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Does anyone recall ss Dalton Hall being picked up mid Atlantic and towed to Queenstown by tug Turmoil shortly after the epic by Turmoill ?
This does not deal with your question, but might be of interest. Here is 'Dalton Hall' in watercolour by one of her engineers. The artist is the late Bill Wedgwood of Robin Hood's Bay, N Yorkshire UK. He was a dear friend of mine. Part of this image is used as the cover of my seagoing memoir, 'The Best of Days'.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Harry, Thank you for answering my request! I did not think I would get a reply as I think the vessel was nearing the end of her time. I was indeed the 2nd mate come mate. It was a matter of being thrown in the deep end as I had only just got my 2.nd mates ticket. I was lucky that the 3rd.Mate was a friend who was at Trinity House with me as a cadet. To cut a long story short the Mate broke his back in an accident on the way to USA. I had to do his job also as I was really thrown into the deep end. I also was glad I served 4 years with Tatems of Cardiff which we were cheap labour ,but I appreciated the apprenticeship when faced with my sudden promotion without experience or qualification. Anyway we loaded Grain for UK and half way across the bunkers runout ( I suspect it was an insurance job) and we called for help and so we were towed into Queenstown by tug TURMOIL only a short time after her epic. I am now retired at 88 yrs after being connected to seagoing etc. I did indeed retire at 55 so a long retirement has been my reward. I am pleased you have your memories in a painting and I have photos of ships I have served on. What was your memories of her for needing a painting. It must have been a rewarding time and happy for such a need ?? Thank You ! Captain Moki.
 

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Hi Harry, Thank you for answering my request! I did not think I would get a reply as I think the vessel was nearing the end of her time. I was indeed the 2nd mate come mate. It was a matter of being thrown in the deep end as I had only just got my 2.nd mates ticket. I was lucky that the 3rd.Mate was a friend who was at Trinity House with me as a cadet. To cut a long story short the Mate broke his back in an accident on the way to USA. I had to do his job also as I was really thrown into the deep end. I also was glad I served 4 years with Tatems of Cardiff which we were cheap labour ,but I appreciated the apprenticeship when faced with my sudden promotion without experience or qualification. Anyway we loaded Grain for UK and half way across the bunkers runout ( I suspect it was an insurance job) and we called for help and so we were towed into Queenstown by tug TURMOIL only a short time after her epic. I am now retired at 88 yrs after being connected to seagoing etc. I did indeed retire at 55 so a long retirement has been my reward. I am pleased you have your memories in a painting and I have photos of ships I have served on. What was your memories of her for needing a painting. It must have been a rewarding time and happy for such a need ?? Thank You ! Captain Moki.
Hello, Captain - good to hear from you. Dalton Hall was not one of my ships - I bought the painting from Bill Wedgwood when he had a show at Robin Hood's Bay - near where I live. The image so reminded me of the Jimmy Nourse tramp 'Hughli' I was sparks on in 1956. I enjoyed Bill's loose approach to marine art. We became friends and spent happy hours yarning. He offered to paint the cover for my second memoir, 'You'll See Wonders', and painted a great image of my last ship, Brocklebanks 'Marwarri'. His health was failing due to asbestosis (he latterly worked in the shipyards) so I had a sense of urgency to finish the book. Each week I would take him the latest chapter for his comments, but he died before I'd reached the end. The church was packed for his funeral - scores of folk stood outside - I was perched on a table in the parish kitchen.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi Harry, Strange how intervening years our occupation brings us close together. I have a Spark's friend in Queensland and found we had sailed together only recently. I also am a certificated Spark's. I found it only necessary and useful when they made you redundant. I regretted this action. However I am a realist and also saw our own situation occurring as we became simply Bus Drivers. I hastily do not put down driving anywhere these days for you have to be brave men on the roads these days. I found that he had a rewarding shore job and used his knowledge to advantage.
I digress. And you refer to your memoir's I presume you have written and published a book or books?? I have thought about it and pressed by friends to do likewise. However my career was for myself and my achievements my own reward. I did not find others reading about "me" a good idea. However it pleases me to read the exploits of others in their careers enjoyable!
Gone are the days when we knew the funnels flags and ships of every shipping company as they are now owned by larger companies such as P&O etc. Also the knowledge that we had is no longer applied or required in Container ships. I speak with experience in sailing and working in such vessels also as managing a terminal. I want to thank you for he pleasure in reading your reply and if I can give you any information on " Dalton Hall " will be pleased to assist. Captain Moki
 

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Hi Harry, Strange how intervening years our occupation brings us close together. I have a Spark's friend in Queensland and found we had sailed together only recently. I also am a certificated Spark's. I found it only necessary and useful when they made you redundant. I regretted this action. However I am a realist and also saw our own situation occurring as we became simply Bus Drivers. I hastily do not put down driving anywhere these days for you have to be brave men on the roads these days. I found that he had a rewarding shore job and used his knowledge to advantage.
I digress. And you refer to your memoir's I presume you have written and published a book or books?? I have thought about it and pressed by friends to do likewise. However my career was for myself and my achievements my own reward. I did not find others reading about "me" a good idea. However it pleases me to read the exploits of others in their careers enjoyable!
Gone are the days when we knew the funnels flags and ships of every shipping company as they are now owned by larger companies such as P&O etc. Also the knowledge that we had is no longer applied or required in Container ships. I speak with experience in sailing and working in such vessels also as managing a terminal. I want to thank you for he pleasure in reading your reply and if I can give you any information on " Dalton Hall " will be pleased to assist. Captain Moki
Hi, captain. Your point about memoir gives me pause for thought as to my own motive. Since my experience of attempting an historical novel - 'Tom Fleck', I've come to relish creative writing. Once I've done my daily stint in the garden, trying to grow a respectable leek, I am back at the writing desk, moving words around into what I hope is a well-turned phrase. Also, at 84, I sense I'm trying to speak to my descendants - whoever they might be, as to what it was like in 'our day'.
I'm working on a third book of memoir - no title yet - and have lately enjoyed this effort to capture the atmosphere of a working class Durham town in the 1959:

"A week after our honeymoon, we begin to wonder if I'll be recalled soon, and how long will our parting be. If the next trip is India and straight back, it could be just five months. If we get diverted from India to the USA, as one in four of Brocklebank's voyages are, it will be seven months.
The red telephone box at the top of our road is occupied. There's a woman inside. She must be going out tonight --- she has her hair in curlers. She's not using the phone, but has the heavy iron door ajar while she has a smoke. 'I won't be long, flower.' she sings out. 'I'm waiting for a call from me husband at three. He's a sergeant at Catterick Camp. Shan't be long.'
Even though I've backed away a pace, I discover she's worried about her mother. I must not step back too far because a stout man has just wheezed up. A young lass hurries towards us. We now have a queue. It takes only ten minutes for the husband to run out of coins, and the telephone is mine. The box reeks of stale vinegar. Among the spent matches and Woodbine packets on the floor, there's a crunched up newspaper from someone's fish and chip supper. I lift the heavy bakelite receiver off its cradle, dial 'O', and ask the operator for a reverse charge, long-distance call to the number of the Brocklebank office in Liverpool. In Cunard Buildings, the radio superintendent comes on the line.
Arthur Orum gives a throaty chortle. 'What's up, Harry? You ready for another ship? Had enough of wedded bliss?'
I bring to mind the strong features, the irregular teeth, the heavy jaw, at the other end of the line --- the 'seen-it-all' kind eyes of a man who went to sea in 1939, at the outbreak of war. 'No, Arthur. I'm happy to be stuck on leave come the Crack of Doom. It's just that folk at home keep asking when I'll ship out again. Do I need to keep a bag packed?'
'Let's see. As of today, you've had sixteen days of your due leave.' Behind the crackle of the line, I detect the rustle of paper. 'You've a few days owing. Here we are . . . Ah, yes. I'm about to send you a wire with instructions to join the Matra in six day's time.'
I sigh. 'For deep sea?'
There's a chuckle. 'No, no. Not to fret. Just on standby. You'll sign Home Trade articles, ready for a bit of rock-dodging round the UK coast.'
'Where is she?' I imagine I'll meet her in the Thames or the Mersey.
'Graythorp drydock --- not a million miles from you, if I'm not far wrong.'
'Just a half-hour on the bus, Arthur. How long in drydock?'
'About two weeks. Then London, where you can sign off and nip home for a few more days. After that, all being well, I've got you down for foreign-going articles on Mahronda. Does that suit a newly married man?'
I make a mental calculation. Arthur has organised things so that I'll have almost another month at home before shipping out for India. 'That's champion, Arthur! Thank you indeed. Beryl will be over the moon. It's very thoughtful of you.'
'We like to do what we can for our people. You take good care of each other. Cheerio!'"


It's not for everyone - but now that I can no longer tramp the hills so easily, writing does make the days complete.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hi, captain. Your point about memoir gives me pause for thought as to my own motive. Since my experience of attempting an historical novel - 'Tom Fleck', I've come to relish creative writing. Once I've done my daily stint in the garden, trying to grow a respectable leek, I am back at the writing desk, moving words around into what I hope is a well-turned phrase. Also, at 84, I sense I'm trying to speak to my descendants - whoever they might be, as to what it was like in 'our day'.
I'm working on a third book of memoir - no title yet - and have lately enjoyed this effort to capture the atmosphere of a working class Durham town in the 1959:

"A week after our honeymoon, we begin to wonder if I'll be recalled soon, and how long will our parting be. If the next trip is India and straight back, it could be just five months. If we get diverted from India to the USA, as one in four of Brocklebank's voyages are, it will be seven months.
The red telephone box at the top of our road is occupied. There's a woman inside. She must be going out tonight --- she has her hair in curlers. She's not using the phone, but has the heavy iron door ajar while she has a smoke. 'I won't be long, flower.' she sings out. 'I'm waiting for a call from me husband at three. He's a sergeant at Catterick Camp. Shan't be long.'
Even though I've backed away a pace, I discover she's worried about her mother. I must not step back too far because a stout man has just wheezed up. A young lass hurries towards us. We now have a queue. It takes only ten minutes for the husband to run out of coins, and the telephone is mine. The box reeks of stale vinegar. Among the spent matches and Woodbine packets on the floor, there's a crunched up newspaper from someone's fish and chip supper. I lift the heavy bakelite receiver off its cradle, dial 'O', and ask the operator for a reverse charge, long-distance call to the number of the Brocklebank office in Liverpool. In Cunard Buildings, the radio superintendent comes on the line.
Arthur Orum gives a throaty chortle. 'What's up, Harry? You ready for another ship? Had enough of wedded bliss?'
I bring to mind the strong features, the irregular teeth, the heavy jaw, at the other end of the line --- the 'seen-it-all' kind eyes of a man who went to sea in 1939, at the outbreak of war. 'No, Arthur. I'm happy to be stuck on leave come the Crack of Doom. It's just that folk at home keep asking when I'll ship out again. Do I need to keep a bag packed?'
'Let's see. As of today, you've had sixteen days of your due leave.' Behind the crackle of the line, I detect the rustle of paper. 'You've a few days owing. Here we are . . . Ah, yes. I'm about to send you a wire with instructions to join the Matra in six day's time.'
I sigh. 'For deep sea?'
There's a chuckle. 'No, no. Not to fret. Just on standby. You'll sign Home Trade articles, ready for a bit of rock-dodging round the UK coast.'
'Where is she?' I imagine I'll meet her in the Thames or the Mersey.
'Graythorp drydock --- not a million miles from you, if I'm not far wrong.'
'Just a half-hour on the bus, Arthur. How long in drydock?'
'About two weeks. Then London, where you can sign off and nip home for a few more days. After that, all being well, I've got you down for foreign-going articles on Mahronda. Does that suit a newly married man?'
I make a mental calculation. Arthur has organised things so that I'll have almost another month at home before shipping out for India. 'That's champion, Arthur! Thank you indeed. Beryl will be over the moon. It's very thoughtful of you.'
'We like to do what we can for our people. You take good care of each other. Cheerio!'"


It's not for everyone - but now that I can no longer tramp the hills so easily, writing does make the days complete.
I HAD TO CHUCKLE READING YOUR SUMMARY. it TOOK ME BACK TO SOUTH SHEILDS STATHES loading coal for London Battersea power station in Stevie Clarkes Fulham !! The description of a male showing the common Jaw which defined the Newcastle male as from that area. Also drydocking in Sunderland in what was a poor area as an apprentice. We had little money to spend on frivolous meals or entertainment. I was from a fishing family in Hull and felt obliged to assist my family with whatever I could spare.. My dad thought I should go to sea in floating hotels?? AS a lad he could not take advantage of his own education at Trinity House. I considered myself fortunate to get a good education as I look back, and promised myself that I would make a top officer and Captain to make them proud of their Son. I hope and think I did all of that, sailing in many types of vessels absorbing the " different ships different long splices" that gave me a fair grounding in seafaring trade routes.. After completing to Master I went into the fishing industry First training on different vessels in Norway and UK before becoming. Master of Factory Ship. My history that followed within he fishing industry although a hard road to travel was more rewarding and enjoyable. Maybe I can enlighten you one day as I am finding a keyboard very painful these days so forgive me if I rest. Take care and give me more of your acute observations! Harry.! Ken
 

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I HAD TO CHUCKLE READING YOUR SUMMARY. it TOOK ME BACK TO SOUTH SHEILDS STATHES loading coal for London Battersea power station in Stevie Clarkes Fulham !! The description of a male showing the common Jaw which defined the Newcastle male as from that area. Also drydocking in Sunderland in what was a poor area as an apprentice. We had little money to spend on frivolous meals or entertainment. I was from a fishing family in Hull and felt obliged to assist my family with whatever I could spare.. My dad thought I should go to sea in floating hotels?? AS a lad he could not take advantage of his own education at Trinity House. I considered myself fortunate to get a good education as I look back, and promised myself that I would make a top officer and Captain to make them proud of their Son. I hope and think I did all of that, sailing in many types of vessels absorbing the " different ships different long splices" that gave me a fair grounding in seafaring trade routes.. After completing to Master I went into the fishing industry First training on different vessels in Norway and UK before becoming. Master of Factory Ship. My history that followed within he fishing industry although a hard road to travel was more rewarding and enjoyable. Maybe I can enlighten you one day as I am finding a keyboard very painful these days so forgive me if I rest. Take care and give me more of your acute observations! Harry.! Ken
Hello, Ken. I enjoyed your post, and see that you are a native of the fine town of Hull. Here is another snip from my seagoing memoir 'The Best of Days'. I'm sparks on a 2,000 ton collier, the Corburn - it is 1956:

snip: Next day, as we approach the estuary of the River Humber, I make up my mind. I've been thinking about my career. I've concluded, since that unfortunate encounter in Singapore with a shipmate's bottle of VAT 69 whisky, it is in poor shape. Since I discharged from the fine troopship Dunera, I've been shanghaied onto a Jimmy Nourse tramp and had to threaten my way free of two years on her, only to find I'm aboard this crazy coal boat trundling around the Holy Ghost (I've picked up seaman's slang for the UK Coast). How long will it go on? I'll put a stop to it.
It's 1600 hours when we tie up at the coal staithes of Hull. I hurry ashore to find a telephone box. Everywhere in Britain the phone boxes are GPO red, but in Hull they are white – the GPO has never had charge of telephones here. I ring South Shields Merchant Navy College, where I studied for my 2nd Class PMG. I'm overjoyed to learn I'll be accepted onto the three-month course in ships' radar maintenance. It starts in two weeks' time. Hurrah!
This news deserves a night out. I stride ashore with a couple of the crew. The pubs are brightly lit and noisy with salty revellers. Hull is packed with cargo steamers of many flags, and the fish docks bristle with the masts of trawlers landing cod from the seas around Iceland. Money pours into the tills of grinning publicans. We happily push our florins and half-crowns across wet and slippery mahogany tops in exchange for bitter beer and pork pies. The spiced-earth smell of hops does so readily bring on thirst and appetite.
After an ale or two in The Duke of Wellington and a couple more in The Empress, we head down a side street for The Paragon, and then to Polly's. Apparently, Polly's is the place to be. There's a painted image of an Amazon Green parrot on the pub sign outside the entrance. It stands opposite the Tivoli theatre where Arthur Lucan died backstage just two years ago. Lucan, dressed as a woman, played Old Mother Riley in uproarious music hall, radio, and film as far back as 1934.
At first, it's impossible to force a way into Polly's. The doorway is blocked by a swaying circle of men and women, gathered beneath the parrot. There's heaving and pushing as the fist-fight at the centre comes and goes. Two policemen arrive, whereupon the crowd rushes into the pub. Now we can see the combatants. One is sprawled on the stone flags of the pavement and the other stoops to help him to his feet. The police are asking for names.
The lanky black man now has his opponent upright and supports him with an arm. He addresses the police with a rich American, Southern States accent. 'We want no trouble with ya'll. This guy is ma best buddy.'
A helpful bystander points to a few teeth on the pavement. The lanky man collects them up, carefully puts them in his friend's coat pocket, and turns to the police. 'I'll get these teeth put back in ma friend's head. Now, suhs, if you don't mind, we'll quietly amble back to ar ship.' end of snip.


I hope I've got my facts right about the Polly pub. You might recall more than I do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hi Harry, You certainly have a gift in giving to others. Your grasp of words giving the imagination to work as I read your wonderful summary. It no longer applies for one to use the gift of imagination due to IT and TV doing it for all people, sadly a great loss. Although my experiences were of course different to your own, especially due to different areas of the work avenues of our profession. In port was where our work really began as cargo was the profit needed to keep the Company surviving. I always saw getting the vessel to each port was a secondary factor for without earnings for whatever cargo we carried we of course could not survive. However for myself the Navigation was enjoyable and I have sailed with some Masters who shared my passion and which was a learning situation for me. Charts and understanding of them seemed to some a chore as corrections took time but of course necessary. Later I was involved with Navy in correcting the publications with the NZ Marine dept. gaining more intimate knowledge of the publications as a result. Keep up your excellent work (hobby) as i appreciate all you do. Am reading your reviews and I am not alone for you have a following who appreciate your endeavours also. Take care Harry and best wishes.. captain Moki.
 

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Hi Harry, You certainly have a gift in giving to others. Your grasp of words giving the imagination to work as I read your wonderful summary. It no longer applies for one to use the gift of imagination due to IT and TV doing it for all people, sadly a great loss. Although my experiences were of course different to your own, especially due to different areas of the work avenues of our profession. In port was where our work really began as cargo was the profit needed to keep the Company surviving. I always saw getting the vessel to each port was a secondary factor for without earnings for whatever cargo we carried we of course could not survive. However for myself the Navigation was enjoyable and I have sailed with some Masters who shared my passion and which was a learning situation for me. Charts and understanding of them seemed to some a chore as corrections took time but of course necessary. Later I was involved with Navy in correcting the publications with the NZ Marine dept. gaining more intimate knowledge of the publications as a result. Keep up your excellent work (hobby) as i appreciate all you do. Am reading your reviews and I am not alone for you have a following who appreciate your endeavours also. Take care Harry and best wishes.. captain Moki.
Thank you, Captain - that is gracious of you. Just had the latest Covid jab and the Flu jab and so best keep in this chair. It's raining now, so no gardening today. Here is what followed the night out in Hull, off the collier Corburn:

"In the morning, after a foaming glass of Andrew's Liver Salts that *****s the nose and restores the will to live, followed by tomato juice, and a helping of porridge, I set off for the local office of my employer, The Marconi International Marine Company.
The waiting room is full. I detect the fruity odour of Fair Maid pipe tobacco. There are about a dozen men seated, in navy macs (it's swishing down with rain today), and a couple standing. I look around at the faces, young and mature. These are men from tankers, deep-sea cargo tramps, coasters, whaling ships and big trawlers; no fancy passenger liners call at the port of Hull. Scraps of slow conversation drift about in thin tobacco fug. I detect a general air of disaffection.
A wooden loudspeaker hangs below the ceiling. It begins to tweet out a British ship's call sign. One man knocks the dottle out of his pipe and leaves the room. Ten minutes later, another burst of Morse, and a man rises.
The conversation wanders. 'Who are you with?'
'Hogarth's of Glasgow.'
'Ah, Hungry Hogarth's. That's a bugger.'
'And you?'
‘Harrison's, out of Liverpool'
'Baron Boats! Why, man, that's just as bad. Two of fat and one of lean.' There are wry grins and laughs. The reference to the red and white bands on Harrison funnels is well understood.
A chap removes his pipe and begins to croon a parody of Harry Belafonte's latest calypso:

Brown skin girl stay home and mind de baybee
Brown skin girl stay home and mind de baybee
I sail away on de Harrison boat
And if I don't come back
Den you can mind de baybee

Another takes up the refrain but is interrupted by a burst of tinny Morse. Men look around, but nobody rises. Five minutes go by. We read our newspapers; some chaps pencil around the names of horses that will run this afternoon. The loudspeaker comes to life with the same call sign: GTYD. It is keyed very slow, in a fashion we recognise as heavy sarcasm. 'Oh, deary, deary me,' someone mutters. Nobody moves. The call sign beats out again, GTYD, over and over again, fast and furious this time.
After a while, the door opens and the office manager's moustached face peeps in. 'Is Baron Douglas here?' There's no response. 'Is Mr Elliot in the room?'
The Harrison man folds his newspaper. 'He is.'
The manager sniffs. 'Can't you recognise your own ship's call sign?'
'I certainly can. And I can key it better than thee does. But, I do have a name. If you want to see me, use the name I had when I joined this bloody outfit.'
After that, there is no more work for the loudspeaker. The manager opens the door and politely asks for each of us by name.

At his desk, he passes a hand over his face. 'September starts tomorrow and I don't know what we're going to do, I've had five resignations already this week.'
He slouches and looks as though he's short of sleep. I begin to feel sympathy for him.
He straightens his back and blinks once or twice. 'So, you intend to resign, Mr Nicholson. Why is that?'
'I'm going back to college to study for the Radar Maintenance ticket.'
'That is commendable. I hope you are successful and I hope you return to Marconi's. We tend to place radar tickets on quality vessels, such as passenger liners that carry Marconi radar.'
'Corburn is here to load coal. She'll sail in five days. I won't be on her.'
'I know that. I'm informed you are due paid leave; fifteen days, including those earned by Sundays at sea. There's no point in you staying aboard. We'll get you signed off tomorrow. Your present employment expires at the end of your leave. I hope you come back to us.'
We shake hands, and I walk out with a spring in my step.

(MV Corburn was sold to Greek owners in 1972. She was renamed Aigeorgis under the Cypriot flag. Scrapped at Brindisi, Italy, in 1979.)"

That was another fragment from my seagoing memoir, "The Best of Days". It has a sequel: "You'll See Wonders". I'm half-way through another . . . no title yet. I'm open to ideas.
 
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