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When I finished at Radio College, we had all the Radio Companies come round touting their services, a few of us were taken aside and told hang on for a while.

I got a job direct employ with New Zealand Shipping co, better pay and supposedly conditions.

Stayed with NZSco, then P&O GCD came along, thump thump went the angry parent company and took over, condx changed, luckily I got my CONTRACT stated study leave and upgraded to a General, it all came to a head, and I told the guy at PnO to put the crappy old ship they wanted to send me away on, somewhere very rude.

Went freelance with the REOU for one trip, then joined UME freelance on British flag ships, pay up by 300% no Tax, hugely better conditions, it was the best thing I ever did.

Did trips with Houlders, Swedish owned Bulk carrier (plus bonus if you worked in port), a small UK chemical tanker (got 10% extra for it being chemicals, and did the Electricians job on overtime), various run jobs at 35 pounds a day. Spent 3 yrs working for them and earned enough to buy a house, so came ashore got married and went to GKA.

The Swedish BC was fantastic, as I was busy in port in the states, we self discharged cement and got paid a bonus to drive the rig, they had a technician come down on arrival and I just gave him a list of jobs/things to check and it was all done.

No more of that painful time with an Oceanspan, normally all synth, no crystals so you could go anywhere in the band, anything upto 2kw normally.

They wondered why people left and went freelance.

Did have to go upto the East Ham office for soime spares while freelance, they left me sat there like a turkey, eventually I got the hump and told them to get their act together, the RS saw me and tried to poach me to Marconi, told him if he could beat what I was on, then I might think about, he nearly choked.

Anyway there we are, now live in NZ and am active on the Amateur bands, work the UK regularly at night on 1.8CW. ...-.-
 

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Hi,
Does anyone know of a list of companies that employed their own ROs?
Were employment conditions any different from say Marconi"s?
Didn't Cunard get there ROs from IMR?
Were their any wireless companies other than Marconi that employed ROs.
I haven't heard much about Siemens Bros. What were they like? What lines did they provide ROs for?
Thanks
John
 

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Cable and Wireless did. I answered an ad but when I attended the interview I was too qualified! Me? Too qualified? Yes I had a 1st Class ticket but the other excuse was that they didn't think I would stay with them too long. I wonder why. Were the conditions on the cable layers so bad?
I joined C&W in 1971 with 1st Class and Radar. I was the first RO they'd taken on in 9 years! The basic pay was less than BP but much more taking into account numerous perks, which included a house or flat for your family at your base port, where you were based 2 to 3 years. (I believe our conditions were based on the diplomat service). We had only one layer, the other five being repair ships - quite old but spent much of the time in port, so it was mostly a 5-day 9 to 5 job. The perks largely ended when C&W sold the fleet to Global Marine in the late '80s, but the pay was by then better than most and I stayed as Subsea Engineer till 2002 when I took early retirement. They were good feeders too!
 

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Hi,
Does anyone know of a list of companies that employed their own ROs?
Were employment conditions any different from say Marconi"s?
Didn't Cunard get there ROs from IMR?
Were their any wireless companies other than Marconi that employed ROs.
I haven't heard much about Siemens Bros. What were they like? What lines did they provide ROs for?
Thanks
John
John, Cunard Line radio officers were direct employ through RES (Radio & Electronic Services) which were the radio division of Cunard Line, at least they were in 1977 when I was employed by them directly out of Riversdale College, Liverpool. When I left Cunard and moved to Los Angeles in 1985 my first job was with Radio Holland based in Long Beach, they provided repair and installation services but I believe the company supplied radio officers also.
 

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Fred Olsen had a UK flag offshoot with the Blenheim and a few bulk carriers. They employed R/O's directly and were a great company to work for.
 

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Discussion Starter #47
I joined C&W in 1971 with 1st Class and Radar. I was the first RO they'd taken on in 9 years! The basic pay was less than BP but much more taking into account numerous perks, which included a house or flat for your family at your base port, where you were based 2 to 3 years. (I believe our conditions were based on the diplomat service). We had only one layer, the other five being repair ships - quite old but spent much of the time in port, so it was mostly a 5-day 9 to 5 job. The perks largely ended when C&W sold the fleet to Global Marine in the late '80s, but the pay was by then better than most and I stayed as Subsea Engineer till 2002 when I took early retirement. They were good feeders too!
Thanks Dennis,
If C&W hadn't taken on ROs for 9 years in 1971 why on earth did they advertise in 1963? And knock back applicants. Memory a bit vague now but suspected then that there weren't too many applicants. I think I was the only the in the waiting room., But of course others could have come at other times.
I think I came across a sort of explanation that certain companies only wanted greenhorns to that they could train them to their standards! That could explain why C&W did'nt want 1st Class tickets. also they would have been right about me not staying long. I would have been bored stiff doing 9 to 5, five days a week in some remote port! It could have been nice and busy on the Mercury though. Was it H24?
 

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Hi,
Does anyone know of a list of companies that employed their own ROs?
Were employment conditions any different from say Marconi"s?
Didn't Cunard get there ROs from IMR?
Were their any wireless companies other than Marconi that employed ROs.
I haven't heard much about Siemens Bros. What were they like? What lines did they provide ROs for?
Thanks
John
Definitely P&O, Buries Markes and also Jebsons, where colleagues from Hull all joined as we left college in 76
 

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Discussion Starter #51
Hi all,
After a week of fantastic exchanges I have compiled the following list.
Anyone know of Glen Line and Ben Line? British India (P&O?) Shaw Savill? EDs? Palm Line.

Great work. Many hanks.
Radio companies
1​
Marconi
2​
Siemens (AEI)
3​
IMR
4​
Redifon?
5​
Kelvin Hughes
Shipping companies
1​
Baltic (UBC?)
2​
Bibby
3​
Blue Funnel
4​
Bowaters
5​
BP Tankers
6​
Brocklebank
7​
Buries Markes
8​
Cable and Wireless
9​
Clan Line
10​
Ellermans
11​
Fred Olsen
12​
Houlder Line
13​
Kuwait (United Arab) Shipping
14​
Larrinaga
15​
New Zealand Steamship
16​
P&O
17​
Paddy Henderson
18​
Reardon Smith
19​
Regent Tankers
20​
Safmarine
21​
Sanko
22​
Sealink
23​
Swedish Bulk
24​
Swire
25​
T&J Harrison
26​
Townsend Thorensen
27​
Union Castle
28​
Union Steamship NZ
 

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John
I sailed with the following as a Marconi R/O
T & J Harrisons
Larrinaga
Regent tankers
Ellerman Pappyani
Booth Line
Shaw Savill
Blue Star
Anchor line
Mobil Tankers
Shell Tankers
Globtik Tankers
Palm Line
Seatrain

Peter
 

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271 Posts
I sailed as Marconi R/O 65-71 with
Ellerman City Line
C. T. Bowring
Houlders
Stevenson Clark
Mobil UK
Shell UK
Shell treated me badly. Company Officers were rotated every six months - I had to do eight before relief.
 

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I sailed on the tanker Regent Falcon/GDRU for eight months in 1964/65 based in Trinidad when I was an R/O employed by Marconi, sailing mainly around the Caribbean and Central America.
 

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271 Posts
Cajef - was it managed by CT Bowring?
I sailed on the PROSPERO/GMYW, ex REGENT SPRINGBOK/GMYW.
 

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I honestly cannot remember, being a lowly Marconi sparks really the management of the company did not concern me, she was a good posting with excellent accommodation with a swimming pool on the aft deck, we also carried twelve company employees as passengers on the way out from UK one in the pilots cabin next to the radio room.
 

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Hi all,
After a week of fantastic exchanges I have compiled the following list.
Anyone know of Glen Line and Ben Line? British India (P&O?) Shaw Savill? EDs? Palm Line.

Great work. Many hanks.
Radio companies
1​
Marconi
2​
Siemens (AEI)
3​
IMR
4​
Redifon?
5​
Kelvin Hughes
Shipping companies
1​
Baltic (UBC?)
2​
Bibby
3​
Blue Funnel
4​
Bowaters
5​
BP Tankers
6​
Brocklebank
7​
Buries Markes
8​
Cable and Wireless
9​
Clan Line
10​
Ellermans
11​
Fred Olsen
12​
Houlder Line
13​
Kuwait (United Arab) Shipping
14​
Larrinaga
15​
New Zealand Steamship
16​
P&O
17​
Paddy Henderson
18​
Reardon Smith
19​
Regent Tankers
20​
Safmarine
21​
Sanko
22​
Sealink
23​
Swedish Bulk
24​
Swire
25​
T&J Harrison
26​
Townsend Thorensen
27​
Union Castle
28​
Union Steamship NZ
Glen Line was affiliated with Blue Funnel and when I was with them in 1957 to 1960 R/Os were sent to either. I sailed on the Glengyle coasting in November 1959. My old boss went from Blue Funnel Alcinous to Glen line Radnorshire,they had welsh names as well.
 

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I only did less than 5 years at sea. Only ever worked for IMR, who suited me down to the ground. They had the sort of ships and places to go that I wanted. I know likes and dislikes are very personal, but for me I never wanted tankers and never wanted to go up the Gulf, so IMR workd out very well.

In my time, i was an IMR R/O on the following companies.

Houlder Bros (Ore Carriers Ltd) x1
Anchor Line x2
Cunard x2
Blue Star x2
South American Saint Line x1
Nerdrum x1
Furness Withy x1 (think on charter from Johnson Warren)
Trader Navigation Co x1

Wonderful time, wonderful runs. Had I stayed, I would probably have gone freelance, but fate in the form of my wife intervened. Fortunately. Having been happily married for over 55 years, I often wonder how long I would have survived if I'd stayed at sea!!
 

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#
Hi all,
After a week of fantastic exchanges I have compiled the following list.
Anyone know of Glen Line and Ben Line? British India (P&O?) Shaw Savill? EDs? Palm Line.

Great work. Many hanks.
Radio companies
1​
Marconi
2​
Siemens (AEI)
3​
IMR
4​
Redifon?
5​
Kelvin Hughes
Shipping companies
1​
Baltic (UBC?)
2​
Bibby
3​
Blue Funnel
4​
Bowaters
5​
BP Tankers
6​
Brocklebank
7​
Buries Markes
8​
Cable and Wireless
9​
Clan Line
10​
Ellermans
11​
Fred Olsen
12​
Houlder Line
13​
Kuwait (United Arab) Shipping
14​
Larrinaga
15​
New Zealand Steamship
16​
P&O
17​
Paddy Henderson
18​
Reardon Smith
19​
Regent Tankers
20​
Safmarine
21​
Sanko
22​
Sealink
23​
Swedish Bulk
24​
Swire
25​
T&J Harrison
26​
Townsend Thorensen
27​
Union Castle
28​
Union Steamship NZ
CP Ships were direct employ
 

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John
I sailed with the following as a Marconi R/O
T & J Harrisons
Larrinaga
Regent tankers
Ellerman Pappyani
Booth Line
Shaw Savill
Blue Star
Anchor line
Mobil Tankers
Shell Tankers
Globtik Tankers
Palm Line
Seatrain

Peter
Forgot Jebsens UK had self employ as well as Kelvin Hughes. They may have used other companies too.
 
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