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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anybody recall two we had on Maihar.
One was tall with fair hair with a name like Espley or Esplen
The other we nicknamed Gad, not sure why.
 

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I remember Ray Espley very well. I met him when he was uncertificated 4th Officer on the Maidan in 1961, so he must have been on the older Maihar, 1918 vintage. I know Ray lives somewhere in the Manchester area. Could possibly get his address if interested.
Tony Greenwood
 

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Ray Espley was my best pal on HMS Worcester. He lived in Manchester at the time and his father was senior master in Manchester Liners. I stayed with him in the holidays and it was our "Treat" to have a ride up the MSC on his father's ship. It really was a treat for 15 year olds mad keen to go to sea.

I left Worcester before Ray and often wondered why he went into Brocklebanks. "Followed you there" he told me later!!! I met Ray in Calcutta a couple of times during our apprenticeship but lost touch after second mates.

I caught up with Ray again in 2000 at the "Worcester" millennium dinner and am now regularly in touch, indeed he came to stay with us last November and we went to Trafalgar Celebrations on HMS "Trincomalee".

Briefly Ray left Brocks, did some time in MacAndrews (though our paths never crossed), was a very young Master in Saguenay Shipping, was for a time in the administration side of Liverpool Pilotage. He then emigrated to Cananda and was for many years Nautical Advisor to a large Montreal law firm. I met him again in Canada on a whirlwind visit. He is now retired and has returned to UK and lives in Plymouth.

I attach a Pic taken in London MN Hotel in front of a model of "Masirah"_ Ray on the right and myself left. Very different to the tall fair haired lad we remembered!
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Tony C
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Brocklebank apprentices.

Sorry to be so vague, it was on the good ship Maihar (I) vooyage 94
23/5/57-2/12/57
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ray Espley

Time certainly flies!
I would have never recognised him, I did recall that his father was captain somewhere
Thanks for the memories.
PS which hotel is the model in?
Jim
 

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I was on the voyage before yours,I think I was the only deck apprentice on that voyage.I see from the records that you visited Massowah and Ceuta,where are they I don't recall?

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Brocklebank deck apps.

Massawa is in the Red Sea, the hottest, miserable, and most horrible port I ever was in, some of us spent most of the nights on deck and in and out of the fridge handling room!
Ceuta is in Morrocco just opp. Gib. we called there for bunkers.
 

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Massawa, one of the ports for Ethiopia. Went there as sprog on Mahout, early part of the year 1965. Paddy Jackson, master, remarked that Massawa was the hottest port - may well be true of the normal Brocklebank run. Even in March it was heating up quite nicely.
 

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Red Sea Ports

On my first East Africa trip on Ellerman's City of Lucknow we 'enjoyed' Port Sudan, Assab and Massawa without the benefits of air-con. In memory those ports all seem much of a muchness. At one of them I remember the mission had a swimming pool with water such a vivid shade of green that only the bravest would venture in; those that gave in to temptation in the horrible heat and did take a dip, suffered terrible earaches for weeks afterwards.

I remember the 'fuzz-wuzzy' wharfies arriving with their long spears and then turning-to to work cargo in their one-piece clothing (rather like a dusty gymslip with a shawl) and bare feet. The long wooden 'combs' sticking out of that mass of hair looked very incongruous when seen from above when they were working down the holds.

I remember one of them being treated by the mate after having a toenail torn off by some moving sling of sacks. Raw iodine was poured onto the bleeding mess and a bandage wound round it. Big smiles from the patient and back he went to work. Had it been me, I think it would have taken them a week to drag me down from the mast top.

They appeared to believe that winches had only two speed settings, stop and full speed. As a result a wire broke and snapped back, hitting one winchman on the head. The mass of hair didn't fully protect him (no hard hats for anyone on board in those days) and a four-inch gash was opened in his scalp. Same treatment, same bottle of iodine, same results - big smile and handshakes then back to work. No wonder General Gordon had a hard time supressing them.

We only did that one 'East Africa via Suez' run but I must say it wasn't one that I would have liked to have repeated.

Ron
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Deck apps.

On the trip mentioned on Maihar we did Massawa, Djibouti, and Assab.
The first two were much about much, stinking hot, Assab was better as the pier just stuck out from the shore and there was a good breeze blowing.
Djibouti had a swimming pool as mentioned, I think it was OK then. We called at Port Sudan homeward, loading dates etc, I recalll seeing the melted dates in burst bags squirting out between the toes of the "fuzzy wuzzies"
At Port Sudan a couple of passenger ships moored close by, and I will always remember the astonishment on thier faces when they watched us running along the boat deck and disappearing in the depths of the Maihar's swimming pool aft of the funnel. They did not expect to see a proper built in pool on a 1917 vintage tall funnelled ship!
 

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Roof Top Gardens

Any of you lot remember the Roof Top Gardens ??
Assab I think or may have been Massawa . Definitly a very hot port .
 

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ASSAB, Aaaaaaaahhhh the niff of the place! Jewel of the Red Sea, all previous descriptions are true but nobody has mentioned that the Fuzzy Wussies use Cow dung in their hair as a sort of fixant so that it never gets into their eyes.
A lady Passenger on the Staffordshire (1956) leaning over the rail watching the unloading activity remarked to her husband "Darling Dont these CHAPS smell awefull"--Dear, Dear,Me!

Cheers Peter
 

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Port Sudan & Djibouti

Peter, You may well be right about cow dung being used but the main ingredient was animal fat (lard) as a sort of brylcreem, as a consequence the first shift in the early morning was just mildly "pongy" but by 2 pm close encounters were definately something to avoid !!!!

Djibouti On the outskirts of the town was a large French Foreign Legion barracks, and the soldiers were often to be seen around town, very smart and extreemly fit, quite incongruous in such a dilapidated and scruffy place.
 

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It was indeed Massawa. On my first trip on Matra in 1964 I can well remember the Chippy in particular, but others were involved as well, in really getting me geared for a great night ashore in Massawa at the Roof Gardens to meet some "genuine" Ethiopian Princesses. This was my first real night ashore somewhere really "foreign". We had loaded in Rotterdam and passed through Suez but this was a proper run ashore. It would have been in March 1964 and it was stinking hot with the famed (?) Brocklebank air cooling system heating up the cabins nicely. I have no idea what the temperature was when a group of us went ashore but it was way hotter than anything I had ever experienced before and for that matter I hadn't experienced anything like the Roof Gardens either.
The end result of the night is not for publication on a family board but I have never forgotten the Roof Gardens.

A bit further down the Red Sea on the same trip we went ashore in Assab, which if you haven't been there is a truly appalling port, and I remember being amazed by some of the older hands telling me to take 4 bars of Brocklebank soap ashore for bargaining purposes with the local ladies. They were quite correct and I have never before or since heard of such a commodity being used for this purpose. You might just perhaps have understood had it been Lux but Brocklebank soap was virtually impossible to raise a lather with on board, so God Knows how they got on. :D
 
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