HMS Ashanti - Ships Nostalgia
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HMS Ashanti

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  #1  
Old 20th August 2004, 13:45
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Fairfield Fairfield is offline
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HMS Ashanti

Tribal Class frigate built by Yarrow at Scotstoun in 1961 taken in 1975 arriving in Glasgow on a weekend courtesy visit.
ASHANTI was sunk as a target in 1988.Some of her contemporaries were sold to Indonesia.
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  #2  
Old 9th February 2006, 22:25
Jim S Jim S is offline   SN Supporter
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Hms Ashanti

While an Apprentice with G & J Weir of Cathcart I worked on Ashanti during her fitting out up until she was ready for sea trials. - The Tribal Class were an odd design in being single screw frigates designed for service in the Persian Gulf. One all impulse steam turbine of 12,500shp and one gas turbine of 7,500 were geared to a single shaft giving a speed of 27 knots.
The machinery layout consisted of separate boiler room, engine room, and gearing room. The class were really the first step into the Navy's ultimate conversion to gas turbine propulsiion for surface ships of frigate size and above. The ship could get underway quickly under gas turbine power while steam was being raised. The steam turbine could then be clutched in to give maximum power. In 1974 two men were killed when a freak wave hit her 80 miles east of Bermuda. In 1977 three men were killed and the ship extensively damaged by a boiler room fire in the Bristol Channel - knowing the layout of the boiler room there would not have been much hope of escape.

Jim S
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  #3  
Old 15th January 2007, 18:23
Slim Whitman Slim Whitman is offline  
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In 1964 / 65 I was the Navigators Yeoman on the Ashanti. I joined her after a three month refit in Guz.
The first time we put to sea for trials, the skipper tried to climb the jetty steps with her on arrival back in port. Strangely, we had to spend more time in dry dock.
After work up we sailed for the Persian Gulf, on the way through Suez, one of the seaman was drinking on the Helo pad, throwing stuff overboard. We went from having two unopened cans of beer a day to two opened cans. What an idiot.

On the way out and before we had got to the Med, the Nav Officer had told me he only wanted the charts we were likely to use, kept up to date and not to bother with the whole worlds charts. On the way home about a year later, he discovered we were having Admirals Inspection in Gib. For two weeks with another chap who had previously been a Nav Yeo, we worked 0600 to 0200 every day to write the correction numbers that were needed at the bottom of the charts in pencil. We finished about two hours before the inspection started. The Nav did not see us for three days after.

Then when we left Gib to sail home, in front of all the Admirals staff and quite a crowd on the jetty, the skipper tried to reverse into a basin so that he could turn round. Big mistake. We hit a crane on the jetty somehow. I was writing down his orders and had trouble keeping up with them. Full ahead, stop, hard a starboard, etc etc, almost without taking a breath.
Admiral was not best pleased.

We had a good time in the Gulf though. Happy memories.

Slim
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  #4  
Old 27th January 2007, 20:34
Jim S Jim S is offline   SN Supporter
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I wrote in an earlier posting of a fire that took place in the boiler room of Tribal Class frigate HMS ASHANTI in the Bristol Channel in 1977 resulting in the death of 3 crewmembers. Does anyone know the cause of this disaster?
In the mid 1960's the Navy had began the conversion in of steam ships to burn DIESO (gas oil) instead of FFO (furnace fuel oil). There were two main reasons for this conversion, one was that the high rated Babcock boilers then in service were suffering from heavy fireside fouling, a second reason was to simplify logistics by having one fuel for steam and gas turbine ships.
One of the adverse effects of this change was the higher volatile nature of Dieso leading to some boiler explosions on lighting up etc.
Was this a factor in the Ashanti incident?
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  #5  
Old 25th August 2007, 18:53
jack dusty jack dusty is offline  
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not sure what caused the fire but ashanti came to chatham for repair. i understand the crew were dispersed. i was in the supply support group at the time and some of us were sent to re stock her. we did this and took her through her sea trials. on completion we took her to pompey and handed her over to the entire ships company from tartar, at least i think it was tartar.
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  #6  
Old 21st August 2008, 07:06
Po stoker Po stoker is offline  
 
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Hms Ashanti

The fire in 77 was the result of an error by a junior engine room rating who, having broken a glass thermometer in its pocket leaving the bulb end still in the pocket decided that the best course of action was to unscrew the said thermometer pocket and tip the bulb out!

80psi at 120 deg C relay oil on a turbo alternator suddenly found freedom..... the oil flashed off and the rest is history. I believe the junior rating was not one of those killed.

Also to reply to the other post about losing people over the side due to a freak wave out of Bermuda, it was 3 not 2 an AB Rodgers, PO Taws and i don't remember the other name, as i was down below in the stokers mess i didn't see the wave but it was said to be approx 60ft high and a couple of hundred feet wide, we very nearly went over, measured to 43 deg i believe.

Dave
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  #7  
Old 21st August 2008, 15:00
Jim S Jim S is offline   SN Supporter
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Dave,
Thanks for the explanation of the cause of boiler room fire on Ashanti.
Very sad.
As I recall there was a turbo-alternator on a platform on starboard side of boiler room with the boiler room access ladder alongside it which in the circumstances you described made escape extremely difficult.
It was not as I had imagined a boiler flash back that was a problem in the early days of burning Dieso.
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  #8  
Old 26th August 2008, 10:41
markwarner markwarner is offline  
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I was on HMS Dundas at the time of the fire and we were the first ship to get to her. By then the fire was out and most of the ship company were exhausted.

Last edited by markwarner; 27th August 2008 at 08:41..
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  #9  
Old 26th August 2008, 15:17
chadburn chadburn is offline  
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Was it not on the Ashanti that a homesick Stoker/Mech put sand in one of the shaft bearing oil boxes and she had to be towed back in from her trip to America?, she was going across to show the Americans her propulsion system.
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  #10  
Old 26th August 2008, 21:42
blakey blakey is offline  
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Smile hms ashanti

hi , i have just joined the site and noticed the ashanti incident. May 77 if my memory serves me right. we lost three MEM,s on that trip, it was a visit to wales and we were apr 1 hour away. Jmem little 16 and a half yrs old, LMEM Woods 21 yrs old, i cannot remember the name of the third MEM. It took apr 7 hours to sort the mess out. I can remember Dundas coming to help us out, a belated thanks mateys . I have been trying to find seamen etc from ashanti during that period for apr 8 yrs but no success so far.
this is the best ex RN site i have found to date, well done .
blakey
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  #11  
Old 26th August 2008, 21:48
Peter4447 Peter4447 is offline  
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Welcome aboard Blakey from Glorious Devon - as you will see we have quite a number of Grey Funnel members in the crew.
Regards
Peter4447
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  #12  
Old 27th August 2008, 08:50
markwarner markwarner is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blakey View Post
hi , i have just joined the site and noticed the ashanti incident. May 77 if my memory serves me right. we lost three MEM,s on that trip, it was a visit to wales and we were apr 1 hour away. Jmem little 16 and a half yrs old, LMEM Woods 21 yrs old, i cannot remember the name of the third MEM. It took apr 7 hours to sort the mess out. I can remember Dundas coming to help us out, a belated thanks mateys . I have been trying to find seamen etc from ashanti during that period for apr 8 yrs but no success so far.
this is the best ex RN site i have found to date, well done .
blakey

No problem, glad to help. I know how good it is to see another pussers war canoe in those circumstances. I was on the receiving end in '82 when Arrow and Yarmouth helped us.
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  #13  
Old 2nd September 2008, 21:11
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waldziu waldziu is offline  
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I believe that the other stoker was Tim Burton.
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  #14  
Old 20th September 2008, 19:43
blakey blakey is offline  
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Thumbs up

sorry for the late reply waldziu, thanks mate i have been trying to remember his name for years. going to ganges this saturday to take some photos beforethe council flatten most of it to build some flats/houses.
many thanks, blakey.
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  #15  
Old 23rd September 2008, 09:46
Sanemancured Sanemancured is offline  
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Hiya

1st post as I caught this while browsing 'Ashanti'.

I do wonder who everyone is I'm Peter Burridge and was the Killock of the stokers mess at the time of the fire. Jimmy Wardle was the third casualty along with 'Burt' Burton and 'Tiny' Little. Jimmy wasn't in the boiler room at the time the fire started but when everyone was getting out he went back in with a foam extinguisher! Burt was a killock stoker and the only married man. He was trapped under the stewards mess escape hatch with Tiny.

It was a very sad day and I can remember it as if it were yesterday whereas so much of those days are lost in the mists of time. I met the lad that 'caused' the fire a couple of years later and he was still devastated and was leaving the RN after the final board on enquiry. Ironically it would never of happened if he hadn't of been so keen. I was a pall bearer at Jimmy's funeral in Carlisle. I now live in Kendal and keep meaning to find the grave and pay my respects.

I was on Ashanti from May 1974 when I joined in workup at Portland until she went into Chatham and left in May 1977 to start Mechanician's course.

Some fool saw fit to promote me and I ended up running the back end of a submarine as a 2 1/2. Looking back Ashanti was probably my happiest time in the 'mob'.

If I know anyone here Hi and hope all's well with you.

Peter

Last edited by Sanemancured; 23rd September 2008 at 09:49..
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  #16  
Old 23rd September 2008, 14:56
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waldziu waldziu is offline  
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I served with Tim on the Rothesay prior to him joining the Ashanti. He had only just got married. We had three "tons" on the Rothesay, Burton, Murton and Turton.
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  #17  
Old 23rd September 2008, 16:09
Sanemancured Sanemancured is offline  
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Was that Chris Turton, LMEM? We had a Chris Turton, wannabee rock star who joined around the same time as Tim I think. Don't quote me but I have a feeling that he 'tied up' with Tim's missus some way down the line from all this.

Tim's wife used to call the gangway and ask to speak to someone when she was low. Sad times.
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  #18  
Old 24th September 2008, 16:07
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waldziu waldziu is offline  
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No, Sanemancured. Steve Turton. He hales from Kirk Hallam near Derby.

His partner has a pub just up the road in west Hallam.

On a nautical note, Steve nearly sank the Rothesay when he was triming the ship as duty tanky, having just come off shore leave still pissed.
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  #19  
Old 30th September 2008, 23:16
blakey blakey is offline  
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hi peter, my name is steve blakemore / blakey, i was an ab uc2 seaman sonar op. i was bunked in the messdeck with the red escape hatch in the deck for some reason !. I remember that day as though it was yesterday, do you remember peter watson cpo signals i think .my memory is not so good now so the names are beginning to fade, i still have some photo`s of mates from hardy , keppel, jaguar , ashanti.
best regards, blakey.

Last edited by K urgess; 14th October 2008 at 17:29.. Reason: Edited at member's request to remove a name
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  #20  
Old 10th October 2008, 21:51
Sanemancured Sanemancured is offline  
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Hiya Blakey

Yes that was what was known as the Stewards Mess wasn't it. I was the Killock Tanky and was chatting to the Chief Stoker 'Taff' Edwards with MEM 'Budgy' Budgen in the Chief stokers Office when it all went off. The Burma roads were filled with black smoke almost instantly and I went straight down the Engine room and shut off fuel for'd. I then went around to the stbd Burma road and demanded to be let for'd to get to the stabiliser space to shut off fuel aft. The passageway was thick with black smoke and I crawled all the way for'd on my hands and knees thinking 'if I can't get out the other end I'm a gonner'. Needless to say I did. At some point I went into the stewards mess and hammered on the hatch. Evidently Burt was hanging off the handle below.

Talking of cocking up with fuel transfers, I had a Gordie MEM 'Flash' Gordon who was my Tankey's mate and sadly was an Alcoholic and not very reliable.

Taff Edwards was a fierce bloke to cross and in the middle of a middle watch Flash shook me and there was a hellava list on the ship and the bridge were muttering. Flash had 'crashed', pissed while transferring fuel to 3C the G6 gas Turbine tank (how do I remember this stuff) and we managed to sort it before Taff woke up.

I think I remember Eddie. Was the wheelhouse almost opposite the tech office? It wasn't a place I had much to do with.

It was a sad end for a good ship.

Peter
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  #21  
Old 13th October 2008, 21:54
blakey blakey is offline  
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hi pete nice to hear from someone from ashanti, i thought we were gonners too that day. i think the wheelhouse was near the tech office, i can remember the skipper or no 2 ordering " all hands stand by to abandon ship", i was stationed quaterdeck and as we unhooked the liferafts the funnel roared red hot sparks and black smoke and a loud bloody bang. we must have passed one another in the burma way, i had to feel my way back aft, tripped on one of the hatches and gave my shin a bloody good crack. i can also remember going over the side on a bosuns chair! to spray the hull down, first time i had seen the oggin bubble, we just hoped we got calm seas when the dundas lads came to tow us back to chatam, we thought the hull may split due to the damage, i still do not know why we went to chatam! i know my arms were agony after steering from the tiller flat, no hydraulics or pas all soddin night. Do you remember the keppel, i was on that when it ran up the back end of one of the rovers after a ras, would do it all again if i had the chance though, best years of my life.
all the best, pete, steve.
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  #22  
Old 23rd October 2008, 14:20
Jim Bullough Jim Bullough is offline  
 
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The way i heard it,it was'nt the fire that killed them.It was the lp sat steam drench that did.2 of them at the ladders to one of the accesses and the 3rd was at the escape route ladder behind the boiler.
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  #23  
Old 24th October 2008, 21:06
blakey blakey is offline  
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hms ashanti

yes thats correct Jim, we used that as a last resort.
regards, blakey.
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  #24  
Old 30th December 2008, 14:42
johnlee johnlee is offline  
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Hms Ashanti

In response to the question about what started the boiler room on HMS ASHANTI. I was the Chief Electrical Artificer responsible for all ships generation at the time of the fire. The cause of the fire was as follows:
A young stoker was checking H Generator running temperature via a thermometer in a blind pocket on the generator top casing. He accidently stood on the thermometer causing it to break.Not realising that the blind temperature pocket was above 165 psi of red hot lubricating oil he unscrewed the pocket in order to fit a new thermometer thus allowing hot lubricating oil under pressure to jet upwards striking a very hot boiler room light. The vaporised oil fell back on to the generator casing and instantly ignited.
H generator then fed the fire which became totally out of control.
twenty minutes after the fire started a decision was made to steam drench the boiler room as the ship was now in real danger.
With the fire extingushed the bodies of three young stokers were discovered.
The lad who caused the fire was safely removed by our chief Engine Room Artificer.
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  #25  
Old 4th January 2009, 16:44
Cooky Boy Cooky Boy is offline  
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I was om Ashanti in 64/65 (2nd commission), at the same time as Slim Whitman. I was an REM looking after the 293 & 965 radars, IFF and suchlike. Remember him and the Navvy, can't remember his name but can still picture him and if I remember correctly, he was married to some titled lady. The skipper was Commander Thackwell and the Jimmy for the first half of that commision was a Timothy Richard Wingfield Mundy (believe I have that right).

I enjoyed my time (my only surface ship, spent the rest of my 23yrs in boats) on her and have some very good lasting memories but she was a bit of a pig at times. The finish on her was not as good as those that followed. ie, doors were grey painted aluminium covered, without architraves, the rest had wooden doors and architraves. The aircon was out of action more often than working, not good up the Gulf and with no scuttles, the stabilisers were not very good and even made conditions worse at times. The evaporators rarely worked so we found ourselves often under rationing (good training for my career in boats) and having to use the salty brackish water from Bahrain.

We had one spell when we were supposed to be transitting directly from Mombasa to Bahrain, so we were only stored for this but on route we were told to stay at sea for another couple of weeks patrolling the Gulf. What then followed was that we ran out of water completely, went on food rationing (two potatoes per man per day and little else to go with it), they Naafi ran short of beer and cigarettes were strictly rationed. To make matters worse, the evaporators and aircon fell over completely, quickly followed by the G6 turbine which attempted to throw bits off, then the shaft luboil was found to be contaminated and we had no more to replace it. We then effectively floated around for a few days whilst waiting for an RFA to replenish us.

I believe it was during that episode that several of us in the electrical branch were seconded to do rounds in the Engine Room, Boiler Room etc, to check temperatures. Being without aircon the temps were up in the 130/140 mark, we didn't stay in there very long, just long enough to check the temps and back out. Needed gloves to prevented burning on the ladder handrails. Very character building.

As mentioned previously in this thread, she lost a few crew members. We lost one, Knocker White an AB I believe (I bought his case at the auction), one of the ships divers, whilst carrying out a bottom search one night at Portland during work-up, July 64. Someone forgot to turn off the cooling pumps and he was sucked onto the inlet grill which pulled his mask off. A Very sad night.
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