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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
On some of the ben boats we carried cadets who were offered positions to be trained up and become qualified to then go back ashore to ther native country and assist the development of their countries government marine depts.

On the ben valla we had a first trip cadet join in Hong kong his name was Ian Godber (nick name---ler) . His father was Chief of police in HK.

Ian had led a great life in HK nightclubing it best of clothes and played a guitar in a local night club band (group). greasing falls and winch wires and lifting 10ton blocks on to your shoulder to carry up the deck was sore on delicate struming fingers.
The other difference Ian had to the other cadets was he had fairly long hair and i mean the the length that he had to keep running his fingers thru it to put it sweepit back on his head .

Now this long black hair needed attention with no weekly visit to Toni's or Vidal sasoon in HK ,no brylcream or vosine he needed to do something .

Homeward bound we introduced him to the hot oil treatment which has to be applied each day and only washed once a week.
This was the thrice daily visit down the hatch climb over the crates of plywood, crates of tamarins thru a passage in the stacks of cartons of HK towels for BHS then all the cartons of Woolworths crap to the tank tops .

Here we carefully stored and cared for the at the correct tempreature the hair oil. (coconut oil ) pulling up the rope with four brass encased thermometers from the depths of the tank thru the ulage sounding hole he wiped his hands on his hair every time . Then he would log the temps in the deep tnak log book . After this he would make his way to the bridge and transfer the temps into the daily brigde log, the old man was Donald Cowie, he caught me three days later on the main deck and asked if i knew what he was doing and i said yes ,we had told him itwas the best thing for his hair in the tropics ,where upon Donald replied I wished to ---- you had told him to get his hair cut instead of making it look pretty. He said if i tell him i will get it in the neck from Capt Robb because he seems to be telling his folks everything that is going on.I replied we have'nt done that many ports for mail to get back to HK . Donald replied his old man has put money on board for him he has five times what you guys have a month and he is sending telegrams home .Donald then said up here for thinking down there for dancing why do you think he was up the road every night in Kobe and every other Japanese port.

Sure enough Ian was ahead of us in some things but plenty short in others ,we did tell him to see the No; 2 painter for a hair cut before arrival in the UK. Ian did not do that but when he found out that the flies in Aden and suez liked his hair he needed OMO and swarfega to get it clean of the coconut oil.

Ian was a good lad and I don't what happened to him if he stayed on with Ben or went back to HK and playing his guitar, If anyone knows what happened to please post it or drop me a line.
Rgds Ian.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Cheers sparkie very interesting ,hed told us his dad was the Chief of police for the colony not just an area of HK . Then all kids used to brag about thier dads.
Maybe some of the story of ian comes from the news in the papers. at least he kept the sparks in work.
I note you are ex Cunard, i have just ome back from NY and the three Queens were in port together. Well not all along side each nother as the QM 2 was too dep to go on the same peirs as the QE2 and the QV ,i have some photos frpm a heliocoper and launch ,I will try to get them posted if good enough. The QM2 was on a container berth by the governors island.
Cheers. Ian.
 

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Corruption in the Hong Kong police! Who'd have thought that?

Common Bros, who managed Kuwait Oil Tankers, had an agreement to place Kuwaiti cadets on their ships. I sailed with one whose claim to fame was being in the Kuwait football team - he was also loaded. Don't tell me there was corruption in the Arab world too!

John T.
 

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Life of the twentieth century cadet

Did 4 trips with Ian on the Valla. He could really show you a good night out in HK Met him a year or so later when I was on the Stac and he was onthe Gloe in HK. The last time I saw him was when his dad got sentenced or was it extradided at the Old Baily in London as he was running from the media.
Still I liked him he was a little bit dipsy but always good fun.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
20 th Century cadet

Hi Doug,
Happy new year to you, I am trying to think who you are and if I sailed with you . I was on the Valla till 8/9/66 just a year and four voyages what was your rank and where you from. It appears you are resident in Canada now as a firefighter .
Rgds Ian.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
20th Century cadet.

Hi Doug,
Iam still trying to remember you ,are you from the islands and were you rather small (sorry I mean smaller than me always known as big yen) did you have curly sandish hair, was Ginger Kite/kyte the other cadet from london. ginger hair and freckles.I apologise if i have it wrong. The person Iam referring to was a first tripper either on the Valla or the Wyvis.
Let me know.

You are correct about Ian Godber knowing the places to party in HK, He knew my cousin who parents had lived in HK for many years ,my cousin went to the same school and class as Ian and she told us a few stories about his hi life . My aunt worked for a HK chart and compass adjusters who had a jewelery business in the Mandarin Hotel on Victoria Isalnd, If iwas working nights and went shopping inthe day time I met my relations and they would take me to the crows nest for lunch at th top of the Mandarin. Was Fraser Walker and Andy Davidson still on th Valla I am trying to think who was 3/0. Was Robin Galloway still C/o ,Shi Shi Yek c/stew,Hang wee dan c/ck, the Valla was the best feeder in Ben . Shi Shi and his afternoon performance of blue movies in his cabin and about every other officer who was off duty, sitting on an upside down bin watching the movies for and hour was hell. At least it was educational.
Lets here your tale Doug bound to have been some whilst you were with Ben.

keep her steady speak soon.

Rgds Ian
 

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Life of a 20th century cadet

Ian
You must be thinking of the wrong guy. I wasn`t a big kid, but never had sandy curly hair. Originally from Peterhead. Maybe being my first trip, things a little bit clearer. Certainly some of the future ones are kind of blurred. Age does wonderous things with memory.
Your are right about the crew on the valla. Did 3 trips with c/o Galloway, A perfect gentleman.Saw him a year or so later, (he was,I think marine super) in
Singapore. Never did get invited to the C/stewards cabin. Maybe he thought I was too young for porno movies. Perhaps he was right but that all changed after the first night in Kobe (oh yes, thats why I recall my first trip so well).
The 3rd mate was Donald Sutherland. he also did that initial coast and the same 4 trips with me. Skipper as you know was Donald Cowie. Cannot same enough about him, one of the best. He actually took one trip off and we had J.C Allen, other wise known as Shakey Jakey. Can`t figure how he got that name, always found him to be the opposite. Remember coming into Yokohama, when a Russian ship(not having wright of way) was comming a little close. Jake calmly took over from the pilot and rectified the situation. he was a real stickler for uniforms. Everone on the bridge with caps on entering or leaving port and the mates for and aft. Even as cadets we were not to eat in the engs. mess had to change into uniform for lunch and then back out on deck.
Definately the best feeding ship in the company. None were bad, but the Valla was outstanding.
More stories to come later
Doug
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
20 Century cadet.

Yes I remember you now it is amasing what time does to your memory ,some things just come out of the woodwork like that in a flash and others have you have to struggle .

Take care and i will speak to you soon, I have just taken lump sums out of my pensions so iam off into town to find best rates of return.

Rgds ian .
keep her steady .
 

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What about Jimmy Angang?

Hi Ian,

I must say a very good idea for a starter thread, I remember the name Ian Godper but must admit 'Porridge' and Ronnie Barker first sprung to mind.

He was a young lad then compared with the old lags (us 26 yr olds!) but not adverse to slipping away for a beer at the black squad smokos'. I remember he handled his colonial background very well compared especially, with some of the embassy brats returning to the UK as passengers!

I was 3rd Engineer on the Benvalla Dec '66 through to July '68 and all these names you mention bring back memories of a really happy ship....with air conditioning, spoiled rotten we were!

Maybe the songs I put together may also trigger thoughts of other BL party p--ssups from the past. To quote Peter Simpson from a bogus end of trip report.....'As an engineer he was a good guitar player'....'nuff sed!

'Tales o' Benline' 'Hong Kong' 'Singapore Lilly' 'Oil and the Water' 'Looking over a Wee Hors D'ouvre' 'Bangkok Siam'....there were eighteen in total and I still have the original god awfull recordings somewhere.

Digressing from the thread here, what about Jimmy Angang? Another bright wee guy and built like the original brick......bathroom. His dad was involved in pilotage / harbour master on the Rejang in Borneo and he had relatives who still stayed up river 'Long House' style.

I wonder where he ended up?

Best regards,
Taleso
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
20th Century Cadet.

Good afternoon Taleso,

Yes Jimmy anggang was indeed a hard lad ,I sailed with him on the Benkitlan, if you rwead onr of my threads about haircuts i mention jimmy do his best at cutting hair.
Hi dad was well up in the PWD at Kota Kinablue (Jesselton for those older guys) they had a lovely house which overlooked the harbour from up in this hill side with the mountain behind them.

Jimmy is pilot in Labuan but i have not been able to make contact with him.

Was the wee professional third still on the valla when you were there if i remember he was called Algie. He was a wee scot and a motorman thru and thru. His glasses were always taped up or had cracked lenses.Keep the ben stories going however good or bad they are.

Rgds ian.
 

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Never mind the crunchy bits

Hi Ian,

Sure enough read down the threads and Jimmy was there.

I remember Jimmy on a run up the road in Port Swettenham and we were all pigging out on heaps of steamed prawns and chilli crab. One by one we stopped eating as the noise from wee Jimmy (head down in his bowl) was drowning out the juke box.

He was crunching through shells, heads and tails and swallowing the lot! He looked up at last, went bright scarlet as for a laugh we had all decided to do the same. Only difference was we ended up with teeth like Dracula and the next day a backside that could pebble dash a toilet.

Algie, I don’t remember his name but the repaired glasses come to mind…..need more time to think about it and a rake through my old photographs.

Best regards,
Taleso
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Hi Taleso,
The grey matter has got into action and the engineer on the Valla who i called algie in fact was Hadji a wee guy black grey straight hair dit of a stoop and limp was third with Ian Simpson from Thornton Fife.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Did 4 trips with Ian on the Valla. He could really show you a good night out in HK Met him a year or so later when I was on the Stac and he was onthe Gloe in HK. The last time I saw him was when his dad got sentenced or was it extradided at the Old Baily in London as he was running from the media.
Still I liked him he was a little bit dipsy but always good fun.
Hi Doug ,
How are you doing in Canada are you seeing any part of this credit crunch we are having in Europe, Hopefully you are not having too many fires to put out, In your last thread you promised more tales to follow ,well come on lets have them ,the Ben nostalgia is drying up so pump up the Tennants and get into gear my friend give us your tales and that goes for any other ben lads who have gone silent for a while.

Rgds Ian.
 

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Hi Taleso,
The grey matter has got into action and the engineer on the Valla who i called algie in fact was Hadji a wee guy black grey straight hair dit of a stoop and limp was third with Ian Simpson from Thornton Fife.
I remember Hadji. Sailed with him when he was junior on Benlarig in early
1960s
He had been a planter in malaya before he joined Ben Line.
I think he said that the stoop and the limp were the result of being beaten up by malayan terrorists at that time.
 

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Sailed with Taff a couple of years later on the Macdui. 7 week coast. He was sailing Uncert 3/0, I believe he needed 2-3 months time before writing. Have`t
seen him since. That was a long time ago.
Doug

John Groat occasionally drinks in Sandy Bells in Edinburgh. Don't know what he's doing now.

Also, i remember Ian Simpson very well. He & I fell out one time over bunkering duties when we were on the hook. There was a boat going ashore at 7pm and the bunkers were due at 6.30. He told me I'd probably be needed so to stand by. Needless to say, I wasn't needed and missed the boat! Cue huge arguement on deck!

Anybody remember Barry Friar?
 
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