Ships Nostalgia

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Steve Woodward 4th September 2006 16:25

Oregon Steamships
I am trying to contact anyone who worked for or has memories of Oregon steamships and their three ships, Londoner, Lutetian and lawrentian
Steve Woodward (egg)

Hugh MacLean 4th September 2006 16:59

Welcome aboard, Steve. I hope you enjoy the site.
I am sure there will be answers forthcoming.

gdynia 4th September 2006 17:00

Welcome Onboard to SN and enjoy your time on site. If you search on site for Lutetian you will find a thread I already started.

non descript 4th September 2006 17:10

A warm welcome to you Steve, this was (I believe) part of Continental Grain and one of our Members who presently works for a major London Broker which took on some of their office staff, may well be able to answer your question - once he sees your post, he may be able to guide you further. In the meantime enjoy the site and all it has to offer. Bon Voyage

danube4 4th September 2006 18:43


Steve Woodward 5th September 2006 21:30

Greetings returned
Many thanks to you all, yes Oregon was part of Continental Grain, a fact I had forgotten - its amazing what 26 years does to the memory.
It will be wonderful if I can contact some of the faces from the past, I had many happy years with Oregon, so far I have contacted the apprentice that I set out with to joine our first ship - the Lutetian - we flew from London to Nagoya via Anchorage to Tokyo, ending the journey on the Bullet Train.
It was an amazing journey for two 17 year olds from yorkshire, the best bit was whilst waiting for the bullet train to arrive at Tokyo a local train pulled in and a rather innebriated 4th engineer from Hull got on that - we never saw him for two days!!

Steve W

capital3 22nd November 2006 16:10

Mv Londoner

I served on the Londoner from 1961 to 1966. She was American Owned but managed by Oregon Steam Ship Company in London. The Engineering Supervisor was a Mr Gordon of the Gordon Gin Family. The Skipper was a Captain Peaz, the Chief Engineer was Bill Finch. She was Sulzer powered. I was 3rd Engineer at the time.

When you search on Mv Londoner it shots up a Ship I have never ever seen. The one on this site with the O on the funnel is the correct one. The Funnel was green and black. There was also an O on the Bow. They identify it as a "Tanker" but all the years I worked on her we only carried Grain. All the Senior Officers were the same for the whole length of my service she such a happy ship. I know they brough out a new ship after I finished, I do not know what that was called but I do know, that the 2nd Mate of the Londoner, took over the new Ship as Skipper. He was estonian. I know this because I met him some time after I left and he told me the Company were always asking about me and why do I not come back even if it only on a relieving basis. I hope this bit of tittle tattle is usefull to you.

William R Wheeler

R58484956 22nd November 2006 18:03

Welcome Steve to SN enjoy the site like we do.

awateah2 22nd November 2006 19:42

If you go into the gallery and look at the photo of the 'Sir Andrew Duncan' There is a ship in the background that looks remarkably like the 'Londoner'

capital3 8th March 2007 13:55

I served on the Londoner from 1961 to 1965 in the ranks of Junior Engineer and finished as Third Engineer. The Chief Engineer during that time was Bill Finch the 2nd, Engineer was Freddie Miller (whose father was killed in the Seaham Harbour Lifeboat tradegy. He was the Coxwain) The Master was Captain Peaze, Chief Officer Ernie Walters. She was Sulzer powered. The Offices of the Company were in Creechurch Lane, London. The Engineering Superintendant was a Mr Gordon (of the Gordon Gin Family). During the crossing from Otaru in Japan to Vancouver in 1965, we were caught in a Typhoon and when we arrived in Liverpool, television etc, were there calling the "Londoner" The Ship with the Concrete side. I have contacted one of the Cadets who served with me.

William Ray Wheeler

graykay2601 9th June 2007 15:54


Originally Posted by Steve Woodward (Post 74639)
I am trying to contact anyone who worked for or has memories of Oregon steamships and their three ships, Londoner, Lutetian and lawrentian
Steve Woodward (egg)

Hi Steve, I was ships cook on the Londoner in the mid 70's and she was a coastal bulk carrier then and I was told the vessel had once been sunk then refloated and refurbished.
We spent a lot of time at Lieth unloading Grain and most of the crew where Scots and went home at Leith leaving myself and the steward and 1 engineer on board.
I later joined the Lutetian unloading sugar from Maritius at Liverpool(my home town) and sailed to Rouen for a cargo of flour for Libya. We went to Rotterdam first and i asked to be paid off as the galley was filthy and full off vermin.
I believe she was anchored off Libya for 4 months after that so I had a lucky escape I think.
I never heard or saw anything of Oregen SS Co after that and i have checked out the picture of the Londoner in the background of another ship picture and it is not the Londoner I sailed on, Take care.graykay

tanker 9th June 2007 20:07

1 Attachment(s)
Here for you the LONDONER on sea trials.

graykay2601 9th June 2007 23:00

Thanks for the picture of the Londoner but its not the ship I sailed on. The Londoner I know of was a coaster(middle trade) graykay

Steve Woodward 12th June 2007 13:09

Only just found this thread again,

Graykay, remember you but not your name, my wife and I rejoined the Lutetian in Liverpool arround the same time as yourselves, Oregon were nearing the end then and the old girl was not her best.
The londoner you sailed on was the coaster, the Londer in the attached picture is the first Londoner she was sold in the early '70's, I will email you with a pic of your ship.
You did indeed have a lucky escape, we did indeed spend nearly four months at anchor off Libya, a large number of ships had been chartered to load flour and cooking oil - so many that Libyan ports were clogged with the stuff.
Not a good ending to my time with Oregon, at the end of that trip I left to join Mobil.

William Weeler,
Thanks for your posting,
The Londoner you sailed on was the first one - a medium sized midship accomodation cargo ship.
Bill Finch became Eng Super and as the company declined took a lot of stick which he did not deserve as he was only trying to keep things going with limited funds.
Captain Pease retired whilst I was with Oregon but we never sailed together, his son david was mate on the Lutetian and something of a bully to the apprentices, he once hit me and the Estonian AB Skibutz ( cant rember his first name)who saw it threatened to fill him if he did it again, the mate is not endeared in my memory and thankfully I only sailed with him once and he did not spoil things for me.
Ernie Walters - he became a popular and respected master, a West Countryman if I remeber correctly, rather short and had to stand on a box to see in the daylight viewing hood of the radar.
The Estonian Second Mate you mention would be Tom Keiver, real nice guy and another person who threatened David Pease with a touch of his own medicine if he did'nt leave the 'prentices alone. He was old man on the Lutetian arround 1972-3, sadly I do not know what happened top Tom.
Oregon remained in Creechurch Lane - I have vague recollections of an old fashioned office when I went for my interview before being indentured.

capital3 20th June 2007 15:03

Steve, were you one of the two Cadets that I sailed with on the Londoner, I have contacted one of those Cadets who was from Beverley near Hull. I was always known by the name of Ray as my full name is William Raymond Wheeler, but my Dad was a William also, so everyone knew me as Ray. Tom Kiever married a Girl from Splott in Cardiff. I used to see him at one time, but the whole of Splott has been redeveloped, so he coud be anywhere. I will have to check the phone book. When we went one time into the Black Sea to Russia, we had to drop Tom off at Istanbul as he could not go to Russia. He was trying desperately to get his Mother out of Estonia, but whether he suceeded I know not. I knew Tom's wife before he did, as I was brought up in Splott. I am 74 years old now and I still miss the Sea.

Ray Wheeler

capital3 20th June 2007 15:05

Steve! Did you ever know a Mr Hanks from the Main Office in Creechurch Lane?


Steve Woodward 27th June 2007 20:44

Hi ray,
Nope never sailed on the old Londoner, one of the Hull cadets on her was Malcom Page, nice lad, packed it in and joined the Police. - look him up in life on board.
remember Tom mentioning Splott.
I cannot recall a Mr Hanks, but I can remeber Ken hairs interviewing me for the job as brass polisher's apprentice
Steve W

trotterdotpom 28th June 2007 05:17

I knew a lad in Hull who was a deck apprentice with Oregon for a while in about 1970. He left and became an RO for some reason. His name was Tomlinson, possibly John. Last I heard of him he was running a private crewing agency in the days when there was money in that in the UK.

John T.

anthony lear 1st July 2007 17:52

1 Attachment(s)
Steve here's another photo of her
tony lear

Steve Woodward 2nd July 2007 09:45

Thanks Tony,
Hoiw did you come by the photo - do you have links with Oregon?

anthony lear 2nd July 2007 09:55

I never sailed on her or anything, I just collect photos of old merchant ships, mainly from around the time I went to sea; late 50s-60s
The photo came-I think-from the Riversea site (memories section) sometime ago. Doubtless George will give you more info if you email him

Geoff of Hull 13th November 2007 21:11

I remember years ago lots of Hull pool guys sailed on the Londoner and she had glowing reports..
Seems strange that people mentioned as cadets were from Hull too some connection maybe?
I remember John Tomlinson I think it was John very quiet lad was at Sparkie school with me in 1969...........Geoff

Steve Woodward 13th November 2007 23:53

Hi Geoff,
Never sailed on the Londoner, but the fleet got most of their crews from the Tyne as that was were they usually dry-docked, I believe there some sort of link between Continental Grain and Middle-docks, most of those crews were regulars with Oregon
For some reason most of Oregons Cadets came from Hull Trinity House Navigation School.

Orbitaman 14th November 2007 08:22

When I was a cadet at Hull college in the 1970's we had a guy on our course from Oregon, called Steve? Wells. When Oregon folded, he was transferred inot Bank LIne to complete his cadetship. He did me the favour of turning up at Posterngate while i was doing my 2nd Mates orals to tell Captain Diston that he wasn't going to do his orals. I finally emerged from Captain Distons office three hours later, having gone through the syllabus from beginning to end with a very grumpy examiner! By the way, I did pass.

Geoff of Hull 15th November 2007 05:23

Very true Steve jogs my memory now as being a Hull Trinity House ex myself that's another reason I recollect the Londoner and Oregan company.
Also Shields pool was a secondary pool for Hull if no jobs were about from Hull we used to get seconded to Shields,Tilbury or even Avonmouth at times..did not get a "T" shirt either!only good banter..Wells that is another name that has me thinking there was one in the class above me,will investigate that one..Cheers Steve

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