Graham (VE3 PEF) travelling

I was born in London and educated at Spring Grove Grammar School at Isleworth. I had no technical background nor training, but a great desire to go to sea. Originially I intended to go to sea in the Merchant Navy as a Navigating Cadet, but due to poor eyesight, I decided to apply to the BP Marine Engineering Apprenticeship instead. This was mostly because it was the only organization that delivered information to my school. So, in 1954 I applied to BP, but was too young. In 1955 I reapplied successfully.

My apprenticeship commenced in September 1955, and was completed 4 1/2 years later in March 1960. I signed up with BP for a futher two year contract at sea. During those two years I sailed as a Junior Engineer and finally reached the rank of Fourth Engineer. In early 1962, I took leave and studied successfully for my Second Class M.O.T. Certificate of Competency in Steam.

At this point, I finally decided that I could no longer tolerate the life-style I was living at sea. The people I came in contact with were marvellous, but the watch-keeping lifestyle aboard a tanker was more than I wished to tolerate. With great regret, I decided to resign from BP and leave the sea.

In the Fall of 1962, having obtained my G.I.Mar.E, I realized that I needed further Mechanical Engineering qualifications to progress in the Engineering profession. So I entered the H.N.C. Program in Mechanical Engineering at Twickenhem College of Technology. Four years later, in 1966 I had completed my acedemic requirements for A.M.I. Mech. E., and subsequently obtained that status in 1969.

In 1967, I emigrated to Canada and settled with my wife in Scarborough, the East end of Toronto, Ontario. In 1972, I became a M.I.Mech.E., C.Eng and a Canadian P.Eng.

I worked for a number of companies, finally settling with Rowntree Macintosh(Nestle) and worked there until my early retirement in 1994. Moving to Kingston, Ontario, I joined The Museum of the Great Lakes. Initially I was involved solely as a volunteer, but soon moved up to a staff position. The basis of this museum is a 3000 tonne, ex-Canadian Coast Guard Ice Breaker. This motor vessel, built in 1958, was laid up in 1984 and has been used ever since as a functioning Bed & Breakfast by the Museum.

In 2000, I was exploring the internet when I stumbled upon a site run by a ex-Althol Line Apprentice, now Master Mariner. Reading through the site guestbook I discovered that many past, present and future marine enthusiasts had also shown interest in this topic. Furthermore, finding an obituary of an ex-Apprentice that I had known, renewed my enthusiasm. Realizing that this would be an excellent opportunity to come into contact with others who shared my past and my passion, I decided to build my own tribute to the BP Tanker Company.