Gordon belongs to: The Doxford Engine Friends Association
Gordonís grandfather Ambrose and father Robert worked at Bartramís shipbuilders. Gordon served his apprenticeship at Doxford's between 1955 and 1961. After his apprenticeship Gordon went to sea on the MV Tactician, built by Doxford's. He finished his working career as a school technician in 2005.
Gordon was interviewed by Carl Greenwood on 9 March 2006. The interview took place at Sunderland Museum and lasted 35 minutes and 1 second.
Sea trials and the power of the new engine
"I was fortunate enough to go on the sea trials with the ship because when the ship was finished it had to be tested"
I was fortunate enough to go on the sea trials with the ship because when the ship was finished it had to be tested, and they used to have measuring mile outside, up in Northumberland there, and the ship used to go, and it could be out all day, or all day and all night testing. Well, this particular ship that I was on was named the Montana, it was a Norwegian company that had bought the ship.
Anyway, the Montana had the new Doxford engine, now, I canít remember if it was the P engine or the J engine, but it was the first one to have this engine, and I was on the, taking the movements with Bill Bendelow, Bill Bendelow was on the controls and I was his apprentice on the side, taking the movements. Anyway, weíd come into Sunderland and we got a telegraph, the telegraph rang full astern or full ahead full ahead. So Bill, on with the controls, engines going full, full power, then thereís a ring on the telegraph full astern. So Bill stops the engine, puts in full astern then it rings full astern again, then again. So Bill got up to power as soon he could, and just then there was one almighty bump.
What had happened was, that the pilot in charge did not realise the power of the engine of the ship. Consequently, he came in too fast, hit the quay, the deep water quay, dented the bow, took a big dent in the bow, and rebounded from the bow, from the quay as it was going backwards, and there was a big steel buoy in the middle of the Wear. And as the ship came in reverse, the propeller hit the buoy and bent the blades at 90 degrees. And consequently the ship had to go into dry dock to have a new propeller and a new stern. So that was the power of the new engine.
Gordon has 13 memories in the memorynet:
Gordon's memories with a Community theme:
Gordon's other memories: