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Thread: MV Westminster Bridge

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    Hiya Dave,

    Yes, we must have sailed together on the same voyage but sorry I can't put a face to your name, afterall, it's over 40 years ago now!!!

    My log book shows that I flew to Genoa to join her on 4th June 1971 then Dakar, Pepel and Freetown before the end of the month. Some of that "livestock" was actually paid for with monopoly money!

    Three days in Simonstown whilst the coppers did their thing then Kashima in Japan on 6th August. A couple of days in Wakayama then a couple of days in Dampier, the one horse town.

    Then all the way back from Australia to Germany with just a slowing down in Cape Town to collect mail.

    I was glad to get off the damn ship in Rotterdam on 7th October 1971. I couldn't stand those long sea passages but then my very next ship was another bulker called King Alfred.
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    PWSTS Dover 1967. Oriana 1968/69. Encounter Bay, Discovery Bay 1969. Esso Salisbury, Esso Glasgow, Esso York 1970/71. Westminster Bridge 1971. King Alfred 1971/1972. Phyllis Bowater 1972. Rothesay Castle, Edinburgh Castle 1973. Clan Ross 1974. Hull Nautical College 1974/75. Clan Macnair 1975. Clan Macnab 1976. Clan Malcolm 1977.

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  3. #22
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    Default On the trip Westminster Bridge ran aground at Wakayama

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Beveridge View Post
    I sailed on the Westminster Bridge in the mid seventies,.....
    I was a catering boy on this trip. The place we went to dry dock was Onomichi, near Hiroshima. Right before the ship ran aground I received a phone call in the pantry. "This is the Captain speaking. Full astern now!" I put the phone down puzzled, thought someone was playing a bizarre joke. Phone rang again, "This is the Captain. Full astern now and I don't mean maybe."
    The phone got slammed down and second later the ship started to jump around. I raced outside just in time to see a pilot light sink after we'd hit it. John Barriclough, the Chief Steward told me not to say anything about the Captain's phone cal, he figured he'd got the number confused, to the Japanese investigators when they came on board. I was worried sick about having to hide something, but all was OK, I was just the pantry boy, what would I know about such a disaster, and so no one interviewed me.
    Not long ago I met the governor of Wakayama while visiting that city and spoke about that little accident, water under the bridge as they say.

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  5. #23
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    Default Re: MV Westminster Bridge

    Quote Originally Posted by yorkie1952 View Post
    In 1971, I sailed on the bulk carrier MV Westminster Bridge as a Deck Hand. I'm not sure if she was owned or chartered by Bibby Line. The job was allocated to me by the ''pool'' at Prescott Street in London.

    In June 1971 we flew out to join her at Genoa in Italy.

    We loaded iron ore in West Africa (Pepel in Sierra Leone) for Japan (Kashima & Wakayama). We then dropped down to Northern Australia (Dampier) to load iron ore for Europe (Weserport & Rotterdam).

    We flew home from Rotterdam in October 1971.

    Quite a boring trip - except that one of the Catering crew murdered one of the Engine Room crew before we arrived at the first port.
    Hi, I was the Purser/Catering Officer on that trip and when I got home, the police called the same day and I had to attend the Old Bailey for the murder trial. A voyage to remember.

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    Default Re: West Monster

    Quote Originally Posted by graham f glover View Post
    Hi Ross,
    Just been checking my records and see that we must have been on the Monster probably at the same time, I signed off on 1st june 73 in Rotterdam, The Skipper was Swift, and remember something about the bridge engine controls. The Ship was being checked out by a Greek company and they had several blokes onboard for the latter part of the trip checking her out, the name Pegasus rings a bell, and whether that was the name of the Company or the likely name for the ship after purchase, I'm not sure. I was the R/O just in case you hadn't realised. She was a bit of an old banger really, always having engine problems, think everyone was glad to see the back of her? Remember also that the A/C failed on the way back up the West African coast, that was the final straw, my Wife was with me that trip so we were glad to get into some cooler weather
    regards
    Graham
    Hi Graham, Just found this site. Nice to see your name. Happy memories of the times we sailed together. Flo and I are still going on OK. Just not quite so quickly though. Regards< Terry.

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  9. #25
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    Default Re: Westminster Bridge

    I would like to mention as part of this thread that electrical officer Ross MacDonald Davidson ,of Port Noarlunga South Australia,passed away from pancreatic cancer in 2011 , five years ago,and just months after his last post in April 2011.
    I was informed of this by Cal,sister of another Bibby Line shipmate, engineer Robert Prescott,who himself died at a very young age in an accident aboard Liverpool Bridge in 1976.
    Rest in Peace.Two fine shipmates there.......

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  11. #26
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    Default Re: Westminster Bridge

    Quote Originally Posted by Gulliver View Post
    I would like to mention as part of this thread that electrical officer Ross MacDonald Davidson ,of Port Noarlunga South Australia,passed away from pancreatic cancer in 2011 , five years ago,and just months after his last post in April 2011.
    I was informed of this by Cal,sister of another Bibby Line shipmate, engineer Robert Prescott,who himself died at a very young age in an accident aboard Liverpool Bridge in 1976.
    Rest in Peace.Two fine shipmates there.......
    Hi mate, just a quick update that I am now in contact with Cal, Bob Prescott's sister, and will be meeting up with her shortly thanks for putting me in touch with her. I was a good friend of the family and it will be nice to hear what Bob's siblings have been up to.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Terry Maskell View Post
    Hi Graham, Just found this site. Nice to see your name. Happy memories of the times we sailed together. Flo and I are still going on OK. Just not quite so quickly though. Regards< Terry.
    Hi Terry, I was your unlucky Sparks on that trip, Rob Owens, still remember some of the good times on that fatefull trip, best regards mate.

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    Default Re: MV Westminster Bridge

    Quote Originally Posted by Terry Maskell View Post
    Hi, I was the Purser/Catering Officer on that trip and when I got home, the police called the same day and I had to attend the Old Bailey for the murder trial. A voyage to remember.
    ###have heard of this murder in the past terry ...but what actually happened and what sentence was given ...regards cappy

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    Default Re: MV Westminster Bridge

    Cappy have sailed with three people different ships who have attempted murder if not totally succeeding at the time. I will not divulge the names as they have probably done their time and paid their debt to society. One was a mate in the offshore from ex deep sea. Came home on leave and wife was down at pub. Took his shotgun down to pub and blew her arm off. The same person when with me was attached to another lady who was or had been connected to a high ranking police officer. Went home on leave again and found his dinner on the doorstep. Broke into the house as the debaucher was climbing out another window and legging it, his ex was meantime was phoning the police so he used the telephone cord to strangle her. The police got there before he finished the job and back he went to Gaol. This was in Scotland, these highlanders play rough when they want to. The Master on one of JIJ have previously posted. Another master out here I used to relieve had done gaol time when fishing as had killed a man who he thought once again was dallying with his beloved. I got on very well with him, we never talked about his past, others kept well clear of him. He was about the same age as myself so got on well. One night was supposed to have a drink with him in Fremantle, but couldn't make it. However heard the story next day that some youngster half his age had told him to watch it Grandad, at which my mate proceeded to take him apart, bet he got the shock of his life and never thought Santa Claus would do such a thing. However was all covered up. Some people have a reputation for no cause, others don't. As someone said recently have sailed on ships resembling soap dishes, don't know how he would describe some of the Characters. Certainly weren't made of porcelain. Cheers JWS
    Last edited by j.sabourn; 9th August 2016 at 06:26 AM.

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  16. #29
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    Default Re: MV Westminster Bridge

    Quote Originally Posted by cappy View Post


    I've heard of this murder in the past...
    but what actually happened and what sentence was given?

    ...regards cappy
    As I recall it now, some 46 years after the event, a number of officers and crew flew to join the bulk
    carrier MV Westminster Bridge in Genoa, Italy on 4th June 1971.

    MV Westminster Bridge sailed empty from Genoa on 7th June 1971 to load iron ore in Pepel, near
    Freetown in Sierra Leone, West Africa.

    After four or five days into the voyage, at around 0100 hours, the 17 year old Pantry Boy went to
    the bridge and reported finding a seriously injured engine room rating in a toilet cubicle. Captain
    Pierce and two senior officers later declared that the Greek national named Dimitrios was dead and
    it did not appear to be accidental. The toilet area was sealed.

    Contact was made with Head Office in London and the vessel was ordered to divert to the nearest
    port, Dakar in Senegal, and await the arrival of two Police Officers from Scotland Yard. She arrived
    in Dakar on 14th June 1971 and sailed on the 17th with the two Police Officers on board to load in
    Pepel for Japan.

    MV Westminster Bridge finally left West Africa on 23rd June 1971 with the Police Officers still on
    board. At around this time, the young Pantry Boy went to the Police and admitted causing the death
    of Dimitrios. They had been seen playing darts together in the Crew Bar before leaving together at
    around half past midnight. The Pantry Boy was immediately isolated from the rest of the crew and
    the ship headed for Simonstown (near to Cape Town) arriving on 5th July 1971. The Police Officers
    left the ship in Simonstown, together with the Pantry Boy.

    MV Westminster Bridge continued to Japan to discharge then load in Northern Australia for
    Rotterdam. Most of the crew left in Rotterdam and flew home on 7th October 1971.

    The hearing was heard at the Old Bailey in London.
    I don't have the exact date but it wasn't too long after the crew arrived back in the UK.

    The Pantry Boy pleaded guilty to manslaughter. He claimed that Mr Dimitrios had tried to
    sexually molest him so he went to fetch a flat iron bar from the Galley. (The bars are used
    on the galley stove to stop pots and pans from sliding around in bad weather) He then
    bashed Dimitrios several times on the back of his head whilst he was using the toilet.

    Sentence was FIVE YEARS for manslaughter.


    RIP Dimitrios.
    PWSTS Dover 1967. Oriana 1968/69. Encounter Bay, Discovery Bay 1969. Esso Salisbury, Esso Glasgow, Esso York 1970/71. Westminster Bridge 1971. King Alfred 1971/1972. Phyllis Bowater 1972. Rothesay Castle, Edinburgh Castle 1973. Clan Ross 1974. Hull Nautical College 1974/75. Clan Macnair 1975. Clan Macnab 1976. Clan Malcolm 1977.

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  18. #30
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    Default Re: MV Westminster Bridge

    #29... Yorkie that's probably why the harbourmaster in Dakar was so insistent that I get the hell out of his port as was in the early 70s think it would have been after your going there. When the master of the Rosewood got stabbed. Scotland Yard may even have sent the 2 detectives who were out for your death as would of had the old visas and experience of the place.they took a memento of the event as no doubt they did yours. To hang in the memento in the Murder room. So maybe the Westminster Bridge and the Rosewood are hanging side by side in Scotland Yard. The ship was cleared out getting back to Rotterdam only myself and 2 engineer being retained . The ever diligent press reported it on the front page of the Daily Express as usual the story accurately??? as Master Stabbed on the High seas, when of course it should have read Master stabbed in the stomach in Dakar. They did well only 2 glaring mistakes. The crew who joined were from Prescott street. One of them sent back the next day as should never have passed the doctor, was diabetic and was an oft attempted suicide risk, one look at his wrists would have told anyone that. Especially when he used to hold them out to boastfully to show all and sundry. Cheers JWS
    Last edited by j.sabourn; 11th October 2017 at 12:04 AM.

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