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Hi Derek, have you tried contacting Tim Kelly or Ian Pinney? Unfortunately, I don't have any contacts for them but I know that they spoke to Mike on occasion. I hope he is ok and has just moved house or something? I will try a couple of other routes and post if I find anything.
 

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Hi Ian,
I hope you are well? I inspected the Stolt Shearwater at Immingham yesterday. Eric Shearman was the Chief. He was saying he is the last of the Brits but he remembered yourself and Euan. There used to be loads of Brits in Stolt, sad to see the decline. Keep well mate!
 

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Discussion Starter #344
Hi Derek, have you tried contacting Tim Kelly or Ian Pinney? Unfortunately, I don't have any contacts for them but I know that they spoke to Mike on occasion. I hope he is ok and has just moved house or something? I will try a couple of other routes and post if I find anything.
Hi - yes, I keep in regular touch with Tim, he has not heard from Mike for a long time.
I have written a letter to Mike Cotton now so will hopefully have some more news soon.
 

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OK Derek, hopefully it is good news? Let us know if you hear anything and I will do likewise. We used to give Mike some relief work at the last company after he had retired so I will ask on Monday wether they still have any contact details etc and PM you if I find anything.
 

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Discussion Starter #346
Mike Cotton

Sadly I have to report that Mike Cotton (C/E) passed away at the end of last year following an accident.

I received this email from his daughter:

"I'm sorry to have to tell you that Dad passed away at the end of last year, following an accident.
He was still running about and climbing trees with his four Grandsons, well into his 70's.
I had a chat with John Godwin, and Peter Holdstock from MV Wheelsman who told me all about Dads antics whilst away at sea! Nice to hear some funny stories."


My thoughts are with his son & daughter and all of his family.
 

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Mike Cotton

Hi Derek.

So sad to hear about Mike Cotton, I will always remember him as C/E on the Wheelsman 1985 I think when we were in dry dock in Avonmouth sharing the dock with Tankerman. He had his wife and children down staying in their caravan somewhere just outside Bristol.
By a very sad coincidence I'm not sure if you have heard but Gordon Coates who I also sailed with on the Wheelsman was killed in an accident on the Thames last October. He was still working as a Pilot and was killed boarding a ship in Gravesend Reach. Gordon I remember was more known as a chemical ship master, but occasionally came over the clean oil side.
On a happier note through your great work in setting up this site I have re-established contact with Tim Kelly, and Helen and I have been to stay with him and Julie on a couple of occasions now.
Thanks for all you do.
Jon
 

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Discussion Starter #348
Hi Derek.

So sad to hear about Mike Cotton, I will always remember him as C/E on the Wheelsman 1985 I think when we were in dry dock in Avonmouth sharing the dock with Tankerman. He had his wife and children down staying in their caravan somewhere just outside Bristol.
By a very sad coincidence I'm not sure if you have heard but Gordon Coates who I also sailed with on the Wheelsman was killed in an accident on the Thames last October. He was still working as a Pilot and was killed boarding a ship in Gravesend Reach. Gordon I remember was more known as a chemical ship master, but occasionally came over the clean oil side.
On a happier note through your great work in setting up this site I have re-established contact with Tim Kelly, and Helen and I have been to stay with him and Julie on a couple of occasions now.
Thanks for all you do.
Jon
Hi Jon ..

Good to hear from you. Sadly there are just a few of the old 'Tilly' crowd left now, Mike's passing leaves only Bryan Porter for news as Mike had a good contact network going!
I haven't seen Tim & Julie for a good few years now but we keep in touch online, one of these days we will get together again I'm sure.
If you ever hear from any other ex-Rocky staff do let me know and also pass on my best to them too.

Cheers for now
Derek
 

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Instrumentation Company

Hello all
Some of you may recall my Father William Hawthorn who owned the Instrumentation Company and myself David Hawthorn who repaired the tankers that berthed in Milford. My first ship was the leadsman and i was amazed at how the chief engineer could operate all the switches and buttons and everything magically worked. Years later I was doing the same thing. I worked on all the ships and was sadly present when the Pointsman exploded in Milford Haven. Keith Holman was the superintendent that we would get our work through. Great times were had on the Rivershannon, Bridgeman, Oarsman helmsman, eastgate tankerman and many more. I do remember Mike Cotton who was a great engineer and a lovely guy.
I miss those great days
 

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Hello Skyline; I remember your father well, first , during my time with Rowbothams and later when I worked at Texaco Pembroke, he was a sort of fix all when it came to electrical/ electronic problems aboard. We lived in the same village (Hundleton) for a number years> Bruce
 

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Discussion Starter #351
Hi skyline2500cc - I don't think we met but certainly your Dad Willie Hawthorn was a name I came across a lot in Milford as he was always present to help out with mechanical problems! Keith Holman was also well known throughout the fleet.
Sadly many of the names we all knew have now sailed away for the last time .. but there are certainly some great memories remaining with us that are left.
Good days for sure - I think we had the best times on the best ships. :)
 

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I have just joined this site and have read the postings on this thread with interest and there are many familiar names . I was in the first draft of Class IV cadets in 1975 and my first ship was the Wheelsman with Stevie Pond as Master and Rusty Buchan as mate, Clive Stevens was with me. I also sailed on Centaurman, Helmsman, Vegaman, Bridgeman, Orionman. My First trip as second mate was eventful, I went straight from Warsash to the Tillerman in Feb '79 and it promptly caught fire in the accommodation just of lands end R. Owen was the Captain. After the fire I went to Mexico on the Vegaman, and when I came back I was mostly regular second mate on the Bridgman with Stevie Pond and Daisy Andrews. The only person I have met from my those days is Jim Kerr who was a fellow cadet who was, and may still be a Marine Superintendent at Fishers. I left to go to University 1982, but still did holiday reliefs whilst there, I did a degree in Ship Science (Naval Archtecture) at Cardiff. Since then I have still been in the Maritime world and spending time offshore working in, Ship design, submarine cable laying and Warranty Surveying. More used to big DP construction vessels and cable ships these days. Must say when I was on deck with Rowbothams I never expected to end up as a Chartered Engineer!
 

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Discussion Starter #353
My First trip as second mate was eventful, I went straight from Warsash to the Tillerman in Feb '79 and it promptly caught fire in the accommodation just of lands end R. Owen was the Captain. After the fire I went to Mexico on the Vegaman, and when I came back I was mostly regular second mate on the Bridgman with Stevie Pond and Daisy Andrews.
You were on the Tilly just before I joined Rockies in March 1980 then Alex.
'Rusty' was Skipper when I sailed with him, he joined the Tilly in Falmouth to take her up the the Western Isles when the Guidesman came off the rum - and he never left until he retired!

You must have been with Peter Marris (Mate) on the Bridgeman then?
 

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I sailed with Rusty as skipper on the Anchorman for 3 days, I was on the Bridgeman in Milford and was sent across to the Anchorman to take her to some small port in Southern Ireland, can't remember its name (May have been New Ross), apparently the deck crew were all ill. I seem to remember them taking a considerable amount of 'medication' during the trip, it was the second of Jan when I joined! I also did a couple of weeks on the Tillerman in June 1980, as a relief for the second mate who's wife was expecting, joined in Carrickfergus, Captain was Everette, can't remember his first name.
I remember Peter Marris. I also remember Brian Porter from the office, he gave me the cadetship and he also helped me when I left, giving me relief work and also technical information on the Centaurman for my degree dissertation.
I also sailed with Franky Crask, he used to let me take the Bridgman into Eastham Locks when I was a Cadet, very good ship handler. I sailed with Bob Ord, the Roadrunner, Terry Frith when he was mate, I also sailed with Gordon Coates and was sorry to here of his death.
 

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Discussion Starter #355
Rusty was a great skipper when you got to know him - always wore full uniform. After he retired he did various jobs including yacht delivery - I met up with him on several occasions in Plymouth when he was delivering millionaires boats!
Alan Everett is the name you seek! Known as 'tanky' throughout the fleet, based in Malta where he had a home with his friend.
I still communicate with Bryan Porter when there is any news regarding former sea-going staff, sadly the demise of personnel seems to be ongoing too regularly.
All the names you mention I know and sailed with a few of them.
The comp-any always regarded the 1000 tonners as punishement ships, never knew why as they had by far the best runs. Alan Thurbon from HO came on a trip around the Western Isles with us once to see why we loved the 'Tilly' .. he soon understood the reasons!
Did you come across Tim Kelly, another Class 5 whi I keep in regular touch with?
 

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I don't remember the name, its all seems a long time ago. I sailed with some of the Class 5's from the year after us but can't remember their names. Also I can't remember the name of the mate on the Tilly, he was an ex Londonderry Fireman and I also sailed with him on the Oarsman when it was new, built in Hull if I remember rightly R Owen was Captain, I think he was Rhodesian. also remember a mate called Ian Storey, I think from the Helmsman, when I was a Cadet, the Master was called Hunt, he had been there for years but retired not long afterwards. Personally I enjoyed the 1000 tonners for the short time I was on them. Has any body heard from Clive Stevens, a fellow Cadet, we spent a lot of our Cadetship together, I think he went to Stolt with Terry Frith sometime in the 80's. I am glad Bryan Porter is still around, he was a good guy, send him my regards. The more I think about my time at Rowbothm's the more I remember. I really enjoyed my time there and learned a lot, more than most deep sea cadets I think. It has also served me well since I left.
 

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Discussion Starter #357
I think from the Helmsman, when I was a Cadet, the Master was called Hunt, he had been there for years but retired not long afterwards.
Derek Hunt was Skipper on the Helmsman with Jo Wilson as Mate, she seemed to do Immingham - Leith nearly all the time!
Ian Pinney was another Class 5 from the same group as Tim Kelly. I think I sailed as Mate with Clive Stevens on the Oilman when he was a Class 5/Cadet after she took the Western Isle run off the Tilly.
 

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You are right about the Helmsman, most boring ship I ever sailed on. I was wrong about Ian Storey, I sailed with him on the Centaurman or the Vegaman. There was a Cadet called Livesey on the Vegaman when it was in Mexico. The Cadets that were taken on in '75 were Class 4, we had to do 3 months more sea time to do the Bridging exam for class 3.
 

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Hi Alex, we sailed together. I cannot remember the vessel. Great to see you have done so well for yourself. Please find the following that I can remember. Hope it rings a bell?

1st and 2nd year short sea trade cadets( otherwise known as Monty Porters Flying Circus):

1st year: Peter Bartlett, Mike Kerr, Clive Stevens, Mike Scott, Alex Scott and Mark Hayward.

2nd year: Andy
 

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2nd year: Andy Bourne, Neil Lovesey, Harry Williams, Martin Skinner, Lindsey Dowdall and Eddie Vitols.
There was a third year but I can only remember two guys, Paul Williams and John Walker/

Then Rocky's started to go with class 5 entries, these were lads who basically started as deck boys but the ones I remember below turned out to be great lads:-
Jon Whitford, Stuart Vallis, Tim Kelly, Chris Poole - Gleed, Ian Pinney, Jim Podger, Alec Gibbons, Terry Hitchens, Matt Black and my apologies, I cannot remember any other names.
We were all trained by great chaps, and I thank them secretly every single day, hope you all remember some of the following names? I am 60 years old now but am still that daft cadet! The following are my heroes, I hope they ring a bell for all you lads? Here Goes, in no particular order as they say on the telly!
Captain Derek Hunt, Captain Frank Craske, Captain John Bates, Capt Alex Mc Kinnon, Captain Alec Graham, Captain George Mount, Captain Noel Williams, Captain Rodney Burnett, Captain John Marsden, Captain William Millar, Captain John Phillips, Captain David Andrews, Captain Steve Pond, Captain Alan Everett, Captain David ***mins, Captain Ian Storrie, Captain Jim Mc Gregor,
Terry Frith, Bob Ord, Peter Marris, Joe Wilson, Kenny Plummer, John Steward, Tim O'Sullivan. Howard Swan, Colin Farmer, Gordon Coates, Chris Ford, Robin Ralling, Peter Turner, Mike Cooke, David Day and Dick Stevenson and so many others?
I wasn't an engineer but the following taught me and possibly you a lot?
Ian Shields, Graham Davies, Kevin Raby, Gordon Davies, Keith Boyles, Dougie Alexander, Peter Gough, Eddie Neylon, Bob Hedley, Kalli Aktar, Benjy Crentsil,Duncan Deefholts, Clayton(Sorry about the forgotten Christian name).
The real Rowbotham were a magnificent company, with great ships, great people and great training for us young and inexperienced lads. Everything I have I owe to all those great people. Apologies for anyone I have missed. I also feel I need to mention two amazing seamen that I still tell stories about, Boson's, Jimmy Ward and Ernie Horne! There is no one around today of their calibre! Class. I hope this post gives you all happy memories, it always makes me chuckle, great people, great character, great seamen and great role models!
 
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