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Thread: LM and COLOMBO.....

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    Default LM and COLOMBO.....

    I thought I’d like to reinstate this thread.It was originally in response to a nostalgic post by our shipmate Gordon Whittaker.
    My posting ,although in my opinion was fit to discuss normally with former shipmates at sea,using the then contemporary ‘accepted vernacular’ re garding certain exploits, was thought ‘unsuitable by just one or two of the Membership, and complaints (whether genuinely aggrieved,or intentionally malicious,)were sent by E-mail to the Admin/Moderators’.
     
    I could see that it would perhaps generate a ‘slanging’match of sorts,so I decided to delete the whole thread.
    I did however Save a copy of the posts it contained.
    I ‘sanitized ‘certain content of my post and now present it again.
    It would have been a shame to lose our memories of two lovely ports….
     
    Here it is.

     
     
    L.M. and Colombo
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Been there….done that……The T-Shirts lost long ago though.
     
     
     
    LOURENCO MARQUES
    Memories….
    First trip to sea as Deck Cadet. 1970. M.v.DERBYSHIRE
    L.M. was the penultimate port before Beira ,and the end of a one-off,one-way Safmarine charter .from Continental ports to South and East Africa for us.

    LM Radio with pop music blasting out all the way round the coast.

    At that time,Mozambique was in turmoil politically (but then again you tell me which African country wasn’t), and presidents were toppling left,right and centre. The FRELIMO group were committing acts of terrorism in their quest to hasten independence from Portugal,and the port area was patrolled by military,and there seemed to be a tension in the air.The natives I suppose were even more restless than normal whilst discharging our cargo. Never mind,during that one night ashore(with strict instructions from the Old Man to be very careful(“Yes Sir !” )a group of us participated in our African lady soiree.
    I seem to remember mine was wearing a bright red clown’s wig-or was that the effects of the drink?
     
    Went there again in 76... Renamed MAPUTO of course. Independent now. All peaceful on the surface,but no doubt simmering below. Nice people though,and ,most of the bars closed down,or at least not so many. -they’d all gone ‘underground’-or at least we couldn’t find any.So,we had a game of footie on a beach outside the harbour. Instead. I’d grown up!

     
    COLOMBO

    Very Happy Memories !
    2nd trip to sea.1971. M.v.STAFFORDSHIRE
     
     
    November to January. One of the old up and-down Doxfords ‘disintegrated’ or something ,en route from the Cape to Colombo & Rangoon. (Remember Suez had been closed from 67,so it was a long haul from U.K. at this time) Repairs lasted a couple of weeks. Engine trials being unsuccessful,,we were taken to the inner harbour mooring buoys. Uneconomical to repair and vessel sold to Hong Kong breakers. Our onward Rangoon cargo was transhipped to a Greek freighter tied alongside us.
    During our extended stay in port(6 weeks),which included Christmas & New Year, we had a ball in this lovely country.
    I recall trips down the coast to the surf beaches of Hikkaduwa,inland to the cooler tea plantations of Kandy,(our agents MacKinnon MacKenzie really looked after us;long lazy afternoons sipping too many gin and limes on the fragrant terraces of Mount Lavinia Hotel;swimming off the Galle Face beach,or just a few beers chilling out under the ceiling-fans in the Stella Maris at the Fort. The nightclub ,in a leafy suburb of Colombo was called the Tropicana-everything a jolly jack could ever desire.
    (I would like to think that Fiddlers Green is like this .Perhaps I should have my ashes scattered in Colombo….. The reality will probably be my ashes taken out to the Mersey Bar on the ‘s**t-boat’…

    Anyway back to Colombo!
    Hundreds of yellow Morris Minor taxis and rickshaws, hundreds of ships,a very busy port.Such sweet-natured people the Sri Lankans .
    That was yet another trip where I paid off with ZILCH Pounds,but what memories,which have lasted to today.Priceless memories.

    I did return to Colombo in later years.Despite their ‘problems’ in recent years,still very much as it was 40 years ago,but of course nothing could ever eclipse my impressions of that earlier visit.
     
     
    I was deeply saddened to hear and see the pictures of the devastating damage and loss of life caused to the south western coastal villages like Hikkaduwa which I talked about,above, by the tsunami of December 2004.
    God Help Them.
     
    Gulliver.
     
     
     
    Colombo
    I also have fond memories of Colombo back in the 50's when the island was still called Ceylon. I was with the P&O for some years on the Oz. run and Colombo was the only place we would bother to go ashore. You only went ashore in Port Said on your first trip. Aden was good for shopping for duty free goods but nothing else. Bombay was dry so you couldn't get a drink, but Colombo was something else. We used to look forward to that first gin&tonic at the Grand Oriental Hotel (GOH) opposite the landing stage. Swimming at Mount Lavinia was like being on a desert island. Most trips we would stay overnight and the company would lay on a dance at The Galle Face hotel for the passengers. A couple of times I was invited by passengers to join them at this event. (I always kept a white tuxedo in my locker just in case) Happy days. Attaching snap of Mount Lavinia beach.
    Cheers

    Pete




    Hi Pete

    Thanks for posting that shot of Mount Lavinia. Sadly,nearly all my photos were lost during one of life’s many transitions…but thankfully they are still retained in my memory....

    The Grand Oriental Hotel was for a time called the Hotel Taprobane,and was called that when I was there. How fantastic to sit at the long curved bar at the top of the hotel which overlooked the harbour and watch all the shipping activity in the port.
     
    How nice to come off cargo watch late afternoon and sit down on the Boat Deck in the cooling breeze with a few ice cold beers…

    Then,showered and shampoo’d,with a shore pass and fifty dollars in the pocket,and a fresh cool linen shirt,to stroll ashore in the balmy evening ,have a few gin & limes,then a good hot (local) curry in the Taprobane Restaurant,followed by a cheap taxi ride out to the Tropicana nightclub. Life couldn’t be any better for a 19 year old……and my mates back in a dark cold Manchester that same evening would never have believed it… it was a different world going to sea,as most of us know.

    Regards
    Gulliver

     
     
    Greetings Gulliver,
    I have read your thread with interest which in turn brought back many memoreis of Colombo I was thre in 1960 to discharge ten thousand ton of general cargo normally about a week to discharge but would you beleive we were there for three and a half months due to one strike after another not that I was complaining to much because it gave me a chance to really see a lot of this lovely island.
    Mount Lavinia were they filmed part of the River Kwai, incidently i managed to get badly sunburnt while enjoying life on the beach and having a old dear peeling a lovely big juicy pineapple for us along with some cold beers of course.
    Swimming on the beach not far from where we were docked and nearly mangaged to drown, and the trip to Kandy a lovely day out organised by the missions to seamen, the mission became almost our second home, in adition to that I became very freindly with a refridgeration Engineer a local of course who in turn took me to meet all his family and he took me to visit many places I wouldn't normally have gone all in all a wonderfull experience so many thanks for bringing up this thread, as I have said before we can have many things taken from us but no one can take away our memories.
    Best wishes to you & all your family.
    John Aspin (R685343) Ormesby-Middlesbrough (ex Liverpool)

     
     
    I too have fond memories of Lourenco Marques.
    I was on the INTERPRETER, T&J Harrisons(L-Pool) June 1958. Our cargo for Beira and LM was Loco's and railway lines for Rhodesia,then back loaded Tobacco for Gallagher,Belfast.

    Vernon, the only DJ I remember from LM Radio was David Davies.He was at our Footie match against a German crew and took our requests ,and played them on His show(nice Boy).
     

    Colombo.
    I did my first few years at sea with Blue Funnel,and every trip homeward,we called in Colombo for Tea. We did'nt have the time in port that has been mentioned here but,the seamens Mission did arrange a trip to Kandi (Great Day out) and we always got a small wooden box of Tea for your Mam
    Peter Trodden



    Glad to evoke memories
    I am so glad that many of you agreed with me about L.M. & Ceylon. Did anyone visit the elephant orphanage? Something totally different. We also surfed at Mount Lavinia and had a young lad climb a stepladder to rinse off the salt with a watering can, then serve you with a fresh coconut and a tot of rum. All this for a single rupee. Even the train journey was an event in those open windowed carriages. Paradise indeed.
    Capt.Gordon Whittaker
     
     
     
    Hi Peter
    Yep remember D Davies too,but now most of the good Guys that used to do the Radio Stations are gone!
    They were great times though!
    Used to snuggle under the Blankets with a Crystal Set at night listening untill i fell asleep!
    Mind you those were quite a few Years back haha!
    Cheers

    http://www.lmradio.org/People01.htm

    Barry O'Donoghue. Barry worked as an announcer on Springbok Radio in the 1950s and later did a stint with Radio Luxembourg in Europe. He joined the LM staff for a short period in the late 1960s as Barry O'Dee and in the early 1970s was an announcer with Swazi Music Radio.He died in Johannesburg in the late 70s.
     
    Doc
     
     
     
     
     

     
     
    Last edited by Doc Vernon; 28th April 2021 at 06:45 AM.

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    Default Colombo

    Thank you Gulliver for saving the good bits of this thread, i am so glad that many others fell in love with the place as I did. I saw to day that Virgin holidays were offering a 7 day excursion to what we always called 'tonicky island'. If my circumstances were a bit different at the moment I woud be very tempted to partake. Although after 50 odd years I could be dissapointed.
    Cheers
    Pete

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    Default Re: LM and COLOMBO.....

    Barry O'Donoghue. Barry worked as an announcer on Springbok Radio in the 1950s and later did a stint with Radio Luxembourg in Europe. He joined the LM staff for a short period in the late 1960s as Barry O'Dee and in the early 1970s was an announcer with Swazi Music Radio.He died in Johannesburg in the late 70s.


    Old Thread but ??
    This was in fact my Uncle Barry O D as they called him. He was the Son of Terence and Barbara O' Donoghue of Johannesburg Transvaal, Aunty Barbara was my Fathers Sister. Always went to watch Baseball matches with my Uncle Terence, just loved the game!
    Cheers
    Senior Member and Friend of this Website

    R697530

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    Default Re: LM and COLOMBO.....

    Memories ! What was wrong with the first edition ? It seems that everything has to be complained about these days, thank God for the old days when you could call a spade a spade and not a wooden handle with metal at the end or is wood and metal now forbidden.
    Terry Sullivan R340406

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    Whilst serving as R/O with P&O in the 1960's, I recall two special visits where we were able to experience the Ceylon way of life. On one visit to Trincomalee the local shipping agent arranged for three of us to take a two night trip to Sigiriya and Kandy. At Sigiriya we climbed to the top of the rock to see the a magnificent views. Half way up there were some wall paintings and some local's had the enterprise to charge visitors to take photographs. Whilst in Kandy we visited the Botanical Gardens and also had a grandstand view of the parade of elephants with the Buddha's tooth. On another visit to Colombo we got talking to one of the dock workers who told s of a local festival which was to be held that evening. After finishing his shift he met up with us and, after a very hairy bus ride hanging on to the side of the bus we ended up at a local village where there was a fun fair and later in the evening a parade of elephants. Two things stood out at the fun fair. One of the rides was a roundabout - nothing strange about that except the music was provided by a small band sitting in the middle of the roundabout and travelling around with the ride! There was also a wall of death with motor bikes riding around the inside and all the spectators standing around the top. Each time the motorcyclist passed underneath where we were standing the whole structure swayed. The elephant parade was quite spectacular. The elephants were fully decorated with electric lights and to provide the electricity each elephant was towing a trailer on which there was a generator. I consider Ceylon(or Sri Lanka as it now is) to be one the most fascinating islands I have ever visited.

    Clive Gurman Radio Officer R809126

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    Default Re: LM and COLOMBO.....

    Quote Originally Posted by Terry Sullivan View Post
    Memories ! What was wrong with the first edition ? It seems that everything has to be complained about these days, thank God for the old days when you could call a spade a spade and not a wooden handle with metal at the end or is wood and metal now forbidden.
    Terry Sullivan R340406
    Whilst I agree with your sentiment a Spade is now known as a long handled digging impliment.
    So you can now call the guy down the road what he is, a long handled Spade. LOL
    Happy daze John in Oz.

    Life is too short to blend in.

    John Strange R737787
    World Traveller

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