Wartime built -Empires, Forts and Parks - Ships Nostalgia
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Wartime built -Empires, Forts and Parks

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  #1  
Old 2nd February 2012, 20:32
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Wartime built -Empires, Forts and Parks

Re wartime built Empire, Fort and Park ships. Does anybody know what bridge equipment they would have had as built ? Presumably magnetic compass and echo sounder, but what about gyro and auto pilot?

As for radar. I won't even ask.

Anybody sail on one in late fifties early sixties and what sort of equipment might they have had by then?
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  #2  
Old 2nd February 2012, 22:35
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What, No one sailed on a Fort, Park or Empire. i must be older than I thought.
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  #3  
Old 2nd February 2012, 22:38
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Yeah I know. It's pretty sad when you reply to your own posts.
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  #4  
Old 2nd February 2012, 23:11
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Empire Boats....

Can't have you thinking that no one reads your signals! Frankly, I never sailed on any of the British-built 'standard' WW11 ships but visited a few operated by my company in the '50s.
Bank Line had several of these ships:
"Hazelbank" ne 'Empire Franklin" Readhead's coal burner
"Hollybank" ne "Empire Southey" Shorts coal burner
"Etivebank" ne 'Empire Aden' Bartrams coal/oil burner
"Lochybank" ne "Empire Honduras" Shorts coal/oil burner
"Shielbank" ne "Empire Takoradi" Gray, steamer.

The fact that most if not all were coal burners (don't know about the "Shielbank" but probably coal) made them dirty and unpopular but nice and cheap to buy. Remember we're talking about Andrew Weir's here!

Anyway, the bridge as I remember it was very simple. A binnacle with a steering wheel amidships and another binnacle above on the monkey island. Electronics were provided by Marconi so there would have been a wet paper depth machine. One E.R. mechanical telegraph inside the wheelhouse on the starboard side. Can't remember a smoke detector cabinet and definitely no windscreen wipers or rotary clearview windows. Wind-up 'field' telephones to the fxl, aft, ER and Master and voicepipes to the ER and Master.

That's it!

Perhaps there had been some original military stuff but by the time Bank Line got hold of them, these would have been removed. On the 12 "Liberty" Boats Bank Line bought, the ice-water drinking fountains in the accommodation had been removed!

Cheers!
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  #5  
Old 2nd February 2012, 23:21
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dom

sailed on Forts, Parks, and Jeeps in the 50s 60s, standard mag.compass ,the Madras City had gyro and iron mike the Uskside Uskmouth mag compass and radio d/f only

ps all where bum feeders
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  #6  
Old 2nd February 2012, 23:24
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My memories of the wheelhouse on an "Ocean" were there was a magnetic compass, steering wheel, telegraph, whistle tube to captains cabin,wet paper E/S and a hatch to sparkies place. On the monkey island was the standard compass and the D/F goniometer (the d/f was in the sparkies shack).
A switchboard for the navigation lights. A rack with the international signal flags.
A place for the bain of our life's brasso. There was a telephone (voice activated) with a wind up handle to contact the E/R forcastle and poop.
They were not well equipped
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  #7  
Old 3rd February 2012, 01:01
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I sailed on the Saxon Star ex Empire Strength, in early 1957. From memory she only had the basics and certainly no radar.Captain Kinghorn, who was a cadet on her in the early 50s, states, in P Heaton's book,"the Redbrook a Deep Sea Tramp", that she had two magnetic compasses,an echo sounder and an antiquated DF set, for which I can vouch. She also had an emergency Spark transmitter.She did however have HF capabilities when I was on her.
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  #8  
Old 3rd February 2012, 01:28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoR View Post
What, No one sailed on a Fort, Park or Empire. i must be older than I thought.
I sailed on Forts, Parks,and Empire ships but I worked in the engine room so I never went up on the Bridge.


john
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  #9  
Old 3rd February 2012, 01:43
garry Norton garry Norton is offline  
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The Waihemo was a fort boat and had a gyro and radar which was a pointed range finder type converted to a PPI screen later. The Wairata I think was a later built war time building I think was called a C1A.
The gyro compass was fitted to both vessels but I do not know what type as at that time I was a cadet.I think they had auto pilots.
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  #10  
Old 3rd February 2012, 02:38
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Sailed on Shahristan,ex Empire Dunnett Redheads coffin sterned built 1945,early fifties
Had mag compass and Sperry gyro with repeater on monkey island.Decca radar seldom in working order(I think it was repaired at almost every port we called at)and when it was no one trusted it--often needing the Masters authority to turn it on!
Telephone to foc'sel and poop. Voicepipe to E/R and Masters cabin.1 Kent Clear View screen.Mechanical telegraph,paper echo sounder,paper recording barometer,chronometer,lanyard operated steam whistle,1telescope and 1pair day and night binoculars,1d/f,1 megaphone for Master to yell at anybody more than 25 yards away,distress gun and rockets and a lot of 20/20 vision
Cant think of anything else---too long ago
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  #11  
Old 3rd February 2012, 05:29
ernhelenbarrett ernhelenbarrett is offline  
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Sailed on Avistone/GBSV ex Empire Martaban on iron ore run to Med and Conakry, very basic bridge gear, no radar but had an Oceanspan 1 and D/F in the Radio Room with CR300 Receiver, cant remember the Emergency TX/RX as was quite a few decades ago, the Oceanspan had a knob near the top which you pushed in to transmit anf pulled out when receiving!!
Ern Barrett
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  #12  
Old 3rd February 2012, 07:44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ernhelenbarrett View Post
... the Oceanspan had a knob near the top which you pushed in to transmit anf pulled out when receiving!!
Ern Barrett
The antenna changeover switch.
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  #13  
Old 3rd February 2012, 08:56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alistair Macnab View Post
Can't have you thinking that no one reads your signals! Frankly, I never sailed on any of the British-built 'standard' WW11 ships but visited a few operated by my company in the '50s.
Bank Line had several of these ships:
"Hazelbank" ne 'Empire Franklin" Readhead's coal burner
"Hollybank" ne "Empire Southey" Shorts coal burner
"Etivebank" ne 'Empire Aden' Bartrams coal/oil burner
"Lochybank" ne "Empire Honduras" Shorts coal/oil burner
"Shielbank" ne "Empire Takoradi" Gray, steamer.

The fact that most if not all were coal burners (don't know about the "Shielbank" but probably coal) made them dirty and unpopular but nice and cheap to buy. Remember we're talking about Andrew Weir's here!

Anyway, the bridge as I remember it was very simple. A binnacle with a steering wheel amidships and another binnacle above on the monkey island. Electronics were provided by Marconi so there would have been a wet paper depth machine. One E.R. mechanical telegraph inside the wheelhouse on the starboard side. Can't remember a smoke detector cabinet and definitely no windscreen wipers or rotary clearview windows. Wind-up 'field' telephones to the fxl, aft, ER and Master and voicepipes to the ER and Master.

That's it!

Perhaps there had been some original military stuff but by the time Bank Line got hold of them, these would have been removed. On the 12 "Liberty" Boats Bank Line bought, the ice-water drinking fountains in the accommodation had been removed!

Cheers!
Thanks Alistair. Where you have written 'coal/oil' do you mean dual fuel (didn't know that was possible) ? Or converted ?

According to wiki the parks were coal burners and the forts were oil burners.
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  #14  
Old 3rd February 2012, 09:37
Robin Craythorn Robin Craythorn is offline  
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The 'Baron Geddes', my first ship was ex 'Empire Ploughman' built West Hartlepool 1943, orriginally coal burning but just converted to oil burning when I joined at Redheads South Shields in April 1958. Bridge equipment :- magnetic compass and binnacle on monkey island, also one in wheelhouse, Sperry Gyro Mark 16 which occasionally broke down voice pipes to Engine room and Master, one engine telegraph zig-zag clock steel shutters which could be closed over the three small central wheelhouse windows, seperate chart room with D/F and wet paper echo sounder Radio Receiver and transmitter + operator on hire from Marconi.
Regards Robin Craythorn.
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  #15  
Old 3rd February 2012, 09:42
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I was wondering about the gyro compass. Did the Liberties and Victories have them as standard ? Doesn't seem as if the Empires/Parks/Forts did. Would have thought that a gyro compass would have been invaluable for convoy station keeping and zig zagging in poor vis.
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  #16  
Old 3rd February 2012, 10:04
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re fort ships

there was 3 types, north sands, victory and canadian type, north sands were coal fired, victory were oil fired, canadian were dual fuel, forts and parks were same ships, many launched with a fort name, later changed to a park name, oceans were same design, but welded and american built, forts were all canadian built.
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  #17  
Old 3rd February 2012, 11:11
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Sailed on four standard Empire ships -

ex Empire Patriot, joined 1948, this type were known as West Hartlepool Jeeps. Three island coal burner with woodbine funnel. Basic bridge gear, no radar or gyro. Basic comforts.

ex Empire Antigua, joined 1949, oil burner, basic bridge gear plus gyro, no radar.

ex Empire Rhodes, joined 51, bridge house rebuilt after serious fire in 45. basic bridge gear plus gyro, no radar, oil burner

Empire Darwin, former CAM ship. joined 1953, coal burner, basic gear plus gyro & radar.

Happy times.
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  #18  
Old 3rd February 2012, 15:44
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Quote:
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What, No one sailed on a Fort, Park or Empire. i must be older than I thought.
I served my time on a Fort.

Magnetic compass---you got that right!

An echo sounder and RDF.
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  #19  
Old 3rd February 2012, 15:50
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I sailed on Forts, Parks,and Empire ships but I worked in the engine room so I never went up on the Bridge.


john
I was very friendly with the 3rd engineer. He went over to visit a T2 in Colombo and came back with eyes shining. They had a real workshop down there!
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  #20  
Old 3rd February 2012, 15:56
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My near year and a half in the Empire Capulet, during trhe latter part of the war, is something I would prefer to forget about
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  #21  
Old 3rd February 2012, 17:18
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Originally Posted by NoR View Post
Thanks Alistair. Where you have written 'coal/oil' do you mean dual fuel (didn't know that was possible) ? Or converted ?

According to wiki the parks were coal burners and the forts were oil burners.
NoR...
Coal/oil was a boiler configuration that could be converted from one fuel source to the other by the installation of burner nozzles within the firebox. There were other ramifications but the shipboard engineers were obliged to carry out the conversion and didn't like these jobs at all!
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  #22  
Old 3rd February 2012, 17:49
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My near year and a half in the Empire Capulet, during trhe latter part of the war, is something I would prefer to forget about
Hugh was that because of the War, the Ship or both?

But if you would rather forget............?
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  #23  
Old 3rd February 2012, 18:00
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I was very friendly with the 3rd engineer. He went over to visit a T2 in Colombo and came back with eyes shining. They had a real workshop down there!

Only time I went up on the bridge was when the Master decided to log me a days pay for being late returning to the ship,and that was on the bridge wing. I wonder why that was the custom back then. Well I guess it was better than being tied to the mast and meeting the cat with the lash.

John
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  #24  
Old 3rd February 2012, 18:02
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I always wanted to ship out on a T-2 but never got lucky,some of my shipmates said they were a very good ships with a hell of and engine room.

John.
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  #25  
Old 3rd February 2012, 18:21
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I went aboard a Fort ship when I was an apprentice. I think it was in Villa Constitucion, Parana river. Maybe it was Counties, or London and Overseas, or a London Greek; I forget, and I didn't note it in my "log". But I do remember she had wooden derricks ( some of them, anyway). Would that indicate Canadian built perhaps?
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