View Full Version : Good Times

bernie mcdonald
24th January 2010, 07:28 PM
I have recently found this web site and have enjoyed looking through some of the links.
I served with Bibby Line from 1971 to 1984 as cadet engineer and then up to 3rd engineer, before finally leaving when the terms and conditions were changed and all the ships were re-registered abroad.
It was a great pity because before that time they were such a great outfit to work for. But alas the accountants took over and that was the end of Bibby's as we all knew and indeed over the next few years was also the end of the old Merchant Navy.
I still work at sea, but the life has changed completely and now there is a lack of Brits who want to work on ships and to be honest I don't blame them.
I would love to hear from anyone who knew me during the good times with Bibby's.

Kevan Dickin
30th January 2010, 01:26 PM
Hi Bernie - I think we may have sailed together on MV Herefordshire in 1973. I have quite a few good memories of that trip.


bernie mcdonald
30th January 2010, 02:53 PM
Hello Kevin,

Yes we did indeed sail on the Herefordshire, it was my first trip away to sea.
I remember you as one of the deck cadets, the other being a lad called Charlie. If I'm correct you paid off the ship somewhere up the Red Sea.
Do you remember the second engineer Frank Green, I've kept in touch with him all these years and last spoke to him about two years ago, he is well in to his eighties and living in a care home in Emsworth Hampshire.
What have you been doing all these years?



30th January 2010, 09:44 PM
Hi Bernie.Just to welcome you to the Bibby forum.
I see you've already met Kevan.

I was Deck Cadet 69-72,and during your timeline served on Worcestershire and Dart America.
I actually never sailed with any Engineering Cadets,so obviously do not know you.

I went on to serve 20 years at sea with other companies,but as you say the end of the traditional British MN,and the life as we knew it, was over ,in my opinion, by 1977.

Enjoy the trip aboard here,then!


bernie mcdonald
30th January 2010, 09:58 PM

Thank you very much for the welcome message, I see from your profile that you have quite an interest in the sight, its good to know there are still some of us who can the remember when going to sea was an adventure and the run ashore was exciting.

On a different subject-:

I have been tracing my family tree and have recently come accross some old discharge papers from my Great Grandfather who was at sea from 1876 until around 1888. Its remarkable to see just how similar they are to our present day discharge book entries. If anyone is interested I can post some of these on the sight.



Kevan Dickin
30th January 2010, 10:59 PM
Nice to catch up with you Bernie after all these years. I think it may have been Charlie who departed in the Red Sea as I was on for the full trip discharging at Rotterdam on 14/12/73. I think of the trips I did that one was the most interesting and the one I have the most memories and photos from. I'm attaching one which shows 'Muttley'? you and I on Bugis Street, Singapore enjoying a night out. How young we look !

I remember one of the more senior engineers being a very caring bloke, was that Frank ?

I left Bibby line in 1975 as whilst I loved the travelling I could see the fast approaching demise of the Britsh Fleet plus I never really settled to a' nomadic' life. For years after leaving I would have dreams about going back for 'one more trip'. It's a unique life and I never regretted my time at sea.

I eventually joined Lancashire Constabulary and had a varied and enjoyable 30 year career. I retired in 2008, moved to Scotland and remarried.



John Callon
30th January 2010, 10:59 PM
Hello Bernie and all,

I was with Bibbys from 1960 to 1976 and saw quite a few changes over the years. I have to say they were at their very best in the1960's when the fleet was expanding like there was no tomorrow. Started out as a boy rating with them and ended up as Purser/Chief Steward. Have to admit I did leave a couple of times during that period to sail in the Big Ships but that was only to gain further expereince elosewhere. Stood by the Herefordshire in the fitting out basin and was given the choice of either doing the maiden voyage or joining the Ocean Bridge which was being rebuilt by Scott Lithgows after the tragic explosion. Chose the OB.


Alan Melia
5th February 2010, 11:35 AM
High Kevin, John C, Bernie, Davie et all.

Just saying hello on the Bibby Line Forum in the hope of bumbing into some more old shipmates. I see a number of guys on here that also subscribe to "Ships Nostalgia"
I was with Bibby Line from 1967 to late 1975.



Bibby Line
Coventry City (several voyages)
Cheshire old and new
Atlantic Briidge
Warwickshire (twice)
English Bridge
Dart America (several)
Dart Atlantic (several)

BR Ferries

Best Wishes


Geoff Valentine
27th August 2010, 10:13 PM

Well nice to see you about still, and enjoying your time at sea, wish I was still out there, really enjoyed

Got re-married [third] time on 14th February 2009 to a lady with the surname of 'LOVE', so our combined name is 'Valentine-Love'. Could of made a fortune from the magazines, but could not advertise with where I am
working... 40,000 was mentioned in all.

Please get in touch, still remember you in Falmouth harbour when you invited me and the ex girlfriend and ger kids down.

Still aCity supporter.



PS do you stil brew your own beer on board?? HAHA

jim killen
30th July 2014, 06:51 PM
Hello Bernie,
I remember sailing with you on the Devonshire around the Spring of '79. I was a Junior Engineer at the time.
That was a particularly fun trip with the likes of Bob Lilley (4th) and Bob Hutton (2nd). I remember some good singalongs with the Radio Officer
who played guitar, "old Macdonalds farm" was quite popular after a few lemonades!

Jim Killen

bernie mcdonald
29th December 2014, 07:34 AM
Hello Jim,
Sorry about the delay in replying to your message, but I had had trouble with my old computer and lost all connections with previous web sites.
I remember you were watch partners with Bob Jones who left the sea when the company shipped out to Hong Kong. I was in touch with him a few years ago and he now works in a paper mill in North Wales.
I stayed working at sea until recently and have since taken early retirement. What have you been up to since leaving Bibby's, do you still live in the Hartlepool area.



gordon dickinson
5th March 2019, 09:38 PM
Hi Bernie just registered on this forum how are you and your family
love Gordon and Val Dickinson