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Dock Staff Donkey Boiler.

Who remembers standing by a ship on dock staff and having the donkey boiler on shore supplying steam to the vessel just to keep things "ticking over". The donkey boiler was attended by an old gypsy called "Harry" from memory and he could always be relied upon to rustle up a fry up of eggs, bacon, sausage etc during the night hours. Always of dubious freshness but must admit never got sick from it at all. The donkey boiler was supposedly from an old steam train. Happy Days in Thorneycrofts charge.

Re: Dock Staff Donkey Boiler.








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Re: Dock Staff Donkey Boiler.

I think Harry was the guy who would mind one of the boilers (not a donkey boiler) while we were in Southampton on Oriana in 1970/71. He was quite a character.

Re: Dock Staff Donkey Boiler.

I think my memory of 49 Years ago May have let me down. There may have been a boiler ashore when we were laid up after the boiler room fire.

Re: Dock Staff Donkey Boiler.

The name Harry rings a bell, There was a story that he arrived for night shift under the weather and fell asleep with the boiler feed turned up and the boiler primed and carried over filling the ships distilled water systems and tanks with contaminated water, one of the reasons for taking shore steam was to run evaps to make distilled water which was always in short supply so the event was disastrous.
IanB

Re: Dock Staff Donkey Boiler.

I think the beauty of being alongside for any length of time was having the Evaps off. We lost one our main headaches.
We used to go on 4 on 12 off, or; depending on the second, sometimes 24 off.and most of us got a run ashore to visit new, or existing, girlfriends, as well as spend time in the local hostelries.
The shoreside donkey boiler was only used on dry docking I remember, when we had no seawater for condensation.
The poor juniors were stuck with the occasional watch keeping, but most of the rest of us got stuck with night aboard, for at least one night.
Four days off in Sydney, Hong Kong, San Francisco, or even Southampton, were great times.

Re: Dock Staff Donkey Boiler.

Geoff a visit to the Duke of Boot was a necessity when in Sumtumtum, numerous ocassions in fact with all the pennies on the bar top.

Re: Dock Staff Donkey Boiler.

If I remember correctly, there was a "Log-Bok" to record loads of information. A green Engineer would then be told to go and get the readings - there was only one reading?

Re: Dock Staff Donkey Boiler.

Keith Radford
Geoff a visit to the Duke of Boot was a necessity when in Sumtumtum, numerous ocassions in fact with all the pennies on the bar top.
Yes Keith, that always the first port of call after arrival.
We used to take passengers who had become friends on the homeward voyage there as their first taste of England.
Sadly, there are very few pubs like that left.
Over the past ten years they have gradually all closed, and most towns and cities have been taken over by faceless drinking warehouse called Wetherspoons, which are desperate places to spend any time in.