You must have been on the LETCHWORTH the same time as me.
We signed off Port Talbot 17th Dec' 56.There was two brothers A.Bs
i think there was called Cutsworth (not certain).It was my second trip
I think I remember the brothers, not the name though, I was 18 when on that ship, it was a running agreement, I did 5 trips, must have been mad, the only ship I was ever on that you had to get in the chain locker to stow it. The ship must have been sold when we left it, or did they give it away lol. Jokes aside I rather liked that ship, but that could be because I drank too much in those days lol.Conditions were rough and that is being kind.
Trying to place you I keep thinking of a guy from Dundee, handy with judo, had a set to with a guy called Al, all settled with Al being thrown around but no harm done, that you?
Dont know how you did five trips on that ship' one was enough for me.
I remember the chain locker it was very dangerous.I think the ship was sold
after we left.We had to drink in those days to get by.I joined the ship in
Hull thats were i am from and where i am now.I cannot place you yet.I was
the shy one. Regards Artie
I asked about Stettin because of a funny event there, if you were on the Letchworth at the time you may remember me talking about it, below is the story as I told it to some non seafaring folk.
It was around 1956, we were in the port of Stettin, Poland, from memory to unload coal. A busy port, lots of ships, loading and unloading cargo, mostly from the Soviet bloc, it was Iron Curtain days.
Normal practice was on arrival at a port to draw money from due wages in the local currency, this allowed you to purchase things you needed, from toothpaste to beer. This is where the Iron Curtain got in the way, the exchange rate offered was silly, 11 zlotys to the UK pound. To offset this exchange rate there was a huge demand for non Iron Curtain goods, so instead of drawing money you sold goods, I sold an old suit with a London label for 700 zlotys, 63 pounds, it cost about 10 new. The snag was it had to be spent, no other country wanted the zloty.
My memory of the town was an attractive square, I remember stalls that sold beer for 2 ½ zlotys per pint, outside the square the reminders of war, bombed buildings everywhere, this surprised me, the war had been over for a dozen years.
Sorry this is long winded, I am getting to the point, I had enough money to buy heaps of beer, and only a few days to use it up. On the night in question along with another shipmate we are heading back to the ship, at a crossroad we argue about the correct way and the upshot being we go in different directions (we were both wrong). It was dark, no streetlights, a breeze had come up and I was feeling cold, as I walked there was a wall on my right, a good spot to get out of the wind. So the thought turned to action and I was over and quickly asleep.
I awoke to a crunching noise, it was dawn, as my eyes came into focus I could see I was laid on top of a grave, as you might expect this gave me a shock, I jumped up and said something, I don’t remember what. At that point I could see I was in a cemetery and beside a stony path, a man on the path screamed, he looked at me for a moment, then ran, I shouted to him it was OK, I just slept there, but the more I shouted the more he ran.
So if a man from Stettin ever tells you about a ghost in a cemetery you can tell him you have spoken to the ghost.
Larry that was a great story i told my wife we could'nt stop
laughing.But it can not of been that trip because surely i would
have remembered that.We paid off the Letchworth the same time
i checked my old discharge book.
Regards Artie (Askew).
The guy I was with that night was Al Robins, do you remember him? He was early thirties at the time, lots of tats, a Geordie, Gateshead.
The trip you were on, could it have been iron ore from West Africa? I no longer remember what port, I do remember the Bay on the way back, it cut up rough and I have never seen a ship roll like the Letchworth before or since, way off the meter limits.
I still have not forgotten the noise from the steering gear, hard to sleep near that, in particular when it was rough.