Helmville Limited - Ships Nostalgia
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Helmville Limited

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  #1  
Old 20th August 2011, 16:22
Waighty's Avatar
Waighty Waighty is offline  
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Active: 1966 - 2009
 
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Helmville Limited

I wonder if anyone recalls Helmville Limited? The boss was a Mr Alachouzos who rented a small office close to Fenchurch St station in the city. Somehow or other he persuaded the government of the day, who in the early 1970s, were offering low interest loans and grants to build ships and run Red Ensign ships; surprising isn't it?

Anyway for the price of two ships he built three at Bilbao in Spain. One was called "Jocelyne" another "David Marquis of Milford Haven" (some money came from that family) and I can't remember the name of the third one. I sailed as 2nd Mate on the Jocelyne after leaving Bank Line to try another outfit. Joined in Bilbao and left again in Cristobal 6 weeks later. The whole setup was a shambles. British pool crew who walked off in Hamburg and only returned after Alachouzos himself boarded and promised to look into their grievances. Amongst other disasters I had to borrow enough charts from a Spanish tanker to get us to Hamburg from Bilbao! Between Goree and Texel we had no chart!

I managed to get in writing from Alachouzos that he would relieve me in Panama, I copied it to the MNAOA. It was the first time I had transited the canal by train. When I got home Alachouzos wouldn't pay me, saying I had only asked for repatriation! During our heated discussions he sat alongside his PA, a very glamorous young lady, and fondled her all the time - amazing what money does?

Eventually, with the help of the MNAOA I got my pay and my air fare paid. My relief was stabbed by one of the crew and hospitalised in the Philippines. The Old Man was a retired Blue Star Master, I don't know what became of him.

I went back to the sanity of Bank Line as quick as possible and never looked back.

Many years later I heard that the "David..." had been arrested at Capetown after two crew members had smuggled a girl aboard at Durban and then panicked and thrown her overboard on route to Capetown! I also heard that the third ship had been impounded at Naples and lay there for a number of years with the 3rd Engineer in permanent residence on a 'dead' ship complete with Italian wife and brood.

You couldn't make it up.

If anyone has more details of this taxpayer funded investment tragedy, I'd love to hear it.
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  #2  
Old 21st August 2011, 16:06
Wribbenhall Wribbenhall is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Waighty View Post
I wonder if anyone recalls Helmville Limited? The boss was a Mr Alachouzos who rented a small office close to Fenchurch St station in the city. Somehow or other he persuaded the government of the day, who in the early 1970s, were offering low interest loans and grants to build ships and run Red Ensign ships; surprising isn't it?

Anyway for the price of two ships he built three at Bilbao in Spain. One was called "Jocelyne" another "David Marquis of Milford Haven" (some money came from that family) and I can't remember the name of the third one. I sailed as 2nd Mate on the Jocelyne after leaving Bank Line to try another outfit. Joined in Bilbao and left again in Cristobal 6 weeks later. The whole setup was a shambles. British pool crew who walked off in Hamburg and only returned after Alachouzos himself boarded and promised to look into their grievances. Amongst other disasters I had to borrow enough charts from a Spanish tanker to get us to Hamburg from Bilbao! Between Goree and Texel we had no chart!

I managed to get in writing from Alachouzos that he would relieve me in Panama, I copied it to the MNAOA. It was the first time I had transited the canal by train. When I got home Alachouzos wouldn't pay me, saying I had only asked for repatriation! During our heated discussions he sat alongside his PA, a very glamorous young lady, and fondled her all the time - amazing what money does?

Eventually, with the help of the MNAOA I got my pay and my air fare paid. My relief was stabbed by one of the crew and hospitalised in the Philippines. The Old Man was a retired Blue Star Master, I don't know what became of him.

I went back to the sanity of Bank Line as quick as possible and never looked back.

Many years later I heard that the "David..." had been arrested at Capetown after two crew members had smuggled a girl aboard at Durban and then panicked and thrown her overboard on route to Capetown! I also heard that the third ship had been impounded at Naples and lay there for a number of years with the 3rd Engineer in permanent residence on a 'dead' ship complete with Italian wife and brood.

You couldn't make it up.

If anyone has more details of this taxpayer funded investment tragedy, I'd love to hear it.

"Waighty "-as with most websites ,try typing in the Search box a pertinent query,in this case HELMVILLE,and you'll find at least two other threads....

Regards
W.B.H.
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  #3  
Old 28th August 2011, 12:11
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Waighty Waighty is offline  
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Organisation: Merchant Navy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wribbenhall View Post
"Waighty "-as with most websites ,try typing in the Search box a pertinent query,in this case HELMVILLE,and you'll find at least two other threads....

Regards
W.B.H.
Many thanks Wribbenhall, I had no idea there were other threads.
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