Information on Orenda Bridge/ Theodora/ Serena - Ships Nostalgia

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Information on Orenda Bridge/ Theodora/ Serena

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Old 2nd September 2012, 04:43
Arthur C Arthur C is offline  
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 103
Smile Information on Orenda Bridge/ Theodora/ Serena

This is a repeat message to anybody who served on the above ship, known by these three names 1972 to 1985.

I am interested to know if there was any mechanical trouble on this ship which was powered by a a 9 cylinder J Doxford main Engine (Particularly the Main Engine)

Mechanical problems from 1975 onwards.

Many thanks, Arthur C. ex 3/E, Perth, West Oz.
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Old 13th October 2012, 23:12
John Vlahos John Vlahos is offline  
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 2
Information on Orenda Bridge/ Theodora/ Serena

Hi Arthur C.

I served on the Orenda Bridge as part of the deck department for eleven months. I recall the good ship Orenda Bridge always breaking down between Japan (Kobe) & Austrailaila (Dampier).The most serious of the ships failures wasn’t her fault but the wrong oil being put into her when discharging her cargo at Japan.

Resulting in the ships bearings being damaged. The ships was anchored on the out skirts of Dampier for approximately 6 weeks as the ship was being repaired by a contracted company to Houlder Brothers, I believe the contrated company was called Hawker Siddeley.
All the best John(
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Old 14th October 2012, 03:20
Arthur C Arthur C is offline  
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 103
Hello John

Thanks for your message, was this 6 week breakdown on the Orenda in May 1975? If it was, I was on her then as 3rd Engineer, & was made a Team Leader on Repair Gang B, by the way I am also a Taffy, from Newport, Gwent.

Most of the work was done by the Ship's staff, 'Hawker Siddeley Brush' the Contractors, were only experienced in smaller 4 stroke Diesels, like Alternator prime movers.
So were a good help, but were supervised.

Could you check on your discharge book, the 11 month period you were on her, all this is very interesting.

If it was the 1975 breakdown, yes it was a Lubricating oil problem, but due to Water getting into it, from somewhere, 2off seals above the scavenge space, Where air is pushed into the engine, did fail & were repaired.

I believe the Company later had her on a British Steel Charter, as I did see she called at Port Talbot, South Wales in about 1977-78.

Many thanks again for your post, she was a busy ship for Engineers, but I have some fond memories of her. She was among the earliest, big class of Bulk Carriers / OBO's with others like Furness Bridge, Derbyshire built at British Yards in the North East of England, that were very prone to mishaps & for Derbyshire....tragedy.

Best Wishes, would still like to know more about this vessel's later life before being scrapped in 1983.

Arthur Swift, ex 3/E Houlders, Perth, West Oz.
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Old 12th March 2016, 23:32
Steve Jeffrey Steve Jeffrey is offline
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 3
Smile Orenda Bridge - John and Arthur C

Hello Gents

I never thought that the ship that lay below Monkwearmouth Bridge built at North Sands Dock and Doxfords that I looked at from the bus would be where my career would start.

I joined the Orenda Bridge in Chiba February 1975 as a first trip Deck Cadet trading between Japan and Australia. I paid off in Port Headland in July 1975 and ended up having several days in a Perth hotel due to an engine problem with the aircraft that was to take us home!

I recall both of you and I seem to recall sailing with John again later in my career.

The breakdown I understood was as a result of cylinder oil contamination. We slow steamed to Port Headland where the overhaul was carried out by extra Houlders engineers and Hawker Siddeley Brush. Those boys could drink.

I was fortunate to be allowed to keep the 8-12 anchor watch and get a weekend break to a Station (farm) out in the Bush arranged by the flying doctor that used to clear the ship on arrival.

Captains were CJ Welche and Gordon Spong
C/O Kevin (Killer) Campbell and Mike Boland
2nd Mates were from the West Country
Deck Cadet Sam Broughton

Chief Eng was a Geordie
2nd Eng was a young guy with glasses, very well spoken
3rd Eng Arthur Swift
4th Eng Alex Cowie
Juniors Larkin, Baby Beast,
Eng Cadet Paul Swift

Chief Steward Thackwearay

Big tall guy called nicknamed Lurch was engine room boy.

I too was given the nickname Lurch by the 2nd Mate because of my height I guess?

Great start to my career, now retired, wonder where all the years have gone....Brgds Steve
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