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This question has been asked elsewhere...

This is a shot taken on the bridge of Queen Mary at Long Beach.

The 'course to steer' is simple... but what is the plus/minus above that.. with the little arrow?

The best I can think of is that it is the gyro error.....

Any old Cunarders out there with an answer?
 

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Surely a gyro error is always stated to be either high or low (as opposed to east or west in the case of the magnetic compass)?

Cisco is surely right.

At a guess, also, the box below the figures "264" (i.e. the course to be steered per gyro-compass) will contain the letters "P.M.O." and "T.P.A.", or something very similar, to be used accordingly.

For sure, this was the practice in Blue Flue.

ps. I should add that I have no recollection of ever having set foot aboard a Cunard ship!
 

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Please allow me to add what a delight it is to see a detailed photograph of a preserved bridge from the Queen Mary era, with magnetic compass and gyro compass standing side-by-side - and not a trace of formica, plastic or other horror in sight.

In my mind's eye I see the flag-locker, the Kent Clear-view screen (do ships still have, them?), a voice-pipe directly to the Master's bunk, a movement book, several brass telegraphs, a wooden wheel inlaid with brass, a lanyard for the steam whistle, a Willett-Bruce compressed air whistle control, spotlessly scrubbed gratings, a high-chair, etc,etc, and many other things missing from this list - almost all now gone but not forgotten.

Thank you!
 

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Go on, Barrie,

One of your splendid odes to specify a proper wheelhouse. One where the pilot's chair is only for the pilot (perhaps Sparkie up for a cup of tea - do you have rather a surfeit of telegraphs?).

I think you can just see a quarter of a clear view screen top right.
 

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Pre-Plastic Thoughts

The Aldis-Lamp was in its rack,
Before the VHF.
The Cook was in the galley,
Long before he was a Chef.

The Chartroom was abaft the Wheelhouse,
Snugly fitted-out.
The Charts and the Chronometers
Served to allay much doubt.

The World was self-contained.
One simply had to push across it,
Maintaining proper look-out
For the hazards which emboss it.

Radar in its infancy.
Switched off, much of the time.
Excessive use thereof
Showed, even then, the seeds of crime.

Lead and log and latitude,
Look-out. And use your ears.
The mariner’s commandments
Guided many, through the years.

And not much else, upon the bridge,
When, standing on your feet,
The rule said, “Don’t hit anything”:
And duty was complete.

Speaking to the flag-locker
In International Code,
The watch-keeper could pass his time
Along the ocean road.

Mathematics. Principles.
Are things one has to know,
To keep along the straight and narrow,
Where one wants to go.

Get them right and all is well.
Life is a piece of cake.
Get them wrong and life is hell.
No mercy for mistake.

When tea and tabnabs put things right,
At times when matters wondered,
Served in this transport of delight,
Each day at fifteen hundred.

Long before the internet
Or curse of mobile phone,
What bliss to be upon the bridge
And do things on one’s own!

BY
17.11.2018
 

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I think you can just see a quarter of a clear view screen top right.
David, I think it may be time for you to take a trip to Specsavers. Or cut back on the early morning 'livener'.
 

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LOL!!!!! Voice pipe up to the Monkey Island.


Here a much more modern bridge... well c. 1975 on a large OBO. Not much difference between the QUEEN MARY and the SEVONIA TEAM. Same gear... and the Voice pipe as well! OK, formica panelling, but it was a simple bridge. Some teak trim, just to make it feel 'at home'. Even the 'course board', nice teak blocks. Works well and no dusty chalk! The only thing missing was the bridge wings! I only did two dockings... in five months and both times I was on the poop. Only 21 days at sea, but four months at anchor. Every watch... "Anchor position frequently verified". I can even remember the main bearing: "Nisos Salamas North Point brg 180T.!
 

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I have seen some ships with all wood panelling including Queen Mary in Long Beach. That wood panelling does not stand up to it. Perhaps when new but when later it looks chipped, stained, water marked, scored, OVER VARNISHED. It looks dreadful. I want the wheelhouse to be spotless and no 'damage'... even if it is formica. Now I di agree that wing railings must be teak and doors must be teak as well... and must be hanging rollers NOT on 'hinges'. And the door must be wide enough to get two people in at the same time. Nothing worse when you need the phone, telegraph etc and there is some one standing there with a tea cup in the way!

Hate lino on the wheelhouse deck too. Best if carpeted... or indoor/outdoor squares. Lasts forever. Only sad part is when the quartermaster come up to clean the wheelhouse at sunrise and has to start with the hoover. Looks out of place with everything else.

Stephen
'
 

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The Team ships were very fine indeed for we of non passenger material did not hunger and thirst after 'The Cunard' (as Kipling's MacAndrew would have had it). My two did rather more in the way of work than Stephen's although we did get two weeks or so off Annapolis on Norvegia. Winglessness was a bit strange but having several years on Stonehaven where the stanchions used to prop hers up, by design and formerly of conventional construction, had to be much reinforced with wires, bottle screws and Iberian deck machinery there may have been some other point to it than making life difficult for the docking pilot and bronzie.
 

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Thank you, David,

I appreciate both points which you make.

Informative though it is, the later photograph excites no nostalgia in me - of any kind. By the time such ships began to appear (early 1970s?), disillusion was beginning to arise in my own life. I saw change for change's sake and many, many far worse errors.

Enough of that! I'm hugely grateful to have enjoyed (and to have known at all) the early days of my career.

Repeated thanks,

Barrie
 

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I have seen some ships with all wood panelling including Queen Mary in Long Beach. That wood panelling does not stand up to it. Perhaps when new but when later it looks chipped, stained, water marked, scored, OVER VARNISHED. It looks dreadful. I want the wheelhouse to be spotless and no 'damage'... even if it is formica. Now I di agree that wing railings must be teak and doors must be teak as well... and must be hanging rollers NOT on 'hinges'. And the door must be wide enough to get two people in at the same time. Nothing worse when you need the phone, telegraph etc and there is some one standing there with a tea cup in the way!

Hate lino on the wheelhouse deck too. Best if carpeted... or indoor/outdoor squares. Lasts forever. Only sad part is when the quartermaster come up to clean the wheelhouse at sunrise and has to start with the hoover. Looks out of place with everything else.

Stephen
'
The wheel house and bridge front varnish needed constant TLC from the middies in Blue Funnel.(Thumb)
 

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Thanks for the latest Barrie. I am sure none of us would argue that life at sea is as much fun as it was when we were doing it. The points at which things changed, I am sure, were different depending on our viewpoint.
 

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From a well know story from J&J Denholm Line. The bridge front was all varnished. The captain's pride on the fleet's pride. The relief master, Captain Olsen, hated varnish and thought it was a waste of time. He told the mate to paint everything white lead. Some months later the permanent master came back and found what had happened. He personally spent two voyages out to the Far East hanging on stages to scrape all of the paint off and cover everything with varnish.

My first trip, the wheelhouse was all wood. The Mate, Malcolm Thorpe, thought it was too much to wash and scrub the wooden deck. He had the crew sand down wheelhouse deck and gave a few coats of varnish. Beautiful! First day at sea, a bit moisture and the old man sent down his backside. It stayed varnished and was easy to wash every day with a wet mop.
 
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