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By Ian M Malcolm
Copyright 2012 Ian M Malcolm
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After a year at Leith Nautical College to obtain a 1st Class PMG (Postmaster General's Certificate of Proficiency in Radiotelegraphy), I was returning to sea as a radio officer/purser with Alfred Holt & Co. of Liverpool, owners of the Blue Funnel Line and the Glen Line. On Monday 26 April, 1948, I boarded the 7.53am train from Dundee's West Station and, on reporting at the Marine Super's office at King George V Dock in Shieldhall, the cheerful clerk directed me to the nearby Machaon. And, on learning that I came from Dundee, said, "That's a good place to come from, I hear they're a' eatin' ane anither through there." I signed on the Machaon (call sign GDPS) at the Broomielaw Shipping Office the next day, my 23rd birthday. Duncan MacTavish was Master and we were coasting the ship to Birkenhead.