El Flamingo ex BP Tanker British Defender - Ships Nostalgia
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El Flamingo ex BP Tanker British Defender

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  #1  
Old 18th January 2009, 08:28
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El Flamingo ex BP Tanker British Defender

Of the 8,000 ton class of BP Tankers British Defender had the most interesting conversion. In 1969 she was converted into a TSH Dredger, discharging through bottom doors.

There do not seem to be many photos of her about and even less of what she did and where. She was finally broken up in Bruges in 1982 ... thats 32 years after she was built.

Can anyone in the dredging world help ... she seemed to operate out of the London area and operated for Marcon (RMC) for a couple of years from 1970.
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Old 18th January 2009, 14:12
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Barnsley check 6 posts down.Broady
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Old 18th January 2009, 19:51
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Broady .... sorry ... I dont follow ... yours and mine are the only 2 posts??
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Old 19th January 2009, 10:16
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Barnsey,

Photo of El Flaningo at www.maritimephoto.com/collection/vessel/10498 Click on Preview, right hand side.

Dennis.
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Old 19th January 2009, 18:58
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Sorry Barnsley I meant threads not posts,1 Stella too many hic.Broady
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Old 22nd January 2009, 08:58
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Thanks everyone ... got some excellent pics from your replies ...very gratefull
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  #7  
Old 24th January 2009, 08:32
Wellogra Wellogra is offline  
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Hi,I was not aware that she was fitted with bottom doors my understanding was that she was purchased and converted to a aggregate dredger to dredge sand and aggregate for the Maplin Sands airport project.When the airport was not given the go ahead this large capacity dredger was no longer needed.They also had many problems with her dredging gear and spent more time being repaired than working.
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Old 24th January 2009, 09:29
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WELLOGRA
Thanks for your posting ... it all helps.

The bottom door aspect came from some site where I read about her and I doubted it myself ... however in respect of the Maplin sands project maybe they did put them on. But, the draft increases as the door go down and they would have been pretty big so it seems to me unlikely they would have put them in.

I would love to see the plans and have a description of how they worked her ... she certainly changed hands many times...
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  #9  
Old 17th May 2009, 18:57
peavey54 peavey54 is offline  
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Hi there, I've worked on a good number of dredgers over the years. I didn't start on the London River 'til about 1980 and I heard tales of the 'El Flamingo' from some of the older chaps on board. She used to spend hours dredging and then hours unloading, breaking down etc. That it is the first photo I have seen of her. What a fearsome beast., a Safety Officers nightmare!!
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Old 17th May 2009, 22:02
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G'dday Peavey,

I would agree with your comments ....she must have been a nightmare to work on .....and I cannot imagine the financial justification. Still those were the days when Sea Dredged aggregate was just getting underway and it would have looked to be a good way to go about it.

I did 6 months dredging on the South Coast, off Chichester harbour entrance, the Solent Bank and Sunk areas. I quite enjoyed it and since I came here to Westport as Port manager really got involved as we dredge close to 380,000 cu metres a year in just Maintenance dredging !! Stone we have !!!

But the El Flamingo is of great interest because she was a BP Tanker of course which was my other great love.....at least I have smoked some photos out of her and would love to get some "Onboard" ones ... someone must have taken some don't you think?

Regards fer now...
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  #11  
Old 17th May 2009, 22:11
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Cool British Defender

Hi Barnsey.
If you click on to S S STEAMSHIPS,
then onto "Bs",you will find three
photo's of the British Defender,as
a BP tanker.Hope this is of use to
you in your search.

Dave Williams(R583900)
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  #12  
Old 18th May 2009, 06:56
peavey54 peavey54 is offline  
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Hi barnsey,some onboard photos of the El Flamingo would be very interesting, could see how her dredge gear compares with later stuff. See how much there was to go wrong.
It would have been an expensive conversion job, wonder who did it?
380,000cu mts is a lot to get rid of!
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  #13  
Old 18th May 2009, 08:54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barnsey View Post
Of the 8,000 ton class of BP Tankers British Defender had the most interesting conversion. In 1969 she was converted into a TSH Dredger, discharging through bottom doors.
Barnsey, Defender was 8000 tons, I know the Br Lady and the Rose were also 8000 tons, where there any others in that class ?

SPENCE.

Last edited by K urgess; 18th May 2009 at 10:57.. Reason: Quote fixed
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  #14  
Old 20th May 2009, 21:49
John_F John_F is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Janner View Post
Barnsey, Defender was 8000 tons, I know the Br Lady and the Rose were also 8000 tons, where there any others in that class ?

SPENCE.
British Navigator springs to mind.......
Kind regards,
John.
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  #15  
Old 21st May 2009, 19:53
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Spence,
There were 11 of the 8,000 tonners built post war as follows:
Builder: J L Thompson - British Rose (2), Venture (2), Navigator, Rover & Warrior
W Doxford - British Commerce (2), Enterprise (2), Fortune (2), Defender & Diplomat (2)
Smiths Dock - British Lady (2)
They were delivered between 1946 and 1951 and the Defender was the last to be disposed of in 1965.
Regards,
Alastair
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  #16  
Old 21st May 2009, 22:42
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What about 11,000 tonner with no forward pumproom...?? Ranger was one
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  #17  
Old 22nd May 2009, 17:56
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Barnsey,
I don't claim this list to be exhaustive but from my own images the following '12s' had only one pump room: British Advocate (2) 1948, Baron (2) 1947, Character 1941, Councillor (2) 1948, Duke (2) 1948, Genius 1939, Liberty (2)1949, Loyalty (2) 1949, Merit 1942, Patience 1943, Pilot 1943, Progress (2) 1948, Promise 1942, Prudence (2) 1949, Ranger 1948, Scientist 1948, Security (2) 1948, Strength (2) 1948, Tradition 1942, Unity 1939, Workman 1949.
Regards,
Alastair
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  #18  
Old 22nd May 2009, 22:11
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Alastair,

Thanks for that I'll have a check ...It was the !947-48 bunch I was particularly interested in having been on the Ranger myself. It never really twigged that it was unusual not to have a forward pumproom ..come to think of it all our ships should have only had two pumps ... especially in ports where there were an edequate supply of Nurses Homes !!
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  #19  
Old 9th June 2009, 11:29
tony mullen tony mullen is offline
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I was on the beach in 1969 from the pool. joined when she flew the panamaian flag,I was AB
on there although I was not certified. she was a dredge in the channel .
the messman was a hired assasin during the french algiers trouble and the
accomadation was worse than anything imaginable. only me and two other whites in crew and she was rugged.food crap not english ex bacon eggs at night blackpan for all.100 a month tax free. british mer 56 pound a month to compare. the officers were white and good guys. put money in pocket but could not put in discharge book or that might have end of pool jobs. Bob Mcphail was also AB on there and what a man. great memories. TONY MULLEN
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  #20  
Old 14th October 2010, 11:01
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To add a little bit of extra info to this thread. My great grandmother actually launched the British Defender. Her name was Catherine Detchon, wife of John George Detchon - Commodore Chief Engineer of BTC at the time.

I have a photo of the ship here:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/crashed/2127729758/

And a newspaper article about the ship launch here:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/crashed/2126865125/

Paul
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  #21  
Old 14th October 2010, 11:43
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Wow Paul ... I have had a look at you Flickr album and left a comment .... terrific photos ...really really interesting. Thank you very much indeed ...have you got anymore photos of British Tanker days of your Great Grandfather?

Would you like some more British Defender photos?
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  #22  
Old 15th October 2010, 15:12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wellogra View Post
Hi,I was not aware that she was fitted with bottom doors my understanding was that she was purchased and converted to a aggregate dredger to dredge sand and aggregate for the Maplin Sands airport project.When the airport was not given the go ahead this large capacity dredger was no longer needed.They also had many problems with her dredging gear and spent more time being repaired than working.
I am fairly sure before the conversion that this vessel sat in Middlesbrough Dock for a while. I went over to visit an ex-shipmate for a drink and he mentioned her and the somewhat unusual conversion which she had been bought for.
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  #23  
Old 16th October 2010, 08:52
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Hey Barnsey, I responded on Flickr - but just in case you missed it - I have put all of my Merchant Navy pics from the Dawsons and Detchons into a new set:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/crashed...th/4618042338/

Quite a few of them feature people and ships that I can't identify, but there are some great photographs, and a few documents too.
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  #24  
Old 17th January 2011, 15:57
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El Flamingo /Peter Butcher

Peter Butcher was skipper of the El Flamingo working out of Soldiers Point? at the entrance to Felixstowe when purchased / scrapped by RMC / South Coast Shipping he transferred to the new building Sand Wader (1971) at Alsia Shipbuilders...he later transferred to the company's Southampton office and was in post when their Bowbelle collided with the Marchioness...Peter died some 10 years ago.
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  #25  
Old 19th April 2011, 23:17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Weyport View Post
Peter died some 10 years ago.
Favourite quote of his, "Give it some wellie." He was Operations Manager at SCS when I was first made up to Master of the Bow Trader.

Peter Little
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