Welcome to the GTZX web site.

Since I became aware of the Centenary of BP Shipping I have been looking around for information on the ships and seafarers that have been involved. It seems a pity that BP have not seen fit to create some form of web archive and there are several comments to that effect on the Ships Nostalgia web site.

It appears that BP are not alone in not providing an archive, Kees Helder has published Helderline, a web site primarily about Shell tankers and Auk Visser has created his Historical Tankers Site, which has information about a huge number of tankers with photographs, including some of BP's, but with a special emphasis on the Esso fleet.

I have taken it upon myself to develop this site and I hope many of my fellow seafarers who have spent time at sea with BP will help in the task of creating a useful and interesting resource for anyone with an interest in the ships and people of the BP fleet, past, present and future.

GTZX was the fleet call sign of BP Shipping until 1986, when the ships were flagged out. It will be familiar to all deck officers and radio officers, as well as others, who sailed on BP ships prior to this date. It seems an appropriate name for a site dedicated to the people and ships of the BP Fleet.

Feel free to upload any photographs you may have to either the Gallery which is superceding the Ships, Archive and Misc Galleries. It is assumed that if you upload a photograph you have the right to do so and will not be infringing any copyrights.

Note that in order to view the crew list information, or add and view photographs you need to be a registered user.

I make no claim that the information on this site is complete or accurate, but I am continuing to research and will add, or edit data as it becomes available.

For sometime I have been aware that some of the software used by the site is a bit past it's sell by date. (Notably PHP, if that means anything to you.) It renders the site vulnerable to hacking, which is something to avoid. Unfortunatley whilst I can upgrade to the latest versions doing so make the site crash! I have been trying to figure out the reason for this for sometime and you may have noticed some odd behaviour on the site while I have been messing about - sorry for that. Unfortunately I have not been able to identify the offending code 🤯.

I have decided that the best way forward is to rebuild the site from scratch, using latest versions of PHP etc, which may take a while. I will do this on a local copy of the site. Building the site is, in itself, fairly straight forward, although time consumming. The difficult bit will be integrating the new version of the site with the old data ie. Users, Images, Ship Details, Forum Posts and Messages.

In order not to over complicate the process I will shut down the ability of uses to add photographs, articles, posts etc, although it will still be possible for new users to register as copying them into my local copy of the site is a simple process. 

I'm not sure how long this will take, but given lockdown, I do have time on my hands and hope to get it sorted over the next week or so. Watch this space.


Many thanks to Robert James, who has provided me with digitised copies of a wide range of documents which may be of interest to readers of this site. These include some of the missing Fleet News, a lot of Fleet Faxes, wich succeeded the Fleet News post 1986, copies of the Flag magazine and some Apprentices/Cadets News Letters, together with some other miscellaneous stuff. I suspect the compiled Crew List, constructed from multiple Fleet News and Ship Movement Sheets.

I have restructed the site a bit to accomodate all this stuff, so there is a new Documents link on the menu which leads to Apprentices Newsletters, Crew Lists, Fleet News', Miscellaneous and the Flag sections.

I had to move things about a bit to make the whole thing work, so there may be a broken link here or there. I hope not, but if you do come across one please let me know so that I can fix it.

Finally if you turn up any documents which may be of interest to the users of this site, and which you are happy to share, please let me have a copy - digital for preference, but I may be able to scan paper documents.

By the time I left the sea in 1988 I was heartily sick of paint, particulary of the green, non skid variety! I once did a rough calculation and estimated that an R boat, from the 80's had about 4 acres of green deck. Very happy not to think about it anymore.

However, we are not all the same, Julian Brower spends his time painting ships and has send me this photo of his latest work. Perhaps the fact that he was a Sparks means he is not as fed up with green paint as I am.

British Ranger by Julian Brower
British Ranger by Julian Brower

Peter Walker has kindly sent me digital copies of Fleet Faxes from 1998 to 2004. I'm not sure when the old Fleet News became a Fleet Fax but it seems to have fulfilled the same purpose!

I have converted the files to searchable PDF's and uploaded them so they are all there for you to browse at your leisure. Something to do in this tedious lockdown.

I am sure there must be many more Fleet News' or Faxes lying around in garages and lofts. It would be a pity if they were to be lost. So if anyone does have copies it would be great to get them digitised and uploaded to the site.


This article is reproduced from The National UAE. Thanks to MIke Harrison for drawing it to my attention It reports on the British Signal carrying the first cargo of crude from Das Island.

I have been contacted by Philip Preece who is looking for any information about his grandfather, Captain Andrew Preece. He retired, as Commodore, in 1952.

I think it unlikely that anyone using this site will know anything, but if you do, let me know and I'll put you in touch with Philip.