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Does anyone remember the early 60's in Singapore? It was like the old tea clipper days - the Straits Times used to carry adverts from Ben Line and Glen Line, "Singapore to London, Direct, 21 days"

The competition for cargoes was really fierce! At first Ben Line held the upper hand with 19 knotters like "Benvrackie" (I think). Then out we came with the new Glenlyon class. 21.5 knots cruising speed, doing Singapore to London in 18 days!

I remember it vividly, 'cos I sailed on "Glenfalloch", who once did the trip in slightly under 18 days!
 

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trevorw3740 said:
Does anyone remember the early 60's in Singapore? It was like the old tea clipper days - the Straits Times used to carry adverts from Ben Line and Glen Line, "Singapore to London, Direct, 21 days"

The competition for cargoes was really fierce! At first Ben Line held the upper hand with 19 knotters like "Benvrackie" (I think). Then out we came with the new Glenlyon class. 21.5 knots cruising speed, doing Singapore to London in 18 days!

I remember it vividly, 'cos I sailed on "Glenfalloch", who once did the trip in slightly under 18 days!
And then they brought out the Benloyal, she could really fly even if she was a miserable b**ch of a ship.
 

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Then came the "Benledi". London to Singapore in 16.5 days. Captain was Oswald Tucker and the "BenLedi" was known to all as Tuckers Tornado. Sailed on her as a cadet in 1969.
 

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Hi Trevorw 3740, I remember the Glenfalloch, I sailed on I think her first voyage from Singapore to London. I had just signed off the Gorgon after a long jag between Western Australia and Singapore.
There was a big big difference between those two ships.
Al.
 

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Remember Singapore, stayed in Connell House waiting to go to Pladju in Sumatra to join a little shell tanker Frenulina. Lter on had a couple of weeks in drydock. Got to know lots of ladies around the dock area bars etc. (*))
 

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thunderd said:
And then they brought out the Benloyal, she could really fly even if she was a miserable b**ch of a ship.
I watched a video yesterday entitled "Ports and Bens" (Part 10 of The Great Liners series), which had a lot of footage of BENLOYAL. A great looking ship and everyone featured seemed reasonably content - so how come she was a miserable, etc, etc?
 

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flyer682 said:
I watched a video yesterday entitled "Ports and Bens" (Part 10 of The Great Liners series), which had a lot of footage of BENLOYAL. A great looking ship and everyone featured seemed reasonably content - so how come she was a miserable, etc, etc?
David I guess you wouldn't expect them to show miserable faces on a video.

The deck officers were a stuck up lot who treated the cadets and crew like dirt, part of the deal of being a cadet was that you not only did most of the dirty work but the mates were supposed to give you tuition on the skills you needed to get your ticket, that lot gave us no help whatsoever.

I was also used to engineers on other Ben boats who were sociable and friendly, again those on this ship were exactly the opposite.

At least one dockyard worker was killed on her during building and when I joined her in Hull shortly after, a ships surveyor fell down a hold and died from his injuries 2 days later, an event that left most of us pretty distressed.

If you need more I could write a book on her. (*))
 

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wully farquhar said:
Yer afae hard on aye auld shippie Derek. (*))
I am Wully but I guess I'd been so very happy on other Ben boats and I loved the Ben Line but I stupidly left the MN because of her so she has left a bad taste in my mouth.
 

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Yes I remember it well. The Japan Star Service was even more competitive. That was the Cruachan and Wyvis against 2 P&O Strath boats ( I think they were the Strathnaner and Aird ).We went through the Panama Canal to Japan, when we arrived there it was very tight scheule which we had to keep to, even if it meant shutting cargo out. If we had time on our way home we would go into Hawaii and load pineapples in Kure Isle.
The good thing about it was we knew the exact date we would be home, the only trouble was that we discharged in Hamburg first, and we did not get paid off until the next port namely London. This meant we were very lucky to get 2 weeks at home before rejoining. The coast crew s trip was the Albert to West India Dock
 

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Reading these threads brings back a lot of memories of the time I was edh on the Benreoch 1955 to 1956, on the express run London to Singapore in 21 days. Travelling at that speed in them days was unique. We used to scud past other ships as if they were standing still. Happy memories.
 

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Yes they were all good days but Ben finally took the blue ribbon london via suezto Singapore 16 days 10 hours, The Ben Wyvis was a clse second on 16 days 21 hours.
 
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