Great City (2)

Comments from the forum - 1

I am not sure if there are any RSL Engineers around who actually sailed on these vessels, but Eric assures me one would need to be over seventy years old- which probably narrows the field considerably!!
In 1949, when I started the fleet consisted of six 3 cyl. ships plus a number of 4 cyl Doxfords and various steamships.
The ones in question were:- Bradford City (4), Cornish City (4), Fresno City (3), Great City (2), Houston City (2), and Vancouver City (2).
Their claim to fame was their performance - 10,00 tons cargo on abt 10 tons fuel at abt 10 knots. These were probably the life blood of the Company in the 1940's through to the newbuild programme in 1950 and beyond.
Five of them burnt Heavy Oil but the exception was the "Great City" ex "Empire Tavoy". I was Mate of this ship together with C/E Alec Osborne, who kept an extremely detailed account of a twelve month voyage. He records that over the 12 months we steamed 55,843 miles.
AvSpd Lightship 10.83 knots on 7.123 tons Diesel Revs. 98.3
AvSpd Loaded 9.97 knots on 8.134 tons Diesel Revs. 98.8 9
Longest passage:- B.A. to Moji via Durban/Singapore 11,900 miles.
This ship was so economical that she was never converted to H.O. and it was said that Doxfords would have liked to buy this engine back in order to find out why it performed so well!! John Cann. Posted on the forum 30 November 2010.

Talking of steering gear, reminds me of an incident on the "Great City" whereby we had to rig emergency gear off the S. Australian coast and got her into Fremantle O.K. It is recorded in "Shipmates" somewhere. John Cann. Posted on the forum 1 December 2010.

I sailed on one of the original Doxford Economy Ships, the M/V Wearpoolon my first trip to sea, a two year voyage. Everything was steam driven apart from the Main Engine. I can't remember the Cylinder bore but it was smaller the the later 3 cylinder jobs I sailed on with the RSL. Her top speed was 8 knots, that was on a good day with a following seas.
We had numerous breakdowns the most serious was when the centre guide of number one cylinder dropped into the crank case, we limped into Gibraltar on two cylinders, I believe we managed about 4 knots. On examination it was found that the other two guides were on the point of collapse so we were very lucky.

I did five trips on the Great City, four with Trevor Griffiths, a grand ship never known to breakdown. I was sad to leave her in Hong Kong. Robbie Bell. Posted on the forum 2 December 2010.

Disclaimer: The statements on this page are the views of the person who posted them on the forum. The events took place many years ago and in most cases rely on those people's memories, and so we cannot guarantee the accuracy although every effort is made to check it.

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Memories from RSL staff. Page No. [1] [2] [3]