Looking for old Union Castle shipmates - Ships Nostalgia
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Looking for old Union Castle shipmates

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  #1  
Old 18th May 2004, 21:09
paul jacobs paul jacobs is offline
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Looking for old Union Castle shipmates

I have only resently joined and have enjoyed many moments looking back at the past I would like to know if there are any shipmates out there who saled on the Capetown Castle,Durban Castle, Kenya Castle and Rotherwick Castle. I will send a few pictures when i get the knack of the page, Regards
Keep up the good work,
Paul
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  #2  
Old 18th May 2004, 23:37
Ian Ian is offline  
 
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Union-castle

Hi Paul,
It's Ian again.
Great that you are asking the question. We are still very much in the early days with the site. Glad you liked the pics. on <mnnostalgia.com>.
The Capetown shot is a particularly good one.
I did my turn on the Stirling and Edinburgh. Both great ships but were, even then in '60/61, getting somewhat long in the tooth. The PA system which was one of my responsabilities I'm sure came out of the ark!
The Pendennis was my favourite as I did some stints as shore staff R/O for a while before being assigned the Stirling. Big difference in the accommodation I can tell you......
Good luck with any contacts that may come along. Never mind the ships, we are also getting pretty 'long in the tooth' these days but there must be quite a few ex U-C lads around.
Regards,
Ian
(Admin).
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  #3  
Old 20th May 2004, 20:06
paul jacobs paul jacobs is offline
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Hi Ian, Yes I am afraid that our age counts against us and we will never be allowed to sail as crew members again but we can share and pass on our experiences and memories. I would like to add a few photos of ships I sailed on and a bit of the history how can I pass on the info. I noticed a new addition (where have they gone) do you require info or have you the info.
Thankyou for replying I am enjoying your notes, Sorry Ian did you marry your lady from SA.

Regards ,
Paul
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  #4  
Old 9th July 2004, 00:40
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oldbosun oldbosun is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paul jacobs
I have only resently joined and have enjoyed many moments looking back at the past I would like to know if there are any shipmates out there who saled on the Capetown Castle,Durban Castle, Kenya Castle and Rotherwick Castle. I will send a few pictures when i get the knack of the page, Regards
Keep up the good work,
Paul
Hi Paul, I sailed on Bloemfontein Castle, Good Hope Castle, Reibeeck Castle, Roxburgh Castle. I sailed AB in those days. (Early 50's) Always enjoyed the run down to the Cape and all the ports up the East Coast. I have many happy memories. I have got photos of these ships if you want them, but I think all Union Castle photos are available on their website. Best wishes....Peter
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  #5  
Old 9th July 2004, 21:59
Ian Ian is offline  
 
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Union-castle

Hi Paul and welcome to the site.
You may also wish to take a look at my personal site at <mnnostalgia.com> regarding Union-Castle.
I sailed as R/O in the early sixties.
Both Steve and I look forward to seeing some of your pics.
Hope you check in often.
Regards from Montreal,

Ian Coombe
ex Edinburgh and Stirling Castle..........
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  #6  
Old 5th June 2005, 15:22
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I sailed Good Hope Castle in 1955 as an engineer, one night on watch we were pumping from deep tank to ready use tank which normally took about 20 minutes, after about an hour it dawned us what we were doing, we had been having a chat. Stopped pumping and went on deck and had a look, could not step on deck too much oil,after masthead light out, covered in oil, (bit of a wind blowing) Better tell chief, we thought he was going to have a heart attack,"my god laddie what about my pension"
Chief I am a stupid engineer and accept full responsabilty and will put it in writting, anyway I wanted to leave Union castle when we arrved back in UK. nothing more was said. The deck and engine crew made a fortune on overtime cleaning the mess up. Incidently they had just finished painting the ship overall.

Last edited by R58484956; 23rd August 2011 at 17:08..
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  #7  
Old 5th June 2005, 16:36
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Hi Ian. You mentioned operating the PA system on the Edinburgh Castle and
Stirling Castle.
Did you play music all day too, like a disc jockey.
On the Bloemfontein Castle there was a bloke and that was his only job. He wasn't the ships sparks and he musta bin a crew member and not an officer because he used to drink in the crew bar.
Anyway, whenever we got within a couple of days from Capetown he used tto be in touch with a radio station there and messages from passengers and their families were exchanged. I thought that was a class touch from Union Castle and that shore station.
Was that done on all the Castle boats do you know?
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  #8  
Old 5th June 2005, 17:53
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RCHARLTON RCHARLTON is offline  
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Hi Paul,
I sailed on the Kenya Castle as a passenger in 1963 long before I knew I would end up in the merchant navy myself. The trip was for three weeks from Mombasa to Durban and back with stops in Zanzibar, Dar es Salaam, Tanga, Beira, and Lorenco Marques. It was a great experience made even more memorable by the fact we had a murder on board.

Ray Charlton
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  #9  
Old 6th June 2005, 01:15
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awateah2 awateah2 is offline  
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Hi Paul, Welcome to the site, there seems to be a lot of old 'Shellbacks' amongst us but its good to remember the good times. I sailed in the 'Pretoria Castle for two trips in 1963 (The year that Britain froze) Captain Smyth and also the 'Rotherwick Castle' the same year, Captain Armstrong. I remember the Mate was Mr Zugg who I believe ended up as pilot in Capetown and the 2nd Mate who's name I forget clambered aboard my ship at the Nab Tower as a Portsmouth pilot and we never stopped chatting until well after F.W.E.
Enjoy the site,
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  #10  
Old 6th June 2005, 10:24
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julian anstis julian anstis is offline  
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Welcome aboard Paul,

I see you have replies coming in thick and fast......are'nt you glad you joined now........only problem being this site's infectious!....be warned.

Hope you enjoy......Julian
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  #11  
Old 29th October 2005, 03:22
Gordon Rew Gordon Rew is offline  
 
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Hi everyone, I'm new to this site too. It's very good from what I see so far. I did one voyage on the Riebeeck Castle in Sept: 1957 and did three trips as an AB 'hatchman' on the Kenya Castle from Nov: 1959 till June 1960. The following is a little info I gathered along the way which may be of interest to someone.

'RIEBEECK CASTLE was built in 1946 by Harland & Wolff in Belfast with a tonnage of 8322grt, a length of 474ft 2in, a beam of 63ft 4in and a service speed of 16 knots. She was delivered on 11th March 1945 to carry fruit from South Africa on the northbound voyage and general cargo on the southbound voyage. After a career which lasted 26 years she arrived at Kaohsiung on 2nd September 1971 where she was broken up.'

All the best
Gordon Rew
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  #12  
Old 29th October 2005, 11:18
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Welcome Gordon to the site, you are now amongst the ex seafaring community, enjoy the site and all it has to offer. (ex UCSS co)
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  #13  
Old 29th October 2005, 12:59
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Ahoy Paul & Gordon,
Welcome aboard, enjoy yourself on this fine ship and her crew, as we do; looking forward to your postings
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  #14  
Old 15th November 2008, 10:20
Gerry Barfoot Gerry Barfoot is offline  
 
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Life seems tame now that I am retired,there was always alot going on at sea.But we have booked a trip to Capetown May 2009.Lets see how much it has changed
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  #15  
Old 29th May 2009, 23:29
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Welcome onboard to SN and enjoy the voyage
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  #16  
Old 24th November 2009, 17:54
j p j p is offline
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Smile union castle line

hi having read with interest all your threads on varies castle boats sadly no one mentioned the only castle boat i sailed on Rowallan castle she was a friut boat loading from cape town up the east coast east london durban etc through the seuz into italy then home my trip was from oct 1958 to feb 1959 good to know if anyone remembers her j p
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  #17  
Old 19th August 2011, 02:31
david l brooks david l brooks is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RCHARLTON View Post
Hi Paul,
I sailed on the Kenya Castle as a passenger in 1963 long before I knew I would end up in the merchant navy myself. The trip was for three weeks from Mombasa to Durban and back with stops in Zanzibar, Dar es Salaam, Tanga, Beira, and Lorenco Marques. It was a great experience made even more memorable by the fact we had a murder on board.

Ray Charlton
david brooks here iwas on that trip as asst steward one of many trips in my 3yrs with the kenya castle,the incident you mentioned,one of the night stewards was having problems with the chief night steward,he killed him with a blow to the head with a port key,when he didnt show for shift they went to his cabin ,it was licked but they saw blood on floor through the slats in the bottom of the door.scotland yard was flown out ,he was in the brig for a while, taken back to london for trial,and sentenced to "queens pleasure" i always wondered if he ever got out?well i could go on and on always look forward to reading stories from the past, all best dave

Last edited by david l brooks; 19th August 2011 at 02:35..
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  #18  
Old 19th August 2011, 02:37
david l brooks david l brooks is offline  
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murder on the african express

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Originally Posted by david l brooks View Post
david brooks here iwas on that trip as asst steward one of many trips in my 3yrs with the kenya castle,the incident you mentioned,one of the night stewards was having problems with the chief night steward,he killed him with a blow to the head with a port key,when he didnt show for shift they went to his cabin ,it was licked but they saw blood on floor through the slats in the bottom of the door.scotland yard was flown out ,he was in the brig for a while, taken back to london for trial,and sentenced to "queens pleasure" i always wondered if he ever got out?well i could go on and on always look forward to reading stories from the past, all best dave
also i probably served you.
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  #19  
Old 19th August 2011, 04:17
paddy mcdonnell paddy mcdonnell is offline  
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There was also a murder on the Durban Castle,not while I was in it,I joined it 3 years later(1952) A stewart murdered a S.A. movie star and pushed her body through the port hole,does anyone remember that? Paddy McDonnell
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  #20  
Old 19th August 2011, 12:02
david l brooks david l brooks is offline  
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Originally Posted by paddy mcdonnell View Post
There was also a murder on the Durban Castle,not while I was in it,I joined it 3 years later(1952) A stewart murdered a S.A. movie star and pushed her body through the port hole,does anyone remember that? Paddy McDonnell
i was told that story but didnt know it was that early thanks for info good luck
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  #21  
Old 19th August 2011, 19:21
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Gay Gibson was the girl. Camb was the steward.
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  #22  
Old 19th August 2011, 20:32
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HE was a handsome deck steward with a penchant for female passengers, she a glamorous actress with dreams of making it in London's West End.

Both were sailing aboard the Durban Castle from Capetown in October 1947 but only one would reach their destination.

�It was the hell of a splash when she hit the water,� he supposedly told a witness the next day. �She struggled, I had my hands around her neck and when I was trying to pullthem away she scratched me. I panicked and threw her out of the porthole."
Killer, James Camb

When the ship docked in Southampton it was met by police officers, eager to search cabin 126 where actress Gay Gibson had mysteriously disappeared - and to question steward James Camb, suspected of killing the 21-year-old and pushing her body out of the porthole into the sharkinfested Atlantic Ocean.

Camb, 31, was a sexual predator who had attempted to seduce many female passengers.

Gay Gibson - real name Eileen Isabella Ronnie Gibson - had quickly caught his eye. The daughter of an English businessman, Gibson had always hankered after a life on the stage. She made a name for herself in South Africa playing the lead in The Man With a Load of Mischief opposite former British boxing champion Eric Boon but was keen for fame and fortune on a larger scale.

Missing Camb could not resist her and flaunted ship's regulations by being seen with her near her first class cabin on B deck. Even a ticking off from a senior officer failed to deter him.

On October 18 1947, when the liner was about 150 miles off the west coast of Africa, the striking actress was reported missing. The captain immediately turned the ship about but a desperate search of the water found no trace of the young woman. Gibson was last seen alive at 1am, leaning against a rail and smoking a cigarette, still wearing the black evening dress and shoes she had worn for dinner that sultry night in the tropics.

She told the night watchman it was "too hot down below" and she couldn't sleep. At 3am the same officer, James Murray, answered a call from her cabin and saw two lights on, indicating she had summoned both the steward and stewardess. Thinking this was strange, Murray tried to enter the cabin but his passage was blocked by Camb who opened the door a crack and assured him, "It's all right".

Assuming Camb was answering Gibson's call, Murray left. But his suspicions were aroused the next morning when Gibson failed to appear, and he reported the night's events to the captain.

Camb denied being in Cabin 126 that night but, when examined by the ship's surgeon, was found with scratches on his wrists and shoulders.

He claimed the wounds were self-inflicted, saying he had scratched himself in the night and rubbed himself with a rough towel. But when the ship docked in Southampton, Camb changed his story, claiming he and Gibson had enjoyed consensual sex but that she had suffered a sudden fit and died.

When he could not revive her, he claimed, he panicked and pushed her lifeless body through the porthole. But a second contradictory statement suggests Gibson may not have been dead when Camb threw her overboard.

"It was the hell of a splash when she hit the water," he supposedly told a witness the next day.

"She struggled, I had my hands around her neck and when I was trying to pull them away she scratched me. I panicked and threw her out of the porthole."

Camb was charged with Gibson's murder and on March 10 1948 his trial opened before Mr Justice Hilbury. An array of exhibits lay in front of the jury including a replica of Cabin 126 and - crucially - cabin linen smeared with Gibson's blood and saliva.

Camb confidently took the witness box but throughout his testimony he could never adequately explain why he had not summoned help and why he had disposed of the body. His defence began to unravel further when, under cross examination, he admitted he had changed his story no less than six times as a matter of self preservation.

"Don't you think that was curious conduct from a truthful person?" the barrister suggested.

"I should say it was beastly conduct," Camb admitted.

But it was one final piece of evidence which sealed Camb's fate. Dr Frederick Hocking discovered dried urine on the linen. He explained it was common for the bladder to discharge its contents during strangulation.

Camb was doomed and it took jurors just 45 minutes to find him guilty.

It may have been quicker had they known he had accosted three other women on three different trips, but the evidence had been deemed inadmissible.

Camb was sentenced to hang but cheated the gallows. At the time a no-hanging bill was being discussed by Parliament so his sentence was commuted to life imprisonment.

In September 1959 Camb was released on licence and got a job as a waiter. He kept out of trouble for several years but was eventually arrested for sexual offences against school girls and was sent back to prison for the remainder of his original sentence.

He was released in 1978, still protesting his innocence, and died a year later from heart failure.

Gay Gibson's body was never discovered.
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  #23  
Old 19th August 2011, 22:53
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A warm welcome aboard from the Philippines. Please enjoy all this great site has to offer
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  #24  
Old 29th January 2012, 14:33
threebs threebs is offline  
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Riebeeck Castle

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Originally Posted by oldbosun View Post
Hi Paul, I sailed on Bloemfontein Castle, Good Hope Castle, Reibeeck Castle, Roxburgh Castle. I sailed AB in those days. (Early 50's) Always enjoyed the run down to the Cape and all the ports up the East Coast. I have many happy memories. I have got photos of these ships if you want them, but I think all Union Castle photos are available on their website. Best wishes....Peter
Hello Peter. I served on the Riebeeck Castle 1959-60 and wondered if your offer of a photo is still going. I would like one to use as a desktop background.

Many thanks. Regards from the UK. threebs

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  #25  
Old 30th January 2012, 00:24
Bosun ken Bosun ken is offline  
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Can any one of you ( U.C .line) remember or knew Bob Jermy , served in the Durban Castle from Bellboy through to A.B. Between 1939 - 46
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