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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi again,

I am on a roll now, just thought I would say that Brocks where pretty good feeders, mind you it was just as well as an apprentice you had to work hard, but the training was very good, anyway just thought I would attach (hopefully) the Christmas menu on the Maskeliya, my first ship which I joined in Liverpool, August 1964.

Happy Memories

DerekT

PS. I used the attachments as below but the menu doesn't seem to have appeared in the message, help!
 

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Yes I always enjoyed the food, I always liked the big breakfasts. Usually when I was on Maskeliya, the cooks were from Goa.
Trevor
 

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Brocklebank fare

On joining my first ship as an apprentice, the C/O said " The food is good, eat all you can - its part of your wages"...... of course that is true of virtually every ship afloat, but Brocklebank food was very good overall, and if you were lucky enough to sail with an "exceptional" Chief Steward (Eat) it was 5 star hotel rating every day.
 

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Did all companies impregnate the Weetabix with live weevils? You had to bang the weetabix with a spoon to get them to leave, once they had departed you poured the milk on and a few stragglers would struggle to the surface.
Had you gourmets forgotten this? Or maybe it was just a speciality of the Marwarri.
 

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Crew food sometimes was really good a friend of mine worked as a crew cook on one of P&0 ships. It was really funny as he got their by false pretences had never cooked in his life before but liked to cook at home .


He did such a good job that the crew loved him as he took a real pride in feeding the important people . A crew that is well fed is a happy crew and that breakfast is the best meal of the day.


Bob ( Sydney )
 

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bob johnston said:
Crew food sometimes was really good a friend of mine worked as a crew cook on one of P&0 ships. It was really funny as he got their by false pretences had never cooked in his life before but liked to cook at home.
He did such a good job that the crew loved him as he took a real pride in feeding the important people. A crew that is well fed is a happy crew and that breakfast is the best meal of the day. Bob ( Sydney )
Some of the cooks we had should have stayed at home!! Boom boom!! Vix
 

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Harry Nicholson said:
Did all companies impregnate the Weetabix with live weevils? You had to bang the weetabix with a spoon to get them to leave, once they had departed you poured the milk on and a few stragglers would struggle to the surface.
Had you gourmets forgotten this? Or maybe it was just a speciality of the Marwarri.
No Harry you are not alone, nor was it the exclusivity of the ss Marwarri, I have eaten my fair share of the little cereal breast strokers too, good source of protein !!!
 

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Some of the cooks we had should have stayed at home!! Boom boom!! Vix

who called the cook a .!****!? Who called the !****! a cook? with apologises to all the many good cooks.
 

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Seriously though! Had the pleasure of sailing "Berge Atlantic" a Cape size bulker couple of days ago. Indian officers and crew.

The evening meal was one of the best curries since the Sea Anglers in Trincomalee many years ago. Served on the bridge by smartly turned out Captain's Tiger. There are still some companies that have retained some of standards that we enjoyed in Brocks.
 

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Wasn't with Brocks but don't remember too many poor meals on ships I sailed on and that includes Fred Everard's. On one tanker on the Indian Coast, we turned a blind eye to the galley crew privately hiring locals to do their job. Best curries I ever had.
 

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Brock's were certainly good feeders. My first ship was Matra with Bob Webb and Dougie Cullen as Purser/Chief Stewards. Although I had nothing to judge it by at the time events subsequently proved that these gentlemen were great feeders.

There was undoubtedly a difference in food between the Brock's and Cunard ships within the same group. I spent a fair bit of time with both and Brock's were substantially better. This was never better proven when stuck in a dock strike in Boston on Maturata in 1969 (I think). We had been there for a while when Samaria turned up on the other side of the shed. I had previously done two (lousy) trips on Samaria and knew quite a few people on there including the Captain "Zulu" Thomson. The Samaria officers quite often came over to Maturata to eat but we never went back which tells the story in itself. The OM on Maturata Butch Ward got on pretty well with Zulu Thomson and he tended to put on a really good lunch every Sunday for visiting Samaria officers. We were there for just short of 3 months in total so we got to know Boston, and the natives, pretty well over that time. The British Consul organised tickets for every Boston Bruins or Boston Celtics home game for us from some slush fund that they had. Bloody boring during the day though.
 

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Thick Heavy and Duff were the three courses on the Mickey Mouse boats mind you you weren't away that long and at each end there were big cities with the finest diners. It still fascinates me how all the "fresh looking food " arrives on ships especially cruise ships. I remember the bacon was always iffy on both Brocks and Cunard but what a treat fresh milk was after weeks in the Gulf and Calcutta.Did "coney island quail" exist ? or is it my imagination. I believe the Maaaaaturaaaata was noted for her fine lamb dishes in the late 60's....Yes the food was ok on Brocks and the Tankers with the Les Hannah's saturday bingo and fish&chips served in the local Hong Kong newspaper !......Magic days in some ways and a privilage to be there compared to todays life style.
 

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I remember the bacon was always iffy on both Brocks and Cunard

Bacon always smelt of fish. Rumour was that the pigs were from the Brocklebank estates in ***bria and were fed on fish meal? Good yarn anyway.
 

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pilot said:
I remember the bacon was always iffy on both Brocks and Cunard

Bacon always smelt of fish. Rumour was that the pigs were from the Brocklebank estates in ***bria and were fed on fish meal? Good yarn anyway.
A fishy smell on pork products indicates the product is going off.....since leaving Brocks many years ago I've been unfortunate enough to have been in the food engineering game with many a story about the stuff we relish on the supermarket shelves.
 

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michael james said:
No Harry you are not alone, nor was it the exclusivity of the ss Marwarri, I have eaten my fair share of the little cereal breast strokers too, good source of protein !!!
Twas the only fresh meat to be seen on a Shell Tanker in the late 50,s.
 

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Whilst on the whole was good in Brocklebank I think it depended greatly on the Chief Steward.
Mind you Broklebank chickens featured many times, that all legs and no breasts!
 

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PS on the long trips on Maihar the gold tins of Tennants soon were depleted and we were reduced to Carsbergs Specials and small bottles of Guinness. By the time we reached the Channel we were game for anything. As a novelty we experimented with various consistencies of mixtures of the two, usual result was a sore head.
Happy Days?
 

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mclean said:
Twas the only fresh meat to be seen on a Shell Tanker in the late 50,s.
When I joined San Veronico she was the last Eagle Oil to go under Shell colours. First Sunday at Sea we had steak, chips, peas, mixed fruit and ice cream: I ventured up to the galley for seconds...fully expecting to be rejected...Doc said, you want another steak?...pleaze! He pulled out an enamel tray covered in steaks...which one would you like? I honestly thought he was being sarcastic so chose the one that looked the best...and how would you like it fried? More sarcasm? Medium rare, pleaze! Would you like more chips? More peas? More bloody sarcasm? Yes pleaze! Maybe you would like more mixed fruit and ice cream, too? (by now I thought I wouldn't chance my luck too far...er, no thanx!) As I was walking away he yelled...tell any of your mates to come up and see me if they want more! Strange fellow??!! But, I did as I was told and we all fed like lords. When we got to Curacao, we were all having a drink in the Nuthouse...I asked Doc why he was so nice to crew? This was his reply...When Eagle Oil existed I worked my way up to Commodore Chef...I was something...someone...now we are Shell...I'm nothing...back to square one...if that's the case...I'm one of the boys and you fellows will get anything you want (and we did) those b******s in the wardroom get nothing (and they did, too!!) So, mclean, there were plenty of cockies to be seen, but no weevils (I'm sooooooooo glad to say!!) Vix
 

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As an extension of the comparison between Brock's and Cunard for food I started to think about the comparison between Brock's and Moss Tankers. If anything the gap was even worse in my experience. At least on the Cunarders you could get a decent meal at either end if the grub hadn't been too good on a crossing but on a tanker you were pretty well stuffed due to longer passages. On balance I think my trip on the Lucigen in mid 1965 was the worst culinary experience of my career. This was the first trip under Brock's ownership so maybe things hadn't quite got sorted out but I do recall quite clearly recall the food being pretty mediocre.

Of all places to end up on your first two passages on a tanker we went from the Gulf to India, now there's a change for a Brock's man. Whilst en route to Calcutta from Ras Tanura on the second of those trips we got orders that our next trip would be from Abadan to Singapore and Indonesia, now that was more like it. The Chief Steward, who was a Welsh guy from Swansea but I can't remember his name, took the decision to take minimum stores in Cal and we would get lots of top quality Australian stuff when we got to Singers. This was fine in theory but Lucigen had a sorry track record for breaking down and on this trip we took an extra 4 days to get back to the Gulf including my all time breakdown record of just over 3 days drifting in the Indian Ocean to the West of Bombay somewhere. Coupled with a few days at anchor at the mouth of the Shatt al Arab the poor old C/S calculations had gone awry. We duly ran out of food except dried eggs and baked beans 3 days out of Singapore - this is true by the way. We undoubtedly gained a 2 knot tailwind down the Malacca Straits but we weren't sorry to get to Singapore, firstly to get ashore for all the delights available there but also to get some decent food. The C/S was as good as his word and we ate really well for a while after that.
 
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