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  #1  
Old 15th September 2006, 17:41
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nigelcollett nigelcollett is offline  
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Court Line

Hi All

Does anybody remember them? My records date from 1968 when they only had about 3 ships left.

However they did try to diversify into aircraft and package travel which I believe was their final undoing.

Couple of pics of Tristars the leased attached

Regards

NigelC
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  #2  
Old 15th September 2006, 18:42
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My wife has bad memories of Court Line holidays!

In 1974 she went on holiday to Alicante-- Court Line were the airline carrier,in a wide bodied aircraft (probably TriStar).As soon as they arrived, they were informed of "possible" problems with the carrier--then left in the dark until the day of return--then left in limbo, no info, hung around the hotel, overnighted in the lobby as the rooms were relet-- then repatriation via BA to Heathrow ( the holiday had gone from Luton) as the Court Line company had crashed.

But she had a good hols!
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  #3  
Old 15th September 2006, 21:20
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My first trip to sea at 16 as a boy was on the Barrington Court in 1960, I was the only southerner with the Geordie crew they always seemed to question my parentage!! Nice lads though. The ship was just out of drydock but we broke down in the Bay of Biscay, spent the day on my hands and knees.
Averaged nine knots to Capetown,the food was grim I remember the 2nd cooks idea of a trifle was crumbled up fruit cake with custard on the top.
We had a return cargo of iron ore for Port Glasgow and most of the crew decamped smartish myself included, it never put me off though.
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  #4  
Old 15th September 2006, 21:39
Nova Scotian Nova Scotian is offline  
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Halcyon the Great

Though my memory isn't what it used to be, I seem to remember a Court Line master that did a trip with us, as supernumary, on the VLCC Alva Star in 1970. I believe he was to take command of a similar vessel that was building and to be named Halcyon the Great. The names Halcyon Sea and Halcyon Sky ring a bell as Court Line vessels around that time.

Cheers
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  #5  
Old 15th September 2006, 22:20
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I'm too young to remember all those J.L.Thompson built ships but I remember 'The Court Line Crash' in the 70's
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  #6  
Old 16th September 2006, 04:49
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Keltic Star Keltic Star is offline  
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Remember seeing one of Court Line's Tristars on the ramp in St. Lucia in 1972, they owned the Halcyon Beach hotel there at the time. Another hotel was the Halcyon Cove in Antigua. They were leased by Court line from the island governments who had inherited them when Commonwealth Holiday Inns bailed
out of the Caribbean. Last stay I did in both of them was in 1990 when they still bore the Halcyon name, the Antiguan one still owned by the government and the one in St. Lucia owned by a Dane.. I believe the one in St. Ludia is now part of the Sandals chain. They were pretty good hotels both in condition, management and service.

The day of the banckruptcy, a Court Line Tristar enroute from the Caribbean to the UK had a mechanical problem and landed in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Passengers and crew were put up in a local hotel. During the night the Captain received a telephone call and was offered a bonus if he could get the aircraft back to the U.K. before the s--t hit the fan. he rounded up all the crew and passengers, put them into taxi's, boarded the Tristar and departed without ATC clearance. Understand they still owe Air Canada for a full tank of gas, which is probably why Air canada can't afford to feed their passengers decent food even to this day!

The following is heresay evidence but from a very reliable source:

At the time of the bankruptcy, "Halcyon the Great" was in Newfoundland and the old man was contacted to get the h--l out of there and sail the ship back to the U.K. An old ship mate, who was an engineer onboad, tells the story of a small Royal Canadian Mounted Police cutter hailing the ship and demanding that she return to her berth "in the name of the law".

Score "Halcyon the Great" 1 - R.C.M.P. 0
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  #7  
Old 16th September 2006, 11:52
trotterdotpom trotterdotpom is offline  
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I am calling yooooohoooooo.....

[!

The following is heresay evidence but from a very reliable source:

At the time of the bankruptcy, "Halcyon the Great" was in Newfoundland and the old man was contacted to get the h--l out of there and sail the ship back to the U.K. An old ship mate, who was an engineer onboad, tells the story of a small Royal Canadian Mounted Police cutter hailing the ship and demanding that she return to her berth "in the name of the law".

Score "Halcyon the Great" 1 - R.C.M.P. 0[/QUOTE]

I knew the Chief Engineer who was on board at the time and it's true they did the bolt with the writ still flapping on the mast. Not sure about the Mounties saying that though, but it sounds plausible. When the ship arrived back in UK the crew had to put a lein on the ship for their wages - can't remember the outcome.

John T.
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  #8  
Old 16th September 2006, 13:37
vic pitcher vic pitcher is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trotterdotpom View Post
[!

The following is heresay evidence but from a very reliable source:

At the time of the bankruptcy, "Halcyon the Great" was in Newfoundland and the old man was contacted to get the h--l out of there and sail the ship back to the U.K. An old ship mate, who was an engineer onboad, tells the story of a small Royal Canadian Mounted Police cutter hailing the ship and demanding that she return to her berth "in the name of the law".

Score "Halcyon the Great" 1 - R.C.M.P. 0
I knew the Chief Engineer who was on board at the time and it's true they did the bolt with the writ still flapping on the mast. Not sure about the Mounties saying that though, but it sounds plausible. When the ship arrived back in UK the crew had to put a lein on the ship for their wages - can't remember the outcome.

John T.[/QUOTE]

When "Halcyon the Great" did a runner, without boatmen and pilot, they sprung her off, just like a coaster. Great piece of shiphandling by the Old Man
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  #9  
Old 16th September 2006, 16:38
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The 2 court line Tristars G-BAAA Serial No; 1024 and G-BAAB SN;1032 both bought by Cathay Pacific Airways after the collapse of Court. On one trip out of Halifax to LGW no food was bought on board so what was left over from the outward flight was dished out. We arrived LGW hungry but at least home.
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  #10  
Old 16th September 2006, 18:46
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I believe they are still running a helicopter service in South Africa
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  #11  
Old 17th September 2006, 18:16
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if I remember during the early 70s they ran the Heli service down off Capetown we did a couple of crew changes via them and also had mail drops, was serving on a VLCC at the time
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  #12  
Old 18th September 2006, 08:42
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When "Halcyon the Great" did a runner, without boatmen and pilot, they sprung her off, just like a coaster. Great piece of shiphandling by the Old Man

Am I correct in saying that the Captain met an untimely death shortly after he brought the vessel back? I think he was knocked down by a Taxi and killed. If I remember correctly the newspapers at the time thought there was something suspicious about it
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  #13  
Old 18th September 2006, 09:29
vic pitcher vic pitcher is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom S View Post
When "Halcyon the Great" did a runner, without boatmen and pilot, they sprung her off, just like a coaster. Great piece of shiphandling by the Old Man

Am I correct in saying that the Captain met an untimely death shortly after he brought the vessel back? I think he was knocked down by a Taxi and killed. If I remember correctly the newspapers at the time thought there was something suspicious about it
I hadn't heard of this, I was told of MO of clearing the jetty by a Humber Pilot
who was a friend of the Master about a year after the incident.
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  #14  
Old 18th September 2006, 15:53
Bob S Bob S is offline  
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See

https://www.shipsnostalgia.com/showth...=halcyon+great

For a photo of her under arrest at Tilbury (sorry about the poor quality)

Bob
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  #15  
Old 18th September 2006, 19:18
Hillview Hillview is offline  
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Understood Court Line was in deficit to MNOPF and it was left to the other companies to make up their contributions.
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  #16  
Old 21st September 2006, 12:07
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Didn't the last Court Line ships names all start with "Halcyon"
Halcyon Breeze, Halcyon Days etc. They liked to paint things they owned in pastel colours.
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  #17  
Old 10th November 2006, 21:06
Rennie Cameron Rennie Cameron is offline
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For what its worth I recall the Barrington Court and the Dorrington Court (not sure of the second ship) had Kincaid H&W opposed piston engines. I am sure I saw one renamed "Eva" on the Clyde long time ago but before their demise.
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  #18  
Old 10th November 2006, 21:54
neil maclachlan neil maclachlan is offline  
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Court Line.

Hi Gang,
This is going back a long way's,When I was a kid during the 2nd World War,I lived in Port Bannatyne on the "Isle of Bute" and I recall a ship being towed into Kames Bay after having been torpedoed in the North Atlantic,I think she was called the "Kensington Court" A salvage company called the " Glasgow and Liverpool ,Salvage Company" operated out of the River Clyde, towed ships that were disabled from convoys into the Clyde, beached them on the beach at Kames Bay, do repairs to keep them afloat, then tow them upriver when a drydock became available for permanent repairs. During the war it became a graveyard of ships, awaiting repairs or being broken up. Might be of interest?
Neil Mac.
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  #19  
Old 10th November 2006, 21:58
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Two good pics, Barrington Court and Cressington Court on Riversea site in Memories.
Barney.
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  #20  
Old 10th November 2006, 22:32
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Court Line had an exclusive deal to run charter flights for the Clarkson holiday business and they were keen to buy into it. Court Line took over Clarkson holidays in 1973. H. Clarkson & Co. actually paid Court Line £5.7 million to take the holiday business away as it was losing the parent company money and would otherwise have been liquidated. However, it wasn't the acquisition of Clarkson holidays that caused Court Line to fail. Apparently, it was over-extensive hotel projects in the West Indies.....

The above is taken from "Mighty Things from Small Beginnings", the history of Clarksons first 150 years 1852-2002.

Thamesphil.
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  #21  
Old 11th November 2006, 09:50
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I served as 3rd Mate/2nd Mate with Court Line in the 70's and was 2nd Mate on Halcyon The Great when we did the runner from Come By Chance in Newfoundland. We were advised that the charterers were going to arrest us before we finished discharging, and two of the mortgage bankers came out to see if we would be willing to take the ship back to the UK rather than have her idle throughout a Canadian winter. Most of the crew were willing and those who were not were flown home. The tugs at the refinery were Cory tugs and the crew told us that were unable to help get her out, so two small tugs were brought in from, I believe, Halifax. They arrived at night and tied up alongside to be inconspicuous. The refinery crew were a bit suspicious and removed the release handles from the quay moorings to prevent us leaving, but after a little recon I found out that a crow bar worked just as well.
There was another tanker ahead of us, loading Naptha!!! so the Captain, Brian Greenwood, from South Shields, asked me to approach the other crew and see if they could create a problem with loading and get the refinery to stop operations so they could batten down for our departure. They agreed to this and we started preparing for departure. We coupled the tugs up, but they remained alongside, hidden from the shore, and we sent two of the crew ashore to connect the gangway on to the crane, and armed with the crowbar quickly let go all the ropes, jumped on the gangway as it was being hoisted up, and we were away. However the tugs were not really man enough for the size of ship, 226,000 dwt, and we had problems with the towing springs breaking, but due to Brian's expertise, we got clear and away.
Going down the Bay, Placentia Radio kept calling to inform us to return and anchor off, but we seemed to develop radio problems, which continual clicking of the pressel whilst tansmitting did not seem to cure, and we tried to inform them that we could not understand them. The Sparky came up to tell us that he had heard various traffic with patrol boats, so as we left the Bay I continually plotted every echo on the radar and checked each boat off as fishing vessels. However there were two patrol boats alongside two of the fishing vessels, which only gave single echo's until they parted from the fishing vessels. As the terretorial limit was only 3 miles, I kept a good plot on the chart and kept Brian up-to-date with our position and by good navigation on the part of Brian we managed to cut a good few corners off, and the Chief gave her the works to achieve 16+ knots until we gained the 3 mile limit, and the Mountie Patrol Boats could only reach 16 knots and gave up.
We then heard that they were sending out helicopters to board us, so we decided to hold an impromptue fire drill and to test the water cannons to see how far they could throw water into the air. We never did see a helicopter, and we continued on Passage to Tilbury, where we were eventually arrested by the Admiralty Marshall. Not quite your traditional arrest as they didn't nail the writ to the mast, just sellotaped it to the wheelhouse door!!
Quite a few of us stayed for, I think, 3 months to look after the ship until she was sold to C.Y.Tung as the Energy Prosperity. A couple of our engineers stayed to deliver the ship with the Chinese crew.
Another outcome of this incident was, that a lot of questions were asked in the Canadian Parliament as to how a tanker could outrun the Mountie Patrol boats, and an order was placed with Vosper Thornycroft for some new 20+ knot patrol boats!!
I believe Brian Greenwood died of a heart attack, although I have heard various stories, but he was alive for a good few years after the incident. He was banned from Canada for this incident, but ironically the first job offer he recieved after the collapse of Court Line, was from CP Ships!!
The other ships, Halcyon Skies, Halcyon Cove, Halcyon Isle, and I believe the Halcyon Days, were all arrested in various locations and the Halcyon Breeze which was on charter to RFA as RFA Derwentdale remained for a time on charter and was then sold off.
It was a really great company when I was with them and a lot of us were sorry to see them collapse.
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  #22  
Old 14th November 2006, 13:28
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Hi Chris

Many thanks for your first had accounts of the Canadian adventure. Nice to hear it in such detail.

Regards

NigelC
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  #23  
Old 14th November 2006, 14:37
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So that dispels the old story The Mounties always got their Man
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Old 14th November 2006, 15:16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rennie Cameron View Post
For what its worth I recall the Barrington Court and the Dorrington Court (not sure of the second ship) had Kincaid H&W opposed piston engines. I am sure I saw one renamed "Eva" on the Clyde long time ago but before their demise.
The "Eva" was the "Dorrington Court" and was owned by Montelindo Cia.Nav S.A., Monrovia. Suffered a seious engine room fire 14.7.1976 and broken up at Hamburg same year. Her engine was a 4-cyl 2SA "B&W" type built by Kincaid
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Old 14th November 2006, 16:22
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Many thanks Captainchris for your story, it made interesting reading and cleared up a few misnomers.
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