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Malpas-Truro

Malpas-Truro

A scene from the deck of the Tillerman at low water Malpas, 1970.

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Sadly I missed out on that run, never got past Greenbank quay in Falmouth.
Yelland was similar, in north Devon, opposite the Appledore shipyard where we watched the BP Hunter & Harrier being built there.
Regular runs to Par, Falmouth, Cowes (Medina wharf), Canarvon and Dundalk from Milford, then the Island run and ending up on the east coast, Wisbech, Kings Lyn, and the odd run to Lerwick...all out of Mingming!
 

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Helo Derek;
I think they called it the 'milk run', loading at Canvey four grades, and discharging at Port Slade, Cowes, Poole and Malpas (Truro). Sometimes caused a bit of a headache for the mate, four grades, part tanks for each discharge. We were unable to discharge all the remaining cargo at Malpas before she grounded so, had to leave enough on board to adjust the list for draining on the following rising tide.
Bruce.
 

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Hi Bruce

Happy New year!
Until the Island run in Scotland we only ever did Falmouth & Cowes as a split run, and that didn't include split tanks....though of course it did in the Highlands, with 60t of motor spirit here and 75t of kero there, then they wanted to change the amounts when you berthed as only one lorry was delivering that day and the tanks were near full!
If I remember, 2w's and 5w's were the main heavy weather ballast tanks and easy to split, followed by 4w's for fair weather ballast and usually kept full for the furthest discharge port.
Yelland in North Devon was a river discharge where she always sat on the bottom with a list but they started you on arrival, but the discharge usually kept in time with the tide. Par we never started discharge till low water, Caernarvon was usually on arrival .. and Wisbech depended on what day it was!! All were drying out ports with pubs handy!!
 

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Hi Derek;
A Happy New Year to you as well.

The only time that I ran up to the Western Isles with Rowbothams was on the old Helmsman with Alex Graham, Roger Havard and John Cook we used to take fuel oil to Jura and Stornoway, I liked the run. As you said, most of the smaller discharge ports had a pub somewhere handy though I cannot remember one at Yelland, I suppose that handy pubs could be regarded as a bit of a hazard nowadays, with breath testing and having to be within the limit regardless if you are on duty or not. It takes all the fun away.
Bruce.
 

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Probably half of them would be closed now....or made into flatlets!

Good old John Cook, I take it you mean the 'chef' from Sunderland? ... whatever the weather he could always be relied on to provide a hot meal. And although every other cook who relieved him on the Tilly complained bitterly about the butane gas cooker and the cylinders....John made them last twice as long as anyone else.
We used to change them in Stornoway at low water.....a straight lift across from quay to boatdeck!
I think he was killed a good few years back now ... falling between ship & jetty after a run ashore. Another great character.
 

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Hi Derek; Sorry to hear about John, he didn't deserve it. Jimmy Richie and Eddie Walker were the Ch/engs. there. I relieved Alex Graham twice, Geoff Haines was Mate with me once but I cannot remember who the the other mate was, it will come back. The pumpman was Des Mc.Ilroy from Moville, another character. She was a happy little ship.
Bruce.
 

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Hi Bruce..
When I first joined her in Par, Mick Scanlon was the Mate and Alan Everett was the Skipper, to be relieved by Trevor Hill and Alec McKinnon.
Roger was the regular 2/E, the late Charlie Westcott and the late Ken Jones were the two 3/E's and the C/E was Ted Thornley, along with Gordon Davis.
Various mates came and went....Colin Farmer, John Blewett and then Kenny Plummer and myself relieved each other! After Ted Thornley left Mike Cotton became the regular C/E with Geoff Plastow regular 2/E and Paul Burrell 3/E ..... with the late John Marsden and Rusty Buchan relieving each other as Master. Alec Graham did a couple of trips, along with Kenny MacDonald the late Hughie Hall and Mike O'Brian ... and in the final days John Browning was Master.
When the Oilman took the Island run over, John Marsden was transferred with me...but I hated that ship....too fast, no time in port....so I got the Tilly back on the East Coast with John Browning & Kenny Plummer, where she ended her days with Rockies doing Wisbech, Kings Lynn, Aberdeen, Buckie, Lerwick and a couple of runs to Rotterdam from the Thames carrying tank-clean slops.
We had no regular pumpman ... there was a steward to begin with, but that was soon changed to just a cook and 3 AB's ... one regular called John Henderson from Glasgow, and one called Roddy McSween from Benbecula.
We handed her over to the Greeks in Leith harbour on 24 Jan 1986.
I saw her once more in Plymouth Sound when the new owners called in to bunker and I was asked to go down and explain why a deck master was chained & padlocked shut!!...the one on the port side isolating 5w's from the rest of the tanks on the port pump line.
As you say Bruce...a very happy ship and I have fond memories of her, probably the best from all my time at sea.!
 

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Hello Derek;
I am sorry, I have misled you a bit with my last two posts, following the mention of the Western Isles Run, I was talking about the old Helmsman (Yellow Submarine) not the Tillerman.
I have met or sailed with most of the names you mentioned. Alan Everett gained his first command when he relieved me on the Leadsman, Trevor Hill is a local man, and used to be manager of James Williams Brewery Narberth, a real Gent.
Alex McKinnon was a good friend, another true gentleman. John Marsden did his first trip in the company with me after leaving Common Brothers, on the Chartsman, 1969?. Rusty Buchan, another memorable character, the list is endless. I think that Frank Craske and Mick Chapman were two masters on the Tillerman that I sailed with when I was mate, I also sailed with Mick on the old Steersman 400dwt. I think Kevin Raby was Ch/Eng. on the Tillerman then. We used to carry a lot of styrene in the early days, later in the early 70s we were carrying crude methylmethacrylate from Seal Sands to Lennigs in the Tyne, they used to inject furfurol into the product to stabilise it, the fururol penetrated the dimetcote and made the Tillerman unsuitable for the further carriage of chemicals except MMC of course. I remember about that time that Roy Stevens was mate and Johnny Spiers was 2nd. eng. two more good shipmates. Yes Derek she was a good ship for me as well.
Bruce
 

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Hi Bruce
Roy Stevens was on the Tilly a couple of times, but his regular ship was the Leadsman, Pembroke-Falmouth most of the time, with Hughie Hall as the regular Skipper. Frank Craske and Mick Chapman are names I know, but never met them. I believe Kevin Raby was on the Wheelsman along with Mike Cotton and Gordon Davis, but I only knew Mike. John Marsden I last saw at the wedding of an ex-class 5 lad from Bridport about 12 years ago....he was then godfather to the couples first little lad, bust sadly passed away shortly after. Old Rusty I met up with a few times in Plymouth after he retired...he did a few yacht delivery runs from Guernsey for customers with his son Jamie...who did a trip on the Tilly with us round the Islands! His Danish wife Merita did not let us know about Rusty's death until after the funeral, which was a shame, as I for one would certainly have gone to St Saviour's for the send-off!
As for Trevor Hill ... he was known as the 'Silver Fox' .. and as you say, was a real gent! I sailed with him a few times when he was mate on the Rudderman, relieving Duncan Robertson, then he would go Master....and he did a couple of trips on the Tilly as Master before we took over the West Coast run for BP. We mainly ran out of Grangemouth then, but did a few runs from Stanlow and Belfast when Brodick was on the itinerary.
I must be one of the few people with Tiree in my discharge book as a joining port, great fun landing on the beach, flight times being dependant upon HW!!
 

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Hi Derek;
I had forgotten about Gordon Davies, yes I sailed with Gordon as well, Kevin Raby would have been a natural for the Wheelsman I believed he served his time with Rustons at Lincoln. I did hear the sad news about John Marsden some time ago, probably from one of your postings. My next door neighbour is a retired BA pilot who in his earlier days used to do the Island run with British Caledonian?, he would know Tiree well. Bruce.
 

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