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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone found this in some old papers I had.

The Tiffies Lament, Burning Oil Fuel

Set the burners open wide,
Do not touch the valves at side,
Keepthe pressue on the pump
And up the bally steam will jump
If the smoke is black and thick
Open up the fans a bit
To slow the fans will be quite right.
For when suffient air is given
No smoke ascentith up to heaven
If the jets refuse to squirt
Assume the cause is due to dirt
Should the flames be short and bright
You have combustion clear and bright
But should the flame be yellow and long
Combustion is entirely wrong
Awise man to his heater sees
And keeps it at 200 degrees
To have more is not quite wise
Because the oil might carbonise
A little lowre has been found
To give a good result all round
If the filters are kept clean
No rise in pressure will be seen
But if the pumps kick up a ruction
There's likely air with in the suction
The pressure governs the supply
So do not keep it very high
If these instrutions you will follow
You'll beat the germans hollow.

As you see this was probably for the RN but the advce applies to all.

Gingerbeer​
 

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There used to be a poem in the saloon on a P&O cape runner which described how the Lord had sent forth the Marine Engineer to save the gormless deckie from the ills of expensive sail cloth. I can't remember it now but I remember one of them had scrawled in pencil beneath it, "Aye and if sails were cheaper you'd all be out a job!" Which one of us eloquently penned below in retort, "Aye and if dogs could pass the lantern test so would you!!"
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Here is another one I found on the MNA website and was sent in by David C. Gillon and I hope that he does not object to me sending it to the forum.

It is titled Third Engineer (deceased

When the last crank and crossheads been tightened
and the third engineer's laid to rest
with his tools all rusty and broken
divide what you think are the best.

No rods to swing,no gears to string
no bottom ends to tighten
no glands to pack, no nuts to slack
no fireman to frighten.

No valves to grind no checks to mind
no thrust to cause him worry
no laeds to fine no guides to line
no chief to make him hurry.

No forced draft no tailend shaft
no middle watch to keep
no crank bilge pump no cranks that thump
and keep him from his sleep.

The bilges there are always dry
there's no hard brass to strip
no gauge glass bursts where he is now
he's signed for his last trip

There's no evaporator there
no joint tha won't stop tight
no winch or windlass to repair
and no electric light.

No red hot cranks or junior pranks
will there the Third annoy
for robed in white a shining light
he is someone's fair-haired boy.

Where he now rests naught will annoy
holding true to the old believe
that heaven's reserved for the juniors joy
and hell set aside for the chief.

gingerbeer
 

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Here is another one I found on the MNA website and was sent in by David C. Gillon and I hope that he does not object to me sending it to the forum.

It is titled Third Engineer (deceased

When the last crank and crossheads been tightened
and the third engineer's laid to rest
with his tools all rusty and broken
divide what you think are the best.

No rods to swing,no gears to string
no bottom ends to tighten
no glands to pack, no nuts to slack
no fireman to frighten.

No valves to grind no checks to mind
no thrust to cause him worry
no laeds to fine no guides to line
no chief to make him hurry.

No forced draft no tailend shaft
no middle watch to keep
no crank bilge pump no cranks that thump
and keep him from his sleep.

The bilges there are always dry
there's no hard brass to strip
no gauge glass bursts where he is now
he's signed for his last trip

There's no evaporator there
no joint tha won't stop tight
no winch or windlass to repair
and no electric light.

No red hot cranks or junior pranks
will there the Third annoy
for robed in white a shining light
he is someone's fair-haired boy.

Where he now rests naught will annoy
holding true to the old believe
that heaven's reserved for the juniors joy
and hell set aside for the chief.

gingerbeer
A Requiem for a VTE, VCE, VQE Engineer of old(Thumb)
 

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An old piece, I suspect WWII vintage, and because of the forced meter sometimes I'd also bet a group effort. I like it, and post it in various places on Veteran's Day (US).



Snipes Lament (or) The Men Who Sail Below

Now each of us from time to time, has gazed upon the sea.
And watched the warships pulling out, to keep this country free.
And most of us have read a book, or heard a lusty tale.
About the men who sail these ships, through lightening, wind and hail.

But there's a place within each ship, that legend fails to reach.
It's down below the waterline, it takes a living toll-
A hot metal living hell, that sailors call the "HOLE".

It houses engines run by steam, that make the shafts go 'round.
A place of fire and noise and heat, that beats your spirits down.
Where boilers like a hellish heart, with blood of angry steam
Are of molded gods without remorse, are nightmares in a dream.

Whose threat that from the first roar, is life living doubt,
That any minute would with scorn, escape and crush you out.
Where turbines scream like tortured souls, alone and lost in hell,
As ordered from above somewhere, they answer every bell.

The men who keep the fires lit, and make the engine run.
Are strangers to the world of night and rarely see the sun.
They have no time for man or God, no tolerance for fear,
Their aspect pays no living thing, the tribute of a tear.

For there's not much that men can do, that these men haven't done.
Beneath the decks, deep in the holes, to make the engines run.
And every hour of every day, they keep their watch in hell,
For if the fires ever fail, their ship's a useless shell.

When ships converge to have a war, upon an angry sea,
The men below just grimly smile, at what their fate might be.
They're locked in below like men fore doomed, who hear no battle cry,
It's well assumed that if they're hit, the men below will die.

For every day's a war down there when the gauges all read red,
Twelve hundred pounds of superheated steam, can kill you mighty dead.
So if you ever write their sons, or try to tell their tale,
the very words would make you hear, a fired furnace's wail.

These men of steel the Public never gets to know
So little's heard about the Place, that sailors call The Hole.
But I can sing about the place, and try to make you see
The hardened life of men down there, cause one of them is me.

I've seen these sweat soaked heros fight, in superheated air.
To keep their ship alive and right, though no one knows they're there.
And thus they'll fight for ages on, til steamships sail no more,
Amid the boiler's mighty heat and turbines hellish roar.

So when you see a ship pull out to meet a warship foe.
Remember faintly, if you can, the men who sail below.

author unknown
 

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Is this the kind of thing you had in mind, David?

On the introduction of IALA

Red to left and on the right
There was a brilliant flashing white,
Visible, through mist and murk.
And so we saw the system work.
Then somebody declared “IALA”!
(Reminder of some flower gala?)
And what on Earth was seen ? Oo? Eck?
Which formerly had marked a wreck?
On starboard hand there now was seen,
At every buoy a flashing green.
And Cardinals? Who knelt in prayer?
To learn what was the meaning, there?
Points up? Or down? Or out? Or in?
Where did the system here begin?
Few if any of us clapped,
But gradually we did adapt,
And learned to read the new-marked buoys,
Eventually, with little noise.
Which outcome means, one might suppose,
That in due course each sailor knows
The things which others think they ought
Distinguish starboard hand from port.

BY
28.08.13
 

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Here's another old one to warm your hearts.

THE ENGINEER AND THE MATE AT THE PEARLY GATES

Oil-soaked shoes all covered with grime,
Polished shoes with a brilliant shine.

Sweated clothes all stained with grease,
Shirt and tie and pants well creased.

Oily scarred and calloused hands,
Manicured fingers, looking grand.

Thus they approached the Pearly Gate,
The engineer, and the mate.

Saint Peter gazed at this strange sight,
He knew one was wrong and one was right.

Just to be sure he did then look,
In his gigantic Judgement Book.

Then, looking up he said so clear,
I’ll now pass judgement on the engineer.

You’ve sweated blood; you’ve breathed some gas,
The scars and bruises and burns still last.

So come my son, and take your place,
Like a king, in all his grace.

My son, you’ve stood it very well,
You’ve surely had your share of hell.

The engineer passed through the Gate,
Saint Peter then turned to the mate.

You’ve filled your lungs with cool clean air,
You’ve known the breeze and sun up there.

Pushed a pencil, you’ve travelled in class,
You’ve been a passenger before the mast.

There is no question, yes or no,
It’s now your turn to go below!
 

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To which the Mate (a man most wise)
Considers, as he then replies:-
“Allow me please to clarify
The things which you observe, and why
I stand before you now, St Peter-
I’ve never had a built-in heater
To keep me warm in deepest freeze,
Whilst staring through the fog and breeze,
Through which, till now, I was survivor.
There was a ship. I was the driver.
I kept the log by pencil, true.
The engineer kept his log, too.
With what, I rarely asked, of late.
Perhaps it was by slate on slate.
And in the sun I wore pure white,
As you do, at this Holy height.
I claim no purity, for sure,
My sins I do confess, and more,
And what the engineer did,
To earn his honest, hard-won quid,
Was far beyond my range of knowledge.
I knew no Engineering College
I recognise (my conscience-salve)
I would not know a foo-foo valve
From other valves in Sparky’s shack.
In neither case would I attack
The merits of those splendid men.
I’d gladly serve with them again.
For I was saddled with control.
No man could steer and shovel coal
Together, simultaneously.
Such thing could not be done, at sea.
Who said, “The ship should now go slower”?
The first, of course, was Old Man Noah.
Is he now, also, sent below?
I’ll gladly join him there, if so.”
 

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When Noah sailed, of yesteryear,
His crew contained no engineer.
He built his Ark upon the slipway,
Launched it then into the shipway,
And then his animals embarked,
As Min of Ag observed and marked,
In preparation for the flood,
For life and limb and flesh and blood.
And at last his ship was loaded.
The manifest was writ and coded;
Handed to the agent, then,
And early scuba diving men,
And off he sailed, put out to sea,
To ride the storm of history.
Two by two, his donkey team,
Without a thought of raising steam.
Likewise with two ox aboard
He gave no thought to Doxaford,
For of such things he had not heard.
No single whisper, not a word.
He rode the storm as best he could.
His vessel, it was stout and good.
And Mrs Noah was his mate,
It here is proper to relate,
In all this rescue exercise.
Co-Ordinator? Noah, wise.
And Noah saw the wind was dropping.
His wife said “We need stores and shopping”
As, forty days and nights they’d been
And things on board were far from clean.
(They hadn’t got a Dhobi-man.
That was not yet within the plan.)
There a signal then in sight!
A vivid red beneath a white:
At masthead height, all things above,
There came on board a pilot-dove.
And Noah said, “About time, too!
I’m weary of my search for you!
Take my Ark and show me! Teach -
Where we should run her up the beach!”
And so the animals were saved.
And Noah was the best behaved
Of mariners up to that date,
Wondrous, wondrous to relate;
MIRABILE (‘tis said, and) DICTU.
Old Noah said “I’m glad we picked you,
For our survival far ahead,
When all this will be learned and read,
And, in a thousandfold of years,
We might yet carry engineers!”
 

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Now, if the Ark had had steam-screw,
What aspect might that yield anew?
Less space for animals, for starters,
Fodder store (with fresh tomaters).
Which beasts would have been left ashore?
The elephants, I’ll bet, and more:-
An end to trade in ivory,
Those giant beasts, no more we’d see:
And how would Noah treat McPhail?
(There’s not a mention here of sail.)
A houseboat is but all we have.
Survive it did. Though by what nav?
We do not know. We guess, of course.
No contact here. No Sparks. No morse.
No radar. Nothing much at all.
And Noah in command withal.
Answerable unto God,
To follow where the Saints had trod,
As far as possible, that is:
For all was flooded. Moderate viz.
McPhail upon the voice-pipe blower:-
“D’ye ken oor whereaboots, good Noah?
Oor ETA at Ararat?
We should be there by noo. That’s that!
Oor bunkers they are runnin’ oot
We should hae taken more, nae doobt!”
“McPhail, ye’ll be the death o’ me!”
Said Noah, starin’ out to sea:
“Out of steam and out of coal.
O! Help me, God – and Bless my soul!
Mcphail has done his honest bit.
His role is finished, now. That’s it.
But how do I explain the shambles
Of our new-fangled steam boat rambles?
Sole Master after God I am.
I need some rest. I need a dram.
I need a signal from above.
Relief! At last I see the dove!!”
 

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This one is said to have "graced the control room bulkhead of the last Atlantic liner, Queen Elizabeth 2."

TRIBUTE TO THE FORGOTTEN MAN

The siren shrieks its farewell note, and proudly on her way
The brand-new giant liner moves in grandeur down the Bay.
A marvelous creation, her builders’ joy and pride,
The great hope of the owners as she floats upon the tide.
The passengers in festive mood, ‘mid laughter, jest and quip,
With keen delight enjoy the great ship’s maiden trip.
She’s sure to break the record, she’ll do thirty knots or more,
Is the hope of all on board as she leaves her native shore.


Upon the bridge the Captain, a skipper proud and bold,
Bedecked in glorious raiments, navy blue and gold.
All eyes are fixed upon him, and it’s going to his head,
As he stops to drop the pilot, then rings ‘full speed ahead’.
And ‘down below’ the battle starts for the trophy of the seas,
By engineers – not clad in gold – but greasy dungarees.


On deck the scene is bly and gay – fair ladies, song and wine,
But hell is popping down below, beneath the Plimsol line.
The Chief raps out his orders to the men on watch below.
His men obey his mandates, about their tasks they go.
Steam pressure must not fluctuate, the bearings not run hot,
Revs must not be allowed to drop to make the thirty knots.
At dinner on the first night out the Captain proudly boasts:
‘We’ll surely break the record’, as the gallant ship he toasts.
But breaking records puts no grey hair on his head,
His contribution ended when he ordered ‘full speed ahead’.


Through weary days and sleepless nights to consummate his dream
The engineers slave ceaselessly till Ambrose Light’s abeam.
The record has been broken with thirty-one point four,
The captain wears another stripe, he’s now a ‘Commodore’.
And thus he gets the credit for what other men have done
He boasts to press and radio the victory he has won.
Neglecting e’en to mention as he swings his ballyhoo
The men of brain and brawn and guts, who shoved the great ship through.


The moral of this poem then is quite conclusively,
The glory seldom goes to those who win the victory.
To keep this simple thought in mind about a record trip,
The man behind the throttle is the man who drives the ship.
 

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Not a poem but from a man who had a great command of the English Language...

I wish this afternoon to pay my tribute to the Engineering Branch here in the House of Commons and ask the House to join me so that these many thousands of faithful, skilful, untiring engineers may learn, as they will learn, that we here in London understand what they have done and are doing and that we admire their work and thank them for it. We must never forget the mind behind the gun, but we also remember in these modern times the man around the engine without whom nothing could be done, who does not see the excitements of the action and does not ask how things are going, but who runs a very big chance of going down with the ship should disaster come.

- Winston Churchill, in Parliament, February 1940.
 

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There used to be a poem in the saloon on a P&O cape runner which described how the Lord had sent forth the Marine Engineer to save the gormless deckie from the ills of expensive sail cloth. I can't remember it now but I remember one of them had scrawled in pencil beneath it, "Aye and if sails were cheaper you'd all be out a job!" Which one of us eloquently penned below in retort, "Aye and if dogs could pass the lantern test so would you!!"
Its the engine dept.that gets you there and the Navies who get you to the right place.But its the reverse on a run ashore(Smoke)
 

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Here is another one I found on the MNA website and was sent in by David C. Gillon and I hope that he does not object to me sending it to the forum.

It is titled Third Engineer (deceased

When the last crank and crossheads been tightened
and the third engineer's laid to rest
with his tools all rusty and broken
divide what you think are the best.

No rods to swing,no gears to string
no bottom ends to tighten
no glands to pack, no nuts to slack
no fireman to frighten.

No valves to grind no checks to mind
no thrust to cause him worry
no laeds to fine no guides to line
no chief to make him hurry.

No forced draft no tailend shaft
no middle watch to keep
no crank bilge pump no cranks that thump
and keep him from his sleep.

The bilges there are always dry
there's no hard brass to strip
no gauge glass bursts where he is now
he's signed for his last trip

There's no evaporator there
no joint tha won't stop tight
no winch or windlass to repair
and no electric light.

No red hot cranks or junior pranks
will there the Third annoy
for robed in white a shining light
he is someone's fair-haired boy.

Where he now rests naught will annoy
holding true to the old believe
that heaven's reserved for the juniors joy
and hell set aside for the chief.

gingerbeer
Hi,

This goes back a few years before 3rd engineers became encased in a glass box on the bridge with a notice above reading "In Times Of Emergency ~ Please Break Glass"

It's also a song ~ sing it often to confuse my French drinking friends ~ yep crusty old 3rd's do have friends.

Grgards
 
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