Author Topic: Ask the engineer!  (Read 40554 times)

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Offline Graham Taylor

Re: Ask the engineer!
« Reply #60 on: May 25, 2014, 12:01 AM »
No more need be said, Gotcha! ;)
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Offline June Ingram

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Re: Ask the engineer!
« Reply #61 on: Nov 07, 2014, 05:52 PM »
Hi Rod - Do you remember what your thoughts and impressions were when you first walked aboard QE2 as an Indentured Apprentice Engineer ?

June  :)
QE2 - the ship for all of time, a ship of timeless beauty !

Offline Rod

Re: Ask the engineer!
« Reply #62 on: Nov 07, 2014, 10:47 PM »
Star Trek!

Having come from 2 ships, RMS Franconia and the Port St. Lawrence that were both knocking on in years, walked into the Main Control Room...air conditioned, consoles, chairs with wheels, big windows.
Star Trek was truly my first thought!

Offline June Ingram

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Re: Ask the engineer!
« Reply #63 on: Nov 10, 2014, 05:18 PM »
Thanks, Rod !  What was your very first assignment, whether it be task or instruction ?   :)
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Offline Rod

Re: Ask the engineer!
« Reply #64 on: Nov 10, 2014, 09:59 PM »
First assignment was 8-12 in the boiler room. I believe the Engineer over me was a guy by the name of Dougal Woodward.
Interesting side note about Dougal........
Supposedly he was only going to sea to make a bit of money, yada yada yada...but he decided he liked it. His wife was not happy kept on pleading for him to retire...he was about 26 or so... his wife started taking matters into her own hands....kept on hiding his Discharge Book in more and more difficult places to find. Once she even buried it in a flower bed...without the discharge book...you do not sail!
He retired.

Offline June Ingram

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Re: Ask the engineer!
« Reply #65 on: Nov 11, 2014, 05:11 PM »
Hi Rod -

Thank you very much for your reply and information.  What specifically did you have to do or were responsible for during that time as an apprentice in the boiler room ?

Poor Dougal ! quite a story.

June   :)
QE2 - the ship for all of time, a ship of timeless beauty !

Offline Rod

Re: Ask the engineer!
« Reply #66 on: Nov 12, 2014, 05:09 PM »
Basically...learning. sometimes you would be used as an extra hand.
For a couple of months I was used as the watchkeeper when they were short staffed!

Offline June Ingram

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Re: Ask the engineer!
« Reply #67 on: Nov 12, 2014, 05:40 PM »
Hi Rod -

Thanks very much for your reply. 

In the learning process, were you individually instructed by other engineers, shadow them, be assigned tasks or all of these and others ?

What did the watchkeeper have to do ?  For how many things and what kind of things were you responsible ?  Was the boiler room controlled manually, automated, or a combination of both ?

Thanks again !

June   :) 
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Offline Rod

Re: Ask the engineer!
« Reply #68 on: Nov 13, 2014, 10:07 PM »
You were not individually instructed per se. You learned how to do a task, then that was your task. AKA give the Engineer a break! You were a shadow, almost monkey see monkey do. Remember these were Engineers not teachers. Some were very, very good as teachers. Others???? meh!
Offship for a bit...there was one Senior Engineer on the Franc, also later QE2, who was a SUPERB teacher! Ron Bradley. If you asked him a question, he would in all likelihood do one of his "back of a fag packet" drawings and explain it in words you could understand.
You also had to trace out various piping systems etc.
Watchkeeping has been described as: "Hours and hours of sheer boredom, interspersed by moment of stark terror"
Each watch was assigned a boiler, sometimes you would paint it, polish the brass, anything to pass the time. Waiting for the moments of stark terror. You also had to do water tests and chemically dose the boilers, that was mostly 4-8 though.

You watched! Dials gauges pumps...if the ship was underway you might do a few minor repairs. Entering and leaving port you had to reduce/increase the number of fires in the boilers, under direction from the Control Room.
As far as manual/auto..... both.

Offline Jeff Taylor

Re: Ask the engineer!
« Reply #69 on: Nov 13, 2014, 10:54 PM »
Rod:  Just curious...was it common to change out burners (e.g. larger/smaller) depending on whether in port or steaming and depending on speed, or was it generally a case of leaving the same ones and just lighting off more or less of the same burners?  Thanks much!

Offline Rod

Re: Ask the engineer!
« Reply #70 on: Nov 13, 2014, 11:33 PM »
NO Jeff there not larger or smaller.
Each boiler had 7 burners. 5 were hand operated and 2 supposedly!!!!!! operated from the Control Room.
As demand for steam increased/ decreased, then we would put in/take out burners, and of course the associated air dampers as requested by the MCR.
If we got a report of black smoke either from the bridge or the smoke watcher (for leaving/arriving) then we would have to find the problem, inform the MCR we were...say...taking out number 5 and putting in number 7, or whatever. Burner tip could be worn/blocked...fix the problem and get it ready for max speed.
There were only 2 sizes of  burner tips. Regular and one that I NEVER saw, that was the one for firing the ship up from dead cold, ie refit on diesel.

Offline Jeff Taylor

Re: Ask the engineer!
« Reply #71 on: Nov 14, 2014, 04:00 PM »
Thanks, Rod.

Offline Adam Hodson

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Re: Ask the engineer!
« Reply #72 on: Nov 14, 2014, 06:49 PM »
Star Trek!

Having come from 2 ships, RMS Franconia and the Port St. Lawrence that were both knocking on in years, walked into the Main Control Room...air conditioned, consoles, chairs with wheels, big windows.
Star Trek was truly my first thought!

Sorry to bring back up this old post, but that does sound brilliant! :)
"The QE2 is one of the last great transatlantic liners, and arguably the most famous liner in the world"

"QE2 and Concorde, a partnership that lasted almost 30 years... two stunning pieces of engineering, never to be forgotten!"

Offline June Ingram

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Re: Ask the engineer!
« Reply #73 on: Nov 25, 2014, 02:33 PM »

Watchkeeping has been described as: "Hours and hours of sheer boredom, interspersed by moment of stark terror"


Hi Rod - Please give us some examples of "stark terror".  Thanks !  June   :)
QE2 - the ship for all of time, a ship of timeless beauty !

Offline Rod

Re: Ask the engineer!
« Reply #74 on: Nov 25, 2014, 07:10 PM »
Belting along the North Atlantic, in very rough weather. Overides not put on the boiler shutdowns, ship takes a heavy roll, water in the boilers takes a somersault. 3 boilers think they are out of water and shut down!