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Good view of this Harland & Wolff build ,the other sisters were KING ARTHUR-
KING MALCOLM-KING CHARLES and KING GEORGE.
bye!!
 

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king alexander

i sailed from manchester on her dec 1965 charted to strick line persian gulf ports then chitagong ,chalna east pakistan then trincomalee,colombo,ceylon and back home via aden and suez again paid off in tilbury during the strike june 1966
 

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I was on her, J/E June '67 to Feb '68.
We left Manchester June '67, in ballast, wound up in Houston, Texas loading free grain for India. One generator down to the bed-plate crank out for re-grinding ashore, we were only 'in' 1.5 days then off to Madras, bunkered offshore Durban. Waited offshore Madras for 2 days. Should I remember correctly I think it was 62 days Manchester to Madras. Paid one donkeyman off into the Penlee lifeboat on the way, perforated ulcer. He went over the rails from near one of the E/R doors and landed very close to the rocker gear.
After Madras it was Calcutta, with 2 weeks waiting off Sand Heads. Then 6 weeks in Calcutta watching other Clan boats take cargo marked for us. Then it was back to the UK (Tilbury), again bunkered offshore Durban, at 10 ton/day and 10 knots took 6 weeks.
The above photograph could have been taken at that time.
Nellie Wallace was O/M and Gordon McCoarde? was Chief.
 

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An old Clan Line PCO Alec Bannerman told of how when B&C took control of the King Line one of their Catering Superintendents went down to show the PCO of one of them what paperwork was required of him under the new regime as well as the Victualling Book,came the Slop Chest account and the Inventory,the this the that and the other.When the ship returned after a five month trip he revisited the ship and asked where the books were`Where you left them at the end of my day bed`was the answer.
 

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An old Clan Line PCO Alec Bannerman told of how when B&C took control of the King Line one of their Catering Superintendents went down to show the PCO of one of them what paperwork was required of him under the new regime as well as the Victualling Book,came the Slop Chest account and the Inventory,the this the that and the other.When the ship returned after a five month trip he revisited the ship and asked where the books were`Where you left them at the end of my day bed`was the answer.
Love it!
The one trip I did on the Alexander we had an old Irish 'professional third' Jack Doey he had been with King Line when they were taken over and had served his time with H&W and actually claimed to have sailed as Second with a 'dispensation' on some trips. He claimed it was not unusual, in the days of King Line, for the Second to be paid more than the Chief because the Chief was a 'company man' and they had great difficulty in getting guys to sail as Second. How true it all was I do not know.
 

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There were some wonderful characters back in the time when one was allowed to be a character,my Dad had a friend dating from his days at Trinity House who I only met once.His name was Henry and he became Master with,I think Chapmans,during virtually his whole time at sea he didn`t go ashore,he didn`t like it!
Did you ever meet Jimmy Harper?another old gay Purser with Clan.I was coasting with him and as the crew lined up for their sub somewher in the Royal group he said to one of the crowd`£3 Aslet Khan,Aslet Khan if I had a face like yours I`d up Piccadilly making a fortune`the asian crowd absolutely loved him,he was too infirm to go deep sea and just coasted but he was a lovely,humane man.For every horrible ignorant racist I met there were many others too many to mention who truly bonded with foreign crews.I sailed with Zulus from Pinetown for three voyages and they were the dogs ********,I have tried to tell my missus what it was like when they sang,you could actually feel your diaphragm contract with the power of their voices it was almost like being punched.Mind you they liked sh****ng,drinking and fighting.On the Sutherland,in Port Louis,they rioted between themselves in the Snow White Bar(apt eh?)and trashed the place and one of the only two Xhosa on board.I was sent to visit him in hospital and he was just cut to ribbons.Stitched all over face and body,apparantly he`d stood ona table and shouted something like`All Zulus who can`t tape dance are queer`or something equally provocative and it all kicked off.Middlesbrough on the Ranald they set too fighting again this time between hemselves over whose turn it was with the women who had come on board,I was given the task of sitting with these two whilst it all calmed down`I`ve had a lovely time`said one`I`ve had the bosun Ernie,the ERS and a couple of the lads off deck`she was engaged to a Second Cook on one of Hain Nourses,lucky boy eh?
 

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I believe Jimmy Harper was PCO on the MacIver when I first joined her and we went round the UK coast before going ‘deep-sea’.
The Zulus were hard working and very loyal, but leave them to sort out their own problems. Two incidents stick in my mind; the first was Boxing Day, Capetown, and my first trip on the Ranald. We had got in Christmas Eve afternoon and were leaving to go round the SA coast to Durban (PE and E. London on the way). I do not think there was a soul on board who did not have some sort of hang-over. One of the Zulus back aft pulled a knife on the second mate Lt David Brunskill RNR (excuse the spelling). The Zulu bos’uns mate flattened him with a piece of dunnage right in the middle of his back. According to ‘numbskull’ he went down as though he had been pole-axed. Anyway back alongside with the ‘knitting’ all nicely tied and the Yarpy police show up put the Zulu on a stretcher and handcuff him to it before removing him from the vessel, we never saw him again.
The second one was up in Gothenburg, where the Zulus were looking forward to showing the local lovlies what the Zulu warrior was made of until about 04.05am when my phone went (3/E duty engineer) ‘twas the Zulu donkeyman who had just gone on watch.I cannot remember exactly what he said but it was some something like ‘There’s oil coming from everywhere boss.’. I get to the engine room and lo and behold he is right there is oil slowly flowing over the lips of all the lower level oil ‘drip-trays’ onto the tank-top and into the bilges. The donkeyman who had just gone off watch had started the M/E fuel oil surcharge pump to top up the boiler oil tank and had just cancelled every alarm that had happened thereafter without stopping the pump. I reckoned there was about 20 tons of heavy oil on the tank top or in the bilges. Did all the right things, I think. Come 8.00 most of the oil is back where it is supposed to be except what is clinging to the tank-top and bilges,when the rest of the Zulus turned to looking forward to an easy morning and the afternoon off. The Zulu storekeeper’s face ‘fell a mile’ when he found out what they actually had in store. The offender was dragged, quite literally I believe, out of his bed to the control room where I ‘tore a strip off him’. The ERS stood behind him with the knuckle of his forefinger against his head and oscillating his hand.
C/E and 2/E were informed as was OM, donkeyman disrated, greaser promoted. Job done except for poor bloody Zulus under the plates and in the bilges.
Following day I saw the offender, you could not say he had 2 black eyes, but they were puffy, as were his lips and ears. I asked the ERS what had happened to him ‘Fell down the steps boss.’ “How many bloody times?” No verbal answer, just a grin.
As for the Zulus singing, I never heard them.
By the way I did not think Miss Mitchell’s feeding was that bad, although it was not ‘good’. Also he/she had his/her own souvenirs from Gothenburg which no one else was interested in.
The ER Zulus did eventually ‘get ashore’ where, I do not doubt, they acquitted themselves satisfactorily and in the true traditions of their tribe.
 

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What souvenirs did Peter pick up in Gothenburg?He had a friend called George who was the OM of a Greek boat and whenever they met up on the SA coast,and as the usual ports were so close together they often,did he disappeared.He relaxed on my second trip with him and I quite got to like him,he was a complex character and also capable of violence he once levelled the Catering Boy Winston for some minor misdemeanour a quite unecessary act and one I was ashamed to witness.I wonder if he`s still alive?he was in his early 40`s when I sailed with him in 1970 so mids 80`s now I still remember his address in Hammersmith can`t think why things like that stick.I recall Dave but can`t think from which boat,we spent so much time working by and coasting with changing crews.Once whilst standing by on the Sutherland in the Royal group,I attended,in a working capacity,4 different company luncheon/dinners in a week on different Clan boats.Once they twigged I could also work as a sommelier having worked on private yachts that was my fate sealed.They sent me up and down the river from Tilbury to Limehouse like a tug boat!
I loved Clan Line and wish I`d behaved a little more responsibly,after 5 trips as an AP my last PCO Alan Moreton told the company I was Ok to go solo but because I`d misbehaved so badly,generally behaving like a ***** I was told I had to ship out again as an assistant.Sugar Line offerred me a solo job for less money than I was earning with Clan so I left,what a knob!
 

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I loved Clan Line and wish I`d behaved a little more responsibly,after 5 trips as an AP my last PCO Alan Moreton told the company I was Ok to go solo but because I`d misbehaved so badly,generally behaving like a ***** I was told I had to ship out again as an assistant.Sugar Line offerred me a solo job for less money than I was earning with Clan so I left,what a knob!
I think you are being hard on yourself. We all make mistakes in our career path. You had ambition and there is nothing wrong with that! Better than spending your life thinking 'what could have been'.
 

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Fred that is so seedy.I was once in Gothenburg and went ashore with our Lecky Tommy Tierney a great,ex-army,red haired Glaswegian.Calling in at a private shop as they are now known Tommy looking around at this panoply of vile,obvious,hilarious stuff asked the owner,tongue in cheek,`Have you got anything under the counter`looking round the chap sold Tom a couple of sealed magazines.Sitting in the bar back on board Tom opened the magazines went red and threw them out of the porthole into the water!he wouldn`t tell us what was in them.
 

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Yeah,suppose so,you if you don`t ask you don`t get.Peter joined Panocean under the delusion that the most senior man on board was going to be the`ship manager`and he was most qualified to be such that it would be him.How he managed as Second Officer(services)I would love to have seen.Like a lot of us we didn`t know when we were well off.
 
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