Looking for British Sparks

captainrodaway
13th March 2006, 05:39
Looking for old ship mates.

Radio officer Charlie McNeilly. Sailed aboard the MV Selkirk Settler & MV Saskatchewan Pioneer 1989 & 1990. Lived(s) in Clarksfield, Oldham, Lancs.

ECO Dennis Allen. Sailed aboard the MV Saskatchewan Pioneer 1990. Lived(s) in Branxton, Cornhill on Tweed, Northumberland.

DerekC
28th March 2006, 20:59
Hi captainrodaway,

Long shot, but I was just browsing my discharge books and remembered I sailed (as 2nd Mate) with a Capt Rodaway on World Premier in 1980, any relation?

regards
DerekC

captainrodaway
28th March 2006, 22:31
I'm not aware of any relation. But now you have me interested. My father has been active for the last couple years putting together the family tree. What was Capt Rodaway's first name. Was he British? Do you have any other info about him?

Cheers

DerekC
31st March 2006, 11:46
Sorry for delay, couldn't find the thread again.

I do not remember his first name but was British, I am pretty sure. That's all I got.

regards
DerekC

lakercapt
31st March 2006, 16:08
Lurch
Don't know if Charlie will be thrilled to be called a British sparks as he like many of his ilk were "Marconi" men from Ireland.
If you do get in touch I would like to hear from him as he saved our buns a few times when we changed over to I.O.M. and had Indian officers and P.R.C. crew

trotterdotpom
31st March 2006, 17:54
Lurch
Don't know if Charlie will be thrilled to be called a British sparks as he like many of his ilk were "Marconi" men from Ireland.
If you do get in touch I would like to hear from him as he saved our buns a few times when we changed over to I.O.M. and had Indian officers and P.R.C. crew

It's true, after Guinness, for many years Ireland's biggest export was Sparkies. Don't know why, but, with the onslaught of GMDSS, they all returned and turned Ireland into the European Tiger that it is today!

John T.

Dave Woods
10th April 2006, 13:28
Charlie sailed with Cable and Wireless untill 1996 then he disappeared but I did hear of him somewhere off the African coast on a tanker? or some such vessel. I do have a contact but it is at home at the moment, will post it in the next few days.

I do not think he is living in Lancashire, his wife left him in about 94.

Best regards

Dave Woods

Dave Woods
11th April 2006, 00:09
Arrived home and found the info regarding Charlie, mind you this is at least 6 years old. He moved back to Ireland and was living with his sister in Newton Ards. At the time he was sailing with Stoltcomexseaway.

Best regards

Dave Woods

captainrodaway
11th April 2006, 03:52
Dave-

Thanks for the info.

Mike

broadbandylegs
11th May 2006, 00:36
I'm hoping to track down Bob Dickson - a sparkie with Denholm and Texaco Italy for a while. I sailed with him on the Loch Maree for 7 months, but lost contact when I think he married an Italian girl and went off to to the island of Procida in the Bay of Naples - a long way from Wishaw!

R58484956
11th May 2006, 15:15
Welcome broadbandylegs to the site enjoy it and all it has to offer, unusual name to say the least, not on your birth certificate by any chance.?

broadbandylegs
14th May 2006, 23:19
Welcome broadbandylegs to the site enjoy it and all it has to offer, unusual name to say the least, not on your birth certificate by any chance.?

You're correct - much the same as you own, I would guess? Good site by the way...

Gulpers
14th May 2006, 23:34
broadbandylegs,
......and a warm welcome to the site from me too! I hope you thoroughly enjoy the SN experience and get many happy hours entertainment from your membership. (Thumb)

brandane
8th June 2006, 03:25
Anyone know how to track down ex Marconi radio officers who worked on Shaw Savill ships late sixties and into seventies? Some of my best mates were sparkys on the passenger ships of Shaw Savill - but have lost contact with all of them - anyone able to help?

Ron Stringer
8th June 2006, 08:31
Anyone know how to track down ex Marconi radio officers who worked on Shaw Savill ships late sixties and into seventies? Some of my best mates were sparkys on the passenger ships of Shaw Savill - but have lost contact with all of them - anyone able to help?
Brandane,
I don't believe that there will be any simple way. During the late 1980s Marconi Marine's corporate reporting line was tranferred, from reporting directly to Arnold Weinstock to reporting via Marconi Communications Systems Ltd (MCSL). A small change in corporate terms but it had a massive effect on Marconi Marine, which no longer had total control over the way in which it ran its business, especially where investment and non-profit activities were concerned.

To save relatively small amounts of money the Chelmsford office was moved to a much smaller area within a MCSL site and the personnel department (responsible for the running of the R/O side of the business) was cut and absorbed into MCSL's larger, existing, personnel office. The records of the R/Os (and the ships to which they had been posted) dating back to 1899, were similarly transferred. MCSL management did not understand the R/O business and did not see these activities as part of MCSL's "core business". They were only interested in stripping out as much profit as possible from what they saw as a dying business. During a later accommodation reorganisation, the R/O records were just dumped in skips since they were judged unnecessary for the future activities of the company.

Efforts to try to get the records preserved and subsequent appeals to the Company Archivist and the Essex county Record Office failed to get any support and it all went to landfill or recycling.

Even the company's collection of early and historic equipment used by Marconi himself was refused by the Essex Museum and was due to be split up and sold off to the highest bidders at auction last year. Eventually it was purchased by a museum in Oxford. A few items are retained at a local industrial museum (Sandford Mill) but it is astonishing to think that the UK completely ignored the amazing rise of an industry that has changed the world so massively in the past century.

Ron

Doug H
8th June 2006, 11:56
Ron Stringer's posting about the mechanics of the decline of the Marconi International Marine Communication Company (MIMCo) and the cavalier manner in which, not only a company but the whole intiation, development, proud contribution and then the subsequent demise of an international, nautical profession was allowed to disappear is as remarkable as it is tragic.

Can nothing be done about salvaging what records that may still exist?? Is this a job for the ROAss or is it something that SHOULD have been done by the Radio Officers' Union, to which most of us subscribed during our time at sea and which did very little for any of us?

I'd really be interested in comments from former R/Os who are Members of SN - no matter in which decade you may have served!

Kind regards to all, Doug H

Nelson
23rd June 2006, 15:30
Hi Doug H,
I quite agree with your sentiments regarding the ROU.I worked for Marconi Marine during the 60`s, and my personal opinion is that they were a union in name only, wanting only your subs, and little else.

tyrol
14th March 2007, 22:07
Ron Stringer's posting about the mechanics of the decline of the Marconi International Marine Communication Company (MIMCo) and the cavalier manner in which, not only a company but the whole intiation, development, proud contribution and then the subsequent demise of an international, nautical profession was allowed to disappear is as remarkable as it is tragic.

Can nothing be done about salvaging what records that may still exist?? Is this a job for the ROAss or is it something that SHOULD have been done by the Radio Officers' Union, to which most of us subscribed during our time at sea and which did very little for any of us?

I'd really be interested in comments from former R/Os who are Members of SN - no matter in which decade you may have served!

Kind regards to all, Doug H
Hello Doug H,
Yep, a sad decline of the R/O, wiped off the face of shipping, . . . but not quite. Check out the Radio Officers Association www. roass.org, they have a quarterly newsletter and archive resources of the profession which is growing all the time.
Tom

Smithers
1st June 2007, 14:43
Anyone out there remember a John McGinnley? I sailed with him on the Sir Alexander Glen when with Denholms but lost track of him afetr that. All I remember is he lived somewhere in Wales at the time (1978)

ernhelenbarrett
14th June 2007, 13:31
Ahyes , the good old days of the Marconi R/O, if you didnt buy the Staff Clerk
at West Ham a beer at lunchtime you could bet on getting a Bank boat, if you couldnt quote your Paybook number you didnt get paid and who could forget the Depot Manager at Liverpool who called you into the office using MORSE!!!. I remember one R/O taking a fire axe to the cable!! The only way I got some leave after 5 years on the Indian Coast with BI was asking for three sheets of paper, the triplicate required to resign from the Company11
73's Ern Barrett

ChrisandJulie
29th November 2007, 19:34
Ron Stringer's posting about the mechanics of the decline of the Marconi International Marine Communication Company (MIMCo) and the cavalier manner in which, not only a company but the whole intiation, development, proud contribution and then the subsequent demise of an international, nautical profession was allowed to disappear is as remarkable as it is tragic.

Can nothing be done about salvaging what records that may still exist?? Is this a job for the ROAss or is it something that SHOULD have been done by the Radio Officers' Union, to which most of us subscribed during our time at sea and which did very little for any of us?

I'd really be interested in comments from former R/Os who are Members of SN - no matter in which decade you may have served!

Kind regards to all, Doug H

Hi Doug,
Don't get me going on the RO's union, when I first qualified back in 1983 Houlder Bros offered 3 of us permanant postions with the company, which we were all very excited about, however the union at the time put a block on it saying there was enough RO's ''on the dole'' so why should Houlders take on new people. To cut a long story short, Houlders withdrew the offer and it took me sometime to eventually get to sea and that was with Shell Tankers..........what an excellent time we all had.


Regards Chris.

K urgess
29th November 2007, 19:46
In the 70s the only time we threatened to go on strike was against the REOU for trying to turn us into a closed shop!(Cloud)
Remember those words? Closed shop!(EEK)
Meant that if you weren't in the REOU you couldn't sail on a British ship. Was never going to happen at that time.

Moulder
30th November 2007, 13:29
If I remember rightly - weren't you allowed to donate a sum equal to the union subs to a charity which allowed you to stay out of full membership if you chose to do so?

Steve.
(Thumb)

K urgess
30th November 2007, 13:59
I think that's what happened when they lost the closed shop battle, Steve.

Shipbuilder
14th December 2007, 20:28
Funny thing. At the time they were getting ready to dispense with "unnecessary" R/Os, I found I was actually working harder than in any of the 31 years previous. 8 hours in the W/T office & off duty (Supposedly) elsewhere in the ship trying to get equipment going that had never even functioned since the ship was put into service - servicing videos, computers, hearing aids, false teeth (passengers) tape recorders, cameras - setting up digital watches bought in the shop (by passengers) - the list is endless. In the end I couldn't stand the heat any more so "got out of the kitchen" at age 48 & quit. Then came the pleasant surprise. Once ashore where all are equal, but some are more equal than others, I found to my delight that I fell into the latter class where the many skills developed over the years as an R/O (Jack of all trades, master of several) came into play. It was not just me either, attending R/O reunions from my old R/O college, Wray Castle, I found that the vast majority had made a great success of their lives after leaving the sea. I think probably the best training for the future in those far-off days was to be a seagoing MN R/O where we never seemed to achieve a great deal in "prestige," but gained an enormous amount in practical abaility in most things.

andysk
18th December 2007, 15:23
.......Remember those words? Closed shop!(EEK) ..........

I was at Wray Castle in 1976/77 with another seagoing R/O doing the PMG to MPT conversion course when the union rep (may have been the Gen Sec?) came up to enroll all the students into the REOU. He was really most upset when the two of us started to question him rather pointedly about policies etc etc ! He terminated the meeting a lot earlier than planned, and tried to see all the students separately; however I don't believe he signed up very many new members on that visit ! The ironic thing was that of those who qualified after that visit only about 10% actually went to sea !

A little later when I finished and before went back to sea, I had a meeting with my Electronics Super, who very apologetically said I had to join the union otherwise the company would be blacked. The reality was my union subs were paid by the company and all the union mags were binned on arrival wherever I was.

They never really persuaded me that being a member was of much use to me.

Bob, I think you have hit the nail exactly on the head with your last comment.

Cheers

Andy

hughesy
21st December 2007, 13:32
Hi ship builder
I agree I was R/o and the electrical training I got at HUll tech helps me a great deal with my present job, building and repairing Elevators. All that rigging I was shown buy all them sailors I used to ask how to splice and knots and the like have helped no end in my working life ashore

Shipbuilder
21st December 2007, 18:02
Hi Andy & Hugh,
Thanks for comments. Eventually, the REOU merged with deck & engine to form Numast. With the reduction in MN, they have now joined up with Dutch seafaring unions as NAUTILUS. Wray Castle was very "rough & ready" when I was there in 1959, but but I think we all formed a great affection for the place & I always look forward to our reunions in Ambleside.
Initially, I was with AEI, but left when Marconi took us over & joined B & C, but left when they sold all the passenger ships (where I had been most of the time with them), after two years in Silver Line, joined the old RMS ST. HELENA that had taken over the Union-Castle run with a 3,150 gross ton ship carrying 76 passengers & general cargo all the way from Avonmouth to South Africa. The old ST. HELENA was the happiest ship I ever sailed in from 1979 to late 1990.
Bob

charles henry
22nd May 2008, 20:46
Brandane,
I don't believe that there will be any simple way. During the late 1980s Marconi Marine's corporate reporting line was tranferred, from reporting directly to Arnold Weinstock to reporting via Marconi Communications Systems Ltd (MCSL). A small change in corporate terms but it had a massive effect on Marconi Marine, which no longer had total control over the way in which it ran its business, especially where investment and non-profit activities were concerned.

To save relatively small amounts of money the Chelmsford office was moved to a much smaller area within a MCSL site and the personnel department (responsible for the running of the R/O side of the business) was cut and absorbed into MCSL's larger, existing, personnel office. The records of the R/Os (and the ships to which they had been posted) dating back to 1899, were similarly transferred. MCSL management did not understand the R/O business and did not see these activities as part of MCSL's "core business". They were only interested in stripping out as much profit as possible from what they saw as a dying business. During a later accommodation reorganisation, the R/O records were just dumped in skips since they were judged unnecessary for the future activities of the company.

Efforts to try to get the records preserved and subsequent appeals to the Company Archivist and the Essex county Record Office failed to get any support and it all went to landfill or recycling.

Even the company's collection of early and historic equipment used by Marconi himself was refused by the Essex Museum and was due to be split up and sold off to the highest bidders at auction last year. Eventually it was purchased by a museum in Oxford. A few items are retained at a local industrial museum (Sandford Mill) but it is astonishing to think that the UK completely ignored the amazing rise of an industry that has changed the world so massively in the past century.

Ron


Interesting, in 1950 MIMCo had a jubilee exhibition in London at the Baltic Exchange, St. Mary Axe, they had mock ups of ships wireless cabins at ten year intervals, 1900, 1910 up to 1950 with working original equipment as of the ships wt cabin depicted. I was there as "demonstrator and know it all" for the ones 1900 to 1930 and had a quick three hour course on things like coheras, magnetic detectors and such. We also had Marconi's first spark transmitter complete with a copper sheet antenna, had a lot of fun creating ozone until an offical came and told us we were blanketing the area. Can email you photos if you are interested. Seems criminal if such loverly equipment ended up on the trash heap. charles henry (Pint)

K urgess
22nd May 2008, 22:11
So could this be you Charles Henry?

Ron Stringer
22nd May 2008, 22:49
Charles,

I don't know what happened to all the equipment and records rejected by the Chelmsford and Essex local authorities and transferred to Oxford. As far as I know they are not on public display.

There is a small display of equipment and photographs at the Marconi Museum exhibition at Sandford Mill, in Chelmsford. They may welcome any photographs that you wish to offer. If this is of interest to you, I could put you in touch with one of the ex-employees that are involved in running the museum.

de paor
28th May 2008, 23:22
Hi, I sailed as R/O on the Br Resource in 1962 and the 3rd mate was Rodaway was the 3rd Mate. Is there a connection

Oz.
29th May 2008, 15:45
Does anybody know of a Marconi sparks Maurice Foran ?? Maurice was Irish from Valentia Island in County Kerry. I met him on 'Richard De Larrinaga'. He was later on Andoni Palm but lost contact with him after that. A great guy and a good shipmate. Would like to make contact again if possible , or hear from anybody who sailed with him.

Burntisland Ship Yard
4th August 2008, 18:58
Charlie sailed with Cable and Wireless untill 1996 then he disappeared but I did hear of him somewhere off the African coast on a tanker? or some such vessel. I do have a contact but it is at home at the moment, will post it in the next few days.

I do not think he is living in Lancashire, his wife left him in about 94.

Best regards

Dave Woods

Another name from the past for me, Charlie was the sparks on The Texaco Norway, during 1975, not sure if he was the sparks when I joined in Jan 74, or later on in the trip (I left in Singapore dry dock June 1974). Chas was def the sparks when I joined the Norway again at Capetown Jan 1978, he also had a baby sparks in his care !

Dumra
5th August 2008, 15:11
Oz check your pm's

stevesmi
16th September 2008, 19:11
Hi Guys, I sailed as R/O with Marconi on a shell tanker (MANGELIA) in the first half of 1973. I then transferred to P&O and sailed on the Orsova for a few months, then Panocean's POST CHAMPION for about 14/15months then some months leave and onto the CANBERRA for about 6/7 months. Then I swallowed the anchor and took a shore job. Cheers, Steve

bigjohnw
26th September 2009, 12:07
Captain, have you tried the Radio Officers Association web site? May be of help...
Regards, bigjohnw. ex Marconi 1973-78.

shipphotos
29th June 2010, 15:16
Looking for old ship mates.

Radio officer Charlie McNeilly. Sailed aboard the MV Selkirk Settler & MV Saskatchewan Pioneer 1989 & 1990. Lived(s) in Clarksfield, Oldham, Lancs.

ECO Dennis Allen. Sailed aboard the MV Saskatchewan Pioneer 1990. Lived(s) in Branxton, Cornhill on Tweed, Northumberland.

Hi
Dont know if you knew this guy, but I am in possession of some images of ships in storms (one being MV Selkirk with comments written on by yourself)
Totty has since died but gave me the photos to put on my web site
http://www.btinternet.com/~davidrigden/StormyWeather.htm
Thought you may be interested
Dave

captainrodaway
8th July 2010, 18:41
Hi, I sailed as R/O on the Br Resource in 1962 and the 3rd mate was Rodaway was the 3rd Mate. Is there a connection
It's possible the Rodaway you sailed with back then is a distant relation to me. It's not a very common name & from what I've seen of the family tree both here in North America & in the UK, we're all connected a ways back. I wasn't aware of any other mariners before me, though I heard about a great-great-uncle running a chandlery in Bristol.
Cheers
Mike

gordon bryson
17th May 2012, 13:57
Hi Guys, I sailed as R/O with Marconi on a shell tanker (MANGELIA) in the first half of 1973. I then transferred to P&O and sailed on the Orsova for a few months, then Panocean's POST CHAMPION for about 14/15months then some months leave and onto the CANBERRA for about 6/7 months. Then I swallowed the anchor and took a shore job. Cheers, Steve
Hi Stevesmi,
We must have either met or even worked together, I was on 'Post Champion' for a few weeks in the summer of 1975 and immediatley after that about a year on Canberra ( I didn't do the world cruise).
Gordon Bryson senior 3rd R.O. on Canberra.