Ah, dear old Doxfords opposed Pistons, fond memories, started out on them, had several BP and Shell tankers laid up on buoys in our local harbour for years, had to recommission them.Loads of Carbide light uses here in 1960 Load up the firms launches, early am start up the old P6 's , if it was winter it had to be a flame start, welding rod with cotton waste dipped in red diesel, ignited, air cleaner off, one boy on the starter button and one on the start button. These old engines were 12 v but through lack of compression flew over like they were 24 v. Mr Bradex was banned as over keen hands would spray excessive amounts into the air cleaner, lock up would occur and the crank would break. Always behind the flywheel.Sometimes although the rear main controlled the oil pressure the engines would continue to be used rumbling away as the break was not 90 degrees but S cam type breaks. This practice was stopped as one day the blue lighted and sirened Fire engine turned up, someone had reported the boat was on fire. These boats were 40 feet long open work boats, you had to sit behind the engine and operated the controls,a coxswain had a bell system going, one ding full ahead, two full astern etc. wow betide you if when towing a coaster etc if you got it wrong. Anyway several hands and all tool kits, lights and carbide deposits loaded off you went dropping off several hands at different ships. We were bound for the British Loyalty Tanker. Now of these many toolboxes some were always empty on the way out, but not on the way back. Die nuts, drills reamers, pullers, large tins of grinding paste etc etc were the norm, got my first packing extractor from the SS resuperheat tanker Theodoxus Some of this kit was never ever to be used but it just had to be had. Much fun had to be had on these ships by apprentices, davits were swung out, Jacobs ladders erected and junior apprentices who had crossed seniors were strung up upside down on a davit wire and the pendulum exercise commenced. This involved cranking out the line and :tuning the pendulum: till the upside down apprentices head just entered the water at the middle point of the swing. Luckily I was not considered to be a grass on these happenenings and as such escaped this treatment although I was to suffer other punishments at their hands. Remember the Doxfords well, there was a famous story that one had come back from the other side of the world minus one cylinder Pistons, stripped, boxed up, fired up and off, no problems. Happy days.
Remembering The Good Old days, when Chiefs stood watches and all Torque settings were F.T.