King City (3)

Comments from the forum - 3

1962 I was 3rd mate of King City and went down on my knees during the 8-12 watch - appendicitis. With the intervention by radio of the doctor of an Italian passenger ship and the Australian flying doctor service I survived to Geraldton, WA and out the offending article came and in went 5 stiches. A few days after sailing two were to come out. The other 3 some days later. The day of the first removal in trooped the master, mate ("Bud" Abbot) Ch Steward Danny (Lloyd?) who was delicately holding a stainless steel kidney bowl covered by a manky old dish cloth.
MJH was dressed in his best to match his exemplary bedside manner, bare feet in unfastened leather sandals, no socks of course, his favourite paint stained ancient khaki shorts, a holey aertex type vest, his battered trilby hat and - what else but a half smoked unlit cigar in the corner of his mouth. "Up on yer bunk" growled he. I did. "Shuck 'em!" he commanded - meaning my pyjamas - while expermentally clicking and snipping the air with the shears. I recoiled in horror. "What's the matter? I'm not going to cut your c-k off!" He didn't. My wife is very grateful!
Happy days of how it used to be. Ross Watson. Posted on forum 24 July 2012.

I've just been looking at the photograph of King City, supposedly alongside at Liverpool in 1966. I left the King City in early 1966 and she went on to a number of south African ports including Durban. I note she's flying two flags on the foremast. One appears to be a "B" flag, and I suspect the other is the old S. African ensign, flown as a courtesy flag. For this reason I don't think the photograph was taken in Liverpool, more likely in SA. Wynford Phillips. Posted on forum 20 March 2014.

Wynford, that is an observant comment you make about the placement of the flags at the hoist, on the King City. The photograph belongs to Bryan Boyer, and hopefully, he will be able to confirm if it was taken in Liverpool; I suspect it was, and in the North End Docks. Some Masters were almost obsessive with the display of flags; others not so. In this instance flag etiquette seems to be well observed, and the small company flag can be seen on the pilot jackstaff. In some companies, this was an alternative to flying the Blue Peter from the yard prior to sailing. And, if my memory serves me correct, the national flag of an important guest, or passenger could, in certain circumstances, be flown from the port yardarm, and that might possibly account for the South African Flag. RSL had strong ties with the then Republic, and the King and Queen Cities often carried a passenger or two. Mike Jones. Posted on forum 20 March 2014.

I have spoken with Bryan Boyer concerning the location of the King City when the photo was taken, and he confirms that it was in the Liverpool North Docks, probably, Gladstone Dock. The ship was on charter to Union Castle, and was due to sail for SA. Oliver Lindsay, who was Master, gave orders to fly the SA flag on the port yard to indicate where the vessel was bound for. Mike Jones. Posted on forum 25 March 2014.

Ah! I stand corrected! Actually, I was aboard at the time. I recall we sailed from Liverpool to Hamburg where I was hospitalised with appendicictis. I then spent 10 days in the Hafenkrankenhaus before being repatriated. I believe she completed loading in London before sailing to S. Africa. I never saw her again as she was sold soon after. Wynford Phillips. Posted on forum 25 March 2014.

Following on from Mike's posting, I joined the King City in Liverpool finally on the 28 February 1966 as a first trip First Mate. I had been laid up in the Lime Street Hotel for 10 days with a severe dose of the flu. The doctor attending me at the hotel would not let me up until I had made a good recovery. I relieved the JCL and began my first voyage as Mate under Capt. Ollie's command. We loaded a mixed bag of general cargo on T/C to B&C the highlight being a live Hereford bull name of "Uppermill Watchman" and a cow in calf Called "Lovely Lottie". They were lodged in cattle pens on the portside of the after deck abreast No.4 hatch. Instead of carrying a cattleman to look after them on the voyage, the ship's 4 apprentice boys were given the job and were paid for it by B&C for so doing. The bull was as daft as a brush and liked nothing better than the daily grooming the lads gave him. Lottie on the other was a bad tempered "cow" and tried always to stick you with her little horns if you came within range. "Watchman" put on so much weight during the three week voyage that when discharged in Cape Town his wooden pen had to be sawn off to get him out. As previously noted we loaded in Liverpool, Glasgow, Hamburg and London. For the famous dockside toilet fiasco please read item 2 in "Memories" under the King City postings. Southbound, we called at Ascension Island prior to arrival in South Africa.
After our discharge and loading in SA and Portuguese East Africa (Lorenzo Marques and Beira), we loaded a full deck cargo on the foredeck of banged up 40 gallon oil drums full of petrol, the year's supply for St. Helena. We anchored off Jamestowm, St.Helena, discharged the petrol and other goods, loaded a lot of sisal and took on board 40 deck passengers (bound for the major works going on in Ascension Is.), also the Anglican Bishop of the South Atlantic and his Roman Catholic counterpart, and their respective cars. Also bound for Ascension Is.
We had the chance of a tour around St. Helena and I remember the visit to Longwood House where Napoleon lived, his first grave site in the Valley of the Geraniums and a visit to Government House, no Governor in residence at that time, only a couple of huge tortoises, weighing about 400 kilos each, one of which managed to stand on our Cardiff Greek junior engineer Hajidakis' foot and broke his toe!
A good job we didn't have a white crew on board with two "sky pilots or "Sin Bosuns" in residence, knowing how superstitious the crowd could be.
We arrived back in London, early July 1966 and finally paid off in Sunderland (Greenwells Dry Dock) early September 1966. Dan "Cardiff" John had relieved Ollie prior to our paying off.
My first voyage on the "King City" was from April 1963 to February 1964 as Second Mate with Fred "Cornish" Johns as Master and the one and only Carney Davidson as Mate. Happy Days. Charlie Boyer. Posted on forum 28 March 2014.

King City. Page [1] [2] [3] [4]
Memories from RSL staff. Page No. [1] [2] [3]