Vic Pitcher

Interesting to see John Cann's reference to his sextant, which I bought from him in Emden, for, I think £20 (or was it £25), at the end of the voyage which took us from Torrevieja (salt) to Fushiki and Niigata, thence from WA back to Europe, Emden, Birkenhead, Limerick and thence Cardiff where the ship was handed over to become "Grosvenor Mariner"

I wonder if John remembers the mighty crash emanating from No.2 as a result of a hatch beam's dislodgement by a beam sling shackle (entirely due to my lack of vigilance) causing Mervyn Davies a near heart attack.

I left the "Homer" in Cardiff, it was the end of my time and met up with Mervyn in Cardiff about 9 months later when I was 3rd Mate of a John Manners ship calling at Newport. He told me then he was finishing with Smiths and hoped to become a pilot in Swansea, where I was to see him many times when I was Master with Panocean in the "Pass Boats" in the 70s & 80s; I was sorry to learn of his passing.
Johns sextant has been a prized possession for many years. It is now mounted, on display in my conservatory. It was last used when I was OM of a small chemical/wine tanker "Berlin" trading Med & Atlantic-African seaboard in the late 80s.

I served as Apprentice in "Cornish City" 12-03-56 to 15-05-57
"Bradford City" 24-06-57 to 17-02-58
"Vancouver City" 10-05-58 to 14-03-59
I am now in my 73rd year.
The Cornish's accommodation was, like the Houston's palatial in comparison to the Bradford's and the Vancouver's, it was identical to the Houston's on the after end of the boat deck; four nicely furnished single rooms, messroom, with noisy hot press, and bathroom. I did not know that the Houston's was refurbished DEMS accommodation, so now presume that the Cornish's was also.
When I joined the Bradford in DD at Tilbury,the cabin at the fwd end of the starboard alleyway, abaft No 3 had been refurbished, nicely as a two berth cabin and two Apps were situated on the lower bridge. The Vancouver was similarly altered.
On sailing from Tilbury, MGBT got me to lug the Skato Scaler up to the bridge in order to divest the telegraph from its many coats of wartime paint and reveal the brass. He was a great one for the brass and had me up polishing the whistle as a punishment on more than one occasion.
The ravages of the Skato Scaler on the telegraph left it with a peculiar mottled appearance.

February/March 2011.