About "Bovril Boats"

benjidog
25th May 2006, 01:33
I had never heard the term "Bovril boat" until visiting this site but it is obvious why they were so called.

As a kid I enjoyed a mug of hot bovril before starting my newspaper delivery round in NW London at 06:00 in winter in the early 60s. It was very fortifying prior to setting forth into smoggy streets and coughing your way around with a scarf over your mouth and being unable to see the other side of the road. (For those that didn't experience it, smog - a cross between smoke and fog - was a yellowy fog which used to cover London from time to time and in my locality caused partly by the coal-burning power station about half a mile from my house, and partly by the coal fires in people's houses. You couldn't blame cars because nobody in my part of the world had one. But I digress!

I did know that these boats took sewage away but never gave them much thought at the time. I believe the London sewage was discharged somewhere in the Thames estuary around Southend-on-sea.

My question is when were these boats brought into service, when discontinued (I assume that we don't still dump sewage in the sea any more!) and what process for disposal of huge quantities of ordure has replaced Bovril Boats.

Brian

Keltic Star
25th May 2006, 08:10
Don't know the dates you are looking for but a good friend was Master on one of them 1968 to 1970.

As for the smog, remember walking down the middle of the Kingsto bypass with a tourch leading my mates Austin 7. Just like the horse and carriage days. When at King Ted's, we used to wear plastic shirt collars so that they could be washed out a couple of times a day. Would love to see some of the modern day environmentalists reaction if they had been around.

Frank P
25th May 2006, 09:00
They had similar boats running down the Manchester Ship Canal and discharging the sewerage into the Irish Sea.
When I was on the M/S Arabella going to Irlam, the pilot told us that those ships had the nickname "Banana Tankers".

Frank

Pilot mac
25th May 2006, 09:09
The Thames Bovril boats were certainly running in 1973. They always looked increadibly clean and tidy.
The 'Shieldhall' (Clyde Bovril) is still running as a tourist/museum piece, based in Southampton.

regards
Dave

R58484956
25th May 2006, 09:10
James shipping had one in Southampton James No61 "the sh***r" picked up cargo from the sewage works on the River itchen and dropped it off the I of W

bobby388
25th May 2006, 13:44
All those threads any bum knew that

jim barnes
25th May 2006, 13:55
dont know if its true but heard a crew member was sacked for pilfering cargo once(*))

moaf
25th May 2006, 14:31
These were actually stopped in 2000. Because of the fact we dumped sewage at sea, we never signed up to the MARPOL regs governing it. It is a little known fact that ships in UK waters do not have to treat sewage

Thamesphil
25th May 2006, 14:32
The so-called Bovril Boats took London's waste from Crossness and Beckton to the Thames Estuary at Black Deep, where the valves were opened and the sludge discharged. This continued into the 1990s, but EU legislation preventing the dumping of sewage at sea forced this process to cease.

Around half of London's waste is now incinerated at Crossness and Beckton. The electricity generated from the incineration is sufficient to power the treatment plants, and Beckton even has a surplus to sell back.

Phil

benjidog
25th May 2006, 14:51
Thanks for the information folks.

So it looks like we haven't yet managed to turn base metal into gold but have managed to turn shhhhh-you-know-what into electricity. I guess that is alchemy of a sort. (*))

BTW Phil, do you know what happens to the other half of the stuff that doesn't get incinerated? When I lived in Leicester the local sewage works used to turn the stuff into compost and sell it in bags - I used to put it on my allotment when I had one. I always thought it was a bit of a cheek really having to buy back that which was freely given!

Brian

eldersuk
25th May 2006, 15:37
A Liverpool pilot once told me that when he was bringing a Russian ship up-river they passed one of the Manchester sewage boats and the Russian Captain was interested enough to enquire about it. These boats were named after Manchester civic dignitaries, a dubious honour as the conversation proved.
"Pilot, vat sort of a ship is dat?"
"A sewage carrier, Captain."
"And whos is dis Joe Bloggs (or whatever the name was)? ......Vat did he do so wrong?"

rushie
25th May 2006, 15:53
If the Manchester boats got as far as the North Sea to discharge....then it certainly floated back in...!

I can remember the hot summer of 77 when I lived in Colwyn Bay. The place stank for months and there was a rancid frothy scum floating on the sea. They even had a tug boat there for weeks that spent it's whole day going around spraying detergent on it.

Can't understand why the Costa del Colwyn never may the dizzy heights of resorts where people would want to spend their time on the beaches....

Allan Wareing
25th May 2006, 16:03
They had similar boats running down the Manchester Ship Canal and discharging the sewerage into the Irish Sea.
When I was on the M/S Arabella going to Irlam, the pilot told us that those ships had the nickname "Banana Tankers".

Frank

frank
Brings back old memories - as a boy of fourteen I worked on Latchford Locks as telephone boy and well remember the "banana boats". At that time there were two of them Mancunian and Salford City.This was in 1935 just before I went to sea.
Allan Wareing.

oldbosun
25th May 2006, 16:39
I worked on the "J H Hunter" for a while in the 50's.
In those days you got the job from London County Council, not the pool.
The Hunter had a few full time guys aboard but mostly the crew were guys that were spending some time covering up a DR or it suited them to be home for a certain date for a wedding or something. They had a hard time getting crews in those days.
They paid well and it was a 5 days a week job Monday to Friday. Sometimes we had to go into the tanks for the distastful, or more like disgusting, job of power washing the tanks out. There was always about a foot deep of sand down there as well as thousands of condoms and womens sanitary towels hanging up on the ladder rungs and stringers. (I did say it was disgusting!) But we did get a few days pay for a few hours work for doing that.
Actually I've had worse stinks from a cargo of hides and bones from Argentina.
The only smell on the Hunter was one of disinfectant from the chemical treatment it got before going into the tanks.
They were of necessity the cleanest ships afloat, but you soon learned not to let anyone know where you worked because if you did when you walked in a pub, no-one had to say anything, they just held their nose. That said it all!

Tmac1720
25th May 2006, 16:49
I recall the Divis (and Divis 2) calling into H&W for a few running repairs. Open the tank hatch and stand well back. Ahh the aroma of old Belfast, decomposing Ulster Frys, Guinness and champ, sure a million flies can't be wrong. To be serious both these vessels were a credit to their crews, smart and well kept. You could eat your dinner off them, aye well perhaps not (EEK) (LOL) [=P]

Pat McCardle
25th May 2006, 16:52
Bran Sands still takes sewage treatment from Sunderland & the Tees to the dumping grounds for Northumbria water?

Tmac1720
25th May 2006, 17:04
Guy gazing over the rail on the Divis says to his mate, "See yon tu*d there well that came from a homosexual" "How can you tell?" asks his mate "It's countersunk at one end." says the old salt. (K) (K)

Tony Crompton
25th May 2006, 17:46
On H.M.S. Worcester part of our signalling training was to call up by morse lamp passing ships. The Bovril boats would usually answer and invariably we would ask "What cargo".

Their standard reply was ... .... . _

As 15 & 16 year olds we never tired of the "Joke"!!!
---------------------------
Tony C

slick
25th May 2006, 21:42
"My Old Man's the Old Man on the chattiest tub afloat,
He wears a pair of Wranglers and a manky old Duffle coat,
He's on the Salford City going from Manchester to the sea,
and he carries the types of cargo that some folks don't want to see"
One dark and windy night he tripped and fell into the s---e"
.....and on.
To the tune of My Old Man's a Dustman
I heard this at a Sod's Opera on the MV Trevelyan in 1961 penned (I believe) and certainly sung by an AB Alan Hansen accompanying himself on a long necked Banjo with support by a lad who's name time has stolen.
Alan was a musical genius and I am sure he must have gone on to greater things, did he?
Yours aye,
John Kelly
Indentured Apprentice Hain SS 1958-1961

Paedrig
25th May 2006, 22:35
Talking of Bovril boats, I was idly watching a news clip of Marines patroling the Basra waterfront when there amongst the line up of motley craft was "Hounslow", still in her original colours and name clearly visible. A long way from home!

Keltic Star
26th May 2006, 07:30
They had similar boats running down the Manchester Ship Canal and discharging the sewerage into the Irish Sea.
When I was on the M/S Arabella going to Irlam, the pilot told us that those ships had the nickname "Banana Tankers".

Frank

In the fifties and sixties, the cargo on the Manchurian and Salford City was probably more sanitary than the water in the MSc. It used to be dubbed as the only navigable sewer in the world.

During hot summers it literally bubbled. Caused some problems with hydrostatic calculations as well.

Frank P
26th May 2006, 09:29
In the fifties and sixties, the cargo on the Manchurian and Salford City was probably more sanitary than the water in the MSc. It used to be dubbed as the only navigable sewer in the world.

During hot summers it literally bubbled. Caused some problems with hydrostatic calculations as well.

Keltic star, you are right there, I don't think that rats could live in the water.

On the Arabella after we had discharged the iron ore at Irlam we would take on the canal water as ballast, and some trips we went to Almaria (Spain) to load more ore, while we were discharging the dirty red stinking ballast (canal water), occasionaly the tourists on the pedalow's would come paddling around the ship waving at us, if they had known what that red stuff was that we were pumping out, they would not have been anywhere near the ship.

Frank

Keltic Star
27th May 2006, 05:58
Remember the condition of the sanitary water in the heads?

zulu6
28th May 2006, 20:10
All this talk reminds me of the old story about how Noah got so alarmed at the burgeoning stock of c r a p on the Ark from all those pairs of animals, that he and the boys had to shovel it all over the side. The pile was so huge that it broke the surface, and there it stayed until it was discovered by Christopher Columbus. (K)

What does Snops say about that? (*))

benjidog
28th May 2006, 22:43
Zulu,

I take it you are a guest in the US rather than an American!

Don't worry - we won't tell them where you are!(*))

Brian

andysk
16th July 2008, 11:26
In the fifties and sixties, the cargo on the Manchurian and Salford City was probably more sanitary than the water in the MSc. It used to be dubbed as the only navigable sewer in the world.

During hot summers it literally bubbled. Caused some problems with hydrostatic calculations as well.

Weren't some deep sea ships sent up to Manchester by their owners on an annual basis to save on drydock fees ?

On another tack, on my first trip up the Clyde in 197x, we passed the SHIELDHALL on her way out, in an absolutely spotless condition. I was told these trips were offered to pensioner and disabled groups as a day trip "doon the watter" (sp ?) Is there any truth in this ?

RayJordandpo
20th July 2008, 08:58
I remember a Bovril boat in Leith, I think it was named 'Garda Loo'. I have no idea where the "cargo" was discharged but she took day trippers on the Firth of Forth. One thing I do remember though, it was always immaculate.

Tom S
20th July 2008, 09:43
I remember a Bovril boat in Leith, I think it was named 'Garda Loo'. I have no idea where the "cargo" was discharged but she took day trippers on the Firth of Forth. One thing I do remember though, it was always immaculate.

It was called the "Gardyloo" as you say she was always immaculate and dumped her cargo just off the Bass Rock at the entrance to the Forth ,she had two designated dumping grounds depending on weather.
She carried twelve passengers for the day any ratepayer in Lothian was entitled to a free trip if they wanted to apply and she was popular especially with pensioners and birdwatchers. The Captain Ron Leask was a very colourful character and used to give the Passengers a talk on the Marine History of the Forth he was quite an expert on the subject. At lunch they all sat down to a lovely hot meal usually roast beef.
TomS

Ron Lloyd
20th July 2008, 11:14
the "Gardyloo" was tied up in Hull docks when i was on a lifeboat course a few years ago. it looked a bit sad and forgotten.

RayJordandpo
21st July 2008, 10:02
Very interesting. As an aside, I have just been informed that the word 'Gardyloo' was a warning cry in the old days when slops were thrown out of upstairs windows onto the street below. If this is so, a very apt name for a Bovril boat methinks.

K urgess
21st July 2008, 11:45
Also why Loos are called Loos! (?HUH)

RayJordandpo
25th July 2008, 08:53
No idea!

BA204259
25th July 2008, 09:10
From the French "Guardez l'eau" meaning (roughly) "beware of the water", which is what people in England would shout before hurling the contents of their chamber pots from their bedroom windows into the street below. 18th century. Anglicised to "Gardy Loo". Which is where the word "loo" originates.

You couldn't really express that in polite English, could you?

The Latin motto below my signature applies.

GRAHAM D
20th September 2008, 06:36
My Grandfather worked on these ships out of Manchester in the 1960's and 1970's his name was Tom Wilson, I lost contact with him before I went to sea in 1976 and would love to hear from anyone who knew him or anything about him. Please send me a message if you have any information.
I do remember as a child visiting the ships in Davyhulme, they were immaculate
__________________

jimmys
20th September 2008, 12:02
The last of them in Glasgow were the Garroch Head and the Dalmarnock and they sailed until around 1998. The were technically sludge tankers but called "Banana Boats".
One If I remember, the Garroch Head had a passenger certificate and used to carry pensioners and charity groups for free. She had a good galley and the groups could cook their food. Refreshment was allowed and often taken aboard in quantity. They had entertainers.

They dumped just off Bute at the Wee Cumbrae and Garroch Head.

I do recall in a party of dignitaries from the then Scottish Office which were cruising the Clyde on a freebie someone cruised the vessel through the dump area and nearly gassed them all. Imagine the Chief Surveyor blamed me, he could not bollock me for laughing. When I told the dignitary I thought the Scottish Office was a wonderful organization he nearly fell off his chair.

"Oh for the old days"

regards
jimmy

Bob Lane
18th November 2008, 02:11
The bovril boats,Banana boats,Cacky liners etc.
These ships were mainly manned by ex deep sea seamen who, had settled down and wanted to be home every weekend,.
At their height, there were five vessels servicing the Manchester area and they dumped an average of 36 thousand tons of sludge per week 18 miles off Llandudno, this also helped keep the ship canal open.

benjidog
18th November 2008, 22:30
The bovril boats,Banana boats,Cacky liners etc.
These ships were mainly manned by ex deep sea seamen who, had settled down and wanted to be home every weekend,.
At their height, there were five vessels servicing the Manchester area and they dumped an average of 36 thousand tons of sludge per week 18 miles off Llandudno, this also helped keep the ship canal open.

The Mancunians must really hate the Welsh to do that to Llandudno! :)

I guess the same applies to the Southend-on-sea area which is pretty close to where London's effluent got dumped (if you will excuse the pun).

orcades
11th March 2010, 21:23
zulu6 [We already know, he dropped himself in the sh\v so to speak.He was last seen wearing cement boots.] By the deep 6

slick
12th March 2010, 08:04
All.
Ah!!, aromatic and nostalgic days, did the City of Edinburgh have a sewage tanker named the "Garde Loo"?

Yours aye,

slick

waiwera
12th March 2010, 09:40
Don't know the dates you are looking for but a good friend was Master on one of them 1968 to 1970.

As for the smog, remember walking down the middle of the Kingsto bypass with a tourch leading my mates Austin 7. Just like the horse and carriage days. When at King Ted's, we used to wear plastic shirt collars so that they could be washed out a couple of times a day. Would love to see some of the modern day environmentalists reaction if they had been around.

Thanks for this "reminder" of plastic shirt collars at King Teds - I suppose the collarless shirts would be in fashion now - as worn by Judge Deed! Still have a stud collar box somewhere - as purchased at Silvers or Miller Raynor & Hasoms

Dennis Butler
12th March 2010, 14:23
As someone who's been involved (even in semi-retirement) with chemical parcel tankers
since the early-1970's, I guess there was not too much detailed (by ullaging & reference to the actual specific gravity) calculation of each loaded cargo - yet alone too many "for-retention aboard" samples taken & retained!!

Dennis in Singapore

sidsal
12th March 2010, 22:04
The Manchester Ship Canal is the only waterway in the world which caught fire !
This happened some years ago at Mode Wheel I believe.
Someone told me that the Manchester area sewage is now treated and pumped to the Mersey and the Bovril boats still take the more savoury Bovril and dump it !
Interesting subject, ain't it ?

Frank P
15th March 2010, 13:39
The Manchester Ship Canal is the only waterway in the world which caught fire !
This happened some years ago at Mode Wheel I believe.
Someone told me that the Manchester area sewage is now treated and pumped to the Mersey and the Bovril boats still take the more savoury Bovril and dump it !
Interesting subject, ain't it ?

When I was contracting somewhere I met somebody who had quite a few burn scars and he said that he was burned during a Manchester Ship Canal fire, at the time of the fire he had been on one of the small rowing boats that used to go across the canal.

Cheers Frank. (Thumb)

rothesian
15th March 2010, 14:20
to the best of my rememberance in late 60's the spirit carrier 'Tacoma' overloaded and set fire to the canal(Smoke)

callpor
17th March 2010, 19:00
The Manchester Ship Canal is the only waterway in the world which caught fire !
This happened some years ago at Mode Wheel I believe.
Someone told me that the Manchester area sewage is now treated and pumped to the Mersey and the Bovril boats still take the more savoury Bovril and dump it !
Interesting subject, ain't it ?

Hi Sidsal,
Have been following this thread, as we used to see the Mancunian very regularly in the MSC.
Your comment about the MSC catching fire caused me to Google the subject, and I turned up the following: www.pccp.info/part2/files/Ferry.doc.doc . Take a look, happened at "Bob's Ferry", Partington, it's facinating, unfortunately five people died as a result fire caused by a mogas overflow from the "Tacoma" loading at Shell.
Regards, Chris

Frank P
17th March 2010, 21:30
Have been following this thread, as we used to see the Mancunian very regularly in the MSC.
Your comment about the MSC catching fire caused me to Google the subject, and I turned up the following: www.pccp.info/part2/files/Ferry.doc.doc . Take a look, happened at "Bob's Ferry", Partington, it's facinating, unfortunately five people died as a result fire caused by a mogas overflow from the "Tacoma" loading at Shell.
Regards, Chris

Chris, that is an interesting article, I wonder if the guy that I met was one of those injured people named in the article, I met him a long time ago and I have forgot his name but I will always remember his story.

Cheers Frank.

Fairfield
17th March 2010, 22:42
Most famous Clyde Bovril Boat is of course Shieldhall preserved with great care at Southampton. It was fortunate Southern Water bought her for if she had stayed in Scotland she would have been razor blades by now.

benjidog
18th March 2010, 01:18
Most famous Clyde Bovril Boat is of course Shieldhall preserved with great care at Southampton. It was fortunate Southern Water bought her for if she had stayed in Scotland she would have been razor blades by now.

More likely Irn Bru Paul! (Jester)

ray bloomfield
18th March 2010, 02:40
One of the ex London river bovril boats I saw off the coast of Nigeria was employed as a fresh water carrier about 14 year ago. The tanks were made of stainless steel so corrosion would not be a problem, BTW the london river boats discharged at the nor'eastern end of the Burrows but a survey carried out in the late 70's discovered tomato pips and sweetcorn had carried back up as far as 'Sarfend' on Mud.

sidsal
18th March 2010, 13:40
Callpor:
What an interesting article !
I would imagine the canal is much cleaner now.
I was suprised some few years ago to learn that the canal still had about 20 pilots.

billyboy
18th March 2010, 14:39
Zulu... Thats a cracker mate. Thanks for the laugh

Dan.n
18th March 2010, 21:29
There is still one surviving "Bovril Boat". The Shieldhall that was based in Glasgow on the Clyde and now in Southampton,I can look out photos and post them.
Dan.n

Allan Wareing
28th March 2010, 15:24
I worked as telephone boy on Latchford Locks in 1935/36 and remember the Mancunian and Salford City well, yes they were always immaculate. As I recall they were called the banana boats.
Happy memories. Allan