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  #1  
Old 20th June 2017, 19:57
Roger Bentley's Avatar
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Mahseer

Got my MNA magazine today. The painting on the front is of the Mahseer by Ossie Jones, inside he writes a short comment which includes the statement that after the Suez Canal was closed, going via the Cape of Good Hope became the route to the Far East quote ''and the Brocklebank's turbine steamers were too small for this'' I wonder how the other so called small ships managed? As I left Brocklebanks in Feb 1961 I have no knowledge of the later years, but is this statetment really correct? Any comments! Cheers and Burra Salaams, Roger
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Old 20th June 2017, 20:26
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I wouldn't have thought so Roger. I only coasted the Mahseer but from memory she was the best part of 9,000 gross tons with 6 hatches. Not a small ship in my book. Presuming the reference is going to India (not the Far East as such) then anything much bigger would not be able to get through the locks in Kidderpore Docks. If the remark applies to the actual Far East then it is possible this is true although it would not have have affected Brocklebank ships, who very rarely went East of the Bay of Bengal.
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Old 20th June 2017, 20:53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Selman View Post
I wouldn't have thought so Roger. I only coasted the Mahseer but from memory she was the best part of 9,000 gross tons with 6 hatches. Not a small ship in my book. Presuming the reference is going to India (not the Far East as such) then anything much bigger would not be able to get through the locks in Kidderpore Docks. If the remark applies to the actual Far East then it is possible this is true although it would not have have affected Brocklebank ships, who very rarely went East of the Bay of Bengal.
Thanks Tony, Like a lot of comments in the MNA magazine they can be misleading I am sure he did not mean the Far East as the Brocklebank destination ports. I wonder if he actually went to sea himself. I see quite a few people shown at various events seem to be covered in purchased Award Medals rather than the real thing. Cheers, Roger
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Old 20th June 2017, 23:02
Nick Jones Nick Jones is offline  
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I did two long hauls on the Matra round the Cape and up the Red Sea as far as Aquaba in Jordan and thence back down and over to Ceylon as it was in those days and and on into East Pakistan Chalna and Chittagong before ending up at Calcutta. Eventually returning to the UK via the Southern States. First trip took 7 months the second 6 months. It was a long time at sea all the way round.
If the Canal had been open it would have only 3 months so I'm told.
Cheers,
Nick Jones
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Old 20th June 2017, 23:20
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I think what he really meant was the economics of steam ships changed radically after the 1973 oil embargo and increased fuel costs. That was just about the end of the steam cargo liner.
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Old 21st June 2017, 09:25
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Thanks for the comments. I agree economics began to affect ship design, but it was the comment that the Brock ships being too small that stuck with me, they were just like all the general cargo ships of the period in size and tonnage. I must take larger glasses of G & T. Best wishes, Roger
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Old 21st June 2017, 13:44
Don A.Macleod Don A.Macleod is offline  
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[QUOTE=Roger Bentley;2515345]Got my MNA magazine today. The painting on the front is of the Mahseer by Ossie Jones, inside he writes a short comment which includes the statement that after the Suez Canal was closed, going via the Cape of Good Hope became the route to the Far East quote ''and the Brocklebank's turbine steamers were too small for this'' I wonder how the other so called small ships managed? As I left Brocklebanks in Feb 1961 I have no knowledge of the later years, but is this statetment really correct? Any comments! Cheers

Haven't seen the article Roger and find it a bit odd going by your posting. Is it the 50s closure of the canal or 67? Either way it sounds rather confusing and wonder if this has been taken from another GOOGLE garbage statement, how I despise that site and avoid it like the proverbial plague!

As posted in by other members the Brock ships didn't go to the far east except for scrap in my book. I know the Maipura went to Oz at the first canal closure courtesy of Port Line.
As Tony states the Brocks steamers wer'n't really that much smaller than other MN vessels where other companies like Port,NZS,BF had slightly bigger ships on pure cargo ships sans passengers.

So having sailed deepsea on the bigger vessels Matra, Maipura, Mahseer the first Brocks ships I went to the far east were Mahout, Maihar and Mahsud so I am at a loss on this one. Regards Don.
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  #8  
Old 21st June 2017, 15:50
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Hello Don, My personal recollection of a Suez Closure followed the 1956 shambles, I was on the Macharda 17 May 56 - 22 Nov 56 one of the last ones through before it kicked off. We were bound for the Northern States. Then I was on the old Mathura when it reopened 1 Aug 57 - 23 Jan 58, we had a Russian pilot at Port Said, and actually ran aground at one point! Much work going on to clear up the Canal.
The actual statement with the picture is as follows. Fifty years ago this June the Brocklebank freighter Mahseer (details of her builders etc.) transits the Suez Canal, passing a Felucca under sail. But, on the canal bank, a squadron of Egyptian tanks is deploying prior to the attack on Israel. The resulting counter attack brought about the closure of the Canal stranding ships in the Bitter Lakes. Clearance started but broke down in 1967. Perhaps he has had a google moment! Best wishes, Roger
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Old 22nd June 2017, 17:25
Philthechill Philthechill is offline  
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Exclamation Just missed----

----being trapped in the Canal on 'Maipura'.

We were on a MM (Messagerie Maritime) Charter in the Red Sea heading for Suez when the Gulf War started.

But for an unscheduled call to Djibouti, which delayed us for a day, we would, probably, have been in that trapped convoy.

We had to 'do a 180' head back down the Red Sea, down the East Coast of Africa, round the Cape, up the West Coast to Las Palmas for bunkers, up to Gib, hung a right into 'The Medi' and headed for Marseilles and finished our Charter there. Our 'Supercargo' (Serge Calou---spelling!), left the ship there.

We WERE supposed to go to Latakia (Syria) but MM told us just to go to Marseilles and finish the Charter.

A long, long trip! Signed-on 16/2/67 Paid-off 21/8/67. 'Pritch' was Old Man.

Going-round Africa was par-for-the-Course 'til 'The Canal' re-opened, as we well know, so where 'Ossie' got his 'Brock ships were too small' yarn from is a mystery!

Incidentally I have a painting of 'Mangla leaving Colombo' which I commissioned Ossie Jones to paint for me. It's a brilliant painting which includes the 'Valiant Faith', (that 'Sam Boat' tied-up on the breakwater for years), in the background. I specifically asked 'Ossie' to include it in the painting to give it that extra touch of authenticity.

Hanging-above the painting is the engine-room bell I 'liberated' from a half-sunk ex-Moss Hutchinson ship at Jeddah. Unfortunately there's no ship-name on the bell so I don't know the name of the ship. Having a name on the bell would add, quite considerably I would imagine, to its value. As it is it's, (unfortunately), 'just another ships bell'.

One of the QM's 'We Willie Saunders' ?' (Don! That was his surname wasn't it?), from one of the Orkney's, made me a brilliant bell-rope, (complete with 'Turks Head'), for the bell.

Nice to have a tangible 'artifact' from those long-ago days. Phil

Last edited by Philthechill; 22nd June 2017 at 17:38..
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  #10  
Old 23rd June 2017, 15:19
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Thanks Phil, Brings back memories of Brock days. Thanks, Roger
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  #11  
Old 23rd June 2017, 16:47
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I sailed twice on Mahseer first trip Chota Marconi Sahib and later as Burrah Marconi Sahib in 1965. She was IMHO a good well found ship well capable of handling the worst of weather in any of the oceans. I can't see anything that would make her too small in that respect. On the other hand, it may have been the economics of ship size vs fuel & crew costs that he was referring to but that would have similarly affected all the other shipping lines with similarly sized ships. Might be worthwhile asking Ossie what he was thinking of?
gwzm
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  #12  
Old 23rd June 2017, 19:51
Don A.Macleod Don A.Macleod is offline  
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Phil

It was Willie Campbell and he came from Barra. Murdo Mackay the long time Maipura QM and I can't remember who the third QM was.
I can't remember if I mentioned it to you before about the ships bell,Murdo was on her from voyage2 until he retired and the Maipura was being sold.(1952 to 1972).
A work colleague of mine in BAE Systems (he was an RO on the Maipuras last voyage) in conversation one day told me they were relieved in South Africa and that Murdo was presented with the bell ,well deserved I say after 19years on the same ship. Brian said it was well packed and shipped home to Glasgow he reckoned. Murdo was from Harris but did not go home every leave and stayed with his sister in Glasgow (leave was short for them and a couple of days travelling to Harris was a fair chunk out of your leave!!).
I did make an effort through some Harris contacts at the time in an attempt to track it down but to no avail. Probably went to a scrap heap. His sister wasn't married and I did learn he passed away there.

Aye! 50 years Phil and we came close to being in the Bitter lakes but the long trip round was interesting, did you forget we headed south again after Gib. to Safi in Morocco ? the great thing though was to dock in Glasgow my home port. Salaams Don.
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  #13  
Old 25th June 2017, 09:02
Philthechill Philthechill is offline  
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Thumbs up Eh-up Don!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don A.Macleod View Post
Phil

It was Willie Campbell and he came from Barra. Murdo Mackay the long time Maipura QM and I can't remember who the third QM was.
I can't remember if I mentioned it to you before about the ships bell,Murdo was on her from voyage2 until he retired and the Maipura was being sold.(1952 to 1972).
A work colleague of mine in BAE Systems (he was an RO on the Maipuras last voyage) in conversation one day told me they were relieved in South Africa and that Murdo was presented with the bell ,well deserved I say after 19years on the same ship. Brian said it was well packed and shipped home to Glasgow he reckoned. Murdo was from Harris but did not go home every leave and stayed with his sister in Glasgow (leave was short for them and a couple of days travelling to Harris was a fair chunk out of your leave!!).
I did make an effort through some Harris contacts at the time in an attempt to track it down but to no avail. Probably went to a scrap heap. His sister wasn't married and I did learn he passed away there.

Aye! 50 years Phil and we came close to being in the Bitter lakes but the long trip round was interesting, did you forget we headed south again after Gib. to Safi in Morocco ? the great thing though was to dock in Glasgow my home port. Salaams Don.
You are right! I HAD forgotten about Morocco! That is until I saw 'Safi' and then I did remembered!

I vaguely recall that other QM. I think he, too, was from the Hebrides. A dark-haired, slim-built, bloke who kept himself very much to himself. I don't think he drank either.

Murdo was the barber too if I recall correctly. We would 'pay' him with cans of Tennents.

That was when I had some hair! Now a quick spray of 'Pledge' does the job!

I hope the bell from Maipura wasn't scrapped!

Any bells, with the ships name on, fetch serious money these days! That's why I'm sorry that bell, (hanging above my mantle-piece), which I 'relieved' from that wreck in Jeddah, doesn't have a name on it!

As I mentioned before, whenever I glance at the 'rope' Willie made for me I can still picture him and hear his very gentle voice with its Hebridean 'burr'.

Do you recall what a p1ss-head Murdo was?

You would hear raised voices from the QM's accommodation and know, shortly after, Murdo would be hammering on your door 'demanding' your company to join him for a drink!

A great character!

Wonderful memories of those days! Burra salaams, (chota?), batti-sahib. Phil
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Old 25th June 2017, 14:25
martin winn martin winn is offline  
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I don't know anything about the bell on the Maipura. However I was the 1st R/O on her final voyage. The 2nd R/O was Ian Newmarch, who I'm still in contact with. The ship was handed over in Hong Kong. As far as I know Ian didn't work for BAE systems. Who was the R/O you mention?
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  #15  
Old 26th June 2017, 18:00
Don A.Macleod Don A.Macleod is offline  
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Originally Posted by martin winn View Post
I don't know anything about the bell on the Maipura. However I was the 1st R/O on her final voyage. The 2nd R/O was Ian Newmarch, who I'm still in contact with. The ship was handed over in Hong Kong. As far as I know Ian didn't work for BAE systems. Who was the R/O you mention?

Hi Martin

It was a guy called Brian Moore who came into our design section and as we got to know each other our sea going time came to light, we also had a Brocks engineer who became a chief in another company.
To get back to the Maipura, I may have been told it was Murdos retirement and this was him being relieved and that it was her last voyage which it obviously wasn't if you were there so Imay have picked up Brian wrongly,mind you it was years ago so the memory isn't up to scratch anymore! Brian also advised me that Murdo was presented with a record of all the trips and miles covered by her during Murds time on her. She was a nice ship though and I enjoyed the trip. So that's it from my side Martin and I think I may look into this bell saga again as I stay up in that part of the world that Murdo came from. Regards Don
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Old 26th June 2017, 18:19
martin winn martin winn is offline  
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Yes, Brian was the R/O I took over from.I did the final voyage though. We should have gone to Karachi for scrap, but a Chinese company bought it.I also took over from him on Port Nicholson. His nickname was "send ashore moore".
What mine was I can't repeat on here.
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Old 28th June 2017, 17:41
Don A.Macleod Don A.Macleod is offline  
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Originally Posted by martin winn View Post
Yes, Brian was the R/O I took over from.I did the final voyage though. We should have gone to Karachi for scrap, but a Chinese company bought it.I also took over from him on Port Nicholson. His nickname was "send ashore moore".
What mine was I can't repeat on here.
I know what you mean Martin, being a Brocks man was a sin and that was a three day coastal to help out whist on leave from Maihar or Mahsud. Don.
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Old 28th June 2017, 17:57
martin winn martin winn is offline  
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See mine #19 re mahseer.
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Old 6th July 2017, 16:03
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I was interested in Phil's comment that in his painting of the Mangla the Liberty ship Valiant Faith was included as she lay along the sea wall. I see from my copy of Liberty ships by L A Sawyer and WH Mitchell that she did have a bit more life, as in 1961 she became the Hermioni, and then in 1963 the Arya Jayanti finally being broken up in Bombay in 1966. Always glad I experienced a trip in a Liberty, the Malabar 5.11.59 - 4.3.60. Quite an eventful trip as I recall it. Cheers, Roger
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Old 6th July 2017, 17:05
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The two ships that were a problem with the second (67) closure of the Suez Canal were Maturata and Maskeliya. Duncan Haws comments that in 68 both were transferred to Cunard-Brocklebank and subsequently found to be too small for the longer voyages via the Cape and offered for sale, Both were sold in '69. Matra, Mahseer and Manaar were among the largest of Brocklebank ships and well able to earn their keep on longer voyages.

Somebody being careless with the facts.

Michael
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Old 8th July 2017, 22:38
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A collection of facts; comparing the smaller tea boats - Maskeliya and Maturata - with the larger Mahseer / Matra class; and with the Makrana / Mawana class and the later motor ships thrown in. The Mahseer class, and the later Maipura with the greater beam would be too big for Manchester
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  #22  
Old 12th July 2017, 10:14
Philthechill Philthechill is offline  
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Red face Whoops!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Bentley View Post
I was interested in Phil's comment that in his painting of the Mangla the Liberty ship Valiant Faith was included as she lay along the sea wall. I see from my copy of Liberty ships by L A Sawyer and WH Mitchell that she did have a bit more life, as in 1961 she became the Hermioni, and then in 1963 the Arya Jayanti finally being broken up in Bombay in 1966. Always glad I experienced a trip in a Liberty, the Malabar 5.11.59 - 4.3.60. Quite an eventful trip as I recall it. Cheers, Roger
The 'Sam' abandoned in Colombo was "Valiant Enterprise".

Must be me age----he said, VERY red-faced. Phil
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Old 12th July 2017, 13:14
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I have got a photo of the Liberty on the breakwater in Colombo somewhere but I am damned if I can find it.
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Old 12th July 2017, 15:00
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Phil, Valiant Enterprise details in Liberty Ships book makes interesting reading! Arrived Colombo 1960 owners disclaimed her in Feb 1960. Placed under arrest. During next six years became a liability to navigation coming adrift and listing. In 1966 supposed sold to Japanese, but there was a fine of over 400,000 rupees outstanding. In Feb 1967 supposed going to Hong Kong breakers, but started to sink, towed to a point six miles away from navigation channels and sunk. Keep going with the Greenalls, Cheers, Roger
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Old 23rd July 2018, 16:06
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Bentley View Post
I was interested in Phil's comment that in his painting of the Mangla the Liberty ship Valiant Faith was included as she lay along the sea wall. I see from my copy of Liberty ships by L A Sawyer and WH Mitchell that she did have a bit more life, as in 1961 she became the Hermioni, and then in 1963 the Arya Jayanti finally being broken up in Bombay in 1966. Always glad I experienced a trip in a Liberty, the Malabar 5.11.59 - 4.3.60. Quite an eventful trip as I recall it. Cheers, Roger
Just noticed this, Roger. Three days after you signed off, I signed on Malabar 7/3/60 for coasting. Must have just missed you.
She was the only Samboat I knew, but thought her most peculiar and so different from the usual Brock.
A narrow cabin, and just a few paces took you to work.
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