Help Re Former Blue Funnel Employee

hval
18th November 2009, 20:32
Good evening all,

Reason I have joined is to ask for assistance.

My father has a friend who comes to Christmas dinner each year. I do not know very much about him, but discovered that he used to work for the Blue Funnel Line. I also believe he may have worked for the Glen line. He did seem to have fond memories of those times.

John Ring is about eighty years old (at a guess). I would like to put together a book with photos, and information about former crew mates and ships served on for him this year (if I can find the time).

Is there anyone amongst you who might know more of his career, the ships he was on, and when. Would also be interested in knowing further relevant information, and maybe some good yarns.

I do apologise for asking for you help, but hopefully it will bring some good memories back for your selves.

Thank you all.

Hval

R58484956
19th November 2009, 10:41
Greetings hval and a warm welcome to SN. There a quite a lot of ex Blue Funnel line staff on board from all departments, so perhaps some one might be able to help you. Bon voyage.

hval
19th November 2009, 22:17
Good evening R58484956,

Thank you for your kind words.

Hval

Trident
20th November 2009, 01:55
Perhaps if you could give the department your friend worked in ( Deck , Engine room, Catering) it might jog some memories.

GWB
20th November 2009, 05:06
Welcome Hval from Brisbane, the Blue Flu guys are sure to help, have a great trip.

GWB

Bob McColl
20th November 2009, 06:38
Hi Hval...there is a blue funnel forum that may help

http://www.bbc.co.uk/wales/northwest/sites/history/pages/bluefunnel.shtml?comment=response#thanks

Just highlite this link...right click and click copy....go to the address slot at the top of the page right click on it and click paste... click enter

Bob McColl
20th November 2009, 06:39
just realised you don't have to copy or paste last message ...just click on the link

hval
20th November 2009, 20:21
Perhaps if you could give the department your friend worked in ( Deck , Engine room, Catering) it might jog some memories.

Evening Trident,

Unfortunately I know very little about this person, other than when I have met him at my fathers. He is some one who has much to tell, and when he tells it his eyes light up. I am fortunate that I have worked offshore (oil exploration - seismic & submarines) and can understand and talk with him with a little knowledge. He left the Blue Funnel line and went to work with the Royal Signals. Yet, as with any one I know who has any maritime experience, his eyes light up with memories of the sea, the life and the experiences. I think that is why he likes to talk with me. I want to listen, to enjoy his experiences, and he doesn't have anyone else who has that understanding. When I am there he "comes to life". I want to make him happy by offering him photographs and some words as to how former shipmates are, and what they did/ went through.

Thats another Story
20th November 2009, 21:22
Hval Why Not Put It On Tape? And We Might Be Able To Give You More Imfo. John.

Tai Pan
21st November 2009, 12:56
Sounds like a Radio Officer to me

hval
28th December 2009, 19:16
Evening all,

Due to not having enough information I was unable to produce the "book". Never mind. I have been chatting with the gentleman in question. The following is now known.

1/ John's trade was Radio Officer
2/ He worked for the Blue Funnel line, Glen line and Dutch section
3/ John worked between 1945 -ish to 1959
4/ He sailed on the Liberty ships amongst others
5/ John transported animals between australia and Asia in the late 50's
6/ Was on board a ship that lost it's propellor (I think). This then involved a few days of drifting with sea anchors deployed and the second longest tow of the time, via The Suez canal, the Med and then Falmouth. This was due to the fact that they couldn't find a dry dock to take the load (the cargo was tinned food). Any one have more details?
7/ John was born in Cobh, Ireland

I have more details that I will have to transcribe from my iPhone. I was recording covertly as I don't want John to know.

Does this help at all?

Bitterlakes1967
28th December 2009, 19:51
6/ Was on board a ship that lost it's propellor (I think). This then involved a few days of drifting with sea anchors deployed and the second longest tow of the time, via The Suez canal, the Med and then Falmouth. This was due to the fact that they couldn't find a dry dock to take the load (the cargo was tinned food). Any one have more details?
HVAL
I once heard about a BF ship that lost it's prop whilst on the Yangtse river.
I was told this by the Senior Leck [I was a Junior Lecky mid 60's] when having a chat and discussing the rate of Knots whilst observing the rate of flow of this Great Chinese River!!
In your quest for Knowledge contact the Blue Funnel Association Founded in 1988 and based in Liverpool.
Good luck.
John
Ex Junior Lecky
Melampus1967

makko
28th December 2009, 19:59
Re: No.6 - I thought it was one of the Liberty's that lost its prop due to a cracked casting. I have not dug too deep, but found the following:

GLENIFFER (4) was built in 1913 by R & W Hawthorn, Leslie & Co. at Newcastle with a tonnage of 7552grt, a length of 455ft 3in, a beam of 56ft 3in and a service speed of 11 knots. She was built as the Lycaon (1) for the China Mutual S.N. Co. with Alfred Holt & Co. as managers. In January 1949 she had to be towed 500 miles to Cape Town by the Blue Funnel vessel Demodocus after losing her propeller. She was transferred to Glen Line as the Gleniffer in 1951 as a stop gap to maintain the service pending the transfer of a more modern ship. She was the last pre WW1 coal burning vessel and remained with the fleet for just one year. In 1952 she was sold for scrap and broken up at Faslane in Scotland.

Regards,
Dave

holland25
28th December 2009, 20:06
Sounds like he would have been on either the Gorgon or Charon on the Singapore Western Australia cattle and passenger ships.

Tai Pan
3rd January 2010, 12:15
I was R/O during that time both Blue and Red but did not come across John Ring. sorry.

teb
3rd January 2010, 13:36
Hval- G'Day from WA. I'm a few years older than your friend John Ring and was also a R/O from1943 to 1950ties sailing on BF,GL and Dutch B/F (Phrontis) for one voyage, frankly I'm unsure if I ran into John. Certainly as peviously advised the ships he sailed on running between WA and S'pore-Malaysia would have been Gorgon/Charon any idea what other ships he served on? Let us know should you be able to give any further info. Teb

teb
3rd January 2010, 13:42
Hval- G'Day from WA. I'm a few years older than your friend John Ring and was also a R/O from1943 to 1953 sailing on BF,GL and Dutch B/F (Phrontis) for one voyage, frankly I'm unsure if I ran into John. Certainly as peviously advised the ships he sailed on running between WA and S'pore-Malaysia would have been Gorgon/Charon any idea what other ships he served on? Let us know should you be able to give any further info. Teb

hval
12th January 2010, 23:03
Evening all,

Apologies for not responding sooner. Have been away. Your responses are much appreciated.

John has been on Gorgon and Charon. John did not mention which of the Dutch ships he had been on - other than he had been to Poland on them. He had to pretend to be Dutch for customs checks and when embarking from Poland.

Hval

hval
13th January 2010, 21:30
Evening all,

I have transcribed some information from John. I do apologise that it is not sorted or tidied up as yet. Maybe it will bring back memories as it is. As written previously he was a Radio Officer. He worked with the Blue Funnel Line, Glen Line etc from end of WW II (ish) to 1959 or early 1960's. The following are comments from John that I have paraphrased in places. Any mistakes are mine and not Johns'.
---------------------------------------------


Glen Line carried both cargo and Passengers. He worked for this organisation as well as the Blue Funnel line. Also did some trips with the Dutch ships.

There were six ships under Dutch flag. Sailed on one of those once. Amsterdam to Gdynia. Whilst Poland was under communist rule. Only Englishman on board. Had to have a Dutch passport and seaman’s book. All Dutch spoke perfect English, so was not difficult for him, and he learnt some Dutch.

On arrival at Gdynia everyone went into saloon. Searched ship. Leaving Gdynia was worse. Checking ships for people trying to leave.

Pay was same way every month. So didn’t matter whether working for Glen Line, Blue Funnel or Dutch

John considered it a marvellous life.

Worked four on four off when on sea watch. Got night rest with automatic alarms set

Part of Johns’ role was as purser (looking after crew wages and the cargo side of things). Payments for crew in port. Colate information on cargo. He got boat notes and produced Cargo plan (e.g. where cocoa, blocks of rubber etc were stored with boat load number, weight etc). Where at Aden have ready for posting (6 copies). Coming from Penang & Ceylon would have tea on board as well. Weight destination etc typed up and copies made.

Typed up on typewriter. On a carbon (but not a carbon). This created a template that was laid on a bit of jelly type material for making copies (was this a Hectograph?) Jelly melted down when finished and reused.

When docked they knew where everything was and what came off when.

Played a Russian ship at football in Singapore.

He emphasised “Good Life, good life” numerous times

John had a brother at Nisoon (Royal Signals) in Singapore whom he used to visit.

When docked there was no time for doing too much. When sailing from Hong Kong to Shanghai, a specialist chipping gang joined the ship. Box over side as toilet. When back at Hong Kong dropped them off. Chipping red lead. Red lead every where.

Went to Borneo, Indonesia, Java occasionally. Philipinos couldn’t tell difference between Dutch Americans and UK. Philipinos hated the Dutch.

Called in to Kobe, Yokahama. Went up to the North and back end (couldn't remember the name of the port). Few ports. Did have time to get around. Could be in port two or three days a week. Let you see the country (enough time). Some deck hands spent most of their time in the pub. 2 or 3 would get a taxi or a bus and.

Tekorasadi in Japan (I have got the name wrong here). Village in mountains. About theatre. All tourist go there. John went up. Marvellous show. Was around about 1948 or 1950. Yokohama and Tokyo were lovely. Post WW11 Japanese in Singapore were doing forced labour before being shipped back to Japan.

Used to bring small things back from Japan. Years later John and his wife used to see these things in shops and antique shops.

John remembers the changes for Shanghai (under British then) was a very Americanised thriving dock area. Was on one of the last ships out of China before communists took over some where around about the 27th of May 1949 and one of first back in.

Once under communist rule there were always meetings. Commissar who dealt with loads would only talked through interpreter. Could speak English as he was chief clerk when it was British and John knew him. Communists treated Coolies a lot better than British did by providing accommodation, food, clothes etc.

Early 1960’s or 1959 came to England.

Has done cruises on QE 2 which was nice. Wouldn’t go on a big ship (Cunard and P&O only). None of these new things would I go on.

John suggested that I Look at Banana Boat Run as he knows I have worked on and in ships/ boats. John also knows the idea of a cruise does not appeal to me..

John, when talking about ships after the war (At the time he was visiting Japan etc said ) Our ships were alright. Sam boats (Liberty ships) had good accommodation. Didn’t look very pretty particularly if rusty – better than bufar (?) ships.


"In our day cadets could sit at the same table, but couldn’t go ashore with officers. They worked in dungarees on duty, chipping painting etc."

John has been on the Britannia. Is tatty and not impressive. Not as it was. Is small. I told him how I bumped in to it in a dinghy (RNSA).





[B]That Long Tow

When being towed John worked 2 hours on 2 hours off. From Indian Ocean to Falmouth at 4 knots

Troilus (a Liberty Ship) was Launched as MARTHA C. THOMAS, lease lend to Britain. In 1944 was renamed SAMHARLE, MOWT (A. Holt & Co, Liverpool). In 1947 renamed TROILUS, Ocean SS Co, Liverpool - British flag (A. Holt & Co)

Towed by Glenogle from Indian Ocean to Aden. A distance of 1050 miles. Works out at approximately 10 days being towed. What about times at dock, Suez Canal transit, Med, Chanel etc and before breakdown?

Next Details are From Web Site reference a ship which it may be: - Click Here (http://www.i-law.com/ilaw/browse_lawreports.htm?year=1951&name=lloyd's%20law%20reports)

Troilus lost use of her propeller in the Indian Ocean. She was towed 1050 miles to Aden by Glenogle. There were no facilities to repair the vessel nor to discharge or store the cargo (tins of food). Accordingly a second tow was arranged. Repairs in the Med would have been difficult. Troilus was towed through teh Suez canal and on to Falmouth.

Salvage - Towage or salvage - Prolonged towage - Alternative arrangements available to owners of salved vessel - Reasonableness - Services rendered by motor vessels Stentor and Glenogle to steamship Troilus - Propeller lost in Indian Ocean while on voyage from Australia to Liverpool - Towage for 1050 miles by Stentor (sister ship) to Aden, where Troilus was only allowed to anchor outside the harbour - Services by Stentor admitted to be salvage services - Troilus subsequently towed by Glenogle 4300 miles to Falmouth (except for towage by canal tug from Suez to Port Said) - Nature of such further services - Whether "from safety to safety" - Aden, Suez and Port Said admittedly safe ports of refuge - Possibility of repairs at Suez, Alexandria or Malta - Availability of ocean-going tug - Risk to cargo - Duty of prudent shipowner - Salved values: Troilus, 193,000; cargo, 888,000; freight, 15,000 - Awards by Lord Merriman, P.: Stentor, 18,000; Glenogle, 22,000 - Appeal by owners of cargo on board Troilus against award made to Glenogle dismissed by C.A. - Further appeal.
[1951] 1 Lloyd's Rep. 467


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