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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone remember the old John Mackay? I had a number of very happy years aboard her as 4th and then 3rd mate under Captain William Harper - the best Master I ever had the pleasure of sailing with.

David
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for that.

There she is, the old girl. I'll put a couple more pictures in the gallery when I get a moment.

David
 

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I recall the John W MacKay laying up in Newport Mon mid 70s for repairs..Worked on her for Dry Dock. Thought the Old Man's name was Abbot? His sidekick was the Purser a Hebridean Lewis guy. They are probably both long ince passed..So to call them a pair of nutters should not cause any offence.
 

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good day davidrwarwick,sm.10th april 2008.18:17.#4.re:cableship john w mackay,found this very interesting post, great link.thank you for posting regards ben27
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Mactaf. The John W certainly went into dry-dock in Newport in the early 70's for a quick class survey because I was 3rd mate on her. The Master at that time was William Harper and the Purser was a Plymouth man called Greg or Greet, something like that. I left the ship in 71 or 72 and lost touch so it all may have changed by the time you met her.
Happy days they were.

David
 

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I was mate on the sailing barge David Gestetner (Ethel) when we were tide up alongside the Mayflower steps in Plymouth around 72. One lunchtime there was a bump alongside and on going up on deck saw a wooden lifeboat with what looked lie a bunch of pirates putting their oars away. They asked if the could tie up alongside for a while as they wanted to go for a drink. Eventually they came back and windmilled their way back across the harbor to the Cable ship John W Mackay which was on the buoys. She certainly was a very distinctive vessel and the crew I met seemed like a good lot. Next time I saw her I was on SB May and she was on the buoys off STC works at Greenwich.
 

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In the mid 1960's The John W Mackay was berthed in Millbay Dock Plymouth and requiring a 2nd or third Mate, I had been working ashore for a couple of years but considering returning to sea in order to obtain my Master's Certificate, the 'bad boy' idea was because the owners were not registered with the British Shipping Federation (Pool) for supply of seamen, and contravening their tight hold on this could make it difficult to return to a registered shipping company for further employment. I heeded the Federation superintendents advice and later returned to sea with Esso.
 

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It's true. She was known as a bad boy ship..Robin is correct..The owners weren't part of the BSF..Owners who were part of the BSF had tlo pay a levy based on tonnage until 1981. Even if they had only had Brit Officers & zero british ratings. Annual levy was the same. many decent guys on that ship & other non-federated..Some older guys used it as a stepping stone to get qualified. edh , etc. You must recall that virtually all deck ratings started by attending pre-sea school mid teens 15-16. It was hard to find a berth as an adult deck rating/entrant = DHU. While some " Bad Boys" were for there for rehabilitation = a few clean discharges = VG's to get back on the Pool. But that eccentric " Old Man " in 1975 would not have taken any crap from an Officer or Rating.
 

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my old mate dessie gooch was cook on her he must have joined that time when she dry docked in newport he certinately liked his sauce he was always on about being out in Fiji on her sadly he passed away about 8 years ago
 

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hi david, i was looking into the john w mc as my dad was a crew member for 12 years on and off. dads name was ian hunter he was onboard from 1964 onward,he always talked about his time on the ship and the good times he had. in 1995 i tried to find JW if she was still afloat so i could take him to see her but it was then that i found out she had been scrapped in 1944. was very glad to find this thread take care m8 ps mother just told me doc was bill the pill another guy called jonny cross if the names mean anything to you
 

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hi david, i was looking into the john w mc as my dad was a crew member for 12 years on and off. dads name was ian hunter he was onboard from 1964 onward,he always talked about his time on the ship and the good times he had. in 1995 i tried to find JW if she was still afloat so i could take him to see her but it was then that i found out she had been scrapped in 1944. was very glad to find this thread take care m8 ps mother just told me doc was bill the pill another guy called jonny cross if the names mean anything to you
Hi I sailed with Ian in 1975 and somewhere I have a photo of him and a couple of mates in Athens, I will try and find it and post it for you. I remember him with dark hair and a moustache . Nice man.
 

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My grandpa was Evan Shaw, Purser on the John W Mackay. I believe he died September 1934 and the family story was that he had a minor operation and died in surgery. I believe he was originally from Inverness but met my grandmother in Plymouth. I don’t know how long he served. Does anyone have any information? Thank you.
 

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Hi David, welcome aboard.
Have a wee look in the Gallery.
Search threads
http://www.miramarshipindex.org.nz/ship/show/70829
hi david, i was looking into the john w mc as my dad was a crew member for 12 years on and off. dads name was ian hunter he was onboard from 1964 onward,he always talked about his time on the ship and the good times he had. in 1995 i tried to find JW if she was still afloat so i could take him to see her but it was then that i found out she had been scrapped in 1944. was very glad to find this thread take care m8 ps mother just told me doc was bill the pill another guy called jonny cross if the names mean anything to you
687491
 
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