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KIWI
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Would advise local members this book is held in the Wellington NZ main Public Library.Have just ordered it up. KIWI
 

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Kia ora Kiwi, will look for it when I'm next in Wellington in October. When there last month I pottered thro' shelves 387.2 - .5 and 910.45. You've probably covered these but there are some good NZ seafaring titles there at the Wellington Public Library, we are lucky.
 

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All Blue funnel men writing fiction (and there are quite a few ) name their ships after female characters in the trojan wars, ref Richard Woodman's Antogone whereas all the Holt ships were named after male charactors except Hecuba and Gorgan. Hecuba was Queen of Troy wife of King Priam, the Gorgans were three female baddies one of whom Medusa was killed by Perseus.
The ship Hecuba was not built for BF but was a WW1 German prize. Gorgan was a very desirable posting as she ran the Australia to Malaya service carrying Ozzie holidaymakers and sheep....... and we want no snide remarks on the connection.. Endo
There were also( according to Duncan Haws 'Blue Funnel Line') Atalanta, ****, Medusa, and Sarah Nicholson. All owned by Holts and all female, although I never clapped eyes on any one of them.
Regards,
Pat(Thumb)
 

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I found a first edition of this book in a job lot bought at an auction. I read it and as there was a hunt on for copies I lent it to one of the luminaries of the BFA. Needless to say I have not seen it since and would like it back.

I have one doubt about the good Doctors memory, early on he mentions seeing the sailors stowing the sails away. I believe Holts dispensed with sails in the late 19thC and landed the yards in Birkenhead where some still lay in 1950. They had been used to make derricks for the newer ships but that stopped with the introduction of much lighter steel derricks.

If this is so the Doctor is mistaken about the sails, he probably saw the sailors stowing away the hatch tents.

A right Nerdish comment but I can't help myself.


I have another wartime book about a run crew going to the US to bring a wooden minesweeper back to the UK (a Mickey Mouse). They travelled out as passengers in a Blue Funnel vessel "Priam" which the previous voyage had suffered sever damage in a hurricane when the deck cargo of tanks had broken adrift and charged around the fore deck. The hull had been holed and she took in so much water she only just made it to port. On arrival her forecastle and fore deck were under water as far as the saloon windows. I have never seen or heard of this incident, can anyone help.

Priam was renamed Glenorchy in 1948 and later Phemius.
 

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Discussion Starter · #47 ·
"sailors stowing away the hatch tents"

I don't think that there were "hatch tents" in those days: I can remember them as being a recent innovation. The sails referred to by the good doctor would not have been square sails but fore and aft sails which, in extreme cir***stances, could be set on fore stays and back stays.
The Polyphemus in which the doctor sailed was 1906 built and, in 1907 when he made his voyage, a large proportion of the crew would have been in sail and therefore used to handling them. Yes, I'm sure sails would still have been in a steamship at the time of his voyage.
 

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Hi, Dog!, Hi, Hugh,

Memories Memories!

To take Priam first, I recall reading that she arrived at Liverpool down by the head with a draft of 42 feet. I believe (but might be wrong) that her Master was Captain Jimmy Nelson. Be that as it may, Jimmy Nelson lived in Osmaston Road in Prenton (a few hundred yards from our own home in Queens Drive). For reasons which I did not understand until much later in life, I was under standing orders as a child (born 1943) to be on my best behaviour whenever I was anywhere near Chez Nelson. I later learned that this was because Jimmy Nelson had given my Dad a good reference at some point; and NOTHING WHATSOEVER was to be done which might blot Dad's copybook. Dad later told me that he had piloted Jimmy Nelson into the Mersey at some point in the war (whether in Priam or not, I do not know) and had been obliged to anchor prior to docking. Nelson was then called ashore to an urgent conference. Before going ashore he said to Dad, "You seem to know what you are doing. Take good care of her" - and left Dad and the Mate to put the ship into Gladstone and her berth. Dad would have been aged 32 in 1942. The name Nelson was therefore sanctified in the Youde household.

As to the Surgeon's Log, Hugh, what an interesting yarn and sequence of events. I would very much like to read the book one day. (I wonder how it might compare with Richard Gordon?) Your own research and information re Bill Holman senior reminds us that, unfortunately, we all have feet of clay.
Please forgive me if I start a new Thread on influential books!
 

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Discussion Starter · #49 ·
The ensueing fortunes of the 2nd mate, and the master of the Polyphemus, could not have been more different. The 2nd mate, Bill Holman, eventually became master of that same ship and, unfortunately, put her aground departing Hong Kong-that was the end of his Blue Funnel career (and the reason his son did not go to sea in that company).
The master of the Polyphemus, Frank Chrimes, subsequently commanded the new 1914 Ulysses (sistership of the Nestor), he retired c.1930.
 

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It is in my possession Hugh. Much thumbed and well cared for. If anyone would like to volunteer, I can get the show on the road so to speak.
Regards,
Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #53 ·
Hi, Dog!, Hi, Hugh,

Memories Memories!

To take Priam first, I recall reading that she arrived at Liverpool down by the head with a draft of 42 feet. I believe (but might be wrong) that her Master was Captain Jimmy Nelson. Be that as it may, Jimmy Nelson lived in Osmaston Road in Prenton (a few hundred yards from our own home in Queens Drive). For reasons which I did not understand until much later in life, I was under standing orders as a child (born 1943) to be on my best behaviour whenever I was anywhere near Chez Nelson. I later learned that this was because Jimmy Nelson had given my Dad a good reference at some point; and NOTHING WHATSOEVER was to be done which might blot Dad's copybook. Dad later told me that he had piloted Jimmy Nelson into the Mersey at some point in the war (whether in Priam or not, I do not know) and had been obliged to anchor prior to docking. Nelson was then called ashore to an urgent conference. Before going ashore he said to Dad, "You seem to know what you are doing. Take good care of her" - and left Dad and the Mate to put the ship into Gladstone and her berth. Dad would have been aged 32 in 1942. The name Nelson was therefore sanctified in the Youde household.

As to the Surgeon's Log, Hugh, what an interesting yarn and sequence of events. I would very much like to read the book one day. (I wonder how it might compare with Richard Gordon?) Your own research and information re Bill Holman senior reminds us that, unfortunately, we all have feet of clay.
Please forgive me if I start a new Thread on influential books!
Stacks of copies available on ABE Books, Barrie--one for as little as a fiver (incl. postage)!!!
 

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Dr James Johnston Abraham's view of Japanese women:-
-------her presence is so all-pervasive in her own country. Every time one buys a fan or a piece of china she is there. Her presence sends a ray of sunshine into every street. It is impossible to avoid her. As a rule one doesn't try to; for the Japanese woman is the greatest thing in Japan. Her beauty is of a difference-it grows on one day by day; and the longer one stays in the country the more one admires it. Men who have lived there tell me that it slowly permeates till one wakes up suddenly to find some day that the high acquiline Caucasian type has become distasteful to one, when by chance one meets a fellow countrywoman in the streets of a Japanese city.
She is so dainty so fine-lined, so small, so very gorgeous in her dress, so very artificial in her headgear bristling with pins; her smile is so ever-ready, her temper so equable, it is difficult to believe she can be really alive, could ever look cross, or be untidy.
She is inimitable, the apotheosis of Japanese civilisation. There is nothing in Europe at all like her--------------

Anyone go along with this view???
Ichiko, Osaka-ko 1972/74
 

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Discussion Starter · #58 ·
Just to save this thread from disappearing, out of sight, down into the archives, here are a couple of photographs taken on an old plate camera by the author of the book, The Surgeon's Log. The woman at top of the gangway is the sew sew girl.
(They are out of a 1st edition of the book, dated 1911, and do not appear, as far as I know, in any of the 30 following editions).

My first time in Singapore was in Sept.1945 when peace-time conditions had not been restored, but it was not long before they were and on all subsequent visits I would not have noticed any difference between then and when the pictures were taken in 1907.
But now, in the 21st century, it is all changed and has become a part of history.
 

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Coaling in Moji with Mr Flanagan C/E overseeing operations. Note, all women!
I recall discharging sugar ( ex Durban ) in Tokyo with all female stevedores. Cape York 1964. They shovelled the stuff into skips and then swept the remnants up with straw brooms into baskets. It took about a week to discharge. Less than a year later it had all changed, all grabs and mechanisation not a female in sight.
 
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