Ships Nostalgia - View Single Post - Training ship City of Lucknow (merged threads)
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Old 17th January 2008, 17:49
Ron Stringer's Avatar
Ron Stringer Ron Stringer is offline
Senior Member
Organisation: Merchant Navy
Department: Radio Officer
Active: 1960 - 1966
Join Date: Mar 2005
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Posts: 6,224
Originally Posted by pastyman View Post
Ron, Thanks for the reply. I gather from what you say that you were one of the officers, Perhapse a photo would help me remember.

If you click on my name at the top of any of my postings, you will see a drop-down listing headed by 'View this Member's Profile'. Click on that and you will see a photo of me on the monkey island of the 'C of L' in Mombasa, off the new quayside they were building at that time.

We all used to pull John's leg about his anaemic roll-ups; he was a great guy, an incurable practical joker and I was very disappointed when last year, after eventually finding someone that knew of his whereabouts, I found out that he had died only a short time before. I traced him through the 'old boys' association at the Botha, but too late.

On one trip I found a huge mole cricket (well about 3-inches long) that had flown in through the radio room porthole. I covered it with the log book until I could find something to collect it in, but it just walked off with the logbook on its back. It was a ferocious-looking thing with huge thick legs, designed for digging in hard, sun-baked soil and decorated with scary spines in various places. Having found a box and captured the beast, I put it in John's tobacco tin while he was on the 4 -8 watch with the mate. It was one of those tins in which you bought cigarette tobacco rom the bond, like a condensed milk can with a top that lifted off after you had rotated it to cut through the tinfoil covering. (I can't remember the name of the brand).

John used to like to lean his chair back onto 2 legs, putting his feet up onto the wash basin in his cabin. Having tipped some of the other guys off, we gathered in his cabin for a beer when he came off watch. Sure to type, with a beer balanced in his lap and the chair tilted back to the balance point, he reached for his Rizlas and tobacco tin. Yarning away, and without looking at the tin, he removed the lid and delved inside. A look of total horror flashed across his face as his fingers came into contact with the struggling beast trying to get to the light. There was a loud howl, the can was flung up against the deckhead, the chair tipped backwards as John was pitched to the deck and he and the cabin were covered in tobacco and beer. We fled before he could recover - he was not only big but very powerful.

When I left the 'Lucknow' in April 1963, there was not even a rumour that she was to be sold out of the fleet in August '63. I never ran across anyone from my time on her - perhaps that was not too surprising since I sailed mainly on tankers thereafter until I wet to work ashore for Marconi's. Shame I never came across Keith Beverley though as we did lots of trials of new communications products on both the 'Matco Avon' and the 'Matco Thames'. Running from Coryton out to the North Sea terminals, they were both close to our office and development labs in Chelmsford and frequently available (every few days) for de-briefs on equipment performance. I was regularly aboard both the vessels over a period of several years during the 1970s and early '80s.

Never regret growing older. It is a privilege denied to many. Don't worry about old age - it doesn't last.
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