Black Watch Piper

Dickyboy
29th May 2009, 22:07
I was on a couple of River Boats, one was the Spey in late 75 early 76, and another earlier than that, when we coasted around NZ.
One of the engineers had been a piper in the Black Watch in a previous life.
Anyway, as we coasted around the South Island, with it's large Scottish population, he used to pipe us into various ports. He's stand on the Monkey Island, sometimes in his BW kilt or uniform, and sometimes in his boiler suit.
As we approached the port, flags would come out, people would cheer and wave from their hillside homes. It even got a mention in the local press in one place.
I've never heard anything quite like those bagpipes, with the sound echoing off the shoreside hills in the distance. It was all very moving, and sounded much better than when he played the reed in a bar on social nights. The bar acoustics weren't made for that sort of musical instrument.
Boy! Standing on the fo'castle while being piped in was something special and really stirred the blood.

JohnBP
30th May 2009, 09:49
There was a guy who used to pipe sometimes in the BP refinery at Isle of Grain, very stirring after being away for 9 months and IOG first UK landfall.

Jim Harris
30th May 2009, 10:28
I was on a couple of River Boats, one was the Spey in late 75 early 76, and another earlier than that, when we coasted around NZ.
One of the engineers had been a piper in the Black Watch in a previous life.
Anyway, as we coasted around the South Island, with it's large Scottish population, he used to pipe us into various ports. He's stand on the Monkey Island, sometimes in his BW kilt or uniform, and sometimes in his boiler suit.
As we approached the port, flags would come out, people would cheer and wave from their hillside homes. It even got a mention in the local press in one place.
I've never heard anything quite like those bagpipes, with the sound echoing off the shoreside hills in the distance. It was all very moving, and sounded much better than when he played the reed in a bar on social nights. The bar acoustics weren't made for that sort of musical instrument.
Boy! Standing on the fo'castle while being piped in was something special and really stirred the blood.

What a great story, Dickyboy.

It stirs the blood just thinking about it.(Thumb)

Regards,

Jim.

twogrumpy
30th May 2009, 20:36
Believe this has been mentioned before, probably Bill Christie 2/E, unless there was more than one of them.
(Cloud)

trucker
30th May 2009, 21:06
I was on a couple of River Boats, one was the Spey in late 75 early 76, and another earlier than that, when we coasted around NZ.
One of the engineers had been a piper in the Black Watch in a previous life.
Anyway, as we coasted around the South Island, with it's large Scottish population, he used to pipe us into various ports. He's stand on the Monkey Island, sometimes in his BW kilt or uniform, and sometimes in his boiler suit.
As we approached the port, flags would come out, people would cheer and wave from their hillside homes. It even got a mention in the local press in one place.
I've never heard anything quite like those bagpipes, with the sound echoing off the shoreside hills in the distance. It was all very moving, and sounded much better than when he played the reed in a bar on social nights. The bar acoustics weren't made for that sort of musical instrument.
Boy! Standing on the fo'castle while being piped in was something special and really stirred the blood.

on the british security 1972.the 2/e piped us in and out of port.he was a real gent.(Thumb)feb. till aug.

JamesM
1st June 2009, 17:42
Believe this has been mentioned before, probably Bill Christie 2/E, unless there was more than one of them.
(Cloud)

Spot on, ----- a legend in his own time, I believe. Sadly I never met him.

Regards James.

trucker
1st June 2009, 18:02
after doing ,liner /piston ,change,s.straight to the crew bar for the p---,up.he used to give a tune.last time i met him was in 1974 ,same coach to heathrow,but joining different ship,s.(Thumb)

Dickyboy
2nd June 2009, 01:34
on the british security 1972.the 2/e piped us in and out of port.he was a real gent.(Thumb)feb. till aug.

I was on the Security 24/02/72 - 10/07/72. Joined in Amsterdam, Paid off in Little Aden.
The piper could well have been on that trip. I can't remember where we went twixt those dates though.
I always thought that Product Carriers as Tramp Ships, one never quite knew where one was going next. Even when the cargo had a destination, that was often changed.
I was on the Poop deck late one evening having a smoke (Aft of the red line!) North of Darwin with orders for the Gulf having just circumnavigated Australia, when the ship started to shudder. Looking astern, I could see that we were turning to port. "Yippiee!!!" I thought, Back load the cargo we had initially discharged in Fremantle then down to NZ, which is what we did. Quite a common occurrence I think, drop a cargo off at Fremantle, do the Oz coast with an Oz cargo then back load the original cargo and go down to NZ. I think that had to be done, as in those days one couldn't go directly to NZ. I might be wrong on that though.
I did that both times I went on the NZ coast.

PS
Just spotted the dates on your post. It must have been on that trip then.
Visited Invircargill, The Bluff, Lyttleton, Wellington, Aukland, Wangerai? etc

trucker
3rd June 2009, 20:54
sure we did those,port,s.remember a lad called kieren quinn .

Dickyboy
3rd June 2009, 22:25
sure we did those,port,s.remember a lad called kieren quinn .

Arfaid not, might recognise the face though. Is that you?
What were you on board?
I was Chief Nirex plate cleaner, or was that on the bug uns...... And GP1 :o

am011k5786
3rd June 2009, 23:28
Brings back memories in the sixty's i was on Bendoran the capitan J.C Harvey had a cadet (cant remember his name) playing the pipes accompanied with the chippy (George Robretson) beating a drum.both had kilts@ glengarry and sweat runing down the crack of their A****,but it never failed to impress the locals Singapore,Bankok,Hongkong,and ofcourse cheer the cockles of our hearts. alex.

Dickyboy
4th June 2009, 05:28
Brings back memories in the sixty's i was on Bendoran the capitan J.C Harvey had a cadet (cant remember his name) playing the pipes accompanied with the chippy (George Robretson) beating a drum.both had kilts@ glengarry and sweat runing down the crack of their A****,but it never failed to impress the locals Singapore,Bankok,Hongkong,and ofcourse cheer the cockles of our hearts. alex.
It was good to see a working boat doing the biz, and I found it far more stirring than say, having a military band ashore playing a ship away with all the streamers etc. As I saw on some passenger boats. It a was simple and very potent way of saying "Here we come!"
Was Bendoran a Ben Line boat?

Ryder
28th August 2009, 01:01
The name Bill Christie rings a bell. I ahd just joined one of the 16's and we were all woken up about 0500, with the sound of the pipes being played outside the O/Ms bedroom !! I seem to remember being told the he and the O/M had not been the best of shipmates!!

Willie Mac
29th August 2009, 01:10
The old man on SSM's Cape Grenville, Captain Peterson used to play the bagpipes at every opportunity ashore and at sea.

Dickyboy
20th September 2009, 17:35
The old man on SSM's Cape Grenville, Captain Peterson used to play the bagpipes at every opportunity ashore and at sea.
That's a great picture. I can imagine how the crowd felt on Standby/Stations (Thumb)

DWD
8th October 2009, 13:42
I was Bill Christie's Apprentice/Junior on MV British Security on the Lagos-Okrika run , circa 1970. He used to bring Appa docks to a stand as he piped us into harbour and up to the slaughterhouse. All well and good, but when he used to do the maintenance and re-commissioning of his pipes in the ER control room. Give me a break!
And, I'll tell you something else. He gave me a fridge cooling water pump to overhaul, it was the first I'd ever done, he went up to the galley and got me a butcher's apron to wear. Pump went though.
Bill was one of the nicest blokes you could sail with, not English mind, but I never held that against him..

Sarky Cut
14th November 2009, 12:56
I was Bill Christie's Apprentice/Junior on MV British Security on the Lagos-Okrika run , circa 1970. He used to bring Appa docks to a stand as he piped us into harbour and up to the slaughterhouse. All well and good, but when he used to do the maintenance and re-commissioning of his pipes in the ER control room. Give me a break!
And, I'll tell you something else. He gave me a fridge cooling water pump to overhaul, it was the first I'd ever done, he went up to the galley and got me a butcher's apron to wear. Pump went though.
Bill was one of the nicest blokes you could sail with, not English mind, but I never held that against him..

Just seen this thread, where does the time go?

I sailed with Bill for many years on the Security and also Mr Godfrey C/E.

Bill finally got his Chiefs Certificate and left BP in the big shake up. He went to work for an American owned tanker company and was very well thought of.

He died of a heart attack many years ago now and was survived by his wife Margaret who I last heard of living in Arbroath.

The other regulars on there at the time were Ian Macdonald 2/E relieving C/E and Langdon Nicholls C/O relieving Master.

That ship was practically the last one out of the Gulf when it all shut down and called at Singapore before heading off to the Pacific Islands of Western Samoa, Tahiti, and Numea. The trip then took in Kwinana where we loaded ATK for Quantas for delivery to Singapore.

This crisis in the world was caused by OPEC using their muscle to force the world to raise the price of crude.

October Circa 1973 was the oil crisis.

Life would never be the same again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Bill was never without a bit of cotton waste in his hand and was made for wiping hand prints left by "Fingers" Stanelly a J/E who was a magnet for muck and bullets.

He could overhaul and grind in an exhaust valve without getting black as well! A meticulous engineer with a nervous cough and so innocent of life that he recommended a bar in Amsterdam to Mr McDonald and wife as a quiet bar that was suitable to take a wife.

So we all went as there a few wives onboard at the time(as you do). There were some very funny looks from the mustachiowed and leather capped drinkers.

It was a quiet well run establishment but women were not welcomed. It was some time before he lived that one down. He had been using it as his regular for a few weeks as well.

Dickyboy
10th November 2010, 06:43
Just seen this thread, where does the time go?

I sailed with Bill for many years on the Security and also Mr Godfrey C/E.

Bill finally got his Chiefs Certificate and left BP in the big shake up. He went to work for an American owned tanker company and was very well thought of.

He died of a heart attack many years ago now and was survived by his wife Margaret who I last heard of living in Arbroath.

The other regulars on there at the time were Ian Macdonald 2/E relieving C/E and Langdon Nicholls C/O relieving Master.

That ship was practically the last one out of the Gulf when it all shut down and called at Singapore before heading off to the Pacific Islands of Western Samoa, Tahiti, and Numea. The trip then took in Kwinana where we loaded ATK for Quantas for delivery to Singapore.

This crisis in the world was caused by OPEC using their muscle to force the world to raise the price of crude.

October Circa 1973 was the oil crisis.

Life would never be the same again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Bill was never without a bit of cotton waste in his hand and was made for wiping hand prints left by "Fingers" Stanelly a J/E who was a magnet for muck and bullets.

He could overhaul and grind in an exhaust valve without getting black as well! A meticulous engineer with a nervous cough and so innocent of life that he recommended a bar in Amsterdam to Mr McDonald and wife as a quiet bar that was suitable to take a wife.

So we all went as there a few wives onboard at the time(as you do). There were some very funny looks from the mustachiowed and leather capped drinkers.

It was a quiet well run establishment but women were not welcomed. It was some time before he lived that one down. He had been using it as his regular for a few weeks as well.
Just a reminder of Bill Christie and your post to this thread about a year ago.
Br Security isn't mentioned by name on this one. I'd forgotton that you said that Bill had crossed the Bar. I remember that he often popped down to the crew bar to play his pipe reed when a crew celebration was on. As I said on the other post I best remember Bill piping us into NZ ports. Him on the monkey Island, and me up for'd on stations feeling as proud as anything at being British and on a British Ship so far from home. That of course was before everyone in the UK became so nationalistic. I at least, felt proud of being BRITISH in those days.
A lot of salt water has passed under the keel since those days eh? :o

KIWI
10th November 2010, 07:01
On passenger ships it was a given that on arrival or departure from an Australian port there would be piping from a lone piper or up to a full band.This would apply to NZ too. KIWI

Dickyboy
10th November 2010, 07:36
On passenger ships it was a given that on arrival or departure from an Australian port there would be piping from a lone piper or up to a full band.This would apply to NZ too. KIWI
That's intresting Kiwi. And all part of the passenger experience I guess. A very nice thing to do, and it certainly stirs the blood.
On the British Security, the piper was the Second Engineer on an oil product tanker, and the difference was that he piped the ship into port, letting the port know that we were coming (Or Going) I'm sure that his pipes could be heard over the water for many miles before we arrived. I'm sure that it was quite unusual, though not rare, for ordenary ''Working Ships'' to put on such a display for the local population. I never saw so many Scottish and Kiwi flags appear so quickly, every house on every hillside seemed to have one! Being a tanker, we would normally have gone unnoticed, Bill Christie made sure that we didn't. It was good PR for the ship in port as well, and we were always made even more welcome when ashore having a pint or three. I recall a really good welcome in the Bluff, which seemed more Scottish than Sotland :o

spongebob
10th November 2010, 08:00
The Scottish 4th electrician on the Rangitane played the bagpipes and on entering the Thames and making our way up to the Royal Albert Docks the Skipper, Captain Rees, has the lad standing on top of a Sampson post and playing with all his might. plenty of jeers and cheers from the dockers etc and quite a few extra toots from the steam tugs .
We had a Kiwi electrician on the Union co collier Kaitangata who played the violin very well and he tried serenading us into our Westport berth but with not such a receptive result.

Bob

george jackson
11th November 2010, 23:28
As a J/E on the Power 1959 to 1960 I was on watch with a 3/E from Liverpool whose name escapes me and he had been a piper in the Liverpool Scottish Territorials. He let me in to the secret that he had his pipes on board and on New year's eve(Hogmanay) he marched along the flying bridge playing for all his worth. The 2/E , a true Scot with tartan blood( I think it might have been McLennan from Inverness) couldn't believe his ears. A big victory for the Scousers that day!

John Cassels
12th November 2010, 10:45
Some Denholm men who sailed on the Scanscot ships may remember
Norman Scott , Scanscot supercargo for loading round the BC coast.
Always brought his pipes with him when he joined at first loading port.

eldersuk
13th November 2010, 01:45
Well! I've tried some dodges to avoid stand by, but I never thought of learning the pipes!

Derek