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Memories of a Ben Line Man

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  #51  
Old 4th February 2016, 21:21
Roddy Munro Roddy Munro is offline  
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Just finished your book Stuart,great read.Although you were a decade ahead of my time on the Ben Boats things on board had'nt changed that much.Certainly the ports (great to hear all the names again) were all the same in the sixties.I sailed with some of the 1st mates you had when they became captains.It was nice that you named names in the book.
A book that might interest those Ben Line men out there is "Chasing Conrad" by Simon J Hall.He came in as a cadet/junior officer in the early seventies,and describes the run round the far east in great detail,although he does'nt name names.Still it's well worth a read.
Roddy.
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  #52  
Old 5th February 2016, 16:40
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Tom S Tom S is offline  
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Hi Stuart
Great read certainly brought back lots of memories I sailed with Ben line 57 to 72 so know most of the names in your book
TomS
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  #53  
Old 10th February 2016, 18:01
STUART.EDMOND STUART.EDMOND is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roddy Munro View Post
Just finished your book Stuart,great read.Although you were a decade ahead of my time on the Ben Boats things on board had'nt changed that much.Certainly the ports (great to hear all the names again) were all the same in the sixties.I sailed with some of the 1st mates you had when they became captains.It was nice that you named names in the book.
A book that might interest those Ben Line men out there is "Chasing Conrad" by Simon J Hall.He came in as a cadet/junior officer in the early seventies,and describes the run round the far east in great detail,although he does'nt name names.Still it's well worth a read.
Roddy.
Hi Tom,
Glad that you liked the book and that it aroused fond memories. That is the general reaction from others.
regards
Stuart
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  #54  
Old 10th February 2016, 18:04
STUART.EDMOND STUART.EDMOND is offline  
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Hi Tom,
Glad that you liked the book and that it aroused fond memories. That is the general reaction from others.
regards
Stuart
Hello Roddy,
Glad to hear that you enjoyed the read: I am still getting messages from former shipmates whose names I had forgotten about! Its still a small world thanks to SN.
Regards
Stuart
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  #55  
Old 10th February 2016, 20:43
ian keyl ian keyl is offline  
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Hi stuart,
Did ou get my pm and were you able to contact George Reid. I hope so and hope you had a good chin wag. Rghds Ian
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  #56  
Old 17th February 2016, 11:25
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Waighty Waighty is offline  
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Stuart,

Have now finished your excellent book; well done on a sterling job of what things were like back then. So much of what you describe struck a chord with me because of the similarities to my own cadetship with Ben Line. The detour via Durban was very reminiscent of my time too although we were outward bound. We had just arrived at Port Said anchorage when the 1967 war started and quickly made our exit to the Med and drifted for three or four days until head office told us to head for Dakar. At one point we were down to one bucket of fresh water per person per day for washing and drinking! Then on to Durban where we discharged about 100 tons of cargo which was destined for Egypt including 30 tons of onions which by then were pretty 'ripe'.

Unfortunately my relationship with Ben Line ended all too quickly. When my sea-time was up and I sat for my 2nd Mates ticket I failed on chartwork first time, contacted the company for a coastal trip as uncert 3/0 until I sat again, and was offered a cadets job instead even though I'd passed orals and signals. After some protracted correspondence I gave in to the petulance of youth and left, getting a 3/0's job with Bank Line for a coastal trip. After I'd done the coast with Bank Line the crew department manager offered me 6 weeks uncert 3/0 salary to tide me over until I passed 2nd Mates, on the provision that I'd go back to them afterwards. That was a good deal by any standards for an impoverished cadet, so I accepted and stayed with Bank Line.

Well done on the book.

Last edited by Waighty; 17th February 2016 at 11:28..
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  #57  
Old 17th February 2016, 21:09
STUART.EDMOND STUART.EDMOND is offline  
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Hi Waighty,
Many thanks for response, and I'm glad you enjoyed the book. I've, been re-united with many former shipmates and other Bens and met some new Old Salts as it were!
Quite a career with Bank Line no doubt, and I bet you saw the World!

regards
Stuart
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  #58  
Old 21st February 2016, 13:50
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Originally Posted by STUART.EDMOND View Post
Hi Waighty,
Many thanks for response, and I'm glad you enjoyed the book. I've, been re-united with many former shipmates and other Bens and met some new Old Salts as it were!
Quite a career with Bank Line no doubt, and I bet you saw the World!

regards
Stuart
The stuff of life Stuart, the stuff of life! Wouldn't have changed it for the world.

By the way in my last job as an editor of Sailing Directions (pilot books), one of the books I 'had' was NP52 North Coast of Scotland Pilot which also included the Orkneys, Shetlands and Faeroes. So the places you mentioned around Balta Sound were familiar vicariously. The TV programme "Grand Tour of Scotland" with Paul Murton, currently being repeated for we Sassenachs has also added more knowledge about Balta.

Best regards.
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  #59  
Old 24th February 2016, 12:59
STUART.EDMOND STUART.EDMOND is offline  
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The stuff of life Stuart, the stuff of life! Wouldn't have changed it for the world.

By the way in my last job as an editor of Sailing Directions (pilot books), one of the books I 'had' was NP52 North Coast of Scotland Pilot which also included the Orkneys, Shetlands and Faeroes. So the places you mentioned around Balta Sound were familiar vicariously. The TV programme "Grand Tour of Scotland" with Paul Murton, currently being repeated for we Sassenachs has also added more knowledge about Balta.

Best regards.
Hello Waighty,
Thanks for message.

I take that you worked for Hydrographic Office? I always wondered who wrote the wonderful descriptions of approaches in and to the harbours of the world. I have Part 2 of the 1949 NSP which covers the area from Cape Wrath round to Berwick. It includes of course the entrance to Inverness and Fortrose on my doorstep. I had Part 1 but gave it to a Shetland relative.
Paul Murtons episode on Unst,etc was excellent; the "Otter" man featured is husband of my wife's neice. Its a small world.
Best regards
Stuart
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  #60  
Old 24th February 2016, 13:07
STUART.EDMOND STUART.EDMOND is offline  
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memories book

Hello Ben Liners

I have had several emails from Capt Jim Hamilton with whom I was a shipmate for a short time. He finds it difficult to get onto the SN site and that is why his very humorous messages do not appear. Anyone know him?

He will be going to Scottish Ship Show in Edinburgh in June, so we have an opportunity of a mini- reunion. Hope those accessible can go.

Have also had a contact by letter from a Captain A J Johnston whom I don't know. Anyone know him?
Regards
Stuart
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  #61  
Old 24th February 2016, 15:23
ian keyl ian keyl is offline  
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memories of Ben Line Man.

Good afternoon Stuart,

Good to hear you have made contact and heard from some of your old ship mates. I happen to know both Capt Jim Hamilton and Capt Alec Johnstone. I sailed with Jim early on my career and of course worked with Capt Johnstone in the Ben HQ in North St Davids St, and Bernard St down by the water of Leith.

Unfortunately I will be in Florida in June and miss the wee swareer at the boat show,there will no doubt be plenty of lantern swinging and blowing of whistles. I am sitting on edge at the moment waiting to hear if there will be an office reunion in March as I am also away to Florida from the 12th Of March. It will soon come round to those dates and I hope you all have a great time in Edinburgh. Did you get in touch with George Reid.

Hope all is going well with the sales and heading towards the third edition. Take care and good luck best rgds Ian.
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  #62  
Old 24th February 2016, 19:55
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IAN M IAN M is offline
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The following, which appeared in The Straits Times of Monday, May 1, 1950 and is extracted from my Kindle book, VIA SUEZ, may be of interest. I was on Alfred Holt's Glengarry at the time.

BEN LINE STEAMERS LTD.
For U.K./Continent:

Benlawers for L'pool, G'gow, Dublin, Havre, Antwerp, Rotterdam…
S'pore P. S'ham Penang
G. 6/7 In Port 2-3 May
Benvannoch for Avonmouth, London, Hamburg, Leith, Hull...
In Port 10 May 11 May
Benattow for London, Antwerp, Rotterdam, M'brough...
7-13 May 14-15 May 16-18 May
Bennevis for Genoa, L'pool, A'mouth, Havre, Rotterdam, Hamburg...
25-29 May 30 May 31 May-2 June
Bencruachan for L'pool, Glasgow, Dublin, Antwerp, Rotterdam...
24-29 May 30-31 May 1-3 June
Bencleuch for London, Antwerp, Rotterdam, Hamburg, Hull...
G. 38/39 4-5 June 6-8 June
From U.K..Continent Bencleuch for H'Kong, Manila, Cebu, Sandakan...
In Port
Benwyvis for H'Kong, Japan, Sandakan, Tawao...
4-9 May In Port
To and from Bangkok:
Benveg due from Bangkok.... …. 10 May

G = Godown/warehouse.
__________________
IAN M MALCOLM
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  #63  
Old 28th February 2016, 13:21
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Originally Posted by STUART.EDMOND View Post
Hello Waighty,
Thanks for message.

I take that you worked for Hydrographic Office? I always wondered who wrote the wonderful descriptions of approaches in and to the harbours of the world. I have Part 2 of the 1949 NSP which covers the area from Cape Wrath round to Berwick. It includes of course the entrance to Inverness and Fortrose on my doorstep. I had Part 1 but gave it to a Shetland relative.
Paul Murtons episode on Unst,etc was excellent; the "Otter" man featured is husband of my wife's neice. Its a small world.
Best regards
Stuart
A small world indeed Stuart, it's funny how things interlink. Yes I was an editor at the Hydrographic Office in my last job before retiring. I have to confess that most of the descriptions you mention will have been down to the original editors of many years previously. By the time I joined we were updating and reworking text and photos (or views as the UKHO calls them). I think the future means that many of the more prosaic descriptions will be removed and substituted with straight forward facts, particularly as they move into the digital format. Incidentally, the UKHO is always on the lookout for good photos of ports and port entrances, approaches etc. If they can be geo-linked to the positions they were taken from and the aids to navigation identified then so much the better. Any view that shows buoyage, lighthouses, leading marks and lights are all welcome. If published they will pay a fixed fee for photos that are used - or they did up until I retired in 2009. So if you're out in a boat!

Mike
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  #64  
Old 16th March 2016, 16:36
STUART.EDMOND STUART.EDMOND is offline  
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memories book

Hello all Ben Line Men and others interested. I have had an excellent response to first print and have just ordered a second for 1000 copies. It has been reported or reviewed in several newspapers and is to be reviewed in Scots Magazine. Get the book online at:http://www.russellturner.org/benline.asp
All the best
Stuart
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  #65  
Old 21st March 2016, 19:09
STUART.EDMOND STUART.EDMOND is offline  
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memories book

Hello All Ben Line Men,
Just got the April edition of "Sea Breezes" which has in the Books section a very positive review of "Memories of a Ben Line Man". It is their "book of the month" and is highly recommended.
Best wishes to all.

Stuart
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  #66  
Old 26th March 2016, 00:15
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I have just finished your book and I must say it was an enjoyable read. I too was a cadet on the Dolphin a year after and Nigel Johnston was in our class. I went to Bank Line and had many of the experiences that you had and although we were Tramp ships as opposed to the liners you served in, the sea routines were similar.

I enjoyed reading about your trips to Shetland as I served as 2nd Mate on the “St Clair,with Captain Gifford, for a couple of months in 1960 as I was getting married then in Aberdeen. Sandy Simpson from Whalsay was my Best Man

You mentioned Cadet Donald Grey and I knew him very well having attended Nautica Colllege in Aberdeen with him for Mates and Masters Sadly Donald died young which was a pity as with his enterprising spirit who knows what I would have done. I also knew Bob McLeod*, a very talented accordionist

Thanks again for sharing with us your very well written account of life as a Ben Line Man
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  #67  
Old 26th March 2016, 14:52
STUART.EDMOND STUART.EDMOND is offline  
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Hello John and thanks for your very interesting message.
I have been astonished by the number of contacts I have made through the book and the many names that have come up of former shipmates and others who knew them. Just another indicator of how the MN of that time was like an extended family! I am meeting Nigel at the Scottish Ship Show in Edinburgh in June and shall mention you- I think he has a class photo of that cadet year at "Dolphin".
The last I heard of Donald Gray was that he was running a garage in Helmsdale , but again through another purchaser of the book, his widow has asked for a copy!

Bob McLeod has also been mentioned and I have been sent a splendid photo of him as a 1st Mate showing the Duke of Edinburgh the controls on the Bridge of a BP supertanker- the Duke helicoptered aboard!

Another response came from a "Waighty" who also eventually went to Bank Line and had his career there before joining the Hydrographic Office where he worked on editing Admiralty Pilots. No doubt, you will know each other.

Thanks again. I'm glad you enjoyed the read.
Stuart
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