well yes, before i burn myself out. I'm new to this kind of thing, i was in the merchant navy1964/5-1969/70,years get hazy as you get older. so i was only in for 5 years but they were very important and in the main very enjoyable years, i've been going through the companies that i worked for in the hope that i may perhaps find someone who i once knew. i can't find a heading for united baltic corp. and i don't know how to add a new one no doubt i'll find out one day........and then i'll have more to post........did you work for houlder bros? least i think that is the page that has been replied to........... i've been chatting that long that i've forgotten! nice to talk to you and............thanks for the reply.
All the help you need here if you have problems finding your way around....just shout if you need to know anything, post names in Crew Members if you are looking for old shipmates......never know who will crawl out the woodwork here.
Hello, I sailed in the ore carrier JOYA MCCANCE in early 1962, my second ship and very comfortable compared with the old RHODESIA STAR which I had just come off. Horrible run though, Conakry and Pepel and one trip to Seven Islands, Canada. Dense fog most of the time with whistle blowing every few minutes. Docked early in the morning and loaded 15,000 long tons of iron ore and were back to sea again within two hours! Great captain & ship's company, Captain H.R. Neil and Chief Engineer L Parr who I met years later when he was on a Palm Line ship in Las Palmas and I was on WINDSOR CASTLE. Happy days.
Welcome to the party, I was on the Rippingham Grange in 1959, what a trip the captain was Faulkener, it was a good trip overall went to N.Z. paid off in London Victoria Docks, mostly Geordie crowd, with a few scousers thrown in, yes good trip, cheers Bill
I was on the Clutha River in around 1964 as a deck apprentice. I seem to remember that murky was the correct word. I recall a VERY long voyage of about 12 months before we finally made it home.
All the best
I am almost sure from what you say that we must have been on the Joya McCance at the same time. Possibily the same trip !! It was also my first trip as a deck apprentice. I remember Conakry well. The captain was Len Owen I seem to recall...he was a very hard man, but I later became great friends with him.He won the football, pools in a big way after he retired. The Joya McCance was not built well, and had a very weak bow section which always caused great concern in heavy weather. The centre of gravity was very low when fully loaded and the rolling action was like that of a ruler in a vice being pulled back as far as possible and then let go. Do you have any more memories ?
All the best
I sent you a thread about the Joya McCance, but forgot to mention, but I think the first mate was Mr. Milligan from Sunderland. He was pretty hard, but a fine man when you got to know him. He believed in putting deck apprentices with the bosun ( who was a ghastly man...just like a pirate ) to learn the ropes. In retrospect it was the best teaching I ever had in seamanship. I wonder if you recall any of these people ?
Thank you Tonga, this is a very civilised and caring society you have here, unlike "out there". My sisters have not been "up in the attic" for me yet, when they do there may be some Houlder pics to come.
Dad worked for Houlders through ww2 up to the early '60's. He did Buenos Aires regularly and definately worked on the Clutha River, Oswestry Grange, Westbury - was there a Ledbury as well?
It seemed to be a very prosperous and exciting era for English shipping, but on e where i do remember there was a great deal of industrial unrest in the docks, that caused all sorts of problems.
I’m glad that bits of information are coming through for you. There was indeed a LEDBURY, she was the re-named Alpha Vaal and bought in 1948, after the AYLESBURY had been sold by the Alexander Shipping Company Ltd. The Ledbury would have been relatively elderly in 1962 and coming towards the end of her commercial life, but Oswestry Grange was the third ship of that name, a Doxford of 13,390 deadweight and relatively modern – She was built in 1952 and I remember seeing her in Buenos Aires in 1966, she was sold to Greeks in 1971, re-named Dinos and broken up in 1978
I now have a picture of this ship, I'm not sure but maybe I got it from this web-site, I did the ship a dis-service by referring to her as 'murky', she is in fact a very attractive ship, perhaps up there as the most attractive that I sailed on.
With it being my first ship, and having to learn all about going to sea, learning to walk again and everything else, must had played a big part in my forming the opinion that I did.
Somebody mentioned the Holmbury in there somewhere. Would that have been with Capt. Wells? Was with him on the Imperial Transport. Also the Ledbury - I later ran across her 2/0 -Barrett-who had been on her 17years!! He left and got a job with British Rail in Harwich where he finished his time. Oddly, he was an uncle of another ex.Houlders man-Dave Horn, who also wound up at Harwich. In fact, come to think of it, there were quite a few Houlders chaps in Harwich at one time.
The Joya McCance - can't find my discharge book at present but I was 3/0 on her with Capt. Neil. Must have been about the time some of you guys are referring to but alas, my memory for names is not what it was. Had been with Neil some years previously as an apprentice on the Oreosa. This site sure brings back memories.
I did my first trip on the Clutha River in 1955. As 17 year old, I travelled from Doncaster to Falmouth, via overnight train from Paddington. Never been to London before. Was waiting for a tube to Paddington, and let about six trains go through, and a porter told me I was on the circle line, and the train didn't display destinations. At Falmouth, The next morning at the Shipping Federation, I got in the wrong queue, and nearly signed on the 'British Oak'. What a start to a career. The Clutha River, as I remember her was a fantastic first trip, with a crew from all over the British Isles. Single cabins for everyone. She was chartered to Shell. First port of call was Curacao. After about three months in the Carabbean, and on the east coast of the States, we sailed for Rotterdam. During this crossing we had engine problems, and had to stop for periods for the engine to cool down. Word had it that they had been using the wrong lubrication oil and the engine was overheating. We all paid off in Rotterdam. I don't think I sailed with a better crew.
She was just 3 years old when you joined her: Clutha River - built 1952, sold in 1966 and re-named Aries III and scrapped in 1970. - It was good to hear your comment that "I don't think I sailed with a better crew" (Applause)
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