Bristol Steam Navigation Company

Waighty
2nd August 2011, 22:51
BSNC, or as it was known in its final years Bristol Seaway.

I was only with them when the fleet was down to two ships ECHO and APOLLO. I sailed on them both as a fill-in 2nd and 1st Mate in 1976 and 1977, when I was trying to get my brain to pass my Master's Ticket at Brunel Tech College, Ashley Down.

Echo's skipper was Wally Keys and Apollo's was Joe Earl. Great run from Avonmouth to Dublin and back or Avonmouth to Cork and back and sometimes a really long trip (joke) Avonmouth to Cork to Dublin and back.

I was asked to stay long term but they couldn't give me any employment guarantees so I went back deep sea. Shortly after that BET took them over, put one of them on the east coast and then sold them both - a real shame.

Those two ships were good sea boats and well designed in my opinion, if I'd been there twenty years earlier I would have stayed.

Any ex BSNC guys out there? If so please contribute.

John Rogers
2nd August 2011, 23:09
I think those two ships were built by Chas Hill in Bristol. Joe earl is active in the MN Bristol Branch.


John.

Jacktar1
3rd August 2011, 18:38
Brings back happy memories.....in 1956 I sailed as 2nd Mate and 1st Mate on the CATO, they had quite a few ships in those days, CATO was on the Bristol - Dublin run (known as the "Guiness Run") back then. If I remember correctly, it was around 34 - 40 hours total sea time weekly ! Masters on CATO were Capt Jenkins ( later was Master on the ECHO for a long time) and Capt Dudgeon. CATO plus another vessel did the Bristol - Dublin - Bristol run and the others were on the Bristol - Newport - Cardiff- Swansea - Antwerp - Rotterdam run.
I also sailed as relief 1st Mate on the MILO which was on the UK - Continental run.
In the 1950's it was almost impossible to obtain a permanent position with BSNC......they were great ships , and once in hardly
anyone left the company.

Cheers.......Glan

John Rogers
3rd August 2011, 18:43
Hi Glan,nice to see you on the board,have you been back to the land of song and picked out your home yet.

John.

Waighty
8th August 2011, 15:52
I think those two ships were built by Chas Hill in Bristol. Joe earl is active in the MN Bristol Branch.


John.

Hi John,

Thanks for that, I take it that's the MN Association?

Mike

John Rogers
8th August 2011, 17:22
Hi John,

Thanks for that, I take it that's the MN Association?

Mike


That is correct Mike.

John.

gateman211
12th October 2011, 23:00
BSNC, or as it was known in its final years Bristol Seaway.

I was only with them when the fleet was down to two ships ECHO and APOLLO. I sailed on them both as a fill-in 2nd and 1st Mate in 1976 and 1977, when I was trying to get my brain to pass my Master's Ticket at Brunel Tech College, Ashley Down.

Echo's skipper was Wally Keys and Apollo's was Joe Earl. Great run from Avonmouth to Dublin and back or Avonmouth to Cork and back and sometimes a really long trip (joke) Avonmouth to Cork to Dublin and back.

I was asked to stay long term but they couldn't give me any employment guarantees so I went back deep sea. Shortly after that BET took them over, put one of them on the east coast and then sold them both - a real shame.

Those two ships were good sea boats and well designed in my opinion, if I'd been there twenty years earlier I would have stayed.

Any ex BSNC guys out there? If so please contribute.
i worked on the dido. i am from dublin the captain was llewellyn, then capt murphy .. i only remember the dido , the hero the apollo . i workrd from avonmouth to le harve to rotterdam then london , that was 1969 .. the apollo was a beautiful ship

gateman211
13th October 2011, 10:33
i worked on the dido. i am from dublin the captain was llewellyn, then capt murphy .. i only remember the dido , the hero the apollo . i workrd from avonmouth to le harve to rotterdam then london , that was 1969 .. the apollo was a beautiful ship
my brother also worked on the dido for a few years , he only worked dublin to avonmouth. my dad worked for bsnc as a checker ..

cremacatalana
28th November 2011, 16:28
Forget Paignton, Shaldon, Hayling Island......................my favourite holiday as a schoolkid was staying in a chalet at Walton Bay watching ships with a rather weak telescope (the best my dad and Mum could afford). Altho the big ships were more exciting, I always looked forward to the arrival at the anchorage of Cato, Apollo and Milo. Now I live in Spain, and I'll have to rummage around the garage to see if I still have any B and W photos.

Kenneth Rex
28th July 2015, 22:06
Re above company I worked there from 1945 till 1951 as clerk in continental dept and customs dept, including ships reports and clearances on arrival and departure. There were six vessels two chargered steam ships Capito and Melito, and four built at Chas Hill dockyard Bristol the Cato, Ino, Juno and Milo. They operated a weekly service Bristol to Antwerp, Rotterdam, Plymouth Cardiff Bristol Newport and Swansea round trips, and a twice weekly service Bristol to Dublin, two shed were used one at Bathurst Wharf and A shed canons Marsh, later The new M shed was used opposite the BSN office, by the swing bridge.
Ken Rex

John Rogers
28th July 2015, 22:18
Welcome to SN Kenneth, did you bring any of that good Zommerset cider with you.

John.

Kenneth Rex
29th July 2015, 10:56
Not for a while John but Jack Daniels still a favourite
Regards Ken Rex

John Rogers
29th July 2015, 12:44
Nothing wrong with that Ken. A lot of cider is being sold over here now and I enjoy a bottle now and then.

Kenneth Rex
29th July 2015, 16:19
The real strong cider is draught straight from the barrel, in Somerset, very often brewed at the farms. Which part of the USA do u live? I changed from sea cargo to Air Cargo around 1960, finally working for an American Forwarder Burlington Air Express, and visited the USA many times, over the next Thirty years.
Ken Rex

bev summerill
30th July 2015, 16:06
Bristol is not in Somerset

John Rogers
30th July 2015, 16:18
Bristol is not in Somerset

Who said it was.?.I know they have changed the boundaries a couple of times over the years. I lived there for 24 years,nice place to live, or at least it was.

Kenneth Rex
30th July 2015, 17:58
Quite right John the counties were renamed and Bristol from the city and county of Bristol, was renamed in the county of Avon, the river as you will recall passed Shirehampton en route to Avonmouth, upto five years ago I lived in Sneyd Park, for 22 years, so know Shirehampton quite well. Re yr army service did you serve any time in the United Kingdom during your service.
Regards Ken Rex

John Rogers
30th July 2015, 18:10
No Ken, no time served in th UK, just Germany,Vietnam, Korea,Panama,Okinawa,and Alaska. Would have loved to had a tour in the UK but the Airforce boys got those tours.

Kenneth Rex
30th July 2015, 18:16
Well you certainly did world tour of duty, I agree USAF did seem to come to the UK, a lot. I hope you are enjoying your retirement in St Louis. Next week I shall be in Spain for one week, on holiday, so catch up with you again.
Thanks for messages,
Regards Ken

Masirah
20th August 2015, 09:00
I did one trip in Echo, May 1962. I was there to hopefully get some cash together go back to UWIST for r repeat run at 2nd Mates. Being a Bristol Channel local(Penarth) BSNC were always very familiar to me..

I joined in Bristol and in those days Echo and her sister, Apollo, were on a service fro the Bristol Channel to Antwerp and Rotterdam with a call at Plymouth on the return trip. Skipper was Capt. Jenkins, I was 3rd Mate. Bit unusual for a home trade ship to have a third mate but the number of ports and general cargo seem to dictate the need. Not that I was complaining she was a very nicely appointed ship. After leaving Swansea the weather was in clement and I was very glad to get to my bunk. I was a tad surprised when we went between Lands end and the Longships, coming from a deep sea background this seemed risky. It was the deep sea background that got the better of me and Capt Jenkins and we parted company on our return to Cardiff. Mostly down to me but you learn and I did. I never did go back to such small ships because I found my home in my next trip with Constants of Cardiff.

Michael Meredith