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.
Skills and experiences from Doxford's apprenticeship
"If you, if you take the, as I said before we used to do all the maintenance"
If you, if you take the, as I said before we used to do all the maintenance, all the engineers used to do all of the maintenance on the ship when we were at sea, and of course having the background of a skilled apprenticeship, which was an excellent apprenticeship because you were, you were, you were fully conversant with the machining and the fitting, so you could, you could fit and machine to very, very close tolerances. So when you were at sea, you used, you used these skills and of course doing the maintenance it was very useful. Not only from the point of view of getting the jobs done, but also from, from, from a skill and training aspect, because when things broke down, as they do break down at sea, you had the ability generally to, to repair them, to mend them so this, this added to your experience whilst youíre at sea.
And then at the end of the day, when you decide to leave the sea and go into other jobs ashore, then of course youíve got this background experience, and for my, myself, I went into surveying and the, and consultancy and it was invaluable, all this experience, because when, when many times I was called to, to breakdowns of various engines, including Doxford engines and it wasnít too difficult to find out what the problem was, and you could actually put them right.
And the interesting point is, the engineers onboard the ship, as the, as the situation is today, they donít get the benefit of that, firstly they have not served an apprenticeship, as we did, and the second point is that at sea today, theyíre not expected to do all the maintenance- this, this, this is scheduled so that when things are ready for overhaul, they take the ship out of service, and this is then, then gets carried out by shore people. So the people onboard the ship are never exposed to any hands on approach of maintenance. Consequently when they leave the sea, they havenít got this background, so really, as far as being of use as a surveyor or a consultant, they havenít really got an awful lot to offer. So, itís a sad situation that weíre really going backwards in time.
Keith has 12 memories in the memorynet:
Keith's memories with a Danger theme:
Keith's other memories:
- His father
- Uncle Ted
- Starting at Doxford's
- Finishing apprenticeship and going to sea
- First voyage with the Bank Line
- Returning to work in the North East
- The value of a Doxford's apprenticeship
- Skills and experiences from Doxford's apprenticeship
- The atmosphere at Doxford's
- Apprenticeship certificate
- Doxford's reference