Royston Grange = 1959 - 1972

neil marsden
30th September 2005, 20:41
I wonder if anyone could tell me if a casualty list exists of those lost in the tragic loss of Houlder's 'Royston Grange' when she was engulfed in flames following a collision, I believe whilst approaching Montivideo. If memory serves this would have been about 1971/72. I believe the Houlder vessel was in collision with a tanker, the resultant fire causing the deaths of all hands(?) aboard the 'Royston Grange'
I was at South Shields Tech. with a lad from North Wales who I believe was lost in this terrible accident.

Thank you

Neil Marsden

gadgee
30th September 2005, 21:17
Neil

If you look in my gallery(gadgee) there is a photo I took of Royston Grange after the collision and a few comments about the incident from others including a link to a South American web site, but as for a list of the dead, I do not know where you would get that. There is the WWW but expect you may have tried that?

neil marsden
1st October 2005, 19:38
Thank you for that, I am pleased to report that I have received another response by a member and from the information that he has been able to provide I am delighted to report that my former 'classmate' was not listed amongst the casualties, although as I am sure you are aware all aboard perished. It seems my information had been incorrect and though he may have sailed on the vessel, it was not at the time of the incident.

Thank you,

Neil M

Ian Norman
4th October 2005, 13:39
The Royston Grange was a fine ship on which I had the pleasure to serve as a Deck Apprentice in the early 1960’s, As I emigrated to Canada in 1970 to work as a Hydrographic Surveyor, I was until a while ago oblivious to her fate. Searching the internet I have found that a lot of people have expressed a desire to know more about the collision, and I have managed to glean the following from several reports. I hope it is reasonably accurate, but I cannot confirm all the facts as they are in some cases only hearsay. However, the main facts include professional reports of the time. The ROYSTON GRANGE was constructed by Hawthorne, Leslie & Co in Hepburn in 1958. At dawn on the 11 of May of 1972- at approximately 05:20 hours around kilometer 161.500 of the Indian Channel , between the pairs of buoys 15 and 16 a very serious collision occured between the s/s Royston Grange of British flag ( Houlder Brothers ) that had departed Buenos Aires and the tanker Tien Chee of Liberian flag that entered the channel destined for Silver. The collision, caused by low visibility and the narrowness of the channel in which both ships sailed, resulted in the death of all the crew and the passengers of the English ship and 8 members of the crew of the chino/liberiano oil tanker (at that time it was said that the Royston Grange, dispatched by the Argentina Prefecture, was loaded with P15, white phosphorus in its bow, a noncMetal whose point of fusion is 44.2 C°). Phosphorus in its pure form is white, and is the most dangerous form of such substance since it reacts with the oxygen very quickly. The Tien Chee, of 26,400 tons displacement, had the following dimensions: length 177 meters, beam 21.50 and drew 9.15 meters. The Royston Grange, of 18,000 tons of displacement, had dimensions of 149 meters length, 20 metres beam and drew 7.30 meters. The total crew, relatives, and passengers of the English ship were killed (a total of 75 people), also 8 crewmembers of the oil tanker. The reasons were never fully clarified; but it was speculated that wind drift by the ROYSTON GRANGE and the shallow bottom of the channel caused the two vessels to come together. The result of this “ connection” was to create sparks which then ignited the tanks of TIEN CHEE. After the accident, the TIEN CHEE was towed touching bottom into the so called “Common Zone”, whereas the ROYSTON GRANGE was taken to Montevideo and later towed to Spain for scrapping. ( The Dannebrog Fleet 1883-1993), a book which has a photo of the TIEN CHEE, offers a detailed description of the incident, and puts forward the theory that an explosive gas cloud which emanated from the TIEN CHEE might well have enveloped the English ship while it drifted and was then ignited from the sparks, thus creating a sudden devastating inferno. It indicates that both ships were passing by when the ROYSTON GRANGE fell suddenly to port. The force of the shock was so great that the English ship, besides hitting the TIEN CHEE had the effect of gashing open the lateral tank 7 of the Liberian ship, and continued on puncturing its tanks 8, 9 and 10 as the vessels scraped past each other. According to reports from rescue craft, the cause seemed to be that the Royston Grange had bounced against the Liberian ship in region of its engine room, bridge and stern. In those zones the Tien Chee.showed fire damage I have also gathered that it was THIS INCIDENT that took Argentina near to war with Uruguay. The problem was the intervention of Uruguayan Navy with the Royston Grange as it drifted and the presence of the patrol crafts King and Murature that had orders to shoot if the ship was not given up. This was the leading fact which brought about urgent negotiations which eventually resulted in the Treaty of the River of the Silver and its Marine Front, Montevideo, ( 19 of November 1973 ). It was reported that the butter cargo carried by the ROYSTON GRANGE was observed at the heart of a storage warehouse after the collision and was apparently congealed but lay intact in approx blocks 30 x 50 cms. However the funnel of the ship and most of the upper works was as if it had left the shipyard, without finishing. All glass items were fused, the brasswork had fused and the paintwork was burned and vaporized, and seemed almost burnt clean as if it were oxidized plate. All in all a quite horrific story.

This story is particularly chilling to me as I remember well as a senior apprentice on the Royston Grange, being on the wheel coming into B.A. down the same channel. It was quite an honour for me to be allowed to do this by the Captain. All went well , the Argentine pilot was taken on board, and I carefully followed his instructions. It soon became clear however that the depth of the channel was minimal and had a very strong effect on the steering, pulling the vessel unexpectedly to one side or the other. The Captain got edgy and started to countermand the pilots orders. All became confused and I was ordered to hand over control to the Captain himself.
The Captain had the good grace to apologise to me afterwards, but indicated that he was very much in fear of the vessel going aground. Thus, I can well believe how the ship acted prior to the collision.

I end this by offering my deepest sympathy to anyone who had family aboard. I was sent a crew list today, and whilst there are no ranks mentioned, I know that some of those who perished were known to me.

John Rogers
4th October 2005, 15:24
A terrible tragedy indeed. Butter was also the cause of a disaster in the tunnel between France and Italy some years ago,a fire broke out in the engine of a large lorry carrying butter and the lorry burst into flames trapping people in cars inside the tunnel,there was many deaths as the fire trucks could not get in to put the fire out.
John

douglasjamesmichael
21st November 2005, 22:29
I was in Bahia Blanca Argentina, March 1975 - being an Engineer onboard -the Loch long ex Pacific Ocean - was socialising one night onboard the Harwicke Grange - Houlder Bros I was told about the Royston Grange and it has stayed with me to this day. My belated sympathies to all concerned.

Doug

leo hannan
20th January 2006, 17:18
I have the Memorial Service Document which list all the crew & passengers.The Chief Steward W.Hagan, a collegue of mine was on his retirement trip and the Company told him to take his wife and daughter as a retirement gift.If anyone wants a copy give me a shout and I will try to upload it(I'm new to this computer stuf)
Regards leo hannan

Pilot mac
20th January 2006, 17:35
I was in Motevideo a little while after the tragedy. The Royston Grange was on a lay by berth, a very sad sight indeed.

Dave

Chris Stone
27th March 2006, 18:23
I have the Memorial Service Document which list all the crew & passengers.The Chief Steward W.Hagan, a collegue of mine was on his retirement trip and the Company told him to take his wife and daughter as a retirement gift.If anyone wants a copy give me a shout and I will try to upload it(I'm new to this computer stuf)
Regards leo hannan


Hello Leo,

I would like to see the memorial list for the "Royston Grange". I was in the engine room about 1963 - 1965. I thought she was a very pretty ship and enjoyed my time on board her, I'm hoping that none of the people I knew were involved with the accident, chances are good given the amount of time between my time and the accident. Thinking particularly of the chief and second Engineers. I'd appreciate all you can do to help.

non descript
27th March 2006, 18:33
Chris

If it helps, just pass me your email via PM and I will email you the information if you still would like it.

Kind regards
Tonga

KenLin39
27th March 2006, 22:09
The Church of All Hallows - By - The - Tower. London. E C 3

leo hannan
28th March 2006, 10:37
Hello chris. Just read your message, if you have,nt received the documents from other sources send me your e-mail address and I will oblige.
Regards Leo
Hello Leo,

I would like to see the memorial list for the "Royston Grange". I was in the engine room about 1963 - 1965. I thought she was a very pretty ship and enjoyed my time on board her, I'm hoping that none of the people I knew were involved with the accident, chances are good given the amount of time between my time and the accident. Thinking particularly of the chief and second Engineers. I'd appreciate all you can do to help.

david smith
14th April 2006, 20:20
Ships Monthly May 2006 p54-56 an intersting article on the collision and fire.

daveyjones
15th April 2006, 03:58
Dave, are you sure the date is correct regarding Royston Grange article... May 2006 Ships Monthly as you have posted?

Daveyjones

non descript
15th April 2006, 18:53
Dave, are you sure the date is correct regarding Royston Grange article... May 2006 Ships Monthly as you have posted?

Daveyjones

Daveyjones,

Indeed David is quite correct - it (the May 2006 copy) is on sale on 20th April, so I shall have to wait until then to see what sort of article it is. If it helps, the Ships Monthly site gives this write-up in it pre-publication advice:

Inferno at Sea
Victor Young describes how the British cargo vessel Royston Grange was engulfed by a fire storm when in collision with a laden tanker with disastrous results when underway close to the Argentinean coast on a foggy night in May 1972.

david smith
15th April 2006, 19:00
My copy dropped on the doormat last week - it pays to suscribe!

runnymederob
22nd May 2006, 21:42
Hello Leo,

I would like to see the memorial list for the "Royston Grange". I was in the engine room about 1963 - 1965. I thought she was a very pretty ship and enjoyed my time on board her, I'm hoping that none of the people I knew were involved with the accident, chances are good given the amount of time between my time and the accident. Thinking particularly of the chief and second Engineers. I'd appreciate all you can do to help.
I would appreciate a crew list for the Royston Grange.I was on it for about a year in 1968/1969.best regards Robin Atkinson

non descript
22nd May 2006, 21:43
I would appreciate a crew list for the Royston Grange.I was on it for about a year in 1968/1969.best regards Robin Atkinson

Robin

Send me a P/M with your email address and I will pass it on to you. (i.e. the file is too large to post on here)
Kind regards
Tonga

david
12th June 2006, 13:23
Tonga, and others, I am fimding this story about the "Royston Grange" more incredible as each post/story, goes on and on.
This frightful business would have to be the most awful disaster in peacetime that the company ever experienced.
I only found about it while I was looking for some info about those 2 beautiful Liners that were on the NY to Bermuda service in the 1930's.
I have a book at home about the Furness organization and would like to get down to the real, fairdinkum story about this frightful smashup.

I have seen the Argentine web site that shows the old newpaper
clips and an also pici of the burning ships.
There does not seem to be much around about this disaster.!!

non descript
12th June 2006, 20:52
David,

The book you have is I suspect David Burrell’s excellent book – sadly it looks at the fleet from an FW point of view, so there is, by its very nature, little space for Houlders ships, but that is no criticism (it is after all actually entitled “Furness Withy 1891-1991).

Ian Norman, (posting on this thread above #13 ) has made a very worthwhile comment.

As for an even more detailed background, there is quite a lot of misinformed gossip about the disaster and inevitably, with the loss of the entire crew, there are huge gaps in our knowledge and therefore ability assess the actual cause of the collision, as well as the aftermath.

If you would like a more private comment, please feel free to send me a PM with your email address.

Kind regards
Tonga

david
13th June 2006, 01:48
Tonga,
I do have that book and have owned it for some years, a beautiful production packed with info.
As for ships monthly mag, because I cant afford the cost of Air Mail delivery with the
Oz dollar the way it is, my copies take AT LEAST 3 months to arrive, the publishers having done a 'deal' with Swedish Post.
Thanks for the info, will send a pm.
David D.

DURANGO
31st July 2006, 20:22
Hi Tonga.
You say promotion came unexpectedly but knowing the "General" you would not have had it if you weren't ready or capable. I found the majority of the Gas Tanker crews of a very high quality.
Regards
Leo (*)) Hello Leo we sailed together on the Royston Grange we have spoke before i was a.b. on her in 67 ,i was interested to know why would you pay off in Santos was it to do with crew change i spent 4 days in Santos on the St Essylt [ still getting over it ] it,s great to be in touch with old shipmates from the golden days all the best Dave Smith .

NINJA
1st August 2006, 13:26
Hi Durango,

Paying off in SAntos was definitely a highlight, the hotel that we were put up in belonged to the Santos Football club complete with all the trophies. It was marvellous having a night out around " hellfire corner" and not having to turn to in the morning and to cap it all we travelled to Sao Paulo to catch the plane home, the plane was grounded with a fault and we got a night in Sao Paulo to boot.

Happy Days.

P.S. Was even fortunate to pay off in B.A., stayed in the Hotel Jouston on Corrientes.

You could start another thread, "where is the best port you have paid off"

Regards

Ninja.

leo hannan
1st August 2006, 17:01
Hello Leo we sailed together on the Royston Grange we have spoke before i was a.b. on her in 67 ,i was interested to know why would you pay off in Santos was it to do with crew change i spent 4 days in Santos on the St Essylt [ still getting over it ] it,s great to be in touch with old shipmates from the golden days all the best Dave Smith .
Hello again Dave.
I think I checked back and you and I signed on the Royston on the same day.
I dont know if you stayed at sea very long afterwards but the majority of signings on and payings off happened abroad. After you had completed your time you got a relief anywhere in the world and in Houlders if they could not relieve you on time they paid you extra. As you say it's great to be in touch.
Speak to you later.
Regards
Leo (*))

DURANGO
2nd August 2006, 08:21
Hi Durango,

Paying off in SAntos was definitely a highlight, the hotel that we were put up in belonged to the Santos Football club complete with all the trophies. It was marvellous having a night out around " hellfire corner" and not having to turn to in the morning and to cap it all we travelled to Sao Paulo to catch the plane home, the plane was grounded with a fault and we got a night in Sao Paulo to boot.

Happy Days.

P.S. Was even fortunate to pay off in B.A., stayed in the Hotel Jouston on Corrientes.

You could start another thread, "where is the best port you have paid off"

Regards

Ninja. Hello to you Ninja and thanks to you and Leo for your prompt reply ,now that would be a thing ,best port i ever paid off in would have to be Auckland i reckon, i was on the Union Steam ship Kurutai it seems like a dream now ,the world over the way of life that we had in those golden days has long gone never mind mates at least we were there when it was at it,s best i am not to clever with these computers so to start a new thread could strain the ol,d grey matter , but how about someone start a thread on ports that we paid off sick in i did it once paid off sick in Shanghai in the early 60,s be lucky mates and thanks again Dave .

NINJA
2nd August 2006, 14:35
Hello Durango,

You were dead right in your last posting when you remarked about that way of life at sea has disappeared for good. We were lucky to experience it together with the camaraderie of our shipmates, nowadays you leave port and nominate the tide you are docking on 3,00 miles away, a computer unloads you in the minimum possible time. No chance of a week on the coast or decent runs ashore, just automated robots.

At least we have good memories. Wish I had a digital camera in those days, what shots I could have taken, not in Shanghai though in the 60's, all cameras were locked up in the bond. There was virtually no electric lighting and look at the place now, I still have my little red book on the "thoughts of chairman Mao"

Regards

Ninja.

DURANGO
3rd August 2006, 20:15
Hello Durango,

You were dead right in your last posting when you remarked about that way of life at sea has disappeared for good. We were lucky to experience it together with the camaraderie of our shipmates, nowadays you leave port and nominate the tide you are docking on 3,00 miles away, a computer unloads you in the minimum possible time. No chance of a week on the coast or decent runs ashore, just automated robots.

At least we have good memories. Wish I had a digital camera in those days, what shots I could have taken, not in Shanghai though in the 60's, all cameras were locked up in the bond. There was virtually no electric lighting and look at the place now, I still have my little red book on the "thoughts of chairman Mao"

Regards

Ninja. As you say Nija wonderful days and to have had a digital camera then what a prize but we will have to make do with the pictures in our minds but for all that more than a camera i wish that i had taken a note book and pen and written down all the important things that happened to me i still have to this day nigh on 45 years on my train tickets and visa on rice paper to enable me to travel through China once i had left the hospital , i,m still having trouble working this thing i swore i would never get one then i found out about the merchant navy sites say no more be lucky mates at least we were there .

non descript
5th December 2006, 07:57
The crew list on that fateful voyage.

Hugh Ferguson
5th December 2006, 09:10
Hello Durango,

You were dead right in your last posting when you remarked about that way of life at sea has disappeared for good. We were lucky to experience it together with the camaraderie of our shipmates, nowadays you leave port and nominate the tide you are docking on 3,00 miles away, a computer unloads you in the minimum possible time. No chance of a week on the coast or decent runs ashore, just automated robots.

At least we have good memories. Wish I had a digital camera in those days, what shots I could have taken, not in Shanghai though in the 60's, all cameras were locked up in the bond. There was virtually no electric lighting and look at the place now, I still have my little red book on the "thoughts of chairman Mao"

Regards

Ninja.

What on earth were Houlder Bros. doing in Shanghai!?!? Hugh Ferguson

leo hannan
5th December 2006, 12:07
The crew list on that fateful voyage.

Good Morning Tonga.
I don't know if you have it but there is a report on the "Royston Grange" tragedy in the Wikipedia online encyclopedia, it includes the Ranks as well as the names of Crew & Passengers.
Regards
Leo [URL="en.wikipedia.org/wiki/STV_Royston_Grange"]
I hope I've inserted the link correctly(Thumb)

ruud
6th December 2006, 06:08
Good Morning Tonga.
I don't know if you have it but there is a report on the "Royston Grange" tragedy in the Wikipedia online encyclopedia, it includes the Ranks as well as the names of Crew & Passengers.
Regards
Leo
I hope I've inserted the link correctly(Thumb)

Ahoy Leo,

Here the link:

[URL="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royston_Grange"]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royston_Grange (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/STV_Royston_Grange)

leo hannan
6th December 2006, 12:23
Ahoy Leo,

Here the link:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royston_Grange (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royston_Grange)

Good Morning Ruud
Many thanks for that, I will get it right one day.
Regards
Leo (Thumb)

ruud
6th December 2006, 12:32
Good Morning Ruud
Many thanks for that, I will get it right one day.
Regards
Leo (Thumb)

Ahoy Leo,
G'day to you as well, sure you will, have a nice day!(Thumb)

captainchris
7th December 2006, 08:04
I was on Court Line's "Halcyon Days" when the "Royston Grange" incident occurred and we were chartered to YPF to take over the run of the "Tien Che", I think that was the name of the tanker involved. We ran from Bahia Blanca area to La Plata. One trip we had the same pilot as the tanker on that fateful night. He had just returned to work after surviving the collision and if I remember he did not look to good. When we approached the same stretch of river we too slipped over the bank and into the path of an outward bound vessel but managed to avoid another collision. The pilot was understandably shocked that this happened again and I believe that was his last trip due to his having a nervous breakdown. It still amazes me that after the previous collision that they allowed two vessels to approach at the same shoaling point, especially with us carrying around 20,000 tons of high sulphur crude!
Regards,
Chris

Les_Blues
16th December 2006, 13:20
Hi all. I joined the Hardwicke Grange just after the Royston disater. When we reached Uraguay the Royston was tied up in Montevideo. Some of us (not me) were allowed on board with the security people (investigations were still going on) . I got accounts of buckled steel doors in the engine room from an apparent explosion. The locals in Monte raised money to bury the victims and if I remember correctly they were buried collectively in a single grave because their identities were indeterminable.

A year or two later (on the Clarke Maxwell) docked in Barcelona and were surprised to see the Royston tied up there, presumably tugged across the Atlantic by the salvage people.

Marcus Cardew
16th December 2006, 14:05
I would appreciate a crew list for the Royston Grange.I was on it for about a year in 1968/1969.best regards Robin Atkinson

Capt George Boothby's son was up for Mates with me in the Summer of '73, and I am sure he was called George as well....

leo hannan
16th December 2006, 14:39
Hi all. I joined the Hardwicke Grange just after the Royston disater. When we reached Uraguay the Royston was tied up in Montevideo. Some of us (not me) were allowed on board with the security people (investigations were still going on) . I got accounts of buckled steel doors in the engine room from an apparent explosion. The locals in Monte raised money to bury the victims and if I remember correctly they were buried collectively in a single grave because their identities were indeterminable.

A year or two later (on the Clarke Maxwell) docked in Barcelona and were surprised to see the Royston tied up there, presumably tugged across the Atlantic by the salvage people.

Hi Les.
John Houlder chartered a plane for the family and relatives to fly down to Montevideo and attend the service for the deceased. A very moving time I'm told. You are quite correct in saying that the Royston was towed to Spain and scrapped. There was a rumour that someone had offered to purchase her to be refurbished but John Houlder refused for obvious reasons. Like I say a rumour but who knows.
Regards
Leo

non descript
16th December 2006, 18:07
Hi all. I joined the Hardwicke Grange just after the Royston disater. When we reached Uraguay the Royston was tied up in Montevideo. Some of us (not me) were allowed on board with the security people (investigations were still going on) . I got accounts of buckled steel doors in the engine room from an apparent explosion. The locals in Monte raised money to bury the victims and if I remember correctly they were buried collectively in a single grave because their identities were indeterminable.

A year or two later (on the Clarke Maxwell) docked in Barcelona and were surprised to see the Royston tied up there, presumably tugged across the Atlantic by the salvage people.

Les,
Whilst I am sure the locals in Montevideo wished to make every effort to support the grieving families, and no one would deny their private generosity and support, John Houlder made every effort and more to ensure that deceased were given every respect and wanted for nothing in terms of a proper and fitting tribute; indeed as Leo has said, he moved with great speed to charter a plane for the family and relatives to fly without delay, south to Montevideo; and every aspect of the funeral and service was provided for by him.

Such was the scale of the catastrophe that very sadly the earthly remains were able to be buried in just six urns in two communal graves in the British Cemetery at Montevideo on 20th May 1972.

Regards
Mark

Les_Blues
16th December 2006, 20:31
Sounds familiar Tonga, perhaps the locals in Monte raised money for a commemorative gesture, I think there was a plaque or the likes. I recall that many of the crew on the Hardwicke knew people who perished on the Royston.

duquesa
16th December 2006, 20:50
That was indeed very true. Many of the "meat boat" people, across all departments, were well acquainted. The memorial service held at Tower Hill was one of the most moving experiences I've had. The church was filled with Houlder's seafarers and ex. seafarers. The reading of the roll call was something I shall never forget.

Brent Pyburn
29th December 2006, 19:52
The Royston Grange brings back some very sad memories for me. I was at King Edward VII college in 1968 doing MAR and my closest pal was Stewart Third. We were inseparable during our time at the college and got into all sorts of mischief. Stuart had a girlfriend called Bev at Rachel McMillans Teacher Training College in Catford and she had a friend Gill, who came down to London from Stoke for the weekend. To cut a long story short I eventually married that friend and Stuart was due to marry Bev. Unfortunately Stewart was third mate on the Royston Grange and was killed in the incident. I am still married to the same girl after 36 years andwe are still in touch with Bev who never got married

non descript
29th December 2006, 20:20
Brent,

I am sorry to hear the sad story; it was a very tough one for many people. I am pleased to see that some good came from your meeting Stewart Third, and my congratulations to you and Gill on 36 years of marriage.

Kind regards
Mark

Brent Pyburn
30th December 2006, 16:50
Many thanks for your thoughts Tonga and of course you're right a lot of good came out of my short friendship with Stewart.

Jon Vincent
2nd January 2007, 02:08
It was interesting to read all the correspondence concerning the "Royston", these ships were crewed by a very close knit group of people, once in it was hard to leave, I will never forget the pride the whole crew had in the "Royston". I joined in Jan 1968 as 3rd Off when the vessel was laid up during the meat ban, on the Queen Elizabeth wharf in Falmouth Docks, for me it was a good appointment as I lived locally. The Hardwicke was moored outside us and the "Duquesa" the other side of the jetty. We were the live vessel looking after the other two Ships, the "Hardwicke" left first under the command of Capt T A G Head the senior master at the time in late Feb 1968, The "Duquesa" left next under the command of Capt George Boothby, she had a lot of problems being activated and I got to know Capt "George" well, as I ran errands as the local boy for him. The "Royston Grange" left last on 4th March 1968 for the River plate light ship. Of the deck staff through the lay-up I was the only one that sailed but I kept in touch with Tristan Tate the Ch/Off for years. Our sailing master was Capt Don Murray another Cornishman. The lay-up was very beneficial to me, as by the time the ships sailed I knew every square inch of them and three days before we sailed I met my wife who worked as a Nanny in the Falmouth Hotel. In June 68 I got engaged and was close to my 1st Mates, pay on the meat boats was the lowest in the company, I approached Capt D Parkin (head of personnel) and asked for promotion the 2nd Off, He offered me the 2nd off job on the new bulk carrier "Clydesdale", it took until the end of Oct 68 to leave the "Royston" needless to say the period in between I was subject endless ribbing from the other officers and pressure from Capt Murray who thought I was committing suicide. I kept in touch with my friends up until their deaths on the "Royston". I left the "Cerinthus" 8th April 72, after a few days a home I had a cal from Capt Dennis asking me if I would Join the "Royston" I was told that it would be as 1st off and my wife would be expected to go as well, my friend Colin Craddock was Ch Off along with his wife Jan on their honeymoon and that as a special concession his younger brother James would sail as cadet on the trip, Houlders never let that happen normally, I declined the offer much to my wife's dismay as our first house was due to be finished in the next couple of weeks, I saw the disaster on the news and got a telephone call within minutes, I sat in silence for a couple of days, Capt Dennis sent me the "Service if Commemoration" with a the names, I could not go to the actual service as I did not know how I would face the families of my friends. The final voyage of the "Royston" was supposed to be a happy event for all concerned it ended in one the saddest tragedies in MN history, The beautiful ship marked my life for ever, I met my wife and enjoyed the friendship of some the finest people ever to go to sea.

non descript
2nd January 2007, 08:43
Catp Jon V. Vincent,

Thank you for your well written and moving memories. Yes, those were very much the times when the crews remained together as a tight family ship by ship and anyone seeking to leave the family was regarded as "most strange". Certainly a time for very mixed emotions to find the ship you could have been on. was involved in such a tragedy.

It is a curious semi coincidence that you left the “security” of the Royston Grange to join a Hadley Boat; I left the happy security of Hadley's Cumbria in 1972 and declined Captain Parkin’s suggestion to join the Royston Grange in April of that year, joining the Cavendish instead, as I wanted to gain experience in Gas Tankers. - If I have the right man, Tristan Tate was from the Shetlands? A very decent man indeed and I sailed with him on the Cumbria. I have taken the liberty of adding an “e” to Hardwicke.

Regards
Mark

Jon Vincent
3rd January 2007, 03:14
Hi Mark. I don't mind having my spelling corrected, I always prided myself as seaman first and foremost. Tristan Taite (my wife corrected that one) was from the Shetland Islands, but stayed with his sister, who had a boarding house at St Ives. I served as a cadet in Prince Line, where everyone envied Houlders, I joined after my 2nd mates ticket, the difference was night and day, the loyalty to the company and ones ship was incredible, I credit John Houdler and Capt Parkin and his assistant Mr Bachelor. It was an very family orientated company. the senior meat boat Captain and Chiefs chose their own staff and took it very personally when they left, Capt Don Murray gave me the Houlders jack staff flag when I left, telling me that I would be back, I still have the flag, A lot of that company spirit died when Houlders absorbed a lot of the Furness people when their fleet contracted around 1973/4. A real irony to all this is that I am now a Mooring Master engaged in offshore lightering operation in the gulf of Mexico, I now rely on the very very thing that cause that awful collision, inter-ship suction, to put two large tankers together. Regards Jon

marinero
3rd January 2007, 10:47
Hi Mark. I don't mind having my spelling corrected, I always prided myself as seaman first and foremost. Tristan Taite (my wife corrected that one) was from the Shetland Islands, but stayed with his sister, who had a boarding house at St Ives. I served as a cadet in Prince Line, where everyone envied Houlders, I joined after my 2nd mates ticket, the difference was night and day, the loyalty to the company and ones ship was incredible, I credit John Houdler and Capt Parkin and his assistant Mr Bachelor. It was an very family orientated company. the senior meat boat Captain and Chiefs chose their own staff and took it very personally when they left, Capt Don Murray gave me the Houlders jack staff flag when I left, telling me that I would be back, I still have the flag, A lot of that company spirit died when Houlders absorbed a lot of the Furness people when their fleet contracted around 1973/4. A real irony to all this is that I am now a Mooring Master engaged in offshore lightering operation in the gulf of Mexico, I now rely on the very very thing that cause that awful collision, inter-ship suction, to put two large tankers together. Regards Jon
Hi Jon.
You are definitely right about the loyalty towards Houlders' from their Crews. Sadly Capt. Parkin passed away some years ago. I don't know where Ken Batchelor is now. When he left Houlders he took up a position at Buckingham Palace as some sort of Usher( I think) Maybe Mark(Tonga) would have more info on this. The last I heard of John Houlder was that he was still the manager of Elstree Airport and still piloting his own plane. Another guy in Personnel was Mike Louis who dealt with the Ratings, he was Houlders thro & thro. I consider myself lucky in having become involved within the Houlder Family of employees.(Thumb)
Regards
Leo

non descript
3rd January 2007, 17:56
Jon and Leo,

Yes I concur very much with your sentiments – for whatever reason Houlders was indeed like a happy family and there was immense loyalty and support for us all. Sadly the comment about the company spirit evaporating with the arrival of FW does have an element of truth (this is not meant to offend those people from FW, it was just a fact of life and a reflected a different culture), although curiously when, later on, the entire lot was taken over by the Tung family, this feeling of once again working with a family concern returned. There were always people who failed to grasp what was really going on who railed against the Chinese, but if the truth were known, they were as loyal and devoted as the original owning family – just different; which not that surprising given the huge difference between Anglo-Saxon and Chinese culture.

Without a doubt, I do believe the leadership of this family spirit came from John Houlder and led to him picking some special people to head up various departments. It would be wrong to concentrate on just a few names, but having seen their names already mentioned above, I certainly recognize the value that Dennis Parkin and Ron Batchelor added – without them I would have certainly have had a very different life. - I’m sorry to say that I am unaware of the whereabouts of “Batch”, but I will have a search. I still remember his almost childlike delight when, having run an advertisement in the national press for sea staff, using a photograph of an unknown (to him) fresh faced apprentice, with the caption “Meet John, he has traveled the world…..come and join him at Houlders” – he was amazed when “John” walked into the office one day and they could put a name to the face. It is a matter of debate whether the image of this young lad’s “charm and innocence” as he was seen taking a sight, scrubbing the deck and looking at the radar, actually resulted in anyone joining the company…..
Regards
Mark

NINJA
3rd January 2007, 18:59
Hello Tonga,

I believe I might be able to shed some light on "Batch', I will follow it up with an ex-Houlders man and I believe there is a royal connection.

Regards

Tom.

marinero
3rd January 2007, 19:35
Hello all.
I mistakenly give "Batch" the name of Ken when in fact it was Ron. I do apologise for any confusion. One for you Tonga, I have in my posession a book by an Edward E. Stevens called Shipping Practices published 1946(5th Edition) in it are various examples of Charter Parties,Bill of Sale,Bills of Lading(Coastal&Liner)Plus A River plate outward Form from Houlder Line Do you know if this guy worked for Houlder in those days of yore. These are original forms as far as I can tell.
Reagrds
Leo(Thumb)

non descript
3rd January 2007, 19:53
Hello Tonga,

I believe I might be able to shed some light on "Batch', I will follow it up with an ex-Houlders man and I believe there is a royal connection.

Regards

Tom.

Thanks Tom, maybe he will arrange for you to get an invitation to Kate's wedding. (A)

non descript
3rd January 2007, 19:58
Hello all.
I mistakenly give "Batch" the name of Ken when in fact it was Ron. I do apologise for any confusion. One for you Tonga, I have in my posession a book by an Edward E. Stevens called Shipping Practices published 1946(5th Edition) in it are various examples of Charter Parties,Bill of Sale,Bills of Lading(Coastal&Liner)Plus A River plate outward Form from Houlder Line Do you know if this guy worked for Houlder in those days of yore. These are original forms as far as I can tell.
Reagrds
Leo(Thumb)

Leo

No worries, and I get confused without any outside influence - as for your Mr Stevens, I do have a record of a Mr E.F Stevens, who has been Assistant Company Secretary since 1934, was appointed as Company Secretary in June 1944, so it is more than likely that he would have been on hand to write a book, but I cannot be sure and it could just be a coincidence, as the initials do not match up.

Regards
Mark

marinero
4th January 2007, 12:45
Good Morning Mark.
I have checked the book and the auther is E.F.Stevens So I reckon they are one and the same. I don't seem to get things right these days.
I got this book and some old LLoyds Registers from Houlders Office when I was working overtime one Saturday morning re-arranging the Personnel Office for the incoming Furness/Shaw Saville staff (they were stuck at the back of a cupboard) The books not the new staff members!!!
Regards
Leo (Thumb)

non descript
4th January 2007, 12:59
Hi Leo,

Given the correct protocol that existed, I'm sure he was always addressed as Mr Stevens throughout his career, so no wonder the F got lost.....

I still have a copy of staff memo sent to the Managers at 53 Leadenhall Street saying "It has come to our notice that staff are lighting up at their desks before 3pm - whilst Managers are permitted to do this within the privacy of their own offices, staff are to be reminded that the must adhere to Company Policy."
Sadly I cannot remember what the company policy was (==D)

miwp
4th January 2007, 16:06
I have a copy of the Liberian Maritime Board investigation into the collision with the Tien Chee if anyone is interested.

marinero
4th January 2007, 17:05
I have a copy of the Liberian Maritime Board investigation into the collision with the Tien Chee if anyone is interested.

Hi MIWP.
How do I get a copy of that from you, it sounds worthwhile reading.
Much obliged
Leo (Thumb)

Jon Vincent
5th January 2007, 02:01
Mark. Concerning John Houlder, I don't know if you recall the "Uncle John" the first self propelled oil support rig, or in its day "John's Folly" as every one thought in the company at the time. I remember sailing from the Tyne on the "Stolt Stuart" and it was aground just inside the breakwater on the North Tyne side of the river, it never made the sea on it maiden voyage, quite a black eye. Well its still going strong, I am based in Galveston and the "Uncle John" has been in port regularly over the last five or six years, since hurricanes "Katrina" and "Rita" she has been in big demand and sometimes in the way during our lightering ops, I have no idea who owns or operates her these days. Regarding "Batch" he never lost touch with his boys as he called us even after we left the company, I often wonder how he would fair in to-days "Hire and Fire" mode of operation. Regards John.

non descript
5th January 2007, 08:03
John,

Thanks, but there is in your text a degree of confusion with the names and indeed the history. The Oregis was the original name (when she was an ore-carrier) and also the name the converted ship had, when she set out with on her brief voyage towards the mouth of the Tyne and you saw her perched on the Black Midden Rocks.

The Uncle John that you have recently seen is a custom built semi-submersible built in 1977

This thread will add some more history of those days.
http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/showthread.php?t=207

Kind regards
Mark

Jon Vincent
6th January 2007, 00:35
Mark. I stand corrected, I have been told that I have a photo of the "Oregis" high and dry at low water as we passed her, I will have to go through some hundreds a photos now to find it. I was only on one ore carrier, the "Orepton" 15th to 20th Jan 71 to take the ship from Middlesbrough to King Harry ferry for lay up (she was well past her best to say the least) and then back to the "Stolt Stuart" on the Tyne. Regards Jon.

marinero
6th January 2007, 13:03
Mark. I stand corrected, I have been told that I have a photo of the "Oregis" high and dry at low water as we passed her, I will have to go through some hundreds a photos now to find it. I was only on one ore carrier, the "Orepton" 15th to 20th Jan 71 to take the ship from Middlesbrough to King Harry ferry for lay up (she was well past her best to say the least) and then back to the "Stolt Stuart" on the Tyne. Regards Jon.

Hi Jon.
If you do find that photo of "Oregis" on the rocks, could you please upload it to the gallery. I have one, but it's copied from an old newspaper cutting and consequently not of a very good quality.
Regards
Leo(Thumb)

K urgess
6th January 2007, 13:17
Leo,

I've got a couple of Oregis on the rocks that I took from the top of the "battery" at South Shields. I was at Martec at the time doing my electronics ticket and living in digs not far from where the pic was taken.

I'll post them later when I've sorted them out. They're slides in 30 year old cardboard mounts that are falling apart so a bit of "fiddling" is necessary.

If you look in my gallery there's a rather rough shot of her in drydock after the incident.

I remember the saga of trying to lift her off with the crane. I think the jib collapsed on the foclse but the weather had turned and you couldn't see much from South Shields so I missed that bit.

Cheers
Kris/

marinero
6th January 2007, 16:43
Hi Kris.
Thanks for that link. Now downloaded it. I was on the Oregis for a couple of years out of Aberdeen. Happy days. When she was awaiting disposal on Tyneside I liberated some of the Houlder Line silverware, the clock out of the Master's cabin and one of the paintings. I wanted a porthole but that many had gone by the time I got there, the Engineer J.Grey had got fed up welding blanks over the holes so I had to pass up that one.
TONGA If you read this and want a piece of Houlder's Silverware(Needs cleaning) give me a shout.
Regards
Leo (Thumb)

non descript
6th January 2007, 18:24
Mark. I stand corrected, I have been told that I have a photo of the "Oregis" high and dry at low water as we passed her, I will have to go through some hundreds a photos now to find it. I was only on one ore carrier, the "Orepton" 15th to 20th Jan 71 to take the ship from Middlesbrough to King Harry ferry for lay up (she was well past her best to say the least) and then back to the "Stolt Stuart" on the Tyne. Regards Jon.

Jon,
No worries, that's the thing about ships, they either change their name, or take a name from a previous life, or even worse, don't change their name just when everyone thinks they have. (==D)

It would be good to see an image of her as and when you find time.

Anyway, the man (John Houlder) is still going strong and has not changed his name.

Regards
Mark

ps. There is some confusion over as to when she changed her name, but the image here, of her very sadly aground, does back up the belief that she was Oregis at the time, notwithstanding some books refering to the change taking place before this stranding:

http://www.southtynesidetoday.co.uk/mk4custompages/CustomPage.aspx?PageID=41283&sectionID=6149

non descript
7th January 2007, 21:49
Leo,

I've got a couple of Oregis on the rocks that I took from the top of the "battery" at South Shields. I was at Martec at the time doing my electronics ticket and living in digs not far from where the pic was taken.

I'll post them later when I've sorted them out. They're slides in 30 year old cardboard mounts that are falling apart so a bit of "fiddling" is necessary.

If you look in my gallery there's a rather rough shot of her in drydock after the incident.

I remember the saga of trying to lift her off with the crane. I think the jib collapsed on the foclse but the weather had turned and you couldn't see much from South Shields so I missed that bit.

Cheers
Kris/


Kris, as good as his word, has very kindly added the image here:

http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=46251

g.p.hughes
11th March 2007, 12:09
I have the Memorial Service Document which list all the crew & passengers.The Chief Steward W.Hagan, a collegue of mine was on his retirement trip and the Company told him to take his wife and daughter as a retirement gift.If anyone wants a copy give me a shout and I will try to upload it(I'm new to this computer stuf)
Regards leo hannan

Hi Leo,Among the dead on 'Royston Grange" was Heather Patrick the granddaughter of Capt. James Patrick the founder of James Patrick Shipping Co. in Australia early 1900s.From memory she was onboard as a guest of Houlder Bros and with her husband was on their honeymoon.Having worked for Patricks for many years I had met her and her death was a huge blow to her family and friends.A copy of the Memorial service would be greatly appreciated....Kind Regards....Greg Hughes

duquesa
11th March 2007, 13:04
Let me know if you fail to get your hands on a copy - I have one I could print off. Duquesa

marinero
11th March 2007, 16:20
Hi Leo,Among the dead on 'Royston Grange" was Heather Patrick the granddaughter of Capt. James Patrick the founder of James Patrick Shipping Co. in Australia early 1900s.From memory she was onboard as a guest of Houlder Bros and with her husband was on their honeymoon.Having worked for Patricks for many years I had met her and her death was a huge blow to her family and friends.A copy of the Memorial service would be greatly appreciated....Kind Regards....Greg Hughes

Hi Greg.
If you send me your e-mail address I will attempt to send you the Memorial Service. It comprises 6 pages. As I am not very computer literate I may have to send it in 6 different e-mails but I will give it a go. The only Australians I recall being onboard was one of the Deck Officers and his wife but there is no one with the name Heather, perhaps she had another first/second name and was using that. Their name was Craddock I think. Hope this helps.
Regards
Leo(Thumb)
PS Tonga is a mine of info about Houlder Bros.

non descript
11th March 2007, 20:14
Greg,

This may help, it is the printed sheet from the Memorial Service, listing the names of all those who lost their lives in this desperate tragedy.

Kind regards

Mark

sailor63
14th March 2007, 21:04
Hi Ian, My name is Colin Knight, I made my first trip deep sea on the Royston way back in 1963, she was a lovely ship, and the end was tragic. all those souls. When i decided to document my years at sea i got in touch with Vic Young a great collector and supplier of photos and ship histories. He provided me with half a dozen 8x12 pics taken after the holocaust, not a lick of paint or piece of wood left on her. I vividly remember the newsreel footage on telly here in the U.K. I was home on leave at the time, that ship was ablaze from stem to stern, totally engulfed, a complete inferno. They must have took the film from a plane or chopper. cheers, C.K.

david freeman
23rd May 2007, 14:30
to be certain of the list you may have to go to Greenwich maritme museum records and pay for a search, either of the articles for the voyage, or of the Marine Departments inquiry-records which may be at Greenwich or through the MCA at southampton.
Regards Good hunting.


I wonder if anyone could tell me if a casualty list exists of those lost in the tragic loss of Houlder's 'Royston Grange' when she was engulfed in flames following a collision, I believe whilst approaching Montivideo. If memory serves this would have been about 1971/72. I believe the Houlder vessel was in collision with a tanker, the resultant fire causing the deaths of all hands(?) aboard the 'Royston Grange'
I was at South Shields Tech. with a lad from North Wales who I believe was lost in this terrible accident.

Thank you

Neil Marsden

non descript
23rd May 2007, 17:58
to be certain of the list you may have to go to Greenwich maritme museum records and pay for a search, either of the articles for the voyage, or of the Marine Departments inquiry-records which may be at Greenwich or through the MCA at southampton.
Regards Good hunting.


David,

I am not sure if there is some confusion? The desperately sad list of all those lost is at #68 above.

Regards
Mark

Trader
28th May 2007, 16:06
David,

I am not sure if there is some confusion? The desperately sad list of all those lost is at #68 above.

Regards
Mark

Thanks for the list Mark. It confirms something that I wasn't sure about, in that an old shipmate of mine was amongst the lost. Arthur Farrand R.I.P.

Trader.

non descript
28th May 2007, 17:57
Trader, I am sorry to have been the bearer of bad news; I share your thoughts.

Kind regards
Mark

mansa233
2nd June 2007, 09:18
Some sad memories recorded, above. I was on the Hardwicke - lovely ships. I do have a set of photos taken on board the Royston when she was lying alongside in Montevideo - only around the deck, no interior ones. Not gallery material, really, but if anyone wants copies, please ask.
Chris

Graham P Powell
2nd June 2007, 20:53
Hello Neil,
I was R/O on Houlder Brothers Swan River/GBWA.
On my first trip with Royal Mail Line on the RMS Aragon
2nd R/O was called Jack Barter. He became Chief R/O
on the Royston Grange and was found dead in his bunk.
All the crew were killed practically instantaneously when the ship
filled with explosive fumes.
A Marconi shore tech I worked with later told me that the
Royston had a radar blind spot caused by a derrick and that
might have been the cause of the accident.
rgds
Graham Powell

non descript
2nd June 2007, 22:13
Firstly I am very sorry that you lost your friend John (Jack) Barter in the tragedy. The loss of life on board was, as you say, instant and for that slight reassurance we must be grateful in some respects.

Whilst I am sure your colleague meant well and he genuinely believed in the story about a radar blind spot, that was misguided speculation and somewhat incorrect, given the facts of the case. – A glance at the image kindly uploaded by Gadgee here (http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/3968/si/royston%20grange/what/allfields) will possibly reassure you that the radar scanner had, by the time of the collision, been placed on a fairly tall mast, well out of the way of the Derricks and also above the Mast Tables. The collision did take place in dense fog, but to take this comment a stage further and conclude that the officers on the bridge of Royston Grange were unaware of the Tien Chee, which was proceeding up-river as they were going down-river, would be taking conjecture a step too far.

duquesa
2nd June 2007, 22:34
Totally correct Mark. What a sad picture. I lost a lot of pals in that mess.

non descript
3rd June 2007, 20:46
To assist those who have asked, and in addition to the original list of all the souls lost which was posted at #68, here is the full list (from the official records) of the 74 persons from the Royston Grange (61 Crew and 12 Passengers and 1 Pilot) lost on the night of 11th May 1972, together with their details.

All British unless otherwise noted.

Officers
• George Boothby, 55, Master
• Colin Craddock, Chief Officer
• Stewart Third, Second Officer
• David Lewis, Extra Second Officer
• Paul Hambly, Deck Cadet
• David Hamilton, Deck Cadet
• Philip Harrison, Deck Cadet
• Hugh Watkins, Deck Cadet
• John Barter, First Radio Officer
• Gary Johnson, 20, Second Radio Officer (his first voyage after qualifying)
• Terence Teppett, Chief Engineer
• David Revell, Second Engineer
• John Kincaid, Third Engineer
• Brian Thomis, Fourth Engineer
• Colin Nolan, Fifth Engineer
• Robert Lyon, Junior Engineer
• Clive Weatherburn, Junior Engineer
• James Craddock, Engineer Cadet
• Nicholas Finch, Engineer Cadet
• George Jeary, Chief Refrigeration Engineer
• Ronald Platt, Extra Chief Refrigeration Engineer
• Andrew James, First Electrician
• Stephen Hartnell, Second Electrician
• William Hagan, Catering Officer
• James Flower, Surgeon

Crew
• Jacob Dekker, Boatswain (Dutch)
• William Townsend, Boatswain's Mate
• Ronald Williams, Carpenter
• Brian Jones, Senior Seaman
• Andrew Adams, Able Seaman
• Leonard Bruce, Able Seaman
• John Burden, Able Seaman (American)
• John Hurley, Able Seaman
• Thomas McClelland, Able Seaman
• Alexander MacDonald, Able Seaman
• Eugene MacDonald, Able Seaman
• John Macritchie, Able Seaman
• Ernest Walsh, Able Seaman
• Arthur Furrand, Deck Hand
• Stephen Brookes, Junior Seaman
• Michael Hawley, 17, Deck Boy
• David Hullis, Deck Boy
• George Morris, Engineroom Storekeeper
• David Miller, Greaser
• John Thearle, Greaser
• Reginald Watkinson, Greaser
• Carlton Davis, Fire and Water Attendant
• James Fairweather, Fire and Water Attendant
• Stanley Tracey, Fire and Water Attendant (New Zealand)
• Peter Wright, Chief Cook
• Henry Watkinson, Second Cook
• James McIntyre, Baker
• Lawrence Bassant, Catering Boy
• Graham Edwards, Catering Boy
• Roy Mills, Second Steward
• Denis Beverley, Assistant Steward
• Herbert Collingham, Assistant Steward
• Peter Harvey, Assistant Steward
• Raymond Lee, Assistant Steward
• David Potterton, Assistant Steward
• James MacCulloch, Messman

Passengers
• Harold Bateman
• Donald Campbell
• Jean Campbell
• Jan Craddock, 22, wife of Chief Officer Colin Craddock (they had been married for four months) (Australian)
• Almut Dein (West German)
• Lother Dein (West German)
• Teresa Lilian Hagan, daughter of Catering Officer William Hagan
• Valentine Hagan, wife of Catering Officer William Hagan

Pilot
• Guillermo Garbini

In addition to this tragic loss, 8 of the crew of the tanker Tien Chee also perished.

guntackle
15th July 2007, 23:31
I joined the list because I noticed someone had posted a query about a ship I served on, the Clymene. A reply led the reader to a photo of the Clymene to my web site. Then I saw the posts on the Royston Grange which brought all the sad memories of that fateful date flooding back. Paul Richard Hambly and I were Deck Cadets who sailed together. I used to stay with him at his parents house in Redruth, Cornwall. In late December of '71 I got a call from Mr Jones the training officer (Houlders) asking me to join the Royston Grange. I reminded him that he had promised me Christmas at home this year. He agreed. I found out later from his parents that Paul had also managed to get Christmas at home because a problem with the Royston meant that it did not leave until 6th January (I may be slightly off with this date as it was such a long time ago).

sparkie2182
16th July 2007, 00:06
tonga............

many thanks for your efforts in this matter..................

i was a first year radio officer cadet when this tragedy took place, and remember it well.

i note....... from your findings....the 2/r/o had just qualified, was his first trip.

it strikes a chord with me, even now.

again........many thanks

sparkie2182

roy-g
29th September 2007, 03:33
,tonga............

many thanks for your efforts in this matter..................

i was a first year radio officer cadet when this tragedy took place, and remember it well.

i note....... from your findings....the 2/r/o had just qualified, was his first trip.

it strikes a chord with me, even now.

again........many thanks

sparkie2182

I well remember Gary Johnson (2 R/O on the Royston Grange), he and I graduated from Rush Green College in East London in 1971. Gary had droped back a year but was determined to qualify with the 1969 intake. In his final year Gary worked harder than many in our group, he was so certain that he wanted to go to sea.

After 3 monthes at sea (Geest line) I returned to Rush Green to take the BOT radar certificate. It was early in 1972 while at Rush Green that I heard the tragic news of the Royston Grange. I had forgotten the name of Gary's first (and last) ship untill I came across this thread.

I am reminded of happy times with Gary and the crew at Rush Green, particularly at our xmas party in 1970 (a little too much beer was drunk I think) and the sad news of the Royston Grange. I feel for all Gary's family and friends, he was a great guy and deserved better.

blacketts
20th October 2007, 21:22
I have the Memorial Service Document which list all the crew & passengers.The Chief Steward W.Hagan, a collegue of mine was on his retirement trip and the Company told him to take his wife and daughter as a retirement gift.If anyone wants a copy give me a shout and I will try to upload it(I'm new to this computer stuf)
Regards leo hannan

Hi
Leo I was on the grange I would verymuch appreciate a copy of the service list were you not on the grange your name is familiar.
Paul B

marinero
21st October 2007, 13:09
Hi
Leo I was on the grange I would verymuch appreciate a copy of the service list were you not on the grange your name is familiar.
Paul B

Hi Paul.
If you send me your e-mail address I will scan and send you the copy of the Service Document for the Royston Grange. Yes I was on the Royston Grange 1967 & 1970
Regards
Leo (Thumb)

vasco
28th December 2007, 18:07
Thanks Tom, maybe he will arrange for you to get an invitation to Kate's wedding. (A)

He came to mine!

Got married in 1978 in Lewisham and I sent him an invite, partly to remind him to get me off the Humboldt. My Father (aged 93 now) still talks about Batch, he met him when I was interviewed in 68, and that Capt who was shouting at me (Parkin). They used to play Good Guy/Bad Guy at interviews, me thinks.

I believe Batch was the mainstay of the Personnel, he made me feel part of the Family. Of course, he could charm. Fond memories, I hope he is still around.

taffy

non descript
29th December 2007, 22:17
I believe Batch was the mainstay of the Personnel, he made me feel part of the Family. Of course, he could charm. Fond memories, I hope he is still around.

taffy

Taffy,

I totally agree, Batch was a charming man, I rather hope he still is and must make an effort to find out. To my mind he was worth a great deal more than some in the personnel department, but maybe I am biased because he sorted me out time and time again.
(Thumb)
Mark

vasco
29th December 2007, 22:35
Tonga,

he sorted us all out, mainly for the good.

I have always been suspicious about his leaving, he was the best person there. Politics I suppose.

non descript
29th December 2007, 22:46
Yes Taffy, his early departure was a tad odd. - In the meantime, I would sum up my view of Batch, in that he was very supportive and kind to people when they did not matter (anyone can be nice if they can see there is a likely result in it for them). e.g. he was extraordinarily pleasant to me when I was a mere smudge on the Indentures of Life

KevinC
21st May 2008, 12:28
I was in Montevideo last month 4.08 and took several pics of the Royston Grange gravestone and all the names of the casualties. The grave is in the British cemetery on Avenida General Rivera about 5 miles from the town centre.
KevinC

KevinC
21st May 2008, 12:36
Hello Leo, I have several pics of the Royston Grange grave in the British Cemetery in Montevideo in April 2008. I can e-mail them on to you if you like or any one else who would like copies.

Kevin C

non descript
21st May 2008, 14:36
Kevin, That is very kind and I am sure there will be a few people on here who would appreciate that. - Thank you.
(Thumb)
Mark

KevinC
21st May 2008, 15:30
I have the Memorial Service Document which list all the crew & passengers.The Chief Steward W.Hagan, a collegue of mine was on his retirement trip and the Company told him to take his wife and daughter as a retirement gift.If anyone wants a copy give me a shout and I will try to upload it(I'm new to this computer stuf)
Regards leo hannan
Hello Leo, Kevin Campbell here. I have some photos of the Royston Grange grave in Montevideo taken this April '08 along with all the names inscribed upon it. It is in the British cemetery Montevideo on Avenida General Riveras 4000 odd, about 5 miles from city centre. Give me your e-mail address again and i'll send them to you.

KevinC.

Conercao
6th August 2008, 00:12
hi guys, im new here and i was wondering if any of you knew the families of the officers? My dad knew Paul Hambly, i think they were cadets or something together. Anyhow, he's got a picture of Paul from before the Royston Grange and he's looking for permission from the family so it can be used on a website. Anyone have any contacts?

Much appreciated

Edit: Last my dad knew the family was from Plymouth, hope this helps

non descript
6th August 2008, 00:28
Conercao, on the occasion of your joining and first post, may I extend a warm welcome to you. I am sure that there will be someone who can help you with your query, and in the meantime enjoy the Site and all it has to offer. Bon Voyage

R58484956
6th August 2008, 10:24
Greetings Conercao and welcome to SN. Enjoy the site and bon voyage

mike 555
8th August 2008, 09:27
I wonder if anyone could tell me if a casualty list exists of those lost in the tragic loss of Houlder's 'Royston Grange' when she was engulfed in flames following a collision, I believe whilst approaching Montivideo. If memory serves this would have been about 1971/72. I believe the Houlder vessel was in collision with a tanker, the resultant fire causing the deaths of all hands(?) aboard the 'Royston Grange'
I was at South Shields Tech. with a lad from North Wales who I believe was lost in this terrible accident.

Thank you

Neil Marsden

neil,
if its of any help,i have a list of all the persons on board with their occupations and who were passengers.send me an e-mail and i will return them to you.
mike

K urgess
8th August 2008, 10:58
Mike the list was posted by Tonga at post #78 above.

Brian Roy Mills
19th September 2008, 12:22
Hi all, new to this so I will try to make it short..

My uncle was Roy Mills ( second steward ) He never married but had a child (a daughter )who would be in her late 30's ( I guess ) New Zealand based ( I think ) I have lots of pictures of my uncle with friends in uniform e.t.c. but no names except one , the name being Holly. Any feedback would be greatfull and am happy to share any pics e.t.c.
Thank you... Brian.

steve goldswain
22nd October 2008, 23:43
theres a couple of photos of the rosytan grange before and after www. roystan grange -wikipedia site very sad

Bernard Nicholson
21st November 2008, 01:26
I found it interesting reading about Peoples recollections of the Royston Grange , I worked for Houlders as an electrical Officer, I was in the Indian Ocean at the time Working for BISN ,I remember tuning into the Merchant Navy Program on the BBC , As I remember the report The Tien Chee Was a Naptha carrier, when her tanks were ruptured , By the Royston Grange the vapour was sucked into the Engineroom and accomodation by the Vent fans , and the ignition caused an instantanious conflageration ,which amonst other things consumed all the oxygen , Anyway very sad , The last Houlder Job I had was on the Clyde bridge ,Managed by Houlders for the Hadley shipping Co.

DavidSv
20th December 2008, 15:03
Hi Leo

I did a trip on the Royston Grange between April and June 67 as a QM. I did Six Trips as QM On the Hardwicke Grange Sep 63 and Nov 64. Were we on the 'RG' at the same time?

Regards David Svensen

marinero
23rd December 2008, 10:32
Hi Leo

I did a trip on the Royston Grange between April and June 67 as a QM. I did Six Trips as QM On the Hardwicke Grange Sep 63 and Nov 64. Were we on the 'RG' at the same time?

Regards David Svensen

Hi David.
Will check my Ds.Book when I get home in January 2009 but those dates sound about right. Merry Christmas.
Leo(Thumb)

beamish2
10th January 2009, 18:05
I realise that there has been some delay, but if anyone is interested, I have a copy of the official Liberian report into the collision between the Royston grange and the Tien Chee. The report runs to about 20 pages but I can scan and forward if required.
beamish2

marinero
10th January 2009, 19:42
Hi Leo

I did a trip on the Royston Grange between April and June 67 as a QM. I did Six Trips as QM On the Hardwicke Grange Sep 63 and Nov 64. Were we on the 'RG' at the same time?

Regards David Svensen

Hi David and a Happy New Year.
I did my first trip on the Royston Sept. 67 so that was after you. We were on the Hardwicke at the same time, although I joined earlier than you in Feb. 63. I finally paid off 12 Nov. 64 which appears to be about the same time as you. I was sent to join the Bidford Priory 8 days later. I must say that the Hardwicke was a brilliant ship.
Regards
Leo (Thumb)

class
20th January 2009, 02:16
Hi Ian norman and other crew of the STV Royston Grange. I am Alan Radford, and am just doing some seaches on behalf of kirk Roberts [ex crewman of the Royston Grange. Perhaps you recall him?
Kirk is not on-line so I do this bit for him. He is however still pretty fit and well, and most of all, a top calibre chap to know.
Kirk had to come ashore when his wife was pregnant, thus not being around for the disaster. A lucky man.


[QUOTE=Ian Norman;17713]The Royston Grange was a fine ship on which I had the pleasure to serve as a Deck Apprentice in the early 1960’s, As I emigrated to Canada in 1970 to work as a Hydrographic Surveyor, I was until a while ago oblivious to her fate. Searching the internet I have found that a lot of people have expressed a desire to know more about the collision, and I have managed to glean the following from several reports.

R58484956
20th January 2009, 12:56
Greetings Alan and a warm welcome to SN. Enjoy the site and bon voyage.

deckboypeggy
20th January 2009, 16:23
Hi to you all, re ROYSTON GRANGE a very sad day those years ago i was well away from the sea then in the 70s however i was on her in nov63 untill jan 63 only ashort roundtrip B.A.etc My memmories are not so good as it seems,when you only do one trip . I do remember a deck mate no 2 i think losing a finger after we had put a life boat down in RECIFE?done whatever and the on return got his finger/hand caught in the hook on the falls with the swell trying to attach the life boat.i was a E.D.H a lowly minon ... most of the crew were company men i had just started my sea life so could not yet get into the companys men mode,infact i never did . also the BOSUN was a ex royal marine and what a ****,blonde hair i recall,we never got on hence only one trip, Red leading and linseed oil rubbed into the spotless wooden decks, i was used to the steel well decks on BF. still got dodgy knees,i wonder how!! I seem to rember boiling the meat hooks in big drums ,would anyone care to remind me how it was done it is a blur,etc, not good ..NEVER DID A MEAT BOAT AGAIN.

PETER BALLAN
19th February 2009, 20:34
Hi Omar,
Sorry that this seems so late, but I was on the Royston Grange just one trip before she went down off Monte. A first class ship, beautiful, and I was truly sorry when I heard the tragic news.
This sort of thing seemed to dog me for a while, as another ship, the Pool Fisher, went down as soon as I had left her !!!

stequantum
11th April 2009, 01:06
Hi Alan,

If memory serves me right the royston left Manchester before sailing to BA on that fatefull trip, they were short of a gally boy. I almost signed on but some how i ended up either on the saint merriel or the iberic not to sure, one thing i will never forget is the shock of hearing what happend I have been looking for a crew list of who was on board at the time but am unable to find one would appreciate if some one could send it to me thanks

Hi Ian norman and other crew of the STV Royston Grange. I am Alan Radford, and am just doing some seaches on behalf of kirk Roberts [ex crewman of the Royston Grange. Perhaps you recall him?
Kirk is not on-line so I do this bit for him. He is however still pretty fit and well, and most of all, a top calibre chap to know.
Kirk had to come ashore when his wife was pregnant, thus not being around for the disaster. A lucky man.


[QUOTE=Ian Norman;17713]The Royston Grange was a fine ship on which I had the pleasure to serve as a Deck Apprentice in the early 1960’s, As I emigrated to Canada in 1970 to work as a Hydrographic Surveyor, I was until a while ago oblivious to her fate. Searching the internet I have found that a lot of people have expressed a desire to know more about the collision, and I have managed to glean the following from several reports.

stequantum
11th April 2009, 01:18
My name is Arthur Richards i spent my time with houlders as a gally boy on the saint merriel untill it was sold. Were you a chief steward on that ship by any chance ? thanks.

I have the Memorial Service Document which list all the crew & passengers.The Chief Steward W.Hagan, a collegue of mine was on his retirement trip and the Company told him to take his wife and daughter as a retirement gift.If anyone wants a copy give me a shout and I will try to upload it(I'm new to this computer stuf)
Regards leo hannan

stequantum
11th April 2009, 02:03
Hi Peter,

Houlders were great ships with fantastic crews alas think most of us are laid up now :( still memories last forever so the royston will be around for a long time to come almost on her myself.


Hi Omar,
Sorry that this seems so late, but I was on the Royston Grange just one trip before she went down off Monte. A first class ship, beautiful, and I was truly sorry when I heard the tragic news.
This sort of thing seemed to dog me for a while, as another ship, the Pool Fisher, went down as soon as I had left her !!!

altcrew
16th April 2009, 21:05
I have the Memorial Service Document which list all the crew & passengers.The Chief Steward W.Hagan, a collegue of mine was on his retirement trip and the Company told him to take his wife and daughter as a retirement gift.If anyone wants a copy give me a shout and I will try to upload it(I'm new to this computer stuf)
Regards leo hannan

hi leo if you could may i have a copy of the memorial srevice or if you cant could you check it to see if the name james mills or frank mills are listed thanks

non descript
16th April 2009, 21:12
hi leo if you could may i have a copy of the memorial srevice or if you cant could you check it to see if the name james mills or frank mills are listed thanks

If it helps. the only Mills is Roy Mills - Second Steward

(Thumb)
Mark

altcrew
16th April 2009, 21:41
If it helps. the only Mills is Roy Mills - Second Steward

(Thumb)
Mark

hi mark thanks for the info,i'm seaching evrywere at the moment trying to find my mums brother who worked for houlders and blue funnel from around 1956 onwards it will put her mind at rest knowing he wasn't onboard...thanks chris

duquesa
16th April 2009, 22:23
Hi, Can confirm Tonga's response. Roy Mills was the only one of that name on board. I was privileged to attend the memorial service.

bazza54
7th July 2009, 13:18
Will hunt out the program from the service of rememberance at Saint Martins in the Field.. I was on the Oswestry Grange at the time of the accident.

non descript
7th July 2009, 13:26
Will hunt out the program from the service of rememberance at Saint Martins in the Field.. I was on the Oswestry Grange at the time of the accident.

Bazza54, on the occasion of your joining and your first posting on SN, a warm welcome to you. - For the avoidance of confusion, I believe the Memorial Service to which you refer, was at All Hallows by the Tower (http://www.ahbtt.org.uk/)

R58484956
7th July 2009, 19:14
Greetings Barry and welcome to SN. Bon voyage.

gooner
30th July 2009, 21:33
I joined the Royston Grange in the March 1968 as a junior engineer and I remember it well in Falmouth as we were along the Hardwicke Grange and had to cross over to get to the Royston. I only made that voyage down to Rio Grande Del sol, Monte and B.A before returning to London and Rotterdam and I paid off again in Falmouth and went on to join the Cerinthus in Boston u.s.a. I remember capt. Murray and cannot remember the Chief Stewards name but we met many years later when he sailed into Sheerness,kent on the Hardwicke (re-named ?) I also convinced one of my best friends to join Houlders and I went with him to the office in Leadenhall street. His name was Andrew James and was the Chief Electrical Officer on that fateful voyage. When you talk about you met your wife in Falmouth I met a girl from there called Brenda Rowe and we use to write whilst I was at sea, met her in the 'Grapes' tarten bar. So we sailed together that March but I cannot remember any of the other officers or engineers names only another lad with me from pre-school college called 'taffy' Jones and we met up again in December back in Monte when I was on the Cerinthus. Thankyou jon Vincent,It was interesting to read all the correspondence concerning the "Royston", these ships were crewed by a very close knit group of people, once in it was hard to leave, I will never forget the pride the whole crew had in the "Royston". I joined in Jan 1968 as 3rd Off when the vessel was laid up during the meat ban, on the Queen Elizabeth wharf in Falmouth Docks, for me it was a good appointment as I lived locally. The Hardwicke was moored outside us and the "Duquesa" the other side of the jetty. We were the live vessel looking after the other two Ships, the "Hardwicke" left first under the command of Capt T A G Head the senior master at the time in late Feb 1968, The "Duquesa" left next under the command of Capt George Boothby, she had a lot of problems being activated and I got to know Capt "George" well, as I ran errands as the local boy for him. The "Royston Grange" left last on 4th March 1968 for the River plate light ship. Of the deck staff through the lay-up I was the only one that sailed but I kept in touch with Tristan Tate the Ch/Off for years. Our sailing master was Capt Don Murray another Cornishman. The lay-up was very beneficial to me, as by the time the ships sailed I knew every square inch of them and three days before we sailed I met my wife who worked as a Nanny in the Falmouth Hotel. In June 68 I got engaged and was close to my 1st Mates, pay on the meat boats was the lowest in the company, I approached Capt D Parkin (head of personnel) and asked for promotion the 2nd Off, He offered me the 2nd off job on the new bulk carrier "Clydesdale", it took until the end of Oct 68 to leave the "Royston" needless to say the period in between I was subject endless ribbing from the other officers and pressure from Capt Murray who thought I was committing suicide. I kept in touch with my friends up until their deaths on the "Royston". I left the "Cerinthus" 8th April 72, after a few days a home I had a cal from Capt Dennis asking me if I would Join the "Royston" I was told that it would be as 1st off and my wife would be expected to go as well, my friend Colin Craddock was Ch Off along with his wife Jan on their honeymoon and that as a special concession his younger brother James would sail as cadet on the trip, Houlders never let that happen normally, I declined the offer much to my wife's dismay as our first house was due to be finished in the next couple of weeks, I saw the disaster on the news and got a telephone call within minutes, I sat in silence for a couple of days, Capt Dennis sent me the "Service if Commemoration" with a the names, I could not go to the actual service as I did not know how I would face the families of my friends. The final voyage of the "Royston" was supposed to be a happy event for all concerned it ended in one the saddest tragedies in MN history, The beautiful ship marked my life for ever, I met my wife and enjoyed the friendship of some the finest people ever to go to sea.

Jon Vincent
3rd August 2009, 01:01
gooner. Today is the 8th Aug, my wedding anniversary and I have been married 40 years to that young lady I meet in Falmouth all those years ago, the chief was Terry Tibbert and the second Dave Revell, the chief frig was Jimmy Jewel, so many great people and so many menoires

johnb42
3rd August 2009, 01:30
Sorry John, you may be celebrating too early. Today is the 2nd of August.

Jon Vincent
4th August 2009, 01:14
Sorry, Slight typo it should have read 2nd Aug, thanks for sptting it.

Bombersman
5th August 2009, 09:31
gooner. Today is the 8th Aug, my wedding anniversary and I have been married 40 years to that young lady I meet in Falmouth all those years ago, the chief was Terry Tibbert and the second Dave Revell, the chief frig was Jimmy Jewel, so many great people and so many menoires

Dave Revell, Alan Lowery and I all got our seconds tickets at about the same time. Having been on Houlders tankers for about six years when I came ashore, I sometimes wonder if it could have been me as 2/E, getting a break from tankers, on the Royston instead of Dave Revell.

Bob W.

Bombersman
5th August 2009, 09:36
I wonder if anyone came across a lad called Gordon Clarke who was a friend of Dave Revell and also came from Warrington.

Bob

iain48
29th March 2010, 12:35
On a recent visit to Montevideo I took the opportunity to visit the British Cemetery. Attached are some pics of the grave site. I would like to say that the whole cemetery is well tended and cared for.
Iain

brian3
29th March 2010, 21:07
i also sailed on the royston (1965)and have nto say it was the best trip i did in all my
time at sea Right round the s/a coast she was a beautifully crafted ship but her one fault was her steering the joy stick took some getting used to and if you were not giving it ioo%attention she would fly off course but a great loss and i am sure that all who sailed in her will keep her in our hearts
brian3

rob mcc
30th March 2010, 01:16
i sailed on the royston grange for the best part of 1971 left to go to south shields marine and tec college in january 1972 i oftain feel guilty and thankfull that i was not there fate works in strange ways there were guite a few changes to the crew that trip in all departments some of us were lucky and some just in the wrong place at the wrong time

lostsoul
13th May 2010, 23:02
gooner. Today is the 8th Aug, my wedding anniversary and I have been married 40 years to that young lady I meet in Falmouth all those years ago, the chief was Terry Tibbert and the second Dave Revell, the chief frig was Jimmy Jewel, so many great people and so many menoires

I sailed on the Royston 65-68 remember Dave and the chief well if I remember right Dave had a Rolls Royce A good ship.

DURANGO
14th May 2010, 06:04
I sailed on the Royston 65-68 remember Dave and the chief well if I remember right Dave had a Rolls Royce A good ship. I was also in her during your time in 67 I was an a.b doubt you would remember me we had an old fella well past his time as the ship,s doctor , during the time i was in her i built ships in bottles for various members of the crew as follows [ most of the names i have long forgotten ] , Ron he was a steward , another a.b by the name of Dave Hefferon , one of the apprentices, and one for the captains steward i was also asked to build one for the Altonaer museum in Hamburg when i was there in the Eleuthera p.s.n.c. on my previous trip, this one i posted to them whilst i was in the Royston Grange when we visited Rotterdam as you say she was a good ship on a great run by the way we also had a race horse as deck cargo best wishes .

DURANGO
14th May 2010, 06:18
i also sailed on the royston (1965)and have nto say it was the best trip i did in all my
time at sea Right round the s/a coast she was a beautifully crafted ship but her one fault was her steering the joy stick took some getting used to and if you were not giving it ioo%attention she would fly off course but a great loss and i am sure that all who sailed in her will keep her in our hearts
brian3 I make you right with regards to her her steering if i,m right she also had 2 buttons one was green the other was red we never used them but as you say you had to be on the ball when steering her , again as you say a great and sad loss best wishes .

Bombersman
20th May 2010, 08:03
I sailed on the Royston 65-68 remember Dave and the chief well if I remember right Dave had a Rolls Royce A good ship.

I heard a tale about Dave and his roller, how true it is I don't know, but it seems feasible.

While carrying out relieving duties at the Victoria docks before he got his seconds ticket, it was said that Dave in his Roller was waved past the gestapo like gate guards with a salute, while Superintendent Morrel in his mini was stopped and searched.

Best wishes

Bob W.

rob mcc
27th May 2010, 00:04
i remember having a beer with dave in his cabin when he was 2E on the royston he had a photo of the ss cerinthus with a note on it saying around the world in 80 breakdowns asking what it ment i was told it was to remind people like me[i was 4E at the time]that there were still ships on which you had to work for a living having sailed on the hadleys flagship [as well as the brandon priory] i reolized what he ment

fredddy
25th October 2010, 21:06
The following thread also details facts about the Royston Grange.

http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/showthread.php?t=30351

Shaky Mick
23rd January 2011, 18:14
In reply to the subject of Royston Grange some how I have a feeling there was a plaque to her awful loss put up in the Red Ensign hotel Dock street London. I could be wrong if not, what happened to it? P.S I jumped Joya Mccance in Curacao 1970. Silly boy I still regret it.

tonymorcom
27th January 2011, 11:53
I have just discovered this link on an Argentinian website

ROYSTON GRANGE (http://www.microsofttranslator.com/bv.aspx?from=&to=en&a=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.histarmar.com.ar%2FAccMarSudame r%2FRGrange.htm)

ALAN TYLER
27th January 2011, 14:25
I have just discovered this link on an Argentinian website

ROYSTON GRANGE (http://www.microsofttranslator.com/bv.aspx?from=&to=en&a=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.histarmar.com.ar%2FAccMarSudame r%2FRGrange.htm)

Still very sad to see and read about the tragedy after all these years. My thoughts are with all relatives.

rob mcc
11th May 2011, 01:34
sad day 11 may will never forget all who died in Royton grange disaster

MARINEJOCKY
11th May 2011, 04:06
None of us who worked for Houlders back then will ever forget and many of us can say "by the grace of god" I was not one of them.

I was sitting in Glasgow that fateful night when I got the news, was that 40 years ago.

RIP.....

Malky Glaister
11th May 2011, 06:16
I was on Denholms, Belnes loading phosphates in Casablanca in April 1971. Royston Grange was also there loading citrus. The two crews got together once or twice for a few beers etc. I remember one of the Royston lads giving the officers bar a couple of cases of oranges. I have a black and white pic of her in the distance. It came as a terrible shock just a few weeks later when we found out what had happened.

RIP
Regards Malky

Alex Salmond
11th May 2011, 06:35
I have quite a few memories of this tragic incident I was on the Brasil Star at the time homeward bound from S.A and our last port of call was Santos always a Seamans favourite place on the coast,anyway the Royston Grange came in outward bound and both crews were up the strip together Yahooing ,this was only my 4th trip at sea so I hooked up with the Galley boy of there and had a great time in the bars on Hellfire corner we said our goodbyes and 3 days later on our way home heard what had happened in the River Plate Tragic and hard to think about that young guy being dead.The next trip we were in Monte and she was alongside and the lasting memory I have is of looking at the accomadation and being able to see all the way through from aft to forward with nothing left in between all burnt away,and the only paint visible was on the very top of the mainmast,a truly shocking sight

Jon Vincent
18th July 2011, 15:26
A very good friend of mine is in Montevideo this week and will visit the grave site and lay some flowers, when I get the pictures I wil post them

rob mcc
18th July 2011, 17:17
thanks for your message it"s good to know that they are still remembered

jimthehat
18th July 2011, 17:36
that was a very sad event,When i did my fire fighting course at Speke airport they had one wall full of the photos taken shortly after the explosion and we were told to go and take a long look and see what utter devastation looked liked.

jim

jjp
30th August 2011, 21:10
ROYSTON GRANGE the name lives on.

While walking by the Trent at Fiskerton Notts.I saw a narrow boat
pulling away from the wharf by the pub. The name on side of the boat
was Royston Grange on a red background above the white cross as
the funnels of Houlder's ships, all above Newark-on-Trent (sorry no photo).
Asked the owner about the name, he then asked me what I new
about the Royston Grange so I told him the story. He then said his father had been a regular crew member on the ship but because of
an accident (broken arm and ribs)on the voyage prior to the fatal one
was singed off in the UK, so was lucky he missed the fatal last voyage. His father always spoke about the Royston Grange so that
was why his new narrow boat is named Royston Grange.

jim

keith greenway
22nd November 2011, 15:52
I have been asked to contact you re: the narrow boat ROYSTON GRANGE:

Message itself will explain more:

Super comment on "shipsnostalga" about my narrow boat. Tried several times to get in to thank him and give my details to him. Could you do that for me please? Many thanks, David

I have been in touch with David for some time now and have a few pics of the boat, certainly a nice tribute to those lost and not forgot.

Please mail me at hernamewas.ss@tiscali.co.uk and I can put you in touch with David as he requests:

Regards,

Keith.

http://www.ss-tregenna.co.uk/

mikehome
15th February 2012, 15:37
The Royston Grange was a Jnr Radio Officer training ship and I did two trips on here not long before the accident. After leaving her I joined the RFA. one night at midnight when I was woken to do the midnight to 4 pm watch I was chatting to the radio officer I was relieving about the vivid dream that I had just had. in the dream I was on a familiar ship which I new well bt was for some reason with the crew and officers on the bow trying to put out a fire that was just getting bigger. in this days we had to reset our military security receivers using the BBC pips. The very first item was the report on the collision of the Royston Grange. Strange isn't it?

I now live in Bloemfontein South Africa and am into large scale property devepment

Cynthia Myers Dickin
15th April 2012, 00:33
This is to advise anyone who may be interested, that a ´´Remembrance and Thanksgiving service´´ will be held, on May 11th., 2012, at the British Cemetery, Montevideo, Uruguay - in memory of all those who died on the Royston Grange, 40 years´ ago.
One lady will be visiting us with her son, from the U.K. - her brother was on the vessel at the time of the tragedy.
Please feel free to share this news.
Warm greetings from Uruguay.
Cynthia Myers Dickin & Diana Beare
(daughters of Gordon F. Myers & Arturo Beare, Houlder Bros., Uruguay, both deceased)

marinero
15th April 2012, 16:52
This is to advise anyone who may be interested, that a ´´Remembrance and Thanksgiving service´´ will be held, on May 11th., 2012, at the British Cemetery, Montevideo, Uruguay - in memory of all those who died on the Royston Grange, 40 years´ ago.
One lady will be visiting us with her son, from the U.K. - her brother was on the vessel at the time of the tragedy.
Please feel free to share this news.
Warm greetings from Uruguay.
Cynthia Myers Dickin & Diana Beare
(daughters of Gordon F. Myers & Arturo Beare, Houlder Bros., Uruguay, both deceased)

Thank You for that thoughtful Post Cynthia. Alas I am unable to attend the service but will you say a prayer for me and I am sure many more of the Ex Members of Houlder Bros who for various reasons will not be able to attend.

Much Appreciated in advance.

Leo

Cynthia Myers Dickin
15th April 2012, 17:05
Thank you, Leo, for yours´.
We´ll go adding names to a list, in order to mention those who, from afar, will be close in spirit.
Our hope will be to also post, on this forum, anything which may be shared, within the service on the 11th.
Warm wishes,
Cynthia

Jon Vincent
17th April 2012, 01:52
Cynthia please say one for me because I have more than most to thankful for those of my friends on board that fatefull day, Thanks Jon Vincent

vasco
17th April 2012, 08:10
I lost a lot of good friends that day and will be thinking of them. Thank you for letting us know.

rob mcc
17th April 2012, 10:53
i whish i could be there myself but that is not possible but i shall be thinking of all those lost and their loved ones.quite a few of us could have been there but for the grace of god.

trotterdotpom
17th April 2012, 12:11
My first ship, Mabel Warwick - Master was Captain Boothby. An old style Captain and a gentleman. RIP.

John T.

Cynthia Myers Dickin
17th April 2012, 12:55
Really great to have news from so many of you!
We´ve contacted people down this way, within the Port authorities - both in Montevideo and Buenos Aires - as well as other people who in all sorts of ways, remember the event.
As mentioned, we´ll certainly be posting more info, together with whatever the service may consist of.
Yes, Capt. Boothby was a wonderful guy. I remember him well, given that he visited our home (as most of Houlders´ Captains would do), share time with us and then.... we met his wife in the UK, around 1968...
As him, many very special men and their families....
Thanks for being ´´just there´´, across the miles. We´ll be close to each one of you...
A privilege indeed.
Warm wishes,
Cynthia Myers Dickin

Cynthia Myers Dickin
17th April 2012, 21:25
11th. May 1972 – 11th. May 2012
M.V. ´´Royston Grange´´

A service of ´´Remembrance & Thanksgiving´´ , in memory of the Crew, Passengers and River Plate Pilot who perished as a result of the collision in the River Plate, between this vessel and the M.T. ´´Tien Chee´´, 40 years ago, will be held at the British Cemetery, Montevideo on Friday 11th. May 2012, at 10:30 hs.

Family members of the deceased will be present at the ceremony.

Contacts:
Diana Beare – dibeare@gmail.com
Ian Dickin – iandickin@adinet.com.uy
Cynthia Myers Dickin – cynthiadickin@gmail.com

norsea
17th April 2012, 21:57
Many Thanks Cynthia for your information. Although I never served on the Royston I served for a number of years on her sister ship Hardwicke Grange so a number of my colleagues from 25 years were lost on that fateful day. My thoughts will be those who were berieved on that fateful day which,by a strange coincedence is our wedding anniversary (11th May 1961)
Kind Regards
Angus Davidson
(Houlders 1954/79.)

Cynthia Myers Dickin
17th April 2012, 22:36
Many thanks, Angus for yours´.
What we are doing, is copying all messages from this forum, on to a document, which will be read out at the service and handed to those who are coming out from the U.K.
We will also, after the service - as far as we are able - post copies of what is shared that day, on this forum.
There will be 2 speakers - one gentleman who is one of the few left, of the Houlder Bros´ staff and remembers that fateful 11th. May, very well; the other, the son of one of the staff members.
Personally, as Deacon of the Anglican Church (although not within the active ministry at this point in time) and daughter of who was the Gral Mger within Houlders at the time of the accident, I will be putting the order of service together and will be sharing salient points, for those present.
Above all, we wish to remember and give thanks for each life that was lost.
There are many, within the Uruguayan and Argentine shipping scene, who remember the loss of the Royston and will make every effort to be at the service.
Warm wishes.
Cynthia Myers Dickin

rob mcc
17th April 2012, 23:39
i believe the ships bell from the royston was in the leadenhall street office i wonder where it is now

Cynthia Myers Dickin
17th April 2012, 23:45
Maybe someone who reads within this forum, can enlighten us...

It would also be good to know whether there is any ´´group´´ of people who were in the merchant navy, in whatever Co. ... who keep in touch ??

Cheers!

marinero
18th April 2012, 10:44
Thank You for your thoughtfulness in keeping us in touch with what is happening Cynthia. It's good to know that they are not forgotten. I served on both the Royston & Hardwicke Grange. I am sure we carried the General Manger of the B.A. Office back to the UK one trip on the Hardwicke Grange. Roy Faulkener was master at the time.
The guy who relieved me on the "Royston" sadly perished. There but for the grace of God it could have been me.
Many friends and colleagues lost but not forgotten.

My Regards

Leo Hannan

Cynthia Myers Dickin
18th April 2012, 12:06
Thanks for this one, Leo.

Remember Roy Faulkner, well. Yes, it was probably Mr. Grant or Pierrepoint (both G.M.´s B.A.) who travelled at the time you mention.

We travelled on the Hardwicke in 1962 with Tom Head. In 1968 I travelled back from the UK on the St. Merriell with Charles Wells.

Do you or anyone else, remember Capts. McMellan, John Capon, Len Williams? We visited each one of them at their homes in the UK.

Lovely guys and families who had, by then, ´´become like family members´´ to us... Each time the ships were in Mvdeo., they´d come to our home for dinner and as a child, I´d thoroughly enjoy their stories!!

Good memories.

Cheers,
Cynthia Myers Dickin

marinero
18th April 2012, 12:31
Hi Cynthia.

I remember Captain Capon well having sailed with him on the "Tenbury" in 1973. He was known as Canape Capon as he always served canapes with the pre-dinner drinks. Wonderful stories he could tell. Did you ever meet Captain Kent who was another of the old school in fact I seem to remember him having served on sailing ships. I tell you what Cynthia, I could tell some super stories of some of the Masters in Houlder Bros.

Regards

Leo

Cynthia Myers Dickin
18th April 2012, 12:46
Hi again, Leo!
The name, Kent, rings a vague bell....

Two things:

It would be WONDERFUL for you to write the stories you remember... Are you game to post them on this forum or if you prefer, then send them to my email address: cynthiadickin@gmail.com

My husband, Ian Dickin, has been in the shipping world for more than 54 years. He´s now 75 (I´m almost 62) and he worked within Royal Mail, Houlders, Fletamar, Navijet, Sasetru, and latterly for many years w/Maruba -- always in Buenos Aires but very closely linked to the U.K. and has heaps of contacts over there.

I´m hoping to open an account for him, on this forum, asap.
Thereafter, he too, can exchange ´´sweet memories´´ and anecdotes with you guys and who knows .... maybe come across ´´friends of the past´´....

Will keep you all posted.

Cheers,
Cynthia Myers Dickin

duquesa
18th April 2012, 13:12
I remember Capt Kent on the old Hornby Grange. That was his last ship. Would have been late 50's. Wells left the S.American trade after the Holmbury was disposed off I believe. He then did time on the Imperial Transport where I served with him. He was never happy at sea again when taken away from his old familiar trade.

ALAN TYLER
18th April 2012, 13:28
Thank you Cynthia for all the information regarding the memorial service. My thoughts will be focused on all those who lost their lives on that very sad day, some I had sailed with. Also my thoughts will be with the loved ones left behind. It really doesn,t seem forty years ago. Thank you again Alan H. Tyler Ch/Cook & Ch/Steward, Houlders 1969/86.

duquesa
18th April 2012, 14:10
Cynthia, Did you ever travel on the Duquesa when Eric Lockheed was the Master? The memory cells are stirring!

ALAN TYLER
19th April 2012, 14:58
Hi Cynthia.

I remember Captain Capon well having sailed with him on the "Tenbury" in 1973. He was known as Canape Capon as he always served canapes with the pre-dinner drinks. Wonderful stories he could tell. Did you ever meet Captain Kent who was another of the old school in fact I seem to remember him having served on sailing ships. I tell you what Cynthia, I could tell some super stories of some of the Masters in Houlder Bros.

Regards

Leo
Hi Cynthia, I can back Leo up on Captain Capon being called Canape (Kate) Capon as I sailed with him on the Hardwicke Grange in 1974 when I was Ch/ Cook, Regards Alan.

vasco
20th April 2012, 09:36
Hi Cynthia, I can back Leo up on Captain Capon being called Canape (Kate) Capon as I sailed with him on the Hardwicke Grange in 1974 when I was Ch/ Cook, Regards Alan.

Great Character, I was with him on the Royston as uncert third mate, he had me change the stripe on my parrot perches so I could be recognised as 3/O, also had to but a pair of white shoes (laces extra!).

Later sailed with him on the Cumbria, where he was more relaxed.

He walked into the wheelhouse one day with the walkie-talkie pointing at me, its telescopic aerial fully extended, waving it around like a machine gun saying Call me Al Capon(e).

Believe he packed up smoking after waking up in his cabin sat at his desk with a lit fag between each finger, after a long stint on the bridge.

Another story I think he told me was how unlucky can you can be. He was docking in Kingsnorth when a strong gust of wind blew the ship into the jetty, knocking the crane over on to the ship,this was fixed and they went out to anchor and a ship rammed him, that got sorted in dry dock and just after the dry dock a fishing vessel went through the bow. Each time Al was technically not to blame. Perhaps someone can verify this one?

Cynthia Myers Dickin
26th April 2012, 19:42
Hi gentlemen!
I only travelled, as a child of 12 yrs., on the Hardwicke G./Mvdeo/Liverpool w/Capt Tom Head and I believe we returned on her, 3 months´ later (June-Sept 1962) We had a fire-drill and hey-ho, none of the boats would go down..... whoever had been on her the previous trip, had painted things in such a way, nothing would move!!! Tom Head did not mince his words!!
Then, I travelled on one of the ´´A´´ ships to London with my parents, in 1968 - great time! Returned, alone with a friend, on the St. Merriel/Capt. C. Wells, who´d walk up and down his cabin, wearing the carpet thin....
My friend, Carol and I had a great time but for whatever reason, that journey took 28 days´ back to Mvdeo.!!??
Yes, I knew all those who were Masters on the Houlders ships, given that my dad worked here, in Mvdeo, from around 1948-1983. Lovely guys.
Also quite a few fellows from the ´´A´´ boats...
My husband, Ian Dickin has been in shipping for over 56 years ... within Argentina but linked to the UK.
He´d have plenty to write about and perhaps, you´d know guys in common. Am trying to encourage him, to put a profile together and join this forum.
Be patient!!
Cheers

davmel
29th April 2012, 18:35
hi there,i was on the hardwick grange when this happened, we were about a week away from the royston. believe me,there was no butter in a warehouse in monte, her hatches had all fallen through, there was no way that butter would have survived, we lay whreaths on the spot and were tied up oposite her we were even alowed to go aboard the royston, wish i had,nt

davmel
29th April 2012, 18:56
hi mate, what ship were you on when the royston was in monte

brian3
10th May 2012, 21:19
i would just like to add that my thoughts and prayers will be with all who are attending the service of rememberance in mvdeo

Cynthia Myers Dickin
10th May 2012, 21:28
Thanks for this, Brian.
Have added your message to the list we´ll be handing Alison (Third) Booth, David Watkins and Michael Houlder.
We´re very grateful for all messages rec´d from around the globe, especially from within the UK.
Will be in touch.
Warm wishes from Uruguay,
Cynthia Myers Dickin
cynthiadickin@gmail.com

ALAN TYLER
11th May 2012, 09:49
My thoughts are with all those who lost their lives forty years ago today, and their remaining relatives who,ve had to bear their losses all these years. God Bless to you all.

Graham Pepper
11th May 2012, 13:14
I am pleased to report that about 20 people gathered at the "Royston Grange" memorial window in the church of All Hallows by the Tower at 15.00 hours yesterday, Thursday 10 May. We stood in silence to remember those lost following which prayers were said by the Chaplain of the Tower of London and wreaths were laid by representatives from Houlder Offshore and Furness Chartering.

guntackle
22nd May 2012, 00:18
hi guys, im new here and i was wondering if any of you knew the families of the officers? My dad knew Paul Hambly, i think they were cadets or something together. Anyhow, he's got a picture of Paul from before the Royston Grange and he's looking for permission from the family so it can be used on a website. Anyone have any contacts?

Much appreciated

Edit: Last my dad knew the family was from Plymouth, hope this helps
Hi Cornercao, I sailed with Paul a couple of times he was a close friend. We were at Tower Hill (MN College together). I stayed with him at his parents place in Redruth in Cornwall. A few months after the accident I visited his parents and stayed a couple of days exchanging photos etc. Thinking about it, I must have sailed with you dad too! Would love to hear from him - would he be Rod from Newport, Monmouthshire? Regards Mike

guntackle
22nd May 2012, 00:33
Unfortunately I wasn't aware of the memorial service. On a whim I went up to London on Saturday and visited some of my old haunts including my old college (School of Navigation); Trinity House and All Hallows. I had intended to visit St Catherine's dock (where I did my lifeboat course) and the Prospect of Whitby (which was a favourite haunt of ours on a Thursday night) but just ran out of time.

guntackle
16th June 2012, 23:41
I went up to London for the Royal Pageant and took the opportunity to visit the church of All Hallows by the Tower. There was a lot of activities taking place but I did manage to get quite a nice shot of the glass panel dedicated to the crew of the Royston Grange: http://chopin2001.com/featurepages/royston_grange.html

billy moore
26th June 2012, 13:08
i finished my time on the royston,january 1968,paid off in hull of all places.
i did two trips to montevideo and b.a on her,good times.
the last time i was in london i also went to all hallow's,a very sad and sobering experience.
unfortunately i recognised quite a few names as shipmates during my time with houlders.RIP

billy moore
26th June 2012, 13:38
sorry getting old,brain fade,it was november 1968,when we paid off in hull

Jon Vincent
17th May 2013, 02:53
I am surprised that we are at the 16th and no mention or post for the 11th May when we lost so many good souls in the tragic accident. I have retired now but my colleagues in my old company visit the grave in Monty regularly and keep me posted, even the occasional cell phone photo, and they will continue to do so as long as they carry out lightering ops down there. Jon

funnelstays
17th May 2013, 11:57
I wonder if anyone could tell me if a casualty list exists of those lost in the tragic loss of Houlder's 'Royston Grange' when she was engulfed in flames following a collision, I believe whilst approaching Montivideo. If memory serves this would have been about 1971/72. I believe the Houlder vessel was in collision with a tanker, the resultant fire causing the deaths of all hands(?) aboard the 'Royston Grange'
I was at South Shields Tech. with a lad from North Wales who I believe was lost in this terrible accident.

Thank you

Neil Marsden
Hi Neil
http://www.histarmar.com.ar/AccMarSudamer/RGrange.htm

Try this link.
I did a brief coast with the son of the Bosun Jacob Dekker on the City of London not more than months after this terrible tragedy.
Regards Will

Cynthia Myers Dickin
17th May 2013, 13:29
I am surprised that we are at the 16th and no mention or post for the 11th May when we lost so many good souls in the tragic accident. I have retired now but my colleagues in my old company visit the grave in Monty regularly and keep me posted, even the occasional cell phone photo, and they will continue to do so as long as they carry out lightering ops down there. Jon
Dear All,
On the Sun May 12th last, the Royston Grange Crew were remembered here, in Montevideo, by the few of us who live down this way and who, in some way, were involved in the 40th anniv service, last year....
Since last year, we have only rec´c contact from one person ... We responded w/all the info we could supply but have not heard from her again.
The important thing for those who are far away, is to know that those lost, will always be remembered; that the grave is well-kept and always will be, by those of us who are here; that if anyone wishes to, we can be contacted.
With warm wishes for each one,
Cynthia Myers Dickin
cynthiadickin@gmail.com

duquesa
17th May 2013, 16:52
Dear All,
On the Sun May 12th last, the Royston Grange Crew were remembered here, in Montevideo, by the few of us who live down this way and who, in some way, were involved in the 40th anniv service, last year....
Since last year, we have only rec´c contact from one person ... We responded w/all the info we could supply but have not heard from her again.
The important thing for those who are far away, is to know that those lost, will always be remembered; that the grave is well-kept and always will be, by those of us who are here; that if anyone wishes to, we can be contacted.
With warm wishes for each one,
Cynthia Myers Dickin
cynthiadickin@gmail.com

Thank so much.

Jon Vincent
18th May 2013, 02:23
Thanks Cynthia, I had no idea that you were looking after the grave, my friends are all Masters engaged in the lightering operations in the river Plate estuary, they are all nationalities and they all remember the tragic accident, for me and my wife it is very personal, thanks you again, Jon

Cynthia Myers Dickin
18th May 2013, 11:21
Dear All,

Are there still folk looking for the full list of those lost, in the Royston Grange tragedy?

If so, pls advise me at = cynthiadickin@gmail.com
and I´ll a) answer the person/s directly b) if helpful, I could post the list on this website.

Awaiting your replies...

Best wishes,
Cynthia Myers Dickin - Montevideo - Uruguay

marinero
18th May 2013, 11:32
Dear All,
On the Sun May 12th last, the Royston Grange Crew were remembered here, in Montevideo, by the few of us who live down this way and who, in some way, were involved in the 40th anniv service, last year....
Since last year, we have only rec´c contact from one person ... We responded w/all the info we could supply but have not heard from her again.
The important thing for those who are far away, is to know that those lost, will always be remembered; that the grave is well-kept and always will be, by those of us who are here; that if anyone wishes to, we can be contacted.
With warm wishes for each one,
Cynthia Myers Dickin
cynthiadickin@gmail.com
Hi Cynthia.
Once again many thanks for your sterling work in keeping alive the memories of those who perished and tending the grave. I attended the Memorial Service for John Houlder last year where a very touching tribute to his life was read out. I will send a copy to your e-mail address.
Regards

Leo

marinero
18th May 2013, 11:55
Herewith Crew & Passenger list for the "Royston Grange"
Regards (Thumb)

norsea
19th May 2013, 15:09
Hi again Cynthia,
Once again, Sincere thanks for your devotion to the memory of our colleagues lost on that fateful day.
Kind Regards
Angus Davidson

Robert Bush
19th May 2013, 22:35
Dear Ms. Dickin,
I envy you living in Uraguay although it is 60 years ago since I was there as 2nd. Mate on a cable ship lying to a cable off Punta del Este. There were seals playing round the cable, and Punta del Este was a wonderful place, an arist's colony with friendly people.

While berthed in Montevideo I met a friend who was navigator on an RN ship doing a good will tour. He told me he had some invitations for a shipper's party on a Grange ship, can't remember which one, and asked me to go along with him. I told him I would love to go but had a mountain of chart corrections to do, we carried two sets of charts, one for cables and the regular ones. He said, "No problem I'll send my Yeoman over to help."

The Yeoman was an expert and did more in four hours than I could in four days. Also his printing was excellent far better than mine. So we went to the party and it was first class. That was my only time on a Houlder's ship, she was a large reefer and general cargo vessel. Too bad they are gone.

Best wishes,
Bob Bush

Tonysteele
28th February 2014, 17:53
I worked for Houlder Bros. as a deck cadet at the time of this terrible disaster . I was serving on a small tanker somewhere off South Africa when news of the disaster came over the world services radio. We were all stunned by the news and when we heard of who was on board that feeling of shock turned to devastation.
I lost a good friend Philip Harrison . We had just attended a course in Hull for 3 months, and at the end handed a piece of paper with which ships we would all join, Phil got the Royston, and I mine. It only occurred to later how fate had taken Phil and not me. Still haunts me to this day (now in my 60's).
God rest mate and all the other souls on board.
Tony Steele.

Chris Cunliffe
21st September 2014, 12:21
I've just come across this site whilst looking for information about an old school friend who I was told, 40 years ago, had died in a fire onboard a Merchant Navy ship. The friend was James E (Jimmy) Craddock and we were at school together from the age of 4 to finishing at Eccles Grammar School in 1968 aged 16. The last time I saw him was at his parents house, when we were trying to get an old motorbike running, shortly before he joined the Merchant Navy.I was therefore surprised to read Jon Vincents account that engineer cadet James Craddock was the brother of Colin Craddock the Chief Officer who I believe was Australian. I would think in unlikely that there were 2 different James E Craddocks' that died in ships fires around this time.Jimmy was in fact born in Eccles Manchester 18th June 1952 and had a younger sister and brother. I still remember him on his birthday every year as he was only 3 days older than me .RIP old mate.

vasco
22nd September 2014, 09:52
The info I have is there certainly was a James E Craddock as Engineer Cadet.

The other Craddocks were Colin Craddock of Randalls Road, Leatherhead and his Australian Wife Jan.

There is no mention of a relationship between the two, paper cuttings ran articles on all families.

Have a look at my profile, we may have met up on the Cerinthus, though the only Steele I remember is Peter (aka Tommy)

guinnessmick
22nd September 2014, 10:56
Hello Neil,
I was R/O on Houlder Brothers Swan River/GBWA.
On my first trip with Royal Mail Line on the RMS Aragon
2nd R/O was called Jack Barter. He became Chief R/O
on the Royston Grange and was found dead in his bunk.
All the crew were killed practically instantaneously when the ship
filled with explosive fumes.
A Marconi shore tech I worked with later told me that the
Royston had a radar blind spot caused by a derrick and that
might have been the cause of the accident.
rgds
Graham Powell

i was 2nd cook on the swan river from 15/5/63 til 3/7/64 when was you on her graham