Robertson's "Gem Line" - Ships Nostalgia
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Robertson's "Gem Line"

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  #1  
Old 6th June 2007, 07:24
tom e kelso tom e kelso is offline  
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Robertson's "Gem Line"

I, among others have been asked by an OW in Australia for the significance of the white band painted below the bridge wing on ships of this company.
Can anyone help?

Tom
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  #2  
Old 6th June 2007, 08:10
Peter4447 Peter4447 is offline  
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My understanding has always been that the high and mighty Anchor Line of Glasgow took exception to Robertson's little coasters sailing out of the same port wearing what they saw was 'their' livery of black funnel and hull and white upperworks. Anchor Line put pressure on Robertson to change his livery and he agreed to do so. Apparently Anchor Line were not best pleased with the change when they saw it because Robertson simply had the little white line painted on the hull beneath the bridge.

Peter4447

Last edited by Peter4447; 6th June 2007 at 08:15..
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  #3  
Old 6th June 2007, 16:07
lakercapt lakercapt is offline  
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There was a white band painted on the hull below the accomodation.
It was a foot thick and about nine feet long.
I sailed a few years in "Robbies" but no one knew the reason nor the origin.
There are a couple of photographs in the galley of Gem LIne vessels and you can see the white slash very clearly.
Bill
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  #4  
Old 6th June 2007, 17:52
Peter4447 Peter4447 is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lakercapt View Post
There was a white band painted on the hull below the accomodation.
It was a foot thick and about nine feet long.
I sailed a few years in "Robbies" but no one knew the reason nor the origin.
There are a couple of photographs in the galley of Gem LIne vessels and you can see the white slash very clearly.
Bill
Hi Lakercapt.

In regard to the reason I have given, my source was a former Harbourmaster at Harwich, one Capt Waters who has long since crossed the bar. He was a real gentleman of the old school and a veritable mine of information. His secretary was a family friend and for a number of years as a young schoolboy I daily spent part of my lunch hour in the secretary's office being given information on what ships were coming into Ipswich. He always made a point of coming through from his office to have a 'chat' and my one regret is that at that my young age I had no access or knowledge of tape recorders because his knowledge of Company histories and their 'traditions' were unsurpassed. I did, however, spend hours writng everything down at home in an evening that he had told me and I still have those books 50 years later. I am convinced that the explanation he gave me concerning the white line is true and was because Robertson did not like the attitude adopted by the Anchor Line management over the fact both companies carried the same livery - I can also recall the story of the white line so vividly because Captain Waters told me the story as one of Robbie's ships was actually going up the Orwell to Ipswich and he even loaned me his binoculars so that I could see the white line clearly - he was a truly wonderful man and a great inspiration because he kindled in me the great and lifelong interest I have had in the history of those companies whose ships sailed beneath the Red Ensign.
Kind regards
Peter4447

Last edited by Peter4447; 6th June 2007 at 18:06..
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  #5  
Old 30th November 2008, 00:02
idadoherty idadoherty is offline  
 
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was reading the query on the white line on the gem line ships
i was on the cameo my first ship 1970, captain Ross was in command
i am now making a model of her and thats going into a bottle
has to be a scotch wiskey bottle of course,
happy days great runs
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  #6  
Old 30th November 2008, 05:36
lakercapt lakercapt is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by idadoherty View Post
was reading the query on the white line on the gem line ships
i was on the cameo my first ship 1970, captain Ross was in command
i am now making a model of her and thats going into a bottle
has to be a scotch wiskey bottle of course,
happy days great runs

Used to joke that the white line was The LLanddulas load line
Long time ago I was master on "Cameo" June 1970 till August 1971.
Bill Ross (AKA Lakercapt)
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  #7  
Old 30th November 2008, 05:49
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LPCLHL LPCLHL is offline  
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If I remember correctly, during the early to mid 1970s, the GEM and CAIRNGORM did not sport the line. Was this about the time of the demise of the Anchor Line or just a coincidence?
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  #8  
Old 30th November 2008, 09:48
BillH BillH is offline
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I have heard the Anchor Line version but also one that because in years gone by many steam coaster fleets operated with dark or black funnels the Gems had the line added so the could be identified more easliy especially in home waters near the company offices.

When Stephenson Clarke took over in the 70's the remaining fleet was slowly repainted into their colour scheme and newly added vessels the same so the white line quickly disappeared although there was a clause in the sale agreement that at least one gem name should remain in the fleet at all times.

The following vessels were added following Stephenson Clarke take over. The histories are not yet complete

153. CAIRNGORM (4) (1973 - 1977)
O.N. 357517. 1,598g. 892n. 96.45(BB) x 14.13 x 5.188 metres overall
8-cyl. 4 S.C.S.A. (370 x 400mm) Deutz RBV8M540 type oil engine made by Kloeckner-Humboldt-Deutz, Koeln. 3,600 BHP. 14.5 kts.
21.2.1973: Launched by Martin Jansen, Leer (Yard No.101) for William Robertson Shipowners Ltd., Glasgow.
14.5.1973: Completed.
1977: Sold to North Africa Line Ltd., (Comben Longstaff & Company Ltd., managers), London, and renamed NORTHRIDGE.
2.1980: F. T. Everard and Sons Ltd., appointed as managers.
1986: Sold to Fastnet Shipping Company, (Sea River Line N. V., Essen, Belgium, managers), Cyprus, and renamed FASTNET.
1988: Sold to Global Marine Lines Inc., Panama, and renamed GENESIS I.
1990: Sold to P. T. (Persero) Pann Multi Finance, Jakarta, Indonesia, and renamed SULTENG I.
>


154. JADE (2) (1974 - 1978)
As built: 1,200g. 850n. 2,215d. 244’ 0” x 42’ 9” x 16’ 4” overall.
O.N. 361621. 1,498g. 1,173n. 2,770d. 287’ 4” x 42’ 10” x 15’ 9” overall.
Post 1981: 1,532g. 1,148n. 2,814d.
Post 1988: 1,532g. 1,148n. 2,790d.
Post 1996: 1,748g. 1,064n. 2,790d.
As built: 8-cyl. 4 S.C.S.A. (320 x 450 mm) oil engine made by Atlas-MaK Maschinenbau G.m.b.H., Kiel, geared to a controllable pitch propeller. 1,600 BHP. 12 kts.
Post 1978: 8-cyl. 2 S.C.S.A. (320 x 450 mm) oil engine made by Atlas-MaK Maschinenbau G.m.b.H., Kiel, geared to a controllable pitch propeller. 1,600 BHP. 12 kts.
1967: Completed as GDANSK by Stocznia Gdanska, Gdansk (Yard No. B459/01) for Gerner Mathisen A/S Norway. 1970: Lengthened.
1973: Sold to I/S Fondship (Erik Nuest, manager), Norway, and renamed FONDAL.
1974: Purchased by William Robertson (Shipowners) Ltd., Glasgow, and renamed JADE.
1978: Transferred into the Stephenson, Clarke Shipping Ltd., fleet and re-engined.
1981: Sold to Dernal Shipping Company Ltd., Cyprus (Carebaka B. V., Groningen, Holland, managers), and renamed EVANGELIA.
1983: Removed from management.
1988: Sold to Coastalight Shipping Company Ltd., Cyprus, and renamed PANAGIOTA P.
1989: Sold to Hilal Shipping Ltd., Cyprus, and renamed PEPY L.
1991: Sold to Missoni Shipping Company S. A., (G. N. K. Kavadas Maritime Company, managers), Honduras, and renamed KYRIAKI.
1993: Sold to BAM Lines International, Honduras, and renamed DANY M.
1996: Sold to Mody Shipping Company Ltd., Lebanon.
>


155. TURQUOISE (4) (1975 - 1978)
O.N. 301374. 1,143g. 550n. 1,643d. 228’0” x 35’10” x 15’1”
6-cyl. 4 S.C.S.A. (381 x 508mm) oil engine made by Mirrlees Bickerton and Day Ltd., Stockport. 1,050 BHP. 11 kts.
19.12.1960: Launched as KYLEBANK by Clelands Shipbuilding Company Ltd., Wallsend (Yard No. 249) for Kyle Shipping Company Ltd., (Monroe Brothers Ltd., managers), Liverpool.
3.1961: Completed.
1970: Stephenson Clarke Shipping Ltd., London., appointed as managers. 1971: Wm. Robertson Shipowners Ltd., Glasgow, appointed as managers.
1975: Sold to Wm. Robertson Shipowners Ltd., Glasgow and renamed TURQUOISE.
1978: Owners fleet integrated with that of Stephenson Clarke Shipping Ltd. 1979: Sold to Estland Maritime Inc., Cardiff, (Shamrock Shipping Company Ltd., managers), and renamed ESTLAND, under Panama Registry.
1982: Sold to Estrella Maritime Inc, Panama, and renamed BARNEY MAC.
1983: Sold to Diplari Shipping Company, Panama, and renamed ROSELAND. 3.10.1984: Arrived at Barking Creek, R. Thames for demolition by G. W. Tutt.





GEM’s
FOLLOWING THE 1978 ABSORBSION
INTO
STEPHENSON CLARKE SHIPPING LTD.

156. PEARL (7) (1978 - 1983)
O.N. 308579. 1,598g. 1,221n. 3,130d. 301’ 10” x 43’11” x 17’ 1” overall.
Post 1987: 1,597g. 1,221n. 3,180d.
Post 1992: 1,597g. 935n. 3,180d.
Post 1994: 1,597g. 935n. 3,130d.
8-cyl. 4 S.C.S.A. (381 x 508mm) oil engine made by Mirrlees National Ltd., Stockport. 1,800 BHP. 11.5kts.
27.2.1967: Launched as SOMERSBYDYKE by Goole Shipbuilding and Repairing Company Ltd., Goole (Yard No. 555) for Klondyke Shipping Company Ltd., Hull.
5.1967: Completed.
1978: Purchased by Stephenson Clarke Shipping Ltd., London.
1979: Renamed PEARL.
1983: Sold to Bremar Shipping Ltd., (Marlin Shipping Ltd., Edinburgh, managers), and renamed ROSEMOUNT, under Cayman Island registry.
1984: Sold to Seymour Shipping Ltd., (Spenlow Trading Ltd., London, managers), and renamed MULL, under Cayman Island registry.
1987: Sold to unidentified owners (Ocean Carriers Ltd., managers), Sri Lanka, and renamed GIANNIS.
1990: Sold to Viento Del Sur S. A., (J. Mourtos Brothers (Shipping) Company Ltd., managers), Sri Lanka.
1992: Sold to Everest Maritime Ltd., St Vincent and The Grenadines registry, and renamed ANNA II.
1994: Sold to Dannah Shipping Lines S. A., Panama, and renamed DANAH I.
>


157. EMERALD (5) (1978 - 1999)
O.N. 377571. 1,584g. 1,002n. 3,860d. 299’ 6” x 47’ 10” x 17’ 11” overall.
Post 1994: 2,795g. 1,423n. 4,300d.
6-cyl. 4 S.C.S.A. (381 x 457mm) KMR-6 type oil engine made by Mirrlees, Blackstone (Stockport) Ltd., Stockport, geared to a controllable pitch propeller. 3,300 BHP. 14 kts. Thwartship thrust propeller forward.
10.1.1978: Launched by Clelands Shipbuilding Company Ltd., Wallsend (Yard No. 339) for Stephenson Clarke Shipping Ltd., London.
4.1978: Completed.
1987: Transferred to Powell Duffryn Shipping Ltd., London.
1989: Transferred to Stephenson Clarke Shipping Ltd.,
1990: Transferred to Isle of Man registry.
1991: Transferred to Powell Duffryn Shipping Ltd., (Stephenson Clarke Shipping Ltd., managers), Isle of Man registry.
1993: Transferred to Stephenson Clarke Shipping Ltd.
10.1999: Sustained severe machinery damage and was initially reported as being sold for demolition.
1999: Sold to Kystbatane A/S ??? and renamed SOLHAV.
1999: Sold to Arc-Sea Shipping Ltd., (Wind Shipping ApS., managers), and renamed EMERALDA, under St. Vincent & The Grenadines registry.
>

158. GEM (7) (1992 - 1996)
O.N. 722396. 7,311g. 4,300n. 11,848d. 135.69 (BB) x 19.33 x 8.268 metres oa.
Post 1994: 7,482g. 4,365n. 11,848d.
9-cyl. 4 S.C.S.A. (410 x 470mm) Werkspoor 9TM410 type oil engine made by Fabrica de San Carlos S. A., San Fernando. 6,000 BHP.
8.2.1974: Launched as GUARDO by S.A. Juliana Const. Gijonesa, Gijon (Yard No. 238) for Auxiliar de Transportes Maritimos S. A. (AUXTRAMAR), Gijon.
8.1974: Completed.
1990: Sold to Ership S. A., Gijon.
1992: Purchased by Stephenson Clarke Shipping Ltd., Newcastle registry, and renamed GEM.
1996: Sold to Arendal Bulk Ship K/S, (Orient Ship Management Norway AS, managers), Norway (NIS).
1998: Sold to Assidious AS, Norway, and renamed ARENDAL BAY.
>

159. AMETHYST (5) (1993 - 1997)
O.N. 722397. 8,254g. 3,824n. 11,901d. 142.02(BB) x 20.07 x 7.214 metres oa
7-cyl. 4 S.C.S.A. (400 x 450mm) MAN 7L40/45 type oil engine made by Empresa Nacional “Bazen” de C. N. M. S. A., Spain. 5,248 BHP.
11.6.1987: Launched as CARDONA by S.A. Juliana Const. Gijonesa, Gijon (Yard No. 310) for Auxiliar de Transportes Maritimos S. A. (AUXTRAMAR), Gijon.
12.1987: Completed.
1990: Sold to Ership S. A., Gijon.
1993: Purchased by Stephenson Clarke Shipping Ltd., Newcastle registry, and renamed AMETHYST.
1997: Renamed SEA AMETHYST.
19 : Transferred to Isle of Man registry.
>


160. TOPAZ (8) (1997)
12,192g. 6,147n. 18,500d. 141.35 x 22.55 x 8.250 metres
7-cyl. 2 S.C.S.A. (350 x 1,400mm) B. & W. 7S35MC type oil engine made by MAN-B.&W. Diesel A. G., Germany, geared to a controllable pitch propeller. Thwartship thrust propeller forward. 6,649 BHP. 13kts.
1995: Ordered from P. T. Pal Indonesie, Surubaya (Yard No. M000130) at a cost of $18m, by Stephenson Clarke Shipping Ltd.
Prior to 01.10.1996: Launched but for some unspecified reason order was cancelled.
10.1996: Shipyard entered into negotiations for the sale for $16-17m to Polish Ocean Lines and conversion into a sulphur carrier, but these apparently were not ratified.
1996: Lloyd’s Shipping Index end of 1996 and 1997 gives Polish Ocean Lines as contact.
1998: Shipbuilder declared the vessel ready and that they were open for offers of around $12 - 13m.
Marine News November 1998 page 682 records the sale of TOPAZ by Stephenson Clarke Shipping Ltd., to Saintamise Dolsainphart, Liberia and renamed WILHELMINE OLDENDORFF

4.1999: L.R. Supplement states = Completed for Rio Topaz Shipping, (Egon Oldendorff), Liberia
>

161. SEA AMETHYST (1997 - ) see ship No. 159 above.

162. TOURMALINE (4) ( proposed )
12,192g. 5,862n. 17,789d. 141.14 (BB) x 22.54 x 8.250 metres
7-cyl. 2 S.C.S.A. (350 x 1,400mm) B. & W. 7S35MC type oil engine made by MAN-B.&W. Diesel A. G., Germany, geared to a controllable pitch propeller. Thwartship thrust propeller forward. 6,662 BHP. 13kts.
1995: Ordered as an option from P. T. Pal Indonesie, Surubaya (Yard No. M000150) at a cost of $18m., by Stephenson Clarke Shipping Ltd. March 1996: Option declared as taken for delivery in early 1997. 1
0.1996: With construction well advanced, for some unspecified reason order was cancelled and hull subsequently launched without name.
1998: Shipbuilder declared that the vessel would be ready in June 1998 and would be open for offers of around $12 - 13m.
1999: Completed as THEODOR OLDENDORFF for Rio Esmeralda Shipping Inc., (Egon Oldendorff), Liberia.
>


Bill
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  #9  
Old 1st December 2008, 15:40
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eriskay eriskay is offline  
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For Captain Ross (aka Lakercapt)

Wonder if you knew any of the Eriskay MacKinnon brothers who served Gem Line?

- Donald Mac Kinnon
- Angus James Mac Kinnon
- John Michael Mac Kinnon

Donald Mac Kinnon, my late father, sailed Master with the Company from around 1950 until his retirement in1983. Joined the Company at 17 years of age in 1937 as OS, then later AB, on the Sapphire of 1935. After 5 months went deep sea until late 1941, then served as skipper on a commandeered MFV for seven months, followed by two and a half years on collier Sturdee Rose which he left, as Bosun, just before she was lost in 1945.

Rejoined Robertson of Glasgow, serving on the Beryl, Cairngorm, Felspar, Cameo, Fluor, Prase as Mate, thereafter as Master on Jargoon, Jade, Spinel, Jacinth, Emerald, Sapphire, etc.

Regards / Angus Mac Kinnon
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Old 1st December 2008, 23:28
lakercapt lakercapt is offline  
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Hi Angus
Yes I spoke to your Dad, affectionately known as "Hurricane Dan" many times on the radio. We (the Robbie fleet) used to "meet" on 2301Kcs each day at 10am and then 10pm each day. Only face to face once when a few masters were invited to the offices in West Nile Street
The folks ashore would also listen in and if a ship had a faint signal the other ships would repeat its position and ETA etc. This was especially important when we were down the Medi or north Africa.
I am sure that you know that the "Emerald" was HIS SHIP]and he wanted all to know she was the pride of the fleet.
Angus and John I may have sailed with . It is possible but it was a long time ago and some things are difficult to remember, like where I put my car keys.
Regards
Bill Ross (was known as Willie then)
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Old 2nd December 2008, 00:00
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eriskay eriskay is offline  
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Bill Ross / Lakercapt :

Many thanks for your response. Yes - I well recall the ritualistic 'listening in' to the wireless at home every night, to hear where all the ships were, where they were bound, or stormbound as the case may be, and to find out the next orders. To make a sound in the house during that bewitching half-hour was to incur the wrath of my Mother - not a clever thing to do back in the 50s and 60s !

Being from the Islands, Hurricane Dan would often pass a wee message, in the Gaelic, at the end of the allocated half-hour slot, directed to his family, advising or asking something pertinent to non-maritime or weather or ETA issues!

From memory, there were also tranmissions around 19:30 hrs - 20:00 hrs

On other occasions we would hear him making arrangements to rendezvous with some fishing boat or other to transfer some herring and cod across the briny in one direction, and a few bottles and cartons in the other direction, ideally without reducing speed as there was a tide to catch ..... !

Many a barrel of herring was left on the Llandullas jetty by one of the Irish boats for subsequent collection by a Gem Line vessel with a few Hebrideans amongst the crew.

Thanks for getting back to me and nice to hear from you, Sir.

Angus Mac Kinnon
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Old 2nd December 2008, 02:44
lakercapt lakercapt is offline  
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Yes Angus
Many a fine "Fry" we got from the fishing boat in the "Minch" in exchange for a few bottles and cartons.
We had a herring barrel on a couple of boats and many an evening the smell of that staple of salt herring and boiled tatties would be wafting about the accommodation. Washed down with a little bit of that stuff Islay is famous for. Especially if we had been in Ayr when one of the "puffers" was loading after a trip to the distilleries!!!!
It certainly was an experience I cherish as I learnt a great deal from my time on these small boats (coasters never !!!)
Regards
Bill Ross
The tales that I have told about those days gets a great reception from non as well as retired sailors.
Your Dad was a great raconteur and I am certain many of his stories would be worth repeating
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Old 13th December 2008, 21:30
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Bill Ross / LakerCapt :

Yes - many yarns spring to mind. These were tough wee ships and those who worked them were tough too, had to be, but the laughs and banter were legendary, there was always good rivalry between the Irish and Scottish factions on board, some great characters.

One yarn that comes to mind concerns the 'exchanges' between vessels at sea or, as mentioned before - at Llandulas Jetty. My Dad was very friendly with a family of great, and well-known, fishermen out of Annalong in Northern Ireland. This family, headed up by brothers Victor and Hayden Chambers, had some beautiful boats with names like 'Green Seas', 'Green 'Pastures' and suchlike. They were very successful fishermen, whether working white fish, herring or whatever, and I would often hear my old man having a wee word at the end of the usual half-hour nightly transmittals.

During one of these ship-to-ship exchanges I heard Victor Chambers telling my old man that since they kept missing each other he had taken the liberty of dropping off a barrel of salted herrings at Llandulas as he had heard from one of the other Gem Line vessels that Hurricane Dan was on his way back from the Baltic and due there in a few days. My old man thanked him and said he would look forward to picking it up, wished them good fishing, etc, and that was that.

Four of five days later I heard the pair of them on the air again and Victor asked my old man had he got the herring okay and how did he like it? There was a wee bit of silence before my Dad replied "Victor, the next time you want to leave me a barrel of herrings on that jetty, don't announce it on the wireless, we have a fellow in the Company from Lewis who is partial to the skadan sailte (salt herring). Well, he was in at Llandulas the day before us and cleaned out the whole bl*** lot!"

Victor asked, "What, the whole barrel, Dan, he took the whole barrel?"

Says Hurricane Dan, "Aye, Victor, the whole barrel, 'expletive' hoops and all, the 'expletive' ..."
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Old 14th December 2008, 00:05
lakercapt lakercapt is offline  
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Thanks Eriskay for that little yarn.
I had heard that Dan was a wee bit upset.
I too had several "Fries" from that family. They kept their boats in pristine condition.
Did your Dad tell of the Barra sailors that had to be home at a certain time to plant the tatties and several months later home to pick them. McNeil's I seem to recall was their names.
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Old 14th December 2008, 00:28
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Lakercapt / Robertsons

Yes - a lot of the Hebridean seamen planned their maritime careers around the various crops and harvesting - unless their were other menfolk or sturdy sons in the household who could tackle the needs. A lot of the men used to do so long on a deep sea trip, then stay on the coast for a few months whilst they nipped back and fro from their crofts attending to the needful.

As for these Barra men, far be it from me to start an internecine or inter-island war, but the truth of the matter, from an honest Eriskay man of indisputable integrity, is that they were returning home to do the housework backlog, knitting socks and jerseys, a bit of crotchet work, and anything else their wives, mothers, girl-friends told them to do. Talk of the Hebrides, they were ..... ! (Hastily retreats behind arour-plated reinforced firewall .....)

Eriskay
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