My Time in BP Tankers.

Old Janner
21st March 2009, 06:16
Having just joined and reading the threads brought back some names etc which I remeber. I have listed the ships with dates and Captains where I had the correct information, in my movings around the world I have lost some of the info, now the old brain is slowing down.

Spencer Lewis catering boy to Catering officer R732359, from Falmouth.
Sept 1960 worked by British Major River Fal 3 months.
Jan 1961 worked by British Earl River Fal 4 months.
April 1961 worked by Britis Piper River Fal 3 months.
June 1961 British Industry, Falmouth dry Dock left 11.10.61 Milford Haven Captain E.J.Simpson.
Nov 1961, Jedmoor, Manchester 13.11.61 left Newcastle dry dock 07.03.62 Captain John Hogg.
30.04.61 British Sailor, I.O.Grain left Falmouth Dry dock 14.12.62, Captains S.Masters and Captain A.J.Max (promoted to Asst Steward)
21.01.63 British Power 21.01.63 Finnart left 10.06.63 I.O.Grain (signed contract, 'Company Man') captain C.W.Uridge.
NOVEMER 63 Working By British Ambassador dry dock on tyne, Palmers Yard.
18.11.63 transferred British Dragoon new building, left 02.05.64 Milford Haven Captain S.Masters (opened new terminal Jebbel Dhana)
08.06.64 British Mariner Milford Haven left 28.08.64 Milforn Haven, Commodore Cole.
Spent next three months at Lllandarcy on 2nd cook and Bakers course, had to be carefull of the mine field of women in Neath and Swansea!
11.01.65 British Hazel Swansea left South Shields D/D 06.02.66 captains French and Walters, My first and last ship 13 months as 2nd cook and Baker.
December worked by as Chief Cook, British Hazel, British Talent tyne dry dock South Shields.
16th December Pier head jump from South Shields by taxi from the Talent to Join British Aviator, singled up and waiting to sail, still in my cooks uniform.
December 66 British Aviator as Chief Cook, left Gothenburg May 67.
13.06.67 British Admiral Chiegf Cook, Milford Haven left Lisbon Dry dock 08.11.67.
15.12.67 British Buldog Cowes Roads Catering Officer, left 02.04.68 South Shield Dry dock, last white crew to sail on a 28,000. Captain Jamieson.
June 67 Britsh Gunner Abadan left Barry Island, this was an excellent ship, Indian crew, I forget the Captains name but the Chief engineer was called John Little, last ship to still have the Old BP colours, we actually sailed from Mina full cargo of Diesel and as the Capatin was on his last trip we went through the 'Hole in the Wall' a true experience, of which I had photos.
09.01.69 British loyalty Gulf, left 07.08.69 Gulf .Captain Frost.
March 1970 British Lancer Genoa left December 1970 Trieste, I forget the Captains Name but nearly lost my job, as I was in Tow with The Engineers who he detested and a letter was sent to the office!
14.06.71 Britsh Hazel Gulf left 19.12.71 Aden Capatin Bob Neener, what a trip!!! Great.
03.11.72 Britsh Hawthorn I.O.Grain left Amsterdam dry dock Captain Woodward.
1973 Britsh Mallard Grangemouth left Barry Island
1973 British Guardsman Bremerhaven left Gothenburg.

Where you see months missing will mean I was working at the I.O.Grain as 'Shore Side Chief Steward' storing ships with Supt; Geroge Allan, the other Catering Officer who used to share this job with me between ships was Billy Reid.

After all the happy times I was asked to work at Fleet house in Harlow, until the fleet started to decline and costs were closely monitored, the writing was on the wall.

My next step was to join Denholm ship Management of Glasgow, a very real company with great crews, not saying that BP were bad, but as part of the BP family we were very protected, My first trip with Denholms I had to learn the real control of food costs on a daily basis.

Anybody out there remeber me or even sailed with me, please get in touch, I am retired and live near the sea in Azerbaijan.

RGDS to all,

Spence Lewis.

bert thompson
21st March 2009, 09:21
Spence what an interesting list. Do hope you enjoy this wonderful site. My time with BP was on the Endeavour as R/O from 6/12/51 to 11/1/54 so long long ago
Best wishes
Bert.

tsell
22nd March 2009, 03:07
Hi Spence,
As Bert says, very interesting and we hope you enjoy the benefits of this great site-it's wonderful therapy for us old sea dogs!

Did a few trips on the "British Caution" in the early 50's but have yet to come in contact with any of the old crew. Wouldn't be many left now, sadly.

Best regards,

Taffy R556959

Old Janner
22nd March 2009, 04:32
Hi Spence,
As Bert says, very interesting and we hope you enjoy the benefits of this great site-it's wonderful therapy for us old sea dogs!

Did a few trips on the "British Caution" in the early 50's but have yet to come in contact with any of the old crew. Wouldn't be many left now, sadly.

Best regards,

Taffy R556959

Right enough Taffy, time and tide wate for nobody, maybe some junior engineers or cadets. I am new to these sites, came accross it by accident and am very pleased to do so, Have already contacted some of my old friends in Denholms and am talking.
I bet you would be suprised to hear that Azerbaijan has a Merchant Navy, not only in the Caspian sea but world wide, its probably bigger than the Britsh Mercant Navy now!
Anyways good to hear from you, keep writing.

Best regards,

Spence.

Old Janner
22nd March 2009, 04:50
Spence what an interesting list. Do hope you enjoy this wonderful site. My time with BP was on the Endeavour as R/O from 6/12/51 to 11/1/54 so long long ago
Best wishes
Bert.

Bert, thanks for the reply, I must say that I have met a great bunch of R/O's over the years and see their job diversiying from straight R/O to R/O Electric Mechanic, to the latest type "cant remeber their titles, but they do evrything with radios and all on board computers"
Take my hat off to the Old style guys who used to send a six months stores order to shore by Morse, must have taken all morning! Was never sure if it was the sender or the receiver, but I used to get a big variety of stuff under ordered or overordered or left off.
I think that my time at sea was the possibly the best period, massive improvement in accommodation, food "I must say was good" and later the trip conditions, Flight home from any place in the world once your six months were in! and later being able to take your wife with you.
But eventually hardly any British MN ships left, I blame the first part of the decline on P & O, who bought out all the small company opposition, 'Trinder Andersons, NZSC, Fedral line and others, then bought out the bigger companies) which they sold off.
I live on th Caspian Sea in Azerbaijan, (no its not a big lake, three years ago they lost a 14,000 ton RO/Ro in bad weather with nine guys going down with the ship) Did you know that Azerbaijan has a big Merchant Navy, in the Caspian and also World wide, I think they have 120 ships or more deep sea and have a big building programme, Its possibly bigger than the British MN now.
Thanks for the reply, write again .

Spence.

tsell
22nd March 2009, 05:19
Spence,
Great to have contact with you. I for one don't know much about Azerbaijan (in fact I don't know anything), even had to look again at your posting to get the spelling right after a couple of attempts!
If you feel inclined to tell us a bit more about life in Azerbaijan and how you came to be there, I'm sure you will fascinate most of us who have never been there.
I could tell the SN crew about Australia but they'd probably find it bloody boring!! (Apologies to you Aussies!)

All the best, mate,

Taffy R556959

kevjacko
22nd March 2009, 19:56
Hi Old Janner,

I was'nt around with BP in your time I was an 80's boy (chief cook). However do you remember any of these names , and it's just a few I am dredging up from memory that I sailed with. They were all old hands and were with BP throughout the seventies (I think).

Tony Leslie , chief steward (him of formidable reputation) Tony was my uncle and I never sailed with him he sadly passed away quite a few year back now.

Joe Vogel, chief steward
Ron Jevons, Chief steward
Terry Mchugh, chief steward
Les Hawkins, Chief cook
Pat Jevons, Chief cook
Mike Peak, Chief Steward
Reggie Spong, Chief Steward
Tony Richardson, 2nd steward
Bernie Bullen, Chief cook,

These are just a few of the older boys I distinctly remember. Let me know if the names rattle any memories.

Regards

KEV

Old Janner
23rd March 2009, 00:23
Hi Old Janner,

I was'nt around with BP in your time I was an 80's boy (chief cook). However do you remember any of these names , and it's just a few I am dredging up from memory that I sailed with. They were all old hands and were with BP throughout the seventies (I think).

Tony Leslie , chief steward (him of formidable reputation) Tony was my uncle and I never sailed with him he sadly passed away quite a few year back now.

Joe Vogel, chief steward
Ron Jevons, Chief steward
Terry Mchugh, chief steward
Les Hawkins, Chief cook
Pat Jevons, Chief cook
Mike Peak, Chief Steward
Reggie Spong, Chief Steward
Tony Richardson, 2nd steward
Bernie Bullen, Chief cook,

These are just a few of the older boys I distinctly remember. Let me know if the names rattle any memories.

Regards

KEV

Kev, nice to hear from you, Sorry about your Uncle Tony, yes I knew him well on the storing occaisions at the Isle of Grain. The others on your list was Joe Voegel, sailed with him on the British Admiral when it was the flag ship. Terry McHugh, Reggy Spong, Ron Jevons and Mike Peak. As I am writing these notes I am starting to remeber names of other persons I have sailed with and am busey keeping notes of names and trying to place with ships and dates, once I get a better base, I'll post another thread.

Regards,

Spence.

Old Janner
23rd March 2009, 01:12
Spence,
Great to have contact with you. I for one don't know much about Azerbaijan (in fact I don't know anything), even had to look again at your posting to get the spelling right after a couple of attempts!
If you feel inclined to tell us a bit more about life in Azerbaijan and how you came to be there, I'm sure you will fascinate most of us who have never been there.
I could tell the SN crew about Australia but they'd probably find it bloody boring!! (Apologies to you Aussies!)

All the best, mate,

Taffy R556959

Taffy, only to pleased to introduce you to Azerbaijan. Left the Merchant Navy 1n 1990 worked for a contract catering company, "Kelvin" out of Paisley, my first land job was on a remote well site in Siberia, only assesable in winter as it was on a swamp, needed two meteres of ice for us to drive equipment etc to site. average -24c and with a good wind, chill factor went down to -48c. November to end of March is mostly dark mid winter 2 hours of murky daylight.
Travel was a complete adventure, you had to take all your eating / drinking neccasities with you. Once you left Moscow all you could get was a room with beds to sleep, (always warm) but no Tea / Coffee, no mugs no plates.
After six months and the camp was non opperational due to the thaw, I was transferred to Kazakstan, Kelvin had just won a contract to run Camps in Tengiz for 6000 men, spent two and half years there. Temperatures fluctuated from +45 to - 45c, I was an Assistant Warehouse manager, feeding 6000 men in the winter you needed a big warehouse. what a vast country, the company had its own Volvo refrigerated truck 20 tons, once the accounatnts got to grips with the contract, the two Brit heavy goods license drivers were paid off and I was selected to drive the beast to our other camps, an experience all on its own, driving down a straight road early in the morning with the sun coming up, no other cars or trucks in site, but having a heard of wild horses riding along side you ,Great.
I was transferred to Baku Azerbaijan mid 1994, small uprising was in progress, 10 pm curfew in the City and Military road blocks on all roads, STOP or we shoot !! Very few ex pats here then. Kelvin were running some Geophysical ships and were catering for Santa Fe Drilling who were doing an evaluation on an old Soviet semi sub drilling rig, this later became a two year upgrade before it was ready to work for BP.
I only lived in the city for three months, Kelvin had a camp near the port of Primorsk 35 kl south of the city I quickly moved there, I was divorced and met my new wife here, she is from the Ukraine but speaks fluent Azeri. My language with my friends is Russian, the Primorsk settlement used to be a German prisioner of war camp. From what I am told the last German prisioners of war left Azerbaijan in 1952.
Azerbaijan became indepenent in 1990, before was a state within the former Soviet Union.
Not forgetting that Azerbaijan is still offically at war with Armenia and every month some poor young conscripts get killed on the border, both sides suffer casualties.
Primorsk has now been re named Sahil, population of approx 12,000 I am still the only foreigner living here, Have a big house and garden four minutes walk from the Beach and a couple of Beach bars, have lots of friends, who like Fishing, Drinking making kebabs and in general are all laid back.
Temperatures here are pretty clement, local draught beer is good and I still watch the Oil rig supply ships come and go, the city has its own port, for general cargo and Ro/Ro traffic, tankers sail from different ports around the city.
There is a whole load of history here, but it will take me most of the night to mention just the highlights.

OK Taffy hope that has filled you in

Regards,

Spence.

Large reserves of Oil and Gas were founf offshore in th Caspian, which is now pumped through to Cheyan Turkish port.

tsell
23rd March 2009, 06:07
Thanks for that Spence, it sounds like you have found your Utopia...mainly because the draught beer is so good??
It seems you can handle the cold winters too.
I'll look forward to your future postings as I am sure others will.

Cheers,

Taffy R556959

Electric Al
24th March 2009, 12:10
Sailed with Reg Spong on the Shoush, wonderful Guy. Taught me Makrame ? Can still make a hanging basket holder if required. The mate was always wondering where his twine etc was disappearing to.

Rob.Norrie
3rd November 2009, 14:15
Sailed with Reg Spong British Star I was, he second cook and baker, I second steward, 1961. We used to call him spongie, because of the tab nabs.
Decent chap was Reg.
Sad end for Reg Spong, I never sailed with him again. Suppose being of the BP family we heard all the stories from around the fleet of that time.
Quite a few names I know here.
Will look in again.
Regards all.
Rob

Tony Maskell
5th November 2009, 06:34
Hi Spence
A long memory! I was OIC of the British Marquis in the FAL from Feb 1960 to October 1960. We used the old landing stage on the St Mawes side to park our cars. Re-visited it in 1996 or there abouts now has a tea rooms at the cottage. Do you remember the NZ watchman who had a tied cottage on the Truro side of the FAL? Currently now retired and have lived in Australia for the past 40 years.
Tony Maskell

Old Janner
5th November 2009, 10:50
Hi Spence
A long memory! I was OIC of the British Marquis in the FAL from Feb 1960 to October 1960. We used the old landing stage on the St Mawes side to park our cars. Re-visited it in 1996 or there abouts now has a tea rooms at the cottage. Do you remember the NZ watchman who had a tied cottage on the Truro side of the FAL? Currently now retired and have lived in Australia for the past 40 years.
Tony Maskell
Tony great to hear from you, I wondered if anybody rememberd those days,
Yes good trips up the road to the village I forget the name, also we used to run the lifeboat up to the little place just before Truro, again I forget the name the place to play darts, occaisonal trip to the Pandora inn during the summer, before the Yuppies took up all the space with their posh boats and yachts.Trying to watch football or was it boxing, the arieal lashed to a lifeboat oar on the monkey island, one person tuning the TV one person head out of the saloon port shouting instructions to me on the monkey island, "rotate left or right" then hold it!! some quick lashings round the rail and hope that the oar would not move.
The old Kiwi watchman, I have a photo of him, I need to find it and sent it on to you. He lived in a small place called "Roundwood Creek" send me your mail and i'll return it privately.
Where do you live in Australia ? as you may have seen I chose to live in Azerbaijan!
Back in 1966 I nearly jumped ship from the Br Hazel, to become an Austrailian
Or was it just pure love and lust for a gorgeous barmaid in Townsville?
Life goes on and I have no regrets for anyting that I have done.
Drop me a line, would love to hear if you remember the names of the places I forget.
Spence.

Old Janner
5th November 2009, 10:56
Hi Spence
A long memory! I was OIC of the British Marquis in the FAL from Feb 1960 to October 1960. We used the old landing stage on the St Mawes side to park our cars. Re-visited it in 1996 or there abouts now has a tea rooms at the cottage. Do you remember the NZ watchman who had a tied cottage on the Truro side of the FAL? Currently now retired and have lived in Australia for the past 40 years.
Tony Maskell
Ha Ha grey cell's have just burst into life, the Village with the pub up the road was the Philliegh Village and the Pub was the Philliegh Inn, the village where we used to go by lifeboat was Malpas,I think the pub was called the Malpas Arms, terrible place if you got the tide wrong and was left in the mud, till the next tide.
Spence.

Graham Wallace
5th November 2009, 18:35
Spense, as promised here is the photo of the November 1965 ( 1965?) Llandarcy 2nd Cook and Baker's course that you attended.

Maybe you can add some of their names?

Graham

PeterDD
14th November 2009, 21:11
Having just joined and reading the threads brought back some names etc which I remeber. I have listed the ships with dates and Captains where I had the correct information, in my movings around the world I have lost some of the info, now the old brain is slowing down.

Spencer Lewis catering boy to Catering officer R732359, from Falmouth.
Sept 1960 worked by British Major River Fal 3 months.
Jan 1961 worked by British Earl River Fal 4 months.
April 1961 worked by Britis Piper River Fal 3 months.
June 1961 British Industry, Falmouth dry Dock left 11.10.61 Milford Haven Captain E.J.Simpson.
Nov 1961, Jedmoor, Manchester 13.11.61 left Newcastle dry dock 07.03.62 Captain John Hogg.
30.04.61 British Sailor, I.O.Grain left Falmouth Dry dock 14.12.62, Captains S.Masters and Captain A.J.Max (promoted to Asst Steward)
21.01.63 British Power 21.01.63 Finnart left 10.06.63 I.O.Grain (signed contract, 'Company Man') captain C.W.Uridge.
NOVEMER 63 Working By British Ambassador dry dock on tyne, Palmers Yard.
18.11.63 transferred British Dragoon new building, left 02.05.64 Milford Haven Captain S.Masters (opened new terminal Jebbel Dhana)
08.06.64 British Mariner Milford Haven left 28.08.64 Milforn Haven, Commodore Cole.
Spent next three months at Lllandarcy on 2nd cook and Bakers course, had to be carefull of the mine field of women in Neath and Swansea!
11.01.65 British Hazel Swansea left South Shields D/D 06.02.66 captains French and Walters, My first and last ship 13 months as 2nd cook and Baker.
December worked by as Chief Cook, British Hazel, British Talent tyne dry dock South Shields.
16th December Pier head jump from South Shields by taxi from the Talent to Join British Aviator, singled up and waiting to sail, still in my cooks uniform.
December 66 British Aviator as Chief Cook, left Gothenburg May 67.
13.06.67 British Admiral Chiegf Cook, Milford Haven left Lisbon Dry dock 08.11.67.
15.12.67 British Buldog Cowes Roads Catering Officer, left 02.04.68 South Shield Dry dock, last white crew to sail on a 28,000. Captain Jamieson.
June 67 Britsh Gunner Abadan left Barry Island, this was an excellent ship, Indian crew, I forget the Captains name but the Chief engineer was called John Little, last ship to still have the Old BP colours, we actually sailed from Mina full cargo of Diesel and as the Capatin was on his last trip we went through the 'Hole in the Wall' a true experience, of which I had photos.
09.01.69 British loyalty Gulf, left 07.08.69 Gulf .Captain Frost.
March 1970 British Lancer Genoa left December 1970 Trieste, I forget the Captains Name but nearly lost my job, as I was in Tow with The Engineers who he detested and a letter was sent to the office!
14.06.71 Britsh Hazel Gulf left 19.12.71 Aden Capatin Bob Neener, what a trip!!! Great.
03.11.72 Britsh Hawthorn I.O.Grain left Amsterdam dry dock Captain Woodward.
1973 Britsh Mallard Grangemouth left Barry Island
1973 British Guardsman Bremerhaven left Gothenburg.

Where you see months missing will mean I was working at the I.O.Grain as 'Shore Side Chief Steward' storing ships with Supt; Geroge Allan, the other Catering Officer who used to share this job with me between ships was Billy Reid.

After all the happy times I was asked to work at Fleet house in Harlow, until the fleet started to decline and costs were closely monitored, the writing was on the wall.

My next step was to join Denholm ship Management of Glasgow, a very real company with great crews, not saying that BP were bad, but as part of the BP family we were very protected, My first trip with Denholms I had to learn the real control of food costs on a daily basis.

Anybody out there remeber me or even sailed with me, please get in touch, I am retired and live near the sea in Azerbaijan.

RGDS to all,

Spence Lewis.

Hello Spence,
Just looking at your seagoing record. Note that you were on the British Hazel in 1965. That was my first trip as a deck apprentice, joined it in May 1965 in drydock at Wallsend and left it 9 months later in Avonmouth. If you were on it then, well I do recall it was a very good feeder - I think Tommy Stoker was the Chief Steward. He was very good to the apprentices, as were all the officers. I had to wait many years until I served on another ship that I enjoyed as much as the "Hazel". I was young and did not want to go home! Never had that experience again in all the rest of my time at sea.
Peter

tom roberts
15th November 2009, 21:11
HI Old Janner I see you sailed with Capt Uridge British Power 1963 he was skipper on the Brit Supremecy in 54 when I was deckboy .

Old Janner
16th November 2009, 10:10
Capt Uridge was a real gentleman, always had a kind word for evrybody.

Yes Peter, Tommy Stoker was the Chief Steward, great guy, I remember the Wallsend dry dock, I have an old photo of Me the nd Stwd and one of the Firemen(Sid Cummings) and Tony McVieh the catering Boy, I'll post it for you to see.
I also Remember Avonmouth, most of the crew paid off, I stayed, like you I enjoyed the ship.

Spence.

mofnotmuff
22nd November 2009, 19:07
Kev, nice to hear from you, Sorry about your Uncle Tony, yes I knew him well on the storing occaisions at the Isle of Grain. The others on your list was Joe Voegel, sailed with him on the British Admiral when it was the flag ship. Terry McHugh, Reggy Spong, Ron Jevons and Mike Peak. As I am writing these notes I am starting to remeber names of other persons I have sailed with and am busey keeping notes of names and trying to place with ships and dates, once I get a better base, I'll post another thread.

Regards,

Spence.
I sailed with Ron Jevons who was Chief Steward on Br Resolution - joined Le Harve paid off Brunei Bay Lay up - we had both being from Middlesbrough in common

Hamish Mackintosh
22nd November 2009, 22:55
Wonder if you ever ran into an AB by the name of Fred Nankiville(?spelling)I first met hin in Duneden 1950 he was aboard the Br Swordfish, then again in 55 I sailed with him on the Br Reliance, he served all his seatime with BTC, and hailed from Falmouth

frank brant
30th November 2009, 13:00
Frank Brant Member
I Sailed On Bp Tankers In 1962-63
On The British Prestige / British Curlew - British Cormorant
British Robin

John_F
30th November 2009, 16:33
Frank Brant Member
I Sailed On Bp Tankers In 1962-63
On The British Prestige / British Curlew - British Cormorant
British Robin
Lucky Man! Three Birdies in a row! [=P]
Welcome to the site.
Kind regards,
John.