I am in regular contact with Capt.W.A."Bill" Sparks. Master of the Roland in 1968 when due to a combination of cir***stances beyond his control she struck the quayside at EL Ferrol. At reduced speed she proceeded to Lisbon for "temporary repair good enough to to see the ship to South America" and back. Regular visits were made to the forecastle head during the voyage, late one afternoon there was an almighty screeching sound, looking over the bow the last remnants of the new plating hanging on by threads. After discharge in Montevideo they proceeded to BA, where at his suggestion the Roland was brought to the absurd draught of four feet forward and thirty two feet aft.She paid off in Liverpool 19 March 1969. That repair lasted the ship for thenext six years until she went to the breakers yard. Subsequently it was learned the pilot was sacked, Bill continued as master with Blue Star,and noted TURBINES are different noted when he took command of ACT1V.Fairfield said:Another of this well known company/s ships taken in Glasgow in the mid 1970s at the Meadowside General Cargo berth now the site of luxury housing!
Chris,Santos said:I sailed with Bill Sparks on the Raphael. He was relief Skipper whilst the normal skipper Capt Williams was having a trip off. I was Senior Cadet.
He may remember me, I broke two toes on my right foot, that trip, in Santos, whilst playing football for the ship. I was given the job of drawing and filling in the ships cargo plans, whilst they healed.
Didnt he live in Wallasey ?.