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EARL OF SKYE ex- BRITISH CENTAUR

EARL OF SKYE ex- BRITISH CENTAUR

EARL OF SKYE, built in 1966 by Harland and Wolff in Belfast as BRITISH CENTAUR for BP . She served BP until 1983 when she was sold to Earlott Ltd and renamed EARL OF SKYE. She arrived in Glasgow on 11th March 1983 with the intention of being converted into a livestock carrier by Govan Shipbuilders, a massive contract.
The whole thing fell through and she arrived at Ulsan for scrap, arriving about 28 June 1984.
She was crewed during this time by Harrisons Clyde and I'm sure was Jersey registered.

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Hello Fairfield,
Good photo, plus info you wrote, always nice to get a little bit story about a ship posted. I never sailed on her, though with BP most my sea time
Regards
Rob
 

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A nice class of ship. COMMODORE was Clyde built, CAPTAIN came from Birkenhead and I think there was another apart of course from CENTAUR from Belfast?
 

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Paul, The Commerce I think, or have I had too much sun the past couple of days.

Rob
 

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They planned to convert a tanker to a livestock carrier??????????? Wow!!
 

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My first BP tanker. Joined her in the Isle of Grain in August 67 in her pre GP days, then re joined her again May 68 in Birkenhead after a GP course ahd she was then GP herself. A good solid ship, but not really suited for GP manning in my book.
I was on the Commodore as well, she also went GP, but the Commerce didn't as far as I know.
 

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Yes, although when you see some of these really big ones it doesn't surprise me.
 

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I sailed on this mighty ocean greyhound( I jest!) as 4/E from Jan'70 to Apr'70, having been promoted and transferred from the Mallard.It was only a short trip on her, but it was a very interesting and hard working trip never the less.
But it's about her as the Earl of Skye that I want to tell the tale.I'd left BP in 1981 due to health problems and had to find another form of employment, so, with the help of a family friend I ended up as a sales rep for a local textile company.I was doing a weeks calling around Glasgow when one evening, as I was crossing the Kingston Bridge on my way back to my hotel, I glanced down the river and saw a vessel with a funnel that looked familiar.Curiousity got the better of me so I came off the motorway and threaded my way towards the river. I knew roughly where to go as I had been born and brought up in that area, but a lot of the streets had changed or disappeared.Anyway, I managed to get my self onto Govan Road but had lost site of the ship, so I stopped and walked over to a high wall( which I remember from my childhood days) and scrambled up it far enough to see where the ship was berthed. (God knows what any passerby would have thought seeing a grown man, in his best business suit, shirt and tie, hanging over a dock wall!).She was'nt far away and after turning a few corners I managed to get down to the quay.There was a gangway in place but no sign of anybody.I still was'nt sure if she was an ex-BP job as all I could see was the name, Earl of Skye, on the bow.By this time I was beginning to think that I was on a wild-goose chase. However, something made me walk to the stern and there, in welded letters, underneath her current name, was British Centaur. I was just getting over my surprise when a guy appeared from one of the sheds and asked if he could help me.He was the nigh****chman and I explained why I was there and to my surprise he said "Why don't you go aboard, there's some engineers on her and I'm sure they'd like to meet you".So up the gangway I goes, feeling out of place, but excited, made my way into the accommodation and located the engineers in the C/E's cabin.They were pretty surprised to receive a visitor, but when I told them that I'd sailed on her, they welcomed me like a long lost pal.She was on shore power, so as they had to get the plant ready in a few days, they bombarded me with all sorts of questions.I don't know if the info I gave was of any help, but they were happy to chat, and in fact the C/E asked me if I wanted a job, which I had to decline.Her final destination was a far east scrap-yard, and on hearing this, I felt a bit sad.There were many times when I was on her that I would have cheerfully cut her up for razor blades myself, but to hear that her final days were approaching, struck a chord. Aware of the time and that I still had a few miles to go to my hotel, and reluctantly refusing the umpteenth offer of a beer, I bid my farewells, wishing them a safe voyage.As I was going out the door the C/E said "Are you not going to have look down the pit for one last time?" Well I could hardly refuse, could I? So I made my way to the changing room and out onto the top walkway with every intention of going no further, but curiosity kicked in again and I found myself descending the ladders onto the top plates. It was such a strange feeling to stand there knowing that I had spent part of my life in this engine-room.I suppose it was made more unreal by the fact that there was no machinery running and everything was deathly quiet.But if I thought that this was eerie I got an even bigger surprise when I went into the control-room.It was as I remembered it, the annunciator board with quite a few boxes pulled out of their sockets (just like in my day!), the M/E main air valve in the corner(which was always as tight as hell) and of course the black-board in the other corner with the various running units chalked in,(S.W.Circ P/P - Out'b, J.W P/P - F'ord, etc) and the last of these was the WHU By-pass which was marked OPEN, which is how it should have read.And this is where the real spooky part comes in ----- that word OPEN ------ was in MY WRITING, or in somebodys writing that was identical to mine. I'm convinced of it! I don't mind telling you that it made the hair on the back of my neck stand up, just as it's doing now. I've told myself a thousand times that it was impossible for my writing still to be there -------- but who knows??
 

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Super, James. I knew/ still know her Chief Engineer and through him I was on board as well. I now understand that Harrison's Clyde used her for a one trip job after leaving Glasgow to the Gulf where she loaded a cargo of crude for Korea before ending up at Ulsan for demolition.
 

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James,
Lovely story - thanks for sharing.
Kind regards,
John.
 

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