Contents Front Cover SS Canadian off the Pier Head Liverpool 1. Chairman’s Page 2. Stockpot 3. -- -4. -- -5. Golden Euros’ 6. Poem 7. Quiz 8. Drink Problem on the Royal Iris 9. -- -10. -- -11. The Ship That Got a Parking Ticket. 12. Canadian Veterans 13. There’s no Bloody Cockroaches on My Ship 14. -- -15. Lost Souls 16 Where Are They Now 17. More Missing Persons 18. Bad Penny Blues 19. Christmas Toy Appeal 20. Handsome Youth 21. Great Expectations 22. Departure Lounge 23. Crew List 24. Happy Birthday 90 Years 25. Indie Page Super Hero 26. -- -27. Obituaries 28. Chinese War Memorial 29. Sad Farewell 30. Quiz Answers Back Cover Sacramento Valley Sir William Reardon Smith Cardiff Items for publication should be handed to the editor (If you can find him) or sent to; - Pat Moran Editor, All members’ entries for the Obituary or Sick and Hurt notices will be published if sub-mitted. All other items, if written for your magazine, get into it, get it written Published by the Liverpool Retired Merchant Seafarers
Despite the numbers of members we have lost in the past year, we have managed to maintain our strength through new members joining. The crew list stands 173 strong. Thursday afternoon’s continue to be the hottest ticket in town and the club is ‘Chocker’ every week. LONG MAY IT CONTINUE! It is certainly the highlight of my week. I look forward to seeing you there, ‘til then! Good luck and good health. Joyce Gillans I have just been informed by Joyce Gillans brother that Joyce’s ashes will be going from the 1pm ferry on the 24th May. Her family will be joining us in the club following the service. I usually leave mention of member’s demise to the obituary page, but I cannot let Joyce’s passing, go without comment. In the few years that we worked together as committee members, I came to realise what a caring person she was. Her title: “Champion of the underdog” was well earned. On behalf of us all: R.I.P. DUCHESS Alf Bordessa
Dumbarton Youth The very first Bluey but not the first ship owned by Alfred Holt. She was bought for use as a “test bed” for Mr Holts improved steam engines and boilers. Something of a rust bucket her appearance offended him and he was determined to smarten her up. Her funnel was un-insulated and the hot fumes and steam had burned all the paint off. Whilst rooting about in the fore peak, he found a tin of blue paint. The same blue we all grew to know and love. So that’s how the Blue Flue got Blue.
BB, our very own Whirling Dervish of the dance floor, found himself stood in his bedroom not knowing why he was there. Never mind thought the “Silver Fox,” if I go downstairs I’ll remember what I came up for, so he did and remembered he went upstairs to go to bed. Never mind Bobby, the rest of us are in there with you.
Albert, The latest Albert has performed no acts of outrageous behaviour, been barred out of no ale houses, insulted no Bizzies, and knows exactly where he has been for the last month “in bed.” The poor old soul has had a very bad malaria attack. This sickness disease is never fully cured and can return unpredictably with devastating effect. The attack has helped him “save up” for his trip out to New Zealand later this year. Get well soon Albert, we need the copy. A recent visitor was Terry Cox, Indefatigable 1952/53, Albert’s year. Terry denies any memory or knowledge of Albert, didn’t even recognise his picture as a boy. Strange how the mind can “blot out” traumatic memories. Breaking News. Treatment recently developed by the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine provides a cure for malaria, Albert’s parasite has been killed, Albert survives.
OAP We are delighted to inform our readers that the star of the Tarzan films is alive, well and living in Hollywood. Cheetah the chimp has recently celebrated his 75th birthday. Lasted a bit better than Johnny Weissmuller didn’t he. Must be the banana diet. This item is in no way connected with that preceding it.
Tom Hall’s Latest A letter from Mrs Joan McCool gives us fascinating inside information on this pub. Mrs McCool writes, “the original Tom Halls in the Goree Piazzas was called the Liverpool Arms, she say’s “I worked there for about 18 months in the Fifties. A man called Bob Saville was the manager, a northern Irishman. The barmaids were all in their early twenties, pretty and efficient. I remember Marie, a blonde girl, Georgina a dark girl, Joan a redhead and Tiny Pat Flynn. I also remember the Lamey Brothers “Alf and Billy” regular customers in the lounge. It was said more rope was bought and sold in Tom Halls than in any Docks Office. The famous Long Bar really was famous. Every nationality under the sun visited there for a pint. On opening, Bob Saville would shout in his Irish accent, WE ARE TAKING EVERY CURRENCY, but no Russian Roubles. He had a big black board on which he chalked the currency exchange terms.
Page 3 The Dockers would call in on the finish of their work too. Two I could never are forget Matty and Mavis! (real names not known). Matty was a small red-faced fat man with gold-rimmed specs. Mavis was over six feet tall and thin as a rod, both wore caps and long scarves. On entering the bar, tired after a days hard slog, they would enter the bar, packed by the way, SWEEP off their caps, make a DEEP bow from the waist and wish all the barmaids good evening. It really was funny, cos Mattie was little and fat and Mavis was so tall and skinny he looked like a wolf with a cap on. I never EVER remember any trouble, nothing that Bob Saville couldn’t handle. I remember there was a wooden bar along the wall along the side of the pub as you came out and some rings in the floor down the Goree Piazzas. Marie went on to take over Ugly Mugs eventually. I don’t know what happened to Georgina. Joan (myself) went to sea. Pat Flynn became a licensee in many pubs in the city, one being Frank? Cavanagh’s I also knew the great “Eddie Murphy”. He once decided to take a trip off and went to work on the docks driving a bogey. Being unused to it he accidentally busted his hand with the handle and that ended his docking career. ALL LONG AGO. Very happy days Yours sincerely Joan McCool LRMS Member PS EDDIE MURPHY 1500811 ARR-TEN SHUN!!! Editors note, Great to get your letter Joan, it does raise some more queries, more please on the six foot docker called Mavis and who, is the famous Eddie Murphy or rather which? For there are at least four including he who sits with the Soap Wrappers every Thursday (see plan of clubroom). We still don’t know who Tom Hall was. Alf and Billy Lamey were two directors of the family tug company, J H Lamey and Co. Billy was famous, or more likely notorious, for having got lost in thick fog off Anglesey. He was skipper of the J H Lamey and had hidden the tugs compass and forgotten were he put it. Being close inshore and worried the tug would become stranded, Billy lined the crew up around the bulwarks to listen for the bleating of sheep or smell of grass. The tug narrowly avoided being run down by another ship but with daylight the fog lifted and Billy found his tow, an Aircraft Carrier. The Lamey's were a family of Manchester Ship Canal Pilots. The head of the family, “James” bought his first tug Hero in 1916 and started a family tradition of raffish, unconventional and extravagant behaviour on the river. They were superb at poaching work from the big three, Alexandra’s, Cock Tugs, and Rea's, so much so that they sent Lamey's a pirate flag to let them
Page 4. know how they regarded them. Alfred Lamey promptly and proudly flew it from his tug. Usually they bought second hand-tugs as cheaply as possible but they were no “cheapskates” Lamey’s tugs were always the best equipped on the river. They were first to fit ship to shore radio, VHF and radar. They were the first to convert tugs to diesel engines and to fit the Kort rudder. William H Lamey had a radio transmitter/receiver alongside his bed and listened in to everything being broadcast. He is alleged to have got into trouble for using colourful language when passing orders to his skippers over the air. In 1947 when head of the firm, he saw from his back garden, the steamer Baltic Queen sink in the Mersey. His tugs being equipped with radio he was able to direct the J H Lamey to the rescue of the survivors. In 1959 they ordered their first new tug, four more followed bringing the fleet up to eleven by 1968. They may have been pirates but they were magnificent.
Merchant Navy Veterans Badge The Ministry of Defence informs us that the Merchant Navy Veterans Badge is now being issued to those who served up to 1984. Application forms are still available in the club on Thursdays.
Arctic Veterans Badge The Arctic Veterans Badge is being issued by the Ministry of Defence a copy of the application form is printed later in this volume forms are also available in the club on Thursdays.
DEMS Gunners Denied MN Veterans Badge The Ministry of Defence has barred members of the Maritime Royal Artillery Regiment who served as DEMS gunners on Defensively Armed Merchant Ships from holding the Merchant Navy Veterans badge. They have been told they were members of the armed forces and to apply for that version of the Veterans Badge. Although supposedly a part of the Royal Artillery or the Royal Navy. The Dems Gunners aboard merchant ships were classed as civilians during the war. They were signed on as crew and not allowed to wear uniform. Had they been part of the armed forces they would not have been allowed ashore in Neutral countries i.e., the USA before December 1941 and could have been shot if captured by the enemy. The first DEMS gunners who manned the small ships in E-boat ally, and the Channel saw more action than any branch of the armed services. They loaded their portable guns and ammo on board on the East Coast, sailed to the Thames or Southampton, carted the guns and ammo to a ship on the Northbound convoy and sailed back, often on the same day. They don’t want the Armed Services Badge, they served in Merchant ships, they signed on as Merchant Seamen and they do want the Merchant Navy Badge.
Page 5 Golden Euros To cheer you up here is a comparison with the pensions paid to our European counterparts; % of average wage Italy 83% Luxembourg 83% Portugal 80% Spain 80% Germany 75% France 70% Britain is the fourth richest nation Belgium 60% in the world Denmark 40% Great Britain 14.779% Pensioners perks in two poorer economies Eire: Free travel on buses and trains for over 60’s. No standing charges on utilities and telephones. Free TV Licence. Free electric and telephone credits £5 a week grants for heating between November and March. Extra weeks pension at Christmas. £6 a week for those living alone. Spain: Free TV licence. Two weeks free holiday pass. Two or three trips paid for. Free tickets for theatres and cinemas. Free admission to museums and other facilities. Half price travel and free local travel. State run pension clubs.
Mr Angry Wrinkly concession fares elsewhere in Europe seem to be pretty good. Our very good friend and supporter, the artist Frank Hendry was recently in the South of France and needed to go to Madrigora in Yugoslavia. He tried to buy a train ticket from Cannes to Trieste but found the girl in the booking office, having a ‘be beastly to the British’ Day. She would not sell him a ticket until he handed over his Passport and then demanded a fee of 140 Euros. Frank has a more than passing resemblance to Mr Angry in the Roger Hargreaves books and can act in character. Some call him Angry Frank and he can live up to it. He was just about to launch into a tirade of anti Frog abuse when a kindly bystander explained that the booking clerk needed to establish his age and that the fare to Trieste was 140Euro or £10, for an old bugger like you. Halfway across Europe for £10, not bad.
Penfold's Plonk? Aussie tough guy Russell Crowe paid £3500 for a bottle of Penfold’s Grange Hermitage 1964 in a posh London café. It tasted mouldy, he sent it back, they replaced it. E.H.Booths’ an upmarket grocers in Windermere are selling Penfold’s for £79 a bottle. Aussie readers comment if you can believe it.
Poem Schoolboy Dreams I first went to sea in the spring of ’58. After a Smokey trip from Lime Street to Bristol sealed my fate
I’d thought perhaps a Cunarder being from a liner port of note But Radio Companies don’t think like us, so I bought a duffle coat This proved to be a Godsend On a cold Atlantic dawn As I picked my freezing way to the Radio Room I’d even bought a torch for mornings without light In case I tripped and fell over things left in the night This was not what I had envisaged in my schoolboy book of dreams But life is often like that And nothing is what it seems Neither was it the picture painted by older lads back for their Firsts And yes we all listened which only made it worse Balmy tropical beaches girls falling at your feet Where did they dream it up from a magazine in the street? But all this has changed as into the Saint Lawrence we did crawl To start that magical journey right down to Montreal From the cold and rough Atlantic to India and Pakistan The Gulfs and Caribbean what a lucky man I am From Iceland down to Durban, Curacao and Abidjan Gibraltar, Algiers, Morocco, Port Said and Port Sudan Malta, Cyprus, Sicily and ports along the Medi shore Singapore slings at Raffles, now who could ask for more Now when I look back, from cargo ship to mighty “Queen” Where those silly schoolboy thoughts really just a dream
No!!! Poem by Steve Teare “Serang” of the Liverpool “Bright Sparks Association”
Page 7 Quiz 1. Who is Australia named after? 2. Which British shipping company had its own football league team? 3. What was it called? 4. Which Department of the War Office had a football League team? 5. What was it called? 6. What is the Brisbane Glue pot? 7. Who was known as the “Penis with Legs”?
The Fighting Temeraire by J M W Turner, was voted the greatest British picture of all time. It shows Trafalgar veteran HMS Temeraire being towed to the breakers yard. A sad picture and a sad end for a heroic ship, the end of an era. But the other craft in the picture, the tug, was even more important, she was the start of a new age, so:- What was the name of the tug? Over to you Mr Mayes. 9. What was the Lottie Sleigh? 10. Who was Mr Starbuck? 11. Who was the first Lord Mayor of Liverpool? 12. What was the Monkey and the Duff? 13. Where was Liverpool’s first charter signed? 14. When and where were the documents creating Liverpool issued? 15. Who gave Liverpool its first charter? 16. Norris Green is named after the Norris family, where did they live? 17. Where did Sir Frederick Leyland the shipowner live? 18. Where are the Sandheads? 19. Where is Marblehead? 20. What is the most Northerly point in Great Britain?
Drink Problem on the “Royal Iris”
In these days of 24 hour opening for licensed premises, it seems incredible just how stringent were the” permitted hours” of half a century ago. This short article recalls how Wallasey Ferries’ new Royal Iris fell foul of the licensing laws in May 1951.
Ever since vessels were provided for pleasure excursions, beginning with the horse-drawn passenger vessels on the canals, the provision of refreshments has been a very important part of their business. In the early excursion steamers, both on the Clyde and the Thames, there were frequent complaints that most of the passengers patronised the ships for the sake of unlimited opportunities for drinking particularly on Sundays. Nowadays (1951) there is very little complaint of this nature and drunkenness on board is rare. The passengers take their refreshment in moderation, but provision for their comfort in doing so is a very important part of the design of the ships. Until now the legality of their established practice has never been questioned, the bars have been open all the time the ship is under way and closed whenever she was made fast to a landing stage or pier. The action of the Liverpool police in bringing the action against the Wallasey Corporations new combined ferry and excursion vessel Royal Iris has opened the question. Witnesses given in the Liverpool court gave evidence of the custom, in one case dating back to 1824. Evidence was also given that the traditional custom was followed in the Government’s own steamers run by British Railways. The case was adjourned sine die and the magistrate agreed to state a case to go before the High Court, where it will certainly arouse the greatest attention as so much depends on the outcome. (Shipbuilding and Shipping Record, 16th August 1951)
Page 9. Pleasure cruise steamers are not exempt from normal licensing hours permitted ashore, according to the judgement given by the Liverpool Stipendiary Magistrate Mr A McFarland in the Wallasey Ferries case, in which two stewards were charged in connection with the sale of intoxicating liquor between 3-10pm and 5-20pm aboard the cruise vessel Royal Iris. Police evidence that drinks were served from bars on Wallasey Ferries’ new £250,000 pleasure cruiser (known popularly as the “floating fish and chip shop”) was given in a case in Liverpool in 1952, and was described by counsel as being “one of widespread interest throughout the whole country”. The evidence for the prosecution was that on 2nd May 1951, when the Royal Iris was on her maiden cruise voyage, there were sales of intoxicating liquor on board from 3-10pm to 3-25pm when the vessel was at Liverpool landing stage embarking passengers and from 3-25pm to 5-05pm whilst the ship was cruising in the Mersey. Also there were sales at 5-10pm when the vessel was on the last stage of her cruise from New Brighton to Liverpool. having at that time ordinary ferry passengers on board. Police witnesses said that they boarded the Royal Iris with half-crown tickets (12.5p) on 2nd May 1951 and during a two-hour afternoon cruise on the River Mersey; drinks were sold from three bars on board outside the permitted licensing hours. Just before the ship returned to Liverpool the bars were closed. Mr A.E.Boucher, prosecuting, alleged that police officers who went to see the captain were detained either by the captain or on his instructions. Stipendiary Magistrate Mr A MacFarland asked: “Are you saying they were detained by the captain?” Mr Boucher replied: Yes, sir, either by the captain or on his instructions.” Mr Glynn Blackledge, defending, called three witnesses from shipping concerns operating on the Thames and other places who gave evidence that it was common practice to open bars when voyages began and to close them when vessels tied up. They did not close the bars during non-permitted hours when the vessels were under way. Percy Bell, the chief steward on board the Royal Iris was fined £20, with 30 guineas costs, for selling liquor outside the hours permitted by the Licensing Acts, and James Innes, a steward, was fined £20 with similar costs for aiding and abetting. Lieut-commander L.D. Price, general manager of Wallasey Ferries, said: “We are defiantly going to appeal, and it would not be proper to comment at present on the Stipendiary decision. The defendants had denied selling intoxicants while the Royal Iris moored to the landing stage, and that liquor was sold to anyone other than a cruise passenger. They agreed however, that liquor had been sold during the cruise itself. The real issue, it had been stated, was whether the Licensing Act 1922
Page 10 applied to passenger ships. Mr McFarland said it was important to observe that the witnesses for the prosecution had boarded the Royal Iris in the execution of their duty as police officers. It was obvious that their purpose was to see and to note what was taking place with regard to the sale and consumption of liquor. There were 900 passengers onboard. Having reviewed the evidence, Mr McFarland said that he had come to the conclusion that the evidence given by the prosecution witnesses was to be preferred to the defence witnesses. He was of the opinion that “these eminently responsible witnesses for the defence” were not concerned really with what was happening at the bar, but with the general operating and performance of the vessel which was making her maiden cruise. Mr McFarland went on: “I am not concerned with what may happen in the future with regard to this service, but what in fact happened on the Mersey on 2nd May 1951, so far as the Royal Iris was concerned. The right to sell intoxicating liquors outside permitted hours has been challenged.” He did not think any distinction could be drawn between the sales in a theatre and similar sales in a passenger vessel. The Royal Iris was a place to which the public had access and resorted to for the purpose of a pleasure cruise and the Act of 1921 applied “to any premises or place”. Mr McFarland found the charges proved. What a lot of fuss to make about a little thing like that !!! j.s. Article by John Shepherd, Liverpool Nautical Research Society, Purser Cunard, Harrisons IOMSPCo and spirit of the ether
Editors note. Anyone know how it all ended, are Mr Bell and Mr Innis still about. It can’t have stuck as the pleasure steamers all around the UK continued to serve drinks when the ship was underway and what about the Llandudno and IOM boats they served drinks underway. We liked the bit about the police being detained by the ferry skipper. It happened a few times when the police went into the wheelhouse uninvited. The skipper would radio for more police to meet the ferry as he had unauthorised intruders on the bridge. Remember there were different police on each side of the river and there was no love lost between them. Those meeting the ferry were not the same force as those who had boarded her on the other side, HELLO BOYS, been exceeding our authority have we? Likewise HM Customs, MV Achilles in Gladstone Lock from the voyage was boarded by Liverpool CID to serve a maintenance order on an AB. The Chief Customs officer, on the bridge with the Old Man, seeing people quite obviously not crew, on the fo’c’sle and the ship not cleared by Customs, was. not Happy. He had them Arrested and lodged in Bootle Police Station (Different Force) until ransomed by their brethren from Liverpool.
The Ship That Got A Parking Ticket
Don Finnegan has handed in the following cutting from a New York paper of some time ago. A SAD tale from New York about a once luxurious liner, which was seen regularly in the Mersey. Now it’s paint is peeling after a year without a berth anchored in the Hudson River. The ship, the Cariba formerly the majestic cunarder Caronia has been beset by mechanical and financial troubles since she was sold two years ago. She had been lying in the river forbidden by the New York City and port authorities to move to a mooring place because of legal difficulties. Then as soon as a skeleton crew had moved the 715 foot, 25,000 ton ship from Lower New York Bay and tied her up between two piers, police from the city’s West 45th Street Station arrived and used a motor launch to reach the ship where they presented the captain with a parking ticket. The parking ticket was issued to the ships captain Vallantassis Costa. On it the section describing the vehicle reads: Boat SS Cariba: Year 1949. Make: John Brown. Colour: White. The offence was listed “Berthing no permit.” The ships difficulties began early last year when during a cruise to the Caribbean an engine room explosion killed one crew member, badly injured another and caused the loss of her electrical system at sea. Shortly afterwards the crew struck and all but a skeleton force were discharged. A sad episode in the life of a beautiful ship but we recall it got worse. We think she went aground and broke her back on the way to the breakers yard.
Page 12 Canada MN The Canadian Merchant Navy veterans of World War 2 had to wait until 1994 before they were awarded partial veteran status. Similarly US Seafarers had to wait an age before being given recognition for their war service. It would seem ship-owners and governments are all tarred by the same brush, (see the DEMS item in Stockpot). The only ones who seem to have done well out of WW2 are the Germans who we are told, all got pensions, having spent most of the war in port. The following item has been given to us by an unknown hand: When my father returned home to Vancouver, he found that after six gruelling years of war service during which Allied Merchant Seamen were praised as being â€œThe Fourth Arm of the Serviceâ€? he like other Merchant Seamen in Canada, was not considered to be a true Veteran. The Canadian Government forgot their wartime promises and my father found he was not eligible for any Veterans Benefits such as housing, education or health care. Worse yet, my father and all the Canadian merchant sailors were stigmatised by a public, who for some reason branded them less deserving simply because they had served during the war as civilians. My father died at the age of 54, in 1967, twenty-five years before the Canadian Merchant Navy vets were granted partial veteran status. . In 1998 Canadian Merchant seamen veterans were finally granted full Veteran status and that was followed by a government compensation package which was put in place on February 1st, 2000. Although by that time the Canadian Merchant Navy Veterans had waited fifty-five years for full recognition. Canada was still the first Allied country to come up with Government funded compensation program. Even so the compensation packet was flawed; and some Merchant Navy veterans including those from Britain and other Allied countries who had not emigrated to Canada until after World War Two, were not covered.â€? Recognition of the role of the Merchant Navy veterans has come too late to benefit those like my father who have died already. I am grateful that the role of the Canadian Merchant Navy in WW2 has now been fully recognised in Canada and the role of the Allied Merchant Navy in general is now better understood and appreciated worldwide. I hope that in the future those surviving veterans around the world, who for whatever reasons feel that their service has not been acknowledged will be granted the full recognition and benefits they deserve. Editors Note, the first and last British casualties of WW2 were Canadian crew members of the SS Athenia and Avondale Park.
13 “There’s No Bloody Cockroaches On My Ship” There must be something about Marine Radio Officers that keeps them going so long. Maybe they have a done a deal with “Old Nick” Here is a tale from one such Frank Kelley who visited us at the Eldonians late last year. Frank writes:The Radio Officers started an international association for retired (now all redundant!) Radio Officers in 1966 and for their first newsletter, I wrote a bit about my experience in a Welsh Tramp in 1942. It was published in what has become “QSO” our quarterly publication, which is archived in the Maritime Museum in Liverpool. Our editor, Roger Bentley, has given his permission for the article to be used in the LRMS Newsletter with an acknowledgement about its origin in QSO. We hereby give that acknowledgement with thanks and let’s have more please.
The Tramp steamers of Evan Thomas Radcliffe were distinctive, dirty and slow. SS Llangollen which I joined in Cardiff in November 1942 was the dirtiest and slowest of them all. Like many pre war tramps of the Bristol Channel, the Master, Navigating Officers and R/O were accommodated midships in the bridge house, which had an old style navigation bridge above where the helmsman steered, by the only magnetic compass. At the beginning of the war a tiny wheelhouse covered in plastic armour was fitted to give protection to the helmsman and it also provided a useful lee where Captain Jones could get his pipe burning. This rather upset the Mate and Radio Officer (who kept a bridge watch in convoy) and who were forbidden to smoke on watch. The Engineers, Carpenter, Bosun, and Catering staff had outside cabins on each side of the engine-room and at the forward end of this accommodation, where the galley was fitted in most ships, Llangollen had her steam steering engine with the chains and rods running through the alleyways to the poop. The galley was fitted across the after end of this accommodation, an arrangement that guaranteed that all meals would be cold by the time they had been carried to the midships saloon. The significance of this would become more apparent later in the voyage. Having endured a fifty-two day trip from Cardiff to Capetown, and another 29 days to Alexandria, we were returning from Aden to load coal in Durban, when the Chief Engineer appeared on the bridge to complain that his cabin was infested with cockroaches. He demanded that the ship should be fumigated on arrival. “There’s no bloody cockroaches on my ship” said Captain Jones, “You should get rid of your lousy parrot and chase the stewards up to clean up properly so we won’t get any. Now get the hell off my bridge.
Page 14 The chief, who looked like an oily scarecrow in his filthy singlet and pants, retreated to his cabin where he lived in squalor with his uncaged parrot. The parrot already had several narrow escapes from sailors because of its periodic imitation of the bridge officers whistle which caused the standby AB many unnecessary trips to the poop to read the Walkers Log then up to the bridge to report the distance. Seafarers in those days were fairly adaptable characters and those in Evan Thomas Radcliffe’s tramps were particularly resourceful and very soon, suitable cockroach traps were devised. Three or four glass tumblers with a little jam at the bottom and the inside of their rims smeared with butter could trap a good pint of cockroaches in a few hours. These were emptied into a tin which was brought to the lower bridge during the middle watch and emptied through the open port into the “Old Mans” dayroom. Next morning Captain Jones asked if I had seen any cockroaches and I answered that I hadn’t and that I fully accepted his assurance there were none in his ship. The “Old Man” stormed off, determined that the few he had seen that morning would soon be eliminated. For the next four days, two AB’s and the Captains “Peggy” hunted and scrubbed out with their paraffin mixture, but the nightly tide of insects arriving through the dayroom port, overwhelmed their efforts and as soon as we arrived in Durban, all hands were sent ashore for a long day while the fumigation was done. Llangollen plodded back to Aden with coal and returned at her average voyage speed of 6.2 knots to Durban to load another cargo of coal for Aden. Fortunately (for us) we were diverted to Montevideo because one of Chapman’s ships on that run with coal was torpedoed. At that time many ships around us were lost, particularly in the happy hunting days for the Uboats in the Mozambique Channel, but Llangollen was lucky and survived to become the Greek Arêtes in 1950 I wonder whether it was really luck, or could it be that the U-boats which sighted her decided she was not worth a torpedo? Frank Kelley R241421 Frank did his training in the Radio School on Muspratts Field in Seaforth, where the container base is today. It was a nice place in good weather, say two weeks a year. During the war there was a searchlight and barrage balloon battery there, manned, or womened by ATS girls. Unscrupulous schoolboys used to sneak through the wire fence with notes from the Yanks, (real ones) trying to fix themselves up with a date with the girls. If you brought a note back you got a Yankee comic. We got through a lot of reading. There was also a Radio Training School in the Liverpool Scottish Barracks on Sandy Road Seaforth and another in Rodney Street but the Yanks weren’t interested in young Sparkies.
Page 15 Lost Souls An occasional feature to help trace old shipmates or help families find information on their “deceased” relatives.
Very Old shipmates these by the looks of it, we have been asked if anybody can identify the men who are the Captain, his mates’ and the Sparks. Also the company by the cap badges that appear to have a white pennant within the oak leaves. The absence of engineers indicates it may be a sailing ship. Any help gratefully accepted.
Where Are They We have had a number of e-mail enquiries that we are not able to answer direct, not being mechanised or on the Internet. We do feel somewhat at a disadvantage not having an e-mail address, almost becoming none persons. The answer is to write to us, giving a postal address so we can reply to or buy the magazine and read the answer there: These requests come via the “Blessed Gerry Myles” beloved of the “Lord” Mike Feeney in Australia seeks Information on his father Leslie James Feeney who sailed out of Liverpool and was in the Empress of Asia when she was sunk off Singapore in 1941. He was in Changi, on repatriation returned to Liverpool in 1945. Mike was told his father died in the war and has only recently found this to be untrue; he died in Liverpool in 1986 aged 78. He had a sister Margaret Cooper living at 107 Big Meadow Road, Woodchurch, 43 Shaw Street Everton and 28 Gatcliff Road. Mike will be very grateful for anyone who can tell him anything about his father. Mike can be reached on e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Page 16 Where Are They Willie (Jock) Calder seeks Brian Squires from Liverpool who sailed with him in the Southern Coast, Western Coast and Somerset Coast. He also seeks pictures. Anyone who can help Willie trace his mate can contact him on his email, email@example.com. In the meantime here are two of the pictures.
MV Southern Coast
MV Somerset Coast We do have access to a large number of ship pictures that we can supply to members on request. We would like to start our own photographic library, particularly of seafarersâ€™ themselves. We will be grateful to anyone who will let us copy their photographs so please lend them to us.
Page 17 More Missing Persons Jimmy Wilson from the Isle of Mann and Taff are looking for Peter Cahill and his mate Bob who were shipmates in the Empress of Canada. Bob was down below then a messman and later a winger in the Canada. These guys also sailed together in the Isle of Mann boats. Info to the editor please.
Lost World The second most famous sailor’s bar in the world must be the Market Diner in New York. * This being so it is surprising how much difficulty we are having in getting a photograph of it from the outside. We have got plenty of pictures of very respectable looking young men having a quiet drink inside the premises but the best we have got of the outside (allegedly) is this photo supplied courtesy of an internet search. It looks as if the premises have been closed a long time, all identification gone. There must be someone out there who has got a picture circa 1950-1970.
Market Diner? We’re not sure. *The most famous was the Scandinavian Bar in Valparaiso and this was true as early as sailing ship times. Valparaiso was regarded as the best run ashore by seamen of all nations. It was spoken of so reverently in the foc’s’le or the poop that even those who had not been there accepted it was the genuine “Fiddlers Green”* In the golden years of the 1950’s and 60’s the sailor’s area was very small. There were very few bars, maybe six or so, but enter, and you were in orbit. Jugs of Joy in Bar Roland, the Mickey Mouse the Cunningham sisters, Pilar and Sonia holding court in the Scandi bar. It was that good some people think it never happened and all without Whacky Baccy. Coming soon “Best Bars.” *The sailor’s heaven as opposed to Davy Jones Locker which was sailors Hell.
Page 18 Bad Penny Blues One soul stubbornly refusing to be lost is our Antipodean mate and “bad penny” George Murray. Camel droppings, political propaganda, subversive literature and now his globetrotting mates, is there no end to this munificence.
George Murray’s emissary Jimmy Doyle visiting from Aussie. Jim is sat on the right, the rest of the usual suspects of the Quarterdeck.
Now they are becoming an epidemic. Frank Mills saw Georges picture in the Newsletter and sends in this one taken on the Snaefell in the 1950’s. Frank said they did 10 years of summer seasons in the I-o-M boats going “deep sea” in the winter. George is unmistakable on the left, Frank Mills in the middle and Mick Carny on the left. More of this folks, even from George’s mates.
Page 19 Christmas Toy Appeal The Christmas toy appeal was the most successful ever, each child got a big bag of presents and to say they were “made up” would not be an exaggeration.
The presentation of the toys for Christmas Appeal by Chairman Alf Bordessa. Left to right, Alf, Helen from Social Services, PC John Rooney and Manny.
Ugly Mugs Photo left of Alf’s Dad Alfonso and Aunts Elizabeth, Emma and Ida, Picture supplied by Alf’s sister Lillian. Father and son, are packaged the same as is the body language. The same stance, left shoulder dropped, leaning slightly forward, hands at the ready, head tilted and just look at the face on it, “ONE MORE WORD AND I’LL BURST YA.”
Handsome Youth Crew picture of the Franconia, but which one?
“That’s me” say’s he.
Written on the back is Peter Presatt or Prescott, there couldn’t possibly be two on at the same time, surely. Anyway he is far too handsome. Once, when John Prescott came to Liverpool to present or open something a painting of the Franconia was presented to him. Afterwards John said how pleased he was with the gift. He was too polite to say, it was the wrong one.
Page 21 Great Expectations Your editor would be interested to know “who,” put his name forward for this treatment, particularly as he does not know what it is for. However he has made enquiries and regrets to inform members the treatment is not available through the Dreadnought Seamen’s Hospital Scheme.
Vindi Bit The Vindie's could do with a bit of the above
The Vindi lads sat in the Foc’s’le at a recent club day in the Eldonians.’ Don Crellin having “taken on” paid employment has given up the chair of the Liverpool branch of the Vindi Association. He will still be around but has now got to earn a crust. The new chair will be announced in the next issue.
Page 22 Departure Lounge Seating Plan We often refer to members sitting on Quarterdeck, Captain’s Table etc., or show pictures of the clubroom. For the benefit of our overseas friends’ here is a rough seating plan so you can place everybody. Captain’s Table
Lenny Jones’ locker
F o r c a s t l e
P o o p
Sampson & Barlows
Vindies B A R Soap Wrappers
Membership list 2007
Page 24 Happy Birthday 90 Years Retired sailor, Shipmate to the blessed Jim Bellew, Prima Ballerina Assaluta, Postman, Lamp post Assassin, DJ and LRMS Member Jimmy McGuinness celebrated his ninetieth birthday in the club recently. Pictured below is Jimmy being presented with his cake by LRMS treasurer John Woollam.
Jimmy is fit enough to “double up” so lets go for one hundred and eightyeeee.
Archaeologists have uncovered the old Manchester Dock, 1780, on the Pier Head. They have to map and record it before it is buried again to make way for the new museum of Liverpool Life. As this is the oldest dock of the system that gave Liverpool life would, it not be better to renovate it as a boat Haven that we need, and scrub the museum we don’t need.
Page 25 Forgotten Hero How could a man such as William Henry Bullock be forgotten by his own City, his school, his training ship and all but his immediate family, and even they may only know the half of it? Born in Liverpool in 1864 Captain Bullock got his first taste of the sea in the rough tough and superbly suited training ship Indefatigable. At 16 he went to sea in sail and like many other Indy boys got his tickets. He lived up completely to the schools unofficial motto “Get it Done” During his career at sea he was awarded at least four Silver Medals for heroic bravery during rescues at sea. A Bronze Medal from the Board of Trade, Silver plate from the Government of Newfoundland, rewards and citations from the King of Sweden, Awards and Rewards from the Admiralty. Gifts and citations and the thanks of countless relatives of the people he saved and a death that would have been romantically heroic were it not so tragic. He was also a nice guy, valued by his employers, liked by his crews and respected by all. He died in 1917 when his ship SS Canadian was sunk The full story of Captain Bullock’s life will be given in a later edition but for now we print from contemporary accounts of two of his early rescues. At 21 he was second Mate in Gracie Beazley’s Athelstan a small Barquentine, not at all their usual class of ship. She was a small thing that had come along with a parcel of other ships they had bought from another shipowner. She did not fit their trade so they sent her tramping anywhere she could get a cargo. In 1886 Athelstan, Captain Dunn, lay at anchor in the Chilean port of Chanaril Bay waiting to load. The young son of the captain and a friend took a boat and started to row seawards for an adventure. They had got about half a mile away when young Dunn standing up to scull fell overboard with the oar. His companion was too terrified to help but fortunately they had been seen from the ship. The ships carpenter, William Svendsen dived in fully clothed and started out to their rescue. He was a poor swimmer and weighed down by his clothes he was soon in difficulty. He did reach the boy who grappled with him and threatened to drag him under. They were in imminent danger of drowning and of being devoured by sharks that were circling about them. Mr Bullock seeing the situation stripped off and dived into the rescue. Swimming towards the drowning pair he first collected the oar and set about the rescue. He hung the carpenter on the oar and heaved the boy into the boat, then with great difficulty, crawled in himself and with superhuman efforts dragged the carpenter in just before the fin of a huge shark passed beneath them. A boat from the ship arrived to tow them back. Mr Bullock and William Svendsen were awarded Bronze medals by the Board of Trade. The carpenter never collected his for he disappeared.
Page 26 William Henry Bullock moved into steam when he joined the West Indies and Pacific Steamship Company, which was later taken over by the Leyland Line. It was when mate of the Floridian performed his next deed of “daring do.” She was lying alongside in Cristobal. The night was dark, raining with heavy thunder and lightning. A large number of sailors and firemen were returning from the town to board the steamer and being very quarrel-some. Mr Bullock went among them and succeeded in getting them onboard with the exception of J Ferris, a fireman, who, in the confusion fell into the shark infested water*. Mr Bullock, without waiting to divest himself of his clothing, jumped into the water, when a flash of lightening, fortunately revealed the drowning fireman who was unable to swim. Mr Bullock was quickly alongside the man side, and succeeded in dragging him in among the piles, which being covered with a thick coat of oysters and barnacles, offered a very uncertain hold. A rope having been lowered, Mr Bullock managed to fasten it round the fireman, but from some the latter, when nearly at the top, slipped out of the rope and fell down upon the head of his rescuer, knocking him stupid. Recovering, Mr Bullock again made the man fast and saw him hauled safely onto the wharf. He himself attempted to climb up the shell encrusted pile, which being much eaten through by the Toredo worm in the submerged portion, broke off at the waters edge precipitating him into the water, He, however, managed to seize a rope and was drawn up to safety. For this rescue Mr Bullock was awarded Silver Medals by the Board of Trade and Liverpool Shipwreck and Humane Society. This was only the start of a series of courageous rescues at sea including 500 passengers on a Cunard Liner, so how come no one has heard of him.
Good Looking To Boot. O.K. How many of you, as soon as you saw the words Cristobal, quarrelsome sailors and firemen and falling in the water, thought, I’ll bet they’ve been in the Doghouse Bar * Is there any water not teeming with hungry nobbies
Page 27 Obituaries The Liverpool Retired Seafarers regret to inform members that four of our much-respected shipmates have “Paid Off” for the last time. Norman Draper, Atlantic veteran, life member and benefactor to the club. We have lost a good friend who will be missed. Joyce Gillan, club stalwart, committee member and beloved by all. One tough but gentle lady who cannot be replaced. John Patterson, after a long and painful illness, one of the good guys, we miss him already. Tony Denny, a long time member and previous editor of the newsletter. After many years of suffering he is now at rest. We note the passing of the following good friends or relatives of the club. Sally Ryder, sister of John Ryder whose funeral we attended in the river last year. John Temple, Skipper and moving force behind the tug Brocklebank Always supported us and attended our memorial services. A good friend indeed. . Hugh Parry, Atlantic veteran and survivor of shipwreck, Anchorage member, supported and attended our services, a quiet man, a good man. Nick Murphy, retired seafarer, a visitor from New Zealand who spent last summer with us. He and his sister sat at Mick Gallagher’s table.
Sheltered by the Rock of Ages Anchored by the Golden Shore Sick and Hurt Les Bailey, Billy Bell, Jack Brotheridge, Richie Burke, John Dargle, Jimmy Duggan, Joe Hutchinson, Tom Kelly, Margaret Manning, Kathy Townsend and Frank Travers. YOU ARE ALWAYS IN OUR THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS. GET WELL SOON
The new memorial to Chinese Seamen erected on the Pier Head in 2006. The citation reads: TO THE CHINESE MERCHANT SEAMEN WHO SERVED THIS COUNTRY WELL DURING BOTH WORLD WARS FOR THOSE WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES FOR THIS COUNTRY THANK-YOU TO THE MANY CHINESE MERCHANT SEAMEN WHO AFTER BOTH WORLD WARS WERE REQUESTED TO LEAVE FOR THEIR WIVES AND PARTNERS WHO WERE LEFT IN IGNORANCE OF WHAT HAPPENED TO THEIR MEN FOR THE CHILDREN WHO NEVER KNEW THEIR FATHERS THIS IS A SMALL REMINDER OF WHAT TOOK PLACE WE HOPE NOTHING LIKE IT WILL EVER HAPPEN AGAIN FOR YOUR MEMORY 23RD JUNE 2006 Photograph by Mark Wong
Sad Farewell A little tribute to two much loved and missed members.
Amakura Booker Line We were able to supply John Patterson with two pictures of his ships shortly before he left us. We believe he got some pleasure from them
Joyce Gillan lies before the High Altar in the “Sailors” Church of Our Lady and Saint Nicholas” as her numerous family and friends make their fond but sad farewells.
Page 30 Quiz Answers 1. The Duke of Austria. It was named after him before it was discovered! 2. Orient Line 3. Leyton Orient. 4. Woolwich Arsenal, where they made the guns for the Army and Navy, 5. Woolwich Arsenal, “Arsenal” after the move to Highbury, The Gunners. 6. The Test wicket in Brisbane Cricket Ground, The Gabba. It can get nasty 7. Henri de Toulouse Lautrec, the artist who painted the ladies who danced in the Moulin Rouge. 8. Steam Tug Monarch 9. An ammunition ship that blew up off Woodside Landing Stage in 1864. 10. The Mate of Captain Ahab’s ship Peqoud when searching for Moby Dick. 11. Robert Durning Holt, brother of Alfred, founder of the Blue Funnel Line. Liverpool did not have a Lord Mayor until Queen Victoria made it a city in 1892, before that we had a town Mayor. 12. The Cunard Line insignia, badge and house flag. A lion rampant, holding the world in its front paws, irreverently referred to as the monkey making off with the duff.
13. It wasn’t it was sealed by the King who could not write. 14. In Winchester by King John on the 28th August 1207. 15 Henry III., in 1229. 16. Speke Hall. 17. Speke Hall. 18. India, at the mouth of the river Hoogly leading to Calcutta. 19. Boston. 20. Dunnet Head in Scotland, North of John o Groats.
Medals The Reverend Peter McGrath says this guy does a good job renewing medal ribbons refurbishing medals or mounting them on bar to wear with your blazer
Newsletter of the Retired Merchant Seafarers