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  #1  
Old 23rd August 2009, 15:36
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tedc tedc is offline
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International Marine Radio

I don't think I've read anything good, about IMR, in this forum.

So I thought I'd create a thread which would allow members to pen good thoughts about this Radio Company.

However, after thinking about my experience with them, back in 1955/56, I couldn't find a single good thing to say!



On the bad side, they must have had the most insensitive coordinators you could meet.

No sooner were you home, after a trip, than they would be sending a telegram telling you to call in ready to report for another ship!!!

The last time they did this to me I'd just completed what they said would be a short tanker trip to abadan and back - which turned out to be a 14 month stint due to Suez closing in 1956 and shell transferring the ship to the Eastern Base.
No sooner did I get myself home than they wanted me to call in and go sign on something else - literally within a couple of days!!!

This time I left & joined Brocks.

Did this sort of thing happen to anyone else in IMR or was it just because I was so good that they wanted to use me as often as possible..........!



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  #2  
Old 23rd August 2009, 16:17
7woodlane 7woodlane is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tedc View Post
I don't think I've read anything good, about IMR, in this forum.

So I thought I'd create a thread which would allow members to pen good thoughts about this Radio Company.

However, after thinking about my experience with them, back in 1955/56, I couldn't find a single good thing to say!



On the bad side, they must have had the most insensitive coordinators you could meet.

No sooner were you home, after a trip, than they would be sending a telegram telling you to call in ready to report for another ship!!!

The last time they did this to me I'd just completed what they said would be a short tanker trip to abadan and back - which turned out to be a 14 month stint due to Suez closing in 1956 and shell transferring the ship to the Eastern Base.
No sooner did I get myself home than they wanted me to call in and go sign on something else - literally within a couple of days!!!

This time I left & joined Brocks.

Did this sort of thing happen to anyone else in IMR or was it just because I was so good that they wanted to use me as often as possible..........!



My experience was with Mci at their East Ham depot. The Staff Clerk there had a personal crusade against R/Os who had got their six months sea time in, and regarded us as "draft dodgers" avoiding National Service. Briefly he told me to join a vessel. I turned it down, did,nt fancy it (two years away tramping). No thanks. So eventually finished up in the Manager's office. Again declined the ship. He then said " either you resign or we sack you. " So I resigned. From there joined Siemen's in Woolwich via the Union man (Reg White) who always seemed to spend a lot of time in that depot. That was back in 1954. I'm sure the East Ham depot will inspire other memories from members. No employment protection in those days.
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  #3  
Old 23rd August 2009, 17:58
Quiney Quiney is offline  
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Have to say that the 13 years that I did with IMR, I had no problems.
In the 70's thay were based in Croydon,with Dave Wardley running the deployment of R/O's.

They had some good shipping companies and their equipment was good.

There was the odd request to go back early but prior to being married I was probably running out of money and happy to ship out again. They paid for me to do the Electronics course (MEC) at Riversdale.

All in all I found them a good employer
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  #4  
Old 23rd August 2009, 18:01
znord737 znord737 is offline  
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For 7 Woodlane

That guy must have been the same guy that I had a shellacking from during the 1950s.

I only went in to enquire about a sea going position and received the full force of his verbosity.

First impressions have always been important to me and I immediately voted with my feet. decided that I did not want to work for any company that employed such an objectionable character.

One is always wiser after the event and possibly he had some personal problems which he was unable to overcome. Unfortunately it seems the R/O's became the brunt of his outbursts.

Some year later I went back to the East Ham Office again , lo and behold he was still there. I was in two minds as to whether to walk out there and then but I did not, in the circumstances he was most helpful and we always had a good banter after that. Whether he remembered me I will never know!

I guess we all have off days perhaps he had more than his fair share !

znord737
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  #5  
Old 23rd August 2009, 19:47
7woodlane 7woodlane is offline  
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Mci and that depot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by znord737 View Post
For 7 Woodlane

That guy must have been the same guy that I had a shellacking from during the 1950s.

I only went in to enquire about a sea going position and received the full force of his verbosity.

First impressions have always been important to me and I immediately voted with my feet. decided that I did not want to work for any company that employed such an objectionable character.

One is always wiser after the event and possibly he had some personal problems which he was unable to overcome. Unfortunately it seems the R/O's became the brunt of his outbursts.

Some year later I went back to the East Ham Office again , lo and behold he was still there. I was in two minds as to whether to walk out there and then but I did not, in the circumstances he was most helpful and we always had a good banter after that. Whether he remembered me I will never know!

I guess we all have off days perhaps he had more than his fair share !

znord737
I think they thought they could bully you into taking any old ship 'cos the alternative was two years Nat. Service, if you were less than 26 years of age at that time. There was a picture of Sr. G. Marconi on the wall behind the Manager's chair and even he looked down disapprovingly at me. I can still see it. Thanks for your reply.
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  #6  
Old 23rd August 2009, 21:20
sparkie2182 sparkie2182 is online now  
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"I don't think I've read anything good, about IMR, in this forum."

Or in any other forum i suspect ,Tedc.
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  #7  
Old 24th August 2009, 05:22
trotterdotpom trotterdotpom is offline  
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I got a freelance trip from Tilbury to Liverpool through IMR (late '70s). When I heard that everyone else was getting "run money" (double pay) I phoned IMR and told them I wanted it too. My request was initially refused but they relented when I reminded them that I hadn't unpacked yet.

I was also freelance on a Geestline ship and pretty sure I got that through IMR - I would have probably done that one for half pay!

John T.
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  #8  
Old 24th August 2009, 09:50
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Sounds just like my time wth MIMC, they must have had clones, mine was in Southampton Depot, named Varley. My time was short with MIMC, went ot Holts, never looked back.
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  #9  
Old 24th August 2009, 14:23
G4UMW G4UMW is offline  
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I spent my entire sea-going career with IMR, first under George Todd, then Dave Wardley. I can't think of anything to complain about; as has been said elsewhere on this thread, they had some good shipping companies and the ITT Marine gear was excellent.
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  #10  
Old 24th August 2009, 17:48
IMRCoSparks IMRCoSparks is offline  
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I also have no complaints about my 10 years with IMR under Mr Rogers, who I think died around 1965 and George Todd who was still there when I left the sea. I always received phone calls from them, not telegrams and was usually offered a choice of ships.
Some of the MIMCo experiences from fellow R/O's I met on Cunard who had quit that company made me realize I had made a good choice.
Sometimes it was just a question of the available right ship cropping up at the right time when you happened to be home on leave.
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  #11  
Old 26th August 2009, 11:08
Roger Wincer Roger Wincer is offline  
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I worked for them from Dec 65 to Feb 68 I think I dealt there with a Mr Rogers.
They were okay to deal with but the money was rubbish like all of the British companies. When I wanted to get off a ship I would throw a sickie or resign. I did that three times with IMR as I figured that with such poor pay and often conditions too they deserved no loyalty.
I cringe now when thinking of the poor pay and conditions experienced and the third class treatment the new R/Os were given in those days.

Last edited by Roger Wincer; 26th August 2009 at 11:12..
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  #12  
Old 26th August 2009, 11:44
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Smile

I must admit in the Seven plus years I worked for IMR 1961-68 I had no problems with them. I don't remember who I ever spoke to, but they were always understanding and never tried to force me to do anything or join a ship I didn't want to. Great times.
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  #13  
Old 1st September 2009, 06:43
Naytikos Naytikos is offline  
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I can't comment on IMR as employers, but they produced (or badged) excellent transmitters, and performed an efficient QRC function: always handled the accounts promptly and supplied plenty of stationery.
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  #14  
Old 2nd September 2009, 13:21
G4UMW G4UMW is offline  
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The transmitters were built by the Swedish ITT subsidiary Standard Telefon og Kabelfabrik and were used both afloat and at coast stations. Other Scandinavian companies within the group built VHF and autoalarm equipment. IMR themselves developed and produced a nice main receiver - digital frequency readout and free tuning, but I can't remember the type number.
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  #15  
Old 9th September 2009, 23:33
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andysk andysk is offline   SN Supporter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G4UMW View Post
The transmitters were built by the Swedish ITT subsidiary Standard Telefon og Kabelfabrik and were used both afloat and at coast stations. Other Scandinavian companies within the group built VHF and autoalarm equipment. IMR themselves developed and produced a nice main receiver - digital frequency readout and free tuning, but I can't remember the type number.
Transmitters came from Norway I believe, not Sweden, and were the ST1200, ST1400, ST1600 and a home designed or modified one by a guy called Don Nunn that I can't remember the name of - poss ST1440 or something, in the later 1970's.

The receiver was the IMR 5000 I believe.
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Old 10th September 2009, 08:13
Quiney Quiney is offline  
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There was one digital receiver, with a sister receiver that had small level switches that set the required frequency.
From memory, I think they were the 3020 - the switched one & 3021 the fully digital one.
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Old 10th September 2009, 16:35
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andysk andysk is offline   SN Supporter
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There was one digital receiver, with a sister receiver that had small level switches that set the required frequency.
From memory, I think they were the 3020 - the switched one & 3021 the fully digital one.
They were the ITT Mackay ones, 3020B and C from memory.

(God it's a long time ago !)
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  #18  
Old 16th September 2009, 20:11
G4UMW G4UMW is offline  
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3020 and 3021. I sailed with a 3020 for six months on the Norvegia Team/GREZ. Nice for getting the frequency spot on but I still preferred a free-tuning rx.

andysk - IMR 5000! Thanks for the reminder. Another IMR-badged receiver was, I think, manufactured by Plessey. It has a tuning system rather like the Racal RA-17 in that you selected switched 1MHz steps, then tuned within that 1MHz. It even had a filmstrip tuning scale.

Update - the receiver in question was the Plessey PR-155.
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Last edited by G4UMW; 17th September 2009 at 15:51.. Reason: Added Plessey type number
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  #19  
Old 21st September 2009, 06:13
Naytikos Naytikos is offline  
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Continuing on the transmitter theme: Preceding the ST1200 was the ST450, which had continuous tuning on MF: very handy around Northern Europe when one could slide up/down a half Kc on 500 and thus cut through the QRM.
There was also the ST1401, which was a 1400 with built in RF voltmeter circuitry and probe for faultfinding.
The story I heard was that the design for the 1200 and successors came from students at a scandinavian university carrying out a research project funded by ITT.
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  #20  
Old 24th September 2009, 18:53
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IanSpiden IanSpiden is offline  
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The ITT Digital Mackay Marine Receiver that I remember had a opto tuning setup that had a habit of blowing the otpo diodes which you then had to replace and set up the tuning again if I remember correctly the way it altered the frequency was a dial which had a vane behind every time it cut the opto beam it counted up or down , they were very accurate , they replaced the receivers we had which became unstable when the silver contacts got corroded , mostly because of the ammonia cargo we were carrying which really went for them especially if they were gas freeing , quite a few watery eyes !!
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  #21  
Old 29th September 2009, 22:01
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Peter Eccleson Peter Eccleson is offline  
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Sailed with IMRC from 1971-1973.George Todd was the bossman then. Great company for a start-up R/O. sailed on Shell tankers, Geest Line, Blue Star and Texaco Only left to go irect employed with Radio & Electronic Services. the gear was really good, even Geestbay had an St1200 dating back to 1960's but a rubbish Redifon R50M receiver to go with it!!!
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  #22  
Old 25th October 2009, 23:19
radiotech radiotech is offline  
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I started with IMRC in 1970, George was in charge. He told me I would be given experience on 3 different types of vessels in my first 6 months.
In fact I joined a small bulk carrier, less than 3,000 tons, mv Leknes (Tenax ie Jebsons). Trolled around the north sea for three months as junior R/O, went into d'dock in Holland and told I would now be THE R/O, nobody else available! Informed the next trip was across the Atlantic; panicked for a week but survived and had two major incidents on crossing atlantic.
First was an XXX put out by a greek tanker who had come across a yachty who had been in a storm and broken his mast. Capt what we going to do ? 'We'll pick him up'. Other vessel involved was a weather ship, it had moved station and got eyeball on the yacht, now don't forget no GPS, cloud, not sure our exact position etc; but I actually used 410khz from the weather station and our df to home onto their position, anyone else used df seriously ?
We arrived at yacht location (SEP 1970) and the Atlantic was flat calm (unbelievable) after exchanging disclaimers, we put a derrick out and lifted the yacht onboard, carried on to our destination Newport News (for coal).CHeng repaired his mast, the press had got hold of this SOS and were waiting for us in NN, we were 'heroes' !; put his boat down in the water and off he went to NY.
Coming back, coal from NN to north Norway, we had a balloon (attempt cross atlantic) go down, we had sighted it, 24 hrs later it was reported down.
USCG were told of our sightings; I contacted USCG cutter searching, told him we calculate he is searching in wrong place. They changed search area to our predicted position and they found wreckage (I monitored them on 5Mhz SSB)
Officially no wreckage was ever found - I beg to differ and my log books would verify that.
But that was some initiation for first trip (on own) R/O, after that it was a breeze; and I guess it shows the training at Bristol was excellent.
I did one more Atlantic trip and paid off in Belfast on Boxing Day having done 6 months on one vessel !
Had excellent station ST1400/R408, the ST1400 had auto power reduction on 2Mhz, well that was a bit inconvenient around Norwegian coast when you wanted to get back to GCC so I by passed it ! 1kW on 2Mhz why not !! First test got me Southampton pilots loud and clear !!! How's that for a skip !
Then on one of the Atlantic return trips was calling GLD (always asleep ?)150 miles off
I got GKZ 'loud and clear' !
The only other 'problem' with the ST1400 was harmonics (I was tuned up correctly, honest) using 8Mhz around Europe, but the east coast U.S. stations could hear me on 16Mhz, got the complaint but never heard anymore about it.
Pay in 1970 was 75 for junior, and an exciting 89 for THE R/O - per month !
I never went back to IMRC; ZIM was my next employer at $500 per month !!
AND they gave me a bonus for looking after the radar !
Nice to share memories
radiotech
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  #23  
Old 25th October 2009, 23:42
Gareth Jones Gareth Jones is offline  
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Radiotech -enjoyed your post - I routinely used D/F on shore beacons and found it very useful - but congratulations - you are the first person I have ever come across to use 410 for a genuine purpose ! I wonder if anyone else on the forum ever did ?
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  #24  
Old 25th October 2009, 23:51
sparkie2182 sparkie2182 is online now  
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"GLD (always asleep ?)"

Nah, that was Awarua/ZLB.........on H.F.

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  #25  
Old 26th October 2009, 00:43
K urgess K urgess is offline
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Had to send continuously on 410kHz so the choppers could find us off Capetown when storing.
Had to turn the Tx power right down after a while to stop it melting.
Only a Marconi Crusader.
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