Garston, Glasgow (Rothesay Dock) but never Ayr!

Left in Liverpool at the end of August when the seamen's union man complained of my non-union status. I particularly remember the cook. Walter was his name. He was quite well-known and was, I think, of mixed blood. I eventually saw that he had died at a very old age in a retired seamen's home. I think the Master's name was Campbell.

Afterwards I joined Bank Line in Belfast on a newbuilding, "Fleetbank". Quite a difference from the old "Beryl"

Alistair Macnab.

lakercapt
27th September 2008, 04:34
Binnacle/Lakercapt

How did Leirpollen grab you. A nightmare in February!!

Brian

Looked this place up and yes I did go there when I was on "Ringnes"
Was late in the year and nearly 22 hrs of darkness and two hours of gloom.
Not a very inspiring place to load some mineral.

Pat Hughes
27th September 2008, 12:17
Lakercapt,
Agreed. Out of all the ports visited within the Jebsens Pool Leirpollen used to fill me with apprehension.

clydesiderman
27th September 2008, 13:35
For Eriskay,
Angus, there are entries relating to Robertsons boats with your fathers name as master in www.Ardrossanships.com the easiest way to find them is to click on the Search tab and then select the ships name from the drop-down menu, example Emerald, and then double click on the ships name. This will give all the listings so far input for that ship.
Regards, Douglas.

jdships
19th November 2008, 15:39
Had been deep sea for twelve years and a family was on the way decided to come closer to home .
Joined TOURMALINE in Limerick 1962
Was 2ndE for two years plus : partially on charter to Ellermen Pappyani complete with red and black funnel.
Captain McKinlay master
Six week trips - choice of Glasgow/Belfast/Liverpool/Swansea/Dublin to all parts of the Med .
It was privelage to be paid for a job like that !!!
TOURMALINE was a great ship to work except for the Deutz main engine having a great habit of burning out exhaust valves when we changed over from light to heavy oil
In hindsight probably the best company I ever worked for in all of my career .
We were homeward bound ,for London, from Oporto with wine ( in the English Channel) when the "OM" got word of my son's birth from Head Office.
The "boat was pushed out" for all hands , my wife was presented with a cheque of a month's wages plus a bouquet of flowers.
When the "takeover "came along things weren't quite the same and a year or two later I moved on

Happy happy days indeed

eriskay
2nd December 2008, 00:24
For Bill Davies and Clydesiderman :

Profound apologies for late response to your messages, just found :

Bill : yes, Angus John Cummings is my near neighbour, on the Island of Eriskay, where he retired to after BF and, to everyone's amazement, him being a confirmed bachelor all these years, got married to Margaret, a lovely mainland lady who had settled down on our Island. He keeps his home and surroundings to the same high standards practised with the mighty BF - everything is absolutely pristine and all things in their place, orderly and symetrical ... ! Great man and an excellent seaman.

Clydesider : thanks for that info, will pursue in due course, obliged to you.

Angus Mac Kinnon

ted nutt
7th December 2008, 00:39
Pat good evening sailed with roddy onGem then on Stevies after the takeover last heard off with Arklow.

Bill Davies
7th December 2008, 02:01
For Bill Davies and Clydesiderman :

Profound apologies for late response to your messages, just found :

Bill : yes, Angus John Cummings is my near neighbour, on the Island of Eriskay, where he retired to after BF and, to everyone's amazement, him being a confirmed bachelor all these years, got married to Margaret, a lovely mainland lady who had settled down on our Island. He keeps his home and surroundings to the same high standards practised with the mighty BF - everything is absolutely pristine and all things in their place, orderly and symetrical ... ! Great man and an excellent seaman.

Clydesider : thanks for that info, will pursue in due course, obliged to you.

Angus Mac Kinnon

Angus,

Many thanks you response.
I am happy for Angus John. Sailed with him in 58. As you say a Great man and excellent seaman.

Bill

Bill Davies
13th December 2008, 23:36
For Bill Davies and Clydesiderman :

Profound apologies for late response to your messages, just found :

Bill : yes, Angus John Cummings is my near neighbour, on the Island of Eriskay, where he retired to after BF and, to everyone's amazement, him being a confirmed bachelor all these years, got married to Margaret, a lovely mainland lady who had settled down on our Island. He keeps his home and surroundings to the same high standards practised with the mighty BF - everything is absolutely pristine and all things in their place, orderly and symetrical ... ! Great man and an excellent seaman.

Clydesider : thanks for that info, will pursue in due course, obliged to you.

Angus Mac Kinnon

Angus,

Just reflecting on my time sailing with Angus John Cummings, 'Antenor' 1958.
He can give me at least 10 years. I'd say he must be 80.

Brgds

Bill

eriskay
14th December 2008, 00:40
Bill :

Yes, I am sure he is all of that, perhaps even slightly over the 80 mark. You would never know it to see him working around his house, but his wife, Margaret, keeps him in good shape. On his own he will relate the culinary discipline she introduced after they got married. Out went butter, fry-ups, and all the 'normal' good stuff, and in came the 'healthy foods' regime. He was quite appalled to begin with as he was already a mean lean figure who had clearly looked after himself, but in that house SHE is the Bosun and when she commands he jumps! They go for a stiff 4-5 mile walk along the coast and shore every day, winter and cold are no deterrents, but he doesn't complain as he's too much the 'chentleman' for that! Big coward!

His favourite ship was the 'Hector' so, when he got married, I presented him with a belated wedding present, a large framed photograph of that beauty at speed and in her prime, racing fast for the east. He was quite emotional.

Good to hear from you again !

R651400
14th December 2008, 11:03
His favourite ship was the 'Hector' so, when he got married, I presented him with a belated wedding present, a large framed photograph of that beauty at speed and in her prime, racing fast for the east.
Nice to see a copy of same "Hector" in SN gallery.

Harrisman
14th December 2008, 13:50
A reference earlier to a Hurricane Dan ... but has anyone ever heard of 'Screwtop Dan' . a Donald MacLean from Strond in Harris ??

alexmackinnon
14th December 2008, 17:20
A reference earlier to a Hurricane Dan ... but has anyone ever heard of 'Screwtop Dan' . a Donald MacLean from Strond in Harris ??

Hi Harrisman,
I met the legendary "screwtop Dan" a few times when I did some work down at Rodel around 1978.The local guys told us he used to make the hike from Strond to the hotel in Rodel each day. One of the guys in the hotel,"big John",came up with a bit of a poser in the bar. He was telling us that the beer was nearly all canned now,and the screwtops were becoming a thing of the past. Did this mean that "screwtop Dan" would have to change his name to "Tin can Dan".
cheers,
Alex.

Harrisman
14th December 2008, 19:28
Big John is still around but 'Screwtop' long gone.
Some characters in the Rodel then and a better crack than in the 'new' Rodel

CAPT.BOB
14th December 2008, 23:49
It may interest you old Robertson hands to know that the following Ex Skippers and Mates were working on the Sealink Ferries Stranraer-Larne Route in 70-9o's.
Willie Balmer,Willie Dunlop,Eddie Henderson,Ken Reid,Dave Ramsey,and posibly more.

JOSEPHAIKEN
2nd January 2009, 23:33
Joined The Pearl As Dhu In Cork Dec 57 When Big Willie Was Master And Was On Her Until March 59 , Various Releving Skippers ,michael Mckinnon And Hugh Culley All Home Trade ,engineroom Was Willie Schumacher,chief(believed Lost On Ardglen Some Yrs Later) Donald Mcsween 2nd And Neil Mcdonald(skye)3rd Was All Round Uk And Ireland And From Bilbao To Hokkipudas In Finland , Odda ,fredrickstad, Gydinia , And The Hated Cargo Sulphur From Bayonne, About Jan 59 Cook Jumped Ship V.n.c With A Weeks Grub Money And We Sailed Without A Cook For 3 Weeks To Make Up The Money And Have A Bit In Reserve, Mutton Scouse Was Main Meal For Abt A Week When There Was Nearly A Mutiny And I Got The Job Having Admitted To Being Cook For A Short Time At The Seine Net, Second Mate For Most Of This Time Was Paddy Mcbride And A Character John Mcniven(puffer Behind His Back) A Native Of Gigha.who Was A Character To Say The Least And A Ab Called *hughie* Ewan Martin From Stornoway, Left For A Short Time And Then Joined Amber In April 59 And Did Trip To Canada , Archangel (twice) And Kovda Also In White Sea, Mostly With Tom Barrie As Master And Willie Balmer As Mate John Mckinley As 2nd Mate Chief Was Campbell Davidson(peanut) From Greenock Area. And A Memorable Character In The Galley Called Don Tilley From Swansea, Bosun Was Norman Robinson From Larne And Fellow A B Was Willie Con Cannon From Dublin,
On The Trip To Canada Engineers Managed To Pump Over The Side Most Of The Fresh Water Instead Of Ballast, And I Learned That They Did It Some Yrs Later,. Left To On Union Castle And Ben Line And Came Back To Amber In Oct 1960when On The Phosphate Runs And Shifted To Emerald In March 1961 Under Dan Mckinnon,davie Miller And ****scully Who Managed To Nearly Demolish The Peir At Odda By Going Full Astern When We Had A Headrope Ashore And On The Compressor And Bits, On A Trip To Onega Dech Boy Also Named Mckinnon And Of Barra Ancestry Lost Fingers Of One Of His Hands
Willie Dunlop Was 2nd Mate For 3 Weeks Before I Left In Sept 61 We Were Without A 2nd Mate And Dan Had Me Keep Watch For Him . Also Sailed With Willie Anderson (pando)from Findocty Nr Buckie

JOSEPHAIKEN
2nd January 2009, 23:35
A Memorable Master Called Alec Smith Fom Buckie Area Was On Olivine In 50(s) And 60(s) Died A Couple Of Yrs Ago In Grangemouth