Fred belongs to: Royal British Legion Seaman's Mess
Fred was born in South Shields and went to Ocean Road School. He worked on the tug boats before going to sea in the merchant navy when he was 17.
Fred was interviewed by Carl Greenwood on 5 December 2005. The interview took place at the Interviewee's living room and lasted 1 hour, 1 minute and 3 seconds.
The Hudson Bay
"I remember the one they called the ĎNorth Angliaí where we went up to Port Churchill in the Hudson Bay"
I remember the one they called the ĎNorth Angliaí where we went up to Port Churchill in the Hudson Bay. And it was only open for three months of the year, I canít remember what months it was but it was, it must have been when the thaw was on because the ships couldnít get through.
And as you were going through the icebergs were there, and the ice fields, and it was just like a big sheet of ice, you know maybe about four or five foot thick and they called them ice fields and the icebergs and you had to go slowly. So as we were going through, through the day, you had to go at your normal speed, eight knots, or six knots, eight knots, and at night time you had to slow down because you had to look for these icebergs and the ice fields unless you had a radar. But the story Iíve got is the ship didnít have a radar at that time, it was in the 1950s- I donít think a lot of ships had them. And passing us was a German ship and they had the radar, and they were waving to us, pointing up at their scanner. The scanner was rotating and telling them where the icebergs were. So we had to slow down so they got passed.
Now, the secret of this was that the first ship in always had a big party for them. The people from Port Churchill they organised this big party and it was just for the first ship. The second, third and fourth and that, they didnít get anything. But anyway, it was a race between the North Anglia one of Hugh Robertís from Newcastle, Hugh Robertís were the owners, and the German ship. And the German ship passed us, went well away and we had to slow down because it was getting dark at that time, and the next morning, round about six or seven oíclock in the morning, we saw them stuck in an ice field. For all he had the radar, he mustnít have seen the ice field so as we went past we were waving to him.
But we didnít get there in time there was a Norwegian ship which had beaten us to it and they had got in the day before so we were just lying at the hold-up berth, you know, the waiting berth for him loading and he would go out.
Fred has 14 memories in the memorynet:
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