BRITISH MERCHANT NAVY CADET TRAINING SHIPS
Launched on the 24th June 1952 by Mrs M B Glasier, the Obuasi was built by Harland and Wolff Limited in Belfast.
Technical Data on Obuasi indicates that she was a cargo-passenger vessel of 5,883 gross tons with a length overall of 449 feet 5 inches. Her 5 cylinder, 2 cycle, single-acting diesel engine gave her a service speed of 13 knots.
Obuasi became the Company’s first cadet training ship in July 1953, and, initially, she carried a total of 18 apprentices, who were designated as midshipmen by the Company. Four were accommodated in what was the original apprentices’ cabin on the officers’ deck, and the remainder were accommodated in cabins on the upper and lower poop decks. The total was later increased to 20, when a cabin on the officers’ deck was allocated to the 2 most senior midshipmen. Usually, a midshipman would spend 2 or 3 voyages on Obuasi, totalling approximately 9 to 12 months, and the remaining time under articles would be spent on other vessels in the Company’s fleet.
Although Obuasi was not equipped with a schoolroom, midshipmen were required to study through a correspondence course, and one of the deck officers was made responsible for their training and welfare. The midshipmen had their own recreation room on the upper poop deck, and they usually took their meals in the messroom on the starboard side of the main deck.
Obuasi ceased to be the Company’s cadet training ship in July 1961.
Any material that you would like to display would be most gratefully received.
So far, it has not proved possible to obtain a copy of a capacity plan for Obuasi, but a small amount of data gleaned from such sources as Lloyds Register of Shipping and magazine articles is available for download as a pdf. If anyone has a capacity plan for Obuasi, it would be mostly gratefully received. Once copied, the original would be returned to the owner.
The Ulster Folk and Transport Museum holds the original photographs taken during the launch and sea trials of Obuasi. Copies of these photographs have been incorporated into an article – “Obuasi Launch” – to provide a pictorial record of this event, and it is available for download as a pdf.
Captain John D Woodend has kindly provided a most entertaining article about his time as an apprentice on Obuasi, and it is available for download as a pdf here.
Graham Smith has written a very amusing account about his time as an apprentice on Obuasi between January 1960 and January 1961, and it is available for download as a pdf here.
Norman Powell has written three very amusing anecdotes about his time as an apprentice on Obuasi. In the first, he questions whether or not he and his fellow apprentices really were ruffians, and it is available for download as a pdf here.
Norman’s second anecdote concerns an incident in Lagos involving HMS Ceylon, and it is available for download as a pdf here.
In his third anecdote, Norman remembers Christmas on board Obuasi, and it is available for download as a pdf here.
Norman Richardson was an apprentice on Obuasi during her first two voyages as a cadet training ship. He has kindly written an article in which he recalls some of his memories of that time, and it is available for download as a pdf here.
Richard Coyne has written a series of interesting and often very amusing tales about his time as an apprentice on Obuasi, and they are available for download as a pdf here.
Any anecdotes that you may have of Obuasi would be most gratefully received.