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Only found this site today and what a joy its been reading all the posts and having my memories jogged by mentions of many ships i sailed in. I joined as deck cadet in Sept 1973 about the famous Hardwicke Grange with Capt "Tag" Head and spent the next 6 months going from boy to man on the BA, Monte, Santos, London route. Santos at 16 was an experience I shall probably never forget. Over the following 7 years I experienced amongst others Sagamore, ***bria, Orotava, Joule, Clerk Maxwell, Lynton Grange, Upwey Grange plus many others whose names elude me at this moment. I still have all my deck cadet books and journals so must drag them out for for a few hours welcome nostalgia. Leaving the merchant navy in 1980 as 2nd mate is my biggest ever regret, other than getting married the 1st time which is why I left in the first place.
My college time was spent at Hull.
 

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Long time no see tony, aren't you from Hastings originally? Did my time on those ships including Cavendish, Faraday, etc. Regards Alec McKenzie
Mr McKenzie, what a pleasure to catch up with you after 35 years!!! I know we were at college together and did one hell of a lot of drinking etc., etc., but for the life of me can't remember whether we actually sailed together. Am enclosing a photo which you may well recognise ( trust you to look away!) Also includes from left: Me, Paul Harraway, Geoff Kelly, ??, you and Elaine. Hope this doesn't get you into trouble lol. Whats you story then my friend? You can contact me by Private Message and we can then exchange email addresses.
 

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Mr McKenzie, what a pleasure to catch up with you after 35 years!!! I know we were at college together and did one hell of a lot of drinking etc., etc., but for the life of me can't remember whether we actually sailed together. Am enclosing a photo which you may well recognise ( trust you to look away!) Also includes from left: Me, Paul Harraway, Geoff Kelly, ??, you and Elaine. Hope this doesn't get you into trouble lol. Whats you story then my friend? You can contact me by Private Message and we can then exchange email addresses.
check these out to m8 http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/gallery/showgallery.php/ppuser/50914/username/tonymorcom(Wave)
 

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Houlder Line

Hi Tony,
Nice to read your mail, I was with Houlders 1970-75, good Co.
but no doubt a bit of a shake up when C Y Tung took over.

Lucky you were on the Hardwicke & not the Royston, what a shock when that happened.

I was a 4th eng then went to a 3rd on my last few ships, they were good with Brit Crew members. I am sure we saw the best times during the 1970's, it was all downhill from there.

Arthur C.
 

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I was with Houlders from 69-77, catering dept, gained 2 promotions, good ships good company all round. Although John Houlder in himself was never the same after the ROYSTON GRANGE accident, a tremendous shock hit everybody throughout the company, some good ship mates we all remember are sadley missed even after all these years, god bless HOULDER BROS.
 

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Salute to Catering Staff

Hi Lord Gregory,
Cheers for your reply to "our" Site, you guys in Catering, gave us something to look forward to from Deck & Engineering work.

If the Catering Staff were not up to Standard, it could result in Mutiny... or in recent times, lots of Whingeing & moaning, so be assured your efforts were greatly appreciated by all on the ship, so take a bow!

Houlder's & most British Shipping Co's had high standards, but due to undercutting by Flags of Convenience Crews, the standards have been eroded, so often - putting British Ship's Staff out of work.

Many thanks for your lovely mail & comments.... keep them coming. From a member of the 'Black Gang', 3/E Arthur Swift, originally from Newport, South Wales but now Perth, West, Oz.(K)
 

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Thanks Arthur for the nice remarks on us catering guys. Sure was hard looking after you guys, I like to think we were all one happy family, agree?, so you originate from Newport?, I live in west wales, have been for 14 years,,and of all the places I visited on the ships, Sydney was my favorite!!, some lovely girls!!!.
 

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Hi lordgregory1

Yes I agree with all your comments on our way of life.

But the Merchant Navy is a young man's game, they get their pound of flesh out of you.

Its nice looking back after all these years & all our experiences look rosy & only the good parts are recalled.

Regards, Taffy Arthur, Perth, West Oz.(Hippy)
 

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Evening Tony,

What an honour to sail with Captain "Tag" Head, I believe he was of the "Old School" !! Did my Apprentice ship with Houlders '75 ish. First two trips on tankers(Stolt Span, Clymene), then fortunately onto cargo (proper) ships. Decided to "bail out" when Mr.Tung took over. Did a good few years on supply boats\anchor handlers, then joined the Orelia (DSV) Houlders again, until Stena\CoFlexip then Technip took over. 22 years as Master. Ended up on Wind Turbine vessels, which was a bit different to say the least !! 1st time on this and not very good with it, but retirement has it's benefits.
Regards,
Jimmy Whitley
 

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Like To catch up with Arthur Swift
We were great friends back in the 7os Orenda Bridge days
Know you tried to get hold of me and others but did not even know this site was up and running.
Spoke with Frank O'Neill ex Houlders as he and I are on the Nautilus Welfare Committee and that's how we got talking of the good old days.
If any kne out there knows Arthur or his where abouts let me know as love to catch up with him
Many of the old boys are still about but we are all getting older
Willie Jackson
 
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