Blast From The Past - Ships Nostalgia
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Blast From The Past

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  #1  
Old 18th June 2020, 12:06
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Organisation: Merchant Navy
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Blast From The Past

Nearly 40 years ago, whilst working at Humber Radio/GKZ, we exchanged a lot of ship/shore traffic with the CASTORO SEI/ICC? when it was laying pipe to the Viking Gas Terminal at Theddlethorpe. This was in the days before mobile phones and satellites were an expensive option.

Castoro 6 has lasted longer than the pipeline to Theddlethorpe. The terminal is now closed and in the process of being dismantled. There is also a lot of offshore activity with a dive barge working off Mablethorpe, and the Castoro 6 is up off Easington (Now Bahamas Reg).

I can't see anything online that might say what work is taking place, so can anyone shed any light please.

David

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  #2  
Old 18th June 2020, 12:41
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Ron Stringer Ron Stringer is offline
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Back in the 1960s MIMCo set up and maintained UHF line-of-sight radiotelephone links to the rigs and platforms off the Humber. They were sited at Tetney just South of Grimsby and Easington near Spurn Point, on the other side of the Humber. They were maintained by Communications section of Technical Division, based in Elettra House, Chelmsford.

The equipment was pretty standard Storno gear and had the antennas mounted on tall masts but the link was working at just about the maximum extent of its range. The transmitters were screwed up to maximum power (5W I think) permitted by the licence and the output valves were really over-stressed. But most of the time the arrangement worked well.

When it didn't it was a case of jumping in a car and haring off to sort things out, with a box of new output valves and a prayer. In those days there were no motorways, the A1 had not been dualled and was heavily policed with the new-fangled radar speed traps, so the alternative drive up through rural Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire was challenging. That was bad enough, especially in winter, but then you were faced with climbing the masts if the problems were associated with the antennas. Worse still was the trip from one site to the other - there was no Humber Bridge in those days.

Fortunately one of our small team of three, Chris Horan, had an Austin-Healey 100/6 and could make good time and so was mainly responsible for servicing the two sites. On those occasions when he wasn't around, Dave Hopkins and I more or less had to toss up to see who was going - loser got out the box of valves and some warm clothes and took whatever vehicle was available in the motor pool.

Those were the days indeed.
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  #3  
Old 18th June 2020, 13:48
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Duncan112 Duncan112 is offline  
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The mention of Storno gear brings to mind another blast from the past, the unlamented "Stornophone" a walkie talkie that was so efficient and reliable that throwing it at the person you were trying to contact was more likely to elicit a response. 2 or 3 channels by a rotary switch IIRC, then all of a sudden replaced by Motorola sets (Motorola bought Storno seemingly) that were much better.
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Old 18th June 2020, 14:05
sparkie2182 sparkie2182 is offline  
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"Stornophone"

Built like a Russian tank in heavy black leather cover.
Absolutely awful kit.

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  #5  
Old 18th June 2020, 23:21
kevinmurphy kevinmurphy is offline  
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David
A quick shuftie shows that she will be pipelaying, there will be a 47km x20" pipeline from the TOLMOUNT gas field to Easington terminal. Apparently it is a significant field and this will ensure easingtons future till at least 2030. It was due to come online Q4/2020 but there is a bit of a delay. Hope that helps.
rgds Kev
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  #6  
Old 19th June 2020, 14:53
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Spent quite a few trips on Castro Sei. Very friendly crowd, though that might have something to do with the wine at mealtimes. I doubt whether that is allowed these days.
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  #7  
Old 19th June 2020, 16:28
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Thank you Kevin. It seems the Castoro is laying the Easington to 42/28D line. It just seemed so long ago to me when I saw it off the now closed Theddlethorpe terminal.

Also I see that the Pickerill A & B unmanned platforms are being decommissioned ready for dismantling. Comms to the platforms are via microwave line of sight to a mast behind Sutton on Sea. The AIS Marine Traffic VHF aerials are also on the mast - see below - and the associated equipment in the building below, so I don't know if that might be affected.

David

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