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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

I went to a slide show last night and one photo was of 4 BP tankers (out of a group of 6) laid up in Barry in 1977.

One was the Mallard, but the person who took the shot was unaware of the other 5. Any ideas.?...and when they arrived, and left....and their fate would be interesting to know.

Cheers,

Rushie
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Many thanks. They all looked the same class of vessel...beauties it has to be said..!

Rushie
 

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Hi Rob and Barbara,

Just had a look at my dad's discharge book and he signed on the British Mallard at Swansea on 23/09/66 and departed her at Hull on 23/01/67...so must have sailed on her in her prime days.

Must admit though, for my generation I think I'd go for this class of ship as one of the best looking types I've come across.....sure, others will have other thoughts though.!

Cheers,

Rushie
 

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Hi,
Swing that lamp, I was there. I've checked my list of ships to see what it says and it came up with the British Cormorant. Unfortunately that is the only name it came up with and my memory is not what it was. We stayed on one ship and worked from there. I do remember tubes of sealant and rolls of tape, the nightmares will not leave me. Somebody made a lot of money out of BP. I also remember the Mate had an open top sports car MG I think, in which he took me to Cardiff Airport when I left. The only other thing I have is 1 photo of me on a flying bridge with the aft accommodation of 2 Birdy boats in the background.
Cheers
George
 

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Rushie,
The fourth one may have been the Kiwi. There is a photo in the gallery by A.J.Hawker of her leaving Barry "after a long lay up" on her way to be converted to the Forties Kiwi.
Kind regards,
John.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for your help gents.

Haven't forgotten that beer John F.!

Up to me eyes in it at the moment.

Rushie
 

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Hi Rushie,
I sailed on four of the Bird class, Trust, Kestrel, Kiwi and Forties Kiwi, the nicest ships I ever sailed on - not too clever in the Baltic during winter when you had to go aft for your meals! I believe that , after the Kiwi conversion, BP offered the other Birds in lay up for same but had no takers.
Regards, Jon
 

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no one has mentioned the British Gull..stood by her in govan for about 3 month while she was been built ..then sailed with her around the ausie coast for 10 month
 

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Hi Rob and Barbara,

Just had a look at my dad's discharge book and he signed on the British Mallard at Swansea on 23/09/66 and departed her at Hull on 23/01/67...so must have sailed on her in her prime days.

Must admit though, for my generation I think I'd go for this class of ship as one of the best looking types I've come across.....sure, others will have other thoughts though.!

Cheers,

Rushie
Ahoy Rushie,
Here your Dad's MALLARD, haven't a clue where this was taken, but that jetty reminds me on one, but can't say.
Pembroke-Milford Haven?
 

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British Mallard

I joined the Mallard in the winter of 1970. I had just got married and it was my wife's first trip to sea. I remember I got the telegram to join the Mallard in Immingham so we had to get the train to Hull and then the ferry across the Humber, there was no bridge then. We got off the train at Hull Station and it was pouring with rain and the platform was greasy. My wife fell over and scraped her knees and of course ruined her tights. We ended up at the ferry landing at nine in the evening and the waiting room had this old coal burning stove in the middle , so we huddled around that feeling utterly miserable. Once we got to the other side we had to stay at this pub/hotel and the landlady was great and we ended up in the bar with the locals and had a great evening. Everything went right from then on and we had a great 6 months on the Scandinavian coast.
 

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Finnart was also used for stand downs --- the Trident was tied up for 4 months at least 60% of the guys on her came from Glasgow or Paisley including the oldman (JP Wharrie) and the ce (Dave Malarkey) so it was almost a dead ship at night.
 

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Barry Layups

One of the laid up "Bird Class" tankers may have been the British Swift, I paid off her in Swansea on the 30th March, 1976. She was at Swansea prior to sailing for Barry to be laid up.

GMCT
 

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Barry Docks 1976

I have finally scanned this photo onto my computer. it shows two of the six bird boats that were being laid-up in the summer of 1976. After all this time I have no idea which ones they are, possibly one of them is the British Cormorant on which the lay-up crew were based though I have compared it to other photos in the gallery and there are differences.
The picture of beauty in the foreground is myself, the beard has long gone, the hair is a bit shorter, but not much, with a dashing touch of gray or that's what I tell myself.

Cheers George
 

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As in one of my other posts I discharged the gas Oil stored in British Venture into British Viscount whilst the Venture was in lay up in 1961. Having left the UK by the time the lovely "Birdy Boats" were in lay up and that this is the first I have known about a new "Lay up" session. There must be more photos of them all "tucked up in bed" together. There is no doubt in my mind they were the best ships in the fleet. A toss up as to whether the Mk I or Mk II were the best ..... depends whether you were up the Gulf I suppose as the MkII's had full A/C. Then whether you like the look of the Goal Posts fwd and their enclosed bulwarks around the aft accommodation on the Mk I's.

I sailed on "Swift" "Fulmar" "Trust""Kestrel" "Gannet" if I could have stayed on them "On the Coast" I would never have left BP Tankers.

Anyway I would appreciate some lay up pics of them in Barry please.

Barnsey
 

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Nice to know that I am not the only one who loved the "birds". I did 15 months on British Robin but was eventually prised off by Britankol or I may still have been there. We even did a trip as private cruise ship for William Fraser, wife and three kids, as he did a tour of his European empire. They loved it just as much as the crew. Sorry to see so few photos of her in the gallery and I am looking into my old snaps for some to add. They just dont make em like that anymore.
Wilt
 

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What about the Merlin. Took her in to Barry as C/O, Indian crew; C/E was Steve Taylor, good guy and we tried to re-build the cargo pumps which were falling to bits. Remember making a replica pump with (I think) the 3/E for Steve when he left. Met him later in Hanseatic Shipping sailing as Chief on the Lakemax ships, Maracaibo to USA. Previously sailed on her as 2/O with UK crew. Great ships, great people; I feel priveledged to have known both.
 

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Another Birdie not mentioned is the Curlew............my 3rd ship as cadet. After 2 trips sailing round the cape this ship was a breath of fresh air. Carried lub oil to the med. loaded in about 6 euro ports and discharged in about 6 med ports.............long time to load and a long time to discharge greattttt My best 6 months at sea! Mate nearly had a heart attack when on one trip we found 6 inches of water in a tank of lub oil.............caused major problems. We of course blamed the shore people and they of course blamed us!!! It not only caused problems with that parcel but with the discharging also because of contamination!! Happy days. After that ship it was back to round the Cape as Uncert 3rd mate !!
 
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