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dear George, thanks for the response. I have ben slow in replying because we were on call to mind a grandchild while the second was born. All is well, a lovely 8lb girl! I have more or less finished the Centaur section of the book and would be glad to send it along for you to look over. Any comments, good or bad will be welcome. How do I do that? If I send it as an attachment it will probably crash the forum. I must say you had a startlingly varied career, ships officer to pig farmer and back again can't be usual! All the best Roger
 

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I have a pal called Stewart Macdonald and his ship reversed into Centaur after refit in Singapore causing all sorts of ructions. Her gearbox jammed in astern and it cost him many drams to quell the revolt.
This is quite a coincidence, as I was sailing with a Stuart MacDonald, who had just been promoted to Master and exactly the same thing happened but it was in Surabaya. Instead of hitting another vessel we struck the jetty and damaged the rudder/propeller. We had to "slow steam" to Singapore for drydock repairs.
 

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Sailing on Centaur

Hi all, I sailed as Deck Cadet on Centaur when she was chartred to cover the RMS St Helena in 1982. There was an "eclectic" mix onboard, with all Officers and crew from Straits Steamship, and Pursers and Stewards etc (Galley staff) from Curnow SHipping. Cadets were from Curnow, but were seconded to Straits. Excellent time onboard, some very happy memories. What happened to her after she left Curnow Charter? Last I heard, she was somewhere in China.
 

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Centaur's ownership history after launch in 1964 is as follows:-

1964-73 Ocean Transport & Trading Company Ltd (A Holt & Co), Liverpool
1973 China Mutual S.N Co Ltd (A Holt & Co), Liverpool
1973-78 Eastern Fleets Ltd, Singapore
1978-85 Blue Funnel (S.E.A) Pty Ltd, Singapore
1985-99 Shanghai Haixing Spg Co, China
1999 China Development Co Ltd, China

She was scrapped in 2006. End of an era, I have always felt, when she passed out of Blue Funnel ownership in 1985 - but perhaps a Blue Flue man would say that, wouldn't he.
 

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Last time I laid eyes on Centaur she was Chinese, sometime in 1980s or 90s,
I was having breakfast in the Mariners Club restaurant and could see her at anchor in Victoria Harbour off Admiralty through the gap between the Multi-story car park and the New World Hotel. Didn't like to see Centaur with a Cosco funnel!
 

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Hi George, just reading through your post and the name Errol Henly -Smith jumped out at me, we both started as Electricians with AH about the same time May 1960. We bumped into each other around Liverpool on several occasions, I often wondered what happened to him, I never sailed on the Centaur but did the same run without the comforts on the Gorgon 62-63.

Cheers Al.
Hi there, I was an electrician (Kevin Jones, Wrexham North Wales)with Ocean Fleets from 1974, then 1982 to 1998 OCL, P and O Containers, P and O Nedlloyd and then 1998 to 2009 P and O Ferries Dover. I remember Errol when, we took over from each other a few times on the Tokyo Bay class container ships a few times. Errol was a fine bloke very tidy and an excellant electrician. I beleive he finally was working on the P and O ferries when they had the run from Portsmouth. Sadly I heard that either travelling to or from Portsmouth he died in a car crash, I think he had a heart attack. Thats a few years ago. Sorry to report bad news. I wonder if anybody else has more news.
 

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dear George, thanks for the response. I have ben slow in replying because we were on call to mind a grandchild while the second was born. All is well, a lovely 8lb girl! I have more or less finished the Centaur section of the book and would be glad to send it along for you to look over. Any comments, good or bad will be welcome. How do I do that? If I send it as an attachment it will probably crash the forum. I must say you had a startlingly varied career, ships officer to pig farmer and back again can't be usual! All the best Roger
Roger,
Hearty congratulations on the strapping new grand-daughter. I would, of course, love to see your section on Centaur because all this correspondence isn't half bringing back the memories - though it is hard to tell how accurate they might be! My e-mail address is [email protected] so if you contact me by that route we might be able to arrange for me to see the paperwork.
Cheers, George
 

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Hi there, I was an electrician (Kevin Jones, Wrexham North Wales)with Ocean Fleets from 1974, then 1982 to 1998 OCL, P and O Containers, P and O Nedlloyd and then 1998 to 2009 P and O Ferries Dover. I remember Errol when, we took over from each other a few times on the Tokyo Bay class container ships a few times. Errol was a fine bloke very tidy and an excellant electrician. I beleive he finally was working on the P and O ferries when they had the run from Portsmouth. Sadly I heard that either travelling to or from Portsmouth he died in a car crash, I think he had a heart attack. Thats a few years ago. Sorry to report bad news. I wonder if anybody else has more news.
Oh dear, Kevin, that is sad news indeed. Errol was a bloody good Lecky and a good shipmate. I remember particularly an incident from Centaur, at a party in the passengers' bar when he tripped over the sea-step and measured his length on the deck. Being Errol, of course, he managed it all without spilling a drop of the G&T he was carrying!

Coincidentally, I also live near Wrexham, just outside Ruabon.
 

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Oh dear, Kevin, that is sad news indeed. Errol was a bloody good Lecky and a good shipmate. I remember particularly an incident from Centaur, at a party in the passengers' bar when he tripped over the sea-step and measured his length on the deck. Being Errol, of course, he managed it all without spilling a drop of the G&T he was carrying!

Coincidentally, I also live near Wrexham, just outside Ruabon.
Yes Errol was a fine chap, when I started with Ocean in 1974 as a junior Lecky, there were two other guys as juniors, Alan Lees and Ray Smythe, Alan I know sailed on the Centaur, always wondered what happend to them, never saw them after 1974! As I said I finished in 2009 on ferries took early retirement, got fed up of P and O ferries Dover run. Still do partime sea work when it crops up. Nice to know you are near to Wrexham.
 

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Hi there, I was an electrician (Kevin Jones, Wrexham North Wales)with Ocean Fleets from 1974, then 1982 to 1998 OCL, P and O Containers, P and O Nedlloyd and then 1998 to 2009 P and O Ferries Dover. I remember Errol when, we took over from each other a few times on the Tokyo Bay class container ships a few times. Errol was a fine bloke very tidy and an excellant electrician. I beleive he finally was working on the P and O ferries when they had the run from Portsmouth. Sadly I heard that either travelling to or from Portsmouth he died in a car crash, I think he had a heart attack. Thats a few years ago. Sorry to report bad news. I wonder if anybody else has more news.
Hi Kevin, thanks for the info about Errol, very sad to hear that he ended his life like that, any idea what year that would have been?,
They say only the good die young makes me wonder why im still around.
 

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Hi Kevin, thanks for the info about Errol, very sad to hear that he ended his life like that, any idea what year that would have been?,
They say only the good die young makes me wonder why im still around.
Hi I think it was around 2003 he died. sad lose.I remember he had a son named Ian, he was only a nipper when I last saw Errol think it was the Cardigan bay I took over from him. His wife and son had done the voyage/ or the European coast with him ( I think it was late eighties)
 

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I was on the Centaur from 78 to 81 first as junior Eng then returning as third engineer. Remember David Wright 3rd Engineer, Josh Garner (mate), Malcom Lees (captain) Bob Parkes (Lecky), Alan lees (junior lecky), Errol Henley-smith(lecky) Mark Tranfield (3rd Eng). Sadly bob Parkes and Errol are no longer with us. I am currently having all my old seagoing slides and films digitised and will post when done. I ended up marrying a Centaur passenger and settled in Perth WA, and now long been shore based in the Hospital Engineering game.
Only just joined SN.
 
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