British Guardsman

3rd January 2007, 15:05
Here seen the British Guardsman,a BTC card.Any details most welcome.

3rd January 2007, 16:57
She was launched on December 12th 1962 & completed in June 1963 by Fairfield Shipbuilding & Engineering Co. Ltd., 54,611 dwt & steam turbine driven. She spent her whole life with BP before going for scrap at Kaohsiung on 8th January 1976. I think she was only the 2nd of BP's vessels to go "All aft." I have an idea that she was one of Alastair's old ships so he may be able to tell us more.
Kind regards,

3rd January 2007, 18:49
My goodness Ruud you're pulling my old ships out of the hat today!

I joined Guardsman as Cadet in 1973 (Porto Maghera - Venice, I think). technical detail eludes me, lost I suspect in a Tennant's haze! GeorgeM13 who posts on here was 3/0 for part of the trip so perhaps he can chip in with more erudition.

BP's 50,000 ton vessels, both 'midships and all-aft accommodation variants, spent a long period from the late 60's onwards trading in the Mediterranean, loading at ports such as Tripoli, Banias, Sidon etc. for discharge in Italy or southern French ports. That era was just coming to an end and I seem to recall that we went down to Forcados among other places.

The other 3/0 that trip was Jerry Waller, whose father Peter was Master in BP. Long time permanent on the British Merlin; in fact I think he may have died aboard her. That would have been 1977.

4th January 2007, 18:05
Well remembered John, The Guardsman was my third ship as an apprentice. I joined her in the spring of 1964 when she was still very shiny with acres of grey paint covering everything but her superstructure. She was built by Fairfield Shipbuilding & Engineering, Govan; Yard No. 796. 54,611 DWT, LOA 760’ 0”, Breadth 97’ 4”, Summer Draught 42’ 8”. Powered by 2 Steam turbines direct geared to a single shaft 16,000 shp @ 107 rpm giving a service speed of 15½ knots. Engines built by Fairfield, Rowan, Glasgow. Launched 12.12.1962 she was completed on 14.06.1963 which made her the BP Tanker Co.’s second “all aft” vessel to be delivered, if only by a short head. Harland & Wolff completed the British Lancer on the 28th of June that year making her number 3 and the first was the British Grenadier delivered by Vickers Armstrong in January 1963.
The Guardsman was the first ship I sailed on with an inert gas system, dedicated ballast tanks and Whessoe tank gauges, although they had a nasty habit of sticking and so were not wholly trusted! She had hydraulic deck cranes instead of derricks and a lift! She also had a massive Raytheon "true motion radar" complete with a reflection plotter on which you could draw plots with a chinagraph pencil. I remember though that when used in "true motion" mode the sweep centre moved across the screen and the distance you could see ahead decreased accordingly, a slight snag! She had 3 turbine centrifugal main cargo pumps with a max. discharge rate of 5,250 t.w./hr. and a separate stripping system. Her fast discharge rate meant we weren't in port too long but, given the ports, this was not a great sacrifice.
One of my abiding memories of the Guardsman was that lift from the control level of the engine room to bridge level, an interesting ride when in any kind of seaway! She also had large boards on each side at the break of the forecastle painted with a hound’s-tooth pattern in alternate black & white. There was a sighting device on the bridge wings so you could gauge the movement of the bows in relation to the stern by watching the hounds teeth move against a fixed scale. If it got beyond a certain point the Old Man had to be called and the ship slowed so she didn't break her back. I stayed on her until she went to guarantee dry dock in late October and we inaugurated the brand new tank cleaning berth at Greenock with much ceremony and the press in attendance. Unfortunately we broke it by pumping our dirty ballast ashore using one of the main cargo pumps at full chat due to a misunderstanding with the berth’s manager. Ooops, red faces all round and a Marine Super fit to be tied. It seemed like the right time to exit stage left for a spot of leave!
The Guardsman only remained in service until 13.11.1975 when she arrived at Kaohsiung to de-store, pending sale for scrapping. She was sold locally on 24.11.1975 and demolition began in December. She was a nice ship but a bit regimental in feel, senior master, two C/Os etc and everyone on a learning curve with the new toys and the all aft layout.

4th January 2007, 18:17
John, you were right, he[Alistair]has his story.
Geoff, any others wanted?The hat is still full of those, plenty to go!.
Alastair a nice story of this beauty, hope you will continue to post those very lovely stories, must have been an enjoyable period, as was mine on tankers.

Don Lorimer
7th January 2007, 07:35
The photo you have is of her on her trials in the Firth of Clyde. I have a copy of the original photo I got from the company. She was my last trip as a cadet before becomming 3rd mate.

7th January 2007, 09:29
Ahoy Don,
As I described that piccie, 'a BTC card', I suggest it was a company card, thanks for letting us know, she was on her trials.(Thumb)
Here another view of her:

Graham Wallace
26th January 2007, 05:01
Alistair do you remember any of the Engineers on her in 1964? Syd Freeman 3/E?, John Parry, Roy (Joe ) Pyne 4/E?

Graham W