I joined the Royal Navy in March 1955 and I’m quite sure that even back then we had no coal burning ships in the Navy. Yet the poor old engine room guys were unable to shake the name “Stoker”. Their actual title was M(E), think that stood for mechanical engineer. When I sailed in the submarine Taciturn the Engineer Officer placed a sign over the engine room door. It read “there are no Stokers in here only Mechanical Engineers”. That was the worse thing he could do on a submarine, we just emphasized the use the name stoker all the more. Actual stokers were the men that stoked the boilers on the old coal burning ships, they shoveled coal into the furnaces to keep steam up. Look closely at the submarine Alcide engine room photo with this post. You wont see any coal but should be able to see wedges of wood placed between the hull and the big diesel engine cylinder head. The old engines were tired with thousands of miles logged and a danger of the head bolts shearing from fatigue. Quite an ingenious stop gap repair, and one of many carried out by these remarkable stokers that served in Royal Navy submarines. I think they need to be held in higher regard than merely referring to them as stokers. Most of their tasks were difficult, dirty, noisy, greasy, wet, sweaty and carried out in cold or extreme heat. Well done to all my stoker shipmates, about time seaman recognized their important and valuable contribution.
Please note- do not try this repair on the leaky head of your MGB
God Bless and keep reading