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  #26  
Old 25th March 2007, 22:19
Trader Trader is offline  
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Sailing day

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hugh Ferguson View Post
No wonder I preferred sailing with Chinese crews!
Hugh Ferguson,

A little unfair I think. Of course you are entitled to your crew preference. I joined Blue Funnel as deck boy in 1952 and stayed there for 4 years. In that time I never ever saw a crew p--sed up on sailing day, it was more than they dare do. A few pints in the "Duke" in Birkenhead waiting for the tide,yes, but not as "quietman" described his time in the 70's p-ssed even across the Bay of Biscay.

We got 2 bottles of Red Tower Lager at sea per day at lunch time with the tops taken off so they couldn't be saved up for the weekend, so no chance to get drunk unlike a few R/Os and engineers I knew who had access to bottles of spirits and cases of beer. Good luck to them, but there certainly was a class barrier in those days.

I notice that you were with Glen Line, so you probably didn't come across a European crew, I could be wrong.

Trader.
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  #27  
Old 26th March 2007, 22:46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trader View Post
Hugh Ferguson,

A little unfair I think. Of course you are entitled to your crew preference. I joined Blue Funnel as deck boy in 1952 and stayed there for 4 years. In that time I never ever saw a crew p--sed up on sailing day, it was more than they dare do. A few pints in the "Duke" in Birkenhead waiting for the tide,yes, but not as "quietman" described his time in the 70's p-ssed even across the Bay of Biscay.

We got 2 bottles of Red Tower Lager at sea per day at lunch time with the tops taken off so they couldn't be saved up for the weekend, so no chance to get drunk unlike a few R/Os and engineers I knew who had access to bottles of spirits and cases of beer. Good luck to them, but there certainly was a class barrier in those days.

I notice that you were with Glen Line, so you probably didn't come across a European crew, I could be wrong.

Trader.
Yes, Trader, it was unfair and I immediately regretted it. I sailed mostly with Chinese crews and, strangely, with a largely Liverpool crew in the old coal burning Glenfinlas which actually was the ex. Elpenor. When she reverted to being the Elpenor again I was in her for another 3 voyages with a super crowd mostly from Liverpool. I can still remember some of their names, Bill Brabner, Jimmy Newall come to mind. The demon drink never seemed to afflict the Chinese, even in Hong Kong where they were able to relax for a couple of days on the outward passage.
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  #28  
Old 27th March 2007, 08:35
Hague Hague is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quietman View Post
I was with blue flue in early seventies, if this procedure was still used I must have missed it due to some mental problem induced by alcohol. In fact Im sure some hands probably couldn't remember crossing the Bay of Biscay never mind the Mersey bar
Good morning Quietman,
The Blue Funnel Line you describe bears no relationship to the one I sailed in during the early sixties. I would agree with 'Trader' with his description of 'sailing day' and the rationing throughout the voyage. I do recall it in vogue to request 'green gremlins' (Guinness) rather than lager as that was looked upon as 'two for one'. Insobriety on sailing day would have you off in the locks. But that never happened as a 'China Boat' sailor new exactly what was expected and behaved accordingly. I am aware that after I left in 67 things changed and there was an influx of 'pool men' (nothing wrong with 'pool men' I hasten to add) but when you add water to wine its not quite the same.
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  #29  
Old 27th March 2007, 09:36
jim brindley jim brindley is offline  
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sow-Sow-La View Post
Sailing Day Procedure

In order that Seamen joining Company's vessels at Birkenhead should be usefully employed, the following timetable has been drawn up so that Chief Officers can use it as a guide to stimulate interest and usefulness prior to vessel's departure from Birkenhead on her foreign voyage without conflicting with work already being carried out by shore organization.

It is emphasized that the following items are suggestions and should not hinder priorities as they arise. The common aim of ship and shore personnel is to prepare the vessel for sea in all aspects in a safe and expedient way.

Midnight or 0800 Join vessel with deep sea gear and report to Bosun
0830 Bosun reports to Chief Officer whether all crew members are accounted for.
0830 Crew members receive stores and linen from Catering Officer and settle in, change into working gear.
0930 Voyage Inspection by Management.
0930 to 1030 Crew members (Sailors and Bosun) should be in their rooms in order that the Bosun can introduce them to -the Management.
1030 Boat Drill, Fire Drill, Boat swung out, relevant hoses run out.
1100 Sailors stow and check deck stores, re-stowing stores from containers into lockers and fo'castle store.
1200 to 1300 Meal Break
1300 Flags checked in wheelhouse, all fire hoses run out and checked. Continuation of stowing stores as required. Surplus mooring ropes to be stowed away, that is one from each end. Surplus mooring wires to be reeled away and covered, top poop to be cleared of debris, domestic rubbish to be run ashore, hazardous cargo gear, i.e. protective clothing, to be opened up and tried out. All defects to be reported immediately to Chief Officer by way of the Bosun.
1700 Tea
Time as required. Derricks and wireless aerial ready for sea. Ship squared away. Singled up. Tugs fast fore and aft, vessel sails.
what a load of codswollep .since when were we called sailors .you daft sod we are and were seamen
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  #30  
Old 27th March 2007, 18:16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jim brindley View Post
what a load of codswollep .since when were we called sailors .you daft sod we are and were seamen
That language is quite uncalled for; he's only trying to draw a distinction between stewards, greasers and the deck crowd (sailors).
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  #31  
Old 27th March 2007, 19:22
Santos Santos is offline  
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Come on Hugh, lighten up, that language is clean and was normal on deck, not a swear word amongst it. Sod was a term of endearment when I was at sea not a insult and how can anybody be upset with codswollop !!!!!!!!!!!

Chris.
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  #32  
Old 27th March 2007, 21:36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Santos View Post
Come on Hugh, lighten up, that language is clean and was normal on deck, not a swear word amongst it. Sod was a term of endearment when I was at sea not a insult and how can anybody be upset with codswollop !!!!!!!!!!!

Chris.
O.K. Santos, I'll lighten up, but my remark was in order! Everyone who goes to sea I reckon is a seaman but you still need to know who does what.
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  #33  
Old 29th March 2007, 22:50
Hague Hague is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hugh Ferguson View Post
Yes, Trader, it was unfair and I immediately regretted it. I sailed mostly with Chinese crews and, strangely, with a largely Liverpool crew in the old coal burning Glenfinlas which actually was the ex. Elpenor. When she reverted to being the Elpenor again I was in her for another 3 voyages with a super crowd mostly from Liverpool. I can still remember some of their names, Bill Brabner, Jimmy Newall come to mind. The demon drink never seemed to afflict the Chinese, even in Hong Kong where they were able to relax for a couple of days on the outward passage.
Hugh,
Is it possible that the Bill Brabner you referred to could have been Mick Brabender if so he was the first Bosun Instructor in the Odyssey Works Deck School 1958. He returned to sea after a year / 18 months. The new Instructor was Dennis O'Brian (OB) another legend.
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  #34  
Old 30th March 2007, 09:24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jim brindley View Post
what a load of codswollep .since when were we called sailors .you daft sod we are and were seamen
Good morning Jim
The wording of this article is not mine. Its a copy of a 'memo/circular' drafted in the 1960's at Head Office (India Buildings)for issue to all ships.
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  #35  
Old 30th March 2007, 10:07
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Every company has "Employee Directives" some more bombastic than others.
Mostly written by some office person with the best of intention and not always reflecting reality. I don't think Blue Funnel would be alone in that.
My current employer has a little blurb on the paychecks that sounds like a mix between a Mao verse and an advert for Greenpeace....
Needless to say it is not quite how we run the business (there wouldnt be enough cash for paychecks if we did...)

And so it goes
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  #36  
Old 30th March 2007, 16:24
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I remember the kit list we were given when we were to go deep sea for the first time, it was probably drafted when the company started and never changed! (No socks, only stockings!) I will have to have a rummage and see if I can find any BF memos (although I doubt it).

Rgds.

Dave
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  #37  
Old 30th March 2007, 18:12
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Hugh Ferguson Hugh Ferguson is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hague View Post
Hugh,
Is it possible that the Bill Brabner you referred to could have been Mick Brabender if so he was the first Bosun Instructor in the Odyssey Works Deck School 1958. He returned to sea after a year / 18 months. The new Instructor was Dennis O'Brian (OB) another legend.
I don't think they could be the same. I have some old ships' "articles" from those days: I'll see if I can find them.
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  #38  
Old 30th March 2007, 22:54
wee bobby wee bobby is offline  
 
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I Can Only Remember (hic) Signing Articles And Waking Up At Sea---some-where!!!!!
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  #39  
Old 31st March 2007, 09:27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hague View Post
Hugh,
Is it possible that the Bill Brabner you referred to could have been Mick Brabender if so he was the first Bosun Instructor in the Odyssey Works Deck School 1958. He returned to sea after a year / 18 months. The new Instructor was Dennis O'Brian (OB) another legend.
Mick Brabender was the Bosun in charge of the Deck Boy Training School before O'Brien. I did my first trip as Deck Boy with Mick Brabender on the Memnon. I will always remember the night when we were squaring up before leaving Penang, homeward bound. Before a derrick was lowered the last couple of feet, Mick put his hand into the crutch to clear a preventer and the derrick came down on his hand. He said "Suck me f$!*!&!* off, me fingers have gone". At the sight of his hand with all that blood, I passed out on the focsle.
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  #40  
Old 31st March 2007, 10:08
Hague Hague is offline
 
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Mick brabender

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sow-Sow-La View Post
Mick Brabender was the Bosun in charge of the Deck Boy Training School before O'Brien. I did my first trip as Deck Boy with Mick Brabender on the Memnon. I will always remember the night when we were squaring up before leaving Penang, homeward bound. Before a derrick was lowered the last couple of feet, Mick put his hand into the crutch to clear a preventer and the derrick came down on his hand. He said "Suck me f$!*!&!* off, me fingers have gone". At the sight of his hand with all that blood, I passed out on the focsle.
What was the outcome to the hand damage????. Oh, and I hope that topping lift was taken to a drum end 'pretty sharpish'!
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  #41  
Old 31st March 2007, 13:57
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Hugh Ferguson Hugh Ferguson is offline  
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Originally Posted by Hague View Post
What was the outcome to the hand damage????. Oh, and I hope that topping lift was taken to a drum end 'pretty sharpish'!
All I know is second hand information: Mick was determined that his ship would not be leaving without him, so he "jumped" hospital and joined before she sailed. A tough character, like they all were. Does anyone remember Tommy Boswell, an old "shell-back" if ever there was. I knew him as bosun of the old Glenfinlas in 1946 and again when he was signed off out east someplace to get home to his wife who was very ill. Strangely, it was in the same ship but she had been renamed Elpenor. The best they could do to accomodate Tommy was in some kind of lazarette in the fo'c'stle. I remember feeling very sorry for him and shall always regret not offering him the use of my settee (I was 3rd mate). I wonder if he went back to sea after his wife died, as he was getting on a bit. I remember he had a hugely muscled back, no doubt inherited from his days "fisting" canvas on the yards of the old square riggers he sailed in.
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  #42  
Old 1st April 2007, 01:31
jim brindley jim brindley is offline  
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sow-Sow-La View Post
Good morning Jim
The wording of this article is not mine. Its a copy of a 'memo/circular' drafted in the 1960's at Head Office (India Buildings)for issue to all ships.
i had no intention of upsetting anybody on site , jim
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  #43  
Old 6th April 2007, 13:26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hugh Ferguson View Post
All I know is second hand information: Mick was determined that his ship would not be leaving without him, so he "jumped" hospital and joined before she sailed. A tough character, like they all were. Does anyone remember Tommy Boswell, an old "shell-back" if ever there was. I knew him as bosun of the old Glenfinlas in 1946 and again when he was signed off out east someplace to get home to his wife who was very ill. Strangely, it was in the same ship but she had been renamed Elpenor. The best they could do to accomodate Tommy was in some kind of lazarette in the fo'c'stle. I remember feeling very sorry for him and shall always regret not offering him the use of my settee (I was 3rd mate). I wonder if he went back to sea after his wife died, as he was getting on a bit. I remember he had a hugely muscled back, no doubt inherited from his days "fisting" canvas on the yards of the old square riggers he sailed in.
Yes youre right. Mick did sign himself out of hospital and was back on board before we sailed. A real tough man.
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  #44  
Old 7th April 2007, 08:21
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We used to get some daft letters from the office about certain points of company policy but, thank God, we never got anything like that!

Split
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  #45  
Old 18th May 2007, 11:12
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Jim and Hugh ... and Blue Flu in general ...

I make a point these days of using the term Seafarers, not seamen, firemen, Engineers or deck officers. I can understand Jims defence of being a seaman because I understand that was as he served ... fair enough but, in my book to all and sundry and in particular shoreside people he stands alongside me and with everyone who served at sea as a Seafarer.

As for serving with Blu Flu .... thank goodness their reputation for stifling initiative and their stuffiness bordering on RN was much discussed amongst us on Worcester. One item/myth was the courses inked on the charts and positions not rubbed off until presented to the Marine Supt. at HO in Liverpool on return. Having just put up with 4 years of Naval routine on Worcester there was no way I was going for that. Besides every question about tankers and how they worked were evaded on Worcester ( no one had served on any!! ) and visiting British Valour, 35,200 tons just returned on her maiden voyage sold me .... and I have never ever regretted joining BP and seving on tankers most of my life...... everything I have ever heard about Blu Flu seems to have been right. Loved all their ships coming past on their way to and from London docks as they were certainly lovely ships although I liked them in Glen line colours best.

Barnsey
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  #46  
Old 18th May 2007, 13:10
Ventry Ventry is offline  
 
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Barnsey,
Cannot agree with your comments about Blue Funnel.
As for 'their reputation for stifling initiative and their stuffiness bordering on RN difficult to comprehend. First of all, I must declare that I never sailed for 'Blue Funnel' but sailed with many, officers and ratings' from that company all of whom were absolutely 'top class' . In hindsight, I wish I had joined but I did not as I started in Irish Shipping and 'the China' did not take people it did not train in the Odyssey Deck School. I am talking 59/63.
Amongst Deck Ratings Blue Funnel was ' Cream' with much talk of that company's legendary Bosun's and such. Similarly, the Officers had a training second to none. I experienced several who were Senior officers with Blue Funnel and never made command through the decimation of that fleet. I had the good fortune to have two as my Chief Officer on Cape Bulkers in the early 80s. One thing they all had in common was that they were all professional. The safety record of Blue Funnel Ship was the envy of the industry. This business of courses laid off in ink. So what!
If I had my time over again I would have joined that 'elite' team of Blue Funnel men.

Last edited by Ventry; 18th May 2007 at 13:13..
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  #47  
Old 26th May 2007, 19:25
Hague Hague is offline
 
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Well Ventry, what can I say!. How could I possibly disagree.
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  #48  
Old 2nd June 2007, 08:47
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Ventry wrote: If I had my time over again I would have joined that 'elite' team of Blue Funnel men.

Could not agree with you more.
'Blue Flu' was a superb company, simply the best!
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  #49  
Old 3rd June 2007, 09:14
Geoff Garrett Geoff Garrett is offline  
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This is rapidly becoming the saddest thread on the Site. With all these fine chaps running what was one of the most reputable shipping companys' in Europe, tell me this, what was it that caused its rapid exit down the gurgler of shipping history?

Last edited by Geoff Garrett; 3rd June 2007 at 09:18..
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  #50  
Old 3rd June 2007, 09:42
Hague Hague is offline
 
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In a word 'Bad Management' in India Buildings. The bad management cut in around the late 60s but that should not distract from the great things that happened before. Make no mistake, it was different to other companies. Judging by your profile you chose the early command route and the 'good life'.
Like yourself I went for early command but I pursued money in FOC. The manner in which I was trained in the Blue Funnel left a lasting impression which guided me over the years.
I suspect by the 'tenor' of your post that you are a 'closet' Blue Funnel admirer' and just didn't make it.
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