Shipwrights!

Discussion in 'History' started by Waspie, Dec 20, 2013.

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  1. Any of you seriously knowledgeable folk know what the proper title of a 'Shipwright' is/was please. Eg were they part of the stoker branch - seaman or what?

    Someone asked on a group on FB and I thought someone on here would be gen'd up on there background.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Seaweed

    Seaweed War Hero Book Reviewer

    They were artificers and had an apprenticeship training, except for those that had converted from the old artisan rates of blacksmith and joiner (POs rather than Chiefs). Originally the shipwrights were part of the executive branch in succession to the the ship's carpenter. Shipwright officers wore silver cloth between their stripes like the RCNC (Constructors). Besides chippying (to VERY high standards) they had responsibility for stability and Damage Control. Round about the 1960s it was realised that hulls were increasingly made of metal and the chippies were passed over to Chief to look after and became part of the engine room. The artisan rates were phased out (there were still sailmakers about in 1960 and they did belong to the Seaman dept). Sails had quite a part of ship actually - awnings, boat covers, liferaft covers, gun covers etc.


    Happy story - an RAN cadet in Triumph thought he could get Sails to darn his socks - they came back with a neat brass cringle tidying up each hole.
     
  3. Thanks Seaweed.

    Another question, this time my own.

    MEM(H) 'H' obviously for Hull. That much I know. Where or how did the 'H' category fit in to the scheme of things!!!!
     
  4. There were MEA(H)'s on the Bulwark in the mid 70's and MEM's used to work for them, but they weren't classified as MEM(H)'s.

    The H part was a clanky MEA's adqual in later years. I don't know how that works with ET(ME) nowadays.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Clanky Artificer Apprentices left HMS Fisgard in the 1970s heading for HMS Caledonia to continue training specialised as either MEA/A(P) [propulsion] or MEA/A(H) [shipwright].

    I remember some clankies being a bit upset at being selected (H) against their preference.
     
  6. Chippy?:dontknow::biggrin:
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. I seem to remember there was a sailmakers loft in Viccy barracks in my time, 60s
     
  8. Seaweed

    Seaweed War Hero Book Reviewer

    Once I went to the chippy shop to own up to having bent a boat and would they mend it? They were busy making a really beautiful dining suite for one of their number who was getting wed.
     
  9. You could get anything made in the dockyard chippies shop with 200 DF's and a tin of Gold Blend :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2013
    • Like Like x 1
  10. And the DOLPHIN workshop right down the far end round the back of the Bunrun! Allegedly!
     
  11. (granny)

    (granny) War Hero Book Reviewer

    My memory takes me back to my young days. In 1953 we had a Specialist 'Chippy' and a 'Putty' on the Bermuda.
     
  12. AAF

    AAF Badgeman

    Still there in the 70's Sharkey, along with Chief Sailmaker. Was detailed to assist him for a few days on a large tarp he was making up.
     
  13. Seaweed

    Seaweed War Hero Book Reviewer

    Some old SQ badges, various artisan rates among them:

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Tis said that a stock check in the workshops at Dolphin ,bought to light a deficiency in the amount of copper sheet held.Found so I was told under the waterline on someones boat.Silly chap had not cut away the MOD stamps on the sheet!

    In Fisgard I was selected as ERA - Turner, late 1966. But only was that for about two months.Then we were all rearranged & I became an MEA/Apprentice. Finally to MEA (P).
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2013

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