Decca Survey Fleet in the 70's - Page 2 - Ships Nostalgia
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Decca Survey Fleet in the 70's

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  #26  
Old 5th May 2012, 08:36
Rafal Zahorski's Avatar
Rafal Zahorski Rafal Zahorski is offline  
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My post #12 and your presence on Bembridge

Hello to all of you,

I see that our Bembridge is appearing in some posts. Please help us to restore her history. I have no knowledge about Decca activity on her board.

I intend to add all facts, stories, pictures and anything concerning that period of time so Decca Survey activity too. Only you can help us.

Everything what I know is here: http://www.bembridge.pl/cms.php?pid=342

Please look at my post No. #12 in this thread.

Many thanks in advance for your brain storming here. Only your memory is now available.

I am attaching a nice thing what I received from my friend from UK. This medal was issued in 1975 to memorise a first drop of crude oil delivered via ekofisk pipline. I know that Decca Survey, Cosag Marine Services were involved in this project and Bembridge took direct share in that project.

Once again - I bag for your help !!!

Best greeting Rafal
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Cosag 1.JPG (259.3 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg Cosag 2.JPG (314.9 KB, 6 views)
File Type: jpg Cosag 3.JPG (300.5 KB, 4 views)
File Type: jpg Cosag 4.JPG (296.7 KB, 4 views)
File Type: jpg Cosag 5.JPG (264.6 KB, 9 views)
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THPV Bembridge 1938

Virtual tour http://www.bembridge.pl/bembridge.html

All about her http://www.bembridge.pl
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  #27  
Old 5th May 2012, 09:14
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Searcher2004 Searcher2004 is offline  
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Hello Rafal,

I have been reading through your postings about "Bembridge" and we did speak on the old DeccaMan forum a few years ago. I was on Bembridge as a Decca HIFIX technician during the time that the Tees to Ekofisk pipeline was laid. I did 2 or 3 trips, as I can recall, with a Surveyor called David Barnes. I think this was in 1973 or 74, as I left Decca at the end of '74 to go to Gardline.

The Captain was called Gordon, but I don't remember his family name, and the mate was Irish, with a young couple of Australians as cook and steward who had been hired in a bar in Aberdeen by Mike Davenport (probably "The Yardarm" as the whole offshore survey world passed through that bar!).

There were three construction companies on the pipeline; McDermotts, Santa Fe and another (Brown & Root?). We worked out of Blyth as there was less trouble with the authorities there!

Life for a Decca engineer was easy on Bembridge, plenty of beer and not much work unless something broke down. One thing I recall about Bembridge was that she looked OLD! I was on deck one day when we were in Blyth and a taxi arrived at the gangway. We were expecting a new Chief to arrive shortly so that we could sail, as Capt Gordon had sacked the previous one! A head appeared out of the back window and a Geordie voice asked if this was Bembridge. I replied that it was, "F**k me, it's the African Queen!* Take me back to the railway station, Mate!!!" was the reply, and the taxi left.

There was also a bench seat on the bow, which had been stolen one night from a local municipal park somewhere, do you still have that?

Happy Days!

Regards

Roger Basford

* Google The African Queen, it's a famous movie. You'll see the similarity!
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  #28  
Old 5th May 2012, 11:45
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Rafal Zahorski Rafal Zahorski is offline  
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Hello Roger,

Great thanks for your nice post. Yes I remember you perfectly. Thank you for a nice and interesting contents. More very welcome!

Bench seat? When we bought her in 2009 it was not on board.

You can see her pictures from "your" time on our Cosag page: http://www.bembridge.pl/cms.php?pid=342

I will update it by your sentences too still today

Greeting Rafal
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THPV Bembridge 1938

Virtual tour http://www.bembridge.pl/bembridge.html

All about her http://www.bembridge.pl
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  #29  
Old 1st October 2012, 16:40
Chris Ash Chris Ash is offline  
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Ahhh Found you old crinkleys at last had to be somewhere

Re the charterer my first Decca ship in 1973 with John Haige as PC doing a survey off Holland, Ran from a storm into Den Helder and bounced off the bottom coming threw the northern entrance

Had a single rotary converter for the Ships radio 6 channel fixed freq and that was it all the other electrics were DC, I don't think she became the Searcher but was sold soon after and the searcher was a New!!! buy in 1974

Nice to hear the old names, Little recorder was my favorite ship, then the explorer, Great times
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  #30  
Old 1st October 2012, 16:52
andybogle andybogle is offline
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Hi Chris. I assume you are talking about Gardline's Recorder rather than the Decca Recorder (ex-Clearwater). I remember the latter limping in to Aberdeen one time with a bridge window broken and one of her lifeboats missing after being caught in a Force 9. Or the Tracker breaking down in the middle of the North Sea with one of those ".....Forties, Fisher; gale force 8; Imminent....." shipping forecasts coming over the radio! We could make about 2 or 3 knots with the engine banging every now and again, sending perfect smoke rings into the sky. Happy days!
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  #31  
Old 1st October 2012, 17:02
Chris Ash Chris Ash is offline  
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Hi Andy

No the Decca recorder was the one I liked, Think that was Druncan duncan who was PC when she took that wave, and the youngish mate was on his first trip as skipper, she was limited to only as high as Aberdeen in the winter after that, before we went everywhere.

Had the Decca Scanner for a few months and she was a real pig had her plimesole line about 8 feet clear and rolled like DD after 15 pints
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  #32  
Old 1st October 2012, 17:13
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Originally Posted by Chris Ash View Post
Ahhh Found you old crinkleys at last had to be somewhere

Re the charterer my first Decca ship in 1973 with John Haige as PC doing a survey off Holland, Ran from a storm into Den Helder and bounced off the bottom coming threw the northern entrance

Had a single rotary converter for the Ships radio 6 channel fixed freq and that was it all the other electrics were DC, I don't think she became the Searcher but was sold soon after and the searcher was a New!!! buy in 1974

Nice to hear the old names, Little recorder was my favorite ship, then the explorer, Great times
Saw John Haigh at Schipol earlier this year, on the Norwich flight, so he's still with us!

Roger Basford
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  #33  
Old 2nd October 2012, 15:12
LochinvarLad LochinvarLad is offline  
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Hah! Drunken Duncan.One time I was PC on the Mariner heading back to GY.Stuart was PC on the Surveyor heading North .He calls me up asking if I had any Deso 10 paper.Reading between the lines I got a box, tipped out the Deso 10 paper and filled the boxes with tins of Heineken.We met up transferred the goodies and went our separate ways. Hours later he's back on the radio screaming.He did actually need Deso 10 paper.He opened the box with the company man looking on.We were now to far apart to do anything.I proceeded to GY and got a bollocking from Ken Blaiklock, Stuart had to pull into Aberdeen and get a bollocking from Budgie for forgetting the Deso 10 rolls to start with and causing his reputation to cause embarrassment to the company.Happy days.
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  #34  
Old 4th October 2012, 15:26
Chris Ash Chris Ash is offline  
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So what is everybody doing nowdays?

I run a internet workwear shop, and just started to get my pension, gave up the Sea about 2003
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  #35  
Old 4th October 2012, 15:36
LochinvarLad LochinvarLad is offline  
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Ola Chris,Eric Swinney here, I remained in the business until about 6 years ago when health went seriously down the toilet.Recovered now and do consultancy and expert witness testimony.Trying to get back full time for a coupla years.Al Corden disappeared up New York way back to Aviation. Jeff Hume got into a load of mess personally and business wise.Have'nt heard of him for years but no doubt still out there flogging the latest and greatest.Most of the others are in the evil empire of Fugro.
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  #36  
Old 11th October 2012, 16:36
Chris Ash Chris Ash is offline  
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Smile

Anyone know where Tony Williams or Nick Wade are these days

is Ken Blaiklock who was Chief Surveyor still going well he was a Gentleman and on the Last of the antartic south pole
exped's with dogs, think he retired to Wroxham

Andy we must pass each day as I am on the corner of Swanstons road about 50 metres away
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  #37  
Old 11th October 2012, 16:46
LochinvarLad LochinvarLad is offline  
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Think AJ and Nick are probably retired.Nick might be in academia.I agree about Ken, a class act, heard a few years back that he had passed away. Those were good days
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  #38  
Old 11th October 2012, 17:19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chadburn View Post
Georgeham was one of the Ham's with Decca Equipment, think she is still around but now a houseboat I believe.
georgeham was a fishing party boat for a few years in the eighties running out of hartlepool on corporate junkets. at sea for a couple of days at a time
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  #39  
Old 15th February 2013, 04:24
maxchord maxchord is offline
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Well, this is scary.. Just found this forum for reasons too obscure to contemplate, but I recognize a couple of you bastards from way back... Eric Swinney and Andy Bogle to be exact - and I have cause to remember DD as well. It's Al Corden here, and you're right Eric, I'm retired from aviation and living outside Philadelphia. So where are you guys...?
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  #40  
Old 16th August 2013, 19:46
Faversham Faversham is offline
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Decca

The management company for Decca was Oil Search Marine Management. My first job was with them as receptionist/typist approx 1974/5!! Jim McKee was managing director.
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  #41  
Old 21st August 2013, 16:15
chris ashdown chris ashdown is offline  
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Jim McKee still going strong, met him at the bank about a month ago.
He has a ship called Southern Star which has been tied up in Yarmouth for about last 10 months

Don't know if his other boats were sold they were all named Bon xxx

Gardline seem to be doing very well buying up all of great yarmouth, though I guess all the old crinkleys have either died or retired by now

Nice to hear all is still around as a ex PPL I could never understand him giving up flying to drive a desk at Decca
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  #42  
Old 4th February 2014, 15:13
Muller1 Muller1 is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LochinvarLad View Post
The vessels were the Decca Surveyor,Mariner,Engineer and Recorder.
Two questions.
1.What was the name of the company that ran the ships? It was a Decca company but did not have Decca in its name. Jim McKee was the head lad.

2. The Captain of the Decca Surveyor was always known (behind his back) as The Talking Teapot.Anyone remember his real name.

Decca,the company that turned the Beatles down,you have to wonder.
The skippers name you are looking for was Tom Sheehan born in Ireland and stayed in Pinner in London.
My wife and my family were his second home from home and he used to babysit for us to let us out sometimes as he loved the home life and he had a wee break from ship board duties.
Tom was the last of a breed and I wish we had a few more like him.
He used to love telling my kids old sea tales and they called him uncle.
My wife was at his funeral when he passed away.

Mike Muller
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  #43  
Old 4th February 2014, 15:33
chris ashdown chris ashdown is offline  
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Think tom was called Hollywater, which is what he called his rather large mug of cold tea.

A great man to share a watch with and great ship handler especially turning the Surveyor around by the bridge in Yarmouth with a strong tide
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  #44  
Old 4th January 2015, 18:53
extravert extravert is offline
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Originally Posted by LochinvarLad View Post
I agree about Ken, a class act, heard a few years back that he had passed away. Those were good days
Dragging up an old thread I know, but I have some information. Ken Blaiklock (my father) is still very much alive. He did retire to Wroxham but a decade ago moved to Cheshire where at 87 he still lives. The Antarctic information in this thread is correct, and he is still banging on about it after 50 years. He is now one of the last survivors of his era of Antarctic exploration. He has full memory faculties and although was shore based for most of his time at Decca Survey and hence less involved with their ships I'm sure he can still recall information about them, their work and crew if required. I remember clearly as a child being taken to see them at the quay in Great Yarmouth and visiting the Decca home chain transmitting station at Happisburgh.

Regarding the Beatles thing - yes, Decca turned them down, but they signed the Rolling Stones, so win some, lose some.

Last edited by extravert; 4th January 2015 at 18:57..
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  #45  
Old 4th January 2015, 19:25
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Dragging up an old thread I know, but I have some information. Ken Blaiklock (my father) is still very much alive. He did retire to Wroxham but a decade ago moved to Cheshire where at 87 he still lives. The Antarctic information in this thread is correct, and he is still banging on about it after 50 years. He is now one of the last survivors of his era of Antarctic exploration. He has full memory faculties and although was shore based for most of his time at Decca Survey and hence less involved with their ships I'm sure he can still recall information about them, their work and crew if required. I remember clearly as a child being taken to see them at the quay in Great Yarmouth and visiting the Decca home chain transmitting station at Happisburgh.

Regarding the Beatles thing - yes, Decca turned them down, but they signed the Rolling Stones, so win some, lose some.
Funnily enough, I looked at this thread today for the first time in months, so was surprised to get a P/M that you had posted.

I recall your Dad being a big name when I came on the North Sea for Decca in 1973, think he was at the Maincross Rd HQ when I was working at ABC Wharf. As a mere HIFIX tech I didn't get to meet Real Surveyors like Ken and Spike Hammick but had to make do with the Beach Road Irregulars like John Haigh, Barry Earle, etc.

Was with Decca from 1969 to '73 with HIFIX and later worked for Doug Hampson in the Underwater Dept. Left DSL in '74 to go to Gardline, who had just four sea-going techs at that time with Dave Bird as Snr Engineer.

Enjoyed the time overseas with DSL, I was only 19 when I joined and had never been out of the UK, their solution to that was six months in Indonesia. Moved on from Gardline to Palmers, then Geoteam and finally ended up at Fugro for my last 22 years, retired last July with 45 years in, last ship was the Fugro Meridian.

I have a couple of the old 1970's DSL "who's where?" staff lists here and your Dad is listed under N.Sea Ops.

Happy Daze!

Roger Basford
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  #46  
Old 4th January 2015, 20:13
extravert extravert is offline
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I recall your Dad being a big name when I came on the North Sea for Decca in 1973, think he was at the Maincross Rd HQ when I was working at ABC Wharf.
I remember Main Cross House, Main Cross Road. Sometimes when my Dad worked a Saturday morning I would go with him and head to the beach on the other side of the road beyond all the caravans.

Now here's a factoid - during my Dad's time there they did some refurbishment to the building which involved replacing a door, which was unceremoniously dumped in a skip. My Dad had at the time recently bought and was doing up a derelict former crofter's cottage in Scotland. Quite a bit of the wood used to do up the house, including what is still today the kitchen door, came out of that skip outside Main Cross House.
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  #47  
Old 4th January 2015, 22:12
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I remember Main Cross House, Main Cross Road. Sometimes when my Dad worked a Saturday morning I would go with him and head to the beach on the other side of the road beyond all the caravans.

Now here's a factoid - during my Dad's time there they did some refurbishment to the building which involved replacing a door, which was unceremoniously dumped in a skip. My Dad had at the time recently bought and was doing up a derelict former crofter's cottage in Scotland. Quite a bit of the wood used to do up the house, including what is still today the kitchen door, came out of that skip outside Main Cross House.
Glad to hear a bit of the old place is still in use. For the last few years I was working offshore Fugro sent me to a place on Maincross Rd for an annual offshore medical and I'm pretty sure the refurbished building that the medical company occupy is the old Decca building, or part thereof. You'd find that the beach area has changed little but south towards the harbour mouth they have built the new outer harbour and blocked the road in from the town.
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  #48  
Old 1st September 2016, 02:39
Goglesby Goglesby is offline  
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Rode Profiler and Locator in late 70's for seismic operations in the Gulf of Mexico.
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  #49  
Old 3rd March 2017, 21:19
ReDCee ReDCee is offline  
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I was on the Decca Engineer. BON espoir. Lady Harrison
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  #50  
Old 3rd March 2017, 21:27
ReDCee ReDCee is offline  
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Remember Ken Blackelock well
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