Greasers

leeann
4th June 2009, 14:36
can anyone tell me what a greaser dose on a ship as my dad was one on the stirling castle i have been looking for him for a while now his name is john atkins he use to meet my mum in 1965 /66 when he docked in southampton when between ships he would be about 67/68 years old now and was told he was from manchester so any help will be good many thanks leeann

K urgess
4th June 2009, 14:45
I've moved your post into the engine room because a greaser is part of the staff there.
I'm not sure of the exact duties of a greaser but I'm sure someone will be along shortly to help.

Satanic Mechanic
4th June 2009, 15:40
He greases stuff and dreams of becoming an oiler.

Terms do vary with companies and generations, in my experience they are the second lowest rank of engine room crew, one above wiper. To be honest though I have not seen one for years. I'm sure some of the 'anciens' on here who sailed with large crews could be more specific

non descript
4th June 2009, 15:42
can anyone tell me what a greaser dose on a ship


Someone better qualified that me will be able to give you an accurate assessment of the work of a “greaser” although in theory he is a person working in a skilled, but unqualified position, in the ship's engine-room, carrying our routine duties (like oiling an greasing of the Main Engine) – the one slightly embarrassing word within your text is the typo-error at the word "does” … The way that you have chosen to spell it has transformed the title of a shipboard worker into a common phrase for Venereal Disease. There may well be some of our more gentle readers who will clap their hands over their ears at the mention of the word. (EEK)

Satanic Mechanic
4th June 2009, 15:49
Someone better qualified that me will be able to give you an accurate assessment of the work of a “greaser” although in theory he is a person working in a skilled, but unqualified position, in the ship's engine-room, carrying our routine duties (like oiling an greasing of the Main Engine) – the one slightly embarrassing word within your text is the typo-error at the word "does” … The way that you have chosen to spell it has transformed the title of a shipboard worker into a common phrase for Venereal Disease. There may well be some of our more gentle readers who will clap their hands over their ears at the mention of the word. (EEK)


You just couldn't stop yourself could you (Jester)

non descript
4th June 2009, 16:10
You just couldn't stop yourself could you (Jester)

My apologies. - At least you were safe, as fine ships like the Cavendish had FIAT main-engines; whereas one can but worry about those greasers whose job it was to attend to NSU engines. (Jester)

Satanic Mechanic
4th June 2009, 16:16
My apologies. - At least you were safe, as fine ships like the Cavendish had FIAT main-engines; whereas one can but worry about those greasers whose job it was to attend to NSU engines. (Jester)

(Jester)

NSU's were ok just so long as kept the SIF mechanism clean - a greasers job for sure

Philthechill
4th June 2009, 16:34
Leeann! Greasers (tal-wallah on Indian-crewed ships, "tal" being pronounced "tail") were really quite important people who were responsible for keeping oil-levels in various sumps on generators, compressors (air and refrigeration), winches, steering-gear etc. etc. topped-up. Basically speaking they kept all machinery in the engine-room and on deck lubricated.

They would also make sure engine-room bilges were kept pumped-out (provided there was no excess of oil in them then they would have to be pumped-out via the oily-water seperator) so they were kept fairly busy both at sea and in port. Hope that's answered your question!!! Salaams, Phil(Hippy)

John Rogers
4th June 2009, 17:26
The order of progression when working in the engine room other than being a Gingerbeer and on a Motor Ship was,Fireman/Water/Tender,then Greaser or Donkeyman/Greaser,then Storekeeper.
On a coal burner it was Trimmer, then Fireman,then to the lofty heights of Greaser,Donkeyman, and Storekeeper. The head Donkeyman or storekeeper also made sure the deck winches kept working. This I can vouch for as I did all of these jobs while at sea.

John.

PS On US ships Greasers were called Oilers.

Satanic Mechanic
4th June 2009, 17:46
Seen so many different combinations.

Most of the recent vessels have been

Wiper, Oiler , Fitter

Have seen

Wiper, Oiler, Boilerman, Fitter

Wiper, greaser, oiler, fitter

Wiper, Motorman, Fitter

Oiler, Motorman, Fitter, Storekeeper

Pat Kennedy
4th June 2009, 22:04
I have a letter from MacAndrews, concerning underpayment of wages after I left their ship the Vives, and they mistakenly give my rating as 'Donkey Greaser'
They enclosed a cheque for £7. 6s. 8d, which proved to me that a donkey greaser was paid more than an AB.
I kept the money, but never found out for certain what a donkey greaser did down the pit.
Regards,
Pat(Thumb)

spongebob
4th June 2009, 22:31
Tonga, they may place their hands over their ears if they hear mention of clap as well.

Bob

jmcg
4th June 2009, 22:35
Maybe a good idea that Johnnie Lynas is no longer around. He would soon tell you what a greaser did. You would not need to ask him twice!!

J

plasma
4th June 2009, 22:41
I sailed as a mains greaser,fridge greaser and donkey greaser. There was not a lot of difference between donkey greaser and mains greaser, both were looking after machinery in the e/room. The fridge greaser did the same in fridge flat.
Some ships had tops, middle and bottom greasers. The tops greaser looked after the boiler as well which ran off the exhaust gasses while the ship was at sea. They also made the tea for the watch.

Mick

Derek Roger
4th June 2009, 22:47
Leeann! Greasers (tal-wallah on Indian-crewed ships, "tal" being pronounced "tail") were really quite important people who were responsible for keeping oil-levels in various sumps on generators, compressors (air and refrigeration), winches, steering-gear etc. etc. topped-up. Basically speaking they kept all machinery in the engine-room and on deck lubricated.

They would also make sure engine-room bilges were kept pumped-out (provided there was no excess of oil in them then they would have to be pumped-out via the oily-water seperator) so they were kept fairly busy both at sea and in port. Hope that's answered your question!!! Salaams, Phil(Hippy)

Phil ;
I remember that even on oil burning vessels and later diesel vessels we still had the ranks of coal trimmer ;fireman ; tal wallha ; tyndal ( spelling ) ; cassab and of course Serang . It was all to do with the pay scales ; not so much as what they did .

Happy Days Derek

PS Doing their overtime sheets ( when I was 2 nd Eng ) was a pain in the **** .

spongebob
5th June 2009, 00:13
I can tell you that some greasers had very good jobs on some ships and I re post this entry of mine from the galley threads;

I was a fridge engineer on the Rangitane and the arrangement was for a meal to be left in the engineer’s pantry fridge for each night watch keeper. This consisted of a couple of rashers of bacon, two eggs and two thick slices of bread for toasting all laid out on a dinner plate and the routine was for the greaser to go up to the pantry to collect it and take it into the main galley to cook it for me around 2 am.
My watch keeping mate was a young Londoner, a Tony Curtis look a-like and suave with it, a nice lad but he was no cook and I was always complaining about hard fried eggs, cindered bacon or burnt toast.
A day or two after we left Panama for Wellington he went up stairs to cook the breakfast but instead of being missing for half an hour almost an hour had elapsed before he came back to surprise me with a meal cooked to perfection. I asked him who cooked it and he insisted that he had and claimed that he had decided to try a little harder. This went on for a week, great meals and piping hot until one morning he arrived back after more than an hour with a plateful of twisted and charred remains of what was once good food. I challenged him to come clean otherwise I would go up and cook my own breakfast from then on and finally he admitted to the fact that the second Baker, a mate of his, who was on deck at that hour baking the bread rolls for the passenger breakfasts, was cooking my bacon and eggs while the greaser was having a rendezvous with a young female passenger in a secluded spot just aft of the funnel but on the night in question when the food reverted to normal the baker had been too busy so the greaser had had to do a hurried char up himself.
He told me that he had made eyes at the lady during the Atlantic leg while bronzing himself on the fore deck and after an exchange of notes via a steward messenger he arranged to meet her ashore during the scheduled overnight stop at Balboa. It turned out to be a week or more in that port after we had collided with another ship in the Miraflores lakes and passion had been allowed to develop.
My breakfast cooking provided the perfect foil for his trysts while his baker mate helped him out by keeping me happily fed.
I had to read the riot act to him, curbed my envy and all that, and I allowed him one more night of ecstasy and indiscretion to tell the lady that she would have to wait until we arrived in Wellington for more amour which was only a week away.
This recall sees the envy creeping back even today.

Bob

jmcg
5th June 2009, 10:32
Great story Bob!

J

leeann
5th June 2009, 11:01
Leeann! Greasers (tal-wallah on Indian-crewed ships, "tal" being pronounced "tail") were really quite important people who were responsible for keeping oil-levels in various sumps on generators, compressors (air and refrigeration), winches, steering-gear etc. etc. topped-up. Basically speaking they kept all machinery in the engine-room and on deck lubricated.

They would also make sure engine-room bilges were kept pumped-out (provided there was no excess of oil in them then they would have to be pumped-out via the oily-water seperator) so they were kept fairly busy both at sea and in port. Hope that's answered your question!!! Salaams, Phil(Hippy)

yes thank you just been told that my dad was a greaser so wonderd what it was i been looking for him for a while now he was ment to work on the stirling castle and other union castle ships his name is john atkins meet my mum when docked in southampton

leeann
5th June 2009, 11:04
The order of progression when working in the engine room other than being a Gingerbeer and on a Motor Ship was,Fireman/Water/Tender,then Greaser or Donkeyman/Greaser,then Storekeeper.
On a coal burner it was Trimmer, then Fireman,then to the lofty heights of Greaser,Donkeyman, and Storekeeper. The head Donkeyman or storekeeper also made sure the deck winches kept working. This I can vouch for as I did all of these jobs while at sea.

John.

PS On US ships Greasers were called Oilers.

ok thank you

leeann
5th June 2009, 11:14
Someone better qualified that me will be able to give you an accurate assessment of the work of a “greaser” although in theory he is a person working in a skilled, but unqualified position, in the ship's engine-room, carrying our routine duties (like oiling an greasing of the Main Engine) – the one slightly embarrassing word within your text is the typo-error at the word "does” … The way that you have chosen to spell it has transformed the title of a shipboard worker into a common phrase for Venereal Disease. There may well be some of our more gentle readers who will clap their hands over their ears at the mention of the word. (EEK)

lol sorry(EEK)

jmcg
5th June 2009, 11:27
Have read #1 thread starter.

Welcome Leeann and I hope you are successful in finding your Dad. I'm sure you will.

BW

non descript
5th June 2009, 12:33
lol sorry(EEK)

Leeann,
No apology needed. – If I had a Tonga Pa'anga for every typo-error that I had made, I would be able to build the little turtles a nesting house that even an MP from the UK Government would envy; and it did provide some light relief.
(Thumb)
Mark

Billieboy
5th June 2009, 15:14
All the posts about the engine room ranks, does anyone remember that advert in one of the Geordie newspapers, some decades ago? :-

Wanted : Two inteligent donkeys, or one Junior Engineer.

leeann
5th June 2009, 17:35
Have read #1 thread starter.

Welcome Leeann and I hope you are successful in finding your Dad. I'm sure you will.

BW

thank you it is a very hard seach noone seem to no of him leeann

Macphail
5th June 2009, 22:11
The number one man on the "Larchbank" was the the pannie wallah, who was the main man in charge of the Weirs feed pump, kept the auxi boiler going.
No steam , No grub !!, Normally a very polite guy, seen it all before and just got on with the job.

Changed days.

John.
(Thumb)

leeann
9th June 2009, 11:08
well thanks all at leased i no what work my dad done now many thanks leeann

mcglash
20th June 2009, 06:59
can anyone tell me what a greaser dose on a ship as my dad was one on the stirling castle i have been looking for him for a while now his name is john atkins he use to meet my mum in 1965 /66 when he docked in southampton when between ships he would be about 67/68 years old now and was told he was from manchester so any help will be good many thanks leeann

A greaser was a very necessary member of the ER watch crew! Not only did he attend to the lubrication of the Main Engine & Generators and operate the Donkey boiler in Port, he was indispensable for getting the bacon and egg sanies on the 4-8 morning watch and a really exceptional greaser could score you a decent plate of tab nabs on the afternoon 4-8

Cheers Mcglash

Billieboy
20th June 2009, 08:41
I often wake up around 05.30 and get on the net. Nearly every time I start wishing for a slice of toast and a cup of tea around 06.00! But we still don't have a toaster, the last one left with our son when he went to Uni!.

Regarding Blue Whale, Roy, I remember that vessel when the ballast tanks and crane were being fitted in the early '70s.(Gleam)

chadburn
20th June 2009, 17:55
A good Greaser was like a good Fireman both worth their weight in Gold to the Engineroom Dept (mind you they were usually built like Whippets), always looked after them regards O/T as most of them knew more about the ship "perculiarities" (ships alway's have them) than the Engineers did.

Naytikos
22nd June 2009, 06:40
Greek/American ships have Oilers, not Greasers. On my wife's first trip, after studying the crew list she asked the C/E what Oilers and Wipers actually did. "Well the oilers go around putting oil on everything and the wipers go behind them cleaning it all up. If a wiper is very good he becomes an oiler; if an oiler is very good he becomes an apprentice engineer. It's called a training programme!"
This doesn't help Leeann find her dad: good luck miss.

Fieldsy
22nd June 2009, 09:59
Clearly, the job and titled varied across companies.
The greasers I worked with topped up all the various oil levels and did some basic cleaning and wiping down as well. A few were a waste of space but many were vast depositories of knowledge you could dip into if you were relatively new to a ship. They were also an excellent pair of additional eyes on watch - spotting problems before they developed.
Don't recall them ever being involved in cooking or delivering food. Watchkeeping officers would usually make their own tea in the engine room and the greaser on watch would go topside for his.

david freeman
25th June 2009, 09:12
In the 60's 70,s agreaser was an engine room hand. Part of the Donkeymans crew,, who painted suggied, cleaned floor plants and did general tasks during daylight hours, under the direction of the Donkeyman (Petty Officer), The only crew man on watch with the two engineers in the engine room was the fireman, Who for disapline purposes came under the Donkey man. The position of greaser originally I suspect came originally from Steam Up and downwers with the stream auxilariers, such as open crank case engines, and staem pumps where the piston rods (Pumps) and bearings on open engines, main and auxilary had to be 'Oiled' ' Greased at regular intervals during each watch. It was a rank name that stuck, but as steam plant open engines and open piston rods on pumps became less, the rank/men where used for general engine room duties. A bit of a sod in the Red Sea and in the Gulf.

Satanic Mechanic
25th June 2009, 18:44
I was told this story by an old Chief when we were discussing all the weird hand signals and sign language we use down the Engine room.

During his first trip at sea as a 9th Engineer or something and when Chiefs really were Gods, he is standing near the firing platform when he hears a shout - he looks up and there is the Chief Engineer looking down. The Chief puts his hands on his head and makes Rabbit ears. So he is a bit confused and thinking the chief is having fun he puts his hand to his nose and sticks his tongue out like you do to children - the chief engineer disappears and reappears at his side 5 seconds later furious and shouts at him

"I'm looking for the f'ing (puts his hands on his head again) Donkey Man"

Cutsplice
25th June 2009, 20:28
The name Johnie Lynas is a name from the past, I never sailed with him but did see him on numerous occassions wandering around Liverpool. He was a sad figure in his last years.

spongebob
26th June 2009, 05:07
I remember the older retired fridge greasers that were Company men through and through and employed as standby greasers while the ship was unloading frozen cargo in a British port. They were picked for their long service and knowledge.
In my case, being a Kiwi with no leave due, I was part of the skeleton crew and was plonked on the midnight to eight am Freezer watch but immediately after the take over and temperature checks my greaser insisted that I go upstairs and get my head down to be awoken about seven am after a good night's sleep and fit for another good day's tramping about the streets of London.
The guilt soon disappeared as I realised that he knew more than I would ever know.
Looking back that man gave me the opportunity to see miles of London over two to three weeks that I might never had seen.

Bob

Frank Holleran
26th June 2009, 07:33
A good Greaser was like a good Fireman both worth their weight in Gold to the Engineroom Dept (mind you they were usually built like Whippets), always looked after them regards O/T as most of them knew more about the ship "perculiarities" (ships alway's have them) than the Engineers did.

A good team of engine room day-workers (Storekeeper/Donkey man, and four firemen/wipers/greasers what ever) would keep an engine room in tip top condition along with giving a hand with main engine/ boiler/generator/pump repairs.. also taking up a watch for any fireman/greaser signed on for watch-keeping duties, who fell ill....this was a few years back mind(Thumb)

PS..Johnie Lynas,...cross over the street when you saw him coming.

chadburn
26th June 2009, 16:15
Remembering the job of "uplifting" the syphon wicks when "Finished with Engines" rang!!!

cryan
27th June 2009, 22:08
Rabbit ears--Donkey man--Brilliant!!