Malcolm Lewis

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  • in reply to: The Great War in Miniature #22546
    Malcolm Lewis
    Participant

    Great models Joseph. Thanks for sharing your pictures with us.

    in reply to: Length of absence from home #22435
    Malcolm Lewis
    Participant

    Very interesting to note the length of time the RN stored its ships for blockading off the French coast, the Western Ocean and beyond. Taking the French coast as an example four months off the Cote Sauvage at any time of the year would have made heavy demands on victuals, especially water and firewood as well as sailing gear. In the Mediterranean Nelson organised a fleet transport ship as a “floating storehouse to answer all our wants” and bring out stores to the fleet anchorage in Sardinia.
    Is there a record of fleet transports attending warships at sea blockading enemy ports elsewhere such as the French Atlantic coast or did they have to leave their posts a and call at Gibraltar?
    Reference: “A man of business” Nelson as a Commander in Chief Mediterranean, May 1803-January 1805 Dr Colin White Mariner’s Mirror 91.2 2005(MM Archive)

    in reply to: The Mariner’s Mirror Podcast #22339
    Malcolm Lewis
    Participant

    Landing Ships Tanks (LSTs) – Were barely seaworthy
    I was interested to read Steven B.G.’s post about LST 325, maybe the last LST in existence. I spent several months aboard LST3511, and named HMS Reggio, which was serving with the R.N.’s Amphibious Warfare Squadron in the Mediterranean in 1954. She was launched in Quebec, Canada in 1945. Our main role at the time was ferrying 40 and 45 Royal Marine Commando from Malta across to their training areas in the Libyan desert and back.
    Every trip was a challenge during the winter gales. LSTs were flat bottomed with no keel so they hogged badly. The double bow doors leaked so there was often 2 or 3 inches of water washing around on the tank deck. The main fuel tanks were under the tank deck and ours leaked sea water causing both engines to stop quite often.
    Reggio had been modified to carry 8 Landing Craft Assault (LCAs) lowered by gravity davits. The LCAs had concrete filled double walled sides to give added protection to the troops from enemy gunfire. Vehicles were parked on the upper deck. This all added considerable top weight. The top hamper and the flat bottom meant she rolled alarmingly in any sort of a sea, often over 30 degrees.
    All in all, landing craft of all types were barely seaworthy but they were built to do a specific job which they did well enough.
    Malcolm Lewis

    Malcolm Lewis
    Participant

    Thanks Sam. Good news. I look forward to reading it.

    in reply to: The Oldest Vessel Afloat #22021
    Malcolm Lewis
    Participant

    I must say Sackville K181 looks in very good condition in Halifax. What splendid work the brave little Flowers did in WW2. I note she is flying a White Ensign. Did she do so during the war?
    I see also the Halifax Museum houses the: –
    CSS Acadia {Canadian Survey/Scientific ship) Afloat L1913
    Maybe she should be included on the list too.

    in reply to: The Oldest Vessel Afloat #21972
    Malcolm Lewis
    Participant

    A few more-
    Sv James Craig Barque L.1874. Sydney Maritime Museum. Afloat Sydney Harbour
    Sv Falls of Clyde L.1878. Sail driven tanker. Afloat Honolulu, Hawaii.
    Sv Glenlee Barque L 1896. Afloat Port of Glasgow Museum, Point House Quay.
    Malcolm Lewis

    in reply to: The Oldest Vessel Afloat #21968
    Malcolm Lewis
    Participant

    Some more suggestions
    HQS Wellington R.N. Sloop L.1934. (HQ Hon Company of Master Mariners). Afloat, moored Victoria Embankment, London
    RMS Queen Mary L.1934 Liner and troopship in WW2. Afloat Long Beach, California USA.
    HMS Belfast L.1938 Light Cruiser. Afloat Upper Pool, River Thames, London.
    USS Intrepid L.1942 A/C Carrier afloat New York USA
    USS Hornet L.1942 A/C Carrier afloat San Francisco USA.
    HMS Cavalier Destroyer L.1943 Afloat Chatham Museum
    U.S. Jeremiah O’Brian Liberty Ship L.1943 Afloat San Francisco< USA
    ML1387 Medusa – Motor Launch L.1943 Present at D-Day landings. Restored and afloat at Gosport.
    HMY Britannia Royal Yacht L.1953 Afloat Leith, Edinburgh
    HMAS Vampire (Daring Class) Destroyer. L1958 Afloat Sydney Harbour, Australia
    HMAS Onslow submarine. L.1968 Afloat Sidney Harbour.
    Malcolm Lewis

    in reply to: The Oldest Vessel Afloat #21967
    Malcolm Lewis
    Participant

    Some suggestions to be included in your list of oldest ships afloat (“Iconic ships” afloat perhaps) in no particular order.
    HMS Trincomalee Frigate Launched 1817 – in wet dock Hartlepool.
    HMS Unicorn Frigate L. 1824 – in wet dock Dundee
    HMS Warrior. Steam powered sailing frigate L 1860. Afloat Portsmouth.
    HMS Gannet Screw frigate L.1878 – in wet dock Chatham Museum
    USS Olympia protected cruiser L.1892 at afloat at Philadelphia USA
    RRS Discovery (Capt.Scott’s ship) L1901 Afloat Dundee
    USS Texas Battleship L.1912 in wet dock La Porte, Texas USA. Due to be dry berthed.
    HMS Caroline. L1914 Light cruiser. Afloat Belfast
    HMS President L.1918 A Flower Class Q Ship (Orig. HMS Saxifrage) at Chatham (Future uncertain)
    Malcolm Lewis

    in reply to: Gong Stand #21882
    Malcolm Lewis
    Participant

    The well-known Gong Stand was made from timber from the Temeraire by H.Castle and Sons who were also shipbreakers with yards at Rotherhithe and Plymouth and given to the Duke of York (later King Georg V) and Princess May of Teck as a wedding present on 6 July 1893. Where it resided in the Royal Household is difficult to say. However, Castles are still in business selling wooden products such as garden furniture. If you have not already contacted them, it might be worth doing so. They have a web site –
    castleshipbreaking.co.uk/contact/

    in reply to: Maritime Pets #21682
    Malcolm Lewis
    Participant

    Hello Sam,
    The Podcast brought back memories of Sippers, the only Manx dog in the Royal Navy. Sippers was the ship’s dog. A cheerful mongrel serving aboard the Algerine minesweeper “Rifleman” of the 4th Mine Sweeping Squadron in the Mediterranean in the 1950s. He lived in the for’d messdeck but spent much time on the sweep deck when we were on duty. In harbour he always sat proudly alongside the coxswain in the ship’s motor boat. His enthusiasm for being in the motor boat led him to lose his tail when one day it got wrapped around the boat’s propeller shaft, which sadly led to it being permanently shortened – ouch!
    I never forgot Sippers and, when I got a dog of my own, it had to be given the same name… always the subject of people’s curiosity as to how my dog, a black lab who loved swimming, got his name.
    To the best of my knowledge, Rifleman’s Sippers never sipped rum. For the uninitiated, a sailor always rewarded any favours done with a sip of his own daily tot. The rum ration was abolished in 1970.
    Malcolm Lewis

    in reply to: Maritime Pets #21681
    Malcolm Lewis
    Participant

    In 1954 a German circus was stranded in Malta with insufficient funds in the bank to get them to their next booking across the water in Sicily with all their performers and animals. They appealed to the Navy for possible assistance. Admiral Lord Mountbatten was C in C Mediterranean at the time and saw this as a good task for his Amphibious Warfare Squadron which was based in Valletta. LCT 4040, a D-Day veteran was designated, and her “passengers” duly arrived on the dockside, including a bear, several ponies, a caged tiger and two large elephants. The small crew of the LCT rose to the task of welcoming their unusual passengers in true naval fashion and the ship was soon on her way sailing down Grand Harbour and heading out to sea.
    Suddenly, as she passed the C in C’s office window, which overlooked the harbour, 4040’s Tannoy blared out the tune “There’s no business like show business!”.
    Malcolm

    in reply to: HMS SHEFFIELD and the Exocet #21666
    Malcolm Lewis
    Participant

    Paul Brown’s book featured as an SNR Podcast is an important record of the sad loss of six RN and RFA ships as well as the Argentinian cruiser General Belgrano. It is a MUST READ for the naval historian.
    Both the British Government and its military were unprepared to respond to the Argentinian invasion of the Falkland Islands, the windswept rocks 8000 miles away in the South Atlantic. Paul gives a harrowing description of life aboard a modern warship under constant attack from fast jets with bombs and missiles. The book is very well researched and includes information from government files only recently released.
    The unanswered question I suppose is would Argentina have carried out such an invasion if the UK had not withdrawn the ice patrol ship Endurance, which showed a lack of commitment to the Falkland islanders and, at the first signs of trouble such as the landings at South Georgia, sent a nuclear submarine from its patrol area in the North Atlantic to the Southern Ocean?

    in reply to: Hammock Boards on Victory 1805 #21596
    Malcolm Lewis
    Participant

    Thank you for your responses. It appears difficult to say when the use of hammock boards began and when it ceased. A ship such as Victory had a complement of 820 officers and men with the majority using hammocks. Frigates at that time did most of the sea time whereas a first rate like Victory spent long periods at anchor. This meant that only a few men spent any time on night watches and more time in their hammocks regularly stowing them in the morning in the hammock nettings/cranes. At all times hammocks had to be stowed in clean and dry conditions and it is understood the nettings and the hammock nettings were covered with a water proof canvas. Gary Morgan refers to the boards being fastened to the outer stanchions presumably with a lashing. The canvas covering would also need to be secured to prevent it lifting off in a breeze but not so large as to prevent access by individual seamen when they wanted their hammocks at pipe down.
    It is surprising that more is not recorded about hammock stowage as it would have been a major feature of life aboard. Does anyone know where the term “cranes” originates? References are hard to find.

    Malcolm Lewis
    Participant

    There is a discussion on the Forum in 2015 regarding the restoration of the Chatham masting/pickling pond (see pickling Pond at Chatham Dockyard).
    The masting pond at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard is Grade 1 listed. It was constructed by Dutch POWs in 1665. It is just on the right as you enter the dockyard and now used for small boat storage.
    I recall a pickling pond at Deptford but no longer there.

    in reply to: Fenland stone barges #21254
    Malcolm Lewis
    Participant

    According to the Wikipedia entry re Winchester Cathedral the Norman reconstruction used the high-quality limestone from the Binstead quarry near Fishbourne on the Isle of White. It would have been shipped from the quay in Fishbourne on the Medina River. Probably the vessels used would have been cogs which were employed throughout Europe for trading from the tenth century onward. They were clinker built with a flat bottom/keel and a single mast.
    Binstead limestone was also used for the building of Chichester Cathedral, Romsey Abbey and parts of the Tower of London. These huge buildings required many tons of stone and the coastal traffic around England at the time would have been full of shipping carrying this heavy product to the building sites.
    The Binstead / Freshwater ship yard built 36-gun navy frigates during the Napoleonic Wars. It seems likely the yard had also built cogs for shipping stone over the centuries.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 149 total)