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Thread: My first trip on Clan Chattan

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    Default My first trip on Clan Chattan

    Having just qualified as an R.O. From the Manchester Radio College, Marconi allocated me to the Clan Chattan as Assistant RO. As a cargo ship it did not warrant 2 R Os but the 1st RO was Mr. Shillabear (I don't remember his first name) who even then was quite elderly, very experienced and had been at sea for ever, for much of it on the Chattan so Marconi used him as a mentor.

    We sailed from Liverpool on 13th January 1956 destined for East Africa and India with a general cargo that included a very large steam locomotive, built in Manchester, as deck cargo for East Africa Railways. We also carried 6 male passengers, teachers going out to Kenya.

    It proved to be an ideal first trip for me, the ship was was clean, well run, the other Officers were all very agreeable, I got on particularly well with Mr. Shillabear, the 1st Mate and all 3 Cadets. I helped the Cadets with their revision and so picked up quite a lot of information on navigation and the rules of the sea. In my spare time I also did quite a bit of voluntary work, painted my cabin and refurbished the flag locker.

    For the benefit of the passengers the Captain (Gare I think) had the bosun build a pool from hatch covers on the foredeck. We had access to this so it provided a very welcome facility. We also had a very amusing crossing the equator ceremony for us first timers, with Captain acting as Neptune.

    Our Itinerary took us to some interesting places including Mombasa, Dar-es-Salaam and all round India and Ceylon (as it was then) arriving back in Avonmouth after 5 months. As an 18 year old I grew up quite a bit in those 5 months

    Thanks for reading, hope it was of some interest.

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    Default Re: My first trip on Clan Chattan

    We will have begun our first trip at almost the same time, Trevor. On 9th Jan 1956, at Southampton, I signed on the trooper Dunera bound for Japan, to embark a regiment of the last New Zealand troops from Kure - the Commonwealth Base - after the Korean War had wound up.
    Harry Nicholson

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    Default Re: My first trip on Clan Chattan

    Hi Trevor,
    I did that run with Bank Line in the 70's coming into it from the Orient Africa run....through Burma, Chittagong and Chalna then across to Madras, Colombo, Mombasa, Tanga, Dar-es-Salaam, Madagascar, Durban, Port Elizabeth and Capetown for a full discharge and full load for the West Coast of South America via Magellan straits. Back to Valparaiso to load 10,000 tons of pallets of sugar for Bandar Shapoor in the Gulf (that was the only downside)....back to East Africa....back through Magellan up the West Coast and continue on to Vancouver for pay-off!! 13 months double-header as 6/E then 5/E......Wow I thought I was in 7th Heaven as I'd joined Bank Line after doing an Engineer cadetship with ANL (Australia) on box boats and Ro-Ros. General cargo was the way to go and I'm glad to say I was able to experience it before it was all gone.

    I work ashore now with burners not much on ships. But a week ago I had to go fix an auxy boiler burner problem on a Liberian container ship.......118,000T DWT.......8,000 TEU........The biggest box boat I ever sailed on was less thah 1/4 that size!!!

    All the best

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    Default Re: My first trip on Clan Chattan

    Well Lads, The only thing aboard the ships we remember that every department had to deal with in one way or another was a { FISH PLATE } And that was before G.P. Articles where ever thought of. Terry.
    {terry scouse}

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    Default Re: My first trip on Clan Chattan

    Quote Originally Posted by Red Lead Ted View Post
    Well Lads, The only thing aboard the ships we remember that every department had to deal with in one way or another was a { FISH PLATE } And that was before G.P. Articles where ever thought of. Terry.
    I well remember them Terry, the head waiter in tourist said we must use them if we are to serve the fish correctly.
    Happy daze John in Oz.

    Life is too short to blend in.

    John Strange R737787
    World Traveller

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