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Me. Usually i was covered in oil and filth.
Oil Rig Photos
No: 2351   Contributor: Alan Clark (Oilslick)   Year: 1978   Country: United Kingdom
Me. Usually i was covered in oil and filth.

Claymore. late 1978. The 2 guys whe built the derricks were American Indians, I think. The eldest was 71 and the lad a mere 69!! By the way, the derricks were assembled one piece at a time by these spidermen. I myself rigged up 2 welding machines to give a dc voltage sufficient to turn the draw-works to enable the roving of the cables to the derricks because the draw-works switchboard had melted down. Hey, the more I write the more I remember!!
Picture added on 02 January 2011 at 16:07
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Here's an unlikely tale. 1977/78 I was aboard Claymore when the abandon platform alarm (THIS IS NOT A DRILL) sent everybody running to the Sedco 704. A member of the drilling crew suffered a broken leg in the rush. This alarm was in response to a BOMB having been discovered hidden aboard. 2 guys had tried to extort money from Occidental in return for telling where the bomb was. A secret search by supervision found the device and the alarm was sounded. An RN bomb disposal team arrived and sometime through the night sent it floating away on a raft where it was detonated, although it transpired that it was only a mockup. The 2 guys were caught and the Brit eventually got time for extortion while the second, a Canadian, was extradited back to Canada to face a more serious charge. I've never heard mention of this event since!!

About this time some temporary accomodation units were installed on the pipedeck which were mainly used for James Scot people, much to our disgust. One day, one of our nightshift lads got up for a pee just on the other side of his bedhead bulkhead when IT happened. A length of drillstring slipped out of the crane sling and came through the roof and speared his bed. I actually saw it within minutes of it happening. Wish I could remember his name but I do know that he was on record as saying that he NEVER had to get up through the nite for the toilet. PLEASE, if anybody else can confirm these stories of mine do so 'cos I know that they sound rather far-fetched.

Like the time that Prince Charles came to the platform and a few of us were set to tidying up welding and TL cabling and we had to work 36 hours straight and get off the day before he arrived, for which we were paid for the full trip plus the extra worked shift so we were financially better off by one complete shift. Claymore was a very unpopular hookup with a lot of guys but I have very fond memories of it.

Believe it or not, this hookup for me covered offshore, Peterhead for a coupla months and even Crimond airfield for a trip. As I was aboard a long time after the hookup completion we (Malky Crowther and I) got the job of sorting out left over James Scot documentation. By chance, we (there were only 2 of us left) discovered records that named every M&A and James Scot employee who had served in this 2 year hookup. We counted about a 1000 guys in total.

When I left Claymore in late 1979 I went straight onto the Murchison hookup so I actually spent 34 months aboard. If anybody's interested I can tell what the outcome was from when the standby boat wedged itself under the platform at full power. Spent 6 months installing a long term monitoring system to continually monitor the jacket structural integrity. Wonder if its still working!! I remember that huge collars were added at waterline to the 4 corner legs and a rigger I was actually talking to at the time lost his fingers when the winch wire lowering one of these collars took his gloved hand into a snatch?? (changed direction from horizontal to vertical) block. Bugger!! Got carried away with myself. Is this old age??

Added by Alan Clark on 02 January 2011.
Bloody hell Oilslick, were you on your way to church? Never saw you so tidy, even at home!!!!

Added by Dave Chapman on 12 March 2011.
Hi Alan, I was on board the Claymore Alpha during the bomb scare, just a young roustabout starting with Bawden Drilling.

Added by Derry Power on 02 December 2011.
Alan, I was in the portables on the drilling deck for my first ever trip to Claymore, I was green as grass! Arrived on the Viking piper and sent to live in the Portable, as I think everyone else refused, a double whammy was that I was sent to work in the Mud Modules with Eddie Hope, we could only last around twenty minutes in the module. We clipped cables for twelve hours for the nightshift to unclip them, we clipped them back the next day to have them removed again that night! That happened the first week of the trip. We seem to have been there at the same time, but there was a huge turnover of manpower. I think it was 1977 when I arrived, and I actually lasted two years, then James Scotts paid me off and rehired me for the Murchison modules in North Shields.

I understood there was a O2 bottle dropped from the crane and then hit the portable, but went between the beds, eight people to a portable if I am not mistaken! I remember no one could sleep due to the activity and noise around the portables.

Future trips we were moved to the Viking to live. I was on the platform when Prince Charles came on board with the Armand Hammer CEO from Oxy, and we were kept below decks! I remember there was a very tough supervisor from Oxy Eugene Crick who caused havoc.

I recall also wiring the navigation equipment on the Spider deck and there was only one handrail erected, the weather turned suddenly, we scrambled up a couple of decks to see the waves cover the spider deck! Along with other electrical people we were using the ladder rack to lie on as we pulled cables, and when some of the lads came off the ladder rack, a couple of lengths fell into the sea, they were so lucky! It was not a safety conscious platform in the seventies, but still it brings back many happy memories. I am from the North East but recall a lot of Scottish lads that I worked with, and eventually brought them on the Polish order in Govan when I moved there.


Added by Ian Wilson on 06 February 2013.
I AM BRIAN PARR .AGE 78 ...I WAS ON THE CLAYMORE HOOKUP THROUGHOUT ..WITH SELTRUST OFFSHORE SERVICES...[ JACK GRANTS " GET IT DONE" SQUAD ..]ALAN/DERRYS MEMORY AND TALES WERE CORRECT AND THERE WERE A LOT MORE COULD BE ADDED .I ALSO SLEPT IN THE "BARGE SAFE"ACCOMODATION SO CALLED , BECAUSE THEY RECKONED IF THEY WERE WASHED OVERBOARD THEY WOULD FLOAT LONG ENOUGH FOR YOU TO BE RESCUED ..IN THE "BOMB" INCIDENT THE NAVY SHIP CIRCLED THE RIG FOR A FULL DAY BEFORE ANYTHING WAS DISCLOSED ..I CAME OFF ON THE DAY THE DEMAND WAS MADE AND FLEW DOWN HOME TO LOWESTOFT [IT WAS HOME THEN] THAT EVENING LOCAL CID AND SPECIAL BRANCH ARRIVED AT MY HOUSE AND " INVITED " ME DOWN TO THE LOWESTOFT POLICE STATION ..I WAS QUESTIONED UNTIL ONE O CLOCK IN THE MORNING [I WAS BORN IN N.IRELAND] ..ON MY NEXT TRIP "ON" I GOT SOME RIBBING FROM THE LADS ...BUT CHUCK NELSON [OXY SUPER]SAID I WAS THE ONLY MAN ON THE RIG TO BE "OFFICALLY" CLEARED OF ANY INVOLVEMENT IN THE INCIDENT .AND APOLIGISED FOR ANY INCOVENIECE I HAD , , WE DONE .. THE BRACKETING AND THE WELDING FOR THE JAMES SCOTT ELECTS .I REMEMBER " CLAULKEY " AS THE GEORDIE BOYS USED TO CALL HIM ..I LIKE HIM HAVE SOME GREAT MEMORIES OF THE CLAYMORE ..INCLUDING DOING A 21 DAY TRIP [19 OF THE DAYS SPENT IN ...THE DOUGLAS HOTEL IN ABER DEEM .]I THINK I COULD WRITE A BOOK ABOUT THE CLAYMORE AND ALL THE MARVELLOUS CHARACTERS I MET THERE ..LIKE PAT MC CANN [PF FOREMAN]SADLY DECEASED ..RIP .. MYSELF I AM VERY THANKFUL I AM STILL FULLY MOBILE AND HOPE THAT MANY MORE OF THE CLAYMORE LADS ARE THE SAME ..

Added by Brian Parr on 21 March 2013.
I served on HMS Scylla who was despatched to Claymore Alpha - I have a photo of me with the rig in the background. It was my 20th birthday. 18th July 1978.

Added by Peter Fearon on 18 January 2017.
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