Author Topic: Jim Bennett, QE2 Engineer, Sept 78 - Sept 83  (Read 2395 times)

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Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Jim Bennett, QE2 Engineer, Sept 78 - Sept 83
« on: Jan 05, 2014, 08:00 PM »
Hi Jane,

My first post on the forum - so here goes.

I joined QE2 in September '78 as a Junior Engineer and served until September '83, just before the major refit to strip out the old steam plant. When I first joined, Bill Farmer was the ship's Chief Engineer and John Grant was Deputy Chief. I think it was when Bill Farmer retired that your dad returned to the ship as Deputy chief.

I remember him well and am very sad to hear he has passed on. He had a very rare quality in senior management - the ability to relate to everyone no matter what their place in the hierarchy and as a result he was afforded great respect and trust from those who worked with him. He wore four stripes on his uniform, but he didn't need them! I agree wholeheartedly with Willum and Rod - he was a proper Gentleman and I think rest of the people who worked with him would say the same. I bet he was a great dad!

On another note - I remember you and your mother sailing on the ship, I think, at least once if not twice during my time on board.

Hi Jim,

You are very welcome here in the Forum! It is good to hear from you, and I am sure you will find several other crew members whom you remember from your time on board.

Feel at home, and when you get the chance, do let us read some more about your life on board and your memories of that excellent time which many of us only know from stories and legends and not from personal experience. If you have pictures taken at the time, they would also be very welcome!

Enjoy the Forum!
Isabelle.
« Last Edit: Jan 10, 2014, 05:28 PM by Alan Snelson »

Online Lynda Bradford

Re: Jim Bennett -- Engineer -- Sept 78 to Sept 83
« Reply #1 on: Jan 05, 2014, 08:22 PM »
Hello Jim, welcome to the Forum and for writing your first post about your time onboard QE2.  It would be fantastic to hear more of your memories, especially at a time when QE2's future is so uncertain, it is good to keep the memory alive. 
I was proud to be involved with planning QE2's 50 year conference in September 2017 in Clydebank
www.qe2event.com

Online Alan Snelson

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Jim Bennett -- Engineer -- Sept 78 to Sept 83
« Reply #2 on: Jan 05, 2014, 08:23 PM »
Hello Jim,

It is great to have you with us on the forum and we wish you a very warm welcome.

I joined in August 78, just before you did so our paths must have crossed somewhere, probably the Thestre bar I expect. They were some great days back then and I am sure you have many tales to tell. You will find plenty of stories here which I am sure you will enjoy reading.

Looking forward to hearing more from you and if you have any photographs it would be great to see them.
Don't just be part of her past, be part of her history!

Offline Rod

Re: Jim Bennett -- Engineer -- Sept 78 to Sept 83
« Reply #3 on: Jan 05, 2014, 10:06 PM »
Hallo Jim, and welcome,
Glad you made it!
I will try and dig out the pix of Moby Dick and the Whalers!

Online Willum

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Re: Jim Bennett -- Engineer -- Sept 78 to Sept 83
« Reply #4 on: Jan 05, 2014, 11:24 PM »
Hallo Jim, and welcome,
Glad you made it!
I will try and dig out the pix of Moby Dick and the Whalers!

Hi Jim, Yes I've got that Moby Dick photo in my collection somewhere too.  !!
Willum

Online Rob Lightbody

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Re: Jim Bennett -- Engineer -- Sept 78 to Sept 83
« Reply #5 on: Jan 06, 2014, 06:31 PM »
Hi Jim, and welcome!

You say you left in '83 before the Steam plant was removed... but that would make it 3 years later, in '86.  You sure you've got the right year!?

Hope you enjoy being aboard the forum!

- Rob
Passionate about QE2's service life for 37 years and creator of this website.  Worked in IT for 27 years and created my personal QE2 website in 1994.

Offline June Ingram

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Re: Jim Bennett -- Engineer -- Sept 78 to Sept 83
« Reply #6 on: Jan 06, 2014, 06:46 PM »
Hi Jim - Welcome to The Forum !  Looking forward to more stories of your time aboard our QE2.
QE2 - the ship for all of time, a ship of timeless beauty !

Offline riskygizmo

Re: Jim Bennett -- Engineer -- Sept 78 to Sept 83
« Reply #7 on: Jan 06, 2014, 06:58 PM »
Hello Jim.

I'm not sure if we ever met, but if you remember three small, loud, Scottish boys manning the Wardy bar, it was me and my brothers. Old Gus and Moira are doing fine. I have set up an account for Mum on here, so I'll try and get her to join in and say hello.
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Offline Jim Bennett

Re: Jim Bennett -- Engineer -- Sept 78 to Sept 83
« Reply #8 on: Jan 06, 2014, 07:00 PM »
Hi All,

Thanks for the welcome. What's 30 years between mates?! Looking forward to a few trips down memory lane now. I think some of the photo's I will be digging out were probable processed by you Alan. Some of them are actually fading now - don't suppose they are still under guarantee!  :)
Jim

Offline Jim Bennett

Re: Jim Bennett -- Engineer -- Sept 78 to Sept 83
« Reply #9 on: Jan 06, 2014, 07:14 PM »
Hi Rob,

It's 30 years ago, so....

I left the ship in September '83 to begin a new career as a Hospital Engineer in the NHS at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge. A questionable move I guess since Margaret Thatcher was beginning to make her mark on the way the NHS ran its works departments! I moved on before too long, but that's definitely another long story...

My last memory is of being on watch in the TCR in Southampton whilst several "bods" were doing what I suppose was one of the initial surveys. I think the decision had been made by then, but as you say, it was probably some time before anything actually happened. I guess three years is actually not that long to detail plan and execute an operation like that.

I am in two minds over the change. Part of me - the Luddite who rails against things like new versions of Windows before adopting it - hates the fact that they scrapped the steam plant. (Sooo much more interesting to run than motor - Oops - sorry  ;) ). The other part - the Engineer - would have been fascinated to witness the change and be part of the experience.

Anyway, marriage, children and a promise to come ashore when they turned up put paid to that!
Jim

Offline Jim Bennett

Re: Jim Bennett -- Engineer -- Sept 78 to Sept 83
« Reply #10 on: Jan 06, 2014, 07:21 PM »
Hello Neil,

I can't remember ever bumping into you or your brothers whilst I was on board. If you were in the Wardroom I probably would have anyway! I remember your Moira travelling on several occasions and of course Angus. I'm sure he'll remember trying to keep the likes of myself, Jim Hayes, Colin Dawkins and Rod Fair and many others on the straight and narrow during many a long 12-4  :)

Good to make your acquaintance.
Jim

Online Alan Snelson

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Re: Jim Bennett -- Engineer -- Sept 78 to Sept 83
« Reply #11 on: Jan 06, 2014, 07:21 PM »
Hi All,

Thanks for the welcome. What's 30 years between mates?! Looking forward to a few trips down memory lane now. I think some of the photo's I will be digging out were probable processed by you Alan. Some of them are actually fading now - don't suppose they are still under guarantee!  :)

Sorry Jim, they were only guaranteed for 25 years. ::)

Seriously though, If you scan them and email them to me I will see what I can do to revive them. It's amazing what you can do with photoshop!! You will find my email address in my profile.
Don't just be part of her past, be part of her history!

Online Rob Lightbody

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Re: Jim Bennett -- Engineer -- Sept 78 to Sept 83
« Reply #12 on: Jan 06, 2014, 07:39 PM »
Thanks Jim, just wanted to make sure you hadn't made a typo with the year!

I think in '83, they had realised they had to do something, and were starting to do feasibility studies and investigations.  My Dad was heavily involved at the same time you were there, with keeping the steam turbines working well (he worked for John Browns but was frequently aboard when there were problems or investigations).  He was distraught when they removed them, but could understand the need to do so.

He was quite pleased, when returning to the diesel-electric QE2, to see the surface of the wine glass rippling in the restaurant.  He said the turbines wouldn't have done that...

You might find this article on my website of interest - http://www.roblightbody.com/liners/qe-2/1987_Refit/

Can't wait to see your photos!  For some reason 70s and 80s photos seem most badly affected by fading and discolouration (not just Alan's  :)   ) but as Alan says, modern photo editing software can work miracles to restore the colours to how they should be.

Cheers,

- Rob
Passionate about QE2's service life for 37 years and creator of this website.  Worked in IT for 27 years and created my personal QE2 website in 1994.

Offline Jane Crosthwaite

Re: Jim Bennett -- Engineer -- Sept 78 to Sept 83
« Reply #13 on: Jan 06, 2014, 07:43 PM »
I have quite a few of the ship's photographer photos and some have gone a strange colour, especially the ones from the 70's where we all now look jaundiced!  When I have scanned them and then asked photoshop to fix them it is amazing how well they come up.

Online Alan Snelson

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Re: Jim Bennett -- Engineer -- Sept 78 to Sept 83
« Reply #14 on: Jan 06, 2014, 08:33 PM »
A little while after I took over as Chief photographer in April 1981 I discovered that the replenishment rate for the bleach bath on the paper processor was set at twice the rate it should be. This over-bleaching is what has caused the fading and discolouration on prints from late 70's and early 80's which was even worse on prints that had been left on display in daylight.

As exposed photographic paper passes through the processing baths the effectiveness of the chemical process is diminished by the chemical reactions taking place. To maintain the consistency of the processing it is necessary to top up the chemicals with a fresh mixture known as replenisher. The paper processing machine monitors the amount of paper passing through it and adds the appropriate volume of replenisher so obviously as it was adding twice the amount needed it created a chemical imbalance.
Don't just be part of her past, be part of her history!