Ellermans cadet intake - Ships Nostalgia
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Ellermans cadet intake

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  #1  
Old 29th July 2018, 10:28
tantalus tantalus is offline  
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Question Ellermans cadet intake

Hello everyone, can any ex Ellerman folk answer this for me. I have just read an interesting book called Mariners Launch by Ray Solly. It's about a young lads experience of joining the Merchant Navy in the 50's. It covers his journey through sea school, joining a shipping company, and his time at sea up to getting his Second Mates cert.. The story is clearly the authors experience but he disguises this fact and changes names of the sea school and the shipping company. Judging by the ships names, routes he sails on this fictional company, 'Ellertons', is, I suspect based on Ellermans. My question is this: in the book he tells how this company only took lads from Public Schools as deck officer trainees and that he, as a 'mere' grammar school lad was the first non public school lad to be accepted. Later on during his apprenticeship, other non public school boys were taken on. Was this true, did Ellermans once only take public school lads as cadets?
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  #2  
Old 29th July 2018, 11:19
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David Wilcockson David Wilcockson is offline  
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Only P & O!!!!!
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  #3  
Old 29th July 2018, 13:08
Michael Taylor Michael Taylor is offline  
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My friend, Barry Borland and I, both from Warsash Sea Scool (1958) travelled together to Liverpool for our interviews with Ellerman Hall Line. He attended regular school and I at Durham School (certainly one of the oldest Public Schools in the UK). We were both accepted and worked our way to Mate. The rumour was that P&O and Cunard did require Public School boys but never had it confirmed. Warsash did provide you a list of shipping companies that they considered acceptable for their trained Cadets. If I remember correctly there were no tankers or tramp companies included....but stand to be corrected.

Last edited by Michael Taylor; 30th July 2018 at 12:34..
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  #4  
Old 29th July 2018, 22:25
tantalus tantalus is offline  
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Many thanks for this. I did think it rather odd which is why I asked the question.
The author explains why he changed the names of his sea school, the company and the ships at the beginning of the book but as someone with a keen interest in the all maritime history (especially the Merchant Service, my dad was a Master mariner with Holts) I couldn't help wondering which company he was talking about
Whatever, Ray Sollys book is interesting with very detailed and witty accounts of a young mans experiences from leaving school to reaching second mate - this was in the 1950's so maybe there had, at one time, been a rather 'elite' selection policy.
This book is the first of a trilogy. I haven't read the other two which cover his later career in the MN. Once again, thanks.
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  #5  
Old 29th July 2018, 22:44
saudisid saudisid is offline  
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Ellermans

I joined Ellermans in 65 from Hull Trinity House Navigation School. Not a Public School and not one of the so called better Pre Sea places [ Sorry Mike ].
I sailed with Cadets from all over the UK. Some had not been to Pre Sea some had been to some of the so called best. I even sailed with a lad who had been at Gordonston. A certain lad who liked Cherry Brandy was there when he was.

I did not find anything to say they only took from Public Schools.

Alan
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  #6  
Old 31st July 2018, 22:02
andy88up. andy88up. is offline  
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I joined City Line of Glasgow in 1959 straight from school as an apprentice. They couldn't wait to get slave labour, and normally had three, and sometimes four of us on each of their twelve ships at that time. Needless to say, many did not continue at sea after their four years of hell.
Andy
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  #7  
Old 2nd August 2018, 23:52
rodgrout rodgrout is offline
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Hi, I joined Ellermans in 1964 with education at an ordinary Secondary School and King Edward V11 Nautical school. First vessel was City of Pretoria and then City of Adelaide.
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  #8  
Old 3rd August 2018, 14:32
Jersey Ancient Mariner Jersey Ancient Mariner is offline
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Ellerman Lines

I joined Ellerman & Bucknall from KEVII Nautical College London (I year course with 1-year remission of sea service) in December 1955. Previously I was at Reigate Grammar School, Surrey.
I served on Bucknall, City and Hall Line vessels within the Ellerman Group up to early 1966, when I left to take Masters, following which I transferred to a short sea company (Atlantic Steam Navigation Company). However, this disproves that Ellerman's only recruited Cadets from public schools, relying as I saw it, on the interview (at 12 - 20 Camomile Street, in the City of London in my case: I have my indentures, signed by Capt. Barr, framed on the wall of my study). My first trip was 12 months on the City of Bath, on the States/India run, including a diversion around the Cape when homeward bound due to the Suez Canal war zone.but I digress..... 'Yesterday is the playground of all men's hearts, especially those of sailormen.' Anon
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  #9  
Old 3rd August 2018, 21:46
tantalus tantalus is offline  
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Ellermans cadet intake

Thanks to all for your experiences of joining Ellermans. It's very interesting to see how effective this web site can be when a question needs an answer!
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  #10  
Old 3rd August 2018, 23:33
Jersey Ancient Mariner Jersey Ancient Mariner is offline
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Ellerman Lines

Sorry and somewhat concerned to read of the Ellerman apprentice experiences of Andy re City Line. Whilst it was a relatively hard life especially by comparison of what would be allowed today, it was the same for all and many did stay on and follow a seagoing career, whilst others, like myself, found marine-related positions ashore. Personally, I look back on my 12 years deep-sea with Ellermans with nostalgia - especially my 2 years on the South African run on the so-called 'big four' City of Durban, Port Elizabeth, Exeter & York . 2 months 17 days round trip - one could actually make plans!!
I'm still in touch with friends at Capetown and a fellow cadet from my Ellerman days now lives there.
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  #11  
Old 13th October 2018, 20:26
dib dib is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tantalus View Post
Hello everyone, can any ex Ellerman folk answer this for me. I have just read an interesting book called Mariners Launch by Ray Solly. It's about a young lads experience of joining the Merchant Navy in the 50's. It covers his journey through sea school, joining a shipping company, and his time at sea up to getting his Second Mates cert.. The story is clearly the authors experience but he disguises this fact and changes names of the sea school and the shipping company. Judging by the ships names, routes he sails on this fictional company, 'Ellertons', is, I suspect based on Ellermans. My question is this: in the book he tells how this company only took lads from Public Schools as deck officer trainees and that he, as a 'mere' grammar school lad was the first non public school lad to be accepted. Later on during his apprenticeship, other non public school boys were taken on. Was this true, did Ellermans once only take public school lads as cadets?
They didn't just take public school boys. I happened to go to a grammar school in England and a high school in South Africa. In those days if you didn't pass your 11+ entrance exam for grammar school you had to go to the secondary modern unless your parents were able to pay to send you to a private school. I was on the cadetship S S City of Lucknow in the late 50's and if I remember correctly, the cadets/apprentices on board in my time on her were from all types of schools. Dib
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  #12  
Old 14th April 2019, 13:11
BillMc BillMc is offline   SN Supporter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tantalus View Post
Hello everyone, can any ex Ellerman folk answer this for me. I have just read an interesting book called Mariners Launch by Ray Solly. It's about a young lads experience of joining the Merchant Navy in the 50's. It covers his journey through sea school, joining a shipping company, and his time at sea up to getting his Second Mates cert.. The story is clearly the authors experience but he disguises this fact and changes names of the sea school and the shipping company. Judging by the ships names, routes he sails on this fictional company, 'Ellertons', is, I suspect based on Ellermans. My question is this: in the book he tells how this company only took lads from Public Schools as deck officer trainees and that he, as a 'mere' grammar school lad was the first non public school lad to be accepted. Later on during his apprenticeship, other non public school boys were taken on. Was this true, did Ellermans once only take public school lads as cadets?
Definitely not in the 50's. I joined Ellermans in 1953 having been grammar educated and with absolutely no pre sea training. Most apprentices in those days were definitely not public school but nearly all came from training ships; Worcester, Conway, or pre sea training schools such as Southampton Pangbourne etc. The ex Southampron apprentice I sailed with had a public school ethos but he was the only one. I only sailed with one other apprentice with no pre sea training.

Last edited by BillMc; 14th April 2019 at 13:17.. Reason: unnecessary question
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