Shelbrit 2

meechingman
25th October 2005, 18:21
Does anyone have any information on the Shelbrit 2. My father served on her during WW2. I think she was built as the British Thrift, then renamed Thriftie before becoming Shelbrit 2.
Thanks
Andy G

price
27th February 2006, 16:09
Hello Andy,
Yes I remember this little ship well, I sailed in her in 1959/60, by which time she had become the Shell Loader, trading mostly on the south coast of England, often loading at Hamble for Portslade and the Channel Islands.
The Shell Loader was built as the British Thrift in 1928, becoming the Thriftie in 1935 and the Shellbrit 2 in 1936. She was originally built as a steamship, but was converted to motor[Crossley] later. The crews accom. was in the Fo'csle.. She had a small Wheelhouse atop the chartroom, atop the Captains cabin. The steering was direct, chain and rod, but as well as the big wheel there was a smaller wheel which operated the steam driven steering engine, which used to fill the wheelhouse with steam, one of she helmsmans duties was to at short intervals oil the pistons of the steering engine, the oil can was always placed beside the wheel. The steam to the windlass did not have a return pipe to the condenser, the exhaust outlet was just about at eye level to any unfortunate who should be walking along the quay, great care was normally taken to direct the exhaust away from the quay, but of course some times some one forget to turn the valve.
I have very happy memories of this vessel, She was originally fitted with anticlockwise cargo valves, but of course as time went on these valves could only be replaced with the normal clockwise types, causing all sorts of confusion. The permanent Master was Captain Smilie and the mate rel/Master was a Mr. Lane.
I hope this of use to you . Bruce. (*))

R58484956
27th February 2006, 16:23
Shelbrit 2 695 tons built1928 by Swan Hunter Newcastle.185.3 x 31.6 x 11.2.
$ cyl oil engine by shipbuilders. code flags MDPX. Registered Swansea British flag Owned by Shell Mex& BP

meechingman
28th February 2006, 14:21
Many thanks for the information. All I need now is a picture. Here's hoping someone may have one somewhere.

Dad did run into Shoreham and Jersey with her. By the late 50's, though, he was with Rowbotham Tankships, skippering several of their vessels, and ending up with the Quarterman, I think.

Regards
Andy G

treeve
28th February 2006, 14:41
The Times
Thursday 7th March 1940
AIR ATTACKS ON TANKER AND LIGHTSHIP
The Swansea tanker Shelbrit II (695 tons) was attacked by bombs and machine-gun fire from two German aeroplanes off the North-East Coast of Scotland last night.
The second officer, Mr. D. J. Thomas, was injured in the leg by a bullet.

Picture available from
http://libwww.essex.ac.uk/Archives/Rowhedge_Collection.htm

Best Wishes
Raymond

price
2nd March 2006, 17:42
(*))Dear Andy,
Glad the information was of use, I could do with a Photo of her as well, an interesting looking vessel.
I was Master with Rowbothams as well, I suspect your father would have been Master of the old 'Quarterman', she was sold on soon after I joined the company early in 1968, so I doubt if our paths would have crossed. The Quarterman was on Shell time charter then, very often sailing out Swansea to other Bristol Channel ports, I think she was the first post war company designed/built tanker, the basic design used for the Quarterman in 1959 and the 1100 ton class in the 1960s.
Best wishes
Bruce.

meechingman
3rd March 2006, 23:57
There's a pic of Dad's Quarterman at Newhaven in my gallery.

I have others but I don't know who owns the copyright. Some are in the Rev Huckett's book Rowbotham, and I know Dad and I gave him some photos, but I cant remember which.

Thanks again for the info

Andy

meechingman
4th March 2006, 13:54
Had a chat with my Mum this morning about Shelbrit 2.

Dad was on her most of WW2, loading at Southampton/Hamble and then running to Shoreham or Poole. She did run to Dover a couple of times and got shelled both times for her troubles!

Coming into Shoreham on one occasion, her anchor chain snagged on a cable. The anchor was partly raised and my Dad climbed down the chain and managed to unhook the wire. The matter had to be reported to the authorities, of course, and it was then that they found out that the cable had defensive mines attached to it.

The powers that be then investigated the incident and decided that this act of bravery [foolishness, Dad said] merited an award. The most senior person on board at the time was the Chief Engineer [asleep in his bunk!] so it was he that got the medal!

Mum says that she was a happy little ship, even in wartime, and my older brother would sail with mum and dad sometimes.

Andy G

price
5th March 2006, 15:15
Hi Andy,
I have Andrew Hucket's book, he was Chaplain to the Missions to Seamen down here in Milford Haven for some time. There are two good photos of the Quarterman[1] there. I seem to remember hearing a similar story concerning underwater cables, which may have been about your Dad but I think this happened on the old Quarterman many years ago, my memory isnt as good as it was and the facts might be a little distorted.
I used to board the Quarterman[2] frequently when she called at Pembroke Refinery in the 1970s and 80s, very often loading for Carrickfergus or Cardiff, her regular Master was an old shipmate of mine Tommy Mclhinney from Larne.
She was a trim little vessel.
Best wishes.
Bruce. (*))

John_F
5th March 2006, 16:26
Many thanks for the information. All I need now is a picture. Here's hoping someone may have one somewhere.
Regards
Andy G

Andy, Bruce & Raymond,
Photo attached of Shellbrit 2.
She certainly lasted a long time. In 1961 she was sold to Express Argosarinikos of Greece & renamed Amphitrite. She was sold again in 1977 to Hellenic Shipyards of Greece before she finally went for demolition at Salamina in 1985.
Kind regards,
John F.
All details & photo from BP Tankers: A Group Fleet History (Harvey & Solly)

meechingman
5th March 2006, 19:20
Many thanks for this. My mum and brother will be surprised to see the photo!

Andy G

price
5th March 2006, 19:53
Thanks a lot, the photo brings back memories, I was interested to learn that she lasted for nearly 60 years, I doubt if any of the left handed valves remained (*)) by 1985.
Bruce

meechingman
7th March 2006, 14:25
John / Price

In the book, is there any reference to her being lengthened at some point? Mum seems to remember her being shorter than in the photo.

Thanks
Andy G

John_F
7th March 2006, 14:43
John / Price

In the book, is there any reference to her being lengthened at some point? Mum seems to remember her being shorter than in the photo.

Thanks
Andy GAndy,
There is a note in the book that in 1935, whilst she was still British Thrift, that she was refitted with a new double bottom before being renamed Thrifty & then Shellbrit 2 in 1936. She was re-engined in 1953 but apart from those 2 entries there is no mention of other major work being carried out except for the repairs following the damage she suffered at Shoreham from enemy aircraft in 1940.
Hope this is of some help, Andy.
Kind regards,
John

meechingman
7th March 2006, 20:35
Thanks for looking that up for me, John. Must be Mum's imagination, then. That bombing incident must have been just before Dad joined her, I guess. Still, he was attacked with torpedoes, shells and bombs [all missed] and sunk twice in his career, so he had his fair share of action.

Regards
Andy