Matra's finest

Tony Selman
20th March 2006, 11:58
Having seen the thread for Magdapur's finest and having recently raided my loft so I can add a few snippets to this excellent forum I thought the attached might stir a few memories for some of you.

The photo was taken during a trip up the creeks by lifeboat during an extended stay loading jute in the charming port of Chalna in late 1964 or very early 1965. This was my one and only trip there and it must be said I subsequently went to better ports. I can remember some of the names but I am sure Mike James can help me fill in the gaps. Starting from the front left, the first two are the QM and Chippy who were great blokes but whose names I can't remember, Chief R/O Keith Forster, 3/0 Mike James, Big John Campbell Senior Electrician, C/O John Munro at the tiller behind the house flag, 4/E John Hannah (?) I think, 3/E Charlie Drought and then I really start to struggle other than the fact that two of the four are deck cadets. I am sure Mike and others can fill in some or all of the gaps.

michael james
20th March 2006, 13:51
The only names I can add to the above are, extreem left Harry Redman(QM), on Charlie Droughts` left in white floppy hat could be Edmund Putnam - not sure, two deck Apprentices are W. Davison and R.Needham, the two figures on the extreem lower RHS could be Bob Webb (Ch Steward) and/or Doug Cullen (2nd Stew)/Ernie Ferry (QM)

Tony: What a wonderfully nostalgic photo - only for us who were there I know - but so typical of the times in ports such as Chalna, when the opportunity arose to do something out of the ordinary, it was grabbed and fully enjoyed by all. I remember John Watson-Ross (Master) only giving permission for this trip on condition that John Munro took the lifeboat upstream so in the event of an engine failure we could always drift back down to the ship, ye of little faith ! - needless to say all was well.
Thanks for posting Tony - happy memories.

michael james
20th March 2006, 14:06
Seychelles 1964.
Tony:
Have you got the picture you were taking standing in the sea ? If so it has to be better than this one, as J. W-R just turned round at the wrong moment. My camera was not up to much in those days either ! (Thumb)

oglebilluk
20th March 2006, 14:50
In late 1957 I spent 6 happy weeks at Chalna on Matra. Yes we put the motor boat down and went up the creeks each weekend. I think the boat spent the week lashed to the anchor cable. So Capt Fox-Lloyd was less strict than his successors; I also suppose that by 1964 the boat knew its own way. We used to distribute time expired barley sugars to anyone we met, and were always beaten at badminton by the locals. Somewhere in the loft are the slides, which I'll try to find. Doug Cullen was Second Steward back then.
We also had a skiffle group, the Hot 5, which played in various places. It was lead by "Big Jeff" (3/E) and we had "Little Jeff" (Sen 4/E). Chief was George Black who took over the bar every Sunday morning to play Jimmy Shand records.
Thanks for the reminder Tony
Bill

Tony Selman
20th March 2006, 17:13
Thanks Mike, I knew you would come up with some of the names. How could I forget Harry Redman, he was a salt of the earth man if ever there was one. I don't think the man in the white hat is Ed Putnam. I recall Ed being of a taller and slimmer build than that man looks, that said I haven't a clue who it is. You are right about the Apprentices and I think Bob Webb is there as well.

Tony Selman
20th March 2006, 17:19
Mike, infuriatingly I can't find a batch of slides I know I have taken. Amongst them I know are a couple of Matra discharging army wagons somewhat precariously into a dhow in Mukalla, which was the only time I went there as well. We certainly went to some unusual ports in Brocks. I have found a couple of photos ashore in Mukalla but I don't think they will bring back many nostalgic memories for our esteemed readers.

Tony Selman
20th March 2006, 17:41
No doubt this may start comments that we were always on the beach and never working but we used to spend sufficient time in port in those days that day trips at the weekend like this were quite feasible. This was taken at Bentota beach south of Colombo in late 1964. In this case I can identify everyone. From left to right they are:- Charlie Drought, (first name, Richard?) Needham, Mike James, me, Doug Cullen who had broken his left arm, most likely scrabbling to open another tonic for his gin and John Munro at the front.

Bill, If Doug was on there in 1957 he was either part of the assets by 1964 or he was back there coincidentally.

michael james
20th March 2006, 23:10
Bill & Tony, I was an Apprentice on Matra for a year Aug `58 to Aug `59 and Doug Cullen was 2nd Steward then but under W. (Bill?) Jenkins, surely he must have had a break and come back - to be on her for more than 6 years - unless he was on to a good thing ??? Tommy Fox-Lloyd was old man and "Cyclone" Saxty as C/O and George Black ( with considerable shares in Glenfiddich ) Chief.
George Hazel was Chief Sparks - did you ever come across him ?


Bill,
2nd try at higher resolution scan, hope image is more readable

A.G.Greenwood
20th March 2006, 23:54
Think his name is Adrian Needham; after Brocklebanks I sailed with him on Esso tankers. He later became a Humber pilot.
Tony Greenwood
Brocklebank Apprentice & 4/O from 1957 to 1961.

Nick Jones
21st March 2006, 04:03
During the 2 deepsea trips I did on the Matra in 68/69, we were able to get the boat in the water a couple of times. In Trincomalee we had several trips around the islands while waiting for tea and once in Aqqaba, we had a couple of afternoons cruising around. The only stipulation there was that we had the boat out of the water before dusk so it wouldn't get shot up. So it did provide some pleasent relief during those long 6 month voyages.

oglebilluk
21st March 2006, 09:44
Michael
Yes, I remember most of those names. I must have left Matra after the voyage prior to you joining.
Afraid I can't read the printed version of your 1958 Christmas menu, but certainly enjoyed eating the 1957 version - outward bound in the Red Sea!

Bill

michael james
21st March 2006, 12:29
Michael
Yes, I remember most of those names. I must have left Matra after the voyage prior to you joining.
Afraid I can't read the printed version of your 1958 Christmas menu, but certainly enjoyed eating the 1957 version - outward bound in the Red Sea!

Bill


Bill, Sorry about menu image, I have re-scanned at higher resolution and edited post, please re-view. MikeJ

oglebilluk
22nd March 2006, 13:17
Mike
Thanks for the enhanced copy. I'm getting hungry already!

Bill

michael james
22nd March 2006, 13:46
Think his name is Adrian Needham; after Brocklebanks I sailed with him on Esso tankers. He later became a Humber pilot.
Tony Greenwood
Brocklebank Apprentice & 4/O from 1957 to 1961.

Tony, Adrian Needham rings the right bells, another ex Brock deck apprentice becoming a Pilot, wonder if he is still there ?

Tony Selman
22nd March 2006, 14:36
Yes I think Adrian is correct. I also recall that he either came from Leeds or was a Leeds supporter so I suppose the link to him being a pilot in Yorkshire has some resonance as well.

David Byrne
3rd April 2006, 21:55
Slightly belated contribution - it was Dick Needham. I sailed with him a little later, in MAWANA from about July 1965 to November 1965, on Messagerie maritimes charter.

Excellent chap, from Goole originally, I seem to remember. It would be good to know how he has got along in all these intervening years.

David Byrne

Jim S
3rd April 2006, 23:22
I seem to remember a 3/Eng by the name of Ireland when I was coasting with Brocks in the early 1960's. He had left the company for Esso Tankers - did one trip to the Gulf and rejoined the homely Brocks again. - By his own admission he was terrified of the tanker experience.
Maybe Aye,Maybe No the same guy as listed as 5th on Matra.

leggoaft
3rd April 2006, 23:59
After reading the thread Matra's finest, I noticed the 2nd.engineers name Alport,and was wondering if this is a gentleman I met very manyyears ago ? He left Brocklebanks to join Coast Lines as Chief, and then went on to become a manager in Manchester Drydock Co. If I remember correctly he lived in Birkenhead,and had a young daughter who unfortunately was disabled.This was probably his reason for leaving Brocklebanks

japottinger
4th April 2006, 10:33
In late 1957 I spent 6 happy weeks at Chalna on Matra. Yes we put the motor boat down and went up the creeks each weekend. I think the boat spent the week lashed to the anchor cable. So Capt Fox-Lloyd was less strict than his successors; I also suppose that by 1964 the boat knew its own way. We used to distribute time expired barley sugars to anyone we met, and were always beaten at badminton by the locals. Somewhere in the loft are the slides, which I'll try to find. Doug Cullen was Second Steward back then.
We also had a skiffle group, the Hot 5, which played in various places. It was lead by "Big Jeff" (3/E) and we had "Little Jeff" (Sen 4/E). Chief was George Black who took over the bar every Sunday morning to play Jimmy Shand records.
Thanks for the reminder Tony
Bill
Was "big Jeff" Jeff Purnell?

Braighe
4th April 2006, 15:45
Michael.
I did two trips as 2nd R/O on Matra from April 1953 to March 1954. The only names I recall from your Christmas menu are Capt Fox Lloyd,who was Master on Maidan during four of my six trips, and Ian King Gabb who was 1st Electrician on Matra during my time.
Ist R/O on Matra while I was there was John Caddy - I had already done a voyage on Maidan with Gordon Caddy - and the Purser was Ted Hannah.
Happy memories.

oglebilluk
4th April 2006, 21:24
Was "big Jeff" Jeff Purnell?

Jim
Yes he was. There's a photo of him in a group somewhere on the site, tall guy with a lot of fair hair, I think he came from the Newton le Willows.

Bill

oglebilluk
4th April 2006, 21:26
Michael.
I did two trips as 2nd R/O on Matra from April 1953 to March 1954. The only names I recall from your Christmas menu are Capt Fox Lloyd,who was Master on Maidan during four of my six trips, and Ian King Gabb who was 1st Electrician on Matra during my time.
Ist R/O on Matra while I was there was John Caddy - I had already done a voyage on Maidan with Gordon Caddy - and the Purser was Ted Hannah.
Happy memories.

Funny how these names bring back memories. Ian King Gabb I think was Electrician on the tug Turmoil at the time of the Flying Enterprise incident.

Bill

R798780
4th April 2006, 21:52
After reading the thread Matra's finest, I noticed the 2nd.engineers name Alport,and was wondering if this is a gentleman I met very manyyears ago ? He left Brocklebanks to join Coast Lines as Chief, and then went on to become a manager in Manchester Drydock Co. If I remember correctly he lived in Birkenhead,and had a young daughter who unfortunately was disabled.This was probably his reason for leaving Brocklebanks

The M Alport I knew was a Chief engineer, combined chiefs because he was originally Brocklebanks steam. Sailed with him several times in the 80s on the tankers (Moss) which were Brocklebank managed/owned from mid 60's. In the interim Mike Alport had sailed on the Cunard bulk carriers, I don't know what else. I have a feeling he was from Scarborough or Whitby.

leggoaft
4th April 2006, 23:49
Thanks Hugh, But this is not the person I thought it was, obviously I have not got his name right. The person I was looking for must have left Brocklebanks around the late 50s or early 60s.Think he had his Chiefs (steam), but was sailing chief in Coast Lines.probably got an endorsement. Maybe somebody in SN may remember him
Very Best Wishes Bill

japottinger
5th April 2006, 18:03
Jim
Yes he was. There's a photo of him in a group somewhere on the site, tall guy with a lot of fair hair, I think he came from the Newton le Willows.

Bill
See my posting of group on Manipur a week or so ago.

pilot
6th April 2006, 16:49
Slightly belated contribution - it was Dick Needham. I sailed with him a little later, in MAWANA from about July 1965 to November 1965, on Messagerie maritimes charter.

Excellent chap, from Goole originally, I seem to remember. It would be good to know how he has got along in all these intervening years.

David Byrne

Still lives in the Goole area I think. Retired when most of the Humber Pilots Ltd., declined to be directly employed by ABP.

Rgds.

Tony Selman
6th April 2006, 20:32
I have just realised that the original image I posted was a test one I set up and was not very good. I have posted another which can be expanded and is clearer.

michael james
23rd April 2006, 00:25
Funny how these names bring back memories. Ian King Gabb I think was Electrician on the tug Turmoil at the time of the Flying Enterprise incident.

Bill
Better late than never !!!

Absolutely correct Bill.

K-G was not usually at all forthcoming on the Flying Enterprise episode. It took a bit of liquid persuasion for him to elaborate on his experiences on Turmoil, postings on SN relating to the sinking refreshed my memory of the tragedy and K-G`s part in it. Damn good electrician as well as being a good shipmate to sail with.

japottinger
23rd April 2006, 17:54
Better late than never !!!

Absolutely correct Bill.

K-G was not usually at all forthcoming on the Flying Enterprise episode. It took a bit of liquid persuasion for him to elaborate on his experiences on Turmoil, postings on SN relating to the sinking refreshed my memory of the tragedy and K-G`s part in it. Damn good electrician as well as being a good shipmate to sail with.

Ken Dancy of Turmoil fame was 2nd mate on Bullard King's Umgeni on my first trip, equally reticent
Ian K-G lived not far up the street from me in Greenock 1963-1976.