Vancouver City (2)

Comments from the forum - 1

Seeing the photo of the above vessel on the website reminded me of the "near miss" I had in October 1955 when I was sent by Smiths (Mr. Bissett of Personnel) to join my first ship in Rotterdam as a deck apprentice. I travelled over to the Hook of Holland on the 19 Oct 1955 night ferry from Harwich in the company of five more first trip apprentices,
Arriving at the Rotterdam docks on the 20 October 1955 we were all taken aboard the Vancouver City. Ahead of the Vancouver lay the Houston City (2)1942 - 1960, 7262 GT. On board the Vancouver City we were taken to the Captain's cabin. There we met the Master of the Vancouver (can't remember who that was and Captain Lionel Ford (RSL Superintendent), who stood the six of us in line and detailed three of us: Swansea Reid, Tom Sawyer and me and sent us off to join the Houston City berthed ahead.
As those of us old enough to remember would know, the apprentices' accommodation on the Houston was palatial compared to that on the Vancouver. We had a deckhouse on the boat deck above the galley and abaft the engine room skylights to be sure but each of us had a single berth cabin - each cabin had two portholes, well appointed cabin furniture single bunk with three drawers under, a wardrobe with foot locker A settee with drawers under and the piece de resistance, a bureau with drop down writing desk with three drawers under - (better than the Master's cabin on the AYA II!), our own bathroom,(2 showers, 2 kharzi's. two wash basins) and messroom. A cross alleyway from port to starboard. We always had a battle to keep the manky junior engineers out of our messroom and this was accomplished by locking the portside door and defending the starboard side door against the gingers. The apprentices on the Vancouver City were berthed in a four berth cabin in the starboard tween deck amidships. Pretty poor living space. The accommodation we had on the Houston City was a retrofit during the war to house the Royal Navy DEMS gunners.During the war,the Houston City was well armed with a five pounder deck gun on the poop twin Oerlikin anti aircraft guns on the bridge wings and a second navy five pounder on the foc'sle. The gun mountings were still there when I sailed on her as well as the wartime lifeboat stores. After the War, there was a chance that the deck house would be used to house the senior deck and ER ratings (bosun, carpenter and donkeymen), but good old Alfie Ward prevailed when he said give it to the Boys.
So a "near miss" for me and thanks to Old Fordy and God bless Captain Ward. Charlie Boyer. Posted on the Forum 1 March 2011.

I joined the "Vancouver City" when she was berthed at "Ranks Flour Mills" in Birkenhead on the river mersey as a Pantry Boy.Still wet behind the ears and with a burning desire to travel around the world...and get paid for the privelidge of doing so.I was directed to my room right down aft with the second cook (Sam) and the ships carpenter next door to us,we were to become firm friends and some of his tales of past voyages made my ears waggle in anticipation.My duties would be working in the pantry with the asst,steward who served the officers in the saloon,and I also had to fill a very large boiler in the pantry which took six or eight buckets. Joe Hughes. Posted on the Forum 8 June 2011.

I was involved with the "Vancouver City(2)". She was laid up in Cardiff in December 1962 awaiting a buyer.The Office instructed me to join her as "Standby Officer" She was maintained in a semi operative condition by myself, Norman Parselle (Cat.Off) and an Engineer.
The winter of 1962/3 was very cold with copious snow etc. In fact there was difficulty getting in and out of Cardiff Docks. The vessel was tied up stern to the quay with 2 anchors down, so access was by a ladder over the poop rail. At least the Company provided a television but the generator was shut down overnight, so it depended on whether the Engineer wanted to see a late night programme!
In February 1963,I was relieved to join the "Great City" for an epic 12 month voyage.
"Vancouver City" was disposed of shortly afterwards, to become the "Everbloom" . John Cann. Posted on forum 03 jan 2012.

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.

Vancouver City. Page [1] [2]
Memories from RSL staff. Page No. [1] [2]