Intro - Kevin

Kevin Todd
3rd March 2014, 14:06
Joined 'SN' a few days ago despite not being a particularly nostalgic person. Had been clearing up a few old files at home when I found my old Merchant Navy stuff. Decided to see if I could find a few extra photos of the old ships and stumbled upon SN. Great site! Discovered a picture of the 'Gowanbank' taken off Greenock in August 1976 while awaiting a berth, and realised I was on board at the time. Paid off in Greenock on 18/08/76 having joined in Bombay on 06/01/76. Posted a message to this effect wondering if there's anyone else out there? Also discovered a name from the past, David Jardine-Smith. Oh boy, this brought back one particular memory!! Another posting, against his name, a happy memory (for me at least, maybe not David!) from the 'Weirbank' between November 1976 and August 1977. Another finding, a photo of the 'Ravensworth' taken in Govan in July 1975 - I joined her in Immingham on 01/08/75. Count me in.
My time in the MN as an engineer was from 1970 to 1980, after serving an engineering apprenticeship on Tyneside (nowt to do with ships). Companies were, in order, Buries Markes, Fyffes, William Headley (17months on the good ship 'Egton') Watergate SS Co., Bank Line, Denholm Maclay ('Cast' boats) and finally, 2 years foreign flag (am I allowed to mention the unmentionable?). My penultimate (and foreign flag) ship was the good ship DF Fajemirokun which I joined in Lagos in a direct transfer from the company's only other ship, 'Ifewara'. Left this ship in Bremen with two other guys (remaining deck & engineering bods decided to head home on leave after 4 months on the 'Ifewara'), flew to London and met up with rest of the new officer crew before flying to Lagos. The Fajemirokun had started life in 1954 as the Siena but on first sight it looked like she'd started in 1854. What a horrible looking rustbucket. Set off for Rio but very quickly discovered the old heap weren't seaworthy (taking on water, as ships do, but with no means of getting rid of the stuff cos' all the bilge and seawater pumps had been stripped of their innards by the previous mob) and so promptly turned back to Lagos and safety (it's a bloody long way from Lagos to Rio on a ship that was, shall we say,dodgy!). On arrival back off Lagos we found out that the owners had been trying unsuccessfully to make contact and bring us back in any event. They had sold the ship and we were to head to Casablanca to hand it over. Before leaving Lagos the 'DF Fajemirokun' became the 'Everest' for the new owners, down came the Liberian flag and up went the Panamian flag. Much drinking of beer etc. to celebrate the raising of the new flag (any excuse). Paid off this 'beautiful ship' in Casablanca on 21/12/79 and just made it home for Christmas, arriving on the evening of the 24th having waited on board 2 days for a flight. Interesting little postscript; Got a phone call from the agent in Liverpool in the new year - have you heard the news she asked. Wot' news ses' I? Everest left Casablanca, made 5nautical miles and sank!
My time in the MN came to an end in August 1980, married Marilyn a year later and then worked in instrumentation and project engineering in Hampshire & West Sussex for 23 years. For the past 10 years we've been living happily in France, just outside Cognac, where we spend much of our time supporting the local wine growers of the nearby Bordeaux region (if you know what I mean).
Anyway, that's me. Sorry to ramble on a bit but glad to be with you.

3rd March 2014, 15:21
Greetings Kevin and welcome to SN. Plenty of ex Bankers on board. Bon voyage.

3rd March 2014, 15:42
Great introduction, Kevin. Welcome aboard. It sounds as if you are a very lucky man!
Best Rgds.

3rd March 2014, 19:13

On behalf of the SN Moderating team, a warm welcome aboard from the Isle of Anglesey!
You seem to be settling in nicely so, enjoy your time on SN and have many happy hours entertainment from your membership. (Thumb)

3rd March 2014, 19:21
Also on behalf of the 'SN Moderating Team', welcome aboard Kevin.

Charley George
3rd March 2014, 20:30
Dave is now Secretary at the International MaritimeRescue Federation. I saw him briefly in Southampton last December.

I know him from his time in H M C G. Always helpful and one of life's Gents.

3rd March 2014, 22:22
A warm welcome aboard from the Philippines. Please enjoy all this great site has to offer.

4th March 2014, 02:17
Welcome onboard to SN and enjoy the voyage

Kevin Todd
4th March 2014, 09:36
Many thanks guys, welcome much appreciated.

Cheers Charley, good to hear that Dave is well. As I mentioned in my intro there was one particular 37 year old memory which stands out and I couldn't help posting against his thread - hope he sees it one day!