Houlder Brothers Crews & Ships

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Ian Norman
30th September 2005, 14:08
Anyone around from Houlders, would be great to hear how you are doing.

R58484956
30th September 2005, 16:31
Welcome to the site Norman,I am sure you will find someone here who sailed with them. Enjoy the site and the banter, we do.

Doug Rogers
30th September 2005, 22:04
Welcome to the site, there are almost certainly some members who sailed with them as I think you will shortly find out.

Derek Roger
16th October 2005, 15:09
Hi Ian ;
A good friend of mine was with Houlders during the time re refer to . He is not a member as yet but I shall work on him if you know him . Willie Lauchlin Engineer .
Derek

david smith
16th October 2005, 20:53
An officer from Houlders latter days - welcome and enjoy!

Ian Norman
19th October 2005, 15:03
Hi Derek,
That sure rings a bell !! Can you ask him if he served on a Houlders tanker that was on charter to Shell Oil....I think it was called the Imperial Transport.
Kind regards
Ian

Ian Norman
19th October 2005, 15:04
Thank you David
Regards
Ian

John Edward Tomlinson
2nd November 2005, 21:48
Hi Derek,
That sure rings a bell !! Can you ask him if he served on a Houlders tanker that was on charter to Shell Oil....I think it was called the Imperial Transport.
Kind regards
Ian
Have just posted a jpeg of the Imperial Transport.Sailed in her Feb to May 1960.
John Edward Tomlinson (Hull)

Derek Roger
2nd November 2005, 23:17
Ian;
Ill be talking to Willie in the next few days and shall ask him re the tanker .
Cheers Derek

non descript
21st November 2005, 23:32
Ian,

I served with Houlders from 1965 to 1976 when I left the sea-staff and joined their chartering department (still at 52 Leadenhall Street). Looking at your various posts it seems we have been on the same ships, but at different times.

Kind regards

kev
22nd November 2005, 08:45
Hi Ian

Do you have any photo's of the James Cook?

Kev

Tim Smith
24th November 2005, 01:43
Hi All
I sailed on various ships, last being 3rd mate on the CLYDESDALE on her 2nd or 3rd trip. Can't remember any names but believe the old man was the one who later went with the Royston Grange.

Tim Smith
24th November 2005, 01:45
Would appreciate any photos of the WESTBURY which I was on from dec 66 to Jan 68. The mate was called Derek and came from Fleetwood.

Robinj
14th December 2005, 23:32
Hi Ian, I sailed as a sparkes on Four of Houlders Ore Carriers at various times between 1963 and 1967.

B.Bass
15th December 2005, 04:43
Hi Ian also sailed with Houlders but a bit after your time,1972 to 1986

wa002f0328
15th December 2005, 18:02
Hi Ian
I sailed in Houlders on the Rippingham Grange, great trip ( 1959-60) also one trip on Mable Warwick she was a bad sea ship, but we got there and back, cheers Bill atkins

non descript
15th December 2005, 18:54
Hello Bill, you were probably ahead of me, as I see it was 1970 when I was on "Mabel Warwick" - maybe I was lucky, but I don't remember being any more seasick on her than the "Oregis".

jordiboy
15th December 2005, 19:27
Hi did three trips on Oreosa, 1961/62

janbonde
16th December 2005, 15:49
Did they once have a tanker called Clutha River I remember while in Curacao a couple of seamen who had missed their ship came on board the Panamanian ship I was on looking for a berth

non descript
16th December 2005, 16:05
Jan, they did indeed have a tanker called “Clutha River” – I can recall two stories that give an insight into her unique character: (a) she had a cracked stern-shaft at one stage which meant that she could not be run astern without the risk of the entire shaft and propeller taking off on its own…. and (b) during a transit of the Panama Canal she developed a small leak from one of the rivets in the shell plating, so the mate decided action was required in the form of a bosun’s chair, and someone in it with a large hammer to “flatten the rivet and make it oil tight again”. A goodish plan except that the first blow landed on the rivet head and instead of making it into an oiltight mushroom, it drove the entire rivet at speed into the cargo tank, thereby making a small weeping leak into a large oily trickle. A sort of “boy and his finger in the dyke in reverse”. The Canal Authority was un-amused, but late at night they missed the offending ship which made good its escape leaving a trail behind her…

albertwebster
16th December 2005, 19:52
I had an uncle who was, I believe a skipper (sorry Captain!) with Houlders during the 1950 - 1960s. His name was Gordon Clark and I believe he went under the nickname of Nobby, (as all Clark's did). Is there anyone who remembers him and can name which ships he sailed on?

glenn
19th December 2005, 00:08
was with Houlders from 78 til 82 deck boy to AB

Bob Davies
20th December 2005, 15:04
Hi there,
I sailed on two (I think) of Houlders ships.One was my first ship - Oregis - then a couple of years later I was on the Bidford Priory (Houlders with charter to BP).
I`m pretty sure that Nobby Clark was the captain on the Priory.If I remember correctly
he was the Captain when we lost a steward over the wall - he was very very cut up about that and took it very seriously/badly

R58484956
20th December 2005, 15:16
Welcome Bob to SN enjoy the site and all it has to offer and a merry christmas to you.

albertwebster
20th December 2005, 18:46
Ahoy Bob,

could you give me any dates when you were on the Bidford Priory,

thanks, Albert Webster.

Bob Davies
21st December 2005, 09:20
Hi there Albert,
I swallowed the anchor about 18 years ago now - so I`ll have to dig out my old
discharge books etc.
I will get back to you when I find them.
I was at sea from 1966 till about 1985/6 - the last 15 of them as freelance sparks on
really odd ships.I`ll also dig out a list of those I was on - It`ll be interesting to think back.
Regards
Bob

waimea
23rd December 2005, 09:34
I have a very good neg of Westbury if you want a print get back to me.

Tim Turner
25th December 2005, 12:08
Hi there

My Dad (Edward Turner ("Teddy") captained the Clutha River many years ago, but I cannot find any real detail about her. He Died 42 years ago so it was a while ago. We have some pics in the family so I'll ask to see if anyone has one.

Happy Xmas Tim Turner

R58484956
26th December 2005, 11:44
Clutha River 12500 tons built 1953/4? 537.0 x 70.2 x 39.5. Built by Hawthorn Leslie & co, Newcastle. 1 6cylinder diesel engine built by shipbuilders.Owned by British Empire Steam Navigation Co Ltd and managed by Houlders Brothers& Co Ltd.Registered London. Used for carrying petrol in bulk.Machinery aft.

dnobmal
26th December 2005, 15:39
Knew a Shetlander who was a bosun with Houlders,sorry to say he passed away last year Andy Barclay of Levenwick,Shetland

lescrowe
24th January 2006, 17:13
I was 3rd Engineer on Bidford Priory May to October 1967.
Bomber Harras was the Chief Engineer the Old Man was Jackson.
I would like to hear from anyone.

Les Crowe

Magnus Flaws
26th January 2006, 19:51
Was on the Brandon Priory in 1969 Captain was ? Saunders and then the good ship Joya McCance from 69 to end of 71. I was also on The Dundee Kingsnorth leaving Finland to its drilling position in the North Sea. Started as junior and rose to the dizzy height of third engineer.

Chris Stone
27th March 2006, 09:08
Any officers around from Houlder Brothers from 1962 to 1968
or Ellerman & Papyani 1968 to 1970, would be great to hear how you are doing.
Was a junior Engineer on the Royston Grange at start and left her as a 5th Engineer. All this about 1963 -1965. Wow that was a long time ago.

pentola999
30th November 2006, 00:21
Hello Norman,
I sailed as 3rd Officer on the Oswestry Grange in 1962.
David

tell
30th November 2006, 13:25
I'd av loved to contribute but I wasn't an officer

non descript
30th November 2006, 16:09
Tell, I for one would welcome your news - please let us know. Kind regards, Mark

Lefty
3rd December 2006, 00:35
Hello, Thought I'd add my bit here! Was 2/O from 65 til 71/2 when I realised they had me marked as one of their permanent 2/O/wage clerks! Sailed on most of the 'O' boats plus Joya McCance(ore carrier) and several runs to the Plate on Queensbury and Ocean Transport. I still keep the 12 - 4 even now I'm retired!!! Still fall to sleep directly after dinner!!! Wake up around midnight!
Having a great time swanning around this web-site. First Class !!!
BFN Howard

leo hannan
6th December 2006, 19:48
Here's my contribution.
Joined Houlders March 1962 left April 1999. Would do it all again if I could.
Regards
Leo (Thumb)

NINJA
7th December 2006, 18:56
What on earth were Houlder Bros. doing in Shanghai!?!? Hugh Ferguson

Hello Hugh,

Fertiliser from Bremerhaven to Shanghai, and then back to Rotterdam with Tapioca root from Bangkok.

Two extremes there, fortnight in Shanghai with one run ashore under armed guard to a mission and then two weeks in Bangkok.


Regards

Ninja.

DURANGO
7th December 2006, 21:20
What on earth were Houlder Bros. doing in Shanghai!?!? Hugh Ferguson Hello Hugh sorry mate i got carried away there, i was not on one of Houlders when i paid off sick in Shanghai [ although i was in the Royston Grange in the 60,s beautiful ship sad loss breaks your heart when you think of all hands being lost in her ] the ship i paid off sick on was the Worthy Down Manns of London they only had two ships i joined her in Hong Kong late 61 ,i only joined her for the plane ride got more than i bargained for , but i have to say i was very well treated by the Chinese during my time there and i hope one day in the not to distant future to take a holiday there and take a trip down memory lane it all seems so long ago now close on to 45 years i spent over a month there , and then two days down to Hong Kong by train as i said i still have my train tickets and visa which i very much treasure to this day sites like these stire such wonderful memorys .

non descript
8th December 2006, 17:21
As there are several general comments on Houlders which do not easily fit into a specific Houlders ship, I was moved to collect them here, in the hope that more can be added and the thread can grow accordingly. I trust that no one will be upset if they find their post has been moved into this thread. (Thumb)

tell
9th December 2006, 00:18
I joined the Langton Grange in the early 50s she had been newly fitted out , our quarters were superb, so much so that people used to come aboard to see them,single cabins for all the seamen and firemen and a recreation room, she was a happy ship and i loved the voyage, we went into some out of the way places, Quatreros was one of them, love to do it all again

non descript
9th December 2006, 08:55
Tell, you have a very good memory, the conversion (at the end of 1949) so all members of the crew could be accommodated in single cabins was such a success, with visitors from the press and other ships, that arrangements were put in hand to convert all the other vessels in the fleet.

She was the third ship to bear the name; the first Langton Grange was built 1896 and wrecked 05-08-1909 – the second Langton Grange was built 1919 as War Pansy. Sold in 1936 and re-named Nicolas M Embiricos, mined and sunk 04-11-1939; the third Langton Grange was built in 1942 as Empire Pennant, acquired by Houlders in 1946 and broken up in 1960.

As you say, a happy ship working for a happy company.

tell
11th December 2006, 02:33
Tonga I didn't consult my discharge book i relied on my memory a big mistake,that's why i had the dates wrong, thanks for your remarks, brings back memories that are precious

non descript
11th December 2006, 11:33
Tell,
Thanks, but frankly, to be just 6 months out after more than 50 years is pretty good in my book, so well done indeed - I just wish that my memory was as good for dates, but accounts like yours do stir the memory and thanks for that.
(Thumb)

Les_Blues
16th December 2006, 20:23
Some of the Houlders (and/or Hadleys) ships I sailed on get no mention, unless I have missed something. I was on the Star Pinewood on its last trip before being sold off but whatever happened to the Carinthus and Calandria? Perhaps I spelt them incorrectly in my search?

duquesa
16th December 2006, 20:53
Hello Les Blues, I think if you trawl back through the Houlder file, you will find that they have all had a mention of some kind. The company (ies) is/are well represented on this site.

non descript
16th December 2006, 22:14
Some of the Houlders (and/or Hadleys) ships I sailed on get no mention, unless I have missed something. I was on the Star Pinewood on its last trip before being sold off but whatever happened to the Carinthus and Calandria? Perhaps I spelt them incorrectly in my search?


Les,
The first one you mention is CERINTHUS which more than popular on here and in her real life - Hadleys are today on to Cerinthus number 5.

The Calandria, was one of three mini-ships, the name has only been used the once in the HSC fleet. She was built for and delivered to HSC in 1970 and sold in 1979 and re-named Quadan, then Fiskela in 1986. As a curiosity she actually reverted to the name Calandria in 1989 (but under the control of outside interests), before being sold in 1990 to Chinese Owners and re-named QIONG

done it
22nd December 2006, 16:12
my name is mike kelly. now living in spain .sailed on the oremina also the essex a nowegian out of port talbot 1959/ 60 has anybody got pics from that time there were qiute a few sweds and nowegian and english ships in port talbot i got married to a girl from there. her father was lock keeper at the time name of bob quick. just a usless bit of info

Roger Wincer
22nd December 2006, 21:34
Tim
I was R/O on the 1st & 2nd trips of the Clydesdale. I paid off in Rotterdam after a trip up the Missisippi January 1968. Master was Woolcott but as for other names they escape my memory at present!

Roger Wincer
22nd December 2006, 21:42
Hi All
I sailed on various ships, last being 3rd mate on the CLYDESDALE on her 2nd or 3rd trip. Can't remember any names but believe the old man was the one who later went with the Royston Grange.
I was R/O on CLYDESDALE for the first and I think the second too. I paid off in January 1968 in Rotterdam. The Master was Woolcott. Can't remember any other names though. The R/O who relieved me was Doug Owen who was famous for his ship models. I wonder if he did one of her?

Jon Vincent
2nd January 2007, 02:08
It was interesting to read all the correspondence concerning the "Royston", these ships were crewed by a very close knit group of people, once in it was hard to leave, I will never forget the pride the whole crew had in the "Royston". I joined in Jan 1968 as 3rd Off when the vessel was laid up during the meat ban, on the Queen Elizabeth wharf in Falmouth Docks, for me it was a good appointment as I lived locally. The Hardwicke was moored outside us and the "Duquesa" the other side of the jetty. We were the live vessel looking after the other two Ships, the "Hardwicke" left first under the command of Capt T A G Head the senior master at the time in late Feb 1968, The "Duquesa" left next under the command of Capt George Boothby, she had a lot of problems being activated and I got to know Capt "George" well, as I ran errands as the local boy for him. The "Royston Grange" left last on 4th March 1968 for the River plate light ship. Of the deck staff through the lay-up I was the only one that sailed but I kept in touch with Tristan Tate the Ch/Off for years. Our sailing master was Capt Don Murray another Cornishman. The lay-up was very beneficial to me, as by the time the ships sailed I knew every square inch of them and three days before we sailed I met my wife who worked as a Nanny in the Falmouth Hotel. In June 68 I got engaged and was close to my 1st Mates, pay on the meat boats was the lowest in the company, I approached Capt D Parkin (head of personnel) and asked for promotion the 2nd Off, He offered me the 2nd off job on the new bulk carrier "Clydesdale", it took until the end of Oct 68 to leave the "Royston" needless to say the period in between I was subject endless ribbing from the other officers and pressure from Capt Murray who thought I was committing suicide. I kept in touch with my friends up until their deaths on the "Royston". I left the "Cerinthus" 8th April 72, after a few days a home I had a cal from Capt Dennis asking me if I would Join the "Royston" I was told that it would be as 1st off and my wife would be expected to go as well, my friend Colin Craddock was Ch Off along with his wife Jan on their honeymoon and that as a special concession his younger brother James would sail as cadet on the trip, Houlders never let that happen normally, I declined the offer much to my wife's dismay as our first house was due to be finished in the next couple of weeks, I saw the disaster on the news and got a telephone call within minutes, I sat in silence for a couple of days, Capt Dennis sent me the "Service if Commemoration" with a the names, I could not go to the actual service as I did not know how I would face the families of my friends. The final voyage of the "Royston" was supposed to be a happy event for all concerned it ended in one the saddest tragedies in MN history, The beautiful ship marked my life for ever, I met my wife and enjoyed the friendship of some the finest people ever to go to sea.

non descript
2nd January 2007, 08:43
Catp Jon V. Vincent,

Thank you for your well written and moving memories. Yes, those were very much the times when the crews remained together as a tight family ship by ship and anyone seeking to leave the family was regarded as "most strange". Certainly a time for very mixed emotions to find the ship you could have been on. was involved in such a tragedy.

It is a curious semi coincidence that you left the “security” of the Royston Grange to join a Hadley Boat; I left the happy security of Hadley's Cumbria in 1972 and declined Captain Parkin’s suggestion to join the Royston Grange in April of that year, joining the Cavendish instead, as I wanted to gain experience in Gas Tankers. - If I have the right man, Tristan Tate was from the Shetlands? A very decent man indeed and I sailed with him on the Cumbria. I have taken the liberty of adding an “e” to Hardwicke.

Regards
Mark

Jon Vincent
3rd January 2007, 03:14
Hi Mark. I don't mind having my spelling corrected, I always prided myself as seaman first and foremost. Tristan Taite (my wife corrected that one) was from the Shetland Islands, but stayed with his sister, who had a boarding house at St Ives. I served as a cadet in Prince Line, where everyone envied Houlders, I joined after my 2nd mates ticket, the difference was night and day, the loyalty to the company and ones ship was incredible, I credit John Houdler and Capt Parkin and his assistant Mr Bachelor. It was an very family orientated company. the senior meat boat Captain and Chiefs chose their own staff and took it very personally when they left, Capt Don Murray gave me the Houlders jack staff flag when I left, telling me that I would be back, I still have the flag, A lot of that company spirit died when Houlders absorbed a lot of the Furness people when their fleet contracted around 1973/4. A real irony to all this is that I am now a Mooring Master engaged in offshore lightering operation in the gulf of Mexico, I now rely on the very very thing that cause that awful collision, inter-ship suction, to put two large tankers together. Regards Jon

marinero
3rd January 2007, 10:47
Hi Mark. I don't mind having my spelling corrected, I always prided myself as seaman first and foremost. Tristan Taite (my wife corrected that one) was from the Shetland Islands, but stayed with his sister, who had a boarding house at St Ives. I served as a cadet in Prince Line, where everyone envied Houlders, I joined after my 2nd mates ticket, the difference was night and day, the loyalty to the company and ones ship was incredible, I credit John Houdler and Capt Parkin and his assistant Mr Bachelor. It was an very family orientated company. the senior meat boat Captain and Chiefs chose their own staff and took it very personally when they left, Capt Don Murray gave me the Houlders jack staff flag when I left, telling me that I would be back, I still have the flag, A lot of that company spirit died when Houlders absorbed a lot of the Furness people when their fleet contracted around 1973/4. A real irony to all this is that I am now a Mooring Master engaged in offshore lightering operation in the gulf of Mexico, I now rely on the very very thing that cause that awful collision, inter-ship suction, to put two large tankers together. Regards Jon
Hi Jon.
You are definitely right about the loyalty towards Houlders' from their Crews. Sadly Capt. Parkin passed away some years ago. I don't know where Ken Batchelor is now. When he left Houlders he took up a position at Buckingham Palace as some sort of Usher( I think) Maybe Mark(Tonga) would have more info on this. The last I heard of John Houlder was that he was still the manager of Elstree Airport and still piloting his own plane. Another guy in Personnel was Mike Louis who dealt with the Ratings, he was Houlders thro & thro. I consider myself lucky in having become involved within the Houlder Family of employees.(Thumb)
Regards
Leo

non descript
3rd January 2007, 17:56
Jon and Leo,

Yes I concur very much with your sentiments – for whatever reason Houlders was indeed like a happy family and there was immense loyalty and support for us all. Sadly the comment about the company spirit evaporating with the arrival of FW does have an element of truth (this is not meant to offend those people from FW, it was just a fact of life and a reflected a different culture), although curiously when, later on, the entire lot was taken over by the Tung family, this feeling of once again working with a family concern returned. There were always people who failed to grasp what was really going on who railed against the Chinese, but if the truth were known, they were as loyal and devoted as the original owning family – just different; which not that surprising given the huge difference between Anglo-Saxon and Chinese culture.

Without a doubt, I do believe the leadership of this family spirit came from John Houlder and led to him picking some special people to head up various departments. It would be wrong to concentrate on just a few names, but having seen their names already mentioned above, I certainly recognize the value that Dennis Parkin and Ron Batchelor added – without them I would have certainly have had a very different life. - I’m sorry to say that I am unaware of the whereabouts of “Batch”, but I will have a search. I still remember his almost childlike delight when, having run an advertisement in the national press for sea staff, using a photograph of an unknown (to him) fresh faced apprentice, with the caption “Meet John, he has traveled the world…..come and join him at Houlders” – he was amazed when “John” walked into the office one day and they could put a name to the face. It is a matter of debate whether the image of this young lad’s “charm and innocence” as he was seen taking a sight, scrubbing the deck and looking at the radar, actually resulted in anyone joining the company…..
Regards
Mark

NINJA
3rd January 2007, 18:59
Hello Tonga,

I believe I might be able to shed some light on "Batch', I will follow it up with an ex-Houlders man and I believe there is a royal connection.

Regards

Tom.

marinero
3rd January 2007, 19:35
Hello all.
I mistakenly give "Batch" the name of Ken when in fact it was Ron. I do apologise for any confusion. One for you Tonga, I have in my posession a book by an Edward E. Stevens called Shipping Practices published 1946(5th Edition) in it are various examples of Charter Parties,Bill of Sale,Bills of Lading(Coastal&Liner)Plus A River plate outward Form from Houlder Line Do you know if this guy worked for Houlder in those days of yore. These are original forms as far as I can tell.
Reagrds
Leo(Thumb)

non descript
3rd January 2007, 19:53
Hello Tonga,

I believe I might be able to shed some light on "Batch', I will follow it up with an ex-Houlders man and I believe there is a royal connection.

Regards

Tom.

Thanks Tom, maybe he will arrange for you to get an invitation to Kate's wedding. (A)

non descript
3rd January 2007, 19:58
Hello all.
I mistakenly give "Batch" the name of Ken when in fact it was Ron. I do apologise for any confusion. One for you Tonga, I have in my posession a book by an Edward E. Stevens called Shipping Practices published 1946(5th Edition) in it are various examples of Charter Parties,Bill of Sale,Bills of Lading(Coastal&Liner)Plus A River plate outward Form from Houlder Line Do you know if this guy worked for Houlder in those days of yore. These are original forms as far as I can tell.
Reagrds
Leo(Thumb)

Leo

No worries, and I get confused without any outside influence - as for your Mr Stevens, I do have a record of a Mr E.F Stevens, who has been Assistant Company Secretary since 1934, was appointed as Company Secretary in June 1944, so it is more than likely that he would have been on hand to write a book, but I cannot be sure and it could just be a coincidence, as the initials do not match up.

Regards
Mark

marinero
4th January 2007, 12:45
Good Morning Mark.
I have checked the book and the auther is E.F.Stevens So I reckon they are one and the same. I don't seem to get things right these days.
I got this book and some old LLoyds Registers from Houlders Office when I was working overtime one Saturday morning re-arranging the Personnel Office for the incoming Furness/Shaw Saville staff (they were stuck at the back of a cupboard) The books not the new staff members!!!
Regards
Leo (Thumb)

non descript
4th January 2007, 12:59
Hi Leo,

Given the correct protocol that existed, I'm sure he was always addressed as Mr Stevens throughout his career, so no wonder the F got lost.....

I still have a copy of staff memo sent to the Managers at 53 Leadenhall Street saying "It has come to our notice that staff are lighting up at their desks before 3pm - whilst Managers are permitted to do this within the privacy of their own offices, staff are to be reminded that the must adhere to Company Policy."
Sadly I cannot remember what the company policy was (==D)

marinero
4th January 2007, 17:05
I have a copy of the Liberian Maritime Board investigation into the collision with the Tien Chee if anyone is interested.

Hi MIWP.
How do I get a copy of that from you, it sounds worthwhile reading.
Much obliged
Leo (Thumb)

Jon Vincent
5th January 2007, 02:01
Mark. Concerning John Houlder, I don't know if you recall the "Uncle John" the first self propelled oil support rig, or in its day "John's Folly" as every one thought in the company at the time. I remember sailing from the Tyne on the "Stolt Stuart" and it was aground just inside the breakwater on the North Tyne side of the river, it never made the sea on it maiden voyage, quite a black eye. Well its still going strong, I am based in Galveston and the "Uncle John" has been in port regularly over the last five or six years, since hurricanes "Katrina" and "Rita" she has been in big demand and sometimes in the way during our lightering ops, I have no idea who owns or operates her these days. Regarding "Batch" he never lost touch with his boys as he called us even after we left the company, I often wonder how he would fair in to-days "Hire and Fire" mode of operation. Regards John.

non descript
5th January 2007, 08:03
John,

Thanks, but there is in your text a degree of confusion with the names and indeed the history. The Oregis was the original name (when she was an ore-carrier) and also the name the converted ship had, when she set out with on her brief voyage towards the mouth of the Tyne and you saw her perched on the Black Midden Rocks.

The Uncle John that you have recently seen is a custom built semi-submersible built in 1977

This thread will add some more history of those days.
http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/showthread.php?t=207

Kind regards
Mark

Jon Vincent
6th January 2007, 00:35
Mark. I stand corrected, I have been told that I have a photo of the "Oregis" high and dry at low water as we passed her, I will have to go through some hundreds a photos now to find it. I was only on one ore carrier, the "Orepton" 15th to 20th Jan 71 to take the ship from Middlesbrough to King Harry ferry for lay up (she was well past her best to say the least) and then back to the "Stolt Stuart" on the Tyne. Regards Jon.

marinero
6th January 2007, 13:03
Mark. I stand corrected, I have been told that I have a photo of the "Oregis" high and dry at low water as we passed her, I will have to go through some hundreds a photos now to find it. I was only on one ore carrier, the "Orepton" 15th to 20th Jan 71 to take the ship from Middlesbrough to King Harry ferry for lay up (she was well past her best to say the least) and then back to the "Stolt Stuart" on the Tyne. Regards Jon.

Hi Jon.
If you do find that photo of "Oregis" on the rocks, could you please upload it to the gallery. I have one, but it's copied from an old newspaper cutting and consequently not of a very good quality.
Regards
Leo(Thumb)

K urgess
6th January 2007, 13:17
Leo,

I've got a couple of Oregis on the rocks that I took from the top of the "battery" at South Shields. I was at Martec at the time doing my electronics ticket and living in digs not far from where the pic was taken.

I'll post them later when I've sorted them out. They're slides in 30 year old cardboard mounts that are falling apart so a bit of "fiddling" is necessary.

If you look in my gallery there's a rather rough shot of her in drydock after the incident.

I remember the saga of trying to lift her off with the crane. I think the jib collapsed on the foclse but the weather had turned and you couldn't see much from South Shields so I missed that bit.

Cheers
Kris/

marinero
6th January 2007, 16:43
Hi Kris.
Thanks for that link. Now downloaded it. I was on the Oregis for a couple of years out of Aberdeen. Happy days. When she was awaiting disposal on Tyneside I liberated some of the Houlder Line silverware, the clock out of the Master's cabin and one of the paintings. I wanted a porthole but that many had gone by the time I got there, the Engineer J.Grey had got fed up welding blanks over the holes so I had to pass up that one.
[TONGA If you read this and want a piece of Houlder's Silverware(Needs cleaning) give me a shout.
Regards
Leo (Thumb)

non descript
6th January 2007, 18:24
Mark. I stand corrected, I have been told that I have a photo of the "Oregis" high and dry at low water as we passed her, I will have to go through some hundreds a photos now to find it. I was only on one ore carrier, the "Orepton" 15th to 20th Jan 71 to take the ship from Middlesbrough to King Harry ferry for lay up (she was well past her best to say the least) and then back to the "Stolt Stuart" on the Tyne. Regards Jon.

Jon,
No worries, that's the thing about ships, they either change their name, or take a name from a previous life, or even worse, don't change their name just when everyone thinks they have. (==D)

It would be good to see an image of her as and when you find time.

Anyway, the man (John Houlder) is still going strong and has not changed his name.

Regards
Mark

ps. There is some confusion over as to when she changed her name, but the image here, of her very sadly aground, does back up the belief that she was Oregis at the time, notwithstanding some books refering to the change taking place before this stranding:

http://www.southtynesidetoday.co.uk/mk4custompages/CustomPage.aspx?PageID=41283&sectionID=6149

non descript
7th January 2007, 21:49
Leo,

I've got a couple of Oregis on the rocks that I took from the top of the "battery" at South Shields. I was at Martec at the time doing my electronics ticket and living in digs not far from where the pic was taken.

I'll post them later when I've sorted them out. They're slides in 30 year old cardboard mounts that are falling apart so a bit of "fiddling" is necessary.

If you look in my gallery there's a rather rough shot of her in drydock after the incident.

I remember the saga of trying to lift her off with the crane. I think the jib collapsed on the foclse but the weather had turned and you couldn't see much from South Shields so I missed that bit.

Cheers
Kris/


Kris, as good as his word, has very kindly added the image here:

http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=46251

non descript
8th January 2007, 15:10
As the posts had moved a little away from the Royston GrangeI have taken the liberty of copying them to this more general thread - I trust no one is offended by my attempts to keep it in some sort of order.

marinero
8th January 2007, 15:45
Kris, as good as his word, has very kindly added the image here:

http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=46251

Thanks for that Kris, thats a brilliant picture, shows exactly the predicement she ended up in. Thanks god she was repairable as she went on to establish Houlder Offshore as a serious contender in the Sub-Sea world, and was the inspiration for the "Uncle John"
Regards
Leo(Thumb)

Jon Vincent
9th January 2007, 00:24
Mark, Kris. That s a very good photo of the "Oregis" aground. My photo is in a file box with my other memorabilia in storage, I know for a fact that it does not show the crane trying to lift the bow off. I am scheduled for my month duty in the next few days. When I get back I will go through the boxes, I have not opened them for at least twenty years now. I know I have a few general around deck of the "Royston" as well, if they are still any good I will post them for you. Regards Jon.

GALTRA
9th January 2007, 19:58
Tonga, thought you might like to see this, I was amazed just now when I went to down-load it that Marinero only recently mentions the book from which I copied it.. Except that my copy is the sixth edition - 1947 a year later. I wondered why it was used in the book but now I know the Houlder connection. All the best, Charley

non descript
10th January 2007, 09:35
Thanks Charley,

Amazing to see they had so many offices in the UK alone..

Kind regards
Mark

joe ninty
16th February 2007, 22:23
Hi All
I sailed on various ships, last being 3rd mate on the CLYDESDALE on her 2nd or 3rd trip. Can't remember any names but believe the old man was the one who later went with the Royston Grange.


Hi Tim
I sailed on the clydesdale on her 3rd trip I think I picked her up in hamburg then down to pepel and across to chiba Japan.australia,ugoslavia,I did a couple of watches with a 3rd Mate if your him a verry hardy hello she was a fine ship with a fine crew. cheers joe doyle aka joe ninty

caltex calcutta
18th February 2007, 16:29
I Recall Watching The Oregis Going Aground On The Black Middens At The Mouth Of The Tyne In 1974 But Still Do Not Know Why. Yes Engine Failure, But What Was The Cause? Houlders Gone To The Wall Now But Someone Must Know!

non descript
18th February 2007, 17:10
I Recall Watching The Oregis Going Aground On The Black Middens At The Mouth Of The Tyne In 1974 But Still Do Not Know Why. Yes Engine Failure, But What Was The Cause? Houlders Gone To The Wall Now But Someone Must Know!

Caltex Calcutta, I think it’s a bit harsh so say “gone to the wall”. Yes, the Houlder Brothers part has been sold on (to CY Tung) and sold on again (to R A Oetker), which hardly ranks as going to the wall in some people’s mind.

The most dynamic part of the Houlders Group was the off-shore side, which Oregis was part of and that is still a strong company, as in

http://www.houlder-offshore.co.uk

The Oregis came to grief on the Black Midden Rocks due to a Main Engine failure, and I agree with you, what particular bit of her Main Engine failed at the crucial time, escapes me at the moment, I will endeavour to find out. I am sure you have seen it, but in case not, you will find various comments on her in this thread:

http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/showthread.php?t=207 which well worth a read.

non descript
22nd February 2007, 22:32
Members will be saddened to hear this news which is quoted from Lloyds List:

Shipmanager with notable maritime career

Wednesday 21 February 2007

JERRY Lees, who has died at the age of 65, enjoyed a long maritime career, culminating in a decade of service as managing director of V.Ships’ Southampton office.

Captain Lees went to sea in 1958, serving with Furness Withy subsidiaries including Royal Mail and Houlder Bros before coming ashore to become part of Furness Withy’s ship management team. He joined V.Ships in 1989.

Capt Lees retired from V.Ships in 1999 and spent much of his time renovating a cottage in France, where he also kept, initially, a steam yacht and later a motor boat.

Nova Scotian
23rd February 2007, 00:20
I believe I sailed with Jerry Lees on the Orepton in 1964 when he was 2/O. If I remember correctly he was ex Worcester. Sad to hear that he has passed on...he was a very pleasant person.

tim frary
23rd February 2007, 01:11
my name is tim i spent all my sea time 1971 to 80 with houlder first ship was faraday goined her in january 71 lehave left her in the gulf june71 other ships westbury hardwicke grange banbury sir john hunter yes and the oregis happy day in the north sea did some of you sail with me tim(Thumb)

B.Bass
23rd February 2007, 04:32
Met Jerry Lees a couple of times when he was in Houlders Ship Management Team,he seemed to be a very nice chap,sad to hear of his passing.

marinero
23rd February 2007, 16:13
my name is tim i spent all my sea time 1971 to 80 with houlder first ship was faraday goined her in january 71 lehave left her in the gulf june71 other ships westbury hardwicke grange banbury sir john hunter yes and the oregis happy day in the north sea did some of you sail with me tim(Thumb)

Hi Tim.
Give us some dates of the times you sailed on Houlders ships and then people can confirm or otherwise whether they sailed with you.
What dates were you on "Oregis"
Regards(Thumb)

tim frary
23rd February 2007, 23:37
faraday january 1972-june 1972 .sorry can not give all the dates as lost my first Discharge book from 1972 to 1974 .hardwicke grange think it was 12-8-72 newhaven when the dockers were on strike also my twin brother tom saild with me on the hardwicke at the same time and tom fiddler as bosun. westbery joined her in dry dock at falmouth late 72 ports of call outward london,hamburg, rotterdam,amsterdam, antwerp ,london,panama,west coast central America cargo 4 horses 2bulls you name it we took it .homeward ports of call same as outward with coffee. sir john hunter joined rotterdam 14-10-74 left 5-2-75 rotterdam .oregis the bosun was danny or smithy argyll field 1-2-75 left 16-1-77 tyne.banbury 16-2-77 avonmouth -liverpool 21-2-77 run job .oswestry grange 26-2-77 to 11-3 77 run job.hardwicke grange 23-3-77 to 18-5-77 layby birth tilbury. faraday bosun was frank Dobs or Dobson and the store keeper was george moonie and his pal little pete . all the best tim

marinero
24th February 2007, 16:15
faraday january 1972-june 1972 .sorry can not give all the dates as lost my first Discharge book from 1972 to 1974 .hardwicke grange think it was 12-8-72 newhaven when the dockers were on strike also my twin brother tom saild with me on the hardwicke at the same time and tom fiddler as bosun. westbery joined her in dry dock at falmouth late 72 ports of call outward london,hamburg, rotterdam,amsterdam, antwerp ,london,panama,west coast central America cargo 4 horses 2bulls you name it we took it .homeward ports of call same as outward with coffee. sir john hunter joined rotterdam 14-10-74 left 5-2-75 rotterdam .oregis the bosun was danny or smithy argyll field 1-2-75 left 16-1-77 tyne.banbury 16-2-77 avonmouth -liverpool 21-2-77 run job .oswestry grange 26-2-77 to 11-3 77 run job.hardwicke grange 23-3-77 to 18-5-77 layby birth tilbury. faraday bosun was frank Dobs or Dobson and the store keeper was george moonie and his pal little pete . all the best tim

Hi Tim.
I was on "Oregis" on & off 1975-1979. The Bosun I think might have been Danny Harrington from Wales. I was on the Hardwicke Grange, but a bit before your time in 1962.
Regards
Leo(Thumb)

tim frary
25th February 2007, 23:47
hi marinero yes danny harrington was the boson ,eric the derrick, john smith form york, charley hatton from hastings he was crane driver ,smithy was boson when we where layed up on the jarrow bouys on the tyne . the anchor handling ships norfolk shore and shetland shore ,the two of them towed us from the tartan field to the pentland firth in a force 10 storm me and danny where on the foredeck with gas cutters ready to cut the the cables that was the night when we lost all the divers gas over the side . O what happy times we had in the northsea . all the best tim

trivetts
26th February 2007, 18:55
Hi, I sailed as Lecky on the Cerinthus, and paid off in Thameshaven Dec1963.
Had to drop a Steward off while passing St Thomas, he was picked up by Flying boat from Puerto Rica and hospitalized with appendicitis.

oldbosun
27th February 2007, 00:39
I sailed on Houlder's "Princesa" in '47. I joined her out of hospital in BA. We went down to Punta Arenas and from there to Liverpool to pay off. She was a coal burner and one of the worst feeders I was ever on.
She was a steamer and I used to go down the engine room and stand for ages watching those con rods going up and down and round and round. I wouldn't get so much fun watching TV these days as I did watching those engines. So quiet, just the hissing of steam. I always marvelled at the donkey greaser, an old Greek who timed his oil can to go with the movement of the engine, no matter how much the ship was 'chucking about'.
A great experience for a 17 year old which sticks in my mind to this day 60 years later.

non descript
27th February 2007, 15:00
Oldbosun, you have some amazing first hand experiences - I only have records. Princesa was built in 1918 by Alexander Stephen & Sons, at Govan; two 3 cylinder steam engines, twin screw. She remained in the fleet until 1949, when she was sold to breakers at Blyth.

Only two items of interest register with me; first a report that in July 1927 she lost her starboard propeller, some 250 miles off Cape Verde Islands, whilst en route back to the UK from the Argentine, but made it safely back at 8 knots on one propeller. - The second point of interest being that she transported back from Montevideo to the UK a special cargo consigned to the British Admiralty; a 4.1 inch twin gun salvaged from the Graf Spee. She stopped off briefly at Plymouth on 16th June 1940 to unload her special cargo, before heading on up to Liverpool, arriving there safely on 18th June 1940.

oldbosun
27th February 2007, 21:03
Well Tonga, I must say yes, I did have some great experiences as did all of us who lived that wonderful life regardless of what era we took part.
I sailed with some great old sea dogs, many of whom had experienced both wars. Men who held me spellbound with their yarns.
Which brings me to your mention of "Princesa" bringing back a salvaged gun from "Graf Spee".
So many times entering and leaving Monte did we see the wreck of "Graf Spee" easily visible. She didn't go entirely under when she was scuttled and she was easily visible well above water level. They used to sell postcards in Monte of her laying there. I never did have a camera in those days much to my regret in these days.
Funny,In those days I always thought that cameras were things that rich people had, like wrist watches and proper suitcases instead of canvas kitbags. Ah...such innocence.
My family had a neighbor who was in the cruiser "Ajax" in that battle, known as the "Battle of the River Plate", and he was the only one to come out of his gun turret alive, wounded yes, but still alive. In later years when I was a fully fledged seaman, we would have a few pints together, but he rarely spoke of that experience, even when pressed.
Thanks for the info of the Princesa and the gun Tonga, very interesting.

JohnMac068
8th March 2007, 15:27
Hi Tim, only Mate I know from Fleetwood was Derek Brand, he later went into the Offshore side of Houlders, was Master of the HTS Coupler 1 (Oregis) then went on to be Bargemaster on the Kingsnorth Drilling Rigs.

Monket
10th March 2007, 17:14
Not a company man but I joined the "Condesa" in Bordeaux in 1962. She had lain there for many months because of a dispute over the cargo, we discharged in Valencia and then took her to La Spezia for scrapping.

g.p.hughes
11th March 2007, 11:39
Hi Tim
I sailed on the clydesdale on her 3rd trip I think I picked her up in hamburg then down to pepel and across to chiba Japan.australia,ugoslavia,I did a couple of watches with a 3rd Mate if your him a verry hardy hello she was a fine ship with a fine crew. cheers joe doyle aka joe ninty

Hi Joe and Tim,Clydesdale loaded grain out of Sydney sometime early 70s,returning later as the Clydebridge the owners having joined the Seabridge consortium.Similarly the Oratava was re-named Oratava Bridge..Regards...Greg Hughes

paulw
13th March 2007, 11:56
hello everyone,
am here on behalf of my dad mike waterton who i know will be chuffed to take part in this site if anyone remembers him.

marinero
13th March 2007, 13:06
hello everyone,
am here on behalf of my dad mike waterton who i know will be chuffed to take part in this site if anyone remembers him.

Hi Paul.
If your dad is the Mike Waterton of Houlder's North Sea fame, welcome. Give him my regards from Leo Hannan. I trust is well and what is he upto these days? There's plenty people on this site will have sailed with him.
Regards
Leo(Thumb)

paulw
13th March 2007, 23:15
hi leo,
yes that's him.he remembers you and sends his regards.
he's retired now but is still busy,fit and active and enjoys his gardening and model boat building.
his memories of houlders are vivid and seemingly inexhaustible.he doesn't own a computer so the next time he visits he'll come on to the site and take part.
regards,
paul

Mick quinn
15th March 2007, 22:36
I served on the Camarina as AB/Bosun from Oct 71 to Feb 72 mostly in the Med. Cannot remember any names on board but skipper's name was Bill Urquhart. Lovely little ship and was sorry to leave her when summoned by Mr Louis to join Tenbury in New York. I believe that I was one of, if not the first, to be given a company contract with Houlders/HSC and stayed with them for a number of years serving on the Oregis, Camarina, Tenbury, Sagamore and Clymene.

non descript
15th March 2007, 23:53
I served on the Camarina as AB/Bosun from Oct 71 to Feb 72 mostly in the Med. Cannot remember any names on board but skipper's name was Bill Urquhart. Lovely little ship and was sorry to leave her when summoned by Mr Louis to join Tenbury in New York. I believe that I was one of, if not the first, to be given a company contract with Houlders/HSC and stayed with them for a number of years serving on the Oregis, Camarina, Tenbury, Sagamore and Clymene.


I see you saved the best until last.... She was a lovely ship (Thumb)

hercules
29th March 2007, 20:23
Derek Brand was Barge Master on the High Seas Driller, which was a Houlder Semi Sub Rig when I left the North Sea.

joe ninty
3rd April 2007, 02:05
Hi Joe and Tim,Clydesdale loaded grain out of Sydney sometime early 70s,returning later as the Clydebridge the owners having joined the Seabridge consortium.Similarly the Oratava was re-named Oratava Bridge..Regards...Greg Hughes

Hi Greg. We would have passsed in the night I paid off in Ugoslavia in 1970 and did a bit of coasting until I left for OZ in 71, still here today Regards Joe

duquesa
4th April 2007, 22:47
Anyone remember a chap called John Pickles. Apprentice with the company possibly back in the late 50's/60's. Fell down a hold on one of the meat ships and took a nasty bang on the head. I think he may have drifted into the Offshore side of things later on.

marinero
5th April 2007, 12:04
Anyone remember a chap called John Pickles. Apprentice with the company possibly back in the late 50's/60's. Fell down a hold on one of the meat ships and took a nasty bang on the head. I think he may have drifted into the Offshore side of things later on.
Hi Duquesa.
I remember John quite well having worked with him Offshore. I think he went with a French outfit who were looking for a merger with the Offshore side of things. He still has a steel plate in his head from his accident.
Regards
Leo(Thumb)

duquesa
5th April 2007, 12:46
Marinero, thanks. I knew him quite well on a personal basis and stayed with his family in London years ago. I also visited him when he lived at Downderry in Cornwell but somehow, as often happens, I totally lost touch. Hope he is OK.

Tom Devaney
5th April 2007, 14:03
Hi Ian, I did my first trip on the Queensbury,1964 as galley boy and two trips on the Tenbury as A.B

JohnMac068
5th April 2007, 15:46
Anyone remember a chap called John Pickles. Apprentice with the company possibly back in the late 50's/60's. Fell down a hold on one of the meat ships and took a nasty bang on the head. I think he may have drifted into the Offshore side of things later on.

John moved to Aberdeen, Scotland, from the London Office as Houlder Offshore's Safety Officer, covering the HO vessels and the HMD drilling rigs, he was based at HMD's office at Bridge of Don. At one time there was a tentative arrangement with a French Drilling Company, Forasol-Foramer, which operated worldwide, they were impressed with John Pickles, and offered him a job in their Paris office as Marine Super, which he took, he was still there in the early 90's, although I think that they changed their name, as most of these offshore companies seem to do.

stan mayes
19th May 2007, 23:02
SAMPEP was a Liberty ship managed by Houlder Bros .
The Master was Captain Smail OBE,well deserved - and Chief Officer was Mr Allerton known as Black Jack and aptly so.. To hell with the painting,smother everything in grease..He was a very competent officer and our work was in constantly maintaining the derrick gear as it was in use every day..
My time in the ship was 4th October to 6th December 1945 and we were engaged in returning army tanks and vehicles from Antwerp to Tilbury..
Mid November,a strike by Tilbury dockers caused our ship to be diverted to the Tyne.. Berthed on Newcastle Quay during a heavy rainfall we began topping the derricks..An accident occurred while topping a derrick at No 5 and it resulted in the Bosun losing his left leg...
Liberty ships had badly designed cargo winches with a single lever for hoist and lower and operation of it could easily be misjudged..In this sad incident the rope topping lift was on a drum end and the derrick was being raised ,but when the driver put the lever in the stop position he passed it and went into lower this resulted in the topping lift coming off the drum end and it encircled his leg .As the derrick came down the rope surged around the Bosuns leg and severed it ..
Many shipowners bought Liberty ships after the war and soon replaced the winches..
Arriving in Antwerp 6th December I was taken off the ship to a British Military hospital,I had pleurisy..On 23rd Dec. I discharged myself,stayed overnight in a seamens mission and next morning I went to British army barracks and hitched a lift to Ostend in an army truck..I boarded the ST JULIEN a small troopship,showed the Chief Officer my Discharge Book and told him my story and he took me to the galley and asked the Cook to give me a meal..
I arrived at my home in Grays late Christmas Eve...
SAMPEP with Captain Smail was MT1 ,the Commodore ship of the first convoy ETM1 to arrive at Juno beach head Normandy at 7am 7th June 1944...
Does any member of SN know of Captain Smail's career? I do recall being told he had performed heroic deeds during the sinking of a Houlders ship in WW2...
In 1948 SAMPEP was returned to the US Government and laid up in reserve for 21 years then broken up at Portland in 1961...

non descript
19th May 2007, 23:33
Stan,

That is some story, well done and most impressive and thank you for sharing it with us.

Unfortunately I have tracked down nothing about Captain Smail and you clearly have much more information than I do on this 1943 Liberty Ship, built as Victor E Lawson.

I see that in 1947 she was seriously damaged by fire at Port Alberni, and then in 1948 she ceased to be manged by Houlders and was returned by MOWT to USA control, which tiny bits of information frankly only go to show that your knowledge exceeds mine by far. (Thumb)

Susan Randall
21st May 2007, 17:05
Dear all,

I have just found out that my Dad worked for Houlder Bros in the late 1950s and I would love to hear from anyone who has any information about him or knew him then.
His name is Ian Randall.
Sadly he died in 1969 (when I was 2½).

Thanks in advance.
Susan

non descript
21st May 2007, 17:57
Susan,

Firstly a very warm welcome to you on joining the site. I was sorry to see how early on in your life that your father passed away, life is indeed tough at times. Now for the happier news; you have arrived at very well populated site and whilst I have no personal recollection of your father, there will surely be plenty of Houlders people here who are wiser and better versed than I, so I look forward to their news. In the meantime I wish you Bon Voyage and we look forward to your news.

Transportman
24th May 2007, 20:25
Hi Ian
My uncle Frank Schultz was AB on Ocean Transport Sept 66 - Feb 67 and Hornby Grange March 67 - June 67

ian petrie
26th May 2007, 23:48
i was on houlder bros clutha river 1964 ian petrie

DaveQuinn
27th May 2007, 22:05
was onthe Oregis ,orelia oreosa and orepton mainly as 2nd steward between 1960- 63

duquesa
31st May 2007, 08:16
Susan Randall, The name Ian Randall is ringing some bell in my head. I was certainly with Houlders at that time. Perhaps if you could post his rank or a ship's name it might refresh the brain cells. Would like to help if possible.

non descript
31st May 2007, 10:13
Susan Randall, The name Ian Randall is ringing some bell in my head. I was certainly with Houlders at that time. Perhaps if you could post his rank or a ship's name it might refresh the brain cells. Would like to help if possible.

Thanks Duquesa, I am sure Susan will appreciate this and get back to us.

Susan Randall
31st May 2007, 13:58
Thanks Duquesa, I'm afraid I can't tell you very much. All I know is that he was a navigator. I've been trying to find out more about the ships he sailed on.
Not sure if a physical description would help. He was slim build, had a mop of wavy dark hair and a very distinctive large nose. He would have been 18 in 1956. He was from North Norfolk - attended Paston Grammar School (Nelson's old school) but I think he ran away from there!
Hope this helps.
Many thanks again.
Susan

duquesa
31st May 2007, 21:28
Well, the navigation end would fit as would the age, roughly. The big nose and wavy hair would have applied to many of that age in those days. It seems to me he may have been an apprentice and here is where my memory bell is ringing. So, if you can come up with anything more, let us know. Meanwhile, I'll continue to scratch the grey matter.

non descript
31st May 2007, 22:51
Duquesa, you're a good man - we will crack it for Susan yet. (Thumb)

Graham P Powell
5th June 2007, 17:01
Some extremely interesting messages about this ship. What a terrible
tragedy. One of my colleagues at Portishead radio was a Marconi shore
tech and told me that the Royston Grange had a radar blind spot caused
by a kingpost being in the way. Maybe that was the cause of the accident.
I sailed with the R/O (Jack Barter) in Royal Mail. He had been on the
South America run since 1939. He spoke fluent Spanish and had lots of friends
in BA. Another GKA colleague lost relatives in the accident who were passengers travelling back to the UK. They normally went with Blue Star....
Jack should have been Chief R/O on the Aragon but that vessel failed a
survey and Jack was demoted.
I was on the Swan River and one of the apprentices (Harry Atkin) would
talk at length about being on the "Cerinthus" and Captain Paddy Slavin
who was on one of the ore carriers. Joya Mccance I think.
rgds
Graham Powell
(Ex R/O Swan River /GBWA)

duquesa
5th June 2007, 17:32
Paddy Slevin has been mentioned elsewhere on this site, possibly on this thread. He was one of those "characters" one comes across once or twice in a lifetime. I could write a book about him and firmly believe he taught me much of what I was to put to good use later in my career.

chadders
5th June 2007, 20:03
Paddy Slevin has been mentioned elsewhere on this site, possibly on this thread. He was one of those "characters" one comes across once or twice in a lifetime. I could write a book about him and firmly believe he taught me much of what I was to put to good use later in my career.

I sailed with Paddy Slevin on the St. Margaret my first trip in 1968, quite a character always had a mug of tea. I always got to be the apprentice on the bridge in and out of port because I made the best tea!!! He was a demon for apprentices not drinking simply because he had succumbed to the demon drink but only when on leave. Harry Atkin mentioned elsewhere was third mate that trip and I can vividly remember Paddy asking him how long the war had been over, Harry replied 23 years sir to which Paddy responded "then don't you think it's about time we started running with lights on"!! Priceless and I never ever switched nav lights off at sea after that.

Martin Peat
12th June 2007, 17:32
Hello Everyone. I joined Houlders in '66 as a 3rd Eng'r on Mabel Warwick,then Abadesa with her Crossley generators of ill fame.Tommy Stephenson -2nd Eng and Haagensen C/Eng Had a great trip.Then "OROTAVA" came next,standing by in Sunderland during build.The C/Eng'r was one of the finest men I sailed with -Frank Evamy,a gentleman of the first order and one of the best Eng'rs ever. We had a J-Type Doxford and the Yard was Thomson's.We went unmanned early in the maiden yoyage but had a near miss when a RUBBER joint blew out of the hot fuel oil line at night-I found it during an alarm at 3 a.m.! What a near miss!!!-Humboldt came next with Bob Kirby,Harry Ferguson and the C/Eng was Jeff Appleton(I believe he had an accident on a ship afterwards.)?After 3 trips and '70- Sagamore and then the much-loved Shaftesbury ,from 08/71-'06/72 as 2nd Eng'r with Arnold Hamer(Dr Diesel)as C/Eng-sadly now passed away. Took my wife with me on Honeymoon trip and had a great time. Left with much regret to join Geest Line and others for short-er trips. Fabulous time and great men and ships-An Institution and sadly missed. Tom woolcott (eccentric but great Master) on Humboldt and Sid Rowlands C/E are all missed but never forgotten.Martin Peat

non descript
12th June 2007, 18:11
Martin, as that was your first posting, may I extend a warm welcome to you. Enjoy the Site and all it has to offer, there's plenty of Houlders' Fun on here and I would agree with the many comments you have made. Tom was indeed just as you describe.(Jester)

Larry Dev
12th June 2007, 19:51
Query, I had a relative who sailed on Houlders as Bosun (Matty Devereux). He was hospitalised in Finland in 1974 from either the Sagamoor or the Edenmoor, he died in Helsinki on boxing day 1974.
Other vessels he sailed were, Carato, Clymene, Cumbrae, Humbolt and others. He was very proud to be part of Houlder Bros, although he sailed with many shipping companies it was Houlders that he always talked about.
Larry

non descript
12th June 2007, 19:59
Larry, I am sorry to hear that about your friend, but I'm glad he enjoyed and thought well of Houlders. - The ships you mention: Corato, Clymene, Cumbria, Humbolt were all fine ladies and surely someone on here will have a comment about Matty Devereux.
Kind regards
Mark

Martin Peat
12th June 2007, 22:42
Hi Larry we had a bosun on Humboldt I can't rember his name .was Matty from Belgium? Martin

mattpolo
13th June 2007, 12:10
Can any body help me search my family history. My surname is Houlders and I was told my family was in the shipping industry. Can any body provide me with information as I am a little confused? As both Houlder and Houlders keep being mentioned. Was these 2 different companies? Please help me

Bruce Carson
13th June 2007, 12:19
Welcome onboard Mattpolo.
If you're interested in any facet of things maritime, this is the place to be.
Enjoy the postings and the camaraderie found on the site.
Houlder and Houlders, as used in this thread, are used interchangeably.
The family name of the founders was Houlder, without an "S".

Bruce C

mattpolo
13th June 2007, 12:23
so the shipping company was Houlder, however,it was refered to as Houlders?

non descript
13th June 2007, 12:43
so the shipping company was Houlder, however,it was refered to as Houlders?

Houlder Brothers and Houlders are one and the same; to be wholly frank I have no idea how the name “Houlders” came into being and whilst I have as a watch word “Beware of fake etymology” it is possible that as Houlder Brothers as a company was sub-divided into a whole host of Companies, Ore Carries Ltd., Alexander Shipping, Houlder Line, Gaz Ocean, Empire Transport to name but a few, that it was a useful collective noun.

Bruce Carson
13th June 2007, 12:43
so the shipping company was Houlder, however,it was refered to as Houlders?
You have it, Mattpolo.
The company was known as Houlder Bros. & Company, Ltd. as the title of this thread would suggest.
In making a general reference to a well known shipping company or shipbuilders, many of us on the forum add an "S" and drop the description of the company.
Houlders, a shortened form of the Houlder Line or Houlder Bros. Fairfields instead of Fairfield Shipbuilding & Engineering. etc., etc.
The company was founded in 1849 by Edwin Savory Houlder as E. S. Houlder & Co. Later, a brother joined and the company was reconstituted as Houlder Bros.

Bruce C

non descript
13th June 2007, 13:02
Bruce has given a much better and well worded reply and indeed it seems a curiosity of the English Language that we opt to pluralise certain names and not others; the list would include:
Everards – officially Everard
Denholms – officially Denholm
Hadleys – officially Hadley
Trinders – officallly Trinder
But not Watts ….. as in Watts Watts (Jester)

K urgess
13th June 2007, 13:40
Strictly speaking shouldn't it be Houlder's. [=P]
As in "One of Houlder's ships".

Kris

mattpolo
13th June 2007, 14:14
Thank you all very much for helping me with this information. I will still keep trying to find out where the name Houlders can from.

Thanks again

Larry Dev
14th June 2007, 19:33
Hi Martin.
No Matty Devereux was not Belgian, he was about 6ft medium build with a beard. he was on the Humbolt about 1972, exact date I do not have.
Some years ago when having a safety survey carried out, it was done by Captain Ferguson ex Houlders as we were having a general chat, he knew Matty quite well. If I remember correctly he may have been the last Master Matty sailed with, he certainly knew about his hospitalisation in Finland and subsequent death.
Maybe he was in Houlders office on a shore assingment, he certainly was aware of Matty,s situation to the end. Matty,s problem was he had a tooth extracted about a week prior to joining his last vessel, apparently there was an abcess present which caused extensive blood poisioning, causing multi organ failure. Larry

marinero
14th June 2007, 19:49
Hello Everyone. I joined Houlders in '66 as a 3rd Eng'r on Mabel Warwick,then Abadesa with her Crossley generators of ill fame.Tommy Stephenson -2nd Eng and Haagensen C/Eng Had a great trip.Then "OROTAVA" came next,standing by in Sunderland during build.The C/Eng'r was one of the finest men I sailed with -Frank Evamy,a gentleman of the first order and one of the best Eng'rs ever. We had a J-Type Doxford and the Yard was Thomson's.We went unmanned early in the maiden yoyage but had a near miss when a RUBBER joint blew out of the hot fuel oil line at night-I found it during an alarm at 3 a.m.! What a near miss!!!-Humboldt came next with Bob Kirby,Harry Ferguson and the C/Eng was Jeff Appleton(I believe he had an accident on a ship afterwards.)?After 3 trips and '70- Sagamore and then the much-loved Shaftesbury ,from 08/71-'06/72 as 2nd Eng'r with Arnold Hamer(Dr Diesel)as C/Eng-sadly now passed away. Took my wife with me on Honeymoon trip and had a great time. Left with much regret to join Geest Line and others for short-er trips. Fabulous time and great men and ships-An Institution and sadly missed. Tom woolcott (eccentric but great Master) on Humboldt and Sid Rowlands C/E are all missed but never forgotten.Martin Peat

Hi Martin.
I remember Frank Evamy as an Eng. Supt. with Houlders. The last I heard of him he had taken over a Post Office in the countryside although I know not where. Tom Woolcott, as you say marvelous chap and as daft as a brush. Everyone on board the Cavendish thought the world of him.
Regards(Thumb)

Martin Peat
15th June 2007, 23:39
Hi Marinero, I am the same age as you and maybe our paths crossed or nearly,in those days? Tom Woolcott was a gem. I can certainly tell some stories about him and Sid Rowlands. One day Tom was going on leave from the Humboldt at Panama and Sid went in to his cabin to check on Tom's progress, as the boat had come alongside to take Tom off. Sid noticed that Tom's suitcase had socks and clothes hanging out after Tom had packed and locked it. Sid told him and Tom got a pair of scissors and cut off the offending items.When Tom returned from leave,there was a rumour that he had never unpacked his suitcase. Another time ,we were entertaining John Houlder's mother(I think) on Humbodt,in Wollongong.Tom was all dressed up in his best uniform and he made the mistake of imbibing a bit too much whilst nervously awaiting her arrival. During the conversation,Tom fell asleep,mid sentence!!! He was standing by a ship in dry-dock in Winter,in the N.East and when he got on board,someone pointed to his brilliant green,socks sticking out from his uniform trousers.He had got his pyjamas on under his uniform,GREAT DAYS (and men)- Martin.

Martin Peat
15th June 2007, 23:52
I was on Humboldt from Feb' '68---July,'70,so missed Matty Devereux-a terrible tragedy!!! One of my best mates at the time was Bob Kirby- a great ship mate and a real laugh!!! He was 3rd Eng'r a the time and he had come up from being Electrician--Bob went on to become Chief Engineer afterwards. I lost contact with him after I left Houlders. Bob came from Hull and I often wonder what became of him? Martin

marinero
17th June 2007, 17:55
Hi Martin.
I'm sure our paths must have crossed. I was on "Humboldt" from Aug 80 - April 82 with time of for leave you understand. Also:- Abadesa 62, Hardwicke Grange 63-65,Bidford Priory,Royston Grange,Joya McCance,Oremina,Ocean Transport,Cavendish,Tenbury,Cumbria,Furness Bridge(nearly 2 Years)Elstree Grange,Ironbridge,Manchester Challange,Abbey,Longbow(Guided Missile Test Barge) Then just about every Houlder related vessel & Rig in the North Sea. Worked in Aberdeen Office for a while and Personnel Dept. in Leadenhall Street.(commuted from Newcastle every week, enjoyed that!) Took early retirement in 99.
Regards(Thumb)

chadders
18th June 2007, 20:14
Hello Everyone. I joined Houlders in '66 as a 3rd Eng'r on Mabel Warwick,then Abadesa with her Crossley generators of ill fame.Tommy Stephenson -2nd Eng and Haagensen C/Eng Had a great trip.Then "OROTAVA" came next,standing by in Sunderland during build.The C/Eng'r was one of the finest men I sailed with -Frank Evamy,a gentleman of the first order and one of the best Eng'rs ever. We had a J-Type Doxford and the Yard was Thomson's.We went unmanned early in the maiden yoyage but had a near miss when a RUBBER joint blew out of the hot fuel oil line at night-I found it during an alarm at 3 a.m.! What a near miss!!!-Humboldt came next with Bob Kirby,Harry Ferguson and the C/Eng was Jeff Appleton(I believe he had an accident on a ship afterwards.)?After 3 trips and '70- Sagamore and then the much-loved Shaftesbury ,from 08/71-'06/72 as 2nd Eng'r with Arnold Hamer(Dr Diesel)as C/Eng-sadly now passed away. Took my wife with me on Honeymoon trip and had a great time. Left with much regret to join Geest Line and others for short-er trips. Fabulous time and great men and ships-An Institution and sadly missed. Tom woolcott (eccentric but great Master) on Humboldt and Sid Rowlands C/E are all missed but never forgotten.Martin Peat

Hi Martin,
I remember you I was Third Mate on the Shaftesbury from Dec '71 until she was sold in August '72 great times. I remember Dr. Diesel and sailed with him again in '75/76 on the Ocean Transport. Old man first trip was Foxy Fowler, then Sexy Rexy Leach and finally for the last voyage John Jacques now there was a Master!! The trip to Central America was if a I remember quite an intersting one. I'm sure you'll find a lot of old shipmates in both senses of the word on here.

non descript
18th June 2007, 22:11
Mention of the fine ship Ocean Transport made me do a search to find what if any pictures we have, and we do at least have one picture of her on the Site - she appears here (http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/12429/si/ocean%20transport/what/allfields)

Martin Peat
18th June 2007, 22:49
Hi Derek, The trip to Central America certainly was an eventful one.I don't know if the Old Man actually knew how eventful it could have turned out to be!!! The auxy diesel generator engines had been so badly neglected on the previous voyage before I joined as 2nd/Eng. We were given 3 new cranksafts to fit during the trip across to Central America and I was on day-work to do the job.We had an extra 3rd Eng'r (A VERY loose term)The two 3rd's went on the pop at Sea and were useless. At any time we were so short of generators that we were in imminent danger of having NO POWER at all. We got by on a "wing and a prayer" How we made it I will never know!! at the end of the trip we sacked 3 Engineers and before I joined, the previous Chief Eng'r was demoted, for his part in the neglect of the ship's Engine Room.
I loved it all. regards Martin

Martin Peat
18th June 2007, 22:55
Hi Martin.
I'm sure our paths must have crossed. I was on "Humboldt" from Aug 80 - April 82 with time of for leave you understand. Also:- Abadesa 62, Hardwicke Grange 63-65,Bidford Priory,Royston Grange,Joya McCance,Oremina,Ocean Transport,Cavendish,Tenbury,Cumbria,Furness Bridge(nearly 2 Years)Elstree Grange,Ironbridge,Manchester Challange,Abbey,Longbow(Guided Missile Test Barge) Then just about every Houlder related vessel & Rig in the North Sea. Worked in Aberdeen Office for a while and Personnel Dept. in Leadenhall Street.(commuted from Newcastle every week, enjoyed that!) Took early retirement in 99.
Regards(Thumb)

Hi Marinero, I was on Humboldt long before you were there and on Abadesa March '67-Oct' '67 So it looks as though we never met? Have you any idea what happened to Jeff Appleton,who was C/Eng'r on Humboldt? What is your name and what were you on the ships? You can PM me if you don't want to reveal your ID,on the forum. regards Martin

Richard Nicholson
24th June 2007, 09:55
Hi Everyone

Firstly, very new to this sort of thing but thought I would give it a go. I am the son of a merchant seaman, Derek Nicholson, who was ship's carpenter (also petty officer) on SS Thorpe Grange and SS Ovingdean Grange during 1956 -1958. Just wondered firstly if anyone remembers him and a little about what it was like on board (and in port!) during that period. I understand it was England to South America route? Thanks for reading

non descript
24th June 2007, 10:37
Richard, first, as it is your first posting a warm welcome to you, thank you for joining the community; enjoy the site and all it has to offer and we very much look forward to your postings.

The two ships you mention were indeed on the UK to River Plate run as this was the main trade of Houlders in those years. The ships were quite different, in that Thorpe Grange was 1954 built, whereas the Ovingdean Grange was an Empire Boat, the 1942 built Empire Buckler.

non descript
24th June 2007, 10:50
Richard, to remind you of times past, I found an image for you (courtesy of Fotoflite and John Clarkson who retain the copyright)

Dinah
24th June 2007, 23:10
I served with Houlders from 1957 to 1962. 18 months on the tanker Cerinthus (Hadley Shipping Co), then 18 months on the Ledbury. 3rd Mate on the maiden voyage of the ore ship Joya McCance (Captain was Boothby who died on the Royston Grange in the collision in the River Plate in 1971). Then as 3rd mate of the Denby Grange before transferring to British & Commonwealth. Somebody was looking for a picture of the Cerinthus which I can post if I can find out who wants it.

K urgess
24th June 2007, 23:24
Welcome aboard, Dinah.
All us ex Cerinthus blokes (long after your time) can't get enough pics of the old girl so would love to see more.
Cheers
Kris

Dinah
25th June 2007, 00:13
Thanks Marconi Sahib
I'm having trouble posting the picture as I need to resize it - will do this in the next day or so. I also have good pictures of the Ledbury, Denby Grange and Joya McCance if anybody is interested. I had the pleasure of escorting Lady Joya McCance and her husband Sir Andrew McCance aboard the ship for a celebration lunch at West Hartlepool immediately prior to sailing on her maiden voyage. Sir Andrew McCance was chairman of BISCO at that time (British Iron and Steel Corporation).

By the way, my brother Hillard Blake also served in Houlder Brothers from 1952 to 1966. He served on the Charlbury, Duquesa, Hornby Grange and several of the ore boats, finally as first mate. If anybody knows him he would be very pleased to hear from you.

Terry Blake

Glen Broughton
25th June 2007, 00:25
Anyone around from Houlders, would be great to hear how you are doing.

I was in Houlders,started in Ming Ming in Sept72 and ended of all places exactly where I had started a dozen years earlier, in Ming Ming Sept 84 on the Sagamore, Ocean Transport, Brandon priory, Star Pinewood, Westbury, Cavendish, Banbury, Cumbria, Cerinthus, Oregis, Sherwood, and I guess there must have been some others.........Ah well

non descript
25th June 2007, 08:12
Terry, firstly, as it is your first day of posting a warm welcome to you, thank you for joining the community; enjoy the site and all it has to offer and we very much look forward to your postings, particuarly the photograph of "the world's favorite ship" (Jester)

Richard Nicholson
25th June 2007, 10:04
Thanks Tonga! Nice photo of Thorpe Grange as well, thanks. Richard

Dinah
27th June 2007, 00:10
Thanks, Tonga. I'm having trouble posting photographs as they are too large and I haven't found a way of reducing them.

tell
27th June 2007, 01:35
Tonga I didn't consult my discharge book i relied on my memory a big mistake,that's why i had the dates wrong, thanks for your remarks, brings back memories that are precious
Tonga I was reminiscing last night about my time on the Langton Grange and a funny happening came to mind, when we were signing on in Liverpool we were lined up in the Saloon and the coasting mate was signing us up, his name was Butler, the chap in front of me went to the table and when the mate asked his name he said Butler, the mate done a double take, so imagine my thoughts when I went up next and told him my name Butler, he thought I was taking the mickey,but it was true, anyway we were going to Hamburg later in the trip and were going through the swept channel, I was on the wheel and she was taking 2 spokes of starboard wheel and was going great, he, Butler the Mate called me out to look at the wake he said it looked like it was nailed down, straight as a die, It's funny how things can stay in your mind after all this time but it's nice to look back Tell

non descript
27th June 2007, 07:58
Tell,

Good memories, and memories are good. I checked out your profile and your comment made me smile.

Thankfully, the mind tends to remember the good times and those less pleasant memories get filed in a different part of the brain; this is very good, for then remember the flat calm water, the quiet and mug of tea at 5:30 in the morning as though it was only yesterday, but that other time, when it was Force 10 and driving rain, with the ship at rolling 23 degrees, one somehow just overlooks….

Being at ease with the wheel, and having her respond to that gentle touch every 30 seconds is something one does not forget.
(Thumb)
Mark

saltyswamp
30th June 2007, 20:58
Hi Martin.
I'm sure our paths must have crossed. I was on "Humboldt" from Aug 80 - April 82 with time of for leave you understand. Also:- Abadesa 62, Hardwicke Grange 63-65,Bidford Priory,Royston Grange,Joya McCance,Oremina,Ocean Transport,Cavendish,Tenbury,Cumbria,Furness Bridge(nearly 2 Years)Elstree Grange,Ironbridge,Manchester Challange,Abbey,Longbow(Guided Missile Test Barge) Then just about every Houlder related vessel & Rig in the North Sea. Worked in Aberdeen Office for a while and Personnel Dept. in Leadenhall Street.(commuted from Newcastle every week, enjoyed that!) Took early retirement in 99.
Regards(Thumb)

Hi Leo
Was on Humbolt sept80 to Dec 80 as 4/E and burnt the back of my hand Bo Bo was C/E and Burgess was Old Man and if I remember correctly you managed to get the price of the beer down considerebly which was appreciated all round
Regards Stuart(stew)(Pint)

marinero
1st July 2007, 13:48
Hi Leo
Was on Humbolt sept80 to Dec 80 as 4/E and burnt the back of my hand Bo Bo was C/E and Burgess was Old Man and if I remember correctly you managed to get the price of the beer down considerebly which was appreciated all round
Regards Stuart(stew)(Pint)

Hi Stew.
I remember that trip well and your accident. Bo Bo did not want to accept the report I filled in regarding your hand because as I seem to remember he was partially to blame. We had some good times on the old Humboldt. Cheap beer was always appreciated when we could get it. Where are you now and what are you up to?
Regards
Leo(Thumb)

non descript
12th August 2007, 17:47
Lieutenant-Commander 'Fairy' Filmer

From and Copyright of The Daily Telegraph -10/08/2007

The entire obituary may be found: here ( http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?view=DETAILS&grid=&xml=/news/2007/08/10/db1001.xml), but in précis ,and the reasons the details caught my eye:

Lieutenant-Commander "Fairy" Filmer, who has died aged 91, helped to sink a German cruiser in a dive-bombing attack; spent five years as a German prisoner-of-war; and later was a master of merchant ships in the South Seas.

Diving at 60 degrees from 12,000ft as part of a force of 16 Blackbird Skuas with 800 and 803 naval air squadrons on April 10 1940, he hit the German light cruiser Königsberg with a 500lb bomb, which was one of three which caught the ship in Bergen harbour, and sank her. It was, Filmer recalled, "the first time in the history of aviation that a major warship was sunk by air attack in wartime"; he was mentioned in dispatches for his daring and resource in the conduct of hazardous and successful operations.

Between April 12 and 26 Filmer flew five more sorties against German shipping and the Luftwaffe from Hatston in the Orkneys and the carrier Glorious. On the last of these he broke away from his flight of three Skuas to attack three Heinkel 111s, shooting down one but being caught by a burst of fire.

Blinded by spraying petrol and with his cockpit full of smoke, he ditched his aircraft in a fjord, but his torpedo air gunner, Petty Officer Ken Baldwin, was killed. Filmer was ever afterwards haunted by the thought that had he waited for his flight to follow, Baldwin might never have been killed.

With Norwegian help he salvaged his aircraft, and was evacuated to Tromsø in the cruiser Glasgow with King Haakon and the Norwegian gold reserves before taking a short period of survivor's leave and rejoining 803 squadron with a replacement aircraft.

His memory of meeting the Norwegian king made Filmer all the more determined when, on June 13, he was a section leader of 803, which flew from the carrier Ark Royal to make an ill-fated attack on German ships.
Cecil Howard Filmer, known as "Fairy", was born in South Africa in 1916, and in 1931 he joined the South African training ship General Botha. He was runner-up to the King's Gold Medallist for his term and appointed midshipman, RNR. After three years' apprenticeship with Houlder Brothers, a UK firm, he passed his 2nd mate's certificate and was sent to the destroyer Foresight.
Filmer spent five years as a prisoner of war, beginning in Dulag Luft, and delighted in making repeated escape attempts. Once he and five others jumped at night from a train travelling at about 25 mph, but were recaptured the next day. Another time he hid in the false bottom of a box filled with empty food tins and was carried out to a rubbish dump. While the guard was distracted, he slithered out and hid in a hut until darkness fell and walked away from the camp using the lights behind him as a navigation aid. After 10 days he reached the Danish border, where he was caught again.

He helped with the tunnel at Stalag Luft III for the Great Escape of April 1944, which led to 50 of the airmen who got away, including his Norwegian friend Halldor Espelid, being shot on Hitler's orders. After the war Filmer flew again with the Royal Navy but retired in 1958, returning to his first love, the merchant navy, and within 12 months he was master of a ship belonging to the King of Tonga.
Once, south of New Caledonia, his ship broke down, and being unwilling to be adrift in the hurricane season, Filmer made sails out of deck awnings and sailed 350 miles at four knots to a rendezvous with an Australian rescue tug. He continued for a further 16 years, based at Fiji, and sailing between Tahiti, Rarotonga, Honolulu and the Gilbert Islands, before retiring aged 69 to Durban.

"Fairy" Filmer, who died on July 15, never married. "Just as well," he said. "A wife would not have seen much of me over the years."

K urgess
12th August 2007, 18:29
A very brave man and an interesting career.
I'm sure that the journalist from the Times was not an aviation expert or he would have picked the correct name for the aircraft.
The Skua was built by Blackburn Aircraft at Brough near Hull.

Kris

sailor63
12th August 2007, 18:37
Anyone around from Houlders, would be great to hear how you are doing.
Hi Ian, I sailed on the Royston Grange one trip to B.A. in 1963. as we all know she met a terrible end outside Monty in ,72 i think. cheers, colin.K. (sailor63).

saltyswamp
15th August 2007, 22:16
Hi Anybody know the were'abouts of steve armstrong (Scouse)
thanks
stuart(Pint)

glynn gerard hewitson
17th August 2007, 22:00
hi everyone
im new to the forum .nice to have come across this site
on the web.
done two trips on the ledbury and two on the queensbury in 56 and 58
down to rio. santos. montevideo and b.a. as a galley boy and steward.
brilliant places.liverpool bar and new inn come to mind in b.a. also a.b.c.
bar in santos.loved having giant steak and chips for breakfast on way back
to ship after a night out.remember buying cowboy boots and leather jacket
in b.a.wish i was there now. well maybe one day.
anyone out there got any photos of these two ships.love to see them.(Thumb)

non descript
1st September 2007, 08:06
Welcome to you Glynn, there is a photograph of your Shaftsbury located here (http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/gallery) and the Ledbury has one shot here (http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/983/si/ledbury/what/allfields)

norsea
8th September 2007, 21:46
Hello Paul
I had the pleasure of serving with Mike as Assistant Bargemaster between 1973/75 on board Oregis. Please convey my regards to your Dad.I,like him, am still enjoying retirement (just had my 70th.but am quite happy so long as they keep coming round)
Best Wishes
Angus Davidson
p.s. Still have a photo of Mike and myself by No.2 lifeboat

dnobmal
9th September 2007, 18:24
i spent some time in Shetland in a village called Pundston and John Houlder owned or still owns a house about a quarter of a mile down the road from where I lived at the time.I visited his house once or twice and it seems he was very interested in bird-watching .About a year ago there was a contact on this site who lives in Shetland,sailed with Houlders as an engineer,he said that John Houlder still pilots himself up to Sumburgh in his plane but he cannot drive a car to where he stays. Do not know the reason why, medical probably yet he pilots a plane.Also in the same village was a former Bosun name of Andrew Barclay,who sailed with Houlders who I got to know quite well ,sorry to say I have heard he has passed away.

non descript
9th September 2007, 18:39
John Houlder’s general health is excellent for someone of 90 years of age, but his hearing is somewhat poor – this lack of hearing is no real drawback for flying, as he can just wear headphones and turn up the volume and fly with perfect safety – driving a car is a different matter and I have not seen him drive for years.

JohnMac068
10th September 2007, 16:42
John Houlder’s general health is excellent for someone of 90 years of age, but his hearing is somewhat poor – this lack of hearing is no real drawback for flying, as he can just wear headphones and turn up the volume and fly with perfect safety – driving a car is a different matter and I have not seen him drive for years.

Last time I saw him drive, was after watching the tank tests for DSV Orelia, must have been 1981/82, at Teddington, he drove a mini in those days, he took myself and Dive Superintendent Gunter Straub back into London, we were glad to get out, at the nearest Tube station ! His problem with driving, was that he had difficulty changing gear with his left arm, which had been injured during the war. I did suggest that an automatic would suit him better, but his philosophy was to have the cheapest vehicle possible, not leave anything inside it and don't lock the doors, then it would not get broken into or stolen !!!

John Lord
14th September 2007, 16:03
Hi Ian,I served my apprenticeship in Furness Houlders.1946 to 1949. Served on Princesa and then on Argentine Transport.Rgds John Lord (R350523)

non descript
14th September 2007, 23:41
John, firstly a warm welcome to you. Thank you for joining the community; enjoy the site and all it has to offer, and we very much look forward to your postings. You will hopefully find a wealth of Houlders stuff on here, as well as a wealth of other and equally useful things.

The mention of the dreaded phrase Furness-Houlder ( a name to strike dread into the heart of any Maltese Cross person ) sent a shiver up my spine (Jester) , but I can see your point, for the first ship you mention, Princesa, was owned by a company called Furness-Houlder Argentine Lines Ltd., and the Argentine Transport was owned by Empire Transport Company Ltd. Thankfully they were both managed by Houlder Brothers. Of the two ships, the former was built for Houlders and remained in the fleet from 1918 until 1949 when she was scrapped; the latter was built in 1944 as the Samtyne, aquired by Houlders in 1947 and sold in 1958 – re-named Archandros, sold again in 1967 and re-named Zephyr and scrapped in 1968.

jgazzard
19th September 2007, 22:35
I sailed with Nobby Clark from Aberdeen on the Corato from March 56 to January 57.
He was third then second mate. The original second mate was George Sutcliffe.
Master was R.J,.Stephens, the mate Frank Richards (paid off sick in Columbo), that's why everyone moved up one spot.
The senior apprentice was Derek Barnd and he moved up to third mate.
Hope this info adds to yuor search.

Regards John

jgazzard
19th September 2007, 22:37
Andy Barclay was lamptrimmer on the Duquesa in 58 when I was there.
Hav no idea what happened to him after that.

Regards john

jgazzard
19th September 2007, 22:42
Did two trips in the Langton in 56.
Master for the first trip was Charlie Belton (the Duke of Wimbledon) and the second was Roy Faulkner who was the regular master of the ship.
Mate was George Sutcliffe and the second Mate Pete Charman.

Regards John

non descript
19th September 2007, 22:49
Did two trips in the Langton in 56.
Master for the first trip was Charlie Belton (the Duke of Wimbledon) and the second was Roy Faulkner who was the regular master of the ship.
Mate was George Sutcliffe and the second Mate Pete Charman.

Regards John

John

Charlie Belton was certainly unique, he also had a most charming wife who appears to have been the butt of endless jokes, but by all accounts took them in good part.

I had not realised that he came from that heart of the Maritime World, Wimbledon. - I believe that one of his many brothers was a Captain with Sun Tugs

Regards Mark

jgazzard
19th September 2007, 23:30
Monket I also joined the Condesa in Bordeaux in March 62.
The full story of that eprisode was that she was due to be scrapped and had one final cargo of oranges from South Africa. Some of these were discharged in France where she was inspected by some blokes and chartered on a monthly rate to sit in Bordeaux storing some 4000 tons of cow beef.
The reason for this was that the refrigerated storage at a big American transit base in Biordeaux was being expanded so they needed the meat out of the way while they did this work. The anticipated time for this job was 3 months.
For some reason, they did the job but did not put the meat back into storage but kept it in Condesa for 22 months.
Finally, the cargo was sold to the Spanish government and delivered to Valencia, Alicante, Cadiz and Santander. then we went to Gibraltar where excess fuel was discharged and then on to Spezia where she was to be scrapped.
The master for this trip was Denis Parkin and the mate Norman Trevethan. I was second mate. I am having a blonde moment as I cannot remember who else sailed on that trip.
Many of the crew were shipped home by rail from Santander and a small number of us finished the trip to Spezia and then flew home.

Regards John

jgazzard
19th September 2007, 23:43
The Butler you speak of may have been a character who, for years, was relieving mate on the meat ships when they came into London in the 50's.
He had a voice like a foghorn but knew every rivet of those shios.
He had been mate on the Rippingham Grange during the second world war however he never went beyond mate as, rumour has it that he beat up an examiner during orals when they got into a dispute about something or other. I have no idea whether this is true or not but, given his personality, it may well be.

Regards John

Lefty
20th September 2007, 00:11
John

Charlie Belton was certainly unique, he also had a most charming wife who appears to have been the butt of endless jokes, but by all accounts took them in good part.

I had not realised that he came from that heart of the Maritime World, Wimbledon. - I believe that one of his many brothers was a Captain with Sun Tugs

Regards Mark

Hi Tonga, He lived at Farnham when I sailed 2/o with him on the Queensbury back in 1960's. He was the Master I wrongly named in prev. corres. ref Head! Howard

jgazzard
22nd September 2007, 05:47
SAMPEP was a Liberty ship managed by Houlder Bros .
The Master was Captain Smail OBE,well deserved - and Chief Officer was Mr Allerton known as Black Jack and aptly so.. To hell with the painting,smother everything in grease..He was a very competent officer and our work was in constantly maintaining the derrick gear as it was in use every day..
My time in the ship was 4th October to 6th December 1945 and we were engaged in returning army tanks and vehicles from Antwerp to Tilbury..
Mid November,a strike by Tilbury dockers caused our ship to be diverted to the Tyne.. Berthed on Newcastle Quay during a heavy rainfall we began topping the derricks..An accident occurred while topping a derrick at No 5 and it resulted in the Bosun losing his left leg...
Liberty ships had badly designed cargo winches with a single lever for hoist and lower and operation of it could easily be misjudged..In this sad incident the rope topping lift was on a drum end and the derrick was being raised ,but when the driver put the lever in the stop position he passed it and went into lower this resulted in the topping lift coming off the drum end and it encircled his leg .As the derrick came down the rope surged around the Bosuns leg and severed it ..
Many shipowners bought Liberty ships after the war and soon replaced the winches..
Arriving in Antwerp 6th December I was taken off the ship to a British Military hospital,I had pleurisy..On 23rd Dec. I discharged myself,stayed overnight in a seamens mission and next morning I went to British army barracks and hitched a lift to Ostend in an army truck..I boarded the ST JULIEN a small troopship,showed the Chief Officer my Discharge Book and told him my story and he took me to the galley and asked the Cook to give me a meal..
I arrived at my home in Grays late Christmas Eve...
SAMPEP with Captain Smail was MT1 ,the Commodore ship of the first convoy ETM1 to arrive at Juno beach head Normandy at 7am 7th June 1944...
Does any member of SN know of Captain Smail's career? I do recall being told he had performed heroic deeds during the sinking of a Houlders ship in WW2...
In 1948 SAMPEP was returned to the US Government and laid up in reserve for 21 years then broken up at Portland in 1961...

Stan Mayes asks what became of Capt Walter Smail.

Part of the story is contained in the very informative book "Furness-Houlder Lines by Norman L Middlemiss(1991).
I quote from the segment covering the second world war.
Speaking of the action of the El Argentino (Capt Freddie Kent0 when she was bombed and sunk, Middelmiss states -
"... one crew member diedin the bombing but the other 77 were rescued - iincluding an engineer called Mallinswho had been torpedoed 8 times in WW 1 and 3 times in WW, two of these in the tanker Imperial Transport. Capt W. Smail was in command of this tanker on the first occasion when she left Scapa Flow for Trinidad on the 20th of February 1940 and she was struck by a torpedo on the following day, breaking in two in less than 5 minutes. All of the officers who were berthed amidships were able to get on the stern half before she broke in two. The crew took to the boats but reboarded the stern half the next day. The engines were restarted and the stern half was steamed head first until some 130 miles w of Cape Wrath. The master and the crew were advised to board a destroyer as a gale was forecast and they were landed at Scapa Flow. The stern half was later towed in and beached at Kilchattan Bay, Bute. A new forepart was built at Greenock and the two halves were joined in the Elderslie Dry Dock.
The Imperial Transport was again torpedoed on 25th March 1942 while on a voyage from the Tyne to Curacao in convoy E of Newfoundland. She took a heavy list to port and appeared to be sinking - all of the crew abandoned the ship and were picked up by a Free French corvette. As the ship did not sink a skeleton crew of 6 together with 8 men from a British corvette reboarded and managed to start auxilliary machinery the next day. The main engine was started and they arrived in St John's on the 29th.
The Imperial transport survived the rest of thewar , was sold to Norwegian interests in 1947 and broken up in 1958

Walter Smail was awarded the OBE as was (I believe) the Chief Engineer Charlie Swanbrough though there is no mention of this in the Middlemiss book.

When I was apprentice in the Duquesa in 1959, Capt Smail was master and Charlie Swanbrough (a cricket nut) was Chief.
I say he was a cricket nut because if you went on watch at 4 in the morning he was up listening to the test match from Australia or wherever and would bound out to meet you and provide a blow by blow descriuption of the game to date complete with score etc. A very nice man.

I believe that Capt Smail retired shortly after this but Ii did see Charlie Swanbrough one last time when I was in an ore carrirer around 1962. He had become a superintendent and visited the ship in Irlam. He also gave my wife a lift to the railweay station. As I said, a very nice man.

Regards John

Mick quinn
23rd November 2007, 21:57
Hi Ian

Sailed with Houlders for much of my sea time on Oregis 6/71 to 9/71, Camarina 10/71 to 2/72, Tenbury 3/72 to 8/72, Sagamore 11/72 to 12/72, Clymene 1/73 to 7/73, Westbury 12/73 to 2/74 and Clerk Maxwell 3/74 to 6/74. Memory going a bit nowadays but if I can help I will with info. Cannot supply any photos as scanner knackered.

Tony money
10th December 2007, 19:52
Sailed as Lecky on the Queensbury 11/65 to 10/66.

stan mayes
10th December 2007, 22:59
Hi John,
Thankyou for your reply to my query regarding Captain W.Smail,I had heard of the incidents concerning IMPERIAL TRANSPORT but unaware of Captain Smails involvement in them..he was well deserving of recognition..
I believe John Dancy of the TURMOIL and FLYING ENTERPRISE saga was Chief Mate of IMPERIAL TRANSPORT during the 1950s.
Regards _ Stan.

non descript
10th December 2007, 23:20
Stan, I have the Mate of the Turmoil down as a Mr Ken Dancy - he was a Falmouth man; it could be the same person as your John Dancy, but I am not confident.
(Thumb)
Mark

ChrisCampbell
16th December 2007, 10:49
Was with Houlders from 69 to 83 - Sailed on most of the gas boats - would be great to hear form anyone who can remeber me

We have a reunion i Hull every september

Regards Chris

NINJA
16th December 2007, 11:17
Hello Chris,

Does Bob Kirby from Hull attend these reunions, sailed with him a couple of times on the gas tankers.

Regards

Ninja.

non descript
16th December 2007, 13:15
Hello Chris, a warm welcome to you. Thank you for joining the community; enjoy the site and all it has to offer, you wil find quite a few Firey Kippers on here; we very much look forward to your postings in due course. Bon Voyage.

norsea
18th December 2007, 22:52
Sailed on Avogadro as 1st Mate 23-3 to 28-7/65. under Capt.J.D.H.Glover and Capt.T.W.V.(Tom)Woolcott. The "Fiery Kipper" was then known as "Daphne the Delectable Dolphin". Regards and a very Happy Christmas and peaceful New Year to all Members

non descript
18th December 2007, 23:05
Norsea, wow, that was in the very early days of the gas boats and a time when one could get away with all sorts of fun (particularly on a Pressure Ship). - I think Daphne is a much nicer title than Kipper (Applause)

ChrisCampbell
21st December 2007, 09:04
Hello Chris,

Does Bob Kirby from Hull attend these reunions, sailed with him a couple of times on the gas tankers.

Regards

Ninja.
Hi Ninja
Sorry no never bumped into Bob, Ian Wilson, (now departed god bless him)
Jo Wilson, John Clark, Maurice Vitie, Steve Cooper,Steve Jeffrey, Steve Gudgeon, Davy Pike and Mick Bartle to name but a few hpoe this maybe jogs some of the old brain cells
Regards Chris

ALAN TYLER
29th December 2007, 12:22
Hi Tim, only Mate I know from Fleetwood was Derek Brand, he later went into the Offshore side of Houlders, was Master of the HTS Coupler 1 (Oregis) then went on to be Bargemaster on the Kingsnorth Drilling Rigs.

ALSO FROM FLEETWOOD JOHN ROGERS & HARRY FARRAR BOTH WORKED ON THE OREGIS IN THE 70s(Thumb)

Geoff of Hull
30th December 2007, 23:26
Hello Chris I was surprised to hear that there is a get together in Hull if you can let me know were I can find out where the next social is..would be very interested as I met up with Jo Wilson whilst on the Tees a few years ago and talked of our exploits on the " Black Max"..Also I stopped with Colm Clair in Wexford quite a few years ago he ended up master on the Stena high speed job to Ireland I believe.
I still work with a fair few lads who came up through Houlders and will pass any info through to them...

janathull
31st December 2007, 07:08
I know Barry Hatfield from Hull who was engineer with Houlder bros. If you let me have the details of the reunions I will pass it on to him. He retired last year as chief on the stand by boats. Cheers Jan.

JohnMac068
31st December 2007, 15:23
ALSO FROM FLEETWOOD JOHN ROGERS & HARRY FARRAR BOTH WORKED ON THE OREGIS IN THE 70s(Thumb)

By Mate, I meant 1st.Mate, but it is quite true that John Rogers and Harry Farrer, who were ex-Fleetwood fishermen, served as back to back Third Mates on the Oregis in the 70's, up until the day she left the Tyne for the Spanish breakers. Both now desceased unfortunately. Other Fleetwood folk on there, were Stan Baker, Carpenter, and an AB/Roughneck by the name of Green, can't remember his Christian name.

merrymagpie
2nd January 2008, 13:25
Sailed with Houlders (and then Furness Withy) from Feb 73
until I left the Ironbridge as Chief Officer in Feb 91.Sailed on a good variety of vessels from Edenmore to Stolt boats, Gasboats, Product tankers, Bulkers and Container vessels (and the Barge Longbow firing Sea Wolf missiles- where was the Joule when you needed her!!)
Left to become Assitant Harbourmaster with the Tees & Hartlepool Port Authority (now PD Ports).Recognise quite a few names on this forum and would be good to hear how you are all getting on.As Chris Campbell has mentioned we have a reunion in Hull in September, which started as our Second Mates course reunion and now seems to be more and more like a Houlders get together (must be the beer).
Still in touch with Dick Whistler, Tony Yeates, Lol Ashforth, Phil Newman and Colin Jackson. Joe Wilson and Steve Rathbone are both Pilots on the Tees. Sad to have to report friend and neighbour Dave Dawson (engineer) died four or five years back

Mike Bartle

non descript
2nd January 2008, 14:05
Mike, a warm welcome to you. Thank you for joining the community and we will do our best to overlook the fact that you mentioned the other company. (Jester) I am sure will find plenty of kindred spirits on here. Enjoy the site and all it has to offer, and we very much look forward to your postings in due course. Bon Voyage

saltyswamp
5th January 2008, 19:43
Was with Houlders from 69 to 83 - Sailed on most of the gas boats - would be great to hear form anyone who can remeber me

We have a reunion i Hull every september

Regards Chris

Yes chris we remember you first came across you on the Tenbury then the gaz boats then the upwey and finally Abbey , wellcome to the mad world of x salty sea dogs
stuart(Pint)

ChrisCampbell
11th January 2008, 22:27
Hi Stuart
The old brain cells must be playing you up , Never sailed on the Abbey but you are right about the rest
Chris

John Campbell
12th January 2008, 09:41
Last night I chanced to meet an ex Houlder Master, Capt Eddie Hutchison and I told him of the excellent SN site. Sadly Eddie is not into Computers and cannot partake in your interesting thread. However Eddie did wish me to pass on his kind regards to his friends in Houlders and to say that both he and his wife are alive and well and enjoying life in Aberdeen
JC

non descript
12th January 2008, 09:58
JC,
Please pass my best to Eddie Hutchison, I remember him as a very decent man indeed and I am delighted to hear that he is well and enjoying life.
(Thumb)
Mark

marinero
12th January 2008, 10:59
Last night I chanced to meet an ex Houlder Master, Capt Eddie Hutchison and I told him of the excellent SN site. Sadly Eddie is not into Computers and cannot partake in your interesting thread. However Eddie did wish me to pass on his kind regards to his friends in Houlders and to say that both he and his wife are alive and well and enjoying life in Aberdeen
JC

Hi John.
If you see Capt. Hutchison again please pass on my regards from someone who did workbys with him on the "Hardwicke Grange" in the 60's.
Regards
Leo Hannan(Thumb)

John Campbell
12th January 2008, 20:44
Tonga and Marinero - will do. I served with Eddie in Caltex and he was a first rate seaman from the Isle of Whalsy in Shetland. He ended his sea career as a respected examiner of Master's and Mates in DOT in Aberdeen.
JC

non descript
12th January 2008, 21:33
Tonga and Marinero - will do. I served with Eddie in Caltex and he was a first rate seaman from the Isle of Whalsy in Shetland. He ended his sea career as a respected examiner of Master's and Mates in DOT in Aberdeen.
JC


JC
Thanks, I remember him as a being from Shetland, but never remembered which Isle; he would have made an outstanding examiner - quiet and very dedicated man, those that came before him would have been well cared for.
(Thumb)

saltyswamp
12th January 2008, 21:46
Hi Stuart
The old brain cells must be playing you up , Never sailed on the Abbey but you are right about the rest
Chris

Hi Chris
I Must be cracking up, you missed a good'un with the Abbey though.

stuart

failed apprentice
12th January 2008, 22:13
I only spent a year with Houlders as a deck cadet in 1974. I sailed on the Cumbria and Clymene. In those days it was a 2 week induction course then about 9 months at sea followed by a further 4 months at college. I was quite happy at sea but the thought of 4 months at Greenhithe was too long and in the impetuosness of youth I decided to leave when I was offered a job in London.

Names I can recall are few. There was a Captain Spong on one boat. The person who was in charge of cadets at Leadenhall St was a Mr Ling. My best friend was an enginerering cadet from Hawick who I think was called Fraser. A third mate was from Morecambe (Andy Gray?).

I was one of three Falmouth boys who joined Houlders at the same time as deck cadets. The others were Peter May and Michael Rowe both of who completed their apprenticeship.

Malcolm Rolling

duquesa
12th January 2008, 22:36
Last saw Peter May sailing as 2/0 on the Harwich based train ferries around 1970.

failed apprentice
12th January 2008, 22:42
Last saw Peter May sailing as 2/0 on the Harwich based train ferries around 1970.

must be a different Peter May...he started his apprenticeship with me in 1974! I did hear he went to everards after completing it but dont know if that is true or not

non descript
13th January 2008, 08:36
Malcolm, The Cumbria was a very good ship, as was the Clymene - on the former you had luckily just missed the grounding through incompetence in 1973 and looking at the dates, you must have been towards the end of the Clymene's days in the fleet, albeit she was a year away from the breakers yard.
(Thumb)

duquesa
13th January 2008, 10:19
Yep, you are clearly right. I think it was Richard May I was referring to. Brain is struggling nowadays.

failed apprentice
13th January 2008, 16:03
Malcolm, The Cumbria was a very good ship, as was the Clymene - on the former you had luckily just missed the grounding through incompetence in 1973 and looking at the dates, you must have been towards the end of the Clymene's days in the fleet, albeit she was a year away from the breakers yard.
(Thumb)

Yes heard the story of the grounding. I joined her in Emden and I think we were a totally new crew and within 20 mins of arriving we had to shift ship. From Emden we went to oxelosund to load iron ore and back to Emden. Then to scezin and swinouski in Poland to load coal which we discharged in Le Harve. The across the atlantic to Mobile and Davent Louisiana whwere we loaded coal thru Panama to Japan for discharge. I think it was while we were there that someone noticed one of our propeller blades wasnt complete. It was considered that this was a late consequence of the grounding. A balancing piece was cut out the opposite blade and we went to another port for drydocking and repair. Then we went to Vancouver to load coal again and back to Japan where I paid off but as there had been a storm I couldnt fly out for a week. Lovely ...a weeks paid holiday.

I had about 2 months at home and then was told to join Clymene in Singapore. I was overjoyed (except for having to get my hair cut off) as I knew from the famous blue sheets it went to endless interesting places. Just what a 17 year wanted. Anyhow I arrived at Singapore airport to hear my name been shouted out by the ships agent - I was the only person joining. He had me through customs and immigration in a thrice and we bundled into a car which procceeded at breakneck speed. I said whats the rush, he replied ship on wire you come she go. I eagerly asked where was she bound for expecting to hear Bangkok or Kiwi or Manila or some such. I was so crestfallen when he said Persian Gulf and then elaborated Yes Persian Gulf new contract 3 year all time Persian Gulf Japan. And for the 6 months I was on her thats what we did Basra and Ras Tan loading Naptha discharging in a liittle place in Japan called Yokkaichi. All I recall doing on her was chipping greasing and painting the cargo handling gear

Malcolm

B.Bass
14th January 2008, 04:28
Surely as Ch.Off I managed to find you a few more interesting jobs than that.Were you on board when we won the football pools and thought we were all going to be millionaires?

failed apprentice
14th January 2008, 10:06
Surely as Ch.Off I managed to find you a few more interesting jobs than that.Were you on board when we won the football pools and thought we were all going to be millionaires?


Ah so it was you! Yes I dare say you did but after all these years its the routine which has stayed with me. Thinking on I can recall changing a block at the top of a derrick swinging out over the sea as the ship rolled and tank cleaning. I think it was you who pulled me out of a midships tank when the naptha fumes got the better of me and I grabbed the hose instead of the ladder to climb out!

Yes I was on board when the syndicate won the pools but wasnt a member so wasnt too upset when the winnings were not so great as anticipated. Being a very young cadet I was paid the lowest wage £548 pa and money was tight. Inflarion was bad in the UK and the government had introduced payments called threshold payments to keep peoples wages abreast. These were only a couple of percent a month but had a minimum amount of increase...within 6 months my threshold payments were more than my wages!

Malcolm

Shipbuilder
14th January 2008, 19:34
Looking at this list of shipping companies, I really wonder why there is not a section for Furness Withy? They were a fine company, connected with the Houlders Group. I served in Houlder's JOYA MCCANCE (The iron orecarrier, not the tanker), also in Furness Withy's iron ore carrier SAGAMORE. Both very happy ships as far as I was concerned.
Bob

B.Bass
15th January 2008, 04:52
Actually I think our share of the winnings was probably equal to your yearly wage.Yes that Naptha was deadly stuff,worse than sniffing glue.

non descript
18th January 2008, 07:56
David has kindly uploaded a particularly fine image of Ocean Transport (http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/gallery//showphoto.php?photo=97913) in Liverpool in 1975.

d.mccarthy
23rd January 2008, 21:04
hi Ian sailed on the tenbury in 73, great ship, i think the captain was Spanish if my memory servers me right regards Derek

kdgiles
25th January 2008, 14:07
Hi folks,
I was an engineer apprentice with Houlders from 1977-1981. In this time I sailed on the Upwey Grange & the Ripon Grange. Then FW merged us all and I was moved on to PSNC.
I remember being on the Ripon in Hamburg on the day FW notified us that we were to fly the FW colours in place of the Houlders cross. As the Ripon belonged to Alexander Shipping we felt moved to put up Alexanders 'Busy Bee' instead.
I have some photos of the Upwey in Duluth that I'll try and dig out for uploading.
Cheers, Kevin Giles

marinero
25th January 2008, 15:04
hi Ian sailed on the tenbury in 73, great ship, i think the captain was Spanish if my memory servers me right regards Derek

hi Derek.
I sailed on the Tenbury Nov 72 to Apr 73. That was the French Messengeurs Maritime Charter(not sure of the spelling) out to Tahiti and Noumea where we met up with an American sailing ship with a load of Vietnamese Draft Dodgers. What a wonderful time. Where you there then?
Regards (Thumb)

MARINEJOCKY
26th January 2008, 18:28
I have a copy of a book by Norman L. Middlemiss titled "Furness-Houlder Lines" which for any body into the history of the companies is a great read.

I also have a book by W.J. Harvey titled simply "Hadley"

Both books have some wonderful photo's. I would have to buy a scanner to down some of these if they would be of interest and if the books are not available.

I also have a Houlders Brochure that consists of twelve pages and I believe is from 1976. There is a list of ships "managed during 1976 and Newbuildings on order" but does not include the ships names. These include

OBO (2) 1971 & 1974
Tanker (2) 1954 & 1964
Product Tankers (2) 1961 & 1970
Product Tankers (2) due delivery 1978 & 1979
LPG/Ammonia(6) 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968 & 2 x 1971
LPG/Ammonia due delivery 1997
Bulk Carrier (13) from 1964 thru' 1976 & from 2,500 tons to 134,000 tons
Liner/Cargo (4) 1960 to 1971
Underwater Support 1955
Oil Rig (3) 1975 & 2 x 1976
Support Vessel 1977

My first trip was joining the Cumbria in May 1973 as an engineering cadet then went on to sail on

Brandon Priory
Cavendish (4 times)
Banbury
Joule
Ocean Transport
Humbolt
Faraday
Clerk Maxwell

In addition I was used as an extra engineer by Harry Donker and Frank Evamy and was on Lord Kelvin, Furness Bridge, Faraday, Uncle John, Kingsnorth UK

I also have a Movement Sheet from 14th July 1969

Houlder line Limited
OSWESTRY GRANGE

MARINEJOCKY
26th January 2008, 19:03
I pressed the wrong button in my last posting so will continue now

The Movement sheet from 14th July 1969 includes the following

Company / Ship Captain Location
Houlder Line Limited
OSWESTRY GRANGE J. MULLIGAN Left Las Palmas 11th July
ROYSTON GRANGE D. MURRAY Arrived BA 12th July
STOLT GRANGE F.W. RICHARDS Left Rio 8th July
HARDWICKE GRANGE T.A.G. HEAD Sailed Santos 1st July
SWAN RIVER H.R. NEAL Left London 25th june

South American Saint Line Limited
ST MERRIEL C.G. WELLS Left Monte' 24th June
ST MARGARET N. ODDY Left Murmansk 9th July
JOYA McCANCE R. DIXON Left Hamburg 24th June

Methane Tanker Finance
METHANE PROGRESS Capt. ANDREWS Arrived Tilbury 26th June

Empire Transport Company Limited
OCEAN TRANSPORT T.C. WILCOX Left London 7th July

Warwick Tanker Company Limited
BRANDON PRIORY P. SAUNDERS Left Umm Said 7th July
BIDFORD PRIORY R. KERR Left Las Palmas 26 June

Ore Carriers Limited
ORELTA G.W. BOOTHBY Left Port Talbot 7/11
OREOSA R.F. JACKSON Docked Port Talbot 7/12
OREPTON H.L. JACKSON Left Workington 7/11
OREDIAN L.S. SLEVIN Left Lulea 7/8
OREGIS R.B. LEACH Left Narvik 7/11
OREMINA A.M. KIRKBY Left Nouadhibou 7/5
MABEL WARWICK C.J. WELCH Left Dakar 7/2
OROTAVA W. BACKHOUSE Left Sydney 7/9

Hadley Shipping Company Limited
CERINTHUS S. JACKSON Left Monte' 7/8
CLYMENE N. SMITH Left Jurong 7/14
CLYDE BRIDGE T. DEAN Arrived Antwerp 7/12
CORATO J. JACQUES Arrived Amsterdam 7/12
CAMARINA W. URQUHART Sailed Delfzjil 7/11

Alexander Shipping Company Limited
QUEENSBURY P.J.E. CHARMAN Sailed BA 7/12
SHAFTESBURY J.C. WOODBRIDGE Arrived Manchester 7/8
TENBURY W.F. McMELLIN Arrived Osaka 7/11
TEWKESBURY V.J. OWEN Arrived Lourenco 7.11
WESTBURY J.H.T. CAPON Sailed Fremantle 7/4

MARINEJOCKY
26th January 2008, 20:20
I keep in touch with Will (Bill) Robson here in Fort Lauderdale. Will's family lived 5 miles away from ours in Northumberland and his cousin was Mr. Hill, the senior technical super' at Houlder's. Will worked for Hadley's as a super' and obviously was somewhat instrumental in me joining Houlders at the start and getting me onto the Cumbria for my first trip. I must have upset somebody in the family as my second trip was on the Brandon.

I was all set to be a diesel mechanic for my Dad in his trucking company until one day Will called in at our house and asked me if I wanted to go with him to Bring them & Smash'em's (sorry, Bingham & Cowan's) dry dock. Of cause I said yes and visited the Cerinthus for the first time in dry dock.

I was 14 and thought this was for me especially after hearing the engineers talking about their exploits in Monte, it was Monte this and Monte that and the ship was there for weeks at a time. Whoa I was going to be joining a ship and spending my days in Monte Carlo. Talk about a dumb 14 yr old. Mind you the real Monte' still has many memories.

I have forgotten many names but have many fond memories of sailing with great people, Jackie Scotland was my first C/E with Vernon Dukes as 3rd Eng. John was the 3rd mate from Wales who I think is still sailing. I was onboard the Cumbria when she went aground above Denmark (1st trip), dry docked in Antwerp and the 5th eng. ended up going thru' a glass window and had to pay off.

Went aground on the Humbolt when I was second, Captain Jacques with Phil as mate.

Arrested in Russia trying to bring Roubles out of the country

Arrested in Spain after getting a Mickey Finn (honestly)

Got wacked on the head when I was advised by everybody on board that I would impress the C/E when playing crib with him to ask about some Monkey that came ashore in his home port of Hartlepool.

Made a big impression on Mr's Houlder when she asked me what game of cards my fellow cadets and I were playing during her visit and used the slang name we used for that game called "Chase the Lady". (Hunt the ) I was stuck in the bilges for what seemed like months.

Passed out and thought I had a heart attack on the Joule. turned out it was indegestion.

Mr Ling was the cadets main man and we could not wait to be under the charge of "Batch" then as we got older realized Mr. Ling was a good guy.

Captain Charlie Wilcox, Dog'sy Dyson, Captain Jacques all great guy's.
Alan Lowery & Jackie Scotland great engineers with Alan being my mentor and a really great guy. Does any body know what any olf these guys are doing.

Harry Donker, who else can remember Harry loosing it on I think the Cavendish when the bulkheak seal was ripped out due to an error. He was a good guy to work for and how many of us had tee shirts with his name on it.

What was the name of the wee welder from Liverpool and who can remember the tiny wee AB who just loved the ships. He was as brown as a berry. What happened to Tom Murphy from Larne.

How many young engineers these days are sent to stand next to the middle of an old Doxford when it is started on their first trip and the relieve valves blow, how many of us remember swinging the sledge hammer to reset the govener on the same engines.

What gas ship was it that when purging the compressors you had to reach all the way over the unit and if not careful got a good soaking of Ammonia in the groin.

who has fond memories of Foster Wheeler boilers, how many apprentices like me were told to stand at the top and adjust the turbine gland steam valve and finding that if you stood still the soles of your shoes melted.

How many engineers raided the "fridges" during the night watches to get eggs to fry on the boiler plates.

was it 27 turns in and 27 turns out and do that 3 times to each soot blower on each boiler and still keep smiling.

How many of us received "dear john's"

Who was the Chief Steward whose daughters appeared as the girls on the Tennants cans.

What happened to the girls that joined, I sailed with Allison on the Cavendish and then again on the Banbury when there was another girl as well.

Yes, this web site is well named and sitting here I am feeling very nostalgic.

Many many memories and thankfully due to the passageway of time all good.

I thought I was about to die on the Joule a number of times yet still have fond memories, how hard did we all work on the Clerk Maxwell and yet my main memory is how happy we all were, mind you I seem to remember some private things on that ship as well.

What ever happened to the Radio officer, Ralph & his wife Linda, remember the quiz nights when we (the engineers team) rigged the buzzer so we got to answer the questions first.

Certainly a great company and great people across the board.

NINJA
26th January 2008, 20:24
If you look on "My Photos" there is a runners and riders sheet from 1974 which I scanned and posted.

K urgess
26th January 2008, 20:46
Bill Murdoch, he of the daughters.
http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/showpost.php?p=102309&postcount=56

MARINEJOCKY
26th January 2008, 21:06
Is that the same Bill Murdock that was a very tall guy and not one to mess with. went ashore with him to a club in Japan ....

K urgess
26th January 2008, 21:16
He was very large and imposing as you'd expect from the RSM of the Black Watch. (EEK)

MARINEJOCKY
26th January 2008, 21:20
which ship did you sail with him on, was I there as well

K urgess
26th January 2008, 21:22
It was on the Cerinthus 24th May to 28th November 1973

MARINEJOCKY
26th January 2008, 22:45
was mike fraser with you on the Cerinthus at that time. eng. cadet

K urgess
26th January 2008, 23:21
We didn't have any engineer cadets but we had 3 junior engineers -
P German
A Brown
D Mortlock

Cheers
Kris

jeraylin
3rd February 2008, 06:36
WOW - so many Houlder Bros. postings!
I joined Houlders in 1978 - the personnel manager was Albert Ling (aka Ting a Ling?). First ship Orotava in dry dock Emden, she was renamed Ripon Grange. Then on leave had to go up to Hull and stand at the station in uniform to meet prospective cadets to guide them to a hotel for some tests and interviews.
Sailed on Edward Stevenson (bad boys ship) & Lord Kelvin, before FW got their oar in and we were sent all over the place - Dunedin, Oropesa, Manchester Crusade before returning home to sail on the "Abbey" after I sat 2nd mates.
We dry docked her in Schedam i recall.
Agree completely with earlier comments - Houlders was a real family firm and I actually changed to CY Tung group soon after sailing on ABBEY and have now worked for three generations of Tung (CY, his two sons CH and CC, and now his grandson Andy is working in the group). The same ethos and family values applies today. I am Master now and working in a shipyard for new build delivery (next week!) - I chose my sea staff and have sailed with many of them over the years so quality shipping can still be done.
Regarding Royston Grange - this was etched in our minds at an early age, when starting at pre-sea (MN College Greenhithe) we watched a video on Interaction and at the end the "consequences" section showed the Maltese cross could be clearly seen on the funnel in the background. Such that all my career at sea - 30 years this Sept - I have been especially aware of the forces between ships and as Master have conducted the ship accordingly, so who knows the disaster may have saved other lives at a later date.

Would be interested to hear from anyone who sailed with me on those GR8 voyages.
Jerry Ayling

jeraylin
3rd February 2008, 06:42
One other thing - wasen't there a picture of Houlders ships in the East end lined up along the dock in order H.O.U.L.D.E.R ?
J.A

non descript
3rd February 2008, 09:01
J.A. that is a fine commentary and sums up the ethos very well. Any transition from family owned company, to a corporate owned operation is difficult, but having passed through what many found to be a bit tedious under the FW banner, the company has in many ways returned to its roots in being owned by a family once again. Certainly with the third generation of the Tung family at the helm, it has regained a lot of it style and character.

As for a picture of all SEVEN "Houlder" ships in the Royal Docks at the same time; whilst that sounds like a very nice idea, I wonder at the reality. I hope I am wrong, and it it exists amongst the ghosts at 53 Leadenhall Street.

MARINEJOCKY
3rd February 2008, 11:31
I was mailed a rail voucher and sent off by my parents & two sisters from Carlisle railway station to Liverpool for my "interview". I was met at Liverpool by Company guys in uniforms who made us all wait until a big group of us had all arrived and then we went to the ship in the Royal Canadian dock which I think was below the Liver Building and PSNC had an office in that same area.

We spent at least 2 days doing various tests and then sent back home to await the letter of acceptance or rejection. Happily my acceptance letter arrived. I think that was in 1969 or maybe early 1970. "Ting a Ling" was the guy in charge of the cadets. I can not rememebr the ship but it was a cargo/ passenger one and with me remembering the PSNC company connection maybe the ship was theirs.

I wonder how the guys in uniform felt standing on Liverpool railway station.

jeraylin
3rd February 2008, 12:01
Quick feedback - I like this site!
Well standing at Hull station on a thursday afternoon in full uniform felt a bit of a prat but all the fishermen were at sea so did not get much ribbing. Real problem was some of the prospective cadets did not seem to be able to make a train change and arrive on time - I recall one poor guy ended up in Glasgow somehow - he was not employed. We took them to a hotel for the
tests and then the next day they had interviews with senior Master or Chief in the dept. of trade offices behind the docks. I recall one Master was "The General" Jubb whom I sailed with later.
Houlder Insurance are still in business and have an office in the OOCL HKG building (Harbour Centre).

non descript
3rd February 2008, 13:06
I recall one Master was "The General" Jubb whom I sailed with later.



The General was a first rate man and a dedicated Master - I wonder if he is still in Hull in retirement?

saltyswamp
3rd February 2008, 19:36
Welder
The welder from liverpool was A or T Wignall (Wiggey) good storyteller but did repeat himself at times
stuart

marinero
4th February 2008, 17:34
Welder
The welder from liverpool was A or T Wignall (Wiggey) good storyteller but did repeat himself at times
stuart

Hi Stuart.
If the guy is the one I remember, the first thing he asked for when he came aboard was a case of ale.
Regards
Leo(Thumb)

saltyswamp
4th February 2008, 20:13
Hi Leo
thats the wiggey we know and love but if i remember getting a beer out of him was hard work
stuart

MARINEJOCKY
4th February 2008, 20:24
I worked along with wiggy on one ship doing alot of on deck welding and got to know him so I asked him to take a parcel home for me and to mail it to my parents. I was transferring from one ship to another and not due home for a long time.

The problem was that I collected match books and boxes from around the world and wiggy mailed the parcel back to my parents in Northumberland from Liverpool with no information about me being the actual sender. The parcel arrived wrapped in plain brown paper, the size of a shoe box, addressed to my dad. Unfortunately my parents ran a a post office and this was at a time when the IRA were setting off a lot of bombs so my parents ended up calling the local bobby who in turn called the next towns cop's and they called the bomb squad from Newcastle. All ended well but I have never seen wiggy to tell him what happened.

JOC42
5th February 2008, 13:45
Jerry Ayling

I was the R/O on the Oratava when she left Emden dry dock in 1978 if my memory serves me well ..... must dig out the discharge book ;-)
We went to New Orleans to load grain, Panama, Tientsin (China), Japan, Portland, Oregon then over to Indonesia (Surabaya East Java) and Sumatra. Paid off in Karachi, two nights in a hotel then two weeks with Dysentery once home.
Happy days!

John

merrymagpie
6th February 2008, 15:30
Welder
The welder from liverpool was A or T Wignall (Wiggey) good storyteller but did repeat himself at times
stuart

I did sail briefly with Wiggy, but does anybody remember Kevin Lyons who was the Company Welder before Wiggy?
Kev was a Geordie from Hebburn and he spent about 3 months on the Joule, when she was at her worst.Harry Donker had told him he would be onboard about a month so he was getting a bit cheesed off by the end. He was a great shipmate and the life and soul of every party. Anybody remember the cement box in 2p ballast tank?We discovered a gash about a foot long in the side shell plating a few inches above the waterline. Kevin welded plates between two frames and we filled it with cement. Took about 2 days to fill. Not sure if it was still there when she was scrapped!

Mike

MARINEJOCKY
6th February 2008, 20:28
Mike,

I was on the Joule 25-3-77 until 14-9-77, paid off in Singapore with Tom Brown who was also a 4th Eng., I was from Northumberland and tom was from Larne, N.I.. Dogy's was Master.

I guess I sailed with you.

Regards, Malcolm Elliott

noel woodhead
6th February 2008, 20:37
was on royston grange jan 1966 to march 1966 deck boy fresh from vindi, what a tragic sad loss,of life, so sad .

QQQQQ
8th February 2008, 19:39
Hi, I am Tony Moor's daughter, Susan. Just wondered if anyone remembered my father, he was the Captain of Cerinthus in the early seventies when I was a tiny thing, though I do remember sailing to Rotterdam with him when I was about three years old. Would love to hear from anyone who remembers him. Cheers, Susie Q.(==D)

saltyswamp
8th February 2008, 22:11
I did sail briefly with Wiggy, but does anybody remember Kevin Lyons who was the Company Welder before Wiggy?
Kev was a Geordie from Hebburn and he spent about 3 months on the Joule, when she was at her worst.Harry Donker had told him he would be onboard about a month so he was getting a bit cheesed off by the end. He was a great shipmate and the life and soul of every party. Anybody remember the cement box in 2p ballast tank?We discovered a gash about a foot long in the side shell plating a few inches above the waterline. Kevin welded plates between two frames and we filled it with cement. Took about 2 days to fill. Not sure if it was still there when she was scrapped!

Mike

hi only come across kev once then wiggy appeared on the scene

saltyswamp
8th February 2008, 22:14
Mike,

I was on the Joule 25-3-77 until 14-9-77, paid off in Singapore with Tom Brown who was also a 4th Eng., I was from Northumberland and tom was from Larne, N.I.. Dogy's was Master.

I guess I sailed with you.

Regards, Malcolm Elliott

missed you by17 days payed off after drydock in Genoa at Cartagena on 8/3/77

marinero
9th February 2008, 11:04
Hi, I am Tony Moor's daughter, Susan. Just wondered if anyone remembered my father, he was the Captain of Cerinthus in the early seventies when I was a tiny thing, though I do remember sailing to Rotterdam with him when I was about three years old. Would love to hear from anyone who remembers him. Cheers, Susie Q.(==D)

Good Morning Susan.
I seem to remember a Tony Moor who was the Mate on the "Bidford Priory", this was Nov 64/July 65. At the time he lived in a place called Darwen which I think is in Lancs. The Captain at the time was Jim Taylor who was then replaced by Stan Jacobson.
Regards
Leo(Thumb)

julianl
11th February 2008, 16:36
Hi Susan,
If your dad was Master of the Cumbria in the late 70's I remember him well.
Sailed with him as 3/o and 2/o. A great guy and a brilliant old man. I learnt
more from him than anyone.Remember our Lagos trip especially.

vasco
4th March 2008, 16:53
Hello Susan,

Your Father was a great guy to sail with. I remember as second mate spending the evening trying to find a missing £5 in the accounts. We finally found it at the back of his safe! mind you we probably consumed more than a fivers worth of beer looking for it. Fond memories of my first trip as Second Mate, which was on the Cerinthus.

Mick quinn
12th March 2008, 22:18
Hi Tim

I sailed on the Westbury from December 73 to February 74 and may have some photos somewhere if you are still looking? Let me know and I will dig them out, if I can.

Mick Quinn

blacketts
13th March 2008, 12:25
Hello Sailors
I was Apprenticeon the Royston back in the 60-70s and fell 60' into no 3 hold and survived thankfully saved by the fall as I would have been in the disaster.Anyone out there sail with me G Boothby was OLD MAN
Cheers
Paul

marinero
13th March 2008, 13:44
Hello Sailors
I was Apprenticeon the Royston back in the 60-70s and fell 60' into no 3 hold and survived thankfully saved by the fall as I would have been in the disaster.Anyone out there sail with me G Boothby was OLD MAN
Cheers
Paul

Hi Paul.
Could you give some dates of your time on the "Royston Grange"? so as to give people an idea of the time frame. Mind you though, I'm sure falling down a hatch would jog peoples memory.
Regards
Leo(Thumb)

norsea
13th March 2008, 23:20
Hello Paul
Seems as if falling down holds is habit forming. As Apprentice on Duquesa back in the `50`s we were collecting cluster lights when a side chamber door swung and knocked me flying.Fortunately I only fell from the Shelter to the Orlop deck and landed on top of a Rolls Royce tearing ligaments and cracking a couple of ribs. All down to past experience!!
Best Regards
Angus Davidson