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Author Topic: MV 'Queen of the Channel'  (Read 19462 times)

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Offline Alastair

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Re: MV 'Queen of the Channel'
« Reply #15 on: October 18, 2011, 14:39:14 »
Fascinating story, Sheerlegs. I did a trip across from Deal to Calais in 1965 with a couple of friends to mark my 21st. Sadly Calais was shut due to a religious festival. Had a good time though.
Spent a couple of months on Queen's rebuilt sister Royal Sovereign when she was converted (and still being converted) to a lorry carrier, the Autocarrier. Complete shambles but great memories.

Alastair

sheerlegs

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Re: MV 'Queen of the Channel'
« Reply #14 on: October 18, 2011, 09:12:26 »
My late Father Ernest Sidney Lawbuary worked for G.S.N.C. (1824) during the late 40's until 1960. He was employed as a Bo'sun with the company until the summer months when he crewed TQOTC as an A/B. We lived in Ramsgate, Bright's Place, so for a 3-4 month period the old man could go home every night as opposed to the rest of the year when he travelled mainly on the European routes where GSNC's cargo fleet operated. If memory serves GSNC's fleet was named after birds, i.e Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Auk etc.

When I was 12 years of age during the summer school holidays I was also 'employed' as a deckboy (supernumerary) unpaid. I worked 4 consecutive summers aboard her. My uniform consisted of a sailors white flat cap with the tally G.S.N.C. thereon in gold. Also was a seaman's blue jersey with G.S.N.C. picked out in red on the chest, black trousers and shoes completed the 'uniform'. I performed a whole spectrum of duties, I was taught how to 'box' the compass and allowed to take the wheel to steer the ship (under supervision at first). Taught how to splice ropes and make tiddly rope work, Turk's heads for heaving lines, coach-whipping for bell ropes, how to 'serve' a rope, etc. Rope-work fascinated me. I became quite adept working with it. Other duties were the usual scrubbing of decks (wooden) and endlessly polishing brightwork. As the sprog of the crew I assisted the Purser during embarkation time, taking head-counts with a mechanical numerator to establish the number of passengers. We usually tallied. Then there was the Deck-Chair distribution. Although they were free for the passengers an upturned cap was placed strategically with some loose change therein, the majority of passengers would throw some coins into it. A fair sum was divvied out at the end of each trip..!

Our usual ports of call from Ramsgate were to Calais and Boulogne, sometimes taking passengers from Margate pier too. Two trips stand out: One going up to Southend pier where we embarked the Dagenham Girl Pipers and factory workers from Burroughs Welcome. That trip was quite a knees up..!
The other was visiting the new Deal pier on its opening day,We were its first visitor. Also taking aboard passengers although this visit was a one off. The date escapes me but I believe there is a plaque at the shore end of the pier outlaying this information.

The skipper of TQOTC was Captain Peter Stoddard. A Taciturn, kindly and very competent man. The Mate a Mr Mann. The Bo'sun Ted Jenkins who later took a pub on the West-Cliff. I can't recall other crew members, the mists of time are at work..!


The Cannon family have been mentioned somewhere in this thread. They too lived In Bright's Place. Bob was the Ramsgate Lifeboat's Engineer, his Son Ron later became the Cox'n and served with distinction for many years being awarded bravery medals on at least a couple of occasions.


I thoroughly enjoyed my time aboard the 'Old Queen'. Was taught and learnt a lot which gave me a good grounding over other new-entrants when I joined The Royal Navy in Chatham. (another story) The year was 1960. My Dad then 'swallowed the anchor' and came ashore permanently. He worked nearly right up to his death in '91 aged 84.

rob1954

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Re: MV 'Queen of the Channel'
« Reply #13 on: August 06, 2011, 07:47:40 »
My one and only trip across the channel was a day trip to Calais in 1963 on the Queen of the Channel which departed from Ramsgate. I got sea sick on both the outward and return journey, and I remembered they played a catchy little tune everytime they cast off, just after they sounded the ships hooter. The tune was an orchestral version of one that I think Vera Lyn or Petula Clark used to sing.
Derek
I remember one trip across to Calais it was so rough it was the only time I remember the Captain nearly turned round and go back to the safety of Ramsgate harbour, even in the engine room up and down and sideways

Offline man-of-kent

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Re: MV 'Queen of the Channel'
« Reply #12 on: August 05, 2011, 18:33:14 »
My one and only trip across the channel was a day trip to Calais in 1963 on the Queen of the Channel which departed from Ramsgate. I got sea sick on both the outward and return journey, and I remembered they played a catchy little tune everytime they cast off, just after they sounded the ships hooter. The tune was an orchestral version of one that I think Vera Lyn or Petula Clark used to sing.
Derek
Derek Brice

Offline mmitch

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Re: MV 'Queen of the Channel'
« Reply #11 on: August 05, 2011, 18:01:13 »
Many happy memories of trips on the 'Royal Daffodil' from Gravesend to Southend.
I think they tried cross channel trips too.

mmitch.

rob1954

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Re: MV 'Queen of the Channel'
« Reply #10 on: August 05, 2011, 15:02:19 »
Photo taken whilst she was laid up for the winter at Rochester.

During the summer season she called in at Deal for a Channel cruise.

Alongside at Ramsgate towards the end of her career with GSNC.


An advert from that period.

Moderator Note: Photo's removed. Please don't use photo's in quotes, thanks.

My father James E Toy was Second Engineer on The Queen of the Channel, my my, last time I saw her was when she left Medway for the Greek Islands in 1968. On her trips across the Channel in my summer holidays I used to go down into the Engine Room with my father. The photo of her in the creek at Rochester brings it all back to me, also in my summer holidays I used to go to Ramsgate with my Mother to see my Father on the ships day off (Monday) we sat at the Captains table for dinnner and I had The Queen of the Channel all to myself, what a toy to play with
Robin---

Offline Alastair

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Re: MV 'Queen of the Channel'
« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2010, 15:34:08 »
That brings back memories. Went on the Queen of the Channel in 1965 from Deal to Calais when she did regular trips.

Alastair

Offline howard

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Re: MV 'Queen of the Channel'
« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2010, 20:32:14 »
Hello Howard.
Thanks for you comment.Yes it certainly is Ramsgate.I lived there at the time.The Eagle Cafe and the present Port Control buildings are hidden behind the bridge of the QOTC.The motor cruiser to the left is being prepared to be put on the slipway attended by the Cannons.Probally Ron Cannon and his Dad Bob.Ron became Coxswain of Ramsgate lifeboat and has now retired as Coxswain.His son Ian has taken over as Coxswain and his other son Paul Second Coxswain.Ron can still be seen out and about in his Bumble boats assisting with the moorings of the ferrie
s when they berth.
Hope this answers your query.
Kind regards,
Ted

Apoloigies Ted, she is obviously bigger than she looks! I often cycle from Sandwich to Ramsgate and find it fascinating to see that, when a ferry arrives and swings ready to berth, the mooring boat appears to amble out of the harbour and crawl across to the bow, arriving just as the first wire is dropped over the side.

Offline Ted Ingham

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Re: MV 'Queen of the Channel'
« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2010, 11:10:34 »
Just a few more pictures connected with the QOTC.
The "Royal Daffodil" built just before the outbreak of the Second World War.Did excellent service during the Dunkirk Evacuation until a bomb damaged her stern which effected her propulsion.After the War she resumed service mainly on the London,Gravesend,Southend,Margate and Calais route.When the service was withdrawn she sailed for the breakers yard at Ghent,Belgium.


Next is the Royal Sovereign.Built to replace the earlier ship that was mined in the Bristol Channel during WW2.
Another Denny of Dumbarton built vessel she was built 1948.Her main service was London,Southend and Margate.Leaving Tower Pier at 0900 Southend at 1200 and arriving at Margate at 1400 for 2 hours ashore.During that time at Margate she did an afternoon cruise around the Foreland and one day she headed out around the Tongue Sands Fort.For fourteen shillings you could board her at Margate departing at 1600 and return from tower Pier to Margate by train.Later on towards the end of her career with GSNC she ran from Gravesend,Southend and Clacton.Sold to Townsend Car Ferries and renamed AUTOCARRIER she was converted to take freight traffic to the Continent.She was then sold to Iscia Ferries at Napoli renamed ISCIA and was only scrapped a couple of years ago.A testament to Denny of Dumbarton.

Finally our dear old friend the Medway Queen.As the history is already on the forum I will just say that the photo was taken whilst she was laid up in the West India Dock after having a hull survey in the Rotherhithe Dock.I was lucky  to spend the day on her with my brother where we photographed about every inch of the vessel in detail.

Offline Ted Ingham

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Re: MV 'Queen of the Channel'
« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2010, 10:48:49 »
Hello Howard.
Thanks for you comment.Yes it certainly is Ramsgate.I lived there at the time.The Eagle Cafe and the present Port Control buildings are hidden behind the bridge of the QOTC.The motor cruiser to the left is being prepared to be put on the slipway attended by the Cannons.Probally Ron Cannon and his Dad Bob.Ron became Coxswain of Ramsgate lifeboat and has now retired as Coxswain.His son Ian has taken over as Coxswain and his other son Paul Second Coxswain.Ron can still be seen out and about in his Bumble boats assisting with the moorings of the ferries when they berth.
Hope this answers your query.
Kind regards,
Ted

Offline howard

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Re: MV 'Queen of the Channel'
« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2010, 20:49:21 »
Are you sure that's Ramsgate? The alignment of the quays doesn't seem right and there should be a building on the one the ship is moored on.

Offline Ted Ingham

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Re: MV 'Queen of the Channel'
« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2010, 22:48:49 »
Photo taken whilst she was laid up for the winter at Rochester.


During the summer season she called in at Deal for a Channel cruise.


Alongside at Ramsgate towards the end of her career with GSNC.


An advert from that period.

Paul Narramore

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Re: MV 'Queen of the Channel'
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2009, 10:25:57 »
On one trip, the tide was out at Ramsgate so the ship berthed at Tilbury and they gave us train tickets to get home. I always had difficulty identifying the 'Queen of the Channel' from the 'Royal Sovereign' and the 'Golden Daffodil' as they looked so similar.

seafordpete

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Re: MV 'Queen of the Channel'
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2009, 16:02:37 »
Launched by Denny of Dumbarton 25/2/1949 sold off as Oia 1968 then renamed Leto in 1976, Broken uo Eleusis 29.3.84

Paul Narramore

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MV 'Queen of the Channel'
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2009, 10:01:14 »
http://freespace.virgin.net/tom.lee/Qof%20Channel2.htm

I well remember the old 'Queen of the Channel' during the early 1960s. She sailed daily from Margate and Ramsgate on day trips to Calais and Boulogne, and I travelled on her a number of times. No passport was necessary as passengers could get 'one-day-passports' from the General Steam Navigation Co offices at the harbour. All that was required was a small photo taken at a photo booth.

Other ships in the GSNC fleet were mv 'Golden Daffodil' and mv 'Royal Sovereign'. I remember seeing some years ago in the Maritime Museum in Greenwich a faithful model of the 'Queen of the Channel', about 6ft or more long although it wasn't on display last year.

I see from the link that she was sold, renamed 'Oia', and went to Greece. I guess the old ship must have been scrapped by now?

 

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