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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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Invernahaille
Regular Member


669 Posts
Posted - 05/06/2007 : 01:25

However, it was essential that all engineers, dined in the officers mess when not on duty. This meant changing from white boiler suit into, dress of the day. Dress of the day was put on the ships notice board, and god help anyone found out of dress order. You got the wrath of both chief engineer and the captain. It was like running the gauntlet.

At five o'clock a mess boy would sound the dinner gong. (Ellerman Lines employed Indian crewmen). Most of the engineers would wait until the Captain (Ship's Master) had gone into the officers mess, so that they wouldnt have to stand up when he entered. Unfortunately, because the Captain had started dining before the engineers had arrived, he also finished dining before the engineers had finished, and so you still had to stand up when he left.

It was considered a mark of respect to stand for both Chief Engineers, and Captains, in those days. The Captains name was Robert Clarke M.B.E.. Apparently he was an mtb commander in world war II, and did the ballbearing run to Norway, under enemy fire, so it was no problem standing up for a man with that kind of a naval record. Unfortunately these days, those kind of calibre men are few and far between. I was to sail under his command on a further two voyages. One when I was a third engineer, and the last one when it was his final trip before retirement, and I was a chief engineer.




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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 05/06/2007 : 06:34
Keep going Robert, this is good stuff......


Stanley Challenger Graham




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stanley at barnoldswick.freeserve.co.uk Go to Top of Page
Invernahaille
Regular Member


669 Posts
Posted - 05/06/2007 : 15:52

Saturday night was spent with a couple of the ships engineers and mates at the Two Brewers pub in Salford. Granada was filming a series, called "songs from the two brewers" on the night. I think the Spinners, Mike Harding, and fivepenny piece were performing. Most of the cast from coronation street, where there. Then after several beers, we returned to the ship. I was woken to the dulcet tones of the breakfast gong at eight o'clock on Sunday morning.

Sunday was a pretty uneventful day spent having a few beers in the second engineers cabin with the other engineers. I must make a point here, that the Engineers and Deck officers didnt socialise together very much in those days. Engineers had only been given officer status around 1910, and the Deck Officers considered themselves as being the sea's gentlemen, and engineers being a coarse breed of a neolithic race that they deemed a necessary evil they required to get them from A to B.

So to Monday morning, Breakfast in the duty engineers mess, and then down to the Engine Room. I was instructed to accompany the fourth engineer, whose primary function was, and still is today, the movement of Bunkers and Compressor maintenace. The Fourth Engineer was a Welshman, I cant remember his name. He was another engineer, who had sailed on the ships last deep sea voage and was waithin to be relieved. He had a raging temper, when under pressure he resorted to speaking Welsh, as it was his first language. He told me that he couldnt speak a word of English until he was six years old, as English was not spoken at the school he attended.

He introduced me to the concepts of D.B. Tanks (double bottom), and showed me their locations, and sounding access points. Then he instructed me in the mathematics of calculating bunker pumping, formula. Basically when underway at sea, you had to calculate fuel oil and diesel usage over the last twenty four hour period. You would then calculate the usage over the pumping time period, so as the enable the addition of the oil consumption used in the pumping period. Sounds, confusing dosn't it. In reality it is quite simple.




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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 05/06/2007 : 16:04
Most things are when you know what you are doing but it's getting there isn't it....


Stanley Challenger Graham




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stanley at barnoldswick.freeserve.co.uk Go to Top of Page
Invernahaille
Regular Member


669 Posts
Posted - 06/06/2007 : 00:02

The pain was getting showered and changed for lunch, and dinner. We must have showered and changed, three to four times a day. The blessing is that we were allocated a mess boy. He did all your washing and housekeeping, made your bed. Made sure you had a good supply beer etc. 

Tuesday was spent with the third engineer a guy called David Hunt. I think he came from the Hereford/Worcester area. We got on pretty well except for a punchup on the way down to South Africa a few weeks later, Unfotunately for me Davie was an A.B.A. champion, but we still remained good friends. He married an American lady on our return to the U.K. later that year and I was invited to the wedding. The fallout was caused by the lecce who didnt get on with Davie. His name was Reg and he came from Liverpool.

Anyway, back to the plot. The third Engineers responsibilities were for the generators and auxilliary equipment, like purifiers etc. He gave me a good grounding on the subject of electrical power generation. How to transfer the boards etc. The ship had three 500 hp Ruston generators. We were also informed that the ship was going into the Salford drydock when the cargo had been discharged.



Edited by - Invernahaille on 06 June 2007 17:23:16


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Invernahaille
Regular Member


669 Posts
Posted - 07/06/2007 : 01:16
Friday, was the day we were due to go into drydock. I felt that all hell had broke loose as the engineers started to prepare the engines to running mode. Firstly the jacket steam valve was cracked open to bring the cylinder casing up to operating temperature. The chief told me he wanted me on air cock watch with him. This was ensuring all the air cocks were open on the cylinder heads, and when the engine was primed to start (an air distributor selected the piston at tdc) the air was released through the air cocks. The chief said any sign of fluids coming out of the air cocks was a no start situation. As he was saying this there was an almighty crash as the air distributor kicked into selection. A massive hiss as air was being discharged through the cocks. I ran like hell closing the cocks and ensuring there was no abnormal discharge from the cocks. Then at the top of my voice shouting all clear to the second engineer who was on the sticks. (driving the engine)


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Chouan
New Member


9 Posts
Posted - 07/06/2007 : 11:37

I was on the Worcester in the summer of '77 if I remember rightly, just coasting though, and as a Deck Cadet. I joined in Avonmouth where she was discharging general cargo from India/Pakistan/Bangladesh. All of those going on leave were being made redundant, we found out later. We had a fire in number 3, which, although quickly sorted by the local fire brigade, meant that we had to spend weeks in Avonmouth doing not very much. The hardship was only just bearable!

Your memories are clearly different, so things must have changed in those few years. I joined in September 1974, "City of Auckland" was my first ship. I joined her at Newport in S.Wales, on the same berth as my father joined his first ship as a Junior Engineer with Stricks. There were 2 sittings for meals in my time with Ellermans, Junior people first at 1730, then Senior people at 1800. I can still remember the sound of the musical instrument played by the steward around the accomodation to tell us it was time to eat!




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Invernahaille
Regular Member


669 Posts
Posted - 07/06/2007 : 13:04

Hi Peter, and welcome. Good to hear from an Ellerman man. The Worcester was sold to a Greek company around 1979 renamed Maria Diamante. What other JRE Ships did you sail on?

You must have been with Ellermans when David Strickland was in charge of the company. He was the guy that cost us all our jobs.

You must have been one of the last cadet intakes with J.R.E. I know what you mean when you say the returning deep sea crew were made redundant. I was one of the last to be made redundant. There wasnt any redundancy pay as such. We received a bit of severence pay in line with articles. The fact is I enjoyed working for Ellerman Lines, there was something of a family atmosphere about them, they cared about their officers. When on shore leave they used to give us all sorts of courses to do. I even went on a coach and four in hand course in Windsor for two weeks.

Did you finish your cadetship with Ellermans? Which line did you sale with after Ellermans?

 



Edited by - Invernahaille on 07 June 2007 13:06:43


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Chouan
New Member


9 Posts
Posted - 07/06/2007 : 17:58
As I said, I started in '74, i was at Riversdale College in Liverpool, and sailed on the Auckland, the Lichfield (A "smally 8" as we called them) the Wellington, Istanbul for a couple of days as an acting uncertificated unpaid 3rd Mate, then the Wellington again, the Worcester, Guildford, Oporto and another of the little Papayanni box boats, then the Durban, then redundancy on completion of my cadetship.


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Invernahaille
Regular Member


669 Posts
Posted - 07/06/2007 : 19:46

Peter,

         At least Ellerman's carried out their obligations to you, and you finished your cadetship. I too was on the Litch and the Durban. 

The Big Four came to a sad end as you probaly know. The Litch was a sister ship to the Worcester, St Albans, and a few others. I think there were eight in total. The St Albans came under fire when East Pakistan was going through a civil war.

All Ellerman engineers  were trying to get on the Pappayani boats when I was with them. Medditteranean short sea trips.

So did you stay in the M.N. at the completion of your cadetship?




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Invernahaille
Regular Member


669 Posts
Posted - 08/06/2007 : 00:47

So it was that the City of Worcester floated in to the Salford drydock, under her own steam and assisted by the Alexander towing co tugs. Before the drydock was drained the main engines and all auxilliary equipment was shut down. All the heads drained. The silence was deafening. It felt like being on a Ghost ship as she gently lowered herself on to the plynths in the drydock. Sleepers were set every two to three yards to stop her listing and to keep her in a central position within the dock. From then on until she was refloated, all ablutions etc were carried out shoreside.

The next day I accompanied the Chief and Third engineer under the ships hull. The Chief explained to me that we were inspecting the hull for plate distortion and weld cracks etc. It was the weirdest feeling standing under 4000 tons of ship, and even though I knew the ship was perfectly well supprted, I couldnt help but think of the ship supports collapsing, and the ship leaving us flatter than pancakes. Also on the way down the steps to the drydock floor I remember thinking "I hope those bloody dock gates hold".  So the inspection began, it was difficult inspecting the plates as they had a reasonable coating of barnacles on them. However, within three days she had, had a full scrape and paint job. On the last day I again returned under the ship with the Chief, this time to inspect the paint job the drydock personell had done.



Edited by - Invernahaille on 08 June 2007 00:50:23

Edited by - Invernahaille on 08 June 2007 03:08:03


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Invernahaille
Regular Member


669 Posts
Posted - 08/06/2007 : 03:44

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The above photograph gives a general idea of what a ship in drydock looks like. Thanks to Peter Stubbs.




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Chouan
New Member


9 Posts
Posted - 08/06/2007 : 11:02

I couldn't work out if the class were called the "smally 8s" because of their size, only 4 hatches, or because of their engines. I did my one part of my ER time on the Lichfield and hated every minute of it! But at least I learned that they were 8 Cylinder Sulzers!

I worked for Souter's of Newcastle after I lefty Ellerman's, sailing on the "Solvent Discover", a really horrible trip, a chemical tanker sailing around the N.Sea and Baltic in winter, on sixes the whole time, and then the "Stolt Lion", a product tanker sailing around Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina, which was a very different situation altogether! The only ship I sailed on with 4 mates, which made for a much more civilised life, even though the food on board was dreadful. So much so that we used to buy our own, which at least was fairly cheap, given the exchange rate at the time. An interesting ship, she had 18 tanks, 3 across, each with its own steam reciprocating pump, in 3 pump rooms spaced longitudinally along the cargo deck. Then came redundancy, again.

I then joined Gatx-Oswego sailing on the VLCC "Castleton" to the Gulf, which was fine, but was made redundant, along with the whole crowd, on leaving her.

Then I went foreign, through desperation, working for Tradax of Geneva (owned by Cargill of the US), and sailed on their "Carisle", "Cape Clear", "Geneve"(where I was relieved as 3/0 by my brother), "Alpine Star", "Cheyenne", "Gent", "Avenger" and  another that I can't remember the name of. Tradax then handed the management of their ships on to a management company, who employed Indians and Filipinos on 3rd world wages and we were redundant again.

I then worked for Denholms, on the "Friendly Carrier" (what a name) and another, a sister ship of the ill-famed "Derbyshire", but which name I can't remember. Then redundancy again.

Then Maersk, on the "Maersk Navigator" and the "Maersk Javelin" and then ashore for good!?

 




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Chouan
New Member


9 Posts
Posted - 08/06/2007 : 11:16
It was the "Kona". It came to me in a flash!


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Invernahaille
Regular Member


669 Posts
Posted - 09/06/2007 : 00:33
Ellermans, did six's when they were coastal or about to enter port. For the benefit of the unititiated, normal seagoing watches were 4 hours on 8 hours off, when the ship was coastal or under standby  conditions, the officers worked 6 hours on 6 hours off.


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