Old Blue Flue Mates - Page 13 - Ships Nostalgia
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  #301  
Old 26th November 2019, 03:09
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makko makko is online now  
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Hi Derek,

It was Odyssey Works! My Dad started out as an apprentice turner at Gandie belt works in Wallasey and then was taken on as an apprentice engine fitter at Odyssey. The head of the workshop was Iain Dalgleish, a legend!

My Dad worked on almost all the BF ships in the early 50's: Coal fired, oil motors, steam recip, ST, and, wait for it!, Scott's Stills! He was bright and also did time in the drawing office and metallurgical lab where, the resident engineer solved a problem with cast iron cylinder liners (spherical CI comes to mind). My Dad loved metallurgy and I consult with him for insights to this day.

Anyway, my Dad was fast tracked with a view to becoming engineering superintendent - Made up from 7th to 3/E on the brand new Menestheus, doing his tickets.

However, offspring put paid to that and in about 1965, my Dad started as a Marine Engineering lecturer on the fledgling Birkenhead Tech Marine programme. He ended up with a Masters in Education and kept lecturing until 81 years old at the Laird Foundation. He is a mine of knowledge on ships.

Even though he was BF's "guy" at Birkenhead Tech, he once told me that he could never overcome the feeeling of being a pimply 18 year old every time he had to deal with Daggy!

My father was witness to two events which demonstrated Daggy's very strange humour. In one, an amateur weightlifter was hanging chain blocks for certification. The cotton wadding that he had on his shoulder as a cushion got caught in the machine tool drive band and ripped his arm off. In the second, amaster turner with a tremendous "Bobby Charlton" comb-over got his hair caught in the turning piece and was scalped, a la Comanche. Daggy thought both incidents were highly amusing.

When I applied to Ocean, I was interviewed by Daggy. He asked me if I expected any favours because of who my father was. He made it clear that I was on my own and would only be taken on by my own abilities.

I was sent for my entrance exams to Riversdale, having not yet taken my O Levels, exams that were designed for applicants who had completed further studies, Uni and Poly. Some of the questions were above me: Erosion of a lead plate in a wet cell battery jumps to mind! But I just tried my hardest with what I had and signed "Have not taken O Levels yet, tried hardest".

The big surprise, which led to my first meeting with Nobby Christian, was the Logic test. As part of his degree thesis, my father had used me and my siblings as "test subjects", giving us tests. I got 100% - Shock, horror! Had Riversdale leaked the results to B'head!? I had to retake the test, under the supervision of Nobby. I got 98% - Pass!

I was taken on as an Engineer Cadet in the Jan 80 intake and sent to Birkenhead Tech. I had known a lot of the lecturers and general staff since I was four years old! Daggy was hard on me.

On Tuesdays, we had to attend a lecture by Daggy at Odyssey Works. He always ensured that the classes finished fifteen minutes before Final Orders at the Park Hotel - We always made it for a couple of pints and chip supper before returning to Iliad House.

During my workshop summer at Odyssey Works in 1981, I was summoned to Daggy's office on a Monday morning. BF were reactivating the LNG carrier NESTOR for guarantee work and drydocking in France. One of the cadets had got drunk on Saturday and fallen from the fourth floor to the basement at Iliad. I was to replace him. At this time we were always referred to as "Boy" by Daggy. I duly went up to Loch Striven where we celebrated the "Royal Wedding", drinking duty free beer and building a can pyramid on the deck outside the port-a-cabins. A good summer!

When I got back, I was again summoned to Daggy's office. I was shocked, aghast even, when he told Aunty Pat (his secretary) to send Mr. Rogers in. He then told me to take a seat and offered me tea and biscuits!! I had obviously done well and got a good report.

Daggy retired in 1982. I bought him good bottles of Whisky, Cognac and a wine and a retirement card. I shook his hand and, thanking him for his guidance, wished him well. That was the last time that I saw him. He was rumoured to have retired to a Grouse farm that he had developed in Scotland. I believe that Daggy was originally from Dundee and had been a guest of the Japanese in Singapore during WW2.

Daggy was a legend and a very competent engineer. How many of us BF/Ocean Cadets did he influence, forcing us to be better at everything?

Best Regards,
Dave
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  #302  
Old 26th November 2019, 06:38
Barrie Youde Barrie Youde is offline  
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#299

Mention of a man who "lived next door to Paul McCartney".

In late 1962 I met my then-wife-to-be, at a party. Sue was a clerk in Lloyd's Bank in India Buildings (ancestral home of all things Blue Flue). As far as I can recall, in late 1962 the Beatles phenomenon had not yet happened, and I doubt that I had then heard of the Beatles. But the phenomenon certainly did burst into the public eye in 1963. Well do I remember Sue bragging to me that she had a friend in Lloyd's Bank who had a weed from Paul McCartney's garden. (Yes, you read it properly!) On reflection, the rise of the Beatles in that era was surreal, but it certainly did happen, to the extent that many young people grew up in the belief that the city of Liverpool was built by the Beatles, with no help from anybody else.

When Cilla Black died a few years ago there was a splendid story in her obituary about Glen Line's GLENGARRY ( a Blue Flue operation since pre WWII). At some point in the 1960s, Glengarry had had a particularly difficult time politically during a trip to China under Chairman Mao. Some Blue Flue men had been imprisoned there, and all had endured much unpleasantry. On her return to London, Blue Flue laid on a dinner for Glengarry at a club/restaurant where the guest singer was Cilla Black. At mid-point in her act she announced, "Now, I understand that there are some lads in tonight from the Glengarry? Is that right? I'd like to dedicate this next song to you all:-" Whereupon she began to sing,

"What's it all about, Alfie?"

As the daughter of a Liverpool docker it seems likely that she would have understood the joke in full, even if she might have been put up to it by the organisers of the dinner.

'Twas all a long time ago.
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  #303  
Old 26th November 2019, 17:51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barrie Youde View Post
#299

Mention of a man who "lived next door to Paul McCartney".

In late 1962 I met my then-wife-to-be, at a party. Sue was a clerk in Lloyd's Bank in India Buildings (ancestral home of all things Blue Flue). As far as I can recall, in late 1962 the Beatles phenomenon had not yet happened, and I doubt that I had then heard of the Beatles. But the phenomenon certainly did burst into the public eye in 1963. Well do I remember Sue bragging to me that she had a friend in Lloyd's Bank who had a weed from Paul McCartney's garden. (Yes, you read it properly!) On reflection, the rise of the Beatles in that era was surreal, but it certainly did happen, to the extent that many young people grew up in the belief that the city of Liverpool was built by the Beatles, with no help from anybody else.

When Cilla Black died a few years ago there was a splendid story in her obituary about Glen Line's GLENGARRY ( a Blue Flue operation since pre WWII). At some point in the 1960s, Glengarry had had a particularly difficult time politically during a trip to China under Chairman Mao. Some Blue Flue men had been imprisoned there, and all had endured much unpleasantry. On her return to London, Blue Flue laid on a dinner for Glengarry at a club/restaurant where the guest singer was Cilla Black. At mid-point in her act she announced, "Now, I understand that there are some lads in tonight from the Glengarry? Is that right? I'd like to dedicate this next song to you all:-" Whereupon she began to sing,

"What's it all about, Alfie?"

As the daughter of a Liverpool docker it seems likely that she would have understood the joke in full, even if she might have been put up to it by the organisers of the dinner.

'Twas all a long time ago.
The lad was Dave Ireland who played the double bass in the Liverpool youth orchestra and also played in the evenings at a club the blue angel if my memory serves me right Johnnie Willis who I previously mentioned bought a copy of Love Me Do when it was released and got Dave to get it signed by all the Beatles which included Best an Sutcliff ; if he still has it its probably worth quite a lot of cash . Dave I understand passed over the bar a few years ago .
Derek
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  #304  
Old 26th November 2019, 18:54
Barrie Youde Barrie Youde is offline  
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I hope that other readers will forgive the wanderings of this thread.

I am about the same age as McCartney and was at school about two miles away from where he lived. In my class at school was James Edward Anthony Tyler. A wit but not a sage, he was largely uneducable and consistenty propped up the very bottom of the class. Permanently at war with all school authority, he left school with one "O" level - in English Language. So far, so appalling. A few years after leaving school - after brief and chequered (if not disastrous) careers in the Police and the Army (including service in Aden), he became editor of the New Musical Express. As Tony Tyler, he then compiled not only an anthology/history of the Beatles and their output, but also an anthology of the works of JRR Tolkein. Not only were these works of Tyler published, but both were in the New York Times Best-Sellers' List - at the same time! A reasonably phenomenal achievement for anybody.

He will always be Tyler to me, but Tony Tyler died about ten years ago, eleven days after having been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. It is difficult to imagine the shock which this must have been to his family, but he is on record as having told his wife and his mother-in-law at the time, "I want you both to know that, when your time comes, all of this is quite dealable with."

A remarkable man.
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  #305  
Old 26th November 2019, 20:44
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Pat Kennedy Pat Kennedy is online now  
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[QUOTE=makko;3016463]Hi Derek,

It was Odyssey Works! My Dad started out as an apprentice turner at Gandie belt works in Wallasey

Dave, your mention of Gandy belt works reminded me that my brother Jimmy, on leaving St Anselm's in 1959, did a few weeks in The Gandy, as it was known, as a general dogsbody before starting his apprenticeship as a fitter with the MDHB, after which he joined Blue Funnel as a junior engineer.
On his last day in the Gandy, he was waylaid by a crowd of the girls who worked there, debagged and had his family jewels coated with all sorts of foul smelling grease. After this parting gift from the Gandy girls, he was taken into the ladies loo and was cleaned up with soft soap and TLC by the ringleader of these harridans, one Eunice S... who had been there many years and was a real "bad girl". She has been dead for a good while now, but your dad may have encountered her during his time there.
Our Jimmy never got over his experience there and to this day he blanches at the smell of Shell Alvania grease.

Regards,
Pat
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  #306  
Old 26th November 2019, 21:43
Barrie Youde Barrie Youde is offline  
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#304

The last time I spoke to Tony Tyler was in late September 1959. He had heard that I was going to sea, had left school and would not be returning. He very, very kindly telephoned me at home to enquire as to my well-being? I told him that I had been accepted into the Pilot Service and that, as a preliminary measure, I was being sent Australia as a cadet (which he understood) or Middy (which he didn't) in Blue Flue's ss Jason, sailing on 5th October.

Agape (over the phone) he said, "Gosh. You will be a highly-skilled tradesman, eventually. When you go to Australia, will you sail out of sight of land, at all?"

I'm now ashamed to say that I was so overcome by his combination of both warm kindness and blunt ignorance that our conversation didn't last much longer; and we then went our seperate ways. I never saw him (nor heard much about him) again until after I heard about his death.
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