Nice photo, I missed this one when it was originally posted. From the layout and number of the windows below the bridge and the arrangement of the stanchions amidships the BP tanker is the British Sailor, 33,682 dwt, built by John Brown & Co., Clydebank, in 1953. This appears to be before the change to the awful grey paint scheme introduced in 1963 so the picture seems to be prior to that. I think she has the BP shield on her funnel so after 1955. BP sold her in 1972 to the Marisira Nav. Co., Cyprus, renamed Marisira and she was sold again in 1974 to the Egyptian General Petroleum Organization, renamed Fagr, finally going to the breakers in 1980.
Alastair I joined the Trelevan first week in June 7th 1963 so it could very well be her BUT she was one of 4 that had been laid up in the River Fal. So I am getting warm when did BP change their colours in 1963 before of after June.
There was no hard and fast date for the change to grey decks and uprights, (masts, vents, tank lids etc.). The company started finishing new ships in the grey livery about spring 1963; one of my old ships the British Guardsman was completed in June '63 with all grey on deck but kept her foremast white. Ships were repainted to the new scheme often when the C/O ran out of red deck paint and the vertical surfaces frequently went grey before the decks. This is what happened on the British Signal when I was aboard and we didn't complete the change of colour scheme until June 1965! BP started ordering the new scheme for dry docked vessels from sometime in '63. Sorry, that doesn't help you much.
[COLOR="Blue"][COLOR="Purple"]Thought!!! Why did they need such a big crane???[/COLOR]
I can't say with any authority David, but many years ago there was a mighty looking crane that served Felixstowe's ro-ro berth 2, (where Jim's Atlantic Steam and Townsend Thoresen ferries berthed) and although not as large as the one above, it was still a beast.
Somebody explained to me that it was not high SWL's that caused it's dimensions to be so massive, but the radius, as well as the height, that it had to lift the goods.
Looking at the one above, it appears to have the same problem... it has to reach to the outboard sides of both adjacent drydocks, I imagine.
Thanks for taking the time to reply Alastair, still in with a four to one shot as to that being the one I signed on, but I must be honest I have my doubts as she looks as if she has a few derricks flying were we had to rig the whole ship she didn't have one guy, cargo runner or lifting gear above deck level it was all down below. What a birds nest it was, it took us days to sort it all out we even had the 1st Mate jumping around on the forward Mast I thought it's a long way down (one hand for the ship and one hand for me) He and I rigged the Jumbo Derrick and those blocks were a tad heavy.
From the reference material I have I'd say you were right on the money with your ID of the Federal ship as the Nottingham. The length of the name looks right too. No doubt other far more expert eyes than mine will confirm your identification, I only ever worked on tankers so have no first hand experience of these fine looking ships.