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Thread: Where does one go, to sign on to a ship today?Th

  1. #11
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    Default Re: Where does one go, to sign on to a ship today?Th

    David, yes on the cruise ships now it is mainly Asian crew.
    Phillipines, Indonesia, Goa, India, Croatian, Mexican and similar others.

    From the skipper down the only ones with any sort of 'English' background and in photography, children's entertainment and some of the entertainment crew.

    The occasional Yank may turn up but not many, majority of skippers with princess are Italian.
    Happy daze John in Oz.

    Life is too short to blend in.

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  3. #12
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    Default Re: Where does one go, to sign on to a ship today?Th

    [QUOTE=Dave Francis;375588]This David Francis again
    Can somebody tell me, what has happened to the British Merchant Navy.

    A lot of ex M.N. men have been asking that question on this site and others for many years. There have been millions of words published on the subject with no definitive answer. We had a M.N. in 1976, we had a shadow of a M.N. in 1986 and we had next to nothing left by 1996. R.I.P.

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    Default Re: Where does one go, to sign on to a ship today?Th

    There were a lot of seafarers who didnít come back after the 1966 Seamans strike and the rot started from then. It suited too many people including politicians to see it decline and no matter whatever version you want to believe that was the start of it. The Seamans strike did not concern me as to work , but it certainly made me aware of the tightrope the industry was walking and I had no qualms about looking around to other alternatives to British registered shipping. JS
    Last edited by j.sabourn; 5th May 2021 at 12:00 PM.
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    Default Re: Where does one go, to sign on to a ship today?Th

    In the fifties and early sixties in Liverpool, ships were given out at the Pool then a half mile walk to the shipping office at Cornhill were sign on was completed. At sign on there was an opportunity to get an Advance Note, sort of sub on your expected earnings and was cashable only when the ship sailed with you aboard. Your dependents could then present it for payment. However, almost facing Cornhill was (and still there) a pub called The Baltic Fleet and not far away a ships Chandler called Whitfield who would cash your advance note at an extortionate rate of 2/6d in the Pound. Pocketing what remained of your sub, the options were, hurry home with the lot, invest it all on the second favourite at Lingfield, or Baltic Fleet. Such dilemmas! I'm sure there's a few aboard here who may have visited that establishment and know it's situated opposite the southern end of Liverpool Docks as was. It has changed little, maybe a lick of paint but the same interior. On my last visit I did notice a few of the 'working girls' still plying their trade. Hello Sailor.
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    Default Re: Where does one go, to sign on to a ship today?Th

    There is no doubt the 1966 strike did so much damage and saw the advent of containers.

    But it was not long after that UK joined the funny farm (EU), and wonder just how much that had to do with further decline.
    All ship building came to an end whilst Italy and France continued building them.

    I would assume the UK was well and truly shafted on this one.
    Happy daze John in Oz.

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    Default Re: Where does one go, to sign on to a ship today?Th

    All the sacrifices of two WW's came to nought in the end, the same as the fine words of praise heaped upon the MN in 1944/45 by various politicians and Armed Forces Generals, in the end they turned into weasel words. Out of sight out of mind is very apt, one day the chickens will come home to roost, by then it will be too late.

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    Default Re: Where does one go, to sign on to a ship today?Th

    Not forgetting the Falklands war and all those politicians including Thatcher who had been praising The Merchant Navy and there importance to the country. Which was as true then and as it is now. Just as soon as the QE2 arrived back redundancy notices go out to the crew. Then the Canberra arrives back at Southampton to bands playing, crowds cheering, with some of the directors and chairman onboard with the crew probably thinking patriotic thoughts. A week later I was talking to A full time union official and was told that out of 113 men who had joined voluntarily from prescot street pool in London they were all being offered a laughable redundancy package. They had sailed in positions on board that the Goanese catering staff had previously occupied, Their government had told them not to sale on the ship. The Goanese returned to those jobs and still had them up till 1997 when there were probably more Goanese men on the ship than there were ships in the once mighty British Merchant Navy

    As an adjunct to the above I wonder what sort of redundancy package the Goanese got in 97? probably more than their British counterparts in 82. you really could not make it up.
    Last edited by john walker; 6th May 2021 at 10:19 AM.

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    Default Re: Where does one go, to sign on to a ship today?Th

    #17 probably trying to emulate Lady Aster. Instead of wearing black arm bands MN ties served the same purpose. JS.
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    Default Re: Where does one go, to sign on to a ship today?Th

    #17. I had no choice but to take John and for 30+ years it was 1107 pounds .I have asked frequently on this site what did the people working in the BSF offices get. No response. Whenever you ask questions in shipping be it at museum level or political level and the powers that be don’t want to admit anything , you will find yourself coming into contact with a brick wall. I have just about giving up of ever finding out certain pieces of information that I consider important , but little hope of ever being answered . Cheers JS
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    Default Re: Where does one go, to sign on to a ship today?Th

    John #18 & 19 I would like to say you were lucky at receiving anything . That would be as insulting as the amount you received . I can recall several threads over the years on this site on the topic of redundancy. You are right I do not remember anybody on the ship side that got much out of either a shipping company or the federation. I myself had left U.K. ships by the start of the Falklands war and was working on a defence contract in Saudi Arabia. I had not resigned from the contract with a British shipping company. I had joined a product tanker within the company as a cook/stwd. in Rotterdam having previously been a catering officer on their bulk carriers which I found boring. The ship arrived in Lagos a couple of weeks later to unload. I was informed by the master that I was to be payed of there and flown home as the cook stewards job was now classified as a position for a member of the N.U.S. I was in the M.N.A.O.A. When I arrived home the personnel officer was sympathetic but adamant that I had brought this on myself by joining the MNAOA for the last 4 years having previously been in the NUS for 10 years. Anyway I had quite a bit of accumulated leave to take and was not impressed by the way things were going as I knew that the company were looking for voluntary redundancy's . The internecine cr*p from the NUS I believe was a way of getting back at me over previous activism within the union. I saw an ad in a national newspaper and thought stuff the lot of you I will go for that job and got it. Once a week I would telephone home to see what was happening even though the shipping company was still paying my salary they had no idea I was in Saudi. I had doubled my income and it was tax free and decided that I would never step foot on a UK flag vessel again. I eventually sent my resignation to the company with a polite F**K you and settled down to a new challenge with more money than I had ever earned. I do remember just after the Falklands war ended receiving a letter from (I think) The British Shipping Federation asking if I would join in a Merchant Navy Defence Force in case there was another similar conflict. I wrote them a similar reply to the one I had sent to the shipping company. I often wonder how many men who were made redundant from British ships who had gone through that war and other conflicts/ wars received a similar letter from the federation and what their replies were.

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