Brocklebank nostalgia

rgdouglas
10th August 2006, 15:22
As a relatively new member of "Shipsnostalgia" and an ex-Brocks Man, I have read with interest through the Brocklebank Forum. I was particularly interested in the thread wondering why this forum was so popular. I served in Brocklebanks in the 1950s and early 1960s and found it a company that engendered and supported a very strong "esprit de corps", which obviously lives on, long after the sad demise of the company. This was particularly so in the Radio Department and I suspect that ex-R/Os form a disproportionately high percentage of members on this site.

In the 1950s most radio officers were employed by marine radio companies, whereas Brocklebanks had a long standing radio department of its own. This was lead by superintendents of the highest integrity and foresight - Messrs Bailey, Lonsdale and Orum who were rightly proud of the service they and their radio officers offered. Brocklebank R/Os were expected to fully maintain their equipment which lead to a self reliance unmatched in other companies. This was particularly so in view of the antiquated communications equipment with which they had to work.

In the period in which I was at sea, Brocklebank sea-going personnel were treated with respect by their shore-side colleagues and despite - or perhaps because of - the aged ships in which they had to sail, were proud to be "Brocks-men".

Incidentally, when I first went to sea, all Brocklebank ships carried two R/Os even though they had only an 8-hour watch requirement. I was certainly told, when I joined, that junior R/Os could be called upon to assist with cargo tallying duties, though in my experience, they were very rarely called upon to do so.

wa002f0328
10th August 2006, 21:35
(Applause) (Applause) (Applause) There is a Brocks reunion on the site some where, don,t know where they are going but looks good, it may be a cruise in the indian ocean, if you check it out and there are any more tickets left please reserve me two, will pay cash.

A.G.Greenwood
11th August 2006, 16:36
Hi Bob, Remember me, Tony Greenwood, Deck Apprentice. Forget which ship but 2/RO was Dave Courtenay.

Cunarder
9th September 2006, 03:11
Yes RG, I heartily concur with your comments. There was a great esprit de corps amongst Brocks men and amongst the R/O's in particular. The fact, as you correctly point out, that we were "totally" responsible for all maintenance lent us "legendary" status amongst our peers - a not too shabby situation at all! I can recall on a number of occasions wrestling with a particularly difficult maintenance/repair task with the thought ever present in the back of your mind "What if I have to call in the shoreside tech?" It would be grounds for hari-kiri at the very least! It just wasn't the done thing - and fortunately I never had to do it in my 13 years with them and I don't think many others ever had to either.

I count myself extraordinarily fortunate to have worked for Brocks (irrespective of either the state of the ships - not all bad mind you - or the less than glamourous runs we undertook). I would do it all again - but, sadly......

Alan Marsden

john g
9th September 2006, 12:34
Alan where you the R/O on the Manipur (Concordia Manipur ) charter ? along with Nick Jones ,elec...Mike Alport C/E.....Jeff Hunking 2/E (mad monk) and others including myself.

mikeg
9th September 2006, 14:15
Hi Brocks all,
My shortest trip ever was on a Brocklebank ship. I was then not a Brock but a Redifon man and was asked if I would fill in because a Brocks R/O wasn't available at that time. Joined the Matra at Tilbury on 19th Nov '68 and left on return to Tilbury at 6th Dec '68. Those few weeks were very enjoyable, good food, great company and with some of the best shore time I ever had (*)) Although the radio equipment was old it had been well maintained and cared for and all worked fine. Not much sea time to use it anyway (*))
Can't for the life of me remember the old man's name now but he was a fine person. When I was testing the lifeboat radio he sent someone to tell me that Officers don't get their hands dirty (!) and a Indian crew member was assigned to turn the handle (Thumb).
One thing I do remember that my electric shaver would only work off a motor/generator because of DC supply.
I remember a very happy ship, I wish I could have stayed longer.

Mike

Cunarder
10th September 2006, 04:33
Yes John - that was me :)

john g
10th September 2006, 19:21
Yes John - that was me :)
Stroll on Alan this site's a knockout sometimes.......I'll come back on that one let me think a while......cheers mate

Nick Jones
11th September 2006, 07:29
Mikeg,

I was the Electrician on the Matra for that coastal trip and stayed on for two deep sea voyages of 7 months and 6 months after that. You're right it was a happy ship, old well worn but comfortable like old shoes.

Cheers,

Nick Jones.

mikeg
11th September 2006, 10:33
Mikeg,

I was the Electrician on the Matra for that coastal trip and stayed on for two deep sea voyages of 7 months and 6 months after that. You're right it was a happy ship, old well worn but comfortable like old shoes.

Cheers,

Nick Jones.

I couldn't have described the Matra better than that :)
Can you remember who the Master was, the signature in my discharge book is illegible?

Cheers,

Mike

Nick Jones
12th September 2006, 07:54
Mikeg,

I will have to wait until I get home in 10 days to tell you that, as I'm working 2 weeks on 2 weeks off in the Gulf of Mexico at the moment and just started this hitch.

Cheers,

Nick Jones.

pilot
12th September 2006, 20:06
Nick.

It was George Sinclair the two trips we did. He signed my Watch-Keeping Certs. 3-01-'69 to 14-07-'69 and 04-09-'60 to 17-03-'70.

Cheers Martin.

Braighe
18th September 2008, 21:33
Braighe.

Brocks 6-7-1951 to 8-9-1956.
R/O. Maidan. Matra. Mahronda. UK/India. Mandasor. Malancha Coastal.

Derek Roger
18th September 2008, 21:54
With regard to R/Os in Brocks . When Mahsud and Maihar came into service it was not uncommon for the R/O to assist the Lecky and Engineers in trouble shooting as those vessels had a lot of electronics down below and were a first of a kind being unmanned machinery spaces .

In Brocks there was a team spirit and everybody "mucked in " as necessary ; during the odd breakdown it was not uncommon for the mate to come down and offer any assistance required from his officers and crew . Also when there was trouble on deck the engineers were always there to help .

Regards Derek

PS There was always a bit of oil and water in the bar banter but when the chips were down it was all for one and one for all .

sidsal
2nd December 2008, 12:38
Derek.
Good to know that relations between deck and engine room were good in Brocks in your time. The only time I experienced close co-operation was in tankers where on the F J WOLFE the deck crowd helped the engineers draw pistons at sea. This happened more than once as they were rogue MAN engines. We ferried piston rings over to a sister ship wallowing in the Arabian sea once as she had none left. I regret to say that the standard of rowing was abysmal !!