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Invernahaille
Regular Member


669 Posts
Posted -  26/06/2006  :  04:02







Edited by - Invernahaille on 10 April 2007 04:41:19
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Chouan
New Member


9 Posts
Posted - 04/07/2007 : 10:34

Deep sea, I reckoned on 40 something when I joined in 1974. By the time my cadetship ended, in 1979, they were significantly reduced, but more than 3 I'd suggest. There were the City of London, Hull and Liverpool, which were still running, the City of Durban, the City of Istanbul (I think) and the small box boats that went round the Med. On the other hand, the principle is still correct. The City of Durban alone did the work of at least 8 general cargo ships, in terms of tons of cargo carried relative to time taken.

It was a depressing time!




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Invernahaille
Regular Member


669 Posts
Posted - 04/07/2007 : 13:56
Peter. By 1975, Ellermans were diversifying into the hotel, brewing and printing trades significantly. They moved into the packaged holiday scene too. By, the late seventies they had all but ceased the shipping business. The ships that were left, although under Ellerman livery, were managed by companies other than Ellerman themselves. Andrew Weir (Bank Line) managed some of them. Also Ben Line (who had a long time partnership with Ellerman's) managed the last of the Ellerman ships. I would suggest by 1979 there were no truly Ellerman owned and managed vessels.


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ELH
New Member


4 Posts
Posted - 04/07/2007 : 22:29

What a fascinating story. I hope there is more to come. Thank you for letting us into your world.

Eileen.




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Chouan
New Member


9 Posts
Posted - 05/07/2007 : 13:34

True. I was thinking purely in a "personnel" sense, in that there were still a fair number of ships that were, to me, Ellerman ships, because they had the Ellerman colours and flags, and sailed with Ellerman people. ie. ships that I could, potentially, have sailed on.

I know that it was a depressing time, as evry conventional ship came into the UK, ALL of the Officers and crew on them were being made redundant. I know that one of them, it may have been the City of Lichfield, did its usual UK coast, loaded for East Africa, Pakistan and India, with its Ellerman crew, who were then replaced, with no warning, by a crowd of Greeks. Ellermans had sold the ship, and then immediately chartered it back.




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Invernahaille
Regular Member


669 Posts
Posted - 06/07/2007 : 01:23

That was David Strickland's baby. His family were great friends of J.R.E II. They went to school and university together. His brief was to save as much as possible of the Ellerman fortune, which he subsequently did. The monies accumulated from the ship sales was put into trust's they  were called the Moorgate Foundations I & II. These days they are called the Ellerman Foundation. They give a tremendous amount of money to charities each year, but never enough to effect the capital. I think the trust as assets in excess of 80 million pounds, or at least it did last time I saw the books. That was about five years ago.

The idea behind the trust was to continue J.R. Ellerman II philanthropy. Bottom line is that it cost hundreds of Ellerman officers their job's. I am aware that Ellerman's could not continue the way it was running in the seventies. However, I do believe that a part of it, certainly the container side of the business was profitable (indeed, P&O Nedloydd bought the business in 1983.) and it is still going. If they had saved that side of the business, Ellerman Lines would still be around today, although perhaps not as large as it was.

As a point of interest, J.R.E. was on the Durban when I was an engineer. He was going back to South Africa for the winter. He always looked a very poorly, unassuming and fragile man. Never saw much of him on the trip though. Ate all his meals in his cabin, which was specially decorated for him, before he joined the ship.



Edited by - Invernahaille on 06 July 2007 01:28:53


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Chouan
New Member


9 Posts
Posted - 06/07/2007 : 10:59

A friend of mine, a fellow Cadet, was on the City of Oxford, Sir John's favourite ship apparently. He had his favourite Old Man as well, one Freddy O'Neill, who was ALWAYS the Old Man on the City of Oxford if Sir John was sailing on it. My pal, whose name escapes me now (after all it was more than 30 years ago!), said that they'd loaded at Millwall, ready to sail, when Sir John decided to go to S.Africa, and they had to wait nearly a week until he was ready. Just imagine the power and wealth, and, I think, irresponsibility! He could keep a fully laden cargo ship, with all of its crew, idle in port for nearly a week, for his own convenience.

The Officers all had to buy themselves No.10s (white long trousers and patrol jackets, rather like Richard Gere wore in "An Officer and a Gentleman" for the uninitiated), as tropical uniform, and were not allowed through the inside companion ways through the deck where Sir John had his cabin, but had to use the outside steps, no matter what the weather was like.

An interesting attitude towards his Officers.




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carvida
Regular Member


224 Posts
Posted - 07/07/2007 : 18:17

Invernahaille , ( robert )  the boat going great just now , mackreal season is on its way , two good weeks under our belt , However Elliotts (my Son & Skipper ) was summoned back to work from a two week hoiladay , to a survey ship off Denmark , he is with the survey co Fugro !

and I just landed two good steeplejack contracts , so  work comes first , I will try and post some photos of us fishing so keep a look out , all the best robert ,

Rab




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Invernahaille
Regular Member


669 Posts
Posted - 08/07/2007 : 14:25
Hey Rab. Good to hear from you. Good luck with the Mackeral fishing. When I was on the Hebridean Princess we used to fish off the stern (sea rods). The Mackerel were running so well that the catering team put the mackerel on the menu that night.


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Invernahaille
Regular Member


669 Posts
Posted - 08/07/2007 : 14:41

I omitted a tale from the Worcester. I mentioned that on the outbound journey that we crossed the Bay of Biscay, and it was like a mill pond.

On the return journey, we had severe storm warnings, and so the crew battened down the hatches put out securing hausers on the deck (these were so that the crew could connect themselves to them if they had to go on deck, and prevented them being swept overboard).

The second engineer asked me to go up into the funnel and chech the safety valves, and then to meet him on the boat deck, by coming out through the funnel door. I checked the valves and opened the funnel door. I am one of the fortunate people who have never been seasick, but I will be honest , when I came out the door, I saw the bow of the ship disappear below the waves, and pitched at the same time. My stomach lurched up to my throat. Needless to say I returned to the boatdeck via the funnel. When I got to the boatdeck the second was waiting there laughing his socks off, and asked me if I was unwell. He said I was a sickly shade of green. That is the nearest I have ever been to being ill at sea. A couple of years later I was on a ship in the antipodes crossing the giant Australian Bite. It gets like the Bay of Biscay to. I was doing my watch in the engine room when the captain came down (unheard of for a captain to do that), he was wearing his lifejacket and said "If  anything happens,Rob it has been a pleasure and an honour to sail with you," he then just walked off, I sent one of the raings up to my cabin to get my lifejacket. I took the view that if a seasoned captain was warning me it must be serious. The next day he said he had had too much to drink and that he hoped he hadnt frightened me. Old Salts have a strange sense of humour.



Edited by - Invernahaille on 08 July 2007 14:42:35


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Invernahaille
Regular Member


669 Posts
Posted - 09/07/2007 : 13:10

I joined my second ship M.V. City of Delhi (Ex City of Winnipeg) in Middlesborough in late November 1970. She had been on charter to Ben line since 1968 and named Benedin. When I arrived at Middlesborough, she was still in her Ben Line livery and name. Middlesborough is not a large docks by any means, but no one knew the whereabouts of the City of Delhi. Even the port office was convinced that she was still a Ben line ship. To cut the story short I boarded the "Benedin" and made enquiries, and sure enough the Benedin was indeed the "City of Delhi". I met my opposite number, who was on his first trip, (poor man). I explained to him what he should expect. However, he took an extremely serious view that he would not accept being treated like an oil rag. I just thought to myself that he was going to have one hell of an hard trip. If you get bolshie with engineers who are your senior, the pressure they can put on you, can break any man's spirit. I did try to tell him, but some people listen and some people dont. He chose the latter, and for the short time I knew him, he got a hard time.

I found the second engineer, his name was Mike, I cant remember his last name. The bottom line was that the ship had only been handed back to Ellermans a couple of hours before I had arrived. I did make the comment that the telegram I received to join the ship did not say that she was still in Ben line livery and name. He said well at least your here now. He asked me how many trips I hade done, and I told him this was my second. He replied that's good you are on nights. Being on nights meant that there was no duty engineer rosta for any of the other engineers because there was an engineer (myself) in the engine room. At first I was a bit peeved until Mike expalined that the idea was to introduce me the lonliness of keeping a watch on my own. That sounded good, it meant that after this training I could be given a fourth engineers position as and when one became available.

I got changed and went down into the engine room, and was shocked to find a main engine that did not resemble anything like the Sulzer I has seen on my previous ship. This ship was equipped with a Doxford J series engine. I had heard references to  Doxford's from the engineers from the City of Worcester. They referred to them as "Dirty Doxford"s" I was soon about to find out why.



Edited by - Invernahaille on 09 July 2007 18:30:28


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Invernahaille
Regular Member


669 Posts
Posted - 09/07/2007 : 18:29

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Doxford Opposed-Piston Main Propulsion Marine Engine. Side Sectional view of engine, showing Cylinder and Connecting Rods.

I was going to explain how a Doxford Vertical-Opposed marine engine works, but I thought I might confuse some of our visitors. So with this in mind I have downloaded a cutaway view of the engine, which might explain things visually, rather than explain it in writing.

Thanks to Wm Doxford Marine Engines.

 

 

 

 




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Invernahaille
Regular Member


669 Posts
Posted - 10/07/2007 : 01:28
I will explain the workings of a Doxford marine engine later. For now I would like to continue with my night duties on the City of Delhi. The sec (second engineer) told me that he did not want the engineers doing any other duties, except maintenance during the day shift when in port. Therefore I would do all the bunker pumping during the night, I would also clean the fuel oil and lube-oil purifiers. I had two engine room ratings to assist me doing this. They would do the dirty work of cleaning the seperator pans, so basically all I had to do was remove them, and place them in the paraffin baths so that one of them could clean them, and reinstall the pans, and seal the purifiers when they had cleaned them. I had to ensure that the boiler header tank was full before the day engineers started their maintenance programme. I also had to ensure that all bilges were empty, and that the generator sets were topped up with lube oil if necessary. I had to adjust the pump glands and repack them if necessary. On top of this I also had to strip, clean and prepare the replacement scavenge valves for the insert changes taking place during the day. All in all it was an experience in itself. I was learning to take reponsibility of a watch, as I said earlier. The lesson I was learning was that I was expected to earn my keep and cease being a passenger. I only did the coastal trip on the City of Delhi, but that was three months. I was called off the ship to join the City of St Albans in February of 1971. However I will talk about my third trip at some length at a later date, and continue for the present with my experience's on the City of Delhi. So when we were in port I continued to do night duties, and watchkeeping with the sec when at sea. I was starting to enjoy the freedom and responsibility that Mike was giving me. In fact I started to seek more responsibilty only to be told by Mike to "learn to walk before you start to run". Looking back I understood what he meant. Marine Engineers need to know  everything about marine engines and then some. It is only then that you can start to consolidate that knowledge. For every pumping system on a ship there are two to three alternative, pumping systems which can be used. This is incorprated into the piping system design, so that if a pump goes down the engineer can bypass the pump that is down and use a different pump and piping system, to complete the task. The skill is finding out how the piping system works. There is no short cut to learning this, a junior engineer finds out the piping system by going under the engine room plates and tracing the pipework and drawing his own pipework map. Fortunately when Ellerman's had ships built they had several ships of the same class built. This helped the engineers because if you went on a ship of the Worcester class, and there were eight sister ships you knew what the piping system was for that class of ship. Simple isnt it?

Edited by - Invernahaille on 10 July 2007 01:56:02


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Invernahaille
Regular Member


669 Posts
Posted - 10/07/2007 : 23:25

There are two important factors to be considered when starting a seagoing career, and very few people think of them at the onset of their career, including myself. These two factors are rarely mentioned. One is the lonliness involved when carrying out watchkeeping duties for protracted periods of time. An engineer may go for weeks with very little communication with people. The second is that when a ship is at sea the officers and crew have in effect imprisoned themselves on a man made moving island, sometimes less than two hundred feet long, and 60 feet wide. The longest actual steaming time I have done is eight weeks. These days with Containers, Bulkers, Tankers and Reefers (refrigerated cargo ships, officers can have several weeks of seatime, and then maybe one to three days in port, before turning around and resuming watchkeeping duties for another several weeks.

When I joined the M.N. I joined  to see the world. These days in the shipping world, that has changed dramatically. As the song goes, " I joined the Navy to see the world, and what did I see, I saw the sea". The "Silver Tower" (a reefer) was a liner, (a liner is not what most people think it is. A liner is any ship that has a designated route. Not necessarily a passenger carrier) that left Antwerpe in Belgium, steamed ten days to Almarante in Columbia, South America, (next door to Panama). She then loaded Bananas, for two days, then steamed to Santa Marta, (one days steaming time). Loaded up more bananas for one day, then steamed back to Antwerpe, where she discharged her cargo, which took two and a half days. Total time for the voyage was 28 days. So for every 28 day voyage only 5.1/2 were spent in port. Those 51/2 days were extremely busy times in the engine room. Purifiers had to be cleaned, and any important repair work had to be completed. The refrigeration equipment had to be started so that it could shock the bananas down. This involved pumping bunkers and fuel around the clock, to keep the generators running.

All good clean fun isnt it?




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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 11/07/2007 : 06:55
Brilliant stuff Robert......  I was interested to see Carver mention Fugro....  They are the company who ran the transport operation that killed my son in law Harry by trying to save money on maintenance by making a spare part instead of buying a factory replacement.  All this was proved at the inquest, it only remains now for the courts to decide how much the insurance companies have to pay out.  He burned to death because they tried to save a few hundred dollars.......


Stanley Challenger Graham




Barlick View
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Invernahaille
Regular Member


669 Posts
Posted - 11/07/2007 : 23:15

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The photograph above illustrates what a small lube oil purifier looks like. The cone in the center is the disc pan housing. This is the piece you remove to clean the pans inside. See earlier posting.

How it works.

If you drained your cars engine oil into an oil pan then let it stand for a while, any sediment in the oil would sink to the bottom of the pan. This is the gravity principle. The heavier particles in the oil would sink. Unfortunately you cannot let the heavier particles sink in a ships sump or double bottom tank, because you would end up with a sump or double bottom tank full of sediment. Therefore, you must remove the solid particles from the oil. whether it be fuel oil or lube oil.

This is done by the use of a purifier as shown above. Basically it is a centrifugal pump that rotates at extremely fast speeds. These machines are semi hemetic (air tight). The disc pans spin at a tremendous rate of knots, and when the oil is allowed into the purifier via the inlet valve the centifugal force spins it with an outward motion. The heavier particles or sludge is trapped in the disc pans or hurtles against the side of the purifier bowl. It is the same principle as gravity settled sludge except the purifier is approx 100 times faster, and you have eradicated a sludge problem. The lube oil purifiers are cleaned every day. The fuel oil seperators can be left to run for a numer of days. I have had to run one for ten days at a time due to the fact that the backup purifier was not working due to bearing chatter, and the ship owners would not spend money on parts. Sad isnt it, everone wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die.



Edited by - Invernahaille on 12 July 2007 02:16:56


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