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If you look on Gallery. "Fort Capot River" looks like sister ship
Fort Capot River, built by N Vancouver Ship Repairs (I think it was "Repairs"). She was renamed Haligonian Duke--Canadian Flag, British crew and therein lay a problem with the Australian unions. The cargo we took to Melbourne was coal, imported because the miners were on strike. All good stuff, we lay at Victoria Dock for five months. In the end, the RAN discharged us, swinging the cargo grabs around until there was not an undamaged ventilator in sight! The crew got Canadiuan pay, in the end, but not before a lot of them had been carted off to gaol. They were replaced by others who had, probably jumped previous ships. Soon afterwards she was renamed Notting Hill. I served all my time on that one ship, the last nine months being the best months I spent as an apprentice.

She sank after a collision off the Spanish coast, after having been sold to another owner.
 

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I was interested to read your CV. I served on the London Banker from 1951 to 1953, as 3rd and 2nd Mate, leaving her on the London river in July 1953, to sit for my 1st Mates ticket. The Master at that time was Captain Newton, but he was being relieved by Captain W.D. McKenzie, who appeared to be the permanent Master of that ship. I recall the ship had a big hole in the bow, suitably patched with concrete and a steel plate welded around the hole, sustained in Dijoubti, whilst on our way out to Indo China. I understood that she had been sold to Purvis shipping of Newcastle and was to be renamed Avisbank?
Geoff Baskerville
I joined Counties as Apprentice on Notting Hill 5/10/53.Master was Capt Newton Master
 

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Hi, I'm keen to learn absolutely anything about the Woldingham Hill. Five years ago I made a presentation to the local history society about Woldingham's connections with the sea. I had found three ships including the Woldingham Hill. So I have the general idea and some photos but not really any details eg of routes she sailed, her personnel, etc. I'd be glad to hear from you!
 

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I was, also, 3rd mate of Woldingham Hill. I think I joined in '53. I remember that I was in an Avonmouth hotel, waiting for her, when Stalin died.
Robson was Master.

The voyages were, loading in Antwerp, final discharge in Saigon, with various ports in between, on a Messageries Maratimes charter. Then, across the Pacific to Vancouver, loading grain and a deck cargo of timber to Manchester.

2nd voyage, Antwerp to Saigon again, Vancouver and same cargo again but, this time, Capetown, Durban, Beira. Thence, in ballast to Takaradi loading ore for Liverpool.

Then I paid off and went up for Mate's Cert.. If you want exact dates I'll have to fish out my discharge book.

I consider myself very fortunate. The ports were great and I got just the right sea time in for Mate's exam. I was not so fortunate on Notting Hill. 22 months, one voyage, most of it spent on the Indian Coast coal run ie. Calcutta to Colombo. Such was the nature of life in Counties, tipical trampship stuff.
 

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I was offered the mates job on the Denmark Hill when registering unestablished on the pool at Liverpool. The ink wasn't quite dry on my mates certificate.
The story I was given by the guy behind the desk was the ship was taking a full load of scrap out to Japan and the ship was then to be scrapped there too. When I asked if it was a run agreement and was informed no two year articles, I declined the offer much to his disappointment.
 

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Hi Bruce, well you were a bit later than me (1953-1958), the 2 ships I sailed in were a Doxford economy (London Banker ex Tower Hill) and the Akti Hill, ex Fort La Cloche. Maybe by your time they had modernised...had they? I well remember that the Akti Hill was badly corroded, my fellow apprentice and I spent many hours using a windy hammer on tne hatch coamings, the decks and the tween deck. Thats why my hands shake now.......well thats my excuse!
Dave 437
rum maybe
 

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Did you ever come across a Captain Peter W. James, he was Master of the Beech Hill when she was on the Australian coast??
Geoff Baskerville
Was sparks on City of Agra for a few months in 1964. We were in Arkangel for a good few weeks.
I think I remember you as the lad from Brighton Hove.
I was given advice on that ship from the 2nd mate. He advised me to join up the college of the Sea
and get some ambition. Well I took his advice and got a place at University. My last job was as a physics teacher.
Strange about Arkangel. My wife is Russian!

Cheers
Tom
 
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