Maltese Cross

Geoff Clode
5th February 2010, 22:20
Just a question for Tonga! Notice the Maltese Cross on your tag. Wondered if you were a Malteser or sailed for Houlder Bros? Which was my first Company. Joined the "Ocean Transport" 1970 in Liverpool. She had just arrived full of sugar, which was all over the place. She was a Tramp, but a lot of hard work. We crawled to Jamaica, then Mexico up to the States, then back to Liverpool and a dock strike. Them days they had drinking hours and we were running down the gangplank before it was laid to get a pint| cant remember what they called the pub? but it was well known! no doubt someone will remind me![=P]

non descript
5th February 2010, 22:35
Yes Geoff, very much so, 53 Leadenhall Street was a second home… I also sailed on Ocean Transport (http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=97913).. and joined her in Liverpool in March 1970 and left her in the Clyde after a trip back from Barbados with sugar, in May 1970. – I last saw the Ocean Transport when she was sold to a rather curious Greek gentleman who named her Ellion Hope after his mother (and himself) … the trouble was that he eventually ran off with some of Houlder Brothers’ money…. Not a nice move at all and whilst some thought it was ‘interesting’ I felt it was theft. (Cloud)

canada tom
24th July 2010, 17:40
Sailed on the Duquessa 56-57. Always London Montevideo BA and back. Started as a junior eng. and went to 3rd Ref. Eng.
It was a rather boring life style and the vessel was staffed with, what I considered,
"Pretend middle-class snobs"
Moved on to the real MN

canada tom

saltyswamp
24th July 2010, 21:06
Sailed on the Duquessa 56-57. Always London Montevideo BA and back. Started as a junior eng. and went to 3rd Ref. Eng.
It was a rather boring life style and the vessel was staffed with, what I considered,
"Pretend middle-class snobs"
Moved on to the real MN

canada tom

Hi
You should have sailed on the Gas boats nobody had time to pretend anything
stuart

duquesa
24th July 2010, 22:16
The "middle class snobs" included me - thanks very much!
All the meat ships were crewed by long serving staff who gave loyal service and the jobs were much sought after. In general they were seafarers who had already had their fair share of the "Real MN" whatever that was. It is a great pity that so many of those snobs (and my friends)lost their lives on the Royston Grange.!!

sparkie2182
24th July 2010, 22:21
It is sad that the Royston Grange was not brought to mind before post #3 was
written.
I'm sure the tone would have been different.

ALAN TYLER
26th July 2010, 16:38
I regard my single trip relieving on the "Hardwicke" as the pinnacle of my Houlders deep-sea career. Pity I never got to sail in the meat-boats more.

vasco
26th July 2010, 17:48
Considering i was on the Royston for six months and the Captain did not know my name may support some of the remarks here.Considering as an apprentice I was only allowed to play darts for 15 mins before dinner may, considering I was charged half a days pay for 2 beers I had at the Officers land fall party may,( I was told a few years later nobody paid for those parties),considering we had to work 6on,6 off, 6 on stand by in port may, a practice stopped by the master who did not know my name, considering we were ignored by all Offficers except 2 brilliant people, Henry Gittins being one, the other forgotten, considering I HAD to go ashore in my time off to buy bife sandwiches for the 'Offficers' may. And Yes, I knew a lot of those who perished, having been U/3/O a trip or two before on her, there were some fantastic sailors and one or two normal people. Some really were aloof. Oh Yes, and my trip as U/3/O al capone (one of the good guys) requested I buy some white shoes which I did, only to be charged extra for the laces!
The above are facts, not opinions, those you may come to yourself.
One opinion I do have is that a person stated his opinion, be it right or wrong, and it is a shame that indignation has to supported by dragging the the deceased crew of the Royston into this. A ship which I spent 10 months on and I was NEVER treated as badly as that on any other vessel and all Apprentices were treated like that.

marinero
26th July 2010, 17:49
I regard my single trip relieving on the "Hardwicke" as the pinnacle of my Houlders deep-sea career. Pity I never got to sail in the meat-boats more.

Hi Alan.
A lot of the lads thought the same as you regarding the "Meat Boats"
and as Duquesa says they were much sort after. I certainly enjoyed my few years on them and met some some sterling seafarers on them.

Regards (Thumb)

duquesa
26th July 2010, 18:52
Vasco, I am certainly sorry you had the unpleasant experience you related. We all had those, I too on other vessels, possibly under the same Master you mentioned-sounds familiar!
However, my comments stand as stated. Signing off this particular thread.

vasco
26th July 2010, 20:52
Duquesa
As I said, it was not just my experience, it was the same for all apprentices with me. and my tours were 2 years apart.

And it was not that. particlar Master. i sailed with him later.

duquesa
26th July 2010, 21:12
Yes I can see that it wouldn't have been the same chap as I was over a decade before you.

MARINEJOCKY
26th July 2010, 23:05
We had the last laugh anyway you look at it as our pay was so much more on the gas boats but we all worked for Houlders.

I suspect most of us old enough to be posting on here were secretly jealous of those who sailed on the meat boats while us "bad boys' spent our time on the Priory's or the gas boats but none of us Houlders guys would ever disrespect those who died on Thursday, May the 11th and I do not believe that any body who worked for Houlders or is posting on here meant anything else.

We all knew that the meat boat, cargo boat, break bulk, bulk and tanker guys all thought they were better than us but we all felt the hurt when the Royston went down, as we all knew somebody who was lost.

rob mcc
26th July 2010, 23:15
i never sailed on the duquesa but sailed with alot of people who did i dont think the likes of ken ferns ellis mason alan lowery ted ross to name just a few could pretend to be anything but what they were ie good honest seamen most of thos mentioned started and finished on some of houlders wonderfull tankers and gas boats as well as bulk and general cargo houlders was definatly part of the THE REAL merchant navy

duquesa
26th July 2010, 23:17
Nice one Marinejockey. Tks.

marinero
28th July 2010, 10:09
We had the last laugh anyway you look at it as our pay was so much more on the gas boats but we all worked for Houlders.

I suspect most of us old enough to be posting on here were secretly jealous of those who sailed on the meat boats while us "bad boys' spent our time on the Priory's or the gas boats but none of us Houlders guys would ever disrespect those who died on Thursday, May the 11th and I do not believe that any body who worked for Houlders or is posting on here meant anything else.

We all knew that the meat boat, cargo boat, break bulk, bulk and tanker guys all thought they were better than us but we all felt the hurt when the Royston went down, as we all knew somebody who was lost.

I always said you got paid far to much money Malcolm. Much to much for a young Snapperwhipper. (Jester)

Mind you though the "Gas Boats" were a class in their own. I remember being on the "Cavendish" on her first trip to BA (I think) and all the Office Suites came a visiting and were gobsmacked to find the officers in overalls and getting dirty. I think they were used to the more sedate life of the "Meat Boats" and the "specials" that were laid on for them.

Regards (Thumb)

Jon Vincent
29th July 2010, 02:47
I am saddened by your comments "Vasco" My ten months on the "Royston" changed my life in so many ways, I lost a lot of very good friends, I never regarded my time on the "Priory's" as being a second class employee and was never treated as such by any of the office staff either. I had bad experiences on the "Cerinthus" not a bad ship but one or two bad eggs spoilt it for the rest of us, anyway I never thought the meat boat men were snobs at all. Houlders was a great company with unbelievably loyal staff.

vasco
30th July 2010, 01:12
Jon, sorry about my comments but that was the way it was. The Master whose name i cAn't remember was Commodore until about 1970, and although he did not know my name after 3 trips, was very fair sorting out our 18 hour days, as a matter of fact he told me what the problem was. We did have good times but rather than the aloof remarks here i would say it was very cliquey, if there is such a word. I remember some with fondness, Teppit being one, he was great for deck cadets. Even Black Bart I found to be ok. Perhaps the four of us on the ship were unlucky enough to have one or two bad apples who made our lives such a misery. The second time on there as senior cadet i was doing all the 3/Os jobs, boats,passes, anything as well as the 4-8. This was very unfair, so much so that I requested off,only to be bumped up to u3/O, but i did not get a cadet doing my boats etc. It seemed that when they took the extra mate off nobody could cope.
I did not like the cerinthus but the people on it were great, which made my last trip on her very pleasant.

ALAN TYLER
30th July 2010, 12:06
I always said you got paid far to much money Malcolm. Much to much for a young Snapperwhipper. (Jester)

Mind you though the "Gas Boats" were a class in their own. I remember being on the "Cavendish" on her first trip to BA (I think) and all the Office Suites came a visiting and were gobsmacked to find the officers in overalls and getting dirty. I think they were used to the more sedate life of the "Meat Boats" and the "specials" that were laid on for them.

Regards (Thumb)
Can,t believe you didn,t lay on a "special" for them Leo!!!

marinero
30th July 2010, 16:23
Can,t believe you didn,t lay on a "special" for them Leo!!!

Hi Alan.
All they were interested in was how much whisky & cigarettes we could give them, mind you though "'twas ever thus" There were some very powerful movers in the BA Office or at least they liked to give that impression. We didn't do specials on the "Cavendish" as every day was one.
New granddaughter arrived June and a grandson due November. It's costing me a fortune.(no sarky remarks)

Regards (Thumb)

Jon Vincent
30th July 2010, 18:17
Vasco. Unfortunately I know the master your talking about, I was lucky to have Capt Don Murry and got on well, strange but I was on the meats through the meat ban and the nmaless master can back to the "Hardwick", I had been warned about his habits but he relied on me for lifts into town and so forth, so I was tolerated as first trip third mate. Teppett, Revell, Bartholimu, Jewel, Norden, Craddock, Nolan to name just a few.

MARINEJOCKY
31st July 2010, 12:36
Never did sail on the meat boats, Ocean Transport & the Banbury was the closest as they had general cargo. Cumbria was iron ore and coal and was good until Vasco ran us aground and then told me (I was 2 months into my first trip) that as we were aground forward and aft we may break our back, what the hell was I thinking signing up for this when my buddies back home were chasing sheep and cutting down tree's.

First thing the chief asked me when I joined the Ocean Transport was what had I done wrong, not for being sent to the OT but for being regular on the Fiery Kippers.

Then on the Banbury I was told they did not want tanker folk on cargo ships so off I went back to the Cavendish and Leo's menu's. Life was tough.

but you know we were as bad as they were. Whenever a meat boat or cargo boat guy came to the gas boats we were as snobby & cliquie as they had been on their ships. I would have to say though that more gas boat guys wanted to go to the meat boats than the other way around.

I after all had signed up to join ships that only sailed into "Monte" thinking it was Monte Carlo, turned out that the lads in the duty mess on the Cerinthus in dry dock at "Bring'm & Smash'm" were talking about runs ashore in Montevideo.

We all worked for Houlders or was it Houlder Brothers or even Furness Houlders but I remember Mrs Houlder being on one ship and she told us we were all "her" boys and to take care.

ALAN TYLER
31st July 2010, 12:43
Hi Alan.
All they were interested in was how much whisky & cigarettes we could give them, mind you though "'twas ever thus" There were some very powerful movers in the BA Office or at least they liked to give that impression. We didn't do specials on the "Cavendish" as every day was one.
New granddaughter arrived June and a grandson due November. It's costing me a fortune.(no sarky remarks)

Regards (Thumb)
Leo, Me "Sarky", great news about the grandchildren, just had our grandaughter over from Germany, hopefully see more of her now they,ve moved from Canada. Alan.

Old Bakelite
3rd August 2010, 13:18
but you know we were as bad as they were. Whenever a meat boat or cargo boat guy came to the gas boats we were as snobby & cliquie as they had been on their ships.

I often think I need memory regression therapy to remind me what happened in my early years. '79 or '80 on the Joule and the new 3rd mate joined from Shaw Savill. I recall at first it was a bit like that but he soon fit in, although I can't help thinking how shocked he must have been when he joined...a bit like heaven and hell?

MARINEJOCKY
4th August 2010, 02:04
anybody joining the Joule whether is was from Shaw Saville or another of the Fiery Kippers got a shock.

Never been involved in so many scavenge fires in my life oh I could go on and on but any of us who can remember the Joule will also remember how jealous we were of the meat boats especially when the Joule was in the midst of a few Typhoons with two or THREE cylinder cut out and still have fires and then the spare piston decided to chase me around the engine room just for a laugh.

I did ask to go to a "Nice" ship after that but was told that as I had spent nearly 7 months on the Joule they could not let that experience go.

Harry D., man I hated him for that but then straight back to another gas boat and another adventure with Harry.

I did find that every time I complained or asked to go on a cargo boat they would give me a year or two more seniority (more money) and off I would go. Young & stupid.

vasco
6th August 2010, 18:25
Vasco. Unfortunately I know the master your talking about, I was lucky to have Capt Don Murry and got on well, strange but I was on the meats through the meat ban and the nmaless master can back to the "Hardwick", I had been warned about his habits but he relied on me for lifts into town and so forth, so I was tolerated as first trip third mate. Teppett, Revell, Bartholimu, Jewel, Norden, Craddock, Nolan to name just a few.

Thanks for reminding me Jon, it was Don Murray who was the Master. As I said he did not know my name but certainly was fair sorting out the 18 hour day problem. thought it best to declare this as another seemed to be getting the blame.

I did submit a more detailed post than this but it has dissapeared, not much time now as I have a reputation to sort out before we sail(watch out Marine Jockey!)

vasco
6th August 2010, 18:34
[QUOTE=MARINEJOCKY;444690]Never did sail on the meat boats, Ocean Transport & the Banbury was the closest as they had general cargo. Cumbria was iron ore and coal and was good until Vasco ran us aground and then told me (I was 2 months into my first trip) that as we were aground forward and aft we may break our back, what the hell was I thinking signing up for this when my buddies back home were chasing sheep and cutting down tree's.

QUOTE]

Tut Tut MJ, your memory fails you. It was the Chief Officer and Master on watch when the vessel ran aground, though they managed to blame it on a 2/O that had done a bad chart correction months before. I was lying blissfully in bed counting lovely welsh sheep when Mel came in, soaking wet saying I had to releave him as we were agound. It would be just like him to stand under a shower and call as a prank, so I said Thanks, rolled over and returned to the sheep! You were right about breaking here back, her bottom was wrecked, she had to go over the rocks as the bilge keel was bent bac, preventing her backing off..

Must dash, got to get some shut eye, the sheep are calling.

John

MARINEJOCKY
8th August 2010, 02:06
I had not heard much from you J. so thought I would give you a nudge and a wink wink, just waiting now for Leo to get back at me about my comments concerning the food.

You are correct, when we went aground I do beleive you were fast asleep although counting sheep was maybe pushing it a bit, how about dreaming of Liza Minelli. All these years and I still remember your obsession's.

Jon Vincent
8th August 2010, 03:16
Sorry about that Vasco, I thought you were talking about T A G Head, not many people got on with him, from what I head he and Don Murry were not the best of friends. I think the type of one upmanship you are talking about happens in all companies, unfortunately cadets were cheap labor, I know we were in Prince Line, We got most of the hold and bilge cleaning before they loaded oranges and other fruit in the Medi, I don't ever been given study time, I think if I had asked for it I would have been cleaning brass forever more, we just thought that it was our lot to do the jobs that the crew did'nt like.

Jon Vincent
8th August 2010, 15:20
Vasco I had a big advantage over you in that I was a Cornishman, same as Murry, he lived with his sister in a pub at Navergissy, my family were alll local fisherman and farmers, and some hsd sisters regulars.

marinero
9th August 2010, 16:35
I had not heard much from you J. so thought I would give you a nudge and a wink wink, just waiting now for Leo to get back at me about my comments concerning the food.

You are correct, when we went aground I do beleive you were fast asleep although counting sheep was maybe pushing it a bit, how about dreaming of Liza Minelli. All these years and I still remember your obsession's.
Hear you Mal.
I represent that remark. I was in hospital(having a horrid time) when you lot went aground and I utterly refuse to take any responsibility for such a debacle.
Anyway I thought you were to busy dodging "Big Barney" to worry about your bacon & eggs, although if I remember correctly you were not adverse to liking your scran. (Jester)

Regards
Leo (Thumb)

MARINEJOCKY
10th August 2010, 00:40
Hi Leo,

Solong as there was plenty of Ketchup or HP sauce anything was edible, was it on your ship that us engineers took a paper clipping and enlarged it & stuck it on the notice board.

It was Butlins advertising and it went something like, chefs wanted - merchant navy cooks need not apply.

On a more serious note did you read on another post that Dia Davies had passed way on Sunday, ex gas boats and offshore electrician.

marinero
10th August 2010, 16:36
Hi Leo,

Solong as there was plenty of Ketchup or HP sauce anything was edible, was it on your ship that us engineers took a paper clipping and enlarged it & stuck it on the notice board.

It was Butlins advertising and it went something like, chefs wanted - merchant navy cooks need not apply.

On a more serious note did you read on another post that Dia Davies had passed way on Sunday, ex gas boats and offshore electrician.

Hi Mal.
That was sad news about Dai. I knew him well having sailed with him on the Cavendish and Offshore. A nicer bloke you couldn't meet. I remember one instance when Mike Mitchell had stopped his tap in our bar, he would sit outside the crew bar and play his guitar and get fed with copious amounts of drink. He was such an inoffensive lad, everyone loved him. It's a sad loss when someone who was so popular passes on. I shall raise a glass to his passing.
I trust things are well with you over there. I'm still going to come over and see you one day if the grim reaper doesn't get me first.

My regards to the family.
Leo

PS you never lost any weight when I was feeding you. (Jester)

MARINEJOCKY
10th August 2010, 18:02
Hi Leo, I think it was Dai who encouraged three of us to buy guitars and teaching books on how to play the darned things when we where in Houston. We were so bad we were sent forward to practice. I managed to learn 17 notes of Oh come all thee faithful which was pretty terrible and then Dai joined in and made another Xmas at sea enjoyable.

My folks got all excited at the week end as they were invited to a weddig at Durham Caslte, off they went but came home before dark, dad is 82 now and it is hard for him to admit after driving trucks all his life that he can not see to well in the dark. I know they would make you welcome if you are up in the Wark area and you are welcome to come to Fort Lauderdale anytime.

Rgds. ME

PS. none of lost weight as we all had pass keys to the store rooms and helped ourselves while you & Vasco were away dreaming of sheep & Butlins.

robbie13
25th August 2010, 18:27
I started with Houlders in 1978,Westbury,Lord Kelvin,Dunster Grange,Cavendish,Banbury,Derwent and the Andes.In 82 i was transfered offshore.UJ,Shelf driller,Kuk,Bay driller,Morecombe Flame,To8,Transocean Explorer.All great crews and fantastic men,a pleasure to work with and know.I am now 50,and since leaving i have driven petrol tankers etc and worked for Royal Mail.But i have to say my time with the Houlders fleet and the offshore days are the best days of my life.They are the times i wish i could get back,one thing we all have in common is we can be proud to say we served a fantastic company.Happy days and great memories.

tonymorcom
1st October 2010, 17:24
Only found this site today and what a joy its been reading all the posts and having my memories jogged by mentions of many ships i sailed in. I joined as deck cadet in Sept 1973 about the famous Hardwicke Grange with Capt "Tag" Head and spent the next 6 months going from boy to man on the BA, Monte, Santos, London route. Santos at 16 was an experience I shall probably never forget. Over the following 7 years I experienced amongst others Cumbria, Orotava, Joule, Clerk Maxwell, Lynton Grange, Upwey Grange plus many others whose names elude me at this moment. I still have all my deck cadet books and journals so must drag them out for for a few hours welcome nostalgia. Leaving the merchant navy in 1980 as 2nd mate is my biggest ever regret, other than getting married the 1st time which is why I left in the first place.