M V Centaur B F passenger ship - Page 2 - Ships Nostalgia
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M V Centaur B F passenger ship

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  #26  
Old 18th April 2013, 18:50
Dolphins in the bow-wave Dolphins in the bow-wave is offline  
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Josh

Quote:
Originally Posted by richardwakeley View Post
G'day George,

My memory of the guys on Centaur is really fading as I forgot your name. I was R/O on Centaur Feb to Nov 1979. Do you remember Josh Garner? He was also a 2/o on Centaur that year and later master of the HK sail training ship Ji Fung.

I have some photos of horses on deck, stbd side fwd. Will get them scanned and upload sometime. Also the mail drop at Christmas Island.

Rgds,
Richard.
My memory, too, Richard! I can remember a few of the guys but most of the names have faded into the mists of time. I can also remember some of the passengers and kept in touch with several (one very beautiful lass from Bunbury in particular) even after I was made redundant in 1981.

I sailed with Josh before Centaur - possibly on Glenfalloch - but have not seen him since. Quite a card! Charles Tatham was Mate. The other 2/O was Bob Dally who left soon after I joined and I think Josh may have replaced him. The 3/O was Chris Todd. No doubt you also remember the electrician, Errol Macauley Henly-Smith? Something like that, anyway.

I still have a photo album of my time on Centaur and it brings back a lot of memories. Found it in the loft last year which prompted me to look for old shipmates.

Cheers,
George

Last edited by Dolphins in the bow-wave; 18th April 2013 at 18:59..
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  #27  
Old 18th April 2013, 19:08
Dolphins in the bow-wave Dolphins in the bow-wave is offline  
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Originally Posted by China sea Pilot View Post
Can't recall the ship. Possibly a Super 'P' in the early 70s which I visited out here. The very fact that I remember him and not having sailed with him speaks volumes.
Doesn't it just! My favourite memory of Cushy was at breakfast one morning when he leaned towards me and said,"George, darling" (he called everyone 'darling') "do you think I could try some of your bacon?" I suggested that he was not supposed to eat pork and his reply was typical Cushy, "Yes, that is true, but it doesn't say anything about bacon." Quite an article, wasn't he!

My last voyage as an apprentice was on Pyrrhus in 1962. Beautiful ships, those 'P' and 'H' boats.

Last edited by Dolphins in the bow-wave; 18th April 2013 at 19:14..
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  #28  
Old 19th April 2013, 05:19
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George,

Thanks for reminding me of those names. I know them all. Just wish I had kept crew lists. Josh Garner was a particular friend. When I bought my first bow tie to go with the fancy dress required for using the passengers' bar, he said he wouldn't show me how to tie it. When I waved an instruction sheet at him, he tried to snatch it, I raced off round the alleyway and finally went in my cabin. As I stood in front of the mirror with the instruction sheet he burst out of my wardrobe and escaped with it.

Richard
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  #29  
Old 19th April 2013, 21:37
Dolphins in the bow-wave Dolphins in the bow-wave is offline  
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Originally Posted by nav View Post
My brothers David and Gordon Wright were engineers on her in the late '70's.

After she was launched the next ship on the slip was the QE2.
My Centaur photo album contains one of the QE2, so both ships were in Singapore on the same day.

I remember the Second Engineer's name was Dave but had not remembered his surname, so I expect he was your brother. We sailed together again on one of the container ships out of Southampton the following year.
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  #30  
Old 19th April 2013, 21:40
Dolphins in the bow-wave Dolphins in the bow-wave is offline  
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Originally Posted by richardwakeley View Post
George,

Thanks for reminding me of those names. I know them all. Just wish I had kept crew lists. Josh Garner was a particular friend. When I bought my first bow tie to go with the fancy dress required for using the passengers' bar, he said he wouldn't show me how to tie it. When I waved an instruction sheet at him, he tried to snatch it, I raced off round the alleyway and finally went in my cabin. As I stood in front of the mirror with the instruction sheet he burst out of my wardrobe and escaped with it.

Richard
We were all very much younger then, Richard! Even me - and I was 38 in 1979.
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  #31  
Old 20th April 2013, 08:37
Trident Trident is offline  
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Originally Posted by Dolphins in the bow-wave View Post
My memory, too, Richard! I can remember a few of the guys but most of the names have faded into the mists of time. I can also remember some of the passengers and kept in touch with several (one very beautiful lass from Bunbury in particular) even after I was made redundant in 1981.

I sailed with Josh before Centaur - possibly on Glenfalloch - but have not seen him since. Quite a card! Charles Tatham was Mate. The other 2/O was Bob Dally who left soon after I joined and I think Josh may have replaced him. The 3/O was Chris Todd. No doubt you also remember the electrician, Errol Macauley Henly-Smith? Something like that, anyway.

I still have a photo album of my time on Centaur and it brings back a lot of memories. Found it in the loft last year which prompted me to look for old shipmates.

Cheers,
George
Hi George, just reading through your post and the name Errol Henly -Smith jumped out at me, we both started as Electricians with AH about the same time May 1960. We bumped into each other around Liverpool on several occasions, I often wondered what happened to him, I never sailed on the Centaur but did the same run without the comforts on the Gorgon 62-63.

Cheers Al.
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  #32  
Old 20th April 2013, 09:04
Dolphins in the bow-wave Dolphins in the bow-wave is offline  
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Originally Posted by Trident View Post
Hi George, just reading through your post and the name Errol Henly -Smith jumped out at me, we both started as Electricians with AH about the same time May 1960. We bumped into each other around Liverpool on several occasions, I often wondered what happened to him, I never sailed on the Centaur but did the same run without the comforts on the Gorgon 62-63.

Cheers Al.
Hi, Al. We all seem to be waking up again, recently. When I first found this thread there was very little on it and it remained so for about twelve months. Now all us old-timers seem to have ventured into cyberspace and the airwaves are fairly crackling, Great, isn't it! Doesn't half being back the old memories.

I have neither seen nor heard of Errol since those far-off days but he does feature in a few of the photographs in my album.

I never had the pleasure of Gorgon but did spend six months on the other side of Oz on Orestes in 1961. No A/C, of course. The ventilation, when it worked, was deckhead fans whose brushes were forever burning out; and the whole ship was alive with cockroaches - even had to empty the buggers out of the teapot before we could use it.

Last edited by Dolphins in the bow-wave; 20th April 2013 at 09:13..
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  #33  
Old 22nd April 2013, 23:44
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Originally Posted by Dolphins in the bow-wave View Post
My Centaur photo album contains one of the QE2, so both ships were in Singapore on the same day.

I remember the Second Engineer's name was Dave but had not remembered his surname, so I expect he was your brother. We sailed together again on one of the container ships out of Southampton the following year.
Was that one of the "Bay" boats? I seem to remember he was on Cardigan and Kowloon Bay.
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  #34  
Old 22nd April 2013, 23:48
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I have a pal called Stewart Macdonald and his ship reversed into Centaur after refit in Singapore causing all sorts of ructions. Her gearbox jammed in astern and it cost him many drams to quell the revolt.
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  #35  
Old 23rd April 2013, 19:33
Dolphins in the bow-wave Dolphins in the bow-wave is offline  
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Originally Posted by nav View Post
Was that one of the "Bay" boats? I seem to remember he was on Cardigan and Kowloon Bay.
It was indeed on one of the Bay class container ships out of Southampton, but I think I sailed on them all at one time or another and can't remember which one I was on with Dave.
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  #36  
Old 23rd April 2013, 19:49
Dolphins in the bow-wave Dolphins in the bow-wave is offline  
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Originally Posted by nav View Post
I have a pal called Stewart Macdonald and his ship reversed into Centaur after refit in Singapore causing all sorts of ructions. Her gearbox jammed in astern and it cost him many drams to quell the revolt.
Same thing happened to me in 1958 and again in 1959 when I was a Middy on Ascanius. First time was when an Ellerman ship slammed into our stern in Port Swettenham, taking a plate off and causing all Chippy's tools to fall into the river. Then we backed out of dry-dock in Hamburg and smacked into a passing ship. It was an interesting first voyage; two collisions and ran aground three times. I thought, "Blimey, this seafaring is an exciting business!" Happy days!
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  #37  
Old 23rd April 2013, 20:39
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Originally Posted by Dolphins in the bow-wave View Post
It was indeed on one of the Bay class container ships out of Southampton, but I think I sailed on them all at one time or another and can't remember which one I was on with Dave.
I sailed with Dave Hooper on Barber Blue Sea - I think "his" ship was Tokyo Bay. I believe that he may have been getting motor time in prior to the re-engining. An excellent 2/E and shipmate!
Rgds.
Dave
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  #38  
Old 24th April 2013, 21:26
Dolphins in the bow-wave Dolphins in the bow-wave is offline  
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Originally Posted by roger spurr View Post
Dear George, Thankyou for the information. I had remembered being close to land occasionally but I don't think, even then, I knew where we were. Our car and at least two others went below decks, but we were going south and there was no live stock. This was particularly fortunate because the car had a hood which probably wouldn't have stood up to the bashing we got when we ran into the bad weather. I suppose we would have been sheltered until we were through the Sunda Strait. I note your "active " dates. Were you on the Centaur in1973? Anything else you remember about the life on board might help to confirm my hazy memory. Did all the cabins have portholes? We were in the cheaper cabins on C deck. I remember a line crossing ceremony on the first afternoon around the swimming pool, where (perhaps!) one of the crew shaved another of a big false beard and some-one ended up in the water, then there was wriggle in the wake as we "bumped over the line" I don't remember a tug out of Singapore either. Would that have been usual in calm weather? All the best Roger
I was pig farming in 1973, Roger, so no, I wasn't on Centaur at that time! Went back to sea in 1975. I am not sure about the cabins because we Deck Officers never went down there. Most passenger ships have some internal cabins without portholes but I don't know about Centaur's arrangements. Neither do I know about the line crossing ceremony because I would have been on the bridge and unable to see anything. Probably just as well! Northbound, we crossed the Equator in the wee small hours of the morning when Neptune was still asleep but Southbound was in the afternoon so his ceremony could take place in broad daylight. And the following afternoon was when we passed Krakatoa.

I think tugs were always used. While it is perfectly possible to get clear of the dock using backsprings and engine movements, you have far better control in a crowded harbour if you let tugs do the cunning stuff. And it is usually quicker. It also looks better to the passengers if you can get to sea without clouting another ship or the end of the dock on the way!
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  #39  
Old 24th April 2013, 21:29
Dolphins in the bow-wave Dolphins in the bow-wave is offline  
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Originally Posted by makko View Post
I sailed with Dave Hooper on Barber Blue Sea - I think "his" ship was Tokyo Bay. I believe that he may have been getting motor time in prior to the re-engining. An excellent 2/E and shipmate!
Rgds.
Dave
I remember the name Dave Hooper but cannot, after all these years, put a face to it.
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  #40  
Old 24th April 2013, 21:51
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Unfortunately, I don't have any pics. Dave was from Manchester and would read out the letters from his wife on standby: How she had got the manual for the washing machine and repaired the gearbox or the time she did a rebuild on a Mercedes engine! Dave used to build large gauge trains and was often in the workshop when not on watch.
Rgds.
Dave
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  #41  
Old 26th April 2013, 22:29
roger spurr roger spurr is offline
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dear George, thanks for the response. I have ben slow in replying because we were on call to mind a grandchild while the second was born. All is well, a lovely 8lb girl! I have more or less finished the Centaur section of the book and would be glad to send it along for you to look over. Any comments, good or bad will be welcome. How do I do that? If I send it as an attachment it will probably crash the forum. I must say you had a startlingly varied career, ships officer to pig farmer and back again can't be usual! All the best Roger
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  #42  
Old 27th April 2013, 11:31
bluemoon bluemoon is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nav View Post
I have a pal called Stewart Macdonald and his ship reversed into Centaur after refit in Singapore causing all sorts of ructions. Her gearbox jammed in astern and it cost him many drams to quell the revolt.
This is quite a coincidence, as I was sailing with a Stuart MacDonald, who had just been promoted to Master and exactly the same thing happened but it was in Surabaya. Instead of hitting another vessel we struck the jetty and damaged the rudder/propeller. We had to "slow steam" to Singapore for drydock repairs.

Last edited by bluemoon; 27th April 2013 at 18:23..
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  #43  
Old 27th April 2013, 16:06
Hawkeye63 Hawkeye63 is offline  
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Sailing on Centaur

Hi all, I sailed as Deck Cadet on Centaur when she was chartred to cover the RMS St Helena in 1982. There was an "eclectic" mix onboard, with all Officers and crew from Straits Steamship, and Pursers and Stewards etc (Galley staff) from Curnow SHipping. Cadets were from Curnow, but were seconded to Straits. Excellent time onboard, some very happy memories. What happened to her after she left Curnow Charter? Last I heard, she was somewhere in China.
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  #44  
Old 27th April 2013, 19:19
Dolphins in the bow-wave Dolphins in the bow-wave is offline  
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Centaur's ownership history after launch in 1964 is as follows:-

1964-73 Ocean Transport & Trading Company Ltd (A Holt & Co), Liverpool
1973 China Mutual S.N Co Ltd (A Holt & Co), Liverpool
1973-78 Eastern Fleets Ltd, Singapore
1978-85 Blue Funnel (S.E.A) Pty Ltd, Singapore
1985-99 Shanghai Haixing Spg Co, China
1999 China Development Co Ltd, China

She was scrapped in 2006. End of an era, I have always felt, when she passed out of Blue Funnel ownership in 1985 - but perhaps a Blue Flue man would say that, wouldn't he.

Last edited by Dolphins in the bow-wave; 27th April 2013 at 19:24.. Reason: typo
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  #45  
Old 28th April 2013, 03:33
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Last time I laid eyes on Centaur she was Chinese, sometime in 1980s or 90s,
I was having breakfast in the Mariners Club restaurant and could see her at anchor in Victoria Harbour off Admiralty through the gap between the Multi-story car park and the New World Hotel. Didn't like to see Centaur with a Cosco funnel!
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  #46  
Old 5th May 2013, 09:05
Kevin Jones Kevin Jones is offline  
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Originally Posted by Trident View Post
Hi George, just reading through your post and the name Errol Henly -Smith jumped out at me, we both started as Electricians with AH about the same time May 1960. We bumped into each other around Liverpool on several occasions, I often wondered what happened to him, I never sailed on the Centaur but did the same run without the comforts on the Gorgon 62-63.

Cheers Al.
Hi there, I was an electrician (Kevin Jones, Wrexham North Wales)with Ocean Fleets from 1974, then 1982 to 1998 OCL, P and O Containers, P and O Nedlloyd and then 1998 to 2009 P and O Ferries Dover. I remember Errol when, we took over from each other a few times on the Tokyo Bay class container ships a few times. Errol was a fine bloke very tidy and an excellant electrician. I beleive he finally was working on the P and O ferries when they had the run from Portsmouth. Sadly I heard that either travelling to or from Portsmouth he died in a car crash, I think he had a heart attack. Thats a few years ago. Sorry to report bad news. I wonder if anybody else has more news.
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  #47  
Old 11th May 2013, 17:09
Dolphins in the bow-wave Dolphins in the bow-wave is offline  
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Originally Posted by roger spurr View Post
dear George, thanks for the response. I have ben slow in replying because we were on call to mind a grandchild while the second was born. All is well, a lovely 8lb girl! I have more or less finished the Centaur section of the book and would be glad to send it along for you to look over. Any comments, good or bad will be welcome. How do I do that? If I send it as an attachment it will probably crash the forum. I must say you had a startlingly varied career, ships officer to pig farmer and back again can't be usual! All the best Roger
Roger,
Hearty congratulations on the strapping new grand-daughter. I would, of course, love to see your section on Centaur because all this correspondence isn't half bringing back the memories - though it is hard to tell how accurate they might be! My e-mail address is [email protected] so if you contact me by that route we might be able to arrange for me to see the paperwork.
Cheers, George

Last edited by Dolphins in the bow-wave; 11th May 2013 at 17:10.. Reason: typo
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  #48  
Old 11th May 2013, 17:16
Dolphins in the bow-wave Dolphins in the bow-wave is offline  
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Originally Posted by Kevin Jones View Post
Hi there, I was an electrician (Kevin Jones, Wrexham North Wales)with Ocean Fleets from 1974, then 1982 to 1998 OCL, P and O Containers, P and O Nedlloyd and then 1998 to 2009 P and O Ferries Dover. I remember Errol when, we took over from each other a few times on the Tokyo Bay class container ships a few times. Errol was a fine bloke very tidy and an excellant electrician. I beleive he finally was working on the P and O ferries when they had the run from Portsmouth. Sadly I heard that either travelling to or from Portsmouth he died in a car crash, I think he had a heart attack. Thats a few years ago. Sorry to report bad news. I wonder if anybody else has more news.
Oh dear, Kevin, that is sad news indeed. Errol was a bloody good Lecky and a good shipmate. I remember particularly an incident from Centaur, at a party in the passengers' bar when he tripped over the sea-step and measured his length on the deck. Being Errol, of course, he managed it all without spilling a drop of the G&T he was carrying!

Coincidentally, I also live near Wrexham, just outside Ruabon.

Last edited by Dolphins in the bow-wave; 11th May 2013 at 17:20..
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  #49  
Old 16th May 2013, 07:17
Kevin Jones Kevin Jones is offline  
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Oh dear, Kevin, that is sad news indeed. Errol was a bloody good Lecky and a good shipmate. I remember particularly an incident from Centaur, at a party in the passengers' bar when he tripped over the sea-step and measured his length on the deck. Being Errol, of course, he managed it all without spilling a drop of the G&T he was carrying!

Coincidentally, I also live near Wrexham, just outside Ruabon.
Yes Errol was a fine chap, when I started with Ocean in 1974 as a junior Lecky, there were two other guys as juniors, Alan Lees and Ray Smythe, Alan I know sailed on the Centaur, always wondered what happend to them, never saw them after 1974! As I said I finished in 2009 on ferries took early retirement, got fed up of P and O ferries Dover run. Still do partime sea work when it crops up. Nice to know you are near to Wrexham.
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  #50  
Old 23rd May 2013, 07:34
Trident Trident is offline  
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Hi there, I was an electrician (Kevin Jones, Wrexham North Wales)with Ocean Fleets from 1974, then 1982 to 1998 OCL, P and O Containers, P and O Nedlloyd and then 1998 to 2009 P and O Ferries Dover. I remember Errol when, we took over from each other a few times on the Tokyo Bay class container ships a few times. Errol was a fine bloke very tidy and an excellant electrician. I beleive he finally was working on the P and O ferries when they had the run from Portsmouth. Sadly I heard that either travelling to or from Portsmouth he died in a car crash, I think he had a heart attack. Thats a few years ago. Sorry to report bad news. I wonder if anybody else has more news.
Hi Kevin, thanks for the info about Errol, very sad to hear that he ended his life like that, any idea what year that would have been?,
They say only the good die young makes me wonder why im still around.
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