Engineers accomodation on BP tankers - Ships Nostalgia
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Engineers accomodation on BP tankers

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  #1  
Old 9th November 2009, 10:04
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Question Engineers accomodation on BP tankers

Am I correct in thinking that on BP Tankers with mid-ship accommodation, the Engineers lived midships? and not aft as was the norm with other tanker companies. I know I was told that while I worked for BP, but I was always on all aft jobs. It does appear to me that the midships accommodation does look larger on BPs ships than many others.
If true, what was the reasoning behind it? Must have been a pain for the engineers to have to go into the fresh air everyday to get to their beloved engine rooms
Was it a case of ALL Officers to live midships on BP, or have I got it wrong?
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  #2  
Old 9th November 2009, 10:33
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No - you have it correct - all deck and engine-room officers were accommodated midships, as were the Chief Stewards and Radio Operators.

All other crew, including all catering staff bar the Chief Steward, were down aft, as was the Dining Saloon

The walk up midships along the flying bridge was nice and refreshing after four hours down below - except when up and around the Gulf, of course.

Ex-32s and 42s wallah !
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  #3  
Old 9th November 2009, 14:46
bert thompson bert thompson is offline  
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On the Endeavour in the early fifties the saloon was midships
Happy days
Bert.
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  #4  
Old 9th November 2009, 15:22
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Geoff_E Geoff_E is offline  
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I think you'll find that on the 'midships 50,000 tonners, e.g. "British Queen", the engineers did live aft. I don't ever recall the Chief Steward being accommodated other than with the Deck Officers.
I also recall the saloon being 'midships on the 16,000 tonners?
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  #5  
Old 9th November 2009, 15:44
John_F John_F is offline
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Geoff,
The saloon was midships on all the "8s", "12s" & "16s" & of course you're right in saying that on the midships "50s" Engineers lived aft.
As far as preference as to the location of the saloon goes, its all a question of whether you preferred to be warm & dry & have cold food or be wet & cold & have hot food.....
Kind regards,
John.
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  #6  
Old 9th November 2009, 15:54
Nigel Wing Nigel Wing is offline  
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Post 3, as bert thompson says, on the BP Tankers with the Officers Dining Saloon amidships all Deck Officers and Engineers were accommodated there, the food came from aft along the flying bridge from the galley in all weathers.
On the newer ships with midships accomm'. And saloons aft this trend ceased.
It was also good to be at a distance from the Main Engine.
Nigel.
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  #7  
Old 9th November 2009, 16:04
MARINEJOCKY MARINEJOCKY is offline  
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I believe the Brandon Priory & the Bidford Priory that Houlders had were built to a BP design and were on long time charter to them when I was there. The Officers were all mid-ships including the engineers with the dining salon aft but we had a bar mid-ships.
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  #8  
Old 9th November 2009, 16:43
Archie NS Archie NS is offline  
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The '8s' '12s' '16s' all had Engineers accommodation midships, the saloon was on the port side as was the Chief Engineers cabin, aft of the chief was a junior and then the lecky. Starboard side was the smoke room, the pantry, the second, third fourth and another junior, then the engineers bathroom. A cross alleyway ran across and the stairs to the mates deck was between the saloon and the pantry, aft of the alleyway was the hospital (the only aircondition part of the ship!).
The sixties Bird class was similar except that the chief, second, third and I think fourth had had forward looking cabins, but the saloon was still midships, no bar in those days
A long time ago, was on the Birch, Oak, Workman, Robin, Slendour and Vision.
Remember the dash along the flying bridge in heavy weather, didn't always make it
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  #9  
Old 9th November 2009, 17:37
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What joy for the off-watch guys in heavy weather when there was an emergency alarm in the middle of the night. Must have been great fun!
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  #10  
Old 9th November 2009, 20:58
John_F John_F is offline
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Archie,
Are you sure about the Bird Class saloons? I could have sworn they were down aft on the port side of the poop but - hey - willing to be proved wrong. Smokeroom was definitely midships. Come in Barnsey - Help!
Kind regards,
John.
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  #11  
Old 9th November 2009, 21:21
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John, You are correct. The Curlew and Gull saloons were situated down aft exactly as you stated Air conditionned on the Gull but not sure about the Curlew.
Regards - Roger
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  #12  
Old 9th November 2009, 21:37
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Geoff_E Geoff_E is offline  
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Sailed on the "Kiwi" and the saloon was aft. The "Flag" was the only ship I sailed on with the saloon 'midships; by my time, 1970 onwards, the "8's & 12's" had all been scrapped.
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  #13  
Old 9th November 2009, 21:49
Archie NS Archie NS is offline  
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John, I was on the Robin in '62, I could be wrong but I don't remember going back aft to the saloon. Unfortunately the old memory cells are tending to fade and I've been on to many different ships since then, that one tends to get things mixed up!!
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  #14  
Old 9th November 2009, 22:17
John_F John_F is offline
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Chief Charles/Geoff,
Phew! Thanks for that! Like Archie, I know my RAM is not in the gigabyte class, possibly due to a surfeit of too much "Vin Rouge" lately. However, the 2 Birdies that I had the pleasure of being the 3/0 - Gannet & Trust, both airconditioned saloons - I'm sure were both on the Poop. Unlike Archie, I didn't do too many ships & all mine were with BP so my RAM doesn't have too much to search!
If the Gannet & Trust had a/c saloons then I would have thought that the Curlew would as well.
Kind regards,
John.
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  #15  
Old 10th November 2009, 03:51
Old Janner Old Janner is offline  
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John, Rest assured all Birdy boats saloons were aft.
I certainly remember being on the flying bridge midway, on the Br Sailor when the Engine room alarms went off, stand to one side as the Engineers came hurtling down in Shorts,Boiler suits, Bath Towels, just "Skiddy's" and flip flops, I always remeber on that ship the Ch Engineer wore Slippers.
I remember well running down the flying bridge, judging the waves and the distance to the next shelter, then the final dash to the end and around the accommodation to get to the saloon. As we all know not every body made it to the saloon dry in bad weather.
Spence.
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  #16  
Old 10th November 2009, 18:08
Graham Wallace Graham Wallace is offline  
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Coming off 8/12 watch at midnight +, turning the corner into the face of whatever was coming across the tank tops and flying bridge, doing the nightly dash to get turned in. If it was especially rough climbing onto the handrails within the flying bridge shelters.

It would have been nice to finish ones watch not having to clean up, saunter down one deck level ( from the bridge) and comfortably turn in.

Now I think about it Engineers should have been paid 'Rough weather passage allowance'.

All aft accommodation would have been a treat.

Graham
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  #17  
Old 10th November 2009, 18:52
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Graham :

It would have been nice to finish ones watch not having to clean up, saunter down one deck level ( from the bridge) and comfortably turn in.

I used to think the same thing - when I was at sea - but now I realise that although being a deckie had its attractions, I would have found it a long watch every watch. Down below you never halted, between 'doing the rounds', checking tank levels, pumping bilges, blowing tubes or cleaning separators, changing over equipment, routine maintenance chores, taking in the log, making the cocoa, etc, there was no time spare let alone get bored!
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  #18  
Old 11th November 2009, 12:49
Nigel Wing Nigel Wing is offline  
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I sailed on only one BP Tanker - British Resource of 1949 vintage.
When I was aboard her ( 1964 ) the engineers accomm' midships was.
Port Side fwd to aft. Fwd Facing cabin Ch Eng. then J/Eng. J/Eng. Ch Steward or Butler.
Stbd side fwd to aft. Fwd Facing cabin 2nd Eng. then 3rd Eng. 4th Eng. Electrician (me).
Centre line. Saloon/Pantry and Rec Room. Aft of the cross alleyway was the midships switchboard. We had no showers in our cabins, these were communal at the aft end of the stbd alleyway. I do not remember where the Hospital was situated. No air con on this ship only cabin fans and the Thermotank system.
Best wishes
Nigel.
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  #19  
Old 11th November 2009, 19:41
david freeman david freeman is offline  
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As the first entry asked where the midships accomodation for all officers as they where large!! The Accommodation not the officers. : But Hey ships where ships and the 32's 35's 42's and 50's where in my opinion designed ships with a flare, not a functionional oil box. This made the open loading/topping off and tank cleaning and gas free rather a hazardous operation. Hence the Crown:loss of life, and the change over in all new BP takers after this date to all aft accommodation, and the introduction of inert gas.
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  #20  
Old 11th November 2009, 21:49
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Slightly off topic, sailed on the Queen with Engineers' accommodation aft but also if my memory serves me correctly with the saloon on the starboard side, also the Officers' smokeroom. All the other ships I remember had the saloon on the port side.
The table-tennis table was in the smokeroom which had a very pronounced camber played hell with my game.
On the Sergeant the hospitals were down aft on the starboard side, latterly used as smokerooms in port.
Cheers
George
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  #21  
Old 12th November 2009, 07:02
Old Janner Old Janner is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nigel Wing View Post
I sailed on only one BP Tanker - British Resource of 1949 vintage.
When I was aboard her ( 1964 ) the engineers accomm' midships was.
Port Side fwd to aft. Fwd Facing cabin Ch Eng. then J/Eng. J/Eng. Ch Steward or Butler.
Stbd side fwd to aft. Fwd Facing cabin 2nd Eng. then 3rd Eng. 4th Eng. Electrician (me).
Centre line. Saloon/Pantry and Rec Room. Aft of the cross alleyway was the midships switchboard. We had no showers in our cabins, these were communal at the aft end of the stbd alleyway. I do not remember where the Hospital was situated. No air con on this ship only cabin fans and the Thermotank system.
Best wishes
Nigel.
Nigel correct, on the Br Gunner we used to wear Longi's, flip flops and singlets, not quite the BP Tropical rig, but suited us fine, as you say no a/c just open ports with door curtains and a fan if working.
Shower and bathroom was on the Stbd side, If the 2nd Enge left hus door "crash pannel" off you could get a good breeze down the alleyway.

As Chief Steward, my Office was at the top of the stairs and I used a Cadets room as a bedroom.
For your information the Hospital was in the centre of the accommodation, just off the flying bridge, small two room place with the standard BOT Bath and toilet.
Medical locker was in the cross over alleyway, other side of the Switchboard. then there was the Pantry then the Saloon entrance, top end was the Chief Engineers Cabin.
The linolium on the Gunner was shot to hell, so it had a cement screed laid and was painted Deck Red with carpet runner up the centre.
The people today would not accept such conditions,"Communial showers and Toilets" working out of Abadan or up in Rangoon. But we made the best of it and I found these ships, very close knit and we had some great times and parties.

Spence.
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  #22  
Old 12th November 2009, 14:04
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What I was wondering was WHY BP should have placed all the Officers midships on the older ships when most other companies didn't.
Was it a segregation of Officers and Crew, for whatever reason? Or was it a more practical reason?
Must have been a pain on some ships to have had to go aft for the bar and have meals bought for'd along the flying bridge in all weathers. Were hot cabinets used to move the food? It must have been quite a workup for someone, having to bring three square a day from aft to midships. Rather them than me!
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  #23  
Old 13th November 2009, 02:25
Sarky Cut Sarky Cut is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dickyboy View Post
What I was wondering was WHY BP should have placed all the Officers midships on the older ships when most other companies didn't.
Was it a segregation of Officers and Crew, for whatever reason? Or was it a more practical reason?
Must have been a pain on some ships to have had to go aft for the bar and have meals bought for'd along the flying bridge in all weathers. Were hot cabinets used to move the food? It must have been quite a workup for someone, having to bring three square a day from aft to midships. Rather them than me!
It was all transported in purpose built "kits" if I remember rightly and these fitted into a BainMarie if the deck steam was working. It usually was as that also fed the Thermotanks which were the only means of heating the accomodation.

Tales of Flying Bridges and Bus Shelters bring back memories. I always found coming around the corner of the accomodation the worse bit as the wind in the OZ BITE and the ship changing gear to climb up the side of one of the seas was bracing to say the least.

The later Bird boats were better for midships as the rear of the main deck was built with rails rather than solid bulwalks.

This allowed any "green" seas shipped to go over onto the main deck rather than get trapped in the square and invade the accomodation. Once inside the sea water would run into the outboard cabins of the Chief and the 2/E would get flooded.

The bod that left the doors open would not be very popular.
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  #24  
Old 13th November 2009, 09:52
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Billy Boy , Sarkey Cut, I would not say that a tray with a pantry cloth over the top was purpose built, but never mind. All went by hand in Gastronome trays wich fitted into the steam opperated Bain Maries, Soups went in a smaller pot or in a deep well kitt all held in place by the famous pantry cloths.
I would not like to be in charge of a wheeled trolley loaded with food going along the flying bridge in the Western Ocean or the Bite.
HSE persons now , would cringe if they saw what we had to do with hot foods in atrocious weather. In all my years at sea, I only ever saw the Galleys closed three times due to dangerous conditions, Once off the Cape, Once in the Western and once in the Meddy (Sarnies only)
Even to bad for the Famous Sea Pie.

Spence.
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  #25  
Old 15th November 2009, 21:27
Splinter Splinter is offline  
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In the far off days of '62, aboard British Architect, which I believe was a 32, engineer and deck officers accomodation was midships and the dining saloon was port side aft, all dressed in uniform at meal times, there was a small dining area along side for those still in overalls.

Ray.
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