Captain(Commodore) Alan Davies - Ships Nostalgia
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Captain(Commodore) Alan Davies

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  #1  
Old 29th July 2008, 17:40
gadgee gadgee is offline   SN Supporter
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Captain(Commodore) Alan Davies

During the course of my job today I was introduced to Captain(Commodore) Alan Davies who informed me that he retired from BP in about 1978. I never met nor heard of him during my 5 years with BP(66 - 71) but just in case anyone remembers him, he is in moderate health and lives in rural Northumberland. He was Commodore on British Respect at the 1977 Spithead Review. He is now 86 years old.
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Last edited by gadgee; 1st August 2008 at 12:11.. Reason: added age
  #2  
Old 30th July 2008, 12:43
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gadgee,
You had a lucky escape!! I sailed with him on the Respect when I was doing my steam-time. He was a "pompass ass", and coupled with the fact that the C/E was "Tadger" Smith who was also full of his own, supposed importance, the atmosphere on board was awful. One of the worst I ever sailed on.
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  #3  
Old 30th July 2008, 15:26
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James, with all due respect, we all sailed with people who we would not have chosen to step ashore with for a pint, but maybe SN is not the place to be insulting people from decades ago.
I personaly harboured a grievance with a Shell 2/E who made my life a misery when I was an apprentice, and would have cheerfully run the B*****d over if I got the chance on the road, but life moves on. It is funny how the a***holes stick in your mind after so many years.
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  #4  
Old 30th July 2008, 17:24
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BlythSpirit,
Don't want to start a slanging match, but was my "pompas ass", etc., any worse than your B*****d, etc.
Those two men, between them, created an atmosphere on that vessel that I have never, before or after, experienced on any other vessel.And that is not just my opinion, most of the Officers felt the same and could not wait to get off.
It was summed up quite succinctly by Michael Brunson of ITN News, who was onboard with a camera crew, doing a piece on large tankers in coastal waters,
when he described the way people were being treated as like a "floating boys boarding school".
JamesM
  #5  
Old 30th July 2008, 21:27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gadgee View Post
During the course of my job today I was introduced to Captain(Commodore) Alan Davies who informed me that he retired from BP in about 1978. I never met nor heard of him during my 5 years with BP(66 - 71) but just in case anyone remembers him, he is in moderate health and lives in rural Northumberland. He was Commodore on British Respect at the 1977 Spithead Review.
I sailed with Captain Davies, he had his own toolbag, he could be found almost anywhere swinging in a Bosuns chair.
I was CPO, he always wore Flip-flops around the deck, so the deck crew started doing the same. I tried to get it stopped, he wouldn't hear of it, luckily no one lost any toes.
  #6  
Old 30th July 2008, 21:39
gadgee gadgee is offline   SN Supporter
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I appear to have rekindled mixed memories here. I sailed with Commodore Ronnie Friendship on British Argosy in 1968. I only remember him as a pleasant mild-mannered gentleman. Undoubtedly others may differ?
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  #7  
Old 31st July 2008, 06:06
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Quote:
Don't want to start a slanging match, but was my "pompas ass", etc., any worse than your B*****d, etc.
My point exactly -maybe they were not different, but you identified on SN who you thought ill of - I haven't.
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  #8  
Old 31st July 2008, 07:57
Bill Davies Bill Davies is offline  
 
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Just a small aside. Do these senior shipmasters who you refer to as Commodore actually called Commodore. For all the criticism BF gets they never used the title. I have always understood Commodore to be a loose recognition of the Senior Master. As an example in my BF days a certain Capt McDavid was the senior Master and was appointed to the Senior ship 'Peleus' (the Christmas Ship).
Strangely enough all the senior people of all disciplines were in that ship. The senior Ch.Eng, Bosun etc they were all there.
  #9  
Old 31st July 2008, 09:22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlythSpirit View Post
My point exactly -maybe they were not different, but you identified on SN who you thought ill of - I haven't.
So are you saying that we can name and praise,--- but not name and critise? Seems a bit unbalanced to me.
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  #10  
Old 31st July 2008, 09:27
Bill Davies Bill Davies is offline  
 
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JamesM,

What can criticing possibly achieve. The men in most cases cannot defend themselves. Who was it who said 'If you can't say anything good don't say anything at all'. I wish I followed that principle myself throughout my life.

Brgds

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  #11  
Old 31st July 2008, 09:51
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JamesM,

What can criticing possibly achieve. The men in most cases cannot defend themselves. Who was it who said 'If you can't say anything good don't say anything at all'. I wish I followed that principle myself throughout my life.

Brgds

Bill
Bill,
Perhaps critise was the wrong word to use, but surely everyone has the right to pass comment as they see fit.
I'm sure that I am not the only one who has voiced their thoughts on people with whom they have sailed or come into contact.(see post by Ryder, 2nd July 2008 as one example.)
JamesM
For your information, the two "gentlemen" in question had such a bad effect on moral that the 4/E actually left the company because of it. Now it that's not fit for comment, I don't know what is!
  #12  
Old 31st July 2008, 10:18
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Sure we have all sailed with people we dislike, and am certain people have taken a dislike to me over the years, with most of it being water under the keel as they say.

For James to be so forceful in his comments, he must have very good reasons, this being the case we must accept what he says as fair and reasonable.
twogrumpy

Last edited by twogrumpy; 31st July 2008 at 10:35..
  #13  
Old 31st July 2008, 14:28
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I'm with James all the way on this one. There are times, I think, when we tend to get hung up on the rosy glow of nostalgia and the romance of voyages past. Even 30 years ago communications were, comparatively, much more restricted than today and ships much more self-contained/insulated environments. In these circumstances it was very easy for obnoxious Masters, C/E's etc. to make life extremely difficult for junior officers by petty and capricious behaviour.

I spent most of my time at sea with BP and it was a great crowd of people; (crap ships, mind you!). I never sailed with either of the characters in question but I can recall just one or two (and only that) who were a waste of a good human skin and seemed to take great pleasure in inflicting their petty authority one those less able to make reply. Thankfully there were crowds of others who were fine shipmates, socially and professionally, and it was they who went to make it a great job.
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  #14  
Old 31st July 2008, 14:34
K urgess K urgess is offline
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Gentlemen.
I hate to put a damper on the idea of a balance of critiscism against praise but you have to factor in that the site is searchable from the internet and therefore such comments are fully visible to non-members.
You may be commenting on someone's beloved father, grandfather, husband, etc., by name.
  #15  
Old 31st July 2008, 15:14
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Definitely Walter Mitty but probably a defence mechanism. I think they were all Marconi sparkies.
I was pulled up by a junior engineer on either a Benboat or one of Ellerman's for wearing three rings. He complained to the Old Man about it.
Seems an electronics officer with 10 years seniority should still know his place.
  #16  
Old 31st July 2008, 15:18
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twogrumpy and Geoff_E,
Thank you both for your understanding and support.
JamesM
  #17  
Old 31st July 2008, 15:50
Bill Davies Bill Davies is offline  
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marconi Sahib View Post
Gentlemen.
I hate to put a damper on the idea of a balance of critiscism against praise but you have to factor in that the site is searchable from the internet and therefore such comments are fully visible to non-members.
You may be commenting on someone's beloved father, grandfather, husband, etc., by name.
Kris,
Very well put. Commendable!
Brgds
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  #18  
Old 31st July 2008, 16:33
chadburn chadburn is offline  
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Like Bill D. I have always associated the term Commodore with Senior Captain although both terms are R.N. unless of course they are also R.N.R. Members, I never worked for B.P. but with it being part Government owned I am sure it will have contained a number of R.N.R. people and telling "Civilians" that you are a "Ships Master" does not light any bulbs up whereas "Ships Captain" does the trick, I went for an interview with Ben's (Thompsons) in early 60's at Edinburgh, what an old fashioned place I expected Charles Dickens to sign me up with a quill pen but like a lot of British Companies at that time promotion to 2nd Eng was based on the dead man's shoe's waiting list.
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Old 31st July 2008, 16:56
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"...........I am sure it will have contained a number of R.N.R. people......"

Not very many.
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  #20  
Old 31st July 2008, 18:37
McCloggie McCloggie is offline  
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Just to clarify the RN/RNR Commodore issue.

The rank is the first Flag Rank and was not often used as a substantive rank -RN Captains were promoted to Acting Commodore while holding a particular appointment but of course anyone being made "Acting Commodore" might well have been destined for higher things.

In my time we had two RNR Commodores - one for List Three which was the "usual" non (or indeed ex) MN guys doing their usual training on a weekly/weekend/fortnight a year basis and one for List One which was for the active MN guys.

I must have met more but the one I remember is the List One Commodore Tony Barret (P&O?) from London Division.

I can not say what happens today - except that Commodore as an RN substantive rank seems to be more common as there are less Admirals! I am almost sure in saying that the if there are any RNR COmmodores today it is probably only a combined role for both MN and the "normal" RNR personnel.

McC
  #21  
Old 31st July 2008, 20:13
chadburn chadburn is offline  
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McC, I am afraid my poor wording has probably caused some confusion so I will try again. I agreed with BillD. In the M.N. the term Commodore was usually the Senior Master within the Company concerned. Both Captain and Commodore are R.N. ranks in reality but the use of the term Captain in the M.N. has some meaning to a "Civilian" who would not possibly give the same credence to the term Ships "Master". In regards to M.N. "Masters" also holding an R.N.R. rank it would appear from Goeff E that there were not many in B.P. from what I read. I wonder how many M.N. Deck Officers on the S.N. site are/were also R.N.R. Officer's
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  #22  
Old 3rd August 2008, 19:23
D Sutton D Sutton is offline  
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If its any use to anyone my father, a chief engineer gained Commodore in 65 (? doing this from memory) at the time of the launch of Br Admiral, reading his paperwork and letters from the company the rank was given as recognition of service to the company, not just long service but excelling in your position.
If I have time I'll dig out the letters to see if it contains anything of any use.
  #23  
Old 3rd August 2008, 19:38
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Wasn't the term Commodore used during the war to designate the Senior captain who would be in charge of the convoy.???

John.
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Old 3rd August 2008, 19:56
Bill Davies Bill Davies is offline  
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D Sutton View Post
If its any use to anyone my father, a chief engineer gained Commodore in 65 (? doing this from memory) at the time of the launch of Br Admiral, reading his paperwork and letters from the company the rank was given as recognition of service to the company, not just long service but excelling in your position.
If I have time I'll dig out the letters to see if it contains anything of any use.
I think you will have many disputing the 'excelling' bit. Commodore in the MN was usually applied to the holder being longest in command. I cannot recall any British Company I sailed in actually using the prefix. It can be said with certainty that it was not a prefix that a Chief Engineer would use.

We used to joke in Ludwigs about the Commodore bit as the Senior Master was a certain Frank Hornby who took the 'Ireland' and three sisters out of the Yard. Suuberg and Babalis took the others. Frank did not sit easy with pomp and ceremony although he was Admiral (retired) USN.
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Old 3rd August 2008, 20:14
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Wasn't the term Commodore used during the war to designate the Senior captain who would be in charge of the convoy.???

John.
No, John, he was almost invariably R.N./R.N.R..
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