Delivering to HRNLMS Zeeleeuw (by request)

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Delivering to HRNLMS Zeeleeuw (by request)

Postby Craig Souter » Friday 26 February 2010, 22:33

Once upon a time, I was sent to collect a transit load to Liverpool from a "dutch specialist" in Colnbrook. I got there and was given the paperwork by the boss's son, Mark.

The staff refer to Mark by his Amerindian name, Broken Arrow, because he is of no practical use and can't be fired.

Mark gives me the paperwork, which is addressed to " HRNLMS Zeeleeuw, Liverpool". "Can you be a bit more precise?" I ask. "Well, it's a ship so it will be in the docks" said Mark, "there's only one dock in Liverpool".

Resigned to my fate, I went downstairs and got the peculiar collection of doodah into the Transit, and drove around the corner. I called the office, and told them what Mark had said.

"Have you rung the contact number?" I was asked.
"It's a Dutch mobile number" I replied "I'm barred from intergalactic calls - you ring it for me".

I got my map of Liverpool out and looked at it - there were 42 docks, but a lot have been closed - now there are only 27 or so working, with berths for four ships each. Only like looking around a car park several miles long, I thought as I set off.

Somewhere in the vicinity of Walsall, I get a phone call.
"Hello, it's Phil, I've been assigned to help you out".
My heart sinks - Phil is the "broken arrow" of our office - he can do any task around the place, but at one third the speed of someone competent.
"What's the problem?"
I resist the temptation to sing "Let's start at the very beginning, a very good place to start ...", and tell Phil my troubles.
I know exactly what his next question will be -
"Why haven't you rung the contact number, then?"
I give him the (expletive) Dutch telephone number and ask him politely to do the needful, pointing out that I am trying to drive a van up the M6 at 70mph and the two tasks are incompatible.

So I am at the dock gates in Liverpool around 12 noon. having heard nothing, I ring Phil. "The phone goes straight to ansaphone" he says, "You will have to ask around".

I ask the bobby at the dock gate if he knows of HRNLMS Zeeleeuw . He says it docks in number XX. I go there, and find no ship - just an old Brown Rover 3.5 with a couple sitting in it, looking across the water.

I return to the bobby and ask if he knows what is happening.
"Sorry", he says, "I don't have that kind of information - you need to ask at the Harbourmaster's Office - and that is right out at the harbour mouth". He gives me directions and mentions that there are two swing bridges between "here" and "there", which will both soon be open for half an hour to let ships pass through - so I'd better be quick.

I go to the Harbourmaster's Office. Entering into a control room full of men in uniforms, I say "I am here to deliver goods to Her Royal Dutch Majesty's ship Zeeleeuw, and I cannot see it".

One of the blokes replies "I am not surprised that you cannot see Her Royal Dutch Majesty's ship Unpronouncable, for two reasons - one, because it is a submarine, and two, because it is not due in port until tomorrow".

LOL you know when you're in Liverpool ...

Some discussion followed, but they were unable to help beyond telling me that the bobby had told me to look at the right dock. I tried to call the office, but there was no signal.
As I headed back to the docks, the swing bridge opened and I had very little to do for half an hour. Getting back into an area with mobile phone coverage, I call Phil and tell him about it. "Go and check the dock again" he says. "It's pointless" I say, but I go ...

At the dock, there is only one change - the windows on the old Rover have steamed up, and it appears to be undulating. This being the most interesting thing I have seen all day, I call Phil and report my observations. "OK", he says "I'll see what I can do".

I leave the docks and take refuge in a nearby bookmakers, ringing Phil at hourly intervals and making a small profit. The bookie is not pleased, as he has no other customers. I leave around four, but I've still got nowhere to go, and it's getting dark. About 4:30 Phil calls me again.

"You can drop the stuff at the local Navy Base" he says. "Ask for Lieutenant Wotzizname".
"Where's the Navy Base, Phil?" says I.
"Liverpool" he replies, "Use your initiative".

The dock bobby had gone home for tea. Back to the only source of sentient info - the Harbourmaster's Office.

"Hello again" I say "I've been told that I can leave the stuff for Her Royal Dutch Majesty's ship Unpronouncable at the Navy Base, but no-one can tell me where that is. Can you help me?".

After some humming and hawing, one chap remembers where it is, they confer about the easiest route, and I am told to follow the coast road south for about 4 miles, until I see a large white building with a lot of flags outside it. As I leave the office I can see that swing bridge opening in the distance ... another half hour delay. I've been busy doing nothing for about six hours now -

I follow the directions, and stop when I see a large white building with a lot of flags outside it on my left. It is a Honda dealership.

Fortunately, on my right and directly opposite is the Navy Base, a red brick building with only three flagpoles. But of course, it is a dual carriageway ...

I go and tell my story to the man at the gate, and mention Liutenant Wozzizname. "Well, if he says it is OK, you'd better take the stuff around to the back door" he says. "Drive around there and I'll come and give you a hand".

So there we are, unloading the doodah, and it starts to drizzle. Most of the stuff is outdoor ironmongery, parts of a hoist, but some of the stuff is in cardboard boxes, and it is obvious that the gateman intends to leave it all there on the ground.

"Don't you think you should cover that up a bit?" I say.
"What do I care?" he replies, "it's DUTCH".

LOL you know when you're in Liverpool ...

[faqtag epic tale]
Last edited by Craig Souter on Thursday 4 March 2010, 04:21, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Andrew Brown » Friday 26 February 2010, 23:13

Totally brilliant my sides hurt from laughing so much well done craig i do believe you are due many beers :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Postby RLT » Friday 26 February 2010, 23:16

lost the will to read all that :D

You're in the wrong game mate
ought to try writing a book!

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Postby ian » Friday 26 February 2010, 23:28

it took 10 minutes to read it all. still dont get it :shock:
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Postby Craig Souter » Saturday 27 February 2010, 00:27

Well, just for you, Ian, the short version.

I was sent to deliver goods to a submerged submarine - when I found out I was on a fool's errand and reported this, nobody cared.

it took me about 3 hours to get there and 7 hours to tip the goods. The boss loved that, because he was charging about £25 an hour for waiting time and paying me less than the minimum wage to do it.

I had a backload waiting in Didsbury, but someone else got that, so I came back empty and late. Should have been a good day, but it was wasted time, without anything to relieve the feeling of helplessness.

It was all down to Broken Arrow sending me out on the wrong day - and it cost him a lot, he had paid extra for exclusive use.

WTH it's just the story of a working day. You're not supposed to get it - it's DUTCH.
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Postby MK BIKER » Saturday 27 February 2010, 00:29

I'm puzzled.........Wheres the worms??
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Postby slim » Saturday 27 February 2010, 00:38

Obvious. Still in the can, back at the collection point.
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Postby russell » Saturday 27 February 2010, 10:13

i found her in five minutes...some people dont try hard enough :lol: ... _af%29.jpg
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Postby freddykrugger » Saturday 27 February 2010, 10:41

Broken Arrow

Broken Arrow refers to an accidental event that involves nuclear weapons, warheads or components, but which does not create the risk of nuclear war. These include:

Accidental or unexplained nuclear detonation.
Non-nuclear detonation or burning of a nuclear weapon.
Radioactive contamination.
Loss in transit of nuclear asset with or without its carrying vehicle.
Jettisoning of a nuclear weapon or nuclear component.
Public hazard, actual or implied.

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Postby bramble43 » Saturday 27 February 2010, 10:52

Very good, your efforts have made me introduce a new section to the index pages ... topics.php

(At the bottom)

If anyone has any suggestions for epic posts let me know
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Postby ian » Saturday 27 February 2010, 19:56

i probably didnt get it cos i have a short me beer gone :shock: but i didnt say i didnt enjoy the read :lol: makes a change to see someone put a bit of effort in on the post. look forward to the next chapter :wink:
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Postby syramax » Saturday 27 February 2010, 20:23

ian wrote:i probably didnt get it cos i have a short me beer gone :shock: but i didnt say i didnt enjoy the read :lol: makes a change to see someone put a bit of effort in on the post. look forward to the next chapter :wink:
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Postby JJ » Tuesday 30 March 2010, 23:34

I didn't know Dutch submariners were refered to as worms?
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