Coasters

bobby388
19th December 2005, 02:58
hi shipmates not that i have a great intrest just dont read much about them my love is for deep sea as i think most seem to be.i joined home trade had to be near home(ugh)1966-1968 (ch eng m.v.lerwick mv brodick cargo&tanker enid shipping co(was)of course all i had was eng room boy(il say no more i was appalled the conditions those ships were in especially the tanker how they got away with it?only good thing was when alongside genny off batteries on was i just unlucky with these ships or were they all the same, like any views on this.p.s went middle trade after (silver line) was like aholiday cheers (bobby) glasgow

janathull
19th December 2005, 08:09
No, some were a lot worse, one big company used to shut the gennies off in port and give you an oil lamp. that would be interesting thes days.

fredkinghorn
19th December 2005, 08:41
Gibson's of Leith always turned off the gennies at 2200 in port. Every cabin had a paraffin lamp screwed to the bulkhead. It used to be grand coming back on board in the winter, half-pissed and frozen, trying to light the bloody thing, or getting into kip in the dark. Even worse was getting up during the night and trying to find the heads.

fred

albertwebster
19th December 2005, 11:34
I HAD JUST SIGNED OFF A 40,000 ton TANKER AND FROM THE BIGGEST SHIP I WAS EVER TO SAIL ON, TO THE SMALLEST, OR OUT OF THE FRYING PAN INTO THE FIRE IS MORE LIKE IT.

I JOINED THE FERNDENE, (330 grt), IRVINGS OF SUNDERLAND, AT ABERDEEN IN APRIL 1959, I MUST HAVE BEEN MAD, BUT IT WAS THE ONLY SHIP AVAILABLE ON THE POOL, AND NOTHING IN SIGHT. WHEN I WENT TO PUT MY GEAR ON BOARD HER ALL I COULD SEE WAS THE TOPS OF HER MASTS ABOVE THE QUAY, STILL WE WERE ONLY GOING TO THE NORTH EAST OF ENGLAND TO LOAD COAL, (SHE HAD JUST FINISHED UNLOADING A COAL CARGO), OR SO I WAS TOLD. I THOUGHT IT RATHER ODD WHEN MY FIRST JOB WAS TO WASH OUT THE HOLD, WHY WASH OUT THE HOLD IF WE WERE ONLY GOING TO LOAD ANOTHER CARGO OF COAL? I ASKED, COAL? I WAS TOLD! WE WERE GOING TO LOAD A CARGO OF POTATOES FOR IRELAND. HERE WE GO AGAIN, SHANGHAIED, WILL I EVER LEARN?

AFTER THE CARGO WAS LOADED WE SAILED FOR DUBLIN, GOING NORTH ABOUT, THROUGH THE PENTLAND FIRTH, I KNOW NOW WHAT ITíS LIKE TO BE ON A SUBMARINE, FOR IíM SURE WE SPENT MORE TIME UNDER WATER THAN WE DID ON THE SURFACE. AFTER UNLOADING AT DUBLIN WE WENT TO BELFAST TO LOAD A CARGO FOR TEIGNMOUTH IN DEVON. I CANíT REMEMBER WHAT THE CARGO WAS.

AT TEIGNMOUTH I TASTED SCRUMPY FOR THE FIRST TIME. I WONíT TELL THE STORY OF THAT FOR THE SIMPLE REASON IS, I CANíT REMEMBER ANYTHING FOR DAYS AFTER!!!

FROM TEIGNMOUTH WE WENT TO St SAMSONS IN THE CHANNEL ISLANDS WHERE WE LOADED A CARGO OF STONE, OF ALL THINGS, FOR GREENWICH, WHERE I SIGNED OFF ON THE 23rd APRIL 1959.

EVERY TIME I LIGHT THE PARRAFIN HEATER IN MY GREENHOUSE I STILL GET THE SMELL OF THAT BLOODY SHIP.

ALBERTWEBSTER

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

lakercapt
19th December 2005, 19:21
Robertson's of Glasgow had the same sort of arrangements.
At night in port after the cargo was done for the day the generator was turned off and we went on battery power. Enough to see were your bunk was after a run ashore.
The heating in wintertime was a coal boiler in the galley and when you came back on board you always checked it out to ensure that it was stoked up and you were warm during the night.
The later Robertson's boats had a small generator that was run at night but it could not go all evening without refilling so on occassion it would die.
We were a hardly lot or stupid depending on your viewpoint. The latter I think as I reminisce. Coming back on board in the late evening looking for that warm glow of your ship was not the case. Needed a flashlight to find it.
No payments for nights on board so we went ashore.

janbonde
19th December 2005, 21:09
I remember two or three times in the Tyne river never saw it before these coal ships lying in the river and the guys sculling the crews ashore to the steps so they could get a drink,one or two must have been up market companys they had out-board motors,but the majority did it the hard way.Must have been some job getting those guys back to the ship after a night in a bar

mcgurggle
20th December 2005, 14:46
Some of 'Kellys Coal boats out of Belfast put on the 'Wee Gennie' in port at night, only thing was that when anyone put the electric kettle on, it conked out & everything fell silent. Untill, somewhere from the engineers accomodation would be the plaintive cry of, "Who the f**ks makin' tea at this time of night?"...
(Memories of Barry McClintock) :@
McG

fredkinghorn
20th December 2005, 19:38
Joined the " Cardrona " in Seaham Harbour. She was not alongside and had to hail the nighwatchman to come over in the jolly boat to get me and my brother aboard. the nighwatchman was the Steward and the only one sober at the time. The crew had paid of, got their money and signed on again. they had been " up the road ", well plastered, got back aboard, some fell in the oggin and were covered in coal dust. The pound notes that they had left were hanging up in the galley to dry. An A.B. had gone into the galley locker and tried a bottle of essence. The inside of his mouth and teeth were bright yellow for about two weeks. Happy days on the coastal trade !

fred

R651400
21st December 2005, 04:49
Gibson's of Leith always turned off the gennies at 2200 in port.
fred
The Ronan certainly did Fred but I can't remember Dryburgh, Gibson's flagship in the late fifties, after all her skipper was George Gibson.

lakercapt
21st December 2005, 15:47
Re "Dryburgh"
Captain when I was there was George Patience and when in Europe we did not turn the gennies off at night.
When in Leith I don't know as I went home at night.
The flagship carried passengers and we hoped for a rough passage so they would be sick and we got their food.
Cook came round every pay day to get monmey for our food for the next week. We were paid weekly!!

R651400
21st December 2005, 16:16
Thanks L-capt.
My Ronan and Dryburgh experiences were on summer and Christmas recess from Leith Nautical College.
50 years to the day when I set off on a single run Leith to Rotterdam and back.
I think you may be right re the skipper, Geo Gibson came via an old friend who was Asst Steward on her for almost a year, senior moment perhaps.
I used to dine in style when Dryburgh docked in Leith. Must've been eating your rations!
Is this the lady in question?

lakercapt
21st December 2005, 21:04
Thanks L-capt.
My Ronan and Dryburgh experiences were on summer and Christmas recess from Leith Nautical College.
50 years to the day when I set off on a single run Leith to Rotterdam and back.
I think you may be right re the skipper, Geo Gibson came via an old friend who was Asst Steward on her for almost a year, senior moment perhaps.
I used to dine in style when Dryburgh docked in Leith. Must've been eating your rations!
Is this the lady in question?
Yes that is her after she was converted from cargo to gas tanker.
Was only on her for a couple on months as I wanted to see my girlfriend on a regular basis but we could not save money to get married so went back deep sea.
Leith Nautical was where I did pre-sea training ond all my "tickets"

wa002f0328
28th December 2005, 13:31
Hello Bobby
Spent a lot of time with Queenship Nav Co, they were a good outfit, plenty runs to south coast & jersey, they were the days (60,s)

tell
30th December 2005, 01:35
I was Lamptrimmer in the Kyleglen of Monro bros , I got ten shillings a week extra for seeing to all the oil lamps in the midships cabins and Navigation lights (in case Genny broke down)and more or less acting bosun, I used kolza oil not parrafin , the genny was shut down as soon as we got alongside, the lights were out before we came off the focsle head

Bearsie
11th November 2006, 18:04
hi shipmates not that i have a great intrest just dont read much about them my love is for deep sea as i think most seem to be.i joined home trade had to be near home(ugh)1966-1968 (ch eng m.v.lerwick mv brodick cargo&tanker enid shipping co(was)of course all i had was eng room boy(il say no more i was appalled the conditions those ships were in especially the tanker how they got away with it?only good thing was when alongside genny off batteries on was i just unlucky with these ships or were they all the same, like any views on this.p.s went middle trade after (silver line) was like aholiday cheers (bobby) glasgow


I prefer coasters over big ships any day (Thumb)
I went to sea at the age of 14, made one trip on the Hapag ship MS Krefeld and decided the formality was not for me! my oldest and smallest coaster was the Egerland 500 tdw built in 39, Marika ex Cornelia B (nl)750 tdw 1947,
The newest and biggest was the Anita von Bargen with 2000 tdw Neptun werft Rostock in 64. not to forget the Sternenfels, Lina von Bargen and Hein von Bargen, and a river barge of 800 tons "Hein-Werner" a "Binnenschiff" of the type the dutch call a "Dortmunder" and incidently the only ship that had coal and oil lamps....
even my oldest coaster was all electric with central oil heat, we had an air cooled genset on the boat deck for the english tidal ports like Penzance.
Sometimes it was shut down when the neighbors complained over the noise,
in that case we had batteries that were plenty for the lights and the boiler.
However, during my first visit to the UK I noticed that attitudes and living conditions were definitely different from home. Were we were more like family, with the "old man" sort of a surrogate dad and mostly a rather happy bunch the UK crews seemed to have more of an us versus them attitude, I am sure there were reasons for that.
So it was part of my ongoing eduction and exploring the world to see how folks lived in other places. Took me a while to get used to eat what the north germans called food... (EEK)
Either way, while it might have been more physical work back then with wooden hatches and lubing the engine every 3 hours and little chores like that I always look back at my days on the Coasters / Kümo's / Kustvaarders with a glow in my heart

Bearsie
13th November 2006, 23:00
Re "Dryburgh"
Captain when I was there was George Patience and when in Europe we did not turn the gennies off at night.
When in Leith I don't know as I went home at night.
The flagship carried passengers and we hoped for a rough passage so they would be sick and we got their food.
Cook came round every pay day to get monmey for our food for the next week. We were paid weekly!!

You had to pay for the food? That sure sounds odd to me.
I can see where that could lead to arguments in time...

Argyll
14th November 2006, 19:38
I did a couple of trips on coasters. Robertsons Turquise ex Kylebank. did one trip as 2nd mate and one as mate, remember joining in Mostyn as mate about 1900 hrs not a living soul aboard and the dock completely dry a genny running away drawn cooling from aft peak tank. also did 2 trips on st. Bedan with capt. roddy Black. that was an experince hard to forget and one trip on St.Aidan with Harry Haxel .
Argyll.

billyboy
14th November 2006, 23:29
we had to pay weekly for our food on the "sand boats" as well back in the 50'S
everything depended on the skill of the cook at shopping. one ship i was on we ran out of grub while anchored in plymouth sound. waited till the old man was asleep and hitched a lift in with the pilot for provisions. the best by far was the old sand star, the cook there was a master at his job, we all ate like kings. this man was a passed master at the shopping and the cooking. had one ship where we all payed up our money for the following week, cook drank it! pilchards and mash...for the whole week! and thats only because of a sack of spuds knocked off from a local greengrocer.

James MacDonald
15th November 2006, 15:52
I did a couple of trips on coasters. Robertsons Turquise ex Kylebank. did one trip as 2nd mate and one as mate, remember joining in Mostyn as mate about 1900 hrs not a living soul aboard and the dock completely dry a genny running away drawn cooling from aft peak tank. also did 2 trips on st. Bedan with capt. roddy Black. that was an experince hard to forget and one trip on St.Aidan with Harry Haxel .
Argyll.
Is this Roddy Black the same capt who was onboard the St Bedan when it was sunk in N Ireland ,He was a Scotsman who used to live in Runcorn. I believe the pool stopped supplying A/Bs to his ship has he kept sacking everyone , for they couldnt meet the demand. I was mate on the Torquoise ,
Saint Bedan, Saint William & Brilliant. Are there any pics of the Torquoise around.

EBenarty
15th November 2006, 23:23
You had to pay for the food? That sure sounds odd to me.
I can see where that could lead to arguments in time...
Yes quite a few companies did this namely the North of Scotland Orkney and Shetland Shipping Company. We paid the Chief Steward weekly, but we got our subsistence (7/6) paid into our wages.

Bearsie
16th November 2006, 00:38
Yes quite a few companies did this namely the North of Scotland Orkney and Shetland Shipping Company. We paid the Chief Steward weekly, but we got our subsistence (7/6) paid into our wages.
I see. That makes it clearer. Not sure how the dutch and scandinavians did it.
The german system was independent of the wage. The "ship" had to supply bedding and food, this was (if memory serves correct) 3.50 Mark a day for crew and I believe 4 Mark for Officers. There was even a list of food items that had to appear every so often. The captain had to keep the receipts
because occassionally an inspector would show up and ask for them to make sure all was on the level. This was not a union thing but the "guild"
The guild was unique because it was a public entity but was made up in even parts of union, state and owners representatives. They were and presumably still are into a lot of the "human resource" type stuff.
This rule came about trough abuse by captains way early in the century, there was the well known case of a captain who didnt feed his crew and his wife sold sandwiches on credit !!! The crew could never sign off, they were always in the hole !!!
Of course the rule doesnt mean the captain couldnt take a roast home on the sly ...
And totally agreed, the cook makes all the difference too !!!

I went onto a river barge, and found out I had to not only do my own cooking but get the food myself too !!!
Thats not easy when constantly moving, needless to say after 3 months of that I ran back to the sea and a proper cook LOL

I find it fascinating how different folks do things, and why, quite often there are solid historical reasons why something is different...

Happy Travel, Bearsie.

Don Lorimer
17th November 2006, 07:24
Bobby 388, like you I was a deep sea man, on tankers and loved it. Sadly I left the BP fleet as our days were numbered and went coasting. Like you I found it a nightmare...

tell
30th November 2006, 14:39
when I first went to sea on the coasters(belfast mersey and manchester ss co) We used to buy and cook our own food, we had seamens ration books and boy did those shopkeepers jump to attention when they saw our meat coupons

gus warner
7th December 2006, 02:37
Yes Tell, I was on the Alf Everard and there were only 7 of us and we did our own cooking. We had our seamans ration book and always got a good deal when we went into a butchers shop or the grocers. Would'nt get it today. They were happy times even if we had to light our oil lamps in port. would do it all again.

Argyll
7th December 2006, 21:10
Sorry for delay yes that was same Roddy Black , he came from Methil in Fife,
There was a gang of three, the Chief Eng, From wales I think his name was Ray, and the cook can't remember his name but came from Glasgow area,
Argyll

bobby388
29th December 2006, 18:05
catching up with the old threads with my new XP o/s great fun this when you get used to it anyway when i got promoted to ch eng with enid shipping leith my telegram(yes remember them)join mv Lerwick in Perth i thought how did a ship get up there ha ha anyway there were no other engineers on board only an eng room boy but ch eng on disch book looked good.when i went below couple of steps i thought i was in a weaving factory all the aux pumps etc were belt driven big levers hanging down couldnt believe it but it was different and good fun even with one of the skippers blind drunk most times he must have been good to the deck boys because he was never reported"mebe he was one of the owners?"dont know what happened to the co.after i went middle trade being the best of my sea days.then all the "weans"arrived and that was me grounded.
Bobby(Glasgow)