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Stuart Henderson
10th January 2009, 01:46 PM
Hello all, Im a newbie to this site. I was at sea 1947 to 1977 in catering. My first ten years I more or less operated on a programme of one ship,one trip but of course at times the Pool had different ideas. However usually when I had a girl friend I liked the GSNC ships which were short trips and I could get home each night when in London, Irongate Wharf,London Docks or Regents Canal Dock. They were all good little ships and a DOCKING BOTTLE each week more or less as it was the Captains bond. My first ship was WOODCOCK in 1950 on the Bordeaux run stayed in her about 4 months. Next was Seamew to Oporto another three months which of course involved several short runs That was 1953,. Also then did a short spell on Royal Sovereign running day trips Tower Bridge to Margate & Southend. Another girlfriend another GSN but something a bit different Dec 1954/Jan 1955 (home for Christmas) on the troopship Empire Parkeston running Harwich/Hook of Holland with troops of the BAOR. An amazing point about this ship she sailed at midnight docked about 6am next morning so I was in bed all voyage.... I was officers mess steward. In 1955 couple of monthson the little Drake. Running to Tonnay Charente nearest port to Cognac and that was our cargo. In 1956 FAUVETTE and a diffrent run through Kiel Canal to Copenhagen with private visits to Carlsberg Brewery as a leisure activity. Second period on DRAKE followed in quick succession by WHITEWING and GANNET. Last ship with them was HERON in 1957, nice little ship. There were other company ships in between some of the aforementioned, but I was very fond of GSNC which was a subsidery of P&O. The crew office was right on Tower Bridge at Irongate Wharf ,this site now long gone and a hotel.
Once on Gannet in mid 1956 (Spt ?) we left London in the evening and I was in bed when I awoke to rough seas smashing against porthole and engine silence. Went on deck to discover our lifeboat launched and going to rescue crew of TRAQUAIR, Gibsons of Leith which was foundering and sank later. All crew rescued safely due to Gannets C/O and four ABS. We dropped them in Hamburg. I donated some spare gear and cooked sausages for survivors. Almost a year later whilst on Heron I was called to head office,wondering what was up,only to be presented with a wristwatch presented by the ships insurers. It was a good watch and lasted for years,only hope the lifeboat crew got a gold one as it was a rough old night. Anyone out there on any of these ships about same time ?

David Williams
10th January 2009, 02:25 PM
Hi R396040.
No name,so what do we call you?
Nice to meet someone else who sailed
with the G.S.N.C.I think that you are only
the third that Ive "Spoken"to.I only sailed
on the one ship,the Lapwing,during 1953,Cook
Steward and me cabin boy.Can still remember going
ashore in diffenrent ports with great big baskets
to buy stores,and the Cook Steward would only
buy from the C0-OP if possible because he got
dividend points.Maybe you can help me.Ive
collected the cap badges of all the Companies
I sailed with,now Im trying to collect uniform
buttons for my collection.Only short of two,Houlder
Bros,and G.S.N.C.,maybe you know where I can get
hold of one??.Hope that your keeping well,if you get
the chance,drop me a line.

Dave Williams(R583900)

Michael Lawrence
13th January 2009, 03:45 PM
I sailed on the 'Swift' from Oct., 55 round to Feb 56. Good ship good crew. Why did I leave wanted to go back deep water. Mike

Stuart Henderson
15th January 2009, 02:01 PM
Hi Dave
Sorry about delay in answering I am still trying to work out this site. Got used to Ships Nostalgia which is similar but different to use. Yes of course I remember Lapwing but never sailed in her, they were all good little ships. I usually sailed on them when I had a current girl friend so got home more, lived near Staines in those days so home in an hour. Sorry I have no buttons except standard MN ones or HM Customs. Have you a photo of Lapwing ? I have GSNC book with all the photos of fleet so could copy Lapwick if you wanted ,
Best wishes,
Stuart Henderson R306040

David Williams
15th January 2009, 02:37 PM
Hi Stuart.
Just came across your posting on the Postings,I had looked for you on Private
Messages,Ive got my wires crossed,but all sorted now.I only did the one trip
on the Lapwing,but it looks like you spent most of your sea time with the G.S.N.C ?.
Maybe you could help me.I collected the Cap Badges of all the Compnies I sailed
with,now Im collecting the uniform buttons,but Im short of two,you've guessed it
the G.S.N.C.,if by any chance you come across one,perhaps you could let me know.
It was nice to hear from you,I hope that you and your Family had a nice Xmas and
New Year.I hope that your keeping well,and if you get five minutes to spare,drop
me a line.

Dave Williams(R583900)

David Williams
15th January 2009, 02:43 PM
Hi Stuart.
Your messages are coming up fast and furious???.In my last message
I mentioned "buttons" forgetting that I already had asked you.Sorry!!!!
Thanks for the offer of photo's of the Lapwing,but Ive got four or five
of her.Ive been lucky to obtain photo's of every ship I sailed on.Please
stay in touch.Hope that your keeping well.

Dave Williams(R583900)

Mike Hall
15th January 2009, 04:22 PM
stuart,
you are not really allowed to copy pictures from a book,its called copyright.
if you would like more pictures of your ships,go to the following site
www.photoship.co.uk
mike:cool:

happy daze john in oz
16th January 2009, 05:30 AM
G'day Mike, interesting topic about copyright. Ruling over here many years ago was that uni students could copy photos from a book if part of an assignment and not breach copyright. Opened a can of worms thats for sure, but ruling still stands.:eek:

Michael Lawrence
19th January 2009, 03:45 PM
Hey Mike. What wonderful site you've put up www.photoship. I found 4 of mine which i never thought I'd see. Many thanks well done. Mike:D;):p

david carey
12th January 2010, 09:18 PM
Hi,
I am trying to find anyone who may have known Trevor Jenkins. He sailed aboard The Heron around late
50s early 60s,He was origionally from Acton but married a geordie girl and moved to Tyneside
He was killed in a tragic accident in 1969,
I am the husband of his daughter who would love to speak to anyone who knew her Father and could fill in some of the missing pieces of his life,
hope someone remembers him thanks

Doc Vernon
12th January 2010, 09:30 PM
Hi David
Dont know of him,but wondering if you or the Wife has his Seamans Papers ,and if not you can get them from this Link! (I think this would be him)

R695500 JENKINS T B 10/05/1942 LONDON

http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/catalogue/displaycataloguedetails.asp?CATLN=7&CATID=-3627857

I know it may not be of any help,but who knows!
Hope you may get some better replies from others as well!

Glad you dropped in and hope you may stay a while and have a look around!
Cheers

Tony Wilding
12th January 2010, 10:21 PM
hi my brother mr paul jarvis was cook steward with them for many years, i was on mv corncrake 640 tons running to charente on cognac run, later on mv shelldrake, tony wilding.

Stuart Henderson
13th January 2010, 04:41 PM
Hi David,
I started this thread and just read your query about your wifes father. I sailed on the Heron from June to december 1957 as steward. As you realise that was many years ago and I am afraid I cant remember the name mentioned, What did he sail as ? Deck/engine/catering officer.crew ? It might just jog the memory,sometimes on those ships because they were just short continental runs,maybe seven days tptal you sometimes just knew people by nicknames,Jock/Taff/Smiler or such/ As I said maybe a bit more info might jog the memories. I have photos of the ship but none of crew on that one.
Good luch in your search
Stuart

Jason Davis
29th January 2010, 09:32 PM
Greetings to all former GSNC seamen.

My name is Jason Davis R639237.

My first GSNC vessel was the Tern which I joined as an AB iin Glasgow on August 15th 1960. I stayed on the Tern until June 1961.
I was subsequently on the Woodlark, Ringdove, Whitewing and the Royal Sovereign.
My memory is fading but I do remember that while in Tonney-Charent, France (I think on the Tern) the bosun had a heart attack and died. At the time I felt terrible about this because he and I had a big shouting match on the foredeck shortly before he passed away. I was 21 and knew it all!
I also have much happier memories of the season I spent as an AB on the Royal Sovereign ending in September 1961.
Does anyone who was on her remember the "Games Room"?
I must have played too many games because at the end of the season the Mate wouldn't let me work by.
Another memory is of being in Oporto. Portugal, I forget which ship, and going ashore at lunchtime for horsemeat sandwiches and shots of Anise. Took on a dare to drink a whole bottle, got helplessly drunk and was fired as soon as we got back to London. We also made it a habit of going into the hold and tapping the barrels of port with a six inch nail. All in all you have to admit a ship full of booze sorely tries the patience of a thirsty seaman.
I too remember the offices being right there across the street from the Tower of London, I have been back and find it all so changed it's unrecognisable. Sad.

I still dream of being at sea but terrified that I will be incapable of doing the work.
After all I'm nearly 71.

Cheers......Jason Davis.

Doc Vernon
29th January 2010, 09:38 PM
Hi Jason (You seem to have supplied all we need for inclusion on the Flag Jason thanks for that!) So just a welcome!
Would just like to give you a warm Welcome to this very good site!
Here you will find lots of info,good Crew and with luck also find a few old Shipmates!
So sit back,relax and just enjoy the trip!
Hope we will have you here for a long time!
A site truly worthy of the British Merchant Navy!
Cheers

If this applies to you then please do send in your details!
Note Well

If you would like to join in and have your Full name R Number and First Ship
Included in the Flag project then please pass it on to Mike Hall who is doing a Main Flag for all
to be displayed some time in one of the UK Museums!
We need your names to get the New Flag full,so please do respond!
Thank you
Vernon (castleman)

Please go to following Link

www.merchant-navy.net/forum/showthread.php?t=1974

Or reply to me in person! Via Private Message Link above below I will pass on the info!


http://www.merchant-navy.net/forum/private.php?do=newpm&u=18

If any new Members or old ones too want a bit of info on the Flag Projects please
Go to the following Links where you can see Pics and Write ups on this subject!
Thanks

http://www.merchant-navy.net/gallery/showgallery.php?cat=558



If you have already done this then please accept my apologies!

Stuart Henderson
30th January 2010, 03:18 PM
Hi Jason,
Interesting to read your entry about General Scream as we used to call it way back then, yes I had some great trips on their fine little ships, I was A/S in the 1950s and must have sailed on ten or more of theirs. Was in Tonnay Charente on the Drake, funny little place then, now changed out of all recognition I live just a couple of hours to the east of Tonnay Charente these days and still like the cognac and wine we used to carry then.
See you live in Wisconsin now,great place used to have friends in Clinton,Wis and visited many years ago also sailed into Milwaukee on a Cunard cargo boat in the 60s, remember a barman to get rid of me suggesting a free visit to the famous brewery there , was it Pabtz Blue Ribbon ? I went and enjoyed it....
Cheers
Stuart H

horwood
31st January 2010, 08:29 PM
hi jason i was on the green finch early 50s good ship good company good luck jason john

Doc Vernon
31st January 2010, 08:36 PM
Hi J L
Would just like to give you a warm Welcome to this very good site!
Here you will find lots of info,good Crew and with luck also find a few old Shipmates!
So sit back,relax and just enjoy the trip!
Hope we will have you here for a long time!
A site truly worthy of the British Merchant Navy!
Cheers


Also"

If you would like to join in and have your Full name R Number and First Ship
Included in the Flag project then please pass it on to Mike Hall who is doing a Main Flag for all
to be displayed some time in one of the UK Museums!
Thank you

Please go to following Link and follow instructions there
When page opens Click on Contact info on Right and on dropdown list select
Send a message via Email to Mike Hall


http://www.merchant-navy.net/forum/member.php?u=8

Alternatively you can send your details to me as well and i will pass them on to Mike for you
Thanks

http://www.merchant-navy.net/forum/member.php?u=18

If any new Members (or old) would like more info on the Flag Projects please click on the following Link!
Thank you

http://www.merchant-navy.net/gallery/showgallery.php?cat=558

Joe Doyle
31st January 2010, 09:26 PM
are you my Dad. no well name your ship cheers Joe

Charlie Hannah
1st February 2010, 12:32 AM
Hi all, i have been searching for a pic of the S.S. Temple Mead. Black funnel white band with the red Bass sign for quite some time now any one ever sailed in her, have a pic, would be obliged if i could have a copy of it .
The only one missing,would love to complete my collection.Thanks.
Charlie.

Jason Davis
2nd February 2010, 09:32 PM
Stuart....

Nice to get a reply from you.
Another memory of Tonney Charent is the pretty and very flirtatious sixteen year old who's mother owned a little bar that we frequented on the dockside. I had many an erotic dream about her in those days.
Also have brilliant memories of the night club area of Oporto, I think it was called "Lexoies" or something like that. It was packed with very young and aggresive ladies of the night who were desperate to hook up with a British seaman and get to live in England....or Wales, or Scotland or Ireland I guess. Funny how a lot of my recollections involve sex.
I envy you living in such a beautiful part of France.
Happy days.......Jason.

Stuart Henderson
4th February 2010, 11:20 AM
Hello again Jason,
Yes I remember that corner bar in Tonnay Charente, think it was the only one if Im rembering right, cant recall a daughter or mother come to think, the owner was a bit surley . There was one young lady from that era didnt speak English and in teens I suppose who wore mourning black so maybe one of her parents had recently passed away. Her boyfriend was shouting from the quay when I showed her round the ship,didnt take long on the Drake which was only a coaster.
The ships agent had a couple of bicycles he lent out to the crew if they wanted and it was a nice change, also tried for first ever time one of those motorised bikes. Nearly ended up in the river. Another memory was you deck guys and C/Off on foscle head when ships was turning on arrival/depature was up in mud on opposite river bank amongst the cows, Very narrow there.
Just checked my d/book and see I was on that run twice, 1955 and 1956 during summer

Stuart

David Williams
16th April 2010, 07:41 PM
Hi Stuart.
Sorry for the delay in answering you,I was looking everwhere
under Stuart Henderson,not R396040,never mind Ive found
you now.I already have that photo that you sent me,but I have
five or six that might be of interest to you.Do you have a printer,then
I can send them on to you,or let me have your email address,then I
can send them through the computer,if not then I will copy them and
send them through the post.

Dave Williams(R583900)

Roger Dyer
28th April 2010, 11:52 PM
Hi Jason,........My name is Roger Dyer (formerly R672888). First went to sea as a deck-boy on the Port Hobart in May, 1957. After two years with Port Line, in April, 1959, I joined the Ringdove in London Docks - my first trip as E.D.H. So began an on again, off again, love affair with G.S.N.C. that was to last for the next six years. Later that summer I was on the Alouette (G.T.276), on the Rhine run up to Cologne, stopping at all points in between. The following summer I spent three months on the Woodwren, but finally left when I realised that the 'mate' and I could never be friends. A month later found me on the Woodlark. running down to Oporto. Great 'crowd', very happy ship. In Oporto each lunchtime, we happy breed would forego the meal and head straight for the 'Widow's' bar, which was conveniently situated up a little street just off the quay. Perhaps this was your bar too Jason. It might have been more prudent to stick to the anise, but, invariably' I would join the rest rapidly downing 'Jugs of Joy' (wine,lemonade, sliced lemons and lots of ice). Whilst drinking, we would all fantasize about the 'Widow's' daughter who was quite beautiful. Back to the ship with a happy 'glow', by mid-afternoon our heads would be throbbing - it must have been the lemonade! It didn't seem to slow us down though. After eating our tea we would have a nap, then shower,shave,etc., get the 'go ashore' gear on and by about 7.30pm. we would be in a taxi, or two' on our way to Lexioes to sample the delights of the Texas Bar or similar fleshpot. Like most of the others, I didn't sleep on board too often, but was always back in time to "turn to'. In June, 1961, I was on the Mavis for a few weeks ( the Rhine run again). The following June I joined the Laverock, another "happy' ship, on the Italian run. In mid-July, whilst on a mooring in Catania, I received news from my girl that I was to be a Daddy. Ten days later, after frantic phone calls and a radio message , we were back in London. I paid-off on the 26th July, and was married the following day ( we're still together). It was August '62 when I first joined the Royal Sovereign, for the last few weeks of the season. I enjoyed the experience so much that I went back for the summers of ''63, '64' and '65. Yes, Jason, I remember the "Games Room" - you naughty boy. Though quite spartan it was the best cabin for two lucky deck-crew. When you opened the door there was a double-bunk on the right, up against the bulkhead with all the peepholes. Being recently married, my testosterone levels were in check and so I never 'starred, however, I confess that on many occasions I was one of the 'voyeurs' next door who whilst stifling their giggles would be jostling frantically for the best peephole. I can't imagine the horror some of those poor 'maidens' must have felt after the 'show' was over and the giggling and laughter next door was no longer suppressed. I'm still laughing as I type this. Wonderful times, we were so young and 'bulletproof' then weren't we? If only we could turn the clock back. !I've heard it said that those years after WW2 up until the mid-sixties was the 'golden age' of shipping. I feel lucky and proud to have been part of it.........Cheers for now, Roger.

Jason Davis
29th April 2010, 10:42 PM
Roger....

Did you confirm some memories!
Thought I dreamed it all.
This is Jason Davis in Minneapolis/St Paul, where are you located these days?

We really did overlap. I was an AB on the Tern in 1960/1961 , the Woodlark ( Feb 20 1961 to April 12 1961), Ringdove and Whitewing in 1961 and the Sovereign in the summer of 1961. The giggling in the cooks room next to games room really reached a fever pitch one day when I had the gall to turn out the light. There was a lot of banging on the bulkhead until I had to turn it back on. Made the maiden very suspicious.
I'm sure it was the widows bar in Oporto that we frequented at lunchtime. We were anchored in midstream and had to get a row boat ferry back and forth. Not easy when yuu are legless.
Lexioes....that was wild. I made the mistake of picking up with a different girl one night and the one from the night before came in and the two women fought like cats.....I took off for a different bar while they were fighting and they never saw me leave.
I am still working as a TV producer and host at KSTP TV in Minneapolis because I have great job and the money is great. You can learn more if you are curious by going to www.kstp.com/otr. I am nearly seventy one....July 26, close to your wedding anniversary, congratulations on making it for so long. My wife and I have been together for forty years.

Great communicating with you all,

Jason

Tony Wilding1
30th April 2010, 12:58 AM
hi i waqs donkeyman on mv corncrake , then donkey greaser on mv shelldrake , also on queen of the channel, my brother was a cook steward on many of there ships his name paul jarvis, STORES

Roger Dyer
3rd May 2010, 11:16 PM
Hi Jason, To answer your question, I now live about 30 miles due west of Sydney, Australia, (near Penrith). Took up your offer and visited your workplace website. Am very impressed and also intrigued as to how you got into that line of business. A latter-day Alan Whicker, not bad for an ex.AB from G.S.N.C. Would like to share a few more memories with you about life on the 'Sovereign' and Oporto, but wonder if this is the right forum, as it might be a bit risque. What do think? Hope to hear from you soon. Cheers, Roger

Doc Vernon
4th May 2010, 04:44 AM
Hi Roger
Would just like to give you a warm Welcome to this very good site!
Here you will find lots of info,good Crew and with luck also find a few old Shipmates!
So sit back,relax and just enjoy the trip!
Hope we will have you here for a long time!
A site truly worthy of the British Merchant Navy!
Cheers

A very interesting account of some of your time Roger,and i am sure like you we all recall those funfree days of the past!
Like you too i know we are all so proud to have been part of that Exciting Era of the 50' and 60's great times!

I notice you say you are near Penrith ,i too am at present living in Penrith,but we have sold and are on the move to Blackheath,where the Weather is a lot cooler as you may well know!
We move on the 28th May,so will this Year be celebrating Xmas in July up in those lovely Mountains!
Once we have settled ,we should try and have a get together just for a chat!
Cheers


Also"

If you would like to join in and have your Full name R Number and First Ship
Included in the Flag project then please pass it on to Mike Hall who is doing a Main Flag for all
to be displayed some time in one of the UK Museums!
Thank you

Please go to following Link and follow instructions there
When page opens Click on Contact info on Right and on dropdown list select
Send a message via Email to Mike Hall


http://www.merchant-navy.net/forum/member.php?u=8

Alternatively you can send your details to me as well and i will pass them on to Mike for you
Thanks

http://www.merchant-navy.net/forum/member.php?u=18

If any new Members (or old) would like more info on the Flag Projects please click on the following Link!
Thank you

http://www.merchant-navy.net/gallery/showgallery.php?cat=558

Roger Dyer
8th May 2010, 01:31 PM
Hello Vernon,.....Thanks for the kind welcome. That was a surprise, you living at Penrith, although not for much longer I see. As you know, the 'mountains' can get a bit cool round about July, but won't you appreciate it next summer, lucky you. Anyway, do wish you well in your new home and yes, when you've settled in, it would be nice to meet you and share a yarn or two about the old days. I sent a message to Mike Hall, but in case it doesn't reach him my details for the flag are as follows......Full name..Roger Edward Dyer ...D/B.No.R672888...joined my first ship the 'Port Hobart' in May,1957.(deck-boy)..........Cheers for now, Roger.

Alistair Kerr
5th July 2010, 11:44 PM
After two trips in Shaw Savill's Fordsdale, (NZ/UK/Aus?NZ/UK), I joined the Seamew at her builder's yard, S.P. Austin, Sunderland (August 1947), and sailed on her maiden voyage as a Senior Ordinary Seaman. After living in a six berth cabin in the Fordsdale's foc's'le, Seamew's single berth cabin was luxury! I spent six happy months in her, mostly from Londo to Oporto or Leixoes. We moored in the river in Oporto and it was quite a picturesque berth with that huge bridge upstream, the old buildings crowding the city's hills and thoise ancient-looking barges piled with casks of wine, coming alongside , so experetly handled.\
But I found the 4 on,4 off a bit tiring aftera while sdo I left her with regret. She was a neat little ship and the food was the best I ever had in any Pommy ship!

Roger Dyer
15th July 2010, 09:08 AM
Hi KiwiAB......I was pleased to read that there was another member on this site that, like me, held GSNC in such high regard. I never sailed in the Seamew, but having sailed on several other company ships, I knew of her. Having also experienced the dubious joys of living in the forecastle, I can well understand the pleasure you must have felt having your own cabin. It was not something many S.O.S would have enjoyed back in '47 (and for many years thereafter). The fact that most GSNC ships were good 'feeders' would have been an added bonus. I too found the four on, four off, watches a bit hard to take sometimes, more so when, during the daylight hours, there was overtime during an 'off watch'. We were never compelled to work overtime, of course, but I think it was frowned upon if you didn't, and besides most of us were grateful for the chance. On another GSNC ship I was on, the little 'Mavis', the watches were five and five, which was different. I seem to remember always feeling tired whilst 'at sea' on these short-sea traders, but it never stopped me going back for more. I must have spent the greater part of my sea-going career with GSNC, the United Baltic Corporation and MacAndrews. They were all very good 'feeders' and most of the time went to some interesting little ports. You spoke of Oporto and Leixoes both of which for various reasons would fall into the 'interesting' category. Like you, I was amazed at the way in which they used to handle the barges in Oporto. If memory serves right, they were all under sail or if not under sail, would use the strong current of the Douro to their advantage. You also mentioned the high bridge and, beyond, on the very steep banks of the river, the houses seemingly built one above the other. I don't know if you are aware, but some years ago a great many of those houses were destroyed following a collapse. I believe there was also a considerable loss of life which, sadly, does not surprise me. When I first visited Oporto I always felt I was going back in time, but loved the experience. Anyway, nice to hear from you, all the best, Roger.

James Doherty
1st August 2010, 11:55 PM
Firist trip as a deckboy was on board the Sheldrake out of the old London docks back in 1968. As I remember her she had domino hatches so you earned your money on short hops around the Med. Half the time was spent holystoning the bridge deck before brackfast.

Trader
2nd August 2010, 04:47 PM
Firist trip as a deckboy was on board the Sheldrake out of the old London docks back in 1968. As I remember her she had domino hatches so you earned your money on short hops around the Med. Half the time was spent holystoning the bridge deck before brackfast.

Hi doc2009, I was on the Manchester Vanguard which was owned by Manchester Liners who sold her to GSNC and renamed Sheldrake. As you say she had the old domino hatches and was a bit of a workup in that respect. We ran from Manchester to the Great Lakes in the summer and Liverpool to Canary Islands in the winter when the Lakes were iced up. I did two years on her 1956/58, a good little ship.

Here is a photo of her stuck in the ice a few hours from Montreal in Dec. 1958. We should have been home for Xmas but it was February 1959 before we got home as we had to drydock in the States due to ice damage.

Alec.

James Doherty
27th August 2010, 04:38 PM
Nice photo Alec thankful the weather was allot warmer where we sailed on her.
Jim.

Stuart Henderson
27th August 2010, 05:38 PM
I was stuck on Cunards ASIA same time also remember a Watt Watts ship Wendover/Wimbledom ? cant recall anyway an experience to remember......
Stuart

Trader
27th August 2010, 10:57 PM
Hi Stuart,

I remember the Asia being stuck as well, we could see her coming up to us from astern going full pelt with the smoke pouring out of her funnel. Being a powerful steamship we thought that she would get past us and we could follow in her wake, we were only a little ship of 250 feet long, built for the old canals. She didn't get very far and she became stuck as well.

The Watts Watts ship was the Wendover, she was stuck almost alongside of us. I will try and post a photo of her if I can find it.

Alec.

PS. Here is one of the ice breaker d'Hiberville coming to the rescue

Stuart Henderson
29th August 2010, 07:36 PM
Thanks Alex for photos. Yes it certainly was a different experience,but didnt turn me off the run always enjoyed Montreal & Joe Beefs in those days and the States run, I stayed with Cunard on the cargo ships mainly for fifteen years,
Good luck
Stuart

Trader
29th August 2010, 11:09 PM
Yes Stuart, Montreal was one of my favourite ports. Manchester Liners crew used the Port bar more than Joe Beefs as we didn't want to mix with the Scousers:D only joking.

I see that you are living in France now, my favourite country, I ran there more than any other country as I was on Manchester/Liverpool to Rouen and Paris run for two years in the early 60's and then again in 1967 for three years from London to Rouen and Paris. The company was Wm. H. Muller & Co., A Dutch company but British flag.

All the best...........Alec.

Stuart Henderson
30th August 2010, 09:07 AM
Hi Alec, sorry for mispelling last post of your name. Yes been in France seventeen years now mostly in SW France but did live up in Calvados Normany for a few years, loved it up there but weather a bit "British" so moved south again. Was very interested in your French runs with Mullers. Back in the fifties when I was still deciding where to settle (workwise) I did several GSN ships which of course did French runs Bordeaux etc. Used to see one ship though berthed up regularly near old Prospect of Whitby pub river berth called the "Concorde" who was on regularl Paris -London run, She had a blue hull but cant recall funnel markings and obviously quite small,accommodation aft . I was A/S then but maybe she only carried cook/stwd. Never offered he at dock st pool either but she still sticks in my memory after all these years.
Regards
Stuart

Trader
2nd September 2010, 01:13 PM
Hi Stuart, I remember the" Concorde" well. She belonged to Lockett Wilson a subsidiary of Dundee, Perth and London Lines and saw her on the Seine many times. You are right, she only carried a cook/steward on the catering side.

The Muller ships that I sailed in were the "Somme" on the Manchester/Liverpool run and the "Scheldt" on the London/Paris trade. We sailed from St Georges wharf, near Surrey Docks entrance and later moved over to Free Trade wharf which also was not far from the Prospect of Whitby. Muller ships were all named after French rivers Garonne, Gironde, Marne, Meuse, Aisne, Escaut etc.

Regards....Alec.

Stuart Henderson
2nd September 2010, 04:05 PM
Hi Stuart, I remember the" Concorde" well. She belonged to Lockett Wilson a subsidiary of Dundee, Perth and London Lines and saw her on the Seine many times. You are right, she only carried a cook/steward on the catering side.

The Muller ships that I sailed in were the "Somme" on the Manchester/Liverpool run and the "Scheldt" on the London/Paris trade. We sailed from St Georges wharf, near Surrey Docks entrance and later moved over to Free Trade wharf which also was not far from the Prospect of Whitby. Muller ships were all named after French rivers Garonne, Gironde, Marne, Meuse, Aisne, Escaut etc.

Regards....Alec.

Hi Alec,
Thanks for that info,really news from a long dstant past.... Remember Surrey Docks with affection from my Cunard cargo boat days,it was nearer Waterloo station for me than the Royal Docks which helped when working by a ship. Remember pubs being open before 0800 hrs too for dock workers which was real handy if you had a real hard night and wanted a livener. Also recall Dock St pool sending me to Deadmans Creek to join collier Sherwood France Fenwicks. I thought they were kidding but an old dear on the bus told me where to get off,right near Surrey Docks on the river. Didnt get to St Georges but recall Free Trade wharf.
Best wishes
Stuart

Pete Leonard (Bruno)
2nd October 2010, 07:09 PM
Like you when you first posted I haven't quite got used to this site. I just thought I would register that my first trip to sea was on the mvDrake out of what was then London Dock, in Nov.1949, as Galley boy. The run was the same then, cargo of wool for Dieppe or Le Havre and then round to Tonnay Charente to load up with Hennessys best. I wonder if the bar that we all called Madame Le Blanc's is still is still there. I'm sure she isn't.
Happy days
Cheers

Pete Leonard

KEN WILLIAMS
27th October 2010, 08:44 AM
Hi my name is ken williams d/b r576358 my first ship was the seamew .july 52 to dec 52 as the deck boy .our trips were down to bordore for 5 trips then down to oporto for the rest of my time on her what a great ship and crew.i also sailed on the alouette from butlers wharf to amsterdam and up to harlegen.my girl freind at the time (now my wife)would be at the worldsend pub on saturday to wave to me as we sailed down the thames; that was june53 /dec 53.after that it was b.t.c tankers. My last 5 years at sea was with everards.i now live in new zealand

Stuart Henderson
28th October 2010, 12:05 PM
Hi Ken,
Just missed you on Seamew, see I was A/S on her in early 1953 also on the Oporto run. Great company though,lots of happy memories. Nice short trips, good accommodation,runs ashore and of course the weekly docking bottle who could ask for more ? Happy times, good luck to you.
Stuart Henderson
France

Leslie Gray
5th February 2011, 05:00 PM
Hi I have just joined Old Friends.I am still not quite sure how this works.I joined Royal Sovereign July 1950.After 8 weeks as Pantry Boy I was offered the chance of joining the Merchant Navy,and getting my Book. I signed on to SS.Cormorant as Galley Boy on 2/9/50.After this I served on MV Greenfinch.MV Mavis.and SS Starling.It was all hard work and long hours,but I wouldn't have missed it for the world.After this I went deep sea,and served with quite a few companies.Hope I've done this right.Les.

Stuart Henderson
5th February 2011, 07:25 PM
Hi I have just joined Old Friends.I am still not quite sure how this works.I joined Royal Sovereign July 1950.After 8 weeks as Pantry Boy I was offered the chance of joining the Merchant Navy,and getting my Book. I signed on to SS.Cormorant as Galley Boy on 2/9/50.After this I served on MV Greenfinch.MV Mavis.and SS Starling.It was all hard work and long hours,but I wouldn't have missed it for the world.After this I went deep sea,and served with quite a few companies.Hope I've done this right.Les.

Hello Les,
I was in several GSNC ships in fifties like you but apart from Royal Sovereign which I did a few weeks on as A/S wasnt on the others you mentioned. Found it a great company,liked the short trips & docking bottles.
Hope you enjoy the site,there are still a few old uns around like us. I was at sea 1947 to 1977
Stuart

Pete Leonard (Bruno)
6th February 2011, 12:58 PM
Hi. Stuart, I also served on MVDrake, but a little earlier than you 1949/50. Tonnay Charente was a fascinating place,probably because it was one of the first foreign places I had been to. I can remember walking across the railway lines to the nearest bar whch was run by a Madame LeBlanc, commonly known as Madame Le Plonk. You mentioned Pabst brewery in Milwaukee, are you sure it wasn't Shlitz? Their advertising slogan was 'The Beer That Made Milwaukee Famous'. It was something to do with a big fire there when the brewery dished out beer to the firemen.

Stuart Henderson
6th February 2011, 07:20 PM
Hi. Stuart, I also served on MVDrake, but a little earlier than you 1949/50. Tonnay Charente was a fascinating place,probably because it was one of the first foreign places I had been to. I can remember walking across the railway lines to the nearest bar whch was run by a Madame LeBlanc, commonly known as Madame Le Plonk. You mentioned Pabst brewery in Milwaukee, are you sure it wasn't Shlitz? Their advertising slogan was 'The Beer That Made Milwaukee Famous'. It was something to do with a big fire there when the brewery dished out beer to the firemen.

Hi Pete,
Yes of course you are correct Pete, it was Schlitz in Milwaukee !! I did visit Budweiser brewery many years later on a Florida holiday, not Pabst but I guess in my fifteen years running on Cunard ships I must have drunk barrels of all of em !! Think we have talked about Drake before,was it earlier on this thread ? I lived in France since early nineties and visited Tonnay Charente a few years ago, very big changes obviously in the fifty plus years but the quay side square was still very much the same,bar as well.
Cheers,
Stuart

Leslie Gray
7th February 2011, 01:55 PM
Hello Les,
I was in several GSNC ships in fifties like you but apart from Royal Sovereign which I did a few weeks on as A/S wasnt on the others you mentioned. Found it a great company,liked the short trips & docking bottles.
Hope you enjoy the site,there are still a few old uns around like us. I was at sea 1947 to 1977
Stuart

Hi Stuart.I agree with you GSNC was a great company.My trouble was seasickness,on those little ships I am afraid I couldn't take it,so I went deep sea and from then on I was OK.I finished at sea in 1958.And got married.All the Best.Les.

David Williams
8th February 2011, 04:23 PM
Hello all, Im a newbie to this site. I was at sea 1947 to 1977 in catering. My first ten years I more or less operated on a programme of one ship,one trip but of course at times the Pool had different ideas. However usually when I had a girl friend I liked the GSNC ships which were short trips and I could get home each night when in London, Irongate Wharf,London Docks or Regents Canal Dock. They were all good little ships and a DOCKING BOTTLE each week more or less as it was the Captains bond. My first ship was WOODCOCK in 1950 on the Bordeaux run stayed in her about 4 months. Next was Seamew to Oporto another three months which of course involved several short runs That was 1953,. Also then did a short spell on Royal Sovereign running day trips Tower Bridge to Margate & Southend. Another girlfriend another GSN but something a bit different Dec 1954/Jan 1955 (home for Christmas) on the troopship Empire Parkeston running Harwich/Hook of Holland with troops of the BAOR. An amazing point about this ship she sailed at midnight docked about 6am next morning so I was in bed all voyage.... I was officers mess steward. In 1955 couple of monthson the little Drake. Running to Tonnay Charente nearest port to Cognac and that was our cargo. In 1956 FAUVETTE and a diffrent run through Kiel Canal to Copenhagen with private visits to Carlsberg Brewery as a leisure activity. Second period on DRAKE followed in quick succession by WHITEWING and GANNET. Last ship with them was HERON in 1957, nice little ship. There were other company ships in between some of the aforementioned, but I was very fond of GSNC which was a subsidery of P&O. The crew office was right on Tower Bridge at Irongate Wharf ,this site now long gone and a hotel.
Once on Gannet in mid 1956 (Spt ?) we left London in the evening and I was in bed when I awoke to rough seas smashing against porthole and engine silence. Went on deck to discover our lifeboat launched and going to rescue crew of TRAQUAIR, Gibsons of Leith which was foundering and sank later. All crew rescued safely due to Gannets C/O and four ABS. We dropped them in Hamburg. I donated some spare gear and cooked sausages for survivors. Almost a year later whilst on Heron I was called to head office,wondering what was up,only to be presented with a wristwatch presented by the ships insurers. It was a good watch and lasted for years,only hope the lifeboat crew got a gold one as it was a rough old night. Anyone out there on any of these ships about same time ?

Hi Steve.

Did I ever tell you that I managed to get hold
of a GSNC buttton,on the interenet.

Dave Williams(583900)

horwood
5th July 2011, 06:45 PM
i am sorry to see that they are no more
Hi Dave
Sorry about delay in answering I am still trying to work out this site. Got used to Ships Nostalgia which is similar but different to use. Yes of course I remember Lapwing but never sailed in her, they were all good little ships. I usually sailed on them when I had a current girl friend so got home more, lived near Staines in those days so home in an hour. Sorry I have no buttons except standard MN ones or HM Customs. Have you a photo of Lapwing ? I have GSNC book with all the photos of fleet so could copy Lapwick if you wanted ,
Best wishes,
Stuart Henderson R306040

Tony Wilding
5th July 2011, 07:22 PM
hey mike. What wonderful site you've put up www.photoship. I found 4 of mine which i never thought i'd see. Many thanks well done. Mike:d;):p

hi , go to old steamship photos just about every gsnc ship there/ tony

Tony Wilding
5th July 2011, 07:27 PM
Go to old steamship pictires and photos, just about every gsnc ship there, tony.

Gulliver
5th July 2011, 08:04 PM
Go to old steamship pictires and photos, just about every gsnc ship there, tony.



This is the correct link for PHOTOSHIPS (http://www.photoship.co.uk/Search%20Links%20Ship/).



Gulliver

Tony Wilding
5th July 2011, 08:44 PM
SORRY GULLIVER I GOT CONFUSED, I ALLWAYS REFER TO IT BY OTHER NAME. SO MANY SHIP SITES ON MY FAVOURITES, TONY WILDING. :confused: