5th August 2011, 12:13
I am new to this, but I am trying to find more information about Patrick McGuinness who was on the Asphalion May-Sept 1925 working as a Fireman Trimmer.
Does anyone know anything about him, or even can you tell me what a Fireman Trimmer does? (Assuming he didn't trim firemen!)

5th August 2011, 14:03
Welcome aboard this great site. Good luck with your search


5th August 2011, 16:27

on behalf of the Moderating team welcome to SN. I wish you well with your research.


Hugh Ferguson
5th August 2011, 17:29
A fireman/trimmer may work either in the stokehold of a coal burning ship or in the coal bunkers, making sure that a good supply of coal is constantly trickling down for the stokers to shovel into the furnaces.
The Asphalion was a brand new ship at the time Patrick McGuinness sailed in her. She was torpedoed 11th Feb.1944 (I was not very far away at the time aboard another ship in the same company, the Blue funnel Line). However , she did not sink and was finally broken up in 1959.

6th August 2011, 01:59
A warm welcome aboard from the Philippines. Please enjoy all this great site has to offer

6th August 2011, 07:21
Welcome APF, there are one or two members on this site that actually did this job of trimming, ie, barrowing the coal from the ships storage bunkers to the firing floor in front of the boilers from where the fireman shoveled the fuel into the boilers at a rate as demanded by the ship's steam engines.
It was generally regarded as one of the toughest and worst jobs in the world, akin to underground coal mining, but with the added hazards of the ship's motion and the extreme heat.
There should be someone that can give you a first hand description


7th August 2011, 11:55
Greetings APF and welcome to SN. Bon voyage.

Peter Trodden
7th August 2011, 15:44
Hello APF,
a F/Trimmers job has been well explained here by men in the Know.
I see your from Birkenhead,so do you have any connections with the Mc Guinness family?Patrick had 3 sons at sea, Paddy,John,and Joe. I sailed DeepSea with Joe and worked on many jobs offshore, as Riggers.
I grew up in the same neighbourhood as the McGuinness Family and my Grandfather sailed with Pat Mc on the ASCANIUS-1924. I still have a Pint with Joe,now and again so if you have any questions that I can pass on,please feel free to ask.
ttfn.Peter T.