Port Alberni City

Fairfield
15th October 2004, 08:58
Another of the Cardiff Class bulk carriers for Reardon Smith built at Govan in 1972.She was scrapped in 2000 as AN DA.
She is sharing the fitting out basin with,I think IRISH PINE another Cardiff Class for Irish Shipping which sadly was lost in the late 1990s and the Brazilian dredger GUANABARA which I think is still sailing.

Janner100
7th May 2007, 19:03
My last trip with Smiths was on the Alberni in 1974. Bob Fraser C/E. Reg Russell 3/E, me 4/E.

Steel out to the West Coast and timber back to Cardiff, Antwerp.

Was recently back in Cardiff recently for the first time since. Was out in the clubs till 4 am with the players of Redruth RFC trying to stay young (doesn't work though). For old times sake I asked the cab driver to take me back to the hotel in Cardiff bay, via Devonshire Road (where Smiths offices were). He must have thought I was nuts because I was doing a pretty good job of pretending not to be p****d.

cymruman
7th May 2007, 20:01
Excellent ship the Alberni, did europe-tampa - visak- japan- BC -Europe run on her, best trip i ever did. good crowd with Dave Litson as c/e , Mo Green 2/e , Dougal Quaye 3/e , me 4/e , Round the world with "Bills Boats" all that and wages too.

Janner100
18th May 2007, 21:09
Excellent ship the Alberni, did europe-tampa - visak- japan- BC -Europe run on her, best trip i ever did. good crowd with Dave Litson as c/e , Mo Green 2/e , Dougal Quaye 3/e , me 4/e , Round the world with "Bills Boats" all that and wages too.

I sailed with Dave Litson on the Maria Eliza (x Houston City) and D Quayle on the Tacoma. Both great ships, but then all Smiths ships were good (even the Wesh City and Cornish City had good points).

Peter Eccleson
19th May 2007, 00:34
Everyone I have ever met who sailed with Smiths say they were a good company.... they seemed to be so successful in the 70's. Shame that bad decisions (Celtic Bulk carriers) and poor markets took them out of fleet owenership. The demise of yet another historic British company. I guess thats what Ships Nostalgia is all about!

cymruman
19th May 2007, 08:15
Yes Smiths in the 70,s were an excellent company but I don,t think it was the Celtic BC link that did for them, I seem to remember they went into oil rigs with Ben Line and couldnt find any work for them, probably that and the beginning of the flag it out era, and the government of the day I think started withdrawing subsidies for new builds.
Very sad day when they finally went.

Peter Eccleson
21st May 2007, 17:17
Thanks for that Cymruman. Seemed to recall reading of a court case in the Irish press regarding Irish Shipping who I believe were members of Celtic Bulk Carriers and thought it was the insolvency of that operation which brought both companies down. Could be wrong though and bow to greater knowledge (POP)

cymruman
21st May 2007, 17:31
Yes indeed Irish Shipping were part of Celtic Bulk Carriers, didnt realise about the court case, though it may have happened after I was made redundant in 1980, I am by no means expert in these matters and memory is fading ( too many tinnies). Still Smiths have gone which is a shame but time moves on for us all and at the end of the day ......................................... it gets dark.
I heard rumours that they also started up again as Cardiff Ship Management although I lost touch with my contacts after they folded so I may be wrong on that one. Anyone know any details ?

Janner100
25th May 2007, 08:35
As you know, this association made up of Smiths and the Irish Shipping Company had identical Cardiff class ships. With a few small differences.

When in Canada, Nanaimo I believe the Alberni and an ISC ship (the name escapes me) were tied up on the same wharf. We decided to go over for smoko and look at the ship. One thing led to another and we were knocked off for the day.

Around about 3.30 ish someone said lets look at the engine room. Right ho along the alley way we walked to to top engine room access. Undogged the door and flung it open and stepped inside, steadying myself against the jamb as I did so.

Then I found out a small difference. The Irish ship had the automatic door returns while Smiths thought them uneccesary (I can't believe they made this decision on cost grounds alone).

Anyway back came the door and closed on my thumb at a rate of knots. Didn't hurt at the time but next morning hurt like hell. I immediately thought that I'd get a medical pay off or at worst a Caribbean cruise on the way home but no luck. It was only badly bruised. Oh well!

CAPILANO
28th November 2007, 09:32
The demise of Reardon Smith.
The connection between RSL and Irish Shipping was a lucrative one . The formation of Celtic B.C. (I.S. handling steel products out to the W.Coast U.S.with R.S. handling Forest products back to U.K./Cont.from British Columbia)._ Vessels loaded both ways -who could ask for more?
The following explanaton given to me by a very reliable source is what I understand transpired.
Sometime in the mid 1970s the Irish Government proposed building a coal fired power station on the W.Coast of Ireland. On the strength of this proposal, Celtic B.C. jumped the gun and chartered in considerable tonnage in anticipation of big business transporting coal. However, the outcome was that the Irish Govt. had second thoughts and decided not to proceed with the project. The extra tonnage had been chartered in at a time of falling freight rates and, although the 840s did their best, the situation became untenable and, sadly, the company went into liquidation.
That is as I understand it, but am prepared to stand corrected!!

Peter Eccleson
5th December 2007, 12:49
Just got back to this thread...... interesting factoid Capilano. No doubt had the power station gone ahead then Celtic Bulkers may still be around today....although probably under some other flag!

Janner100
6th December 2007, 18:03
Capilano,

My last trip with Smiths was on the Alberni. The officers were:
Captain Tom Mcnulty
Mate K Fulker
2 Mate Ken Jones
3 Mate AJ Smith
Radio Officer Joe Pagnam
Chief Steward D MacPhail
Chief Engineer Bob Fraser
2 Engineer DP Jones
3 Engineer Reg Russell
4 Engineer Dave Ricketts
J4 Engineer RV Williams
J Engineer Alan McNally
Electrician Phil Edgell
Eng Cadet DA Roberts
Deck Cadet RK Phelps

Interesting story about the demise. I was living in Southampton at the time and did read an article at the time of the demise. The article also said that the ships were being brought back to Cardiff. On the streength of that I drove down to Cardiff in the hope of seeing the fleet but no luck. I went back to Cardiff last April for a Saturday night last April. First time in 21 years. How places change. On leaving a bar at 3.30 am on Sunday morning I asked a taxi driver to take me to Greyfriars Road on the way back to the hotel. Nothing of Devonshire House left that I could see. Mind you to be fair I wasn't seeing too well at that time of the morning.

I have another trip planned for next April, who knows I might just have another taxi ride to Greyfriars Road.

CAPILANO
7th December 2007, 12:17
Delighted to get feedback re RSL. Being a 75 year old "rustbucket" I do recall names you have mentioned. Ken Jones was an App on the Great City with me (I was Mate) Dave Litson, C/E when we handed over Houston to the Mexicans. You must forgive me if my memory fades at times!! My last command was "BIBI" before having to leave on medical grounds. I had the Port Alberni fron Jan76 to July 76

marinero
7th December 2007, 13:57
Anybody on the Alberni City when she was in a Japanese port with the O.B.O. Furness Bridge. We invited the lads over and we had one hell of a party. I think it might have been 74/75 and I can't even remember the port, it must have been something I drank.
Regards
Marinero(Thumb)

Janner100
7th December 2007, 18:40
I was on the Alberni in 1974 (first half of the year) so your party must have been after that. The one party I remember was the one described earlier.

manolito_1
17th December 2007, 11:27
I was on the Port Alberni as 'leccy' in 1978' Have sailed with Capt Mcnulty.Ken Jones (he liked to gamble as he had to give up drinking) A.J.Smith (I think he married an american lass?) and also Reg 'Tex'? Russell on my last trip with Smiths 1988 on the Sonia M
regards Malcolm Bennington

Janner100
18th December 2007, 06:14
Reg Russell must have been very close to retirement in 88. He was of advanced years in 74 when I sailed with him.

CAPILANO
18th December 2007, 09:08
Tex Graham Russel was with me on a couple of ships as 2nd Engineer. I met him at the last reunion- we have a common interest as he is (or was) a Justice of the Peace up there in Newcastle. Strange that we both hung up our chipping hammers for a gavel!! Anyway, nice to see there is still some interest in the Company. I think "Large enough to matter, small enough to care" really summed it up.
Regards to all
"J.C."

Fairfield
18th December 2007, 14:11
Remember when IRISH SPRUCE arrived in Glasgow in 1984 for repair and suddenly went into layup. That must have been around the time of Irish Shipping's demise perhaps.

Janner100
18th December 2007, 22:18
I sailed on 3 ships of the Cardiff Class. The Tacoma, Victoria and Alberni. The Victoria was, I believe, imperial size and the other two metric. That was the only difference as far as I remember. They were easy to bunker and reliable. A B & W 6 cylinder main propulsion unit that was a dream as far as maintenance was concerned. I forget the make of generator. The usual peripheral machinery such as Alpha Laval purifiers.

I don't know why but the Tacoma was my favourite.

I was also meant to sail on the Vancouver but was taken off after 10 days in Amsterdam in drydock and promoted to the Victoria. An old school friend, Phil Julian had joined and if I had stayed I'm sure it would have been an interesting trip.

Researching the Internet it was a sad moment to realise that ships on which I had spent so many happy times had all been scrapped. It is puzzling that some were scrapped after 20 years and some after 25 years (in some cases the newer vessels were scrapped first). I had often wondered why. I suppose though in the end it was purely an economic decision that decide the time.

Sad though I am I think it was on learning the fate of those ships that made me realise how fast time flies and mortality catches up with everything in the end.

cymruman
19th December 2007, 07:17
Hi Janner, If memory serves me correctly Gennys on the Cardiff bulkers were Ruston APTs. Very rarely gave any trouble and were easy enough to work on. I sailed on the Wessy, Fresno, Alberni x2, and Rupert x2, and had a good time on them all with the exception of a few miserable nights as duty engineer in BC in the bleak midwinter trying to keep the Hagglunds going when the stevedors were doing there best to wreck them so they could go home. One even went so far as smashing the cab window one snowy and cold night, wouldn't work the crane till it was fixed. Everyone else up the road so down to me to chop up a perspex sheet and make a new one and fit it. Nearly froze my particles off. Good days though

Merry Xmas and Happy New Year

Janner100
19th December 2007, 18:47
Did you have a particular favourite?

cymruman
20th December 2007, 18:11
Had to be the Alberni, 2 excellent trips on her. 8/75-1/76 which was the Rotterdam,Antwerp, Tampa, Visak, Japan, BC, Antwerp run beloved to us all, and then again 5/77-11/77 Singapore, Kelang, Tilbury, Antwerp, Gdynia, Gijon,Rio de Janerio, Sao Francisco Do Sul, Somewhere in Finland and pay off in Basrah, a different run for Smiths but an excellent run all the same. I think we were in Gijon for 3 weeks loading railway lines and had about a week in every port we went, a bit of a change from the Visak run, I think Larry Staines was Capt on that one with Joe Fitzsimmons as Chief, Derek Jones 2/E, yours truly 3/e, and Mike Evans 4/e, Pete Stoker Electrician , and to my shame I cant remember who the mates were, I think the C/Stew was Billy Burt. Altogether a fine bunch of scoundrels.
Anyway I would like to wish all your readers a merry xmas and happy new year

Willie Davies
22nd December 2007, 22:33
Delighted to get feedback re RSL. Being a 75 year old "rustbucket" I do recall names you have mentioned. Ken Jones was an App on the Great City with me (I was Mate) Dave Litson, C/E when we handed over Houston to the Mexicans. You must forgive me if my memory fades at times!! My last command was "BIBI" before having to leave on medical grounds. I had the Port Alberni fron Jan76 to July 76

Capilano - I was a junior engineer with you when the change over happened in Kobe, we had a brilliant trip back and forward to Mexico.
You took us up to Stockton and the levy broke, I think that caused you a few problems.
some names from that trip
Evan Warmsley-mate
Julian York 2nd mate
Phil Matthews cadet
Dave Litson chief
Charlie Primrose 2nd
Pete Magorigan 3rd
Frank Robertson? 4th eng
John Gardiner-leckie
Evan Sefton cheif steward
John Carredine -sparks
Stuart Miller junior
Nori Caroll - junior
Dave Rickets - 5th eng
Plus a few cadets & a 3rd mate I have forgot.
Anyway thanks for a great 1st trip for me, it took another 11 years before I did not go back

I have also walk over your rope bridge many times.

regards & merry xmas
willie davies

Janner100
23rd December 2007, 22:47
Hello Will

It's good to hear from you.

I replaced Nori who had to fly home at short notice and I came down from the Tacoma, which I left in Vancouver. I joined in San Pedro where I had a four day wait in a motel because the Maria was late. It was ironic that when we paid off in San Diego Nori was in the relieving crew.

We flew home from LA international where I think you, Charlie and I were having a beer overlooking one of the plane stands where a plane was being worked on. The engineers had trouble putting the cowling back on. Charlie wondered aloud if that was our plane - guess what......

Anyway we had a safe journey back, albeit a long one with plane changes and the final leg was an Air India jumbo. The in-flight movie was Cabaret as I remember. That memory was jogged last Friday afternoon when it was shown on Sky. I started one of my old sea dog stories but 'er indoors cut it short to remind me I had to be somewhere to join the rugby team on a trip.

The 4th Engineer was Frank Robinson from Bournemouth (ex RAF). The radio Officer was John Cowardine from Bristol.

Charlie Primrose was one of those rare sorts, someone who did not like Smiths. That was his only trip. I met him up in Glasgow a few months later where I was on study leave. We met up a few times and had a few beers and talked over the trip.

You and I met up in 2004 at the reunion in Derby. unfortunately that was the only one I have been able to attend. John Cann was there also.

I will be in Cardiff in April if you still live in Wales and would like to meet up for a drink or two.

A merry Christmas to all my seagoing colleagues (indeed to seafarers everywhere).

Regards

Dave Ricketts

manolito_1
10th January 2008, 11:36
Yes I was with 'Smiths' 1974-1988,good times.after liquidation they became Cardiff Ship Mng.supplying officers for TMM.I think alot of the trouble was they went into oil rigs,one that was built in Denmark cost 10m (if my memory is not too rusty. to Kroner exchange rate trouble at the time.
regards Malcolm

adrian.d
11th January 2008, 00:10
I remember the party. I was 5/e on the Furness Bridge and the the port was Wakayama. Wonder if you remember me?

Adrian

Willie Davies
11th January 2008, 22:02
Dave, I would be glad to have drink with you in April I only live about 15 miles from Cardiff & if I can track down Clive Greenwood I will drag him along, but I will not be play rugby for any veterans games you may be involve in.

Janner100
11th January 2008, 23:13
It's Ok Willey no game required. Redruth RFC are playing at Henley and we will be stopping on the Saturday night in Cardiff. I know it's a long way round but we had a night there last season when Mike Hook played for Redruth. Mike is James Hook's older brother.

At 4 am I asked a taxi driver to take me back to the Holiday Inn Xpress in the Bay from St mary's Street via Greyfriars Road.

Rugby trips are the closest thing I can get to recreating those trips ashore in Japan or the West Coast of the States. All good stuff but I feel a tad tired in the morning. After all I'm no longer 23.

manolito_1
12th January 2008, 10:53
Did not Dave Litson become Superintendant engineer with Reardon Smiths?
Any idear where I can get photos of Maria Elisa & Sara Lupe both I hve sailed on.
regards Malcolm

adrian.d
10th September 2011, 16:52
Anybody on the Alberni City when she was in a Japanese port with the O.B.O. Furness Bridge. We invited the lads over and we had one hell of a party. I think it might have been 74/75 and I can't even remember the port, it must have been something I drank.
Regards
Marinero(Thumb)

The port was Wakayama Leo. I was on the FB not the PAC as you will know.

adrian.d
10th September 2011, 16:54
The port was Wakayama Leo. I was on the FB not the PAC as you will know.

Sorry just spotted i'd replied earlier to this. Apologies.

Adrian.d

Chris Kisch
27th October 2011, 22:29
Was the OM Brian Boyer? 'cos if it was I was on the run that Bob Fraser had a fracas with a bottle of Whisky or two shared with the Lloyds surveyor (Scots) who came up from Vancouver to inspect the prop which was damaged at 0200 by a log. I was on the bridge at the time. The two of them went shoreside and Chiefy came back @ midnight driving the surveyors car and parked it in the water! Broke his leg and had to be flown home......


My last trip with Smiths was on the Alberni in 1974. Bob Fraser C/E. Reg Russell 3/E, me 4/E.

Steel out to the West Coast and timber back to Cardiff, Antwerp.

Was recently back in Cardiff recently for the first time since. Was out in the clubs till 4 am with the players of Redruth RFC trying to stay young (doesn't work though). For old times sake I asked the cab driver to take me back to the hotel in Cardiff bay, via Devonshire Road (where Smiths offices were). He must have thought I was nuts because I was doing a pretty good job of pretending not to be p****d.

Chris Kisch
27th October 2011, 22:34
Don't forget that contract to supply oil at $40 per barrel for 10 years when the price collapsed to $10. Also in that same vein they bought a self propelled oil rig which noone wanted to use (oil price collapse). Thats how you reduce a 653 million with 23 ships (all paid up and Lloyds A1) to rubble.


Everyone I have ever met who sailed with Smiths say they were a good company.... they seemed to be so successful in the 70's. Shame that bad decisions (Celtic Bulk carriers) and poor markets took them out of fleet owenership. The demise of yet another historic British company. I guess thats what Ships Nostalgia is all about!

Chris Kisch
27th October 2011, 22:35
Yup- Reardon Smith Ships web site.


Did not Dave Litson become Superintendant engineer with Reardon Smiths?
Any idear where I can get photos of Maria Elisa & Sara Lupe both I hve sailed on.
regards Malcolm