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The use of helmsmen was of course widespread on the canal - and helmsmanship was de facto the apprenticeship for pilotage.

I merely make the point that the engagement of neither one was compulsory, prior to 1987.
Hi Barrie,
Just to change the question a bit, how do pilots organise their time?
On a Sunday night would you know what work you would get for the next week?
I never remember being held up for lack of a pilot but of course they don't come out of thin air.
Thanks
 

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What year was this? I joined her the day she left dry dock in late 74.
About 20 years later I was doing business with Stolt Nielsen in Houston and found out that they had bought and were still trading her.
Looking at my discharge book I joined her on 11/1/78 and left her on 10/3/78 I also sailed on The La Pradera, La Falda , La Bahia, La ***bre and the La Selva over a 4 year period with Buries Markes and then left them for a job in Saudi Arabia.
 

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Looking at my discharge book I joined her on 11/1/78 and left her on 10/3/78 I also sailed on The La Pradera, La Falda , La Bahia, La ***bre and the La Selva over a 4 year period with Buries Markes and then left them for a job in Saudi Arabia.
Shame could have sailed together. I only did this one voyage on the La Quinta with Buries Markes then went foreign flag. She was a bit of a workout but worth it for the education.
 

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noted reference #63 a mud pilot?? You have set the kindling afire here? Were not these gentlemen, lightermen, tugmasters and boatmen on the Thames that were indentured, and recognised by becoming full member of ''the honourable worshipful company of watermen of London- No mean feat. This position was closely guarded and respected, and even acknowledged by the PORT OF London and the predecessors of the MCA, although in the review of Certificates of Competancy they were [ the boatmen of the honourable worshipful company of wateremen after the catastrophe of the passenger boat ???{Marchioness} escapes me and the BOWBELL dredger off- was it Southwark Bridge??] required on a registered passenger boat on the Thames were required to appear before a nautical surveyor of the MCA and pass the oral for a boatman licence.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing: however old traditions if not kept to a professional standard -require from time to time a helping hand.

All my forebears - great-grandfather etc. were all members of the Honourable Company of Watermen working on the Thames. Once 'made free' your knowledge and skill would be unchallenged, unless of course you cocked-up or became engaged in nefarious acivities!
 

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Had he reported to the lockhead that the master had decided to berth his ship in the lock then presumably the outcome would have remained the same.
 

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good old portishead

Can we all remember at sea on |Christmas day,waiting on line for your turn to book your call home?
way back in the 90s the rig ahead of me made a call to the uk when the poor guy broke down and told his wife how sad he was being away fro his family,her reply was you have been home for the last 3,make up your mind,which one £30000 OR ME,love to know which one came first.
Happy Christmas to all.(Applause)
 

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#104 Lightermen & Pilots
I watched a TV do***entary about apprentice Lightermen many years ago.
At the end of their time they were examined by the Master and senior members of the "Company" on theory. Their practical test included skulling a lighter with huge oars called "sweeps" I believe the length of the PLA jurisdiction i.e. Gravesend to Teddington Loch.
"Mud Pilots" in my experience always wore smart, expensive suits and like all "London Rivermen" said "astarn" instead of "astern".
In 1961 I was in a "weekly boat" the City of Brussels. The "Old Man" was an Honoury Freeman of the River which, in practice, meant he didn't have to take a pilot. This was the case for many vessels, mainly Colliers running regularly up the "London River" at that time.
 

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. When I was up for 1st Mate's in Liverpool, 1959. One of our cram class announced that he wanted to make sure he could call himself a Captain when he came ashore so he Signed up for Master Home Trade and aced it.
Went with Coast Lines as Mate and had a command by 1960
 

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. When I was up for 1st Mate's in Liverpool, 1959. One of our cram class announced that he wanted to make sure he could call himself a Captain when he came ashore so he Signed up for Master Home Trade and aced it.
Went with Coast Lines as Mate and had a command by 1960
Wonder if anyone has ever passed all five deck certificates i.e. Master FG. Mate FG 2nd.Mate FG as well as Mate & Master HT.?
I believe there was a Master Middle Trade coming in in 1979 but I lost touch with shipping affairs at that point
 

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Wonder if anyone has ever passed all five deck certificates i.e. Master FG. Mate FG 2nd.Mate FG as well as Mate & Master HT.?
I believe there was a Master Middle Trade coming in in 1979 but I lost touch with shipping affairs at that point
I did. Mate HT Master HT then Class 3 2 and 1 as system had changed names. Left school at 15 with no qualifications on river barges. Anything possible with a bit of luck.
 

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ONC, Mate HT then a month later did 2M FG and the Mate FG and Class 1.

Only problem was the Fail at ONC. I didn't feel that bad. That summer 1973, the complete ONC... as in everyone, failed ONC for the entire country!
 

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I did. Mate HT Master HT then Class 3 2 and 1 as system had changed names. Left school at 15 with no qualifications on river barges. Anything possible with a bit of luck.
As well as luck a whole load of hard work if I know anything.!
Those qualifications weren't given out
 
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