George belongs to: The Doxford Engine Friends Association
George was born in 1940 in Hendon. He began his apprenticeship in 1956 and finished in 1961. From Doxford's George served in the merchant navy on tramp ships, cargo liners, container ships and oil tankers until he retired in 2005.
George was interviewed by Carl Greenwood on 26 January 2006. The interview took place at Sunderland Museum and lasted 31 minutes and 54 seconds.
Meeting Michael Wilson in Shanghai
"Mick and I had worked for the same company for quite a number of years, but our paths had never crossed"
Mick and I had worked for the same company for quite a number of years, but our paths had never crossed, we’d never met and the company was building a series of ships out there in Shanghai, there was a contract, they wanted to build four ships and I was appointed to the first one, and I went out there with two or three other fellows. And we were doing a stint of eight weeks on and four weeks off.
So half way through our first stint, the fellows who were appointed to the second ship came out to take over from us. And Mick was my opposite number and that was the first time I met him. And Mick spent, we spent four weeks together there, you know, I was showing him around the yard and what was going on and as much as we could about the ships and meet all the people connected with the job, and then me and my squad went home for our four weeks leave. And we came back after four weeks and took over from Mick and his squad and this was the way it was going to carry on.
However, during that period the, the company was taken over and the new owners in their infinite wisdom, decided that, “oh well, thank you very much chaps, but we’re going to put our own men on these ships.” So, that’s what they did, and what they wanted us to do was to, “what we’d like you lads, if you just stay out here, you’ll do all the work, get the ships through the trials, get the ships ready to go to sea and then we’ll send our fellows out and they can take over and take the ship home,” and our boss said, “no way.”
And I think we had been out there, we’d only been out there a week or so, and they flew us home on Christmas Eve. We got home, I think it was Christmas Eve or just before Christmas Eve, they flew us home for Christmas. That was brilliant, and I went back another couple of times but for short stints. But that was unfortunate because we were all enjoying our time out there, they say it’s a fascinating place, Shanghai and the pace of change there was incredible.
George has 12 memories in the memorynet:
George's memories with a Work theme:
- Apprenticeship at Doxford's
- Benefits of a Doxford apprenticeship
- The value of a Doxford's apprenticeship
- Safety and accidents at Doxford's
- The smell of whale oil
- Sailing with a Doxford engine
- Conditions on the ship
- Meeting Michael Wilson in Shanghai
- Engineer's Certificate
- Continuous Certificate of Discharge