News Date 13th Sept 2012
Malcolm Waterfall (Ex Ch/Eng & Supt)
It is sad to report yet another Counties and LOF Engineer passing away.
Malcolm Waterfall was 93 years old and he and his wife lived in sheltered
accommodation in Bridport Dorset.
grateful to Norris Jackson who passed this information onto me this morning.
News Date 13th Sept 2012
John Richardson.... Ex Counties.
Just to reaffirm that I am most appreciative of your effort in making the LOF NEWS website as meaningful as it is.
Just a pity that we are all getting so b……y OLD! I shall turn 82 in a few days time!
I recently completed a book which tells the story of my first 10 years at sea in the Merchant Navy, starting with my apprenticeship with Counties in May 1947, up to the time that I had passed for Master and decided to relocate to Cape Town early in 1957. I have based it on the numerous letters that I sent to my parents while I traveled the world with Counties and thereafter Nourse Line and later Bullard King (Natal Line). It gives quite a vivid account of life with Counties from 1947 – 51!!!
I have not published it officially but thanks to a write up in the local Cape Times by its Shipping writer it seems to have stimulated quite a bit of interest!
If you would like a complimentary copy I would be pleased to send you one.
I still correspond regularly with Geoff Baskerville with whom I shared a cabin on the good ship Stamford Hill!
With kind regards and best
News Date 17th August 2012
From Allen Mustard...
My dad was an Electrician on the following ships and was wondering if you were on any of these ships at those times or can put me in touch with anyone who was. many thanks.
London Citizen 01.03.66 - 21.12.66
London Confidence 11.03.67 - 26.7.67
London Confidence 27.07.67 - 30.08.67
Overseas Discoverer 16.11.67 - 12.12.67
Overseas Discoverer 13.12.67 - 09.06.68
If you sailed with Mr. Mustard Snr, please make contact with Allen .... email@example.com
News Date 25th July 2012
Our thanks to John Peters who called me last night....
News Date 24th July 2012 Reminisces from Dave
Meare on Tony Baldwin (See below)
I remember Tony well as he was on the Tradition when a bunch of us, including wee Donald, joined her at Gib just before Xmas in 1965. He was with his wife Hanne. We had a pretty rough January in Novorossiysk discharging grain. We’d arrived with low stocks of food and the Russians hadn’t got any to spare. I recall one night the evening menu contained the notable item , “Half Sardine on Toast”.
Mid-ships was mostly a hard place to live.
After a few freezing cold days there, a couple of us thought we could smell
toast and tried unsuccessfully to locate the source. The next day the
heating for most of the accommodation stopped working, it had been the motor
driving the blowers that had been toasted. The bridge deck had a different
blower motor and was business as usual but the rest of the accommodation was
not a comfortable place.
I think Tony probably left us when we dry docked in Falmouth early in 1966.
I think it was at Falmouth that Maisie
joined Donald. She was a love.
News Date 24th July 2012
John (Jack) Bell....
I would like to say hello , I am Jack Bell who sailed with LOF from 1967 until 1979, from 5th/Eng to 3rd/Eng.
News Date 23rd July 2012
A photo of Bill Dunn... as 2ndEng
Thanks to Eric Drinkwater for the photo below....
News Date 17th July 2012
News Date 16th July 2012
Tony Baldwin..... (Ex Ch/Off)
I sailed with Loftanks from 1962 until 1968 as Chief Officer on various vessels and coming across your website has rekindled many memories from long ago. Most of them pleasant. CONGRATULATIONS on a job well done and if any old shipmates are out there in the world wide web I would be pleased to hear from them.
I served my apprenticeship with Eagle Oil and Shipping Co, joining the 'San Leonardo' in Birkenhead as a Cadet on a cold November night in 1950!
The company was taken over by Shell Tankers in 1962, the year in which I obtained my Master's Ticket. Finding the Shell rules and regs a little overpowering I then joined LOF, which was much more to my liking - very similar to Eagle Oil in its culture. The Masters I sailed with in LOF are much clearer in my memory than the ships! Geoffrey Knight stands out - a strange mixture. He would always insist on maximum cargoes to be carried, sometimes bending the rules! I recall loading a grain cargo when he insisted on filling the fore hold. As a consequence we arrived at our discharge port well down by the head but with maximum revenue earned! On entering Russian ports in the Black Sea he always played Frank Sinatra records over the bridge speakers - much to their amazement. He spoke with a broad West Country accent I remember.
Donald Muir was another Master, who tragically lost his life in a gale when anchored outside Genoa.
Ironically Donald was always proud of the provisions he had made for his retirement, but he was never to enjoy them.
Last of the trio was Capt Osborne; I was Chief Officer when he fell off the boat deck one night while in the Red Sea. I sent out a message reporting his disappearance asking vessels to keep a watch for him. Amazingly he was sighted by a German Shell tanker, picked up and arrived in Suez before us! The company hastily brought him home. The German captain's message had read 'Have your Captain on board, he is fit and well and his false teeth are in the pocket of his shorts!'
On leaving the Merchant Navy I purchased a newsagents in Reading, which was eventually re-developed by the local council. After a few years of early mornings I suffered a mini stroke at the age of 63, whereupon I retired to a life of leisure. I am now 78 and in good health as far as I know. I will forward a recent photo once I have worked out the technologies involved!!
Good luck to you in your endeavours to create a record of a very relaxed and happy period in the Merchant Navy.
Tony Baldwin (Baldy)
News Date 11th July 2012
John Blamires.....(Ex 2nd/Off - Ch/Off)
John sent me this picture, earlier this year, although
I've tried to track the vessel down.... no success so
far? - John was off Tuzla, a shipyard port about 15
miles SE of Istanbul as the crow flies.
What do you make of the attached, it looks very
much like an old B26, has Mavroleon/Kulukundis
set up shop again?
We had a photo a couple of years ago from Ex
2nd/Eng Don Dunlop when he was carrying out
survey work of a R&K Bulk Carrier....
Anyone know this vessel?
(John was last sailing with RFA)
News Date 11th July 2012
Our good friend - Tom March
News Date 10th July 2012
Bob Stinchcombe.... Ex Ch/Eng.
Good to hear from Bob, he and Margaret are keeping as well as possible, Bob managing the odd 10 hole round of Golf, and still managing a monumental flight of steps to their house. He tells me that Mick & Gwyn Howells are well, Mick also playing golf and recently up against Bill McGuire (Ex Superintendent). Also fairly well Di & Rita Walker, who Bob & Margaret see regularly. In touch recently was Gordon Laxarus....(Ex Cat/Off), who has lost sight in one eye and not too good in the other...Gordon is doing a sponsored 'Skydive' on the 28th July for charity....
Gordon was a big party fan..... but of course could back fire!
A 'Blue' - True Story if you haven't already had a look......
News Date 03rd July 2012
Counties... 'Mill Hill'
My father Robert Ernest Hultgren was Chief Eng on board the 'Mill Hill' from 1947 t0 1949 it returned to London via Hull after spending 2 years away sailing between Australia and New Zealand. The ship was unable to enter the Port of London because of a dock strike and lay off Southend for a month if my memory is correct I was aged 7years and I spent wonderful month on board.
LOF is a great site. I was delighted to see my father on the London Enterprise in the film Tankers Galore.
Regards Margaret Wardell.
News Date 01st July 2012
Jeremy Slatford (Ex 3/O - 2/O)
News Date 01st July 2012
Elizabeth Corkish (Primrose Hill)
My mother died recently she always told use the story of her bother Charles Robertson being torpedo while he was in the Merchant Navy.
I have found the one sheet of the logbook from 29/10/42 to 31/10/42 the story didn't end so I decide to have on internet an came across your page. This is amazing story
Paul Wray (Ex Elect/Off)
I stumbled on your website and had a heck of a memory burst seeing some of the names of people I knew and knew of during the short time I was employed by that great outfit LOF.
I sailed on the 'London Prestige' in 1971, then 'London Banker', and, finally, 'London Pioneer' in 1973. I sailed as Electrician on these ships. To name names as far as I recall: 'London Prestige':- Capts Stan Dickson and then Jim McNaughton, C/O Eddie Humby, 2/O Peter (Idris) Roberts, 3/O "Rufus" Fewster, Cdt Phil Caddy, Cdt Martin Webber. R/O Ben Killeen (the inimitable Ben!) Cat Offs Ray Humble and Ken Oakley. C/Es Arthur Carey and Dave Kirkpatrick, 2/Es Peter Hopper and Brian Blackshaw, 3/Es Alan Johnson and Bill Stone, 4/Es Bill Millard and Lenny Phillips. J/Es Cliff 'Yorkie' Hudson, Dick Orton and Alan Jones.
'London Banker': Capt E Humby, C/O Gordon Cunningham, 2/O Peter Lee, 3/O Phil Thompson (sorry to have heard of his passing away) Cadets Chris Chapman, Colin Archer and A Hilliard. R/O Jim McCabe, Cat Off John Clements, C/E John McLeish, 2/E Gordon Emmerson, 3/E John Ireland and Bob Allen, 4/E Brian Constable and Alec Priestley J/Es were John
Shepherd and Chris Freeman.
'London Pioneer': Capt. McNab and Roy 'North-about' Nelson, C/O Carney Davidson. (2/Os & 3/Os names escape me) R/O Eric Fisher (I think) and Charlie Stewart. Cat Off Paul Cartwright. Cadets Nigel Reykebusch and Graham? Cousins C/E Oliver Hedley, 2/E Jack Metcalfe and Richard Hagger 3/E Bill Martin, 4/E Mel Knibbs. J/Es Tom MacAlpine, Chris Stringham, Alfie Burgess.
I am still sailing. For the last several years I have been employed as ETO on the Irish National Research Vessel 'Celtic Explorer' carrying out all manner of interesting oceanographic and Marine biological work.
I went ashore for a while after leaving LOF, but returned to sea after a year or so. I have to say that LOF was a great company to work for, probably the best, and I frequently harboured some regrets about leaving when I did, but hey, you couldn't put old heads on young shoulders then any more than you can today!
Home these days is a 26.5m long Dutch barge in the Loire Valley in France with my wife Karen.
If anyone out there remembers me, I would like to extend my warmest regards. As is evidenced from my recollection of names above - they were right out of my head, by the way - I have vivid memories of the good old days with you. Good luck and best regards wherever you are!
News Date 30th June 2012...
Alec Priestley..... 79
Alistair Roaf..... 43
Coming up during July .... Godfrey Nash....
News Date 25th May 2012..... Remember the 'Rail
I found this disused Rail Warrant signed by our
Personnel Manager Michael Cuff dated 31st July
It was not used as the following day I and about 80%
were all made redundant (I had volunteered).
Rail Warrants were the preferred means of getting all
seafarers to a port of joining and in some cases
leaving ships. Many seafarers worked through a
shipping pool or a Radio Company, and these
seafarers found some difficulty in getting their
expenses reimbursed - so the Rail Warrant.
Of course air travel did not become popular and cheap until the late 70's, many LOF personnel travelled some distance by rail, whilst tankers were being converted in La Spezia Italy there was a steady stream travelling to and fro by rail.
Whilst vessels were laid up in Greece, some (not many) opted to travel by rail rather than by air.
News Date 23rd May 2012
Andrew Gillie - Sadly passed away on this date in 2007
News Date 23rd May 2012
Bryan Watkins (Still sailing as Master) who will be 58
Barry Moore (Last heard out in Philippines) who will be 71
Michael Ward (Still sailing) who will be 53
News Date 23rd May 2012..... Jim Domleo (Ex
3rd/Off Counties) - Another one found!.
Hi, I came across your website
I was 3rd mate on the 'Woldingham Hill' for about 6 months in 1959 .We did a whole season travelling up and down the newly opened St Lawrence seaway from Montreal to Lake Superior. The Masters name was Gibson.
ps if any ex counties would like to contact Jim, please contact me....
News Date 23rd May 2012..... William
(Bill) Dunn (Ex Ch/Eng)
News Date 04th
A Happy Birthday Dave Blackshaw who will be 46
A Happy Birthday - Dave Corbin (Ex R/O)
News Date 18th March
2012 LOF News - Needs Your News.....
As always I
thank those who kindly 'sponsor' this website.
News Date 14th Feb
2012 Some fantastic success.....
I am the daughter of the Captain of 'Primrose Hill’, Maxwell Mackenzie. Through your website last year, I had an email from the son of Captain Foulkes who rescued my father who had been in the lifeboats for 10 days then last month I had another email from Captain Foulkes's grand daughter who moved from the UK to the US 2 years ago and actually lives 20 minutes away from me!! Natalie Hopper and her family came to visit us today and we exchanged photos and documents from the war - it was unbelievable - she had a copy of the crew list from the 'Primrose Hill' , then I produced the one I had! We looked at photos of her grandfather and my father and wondered what they spoke about, discussed and planned - sadly, we will never know!! To this day, I have no idea how my father got back from Freetown to the UK.
None of this would have happened if it was not for your website, so thank you!! Captain Foulkes and my dad had a connection at our meeting today!!
News Date 14th Feb
2012 Roy & Connie Gerstner.... still on our
My fellow cadet and then Best Man - Phil
Dutton (LOF 73-78) is living and teaching in Wellington NZ - St. Patricks
Yes, I'm gainfully employed with oil majors - just completed 6 years with ExxonMobil working on Projects. Since earlier this month I've jumped ship and now with BP Angola working as Terminal Supt. Deep Water Operations. Not as cut and thrust as Project Installation but the money is good, allowing me to save up for a retirement at some point in the next 5-8 years.
By the way, I'm 55 years old.
News Date 05th Jan
2012 Good News....
Date 02nd Jan 2012 Happy Birthday Jean