03/04/2017 - 23:11
In 1961 or 1962 my late father John Forbes Milne was engineer onboard the ESSO Dakotah (formerly the Empire Gawain).
The ship was a regular in the port of Aberdeen which was good as it is our home town so my father could spend time at home each time she called. One morning he left to return to the ship which was due to sail later in the day. A couple of hours later my mother received a phone call from my father saying ("The boiler has burst") so the ship was going nowhere. After a few days extended leave some officials from the company arrived in Aberdeen and decided the ship was beyond repair and she was to be scrapped. Because my father was local he was left in charge of de-storing the ship which involved going through everything onboard and deciding what was to be dumped and what was to be sent back to stores. The general rule was, anything unopened was to be kept and sent to stores and anything previously used was to be dumped.
As luck would have it, this coincided with the school holidays so I was roped in to help loading an old fashioned wheeled cart and pushing it to the company who were taking all the reusable items.
There were quite a few 'opened' gallon tine of ESSO cream and green house colour paint onboard but as they were to be dumped they ended up on the back of my grandfathers car and his house was painted in varying shade do of ESSO paints for many years after. Another windfall was very modern looking (for the time) bathroom cabinets, our extended family all had modern bathroom cabinets thereafter.The ship languished in Aberdeen harbour for many months, even appearing on a postcard view of the harbour wrongly captioned as being evidence of the new oil boom in aberdeen..