News gets back to Liverpool

leggoaft
3rd July 2006, 23:36
I have often heard that Blue Funnel Ships carried a member of the crew whos job it was to report back to Head Office any unusual goings on aboard the vessel.such as the Master, or other offivcers drinking habits.etc. etc. Also all courses were pre set and had to be strictly adhered to. This may not be the case, but it would be interesting to know if there is any truth in it.

Geoff Garrett
4th July 2006, 02:21
With regard to the former, I think every ship has at least one eager volunteer ready to slip into this role, snooping around the ship but they are always easily identified by their close set eyes, long nose, generally shifty demeanour and lust for promotion or reward.

Keltic Star
4th July 2006, 04:38
Regarding the latter, it was common rumour when I was at sea but never confirmed.

R651400
4th July 2006, 07:49
A mole on board?
Well he certainly didn't do his job on any of the ships I sailed deep-sea on!
Due to a boozy run in with a Russian (spy) trawler crew over Christmas in Surabaya, the Chief R/O and myself had the highest bar bills ever recorded in BF for a four month voyage.
As for defined courses on charts which had to be strictly adhered to?
Yes. Reason being that if ever a Bluey broke down, there would be one or more on the same course ready to assist and thus avoid any tow/salvage fees.
Skippers also had to lay out an insurance bounty which they lost if their vessels were involved in a claim.
Blue Funnel bizarrely were parsimonious in many respects. Removing ice-water fountains from Victory ship engine rooms as they were considered a luxury.
They were also a cradle to grave company and knew how to look after their personnel. They certainly didn't take too kindly to my resigning to move to pastures new.

ronnie r
4th July 2006, 15:24
Was'nt it the Russian merchant service who carried a commissar to keep an eye on the
chaps during runs ashore etc?!

R651400
5th July 2006, 07:08
Was'nt it the Russian merchant service who carried a commissar to keep an eye on the
chaps during runs ashore etc?!
Indeed yes and this trawler was no exception.
"Polcom" followed us everywhere making mental notes and watching every fellow crew member's move. The rest were great bunch of pissy a...ed lads and lassies, the bosun a very rotund female.

Allan James
9th July 2006, 19:59
Ah memories, yes Blue funnel had points on the runs that ships had to pass, they were marked on the charts as "AH" points.....Malcolm was correct about the reason, it was so that another member of the fleet would in a position to render assistance if needed, it was also a method of keeping an eye on other members of the fleet before radios were fitted (Yes Malcolm there was a time!) and reporting back to India Buildings, or wherever HQ was prior to IB's informing the directors of locations of ships of the fleet passed.

As for spies on ships, never found one and never heard about the rumour. Does sound possible though, 'cos Holts directors liked to keep an eye on their investments!

Regards

Allan

Lookout
9th July 2006, 23:05
Will you accept the charges?

I once heard of a tracking scam that was attributed to a UK coastal fleet. I have no idea if it is true or not; but if true it would have worked.

It is alleged that when one of this company's vessels arrived in port, the master would go to the nearest phone box, ring the operator and ask for a transfer charge call to the head office. The operator would always ask the caller their name, so that when head office answered, the operator would say, for example, "Captain Pugwash is calling from Hull, will you accept the charge?" The person at head office would decline to accept the call charge and hang up. The operator then terminated the call without the two parties having spoken to each other, but head office now knew that Captain Pugwash's ship, the SS 'Tight Git' had arrived in Hull or Glasgow or wherever.

It's so clever it deserves to be true!

R651400
12th July 2006, 05:02
As for spies on ships, never found one and never heard about the rumour.
I really doubt this Allan excepting ubiquitous company crawlers who would do anything to ingratiate themselves for personal gain.
Bearing in mind 1st R/O's did little or no radio work, my first Chief was so far down the road with gin he would put his pyjamas on after lunch and continue on the gee&tees till he became completely unconscious and fell into his bunk, early evening.
Blue Funnel paid for a dry-out which must have been private and expensive in those days. What a transformation when I saw him a year later.

Tai Pan
20th August 2006, 10:40
Quite correct about same courses. whilst 2nd R/O on Calchas we had a request from another A class for a tow in the Indian Ocean. A long message from India Buildings on how to tow was not received well by the Old Man and the Mate. having flaked the anchor chains aft, that took all day, the request for a tow was cancelled. The language from the crew could not be repeated.

Tony Selman
20th August 2006, 12:57
As John Garner says the reason for the fixed course on charts is to allow for ease of tows if required.

As the publisher of the Radio Officers' Assocation quarterly newsletter I can give you a sneak preview of the September edition which includes a transcript totalling 15 pages of radio traffic that took place when Stentor/GMTC towed Troilus/GCPP to Aden in July 1948 after she had lost her propellor. Very interesting it is too (to both R/O's and deck officers I would think as it is quite technical nautically). A couple of the messages from AH's Head Office did seem a bit high handed in their tone.

lakercapt
20th August 2006, 15:31
I don't know if it were a tall tale but I heard that single officers were not liked, in fact a second mate not married was something frowned upon.
THis I was told that they were brought into the "office" in Liverpool on assignment. As ther were many youmg lassies there it was hoped that a romantic liasion would take place and the single officer became a married officer and much (in their view) reliable!!!!

R651400
26th August 2006, 05:57
On the subject of wives, it took Blue Funnel a long time to getting round to accepting wives even on coastal voyages after one irate lady phoned up to find out where her engineer husband was and to discover "she" was already at sea with him.

john g
29th August 2006, 21:53
All this dosn't surprise me at college the eng app's with BF seemed well brain washed by a leader called "daggy" (based in India Buildings)who was looked on as an icon. They were well monitered on the other hand we at Brocks were left to get on with it although getting "caught" drinking was frowned upon.
In Columbo a BF 2/O was stunned to find we in Brocks had A/C and draught beer. I always got the feeling we were looked down on by BF but we had the better times and got treated ok.

R651400
31st August 2006, 06:26
In Columbo a BF 2/O was stunned to find we in Brocks had A/C and draught beer. I always got the feeling we were looked down on by BF but we had the better times and got treated ok.

Neither does the quotes above surprise me. My best trip was actually with Glen Line on Glenbeg ex Samjack but I do remember going down the Red Sea with an almost useless air blower system, older ships had only fans.
BF was one of, if not the biggest cargo shipping company in Liverpool and certainly appeared the most imperious eg midshipmen had to wear uniform at all times when ashore in the 'pool.
I left because time was nigh to becoming 1st R/O or ship's inky which I didn't go to sea for.
The rest of my sea time with Greeks was a different kettle of fish.

http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/showthread.php?t=5476&highlight=ioannis+michas

cboots
31st August 2006, 13:57
I think Blue Flue were one of those old paternalistic outfits that you either loved them and stayed your entire career, or hated it and got out quick. I never tried them myself, suspect I'd have been in the latter category, but I did a spell with Panocean which was a P & O/Blueys' joint venture, consequently a lot of ex-Blueys guys around; and jeezus, the way they went on and on about Blue Flue, one wondered why the hell they ever left!
CBoots

Tai Pan
31st August 2006, 15:41
At least on BF you were part of the Deck Officers, not the odd bod from west ham depot, looked at rather queerly, and most times not without suspicion.
Yes BF was paternal, I had a lot to thank them for, when I decided to leave, the last 6 months were spent ashore with the radio dept, so that I could attend job interviews, GTZM would have shipped me off to bombay or somewhere else.

john g
1st September 2006, 13:45
I agree if you liked their ways you were probably a "lifer" but they were held in very high regard on Merseyside and in the far east , they generated a lot of work in Birkenhead with the docks and Odysee works, for the repair facility. If you wanted a good apprenticeship they were the choice and were well noted for it. I myself was with Brocks, probably a more easy going company, but still pretty good , no set rules like BF just plain common sense which seems non existant these days.......

cheddarnibbles
1st September 2006, 14:01
I think Blue Flue were one of those old paternalistic outfits that you either loved them and stayed your entire career, or hated it and got out quick. I never tried them myself, suspect I'd have been in the latter category, but I did a spell with Panocean which was a P & O/Blueys' joint venture, consequently a lot of ex-Blueys guys around; and jeezus, the way they went on and on about Blue Flue, one wondered why the hell they ever left!
CBoots

How very true. I served my time with Blue Flue but left when I thought the grass was greener elsewhere. I was such a bore to later colleagues that they nicknamed me 'Bluey'. However, every time I sailed up the Red Sea in a smelly old Trident Tanker, when you first sighted the southbound convoy, it was always a Blue Flue (or A red Glen) out in front leading the way, as they did in every aspect of merchant shipping in those days. Forty five years later, I still regret leaving them and I shall never forget the lessons and life skills they gave me.

john g
1st September 2006, 16:32
Mallacca Straits flogging away on a Moss tanker and a Priam class flys past at 20++ knots on route to Liverpool ....what more can you say ...a little pride possibly at a Liverpool company showing who's got it right !!

makko
4th September 2006, 17:29
I am proud of having served my cadetship with BF although it was by then Ocean Fleets. Daggy (Iain Dalgleish) was a hard taskmaster but when you had your ticket and looked back on your run-ins with him you realized how he had turned a pimply faced teen into an engineer officer and a good one to boot. He retired when I was finishing second year and I for one gave him a few bottles and shook his hand. Does anyone know his whereabouts? I believe that he was going up north to pheasant farm that he had, although he lived in Wallasey. (send PM)

Dave

john g
5th September 2006, 21:25
I am proud of having served my cadetship with BF although it was by then Ocean Fleets. Daggy (Iain Dalgleish) was a hard taskmaster but when you had your ticket and looked back on your run-ins with him you realized how he had turned a pimply faced teen into an engineer officer and a good one to boot. He retired when I was finishing second year and I for one gave him a few bottles and shook his hand. Does anyone know his whereabouts? I believe that he was going up north to pheasant farm that he had, although he lived in Wallasey. (send PM)

Dave
Hi Dave I asked one of my work collegues who was a BF cadet in the 70's, he is pretty sure Daggy passed away around 86/87 following retirement in Scotland. He speaks very highly of the guy.

makko
5th September 2006, 21:43
Thanks John G. There must be many stories about this often larger than life character just waiting to be written! Another BF larger than life was Dennis Naylor. Who's your workmate? I was third generation BF, my dad was lecturer at Birkenhead Tech. Your workmate should then know who I am! Maybe I'll start a thread!

Rgds.

Dave R

R651400
9th September 2006, 07:01
At least on BF you were part of the Deck Officers, not the odd bod from west ham depot, looked at rather queerly, and most times not without suspicion.

Maybe so John but I occasionally regret not going GTZM before direct employ with BF and then freelance. Clive Nibb many years R/O on Rhexenor, who is still alive and kicking in Auld Reekie, extolled the virtues of BF when taking my ticket and swung almost the entire Leith Nautical pass rate towards GTZB. Myself, Bugs Linton, Dave McQueen and the late Dave Lawrence and Alex Hay, all from Edinburgh, names you may be familiar with.
Malcolm

Split
9th September 2006, 09:13
Mallacca Straits flogging away on a Moss tanker and a Priam class flys past at 20++ knots on route to Liverpool ....what more can you say ...a little pride possibly at a Liverpool company showing who's got it right !!

They were beatiful ships, no doubt about it. I did not yearn for a career with BF, though.

Split

john g
9th September 2006, 11:26
They were beatiful ships, no doubt about it. I did not yearn for a career with BF, though.

Split
I agree BF would not have suited me personally but I always had a high regard for their professional ways, their staff were particularly loyal...or gave that impression.

Tai Pan
12th September 2006, 10:52
Maybe so John but I occasionally regret not going GTZM before direct employ with BF and then freelance. Clive Nibb many years R/O on Rhexenor, who is still alive and kicking in Auld Reekie, extolled the virtues of BF when taking my ticket and swung almost the entire Leith Nautical pass rate towards GTZB. Myself, Bugs Linton, Dave McQueen and the late Dave Lawrence and Alex Hay, all from Edinburgh, names you may be familiar with.
Malcolm

Good memories, my first ship with Bluie was the Rhexenor, coasting Liverpool/Glasgow/ liverpool. dont recognise any of the names, my time was 1950-60.

ruud
30th December 2006, 10:03
Neither does the quotes above surprise me. My best trip was actually with Glen Line on Glenbeg ex Samjack but I do remember going down the Red Sea with an almost useless air blower system, older ships had only fans.
BF was one of, if not the biggest cargo shipping company in Liverpool and certainly appeared the most imperious eg midshipmen had to wear uniform at all times when ashore in the 'pool.
I left because time was nigh to becoming 1st R/O or ship's inky which I didn't go to sea for.
The rest of my sea time with Greeks was a different kettle of fish.

http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/showthread.php?t=5476&highlight=ioannis+michas

Ahoy Malcom,
You sailed on this one?

R651400
31st December 2006, 08:33
Ahoy Malcom,
You sailed on this one?
Ahoy Rudd, negative, this Glenbeg transferred to Blue Funnel in 1949 and became Dymas.
My Glenbeg was ex liberty 1944 Samjack, Tydeus, Glenbeg.
Gelukkig Niew Jaar,
Malcolm

Barber Hector
3rd June 2008, 17:09
R651400

Ref Clive Knibb.
I sailed with him on the Monmouthshire for 3 voyages with Captains 'Gentleman' Sanderson and 'Father' Auchterlonie 1959/1960.
Lost track of him when he left the Cardiganshire where he did several voyages. Meantime I was promoted to the Pembrokeshire.
Grateful if you would update me on his present whereabouts and if he is well Etc.

Cutsplice
3rd June 2008, 23:05
I understood that the senior apprentice was the first to be called into the Kremlin to be debreifed, followed by the 2nd off then the Old Man.
If the senior apprentice had dropped the other two into the fire, I dread to think what his next voyage would have been like for him.
Whether that scenario is true or not I have no idea, I was told it was by a few Blue Flue men over the years.

oceangoer
4th June 2008, 00:48
I understood that the senior apprentice was the first to be called into the Kremlin to be debreifed, followed by the 2nd off then the Old Man.
I was told it was by a few Blue Flue men over the years.

Totally, utterly, and entirely untrue.

Midshipmen didn't even go to the Ships Officers bit of India Buildings, we went to the Middies Dept. and collected a money chit from a lady clerk before proceeding on leave, often we didn't even talk to Hutson (Head of Dept).

Just another bit of leg pulling along with "mobile" boot-topping and inked-in courses on charts.

Dave Wilson
4th June 2008, 10:58
Totally, utterly, and entirely untrue.

Midshipmen didn't even go to the Ships Officers bit of India Buildings, we went to the Middies Dept. and collected a money chit from a lady clerk before proceeding on leave, often we didn't even talk to Hutson (Head of Dept).

Just another bit of leg pulling along with "mobile" boot-topping and inked-in courses on charts.

Never cease to be amazed at the stories that abound re this shipping company. They must have been doing things right otherwise they would not have attained the status they did. Their big mistake was was rejecting me April 61.[=P] (Jester)

R651400
15th June 2008, 11:19
Just another bit of leg pulling along with "mobile" boot-topping and inked-in courses on charts.

Inked-in charts were a fact of life. What was "mobile" boot-topping?

Pat Kennedy
15th June 2008, 18:58
Does anyone remember a Blue Funnel midshipman named Griff Owen from Morfa Nefyn?
He was a boyhood friend of mine, and I last saw him on gangway watch on the Ulysses in Birkenhead. I heard he made it to Chief Officer, then came ashore and was working in a bank in Caernafon.

oceangoer
15th June 2008, 23:01
Inked-in charts were a fact of life. What was "mobile" boot-topping?

I don't know whose life they were a fact of. I was only there for 4 years as a Middy and don't recall seeing one "inked in" course.

My Blue Flue neighbour down the coast was there as 3/0 for 4 years and doesn't have any recollection of this phenomenon either. Perhaps a remnant of an earlier age.

Boot topping .... the story goes that the boot topping was specially cut-in to make the vessel look down to her marks on arrival Liverpool. You'll find the tale somewhere in these pages.

oceangoer
16th June 2008, 00:46
Inked-in charts were a fact of life.

In my experience in Alfies 1963 - 1966 they weren't. I saw a lot of "tramlines" where the chart had been used on various Bluies voyage after voyage on the same route, but no ink on a chart. Just a 2B pencil.

R651400
16th June 2008, 23:26
In my experience in Alfies 1963 - 1966 they weren't. I saw a lot of "tramlines" where the chart had been used on various Bluies voyage after voyage on the same route, but no ink on a chart. Just a 2B pencil.Oceangoer thanks for above. As a R/O my visits to the bridge were sparse but I do remember "tramlines" being pointed out to me. I cannot recall if they were in ink but certainly were a well defined track across the chart for BF reasons stated previously.
Punter thanks for your explanation on "mobile" boot topping.

James T Floyd
18th June 2008, 12:44
The inked in courses rumours were around when I was at sea but were never taken seriously. Punter and Oceangoer are good testimony to that one. Accepting that nothing more serious than a 2B was allowed near the Chart room table I did hear that certain coloured pencils were the property of certain rank.
Example, Red 2B..Master. Green 2B.. Ch.Off. any truth in this.

It might go down well with Health and Safety when one considers that the natural reaction of an individual when perplexed whilst performing a calculation is to chew the end of the pencil used in the calc.

oceangoer
18th June 2008, 23:04
Accepting that nothing more serious than a 2B was allowed near the Chart room table I did hear that certain coloured pencils were the property of certain rank.
Example, Red 2B..Master. Green 2B.. Ch.Off. any truth in this.


None at all. Everybody used plain black 2B. You could tell whose mark it was by the time.
Middies rarely wrote on the chart but usually recorded the weather and sea temperature on the slate, did the obs. for weather tx, and kept light lists and radio signal lists up to date (usually on night watch during the Indian Ocean passage).

Tai Pan
19th June 2008, 09:19
One of the jobs 1st R/Os had was to distribute the contents of the BOX, that arrived from India Buildings on sailing day. This included charts and I can assure you the courses were inked in in red. that was in the 50,s

James T Floyd
19th June 2008, 09:52
Punter,

Thank you for your prompt reply. The inked in courses I knew to be a fallacy but the pencil colour had me thinking.

Jim

Chouan
19th June 2008, 10:38
Interesting thread.
As a Historian one often has to deal with conflicting evidence, and here we have conflicting evidence. One set of evidence states categorically that the courses were inked in and the other set of evidence states emphatically that this is a fallacy.
Both sets of conflicting and mutually excluding evidence comes from ex-Blueys, so their evidence must be true as it is all primary evidence, not of the "I heard that" type.
So, what are we non-Blueys to believe?

Hugh Ferguson
19th June 2008, 11:22
Interesting thread.
As a Historian one often has to deal with conflicting evidence, and here we have conflicting evidence. One set of evidence states categorically that the courses were inked in and the other set of evidence states emphatically that this is a fallacy.
Both sets of conflicting and mutually excluding evidence comes from ex-Blueys, so their evidence must be true as it is all primary evidence, not of the "I heard that" type.
So, what are we non-Blueys to believe?

I would suggest that there is an element of truth. Frankly, I have no such recollection about charts being inked in: but what if they were?! Everyone knows that Blue Funnel & Glen were self insured and that there were set OCEAN courses layed down so that any ship having been disabled (as indeed some were from time to time) it wouldn't be long before another Bluey happened along to render assistance.
As for reporting back to India Buildings, I was on more than one occasion sailing in a Bluey where there was more than adequate reason for such a measure to have been taken. All I can say is, that if it had, changes would most definitely have occurred. But they did not, on any one single occasion of those incidents having taken place-so much for whistle blowers in every ship.
It's just another example of that unadorable national characteristic of denigrating anything thought to have got a bit above itself. It's cool, these days, to be mediocre, but there was never anything mediocre about the Blue Funnel Line.

R651400
19th June 2008, 12:04
On whistle-blowers, I query who they could have been when the entire crew excepting officers were Chinese.
I can also refute whistle-blowing from "Adrastus" the only UK crewed Bluey I sailed on, spending the most bacchanalian Christmas and New Year of my life in the company of a Russian spy trawler's crew, dry-docked in Surabaya.
John Garner has confirmed inked charts even to the colour which must have diluted to 2B lead pencil (grey or black) as the years moved on.
Blue Funnel had a valid reason for course adherence and like all things, if historically true, should be accepted and respected.

James T Floyd
19th June 2008, 12:28
One of the jobs 1st R/Os had was to distribute the contents of the BOX, that arrived from India Buildings on sailing day. This included charts and I can assure you the courses were inked in in red. that was in the 50,s
One must be very careful here as it is too easy to dismiss the R/O in favour of the Navigating officers (Punter & Oceangoer) whose recollections are more , shall we say , believable.
Are you not, John Garner, confusing 'Distance Off' certain points where BF may have had History and therefore made such requirements known by 'inking in' these Company requirements . Having had a couple of years in command in the Far East I never witnessed a BF vessel passing 'close in'.

Just a thought.

oceangoer
20th June 2008, 01:49
One of the jobs 1st R/Os had was to distribute the contents of the BOX, that arrived from India Buildings on sailing day. This included charts and I can assure you the courses were inked in in red. that was in the 50,s

By the time I got there (Jan 63) - if there ever were "red inked courses" they were gone. During my time there I never saw an R/O handle a chart (whether from a box or not) let alone check them. Incidentally, at this time the charts came in grey/buff canvas satchels (not boxes) returned from the correcting agency (where they were lodged on arrival from deep-sea at Gladstone Dock) on the day of vessels arrival in Birkenhead from her coasting. You rarely got yr previous charts back, just an up to date set from another Bluie with all previous marks erased. As 3/O I helped the 2/O check them by number.
The comment about "ocean passages" is quite right. The only one most ships had to bother about was the Indian and depending on monsoon season we followed the 1 degree or 5 degree channel, but it wasn't inked in. If the monsoon wasn't wasn't too bad we'd creep up a bit, and if it was savage we'd go a bit further S.
As for inked-in courses elsewhere, I simply don't see the point in it. There's only one sensible way to get from Gib to P. Said, and Suez to Aden and so on. You're certainly not going to ink in courses from Bohihan to Tawau to Jesselton to Sandakan to Rajang to Balikpapan to Semarang to Surabaja to Jakarta to Pladju to .... and so on because by the time you've inked in all the courses for all the routes Blu Flu ran around in the Far East there'd be no room left to navigate. You'd be looking at a spiders web.
Perhaps there were a few major routes inked-in in the 50's, but on Punter's experience from 1959 and mine from 1963 they were soon gone.

Bill Davies
20th June 2008, 08:32
Oceangoer,
I would concur with yours. This 'inked in' charts business has developed a life of its own and never happed and perpetuated by those who would not know in any case.

James T Floyd
20th June 2008, 08:49
Perhaps biased but I think John Garner has the more believable in terms of experience.
.

Experience in terms of WHAT?

R651400
20th June 2008, 08:52
One must be very careful here as it is too easy to dismiss the R/O in favour of the Navigating officers (Punter & Oceangoer) whose recollections are more , shall we say , believable.

Perhaps biased but I think John Garner has the more believable in terms of experience.
Punter and Oceangoer are probably getting a bit puffed up that courses on charts were dictated by India Buildings but neither has the overall experience to convince or prove otherwise.
To state that "central office" would have the way in and out of Probolinggo marked on the chart is derisory.
The thinking behind any transocean course laid down by India Buildings was purely and simply salvage economy as was the daily exchange by radio of noon positions of all Blueys within radio calling distance.

R651400
20th June 2008, 08:53
Experience in terms of WHAT?

Time spent as a 1st R/0 in Blue Funnel and Glen Line.

Chouan
20th June 2008, 09:00
Further to my post above, we still have two diametrically opposed views being expressed.
However, there seems to be a marked lacked of tolerance for people whose experience, or view, is different. There is a lot of talk about "respect" on this thread, and remarkably little being shown to people whose experience differs from the people posting.

James T Floyd
20th June 2008, 09:02
Time spent as a 1st R/0 in Blue Funnel and Glen Line.

Thank you!

R651400
20th June 2008, 09:04
Thank you! My pleasure.

Tai Pan
20th June 2008, 12:08
The BOX that arrived from India Buildings contained all the necessary bumff for the ship, logs, articles etc, this included the charts that had been updated. The courses were inked in , for ocean passeages, eg from a point off aden to a point near Penang, all sailed the same course, it was left to the old man how you got to the starting point.As for handling charts my thanks to many 2nd mates and chief officers who taught me navigation, in later life I did a lot of offshore yacht racing as navigator. including the 79 fastnet.The basic reasons have been aired, if you had a problem, stop and a bluie would be along to help.

James T Floyd
20th June 2008, 17:00
Hmmmmm!

BA204259
20th June 2008, 17:39
Hmmmmm!

Clearing your throat? What does Hmmmmmm mean?

oceangoer
21st June 2008, 00:27
Time spent as a 1st R/0 in Blue Funnel and Glen Line.

This is where I leave this discussion.

What I had to say related to MY experience 63 - 67 in Bluies as 3/O. Clearly I must defer to a Radio Operator in matters of navigation so I'll wander off and wait for the peggies to put in their two-penn'orth.

oceangoer
21st June 2008, 00:44
Both sets of conflicting and mutually excluding evidence comes from ex-Blueys, so their evidence must be true as it is all primary evidence, not of the "I heard that" type.
So, what are we non-Blueys to believe?

I suspect that BOTH sets of information are correct.

Punter was in BF from 1959 - 63 and I was there from 63 - 67, the R/O's service is unknown but possibly earlier. Neither Punter nor I saw/remember the inked in courses. I reckon that they slowly disappeared from the mid 50's onwards (if they ever existed) as charts were renewed and management was dragged kicking and screaming into the 20th century.

I don't know why folks get so excited when anything to do with Blue Funnel gets raised. Yes, it was a damned good company. Yes, there seems to be a mystique which has built up around it's methods and practices. Yes, the company seems to attract a certain loyalty even though it's long gone. But taken in the round, many of the UK "cargo liner" companies were on a par with it.

Tai Pan
21st June 2008, 09:10
Was with BF from 1952 to 1960 as a Radio Officer.( only person listed on the articles as an officer). I am only saying what I saw as I handed out the various bits of bumff, that included the charts to the 2nd Mate.

R651400
21st June 2008, 11:45
Clearly I must defer to a Radio Operator in matters of navigation so I'll wander off and wait for the peggies to put in their two-penn'orth. Oh dear! The egocentric bubble of another perennial skipper pricked yet again.
If Blue Funnel had moved forward into the 20th century by 1963, quotes above show a marked possibility their mate's recruitment must have remained stagnant.

K urgess
21st June 2008, 12:01
I never sailed with Blue Flue, being a Marconi man, but I've seen inked in courses on charts elsewhere.
If I remember right it was around the UK coast.

makko
21st June 2008, 17:51
I suspect that BOTH sets of information are correct.

Punter was in BF from 1959 - 63 and I was there from 63 - 67, the R/O's service is unknown but possibly earlier. Neither Punter nor I saw/remember the inked in courses. I reckon that they slowly disappeared from the mid 50's onwards (if they ever existed) as charts were renewed and management was dragged kicking and screaming into the 20th century.

I don't know why folks get so excited when anything to do with Blue Funnel gets raised. Yes, it was a damned good company. Yes, there seems to be a mystique which has built up around it's methods and practices. Yes, the company seems to attract a certain loyalty even though it's long gone. But taken in the round, many of the UK "cargo liner" companies were on a par with it.

Nicely put, Oceangoer. I fully concur with the sentiments expressed!
Regards,
Dave

oceangoer
22nd June 2008, 00:15
Oh dear! The egocentric bubble of another perennial skipper pricked yet again.
If Blue Funnel had moved forward into the 20th century by 1963, quotes above show a marked possibility their mate's recruitment must have remained stagnant.

Yawn.

R651400
22nd June 2008, 09:59
Yawn.

Fazakerley! How tiresome.

MICHAEL SQUIRES
27th June 2008, 19:49
Ahoy Malcom,
You sailed on this one?

The Glenbeg was the first ship my father sailed on. He went to sea as a Midshipman in 1941 and eventually became master in 1962. He left the company in 1973. His name is Freddie Squires, he's still alive and kicking aged 85. Has anybody sailed with him?

Mike Sqires

R58484956
27th June 2008, 21:28
Greetings Mike and welcome to SN, enjoy the site and bon voyage.

peter3807
27th June 2008, 22:56
I never sailed on liners having spent my short career on tramp ships. For those vessels on regular routes and applying the premise of the shortest route between two points the courses would only vary at particular points by the individual preference of the master. It could be argued that inked in courses were practical. I have been told that the east coast colliers did this. I still remember the pleasure of being told the day before sailing from the Baltic being told South America and spending the night marking up the charts. Weather routing did rather put a spanner in the works. Did any other 2nd mates find chart correcting enjoyable, I certainly did, particularly when the Admiralty introduced the tracings in the early 70's.Great Forum.

Peter

Hugh Ferguson
29th June 2008, 16:38
The Glenbeg was the first ship my father sailed on. He went to sea as a Midshipman in 1941 and eventually became master in 1962. He left the company in 1973. His name is Freddie Squires, he's still alive and kicking aged 85. Has anybody sailed with him?

Mike Sqires

Yes, Mike, I sailed with your dad for two and a half voyages in the old coal burning ELPENOR; first was to China (Hong Kong and Shanghai), then the second to Australia and on the third, to China. He left us in Singapore to go mate of the GORGON. Ask him if he remembers being rolled out of his bunk on a rough night in the Southern Ocean, when the captain, somewhat ill-advisedly, decided to turn the ship around after having hove-to some hours previously-he quickly changed his mind and we returned to being hove-to for the rest of the night. It's lucky no-one was injured. Freddy was a grand ship-mate and a carefree kind of fella into the bargain. I sent him a birthday card on his eightieth and he did like-wise on mine. He never learned to pronounce my name; in that ship, and that ship only, (thankfully), I was called Huck!
All the best, Hugh.

Bill Davies
29th June 2008, 18:35
Oceangoer,
Quote: I don't know why folks get so excited when anything to do with Blue Funnel gets raised.Unquote
Study the profiles and it is clear!

Chouan
30th June 2008, 10:08
Oceangoer,
Quote: I don't know why folks get so excited when anything to do with Blue Funnel gets raised.Unquote
Study the profiles and it is clear!

But that doesn't explain why Blue Flue people are getting so exercised and so disrespectful with each other.

David W
11th December 2008, 10:36
Originally Posted by Bill Davies
Oceangoer,
Quote: I don't know why folks get so excited when anything to do with Blue Funnel gets raised.Unquote
Study the profiles and it is clear!

But that doesn't explain why Blue Flue people are getting so exercised and so disrespectful with each other.

Could it be because they are all Officers and Gentlemen, and therefore cannot be wrong.

Bill Davies
11th December 2008, 10:43
Originally Posted by Bill Davies
Oceangoer,
Quote: I don't know why folks get so excited when anything to do with Blue Funnel gets raised.Unquote
Study the profiles and it is clear!



Could it be because they are all Officers and Gentlemen, and therefore cannot be wrong.

I am sure you do no not mean that David.

David W
11th December 2008, 13:18
I am sure you do no not mean that David.


Dear Bill Davies
In the spirit of Christmas Present and any other kind of pantomime;-
"Oh yes I do"

Chouan
11th December 2008, 13:25
Originally Posted by Bill Davies
Oceangoer,
Quote: I don't know why folks get so excited when anything to do with Blue Funnel gets raised.Unquote
Study the profiles and it is clear!



Could it be because they are all Officers and Gentlemen, and therefore cannot be wrong.

In any case, a study of the profiles does not make it clear!

Bill Davies
11th December 2008, 13:33
In any case, a study of the profiles does not make it clear!

I think you should sort it out amongst yourselves.

Geoff_E
11th December 2008, 17:04
For what it's worth I was 2/0 with Ocean Fleets, as successors to BF, ED's et al, between 1976 - 78. I can recall coming across a chart with the "inked-in courses" in the process of chart correcting.

This was probably on the bulker "Helenus" which carried a huge suite of folios. Can't remember which chart it was or whether it was ever used, it stuck in my mind as the BF "inked - in" bit was part of folklore in other companies, including BP from whence I hailed.

I can also recall, prior to joining the Helenus, being called to India Buildings and interviewed by a charming old gent; the "Nautical Advisor". He went to great lengths to explain that I'd have to do all my own chart corrections with "tracings" - obviously something new to them but a device which had been pioneered by BP in the late '60's. I didn't have the heart to disillusion him!

Bill Davies
11th December 2008, 21:34
For what it's worth I was 2/0 with Ocean Fleets, as successors to BF, ED's et al, between 1976 - 78. I can recall coming across a chart with the "inked-in courses" in the process of chart correcting.

!

Geoff,
Good man. That is a contradiction to many BF statements.(K)

You must have been an incredibly young Second Mate in a company renowned for having men of advancing years in each rank. Most of the Bluey guys I did Masters with had Third Mates experience. And to just join as Second Mate. You must have been well connected.[=P] The E dos'nt stand for Elder (as in EDs) does it.(Jester)

Bill Davies
15th December 2008, 23:25
Well done Geoff!
That is incredible. Six years after commencing as a Cadet and you are Second Mate with Blue Funnel. Fairly typical in a tramping company but certainly not possible in my day in the Blue Funnel. In fact I never heard of anyone coming in at that level. One of the members joined ex Bank Line as Third Mate and I found that unusual. Interesting to hear how it compared with BP.

sparkie2182
16th December 2008, 00:21
the perpetual motion machine rumbles on.........and on.........and on.........

Bill Davies
16th December 2008, 09:17
Sparkie,

If you can't say anything constructive. Best not to post at all.

Matt

Geoff_E
16th December 2008, 12:58
I've got to say guys that I was outrageously lucky with promotion. I commenced one trip as senior cadet and then received my exam results, was transferred mid-trip and promoted to 3/0. Completed the allotted trip time, leave, then joined my next ship "British Energy?" as 3/0 and was promoted to 2/0 half way through that trip.

I joined Ocean Fleets just after getting Mates, mainly as a change from tankers. In reply to "how did they compare?"; Not so different really, in many of their attitudes. Both pretty "tribal" and close-knit! (Yes -even BP!) There was a very strong training ethos in both companies too, especially for cadets. I know the BF guys will disagree but I consider the cadet training I had with BP to be second to none.

Paradoxically I rejoined BP after a couple of years as Ocean were selling ships wholesale and I figured it would be "last in first out" when the numbers were being culled! All seems a long time ago now

Bill Davies
16th December 2008, 13:27
The luck of the Irish. And no dry cargo experience to boot. It must have been a steep learning curve. BTW Geoff, please accept my apologies for post No.80.

Charlie_Wood
16th December 2008, 13:53
Well done Geoff!
That is incredible. Six years after commencing as a Cadet and you are Second Mate with Blue Funnel. Fairly typical in a tramping company but certainly not possible in my day in the Blue Funnel. In fact I never heard of anyone coming in at that level. One of the members joined ex Bank Line as Third Mate and I found that unusual. Interesting to hear how it compared with BP.

Things changed dramatically in the early seventies, jobs were everywhere. I joined Clan Line (well B&C) in January 1970 when most 2nd Mates had Masters. I joined "Argyllshire" as 2nd Mate in May 74, about 4 months after getting my Second Mates and not yet 21.

I then proceeded to have the best year of my seagoing life(==D)

Bill Davies
16th December 2008, 14:22
Thanks for that Charlie.
I can only go by my own experience and I recall that in the China when I left in 61 it was :
Second Mates (FG) - Fourth Mate
First Mate (FG) - Third Mate
Master (FG) - Second Mate.............5/6 years
Mate (abt 33).................12/13 year
Master abt 50

As an aside, it was one of the reasons I left on obtaining Second Mates(FG).

Bill Davies
16th December 2008, 22:00
I've got to say guys that I was outrageously lucky with promotion. I commenced one trip as senior cadet and then received my exam results, was transferred mid-trip and promoted to 3/0. Completed the allotted trip time, leave, then joined my next ship "British Energy?" as 3/0 and was promoted to 2/0 half way through that trip.

I joined Ocean Fleets just after getting Mates, mainly as a change from tankers. In reply to "how did they compare?"; Not so different really, in many of their attitudes. Both pretty "tribal" and close-knit! (Yes -even BP!) There was a very strong training ethos in both companies too, especially for cadets. I know the BF guys will disagree but I consider the cadet training I had with BP to be second to none.
Paradoxically I rejoined BP after a couple of years as Ocean were selling ships wholesale and I figured it would be "last in first out" when the numbers were being culled! All seems a long time ago now


Geoff,

How can anyone disagree. You have experienced both sides and therefore very difficult to argue with. You will of course have noted my post to Charlie Wood.
Well done both of you.

Bill

Anchorman
17th December 2008, 09:57
the perpetual motion machine rumbles on.........and on.........and on.........


Sorry sparkie but what on earth are you on about? Have you posted in the wrong thread by mistake? Can you please explain what your remarks are about,or is it a private joke?
Regards
Neil

Chouan
17th December 2008, 10:15
There has been an ongoing attempt by some ex BF people to convince the world that BF were the best trained seamen, the best trained officers, etc etc, and that the only reason that people don't agree is that they wanted to be in BF and were turned down. That is what sparkie2182 is referring to. The same people keep trying to revive the idea.

R651400
17th December 2008, 11:06
Blue Funnel has been singled out for criticism and ridicule through no fault of its own.
Without denigrating anyone who moved into Blue Funnel circa 1970 as deck officer, fifteen years previous this would have been an impossibility.
Blue Funnel midshipmen I sailed with mid 50's knew that if they didn't come up to the mark after passing 2nd mate they would not attain BF 4th mate and have to move on.
The chances of a deckie ever reaching BF skipper during this era?
A virtual impossibility. The only one that comes to mind, Glaswegian John Chapman.
In the 50's and 60's the MN being a highly sought after sector of employment, didn't elitism exist throughout the entire Red Duster?

Bill Davies
17th December 2008, 13:01
There has been an ongoing attempt by some ex BF people to convince the world that BF were the best trained seamen, the best trained officers, etc etc, and that the only reason that people don't agree is that they wanted to be in BF and were turned down. That is what sparkie2182 is referring to. The same people keep trying to revive the idea.

And what is your excuse!

Anchorman
17th December 2008, 13:19
There has been an ongoing attempt by some ex BF people to convince the world that BF were the best trained seamen, the best trained officers, etc etc, and that the only reason that people don't agree is that they wanted to be in BF and were turned down. That is what sparkie2182 is referring to. The same people keep trying to revive the idea.

Thank you Chouan. Not sure how Sparkies remarks applied to previous posts, I must be missing something. Regarding BF I never had the good fortune of sailing on these fine vessels. What I remember of the time was that the talk in the messdeck was always complimentary regarding their crews and training.
Regards
Neil

Chouan
17th December 2008, 13:22
And what is your excuse!

How do you mean?

ROBERT HENDERSON
17th December 2008, 13:29
Thank you Chouan. Not sure how Sparkies remarks applied to previous posts, I must be missing something. Regarding BF I never had the good fortune of sailing on these fine vessels. What I remember of the time was that the talk in the messdeck was always complimentary regarding their crews and training.
Regards
Neil

Hi Neil

If you had joined BF you would not have seen the sights of the Thames runniing up to Battersea.

Regards Bob (Jester) (Jester) (Jester)

Bill Davies
17th December 2008, 13:59
Robert,

Ever heard of Glen Line! I was in KG5 on many a China boat.

Brgds

Bill

ROBERT HENDERSON
17th December 2008, 14:11
Robert,

Ever heard of Glen Line! I was in KG5 on many a China boat.

Brgds

Bill

Bill
I have heard of Glen Line, but the KG5 is not as far as Battersea, so your never saw the delights of our elected ''representatives getting p****d on the terraces of THE HOUSES OF PARLIAMENT.

Merry Xmas to you and your family Bill

Regards Robert (Jester) (Jester) (Jester)

Bill Davies
17th December 2008, 14:27
Thanks Robert and the same to you and yours

Anchorman
17th December 2008, 14:46
Hi Neil

If you had joined BF you would not have seen the sights of the Thames runniing up to Battersea.

Regards Bob (Jester) (Jester) (Jester)


Blooming eck Bob you have a good memory. Happy days.

Take care.
Neil

Chouan
17th December 2008, 15:06
Advice noted. However, probably not as thick skinned as you and I like to know when people are talking about me or having a go. I can look after myself. Thanks all the same.



I would suggest looking at the Blue Funnel Reborn thread, if you have the time, and make your own mind up. Don't just rely on what I've said.

R651400
17th December 2008, 15:49
For the record..
Glen Line and Blue Funnel were run as complete separate entities.
Blue Funnel arriving from the Far East to Liverpool Gladstone and thence to Shieldhall Glasgow under a much misquoted SN misnomer "around the land" and back to Birkenhead for Far East loading with the occasional "longer voyage around the land" to Avonmouth.
Glen Line inward bound to London Royal KGV, then Rotterdam, Bremen, Hamburg and back to London for final Far East loading.
Saw only one Blue Funnel ship in London during my entire time with Glen Line and that was pilgrim ship Tyndareus...

Derek Roger
17th December 2008, 16:43
I keep noting "the China " .

Funny how I served my first two years appentice ship in the same class as Blue Flue engineer apprentices and had many friends who were deck cadets and during that time ( and all the time I was at sea ) I never heard the company referred to as "the China " ; it was always Blueys or Alfie Holts or just Alfie's or Blue Flue .

Swire Mc Kinnon / China Nav . were referred to as the China .

Must be a time warp thing .
Cheers Derek

Bill Davies
17th December 2008, 16:52
I keep noting "the China " .

Funny how I served my first two years appentice ship in the same class as Blue Flue engineer apprentices and had many friends who were deck cadets and during that time ( and all the time I was at sea ) I never heard the company referred to as "the China " ; it was always Blueys or Alfie Holts or just Alfie's or Blue Flue .

Swire Mc Kinnon / China Nav . were referred to as the China .

Must be a time warp thing .
Cheers Derek

Therein lies the problem Derek. Cadets, apprentices, juniors. There are too many seasoned mariners on this site who refer to BF as nothing other than 'the China'.

Pat Kennedy
17th December 2008, 16:58
For the record..
Glen Line and Blue Funnel were run as complete separate entities.
Blue Funnel arriving from the Far East to Liverpool Gladstone and thence to Shieldhall Glasgow under a much misquoted SN misnomer "around the land" and back to Birkenhead for Far East loading with the occasional "longer voyage around the land" to Avonmouth.
Glen Line inward bound to London Royal KGV, then Rotterdam, Bremen, Hamburg and back to London for final Far East loading.
Saw only one Blue Funnel ship in London during my entire time with Glen Line and that was pilgrim ship Tyndareus...

If I may correct you on the 'round the land' issue.
I was coasting Blue funnel ships for a year as a dispensation from the company when my father was seriously ill.
I joined FOUR ships in London, sailed in them to Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Hamburg Bremerhaven, Antwerp, Avonmouth Swansea, Newport , Birkenhead. Duration five or six weeks. Others, joined in Liverpool went to Glasgow, Hull, London, Birkenhead. One, the Ascanius, we joined in Bremen, and went to Hamburg for drydock, then through the Keil canal to Gdynia, Aarhuss, Copenhagen, Bristol Channel Ports, Birkenhead, duration seven weeks. It was only the 'P' class. and 'H' class that did Liverpool-Glasgow-Birkenhead.
During that year I was in drydock in Hamburg three times, Rotterdam twice and Amsterdam twice.
Finally, One deep sea voyage in the Memnon terminated in London, were we paid off.
Regards,
Pat

Derek Roger
17th December 2008, 17:06
Therein lies the problem Derek. Cadets, apprentices, juniors. There are too many seasoned mariners on this site who refer to BF as nothing other than 'the China'.

With all due respect Bill in my remark I was including many well seasoned mariners including Captain Willis ( Inverness ) and lecturers who had been with BF including Captain Rooney .

Cheers Derek

David W
17th December 2008, 17:12
I keep noting "the China " .

Funny how I served my first two years appentice ship in the same class as Blue Flue engineer apprentices and had many friends who were deck cadets and during that time ( and all the time I was at sea ) I never heard the company referred to as "the China " ; it was always Blueys or Alfie Holts or just Alfie's or Blue Flue .

Swire Mc Kinnon / China Nav . were referred to as the China .

Must be a time warp thing .
Cheers Derek



My father, who was a chain horse boy in and around the Liverpool docks in the twenties and whose only sea time was on ships taking him to and from the fighting, always referred to A.Holt ships as the China boats, while a lot of people of my generation called them the Welsh Navy, or something similar. If its of any interest to anyone, the last Ocean Fleets ships, using blue flue nomenclature, in and out of Liverpool all had buff funnels

R651400
17th December 2008, 17:23
Pat of you wish to correct or contradict my posting it may help if you gave dates. I can assure you from the end of the war and certainly in my time 1956 to 60, London was Glen Line's home port and Liverpool was Blue Funnel with coastal and deep sea voyages arranged accordingly. I can assure you the only Blue Funnel ship I saw in the London Royals when I was with Glen Line was as per mentioned.

Bill Davies
17th December 2008, 17:37
I would suggest looking at the Blue Funnel Reborn thread, if you have the time, and make your own mind up. Don't just rely on what I've said.

Chouan,
Of than you can be sure.
I joined this site for lunch time relaxation only to find back biting on a large scale. Rudeness and childish comments which are quickly deleted when seized upon. One poster continually harassing another which started with me last night. I do not use any ignore tool but i'll not take any c~~p of anyone.
This is not an attack on you Chouan.
The poster knows who he is as he is probably having a go at another BF as I write.

Good luck

Matt Woolahan

sidsal
17th December 2008, 20:00
I met up with several Blue Funnel chaps after WW2 and I recall him relating tales of the company. Apparently the brother fo Sir Stafford Cripps as an" "efficiency expert" - as consultants were then called. He had sent this Master a letter syinghe had been on board his ship and noticed that the fresh water taps at thebreak of the poop where the crew were accommodated were dripping. He went on to say that assuming each tap dripped x times per minute and that would be so many pints per day. Multiply that by all the ships in BF and with the cost of water being so and so, it was costing the firm such and such an amount.
What the master did was go to a merchant and get a price for new brass taps and reply saying that the taps he had seen on all BF ships were old and dripped. He said they all needed replacing and the taps shown cost soand so.
Multiplied by the number of BF ships that amounted to several times the cost of the dripping water !
Very clever I thought.
The other tale he told me was that BF employed a phsychiatrist and staff were sent for when on leave for some trivial matter. They were put in a waiting room for a while and they soon cottoned on to the fact that they were being secretly observed though a 2way mirror. They frustrated it by making funny faces and doing ridiculaous things like standing on the chairs etc.
The firm soon dropped the idea !

holland25
17th December 2008, 20:03
My discharge book says I paid off the, Alcinous, Blue Funnel, in London, October 1958 and again in November 1959.According to 1959 Voyage cards at Rhiw.com, there are at least six Blue Funnel ships, on the Indonesia service, scheduled to call at London in the latter half of 1959, true we didnt get to go past the Houses of Parliament. The 5 to 6 hour train trip from Euston was a drag and I also recall the tip to the man on the gate.

Trader
19th December 2008, 00:09
For the record..
Glen Line and Blue Funnel were run as complete separate entities.
Blue Funnel arriving from the Far East to Liverpool Gladstone and thence to Shieldhall Glasgow under a much misquoted SN misnomer "around the land" and back to Birkenhead for Far East loading with the occasional "longer voyage around the land" to Avonmouth.
Glen Line inward bound to London Royal KGV, then Rotterdam, Bremen, Hamburg and back to London for final Far East loading.
Saw only one Blue Funnel ship in London during my entire time with Glen Line and that was pilgrim ship Tyndareus...

I was in Blue Funnel for four years 1952/56. The first two years were spent on the "Bellerophon" and I did six Far East trips in this period and paid off in London Victoria Docks twice, 10th.Dec.1952 and 10th.May 1954.

In my four years I never went to Avonmouth but did go to Swansea several times whilst "around the land".

Alec.

oceangoer
19th December 2008, 00:54
For the record..
Glen Line and Blue Funnel were run as complete separate entities.


I don't think that's quite the case.
During the period that I was there as Middy, officer & crew matters had the same management in India Buildings (except for the Dutch ships which were handled out of Rotterdam). Agency services in the Far east were identical.
For accounting purposes there were, as I recall, 4 companies. Glen & Shire Line, China Mutual, and Ocean Steamship plus the Dutch offshoot Nederlaand Maatschapij (NMSO). Ships were shuffled through these various paper companies as deemed necessary by the bean counters.
However in the 3 and a bit years I was there no matter what ship I was on as far as I was concerned I worked for Blue Funnel.
Generally Bluies served Avonmouth, Swansea, L'pool/B'head, Glasgow, Amsterdam and Glen Line London, Middlesborough, Hamburg, Rotterdam although there were, doubtless, other combinations.
Not a bad outfit, better than most, worse than some.

Pat Kennedy
19th December 2008, 18:09
Pat of you wish to correct or contradict my posting it may help if you gave dates. I can assure you from the end of the war and certainly in my time 1956 to 60, London was Glen Line's home port and Liverpool was Blue Funnel with coastal and deep sea voyages arranged accordingly. I can assure you the only Blue Funnel ship I saw in the London Royals when I was with Glen Line was as per mentioned.

I certainly can provide you with dates;
According to my discharge book;
I joined Menelaus in Victoria Docks,on 15/7/1959
I joined Ascanius in Victoria Docks,on 4/9/1959
I paid off Memnon in Victoria Docks on 12/1/1960, from deep sea
I joined Antilochus in Victoria Docks on 16/1/1961.
I joined Melampus in Victoria Docks on 17/3/1961
I joined Clytoneus in Victoria Docks on 22/7/1961.
I joined Agapenor in Victoria Docks on 25/5/1962.
So, I think that during the late fifties-early sixties at least, Blue Funnel were frequent visitors to London
Furthermore, I think that during the sixties, Glen Line and Blue Funnel were pretty much interchangeable as far as engineer officers were concerned. My brother joined Holts as a junior engineer in 1964, his first ship was a Bluey, his second a Glen boat, his third a Bluey and his fourth a Glen boat. Eventually, sick of the bull****, he joined Cunard and prospered.
Regards,
Pat

R651400
20th December 2008, 08:25
Thanks for above Pat.
Looking at my discharge book, my Glen Line coasting and deep sea was 56/58. With more frequent calls to London when coasting, my one and only sighting of a Bluey was Tyndareus.
My issue was "around the land" which I still maintain is a BF misnomer. I came close to it once deep-sea Liverpool to Amsterdam through the Pentland Firth.
Like your brother I moved to pastures new with no regrets. Regards

Pat Kennedy
20th December 2008, 14:42
As I said earlier in the thread, I did plenty of 'round the land' in Blueys, and it was only the 'P' and 'H' class that did Liverpool-Glasgow-Liverpool, (or Birkenhead in the case of the 'P' boats)
Most others went further afield, and some were mini voyages of six or seven weeks duration discharging at most of the Northern European range. I often saw Glen Boats in Hamburg and Antwerp, but never saw one in Liverpool or Birkenhead, which is not to say it never happened.
I actually preferred coasting to deep sea, because there was none of the long boring passages between ports, it was pretty much 'action stations' all the way, more rigging type work and no painting, chipping, and sugi. You learned your craft pretty quickly round the land.
Best Regards,
Pat
PS, My only sighting of Tyndareus was in Singapore roads, she was there every time I was there and I had the mistaken impression she had never moved anywhere for years.

R651400
20th December 2008, 15:14
My first Liverpool-Glasgow-Liverpool in 1956 was "A" class Laomedon.
Looking at rhiw.com's 1959 voyage cards and BF callers at London I note most of them were on a run titled Indonesian service.
My last two voyages on Adrastus 59/60 were Malaysia/HK/Philippines/Indonesia yet I don't recall the run being referred to as such and normally considered NSMO's slice of the cake.
With a six or seven week coasting voyage how did returning crews fit into this? Regards

Sarky Cut
20th December 2008, 15:33
Being not of the navigational type, surely if you are running a liner service between two points on the globe a great circle or shortest safe route would be chosen.

Did not all companies do this? Or is there another way to get to Singapore via Suez that I have not heard about?

After all its the same ocean for all ships why should Blue Funnel have the monopoly of the best route?

Pat Kennedy
20th December 2008, 15:57
My first Liverpool-Glasgow-Liverpool in 1956 was "A" class Laomedon.
Looking at rhiw.com's 1959 voyage cards and BF callers at London I note most of them were on a run titled Indonesian service.
My last two voyages on Adrastus 59/60 were Malaysia/HK/Philippines/Indonesia yet I don't recall the run being referred to as such and normally considered NSMO's slice of the cake.
With a six or seven week coasting voyage how did returning crews fit into this? Regards

Regarding your first point, I can only be definite about the voyage I did in Memnon, which terminated in London. Memnon loaded homeward bound in Hsinkiang, Tientsin, Shanghai, Manila, H.K. Singapore. Port Swettenham, Penang,and Trincomalee. She didnt touch Indonesia on the homeward run.
Your second point about returning crews, the answer is, I just dont know!, I never gave it any thought at the time.
Best regards,
Pat

Ocean Seadog
20th December 2008, 21:34
For the record..
Glen Line and Blue Funnel were run as complete separate entities.
..



This is certainly not how I remember things.
During my time in Holt's they were run as one and the same.

As for the discharge ports in UK.
I sailed into London on many Blue Funnel ships and the Far East schedule/trading pattern did not dictate whether London would be the disport.

Ocean Seadog
21st December 2008, 01:58
For what it's worth I was 2/0 with Ocean Fleets, as successors to BF, ED's et al, between 1976 - 78. I can recall coming across a chart with the "inked-in courses" in the process of chart correcting.

This was probably on the bulker "Helenus" which carried a huge suite of folios. Can't remember which chart it was or whether it was ever used, it stuck in my mind as the BF "inked - in" bit was part of folklore in other companies, including BP from whence I hailed.

I can also recall, prior to joining the Helenus, being called to India Buildings and interviewed by a charming old gent; the "Nautical Advisor". He went to great lengths to explain that I'd have to do all my own chart corrections with "tracings" - obviously something new to them but a device which had been pioneered by BP in the late '60's. I didn't have the heart to disillusion him!

I find this one hard to believe. When I left in 66 after 13 years I can categorically state that there were no inked in charts on any Blue Funnel ship I sailed in.

R651400
26th December 2008, 13:31
I still keep contact with a Glen Line office retiree who maintains Glen Line from its absorption into the Ocean group in 1935 maintained a separate organisation from Blue Funnel, managing director downward, with offices at 16 St Helen's Place, London EC3, the only exception was crewing which was done from BF Liverpool.

Geoff_E
27th December 2008, 11:58
I find this one hard to believe. When I left in 66 after 13 years I can categorically state that there were no inked in charts on any Blue Funnel ship I sailed in.

The is always a twinge of apprehension when one's veracity, and indeed integrity, is called into question. I have reviewed my original post in this thread and stand by it's every word. It was a contribution to enhance the discussion and indeed seems to have been accepted as such by all but one!

I can not but help noting that the Moderators have drawn a line under your opening forum contribution? Perhaps, therein lies a message?

AGAMEMNON
29th December 2008, 18:50
R651400 is correct. Glen Line was run entirely separately except for officer manning which was infinitely interchangeable. I spent 11 years in Blueys 61 to 72 and sailed on about equal numbers of each houseflag AND in the end under EDs, Guinea Gulf & Paddy Hendersons!.
The trading was seperate too because the liner "conferences" carved up the trades. Blue Flue West coast, Scotland & Ireland; Glen East Coast ,London & continent.