Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: End of the First Trip

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Newcastle, NSW
    Posts
    18
    Thanks (Given)
    0
    Thanks (Received)
    19
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    52

    Default End of the First Trip

    Seamen always get excited when the ship is on its way home. We all remember that condition experienced when thoughts of home are constantly on one’s mind. It’s called “the Channels”. Originally meant to refer to how a sailor feels as his ship approaches and sails into the English Channel, it’s more likely to start when the ship is much further from home than the Channel. In our case I think the ship had entered the Red Sea, when talk of “the Channels” became common place.
    It didn’t help that it was such an awful ship to begin with. There were few “Company” men on board apart from the skipper and one or two of the senior officers. Most of the rest of the crew joined the ship through the “Pool”. Their leave having run out from their previous engagement, they simply turned up at the Pool and were allocated their next ship. At the time, there was wide employment and many sailors, knowing the reputation of Baron boats would turn down the job, opting for something better. This meant that many of the crew we had on board were people who had previous poor discharge reports, and poor performance records, and it was they who were left when everyone else had taken a better job. Obviously this wasn’t the case with everyone on board, and to this day, I still regard Dave Davies as someone who epitomised the good humoured, long-suffering British Seaman whose company I enjoyed so much during my years at sea.
    The food on the ship was awful. Described by many as strict “BOT” which meant no frills and not a penny spent over that needed to meet the regulations. This meant that something as simple as eggs for breakfast were considered a luxury and most definitely not provided as an everyday item on the menu. Dinner was often nothing more than ham and chips and if we had beef stew on Monday, you could be sure we’d have beef soup on Tuesday and beef consommé on Wednesday.
    As we sailed into the Red Sea, word got around that this may be the last trip for the Baron Jedburgh and that after this trip she was likely to be sold either for scrap or to one of the many Greek and Cypriot shipping companies that bought second hand, down at heel old cargo tramps. As it happens the rumours were untrue and it was to be another ten years before the ship changed hands, but this didn’t stop some of the crew deciding that they would start selling to the locals anything that wasn’t tied or bolted down as soon as we got into the Suez. So spare valves, scrap metal, pump parts (everything that wasn’t bolted down, and a lot that was) were removed from the store and exchanged for Egyptian beer which appeared by the case-load. I don’t know what Egyptian beer is like today – I’m sure it’s a fine brew – but the stuff that we were drinking out of those little green bottles in 1966 was vile.
    As we got closer to Greenock, our final destination at the mouth of the Clyde, the Chief Engineer called me into his cabin for one of the few exchanges of words that took place between us in the six months that I had been on the ship. He told me that he was happy with my performance and asked me if I would like to take some leave in the UK and then return to the ship as a junior watch keeping engineer. I didn’t think about the job offer for long (about a micro-second). I told him that I planned to take some leave and then explore other opportunities with some of the other shipping lines. What I really meant was that wild horses would not have got me back on another Hungry Hogarth ship.

    And so it was that sometime in June of 1966, while the Rolling Stones were belting out Paint it Black and Lennon and McCartney were singing about paperback writing, I paid off the Baron Jedburgh in Greenock and walked down the gangway on a misty Scottish morning. The British shipping industry was in the throes of an industrial dispute, the result of which was a major seaman’s strike which was to affect the whole industry and last many weeks.

    I had decided the first place I wanted to visit was London, and caught the overnight train from Glasgow to London Euston. I travelled with big Dave and Paddy, both of whom were also headed that way and we all had sleeper accommodation. There was something very special about being able to sit in the bar of the Dining Car, drink as many cans as I wanted of Watney’s Red Barrel or Double Diamond and roll back to my bunk in the Sleeping Car without anyone shaking my arm in the middle of the night and talking about my Daddy’s yacht (which by the way, was a 10 foot clinker-built rowing boat, which I went out in once with my Dad in Smith’s Creek and spent the day getting badly sunburnt and catching sweet Fanny Adams).

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    HARTLEPOOL
    Posts
    3
    Thanks (Given)
    0
    Thanks (Received)
    0
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    4

    Default Re: End of the First Trip

    Just read your tale on the Baron Jedburgh....I remember her in Graythorpe, Hartlepool in the early 60's when I was serving my time....she was in dry dock for the usual repairs. There was one of the crew we used to wind up by pronouncing her name as Jedberg... he used to go scatty!!....happy days!

    Bill Holden

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Wirral
    Posts
    2,435
    Thanks (Given)
    2452
    Thanks (Received)
    2148
    Likes (Given)
    3784
    Likes (Received)
    5066

    Default Re: End of the First Trip

    Hey Mike , what a great post, thanks for posting it, have you got any more like that. please ........
    When one door closes another one shuts, it must be the wind

  4. Likes Doc Vernon, Robin Francis liked this post
  5. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    isle of wight
    Posts
    4,499
    Thanks (Given)
    1549
    Thanks (Received)
    3107
    Likes (Given)
    8306
    Likes (Received)
    12745

    Default Re: End of the First Trip

    Don't know why i missed this posting from 2012, but really enjoyed it, and would love to hear more. Its a little after my time, but brings back many enjoyable memories, kt
    R689823

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    Whitton Powys,
    Posts
    9
    Thanks (Given)
    0
    Thanks (Received)
    3
    Likes (Given)
    6
    Likes (Received)
    15

    Default Re: End of the First Trip

    Ain't nostalgia wonderful??

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Lancefield, Vic. Australia
    Posts
    39
    Thanks (Given)
    144
    Thanks (Received)
    12
    Likes (Given)
    657
    Likes (Received)
    74

    Default Re: End of the First Trip

    It's a long while after my time but reminds me of my first trip as Chief Cook on an old tramp the SS Burhill. We had a passenger and by the time we got him to Karachi his visa was 2 months out of date.
    R340406 Terry Sullivan

Similar Threads

  1. Best Trip.
    By Graham Payne in forum Swinging the Lamp
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: 5th December 2018, 08:31 AM
  2. My first trip
    By vic mcclymont in forum Merchant Navy General Postings
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 20th August 2014, 09:29 PM
  3. Road Trip
    By Stan Carter in forum My Travels
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 11th July 2014, 11:35 AM
  4. My First Trip
    By vic mcclymont in forum Merchant Navy General Postings
    Replies: 39
    Last Post: 24th June 2014, 05:42 AM

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •