Keith belongs to: The Doxford Engine Friends Association
Keith served his apprenticeship in various departments at Doxford's, leaving in 1959. He spent time at sea with the Bank Line working through the ranks to become Chief Engineer Officer. Keith has spent the last 20 years working in marine consultation and surveying.
Keith was interviewed by Carl Greenwood on 9 March 2006. The interview took place at Sunderland Museum and lasted 29 minutes and 57 seconds.
The value of a Doxford's apprenticeship
"Well, when I first went to sea, of course I was an engineer"
Well, when I first went to sea, of course I was an engineer, I was junior engineer, and in those days, of course, the engineers on board the ship did all of the maintenance, there was very little left to the ship repair companies ashore. For example, all of the routine maintenance as far as removing the pistons and de-ringing the pistons, cleaning the liners and doing all the bearings, checking the bearing clearances, that was all done by the engineers on board.
And of course from a junior engineer point of view, when, having served your apprencticeship at Doxford’s, it was, it was a really good start because you were, you were fully knowledgeable about the engines and in many cases, you were actually given the lead job, even the junior engineer at various points of maintenance because you knew it so well. So it was very useful from a training point of view as well, because you came in and you were given, you were given a fair level of responsibility, particularly once you are qualified with your second engineer’s and chief engineer’s certificates, which I did at South Shields marine school.
And once you get them of course, you’re in a position of charge, and you’ve got the watch in your charge, you’ve also got the full responsibility for the maintenance of the vessel, as second engineer generally- whilst it comes under the umbrella of the chief engineer, he used to automatically delegate to the second engineer. So yes, we had, we had a lot of responsibility to maintain, it was very, very interesting.
I know the first, the first job of sacking, I think it was 1964, I, I, I felt rather, rather daunted about taking the responsibility on and I remember for the first few nights lying awake, you know, with certain, certain worries on my shoulder, but after a while it all became acceptable and we all got around it and I thoroughly enjoyed it. And then of course, when, from the second engineer’s point of view, you go to chief engineer. I served chief on quite a number of ships on the Bank Line.
And then, then I was promoted to superintendent, as I say. And my first responsibility was at Doxford’s and the Tyne where we were in charge of the new building so we were actually implementing our requirements against the specifications and the offerings of the shipyard, so therefore we could actually negotiate the improvements and the various changes that we required, and then also oversee the total build of the ship and the engines, and so consequently I had an office in the shipyard and in the engine works, so it was very, it was home from home for home and it was very useful living in Sunderland at the time.
Keith has 12 memories in the memorynet:
Keith's memories with a The North East theme:
- Finishing apprenticeship and going to sea
- Returning to work in the North East
- Apprenticeship certificate
Keith's other memories: