Rhodesia Star & South Africa Star Question

Shipbuilder
25th September 2010, 18:00
I am currently writing an MN book covering 1850 - 1990 and researching as I go along.

I would imagine someone here can help with a simple query regarding the officer accommodation aboard RHODESIA STAR and SOUTH AFRICA STAR. (Ex Escort carriers HMS PREMIER & HMS REAPER).

I know it was pretty abysmal, with everything made metal and not even a wash basin in most cabins. No doubt the captain and chief would have dayroom, bedroom and bathroom. The purser no doubt had a cabin with its own bathroom on the passenger deck (12 passengers).

But what of Chief Officer and 2nd Engineer, did they have their own bathrooms, or just simple cabins like most of the others?

I made my first voyage to sea aboard RHODESIA STAR in the early 60s (London to Australia & back to Liverpool), but never saw what type of accommodation the C/O & 2nd Eng. had. Senior R/O was fortunate in not only having a wash basin in his cabin, but a small bathroom just outside his door (back of bridge).

Bob

Boseley
3rd October 2010, 14:28
I was a Steward on the South Africa Star. All officers cabins, we called them sheds, had a wash basin. We did not have a purser just a chief steward, he was on the upper deck, the chief engineer did not have a day room, his bedroom was larger, I think he had a bathroom. The 2nd engineer and 1st electrician, had slightly larger cabins. Cannot remember the chief mates accomodation.

Yes the accommodation was basic but ours was a happy ship, I stayed with her for three trips 1 H.T. 2 FGN, the whole of 1963. I then had a spell ashore.

Bob Sendall

Shipbuilder
3rd October 2010, 14:41
Hi Bob,
Thanks for reply. The SOUTH AFRICA STAR, athough a sister ship must have been slightly better fitted inside if there were washbasins. In RHODESIA STAR, I know none of the officers cabins from 2nd mate and 3rd engineer down had washbasins. Our chief steward was a Mr Povey, but we hardly ever saw him because he lived on the passenger deck. The 2nd steward lived at the end of the officer accommodation on the starboard side.
Bob

DURANGO
3rd October 2010, 15:57
I was a Steward on the South Africa Star. All officers cabins, we called them sheds, had a wash basin. We did not have a purser just a chief steward, he was on the upper deck, the chief engineer did not have a day room, his bedroom was larger, I think he had a bathroom. The 2nd engineer and 1st electrician, had slightly larger cabins. Cannot remember the chief mates accomodation.

Yes the accommodation was basic but ours was a happy ship, I stayed with her for three trips 1 H.T. 2 FGN, the whole of 1963. I then had a spell ashore.

Bob Sendall Well I reckon if the mates and engineers accommodation wasn,t to clever I would hate to think what it was like for the deck crowd and firemen, it might have been a bit like the old Pilcomayo 3 in a cabin, man in the top bunk could stand on his bunk and his head would not hit the deck head, all steel bulkheads , I found it quite pleasant when we where on our way south to the Magellan straits in the winter.

Shipbuilder
3rd October 2010, 16:10
I know the junior catering staff were three in a cabin, but don't know about the rest, but would imagine it was similar, maybe with POs single berthed. It was extremely hot though in the tropics.

Boseley
4th October 2010, 20:44
The boy ratings three in a cabin, crew two in a cabin. The Chief Cook had his own cabin. The Officer cadets were two to a cabin. maybe three. The Bosun had his own cabin. The accommodation wasn't good, but she was a good feeder, the crew could have all the ale they wanted.

The officers got bored on an evening so we organised a mess for them and served them from the bar, that seemed to go down well, even had the occasional passenger who visited. In Australia we held similar events and crumpet was invited aboard, plenty to go round, they got them pissed and if required we would always help out with the leg over job, ah happy days!!

Brian Beveridge
18th May 2011, 09:23
I spent 10 months onboard in 1961 and there were 3 cadets, 2 in a double cabin and a single berth for the senior cadet. No air con and dodgy fans, all metal, hull painted Black. Sometimes slept on deck in Hammock in Tropics, like in Aden with temperature 100 degress in the old money. Service speed 16/17 knots but could wind up to 19 homeward bound from Holyhead to Liverpool.
NO Radar and heaps of Brass to clean every day. 5 hold general cargo ship with derricks. (Scribe)