information for Blue Funnel Vessel "Menelaus" - Ships Nostalgia
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information for Blue Funnel Vessel "Menelaus"

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  #1  
Old 25th August 2019, 05:47
Nairny Nairny is offline
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information for Blue Funnel Vessel "Menelaus"

Hello
My Father was a young cadet on the Blue Funnel Vessel "Menelaus"
It left Great Britain 1955 .
He is turning 90 this year and I wanted to gather any information about the trip that I could compile into a gift for him

Any advise on what I can gather in terms of records or photos and how to go about it. We are based in Australia
His name is John Nairn

Thanks
Nick
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  #2  
Old 25th August 2019, 11:18
BillH BillH is offline
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Nick, is the date 1955 correct? His age does not sit right if a young cadet in 1955. Also there was not a vessel of that name in the fleet (1952 - 1957)

I am presuming you perhaps meant 1935 which would be this one

MENELAUS (3rd) (1923 - 1952) Calchas class steel steamship.
O.N. 147235. 10,307g. 6,319n. 495.5 x 62.3 x 39.6 feet.
Four steam turbines by the North Eastern Marine Engineering Company Ltd., Newcastle, reduction geared to twin propeller shafts. 6,500 SHP. 14 kts.
1.5.1923: Launched by the Caledon Shipbuilding & Engineering Company Ltd., Dundee (Yard No. 274), for the Ocean Steamship Company Ltd.
1923: Completed.
25.12.1940: Whilst in convoy WS5A, enroute to the Mediterranean was attacked 700 miles west of Cape Finisterre by the German battleship ADMIRAL HIPPER but was rescued by convoy escorts HMS’s BERWICK and BONAVENTURE.
1.5.1942: Attacked by the German commerce raider MICHEL, in a position 700 miles S.W.of St. Helena, but escaped at speed.
1952: Sold to the British Iron & Steel Corporation, and allocated to W.H. Arnott, Young Ltd., for demolition at Dalmuir.
25.6.1952: Delivered.

Photo in gallery - use link below

https://www.shipsnostalgia.com/galle...nelaus/cat/510

Below is the details of the vessel built in 1957.

MENELAUS (4th) “M” class steel motorship.
O.N. 187169. 7,869g. 4,566n. 494' 8" x 65' 4" x 28' 10 " oa
6-cyl. 2 S.C.S. A. (750 x 1500mm) B&W type by Harland & Wolff Ltd., Belfast. 8,000 BHP. 16 kts.
15.3.1957: Launched without ceremony (due to a shipyard industrial dispute) by the Caledon Shipbuilding & Engineering Company Ltd., Dundee (Yard No. 509), for the Ocean Steamship Company Ltd.
9.1957: Completed.
1972: Transferred to Elder Dempster Lines Ltd., and renamed MANO.
8.1977: Renamed OTI.
12.5.1978: Sold for 176,000 to Leon Rivera Lines Company Ltd., (Thenamaris Maritime Inc., Greece, managers), Cyprus, and renamed ELSTAR.
21.2.1979: Delivered to Dong Kuk Steel Company, for demolition at Busan.

Photo in gallery - use link below

https://www.shipsnostalgia.com/galle...nelaus/cat/510

Last edited by BillH; 25th August 2019 at 11:38..
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  #3  
Old 25th August 2019, 15:32
Pat Kennedy's Avatar
Pat Kennedy Pat Kennedy is online now  
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Nick,
As Bill said, there is something wrong with the dates you stated. If your Dad is 90, then presuming his cadetship started at age 16, that would put the date of his first ship as around 1945.
That fits with Menelaus (III), launched in 1923 at Caledon shipyard in Dundee.
She had an adventurous war, as Bill has detailed above.

I would suggest you get your Dad a copy of Ships in Focus, Blue Funnel Line, available on Amazon. It is a handsome hardback book with photographs of virtually every Blue Funnel ship from AGAMEMNON in 1866 to BARBER PRIAM in 1977.
MENELAUS features on page 73.


Also, Merchant Fleets 6, Blue Funnel Line by Duncan Haws has a splendid line drawing of the ship and details of her build and history.
This is also available on Amazon.
Both these books will, I'm sure bring back some long ago memories for your Dad.

Best regards,
Pat.
PS, I was in the later Menelaus, in 1959, 1960, and in 1962. A right bloody workhouse she was too!
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  #4  
Old 25th August 2019, 16:26
eddyw eddyw is offline  
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Some info on 1923 "Menelaus" here:
http://www.clydemaritime.co.uk/node/592
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  #5  
Old 25th August 2019, 19:56
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Incidentally, we always pronounced the name as Menalaws. But I saw the movie Troy a few years ago, and learned the proper pronunciation was Menalayus.
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Old 25th August 2019, 20:50
stein stein is online now  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pat Kennedy View Post
Incidentally, we always pronounced the name as Menalaws. But I saw the movie Troy a few years ago, and learned the proper pronunciation was Menalayus.
I was on a Wilhelmsen ship named after a French town, Tourcoing" and when I phoned the Wilhelmsen office once asking if there existed some construction drawings of the ship I used my best French pronounciation. I was asked to repeat the name twice. Then the man got it. "Oh, you mean "Tirrkoang," he said, in perfect Norwegian. And I felt not a little silly.

There is also the book "Blue Funnel Line: a photographic History" by Ian Collard, Menelaus III on page 80 and 81. And "Blue Funnels in the Mersey in the 1920's" by C. H. Milsom. A good picture of Menelaus III on page 43. The first is a small horizontal format soft-cover book published in 2013, the second a stapled magazine format Sea Breezes publication first published in 1988. Presumably they are both cheap.

Last edited by stein; 25th August 2019 at 21:27..
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  #7  
Old 25th August 2019, 22:53
Nairny Nairny is offline
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Hello All
Thanks for your generosity of your time I appreciate the responses !
I will some further digging (Will keep me away from the cricket headlines!)
Best Regards
Nick
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  #8  
Old 25th August 2019, 23:27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stein View Post
I was on a Wilhelmsen ship named after a French town, Tourcoing" and when I phoned the Wilhelmsen office once asking if there existed some construction drawings of the ship I used my best French pronounciation. I was asked to repeat the name twice. Then the man got it. "Oh, you mean "Tirrkoang," he said, in perfect Norwegian. And I felt not a little silly.

There is also the book "Blue Funnel Line: a photographic History" by Ian Collard, Menelaus III on page 80 and 81. And "Blue Funnels in the Mersey in the 1920's" by C. H. Milsom. A good picture of Menelaus III on page 43. The first is a small horizontal format soft-cover book published in 2013, the second a stapled magazine format Sea Breezes publication first published in 1988. Presumably they are both cheap.
I remember C H Milsom, he was editor of Sea Breezes magazine during the 1970s/80s. He published an article I had written concerning a voyage in the Memnon I did in 1960, and paid me the princely sum.of 30.
The TV series, Zena the Warrior Princess was a good resource for learning the proper pronuncistion of Blue Funnel ships names. I did read Robert Graves Greek Myths to find out about these charactefs but of course pronunciation was purely a matter of guesswork.
Tourcoing I would have got right, only because I heard it mentioned somewhere and was very taken with the sound of it.
Regards,
Pat
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Old 27th August 2019, 15:34
BillH BillH is offline
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"I would suggest you get your Dad a copy of Ships in Focus, Blue Funnel Line, available on Amazon. It is a handsome hardback book with photographs of virtually every Blue Funnel ship from AGAMEMNON in 1866 to BARBER PRIAM in 1977.
MENELAUS features on page 73".

Thanks for the plug, Pat. Doesn't seem like 21 years since it was published.
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Old 27th August 2019, 19:26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillH View Post
"I would suggest you get your Dad a copy of Ships in Focus, Blue Funnel Line, available on Amazon. It is a handsome hardback book with photographs of virtually every Blue Funnel ship from AGAMEMNON in 1866 to BARBER PRIAM in 1977.
MENELAUS features on page 73".

Thanks for the plug, Pat. Doesn't seem like 21 years since it was published.
My colleagues presented me with a copy when I retired in 2010.
It is indeed a beautiful book Bill and it is on my bookshelf within reach as I type this.
You are, I take it Bill H in between John Clarkson and Roy Fenton?
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Last edited by Pat Kennedy; 27th August 2019 at 20:13..
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  #11  
Old 27th August 2019, 23:11
BillH BillH is offline
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Hi Pat,
Yes you take it correctly

Bill
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Old 30th August 2019, 01:21
backsplice backsplice is offline  
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I remember as a lad 2 years before I went to sea myself I watched the
Menelaus take shape at the Caledon Shipyard Dundee there was another Bluie being built at the same time Menetheus (from memory)
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Old 30th August 2019, 04:10
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My Dad was "made up" to 3/E, acting really as an extra 2/E on Menestheus when new. The engine controls jammed in Hong Kong harbour and she collided with a Chinese ship. I have to get the details again and scan his photos. He was being prepared for a Superintendency with BF but ended up teaching Marine Eng Cadets at Birkenhead Tech from 1968 onwards.
Rgds.
Dave
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Old 30th August 2019, 13:30
BillH BillH is offline
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Originally Posted by backsplice View Post
I remember as a lad 2 years before I went to sea myself I watched the
Menelaus take shape at the Caledon Shipyard Dundee there was another Bluie being built at the same time Menetheus (from memory)
MENESTHEUS M class steel motorship.
O.N. 187180. 8,510g. 4,873n. 494' 8" x 65' 4" x 28' 10 " oa
6-cyl. 2 S.C.S. A. (750 x 1500mm) B&W type by Harland & Wolff Ltd., Belfast. 8,000 BHP. 16 kts.
26.8.1957: Launched by Mrs M. Hill at the Caledon Shipbuilding & Engineering Company Ltd., Dundee (Yard No. 510), for the Ocean Steamship Company Ltd.
2.1958: Completed.
1972: Transferred to the China Mutual Steam Navigation Company Ltd.
7.1977: Transferred to Elder Dempster Lines Ltd., and renamed ONITSHA.
19.5.1978: Sold for 148,000, to Palermo Shipping Company Ltd., (Thenamaris Maritime Inc., Greece, managers), Cyprus, and renamed ELISLAND.
1978: Sold to Lung Fu Steel and Iron Company Ltd., Kaohsiung, for demolition.
12.3.1979: Delivered.
12.4.1979: Work commenced.
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Old 30th August 2019, 18:46
capnbobnz capnbobnz is offline  
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Smile

I was never in Blue Flue, in the opposition, Ben Line, but the above thread reminds me of a funny story a Ch. Engineer once told me.
In the early fifties before TV was enjoyed by everybody, in the Greenock Dockyard, which I believe built a few Blue Flue ships, a foreman who had TV was quizzed every day about what he had seen on the TV the night before.
One morning after being asked what he had seen the night before, he said, "Ach it was a funny sort of play, seemed to be set in ancient Greece, but ah tell ye whit, all the characters were named after Blue Funnel ships".
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Old 30th August 2019, 19:39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by backsplice View Post
I remember as a lad 2 years before I went to sea myself I watched the
Menelaus take shape at the Caledon Shipyard Dundee there was another Bluie being built at the same time Menetheus (from memory)
The last of the "M" class, the Maron was built at Caledon. She was launched in Feb 1960 and handed over in April of that year.
I was one of the deck crew sent up to Dundee to take her firstly on sea trials and then around to Glasgow to commence loading for her maiden voyage to the far east.
On the way to Glasgow we anchored off Gordonstoun School near Lossiemouth and a couple of the school's whalers brought a party of pupils to inspect the ship. (Maron was adopted by Gordonstoun which had links to the Holt family)
We were all sent down the holds to sweep up while they were aboard, but chiefly, I think, to prevent us making raucous comments to the toffs.
While we were on passage to Glasgow, the seamen's strike broke out, so Maron just pottered around the West coast of Scotland for a few days to stop us from walking off in Glasgow.
Eventually though, we ran out of provisions and went in to KGV.
By that time the strike was winding down so we decided to stay on and after loading was finished we sailed to Liverpool and docked inGladstone drydock for for some tail end work, then after working by for a few days we sailed her over to Birkenhead and paid off.
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Last edited by Pat Kennedy; 30th August 2019 at 20:58..
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