Had a smashing coastal trip on her, Tommy Jones CE, Larry Cleall-Hardiing 2nd Eng, Eric Lorimer 3rd Eng. Had just got married (at Greenock) and then off to a 9 month deep sea trip on Maihar with a short leave before coasting on Masirah. We went up to the Clyde and lay at anchor off Greenock overnight ( so near but so far!) before going up to Glasgow next a.m. Ran down gangway at 0600 hrs and learned that next train to Greenock was at 0700, could not wait so hailed a taxi to Greenock at 10 shillings, driver thought he had won the lottery!( this was 1978!)
On arrival at Greenock the second thing I did was to put down my bag.
Nice picture of her ; spent a month on her in 1967 .
Also sailed with Tommy Jones Chief on a coastal on the Maidan in 1968. I was 4th Engineer. Tommy would always be saying " Got a beer for the old Chief " Tommy Lyons ( Dundee ) was 2nd Eng . I also sailed with Eric Lorimer 3rd Eng on the coast on the Mahout I think in 1966.
Maidan . In Antwerp all the engineers decided to go ashore Sat afternoon for a quiet libation leaving me 4th Eng day aboard : along with Tommy who was being quite well behaved . Location was Annies Bar ( AKA ' The Brocklebank Bar ) Brock Flags Pictures etc all over the walls .
We were due to sail @ 1800 . by 1600 no sight of the shore crowd so I went down and started to get things ready ! Bearing in mind this was my first appointment as 4th and first time on the "Black 4 " and my majority of sea time was on Mahout and Lucigen.
Got the boilers / turbine warmed through and running around like a blue ****d fly when the phone goes and its Tommy asking what the vacuum on the main condenser was ? I told him 29.4 " to which he replied " good ; come up to my cabin " I obliged and was given some change and a telephone number to call at head office and tell them I was calling on behalf of Tommy Jones and that the vacuum was 29.4 and Maidan was ready to sail !! I protested that there were no other engineers aboard and the job was still not ready for sea ! It was to no avail so I was directed to make the call and the go and get the lads back on board .
Call was fine but "the Lads " were in high spirits and in no mood to be ordered back by a lowly 4th Eng . I returned and managed to get the job ready before Stand Bye and the lads arrived up the gangway @ 6 sharp and promptly all went to bed leaving me alone with the contols and whole job to run during stand bye.
There was knowledge of the situation on the bridge as they sent down a deck apprentice to answere the telegraph and fill in the movement book for me .
We sailed without incident and I was eventually relieved about 01.30 am . There was no mention or discusssion of the incident all trip until Tilbury where we paid off when the 2nd Engineer during a few Tennants casualy said to me " You did OK leaving Antwerp Roger " " For a Motor Man ! "
You did exceptionally well - as for the rest of your colleagues-they are beyond contempt. I am surprised at the actions of the 2nd Eng. I assume the Jnr 3rd was one of the offenders. Was Tommy Jones aware of the situation? This was not the Brocklebank that I knew.
I dont Think Tommy was realy aware of the situation ; he was in a shell of his own at that time. He was very well thought of and I remember the story going around at the time of Princess margarets Wedding to Antony Armstrong Jones .
Word from the Palace was that Tommy was " Required " at the wedding . He was flown home from Colombo for the event Much to the Dismay of the Head Office Wallahs . He was a character and and did all his abstracts in pen ( Copper plate ) They were a sight to see ! Dont think he really knew much at the time of what was going on down below . A lot of the coast crews were not Brock men ( Due to shortages they were brought in from the pool ! Some were fine men but a lot were wasters .
The incident gave me a lot of confidence in myself though and I never looked back !.
My worst experience in the company was on the Lucigen where we had Geordie crew on deck and Scouse down below ! They were all from the polls and fought incessantly. Off Singapore they raided the bond and were totaly out of control . There was a knifing as well as a few other ugly moments . Only time in 13 years at sea I shut and Locked my door .
I am trying to think of the Mates name " George ??? " He was fearless and soon brought incidents to a close . I sailed with him later when I was Chief and He Captain . We often talked of that trip on the : lucy : . No deference to British crews but I must say the Indian and Pakistan crews were a lot more reliable .
We flew 3 back from Singapore and the rest of the trip was short handed and a lot smoother sailing.
On the " Lucy" I had a polish oiler who advised me " I Only drink twice a year ; at Xmas and my Birthday ! He had both that trip and I gave him a watch off . Other than that I had a very good watch mate and the 12 to 4 had no problems ( He was good to his word ) I was 5th at the time and I dont think the 3rd kept a full watch all trip ( His claim to fame before joining : Lucy : was that he was the engineer in charge of the washing machines on one of Her Majestys Aircraft carriers . He was a total waste of space and I wish I could find him now ; He still owes me 5 quid borrowd in Singapore to " Buy " his wife a present ! He ended up buying himself a watch !
With only one or two exceptions Brocklebank / Moss Officers were all top class and I was proud to be one of them .