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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Being a new boy to this site I have focussed my interest to reading as many threads as I can about the Blue Funnel as that is possibly where my nostalgia is rooted. For the first 6 years of my working life I was in the 'Blue Funnel' referred to as 'the China ' when I was there and on obtaining Second Mates (FG) left immediately knowing what was in store. Fourth Mate with a Second Mates (FG) Third Mate with a First Mates (FG) Second Mate with Masters (FG) then five years as Second Mate and then approx 12 years as Chief Officer. If you were prepared for that then the lifestyle was good. However, it does not help when passing Second Mates (FG) as a 21 year old AB to be told by Capt Ronnie Symons that if I kept my nose clean I would be Master when I was about 50. The high standards of the Blue Funnel officers were found in many British Companies to varying degrees but nothing to make an issue of. Apart from similar companies the promotion was faster elsewhere. So, I hear you asking what is this all about. The point I am making which set Blue Funnel apart from the rest of British Shipping was the training of their deck crew whether they were trained in Aberdovey (like me) or subsequent to 1958 in the Odyssey Works ( Mick Brabender & Dennis O'Brian). The training was excellent on board their ships and administered by Bosun's who were like no other Bosuns found elsewhere.
The Bosun really was a VIPs in 'the china'. The chain of command was Master, Mate and Bosun. I believe it was this structure that supported the officers and made the ships what they were. The years following departure from the Blue Funnel left me comparing the Bosun and crews in various companies againt their contempories in the Blue Funnel. None came near. It was the BF Bosuns and Deck Crew's that I miss and held the key to my nostalgia.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Like most companies we in the Blue Funnel had our fair share of characters with sometimed exotic nicknames such as 'Ale House Jones' (C/Off) Radar Rob (Master), Parson Williams (Master) and Bangor Bull (Bosun).
Any other memories and more importantly how the names were derived. Some do not take much working out.
 

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Motorbike Griffiths, Wris****ch Jackson, One Egg Turner (my favourite nickname), Belsen Boyd, Throstle the Apostle, Deeptank Jones, Farmer Gould, Teapot Gardner, and many unpublishable ones.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Motorbike Griffths a Chief Stwd
Belsen Boyd Master
Deeptank Jones... Did he not ballast one of the DTks enroute Kobe to Hong Kong forgetting he had put transistor radio's in them at Kobe?
 

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I don't recall the origin of the Deeptank nickname but your version sounds about right.
One Egg Turner got his nickname in the old saloons which had two long fore and aft tables. The Old Man sat at the head of the starboard one and the least important mortals sat at the bottom of the other. One morning an ever hungry first trip middy took the menu literally. It advertised 'Eggs to order' so he asked the steward to bring him two hardboiled eggs. The Old Man heard it and bellowed across the saloon "One egg, mister, one egg!" And the nickname stuck to him for the rest of his time at sea.
 

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I sailed with Motorbike. Certainly a character and he definitely took the other bus! He got the nickname from taking a motorbike out to the Far East and then riding back to Liverpool. When he got it off the train at Lime Street, the piston disintegrated!

Wris****ch Jackson was a Chief - His son was a good friend of my father. He used to buy wris****ches out in the Far East and pay off with them all up both arms!

Pops Blakemore - anyone remember him?
Yosser Marrowfat, the Squirrel, Supersonic, Little Ernest, Nobby Dave and the Humungous and Mini Mongous (12 to 4 specialists!).

Great thread! I'm going to mention it to the Old Fella and see what other Monikers he can come up with or explanations!

Regards,

Dave
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
I sailed with Motorbike. Certainly a character and he definitely took the other bus! He got the nickname from taking a motorbike out to the Far East and then riding back to Liverpool. When he got it off the train at Lime Street, the piston disintegrated!

Wris****ch Jackson was a Chief - His son was a good friend of my father. He used to buy wris****ches out in the Far East and pay off with them all up both arms!

Pops Blakemore - anyone remember him?
Yosser Marrowfat, the Squirrel, Supersonic, Little Ernest, Nobby Dave and the Humungous and Mini Mongous (12 to 4 specialists!).

Great thread! I'm going to mention it to the Old Fella and see what other Monikers he can come up with or explanations!



Regards,

Dave
Dave,

Is you father an old 'china boat man'?
I've just thought of another 'Black Mac' (Capt McDavid). Sailed with him in 58 on the 'Antenor'.

Brgds

Bill
 

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Hi Bill,

Yes, my dad was a China Engineer. I was too, albeit on probably the last "traditional" boat and run, later the Far East on the Barber Blue Sea service.

Rgds.

Dave
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I understand Hughie Davies (Chwilog) passed away recently. I sailed with Hughie when he was Ch.Off in Ajax in 59. I was in the 'Peleus' in 61 and I believe he joined after I left. A very good shipmate.
 

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pops blakemore

I sailed with Motorbike. Certainly a character and he definitely took the other bus! He got the nickname from taking a motorbike out to the Far East and then riding back to Liverpool. When he got it off the train at Lime Street, the piston disintegrated!

Wris****ch Jackson was a Chief - His son was a good friend of my father. He used to buy wris****ches out in the Far East and pay off with them all up both arms!

Pops Blakemore - anyone remember him?
Yosser Marrowfat, the Squirrel, Supersonic, Little Ernest, Nobby Dave and the Humungous and Mini Mongous (12 to 4 specialists!).

Great thread! I'm going to mention it to the Old Fella and see what other Monikers he can come up with or explanations!

Regards,

Dave
that wouldn't have been robin blakemore would it??
 

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Rothesian,

I am afraid that I don't know.

The day I started workshop time in Odyssey Works, a short old guy with a shock of white hair grabbed me and looking me in the face said," You're a "my surname", I should know, I sailed with your grandfather in the war and worked with your dad!". Relating this event to my father, he informed me that it was "Pops". I used to see him around the works and he would always ask how I was getting on or if I needed anything.

There was a daughter, Joan, went to school with my mother. She married George Shoan, coasting 3/E for Harrisons.

I will have to clear this up with the Old Fella!

Regards,

Dave
 

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I understand Hughie Davies (Chwilog) passed away recently. I sailed with Hughie when he was Ch.Off in Ajax in 59. I was in the 'Peleus' in 61 and I believe he joined after I left. A very good shipmate.
I did not, 'till reading this, know that Hugh Davies had died. He was 3rd mate of the EMPIRE CAPULET (where I was a middy) during the war. Us middies were relieved in Calcutta after a mere 15 months. Other people continued to be relieved at different times. I only know of one other of that crew still living. He is Jeff White, R/O, and he and Jack Hurst, Chief Steward, were the only ones who remained in the ship until she arrived back in Liverpool 2 years and 3 months after leaving in Aug. 1944.
I often wonder if this was the longest war-time voyage of any merchant ship. Hugh Ferguson.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I did not, 'till reading this, know that Hugh Davies had died. He was 3rd mate of the EMPIRE CAPULET (where I was a middy) during the war. Us middies were relieved in Calcutta after a mere 15 months. Other people continued to be relieved at different times. I only know of one other of that crew still living. He is Jeff White, R/O, and he and Jack Hurst, Chief Steward, were the only ones who remained in the ship until she arrived back in Liverpool 2 years and 3 months after leaving in Aug. 1944.
I often wonder if this was the longest war-time voyage of any merchant ship. Hugh Ferguson.
Hugh,

Hughie Davies was a great inspiration to me and other ABs in the Blue Funnel to go up for our Second Mates (FG). Hughie and Theo (Ale House) Jones were from the same village and both excellent seamen. Remember meeting Hughie in Chester in 66 (I was C.Mate in John I Jacobs....I'd caught up to him in rank only...but still felt like 3/O in his presence all 5' 03' of him) when he was in for the day shopping. Managed to have a pint and a very large Jamesons in the Dublin Packet and then I remember he bought a packet of Polo mints before meeting his others half in Browns the Departmental store.
I miss those days.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Bill,

Was J Rae Master?

Dave
Dave,

Liptrot, Rae & Bold were Ch.Off when I sailed with them in the late 50s. I assume all would have attained command by the mid 60s. Liptrot probably first. Lulu Watson who was Second Mate and probably attained C/Off around early 60s.
Johnny Rae had a 'growth' (like a nipple on his cheek. I think he was from Dundee. Rough as 'the proverbial' but no nonsense and fair. He would have retired around the very early 80s.

Is Odyssey works still standing?

Brgds

Bill
 

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My memory dims...........! Yes, I may have sailed under Capt. Rae, early 80's.

Odyssey was still there in 2006 - Atlantic Engineering had moved in, and looks like they are still there - I'm going to call my Dad tomorrow! Meanwhile, here is the web site:

http://www.atlanticeng.com/The Company.htm

My old fella gives them a hand from time to time, for obvious reasons. On one occasion, they "dropped" a tail shaft from an Irish Ferry in Lairds. Me and the Old Fella did the calcs for straightening it out - worked a treat!

Rgds.

Dave
 
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