I have just read the article by David Russell-Smith in the August 2014 issue of Sea Breezes. I thought he and some of your readers might be interested in my comments.
Fast forward to January 1961, I had just qualified as a Radio Officer in the Merchant Navy. As I remember, there was a lengthy waiting list, but I had heard that distant water trawlers often carried a radio operator, so applied via Marconi in Hull, and was offered an immediate appointment. I sailed on 17 December aboard the hull trawler, Caesar, for a voyage to Bear Island.
On my return I was appointed to the Loch Monteith, sailing to Iceland, and stayed there for three voyages. As you might expect she was a very old trawler and had seen better days, but the Radio equipment, Radar, and associated fish finding equipment was quite up to date.
I can echo David’s thoughts on the fishermen, engineers, who although very tough individuals, were a very pleasant bunch. Clearly the job had not changed in all those years, he seems to have had the same experiences and thoughts as myself when boiling the livers, and working in the liver house. By then she was powered by oil fired boilers, I understand she was originally a coal burner.
I stayed on Trawlers for a further 12 months before I succumbed to the attraction of sunny climates, uniforms, and a more comfortable existence in the Merchant Navy finally won me over.
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