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Bilge Rat
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Hi guys, anyone got any info or pictures of the
"British Kiwi? BP Tankers
 

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mv British Kiwi

Billy,
The Kiwi was launched on 21.7.1959 & completed on 14.1.1960 by Smiths Dock Co., Middlesborough. In 1976 she was transferred to BP's oil development company & converted into a North Sea fire fighting & maintenance vessel & renamed Forties Kiwi. In 1982 she was renamed Coltair. In 1986 she was sold to the Waterloo Shipping Co. of Malta & renamed Kitty. She was laid up on the Blackwater for a couple of years before going for scrap in April 1989. All this information was gleaned from Norman Middlemiss's book The British Tankers.
For your info, a sister ship of the Kiwi, the British Trust, was originally scheduled to be named as the British Kiwi. This ship was going to be launched by Dame Patti Menzies, the wife of the then New Zealand Prime Minister. I believe that the powers that be in Head Office at that time thought that the name Kiwi may be a little disrespectful to Dame Patti (this was 1959!) so the rather innocuous name of Trust was substituted. I served 6 months on the Trust as 3/0 (1964). She was the only vessel of her class not to be named after a bird.
 

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...thanks, John, always wondered about that oddity!! Thought somebody had got pissed before the launching and couldn't pronounce 'Thrush' proper-like!! Sailed on two of those 'Birdies' and loved every minute. Great curry ships (Thumb)
 

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Bilge Rat
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Gentlemen, I am so impressed with this responce, thank you all, thank you Ruud for the website, great pictures once again. my friend will be so pleased with the result of this inquiry. bet he joins the site soon!!. God bless you all.
 

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paul0510 said:
...thanks, John, always wondered about that oddity!! Thought somebody had got pissed before the launching and couldn't pronounce 'Thrush' proper-like!! Sailed on two of those 'Birdies' and loved every minute. Great curry ships (Thumb)
Paul,
I was lucky enough to do 2 birds as well. The Gannet was my other one as first trip uncertificated 3/0. Very comfortable, modern ships for their time. Unfortunately, on both of them, I only had coastal trips, Sweden, Denmark, etc.,in & out of Grangemouth usually, which, as I'm sure you are aware, was hard grind, especially in winter.
Kind regards,
John Firmin.
 

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John_F said:
Paul,
I was lucky enough to do 2 birds as well. The Gannet was my other one as first trip uncertificated 3/0. Very comfortable, modern ships for their time. Unfortunately, on both of them, I only had coastal trips, Sweden, Denmark, etc.,in & out of Grangemouth usually, which, as I'm sure you are aware, was hard grind, especially in winter.
Kind regards,
John Firmin.
Had that pleasure on the old Patrol & Hero but places like Aarhus,the Nyhaven,Kjopsvik etc. made it all worth while!!
 

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John,
Dame Patti Menzies would have been the wife of the then Australian Prime Minister, not New Zealand, which may explain the change from "British Kiwi"!
 

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Dave Edge said:
John,
Dame Patti Menzies would have been the wife of the then Australian Prime Minister, not New Zealand, which may explain the change from "British Kiwi"!
You're absolutely right Dave - is my face red! Dame Patti was the wife of Sir Robert Menzies, the Australian PM, hence the name change. Hope I haven't upset too many of our Antipodean members.
Kind regards,
John.
 

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Billy, Hi there, was on Forties Kiwi 1976 till 1977, crew did 2 weeks on, 2 weeks off. First trip joined in Dundee just in time for a big re-launch party, was an A/s at the time. Remember the head of catering being carried down the gangway, blind drunk, and flashing everyone by lifting his kilt!!! Went up to Aberdeen on sea trials, then off to Forties field to commence duties as fire-fighting, accomodation ship.
 

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mv British Kiwi

A bit late to this thread but I am a new boy joined today...I was with BP for 2 years in 1971 +2 as a Navigating Cadet. The British Kiwi was my first ship which i joined in Aden ...we did 6 months around Africa, Indian Ocean and South China Sea. On that first ship ...we sailed 90 miles up the Congo to "Ango Ango" - remember that place ?....we turned around in a "whirlpool" in the Congo River to go back to the Coast after discharging.
On that first trip 4 Captains dies - I joined with a first trip Captain who was dead 6 weeks later from Yellow Fever. We also went through 2 Tidal Waves in Typhoon Kit in the South China Sea...bent the front derricks back to the Bridge and we blew one of the boilers as water went down the funnel.we were towed into Yokohama about 2 weeks later.
My memories of that ship are like a "Boys Own Adventure" - people never believed half the stories but they were all true and more....
Hope to be able to talk to anyone who was in BP and sailed with me on the various ships...
regs, Barry
 

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A bit late to this thread but I am a new boy joined today...I was with BP for 2 years in 1971 +2 as a Navigating Cadet. The British Kiwi was my first ship which i joined in Aden ...we did 6 months around Africa, Indian Ocean and South China Sea. On that first ship ...we sailed 90 miles up the Congo to "Ango Ango" - remember that place ?....we turned around in a "whirlpool" in the Congo River to go back to the Coast after discharging.
On that first trip 4 Captains dies - I joined with a first trip Captain who was dead 6 weeks later from Yellow Fever. We also went through 2 Tidal Waves in Typhoon Kit in the South China Sea...bent the front derricks back to the Bridge and we blew one of the boilers as water went down the funnel.we were towed into Yokohama about 2 weeks later.
My memories of that ship are like a "Boys Own Adventure" - people never believed half the stories but they were all true and more....
Hope to be able to talk to anyone who was in BP and sailed with me on the various ships...
regs, Barry
Hi Barry,
I had heard that tale about the Kiwi before, having her samson posts bent back by a tidal wave & I think it may have been someone on this site. You certainly had a baptism of fire - is that why you left BP?
As you may be aware, the Kiwi went on to become an oilrig support vessel in the North Sea & was renamed Forties Kiwi. There is a photo of her here in her new guise:
http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=139182
Do you have any photos of the Kiwi after her exploits with tidal waves? Would love to see any you have, before or after - you'll find that there are one or two Bird boat fanciers on this site!
Kind regards,
John
 

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I also have many tales of the Kiwi as first trip J/E 1970/71 Indian fitter was my mentor in Engine Room first port watch in L.M. when I opened the aft peak rundown valve to double bottoms, overflowed into bilges whereby I pumped out and flooded cofferdam and dropped 100 tons into the L.M.harbour spent 6 hours on 6 off to Melbourne watching Weirs Vertical evaporator making water,my oppo junior was not impressed as he got the other 6 hours on/off watch
 

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Greetings Bobmur and a warm welcome to SN on your first posting. Enjoy the site and the banter that goes with it. Bon voyage.
 

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...thanks, John, always wondered about that oddity!! Thought somebody had got pissed before the launching and couldn't pronounce 'Thrush' proper-like!! Sailed on two of those 'Birdies' and loved every minute. Great curry ships (Thumb)
Was there not one of the tree class which was actually an 'Ity' or maybe the other way round. Possibly the British Maple
 

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Bilge Rat
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Discussion Starter #16
Anyone aboard who sailed on the Kiwis maiden voyage to Sydney? if so do they remember Bob (robert) Taylor the galley boy.
 

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Billy,
The Kiwi was launched on 21.7.1959 & completed on 14.1.1960 by Smiths Dock Co., Middlesborough. In 1976 she was transferred to BP's oil development company & converted into a North Sea fire fighting & maintenance vessel & renamed Forties Kiwi. In 1982 she was renamed Coltair. In 1986 she was sold to the Waterloo Shipping Co. of Malta & renamed Kitty. She was laid up on the Blackwater for a couple of years before going for scrap in April 1989. All this information was gleaned from Norman Middlemiss's book The British Tankers.
For your info, a sister ship of the Kiwi, the British Trust, was originally scheduled to be named as the British Kiwi. This ship was going to be launched by Dame Patti Menzies, the wife of the then New Zealand Prime Minister. I believe that the powers that be in Head Office at that time thought that the name Kiwi may be a little disrespectful to Dame Patti (this was 1959!) so the rather innocuous name of Trust was substituted. I served 6 months on the Trust as 3/0 (1964). She was the only vessel of her class not to be named after a bird.
BRITISH TRUST was laid down as the BRITISH THRUSH .A little bird tells me that it was the connations of the word that led to the change(nudge,nudge wink,wink)(?HUH)
 

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trust

i did a 6 month trip on trust joined in gulf paid of freemantle on time in my seagoing career didnt want leave a ship as it was going to new zealand i also served on forties kiwi
 
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