David belongs to: The Doxford Engine Friends Association
David was born in Sunderland. He served his apprenticeship at North East Marine shipyards as a fitter. After working at sea David became an Assistant Manager at Doxford's ship yard overseeing the installation and testing of Doxford engines.
David was interviewed by Carl Greenwood on 8 November 2005. The interview took place at the Interviewee's living room and lasted 1 hour, 36 minutes and 40 seconds.
Safety and dangers at sea
"We had no protective clothing. The only, no, you had smoke helmets in case there was a fire "
We had no protective clothing. The only, no, you had smoke helmets in case there was a fire if you had to go down there, if there was a fire you could wear a smoke helmet. One of the things that, we had a full set of tools, hammer and chisels and spanners that were made out of bronze, because if you hit bronze, it doesn’t spark, unlike steel. So if you had to do a repair in the cargo hold, like cut some nuts up and remake a flange or something, you always had to use bronze tools- every ship had a set of bronze tools we use where there may be gas and where there’s petrol there’s always gas.
And also, you were never allowed down by yourself. I’ve seen people, and it’s happened to me as well if you were down doing some work and you come out, you thought you were drunk, petrol vapour could make you fell as if you were drunk. But, I mean, the work had to, got to be done but it was covered, you were well covered, you know. But we didn’t wear safety helmets . In the engine room the steam temperature was seven fifty Fahrenheit I think it was, 400 pounds, 750 Fahrenheit, I think it was. Very hot in the engine room.
when you would go on watch you’d wear boots and you’d just wear shorts like swimming shorts, and you’d keep watch, like half naked but you, if you were walking around the engine room you always carried under your arm a boiler suit that you could put on very, very quickly in case it was, like, in case there was flying steam, you always had a boiler suit that you could put on for protection but you’d hope that you didn’t have to, you’d hope that you’d keep the watch just stripped to the waist, you know. And you had to eat, you had to eat salt tablets all the time because you’re sweating so much, you’re constantly eating salt tablets. They were on the engine room desk- a big jar of salt tablets - that wasn’t safety, that was just health.
David has 17 memories in the memorynet:
David's memories with a Danger theme:
- Father’s time at sea
- Swimming in ballast tanks on the tankers
- Safety and dangers at sea
- Accident on sea trials
David's other memories:
- Apprenticeship at North East Marine
- Going to sea
- Returning to the North East and Doxford's
- Role at Doxford’s
- Industrial action at Doxford's
- Going on sea trials
- Leaving Doxford’s
- Workers at Doxford's
- Engineer's Certificate
- Continuous Certificate of Discharge
- Swimming pool
- North East Marine Guide for Apprentices
- Sea Trials