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Black Star Line

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  #1  
Old 16th November 2005, 21:23
Polarum Polarum is offline  
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Thumbs down Black Star Line

Is there anyone out there who ever worked for the Black Star Line? Volta River, Densu River, Ankobra River, Nasia River etc. I recall a Captain in a silk bathrobe who used to grasp the arms of the magnetic compass periscope and bark out meaningless orders in German and another who got thrown into prison for carrying too many deck passengers. A RN submarine coming alongside and offering us a tow; we always had a bad list. Carrying cargo to USA port that didn't exist and the cockroaches that blackened the bulkheads and shared our food. Dear God, it was a nightmare! Is there anyone brave enough to admit they were there too, or did I just imagine it?
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  #2  
Old 16th November 2005, 23:10
trotterdotpom trotterdotpom is offline  
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Great stuff! I'm sitting here being overlooked by a beautiful carved mahogany head, bought in Takoradi 35 years ago.

I bet you never thought you'd be laughing about that all these years later!

John T.
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  #3  
Old 17th November 2005, 08:42
TripleX TripleX is offline  
 
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Angry Black star line

If I remember right BSL was operated at arm's length by Zim Israel in London. I ws interviewed for an engineering post by the catering superintendent. Three hours on the Densu River looking around and askng questions was enough for me. I fled the ship and never went back to sea. If Polarum is able to laugh now - it will be a miracle.
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  #4  
Old 17th November 2005, 09:04
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nigelcollett nigelcollett is offline  
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Not BSL but I did do a trip, as Marconi R/O, on the Herbert Macaulay (X Sussex Trader) of Nigerian National and must say that they were weren't any where as bad as that. Quite enjoyed the trip even if I was ashore in Lagos the night of the first coup,then caught malaria in Port Horcourt so as usual it was any excuse for a P***up so all the bottles decended to my cabin as I was confined to bed

NigelC
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  #5  
Old 17th November 2005, 10:20
Polarum Polarum is offline  
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Smile Black star line

Nigel: I too served on the Herbert Macauley in 1964 and it helped me to recover somewhat from the trauma of BSL. Leaving Poland, I caught the old man staring intently through binoculars at a nearby bulkhead and slurring "The sea's as dark as a shark's **** tonight". I thought 'Here we go again', but I let it pass and it turned out to be a pretty good trip.

Trotterdotpom and TripleX: With therapy and the love of a good woman, I have learnt to laugh again.
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  #6  
Old 17th November 2005, 13:18
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nigelcollett nigelcollett is offline  
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Hi Polarum

It was Nov '65 when I joined the HM in Tilbury and the OM was a J Hogg, quite rotund, can't remember the Mate's Name but he was very very rotund.
Nearly didn't make it home as in a storm, in the middle of the night of course, we lost half our deck cargo of logs over the port side. apart from finishing up with the maximum permittable starboard list the deck crew had to go out and lash the rest down. You can image the Elbe pilots reaction when we arrived with, a now much reduced, 10%+ list and large logs hanging over the side. It was the nearest I ever came to sending an SOS which would have been a bit messy as I was unable to sit down!

Nigel
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  #7  
Old 17th November 2005, 15:56
Polarum Polarum is offline  
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Herbert Macauley

Hi Nigel. I'm glad you made it back or you might not be here to tell the tale.
I can't remember a rotund Captain Hogg but on another NNL ship 'Oranyan', the old man was extremely obese and would wolf down every single item on the menu. He went home from Tilbury (with all our docking bottles) and died a couple of days later whilst tucking into a meal at home. We forgave him. When I think of him now, I see a large man with a napkin rigged as a bib, and eagerly enjoying an enormous plate of red cabbage. Happy Days Tony C
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  #8  
Old 17th November 2005, 16:24
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nigelcollett nigelcollett is offline  
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Polarum

It was propably all the French Fried Yam that did it.

Have got some pics of HM in it's three guises, I don't know whether you have come across them before. Have attached as HM can let you have the other two if your interested

NigelC
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File Type: jpg hm3.jpg (67.3 KB, 215 views)
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  #9  
Old 17th November 2005, 17:07
Polarum Polarum is offline  
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Herbert Macauley

Yes, please download the other two, Nigel. Here is one from my collection.
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  #10  
Old 18th November 2005, 09:41
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nigelcollett nigelcollett is offline  
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Herbert Macaulay

Morning Tony

Hopefully I have managed to attached HM pics as Sussex Trader and subsequently as Anel D'Azur

NigelC
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File Type: jpg Azur.jpg (27.2 KB, 125 views)
File Type: jpg sussextrader2.2.jpg (28.2 KB, 109 views)
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  #11  
Old 18th November 2005, 11:27
Polarum Polarum is offline  
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Smile Herbert Macauley

Many thanks Nigel for the two pics. I liked the Herbert Macauley - but not enough to name any of our four children Herbert. Cheers Tony
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  #12  
Old 18th November 2005, 12:57
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paul0510 paul0510 is offline  
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...so come on somebody, BSL sounds as though it may be the source of some good laughs. Any pics floating around, cos I can't remember having seen a BSL boat?
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- Paul O'Donovan
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  #13  
Old 18th November 2005, 14:26
Wilco Wilco is offline  
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Unhappy Black Star Line

At the time of Black Star Lines inception I was working as a Cargo Superintendent for the West African Conference in Tilbury. We did the discharge & loading of both Black Star & later Nigerian National Lines. Initially the only difference between the two was that whilst the Black Star purchased well clapped out old tramp tonnage Nig. Nat. purchased not so well clapped out tramps, although in later years both had some new decent tonnage. Initially Black Star only had the Volta River & were handled Agent wise by a London based offshoot of Zim called Star Shipping, inparticular by the London Zim suprimo Capt. Khan.
One of the early dodges for which the Volta River was known was the carrying of far bigger deck cargoes of logs than other similar ships by means of enhancing their stability by flooding #2 &#4 lower hold log cargoes once they had departed Ghana thus completing the marjority of the voyage with her marks well submerged, something they were subsequently stopped from doing. The dockers also were not best pleased when discharging #2 &#4 to be faced with logs resembling a skating rink & a none too pleasant smell!!!
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  #14  
Old 18th November 2005, 14:36
TripleX TripleX is offline  
 
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BSL ships

Pics of two earlier BSL ships Volta River and Densu River. Some were ex-Haines trampships. A ghanaian diplomat was refused a lemonade in howard johnson restaurant and to avoid diplomatic incident president USA ordered increase investment in ghana - later ships in the fleet were bought with the lemonade money and were quite stylish.
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File Type: jpg densu.jpg (44.4 KB, 140 views)
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  #15  
Old 18th November 2005, 15:10
Polarum Polarum is offline  
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Black Star Line: Volta River

I joined the Volta River in Tilbury around 1962, but did a runner a couple of weeks later when she was temporarily moored in Greenhithe. The old man wanted us to sail with only two mates working 12 hours on 12 hours off. Zim superintendent in London: I donít recall a Captain Khan, but a Captain Gad Hilb who had attempted to break the British blockade of Palestine in 1948. He interviewed me for the job while we were stuck in a lift that was jammed. His minder had an eye patch like Moshe Dayan. But what am I doing? Iím trying to forget all that.
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  #16  
Old 22nd November 2005, 20:41
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Black Star Line

Hello to all,

I had the pleasure to work, as agent, for BSL in Rotterdam with Dammers and van der Heide Agency as from 1974 untill the last day of BSL.
It was a pleasant time.

b/regards

aadje
( Aad Motz )
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  #17  
Old 23rd November 2005, 10:04
Polarum Polarum is offline  
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Black Star Line

Glad you enjoyed your agency work. Hopefully things had improved since the 1960's and that you were able to some mail to the ship's before they left port.
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  #18  
Old 23rd November 2005, 10:58
[email protected] sharonblchr@blueyonder.co is offline  
 
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does anyone recall these merchant ships ss cavena. ss talapo.new york city,and the arogoanni my dad served on them billy smith

Last edited by Doug Rogers; 25th November 2005 at 02:38.. Reason: I have suggested that the email address be removed from the member ID
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  #19  
Old 23rd November 2005, 13:36
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Welcome Sharon to SN enjoy the site and all it has to offer.
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  #20  
Old 23rd November 2005, 13:50
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aadje aadje is offline  
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Crewmails

Polarum,
I understand what you mean and must confess such things happens. As I have sailed as well I fully understand the social matter and importance of boarddelivery of mail. First you hand the mail and second you ask Captain " did you have a pleasant voyage?".
No or to late delivery are most famous in Antwerp and USA ports, is n't it??

b/regards
aadje
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  #21  
Old 23rd November 2005, 13:51
Bruce Carson Bruce Carson is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected]
does anyone recall these merchant ships ss cavena. ss talapo.new york city,and the arogoanni my dad served on them billy smith
Welcome on board and enjoy the postings.
It may be you're looking for information on the Cavina, Tilapa and Ariguani, "banana boats" belonging to Elders & Fyffes.
If so, I'm sure you'll hear from other members with details of those ships.
There's a separate section devoted to E & F on this forum---you may want to check it out.

Bruce C.

Last edited by Bruce Carson; 23rd November 2005 at 13:53..
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  #22  
Old 23rd November 2005, 21:43
Polarum Polarum is offline  
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Black Star Line - agency

Adje

I've been looking back at my diaries. The van de Heide agency was excellent and I'm sure you kept the standard up. On the Nasia River, we played the agency team at football and won 11-6. I think that was the highlight of my BSL career.

Best Wishes. Tony


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  #23  
Old 24th November 2005, 22:36
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aadje aadje is offline  
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Black Star Line

Tony,
Thanks for commends. Many times football was arranged. Rather easy to do, because our manager Mr. Arie Blok, was chairmain of a rotterdam amateur footbalclub. I only joined Dammers en van der Heide agency in 1974, so I think we did not meet. I attache the Offin River 1961 at shipyard De Schelde in Flushing. I only know these type of vessel's - 16 in total - and the last four korean built types. Unfortunately I could not find any further BSL vessel on the internet, however will keep on searching.

b/regards
aadje
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  #24  
Old 26th November 2005, 10:30
TripleX TripleX is offline  
 
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Black Star Line

Working on BSL ships, there is a phrase that is forever etched in my memory and it went something like this: "Inje! Openeen no kraaa, oneeyah no kraaa. Eh Heh!" It meant "Sir, This ship and its Captain are worthless. And there's no lie!" I think it said it all.
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  #25  
Old 26th November 2005, 13:47
Polarum Polarum is offline  
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Black Star Line

TripleX: I remember that phrase! Heard it many times. We once set off across the Atlantic with 12 passengers and many logs for the port of Carteret. The passengers must have been inspired to make the trip by the attached poster. Despite a search through our charts and many radio messages, we could not find Carteret on the USA coast. The name sounded vaguely French so it was suggested that we tried Canada but we anchored in NY harbour for guidance. To our relief, Carteret was a small village with a wharf somewhere at the back of Staten Island. I tried to escape with the 3rd Eng in NY but the authorities were keeping a close watch on us all - and rightly so.
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