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After the sea, the land.

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  #26  
Old 14th July 2018, 14:25
Harry Nicholson United Kingdom Harry Nicholson is offline
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Originally Posted by Dave McGouldrick View Post
"Better than being down the pit."


A little off topic but that reminded me of Lisa Tarbuck a few years ago on the radio.
She was talking to a US performer who was bemoaning the hassles and tribulations of being 'on the road'.
" It's not exactly working down a coal mine is it?" she said

My gt grandfather, Matthew, who was a touch wild by all accounts, was trapped in South Hetton Coliery in Co Durham. He prayed to God that if he got him out he would mend his ways. He got out. mended his ways, went on the wagon, joined the Sally Army and became an officer. I never met him, but I recall that his son grew splendid leeks.
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  #27  
Old 8th September 2018, 20:43
janmike United Kingdom janmike is offline
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janmike, Had a few goes at swallowing the anchor. After seving with British Tanker Co. Came ashore and worked for Britsh European Airways in the crew room at LHR. Rapidly got fed up with commuting so joined SMBP coasters. Had a great time but very long hours 56 hrs basic then a minimum of 38 hrs overtime. Saw an advert for working for an American company in the Libyan desert. Found I drank too much so then worked in the UK as a Work study engineer, moving onto being an industrial engineer in the electronics industry. When the big slow down happened in 1974 I joined Shell Tankers and stayed with them until made redundant in 1992.
Found a job as assistant harbourmaster in Torbay and temporary teacher for White fish authority. Retired in 1995. Did a couple of years as a parish councillor then moved to France for a couple years. Settled down now in sunny Devon
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  #28  
Old 11th September 2018, 09:41
Harry Nicholson United Kingdom Harry Nicholson is offline
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After thirty years in TV studios and with the march of miniaturisation the work had become a bore to the engineer in me. The company waved attractive redundancy offers to get rid of 'surplus' staff, so I took it and moved close to Robin Hood's Bay. Spent two years in a boiler suit doing up the cottage and making craft items for galleries. I'm still making art enamels with a kiln, fusing glass onto copper. I went to local writing classes and eventually published two historical novels set in NorthEast England. Lately I'm writing memoir vol 2 of the seagoing days - oh how I miss those times.
Then there's the garden and my effort to grow leeks that will meet with less derision from the kitchen. I should get a dog really, but now that hedgehogs have appeared in the garden (I feed them each night) and occupied the shelters I've set out, I've probably got enough to look after.
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  #29  
Old 14th September 2018, 08:42
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Further to my previous post I actually did present a few courses, evening courses for adults, at the Devon Community College where I worked.
These were usually science based but I did do one on basic desktop computer maintenance. I was surprised at how many takers there were. During the first lesson I was required to do some safety presentations, which really comprise of saying there are no dangerous voltages in a desktop computer other than in that grey box with a fan that the mains lead plugs into. If that goes wrong and you're not sure, unplug it, undo four screws ... and replace it.

However I did present a small lesson on what the meaning of voltage and current is. For people in general this requires a good visual demonstation. I used a car battery, a piece of mains fuse wire and a large pair of gloves. First off, wrap each end of the fuse wire around a nail and holding the nails with your gloves, short out the car battery. Very impressive visual sight of fuse wire glowing white hot and melting.
Then I'd tell them that the 12 volts provided by the car battery is the highest DC voltage you'll find in a computer, and it's quite harmless, please come up and stick the finger of one hand on one battery terminal, and the finger of your other hand on the other terminal.
Strangely, having seen the fuse wire all but vaporised, no-one volunteered. So I'd stick my fingers onto the battery terminals and pretend to get a powerful shock, then burst out laughing at their distress.
It probably didn't teach them much, but I got a laugh !!

"That's the safety bit over," I told them. "Twelve volts wont hurt you, but if that grey box with the mains plug isn't working, don't go inside it unless you're qualified. With regard to mains voltages remember that line from the film The Terminator: "It can't be bargained with. It can't be reasoned with. It doesn't feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop... ever, until you are dead!"

Then I let them loose on a number of old classroom computers we had left over from a refit. (The basic internals of a desktop haven't changed much in terms of layout since I did this course in the early 2000's. The various bits have just got more powerful and faster, and the fans must be breeding in there Ö )

I think the course was successful because I was asked to do a couple more. But I abandoned the battery demonstration because heaving the bloody thing up the stairs almost did my back in.
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  #30  
Old 13th August 2020, 23:30
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Tim Gibbs United Kingdom Tim Gibbs is offline
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Was at sea for 12 years and C/E at 28 - it was rapid promotion when National Service ended Then came ashore and had various jobs with shipping companies and shipyards and "retired" in 2005 but that only lasted a few weeks as a lot of consultancy work kept turning up. The last proper job did was in 2012 but I still hanker after the world of ships and shipping so in a sense I have never left the sea. The sea got in my blood but I couldn't see where it got in so I couldn't let it out
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  #31  
Old 14th August 2020, 00:05
Makko Mexico Makko is offline
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Was at sea for 12 years and C/E at 28 - it was rapid promotion when National Service ended Then came ashore and had various jobs with shipping companies and shipyards and "retired" in 2005 but that only lasted a few weeks as a lot of consultancy work kept turning up. The last proper job did was in 2012 but I still hanker after the world of ships and shipping so in a sense I have never left the sea. The sea got in my blood but I couldn't see where it got in so I couldn't let it out
Hey Tim! I still haven't got all the oil out of my underpants after taking leads etc. in the crankcase!!!

Nah, just joking there - I used to save up the bad and the ugly shreddies, socks and boiler suits to do crankcase work. They were never washed, just given the deep six. Then, there was a time when I cleaned a purifier in whites while on UMS!! Again, they were donated to Davy Jones' slop chest, sorry locker!

Rgds.
Dave
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  #32  
Old 18th August 2020, 10:39
Phillthechill United Kingdom Phillthechill is offline
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Thumbs up I was with----

----'Brock's' from 1960 to 1974 coming ashore as I had got as far as I could without getting a 'Ticket'. My reasons for not getting Ticket's was quite simple! Math's were/are a complete mystery to me and, without them, I would be a 'Professional Third' plus the fact that I had a young daughter growing-up and I didn't fancy the idea of having her growing-up with me missing-out on her formative years.

Got a job at Drax Power Station as a Fitter but the CGEB was, (like the Dock's!), 100% 'Union'. On my first day a Shop Steward, (aka 'A Bully Boy'!) asked me, "Are you in 'The Union'?". I said I was in the MNAOA to which he said, "Never heard of it! If you don't join the AEU you're out!". His bullying 'warning' had me join the lowest-possible level of the 'Union'. However I couldn't stand the way 'The Unions' really 'ran' the CEGB and seeing a job being advertised, (by the old Crown Agents), for a 'Senior Inspector of Works, Diesel engines' in Botswana on a two year Contract applied, and to my great surprise and delight, got the job!

At the end of the job came home, saw a job being advertised for a Maintenance Fitter in a vegetable freezing factory applied and, (probably because of my knowledge and familiarity with working, at sea, with NH3 [ammonia] in 'fridge-systems' as their 'Plant' was a large NH3 System), got the job. I was there for six years but the Firm was bought-out and the new owners were 180 degrees different to the old owners 'restructuring' to the point I wanted out.

The Plant Engineer, I worked-with, had been sacked, when the new owners took-over, appointing their own 'man', and gone back to his previous employers (UDEC who were a firm building and maintaining Industrial Refrigeration Systems).

I was at home one day when the 'phone rang. It was my ex-Plant Engineer asking if I fancied a job with UDEC and, having been recently declared, by my, (then), wife as 'Surplus-to-Requirements', who then booted me out, I joined them.

One of the best moves I ever made!

I was with UDEC, travelling all-over the UK and also to Turkey and Saudi on Commissioning and Maintenance 'til I retired in 2001.

I consider myself to have had a wonderful working-life, (even the CEGB 'experience!!), and wouldn't have missed any of it! Phil
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  #33  
Old 18th August 2020, 15:44
Jolly Jack Jolly Jack is offline
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I know exactly what you mean about the CEGB, Phil. Very union oriented and bolshie union reps. but I think you had to go with the flow, so to speak, and ignore all that argi-bargi.
I was due to start a Student Apprenticeship at Northfleet PS in autumn 1962 but 'the Mrs JJ to be' turned out to be up-the-duff just prior, so I needed a livable income for the forthcoming fatherhood. When I explained the situation to the Station Manager, he said "Forget the SA", and suggested I should start as a Plant Operator on shift in the Ops. Dept., and I could "work my way up". There was a vacancy and that's what happened. I'm glad I did and as a green 18 yo, I was indoctrinated into the CEGB way - I knew nothing else. I got all the training I needed from ex. RN and MN seamen very knowledgeable about turbines and boilers, but being the youngest on shift, it was a sort of baptism of fire (excuse pun) but a great time.
I think I got the best time out of the UK power generating 'bonanza years', retiring at 51.

JJ.
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  #34  
Old 19th August 2020, 10:05
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Hey Tim! I still haven't got all the oil out of my underpants after taking leads etc. in the crankcase!!.......

Rgds.
Dave
Oh yes Dave, taking leads! Those Doxford main and BE spherical bearing were a real work-up but it wasn't just the sphericals. A 6 cylinder LB had 61 bearings - 25 spherical, 18 conventional white metal and 18 steel-on-steel. Looking back with the benefit of >50 years hindsight I find it difficult to understand why they were so popular but perhaps my views are distorted by the fact that most of my time was spent with the 75LBs. The last one I sailed on was on its third crankshaft in 15 years and then she had major machining in situ a couple of years later. And then there was the one with an excentric main bearing journal. And then there was..........
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  #35  
Old 19th August 2020, 12:03
Engine Serang Northern Ireland Engine Serang is offline
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And there are still people who think that during WW2 the Germans wanted to steal Doxford and B&W opposed piston blueprints.
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  #36  
Old 19th August 2020, 14:41
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Tim Gibbs United Kingdom Tim Gibbs is offline
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And there are still people who think that during WW2 the Germans wanted to steal Doxford and B&W opposed piston blueprints.
Without the politics of British Shipbuilders the "J" type could have been a bloody good engine for quite a few years but would inevitably have eventually succumbed in today's environment because of the inability to vary the exhaust timing.
The 58JS failed because BS convinced themselves, and some unfortunate owners, that it was as a slow speed Seahorse when it fact it was a short stroke "J". What part of "S" didn't they understand? If they had sold it as an unidirectional engine with an integral PTO things could have been so different because in the late '70s a lot of us were suffering the traumas of operating engines designed to burn MDO being forced to use HFO
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  #37  
Old 19th August 2020, 20:26
Makko Mexico Makko is offline
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And then there was the one with an excentric main bearing journal. And then there was..........
Ha ha ha! And I thought 4S V18 Allens were a pain.......

During Phase I (80-81), Daggy took us over to Huskisson to see a "traditional" ED, I cannot remember which (Maybe Deido or one with four letters, starting with E) which was being sold out. It was an opposed cylinder B&W I remember him saying, in his clipped, sardonic way,"Take a good look, you won't, thankfully, see one of these again - except in a museum". The next week, he took us to see an S boat (Shonga, I think), a 6RND65 with CPP.

Rgds.
Dave
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  #38  
Old 19th August 2020, 20:31
Makko Mexico Makko is offline
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If they had sold it as an unidirectional engine with an integral PTO things could have been so different because in the late '70s a lot of us were suffering the traumas of operating engines designed to burn MDO being forced to use HFO
Oh, the woe on the Super P's: 9RD90 with the rotary exhaust valves and only two Allens on the bottom plates, forced to run on HFO! I remember the discussions between the 2/E and C/E with lots of in-chipping from the two 3/E's regarding when to change over and burn the "precious" (a la Lord of the Rings) MDO. Lots of work, but a good training.

Rgds.
Dave
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  #39  
Old 20th August 2020, 12:58
Phillthechill United Kingdom Phillthechill is offline
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Exclamation Seeing all the----

----'Posts' about various diesels and the 'horror's' of working on them am I glad that 'Brock's'/ ACL were steam outfits! Not good for the 'Owners' as they were quite 'thirsty' but relatively easy-going for we in 'The Black Gang'! Phil
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  #40  
Old 20th August 2020, 14:26
Makko Mexico Makko is offline
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Hey Phil,

I was involved in the reactivation of the LNG carrier, Nestor, in Loch Striven. Amongst other works, they were relining the "plastic" in the boilers. I was "in charge" of the contractors but I needed a translator (Wee Ronnie Curley) to understand what the Glasgow fitters were saying/asking! Nestor was the vessel with the twin Allen V18's.

Anyway, I worked with the 2/E over a few days tracing and understanding the burner controls. Loaded, at sea, the fuel mix would be 10%HFO and 90% LNG boil off. The 2/E was concerned about the system for refiring the boiler in the case of a "flame out".

The system called for CO2 flooding of the furnace and boiler top plate to purge any remaining LNG and then switch over to 100% HFO or MDO to light the fires and, when the burners were fully on, ease back on FO and ease up on LNG.

The 2/E's concerns were founded. There was a fault in the control logic which could permit the boilers to refire on LNG which would have been catastrophic! We jointly wrote a tech report detailing our findings, the system failings and our concerns to be taken care of in the guarantee dry docking that we were preparing the vessel for. I was pleased as punch when Daggy called me in to discuss the report and give him the down and dirty! The vessel, and her sister Gastor (both PoR Bermuda), never carried a paying cargo while under Blue Funnel and were, eventually, sold to the Nigerian national oil company at a massive loss (one of the reasons BF went under so quickly).

While surveying the control system, the 2/E said to me that he dearly hoped not to be named to the vessel when sailing because he reckoned that it would take about 1000 tons of MDO to warm the ship through and he did not want to have the responsibility and have to explain the massive fuel chit at India Buildings for a "dead" ship!

It was the only steam ship (albeit, laid up) that I worked on.

Rgds.
Dave
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  #41  
Old 20th August 2020, 21:09
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20 years retired Have done odd jobs since retiring not very well and have upset a few employers for not towing the line
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  #42  
Old 20th August 2020, 22:25
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Oh, the woe on the Super P's: 9RD90 with the rotary exhaust valves......
Rgds.
Dave
'Remember there were issues with those exhaust valves on the RD76s but the details escape me ; seals? blades seizing?
Have better (I mean clearer) memories of the semi-rotary exhaust vales on a 12RSAD76. They were actuated by a rod that passed across the engine and were driven by excentrics on the fuel pump camshaft which was at cylinder head level. Truth was that the valves weren't huge problem but continually slackening tie rod were as you had to release the valve drive rods to access the tie rod nuts.
This engine had an inner and outer set of holding down bolts and the inner ones were particularly prone to slackening or fracturing. However, we found a good technical solution to that problem - we left them all slack As far as I'm aware the engine failed to punch it's way through the tank top during the rest of it's life.
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Old 20th August 2020, 22:31
Makko Mexico Makko is offline
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The RD had a flocking great chain drive. The valve blades were spring loaded compressed carbon/graphite, more fragile than a butterfly's wing! The actual valve body was a huge, coffin shaped monstrosity. Plenty of problems with reed valves etc. on an engine running on HFO which was designed for MDO!
Rgds.
Dave
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  #44  
Old 21st August 2020, 12:54
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Tim Gibbs United Kingdom Tim Gibbs is offline
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The RD had a flocking great chain drive. The valve blades were spring loaded compressed carbon/graphite, more fragile than a butterfly's wing! The actual valve body was a huge, coffin shaped monstrosity. Plenty of problems with reed valves etc. on an engine running on HFO which was designed for MDO!
Rgds.
Dave
Thanks Dave - bits coming back to me now. I seem to recall huge problems with the shaft seals. And those %$&!^£* reed valves! Ultrasonic cleaning baths hadn't reached us when I was sailing with them so cleaning them was a significant part of the crew's workload. I think we tried some snake oil fuel additive and some people convinced themselves it reduced the fouling rate On the little SD engines we could hardly do a two week passage without them and the ports becoming badly blocked. The crude short term cure was to stop the engine and empty a starting air bottle into it which would clear enough crap for a few more days running.
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  #45  
Old 21st August 2020, 19:36
Makko Mexico Makko is offline
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IN THE OLD DAYS...............! They used to empty powered detergent into the MDO fuel tank. It was very effective at loosening the crud and allowing it to blow out as it was coated and not so sticky! Used on smaller engines.........

Cleanliness is next to Godliness in the scavenge trunk on any engine. I have reed valves in my OLD MX bike! (Yamaha MX400 1976, first with rear monoshock - Any offers?).

Rgds.
Dave
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  #46  
Old 30th August 2020, 11:26
Dave McGouldrick Dave McGouldrick is offline
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Old Habits

Apart from the occasional North Sea Ferry trip, it's been nearly 10 years since I was seriously on a ship.
Yesterday, I noticed the missus had left a plate overhanging the edge of the worktop. I pushed it back to safety, and the accompanying comment from her ladyship of
' Think the house is going to roll a bit do you?' put me in my place.
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  #47  
Old 30th August 2020, 12:06
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King Ratt United Kingdom King Ratt is offline
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Apart from the occasional North Sea Ferry trip, it's been nearly 10 years since I was seriously on a ship.
Yesterday, I noticed the missus had left a plate overhanging the edge of the worktop. I pushed it back to safety, and the accompanying comment from her ladyship of
' Think the house is going to roll a bit do you?' put me in my place.

Hi Dave. Know the scene. I still keep my hand on my pint glass when in the local pub. Although that hasnít been for a while. Hope you keeping well and clear of COVID. Worse things happened at sea.
Cheers
Rab T
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