Freelance R/Os

Degema
18th January 2007, 10:13
Joined Marconi in 1960 after obtaining a first class PMG at the then Newport and Monmouthshire College of Technology. First ship was a Shell Tanker Vibex which I joined in May 1960 at Birkenhead. Did a nine month trip, had four weeks leave, then joined Ellerman Wilson small passenger/cargo ship Malmo at Hull for a seven week voyage around the Med. After that I left Marconi and went freelance with a Greek shipping company. Ship was the Anthony which I joined in Rotterdam. She was an old Canadian Liberty ship. The radio equipment was Mackay which Noah used on the Ark. It was a voyage from hell which had one redeeming factor the crew. They were a great bunch who really knew how to enjoy themselves. Had many great runs ashore..
Any other freelancers out there who went chasing the 'big money'?

K urgess
18th January 2007, 23:16
There don't seem to be many of them about do there, Degema?

I'm just Kentucky Fried 'cos I liked the comfort of Marconi. (EEK) I didn't even go direct employed like a lot of the sparkies on here.

How did it work? Where you on the pool or did you apply for jobs in the trade papers?

I met a few blokes who'd gone freelance when I was shore side teching in Hull but conversation never got round to "how did you find your job?".

Cheers
Kris

R651400
19th January 2007, 07:30
Ex Niarchos and Marchessini good money, lousy grub and great crews.
Big change from direct employ with Blue Funnel!!.
Had the chance to join Caspiana/ELCA in Hamburg when only a few months with Blue Flue and regret I didn't go then.

GTZM-S......This will give you some idea how hard it was when I first went f/l. Pockets full of old pennies on the phone!

http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/showthread.php?t=5476&highlight=Michas

K urgess
19th January 2007, 10:51
Thanks for that R651400.

That's probably the reason I didn't go freelance then. Too much effort. Having been on board a few Greek ships when doing radio surveys/repairs, etc., I can imagine that it could be fun.

One Greek Captain gave us a very smelly large fish in appreciation of our success in fixing his radar. My boss took it with glee having tasted it before. I can't remember exactly what it was except delicious. I did make him carry it home in his car though.[=P]

mikeg
19th January 2007, 13:59
Thanks for that R651400.

That's probably the reason I didn't go freelance then. Too much effort. Having been on board a few Greek ships when doing radio surveys/repairs, etc., I can imagine that it could be fun.

One Greek Captain gave us a very smelly large fish in appreciation of our success in fixing his radar. My boss took it with glee having tasted it before. I can't remember exactly what it was except delicious. I did make him carry it home in his car though.[=P]

Didn't know you did radio surveys..Respect (Thumb)
Did you carry your own frequency counter in the early days?

Mike

Degema
19th January 2007, 14:16
Got most of the information talking on the key to other R/Os Kris. When I arrived home from the Malmo I rang one of the Companies and was then inundated with telegrams (no phone at home those days) from other companies offering me a job. I picked the highest payer (was on £34 a month with Marconi and the Greeks offered me £75) which on reflection was a mistake. The condition of the ship and the food was terrible. The radio equipment kept breaking down and didn't have any spares worth talking about. I did just the one trip as freelance then settled down to life in the RFA for a couple of years before coming ashore. Went back in 74 though with Ocean Fleets for another five years before swallowing the hook for good.

hawkey01
19th January 2007, 14:26
Degema,

I did a spot of freelance. At the time I was in Dip wirless and one of my colleagues wives was Greek and had connections with NJ Goulandris. As I was young and impetuous I resigned and went back to sea with said company. Had an interview in London and was given the Argolis/6ZDC. An almost brand new 52,000 tonner, Japananese built. Excellent SAIT radio room with a transmitter which actually had some power and push button receiver with all kinds of gizmos. An excellent set up. My cabin and radioroom were like a small suite and on the same deck as the Captain. The pay was very good for the era and I even had a Jersey Bank account. I set off with good intentions of staying out for some considerable time and reaping the benefits of the big bucks. What I had not realised was the drudgery of Europe to the Gulf run via the Cape, as this was just after the 1967 war in the Mid east. After some 4 months I was a little stir crazy to say the least. Did not step a foot ashore in the whole time. My only excursion was to visit the Capt/Chief Eng on one of the tugs in Das Island to get some new books and papers. The crew on board were excellent as was the ship. The Capt who's name escapes me now was A1 and with regard to the food told me to just ask the Cook to prepare some eggs etc if I did not like what was on the menu. I soon took to most of the food with the exception of fish soup for breakfast!!. One other great thing was you were a senior officer aboard their ships and ranked with Chief Eng etc. What a pleasant change!. Left the ship in the Isle of Grain. Like everything I wish I had stayed longer and moved onto one of the cargo vessels as they offered me loads of dosh to reconsider my resignation. Impetuos youth!!
Regards
Hawkey01

K urgess
19th January 2007, 15:23
Didn't know you did radio surveys..Respect (Thumb)
Did you carry your own frequency counter in the early days?

Mike

Thankyou, Mike. On yer knees peasant.[=P]

Didn't mean a lot. Was mostly for Lloyds & RAMAC while I worked for SAIT. It was the gods from the Post Office that did the licensing and frequency checks. We mostly just checked that the equipment was working (usually only just) and that the RO had a reasonably good idea of what he was supposed to be doing. Usually ended up just doing all the jobs we hated at sea like aerials, batteries, etc. I must dig out my old ship reports and see which ships and how many surveys.

Yes, Benjidog, I DO still have them along with everything else!(Thumb)

Hawkey01
The attached equipment sheets were probably after your time. I found SAIT gear to be a lot better than the Marconi crap that I was used to. I only ever saw it on one ship though. Usually the RAMAC ships had the same ol', same ol' Marconi crap.
Yes that does say 2500 for a receiver which in 1977 was almost the average shoreside wage. I was only getting 500 quid more a year then ashore. So that would be about eighteen grand now!(EEK)

hawkey01
19th January 2007, 18:23
M/Sahib,
yes long after my time but amazing how it still has a certain look to it. Seem to remember that my main TX was 600w which in 67 was pretty humungus. When I think on my last Bluey I had 80w on a good day from some very ancient RCA/Redifon kit. Never had problems QSO-ing with anyone with the SAIT gear. Even managed to get SVA to answer me!!. Have attached photo of the Radioroom on the Sarpedon/Denbighshire. Unfortunately cannot remember where I got the photo from.
Hawkey01(==D)

Ron Stringer
19th January 2007, 20:01
Sorry to dampen your parade but the equipment shown in Kris's photos was not made by SAIT - it was rebadged Scandinavian kit. Very good but not Belgian.

K urgess
19th January 2007, 22:22
You may be right, Ron.

I only saw that kit being built in the factory in Brussels once in 1979 while doing a Tracor SatNav course at the Chaussee de Ruisbroek. It was the first time I'd seen ceramic output valves and we were given a half day introduction course.

We also used to flog Robertson kit and Japanese radars along with Danish Sailor kit in that lovely green colour.

By Marconi crap I was meaning Mercury and Electra combinations with Oceanspans or Globespans that the foreign flag vessels I surveyed seemed incapable of upgrading from. The last ship I sailed on had an R408 main receiver and the previous ship was Kelvin Hughes, ITT Mackay and Raytheon. I never experienced any of the later synthesised/digital Marconi kit.
A bit strange for a Marconi REO.(Cloud)

Cheers
Kris

James_C
19th January 2007, 22:26
In my humble opinion as a Deckie and part time GMDSS operator (I say part time because I still don't fully understand it!), I tend to think Sailor gear is the best around.
Straightforward with nice big buttons for us simple seamen.
Have to lament the passing of R/Os though. I mean, just who else was there to go on the 'screaming' with in the bar at 0400!

R651400
22nd January 2007, 18:46
Sorry to dampen your parade but the equipment shown in Kris's photos was not made by SAIT - it was rebadged Scandinavian kit. Very good but not Belgian.

Correct, SAIT gear I had on Eurylochus/SWBF was a mixture of Scandinavian transmitters, German Siemens receiver with some UK Redifon ancillaries all in one SAIT console.

harryredvers
14th February 2012, 15:42
I enrolled in this when I left Cunard R&ES in 1979. I think it was established during the 1960s by Reg White, the ROU Rep in Hull and he ran it from offices at the end of Whitefriargate, and the bar of the MN Hotel in Anlaby Road. From November 1979 to June 1980 I was a licensed house manager for Tetleys and one day, during a really rough passage with them I rang Reg to see if he had any ships going. I don't think he did at time, Winter 1980. Later that year, in June, things came to a head with Tetleys so I rang Reg again and this time he had a bulker needing a sparks. Fratelli d'Amico di Roma, Captain Blackburn rang me to see if I could get to Heathrow and fly out to Genoa. I said I could (and I did). Then I rang Tetleys, who had told me they wanted to see me about my expenses. I couldn't get hold of the Administrator nor my Area Manager, it seemed they were both out to lunch. The receptionist asked if I could leave a message for them. "Tell them I'm going to Mexico to join a ship" I replied. "Ooh, that sounds nice" she said. It must have been a quick lunch because about 3 minutes later the Administrator called me, he seemed put out, well his rosters had well and truly been now. As I said I got to Heathrow and found the tickets waiting for me. I flew to Genoa then they flew me down to Rome. The following day I was processed and inducted into the Italian Merchant Navy and flew to Mazatlan and joined the ship. I was on about the same money as with Cunard c.11,000 pa and with a very serious company. I sailed on two of their ships with REOU contracts and afterwards on a 'mixed operator' bulker for a 'company' called MEC Marine, when the REOU contract proved to be essential. The safeguards had been built over the years by Reg. He was really a character and a gentleman. The Italians I liked and admired, the 'Greeks' - overall they were superb but, sad to say, at the time I despised them - not the sailors, but the 'owners'.
That's the bare-bones of it. Going free-lance took decision. Not for everyone. Some went straight after qualifying, lured always by the money. Some went later, usually chasing the money I'd say. In my case I had wanted to go many times while working in R&ES but eventually it was to escape a very bad financial situation ashore. What a bolt-hole the Register provided me.
There's lots of stories in there.
Harryredvers.

Baulkham Hills
15th February 2012, 13:21
I got a few jobs from the REOU in Hull in the seventies. I remember phoning Reg and he told me at that time the only thing keeping freelancing going were the cement ships at Lagos with the greeks buying old ships for scrap loading them with cement for Lagos and leaving a skeleton crew onboard and going back for another ship to do the same thing again. But most times I spoke to a lady who fixed me with up with the ships. Hull was a hard place to phone from abroad because it had it's own phone company and the call had to be booked.
I was sorry to see the REOU disappear though it was bound to happen.

R651400
16th February 2012, 05:55
Free lancing late fifties was mainly luck and how much info you could acquire in the way of addresses from other free-lancers. Italian flag free-lance is a first for me. The ROU occasionally shouted and there was an obscure company in Liverpool. I went to London and phoned every London Greek on my list missing out by one day with Rethymnis & Kulukundis. As Niarchos was the biggest employer I visited their office and was shown a pile of applications by a Mr Davies. Because I had appeared on their doorstep I was offered two ships. Lucky me!

CrazySparks
16th February 2012, 08:34
I did a large part of my career freelancing. My route to this was via a gent named David Dean who worked for a London based radio outfit (can't remember who). He sent me to the Italian tanker Prima Rosa in about 1981. After this David set up by himself and I went to the Italian OBO Almare Prima. After that I went to Salen Ship management on a couple of great trips on the reefer Snow Hill - HK flag if I recall. I finished up on a bulk carrier Nandu Arrow (Bermuda?). This was all great for me, as before the Nandu Arrow I did 2 years studying for a degree and then slotted in a trip for my 'sandwich' year at sea. Loads of lovely tax free lolly and a great time at varsity/Poly. All great stuff. The tax free benefit was HUGE and legal - at least the way I did it! Also got paid in $US which was really good back then.
I forgot 1 - a fantastic trip on a Dutch freighter called the Alhena/PCLJ. That was to Argentina - during the Falklands war! This was also courtesy of David Dean who I still consider a good friend. HAs anyone at all heard of him these past 20 years?

Gulpers
16th February 2012, 09:45
I did a large part of my career freelancing. My route to this was via a gent named David Dean who worked for a London based radio outfit (can't remember who). He sent me to the Italian tanker Prima Rosa in about 1981. After this David set up by himself and I went to the Italian OBO Almare Prima. After that I went to Salen Ship management on a couple of great trips on the reefer Snow Hill - HK flag if I recall. I finished up on a bulk carrier Nandu Arrow (Bermuda?). This was all great for me, as before the Nandu Arrow I did 2 years studying for a degree and then slotted in a trip for my 'sandwich' year at sea. Loads of lovely tax free lolly and a great time at varsity/Poly. All great stuff. The tax free benefit was HUGE and legal - at least the way I did it! Also got paid in $US which was really good back then.
I forgot 1 - a fantastic trip on a Dutch freighter called the Alhena/PCLJ. That was to Argentina - during the Falklands war! This was also courtesy of David Dean who I still consider a good friend. HAs anyone at all heard of him these past 20 years?

CrazySparks,

Was your David Dean Irish? If so, I am sorry to say that David passed away about 10 years ago after a short battle against cancer.
I met him when he enroled as an Auxiliary Coastguard in MRCC Holyhead. He had semi-retired on Anglesey and was running a business providing personnel for Fred Olsen.
He was survived by his wife and a couple of daughters, if I remember correctly.
One of life's gentlemen and never short of a yarn to pass the time. (==D)

sparks69
16th February 2012, 17:58
When I said I was going to leave BP and go freelance. My late father sat me down and he analysed the pros and cons.
After an hour of looking at pay, conditions, leave, pensions et al. I gave up the idea.
As I sit here, retired, with a BP pension for the past 15 or so years, I guess father was right .............. or maybe not............ who knows ?

Naytikos
16th February 2012, 18:50
Posted by R651400:


As Niarchos was the biggest employer I visited their office and was shown a pile of applications by a Mr Davies. Because I had appeared on their doorstep I was offered two ships. Lucky me!

Mr Davies, known to all as 'I.D.' retired in 1974. The R/Os organised a farewell gift by all sending an allotment to Chris Lambrou who took over the job. He bought a massive cutlery set from Harrods, who delivered it by hand-cart as Ian lived right around the corner.

The question may be asked: how did a Niarchos radio superintendant afford to live in Knightsbridge/Kensington?

That's what freelancing was all about!

CrazySparks
17th February 2012, 05:21
CrazySparks,

Was your David Dean Irish? If so, I am sorry to say that David passed away about 10 years ago after a short battle against cancer.
I met him when he enroled as an Auxiliary Coastguard in MRCC Holyhead. He had semi-retired on Anglesey and was running a business providing personnel for Fred Olsen.
He was survived by his wife and a couple of daughters, if I remember correctly.
One of life's gentlemen and never short of a yarn to pass the time. (==D)

Hi Ray,
David Dean was indeed an Irishman. I am deeply saddened by news of his passing. He was indeed a gentleman in every way. I last met him for dinner in Anglesey when he was still running Ocean Marine Services. Thanks so much for this news. I tried to find him sporadically over the years as I passed through the UK on various business, to no avail. I will raise a glass to David tonight - belated but heartfelt.

Keith/Crazysparks

R651400
17th February 2012, 09:32
The question may be asked: how did a Niarchos radio superintendant afford to live in Knightsbridge/Kensington? That's what freelancing was all about!

The concept of Greek shipping has always been feast or famine.
Davies was from memory responsible for radio personnel and from radar scanner to depth sounder transducer.
Niarchos rewarded accordingly.

Gulpers
17th February 2012, 13:32
Hi Ray,
David Dean was indeed an Irishman. I am deeply saddened by news of his passing. He was indeed a gentleman in every way. I last met him for dinner in Anglesey when he was still running Ocean Marine Services. Thanks so much for this news. I tried to find him sporadically over the years as I passed through the UK on various business, to no avail. I will raise a glass to David tonight - belated but heartfelt.

Keith/Crazysparks

Keith,

Sorry to be the bearer of such bad news.
I hope you did raise a glass to David, he'd appreciate that - and knowing him, he probably joined you! (Thumb)

stenbeck
22nd February 2012, 03:58
Note for Degema,
You must have joined the Vibex on 31st may 1960, I paid off the Vibex on 30th May 1960! at Birkenhead, hows that? Was 2nd R/O my first trip. Joined the Sandsend at Birkenhead on 1st June 1960, first trip as R/O.
Also went freelance in 1962 and joined a liberty ship SS Gull out of Hull, small world isnt it!

Manchester
28th February 2012, 14:18
My first trip to sea was freelance. Left Brooks Bar, (College of International Marine Radiocommunications - longest name I've heard for a College!) with a PMG 2nd Class cert., and immediately into a slump. Nobody was employing JRO's in the UK in 1964. Wrote 53 letters (number still stook in my brain) still nothing available. Decided to visit some of these companies in person starting in Liverpool and if unsuccessful London.

Still had same reaction, nobody taking on JRO's. Eventually, knocking off from my search, decided it was time for a pie and pint for lunch. On nipping down a back lane (can't remember the name of the road) came across the Norwegian Shipping Office. Climbed up numerous wooden rickety stairs to reach the office where a large sign on the counter announced "NO VACANCIES".

Having climbed all this way and after so many rejections I thought in for a penny etc.

Certainly we have a job for a wireless operator! When can you join?
Almost fellover with surprise! Got my passport on the Friday and was in Le Havre on the following Monday to join "Para"/JXHF for a trip to New York. Never happen on a UK ship as you had to do 6 months as a JRO before allowed on your own.

Six months later made the mistake of joining Marconi - wages went from 65 per month tax free to 39.10.00 taxable.

R651400
28th February 2012, 16:50
Great story Manchester. But why move from the sublime to the ridiculous??

Manchester
28th February 2012, 17:00
Great story Manchester. But why move from the sublime to the ridiculous??

Still trying to understand that question. Something about parents thinking I would be better off and safer on a British flag ship. Still regret it, but went freelance again through the REOU which finally forced Marconi to end their partial monopoly of supplying R/O's to British flag ships. Then joined Shell as direct employ. What a difference Hilton hotels in the Caribbean as compared to Marconi's B&B. They must have made a fortune out of us.

5TT
28th February 2012, 18:43
Crikey Manchester, I'm sure I would have been all ends up had I done my first trip without guidance, there's just so much to get used to all at once.

Brave man !!

= Adrian +

Manchester
28th February 2012, 19:59
Crikey Manchester, I'm sure I would have been all ends up had I done my first trip without guidance, there's just so much to get used to all at once.

Brave man !!

= Adrian +

I think at 18 years old it was bravado, and desperate to get a job for what I had been trained for! Would I do it now - depends on how much you want a job you love. The sea and electronics a beautiful combination - still is!!

The biggest problem was doing all the paper work which went with the job. Unknown to me at the time I was also the Captains writer which entailed doing all the crew lists for the next port, wages + overtime, for the crew and anything else the Captain could think, of all of which were in Norwegian.

Luckily the Mate took pity on me and translated most of the forms into English.

The big downside was boiled fish for most meals.

Interestingly as we carried 6 passengers (6,000 ton cargoship) we were allowed to berth in Le Havre and New York on the passenger terminals. Hence joining in Le Havre we were berthed between the "France" and the "United States", could hardly see us!!

harryredvers
10th March 2012, 21:54
w.r.t R651400 nr.16:Italian flag free-lance is a first for me.
When I contacted Reg White to see if had anything in the summer of 1980 I expected if he had it would be 'Greek', instead I fetched up with Fratelli d'Amico di Roma and sailed twice with them: a bulker in 1980 and a reefer in 1981. Both times I travelled to Italy and was processed by the Italian equivalent of the Board of Trade, the first time in Rome and the second time in Naples, before being allowed to proceed. They were as efficient as anything I experienced in the British merchant marine and, in some ways, more stringent. The company was 'molto serioso' I was assured by the 2nd mate on my first ship, to allay misgivings he thought he detected I had concerning my remittences home. So it turned out. After 5/6 months we were passing through the Great Lakes to load at Duluth and I had an accident doing a favour for the captain and got hurt passing through the locks at Sault-Ste-Marie. I went ashore for X-rays in Duluth and was found to have fractured my heel. It was decided I'd go back to Montreal with the ship and have a cast put on my foot. At Montreal they decided it would be better to repatriate me and I could have the medical attention sorted in Blighty. This duly came about. In fact I never had a cast put on, the hospital in UK gave me compression bandages and a couple of crutches. It took 4 months for the heel to mend and Fratelli d'Amico paid me all the time I was at home. I then joined their reefer in Naples. If it hadn't been for a monumental misunderstanding 7 months later I would probably have continued in their employ longer. While working for them I accrued NIPS, the Italian National Insurance - I think the company paid it (as he had said, 'molto serioso', and I probably have a bit of Italian pension entitlement as a result. But I won't be chasing it.

Steven Lamb
12th March 2012, 10:23
Left Marconi and onto Sanko Line via a 1 year freelancing tour with an Arab outfit who paid "megabucks $".
Sanko paid you "gold dust" $ wages and wished I could of stayed there forever as they were a great company to work for ! Sadly all good things come to an end.
"Happy days"
Rgds
Lamby

trotterdotpom
12th March 2012, 11:46
Sanko certainly came to an end - almost overnight as I recall. What happened to their hundreds of ships?

John T

Steven Lamb
12th March 2012, 20:06
Sanko certainly came to an end - almost overnight as I recall. What happened to their hundreds of ships?

John T

John
They still traded on in a very much "watered-down" fashion.
They still trade today believe it or not. I've seen one on the Birkenhead-side of the Mersey a year or two ago. No mistaking the green hull and Sanko bullseye down the side of the hull !
What happened to most of their ships .... well I believe they sold-off a vast majority of the newly built medium-sized bulk carriers that during the 80's they thought they'd monopolize the market with.
I remember being in their Rotterdam office and a Japanese Super said that they hoped to capitalize on shifting coal out of Norfolk USA with the new bulkers.
In later years you couldn't miss the profile of their new build bulkers under new owners. As mentioned.... a great company to work for while it lasted.(Thumb)

Best Rgds
Lamby

gordon bryson
17th May 2012, 12:20
Left Marconi and onto Sanko Line via a 1 year freelancing tour with an Arab outfit who paid "megabucks $".
Sanko paid you "gold dust" $ wages and wished I could of stayed there forever as they were a great company to work for ! Sadly all good things come to an end.
"Happy days"
Rgds
Lamby
Hi Steve,
I've just found this old message of yours. I was in Sanko for a couple of years, 1978-80. I did 5 months on an OBO, 'Eternal Light' carried iron ore mostly from Narvik to German ports. The 2nd was an oil tanker 'Hellespont Pride' (9 months) probably the best ship I ever worked on if you don't include the P & O passenger ships, we spent a lot of time sitting off the Cayman Islands lightering oil off ULCC's into our minnow of a ship (87,000 tons) then taking the oil up the mississippi - we were always in port. Finally another oil tanker 'Manhatten Prince' about 4 months, not such a good ship, I kept falling out with the old man and so decided to resign. But they paid well especially if you stay beyond the 5 months they expected you to do.
Regards,
Gordon

Steven Lamb
25th May 2012, 05:25
Hi Steve,
I've just found this old message of yours. I was in Sanko for a couple of years, 1978-80. I did 5 months on an OBO, 'Eternal Light' carried iron ore mostly from Narvik to German ports. The 2nd was an oil tanker 'Hellespont Pride' (9 months) probably the best ship I ever worked on if you don't include the P & O passenger ships, we spent a lot of time sitting off the Cayman Islands lightering oil off ULCC's into our minnow of a ship (87,000 tons) then taking the oil up the mississippi - we were always in port. Finally another oil tanker 'Manhatten Prince' about 4 months, not such a good ship, I kept falling out with the old man and so decided to resign. But they paid well especially if you stay beyond the 5 months they expected you to do.
Regards,
Gordon

Hello Gordon
Glad you enjoyed the bulk of your time with Sanko - It was Rob McNair ex FNC (don't know if you'd remember him ?) who recommended them to me. Can you remember the Old Man's name !
Might see you at the "Reunion" - you can get the beers in !(Jester)

Cheers - enjoy the summer

Best Rgds
Lamby
(H)(Thumb)

gordon bryson
31st May 2012, 10:43
Hello Gordon
Glad you enjoyed the bulk of your time with Sanko - It was Rob McNair ex FNC (don't know if you'd remember him ?) who recommended them to me. Can you remember the Old Man's name !
Might see you at the "Reunion" - you can get the beers in !(Jester)

Cheers - enjoy the summer

Best Rgds
Lamby
(H)(Thumb)
Hi Steve,

Yes I should remember Rob McNair, he was in the same digs as me, 19 The Esplanade, we were straight across the road from the 'Jolly Rodger'. Rob as I recall came from Derby where he previously was at Rolls Royce. I lost touch when I left the college in November 1971.
As for the old man on' Manhatten Prince' well by coincidence his name was also Prince (well almost), he was actually Captain Prinz from Holland, he would have been about 50 or so in 1980. What didn't help was this was the period where the electricians were long gone and they had just got rid of the Purser so I was already doing all the lekkie work and then for only $80 a month extra was given all the Pursers work (I may have done it longer if the old man hadn't kept all the bonded stores control for himself).

I doubt I will go to the reunion, it's a bit of a drag from south Devon. When I see all the faces on the photo's from last year the only one I recognize is Ray Pilgrim. But you never know!

Gordon.

ps I used to have a photo of Rob, Steve Shrouder aka scouse and a guy from Clitheroe he was Robs big buddy, could have been Charlie something - I think I threw it out as recently as 8 weeks ago doing a loft clear out - silly me.

sparkie2182
31st May 2012, 13:28
"Rob McNair"................a blast from the past..................:)

"Cathode Ray" Pilgrim looks just the same as he did in the late '60's.

:)

Steven Lamb
3rd June 2012, 11:24
Hi Steve,

Yes I should remember Rob McNair, he was in the same digs as me, 19 The Esplanade, we were straight across the road from the 'Jolly Rodger'. Rob as I recall came from Derby where he previously was at Rolls Royce. I lost touch when I left the college in November 1971.
As for the old man on' Manhatten Prince' well by coincidence his name was also Prince (well almost), he was actually Captain Prinz from Holland, he would have been about 50 or so in 1980. What didn't help was this was the period where the electricians were long gone and they had just got rid of the Purser so I was already doing all the lekkie work and then for only $80 a month extra was given all the Pursers work (I may have done it longer if the old man hadn't kept all the bonded stores control for himself).

I doubt I will go to the reunion, it's a bit of a drag from south Devon. When I see all the faces on the photo's from last year the only one I recognize is Ray Pilgrim. But you never know!

Gordon.

ps I used to have a photo of Rob, Steve Shrouder aka scouse and a guy from Clitheroe he was Robs big buddy, could have been Charlie something - I think I threw it out as recently as 8 weeks ago doing a loft clear out - silly me.

Hi Gordon

Think I may of done part of a trip on the "Moorfields Monarch" with that Dutch Old Man - a bearded chap - cantankerous & part bible-basher ?? If not, him then someone of similar character. I seem to remember his dislike of drink if it's the same bloke ? Pity he spoiled your time in Sanko.

Charlie Balshaw was Rob's best buddy @ college. Pity you lobbed the photo away you could of stuck it in "Rogues Gallery" on the college website ! Last time I saw Rob was back in the late 70's when me & our lass got invited down for a long weekend in Derby and stayed at his folks place in Mickleover. I did a North Sea related course in Derby back in the early 90's and popped over to Mickleover to hunt him out ! According to a neighbour he'd moved over to Holland and his folks sadly passed on. Not heard from him since.
Beside "Cathode Ray" at the reunion I believe Hughie McGuirk, Jack Howarth, Johnny Laughland & Johnny Holmes should be in attendance. Shud be a laff - even if the music won't be classic 70's rock nostalgia!
Got a course to do some time in September down in Exeter might pop-you an email see if your available for a jar.

All the best for now
Lamby(Hippy)

PS: Wonder where Steve Shrouder is these days ? He use to live just up the road from me in Ormskirk

sparkie2182
3rd June 2012, 11:32
Neil Brook was another of "Charlie's" pals...........ex army lad.

gordon bryson
4th June 2012, 11:11
Hi Gordon

Think I may of done part of a trip on the "Moorfields Monarch" with that Dutch Old Man - a bearded chap - cantankerous & part bible-basher ?? If not, him then someone of similar character. I seem to remember his dislike of drink if it's the same bloke ? Pity he spoiled your time in Sanko.

Charlie Balshaw was Rob's best buddy @ college. Pity you lobbed the photo away you could of stuck it in "Rogues Gallery" on the college website ! Last time I saw Rob was back in the late 70's when me & our lass got invited down for a long weekend in Derby and stayed at his folks place in Mickleover. I did a North Sea related course in Derby back in the early 90's and popped over to Mickleover to hunt him out ! According to a neighbour he'd moved over to Holland and his folks sadly passed on. Not heard from him since.
Beside "Cathode Ray" at the reunion I believe Hughie McGuirk, Jack Howarth, Johnny Laughland & Johnny Holmes should be in attendance. Shud be a laff - even if the music won't be classic 70's rock nostalgia!
Got a course to do some time in September down in Exeter might pop-you an email see if your available for a jar.

All the best for now
Lamby(Hippy)

PS: Wonder where Steve Shrouder is these days ? He use to live just up the road from me in Ormskirk
Hi Steve,
A few beers in Exeter, what a good idea. Steve Shrouder was in Safmarine at the same time as I was, we met in Baltimore when the 2 ships were tied up next to each other, that was 1974. We agreed to go back to college to re-do the DTI radar having both failed in Fleetwood. We decided to take the course in Hull at the college of technology (they bragged a 92% pass rate). Needless to say we both passed and I never heard from him again. For 5 years I also lived near Ormskirk, a place called Hesketh Bank but I never did come across 'scouse' again.
See you in September,
Gordon

Steven Lamb
6th June 2012, 10:07
Hi Steve,
A few beers in Exeter, what a good idea. Steve Shrouder was in Safmarine at the same time as I was, we met in Baltimore when the 2 ships were tied up next to each other, that was 1974. We agreed to go back to college to re-do the DTI radar having both failed in Fleetwood. We decided to take the course in Hull at the college of technology (they bragged a 92% pass rate). Needless to say we both passed and I never heard from him again. For 5 years I also lived near Ormskirk, a place called Hesketh Bank but I never did come across 'scouse' again.
See you in September,
Gordon

Yep Gordon - look forward to that !(Thumb)
Plan is to travel down with our lass & do the 2-day course then zoot down to Falmouth & Helsby to see old seafaring friends then sweep back to the Southampton area to meet some more friends that I sailed with yonks ago ! Knowing my luck tho the course might get shifted to Aberdeen ! Hopefully not. Know Hesketh Bank quite well.
Will keep in touch.

All the best
Lamby(Hippy)

JWJ1
12th June 2012, 20:03
I joined Marconi in 1958 from Brookes Bar, Manchester.
Went on to a BP tanker (British Freedom), RFA salvage ship (Kinbrace), Currie Line (m/v Ireland).

Went freelance on a Hong Kong registered WW2 Victory ship (Inchstaffa). Six British officers, rest chinese.

Joined Israeli company in 1961. Best move I ever made !
New ships, immaculately clean, Excellent tax-free salary, superbly equipped, good international crew's.

Stayed with this company till I finished in 1964. Served on two tankers, bulk-carrier and finally a long-line Tuna fishing boat based in Capetown.

When on leave, they would phone me at home to ask if I was ready to go back. If I was, they just arranged a plane ticket at the El Al desk at Heathrow.

On one of their super tankers I had to send SOS following an explosion. On the bulk carrier I had 3 Israeli radio cadets.

Brilliant company !! Wonderful experience.

Naytikos
15th June 2012, 05:06
I had applied to Zim line and got accepted but never took up the job as Niarchos made a better offer. The application process did make me a bit wary that the ships might be run rather autocratically, as I found the UK-flag companies; but I would have given them a try if the greeks hadn't been a better prospect.