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British Might 1948

I did my second trip to sea on British Might as galley boy joining her in Grangemouth I recall. Two month trip to Persian Gulf as we called it in those days. Abadan was about the only port in those days and at least you had the Seamans club there with big bottles of beer and a movie paid for with little books of prepaid vouchers, no cash accepted. Even though she was a relatively small tanker after loading we needed a top up of cargo supplied over the bar by two ancient funnel admidship tankers the British Soldier & British Sailor,real oldies..... Lands End for orders and we broke down in Bay of Biscay (again). BTC wouldnt send a tug but instead we waited a couple of days drifting till they un drydocked another BTC tanker ,forget name, which towed us into Falmouth where we signed off. After a well earned five days leave the Pool sent me back to Falmouth,being as they put it a tanker man now ! The ship I was to join was the Willowtree/branch ?,something like that,and as I approached her I saw the funnel was on fire and sparks floating into the sky. SHe was also very old,a Newcastle company I recall. Anyway I turned away without boarding and as I walked back up the dock there was the British Might in drydock so went on board for a cuppa. Got offered promotion to A/S so immediately accepted and spent a lovely few weeks in Falmouth followed by seven month trip Persian Gulf/Red Sea ports/ Kiwi.
I wouldnt call them the good old days though,bad feeder,shortage of water a regular occurence so tried my best to avoid the tankers after that. Not always successfully needless to say. Cest la vie....
Stuart Henderson
 

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Much has been said about "Not" stopping the engines, but I have a tail about one that would not stop. On passage from Aruba to Bergen and Oslo aboard the British Splendour, I was second wheel on the twelve to four watch,and prior to going to the wheel had been instructed to "Give the old man a shake" as we were due to pick up the pilot at around three AM, he wandered into the wheelhouse a little after me ,and the pilot boat was hull down on the port bow,after a little while he instructed the second mate to "slow her Down a bit' the second rang for half ahead on the telegraph and the engine room answered, but nothing happened, the throb of the engine remained the same thru the duck board under my feet, so the second mate rang down again this time for slow, again the engineroom answered, and again nothing changed, the old man let out a squawk like a startled chicken ,and swung the telegaph about six times and left it on stop, again the engineroom answered, but again nothing changed, by this time we were close about the pilot boat ,and I could see the cutter in the water close in waiting to run the pilot to our ladder , then the cutter turned tail and made a run back for the pilot boat ,to escape our wake I should imagine, they could see we were not going to stop and didn't want to chance a swamping, the mountains were looming very close up ahead, and I could see the cleft that I took to be the fiord we were to enter, I guess the old man was thinking the same thing, and knew he was running out of time, so he asked the second mate,"we got lots of water here?"yes said the second, then to me "hard a starboard bring her round 180 degrees" and again to the second mate "Phone that gang and find out what they are playing at" keep in mind we were still thundering along at full speed and both telegaphs were on stop, we were shipping quite a bit of the north sea on our after deck too as I recall ,coming round that fast(we had quite a lean on), I was just starting to ease the wheel, the pilot boat was just coming into view off the starboard bow when the second mate got off the phone to the engine room, "They can't stop her"he said ,well I won't repeat what the old man said, but I thought he was about to have a heart attack he was so red in the face, after saying so much without taking a breath, just then the engineroom side of the telegraph rang and the engine stopped, we now had the pilot boat off the starboard bow but were still making way, the old man said "put her full astern, I'll shake some sense into **** *******" well I swear I thought that ship was going to break in half, on the wheel I was jumping up and down ,and I was amidships , it must have been quite a ride back aft, and he kept her going astern untill we were dead stopped,I remember thinking when he said "put her full astern"what if they can't stop her again?I never did find out what the cause was ,as the engineers were very subdued after a meeting in the old mans day room the following morning, and the second mate was a very silent sort of a chap ,we payed off a week or so afterwards in the Tyne. the engine by the way was a Doxford and had not caused a minute of trouble(no breakdowns) the whole trip
 

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BP Tankers

I first went to sea on the British Mariner 9/12/66 to 23/5/67 as engine room boy. The engineers did not know what to do with me as the scheme was new.
Sailed on a couple of cargo boats & did not enjoy. Joined British Argosy 24/11/67 to 11/4/68 as JOER & was offered a BP contract.Joined British Kiwi 8/5/68 to 26/6/68 again JOER. Joined British Hussar 14/8/68 to 17/2/69. Promoted SOER. Joined British Poplar 30/5/69 to16/7/69. Having married in May 1969 I decided to leave the sea.
 

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BP Mug

Just noticed Arfurbuck's mug insignia. I still have mine. Anybody else kept their ironstone mug with houseflag?
 

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Does anyone have any details of the incident in 1964 when M.V. 'British Envoy' ran onto the Avocet Rock, at the Southern end of the Red Sea, whilst outward-bound? I heard she sustained serious bottom damage and had to go back to a drydock (Genoa) for repairs. I believe the rock is named after a ship that struck it in the late part of the 19th century.
 

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British Tankers

Hi Graham.
This may be of interest to you and your B.P. file.
I wasnt in the engine department,but catering,
but I thought that Id add my two pennyworth
anyway.Ships I served on during the 1950s were :-

British Pioneer (later the Clyde Pioneer)
British Resource
British Envoy (later the Clyde Envoy)
British Duke
British Hero.

Apart from the "Duke" they were not bad ships.

All the Best

Dave Williams(R583900)
 

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Yup, But do not have the nerve to use it.

Graham
Go on, don't be shy. You can always have the flag engraved on the mug when it finally washes off. I did. Its a real conversation stopper when you use it amongst land lubbers. They just don't know what to believe when you relate your experiences at sea. Real gullible.

Mind you, that 1/2 pint of coffee tends to have me running for the Khazi sooner rather than later.

Art
 

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BP mug

I use mine regularly. Been through dishwasher God knows how many times. Houseflag still as it was. Had to hang on to it when they introduced those horrible melamine ones. Also, untill I found the site, it was a reminder of my youth.

Minto
 

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PO Ratings GP Crews

I first went to sea on the British Mariner 9/12/66 to 23/5/67 as engine room boy. The engineers did not know what to do with me as the scheme was new.
Sailed on a couple of cargo boats & did not enjoy. Joined British Argosy 24/11/67 to 11/4/68 as JOER & was offered a BP contract.Joined British Kiwi 8/5/68 to 26/6/68 again JOER. Joined British Hussar 14/8/68 to 17/2/69. Promoted SOER. Joined British Poplar 30/5/69 to16/7/69. Having married in May 1969 I decided to leave the sea.
About this time on White crew and Indian/Parkistan crews BP employed GP Notation. The hiriechy of the engine room was still the Eng cadet through J/E To your tickets and C/E.
With the GP Crew the rating of greaser and fireman, and storekeeper were abolished (But the Donkeyman was kept), and the replacement ratings were JOER and SOER? The Seor was a PO, and lived and messed in the PO's cross alleyway. These ratings were employed basically to take over some of the maintenance duties of the J/E on daywork routines, and help the C/E and pumpman(Who was a PO). The new rating and their personal aspirations had not been thought out as they could not transfer to the Engineer stream career, for reasons of ?Educational qualifications/technical experience of an authorised apprenticeship or other reasons I am not sure about. On White crew life was difficult with this arrangement: But with a Karachi or Bombay crew the PO Fitters as employed with a GP crew on daywork or sometimes watches?) were outcasts both to their native crew members( By social standing/religion/caste, and they did not come under the Sharang's domain?) and the white officers, and all though they were very able persons, they again could not progress to the ranks of engineer, and they felt personally very agrevied, and voyages could be very fraught with the problems of human relationships.
I am not aware for how long these arrangements lasted but were in operation certainly in the late 60's and early 70's.
Maybe some of you who have sailed foreign flag have resolved some of these issues in other ways?
 

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Graham, your site is great and i have been visiting it for a number of years, even before you moved out west. I have a number of names of X BP apprentices thet were in my intake, keep in touch with2 and they do not appear on your list, if you want I can send details for your database.

John
 

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Trident turning gear

I was on the Trident when the turning-gear incident happened. I remember the Chief asking me to test the motor to see if we could still use it, he was joking of course.(Jester)
 

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Re the ringing of telegraphs, can anyone remember the BP manned tugs up in the Gulf? I believe a double ring on the telegraph meant two cold beers required urgently on the bridge!! I can remember the chimney midship tankers up there when I was on BI's Dara
Ern Barrett
 

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engine room boy(minto)

Hi minto i was also an erb from 74-75 then joer 75-75 then soer same year then in 76 all changed to gp manning,gp1 76-79,po from 79-84, then transfare offshore thru bp to safe felicia,later to be renamed port regency from 84-95 as mech tech,went to sea with all 11 other erbs together !! can you imagine the mayhem when the crew saw us lot coming aboard!! they also didnt know what to do with us or make of us! had some issues with old timers who believed we were there to take their jobs(especially firemen when we had to do boiler watch) but in general had a great time,we had a professional 3/e who trained us in the main.
 

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Did one voyage with BP as 2nd Mate on British Venture in 74.
Never had such a miserable time in all my days at sea.
Up and down the gulf round and round the Cape, never set foot on dry land for 5 months except to read the draft.

Hi Chris,
I think it was 73 not 74 - I was Junior Engineer whilst you were there. Agreed not the best of ships from an engineer's viewpoint and gulf runs were a bit monotonous. However, with lots of wives on board (including yours and mine, and unusual for the time) we had some good times, and towards the end of my trip we had a few Meddy ports which improved things. Good to see we're both still around. Cheers - Bill Neale.
 

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John,
CPP stands for Controllable Pitch Propellers. What I'm on at the moment is twin screw, both medium speed diesels whirling round at a constant 500 rpm (or thereabouts). To alter speed/direction a hydraulic pump alters the pitch of the blades to suit your requirements.
Sailing with Foreland Shipping at the mo, a consortium of Bibbys/Andrew Weirs/Houlders/James Fishers, which run 6 ships for the MoD Strategic Sealift people. All interesting stuff carting the army around carrying Container/General and Ro-Ro cargo. London registered ships with all British crews, as due to the nature of the work the posts are 'reserved'. Bit different from a tanker!

Steve,
Now you mention it I do recall the scoop. I think the R class had them (steamers) and also the S class, which although diesels, had two massive boilers for the auxiliaries etc. Bit of an odd set up it has to be said.
In the late sixties and early seventies, steam turbines were driven by the boiler and the exhaust gas from the engine.
Speeds of less than 80 rpm would lead to a reduction in steam thus causing the steam driven alternator to fail, but deckies wouldn't understand these technicalities.
 

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In the late sixties and early seventies, steam turbines were driven by the boiler and the exhaust gas from the engine.
Speeds of less than 80 rpm would lead to a reduction in steam thus causing the steam driven alternator to fail, but deckies wouldn't understand these technicalities.
macca57,
As far as I can remember the 'S' class of the early 80's (which I was referring to) didn't use any exhaust gas from the M/E for the T/A's. It was mainly a crap design/build which caused all the problems.
 

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" In the late sixties and early seventies, steam turbines were driven by the boiler and the exhaust gas from the engine. Speeds of less than 80 rpm would lead to a reduction in steam thus causing the steam driven alternator to fail, but deckies wouldn't understand these technicalities "

Did you mean to say " ...... early seventies, steam alternators were ....." rather than " ..... early seventies, steam turbines were ....." ?

Not familiar with the design you describe, i.e. T/A sets supplied by either steam from boilers or exhaust gas from main engine, and would have thought that the problem you describe would be averted by limiting T/A supply to steam only if the main engine was liable to reduce output and therefore gas supply to T/A.

Think you are getting a little confused, Macca 57, something not quite right or missing in your message, doesn't hang together for me ..... :)
 
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