View Full Version : CATALINA STAR,THE ONE I MISSED (By Mike Hall)

Doc Vernon
14th August 2016, 07:40 PM

It was Wednesday the 16th of August 1961, and again my leave was coming to an end, so I started to pack and get ready to go back to sea.
One bright morning, I made my way into town on the local bus and then onwards to the train station, where I caught the train to Woolwich, and then the ferry across the Thames, and onto the docks.
I had reported to the Federation Offices in the Royal Group Docks on Wednesday 16th August, Where they gave me the ship Catalina Star. Of the Blue Star Line with the job of Cooks Assistant.
The ship was berthed in the surrey docks. so I made my way out of the docks where I caught the local bus to the docks.
My cabin was situated on the main deck and was a four berth cabin, which consisted of two sets of bunks with storage underneath, four lockers and a settee.
This cabin seemed to be very cramped after some of the cabins on previous ships.
My job function was the preparation of vegetables, general washing up and cleaning in the galley.
I signed on, on Thursday, 24th August. My wages for this voyage was £36-10-0 a month. We were due to sail to Avonmouth later that day.
Whilst working in the galley, I got a sudden pain in my left side and passed out. The next thing I knew, I was in the Seaman’s Hospital at Greenwich, with an appendix problem.
I was in hospital long enough to see the ship go down the river without me.
The chief officer came from the ship, to bring my things to the hospital before the ship sailed.
Several days later my parents came to collect me from the hospital. in time for my 19th Birthday, on 30th August.
I still have my appendix.

My engagement with the ship was cancelled the following day 25th August, before the ship sailed, but my seaman’s book went with the ship to Avon mouth, where I was officially signed off, on 28th August. I had earned one week’s wages of £9-0-0, which was paid in cash.
My book was then returned to me by courier at home,which enabled me to return to the sea.


BUILDER-------------Lithgows,Port Glasgow
YARD NO------------995
ENGINES BY--------J.G.Kincaid
YEAR BUILT--------1944
PROPOLSION-------B & W Oil Engine


1944 Completed for Ministry of War Transport As EMPIRE HAIG
1946 Sold to Lamport and Holt renamed DRYDEN
1952 Sold to Blue Star line renamed FREMANTLE STAR
1958 Renamed CATALINA STAR
1963 Transferred to Lamport and Holt renamed DEVIS
1969 Sold to Overseas Navigation renamed MONDIA
1969 Sold to Han Tai Iron and Steel for breaking up