Catapult

Stevo
30th January 2012, 21:03
Was there ever a PAS/RMAS vessel called Catapult? If not does anyone know of a vessel called Catapult that would have been at Pounds shipbreakers in the 1960s or 70s??

cueball44
30th January 2012, 21:45
Was there ever a PAS/RMAS vessel called Catapult? If not does anyone know of a vessel called Catapult that would have been at Pounds shipbreakers in the 1960s or 70s??They were known as CAM ships, if you google "ss catapult" images or CAM SHIPS IMAGES, you will find some info there.PS There is also a reference to catapult YV1 a USN ship.

Stevo
31st January 2012, 11:19
Thank you Cueball, I'm afraid though the ship in question was actually called Catapult and I have since discovered she was a motor ammunition ship based up at Rosyth and was sold to Pounds shipowner/ breaker at Portsmouth. She had sister ships including Flintlock and Mortar.

R736476
31st January 2012, 13:20
Stevo,
There was also Ballista, Bowstring, Flintlock, Matchlock and Spear. Along with Catapult were still around as armament carriers in PAS and got a mention in 1971-72 Janes Fighting Ships but without details.
Alex

Stevo
31st January 2012, 14:27
That's lovely Alex, that will be the ones. Good chance then Catapult was sold to Pounds around 1972 then. She remained a feature in the yard for a few years but dissapeared around early 1977. I'm trying to find out if she was sold on or broken up. I'm guessing the ship was sold as that's what Pounds did more of.

senior pilot
31st January 2012, 17:17
catapult and flintlock where in rosyth late 60s i did a few jobs on her going up to the ammo depot at throsk up through the kincardine bridge had to be done at high tide only.

Stevo
31st January 2012, 17:23
Was she an old vessel? I ask as if Pounds aquired her around 1972 would they have found a buyer for her?

shoot999
31st January 2012, 18:55
Was she an old vessel? I ask as if Pounds aquired her around 1972 would they have found a buyer for her?


Flintlock, Matchlock, Catapult,Howitzer and Mortar all built between 1943 and 1946. IIRC Catapult was the only one built at Yarwoods in Northwitch; with the others being built at either Philips,Dartmouth or Pollocks at Faversham.

Stevo
31st January 2012, 19:36
Great stuff Shoot! Not exactly youngsters when they retired then..

senior pilot
31st January 2012, 21:02
WWW.RFANOSTALGIA.ORG go to this site they have a picture of the flintlock.when you get into the site click on the rmas gallery then ammunition ships alex

Stevo
31st January 2012, 22:01
Thank you Alex, nice to put a config to the name. I imagine these ships would have been resold for breaking elsewhere. From what I gather Catapult was in the yard for a number of years then dissapeared.

OLD STRAWBERRY
31st January 2012, 22:56
Stevo' When i joined Portland in 1973 we had "Bowstring" laid-up in the harbour. It was strategically put at Portland so as to get one of the new Insect Class 100ft Fleet Tenders "Cockchafer" being built around that time which we did. taken away after though. I did have occaision to go aboard it. An ungainly looking vessel with a longish hatch with hatch boards, it may have had two hatches actually. A huge wooden derrick facing aft plumbing both hatches. After accomodation with a wooden wheelhouse and a massive wheel in wheelhouse. Pretty much all I can remember really. I was lucky enough to be In PAS Cockchafer for five years though.

Stevo
1st February 2012, 11:56
Thanks Tony. One thing this little request for help has taught me is that there is very little written about the PAS/RMAS vessels since 1945. There is a book about MOD tugs but nothing much about the armament stores, salvage vessels, tank cleaning etc. I appreciate that the research would be massive but there's defo a gap in the book Market. Makes you appreciate the PAS/ RMAS gallery/ forum a whole lot more.

BUGGINS
1st February 2012, 16:21
Catapult ended her days at White, St. Davids on the Forth in 1979 probably directly from Rosyth. Howitzer went to Pounds but not till 1980,

Stevo
1st February 2012, 17:24
Buggins Sir, a friend of mine claims to have an image of the Catapult at Pounds. I have seen ariel views of the yard in the 70s with what looks like two similar looking vessels to this class. The Catapult he claims vanished almost over night havnt been in the yard for several years. It could be possible that Catapult was resold by Pounds For breaking on the Forth?

BUGGINS
2nd February 2012, 14:49
Steve - Pounds had 2 armament carriers in 1969/70 - Lanyard 6/70 was I believe scrapped but Gatling 9/69 was sold on to Haulbowline Industries in March 70 - that might your pal`s "disappeared one.

Stevo
2nd February 2012, 21:12
Thank you Sir. My friend has since come back to me and said he got catapult mixed up with Howitzer which explains the confusion. He has also asked me about the ultimate fate of the PAS tug Cannon which as Cobbydale has mentioned was at Pounds yard in 73, minus her whistle which might suggest she was being stripped in preparation for breaking. Further vessels asked about were C605 and C675 which I gather were lighters. These he says were definately at the yard although I have no record of these particular units.

senior pilot
2nd February 2012, 22:37
there is a picture of the howitzer in the P A S/ RM A S gallery if you have 90 images to a page it should be page 16 or in search box "hmav howitzer" rather a good picture of her

roofaerosyth
3rd February 2012, 20:33
according to my skipper, the flintlock was the better of the two at rosyth.(the other being catapult).flintlock was easier to steer,had better winches and a better derrick.it was his first boat apparently.

jan martin
3rd February 2012, 21:28
hi iwas on the bowstring in1966 as cabin boy she had a crew of 6 often wondered what happened to her i remembered once taken an unexploded 2000ib german wartime bomb to sea off plymouth to explode it

senior pilot
3rd February 2012, 22:37
i am not sure which one flintlock or catapult but the telegraph on one of them was very loose the holding bolts had been worn by a skipper who was dead scared of going through the kincardine bridge that he used to hold on to the binnacle with one hand and the telegraph with the other and pull against them while ducking down and left the helmsman to get her through.when he died we took out his family on her and scattered his ashes of crombie pier a very moving ceremony .

roofaerosyth
4th February 2012, 16:52
was it cliff ? senior pilot. im sure ive heard that story from my father.

senior pilot
4th February 2012, 17:40
thats right cliff kane who lived in crombie his family still stay there

roofaerosyth
4th February 2012, 21:52
my father says that the wheelhouse was a stand-alone type and that the only access was from outside.and that the steering on them was a bit dodgy as the rudder was moved by big chains.they sound like hard work to me.lol.

senior pilot
12th February 2012, 21:10
you could not hear yourself talk when you went hard about with the rattle of the chains.
stayed aboard a couple of times when up the river as it was along way to get home some of the crew did but i could not be bothered with all the hassle.
nay telly and only oil lamps to see by so spent the time in my kip or on the bridge with the radio on for an hour so as not to run down the battery.

nodes
16th April 2012, 09:53
Hi the Cockchaffer was designed and built as a general store carrier, the ones designed as ammo boats where Gnat, Bee and Ladybird. I found them to be one of the best seaboats I ever served in, plus great shiphandling boats. For details about the older Nav boats they are all mentioned with details inThe Royal Naval Armament Depots of Priddy's Hard. Elso, Frater and Bedenham (Gosport, Hampshire) 1768 to 1977, by H. W. Semark . ISBN 1 85975 1326, to buy from the Explosion Musem, Gosport 24.95. In the Gatling class was also Maxim,Enfield, Snider and Nordenfelt. One of them had a incident in the Firth of Forth dumping ammo, a box of shells hit her side by the engineroom and blew a hole in her. She was saved as then the Stokers kept thier pas hour mattress's in the boiler room, the duty stoker being ex wartime navy , pressed a mattress into the hole and jammed a bucket between it and the boiler. Lenny Williams was the master at the time , he said he got a face full of wooden splinters as the wooden bridge wing bulwark dissappeared along with his hat. She went back to Rosyth for an immediate emergency docking, it also lead to new dumping regs, 1, the boxs had to be drilled with holes and 2, a dumping schute had to be used at all times. I was told this story at a management course by Lenny when he gave his stand up in front talk. The Nav at the time was a Rosyth manned.

roofaerosyth
16th April 2012, 18:58
cicala done stores and ammo in the late 80s early 90s.lenny williams was nicknamed beano when he was shipping master at rosyth.his grandson also worked for rmas from about 2000 til rosyth got the shaft.(still sticks in my throat that decision)

senior pilot
16th April 2012, 21:39
the enfield was at rosyth did a couple of trips on her we went through the caledonian canal to the clyde and derry late 60s jimmy mair as skipper . there was a bosun bobby masterton lost overboard at the may island when he got hit by a warhead that knocked him into the water his body was found years later.

roofaerosyth
18th April 2012, 23:27
was that on cicala alec?early 90s? if so , it was a dummy mine that hit him.i done the previous job down the river but was replaced by lennys grandson by the time the next one came round.

FFP
19th April 2012, 09:29
Roo, we must have been together on that 1st mine lay: I recall the RN boys in high spirits and asking for their breakfast whilst alongside. A beautiful day but with East wind, I wasn't keen on sailing and told them so - we were just through the bridges when they saw their meal for the second time that day!

Off May Is we'd got 4 mines down but the seas were such that it was just too dangerous and I aborted. The 5th mine was as likely to have gone back in the hold as over the side and one of the retaining hooks on the hatch lids had snapped clean through. Memory get a bit hazy after that but think we discharged the mines on to Goosander and her crew laid them (maybe over the apron).

The incident with Bobby came later but before 90's I'm pretty sure.

roofaerosyth
19th April 2012, 17:38
thats right.we did offload them to the goosy and they were laid off the stbd side by means of a toggled wire main.that river can turn the saltiest of sea-dogs green in an easterly.it gets very lumpy.was trying to find out the date bobby was lost today but no-one can pin it down to a specific year.must have been after 89 as i was away on salmaster when we got told about it.cheers.ROO

BigBev
22nd May 2012, 14:12
The incident where Bobby MasMasters was lost over the side was indeed the 90's but his body has never been found. The skipper on that day was Davey Dickson who had been made up to MSO 1V (D) on a temporary basis. He nearly lost everything after that day, neither the crews union nor the Officers union would help him and he had a heart attack due to the strain. He stood to loose his house and everything, but I know he eventually got through it all as I met him at a wedding. Whilst up at the bar, he came up next to me where I said heavens above Davey I heard you had kicked the bucket, his reply not doing so bad for being deed. But he told me the whole sad story and it goes to show its better to get the facts from the horses mouth.

Waighty
22nd May 2012, 20:18
thats right.we did offload them to the goosy and they were laid off the stbd side by means of a toggled wire main.that river can turn the saltiest of sea-dogs green in an easterly.it gets very lumpy.was trying to find out the date bobby was lost today but no-one can pin it down to a specific year.must have been after 89 as i was away on salmaster when we got told about it.cheers.ROO

At the time I was ASM and Cass Cooper was the 'radio' man while Harold was on leave. I haven't got all my record books with me (in store) but it must have been between 1989 and 1991.

senior pilot
22nd May 2012, 21:02
sorry it was mcmasters and his body was found near north berwick in the 2000s
bobby relieved me in singapore on the advice when i had to come home because of my wifes illness

BigBev
22nd May 2012, 23:02
Hi Senior Pilot

Sorry about my last but I really never heard that they had found Bobbies Body.

Bev

stevekelly10
29th May 2012, 20:12
Stevo' When i joined Portland in 1973 we had "Bowstring" laid-up in the harbour. It was strategically put at Portland so as to get one of the new Insect Class 100ft Fleet Tenders "Cockchafer" being built around that time which we did. taken away after though. I did have occaision to go aboard it. An ungainly looking vessel with a longish hatch with hatch boards, it may have had two hatches actually. A huge wooden derrick facing aft plumbing both hatches. After accomodation with a wooden wheelhouse and a massive wheel in wheelhouse. Pretty much all I can remember really. I was lucky enough to be In PAS Cockchafer for five years though.

The Cockchaffer is still alive and well, for those of you intrested! She is now called the Fyne spirit and has been converted for a golfing holiday cruiser! I kid you not :) Do an internet search if you don't believe me. The reason I know, is that I was involved at the first stages of the conversion as I was the engineer on the Cicala, that towed the Cockchaffer down from Glasgow to Liverpool and started "gutting" the accomodation prior to it's conversion! I didn't stay long as the owner of the Cicala was what you could loosely term as a "wide Boy" wasn't very good at paying my wages! I must add he has nothing to do with the owners of the fyne spirit! There was another insect class tender in Liverpool at the same time, called the Scan Scarab. The last I heard of the Cicala, was that she had been arrested somewhere in Scandanavia for License Violations, Doesn't surprise me

roofaerosyth
29th May 2012, 21:51
hi steve .was that with the guy who had plans to salvage metal from a wreck using cicala ? an ex rmas guy i know had the chance to get involved with that venture but chose to stay local instead.

stevekelly10
29th May 2012, 22:38
hi steve .was that with the guy who had plans to salvage metal from a wreck using cicala ? an ex rmas guy i know had the chance to get involved with that venture but chose to stay local instead.

Hi The guy that owned the Cicala came from Manchester, He was using the cicala as a diving tender and planned to charter it out as such. I 've heard stories since that this ended in dismal failure, again no surprise! he had big plans to buy the scan scarab too! Think the guy you know made a wise choice!

FG86
3rd June 2012, 11:00
Stevo, if you look in the book The Royal Navy at Rosyth 1900 - 2000 by Martin Rogers, on page 100 there is an image taken in July 1978 of Eastbourne with Duncan outboard and Catapult outboard of her. hope this helps.

Stevo
4th June 2012, 13:55
Thanks for that Dave, will take a look at it.

mil511mariner
5th June 2012, 17:29
Cockchafer - Fyne Spirit - now the POLARIS 1, registered in Marseille - good photographs and information on her new life an an expedition ship, on blueplanetexpeditions.co.uk

senior pilot
8th June 2012, 17:54
in the pas/rmas gallery there is a picture of the mortar a good side on shot