How can I trace details of a collision in the 1950s? - Ships Nostalgia
13:49

Welcome
Welcome!Welcome to Ships Nostalgia, the world's greatest online community for people worldwide with an interest in ships and shipping. Whether you are crew, ex-crew, ship enthusiasts or cruisers, this is the forum for you. And what's more, it's completely FREE.

Click here to go to the forums home page and find out more.
Click here to join.
Log in
User Name Password

How can I trace details of a collision in the 1950s?

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 5th January 2008, 22:07
Bill Forster Bill Forster is offline  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 114
How can I trace details of a collision in the 1950s?

Can anybody tell me how to trace details of a collision between two ships in the Strait of Dover in about 1959?

Our family album contains a photograph of the damage down to a ship on which my father was Chief Engineer.

I believe the ship was the MV SUGAR EXPORTER (1956) and the collision took place between 1956 and 1961 - but most likely in 1959.

Which shipping journals would have carried news of this accident? Would there have been an investigation? Where would it have been reported?

MV SUGAR EXPORTER carried cane sugar from the West Indies to Tate & Lyle's sugar refineries on the Thames, a regular run, but on the 3 November 1959 my father joined the ship at Middlesborough which has dry docks for ship repairs (now owned & managed by A&P).

How can I find out whether MV SUGAR EXPORTER was repaired in these docks? Based on past experience in Falmouth A & P will not help!

For a picture of the damage see the GALLERY.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 5th January 2008, 22:10
sparkie2182 sparkie2182 is offline  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2007
My location
Posts: 17,778
"lloyds list" and "journal of commerce" would certainly have the fullest details.

perhaps s.n. members can provide information on locating archive copies.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 6th January 2008, 08:05
Tony Breach Tony Breach is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 518
The Nautical Institute may hold records of marine casualty enquiries - I'm sure SN folk will be able to help.
Tony

Last edited by Tony Breach : 6th January 2008 at 08:11.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 6th January 2008, 08:33
billyboy's Avatar
Bilge Rat
Organisation: Merchant Navy
Department: Engineering
Active: 1957 - 1963
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
My location
Posts: 33,697
I do know that the ship she hit was the Crystal jewel. The Bow of the Sugar exporter ploughed into her bridge section. The captains daughter who was aboard the Crystal jewel at the time was killed in the accident.
My late father and older Brother were on the tug Meeching at the time and they towed her into Seaford bay where they beached her.
The Crystal Jewel had a complete new bridge section fitted in Rotterdam.
At this time i have no information as to where the Sugar Exporter was repaired.
It went down as one of the first Radar assisted accidents around our coastline.
there are pictures showing the Crystal Jewels damage in the Gallery.
Hope this will help you.
__________________
"Imagination is more important than knowledge". A. Einstein.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 6th January 2008, 09:14
non descript non descript is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
My location
Posts: 0
I think there is a danger of confusion here… Yes there was a very well celebrated “radar assisted” collision off Rotterdam on 23.09.1961 between the Tate & Lyle owned Crystal Jewel and the BP tanker British Aviator, but the “sugar ship” was severely damaged on the Port Side at the Bridge area and Bill’s picture here shows damage, and much less of it, to (probably) the Starboard bow.

Bill’s text seems to suggest that his father was on the Sugar Exporter in the Dover Staits, so the Crystal Jewel and the British Aviator off Rotterdam from September 1961 is unlikely to be connected.

The search goes on.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 6th January 2008, 11:43
Bill Forster Bill Forster is offline  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 114
A fantastic response! And so fast.

A great story about the Crystal Jewell collision but as Tonga explained this was a quite different (and more significant) event.

I can easily get into London for the day so perhaps the solution would be to refer to a long back list of LLOYDS LIST and the JNL OF COMMERCE.

I am not familiar wth either! Do they have annual indexes to simplify searching? How much detail do they give?

And can anybody tell me where I can see back issues from the 1950s?

Bill
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 6th January 2008, 16:23
Jim S Jim S is offline   SN Supporter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,284
Try the British Newspaper Library, Colindale Avenue, London NW9 5HE
Tel No 0171 412 7353 for general enquiries.
When I was looking for extracts from Lloyds List and Journal of Commerce newspapers of around 1961 I got them from there although in my case I had to use the services of a professional researcher.
If visiting you need to provide ID for issue of a pass.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 6th January 2008, 17:07
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 857
One of the Hall Russell (Aberdeen) built sugar boats.on launching don,t know which one.went down the slipway,across the dock and bounced off the"St.Ninian lying at Matthews Quay,that would have been in the late 50,s.I think she hit Point Law first ,came back and struck the St.Ninian on her port side.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 7th January 2008, 13:45
Bill Forster Bill Forster is offline  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 114
That is an interesting story!

My father was Chief Engineer on MV Sugar Exporter’s first four voyages and thereafter alternated between Sugar Importer and Sugar Exporter, the two ship’s whose fitting out and sea trials he had supervised in 1955 and 1956.

The Company had three more ships built by Hall, Russell & Co in Aberdeen: Sugar Producer and Sugar Transporter were launched in 1957 and Sugar Refiner in 1958. These replaced the three ships bought in 1951 which bore the same names and were now sold.

My father was not sent to Aberdeen to supervise their fitting out (probably due to the appointment of a Superintendent Engineer, Mr S. G. Christensen) and only served as Chief on one of them, Sugar Refiner in 1960.

There is lots of information about Hall, Russell and thezse ships at: http://www.aberdeenships.com/sb_hall....asp?offset=10

Bill Forster
son of William Redvers Forster (1900-75)
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 11th January 2008, 23:46
Hawkeye Hawkeye is offline  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 1,168
Try the WSS. They have a magazine that would have surely reported this in their archives.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 15th April 2008, 23:25
Bill Forster Bill Forster is offline  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 114
I have finally managed to identify the details of this collision from the Lloyds "Vessel Movement Cards" and the quarterly indices to the Lloyds "Weekly Casualty Reports" held at the Guildhall Library in London.

1956
Gravesend, Feb 28: Motor Vessel SUGAR EXPORTER, from Trinidad, and steamer MENDI PALM, for Sapele, are reported to have collided in Gravesend Reach last night. Former proceeded to Silverton, damage unknown; latter passed here at 1.30 pm today for Tilbury Dock with damage to port side. (Note – Mendi Palm has since berthed in Tilbury Dock.)

This was the rather sad end to Sugar Exporters maiden voyage. My father had been sent to Aberdeen for its sea trials before embarking for its maiden voyage on the 22 January 1956.

Bill
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 15th April 2008, 23:32
non descript non descript is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
My location
Posts: 0
Well done Bill, a good result
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 16th April 2008, 00:28
billyboy's Avatar
Bilge Rat
Organisation: Merchant Navy
Department: Engineering
Active: 1957 - 1963
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
My location
Posts: 33,697
I stand corected on that one lads. the ship i was referring too was in fact the British Aviator and not the Sugar exporter. I must have been well confused to have made that mistake. My apologies
__________________
"Imagination is more important than knowledge". A. Einstein.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 16th April 2008, 00:35
non descript non descript is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
My location
Posts: 0
Quote:
Originally Posted by billyboy View Post
I stand corected on that one lads. the ship i was referring too was in fact the British Aviator and not the Sugar exporter. I must have been well confused to have made that mistake. My apologies
Billy
Anyone can make a mistake in the enthusiam of the moment, but it takes a Gent to apologise. - Well done Sir

Mark
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 16th April 2008, 02:57
surfaceblow surfaceblow is offline  
Senior Member
Organisation: Other Merchant Fleets
Department: Engineering
Active: 1972 - 2005
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
My location
Posts: 1,313
Stanley G. Christensen later was a Associate Professor, Department of Engineering at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, Kings Point. Mr. Christensen also revised Lamb's Questions and Answers on the Marine Diesel Engine.
I meet Mr. Christensen at Kings Point in 1984.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 19th April 2008, 21:33
Bill Forster Bill Forster is offline  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 114
Interesting about Chistiansen, Surfaceblow.

Did he tell you that he worked for Tate & Lyle as commissioning engineer for the "sugar ships"? And is he still alive?

SEE BELOW:

The Company had three more ships built by Hall, Russell & Co in Aberdeen: Sugar Producer and Sugar Transporter were launched in 1957 and Sugar Refiner in 1958. These replaced the three ships bought in 1951 which bore the same names and were now sold. Dad was not sent to Aberdeen to supervise their fitting out (probably due to the appointment of a Superintendent Engineer, Mr S. G. Christensen) and only served as Chief on one of them, Sugar Refiner in 1960.

The launch of MV Sugar Producer on the 14 May 1957 did not go smoothly:

“Whilst being launched MV Sugar Producer came off launching ways very quickly, breaking deck chains and carried on and struck east end of Albert Quay with her stern. Vessel sustained damage, also damaged port side of bridge of motor vessel St Ninian lying at her berth loading.”

This is an extract from the account I am writing of my father's life.

Bill
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 19th April 2008, 23:07
surfaceblow surfaceblow is offline  
Senior Member
Organisation: Other Merchant Fleets
Department: Engineering
Active: 1972 - 2005
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
My location
Posts: 1,313
I am sorry to say that Stanley G. Christensen is no longer listed as a member of SNAME.

Mr. Christensen did not mention his past experience with Tate & Lyle. In the month that I had him has a continuing education course instructor the sea stories did not include names of ships or the characters upon them. A true gentleman.

Joe
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 20th April 2008, 20:30
Bill Forster Bill Forster is offline  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 114
Joe,

He seems to have been a very distinguished marine engineer but are you quite sure that he is the same Mr Christensen who worked for Tate & Lyle and was the supervising engineer for the building of their new ships from 1957 onwards?

Bill
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 11th September 2014, 21:13
Mountsign Mountsign is offline  
Member
Organisation: Merchant Navy
Department: Office / Administration
Active: 1958 - 1964
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 1
Sugar Transporter collision

Hi
I joined the Sugar transporter on 22nd December 1988 as a catering boy.
It was about a year old at the time and there was no mention of it having been in collision.
I left the ship on 13th March 1959 and it still had not been in a collision, but I don't know what happened after that.
I have a fairly clear memory of the trips we made during those few months and the crew I sailed with, in particular had a good friend in Zanie one of the donkeymen.
I also remember that the Chief Engineer was a perfect gentleman who stood out amongst the other senior officers.
If there is anything I can help with please let me know.
John Sheehan
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 12th September 2014, 20:07
sam2182sw sam2182sw is offline  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 1,307
There is a young chap on the tug site he knows all about the ship his father was on one of the tug that went out to assist the ships and has some good photos of it sam2182sw
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 12th September 2014, 20:20
Tony Shaw Tony Shaw is offline  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 111
Remember reading ,in great detail, the full Board of Trade official enquiry into the collision between the "British Aviator" and "Crystal Jewel". It was quite a thick booklet and I remember thinking, at the time, I hope I never find myself in the position of those officers and seamen giving evidence,etc. There but for the grace of God go I springs to mind. I don't know whether it is still possible to obtain a copy of this enquiry. Unfortunately, I don't remember what happened to my copy, after all it was nigh on 50 years ago.
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 12th September 2014, 21:39
joebuckham's Avatar
member
Organisation: Merchant Navy
Department: Navigation
Active: 1955 - 1999
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,785
bill try this website

http://freepages.family.rootsweb.anc...evecwll/al.htm
__________________
lifes a reach, and then you gybe
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
French police put crew of collision ship on wanted list non descript News and Views from the Shipping World 0 18th September 2007 11:39
Barney - Please help me trace her! karbine Ship Research 3 22nd June 2006 18:32
Cargo ship / trawler collision rushie News and Views from the Shipping World 3 20th June 2006 11:09



Search the net with ask.com
Support SN
Ask.com and get


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.