Trinity House Pilots

Bill Davies
26th July 2009, 15:50
I suppose I am looking to Hugh Ferguson for an answer to this knowing, he was a THP. What I would like to know is what were the requirements to be a THP.

Were they all employed by Hammond/Hutchinson? North sea Pilots etc
Were the different levels applying to various districts
Were they all in possession of Masters (FG)
I believe a restructuring happened around late 80s

Bill

NoR
26th July 2009, 15:57
It helped of course if you were a Free Mason.

Bill Davies
26th July 2009, 16:16
How would Free Masonry help?

Hugh Ferguson
26th July 2009, 19:47
I think the first requirements were definitely that (1) you had achieved a certain degree of seniority-more than 2nd mate preferably; (2) you were under 35 years of age; (3) that you held a F.G. master's certificate and (4) you already had a degree of familiarity with the port in which you wished to become a pilot. I'm sure freemasonry had nothing whatsoever to do with it. Supposing your father had been a pilot I daresay that would hold some sway but as for nepotism, definitely not.
I wasted a whole year going for interview after interview-London, Southampton only to have to give up and go to Aden instead. After two years there I flew back to U.K. for interview at my own expense, and with that piloting experience under my belt, simply walked into the job of my choice, being placed first of six on the list and being called to fill a vacancy within six weeks, which I had to forgo on account of a two year contract to fulfill with Aden Port Authority.
My advantages were, pilotage experience, still well under the 35 age limit, and not married. The latter being regarded as advantageous on account of the 6 months "tripping" off pay required for most candidate pilots-I got one month's remission. My months off pay were supplemented by receiving leave pay from my Aden job.
To achieve all this I had left the sea. For all of 1953 and a part of 1954 I was up for masters, worked as an instructor at O.B.S.S., Aberdovey, drove a lorry for a spell and worked as a farm labourer, having there to learn how to milk cows by hand! Doing this in order to be immediately available to go anywhere without delay for interview.
It was interesting to later discover that in order to get the two weeks free, to fly from Aden, my fellow pilots were requred to give an assurance to the Port Officer that they were prepared to take on my work for that period-they had the only general meeting they had ever had and permission was granted with a majority of ONE.
Before quitting Aden I had the good fortune to meet the girl who a year later became my wife. There's no doubt that you need a bit of luck to help you along this troubled way called life-I've sure had more than my share.

Hugh Ferguson
26th July 2009, 19:59
I suppose I am looking to Hugh Ferguson for an answer to this knowing, he was a THP. What I would like to know is what were the requirements to be a THP.

Were they all employed by Hammond/Hutchinson? North sea Pilots etc
Were the different levels applying to various districts
Were they all in possession of Masters (FG)
I believe a restructuring happened around late 80s

Bill

Trinity House never employed pilots, they just licenced them. The North Sea rovers, as we called them, were licenced by T.H. and then relied upon Hammond (a shipping agent) and Hutchinson to find the jobs requiring pilots to ports outside the U.K.and also to the limits of compulsory pilotage in various U.K.ports. I know next to nothing about them, we very rarely met them as they never used the Trinity House pilot cutters

Bill Davies
26th July 2009, 20:22
Thanks for the explanation Hugh. All is now clear.

Bill

Billieboy
27th July 2009, 15:34
How would Free Masonry help?

Probably because they knew how to twiddle the compasses!(A)