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Did the engineers in Brocklebank's dine in their own mess room or in the saloon? It would appear that in a number of well known British Companys engineers were not exactly welcome in the saloon?
 

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Engineer's Mess

Brocklebank ships (at least the "black four") had a small "Duty Mess" for the engineers, however it was stopped from being used in the mid 1960's. From then on all meals had to be taken in the main saloon.
I do not know the exact reason for stopping the duty mess which was very useful for the watchkeepers - the 4 to 8 watch and their 8 to 12 reliefs in particular. Meals could be taken without the need to change into uniform for the saloon. I have to say that there was some abuse of the Duty Mess either by 12 to 4 watchkeepers who had spent a couple of hours after watch " relaxing" and by day work electricians. As sometimes happened Engineers were their own worst enemies playing into the hands of those who wanted to bring them down to size.
 

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Engineers mess

Trinders had engineers messes. In port for smoko, at sea for seconds evening watch meals. No others.
Jim B (Hippy)
 

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J Boyde said:
Trinders had engineers messes. In port for smoko, at sea for seconds evening watch meals. No others.
Jim B (Hippy)
All the Brocklebank ships I was on had an engineers mess, and was only to be used by watchkeepers, the relieved watch went down again to do a 1/2 hour meal relief, all rest, including dayworkers had to dress ad use saloon.
Most chiefs I sailed with made a point of ensuring that the rule was observed, they said "it took us long enough to be allowed in the saloon!"
I am not sure when the practice was stopped as Jim notes, the GA plan of the last Brocklebank ships Maihar and Mahsud built in Sweden in 1968 does not indicate a mess, but has an "engineers pantry" next to the enginers office and washroom inboard adjacent to the engineers accommodation which is opposite outboard. So possibly was used for meals.
 

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Certainly up to the mid 70s the Duty Mess was still in use in Brocks, but the rules
regarding it's use varied from ship to ship (or rather Capt/Ch.Eng to Capt/Ch.Eng).

One notable exception from eating in the officer's messroom was the Sparkie (when sailing single handed), who was allowed meals delivered to the radio room when he was
on watch. This was during the days when his watch hours were dictated by GMT, not ship's time.

I'm going for lunch now...

malcolm
 

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Interestingly enough, the whole Duty Mess concept is making a comeback after many years.
In my mob (BP), every new ship now has a Duty Mess, which can be used by either Engineers or Deck Wallahs (i.e. when working Cargo). As well as that, most new ships have Male and Female (mostly used as a store!) Officers changing rooms.
Of course, if all the Engineers crowd in the Duty Mess at lunch/dinner (as does happen), things tend to get said by the Old Man/Chief etc along the lines of you're only allowed to use it if you're about to turn to/are on watch/just knocked off.
 

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Although not an engineer my memory is that on all the Brock's ships I sailed on until the late 60's had engineers mess rooms. The only ship I am not sure of is the new Mahsud. I have been mentally going through the alleyways and ticking off whose cabin was where etc and can't remember where the engineer's mess room was, if indeed there was one.

Malcolm is correct in that if the R/O was on watch then the steward would bring you a tray. I am struggling to remember whether it happened at all on Brock's ships but I know it happened on european crewed ships where if the R/O was on watch through lunch he had the option of a 7 beller with the 12-4 watchkeepers. It also happened on P&O ships even though they had Goanese crews.
 

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I’m blowed if I can remember the layout of the Maihar now. I am sure she had a mess room though. I have a feeling it was Starboard side forward in the engineers alleyway. Was it by the 2nd’s Cabin? Derek will put us right when he comes on.

I can remember having lunch delivered by the Indian Steward (whose name was Abdul, Honest!!!) to the radio room on the Markhor. It was 1974, I think, and we were light ship heading for Calcutta playing chase-me with some really nasty weather in the Bay of Bengal. I was in the middle of sending the weather report to Madras and so I put the tray in an open drawer and got myself settled in, hanging onto the handle on the front of the Atalanta main receiver, one foot wedged on the drawer thinking I had got everything sorted. We took an absolute belter, the curry took off, left the drawer and proceeded to self distruct all over the deck.

Oh happy days!

Rgds
 

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Stuart said:
I’m blowed if I can remember the layout of the Maihar now. I am sure she had a mess room though. I have a feeling it was Starboard side forward in the engineers alleyway. Was it by the 2nd’s Cabin? Derek will put us right when he comes on.

I can remember having lunch delivered by the Indian Steward (whose name was Abdul, Honest!!!) to the radio room on the Markhor. It was 1974, I think, and we were light ship heading for Calcutta playing chase-me with some really nasty weather in the Bay of Bengal. I was in the middle of sending the weather report to Madras and so I put the tray in an open drawer and got myself settled in, hanging onto the handle on the front of the Atalanta main receiver, one foot wedged on the drawer thinking I had got everything sorted. We took an absolute belter, the curry took off, left the drawer and proceeded to self distruct all over the deck.

Oh happy days!

Rgds
Thst ties up with the drawing I have of Maihar (2), the so called engineers pantry was on the bridge deck adjacent to the engineer accommodation but as was on a deck higher that the dining saloon and european galley it would seem unlikely to function as a mess, besides looks pretty small on the plan. There are no other spaces designated as eng. mess on the drawings. Maybye as the engineers spent their watch in an A/Cond. control room they did not get dirty or sweaty!
The mess room on Maihar (I) was inboard in the starboard open working alleyway amidships, witha skylight, between the eng. room door and wash room, more or less opp. the 4th engineers cabin.
 

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It was small. If I remember correctly in front of you as you stand at the door there was a small sink with a small fridge under, and a small rectangular table to the right that would seat a friendly six. that was it, apart from the UMS box on the bulkhead which went off regularly.

Rgds
 

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This was one of the most annoying aspects with Brocks I remember on most boats the 4-8 had a meal relief come down below in their uniform and the watch keeper had to change and use the saloon. On the Mahout the apprentices study was used for smoko but that got stopped as the bulkheads were getting messed up.To use the duty mess was an occasional luxury, I could never figure who made those crazy rules can anyone suggest a reason ?
 

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My recollection re Brocks "rules for use of engineer's mess" from the late 50's to mid 60's was that, whilst at sea, only the wtchkeeper/s used the mess for meals - reliefs had to use the saloon and then quickly change or take a chance. In port I think the mess was used by all for breakfast and lunch, but we had to eat quickly.

Bill Ogle
 

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Certainly no mess room on the Markhor 57/ 58.Despite a very hot and sweaty engine room,it was a matter of principle to shower and change into uniform for all meals. As I remember working on alltypes of ships in the fifties,mess rooms were only on diesel jobs,
because the lads got so filthy.(which is why I decided to sail only on steam ships!!).During my apprenticeship I worked mainly on Ellerman ships. Some of their
diesel ships were awful workhorses,e.g. 6 cyl Doxfords, with all steam auxilliaries!!!
Happy days??
 

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When I was with Brocks in the early 70's (Mathura & Matra), at sea only the watch keepers were allowed to eat in the mess room.
In port it was used at smoko.
 

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Duty mess was used for smoko and meals from time to time particularliy when in port doing units or boilers etc when it was really a waste of time getting showered up ; feeding ; and getting back into a boiler suit t etc .and going down the "Pit " again . The use varied from ship to ship and was dictated by the Old man and Chief Eng .
On Mahsud / Maihar it was on stbd side allyway inboard forward of the Chief Engs Office . It was used equally by the mates and engineers and it was designated Pantry but was always know as the duty mess. The fridge was stocked with sanwiches and cheese etc . for an evening snack .
On the older ships each officer had a sandwich box which was left in the cabin each evening by the steward with ones snack !!
By the time we went to eat them the sanwiches were dried up ! and curled up at the edges ( Oh for a fridge on those Vessels !)
 

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Engineers mess

I remember the engineers mess, as a deck cadet it was very handy during those long cargo watches, 6 on 6 off in the Red Sea and 12 on 12 off in Columbo and Calcutta. During the night watch, 2nd or 3rd mate would sent us to cook the bacon & eggs in the pantry then a good tuck in followed, very tasty at about 0200.

DerekT
 

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engineers mess

the nzsc's rakaia had an engineers mess, this was on the stb side at the top of the engine room where it led out to the deck .no five hatch.
it was used for smoko and meals when doing heavy repairs in port. as with most diesel engine rooms you soon became covered in black oil and carbon, so it would have been impractical to have gone topside to wash up for the saloon. the mess was a black pit! but very welcome. i used it to work out the indicator cards, at least it was cleaner than the engine room.
rivet.
 
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