Liner or Tramp

Bill Davies
16th August 2009, 13:04
There seems to be a good spread of the two trades within the membership.

A young mate when obtaining his Second Mates (FG) usually knew exactly what he was into.
If he was in a Blue Funnel type company he knew that it was 4th Mate until he obtained his First Mates (FG) and 3rd Mate until he obtained Masters (FG). Perhaps Second Mate until 33/35 and then Ch.Mate for the next 14/15 years. Finally command at 53 ish.

The Tramps were very much certificate of rank with command expected around early 30s or in some cases 30.

Which system produced the most competent?

Were the BF/Cunard/P&O variety 'washed out' by the time they got command?
Is 20 years as Second Mate and Ch.Mate counter productive?

In the Tramps every voyage would be different with new cargo and new skills learnt at every corner. Changing companies could have broadened ones outlook. Can't have been much fun on the same line every voyage throughout your career.

What say you?

Stephen J. Card
16th August 2009, 16:19
There seems to be a good spread of the two trades within the membership.

A young mate when obtaining his Second Mates (FG) usually knew exactly what he was into.
If he was in a Blue Funnel type company he knew that it was 4th Mate until he obtained his First Mates (FG) and 3rd Mate until he obtained Masters (FG). Perhaps Second Mate until 33/35 and then Ch.Mate for the next 14/15 years. Finally command at 53 ish.

The Tramps were very much certificate of rank with command expected around early 30s or in some cases 30.

Which system produced the most competent?

Were the BF/Cunard/P&O variety 'washed out' by the time they got command?
Is 20 years as Second Mate and Ch.Mate counter productive?

In the Tramps every voyage would be different with new cargo and new skills learnt at every corner. Changing companies could have broadened ones outlook. Can't have been much fun on the same line every voyage throughout your career.

What say you?

One cannot argue that liner companies produced some of finest officers in the Merchant Navy. By the same token, some of the best came frrom tramping companies. Likewise there are some officers from both groups who could be considered utterly useless.

I served most of my time at sea with Denholms on a good variety of ships and trades. I did just one liner voyage with Shaw Savill and as much as i liked the old banger I was sailing in and six weeks on the Kiwi coast was a hell of a good 'experience' I was happy to go back to Denholms which offered a faar greater variety of ships and trades and just as importantly, better pay and conditions. One must ask, fifteen or twenty years as 2nd Mate on 2nd Mate's salary in a liner company or Mate at 25 at Mate's salary on a tramp!

Stephen

MICHAEL SQUIRES
16th August 2009, 16:46
Hi Bill
I think you've got the sequences of promotion in Blue Funnel wrong, if you take my Father's career as a typical example of Midshipman to Master it did not take as long as you say:

Joined in 1940
passed 2nd mates ticket in 1944 - made 4th Mate in 1944 aged 21
Passed 1st mates ticket in 1946 - made 3rd Mate in 1946 aged 23
Made 2nd Mate in 1947 aged 24
passed Masters ticket in 1950 -made 1st Mate 1951 aged 28
Made master in 1962 aged 39

So it took him 22 years to become master in Blue Funnel and I believe that that was the rule rather than the exception. After he left Blue Funnel his first job was with a South Wales tramp company and that was a culture shock. Not so much with the crew but the organisation ashore.

Regards

Mike Squires

Bill Davies
16th August 2009, 18:38
Hi Bill
I think you've got the sequences of promotion in Blue Funnel wrong, So it took him 22 years to become master in Blue Funnel and I believe that that was the rule rather than the exception. After he left Blue Funnel his first job was with a South Wales tramp company and that was a culture shock. Not so much with the crew but the organisation ashore.

Regards

Mike Squires

Michael,

On the contrary, with your father it was most definitely the exception rather than the rule. The few Masters in Blue Funnel who got command at that age were in general those who were destined for a shore supers job and the command was a token gesture so that the individual could be referred to as captain. I am think now of Cruickshank, Rockett etc, etc,. I think you will find that what I have stated above was infact the case for the vast majority.
You know when i obtained Second Matres(FG) at the age of 21, a certain Captain Gepp (your father will remember him) advised me that if I kept my nose clean I would be Master when i was 50. Not something a 21 year old wants to hear.

I never sailed with your father but heard much good about him and always thought he lived near Earleston Road (near that special school??)

Brgds

Bill

Bill Davies
16th August 2009, 18:40
One must ask, fifteen or twenty years as 2nd Mate on 2nd Mate's salary in a liner company or Mate at 25 at Mate's salary on a tramp!

Stephen

Exactly!

Bill Davies
16th August 2009, 18:43
Michael,
The school I was thinking of was Elleray Park which I should have known as I knew ateacher there. Was it therefore Glen XXXXX

Pat Kennedy
16th August 2009, 19:25
Michael,
The school I was thinking of was Elleray Park which I should have known as I knew ateacher there. Was it therefore Glen XXXXX

That would be Glen Park Rd Bill,
Pat

Bill Davies
16th August 2009, 19:30
That would be Glen Park Rd Bill,
Pat

Thanks Pat,

Brgds

Bill

Stephen J. Card
16th August 2009, 19:41
Joined in 1940
passed 2nd mates ticket in 1944 - made 4th Mate in 1944 aged 21
Passed 1st mates ticket in 1946 - made 3rd Mate in 1946 aged 23
Made 2nd Mate in 1947 aged 24
passed Masters ticket in 1950 -made 1st Mate 1951 aged 28
Made master in 1962 aged 39

Mike Squires



Joined in 1970.
promoted uncert 3/0 late 1972 age 20
passed 2nd Mates in 1974 - made 2nd Mate in 1975 aged 22
passed 1st Mates in 1977 - made 1st Mate in 1977 aged 25
passed Master in 1982 - made Master 1982 aged 29.
Time from passing master's to first command 7 days!

Promoted master too soon? Possibly, but are you going to tell the Superintendt 'No'?

Stephen

MICHAEL SQUIRES
16th August 2009, 22:03
Bill
He still lives in Glen Park Road, I think the Superintendant was trying to put you off as I know of two of my Dad's contempories were made Master at 40,
they were Bobby Willis and Sydney Gilliat and I'm sure there were others, anyway by going off to other companies you got there a lot quicker than the Blue Flu men.

Bill Davies
16th August 2009, 22:11
Thanks yours Michael.
There was another BF Master who drank in the Mags by the name Pettigrew who would have been a lot older than your father. I mention this because he had a son Ian who would have been around your age or slightly older.

I do hope your father is keeping in good health. He had an excellent reputation as Ch.Mate. I left in 61.

Brgds

Bill

MICHAEL SQUIRES
16th August 2009, 22:41
Bill

I know of Capt. Pettigrew his daughter married a childhood friend of mine have'nt heard from him in years. My Dad sailed as 2nd mate with Pettigrew when he was chief officer, not sure which ship but will find out.

Regards


Mike

Bill Davies
16th August 2009, 23:11
Mike,
Ian Pettigrew was a middy in the BF in the early 60s. It must have been quite difficult having a father as Master in the company. I do not think he stayed long or even sat for his Second mates (FG). I knew him from the Mags and the adjacent Pilot Boat House.

Brgds

Bill

eldersuk
17th August 2009, 00:50
The promotion to Master in the likes of BF was often a case of 'dead man's shoes'. Whatever your age when gaining Master's Ticket there was no job for you until somebody up the line made way. These companies tended to keep their senior officers right up until retirement, because of better conditions, pensions etc. whereas the 'tramp' companies had a bigger turnover of staff and therefore more frequent vacancies.
It was pretty much the same for Chief Engineers.

Derek

sparkie2182
17th August 2009, 00:59
Same old......................Same old.

Same originator............Same competence issues.

Stephen J. Card
17th August 2009, 02:12
The promotion to Master in the likes of BF was often a case of 'dead man's shoes'. Whatever your age when gaining Master's Ticket there was no job for you until somebody up the line made way. These companies tended to keep their senior officers right up until retirement, because of better conditions, pensions etc. whereas the 'tramp' companies had a bigger turnover of staff and therefore more frequent vacancies.
It was pretty much the same for Chief Engineers.

Derek


I wonder if you consider Denholms to be a tramp company? Our pay and conditions were superior to the liner companies and it seemed that a large percentage of new officers joining came from the liner companies like BF, P&O, Ben Line, Shell, BP etc etc. These were not gentlemen who had left their previous employers 'under a dark', but came to Denholms for better pay, conditions and promotion prospects. Funny, when I left Denholms to go to Shaw Savill they thought I must have had a screw loose, but I did return within six months!

Stephen

John Briggs
17th August 2009, 02:15
Went to sea as cadet in a liner company. Stayed there until I had my Masters certificate and had been second mate for a couple of years. Joined a Hong Kong tramp ship outfit for a bit of adventure and to get command. Three years as mate and got a command at the age of 28.

Both sides had their particular advantages and disadvantages and I must say I enjoyed both equally, if for different reasons.

Billyly
17th August 2009, 07:23
Same old......................Same old.

Same originator............Same competence issues.

Totally agree.

Bill Davies
17th August 2009, 08:28
Went to sea as cadet in a liner company. Stayed there until I had my Masters certificate and had been second mate for a couple of years. Joined a Hong Kong tramp ship outfit for a bit of adventure and to get command. Three years as mate and got a command at the age of 28.

Both sides had their particular advantages and disadvantages and I must say I enjoyed both equally, if for different reasons.

Clearly a high flyer John! Ever the politician. And who said you were Crazy?

Bill

Chris Isaac
17th August 2009, 08:31
Totally agree.

Hear hear.

I was a liner company man and therefore better than anyone :rolleyes: ...... nonsense.
I had the same tickets as everyone else, I studied just as hard but no harder, I worked as hard but no harder.

I loved my time at sea, any regrets..... I would have loved a bit of time with Bank Line, those guys seemed to see far more of the world and seemed to have a great time doing it.......... on the other hand I did get two eggs for breakfast everyday!

Bill will not be reading this as I am one of his "banned" list.... (Thumb)

John Briggs
17th August 2009, 08:51
Don't go there Bill. Don't try and put people down, it just doesn't work and it doesn't become you!
And it doesn't worry me!

Billieboy
17th August 2009, 08:54
The promotion to Master in the likes of BF was often a case of 'dead man's shoes'. Whatever your age when gaining Master's Ticket there was no job for you until somebody up the line made way. These companies tended to keep their senior officers right up until retirement, because of better conditions, pensions etc. whereas the 'tramp' companies had a bigger turnover of staff and therefore more frequent vacancies.
It was pretty much the same for Chief Engineers.

Derek

Would it be fair to say that the post war inauguration of the MNOPF, changed the outlook of, "Career Seafarers", with regard to the, "Dead man's shoes", aspect of the big Liner companies?(Thumb)

Chris Isaac
17th August 2009, 09:21
Why not make the tread about which was more fun? Liners or Tramps? But let's not make it personal there has been far far too much of that.

duquesa
17th August 2009, 09:29
On reading his first posting yesterday, my immediate reaction was "Oh Lord, not again". Glad to see I'm not the only one. Sad case.

Alistair Macnab
17th August 2009, 15:52
Liner versus Tramp IS a regular topic! One situation that has not been suggested in this particular thread is the effect on promotion by the 'bulge' of retiring senior officers that were originally promoted during the Second World War. I think this came about around the middle of the 1960s when there seemed to be a rush of promotions for non WWII hires.

Hank
17th August 2009, 17:26
Bill, where on earth did you get those figures for promotions in Blue Flue? Michael's are much closer to the truth when you were there. I was at sea with Blue Flue from 47 to 65 and was Third Mate at 20, Second Mate at 23, Mate at 28 and when I inadvertently came ashore the expectation was still for Master at about 38.
I can only assume that when Gepp told you that you could expect a command at 50 he was either pulling your leg or trying to persuade you to look elsewhere.
Cheers, John

Chris Isaac
17th August 2009, 18:45
Bill, where on earth did you get those figures for promotions in Blue Flue? Michael's are much closer to the truth when you were there. I was at sea with Blue Flue from 47 to 65 and was Third Mate at 20, Second Mate at 23, Mate at 28 and when I inadvertently came ashore the expectation was still for Master at about 38.
I can only assume that when Gepp told you that you could expect a command at 50 he was either pulling your leg or trying to persuade you to look elsewhere.
Cheers, John

Those are pretty accurate figures for the 1960s and bang on for me with B&C. As for the last paragraph, I am having to physically restrain myself from commenting!

sidsal
17th August 2009, 18:50
During ww2 the seatime for 2nd Mates was reduced from 4 years to three and if you were from the Conway you had a year's seatime knocked off. I left Conway at 17 and was uncertificated 4th Mate at 19 and also got 2nd Mates just turned 20. As I wanted to get seatime in quickly I mad the mistake of going into tankers (Anglo American Oil which became Esso). At that time they were transferring T2 tankers from the US flag to the Panamanian flag and putting British and European crews on them. The demand for officers was great and Esso had people entertaining the shipping masters at various ports to persuade chaps to join Esso. There were mates joining from cargo ships who would do one tri as Mate and then prompted to Master. Several had no idea of th elayout of the pipes etc and some were fond of the bottle.
When I got Mates I deceided to take a sorresponebce course with L'pool tech for Extra Master intending to go for it. In the event I faell in love, got TB and gave up with 6 months seatime short for Master. I remember however that someone told me that the salvage thing tied up at Pierhead L'pool - I think it was called the Salvor, advertised for a Master and that nearly al the masters in BF applied. This may have been hearsy and embelished. I don't know. However in hindsight I am glad I left when I did as I have had a wonderful life with some yacht passages to satisfy the salt in my veins.

Bill Davies
17th August 2009, 18:57
Bill, where on earth did you get those figures for promotions in Blue Flue? Michael's are much closer to the truth when you were there. I was at sea with Blue Flue from 47 to 65 and was Third Mate at 20, Second Mate at 23, Mate at 28 and when I inadvertently came ashore the expectation was still for Master at about 38.
I can only assume that when Gepp told you that you could expect a command at 50 he was either pulling your leg or trying to persuade you to look elsewhere.
Cheers, John

I might ask you the same. You are of the same vintage as Hughie Davis, Ale House Jones, Bold, Ray. These men were in there mis 40s in 65 and command was some time off.
As for you comment re gepp I would have had to leave in 68 in any case.
Incidentally, when did you inadvertantly, sorry eventually get command?

Bill

Hank
17th August 2009, 20:07
Incidentally, when did you inadvertantly, sorry eventually get command?

And the relevance of this question is?
Cheers,
John

captain61
17th August 2009, 20:29
Chris Isaac has hit the nail on the head I started in 1983
promoted 86
2nd 1988
1st 1991
Master 1998

left in 2003,
I loved my time at sea and the run ashore and all the ports that look the same
I ran into an old school friend of mine he was a greaser with ESSO, some of my crew thought i was mad going for a drink with them (dirty sailors) o yes the nice stuck up guys ha ha ha (us and them)

"IS IT TOT TIME"!!!

Bill Davies
17th August 2009, 20:30
Incidentally, when did you inadvertantly, sorry eventually get command?

And the relevance of this question is?
Cheers,
John

Oh I think you know!

Cheers
Bill

Derek Roger
17th August 2009, 21:40
Bill
He still lives in Glen Park Road, I think the Superintendant was trying to put you off as I know of two of my Dad's contempories were made Master at 40,
they were Bobby Willis and Sydney Gilliat and I'm sure there were others, anyway by going off to other companies you got there a lot quicker than the Blue Flu men.

Bobby Willis would be Captain Willis from Inverness ? I met him on occassions ( his son John Willis was at college with me at Riversdale ) His father had persuaded him to go below where promotion was better.

Incidentaly my promotion to Chief Engineer on a Liner Company Brocks was at the tender age of 28 1/4 . Ink was still wet on my ticket .
Derek

Chris Isaac
18th August 2009, 09:27
Incidentally, when did you inadvertantly, sorry eventually get command?

Bill

Just how rude is it possible to get?

Pompeyfan
18th August 2009, 13:46
Nice to see liner used in its true trade context in the thread.

I never sailed on a tramp, or cargo liner come to that, but would have liked to have done.

David

Klaatu83
18th August 2009, 21:43
I sailed as Third Mate and, later, Second Mate, and on an old tramp Victory Ship on three different occasions between 1976 and 1979. I learned more in one voyage on that ship than I did in four years as a cadet. Every voyage we carried different types of cargo to different parts of the world. We transited both the Panama and Suez canals, and we found ourselves dealing routinely with situations that simply never arose on scheduled cargo liners.

A Typical instance involved a garbage man in what was then North Yemen. He had been contracted to remove the ship's garbage while we were alongside the dock. However, he insisted that our credit was no good, nor would he accept payment in cash money. Instead, he insisted upon immediate remuneration in gold!

Bill Davies
18th August 2009, 22:28
I started in 1983
promoted 86
2nd 1988
1st 1991
Master 1998

left in 2003,
!

Well Capt 61,
That's fantastic. All the more so that you started as a 'Deckey' ( I assume you mean Deck Boy). And were these ships Liner or Tramp ( asper thread title??

Well done.

Bill

sparkie2182
18th August 2009, 23:09
Chris........in answer to your question.

read through some of his previous posts.

Billyly
19th August 2009, 03:44
Chris........in answer to your question.

read through some of his previous posts.

Obviously has a big ship on his shoulder!

captain61
19th August 2009, 15:58
Well Capt 61,
That's fantastic. All the more so that you started as a 'Deckey' ( I assume you mean Deck Boy). And were these ships Liner or Tramp ( asper thread title??

Well done.

Bill

Started on the good old tramps OCL as a cadet moved over to cruise ships in the early 90s lots of totty but missed the nights out with the tramp guys (should have stayed with the tramps) (Pint)

Bill Davies
19th August 2009, 16:59
Ocl??