View Full Version : watts watts

Tony Wilding
2nd March 2011, 09:27 AM
HELLO TO EVERYONE, my interest is the history of this company, and other companies they owned, also ships owned, managed or chartered by Watts Watts, myself, my brother and father had experience of working on there ships, i have over 200 photos of ships of this company, allways willing to help if someone needs a photo if i have it, likewise allways grateful to receive photos and information, best wishes , Tony Wilding.;)

Tony Wilding
2nd March 2011, 09:30 PM
Just addittional information, i have many photos of Wattships under previous or later names, best wishes, Tony Wilding:)

John Arton
2nd May 2011, 08:23 AM
Another interesting side to Watts Watts was their involvement in Salvage Tug Management.
In 1950 my father (Capt.H.H. Arton) was employed by Watts Watt to deliver the "Hercules" from Barry to Gibraltar, where she came under the management of Bland and Co. of Gibralter. Looking at his contracts for that time it appears that Bland used Watts Watt as their manning agent as all his contracts have the Watts Watt logo on them.
We stayed in Gibralter for two years and I have a list of all his salvage work carried out then, along with the payments for such work, which he received in addition to his salary. He got a hissy fit with Blands after two years and the whole family was given 48 hrs to leave the "Rock".
Capt. John Arton

Tony Wilding
2nd May 2011, 07:22 PM
Hello, well i never knew that, i know they managed ships for federeal commerce montreal, and eastwater shipping co of canada, owned alexandria nav co. Egypt, also owned some coasters in uk, also supplied crews for many gulf oil tankers, i dont suppose u have any photos, or dociments regarding this, am doing a history of watts watts, best wishes, tony wilding

John Arton
12th May 2011, 10:42 PM
Hello Tony
I have been going through my fathers stuff again and it would appear that Watts Watt engaged him and a crew to take the Hercules (ex. German Tug) down to Gib. where they transferred to Blands of Gibraltar.
I am unsure as to how Watts Watts came to involved. At the time my father was Master in OverseasTowage and Salvage on the sister shipto the Turmoil of "Flying Enterprise fame, indeed if it had,nt been for the fact that they were the standby tug at the time, his tug would have been the one to go to the Enterprise.
He learnt his salvage skills during the war when upon joining the RNVR after serving all his previous time in the Blue Star line, he was immediatley appointed Master on one of the Deep Sea Rescue Tugs based in Campbelltown in Scotland.
After the war he joined Overseas Towing and then took up service with Blands in Gibraltar before eventually returning to deep sea with the Blue Star line.
Watts Watts must have been employed by Blands to supply the initial crew to get the Hercules from her refit in Newport down to Gib.
I have a number of letters to him from a W.D. Wilson, Captain Superintendent in Watts Watts giving instructions on sailing etc., along with pay rates for the seamen on board. My fathers contract details giving salvage rates etc.
The 2nd Officer sailing from Newport is a H.H. Tully, again appointed by Watts Watts and also the Chief Officer whose appointment letter I did have but have mislaid.
The Hercules had a very long career after being sodl by Blands as I can remember when I first went to sea in the mid sixties it was by the a Tsvalos(think thats how its spelt) tug and its pictured always featured in their adverts in publications such as Almanacs etc.

Captain John Arton

dave slater
3rd December 2011, 12:53 PM
Hi Tony,
I have just joined this site having found it by accident.

I joined my first ship as a Catering Boy in March 1968 in dry dock in Piraeus.

This was for Watts Watts - then I was working for J & J Denholm - I can't recall what happened, did Watts Watts fold or was it taken over?


Dave Slater

3rd December 2011, 01:27 PM
Welcome Aboard Dave.;)
Over the years we've amassed quite a lot of info about Watts Watts-but Tony Wilding is the man for you, re all things Watts Watts !

I put a history in THIS (http://www.merchant-navy.net/forum/f159/added-thread-4-tony-wilding-10433/) thread(Click)

And another link HERE. (http://www.benjidog.co.uk/allen/index_files/Page5426.htm)

All the Best


Anthony Wren
31st December 2011, 11:04 PM
Hi Tony, found your post interesting as I was on a Watts Watts ship in 1954 called the Wanstead and cant believe its not mentioned. It was state of the art ship in its time as it was just about the first British ship with single berth cabins for all the crew. Where ever we went reporters came and inspected us. I did a year tramping on it and would like to contact anybody who sailed on it.
Tony Wren AB

Tony Wilding
31st December 2011, 11:27 PM

Tony Wilding
31st December 2011, 11:33 PM
[QUOTE=dave slater;74860]Hi Tony,
I have just joined this site having found it by accident.


Anthony Wren
1st January 2012, 11:50 AM
you were lucky with most of your ports mate, we ended up in the Persian Gulf for a month stinking hot running out of fresh water and only 2 bootles of guiness a day wich I remember came out in lumps.
The mate who was a bit of a B-------d had us scraping the sides of one of the tanks of fungus in that heat.Appart from the odd incident it was a great one year trip. After 10 months we were sent to Boston to load coal for Liverpool but the dockers went on strike and we were diverted to a little port in Norway which was a big disappointment as we were keen to get home. When we arrived it had a very small birth so the ship had to be moved every time they had to start on a new hatch. It was estimated we would be there about a month. The name of the place was something like Andelness and had been treated a bit rough by the nazis. However the Nowegians were great and lent us skis when we wanted them. There was a girls college there which made it interesting and I was friendly with a nice one called Inga and we kept in touch quite a while. We were almost sorry to leave.

Ivan Cloherty
1st January 2012, 12:15 PM
Tony (Wilding)

Hi Tony you probably already have these ships in your WW Portfolio

But when I was Supt Of Comben Longstaff we managed the following ships for WW

Richmond Queen
Sandringham Queen
Balmoral Queen
Esk Queen

There was another but the name escapes me at the moment. A WW man also sat in our chartering room working with the CL guys, his name escapes me for the moment. I can picture him now, very tall thin man with a bit of a stoop, always courteous to me

When we first took them over WW insisted that the hulls be painted grey like the deep sea boys, that soon changed to black when they found that grey wasn't suitable for all the tidal ranging berths in the trade, so it was back to the black tar we used on our CL ships, more hard wearing.

Thought I'd mention the above whilst I remembered it :rolleyes:

---------- Post added at 12:15 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:04 PM ----------

Hi Tony

The other two were

Osborne Queen
Windsor Queen

Tony Wilding
1st January 2012, 08:45 PM
hi Ivan, thanks for that information, every little helps, i have 2 photos of coasters in watts colours, Putney and a sister, quite modern motor ships, :th_thth5952deef:

Tony Wilding
1st January 2012, 10:09 PM
Photos of mv Wanstead:th_thth5952deef:

1st January 2012, 10:34 PM
If anyone has a photo of 'BLACKHEATH' WW2, I would be grateful for a copy/link - one of my dad's ships. Thank you. Happy New Year to all of you.


Tony Wilding
1st January 2012, 11:48 PM
HELLO, ss blackheath , no problem, have a few photos of her, tony wilding. here is one. :th_thth5952deef:

1st January 2012, 11:54 PM
Many thanks, Tony - much appreciated.

Tony Wilding
2nd January 2012, 12:01 AM
NO Problem, whem i get home i will look for more, happy new year, tony.:th_thth5952deef:

Tony Wilding
2nd January 2012, 06:44 PM
:th_thth5952deef:blackheath again

3rd January 2012, 12:00 PM
Cheers, Tony - been looking for this ship for a while.

Ivan Cloherty
3rd January 2012, 12:19 PM
Tony (W)

Further my post #12

The gentleman from WW was Mr John Marquis

When they put WW vessels under CL they wanted London names so named two vessels "Putney" and "Mortlake"

but the Deep Sea boys complained as they were not certain what ships they would be joining, at the same time CL took over Queenships so it was decided to change the WW names to co-ordinate with the Queen ships, also Reg Rate from Queen ships joined CL and he worked closely with John Marquiss

So "Putney" became "Balmoral Queen" and "Mortlake" became "Windsor Queen"

The "Putney" was originally the "Cardiffbrook" and I think the "Mortlake" was the "Warwickbrook" but not certain on this latter ship

That's about as far as my addled memory will go so far.

Went onboard one of the "Wendover" class in Australia once, must say that WW certainly gave all crew members sumptuous cabins and messrooms etc compared to vessels in some of the so-called good companies

Tony Wilding
3rd January 2012, 01:27 PM
IT would have been a nasty suprise expecting a W class deep sea ship, then find u was on a coaster, !:th_thth5952deef:

3rd January 2012, 03:16 PM
Starting and Finishing Points of the Boat Race !

I know ,in the interests of accuracy that Ivan won't mind me correcting some info about the motor vessels Putney and Mortlake..

The 2 vessels were not the Cardiffbrook or Warwickbrook,although one of them was the Windsorbrook.

(1) BALMORAL QUEEN (1,423 grt) (O.N. 168594)
started out as RAMBLER ROSE built 7/54 by John Lewis,Aberdeen for Hughes Holden Sg.Co,Swansea.
1961 to O.Dorey & Sons.Ltd,Guernsey.Renamed BELVEDERE
1965 to Watts Watts(Britain SS) Renamed PUTNEY,then in the same year BALMORAL QUEEN
1968 Owners stated as Eskgarth Sg.Co,London.
1969 Sold to a succession of Greek and Cypriot owners.First rename was SOLEN…
Broken Up Limassol 1980

(2) WINDSOR QUEEN (1,036 grt) O.N. 187479)
Started out as WINDSORBROOK built 11/56 by Bodewes G & H,Martenshoek,Netherlands for Williamstown Sg.Co.Ltd,London.
1963 Sold to Wm.France,Fenwick.Renamed NORDGAS
1965 Renamed LOCKWOOD
1965 To Watts,Watts.Renamed MORTLAKE
1966 Renamed WINDSOR QUEEN
1969 Sold to Finnish owners,renamed WALLONA,then to Greeks,then to Honduran owners.
Deleted from registry 1994.

Ivan Cloherty
3rd January 2012, 04:35 PM
No objection at all Gulliver, it was from memory, I know I did the purchase surveys on them on behalf of WW/CL, but looking after 22 ships and surveying others over a period of time, things tend to go awry, so my apologies to Tony (W) for any misleading information.

Pickfords lost most of my notes, records, photos etc during one of my periodic moves (no computers then for backup) it was in the 60's and 70's, that's a long time ago!

CL managed for many companies including Esgarths,Hargreaves and others but all sailed under the CL banner but not names or funnels

Tony Wilding
3rd January 2012, 04:51 PM
i have a photo of mortlake, but cant upload it. it says its bitmap, needs to be jpg, have downsized it but cant convert to jpg, ? tony, w.:eek:

Tony Wilding
3rd January 2012, 05:00 PM
:th_thth5952deef:i managed to convert it, mv mortlake.

3rd January 2012, 08:32 PM
What fate befell Conmben Longstaffs? Sailed on Mendip Prince - good little runner down the Med.


Ivan Cloherty
3rd January 2012, 11:57 PM
What fate befell Conmben Longstaffs? Sailed on Mendip Prince - good little runner down the Med.


Its a long story, CL was sold to Consolidated Gold Fields (CGF) in the 1960's the company started to reduce its fleet in 1980 and got into bed with amongst others Ropners, Everards and the ships were integrated with the Everards fleet, but retained the "Brook" names and served in the Falklands conflict,
The last of the Brook names disappeared about 1991.

It was one of the better coasting and middle trade company's that diverted into deep sea, and perhaps that was its undoing, only my opinion


Bob Montgomery
18th February 2012, 09:29 AM
I was surprised to see the "Queen ships " were managed by WW I was on the Celtic Queen during the later part of 57 and always thought it was "Queenship Navigation Co" still these are the little snippets that keep us interested ........ a school mate of mine did a couple of trips as a cadet with WW likely late 50,s early 60,s left and joined the army !!!!!he was an the Wanstead & Wendover I think ????

jim dolan
29th March 2012, 08:22 PM
just seeing the name watts watts brings back happy memorries, i sailed on the windsor in july 1962 it was trip to remember.::

Frank Raggett
21st May 2012, 10:41 PM
Hi Tony, I was on the MV Woodford I think in 1953, maybe early 1954. Very modern ship for it's day. Electricc winches, steel roller hatch covers etc, great galley and mess areas along with a kind of recreation area down the port side from where the deck crews accommodation was to the mess
Yes they did have single cabins but not for all the crew, I was a JOS and shared with 2 others. My first trip was to Montreal in the middle of winter then down the St Lawrence to either Port arthur or Port Alfred, too long ago now so memory is not so good. Second trip was to Australia via Canary Islands and Capetown. Did most of the ports in Australia but I do remember that we were in Sydney for the 2nd time when the Queen sailed in on the Gothic. That was March 1954, I think we had to wait until the Gothic berthed before we could enter.
Great Ship

Tony Wilding
21st May 2012, 11:08 PM
HELLO FRANK, Yes great ships, i was on the Wanstead, 1961 i think, my Father was Chief Steward on the Woodford on maiden voyage. we did Canada and Great Lakes then to Mediterrean , Portugal, Spain, Italy, Greece, Turkey and Syria, then back to Canada and USA, Montreal so cold in winter, we were wearing sweaters down the Engine Room, some photos of Woodford enclosed, 958095819582 click on them to enlarge.

Frank Raggett
28th May 2012, 09:18 PM
There was Also another sister ship to the Woodford, the MV Woolwich, I did send a reply to Tony Wilding about my time on the Woodford round about 1953. But not only haven't I received a reply but I can't find the reply I sent either.

Frank Raggett
28th May 2012, 09:27 PM
Hi Tony and all
Just remembered something about the accommodation on the Woodford one of the AB's cabins had the lower portion of a Sampson post running through it, Somewhere a long time ago and I don't know what site it was on, there was a plan of the accomodation and the layout of all below deck. Unfortunately I don't know haw to find it again.

Tony Wilding
28th May 2012, 10:03 PM
hi, was 3 ships of the Woodford class, Woodford, Wanstead, Wendover, Woolwich, Wokingham, Windsor, were 3 of a later class. Weybridge , Wimbledon were another class , only 2 ships, last ship built and totally owned by Watts Watts was the Willesden. Westminster Bridge was a consortiam. Watts soon sold there interest in her,

Tony Wilding
28th May 2012, 10:39 PM
Watts Watts ships.96309631963296339634

Tony Wilding
28th May 2012, 10:43 PM
i have a cutaway plan of Wanstead class, will post it wednesday, am not at home now.963596369637

Tony Wilding
28th May 2012, 11:51 PM
high Frank, the Westminster Bridge, only Watts Watts ship ever to have Company Houseflag painted on the funnel.9639

Tony Wilding
29th May 2012, 01:38 PM
hello Tiger, yes they were great ships, far in advance of anything else afloat then, good food and good cabins, self service cafeteria, with a messman to serve you, nice decor in accommodation, even had a crews laundry. best wishes. tony

8th July 2012, 06:39 PM
HELLO TO EVERYONE, my interest is the history of this company, and other companies they owned, also ships owned, managed or chartered by Watts Watts, myself, my brother and father had experience of working on there ships, i have over 200 photos of ships of this company, allways willing to help if someone needs a photo if i have it, likewise allways grateful to receive photos and information, best wishes , Tony Wilding.;)

i sailed on the federal voyager as 4th. engineer in 1958 from montreal to baffin island and hudson bay taking supplies to canadian air force bases. we also unloaded the ship ourselves and i manoevered the flat bottamed boat with cargo from ship to shore. raymond broad

Tony Wilding
8th July 2012, 07:13 PM
hi, nice to have any snippets of information of Watts Watts, of Ships owned or managed by them, my Father was senior Chief Steward with Watts, but he still sometimes sailed on the Ernest G Pathy , a Federal Commerce ship, best wishes, Tony Wilding.10109 SS FEDERAL VOYAGER

Stan Carter
16th July 2012, 05:27 PM
hi tony, we had brief exchange of info regarding the greenwich. after reading the other threads it seems i missed out on modern accomodation of the later ships. do you know the history of the greenwich and when did she end her days. as i said i thought she was a liberty boat, am i correct
stan carter

Tony Wilding
16th July 2012, 06:19 PM
10194MV Greenwich, HI STAN, definately not a Liberty Ship, b uilt in the UK by Doxfords, a Motorship, became MV PORTADOR 1959 Caught fire and sank 1962, the later W class Motor Ships were like Passenger Ships by comparison, almost all single berth cabins, crew cafeteria , served by a Messman. beautiful Murals on the Bulkheads., were 10 years ahead of there time, good food, usually long trips, a good company. regards Tony W. photo courtesy of Photoship.

Stan Carter
17th July 2012, 08:37 PM
hi tony, thanks for putting me straight on the Greenwich. don't know where that notion came from. loved to have been on one of the newer ships, nearest was the esso tanker, single berth and messroom. again tks for the info

Tony Wilding
17th July 2012, 09:34 PM
HI STAN, no problem, a pleasure to be of assistance, Tony W.

Capt Bill Davies
17th July 2012, 10:14 PM
Watts Watts were acknowledged as a progressive company and not just for their accommodation. Their hull design were ahead of their time.
Shame they didn't last.


Tony Wilding
17th July 2012, 10:31 PM
Hi Bill, i believe MR Watts was a Naval Architect, he designed his ships. the Weybridge had a unique hull form especially the aft end, all had the Watts Knuckle.:th_thth5952deef:

Capt Bill Davies
17th July 2012, 10:37 PM
That's right Tony. Achieved more speed without sacrificing the Cube...........very important to trampship owners. Always amazed me the myths that surrounded the china boats as their cargo capacity was awful when considered against the majority of trampships of similar Overall dimensions


Tony Wilding
20th July 2012, 06:29 PM
For Stan Carter, 10242

Cathie McManus
3rd February 2014, 03:49 PM
My late husband served his time with Watts Robert McManus and took as 2nd mate the Westminster bridge out of Glasgow in 1968 then joined Turnbull Scotts when Watts were taken over

3rd February 2014, 05:03 PM
Hi Ivan,
My Husband was on M.V. Wendover as 2nd Electrician from 28th September 1953 till 8th May 1954. I have a letter of recommendation from the Chief Engineer (E,S, Wood M.I.Mar.E.)for Ken to take to his next Ship. When he told me about his ships (I met him after he Left MN in 1956) I remember him saying how Watts Watts cabins were much better than some cabins he had seen on ships he visited when in Port.

Brian Charles Williams
11th November 2016, 04:02 AM
Tony, when you were on the Wanstead do you recall a deck hand Eddie Parkin ? Incidentally I was on the WENDOVER.
Good ships though have to say I thought they were not that to look at. Having no ports ? regard Brian W.

Keith Tindell
11th November 2016, 08:04 AM
Brian, if your post is for Tony Wilding, unfortunately Tony has gone to Fiddlers Green a few years ago, kt

11th November 2016, 08:19 AM
Brian, if your post is for Tony Wilding, unfortunately Tony has gone to Fiddlers Green a few years ago, kt

Yes,poor Tony. He was passionate about Watts Watts,and like many here he was a good researcher,especially of photos.
He had a year or two of happiness towards the end of his life with his lady living in the Phillippines.

Julia Wharton
12th September 2017, 08:44 PM
My father Arthur John Martin Wharton (known as John) was on the Wanstead from 1950 onwards. I know he went to Suez and I remember him telling me a story that he jumped into the water and knocked himself out and had to be rescued! I am going to the National Archives soon to get hold of his Seamans Pouch so I will know more soon.

He died when I was 16 so I have not ever really talked to him about it sadly. But I do have a postcard of the ship that he sent to his parents about how excited he was to join the ship (after leaving Pangbourne Naval College). I also have a few photos of him aboard with friends.

He is the the one standing at the top in this photo.


Julia Wharton
13th September 2017, 08:50 AM
Oh thank you Marian. His date of birth was 16 June 1932 and he was born in Ingoldisthorpe, Norfolk.

Ivan Cloherty
14th September 2017, 07:36 AM
Marian, he would not be the trimmer, the lads in the photo are wearing deck cadets (budding navigators) uniform, so if he followed the usual path you would be looking at 3rd mate, 2nd mate, 1st mate and then Master, but not all followed that path, as some after serving their time went onto AB, then Bosun as 3rd mates wages would not support a family if an individual had decided to get married, hope this helps

Ivan Cloherty
14th September 2017, 03:40 PM
Thank you Ivan, as you can see still learning!:)

As are we all Marian, that's what makes life interesting, good luck in your endeavours

Julia Wharton
14th September 2017, 06:53 PM
Hi Marian

Thank you so much for trying, I have no idea what rank he was Im afraid. Plan on getting hold of his seamans pouch shortly as Kew is just down the road from me so I will know a bit more then and let you know. Those could have been him if they put Arthur down on his official papers. Always confusing because he was always called John later in life!

Thank you so much, it was so kind of you to try.