Radio Company R/O preference. - Ships Nostalgia
19:00

Welcome
Welcome!Welcome to Ships Nostalgia, the world's greatest online community for people worldwide with an interest in ships and shipping. Whether you are crew, ex-crew, ship enthusiasts or cruisers, this is the forum for you. And what's more, it's completely FREE.

Click here to go to the forums home page and find out more.
Click here to join.
Log in
User Name Password

Radio Company R/O preference.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 21st March 2015, 11:07
R651400's Avatar
R651400 R651400 is offline  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 5,789
Radio Company R/O preference.

Having never sailed with Marconi, IMR or Siemens and looking at SN gallery picture of British tramp Harpagus and the trials and tribulations of the R/O was there some sort of pecking order in radio companies to R/O assignment ie the best going to the blue-eyed boys?
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 21st March 2015, 11:17
Varley's Avatar
Varley Varley is online now   SN Supporter
Senior Member
Organisation: Merchant Navy
Active: 1971 - 2011
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 9,396
Between Marconi and IMR the view at college was that IMR was more demanding and wouldn't simply grab a ticketed yob from the college gates. That's why I went with Marconi (and didn't regret it a bit).
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 21st March 2015, 11:31
R651400's Avatar
R651400 R651400 is offline  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 5,789
"Je regrette rien" accepted but there must surely within Marconi's enormous though not quite monopoly over British flag ships been those who got the "Southern Cross" liner class and others who got the "Southern Harvester" whaler class as I suspect on a consistent basis?
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 21st March 2015, 12:11
richardwakeley's Avatar
richardwakeley richardwakeley is offline  
Senior Member
Organisation: Merchant Navy
Department: Electrician
Active: 1970 - 1997
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 794
and what's wrong with southern harvester? i am fortunate enough to know a c/e in jardines whose first trip to sea as j/e was on that one.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 21st March 2015, 12:21
R651400's Avatar
R651400 R651400 is offline  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 5,789
only a j/e?
I knew the R/O on Southern Harvester so don't get your point unless you have a penchant for watching harpooned whales from the flensing deck of the Harvester to the bloated sun-burned whales stretched out on the promenade deck of the Cross?
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 21st March 2015, 12:27
R719220 R719220 is offline  
Senior Member
Organisation: Merchant Navy
Department: Radio Officer
Active: 1960 - 1964
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 104
When I got my ticket (November '59) there was what was referred to as a bit of a depression in shipping. Absolute joke compared to what was to come.

Accordingly, and desperate to get to sea, I applied to Marconi, IMR and Siemens. Despite having done my training on Siemens gear I was determined to go with the first job offer I got.

IMR. Wonderful. Even when working for them (and with the occasional falling out) I never, ever regretted it.

There were aspects of going to sea that I would have preferred not to do.....never wanted tankers, never wanted to go up the Gulf. Personal choices, not criticising anybody else's choices. With IMR, never had to.

Although only at sea for a short time (four and a bit years) I had the most amazing choice of ships. For a young lad it was pretty much a dream come true. What an amazing collection of long-gone companies I sailed with:-

Houlder Bros (Ore Carriers Ltd)

Anchor Line of Glasgow

Cunard

Blue Star

South American Saint Line

Nerdrum's

Furness Withy (if I remember correctly, a subsidiary thereof - Johnson Warren)

Trader Navigation

Times varied from a fortnight long leave relief to 18 months. However, all enjoyable and part of my personal history.

Never forgotten. Never regretted. Wonderful.

Thanks IMR.


PS Was certainly never a blue-eyed boy, just the way it worked out.
__________________
Stercus Accidit

Last edited by R719220; 21st March 2015 at 12:32..
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 21st March 2015, 12:31
Ron Stringer's Avatar
Ron Stringer Ron Stringer is online now
Senior Member
Organisation: Merchant Navy
Department: Radio Officer
Active: 1960 - 1966
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
My location
Posts: 6,227
There was an interview before being accepted. From memory it was fairly cursory but enough to enable a sketchy profile to be created which would guide decisions as to the type of ship to put the newly-qualified R/O aboard for his initial 6-months supervised sea time.

During that time the supervising senior R/O would be expected to observe progress and to make a final report to the Marconi office where the youngster signed off at the end of the period. Points of significance would be noted on the R/O's record card prior to deciding his next appointment.

Similarly, instructors at successive training courses would be asked to give their views on course attendees, to complement the record. Any comments (good and bad) from shipping companies' superintendents or Masters also went into the pot. Over time a picture was built up and where possible, the R/O's abilities and experience were matched to the requirements of the shipowner/vessel.

In practice, supply and demand tended to take over. When someone fell ill, failed to arrive back on board on time, or when there was a sudden change of sailing date or port, the poor Staff Clerk could be left with only minutes to find a replacement and get him to the ship. In such cases, availability was often the deciding factor.

So there was a big slice of chance involved in many appointments.

In the case of the senior positions on large passenger ships it was a matter of getting lucky intitially to be appointed there and then keeping your nose clean with the Chief R/O to be allowed to remain and work your way up the hierarchy. Getting the appointment to be Chief R/O depended on your relationship with the appointing Marconi Office manager and Staff Clerk (who noted your ability to retain more junior colleagues) and feedback from the superintendent concerning your social abilities - i.e. whether or not you kept their customers happy.

Much like any other job.
__________________
Ron
_____________________________________________

Never regret growing older. It is a privilege denied to many. Don't worry about old age - it doesn't last.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 21st March 2015, 13:09
cajef's Avatar
cajef cajef is offline  
Senior Member
Organisation: Merchant Navy
Department: Radio Officer
Active: 1963 - 1968
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 109
I found when I was with Marconi having a 1st Class PMG and Radar certificate tended to ensure you were offered better ships, when I was on the Empress of Canada the juniors usually had 1st Class tickets, maybe they did not want RO's with better tickets to leave and go freelance.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 22nd March 2015, 02:04
Varley's Avatar
Varley Varley is online now   SN Supporter
Senior Member
Organisation: Merchant Navy
Active: 1971 - 2011
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 9,396
So, when I was put with an agreeable drunk for my first trip it was 'on plan'?

I regret that I did not appreciate that I, too, should have been more agreeable when I found myself in the same position (I/C, that is, not drunk. Well, not often).
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 22nd March 2015, 13:38
IAN M's Avatar
IAN M IAN M is offline
Senior Member
Organisation: Merchant Navy
Department: Radio Officer
Active: 1943 - 1951
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 661
I made two voyages with Dick Molland on the Glengarry in 1949/50 after which he got a 1st Class Ticket and left Holts because he didn't want to be promoted to purser.

His subsequent employers were Brocklebank, Marconi, Redifon (ashore and afloat), the Crown Agents, Clan Line, the RFA (Royal Fleet Auxiliary), Ferranti (in Edinburgh), and Marconi again before settling for a shore job in London.

Dick and I kept in touch and I made his letters into a book called 'Letters from a Radio Officer'. This was serialized in QSO (the journal of the Radio Officers' Association) and is now available on Amazon Kindle. Dick, I must add, was critical of ALL employers.
__________________
IAN M MALCOLM
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 22nd March 2015, 16:09
Bob Murdoch Bob Murdoch is offline  
Senior Member
Organisation: Merchant Navy
Department: Radio Officer
Active: 1956 - 1964
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 591
I got my Radar ticket between my first part of my second class (I failed morse the first time) and getting my 2nd class. Was employed by Marconi in Glasgow within a couple of hours of getting my results and picking up my ticket. No real interview. I made sure I was holding my ticket in view when I entered the office, having been laughed out the door at Paddy Henderson's down the road. I was 16 and looked it!
Fill in a form, do you want an advance to get yourself kitted out. Here is your appointment for a medical. Report back herd when you pass. Then down to the shipping office a couple of days later to get my discharge book etc.
I guess I must have had something in common with Ron as I did the second 3 months of my 6 months on the Golfito too.
I was only with Marconi for a couple of years before going out to the Union SS Co in NZ, but again, a hand written letter to the London office (P&O) and got letter enclosing a rail voucher down to London for a medical. No interview, just a medical and an X-Ray
Wish it was all happening again, dont we all!
Cheers Bob.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 27th March 2015, 00:25
Bill.B Bill.B is offline  
Senior Member
Organisation: Merchant Navy
Department: Radio Officer
Active: 1970 - 1985
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 616
After leaving the RFA in late 74 I went to work for Kelvin Hughes Sea Staff. They were pushing the Electronics Officer training and job and that is what I wanted to do. They were a great company to work for and were more than fair in dealing with us. Bob Cherry and Rita Roth were great people to work for. I only left to join CP because of more money and did my REO training with them. KH did offer me the REO course but I had already made up my mind. Had a great time on the UBC and Denholms ships. Luckily I was sent to two bad boy ships that no one wanted, Jebsens Sealnes and Swiftnes and had a ball. They even called me up on Swiftnes after two months and asked if I wanted to get off due to previous R/O experiences. I did 6 months on both and enjoyed it all. Lots of sea time but great crews.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 28th March 2015, 01:35
Peter Eccleson's Avatar
Peter Eccleson Peter Eccleson is offline  
Senior Member
Organisation: Merchant Navy
Department: Radio Officer
Active: 1971 - 1981
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
My location
Posts: 532
Quote:
Originally Posted by Varley View Post
Between Marconi and IMR the view at college was that IMR was more demanding and wouldn't simply grab a ticketed yob from the college gates. That's why I went with Marconi (and didn't regret it a bit).
Dave, you went to MIMCO and I went to IMR - we went through the same gate !
What companies did you sail with?

Pete
__________________
The most important trip you may take in life is meeting people halfway
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 28th March 2015, 12:29
Varley's Avatar
Varley Varley is online now   SN Supporter
Senior Member
Organisation: Merchant Navy
Active: 1971 - 2011
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 9,396
Pete, Like you I put the detail in my profile!

I have just seen your Three Quays service. Malcolm Vincent's was the first business card in my file after making Super. Saw him two weeks ago at IMarEST HQ dinner. You should joins us if just for the nosh up (and it is far more interesting than that).
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 28th March 2015, 13:08
expats expats is offline  
Senior Member
Organisation: Merchant Navy
Department: Radio Officer
Active: 1964 - 1981
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 6,799
Quote:
Originally Posted by Varley View Post
Between Marconi and IMR the view at college was that IMR was more demanding and wouldn't simply grab a ticketed yob from the college gates. That's why I went with Marconi (and didn't regret it a bit).

I went with Marconi in 1964 and never regretted it....I got good ships and 'duff' ships (usually I found the duff uns more to my taste)....

I had no ambition to join Passie jobs as I'm allergic to 'spit and polish and joined the MN for the reason on the old Marconi advert, "well paid to see the world" (the second bit was true)... I, and those like me, saw a world that has long gone. I count myself very fortunate...

As for Marconi...I contacted Sarcoidosis and was off work for months...The company bent over backwards to be helpful...coasters, internal and college courses, etc. and finally a shore job....

Ashore didn't suit and I went back freelancing and, again, no regrets...ended my seagoing life with Sealink...
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 28th March 2015, 13:23
beedeesea beedeesea is offline  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
My location
Posts: 686
Exclamation

By "duff" ships do you mean easy-going, lack of B/S ones?

Brian
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 28th March 2015, 13:46
expats expats is offline  
Senior Member
Organisation: Merchant Navy
Department: Radio Officer
Active: 1964 - 1981
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 6,799
Quote:
Originally Posted by beedeesea View Post
By "duff" ships do you mean easy-going, lack of B/S ones?

Brian
Yes! What I'd call "Go away; stay away" ships....Liverpool Marconi depot told me that they weren't popular with R/Os and was surprised when I said that was just what I wanted,,,
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 28th March 2015, 17:56
R651400's Avatar
R651400 R651400 is offline  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 5,789
Can't think of a better port to sail or be attached to than Liverpool and with no disrespect to tramp shipping were there clunkers that sailed with port of registry Liverpool on their stern?
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 29th March 2015, 12:12
richardwakeley's Avatar
richardwakeley richardwakeley is offline  
Senior Member
Organisation: Merchant Navy
Department: Electrician
Active: 1970 - 1997
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 794
I went 'direct employ' with the late great Blue Funnel Line straight from college, and look back with great nostalgia to my first trip from Birkenhead to Liverpool, via Cebu. Unlike IanM's friend, i did go through the purser route, but abdicated to being a lecky in later years.

Last edited by richardwakeley; 29th March 2015 at 12:15..
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 29th March 2015, 21:30
Peter Eccleson's Avatar
Peter Eccleson Peter Eccleson is offline  
Senior Member
Organisation: Merchant Navy
Department: Radio Officer
Active: 1971 - 1981
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
My location
Posts: 532
Quote:
Originally Posted by Varley View Post
Pete, Like you I put the detail in my profile!

I have just seen your Three Quays service. Malcolm Vincent's was the first business card in my file after making Super. Saw him two weeks ago at IMarEST HQ dinner. You should joins us if just for the nosh up (and it is far more interesting than that).
Dave
Was in TQMS same time as Vic Oram/Chris Winkley.
Would like to meet up - when, where is the next one?
__________________
The most important trip you may take in life is meeting people halfway
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 30th March 2015, 00:04
Varley's Avatar
Varley Varley is online now   SN Supporter
Senior Member
Organisation: Merchant Navy
Active: 1971 - 2011
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 9,396
Pete, Didn't know Chris Winkley. Dealt often with Vic.

Around same time next year, I'll keep you advised (breath and memory permitting. You could, of course, join up now!).
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 30th March 2015, 02:08
BobClay's Avatar
BobClay BobClay is offline
Senior Member
Organisation: Merchant Navy
Department: Radio Officer
Active: 1965 - 1986
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
My location
Posts: 5,250
Joined Marconi straight from Leith Nautical in 1970 with 2nd Class and Radar. Did 3 months junior time on a Ben Boat then the subsequent 3 months on my own on a Stephenson Clarke 'flattie.' Great trip, but virtually useless as junior training time as no HF, very little key work. I'm afraid that poisoned me a l bit for Marconi, although I did another 13 monther on a Bank Boat with them. Did Kelvin Hughes and then freelanced and went up to Southampton off my own bat in 1975 to get MED and General in parallel. Actually went back to Marconi after this (flat broke after 6 months of college paying my own way) and did a trip on a Mobil super-tanker but then I got a job with CP Ships who proved the best employer I've worked for during my sea time. Stuck with them until the end. So for me Radio Companies were poor employers and their pay was poor to say the least.
__________________
"Irreverence is the champion of liberty and its only sure defense."
Mark Twain
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 30th March 2015, 07:02
R651400's Avatar
R651400 R651400 is offline  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 5,789
When I took my 2nd Class Leith Nautical '56 in the 1st Class group the one and only Marconi man frightened us youngsters with tales of Indian coast hijackings for two years etc. Another was a character Clive Knibb from Blue Funnel so that's where I applied. I have to admit with only 2nd Class PMG I got a few deep-sea clunkers but they were all Chinese crewed, spotlessly clean and wonderful food and of course my choice of run always the Far East. Moved on to freelance when GTZB said it was time for promotion to coloring in cargo plans and doing crews wages etc etc. Freelance was the best move I made when at sea.
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 29th April 2015, 06:17
Naytikos Naytikos is offline  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
My location
Posts: 1,005
I 'fell into' Marconi's because at Plymouth Tech. one had to take positive action to avoid it. However I wasn't there long enough to notice whether there was a pecking order or not. So I don't know whether being treated like dirt by the counter clerks at East Ham depot was just normal or only for recent employees.

3m 18d on an old Ben-boat and then I was on my own for a couple of trips to Italy on a GSNC boat of just less than the 1600grt divide.
Then I got a Bank boat which ended up in Avonmouth. That MIMCo depot sent me as relief a couple of times, where I felt like a fish out of water as I wasn't 'the usual sparks'.
And that was it for the UK flag.

I suppose if I had stuck around and found there was a hierarchy I would have quit then anyway.
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 29th April 2015, 16:06
R651400's Avatar
R651400 R651400 is offline  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 5,789
I've always maintained the stranglehold particularly Mimco/GTZM over the Radio Officer employment within the British MN was to our detriment in the sense of not belonging to any particular shipping company.
I can only think of one other flag that did the same ie the Dutch with Radio Holland/PDRH and again my limited experience as supernumerary on Blue Funnel,s Teiresias/PHXB confirmed this ..
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
International Marine Radio Company radioman1969 The Radio Room 90 31st August 2019 13:33
What shipping company which radio company? R651400 The Radio Room 35 16th February 2013 19:28
Burton's or Norie's - What's your preference? Jardine The Bridge 25 3rd December 2011 08:42



Support SN


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging v3.1.0 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.