Methane Progress - Ships Nostalgia
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  #1  
Old 6th September 2010, 21:30
EddieC EddieC is offline
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Methane Progress

Hello everyone in Houlder's extended family.

I wonder if you can help me, please?

A very long time ago, when I was a deck cadet in the company (alas, I left after only three years so probably don't qualify as being part of the "the family") I seem to remember seeing a ship movements list with all the Houlder ships on, but also including "Methane Progress".

This seems to be bourne out by numerous books which show her as being owned by Methane Tanker Finance, and managed by Houlders.

Question is, did she have a Houlder crew or was she manned by Shell?

I would very much appreciate it if you could help, please?
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  #2  
Old 7th September 2010, 10:13
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I remember piloting that ship and never associated her having anything to to do with Houlders: I always assumed she was manned by Shell personnel.
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  #3  
Old 7th September 2010, 10:28
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Have to admit I never heard Houlders name associated with it - it was always Shell, that and the M.Princess
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  #4  
Old 7th September 2010, 11:04
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Methane Progress and Methane Pioneer run by shell I seem to recall but will ckeck later.

Ray
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  #5  
Old 7th September 2010, 11:15
NINJA NINJA is offline  
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In the 1967 Ocean Ships book, in the tanker section under Houlder Bros umbrella is listed the Methane Progress, it gives Methane Tanker Finance Ltd as the cover company. I was with Houlders then and as far as I am aware Houlders did not man this ship.
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  #6  
Old 7th September 2010, 11:24
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From the outset, Marconi provided the R/Os and the radio stations on both the Methane vessels. The stations were supplied on rental/maintenance contracts with Shell and, some time in the 1970s, I had a number of meetings with Walter Little (Shell's radio superintendent) about upgrading the stations with HF radiotelex. I even did a trip on one of them from the Canvey terminal to Arzew and Barcelona, accompanying an evaluation installation.

Can't remember which one it was and since I was signed on as supernumerary I didn't get any record in my discharge book to check!

When Shell went direct-employ I presume that, if the ships were still in service by then, both would have been manned by Shell R/Os.

Like earlier posters, I never heard of any connections with Houlders.
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  #7  
Old 7th September 2010, 13:43
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I went direct employ with Shell in November 1974 and sailed on Methane Princess in 1976, as far as I can remember from '74 onwards both the Princess & Progress were manned by Shell R/O's only.

Ron, you mentioned Walter Little, Shells Radio Superintendent. I have a great deal of respect for Walter and was very shocked by his early demise. He was always so proactive and unlike some supers actually got things done! Walter always read R/O's monthly equipment reports carefully and responded intelligently (technically) if requested. On newbuilds you couldn't have had a better man in Head Office. Can't recall the particular details now but a few times I advised some mod or other to equipment which he forward to the companies concerned and followed it through!

Shell's Radio Dept. was never the same after Walter, an excellent man.
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  #8  
Old 8th September 2010, 21:16
EddieC EddieC is offline
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Thanks for the replies , so far...

Thank you all for the replies, so far.

From what you say, then Houlders didn't man the M. Progress. As I said in my opening enquiry though, I have a stubborn recollection that she was included in the company's ship movements list.

Do any other ex-Houlder people remember that, or am I mistaken?
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  #9  
Old 8th September 2010, 22:20
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It would still be interesting to know why the Methane Tanker Finance Ltd was associated with Houlders.
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  #10  
Old 9th September 2010, 16:11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EddieC View Post
Thank you all for the replies, so far.

From what you say, then Houlders didn't man the M. Progress. As I said in my opening enquiry though, I have a stubborn recollection that she was included in the company's ship movements list.

Do any other ex-Houlder people remember that, or am I mistaken?
EddieC.

I definitely remember these two ships being included in Houlder's Movement List although I don't know the connection.

Regards
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  #11  
Old 9th September 2010, 16:58
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Quote:
Hello everyone in Houlder's extended family.

I wonder if you can help me, please?

A very long time ago, when I was a deck cadet in the company (alas, I left after only three years so probably don't qualify as being part of the "the family") I seem to remember seeing a ship movements list with all the Houlder ships on, but also including "Methane Progress".

This seems to be bourne out by numerous books which show her as being owned by Methane Tanker Finance, and managed by Houlders.

Question is, did she have a Houlder crew or was she manned by Shell?

I would very much appreciate it if you could help, please?
google this site

A Short History of LNG Shipping 1959-2009 (pdf)
chart page 6
shows operators of methane progress and princess to be british gas

stephenson clark were the managers of first ever gas ship, methane pioneer, and it was the success of this vessel which prompted b g to have the progress and princess built . stevies also owned gas ship abbas about same time
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Last edited by joebuckham; 9th September 2010 at 21:40.. Reason: missed info
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  #12  
Old 9th September 2010, 22:35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EddieC View Post
Thank you all for the replies, so far.

From what you say, then Houlders didn't man the M. Progress. As I said in my opening enquiry though, I have a stubborn recollection that she was included in the company's ship movements list.

Do any other ex-Houlder people remember that, or am I mistaken?
Yes she was on the movement list and I'm going to quote a paragraph from the book "Furness Withy 1891-1991" by David Burrell.
"Methane Tankers
The interest in, and experience with, the carrage and storage of liquid gas led an approach from British Gas to Houlder Brothers and the creation of a joint venture to design and build Methane Progress. Full ownership of Methane Tanker Finance Ltd passed to British Gas in 1979 when they Purchased Houlder Brothers holding"

I don't Know of any body who sailed in her. So assume they must have been Shell boys.
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Last edited by saltyswamp; 9th September 2010 at 22:41.. Reason: spelling
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  #13  
Old 9th September 2010, 22:39
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Try This link
http://www.helderline.nl/tanker/373/methane+progress/
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  #14  
Old 10th September 2010, 09:07
EddieC EddieC is offline
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That's really helpful, and confirms that maybe I'm not losing it, after all!

Perhaps someone who worked at 53 Leadenhall Street may have a take on Houlders involvement?

EddieC
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  #15  
Old 10th September 2010, 18:36
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[QUOTE=EddieC;454022]That's really helpful, and confirms that maybe I'm not losing it, after all!

Perhaps someone who worked at 53 Leadenhall Street may have a take on Houlders involvement?

EddieC.

Tonga, who was our resident Houlder font of knowledge might have been able to answer that but he no longer appears to be on this site.

Regards
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  #16  
Old 10th September 2010, 23:24
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Is this another mystery Where is Tonga? seems no longer to be a moderator. Have we lost our font of all knowledge

stuart
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Last edited by saltyswamp; 10th September 2010 at 23:27.. Reason: addition
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  #17  
Old 10th September 2010, 23:32
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Originally Posted by saltyswamp View Post
Is this another mystery Where is Tonga? seems no longer to be a moderator. Have we lost our font of all knowledge

stuart
tonga was left on the beach with a dddddddrrrrrrrrrr after defecting with loads of data from our site his sword was broken and backs were shown to him
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  #18  
Old 16th September 2010, 22:47
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Originally Posted by JOHN PRUDEN View Post
tonga was left on the beach with a dddddddrrrrrrrrrr after defecting with loads of data from our site his sword was broken and backs were shown to him
WHAT A T***ER
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  #19  
Old 5th December 2013, 23:14
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Houlders and Methane Progress

Both progress and her sister were manned by Shell. but they were listed as being of different ownership. My ship - Methane Progress was listed a being owned by Conch International Methane for some reason but there was a connection with Houlders but not in terms of the manning. It was the my first experience of data logging but the whole contraption worked by an electric motor driving a belt around a set of pulleys with a magnet attached. As the magnet ran past detectors they pulled in relays and transferred the data from the various transducers to the data logger. It all used an IBM golf ball typewriter. And to think we carried a cargo monitored by such a contraption. Plus those wretched Hermes Argus Marconi Radars. Wonderful when they worked - buggers when they blew up! But happy days for the two R/Os supplied by Marconi even so. We stood by the John Lybe when she burnt out off the Spanish/Portuguese coast. A heck of a lot of Log keeping in those old days of WT Morse.

Cheers
Quote:
Originally Posted by EddieC View Post
Hello everyone in Houlder's extended family.

I wonder if you can help me, please?

A very long time ago, when I was a deck cadet in the company (alas, I left after only three years so probably don't qualify as being part of the "the family") I seem to remember seeing a ship movements list with all the Houlder ships on, but also including "Methane Progress".

This seems to be bourne out by numerous books which show her as being owned by Methane Tanker Finance, and managed by Houlders.

Question is, did she have a Houlder crew or was she manned by Shell?

I would very much appreciate it if you could help, please?
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  #20  
Old 6th December 2013, 11:20
chadburn chadburn is offline  
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Like a number of the vessels I sailed on the Company name was just a "cover" Company for a Backer or Financial Institution who had made the investment to build the vessel based on a "fruitful" Contract which usually lasted around 8 to 10 years. Depending on the type of cargo carried and the running history the ship she was either disposed of (Stone Boats) or passed into the ownership of the Management Company or offshoot who were on a lease to buy option. All to do with Tax of course. A bit like a lease to buying a new Audi these days where you have three options after 2 to 3 years, you can pay a final sum and the car is yours, you can walk away and leave the car with Audi to dispose of or, you can lease to buy a new car with Audi with the old car being part of the deposit. Other makes of car are available upon request if you want to change makes.
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  #21  
Old 25th January 2016, 17:50
Mjroots Mjroots is offline  
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Methane Pioneer now has an article on Wikipedia.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methane_Pioneer
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