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Indra, I was on the British Curlew for 7 months, what a great ship, cant help with the Br. Swift, but thanks for the question it has sparked lots of chat which I like.

JohnBP
 

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welcome indra, i dont know much about the swift but i think the butterworth sytem was explained i was pumpman in 40s and 50s with bt and they were hard work and i put all the sludge over the stern i think it became taboo in the early 50s when tanks i think esso had one at wallsend to pump all the sludge usually from 10 centre into the shore tank the last time i used it was on the seaf royal 1957 albert .s.i
 

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Wasn't the 'sludge' allowed to settle out....then the water decanted off through the pump room sea valves until an oily trail was seen astern?
The rest was then pumped ashore.

In Wallems we had Toftejorg tank cleaning machines...very similar to the Butterworth's...but fixed in each tank.

A cadet's nightmare was tankcleaning...heaving up those hot, black rubber hoses every couple of hours after 30 mins at 10', 30 mins at 20' then 40' mins at a bottom wash.
And how hot did the pump room get with all that hot water passing through the pipelines!!
 

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Hi Indra, I sailed on the Swift as electrician 20/2/61 to 26/7/61 Hull, then foreign,then Falmouth for drydocking this was the second half of her maiden voyage, I believe that the whole crew with the exception of the Master and C/Eng. were changed at Hull,why? I know not.I think the Master was called Minchinson,I remember the Chief Eng.was called Brown. I got into trouble with him at Falmouth for reporting several faults that were not on his list but that I had asked to be part of the repairs.
I remember there was an auxcilliary boiler that worked off the exhaust from the main engine and one 8 to 12 night watch a flange blew much loud hissing and steam, the forth eng. grabbed a spanner and disappeared into said steam came back to the controls red faced but triumphant. the overhead engine room crane had a flexible cable that was badly placed so that it was always in danger of catching on the crane track, which it finally did and I had to make a temporary joint to continue work on the engine, this was one of the missed items on the repair list. I also remember that the labelling on some of the main circuit breakers were swapped between engine room and bridge this was discovered when the generator engine went faulty as we approached Port Said at night, Bridge deck in panic first prioity was navigation lights standby Genny fired up proceed to put load on a bit at a time bridge deck first only to discover that accomodation and bridge labels were swapped. Ah Well such was life in those days. Best of luck with your book.
 

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In the 1970's a well known saying circulated the fleet. DRIFT WITH THE SWIFT.
As it says the Swift was not the most reliable Bird class vessel and the name was well earned in this period.

Dave
 

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Drift with the Swift

I was on the Swift for 4 months in late 73, early 74 as my first trip as a Nav Off Cadet. There were some memorable times; a stonking storm on New Years Eve when we anchored off the Nore but dragging in the general direction of Holland, I seem to remember some of the walkway was carried away. We also hit the jetty at the Isle of Grain as we were turning to go alongside and, finally, in keeping with the above comment, I was cast adrift with the Chief Engineer (a chap called Taylor I think) when one sunday, after lunch, it was decided that we needed to do a bit of repair work (using something called DEVCON I believe)on the hull. I was elected to go with the Chief in one of the lifeboats and yes, as soon as we were in the water and cast off the engine in the lifeboat spluttered to a halt and defied the Chief's efforts to get it going again for about 30 mins, as we slowly, but surely, drifted away from the ship! Happy days. The skipper was a very large Welshman called Lewis. Anyone else on this forum on her at that time?
 

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Hi All,
with regard the deck boy...........could it be he signed off but was supposed to sign back on again straight away! I remember signing off on a couple of occasions and looking at the desk to sign back on again and thinking should I just do a runner!!!! Not a good idea as a cadet!

Just a thought

John
 

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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.
Don't quite know how this reply system works but an interesting aside. I recall that in '68 when on the British Robin and arriving at Bombay (as it was then) where we had to close the bond, any available cans of 'brew' were slid into the Butterworth hoses and as one was required a long broom handle was utilised to push it out. It was an Indian crew ship and the trust system seemed to work.
Robin was a great ship with an excellent Goanese cook who made buns for smokoe. KP
 

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Anyone remember the Galley boy "Bob Taylor" (also known as Robert or Bobski) seem to recall he had an accident and cut his foot rather badly and needed shore treatment. He lives out here now. was chatting with him a couple of months ago.
 

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British Swift

I sailed on this ship in 1967 as a fireman/greaser for two voyages--the first a cruise round the Med., the second eastward via the cape to the Gulf and then on to the coast of India and East Pakistan with a cargo of (I think) parrafin. --a memorable voyage for a young lad at the time. Unfortunately I can't remember any of the names of my shipmates.The ship broke down in the Bay of Biscay and I can remember using that engine room crane to help lift out a damaged (lower) piston and assisting the engineers in tightening and slackening the huge 'big end' nuts to adjust the bearing in the crankcase--I really felt like one of the 'workers' with that big hammer in my hands! Less edifying was cleaning out the scavenge spaces in some red hot port in India, or going down into the fresh water tanks to clean out oil contamination--- I had intended to go to the Marine School at Leith to become a junior engineer--an opption available at the time for engine room ratings' but I got married instead and although my seagoing career was relatively short I wouldn't have missed it for the world!
 

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rum

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.
certainly was a sod of a job.but the tank cleaning rum ,at the end .was well worth it.plus the overtime.
 

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articles

Hi All,
with regard the deck boy...........could it be he signed off but was supposed to sign back on again straight away! I remember signing off on a couple of occasions and looking at the desk to sign back on again and thinking should I just do a runner!!!! Not a good idea as a cadet!

Just a thought

John
probably changing articles.didn,t get your dis. book though.well not if the company could help it.
 

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In the 70s, shipping companies started the practice of keeping ships articles open for a year. If you were on a ship when this happened, it was necessary to sign off the old articles and then sign onto the new articles. This at least was the practice for the ships officers. I sailed with a few masters who insisted that the crew signed onto the new articles before signing off the old because they didn't trust the lads not to decide to go home.
 

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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
..... and I sailed with Mr. McClymont who was mate of the British Power in 1961. Starting out from the Isle of Grain with the Pilot aboard we were on the focstle with him and the Bosun trying to break the anchor shackle which we had failed to break when going on the bouys. He resorted to setting fire to a drip tray full of kerosene to heat it up !!! I thought this somewhat dangerous in a non-gas free ship even though we had a head wind!!!

We 4 Navigating Apprentices did ALL of the tank washing that trip, IoG to Mina without ANY help from the crew who were a Bolshy lot. We were put on the Mina - Aden crude oil run, three trips and did all the tank washing for them too. Then thank goodness LEFO. As many of you will know the 42's had 4 tanks across so we were pretty well knackered.

A trifle unfair to flog us out to avoid confrontation with the crew. The two pumpmen were great thank goodness. The next Mate for the same run again was a completely different kettle of fish who we thought the world of... C.F.Williams.
 

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unusual

havn,t been on a tanker,where the deck crew didn,t do the tank cleaning /diving.usually the cadets helped.but mainly there to get the lay out of the pumproom ,eductor .ballast systems,etc.most a.bs were made up tank cleaning for the extra cash.[overtime].
 

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Precisely Trucker,

This however was one where the mate used us to avoid confrontation with the crew.

Love your Avtur .....the only beer that had me flat on my back after two bottles .... mind I also had a few Rums !!
 

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I cannot remember much about the crew ... mind, they were not much in evidence as I said.

We four were not really happy with the Mate using us that way and we got no favours from him for the effort we put in.

Happy enough otherwise.

I have been stripping some Varnish off doors .... could have done with some of that BROWN stuff ... reckon it would work a treat. Its a wonder that mob over in Brussels havn't banned it yet ... they seem to have you Poms under the thumb in every other way!!!!
 

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e.u

I cannot remember much about the crew ... mind, they were not much in evidence as I said.

We four were not really happy with the Mate using us that way and we got no favours from him for the effort we put in.

Happy enough otherwise.

I have been stripping some Varnish off doors .... could have done with some of that BROWN stuff ... reckon it would work a treat. Its a wonder that mob over in Brussels havn't banned it yet ... they seem to have you Poms under the thumb in every other way!!!!
give them time.
 
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