M.V. Woodburn

Kenny Elder
17th January 2015, 23:22
Hello Just found the site today when looking up the Common Bros cargo ship M.V. "Woodburn" from the early 1960's. I saw one name that was a blast from the past,- Roy Swan.
I joined the ship in Glasgow for a six week trip and got off 14 months later in Algiers. The ship ran aground on Horsburgh Reef off Malaya which resulted in 3 months in Singapore eventually.
Looking back it was a great time for a 17 year old Ordinary Seaman, did my tickets over the years afterwards and sailed as Master for a good number of years until retirement in 2012.
Would be interested in hearing from any of the others from that trip, sorry to hear from Roys' post of 2009 that his fellow apprentice Scotty had passed away. Kenny Elder

borderreiver
18th January 2015, 08:34
Welcome on board. I was the last mate/master of the Wood burn before she was sold on from lay up in Norway. That was the tanker ex court line.

billyboy
18th January 2015, 11:25
A warm welcome aboard from the Philippines. Please enjoy all this great site has to offer

hawkey01
18th January 2015, 15:01
Kenny,

on behalf of the Moderating team welcome to SN. Enjoy all we have to offer.

Hawkey01

R58484956
19th January 2015, 16:46
Greetings Kenny and welcome to SN. Bon voyage.

shahariltalb
11th April 2015, 03:45
Hi Kenny,
Like you I just came on board. Am very interested in your experience on board MV Woodburn as a researcher. I checked Adm Charts and could not find reference to Horsburgh Reef in the Straits of Singapore. Perhaps it had another name. Was the stranding on the reef reported in UK newspapers. Hoping to hear from you. Yours aye. Shaharil

borderreiver
11th April 2015, 11:14
Horsburgh Reef this is a small island which the light house stand on.The ship run aground just before the island.
Roy Swan is still around and lives in NZ.


.

shahariltalb
11th April 2015, 11:47
Dear Borderreiver,

Thank you for your prompt reply. The lighthouse sits on Pedra Branca; also known locally as Pulau Batu Puteh (White Rock island). To the West of the Rock are 2 features on the Adm charts Middle Rock and South Ledge. My guess in that the vessel grounded on reefs that immediately surround the Rock. I was made to understand from Kenny's piece that he was kept in Singapore for 3 months - was it waiting for the ship repairs or was it because of the Investigations. Any way I can contact Mr Swan of NZ. Is he a member of Nostalgia? Was there any official reports on the grounding? To whom was the ship insured and most likely they would have the official report. Thank you again. Yours aye. Shaharil

borderreiver
11th April 2015, 13:30
Dear Borderreiver,

Thank you for your prompt reply. The lighthouse sits on Pedra Branca; also known locally as Pulau Batu Puteh (White Rock island). To the West of the Rock are 2 features on the Adm charts Middle Rock and South Ledge. My guess in that the vessel grounded on reefs that immediately surround the Rock. I was made to understand from Kenny's piece that he was kept in Singapore for 3 months - was it waiting for the ship repairs or was it because of the Investigations. Any way I can contact Mr Swan of NZ. Is he a member of Nostalgia? Was there any official reports on the grounding? To whom was the ship insured and most likely they would have the official report. Thank you again. Yours aye. Shaharil

I passed the ship agound off the light house on a borderboat. Roy is onships nostalgia.

shahariltalb
11th April 2015, 14:14
Hi again. 7th November 1963 was during the period of Konfrontasi between Malaysia and Indonesia. Southeast Johore was a target area for Indonesian intrusion and dangerous. What were you doing on a borderboat passing by. Coming from where and going to where. Was your vessel instructed to go and assist. I would have thought a RN ship would have been deployed to stand watch while the Vessel was refloated. Yours aye. Shaharil.

borderreiver
11th April 2015, 14:58
Just passing expect loading Singapore for aus We were just passing minding our own business. Believe one of the local tugs was standing by her.She had to discharge her cargo to barges then pulled off for drydock.

shahariltalb
11th April 2015, 17:09
Great information. November will be the northeast monsoon. Strong winds and currents. I have traced naval vessel movements by reading their log books which are with the Admiralty and kept in the British archives. Pardon my deep ignorance. Would M.V. Woodburn carry a ship's log and if she did where would this treasure book be kept. Another question out of deep ignorance - what is a borderboat that you alluded to. Finally, are you currently in UK or in the southern hemisphere. Have a great weekend. yours aye

borderreiver
11th April 2015, 17:38
Offical log books are now would be at the national archive in Kew. the company log books which would a more detail account. the company ceased trading in 1980 appox. As Common Bros are a North east company the company archive may may be with Newcastle Trinity house. but that is a guess.
Border boats are a fleet of 15 tankers 10 amidships accommodation 15000 DWT and 5 aft accommodation 19000 DWT half owned by BP and 25 by Jardine 25 by Common bros who manage them. The ownership percentage could be wrong.
Common bros owned in those days a few ships. under different company's.
Presently I am in France returning to UK shortly.

shahariltalb
11th April 2015, 18:24
you have a great weekend. Currently watching live football match between arsenal vs burney. Saw that great Welshman Ramsey belt one in! Will try to track the official logbook at Richmond and the company's logbooks. Read one report in the Straits Times on the stranding. cheers

Manchester
16th April 2015, 12:38
The ship ran aground on Horsburgh Reef off Malaya which resulted in 3 months in Singapore eventually.

A jinxed ship I think. I was on her in 1965 running from US to Vietnam when we ran aground leaving Benghazi and ended up in Malta drydock for several weeks which allowed me to end 2 year running agreement.

Roys1
25th April 2015, 12:37
Roy Swan, back first time over for over a year. See my name being bandied about ! Although officially retired I am still examiner of Masters and Mates in NZ, fit it in between world travels.
Woodburn - 7 November 1963 1st Mate fell asleep in skippers chair. Cadet and AB on bridge wings did not realize until too late.
Royal navy tug Nimble and salvage vessels Barfoil and Barain pulled us off after 10 days and 1800 tons of bauxite dumped overboard.Tried barges but too much swell. Bottom opened to #4 hold replaced over three months in King George dry dock. Company solved problem of fatigue by banning the use of chairs on the bridge !! As Kenny said we had a good time, I was 18, (now 70), dancing to the Beatles at Connell House and Seamans Mission. Singapore Swimming Club etc. Kenny give me your email, I have a photo you may be on.

Roys1
25th April 2015, 21:50
More on Woodburn grounding, Captain was George Black, mate Bill Pargeter. Cadets John Scott and myself. 3rd mate Bob Ash ?, Court case in Singapore, Bills' Masters ticket was suspended for a year. I believe he became harbour master at Middlesborough or Redcar and was pleased to have a shore job !
Capt Black died shortly after, I think he was on his last trip before retirement. We had loaded the bauxite cargo in Telok Ramunia just a few miles from the grounding. For some reason mate decided to put us on autopilot and sent cadet to keep lookout on wing. Big mistake. We had been back into Singapore to bunker and drop Indian laborers. After repairs we continued our voyage to Japan. For myself the experience of grounding, salvage and a major repair in drydock was beneficial in over 40 years of teaching and examining. Remember book "The Trades Increase" by Lingwood & O'Donoghue (World Ship Soc.) is a full history of Common Bros. Ltd ( Norex plc) with history and photo of every ship they managed or owned. Interesting reading.

shahariltalb
26th April 2015, 09:36
Dear Roy

Well written on an event 50 years ago!!! I remember the Teluk Rumenia Bauxite Mine and the Jetty when I researched mining in Johore. Do you re-collect why the officer's of woodburn were charged in Singapore Courts. Was it because you were a British Ship and under MSO could be hauled to Singapore; or because the salvage vessels towed you there or there were other reasons listed in the charge sheet. Did you attend the hearings! That too will be a historical record. Rarely do we get a glimpse into such proceedings. Great to get you two pieces.

Roys1
26th April 2015, 10:28
Dear Roy

Well written on an event 50 years ago!!! I remember the Teluk Rumenia Bauxite Mine and the Jetty when I researched mining in Johore. Do you re-collect why the officer's of woodburn were charged in Singapore Courts. Was it because you were a British Ship and under MSO could be hauled to Singapore; or because the salvage vessels towed you there or there were other reasons listed in the charge sheet. Did you attend the hearings! That too will be a historical record. Rarely do we get a glimpse into such proceedings. Great to get you two pieces.

Sorry, I was not involved in the case. My oppo John Scott had to give evidence about finding the Mate asleep which was difficult although the mate told him to tell the truth no problem and he pleaded guilty. Not sure but I think it may have been a U.K. Admiralty Court at that time. I know the Harbour Master was aboard within a couple of hours of grounding and seized all the log books, charts etc. as evidence. The Master was reprimanded for not checking up on the Mates ability to keep watch. Things were much slacker in those days and a bit of a drinking culture on ships. I seem to remember the voyage courses were only drawn up until shortly after midnight when the 2nd Mate would complete them. None of the berth to berth passage planning required today. Bridge and Engine Room clocks were a few minutes different. My memories of it are being thrown off my day bed, oil gushing up the air pipes to deck as the DB's were ruptured then taking off the Fore Peak lid to check for damage and finding a lot of fish swimming around ! The crew all lived aboard during the dry dock even though they worked all night and we had to go on the wharf to the toilets etc.(officially !)
Obviously there was some pollution but again in those times it was not considered quite so seriously as today.
We had big pumps in each hold to keep us afloat and the dock gates were open. Bit of a job getting on the blocks as several big boulders were still attached. Unfortunately the photos I had of it all have been lost over the years. Some day somebody will discover 1800 tons of bauxite on Horsburgh Reef and start a mine there !
That's about all I remember of it, not sure if Kenny has anything to add when he comes back on.
Roy

shahariltalb
26th April 2015, 10:57
Dear Roy,

I too enjoyed the care free days of the 1960's. Beatles; Mic Jagger and his swagger! Were the salvage vessel Barfoil and Barain vessles belong to the shipping company; that of the RN or from the private sector. Was the Hearing at the Admiralty Court or convened at the Marine Court. You have a big brood of a family. We have a daughter who has an LLM from London and is now in the broadcasting industry in front of cameras. Yours aye. shaharil

Roys1
26th April 2015, 20:56
Dear Roy,

I too enjoyed the care free days of the 1960's. Beatles; Mic Jagger and his swagger! Were the salvage vessel Barfoil and Barain vessles belong to the shipping company; that of the RN or from the private sector. Was the Hearing at the Admiralty Court or convened at the Marine Court. You have a big brood of a family. We have a daughter who has an LLM from London and is now in the broadcasting industry in front of cameras. Yours aye. shaharil
All salvage vessels were Royal Navy although the Salvage Master was a civvy named Robinson I think. Sorry I have no idea of the court make up.