Odyssey Works

Pat Kennedy
23rd October 2014, 04:00
Ex Blue Funnel crew will be saddened to learn that the tall building alongside the rigging loft at Odyssey Works in Birkenhead, which housed the deck boys training school along with classrooms and workshops for engineering and deck cadets and for catering staff, has been demolished today.
It is almost exactly 56 years since I attended the deck boys school there, run by Denis O'Brien.
This school took the place of the Outward Bound Sea School at Aberdovey, which, while character forming did not teach the more hands on training in cargo gear etc which was a necessary part of pre sea training. The Odyssey Works facility had large scale working models of derricks and hatches, plus the real thing was a two minute walk away in Vittoria Dock.
I did six weeks there and joined my first ship, the Achilles with the ability to splice rope and wire, make every knot known to man, handle a lifeboat, top a derrick,and drive a winch. But they never told us we would be washing dishes,scrubbing bathrooms and alleyways, and serving meals, for the first nine months!
Pat(EEK)

makko
23rd October 2014, 04:08
Pat,

I posted on your photo. I am very saddened to hear this but, hey, nothing is forever. My Dad did his time there, moving on from the Gandy belt factory as a turner. Myself, well as a pimply 18 year old Eng. Cadet, the first day I went in for summer training, a short, grey haired and gnarled old guy stopped me forcibly. Looking me up and down he said,"Your name's Rogers".
"Yes", I said.
"I knew", said the old man,"I sailed with your Grandfather in the war!". Looking me up and down, he said,"You're every inch a Rogers!".
Well, except for the height!! Ha ha! I am very saddened and I spoke today with the Old Fellah who obviously knew nothing. RIP Odyssey, many memories.
Rgds.
Dave

PETER WHARTON
23rd October 2014, 11:51
HI Pat, I attended Odyssey Works Jan 1963 and am sorry to hear the news its been demolished. I found bosun D.O.B an excellent instructor who treated us all on the same level. regards Peter.

Phil Saul
23rd October 2014, 23:34
Hi Pat,

Sorry to hear about the demise of Odyssey Works.

I started work in the staff canteen there in April 1964 before beginning my catering training in the class-room and then joining the Pyrrhus in Glasgow for my first coaster.

I recall that there were quite a number of girls worked there repairing the soft furnishings off the ships and I had the 'hots' for some of them, but of course, being only 15 years of age at the time they wouldn't give me the time of day.

Happy memories of lunch hours in the Wheatsheaf snug being served by Fran the barmaid and starting the day with sausage or bacon sarnies and big cups of tea in the dockers canteen on Vittoria Dock.

Those were the days !!!

Regards Phil (Thumb)

Pat Kennedy
24th October 2014, 08:33
Hi Pat,

Sorry to hear about the demise of Odyssey Works.

I started work in the staff canteen there in April 1964 before beginning my catering training in the class-room and then joining the Pyrrhus in Glasgow for my first coaster.

I recall that there were quite a number of girls worked there repairing the soft furnishings off the ships and I had the 'hots' for some of them, but of course, being only 15 years of age at the time they wouldn't give me the time of day.

Happy memories of lunch hours in the Wheatsheaf snug being served by Fran the barmaid and starting the day with sausage or bacon sarnies and big cups of tea in the dockers canteen on Vittoria Dock.

Those were the days !!!

Regards Phil (Thumb)

Hi Phil,
I remember well the big docks canteen at Vittoria Dock, Their sausage on toast was the best in Birkenhead and the mugs of tea you could stand the spoon upright in!
So far, the only building at Odyssey Works to be demolished is the one which housed all the classrooms etc and had radar scanners on the flat roof. The rest of the complex appears to be occupied by various enterprises and working normally.
I was in that Pyrrhus after she caught fire in Huskisson Dock in 1964, we took her to Smiths Dock in South Shields for repair. She was in a right old state, apart from the sailor's alleyway which was unscathed.
Regards,
Pat(Thumb)

makko
24th October 2014, 15:07
R651400,
Your memory is fine! Yes, it was quite a sight and quite moving to see all the vessels, dreaming of all the far off places that they visited. I got my wish too!
Rgds.
Dave

Phil Saul
24th October 2014, 22:36
Hi Phil,
I remember well the big docks canteen at Vittoria Dock, Their sausage on toast was the best in Birkenhead and the mugs of tea you could stand the spoon upright in!
So far, the only building at Odyssey Works to be demolished is the one which housed all the classrooms etc and had radar scanners on the flat roof. The rest of the complex appears to be occupied by various enterprises and working normally.
I was in that Pyrrhus after she caught fire in Huskisson Dock in 1964, we took her to Smiths Dock in South Shields for repair. She was in a right old state, apart from the sailor's alleyway which was unscathed.
Regards,
Pat(Thumb)

Hi Pat,

I did three deep-sea trips in the Pyrrhus from '68 to '69 and I can remember that the galley deck and the galley stove were out of shape due to the intense heat that the fire had generated.
The stove still worked ok despite its undulating surface.
Pyrrhus was the only ship I ever sailed in that had no cockroaches in the galley but I suspect that they would have re-established themselves eventually.

Regards Phil (Thumb)

Pat Kennedy
29th October 2014, 19:54
I drove past Odyssey works again this afternoon and discovered that the canteen building and the rigging loft are gone as well.
In fact, all that remains standing is the building which housed the doctor's office, Mr Greenwoods office and those of the various superintendants based in Birkenhead. This section has been fenced off from the demolition site so looks as if it will remain intact... for now.
Pat

masonburt
29th October 2014, 21:10
hi pat dd my time at odessy sea school sept-oct 68
first ship was forcades in amsterdam great way to start
thanks masonburt

Farmer John
29th October 2014, 23:08
I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: `Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert....

On the pedestal these words appear --
"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.'

Slightly amended from Shelley, and the change of intent intended.

An empire of commercial enterprise and good intent, gone.

Peter Martin
4th November 2014, 19:57
hi pat dd my time at odessy sea school sept-oct 68
first ship was forcades in amsterdam great way to start
thanks masonburt

I did my time at Middies Training about the same time, Oct 1968.