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Thread: The Ballast Story

  1. #1
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    Default The Ballast Story

    Has anyone got any definitive hard evidence, rather than the usual anecdotal, to back up the claim that vinyl was used as ballast on US merchant navy ships? I've heard it so many times and I really want to believe it, but I've never seen any substantial evidence to make me believe it.

  2. #2
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    I used to collect 60's & 70's US comics and the story was that they used tonnes of back copies for ballast. They also used Ming vases and Chippendale furniture. Whatever you collect, there's always a story going about someone that misused the things you love best.

    That said, it may be true, I don't know. I'm just saying.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by ladyboygrimsby
    Has anyone got any definitive hard evidence, rather than the usual anecdotal, to back up the claim that vinyl was used as ballast on US merchant navy ships? I've heard it so many times and I really want to believe it, but I've never seen any substantial evidence to make me believe it.
    was speaking with an old u.k. dealer a while back about this and he claims that he knew a few dealers who hit Tilbury docks more than once back in the day...

  4. #4
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    Somewhere, somebody posted a photograph of this. I never believed it until I saw this picture. But where?

  5. #5
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    I'll probe "old u.k. dealer" next time we speak....maybe he can provide some concrete evidence...
    he was describing desirable vinyl with water damaged sleeves and labels....

  6. #6

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    my uncle had a civil service pass so we went on liverpool docks lookin for this so called vinyl ballast and didnt find a thing...this was 15-20 years ago, rumours were rife then i guess..

    i had seen multiple copies of stuff that had water damage and that got me thinkin...

  7. #7
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    I've been told by a couple of people that the punch holes in some Northern Soul 45s in particular were put in by the distributors as an identification mark for discontinued stock. Nothing to do with wiring bundles of records together for ballast, as the old legend goes, as I'd always half believed. I still like the ballast story though.

    So, no, nothing to help you at all.
    Last edited by peretti; 15-06-2006 at 10:31 AM.

  8. #8
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    Good story but unlikely, Paul Du Noyer discredits it (and the old Beatles getting tunes from nearby US airbase one) in that book about music in Liverpool.

  9. #9
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    Wink

    I first heard this story from my old boss Mick Heburn who ran (runs?) System records....He actually was an old shipman for the merchant navy and he got alot of shore leave in the states so REALLY rocked the late 60's and early 70's...the story goes from 2 different sources that he once got so stoned he actually sunk a ship by leaving the bow doors open and thus got sacked
    Can we trust the anecdotal evidence of a stoner?

    He definately told me it was true....and he was definately a merchant seaman...but that's DEFINATELY not evidence is it?
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