Esso Portsmouth disaster 1960/61 - Ships Nostalgia
04:52

Welcome
Welcome!Welcome to Ships Nostalgia, the world's greatest online community for people worldwide with an interest in ships and shipping. Whether you are crew, ex-crew, ship enthusiasts or cruisers, this is the forum for you. And what's more, it's completely FREE.

Click here to go to the forums home page and find out more.
Click here to join.
Log in
User Name Password

Esso Portsmouth disaster 1960/61

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 16th August 2007, 02:12
barnsey's Avatar
barnsey barnsey is offline  
Senior Member
Organisation: Merchant Navy
Department: Navigation
Active: 1955 - 2005
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
My location
Posts: 2,908
Esso Portsmouth disaster 1960/61

I have a problem ... no sarky remarks from any of you either !!!

I was on a BP tanker on the Tyne drydocking of course.

The Esso tanker which had a burnt out midships accommodation was alongside in the river ... she had been in an explosion and fire at Milford Haven.

We toddled over and had a look aboard.

Now I have info that the fire was in July 1960 and by August 1960 she was at Palmers.

Fact..... I was aboard British Sergeant throughout 1960 well away from UK.

I joined British Vigilance late July 1961 seemingly, at Brighams.

Questions ...

What was the order of yards progressing up river from Brighams.?

Does anyone have a "Map" of the Tyne they can post showing all the yards?

Was it possible to walk from Brighams to Palmers, the Esso job was alongside in the river.?

What was the date of the Esso Portsmouth progression from explosion to leaving the yard on the Tyne as an all aft vessel.?

Does anyone have any photos?

barnsey
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 16th August 2007, 06:06
allalogie allalogie is offline  
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 47
photo's here..... before and after.....

http://visseraa.piranho.de/uktankers...sso_portsmouth
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 16th August 2007, 10:08
barnsey's Avatar
barnsey barnsey is offline  
Senior Member
Organisation: Merchant Navy
Department: Navigation
Active: 1955 - 2005
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
My location
Posts: 2,908
Yup been there but the dates do not tally up ... he has it as 1960 .... couldnt be ... I saw her in 1961.

barnsey
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 16th August 2007, 10:33
Ron Stringer's Avatar
Ron Stringer Ron Stringer is offline
Senior Member
Organisation: Merchant Navy
Department: Radio Officer
Active: 1960 - 1966
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
My location
Posts: 6,196
Shipyards on the Tyne

Brigham and Cowan's drydock and repair yard was nearest the Tyne Piers near the mouth of the river. Then, going up-river, there was Tyne Dock Engineering (TDE) between B&C and the ferry landing. Beyond the Custom House was the big repair yard of Middle Docks running up to Readheads Shipbuilders. They were all in South Shields.

After leaving South Shields you came to Tyne Dock, then Jarrow and eventually to Hebburn.

Palmers drydock and repair yard was adjacent to Hawthorn Leslie's shipyard in Hebburn, about 3 or 4 miles up river from South Shields. You could walk from B&C to Palmers but it was a good walk and not too scenic. I always took the bus myself.
__________________
Ron
_____________________________________________

Never regret growing older. It is a privilege denied to many. Don't worry about old age - it doesn't last.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 16th August 2007, 10:43
barnsey's Avatar
barnsey barnsey is offline  
Senior Member
Organisation: Merchant Navy
Department: Navigation
Active: 1955 - 2005
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
My location
Posts: 2,908
Thanks Ron,

Just as I thought ... we couldnt have walked it therefore we must have been at Palmers as was Esso Portsmouth.

This website www.visseraa.piranho.de/uktankers...Esso Portsmouth has got the date/Year wrong unless I have the Esso tankers name wrong.

Barnsey
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 16th August 2007, 19:07
bert thompson bert thompson is offline  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 3,289
Remembe going to fit a radar on the Portsmouth. The bridge plan was as before. Only difference was that Decca Radar had updated. Previously a Type 45 was fitted with Transceiver mounted in the scanner housing. The Transar Transceiver had to be mounted on the aft bulkhead and waveguide run up to the scanner. Seem to recall that the Radio Officer was reported to have swum to a lifeboat with a badly damaged back. Think he took a job which I held at one time. ie. Radio man for Lawson Batey Tugs.
Bert.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 28th August 2007, 16:28
offcumdum sanddancer's Avatar
offcumdum sanddancer offcumdum sanddancer is offline  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
My location
Posts: 219
The attached files, from the "Times" may help.

They deal with the accident, and the repair

Keith
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Wednesday, Sep 27, 1961.jpg (44.5 KB, 157 views)
File Type: jpg Tuesday, Oct 18, 1960.jpg (36.5 KB, 126 views)
File Type: jpg Monday, Jul 11, 1960.jpg (94.1 KB, 99 views)
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 28th August 2007, 19:03
dnobmal's Avatar
dnobmal dnobmal is offline  
LEFO
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 113
I sailed on the Esso Portsmouth,joined her in 1972 in New York
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 29th August 2007, 12:50
barnsey's Avatar
barnsey barnsey is offline  
Senior Member
Organisation: Merchant Navy
Department: Navigation
Active: 1955 - 2005
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
My location
Posts: 2,908
Well done Keith thats brilliant finding those cuttings .... all stored away ..
Many thanks

Barnsey
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 29th August 2007, 14:33
offcumdum sanddancer's Avatar
offcumdum sanddancer offcumdum sanddancer is offline  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
My location
Posts: 219
The cuttings come via my online link to the Open University and the full content of London Times between 1785 and 1985. There is more on that incident, but I think that that partly answered your questions though.

Also, between Tyne dock and Palmers Hebburn there was the Mercantile Drydock in Jarrow, formerly part of the Charles Mark Palmer empire that was Jarrow.

Will try and put together a map if you still would like to see it?
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 29th August 2007, 15:29
offcumdum sanddancer's Avatar
offcumdum sanddancer offcumdum sanddancer is offline  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
My location
Posts: 219
I also attach an article about a later explosion on the Esso Durham which had the same second mate on board.

Keith
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Tuesday, Jun 26, 1962.jpg (75.8 KB, 95 views)
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 29th August 2007, 15:46
K urgess K urgess is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
My location
Posts: 83
Thanks for that Keith.

I sailed with Tony Moor (he was christened Tony not Anthony) when he was Master of the world's favourite tanker, the Cerinthus, of Hadley's Sunshine cruises.

He lived not far from me at the time and we got on quite well. I can't remember him mentioning the Portsmouth but he had photographs of the damage to the Durham showing the peeled back side and deck plates. Also the damage caused by flying rivets to the bridge front and the wheelhouse windows. Looked like it had been machine gunned and he was lucky to survive since he was on watch at the time.

He always suffered from a bad back that he blamed on standing on the focsle as mate while the anchor chain ran out. Obviously more as a result of being bown up twice. The first time quite seriously.

Luckily his run of bad luck had ended by the time I sailed with him on the Cerinthus.

One of my favourite Old Men and a pleasure to sail with but I was more of a friend and neighbour than a sparkie. I lost touch after he came ashore for a while and then went off foreign flag so I'd appreciate knowing where he is if anyone knows. He managed to sell me a pension in one of his shoreside incarnations, just before all the pension rules changed for the umpteenth time.

Cheers
Kris
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 29th August 2007, 23:58
barnsey's Avatar
barnsey barnsey is offline  
Senior Member
Organisation: Merchant Navy
Department: Navigation
Active: 1955 - 2005
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
My location
Posts: 2,908
Quote:
Originally Posted by offcumdum sanddancer View Post
The cuttings come via my online link to the Open University and the full content of London Times between 1785 and 1985. There is more on that incident, but I think that that partly answered your questions though.

Also, between Tyne dock and Palmers Hebburn there was the Mercantile Drydock in Jarrow, formerly part of the Charles Mark Palmer empire that was Jarrow.

Will try and put together a map if you still would like to see it?
Yes please ..... gee I never thought I would forget which drydock i had been in ...

David
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 2nd September 2007, 18:17
offcumdum sanddancer's Avatar
offcumdum sanddancer offcumdum sanddancer is offline  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
My location
Posts: 219
This should be the first of 8 posts scanned from an old A to Z street atlas. I never throw anything away! The original map was obviously quite old as it shows some railways as belonging to the NER, and as fellow anoraks will know, this company was brought in to the 'big four' railway company LNER in 1923. The map also shows the Tyne Tunnel, which was opened in 1966 I think, so there is quite a mix of periods but I think will illustrate the Tyne in the 1950's and 60's, which is what we want?

The dry docks on page 32 of my book (first post) shows the two docks of Brighams and Cowans as the first coming upriver, on the South side. The site is labelled Brighams dry docks. Next upriver are the two small docks of Tyne Dock Engineering, labeled as TDE. Over the river can be seen the little Low dock which held light ships, and near the North Shields ferry landing is Smiths Dock, labeled here as Bull ring docks.

Middle dock is the last in the bottom left corner.

To see South Shields today, Google map my postcode (NE34 6HJ) and you will see the river in both map form and a very high res. satellite photo.

Keith
Attached Images
File Type: jpg p32.jpg (184.8 KB, 64 views)

Last edited by offcumdum sanddancer; 2nd September 2007 at 19:08..
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 2nd September 2007, 18:33
offcumdum sanddancer's Avatar
offcumdum sanddancer offcumdum sanddancer is offline  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
My location
Posts: 219
Page 31

Page 31 brings us Albert Edward dock and the rest of Smiths dock on the North side, and Middle docks and Readheads dry docks on the South side.

It has changed considerably.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg p31.jpg (162.8 KB, 31 views)
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 2nd September 2007, 18:37
offcumdum sanddancer's Avatar
offcumdum sanddancer offcumdum sanddancer is offline  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
My location
Posts: 219
Page 30

Page 30 brings us to the delights of Northumberland dock, and we have just passed on page 31, Hayhole Road, which led to the tanker cleaning berth and passing Ma Becks (?) place. She was murdered in the late 60's and her killer never found.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg p30.jpg (141.4 KB, 28 views)
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 2nd September 2007, 18:48
offcumdum sanddancer's Avatar
offcumdum sanddancer offcumdum sanddancer is offline  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
My location
Posts: 219
Page 29

Page 29 has Willington Gut and Wallsend Slipway's dock, entitled graving dock.

Back to the South side next
Attached Images
File Type: jpg p29.jpg (136.0 KB, 17 views)
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 2nd September 2007, 18:55
offcumdum sanddancer's Avatar
offcumdum sanddancer offcumdum sanddancer is offline  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
My location
Posts: 219
page 45

Page 45 takes us from Readheads shipyard and drydocks, past Tyne Dock and Jarrow slake (pronounced slack) of fond memory. It's filled in now, and wall to wall cars for export from Nissan's Washington plant now, AND piles of IMPORTED coal.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg p45.jpg (122.7 KB, 21 views)
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 2nd September 2007, 18:58
offcumdum sanddancer's Avatar
offcumdum sanddancer offcumdum sanddancer is offline  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
My location
Posts: 219
page 44

Page 44 has Mercantile drydocks in Jarrow after the oil terminal of Shell-Mex, (the jetty for which is on page 45) and to the west of the city of Jarrow is an untitled dry dock.. Don't know this one. Anyone help?
Attached Images
File Type: jpg p44.jpg (153.2 KB, 22 views)
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 2nd September 2007, 19:02
offcumdum sanddancer's Avatar
offcumdum sanddancer offcumdum sanddancer is offline  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
My location
Posts: 219
Page 43

Page 43 shows Walsend Slipway to the top and probably, but not shown on this map, both of Palmers Hebburn drydocks at the extreme top left
Attached Images
File Type: jpg p43.jpg (131.3 KB, 19 views)
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 2nd September 2007, 19:07
offcumdum sanddancer's Avatar
offcumdum sanddancer offcumdum sanddancer is offline  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
My location
Posts: 219
The Last Post (of this series)

Page 42 has brought us to downtown Hebburn and Ellison street leading down to where the Mid-Tyne ferries were. Over the river were Swann Hunter dry docks at the Neptune yard, now owned by Appledore I think?
Attached Images
File Type: jpg p42.jpg (140.4 KB, 20 views)
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 3rd September 2007, 12:48
barnsey's Avatar
barnsey barnsey is offline  
Senior Member
Organisation: Merchant Navy
Department: Navigation
Active: 1955 - 2005
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
My location
Posts: 2,908
Keith,

Keith,

Thats a wonderfull service for which I thank you..... I presume they wont fit on the ECDIS????

Who in the hell cares.... I guess a lot of us "Wrinklies" could do it with our eyes shut ... and Keiths discription to hand of course.

Barnsey
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 2nd October 2007, 08:55
cruachan53 cruachan53 is offline  
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 3
Good morning. Was browsing "Esso Tankers", and came across your comments on "Ma Beck".
That really takers me back.
I was with Esso, we used to Berth at Percy Main Terminal, next to the Tanker Cleaning Berth,--used it once prior to berthing at Palmers at Heburn on the Esso Oxford! We used Minnie Becks, and her Dock Hotel, regularly. She always assumed that our wives were naughty girls, and she would count the drinks you were consuming, and would stop the supply if she thought it necessary.
Above the door, it stated she was licensed to sell "Beer". She did however have a supply of spirits which she would offer to selected customers, namely, Ships Masters!! Talk about class distinction. I was Third Officer.
A couple of pints in Minnie's then down to the "Jungle" in North Shields"!
The Hotel was broken into and as a consequence of the upset, I believe she passed away soon after.
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 4th October 2007, 13:48
offcumdum sanddancer's Avatar
offcumdum sanddancer offcumdum sanddancer is offline  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
My location
Posts: 219
Thanks for the clarification, cruachan53, the story I heard was murder, but we all know how the game of 'Chinese whispers' turns out.

Minnie Beck certainly stopped our Chief's wife from partaking of any more juice, and was she making her view's known of Minnie? YES she was.

I never went in myself, as I was more interested in getting ashore to see my then girlfriend, and now wife of 37 years.
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 3rd November 2007, 06:43
madbob madbob is offline  
Madbob
Organisation: Merchant Navy
Department: Deck
Active: 1959 - 1972
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
My location
Posts: 105
Came across the reference to Minnie (Ma) Beck whilst browsing. Spent many a happy hour there with other 'collier men' at the time. No power,only gaslight and beer served direct from the barrell. Ma was very direct and would often refuse service if she felt like it. In one amusing episode she refused service to a very coal blackened and thirsty 'teemer' who arrived on a motor assisted bicycle because he was "driving". It was the meeting place for the 'watch ashore' before sailing. The last place to get a Blue Star brew before the Courage and Watneys served in more southern establishments. Another piece of history fondly remembered. Thanks for the thread guys.
Good sailing.
Madbob
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Esso Tankers - merged threads bondy Esso Tankers 137 11th August 2019 19:26
The HMS Cobra disaster fred henderson Royal Navy 11 15th March 2014 19:10
Bill Worthington, Esso Tankers. Norm Looking for Old Shipmates 3 7th March 2013 12:58
Hello from HarbourCam - Portsmouth UK HarbourCam Say Hello 5 2nd August 2007 10:12
Esso Bernicia Bob S Esso Tankers 2 9th September 2005 23:25



Support SN


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging v3.1.0 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.