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A warm greeting to all in these forums from a newcomer.

I am a novelist researching a story set on a tanker in the sixties. The ship in the story is modelled on BRITISH SWIFT, a BP tanker built on Clydeside in 1959. In late 1967, her master was M.S.McClymont, who left her dry docked in February 1968 to get married. Afterwards he lived in Devon.

My interest in BRITISH SWIFT comes from having acquired some of her papers in an auction. From them I learned of such processes as "hot butterworthing", which must hardly be known outside the merchant marine.

They also contain references to various crew members such as M.H.Davies, AB, who would today be 70 years old, and H.G. Scragg, 2nd Steward, and W.H.S. Kirkby who had lost his National Insurance Card. Others mentioned include K. Pearson, EDH, J. Reid, Assistant Steward, N.J. McClean, AB, D. Izzat, FG and Mohammed Khosravipour, Navigating Cadet.

I wonder what became of P. Cox, Deck Boy, who left the vessel to go home, taking all his belongings with him, without submitting an application to take leave. In his report to the B.P. Tanker Co in Moor Lane, EC2, the master stresses that "he must have been under the impression that, having been signed off, he was free to leave." He goes on to say, "I will now leave this matter in your hands but, in view of his services on board the vessel and the good opinion held by the Chief Officer and myself of him, I would, with very great respect, suggest that this occasion is a case for explanation rather than disciplinary action."

What a decent master McClymont was.

These are events of almost forty years ago, but I would love to hear from anyone who knows more about this ship, her master or crew.
 

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Hello Indra
Welcome to this site. I am sure you may be able to find help. Strangely enough I was a Deck Apprentice and then Third Officer with BP Tankers in the mid to late sixties and served on similar vessels to the British Swift - I was on British Kiwi and British Kestrel and remember "hot butterworthing". Regretfully I know of no one whom you mention but others here may!
Good luck!
 

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Hi Indra,

'hot butterworthing', a means of cleaning oil tanks, usually at sea after discharging, comprising of the piece of equipment shown below which was connected to a rather ***bersome hot water hose and a long rope and lowered in stages,depending on tank depth, through the removable 'Butterworth plate' set into the deck plating. The rope was used to hold the equipment at the various levels and also to avoid strain on the hose. To those involved, a sod of a job, heaving the heavy brass Butterworth and water-filled hose up from the depths!!. This task could on occasions last for days. The water/oil mix that resulted in the tank bottom was pumped into the 'slop tank' which was usually the aftermost centre cargo tank. After being allowed to settle, the water at the bottom of the slop tank was pumped overboard via the stern pipe under the strict eye, naturally(!) of the Officer, or in most cases Apprentice in charge.
That was tank-cleaning 30-40 years ago like on the 'Swift'. BP had so many ships at that time 100+ it was difficult or nigh impossible to keep track of ratings or officers so the names unfortunately mean nothing to me either.
Good luck with your research.
 

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Indra welcome to the site, as you can see we have here the most knowledgable and helpful people on the planet, I hope you enjoy the rest of the site and find the information you are researching....good luck with the novel, make sure you let us know when it's available.
 

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BRITISH SWIFT was one of the BIRD Class of medium sized tankers built for BP in the 1950s by various yards. She came from Scotts' at Greenock in 1959:

11174grt/ 15400dwt

525ft x 69ft x 29ft draft. Diesel powered- Doxford engine.

Renamed NOAH VI in 1977. Don/t have anything of her after that.
There is a pic of mine in the BP Tankers Forum. Not too good I/m afraid. I/ve posted a trials shot I have of her in the Gallery.
 

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mv British Swift

Indra,
Some more details of the British Swift.
She was built by Scotts Shipbuilding & Engineering Co. Ltd. of Port Glasgow & completed on 24.10.1959. After 16 years service with BP she was sold on 21.11.1975 to Noah Shipping of Tehran & renamed Noah VI. On 19.5.1982 she was in collision with a vessel named Cast Gull in the Persian Gulf. She put into Bahrein & was reported to be still there in 1989 & that was the last to be heard of her but I expect someone on this site will know what her ultimate fate was.
Like Paul Jarvis, I too sailed on 2 of her sisters - British Gannet & British Trust - & very nice little vessels they were too. They were all motor vessels as opposed to steam ships, hence the prefix "mv."
I have attached a photo of her.
Photo & details from Norman Middlemiss - The British Tankers
 

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WElcome Indra to the site where most of us have seagoing experience and as you can already see, ask a question and the answer is there in a flash.
 

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Cannot remember for sure but you could not buy the butterworth system it was all on leasing deal [it was originally a british patent but he went to the states so I was told,anyone please verify] with the companys, then gunclean systems came along that was just as heavy a chore with the crew having to move a big hoist frame around the decks to hoist and change the heads
 

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Tank Cleaning

Janbonde,
In between the Butterworth & the gunclean system, there were the Victor Pyrate machines. These were very similar to Butterworths but had an additional arm (3 instead of the Butterworth's 2). In BP at least, the supertankers tended to use the Victor Pyrate machines whereas the smaller ones stuck to Butterworths. At that time (50s & early 60s), there was no such thing as a slop tank & all the sludge was just pumped directly over the side. On the supertankers, tank cleaning would start as soon as the discharge port was left behind & oil trails could clearly be seen in the Western Approaches. Try doing that today.
Regards,
John F
 

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John-F I know it was common practice of that sort of thing in the early 50`s also the sludge the tank cleaning crew shovelled out went straight over the side, then I went over to Norwegian and Panamanian flag and came back to tankers in the early 70`s was in the 250,000t with Esso International the other thing which was part of Butterworth were the hull scrubbing units with divers,we used call at Tenerife on the voyage and spend 24 hrs at anchor just outside the port and get the bottom cleaned.made a difference to bunker usage and knots,as in all these large companys 1 cent in the $ saved was a lot of money
 

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Indra
I sailed with Captain McClymont on his first command, the British Gunner back in 1966, I was Chief Officer, and he was one of four 1st command Captains that I sailed with as Chief Officer.
My memories after 40 years of him have not changed and they do not particularly coincide with yours
Tony Maskell
 

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Good Morning Indra.
Welcome to Ships Nostalgia. I hope you get the information you are searching for. Whilst you're on here though, I think you'll find lots of other interesting topics to keep you amused and informed.
 

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[QUOTE Indra]I wonder what became of P. Cox, Deck Boy, who left the vessel to go home, taking all his belongings with him, without submitting an application to take leave. In his report to the B.P. Tanker Co in Moor Lane, EC2, the master stresses that "he must have been under the impression that, having been signed off, he was free to leave." He goes on to say, "I will now leave this matter in your hands but, in view of his services on board the vessel and the good opinion held by the Chief Officer and myself of him, I would, with very great respect, suggest that this occasion is a case for explanation rather than disciplinary action." [/QUOTE]
Hi Indra, welcome to the site. Hope you get all of the info you're looking for?
I don't understand this quote, though? If he had 'Paid-off' then he was entitled to leave. Why was there talk of disciplinary action and why did he have to apply to 'take leave'? Maybe things had changed in 1967? Some of the other old hands might be able to enlighten me? Vix
 

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mv British Swift.

Indra Sinha said:
A warm greeting to all in these forums from a newcomer.

I am a novelist researching a story set on a tanker in the sixties. The ship in the story is modelled on BRITISH SWIFT, a BP tanker built on Clydeside in 1959. In late 1967, her master was M.S.McClymont, who left her dry docked in February 1968 to get married. Afterwards he lived in Devon.

My interest in BRITISH SWIFT comes from having acquired some of her papers in an auction. From them I learned of such processes as "hot butterworthing", which must hardly be known outside the merchant marine.

They also contain references to various crew members such as M.H.Davies, AB, who would today be 70 years old, and H.G. Scragg, 2nd Steward, and W.H.S. Kirkby who had lost his National Insurance Card. Others mentioned include K. Pearson, EDH, J. Reid, Assistant Steward, N.J. McClean, AB, D. Izzat, FG and Mohammed Khosravipour, Navigating Cadet.

I wonder what became of P. Cox, Deck Boy, who left the vessel to go home, taking all his belongings with him, without submitting an application to take leave. In his report to the B.P. Tanker Co in Moor Lane, EC2, the master stresses that "he must have been under the impression that, having been signed off, he was free to leave." He goes on to say, "I will now leave this matter in your hands but, in view of his services on board the vessel and the good opinion held by the Chief Officer and myself of him, I would, with very great respect, suggest that this occasion is a case for explanation rather than disciplinary action."

What a decent master McClymont was.

These are events of almost forty years ago, but I would love to hear from anyone who knows more about this ship, her master or crew.
Hi Indra. Welcome. I've never heard of anyone once having signed off to be expected to stay for any reason (except the cook) but not a deck boy? . Once I had signed off and had my discharge book I was gone. I served on several BP tankers mid 50s to early 60s and between Little Aden and the Gulf cleaned tanks loads of times, then it was get down there wearing the obligatory tank boots and not much else shovelling shale or scale into 10 gallon drums which were hoisted up by block and tackle and dumped overside, always ended up singing and whistling quite a bit, but the large glass of Tate and Lyles rum (Caroni 90) made some amends. I believe there was an explosion on one ship, I think it was the Bulldog, owing to the earth strip not being tightened. Ken.
 

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Tony Maskell said:
Indra
I sailed with Captain McClymont on his first command, the British Gunner back in 1966, I was Chief Officer, and he was one of four 1st command Captains that I sailed with as Chief Officer.
My memories after 40 years of him have not changed and they do not particularly coincide with yours
Tony Maskell
A very diplomatic first post Tony, welcome.
 

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hi well i joined the british gull in govan in the sixties,,stood by her during building and sailed with her for 7 month on the aussie coast,,there was a greenock crew ,but they gave so many problems that i beleive after i left in dry dock they were relaced with a indian crew ,,she was a opposed piston b/w and gave us no problems during the trip ,,heglig john
 

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dom

vix said:
[QUOTE Indra]I wonder what became of P. Cox, Deck Boy, who left the vessel to go home, taking all his belongings with him, without submitting an application to take leave. In his report to the B.P. Tanker Co in Moor Lane, EC2, the master stresses that "he must have been under the impression that, having been signed off, he was free to leave." He goes on to say, "I will now leave this matter in your hands but, in view of his services on board the vessel and the good opinion held by the Chief Officer and myself of him, I would, with very great respect, suggest that this occasion is a case for explanation rather than disciplinary action."
Hi Indra, welcome to the site. Hope you get all of the info you're looking for?
I don't understand this quote, though? If he had 'Paid-off' then he was entitled to leave. Why was there talk of disciplinary action and why did he have to apply to 'take leave'? Maybe things had changed in 1967? Some of the other old hands might be able to enlighten me? Vix[/QUOTE]must agree with vix,unless you sign off and resign you can leave right away,some time on board you signed off at one table,signed on at another
 

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british swift

A warm greeting to all in these forums from a newcomer.

I am a novelist researching a story set on a tanker in the sixties. The ship in the story is modelled on BRITISH SWIFT, a BP tanker built on Clydeside in 1959. In late 1967, her master was M.S.McClymont, who left her dry docked in February 1968 to get married. Afterwards he lived in Devon.

My interest in BRITISH SWIFT comes from having acquired some of her papers in an auction. From them I learned of such processes as "hot butterworthing", which must hardly be known outside the merchant marine.

They also contain references to various crew members such as M.H.Davies, AB, who would today be 70 years old, and H.G. Scragg, 2nd Steward, and W.H.S. Kirkby who had lost his National Insurance Card. Others mentioned include K. Pearson, EDH, J. Reid, Assistant Steward, N.J. McClean, AB, D. Izzat, FG and Mohammed Khosravipour, Navigating Cadet.

I wonder what became of P. Cox, Deck Boy, who left the vessel to go home, taking all his belongings with him, without submitting an application to take leave. In his report to the B.P. Tanker Co in Moor Lane, EC2, the master stresses that "he must have been under the impression that, having been signed off, he was free to leave." He goes on to say, "I will now leave this matter in your hands but, in view of his services on board the vessel and the good opinion held by the Chief Officer and myself of him, I would, with very great respect, suggest that this occasion is a case for explanation rather than disciplinary action."

What a decent master McClymont was.

These are events of almost forty years ago, but I would love to hear from anyone who knows more about this ship, her master or crew.
hello indra,
my name is BAZ MUMFORD,I SAILED ON THE BRITISH SWIFT INTO THE PERSIAN GULF FOR A 6 WEEK CRUISE.THE MOST MODERN SHIP I HAD EVER BEEN ON IN THOSE DAYS.SINGLE CABINS UNHEARD OF THEN,AIR CONDITIONING AND LOVELY GRUB.I SAILED IN HER MARCH 62".DONT KNOW ALL THEM POSH NAMES BUT WE JUST CALLED IT CLEANING THE TANKS,AND WE GOT A LOVELY TOT OF 4 BELLS RUM.DONT SUPPOSE MY NAME IS MENTIONED IN YOUR PAPERS.
ALL THE BEST
BAZ MUMFORD
 
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