2008 Updates     


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Lost & Missing - Most Wanted...... We are still looking for information on the where-abouts of the following can you help - did you have an address....Jose Jose (Ex 3rd Eng) a local lad from Mevagissey- Saint Austell in Cornwall.
Ken George (Catering Officer/Ch Stwd) live in the London area.
 
News Date Dec 2008     More Christmas Messages ......Bobby Fullagar Is getting more Sea-time in, than when he was an apprentice. He returned to his previous ship New Alliance and has been getting about a lot Dubai Singapore, Japan, Indonesia, China, Korea, Vietnam and Australia. He joined in July 08 and doesn't plan to be back until April 09.....that's over 9 months. Bob states that one of his sons Steven is getting married soon and he needs the cash to finance the wedding? He and wife Elsie had some good holiday whilst he has a brief leave during 2008. The other son Mathew is a computer advisor for a medical company. Elsie is still working. They are all looking forward the forthcoming wedding which is being set for June 09 and will be held in the coastal resort of Zoagli on the Italian Coast.

Jeff & Janet Campbell..... Have moved home - again, hopefully for the last time. They are setting up some sort of 'commune'?.
Bryan & Kim Watkins..... Bryan is Master with 'Vela' and is hopefully keeping well away from the Pirates..... he went away in July and is hoping to make it back for Christmas, elder daughter Katy is 17 and passed her driving test at the first attempt, she bought her own car and works part-time in a local pub, she is hoping to go to University next year. Other daughter Lorna is 15 and going through her GCSE's. Kim is still working at Modbury School. They celebrated their 25th Wedding Anniversary in September - however Bryan was away, so the celebration awaits.




Adrian Latham.... The Ex Harley Man? After several years ashore, working for a Compressor
Company, Adrian has got his sea legs back again, although not far at present he informs me he is working for the Isle Of Man Steam Packet Co.....
Adrian spent various 'fortunes' on customising Harley-Davidson motorcycles, and when we were
in the States, would travel anything up to 50 miles in a cab - to the nearest Harley dealership, coming back with all sorts of customised parts. He eventually grew out of this hobby, but still enjoys fishing.

 
News Date Dec 2008     Christmas News Messages .....Amongst the numerous cards and the inevitable e-cards in this day and age, some news filtering through. Our Ex M.D, & Superintendent Noris Jackson seen in this picture aloft, branch cutting/trimming 10+ metres, with no safety equipment what-so-ever? (Ever heard of a hard hat or harness - Noris). Anyway a very commendable effort at 75+ years of age and managing to return safely to earth?.

Ken Baxter
informs me he and Ruth will be celebrating their 50 years of marriage this coming February, they have also lived next door to a pub called the 'Bamburgh' for the last 47 years, that definitely is a cause for celebration.

Ben Killeen Sends he best wishes from Gallows Hill in County Clare.... Keeping as sharp as ever, his 85+ years hasn't slowed him down, my joke about his 48 year typewriter remains - change the ribbon Ben....
He is saddened by the passing away of Sammy Mitchell, whom he sailed with on the VLCC 'London Pride II' - quoted 'I spent 6 months on her and hated every minute of it, the incessant vibration day and night, I could handle bad weather but not the vibration. They changed the 3 bladed propeller for a 5 bladed one, but it made little difference'.

Dave Lawrence Seen here in happier times at Foss-sur-mere bronzing and flying that missing LOF house flag.... Dave is suffering at present being under Dr. Kowalewsaka - rubbish at plumbing but good with heads apparently, having a sequestrated disc with engorgement - painful as I've had something like it? He came home from Dover via ambulance and is hopefully on the recovery route.
His contract with P&O Ferries is gruelling with commuting back to Lytham near Blackpool - a 680 mile round trip. His 6 weeks off has been the best time he has had since leaving the 'London Spirit'.
Talking of P&O they are going through their regular phasing out of personnel, including re-evaluating several ETO's.

I was talking recently to a Senior Shipping Manager, who complained (as always) of the costs of getting Technical Support for their vessels, there is a fine formulae of either going without specialist technical support or paying for shore based with transport costs. The rate is £100/hour + transport/accommodation and any parts that would be required - he nearly had a fit - but never complained when he takes his company BMW for a basic service (which a monkey can do) and gets charged £120/hour. But then he gets to chat to some nice receptionist and a free latte......

Hopefully the 'salts' whose vocation is still seafaring, make it back home for the festivities, and the coming New Year. My own statistics was 15 away for 12 at home.
Where-ever you maybe - Safe Sailing (R.G.)

News Date Dec 2008      David Lloyd. (Ex Apprentice - Personnel Manager) It is with sadness to inform of the passing away of David Lloyd, born in Ilford 23-09-50, he passed away on 26-11-08,
I have only just been made aware. He went to Nautical School in Wales at the age of 14. Joined in 1966 as an apprentice until redundancy in 1984, did various jobs at sea and ashore including personnel work. He rejoined LOF 1992 and stood-by new buildings in Japan for a year, then became Personnel Manager through to the end in 1997. Then worked via Clyde Marine for a while and eventually for P.A. Dobson as Fleet Personnel Manager, employing a few ex LOF personnel. Married to Gill, they have two children Andy 26 and Karen 33. Dave died in hospital from various complications and the funeral was held on the 08th December 2008. Our sincere and belated condolences go to Gill, Andy and Karen.


(Our thanks to Roger Squires)


(R.G.)
News Date Dec 2008           Christmas and a New Year is almost with us. Many thanks as always for the support and sponsoring of this Website. Our thoughts are with the 'old' salts' who are no longer with us, the good times we had, the long trips and voyages we had. As always when seafarers meet up after many years - the stories begin to flow - and why not, some have good memories I must say?

This year as most we are collecting used stamps, They are sent off to the RNLI or a Children's Charity for their own fund raising, save all your stamps over the festive season
contact me for further details.

The LOF tie orders did not materialise to the minimum number required and would have left me with 15 or so over, unfortunately we can not proceed with this project.

On a more serious note, 'Lycos' the web host for lof-news, is closing down in the near future, we haven't been given an exact date and little information at present - at sometime in the New Year, we shall have to find and transfer all the files over to a new Web Hosting Service, and as this is the first transition - we shall hold breath when the time arrives, it might go ok, it might not - we shall wait and see.




Where ever you are this Christmas Connie and I wish you and your family - all a peaceful festive season and holiday. A Happy and if possible prosperous New Year.

                                             
                                                                                           
News Date Dec 2008                       


Cedric Paterson @ Dec2008          With Charlie Payne  &          With John Harvey in 2005
                                                             John Harvey 1960

The Cornish - Falmouth Meeting.....
I am grateful to Cedric Paterson (Ex Elect/Off) sailed with LOF from 1957 - 61 and again 1964 - 66 Afterwards worked on Falmouth Docks and then in Cornish Tin Mines until retirement. He managed to get in touch with the Ex LOF personnel listed here, a few hours of reminisce and seadays remembered.

Donald Glenwood Thomas (Jnr/Eng - 3rd/Eng) sailed with LOF during the late 1950's and early 60's and became 3rd/Eng. On leaving LOF and the sea he worked for 'Holmans Compressors'. Don was born in Troon Cornwall and is 72 years old, he still lives in the same area.








Tony Goldsmith worked his way up from being a Galley Boy, Deck Hand to Master. He was worked on Tugs, the RFA and most types of powered vessels. After LOF days he employed a number of Ex LOF Staff and they delivered mainly VLCC's for scrap in the Far East. He turned the table around when he employed Captain Mike Cuff for a delivery to Taiwan. Tony is 77 and lives in Falmouth.

Peter Trevithick (Ex 3rd/Eng)
Joined LOF in 1964 - 'London Tradition' in Belfast, sailed on steamers for a while, and saw conversions in La Spezia. Last ship 'Overseas Argonaut' in  1986 made redundant. Worked for Falmouth Dry-docks and at a Tin Mine before taking early retirement. Pete has been married for 20+ years.

Dennis Laity (Ex Jnr/Eng) Dennis served his time at the Falmouth Dock Co. as did a number of others who joined LOF in the late 50's early 60's. He joined his first ship the 'London Confidence' in December 1961 and was on the Russia - Cuba run. His next ship being the 'Overseas Ambassador' and the run not being much better, with wanting to be with his family he came ashore and worked at various periods for the Falmouth Docks.
He also had worked for Parsons - installing generators for power stations.
Dennis retired as supervisor at the Falmouth Dock Co and is 69 years old. He is married and they live in the Flushing area near Falmouth.



Mike Wills (Ex Elect/Off) Like several of the others - served his time at Falmouth Dock Co, which in its heyday employed nearly 3,000 personnel - no wonder most people in Falmouth know one another. Mike served his time from 1951 to 1956 and then came to sea with LOF - his first ship being the 'London Pride I', joining her in Falmouth. he sailed until 1961 when he too returned to Falmouth Dock, where he remained until 1979. He then worked in a Cornish Tin mine until retiring on the 1st January 2000.
He has been married for 50 years has 4 children and 12 grand-children.
Mike still lives in Falmouth.












Dave Honeychurch (Jnr/Eng -Ch/Eng) sailed with LOF during the 1960's/70's, after leaving worked for United
Arab Shipping. Dave is 74 and still lives in the Falmouth area.

The Public House we met was 'The Packet Station' The Moor Falmouth. (R.G.)
 

News Date Nov-Dec 2008     Falmouth Get-Together...... We are off for some more R&R and having a few days in Devon/Cornwall, I have been in contact with a few LOF Officers and we are meeting up at 'The Packet Station' - a Wetherspoons drinking establishment at 1pm on Monday 01st December, I understand there will be about 6 so far, some never having met before even though they only live less than a mile from one another? If anyone else would like to come along - you're very welcome.

Nostalgic days see letter from the Shipping Federation (1951 Pay Scales) and a letter from the LOF Secretary Stanley Sedgwick about expenses.....
 

              
 

News Date Nov 2008     Pirates...... I am grateful for the many correspondence regarding 'Piracy', I am also pleased to say that our two (Ex LOF) Masters who sail with 'Vela' were not on the 'Sirius Star', I am sure our thoughts are with all the Officers and Crew-members onboard the vessel.
Our own memories are still around, I remember well the issues off the West African coast in the 70's. We were fortunate, that our charterers allowed us to anchor off Cotonou - Benin (108 days at anchor/one run in to get fresh water), then the 30+ days at the Lagos anchorage, was something else. A convoy of lifeboats went in numbers at first light the 15/20 miles into Lagos itself (a truly terrible place).
Some went in for whatever food/supplies they could buy, having to pass the infamous 'Check Point Charlie' a machine gun post at the Lagos mole, if you didn't throw at least 2 cartons (400) cigarettes, a few warning rounds came your way. All boats needed to return by dusk, that way the only boats found to be wandering were probably 'Pirates'.
Luckily our lifeboat only needed to go in once, for Bill Carnaffon (Cat/Off) who had fallen down the stairwell and had a suspected broken collar bone. Fortunately I did not have to go in the boat. They left at first light and returned with said Billy, (No bones broken they said, taking $400 for the 3 minute consultation) at dusk - all burnt to hell being in an open boat for some 8 hours. The Russians shot a few of these so called Pirates. We were lucky.... LOF did there best and relieved half the Officers one week and the rest the next....except myself, my man had gone AWOL, and I am for eternally grateful to Steve Melton (Rad/Off) coming out to Lagos with a cadet to relieve me.

The Labour Government of the day - Shipping Minister 'Clinton-Davies' said - Pirates - What Pirates - a figment of 'Jolly Jacks' imagination......He quoted the British High Commission in Lagos stating there were No Pirates?
Even if there was, he issued a statement through MNAOA (Union) - Stand by your beds lads and let them take whatever they wanted. (This is of course was from the None existent pirates). After Nigerian Customs & Immigration and any other minor officials have had their take...
After the defeat of the Labour Government guess what Stanley became....Sir Stanley Clinton-Davies. Cynical or what?...

Ambrose Jones has some interesting articles about Pirates/Head Hunters/Cannibals off the Horn of Africa from Pilotage Books of the early 1920's.....nothing much seems to have changed, except the value of ransoms.
For anyone interested in keeping abreast of high seas piracy, the International Chamber of Commerce has a map showing what appears to be every major reported incident of piracy around the world. Click Here

Many thanks again to all who have corresponded on this issue, if you have any recollections on this subject, we would be please to here from you...... contact me  (R.G. & various contributions)
 
News Date Nov 2008     Dermot O'Toole (Ex LOF Nav/Cadet - 3rd Off) Congratulations to Dermot on his fantastic efforts in raising over £10,000 for the Manx Foundation for the Physically Disabled. His brother Eamon, also a Master with IOMSP Co, also began his career with LOF.


















 
News Date Nov 2008     Dave Meare (Ex Rad/Off) As usual I have checked the web site and something crossed my mind while looking at all the phone numbers and telegraphic addresses. There is in fact one missing and I suppose that while some may have forgotten it, others have never heard of it. 'URGLOF London W1.'
It was, as you may imagine, for those out of office hours catastrophes where senior management awareness, support or complicity was required. Whilst in some cases such messages could be quite explicit in stating their requirements, others had to seem quite innocuous and rely on the delivery address to prompt careful reading between the lines. Obviously  "I am about to create an international incident please make smoke" would have given the game away.
My normal retirement date now looms large on the horizon and 3 weeks from today will be my last working day aged 64. I've been offered continuing employment from that date onwards but I asked for it to be limited to a 3 day week. They've agreed, but were a bit stingy and insisted on reducing my pay. Still it is not so bad, I'll only be working Tue/Wed/Thu each week from then on, so if I take those three days as holiday any time, I'll get an 11 day break from work. I'll need to get Sat Nav just in case I forget where the office is.
That Silver Wedding thing is approaching and falls next Tuesday. I really must remember to get Val a card this weekend. We've a modest day's events set up but we never got round to agreeing a holiday destination.  I blame the airlines.

Barbara and John Thake have sent us some lovely flowers to mark the occasion, so that probably reduces the need for me to do too much. Take Care, Dave


Bob Stinchcombe..... Bob is getting to be the Hospitals best customer, he has now had his right knee joint replacement carried out and is on the road to recovery, this one appears to have gone better than the previous one. Margaret is chief chauffer and general dogs-body.....
Gwyn Howells - Bob informs me is still suffering from the car accident earlier this year, compounded by what has happened in a previous accident,
Di Walker - Is keeping well.
Rod Tarbuck - is in hiding as I heard a whisper..... Taxman and Customs & Excise are ???........
 
News Date Nov 2008   Sandra Elliott     Bit of sad news I'm afraid, just had a phone call last night to let me know that Sandra had just passed away after a long period coping with cancer treatment.
I assume it was from her son who I had met during my visits to her while biking, hadn't been about her way since last year I only wish he had of told me she was bad earlier and would of made an effort to get to see her.
The funeral is next Tuesday 11:15 at Rocker Methodist Church, I will be attending and more than likely Pete Staddon, will send condolences from all of the LOF squad. Regards  Mal. (Malcolm Cuthbert)

Rocker Methodist Church
Rocker Park Road
Sunderland
Tyne and Wear
SR6 9PF


Sandra was the wife of Brian Elliott, Ex E &EO (Electrical/Off) in LOF, he passed away in 2001 also suffering from Cancer. After the demise of LOF Brian worked for a couple of years for 'Tankships'
They lived in the Sunderland area.
 

News Date Nov 2008     Gerard David Hunter - The Morel Shipping Co 1954
 

I am extremely grateful for Gerard finding LOF News. If readers are aware of the history of Welsh Overseas Freighters, the Morel family was the originator company which became part of Gibbs Shipping by business and by marriage. Gerald Hunter served his time at the Doxford Engine works, on completion of his apprentiship, like many young men decided to go to sea. He joined the 'M.v. Jersey Mist' as a 21 year old Jnr/Eng in Sunderland on the 07th January 1954 - the maiden voyage - the vessel only took 6 weeks to fit out. The Master was Capt
Todman
, the Ch/Eng was Jeff Hall, the Rad/Off was Morrison (a Marconi man), all crew were Indian. The Engineering Superintendent was Mr. Pearson. They set off to Casablanca for phosphates, and tramped for the next 16 months. A few weeks at home  then joined the 'M.v. Jersey Dawn' (a Pickersgill built ship), as 4th/Eng, the Ch/Eng was Slightholm and the 2nd/Eng was Gordon Hughes, Gerard was promoted during the voyage to 3rd/Eng. 9 months later the ship was sold and was given the name of 'Jalagovind'. Shipping was going through yet another down-turn, and this was the end as far as direct ownership for the Morels. Gerard did another couple of trips, eventually ending  on the 'Daltonhall', a vessel owned by the West Hartlepool Steam Navigation Co. (Famous for being the last shipping company to build ships with an open wheelhouse - 20 years after enclosed wheelhouses were the norm). With little prospects of jobs at sea in 1958 and a young lady waiting, he went back to Doxford, which eventually became Sunderland Shipbuilders. Gerard Hunter is 75 years old, has just celebrated 50 years of marriage, he has 4 children. Still lives in the Sunderland area.
News Date Nov 2008     Tom Hughes (Ex Eng/Cadet - 3rd Eng) 44 today and in good shape, Tommy now works as an Engineer on a Static Tanker in the North Sea. He was when joining LOF a pretty mature apprentice at the age of 25. Very studious - after LOF days went back to University and gained a fistful of qualifications - he went on to work for a British Rail contractor. He resumed his sea legs once more about 4 years ago and enjoys 2 weeks onboard and 3 weeks off - that is 'weeks' not months?

Married to Pat they have 3 children aged 9, 6 and 5 - Tom is away at present but phones most nights - Happy Birthday, and long may Everton hope to win a football game at sometime .(Tom was an avid supporter)


 

News Date Nov 2008     Adrian Cook     Adrian remains at Corus/British Steel in Middlesbrough  where he has worked since leaving LOF for some 25+ years now.
His first trip to sea was on the 'London Pioneer' and 2nd trip was in 1975 on the 'Victore' (Thanks to John Taggart for the photo)
The final picture taken last year at our LOF get-together in South Shields.
 
News Date Nov 2008      As of today 05th Nov Provisional Tie Orders = 22
The minimum I can order is 36, therefore unless there are any further orders, we shall have to abandon this project.

John Taggart..... served my time with Clarke Chapman-John Thompson nuclear power group, then Joined LOF first trip on the 'London Harmony', Jun/Eng with Gordon Emmerson as 2nd/Eng ended up full time pipe welder and general run about.
We joined the 'Harmony' off Bahrain and she was in pretty bad shape but after 9 months of hard work by everyone--field days were the norm, we left her in Sicily and she looked a million dollars.
Joined the 'MV Victore' in Glasgow at the general Terminus Quay Glasgow great nine months on that vessel with people such as Nicky & Marilyn McPhee, Adrian Cook (apprentice) Capt and Millie Newson, Des Fennelly (Electrician) Godfrey the 4th mate etc and our numerous voyages to Murmansk Russia.
Then Joined the 'Shackleford', with Vel Athans, Mick Howells who had just passed his 2nds exam, Rod Wilkinson, Bill Carnaffan (Chief Steward) Mick and I were keep fit fanatics training every day, and playing deck tennis with Bill, and not forgetting our ships canoe trips followed by cross country runs (Me, Mick and the time we met a real Bear) and Rod almost being flattened by a very large ferry in Bay Como in Canada whilst he was canoeing near the breakwater/ harbour. 
Then Joined the 'Argonaut' with George Coghill and Gordon Lazarus ( I wonder if he remembers our Cowboy Night) John Bennington 1st mate (Sixes Bennington) cos he always threw sixes when playing Uckers and double blobbing everyone.
Then joined the 'Enterprise' which was my last trip with LOF.
I joined British Steel Corp in the Ravenscraig Scotland and became section engineer for the By-Products
(Benzene naphtha etc). And whilst I was there I went back to further education and gained my HND, then secured a Maintenance Engineers position with Shell Exploration & Production in Aberdeen for twenty three years attaining New Project Handover Engineers Position, and then retiring from the offshore life.
I now run my own HR Company supplying Senior Mechanical and Production Engineers / Managers to major oil companies worldwide, and I am also a Local councillor with NLC, so all in all I have and I still am leading a somewhat charmed life all the richer for the people I have met and worked with over my life so far.
I have two daughters Victoria and Kirsty who have both qualified from Glasgow university with BSc honours degrees in Biology and Virology and are now making there own way in the world whilst still living at home with Liz and I. Best wishes to all - John Taggart
 

News Date Nov 2008     News from Hull.....  Gordon Lazarus, Good to hear from Gordon, that he is keeping fairly well, although he has recently been diagnosed with diabetes, at present it seems under control. At 77 his is still driving a school bus around and keeps his psv licence. During and after LOF days, Gordon would drive luxury touring coaches. On one occasion, he turned up outside of Capt Owen Connor house in Church Stretton with a load of OAP's all wanting to use the toilet - neither Connor or Mrs was very happy about this, however Gordon reminded Capt C, that on numerous alcohol fuelled occasions he had 'been invited to drop by any time old boy for a cuppa', although Gordon wasn't expected to bring along 50+ elderly folk -






Capt Owen Connor (RIP) he was reputed to have a ships lifeboat as a feature in his garden.
 
News Date Nov 2008    

Here is the promised picture, of Gordon Emmerson celebrating his 90th birthday - 'down at club' - with thanks to Alf Rutherford on the right for sending me the photo.....

Alf is recovering pretty well after a stroke, and the docs have allowed him to drive again.

Gordon packed up driving a few years ago.....

 




This weekend I attended a conference on behalf of the Police Authority in Stratford Upon Avon, my thanks to Bob Pople who invited me in for a break in my journey.
Bob kept pretty quite over the fact that on his kitchen table was an application form for a seniors 'bus pass' - on inquiring he informs me that he celebrated his 60th last week.... a belated Happy birthday Bob and thanks for the chat.

Bob with his retirement present to himself - why not

 

News Date Oct 2008     Trivia News from 1945  I found your address at the foot of the page on
www.lof-news.co.uk and also discovered that you have an interest in the Counties Management site also.
With regard to the attached cutting do you have any further information about this event and also do you have any information regarding the change of name to Finnamore Hill. Did this occur in
Singapore?

Yours faithfully,
T H Connell
Edinburgh

The story of a court case regarding the illegal selling of NAFFI supplies in Singapore 1945, when the Master of the 'Sam Freedom' Wilfred Perrin was sentenced to 12 months rigorous imprisonment for his part in the 'money making venture.
The vessel was brought under Counties Management in or around 1947 and was renamed 'Finnamore Hill' and I dare say Counties & pool personnel were placed onboard.
Little has changed a great deal with the 'profiting' of ships supplies to eagerly awaiting shore persons and/or customs officials?.
News Date Oct 2008     Noris Jackson..... In extremely good health and fitness I hear, just chopped down 4 Laylandii trees on the morning of his 76th birthday. Still active in his workshop and shed, which has no telephone and wife Janet has a 'Bell' from the 'Overseas Adventurer' hanging by the back door, gives the clapper a good few dings to get the attention of NJ and almost takes the ear off the person waiting on the telephone. Son Simon is still Superintending, he has two children a girl aged 7 and a boy aged 18 months. Noris still rides a motorcycle - a Yamaha on a good day, and of course still has his beloved Bentley.


Noris Jackson with John Ireland at the 2007 LOF Reunion.


 
News Date Oct 2008     Maybe someone is interested in a model from this gentleman who contacted me. See his website for further details.....
My name is Mr. Gisle Langard and I live in Norway.. I googled your homepage on the internet. I have made about 20 models of former Texaco ships from - 65, built in Fredrikstad, Norway.
I did sail on this ship in the - 80's and have gain new interest in this nice ships.
If you are interested in this one or want to build another Tex-ship please contact me.
 
The price for Texaco Belgium 80cm long model will be about 165 £ + shipping.
 
Best regards,
 
Gisle Langard
Daystar Products
e-post: info@modellskip.no
Web: www.modellskip.no
News Date Oct 2008   Brian Nicholls.......Now well past his 'Bus Pass' entitlement, Brian remains very active, he has an order book well into 2010 for his 'Steam Engine' project work. He is still and an able Motorbiker - 4 bikes, 3 for him and one for the Mrs, although with being such a poor summer they only clocked a few miles this year.....




Brian was another successful LOF Engineer, who saw his time from being a Junior Engineer all the way through to Chief Engineer
News Date Oct 2008     Congratulations..... Gordon Emmerson, who will be 90 years 'young' on Wednesday 22nd October. Gordon enjoys good health and considering his younger days as a smoker is mobile and fit. He is 'off' on another intrepid Nile Cruise at the beginning of November.
Gordon is as far as I am aware our most senior 'Living' LOF associate, when he joined LOF in 1952, he came from cargo ships, where he was paid £12/month, on joining Tankers in LOF his pay went up to £30/month.
I sent a card to him on behalf of us all, and will be sending a case of either Tennents or Newcastle Brown for the big day.
I understand his nephew is organising a small get-together and Alf Rutherford will be going along with the Newkie Brun Ale to help the celebration along. I am sure we all wish Gordon a very Happy Day with many more to come.

Connie Gerstner, celebrating her 25 years of 'continuous service at Peterborough District Hospital. She began her Nursing Career in December 1972 as a student nurse at Warrington General Hospital. She came to Peterborough to complete her Midwifery training in 1976, when she met 'yours truly'?
She was promoted to Ward Sister in 1988 and is the Senior Ward Manager (still a hands on - working position) of the 'Stroke Unit' at Peterborough NHS Trust.
In our early married days, she did a number of trips away with us in LOF and made a good few friends, and with the job situation for  Seafarers, she has remained in full time nursing since 1983.
Here she is being presented with her 'long service 25 year award' from Mary Bird - Assistant General Manager.
We were away on holiday when the award ceremony actually took place. She is retiring 03rd November 2010

Roy Gerstner..... Last week whilst at the Conference for the Standards Board for England, as an Independent Appointed Member of the Standards Committee for Cambridgeshire and Fenland, I was elected onto the Committee and panel.
Since my enforced retirement, I have taken up several positions - always as 'Independent' and without political bias or alignment.
I am involved local Law and Order, Environmental Projects, Custodial and Prisons, Health & Education. I enjoy an excellent relationship with most of the local and county politicians, irrespective of their political views.
Here is myself and Councillor Mark Archer from Fenland District Council at the ICC in Birmingham earlier this week.
Later this month I will attend on behalf of Cambridgeshire Police Authority a conference to be held in Stratford Upon Avon.
The saying is.....give a busy man another job, the chances are he will do it.


I had contact from Mike Cuff today who informs me he is keeping well and out of mischief, on becoming  Personnel Manager with LOF, his first appointee was cadet to be Martin Littlewood, who went on and became a Master in LOF.
 
News Date Oct 2008     Good Days..... John Aspin sends the following picture from 1964

I was serving on the 'Overseas Courier'.
Front row sitting down
John Aspin,
Centre the 2nd Engineers wife
Right the 2nd Engineer
(Name unknown)


Standing in the back is the 2nd Mate with the 'Hat' on. Can anyone name these people.







Of course it was an honour to wear one of the bands hats - except it cost you a round of drinks for the band members - still if you were lucky enough you also got to conduct the band, not that they took a great deal of notice of your abilities as Bandmaster? (J.A.)
 
News Date Oct 2008     News from the NE..... As Malcolm Cuthbert mentions on the messageboard, he and a few of the lads meet up fairly regularly, here is the latest picture taken





Left to Right

Peter Staddon

Ozzie Bland

Malcolm Cuthbert

Don Dunlop

Ean Curle

Jim Stronach

 

Jack Knowles would probably have turned up were it not for the fact he was in hospital with a broken hip that I eventually found out about yesterday after numerous calls to his house, will probably call and see him tomorrow. I am still having bother with my shoulder but the surgeon tells me there not much else he can do without causing probably more damage so I am just going to have to grin and bear it so to speak.
All the best Malcolm.
 
News Date Oct 2008     Brian Ashby.....It is with great regret that I have to inform you of the death of Brian, aged 67, there will be an update on the Obituary section in a day or so. Brian and Gill attended the 2004 LOF Reunion but he became unwell shortly after. Throughout his illness Brian never complained and he passed away peacefully on the 24th September. Our thanks to Jean Kirkham who attended the cremation on our behalf.

Brian & Gill lived in St. Mars sur Colmont Brittany France

He enjoyed the finishing off project of the large property they had bought in retirement, they also enjoyed keeping retired 'Greyhound Dogs'

(See Obituaries)

News Date Sept 2008     Edgar Morton..... Passed away I understand earlier this year. Born on the 01st January 1922, 'Polly' was one of the great characters/story tellers from an era long since forgotten about. When I was visiting Southampton in October 2006 he invited me over for an afternoon.

Taken from LOF 2006 'He has had his fair share of medical problems, and is in and out of hospital fairly regularly. He still drives, but had to give up his BMW when the insurance company wanted some UK£3,000 a year! He drives something a bit smaller and only goes a short distance to the Supermarket and the Betting Shop. He lost his wife 14 years ago, and has given up keeping exotic birds, but now has a small dog and 4 fish tanks. His memory is extremely sharp and can still tell a good story of old. '


Earlier this week I sent out a printed version of LOF News to the Associates who are not web connected, Polly being one, I had tried on a couple of occasions to phone him, but the number was not accepting my own. The family who are in his house in Verwood contacted me and told me this sad news. I will make some enquiries after we return from own next vacation in Minorca. Ed had a couple of Sisters but no children of his own.
News Date Sept 2008     LOF Ties..... See below. Scripting to make an order page has become difficult. Therefore I'll do it the old fashion way.... If you are interested in purchasing a tie similar to the official LOF ones, please  contact me and I will build up an order list. We need somewhere in the region of 50 to make the exercise worthwhile.

I would like to close this project by mid-November, that way if we have enough interest - an order could be placed hopefully for a Christmas delivery.                                                                  

 
News Date Sept 2008     Danny McCallum (Ex LOF Rad/Off) Just a note to let you know that Dudley read in the Shell Pensioners magazine that Danny McCallum passed away on 5th July aged 68.  He apparently was with LOF before going to Shell as E/EO and was a good friend of Dudleys for many years.
Regards Lynne and Dudley Fry
News Date Sept 2008     Congratulations.... Bob & Margaret Stinchcombe celebrating their 53rd Wedding Anniversary, Bob still making regular visits to various hospital wards, being put back together - golf frustration seems to be the main complaint?

Happy Birthday.... Arthur Finney Looking well Arthur.....

Eric Neville.... You will have seen on the messageboard some history from Eric, he was as far as most of us concerned the most important man in the Office.....he saw we got paid!. After doing 2 years in the Army Pay Corps, he joined LOF in 1951 aged 20, he had to buy a new suit for the interview....still got the job which lasted some 33 years so not a bad investment. He worked alongside Les Mills who was Personnel Manager, they were located on the 3rd floor of Balfour Place. Eric tells that the office was pretty spartan both in people and furniture. As mentioned he has contact with Eric Knight and I am hoping to make contact shortly, another contact is Malcolm Waterfall who is nearing 90 years old, again hope some news coming.


LOF Ties..... After Wendy Delisle asked about ties, I have done some research and here is the information so far. Bespoke ties in small numbers are fairly expensive, like with most items, the more you order, the cheaper the unit cost.

In a few days be placing a link.....to a pre-order interest form.

As a rough guide 36 ties will cost approx £11:00 each
                               50 ties will cost approx £7:00 each
                             100 ties will cost approx £6:00 each

Of course I am open to offers for my own shown on the left, it has the 'mother' of all Tomato Sauce
Blobs - half way down it, which no one, (and I've certainly tried) can remove.

If anyone can find somewhere cheaper/reliable, then please I am more than welcome for the information. (R.G.)

News Date Sept 2008   What with school holidays and the very poor weather we have had this summer in East Anglia, not a great deal of updates or news I am sorry to report. One of my locals said to me "what's wrong with the weather" I like it? - typical Fen Bogtrotter......

Anyway I had a short e-mail from
Mr Ivor Dobrin...
I found your website by accident. In 1946 I was employed by the C.SM (Counties Ship Management) for over two years, I worked in the cabin department and worked by on the 'Dover Hill' and 'Tower Hill' and sailed on the 'Empire Mandarin' 'Mill Hill', 'Stanford Hill' and 'Coomb Hill' and several years later on the 'Arundel Coulouthros' and my father Mr. J. Dobrin was a catering super at that period.
My Father, was a relieving chief steward

Arundel Hill - Arundel Coulouthros                    Ivor Dobrin 1944       (1945) then in 1946, he was a catering super,
                                                                                          
until 1948, when he sadly passed away. He, got involved with C.SM., through working for Lambert Bros, Temple ships as relief Ch. Steward, in the later war years. I, went to sea in 1944, but on foreign ships, 2 Swedes, Panamanian, Greeko and a Dutchman, then I worked on the Dover Hill, my father was the Ch/Stwd. I was one of the cabin boys. It was in dry dock in Birkenhead. Attach, Dis. Book photo, before I joined the Arundel Hill. Regards IVOR.






Some friends at 'Union Castle sent me the following advert which was regular within the newspaper industry of the 1950's, this one is dated 1954

First Class (real first class) return Southampton - Cape Town all for £150 real £'s)


 

 

 

I am happy to report correspondence from the 'Sailors Society' (formally the BISS) that they are celebrating their 190 years supporting Seafarers from all over the world. We have been invited to the service and lunch at St. Columba's Church of Scotland in London 21st October and we shall have to wait closer that time to see if we can attend.


The Sailors Society have a website www.sailors-society.org

I am being kept well busy since my enforced early retirement, being none-politically aligned but interested in what's happening locally, my declaration of interests now:

1/ Independent Appointed Member & Vice Chairman - Standards Committee Fenland District Council.
2/ Independent Appointed Custody Visitor - Cambridgeshire Police Authority.
3/ Independent Appointed Chairman - Whittlesey Community Police Panel.
4/ Treasurer Street Pride - A Fenland Environmental Initiative.

Another break/holiday in a short while to see if we can find the elusive sunshine we have been so short of this year - this time to the Island of Menorca..... (R.G.)

ps, although like many others I am getting fed up of the phrase 'credit crunch' I am very unhappy to report that there are already Christmas items for sale and  canned tinkering Christmas carols are playing....enough to make me stay away......
 
News Date Sept 2008     Happy Birthday - Mike Cuff who has just turned 81, he is keeping well and still driving his beloved BMW.

Bob Stinchcombe is waiting to have a cataract done in the near future, he is also hoping the new consultant will be giving him a new knee joint replacement before Christmas, so holidays are on hold at present. Bob informs me that Dai Walker is keeping well and in good spirits, Gwyn Howells is still in a neck brace and suffering from the recent car accident they were involved in - she had previously been involved in another accident a few years ago, which affects are complicating the recent injury, Mick is having to do all the domestics?.

News Date August 2008     News from the Northern Territories.... Andy Dow Just an update of how things are in sunny Darwin. Janice and l are really enjoying the life out here and the girls have really taken to the Aussie way of life. Lana, my "oldest" twin is returning to Edinburgh to take her Phd soon, so l expect her to be away for 6 months.
My "youngest twin" has set up her own practice in Darwin specialising in the treatment of reptiles of all things. Guess she has been reading my memoires of my times with Denholm Ship Management, ha-ha. I go down to Adelaide at times to visit my brother and have some good times fishing the Murray River where huge carp is in abundance, they are classed as vermin here and if you even catch a small one...no way can you put it back!
Ray Appleyard my old mate has not taken up my invite as yet to spend a few weeks over here, but l hope he will accept soon.  Also spoke to Mick Howells, seems his wife is getting much better, great news!
Hope you and Connie are doing well, and this website is just brilliant Roy.........thanks very much, and l would think that l speak for many people. Andy.       
                                                             
News Date August 2008     Ron Todd..... Hope your keeping well, we intended to visit a friend in Bedford and call in to see you, but had to cancel as Audrey was waiting for a cataract operation, luckily she had it done last Wednesday, but we found out the other eye is badly scared it would serve no purpose having it done, so now I'm looking around for somewhere nice for holiday to help cheer her up.
I've started a get fit campaign, joined a rambling group now walk 6 to 8 miles a day, so far I've shed over a stone. Hope your ankle is improving. All the best.
 
Audrey & Ron.
News Date August 2008    More News from down under.... Valerie & I were looking through some old photographs when we came across one of the original London Pride, sailing into Boston, Mass. in December 1950 on her maiden voyage, Capt Fox was in command with Williamson as makee learnee tanker Master.
I was in the last year of my apprenticeship on the 'Stamford Hill', fourteen months out and due to go to Newport News to load coal for Glasgow. Our Master was W. King and he asked me if I would like to transfer to the Pride, she was sailing with no apprentices at that time. Whilst the thought of a new ship was enticing, the thought of getting home was stronger and so thank you but no thanks. Five years later I transferred to LOF and my first ship the original 'London Enterprise.'  
Greetings from Australia, a bit cold these days so looking forwards to our summer
All best wishes to any of the older Counties and LOF fraternity.
 
Geoff Baskerville.
News Date August 2008     More News from Julie Peek regarding her Grand-father Captain Eric Arnold Peek. See below.....
                     
Arnold Peek in 1917                                                       HMS Zoraide around 1917
Became a 'Counties' - Master

Alan Shard informs us :
The uniform is a Lt. in the RNR (Royal Naval Reserve) The intertwined gold braid signifies he came from the Merchant Navy and/or Fishing Fleet was probably the First Lt. below the Captain sometimes known as 'Jimmy the One'. The insignia on the left upper arm is not discernable. Regards Alan
 
News Date August 2008     News from Australia.... Len & Sheila Eckermann. Things not too well for Brain Taylor (Ex Ch/Eng) as he had a stroke about three weeks back. He in now in rehab and making good progress. Can walk with a frame and still talk but misses some of the words. We can see an improvement each time we see him and he is very positive about it.
It is a year since we were in the UK. how fast time goes. We are both well and planning another trip, this time to India. Regards Sheila & Len
 
News Date August 2008     Sheila & Simon Corner. During a long weekend away to the Norfolk Broads, Connie & I were very pleased to meet with Sheila, in Coltishall Norfolk, her husband was Ian Corner, who passed away very untimely in June 1996 at the young age of only 52 from prostrate cancer. Sheila made us very welcome and informed us that her son Simon has recently married Ruth (July), they are both youth workers and Simon has got a placement in Muswell Hill (Good Luck). Sheila is keeping well and does some voluntary work with the local National Trust. Ian was a very respected and liked friend in LOF, originally an Electrical Officer, he studied and was promoted to Electrical & Electronics Officer in the early 80's, he was a keen sportsman - rugby and cycling his favourites but enjoyed the slow life in Norfolk during his leave.

Sheila produce a portrait of Ian done in 1981 by none other that Captain Rodman Tarbuck, this is a bit of a turn up, as 'Tarbie' lays claim to many attributes but portraits has been a bit of a secret to many of us. Anyway a very pleasant turn up it was. I am sure we wish Simon and his new wife Ruth best wishes, as I and many others, heard Ian talk at some length of how proud he was of his son. I'm sure the likeness of the 'Tarbie' portrait and Son can be easily seen.
 

News Date August 2008    Stuart (Anthony) Booth)  Roy, I have been so interested reading your LOF news update and seeing photos of fellow shipmates from days gone by I just had to respond. I sailed with LOF in the early seventies albeit only on two ships, but enjoyed the hell out of it. As a Junior Engineer in late 1972, I joined the 'M.v. Victore' in Newport, Wales. At that time the Chief Engineer was Roly Sisterson who was being relieved by John W Jackson. It was an interesting six months aboard the 'Victore' and it was there that I met that wonderful philosophical teacher of the Irish Language, Dick Cunningham. Dick was the Radio Officer, a man of great knowledge and of course great interest. Maurice Simpson was the new 2nd Engineer, soon to be relieved by the wild Bill Manson who was indeed a legend in his own time. Lenny Phillips was 3rd Engineer and the red haired Dubliner Jimmy Urell held 4th Engineer’s rank.
My second ship was the
M.v. London Cavalier' which I joined in Antwerp along with the Captain Alan Johnston from Barry Island in Wales, Ch. Off was Mike Annett, 2nd Officer Moggsy Caffery, and Chris Louis DeLisle being 3rd  Mate. Jim Hughes was the Chief Engineer with Colin Wallace being the 2nd. Ken Baxter was 3rd and Rod Wilkinson the 4th. Probably the greatest character of all was “Lecky” Steve Goodlad who had the next cabin to me. We had some times worth remembering.
Happy trips but as I had two young children at home I found I could no longer live that life. Great site and thanks for me being able to rekindle memories from the distant past.
Regards,

Stuart Booth
Senior Piping Designer
Bechtel Corporation
Houston, TX, 77056
Direct: 713-235-5043
asbooth@bechtel.com

 

News Date August 2008   Julie Peek   I have been researching my great grandfather Captain Eric Arnold Peek. I knew that he was decorated in WW1 with the DSC & Bar for "good u-boat work" and that he was the master of several large boats. But that has been  the extent of my knowledge.
However, I have just come across his  executor's statement from his Will. He died on 27th May 1946. There is a note:
"We are informed by the testator's Wife, Mrs A. B. Peek that the deceased incurred no debts and that the funeral expenses were disbursed by his Employers the Counties Ship Management Company Ltd., who did not wish to be reimbursed therefore."
I do not know how long my Grandfather worked for the Company, but I have many photographs of him as well as a few with other members of crew and family. I know that he was Master of these ships :  'Winterton', 'Tower Fielde', 'Tower Abbey', 'Caithness', 'HMS Zoraide' and possibly the 'Baltonia'. Do any of these ships mean anything to you? If so I have some photos. I do not know how long Arnold was in the employ of the Counties Ship Management Company, but I would be very grateful if you could tell me how to find out. I am also very interested to know if there are any records held about the funeral as I would like to find the grave which I believe may be Mortlake (New Fulham) Cemetery.
If any of the above information means anything to you, then I will be happy to send you copies of the photos.
Best regards Julie Peek  jspeek@tesco.net
 

 

News Date August 2008     Martin Littlewood (Ex Nav/Cad - Master) Has recently visited the UK on various courses which his company 'VELA' support him with nearly every leave, he and wife Erica are still enjoying life based in Worcester North of Cape Town in South Africa. Martin has recently invested in a weekend home on the SA coast. Martin is 57 and he plans to retire at 61.
John Peters (Ex Nav/Cad - Master) recently picked up the article below about the coastal ferry 'Oldenburg' with Ex LOF Ch/Eng Steve Roberts. John and wife Julia have had a holiday in Wales, where they enjoy the walking and John with his dog. He is busy at present helping his brothers in Devon with the harvest.
Alec Priestley (Ex Jnr/Eng - 3rd/Eng) At 70+++ has two part time jobs still and is kept busy most of the year. He is keeping well and fit and has befriended a new lady. His motorbiking days are over but still enjoys the occasional classic bike race or hill climb.

Ron Mortimer (Ex 3rd/Off - Master)
                   
L-R John Thake           R.M.           Tony Baldwin     1965                              R.M. 2004

Before I brought up the picture on my monitor I was wondering who the hell they were! but I did think that perhaps
it was John Thake not knowing who the other guy was. (The ship being the 'Independence')
As it was Tony Baldwin, I'm sure he was the Mate, I was 2nd and Thake was 3rd mate it must have been taken as late as March 1965 because after discharging crude at Wilhelmshaven from Es Sider we then changed over to grain. Tony slipped a disc on the way down to New Orleans and paid off there. The O.M. was 'Clanger' Briely we discharged at Rotterdam, where we played football! then back to Corpus Christi for another grain cargo.
All the best Ron.....
 

News Date August 2008     Stephen Roberts (Ex Eng/Cad - Ch/Eng)











 

 


Steve Roberts 4th from the left, sailed from his apprentiship through to being Chief Engineer with LOF

Many thanks to John Peters

News Date August 2008     Dave Meare (Ex Rad/Off) Well the romantic trip to Rome that I had been cornered into taking got pushed back in the year due to our son's globe-trotting. Then when he came home it was further delayed because he was at home.
Eventually we agreed that as he is leaving for University on the 18th September, we'd set off shortly after that. I was resigned to my fate, but as luck would have it my wife's best friend has just returned from Rome with reports of how awful she'd found it to be. Fortunately her opinions are respected, whereas mine are just an indication that I'm up to something.
So Val has now decided that it would ruin a wonderful memory if we were to revisit the place and come back thinking it was awful. I thought Yippee, but decided to keep calm and just agree. We're going to go somewhere else instead and I'm sure I'll be a lot happier about it wherever it is.
My anticipated retirement at the age of 65 has also gone out of the window as I've been offered continuing employment working three days a week. That sounds okay to me and I have agreed to do it for a year and then review it again.
 Dave Meare
(I've had 4 friends visit Rome in the last year or so....don't know what is happening , but they were all robbed or mugged - R.G.)

 
News Date July 2008     Cederholm Family Wedding of Heidi Cederholm to Paul Burgess, As promised a picture of the happy couple plus our little grandson Harry.
The wedding was a civil ceremony at the "Suites Hotel" Liverpool where Heidi and Paul tied the knot!
They honeymooned in Portugal and Harry spent the week with myself and Barbara at our holiday home in North Wales. We are now in need of a week's holiday to recover.
Heidi last featured in the LOF News in winter 1983 in a photo of Barbara and Heidi with our then newly born son David. 


                                       
Keith is still gainfully occupied teaching navigation at a local sailing school, and Barbara is a supply teacher.










LOF Picture of 1983
 

News Date July 2008     Bill Cameron .. I was very sad to read in the obituary column the sad passing of “Ginger Tom” or Tom March as was his proper name. I had the pleasure of sailing with Tom around 1969-70 on the “Victore” and as your article said he was a “grafter”. Tom was never intended to be a chief engineer but he was a good hands on engineer and worth his weight in gold if we had any breakdowns or urgent work to be done in port. I too served my apprenticeship in a shipyard as a marine engineer (Hall Russell in Aberdeen) and straight away we hit it off together. We used to have a laugh when we talked about some of the other engineers we had sailed with who had served an apprenticeship with people like Singers Sewing Machines. Please pass on my condolences to his family. I am sorry I did not know about this earlier as it a year this month since his death.        On a brighter note through the LOF news I was contacted by Eric Drinkwater who I had sailed with on the 'London Craftsman' in 1969. Eric originally from the Manchester area has been living in Australia for a number of years but he is coming home for a visit to the UK in September and he is coming up to spend a couple of days with me in Aberdeen on the 12th and 13th. Cheers and keep up the good work.
Regards Bill

                                                                                                                                       

News Date July 2008     Alf Rutherford (Ex Elect/Off) Found out by accident that he had suffered 3 mini strokes, although on the mend - he says after a couple of beers his voice goes like 'Donald Duck' Alf served his time with 'Sunderland-Fords' - Engineering works 1948 to 1955. Alf went to sea originally with Common Bros, in 1956. He joined LOF in 1960 and sailed on the 'Overseas Courier', 'London Confidence', 'London Harmony' and finally on the 'Overseas Adventurer'. He left in 1964. Alf has just turn 73 recently.
He keeps in touch with 89 year old ex 2nd Eng Gordon Emmerson who will be 90 in October. I understand that Gordons nephew is arranging a bit of a party, so closer the time I'll organise a case of the Newcastle Brown or Tennents to celebrate the event on our behalf of us all.....

Bill McGuire (Ex Eng Supt) Happy birthday to Bill who has celebrated his 77th....Bill started his seagoing career in 1953 with Hain Shipping Co, he joined Radcliffe's of Cardiff in 1956 and with a combined Chiefs Cert - LOF in 1959 as Ch/Eng, he came ashore and worked as an Engineering Superintendent from 1966. After LOF he worked for a couple of London Based Greek Shipping Co and eventually ran a shop and post office in his home area of Dinas Powys - South Wales - Bill is keeping well and still enjoys his round or two of golf.




Bill & Maureen

Mick & Gwyn Howells....
Just an update on Gwyn we've spent the day with them and Gwyn is still suffering from the neck and back area injuries received in the car accident about ten days ago. She can't walk more than 100 metres before the pain makes her scurry for home. She doesn't look too good with the neck brace on which is uncomfortable in itself, as you will know if you have ever had one fitted. The insurance, as usual paid up the minimum for the car. I think its going to be a long haul for her with her previous troubles not enhancing the situation. Best wishes Bob Stinchcombe....

Gwyn & Mick in happier times.....

 

Did you hear Ben Fogle making an Appeal for the Sailors' Society on BBC Radio 4 last Sunday?

If you missed it, fear not, you can listen to it via the BBC’s website: 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/religion/radio4appeal.shtml 

Otherwise, it will be repeated on Thursday 24th July at 3.27pm 

We anticipate that this broadcast will have raised considerable awareness of the needs of the world’s merchant seafarers and the vital work that the Sailors’ Society provides in enriching their lives.  We also hope that it will raise much needed funds towards the Society’s work in ports throughout the world.
If, after hearing the Appeal, you feel compelled to make a donation to the Sailors’ Society then please visit
http://www.sailors-society.org/Radio4Appeal.aspx, contact the charity, or you can give via the BBC Radio 4 Appeal website:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/religion/radio4appeal.shtml

Ben is able to understand life at sea and the isolation felt by seafarers having rowed the Atlantic with Olympic Gold-medallist James Cracknell.  He also experienced isolation on the remote Scottish island of Taransay for the BBC millennium project Castaway 2000.
Ben described his Atlantic experience, in just a twenty foot boat, as both terrible and wonderful.  It took the two of them two months rowing in two-hour shifts battling the ocean, the weather, and the currents. They suffered hunger, isolation, and homesickness. It is this experience that has enabled Ben to appreciate some of the needs of seafarers, and therefore the vital role that the Sailors’ Society plays in their lives. 

BBC Radio 4 frequency is 92.5 – 94.8 fm depending upon where you live.

Sailors’ Society

023 8051 5950

www.sailors-society.org

 

Sailors’ Society

350 Shirley Road

SOUTHAMPTON

Hampshire

SO15 3HY

News Date July 2008    Mavroleon Family ? My brother and I found our selves living in Southern Rhodesia a British colony, now Zimbabwe, not knowing how we came to have our surname and with not one other Mavroleon family in the country. All our mum knew was that my dad was born in Mozambique but lived all his life in Rhodesia so for years we thought it was a Portuguese name. We love our Greek surname and one day hope to trace my father’s Greek family.
Paul Mavroleon (UK)
 

News Date July 2008    CONDOLENCE LETTER

I am sorry to learn of John Clark's (Martin) death through your website and wish to express my deepest sympathy on behalf of Lundin Tunisia BV and all the crew of FPSO Ikdam. We were so sorry to hear of John's death.  He was such an excellent member of FPSO Ikdam team. He will be remembered not only for his good character, but also for his modesty and openness with all his workmates. He was a thoughtful and kind person, and we are very grateful for the good souvenirs he left on FPSO Ikdam. Please convey our condolences to his family for his loss.

Wissem Chaouach
Safety Officer / FPSO Ikdam
 
News Date July 2008     Hans R. Niclasen  hr565@post.olivant.fo 
I am searching for an ancestor of mine, named Carl Woxnæs Hansen, last heard from with a letter written 15th  of August 1946 on board a ship named 'S/S Ft. la Baye,' in Alexandria, Egypt, leaving for England. is it possible to get any information about the ship, many thanks..... Hans






 

http://fortships.tripod.com  (Acknowledgements to Angela DeRoy-Jones)
If you wish to know more about 'Fort' Ships'

FORT LA BAYE
Type: Victory
Tonnage: 7,162grt
Dimensions: 441.5 x 57.2
Builders: West Coast Shipbuilders Ltd., Vancouver
Delivery Date: October, 1943
Owners; Managers: D.O.C.; Counties Ship Management Co., London FOR M.O.W.T.
Post war History: 1947: Acadia Overseas Freighters Ltd., Halifax, renamed DIGBY COUNTY;
1950: Liberian owners, renamed TRAVELSTAR; Oct 16, 1954: Aground Bucknor Bay, Okinawa, and on fire the following day; total loss.

Do any of our Senior Associates have any further information.... (R.G.)
 

News Date July 2008     David Atkinson.  I joined the 'London Grenadier' in the East End docks on or about 6th Jan 76 - in fact I was at Canary Wharf in the offices of a stock broker a few weeks ago and remarked that the last time I had been in the area was 32 years ago!
I had recognised the wharf but certainly not the area! That was my first ship - In fact I recall whenever I see the opening credits of East Enders. I left the 'Grenadier' in Rotterdam around April 76 I believe (after the Middle East and Malaysia). I then went out to the Loftanks Holiday camp to get the 'London Enterprise' ready for action (not totally sure, but probably June 76). I had thought I would be doing a full trip, but ended up leaving her at Piraeus. I Joined the 'Shackleford' later that summer (76) - not quite sure where - going with her to New Orleans then on to Costanzia before leaving her in Norfolk, VA in sometime in Jan/Feb 77 - passing through a very frozen Norfolk Bay. I had spent 3 years at HMS Conway and, following eye-sight problems, had not gone straight to a deck cadetship after 'O' levels, but ended up on an
David A - centre stage Grenadier Party 1976

Engineering course at Southampton CAT, having joined LOF in the August/Sep 75. It was not long before the practical elements of marine engineering (the size of the nuts and bolts and the difficulty of undoing the chuck on my lathe to extract a piece of work) confirmed that while I was technically minded, I was somewhat physically challenged! I retook the BoT New Entrant eyesight exam and passed, and LOF transferred me straight to sea. I did have a party trick - A deck cadet who could draw a fully detailed, cross-sectioned and labelled marine boiler on the dartboard's scoring panel. As I was also a small deck cadet - when I got to the Shackleford I was on one occasion loaned to the engineers to clean the filters in the engine air intakes.
I would like to say that it was a premonition of the demise of the UK's merchant fleet that I left my apprenticeship unfinished after my first year at sea. However, despite having always wanting to get to sea, having got there I could not see myself pacing the bridge for the next n years. Since LOF could not offer me a transfer to a Radio Officer cadetship I left to try and get into the Royal Navy as an Electronics Technician. However the Navy saw me as a training risk and it was down to the Air Force to provide me with a career that lasted the next 20 years, from technician to Communications Officer. I left the RAF in 1997 as a Flight Lieutenant and Chartered Engineer and one of their few experts (at that time) in software engineering. I had also been manager and captain of the RAF College sailing team in only its third victory against Sandhurst and RNC Dartmouth (a victory won on the basis of seamanship rather than speed).  
I have achieved a number of things in my life (including a recent PhD in management) and I set a lot of store by my HMS Conway and LOF days as contributing to a wider perspective on life!!    
Kind regards.
David
 
David M Atkinson
CEO
News Date July 2008     Happy Birthday - Irene Gillie reaches a memorable milestone, is keeping ok but still awaiting operations for arthritis on her hands. The boat which she and Andrew had in Holland has now been sold.
 
News Date July 2008      Happy Birthday - Dave Vincent (70) Congratulations to Dave on his 70th, he and Nancy commute between the UK and South Australia - Summers? in the UK and Winters in Australia.
News Date July 2008       In Memoriam. To our shipmate Tom March who passed away 11th July 2007 sadly missed but never forgotten, thinking of you Tommy - keep smiling - (R.G.)
News Date July 2008     Obituary..... Mam (Norah Sproxton)  wife of the late Arthur Sproxton (Catering Officer) died today aged 78 years. Mam had cancer for the last year and coped well with the treatment until March when she became ill. We found out in May the cancer had spread and nothing else could be done. At least she is now with dad at peace.
Many thanks 
Christine Tallintire & Julie Smith (daughters)
09th July 2008
 
News Date July 2008      Happy Birthday - Godfrey Nash (59) Joined LOF in 1972 and remained until 1997 had 10 good years on cargo ships, lives in South Wales and does repairs/maintenance/building works. Separated he has a 20 year old son.
Moggsy Caffery - Will be 60 and I dare say eligible for his free bus pass in Milford Haven?
News Date July 2008     Mick & Gwyn Howells update (06th July) Just an update on Mike and Gwyn. She is now out of hospital but with neck and spine problems. I believe two discs are out and they do not want to replace them at this time and also there were chips of some others I gather. With a previous spinal problems, the spine is a sensitive area as it is crumbling in places and not a good site to be working on. She has a neck brace on for some time I gather and they will re-assess her in a few weeks time, Mike is now fine after the initial shock and them having to get a helicopter to take her to the hospital. the little MG (not the vintage rebuild one) is a right off of course and they'll be looking for a small car for running around the locality (B.S.)
News Date July 2008     Mick & Gwyn Howells.....Just a little poor news, Mike and Gwyn were involved in a traffic Accident early on Tuesday evening (01st). They were stopped behind a Van which had also stopped to turn right, when a car ran into the back of their small MG. Mike was driving and was lucky to escape with shock. Gwyn however had to be airlifted to Morriston Hospital with severe whiplash and back injuries. I got down to see them both later in the evening as soon as I got the news and found Gwyn strapped down with the usual neck-brace and also strapped to the bed. The X/Rays showed a chipped bone on the spine and at the moment they are waiting to see what the Consultants suggest. With her past record of spinal problems, this wasn't required of course. Mike isn't a patient but didn't look too good himself on Tuesday night and the Police were there taking a statement of course. (Bob Stinchcombe)
News Date July 2008        Hugh Maynard. (3rd/Off - Ch/Off) Hopefully you will recall my name from LOF days. I was C/Off on the 'London Victory' up to handing her over to the Greeks in New York in 1998. Currently I am Chief Off onboard the Cruise ship 'Thomson Celebration' and the reason for me writing was due to a Lloyds inspection whilst alongside in Newcastle last week. The inspector was Don Dunlop who inspired me to catch up with old LOF colleagues. I was very sad to hear of Martin Clarks untimely death as we had sailed together numerous times in the past.
My own story is that I am still living in the States in Idaho with wife & kid. After LOF I joined up with Cable & Wireless (now Global Marine Systems) and sailed on cable ships up until 2002 when I took voluntary redundancy. I stayed ashore for three years then decided to return to sea and took up with Thomson Cruises.
We are cruising out of the UK until the end of the Summer so if you happen to be close to Newcastle or Harwich in the next month Cheers Hugh Maynard   

News Date June 2008    Happy Birthday - Alistair Roaf (38) Adrian Latham (42), Alec Priestley (74) - all next week.

 

News Date June 2008     News from the USA - Steve Melton (Ex Rad/Off) I am still living in Corpus Christi at same address. Not doing the turtle patrols this year as there is now too much federal government BS for me.

One of the patrollers was killed in a ATV accident last year 2 days after the season
stated the programme was stopped for several weeks by investigators from Dept of
Interior.  I completed the season last year when it finally got started but too much
training, regulation and BS now. I don't expect any further trips to Spain or UK in
foreseeable future. Last trip was 18 months ago. My wife has health problems,
caused by smoking,  which are not likely to improve. I take a trip on the tour bus to
Mexico 3 or 4 times a year to buy medications for her which are a fraction of the price
they are here. Be grateful for the NHS. Its much better than this government approved
insurance/pharmaceuticals racket they are running here. Much enjoy LOF News, many
thanks for your efforts. Sad to see though so many old friends departing and no doubt
many more that you have not heard about. Best wishes. Steve Melton       

News Date June 2008     Success from the most wanted - John Blamaires. Sorry I lost touch but things have been a trifle hectic - to put it mildly!! I would love to have attended one of the reunions, but I'm always at sea when they are on!! I remember seeing Trevor Swatton name in the old LOF days, and knew he had joined RFA but our paths have never crossed - One day. I am still with RFA and will stay with them as I have only 6 years to retiring with a civil service pension. This is just a quick line as have to leave in 4 hours time as I am flying out to Rotterdam to take up my first Masters position (not with RFA!) just got my ticket on the 9th June. Its only for 3 weeks but I need to get my face in the frame again in the commercial world before I retire from RFA.
I'll keep in touch. Best Regards John

(John sailed with LOF on two occasions, being made redundant twice. He was 2nd Officer for many years and congratulations on obtaining his Masters Ticket, not sure how old John is but he is mid 50's so he's done well, he had been a commercial truck Sales Manager whilst away from the sea -anyway hope to get some more news from John when he gets sorted and settled) (R.G.)
News Date June 2008     What's in a Name? Derek S was asking about the ship 'London Exchange', unfortunately I can not find much about this one, I dare say there are some website with some info on it, however, it was probably a young Stanley Sedgewick - LOF's accountant in 1951 that aligned ships names beginning with 'London', for LOF vessels. In order to display the City of London Coat of Arms, he/LOF made a donation for each crest to the Lord Mayors charity fund, (Not to be confused with any funds that Ken Livingstone or Boris Johnson might have going). There was always much debate onboard when the weather worn crest was removed from the front of the accommodation to be re-painted, in fact there was several incidents when a very much multi-coloured crest painted with whatever was left over was spotted by the eagled eyed marine superintendent - normally 'Clipsham' when utter wrath and an almost keel hauling was called upon some the poor unfortunate divi-pimply faced apprentice who got the blame for the errors, so much so that at much expense, a framed colour photograph was supplied to each vessel, so that no offence was made to his worship - the Lord Mayor or to the City of London.
'Bowring SS Co' had a ship called the 'London Bridge' (1967) (28467 GRT)


Here is a 'young' Pete Collins (RHS) with the Cassab on the London Resolution
In the 1960's

(R.G.)

News Date June 2008     Paul Stephenson, (J/Eng - 4th/Eng) Paul served his time with ICI. He was one of three Engineers that Noris Jackson interviewed together (He told them they would'nt need much in the way of personal items when joining a ship, one of them joined for a 6 month trip with just a small overnight case.... and quickly realised that a few more 'personal' items were required, fortunately the ship was in and out of port regularly and he spent a tidy sum getting himself more comfortable?)
Paul Joined the 'London Pride III' in 1994 the Master was Andy Gillie and Chief was Mick Howells.
Last Ship was 'London Victory' in Singapore, in 1997 we were there when Princess Diana died. Since then have spent most of my time on cruise ships, then Ferries down in Dover working with Goeff White and Bob Mayman.  Left last year to work ashore in chemical plants again, can now watch every Boro home game, don’t know if thats a plus tho’.
Married with two lads. Still live in Boro (thats Middlesbrough to our overseas partners). All the best Paul.

News Date June 2008     Alan Nicholls Has been in the off-shore sector since LOF days and sails as Ch/Eng on stand-by vessels for North Star in the North Sea. He works 1 month on/1 month off. He and  Marie recently had a visit to France and whilst there went to see Jean Kirkham. Jean is keeping well and work on her conservatory is making progress, Jean has plenty of garden to occupy herself along with a few chickens. (A.N.)


Alan & Jean in May 2008                                                                                                        Alan in 1980
 
News Date June 2008      Success from the most wanted - Frank Warmsley (Ex J/Eng - 3rd/Eng) Frank served his time with 'English Electric' - became GEC from 1950 and stayed until 1960. He did a brief spell on the coast with Everards during the winter of 1961 and was sick of the weather. He Joined LOF - his first ship 'Finnamore Valley' in 1961 the Master was Newson and Ch/Eng was Robson. Frank sailed on most types of vessels and was seconded to the Greek side for a couple of trips. His final voyage was on the 'London Baron' Jacobs was the Master and Grahame Morrison was the Chief, they paid off on the 3rd February 1983, came home and was made redundant. After a short spell Frank got a position with Manchester City Council as a maintenance engineer and remained with them until he retired at the age of 65. He will be 73 in September, never married and managed without driving, he lives in the Preston area of the UK. (Our thanks to Dave Corbin who found Frank) (R.G.)
News Date June 2008     James Martyn Dowling (J/Eng - 3rd/Eng 1969 - 1976) Really fantastic to find Martyn after all this time, he is the 3rd Survivor of the 'Valour' tragedy we have contact with... here is his message.

When I looked through your site it brought back a whole lot of memories, mostly good.
I served my time at the GKN steelworks in Cardiff, emerging after four years as a welder/fabricator. They then stuck me on shift work which I hated and so when I saw an advert for LOF asking for Junior Engineers with ANY formal apprenticeship I thought I'd give it a go. Forty years (nearly) later I'm still trying to decide if I made the right decision!
The first ship I joined was the ill-fated 'London Valour' at St. Nazaire (19/12/69) and the Master was the same one who unfortunately went down with the ship (Muir?). Obviously I lost all the paperwork along with everything else. After this I was placed on the London Resolution, maiden voyage of the London Pride where I was permanent until I got totally fed up with it (beautiful ship but sooooo boring), then the Bombardier and so on.
3.The last ship I sailed on with LOF was the London Pioneer and I left that some time late November/early December 1976 in Sicily when it was sold to the Chinese as scrap I believe.
James Martyn Dowling in 1974



Since then I have worked for (deep breath):-
Souters, Bristol Channel Steam Navigation Company, Stolt Tankers, M O C., Havertons, Sea-Land, Maersk, U.E.C.C.
Now E. R. Schiffahrt.
I didn't get my C/E CoC until I was in my late thirties, that is after I made all my mistakes with the previous companies! so until I started with Sea-Land I was still 2/E. The job today is nothing like working for a dedicated British company like LOF. Now it is very rare to find another British officer in the company let alone actually sailing with one. Mostly we have ex-Soviets (Lithuanian, Latvian, Ukraine, real Russians, Croatians, Rumanian, Bulgarian), Polish of course and still mostly Filipino crews' social life is generally nil and time in port to relax is almost unheard of. On the plus side the trips are quite short, pay is in Euros and in a few years I'm packing it in anyway and if the company agrees I'll still do two relieving jobs (about four months) every year.
I now live (past 20 odd years) in Coventry. About the only person I still keep in touch with from LOF is Godfrey Cole,(3/O, 2/O, C/O) who is now head honcho of Bristol Channel Pilots.
Thanks very much for keeping this site going and if there is any one from the old days who wishes to get in contact please give them my e-mail address. I hadn't seen or heard from Meurig Caffery since returning home with him but I did meet 2/E from the Valour when he was a superintendent for Wallems - nice guy.
 
Please find attached a piccie of me (looking spiffy the wife says) taken this year.
Thanks again and keep in touch, J. Martyn Dowling (J/Eng ,4/Eng ,3/Eng with LOF,69 - 76)

(R.G. - Martyn and I sailed together on the 'London Bombardier 1974)
News Date June 2008    Happy Birthday - Nigel Lewis, (44) Nigel is Ch/Eng on the Stenna - Irish fast ferry Holyhead - Ireland route, he tells me that things are getting tight, as they are on slow speed in order to economise on fuel bills, maybe after the peak summer season they will go to one crossing per day, instead of the normal two. (DFDS Seaways, have also closed a route. They took over the loss-making route between Tyneside and Bergen-Haugesund-Stavanger in 2006, said rising oil prices and the economic slowdown have damaged the route's viability.) Nigel and Annwen have two sons aged 10 & 11 and are full of sports activities - Nigel being Chief Taxi driver. (R.G.)
31st May Messageboard back online again.....
News Date May 2008     Brian Ashby. Is feeling much better lately, he is on medication and sounds a lot more positive, he is doing some daily jobs and drives ok. He and Gill live in a nice area of Normandy France and keep a retired greyhound. (R.G.)
News Date May 2008      Alan Huddart. (Ex Rad/Off) I was the Radio Officer aboard ss Cedar Hill from November 1963 until February 1965. What a chapter of events it turned out to be after initially almost being Shanghaied on to the ship The most famous or infamous event was when we appeared in most of the British press but mostly in the London evening Standard and Star. This followed an absolute beating by the most vicious storm I experienced in my whole sea career. That particular voyage from Cuba to Poland is a story in itself but at this stage I wont go into details. I have been trying to write some sort of 'recollections' about my life at sea, but haven't done very well so far I'm afraid. I have a picture of the old girl whose name originally was the 'Dentonia Park'. It was taken in Marseille harbour taken in September 1964.
Just as a final thing, I ended my working career as a R/O at Portishead Radio for 25 years or more. 
Cheers Alan Huddart 

Mick Ward. (49) Haven't heard from Mick since his LOF Blazer Badge was lifted by someone at the LOF Reunion last year, I did manage to get him another - but I dare say he was attached to his own.
 Mick Howells. (61) Enjoying his retirement, golf and restoring his car. He and Gwyn have had a visit from Barbara March who stayed with them for a few days, Barbara is keeping well I hear, and son David is back at sea with BP.
Bob Stinchcombe is still in the wars, visiting and being in and out of hospital for a number of issues, his knee is still causing him problems and he awaits for an operation, he and Margaret are off again for some sunshine in Tenerife in the next week or so. Bob informs me that Di Walker is on the mend and has been in much better shape recently..

 
News Date May 2008     Bryan Watkins. (54) Ex 3rd Off - Master, now sailing with Saudi - Vela, informs he has two expensive daughters to maintain. Barry Moore (67) Ex EEO, has exported himself to the Philippines with his much younger wife and son after disillusionment with the UK. Paul Cartwright (62) Ex Cat/Off, still enjoying a couple of rounds of golf per week - he and Gwen enjoy weekends away in their Static Mobile Home.

In Memoriam. To our shipmate Andrew Gillie who passed away 2 years ago this week. Our thoughts are with Irene and her family. R.I.P.
News Date May 2008     The Welsh Endeavour..... May we congratulate Carl Tunnicliffe and particularly Mr. Tunnicliffe senior (A retired Police Officer) for his near 4 year labour of love - A full scale working model of the 'Welsh Endeavour' There have been previous photos last year, but I am pleased to say - this does look a superb job in all respects.

The motor that will power the ship is a 50mm dia. 7 pole electric running off 12v. We have connected up two 12v 7ah batteries in No.2 hold (just in front of the superstructure) to ensure she has enough ‘juice’ to have a meaningful sail….we first managed to fit the motor in the correct location as per the real ship, thereby ensuring the propshaft was correctly positioned as the prototype. Then dad had the bright idea of building a dummy Sulzer to cover it……….it will never be seen when on display unless the superstructure is removed, but WE know its there!!!!!
 

She is now finally finished and, due to her size (7 foot long), she was finally launched onto our local pond last Saturday. I am happy to report that there were no mishaps or unforeseen leaks through the hull (remember, being so large we couldn’t test float her in the bath in the usual manner……..
To get her down to the waterline we wanted (not fully laden but also not ‘in ballast’), we had to add lead weight to the sum of 56lbs composed of 3, 5 and 6lb blocks all placed, very carefully, in the holds. Dad and I are tremendously pleased with the final result and her first public outing will be on Saturday June 14th at Collet Park Lake in Shepton Mallet, Somerset (a local fete/fair where our Club ‘Shepton Mallet Drifters’ regularly display our boats). I have attached a couple of photos of the finished ship – one on her display/transport/launching stand and one of her under way on the pond.
Many thanks for your wonderful and informative website and I do hope it continues and prospers.
I will keep in touch with ‘Endeavour’s’ outings, just in case any former LOF/WOF crew want to come along and see her and chat.
Very best regards, Carl
 

News Date May 2008      John Moss Funeral arrangements.....  We have just had a phone call from Marjorie Moss who said she cannot speak too highly of the care and treatment given to John - "He was kept totally free of pain right to the end." Marjorie knows already that all their families in North Wales will be attending the service, and she did not expect us to attend, and she fully understands the reason why.
John Moss will be cremated at
The Crematorium between Colwyn Bay and Mochdre at 10 a.m on Thursday 22nd May 2008 Donations please to Aberconwy Ward Llandudno General Hospital. (Ambrose Jones)
Due to other pre -arranged commitments I am unable to make Colwyn Bay by Thursday, however I will on behalf of the LOF News make a donation in lieu of a wreath to the Llandudno General Hospital. (R.G.)
News Date May 2008      Trivia - The Bike - Trike? A couple of people were asking me about my Bike?, well I have to confess yes I do have a Bike - A motorbike, I've have one since the age of 16 - this one a BMW circa 1984 bought new, which unfortunately I can not ride anymore since my operation and sits in the garage gathering dust. Yes I have also a moped circa 1980 a Honda C70 which is also gathering dust. Yes I have a bicycle, slightly more modern - gathering dust, and the what must be the 'ultimate' besides say an antique 'penny farthing is my 'Malaysian - Trishaw' built circa 1946 and brought back many years ago - and is yet another object gathering dust? (R.G.)
News Date May 2008      Success from the most wanted - David Corbin. (Ex Rad/Off) Went to Riversdale Tech College 1967 and joined his first ship Bibby Line - 'Quebec City' in 1969 He joined LOF in 1971 first ship was the 'London Advocate' the Master was Bill Jaeger, last ship 1978 was the 'London Bombardier.' Dave then went for a short spell with Portishead Radio/GKA and then joined the Lancashire Constabulary as a Police Officer, he remained with them until retirement in 1998 and still works with them on an admin basis. Dave has been married to Katherine for 30+ years and they have one son, they live in Lancashire. (Paul Davidson & R.G.)



A young DC                                                                                                                                      DC with wife Kath

The Bill Jaeger. (1922 - 1995) Connection.....Please visit www.findonvillage.com where there is quite a write up about Bill, including contact from his daughter. Go to the sub-section Cissbury Ring and scroll down to the 'Screaming Bill' article. (17-05-08 Website was working again)
                                   

News Date May 2008     Tom Bennett. I am still here in Canada, working hard at a chicken processing plant. Wife and I are very happy here in Nova Scotia. She did have breast cancer two years ago, but thankfully came thro surgery and chemo plus radiation well. Love to check the LOF news you work so hard on please keep it up. All the best to the rest of the guys from LOF.  Tom Bennett.  1973-1984

Paul Davidson.. Still in the lighting business, as apart form navigation (old style with a sextant) do not know much else. Seem to be getting busier as the years go on, either that or I am slower and it appears busier.
Martin has left the sea following an accident whilst on secondment onboard a BP ship. He came home and the hospital said recovery would be 6-12months for return to service. Bibby would not wait and terminated his employment forthwith. Money seems to rule everything!!  He is at college for two years and the third year at UCLAN university studying a degree in business studies Looks like I will have to support him a while longer. It would be superb to reduce the work load and do what Jerry, an old boss of mine did, move to St Austell overlooking the sea and work 3 days a week.
 
News Date May 2008     John Moss. (Ex Radio Officer) It is with great sadness to announce the passing away of John, who was 83 years old, he had been married to Marjorie for some 56+ years (no children). Went to Sea in 1942, Marconi/Siemens/AEI and LOF in 1957 until 1974 then onto SANKO until ill health retired in 1983. He had several health and stroke issues over the last 25 years, but always had a positive attitude. They lived near Rhos On Sea, Colwyn Bay and enjoyed the sea air. John had cared for his wife for a number of years. Remembers R/O Eric Hill Senior on London Valour, whom relieved him prior to grounding. (Ambrose Jones & R.G.)
News Date May 2008     Jeannie Tarbuck. I am pleased to report that Jeannie has had her knee operation, she was in hospital for 3 days and is making a good recovery, Capt. T. is on full scale kitchen and bottle washer and is in usual charge.
Irene Gillie. Is still awaiting to have operations carried out on her hands. Its almost 2 years since Andrew passed away, the boat which they owned and enjoyed has now been sold. Irene remains in Southend-on Sea and has no plans to move, if she did it would to be closer to her daughters and grand-children.

Most Wanted - Lost & Missing..... Ken Thurston, does anyone know the whereabouts of Ken, where did he live? Still looking for John Sage (He would be in his 30's) Glen Samuels (Ex EEO) possibly Plymouth area? Dave Corbin (Rad/Off) - Found Thanks..... see above   Frank Walmsley (4th/Eng) - Found Thanks..... see above

News Date May 2008     Dave Blackshaw. last heard of spending plenty of time away? on Luxury Yachts, Dave renowned for his 'hollow' legs, worked for a period after LOF days in a large brewery in Burton On Trent, he told me there were plenty of 'perks' to the job.
Ronnie Alexander keeps in touch with Jean Kirkham regularly and manages well on her own after the premature passing away of Ian. Ronnie still works and lives in North Yorkshire. (R.G.)
News Date May 2008     In Memoriam. To our shipmate Jack Kirkham who passed away 3 years ago in 2005
sadly missed but never forgotten, thinking of you Jack - keep smiling - (R.G.)
News Date April 2008     Keith Pengelly. (Ex Radio/Off) I went to college in Plymouth 1964 - 1965 and joined MIMCo Jan 1966. Did the usual round of companies that they serviced the went direct employ Oct 1968
Hunter Cambridge            Oct 1968 - Nov 1968     Capt Wallace
Overseas Ambassador    Dec 1968 - Jun 1969     Capt Fox / Wright
London Prestige                Sep 1969 - May 1970   Capt Brown
London Resolution            Aug 1970 - Feb 1971    Capt  Armstrong/Kemp/ Douglas
London Statesman           Jun 1971 - Dec 1971     Capt Gordon
London Explorer                May 1972 - Oct 1972     Capt Jeret
London Banker                  Dec 1972 - Feb 1973    Capt Jeret
London Grenadier             May 1973 - Oct 1973     Capt O'Conner/Cornish
London Cavalier                Feb 1974 - Jun 1974     Capt Jaeger
London Pride                     Aug 1974 - Sep 1975     Capt Kemp
 
I left to join P&O General cargo division (they paid better) and stayed with them until 1979.  I left the sea when our son was born and got work in a factory for STC. Total brain damage in a factory after 13 years at sea!!!  Mercury Communications were recruiting, so went on the road as an installation engineer with them until I took early retirement in 2002.  My wife had a brush with Cancer so it was an ideal opportunity to opt out of work. 
 
I live in Harlow Essex, spend most of my weekends and all the summer touring around the UK in our Caravan.  I'm heavily into family history having traced my Cornish ancestry back to the 1700's.  I've recently taken up ballroom dancing, supposedly the help lose weight, but there's a bar there so that's not quite working out the way it should.
 
I'll try and dig out some photos later, but I was never really much into photography.  I do have Skyfoto aerial photos of all the above ships I served on also a couple of Andy Sinclair's incredible pen & ink drawings.

Best wishes Keith.....

News Date April 2008     A request from Mr. Simon Daniels..... I am currently working on a PhD researching the criminal accountability of the Ship's Master. As an ex-practising Marine Lawyer and, currently, a Marine Lecturer  at Southampton Solent University, I appreciate the high reputation which London and Overseas Freighters had as an employer and would be very grateful indeed if you and any of your former colleagues could help me with some information. I am sure you will know that the criminalisation of the Master has been observed as a growing phenomenon worldwide for more than thirty years. The business of Fleet Ownership and Management has changed dramatically, yet the person least able to influence changes has been the Master, who has seen their traditional relationship with the ship operator blurring. The effect has left the Master with diminishing influence without losing responsibility. They remain Master Under God, but without God's authority over the management of the ship's affairs. The key to a successful methodology will be to address the issue from the firm foundation of historical perspective; therefore, investigation is necessary in order to present a clear explanation of the evolution of the Master's position.
A clear understanding of the Master's position through the period of rapid evolution of ship operations will be underpinned by the compelling evidence of recollections and opinions of seafarers themselves, both retired and serving, and I can think of no more powerful source than a company such as London and Overseas Freighters, whose ?family? style management clearly contributed to a very distinguished history. I am enclosing some material which explains a little more about the project, as well as my own background. I hope very much that you and your former colleagues  would be interested in contributing their recollections and opinions, and would be very keen to meet and discuss the project further.

Criminalisation Outline

My full contact details are:

Southampton Solent University
East Park Terrace
Southampton
Hampshire SO14 0RD UK
Telephone 02380 319727
Mobile 07711855332
e-mail Simon.Daniels@solent.ac.uk
 
News Date April 2008    Remembering the SD14 Cargo Ships.....In order to help boost sales of Austin & Pickersgill  The Tween Deck Standard Design Cargo Ship, which was designed around 1966. LOF decided in 1970 to build 4 for themselves and two for associated companies. The idea from the boardroom was to deliver to the shipowners a cheap cargo vessel costing less than £1,000,000. This figure was a bit subjective as when the first vessel for LOF 'London Grenadier' was delivered the actual book value to the Company and Authorities was £1,645,000. Our vessels had been considerably 'modified' for British Officers. Initially there was no carpets or a fitted out smoke-room, these so called 'extras' came after the launch and first fitting out and therefore the costs were not fully bourne on the overall costings. The names of the LOF vessels was to follow the 'old' regiments of foot soldiers. The 'Grenadier' was delivered in April 1972. The 'Fusilier' and 'Cavalier' followed. It became the 'norm' from the Balfour Place Offices - since these ships were UK built and by the owner of the shipyard, that the launch ceremony was quite a good jolly to be at. Secretaries, Stores and Vitualling, even the Master at Arms came to one of the launches - why not, as they rarely got to meet ships staff, other than those passing by the office on occasion.
The SD14 was a very successful venture for both the Shipowner and Shipbuilder,
 A&P won two Queens Award to Industry in 1973 and 1977. The last of the group to be delivered was the 'Bombardier' in January 1973. With this expansion, a new wave of personnel joined the company, the ships tramped the world for a few years, until containerisation mainly took over the general cargoship trades. A&P continued to trade profitably with another award winning design the B26 Bulk Carrier. After a number of years of uncertainty, the Government nationalised A&P in July 1977 - the compensation received helped LOF for a number of years. Alas with the world economy and oil trades unpredictable the four LOF SD14's were sold in 1979, and thus came to end another era.
A total of 54 SD14s were launched from the South Docks yard – 16 by Bartrams and 38 by Austin and Pickersgill. The design was franchised out to other shipyards in other countries and well over 150 of these vessels were delivered. After its closure, Austin & Pickersgill shipbuilding facilities were consolidated at Southwick.

For more in depth history....

LINGWOOD JOHN SD 14 - THE GREAT BRITISH SHIPBUILDING SUCCESS STORY
Kendal, World Ship Society. 1976. 14.5 X 21 Cm. 72 pp, ill, soft cover, fine condition.
Offered for EUR 28.00 = appr. US$ 44.21 by: Librairie Zannekin - Book number: 003450
See more books from our catalogue: Maritime /Shipowning

There appear to be two books about SD14s by John Lingwood
"SD14 (The Great British Shipbuilding Success Story)" ISBN 0950004480. Published by the World Ship Society in 1976.
"SD14 The Full Story" Published by Ships in Focus in 2004.

(R.G. for LOF News 04-08)

News Date April 2008     Lost & Missing..... Lets see if we can locate and get contact with the following...
John Sage (Ex Nav/Cad - 3rd Off) (Hampshire). Derek Wilby (Ex 4th/Eng). Steve Riches (Ex Deck Off) and Malcolm Jellicoe (Apprentice - Ch/Off) was with AMCL out of Hong Kong (CY Tung) - believed to have retired fairly recently - from Birmingham area.
Tony Atkins..... where are you, someone is asking about you?

Tony Bragg (Ex 3rd Eng) is still working on his two boats, catching 'sole' at present, Tony is keeping well and is 73. He has had no news recently from Poly Morton, hopefully the old boy is OK. (R.G.)
News Date April 2008    Dave Lawrence.....Still a youngster a Happy 52nd Birthday, Dave is E&EO with P&O out of Dover. He and partner Joanne live near Blackpool (The posh part)
In memoriam of Tommy March, Tom would have been 67 this week .... he was proud to have been born on St Georges Day. I understand Barbara is keeping well and son David has been land-locked with BP, is due back to sea anytime.

 
News Date April 2008     Bob Stinchcombe. has not fully recovered after his knee operation, he still has an element of pain and the other knee also gives him problems, to top things off he has to have two cataracts removed in the not to distant future and the Hiatus Hernia he has fought with for over thirty years, has sneakily crept up on me and needs sorting ....its called old age Bob and you can't fight it. Margaret is keeping well. Bob informs me that Nigel Speedy has been in touch and said he met up with some ex Junior Engineer living in Spain, called Shaun Tobin, who was on the 'Finnamore Meadow'.

After visiting our friend John Newton this weekend in Warrington - celebrating his 99th Birthday, we came back via our favourite eatery the 'Glamourous Chinese Restaurant' in Manchester and met up once more with George and Margaret Pringle - Margaret recovering well after a recent operation on her hand, George is in good health and spirits and is planning a surprise 70th birthday treat for Margaret later this year. (R.G.)

News Date April 2008     Tim Walley.  I worked for LOF from Jan 93 to Jan 96 starting as a Junior Engineer finishing as a Fourth Engineer, Serving on the Victory, Spirit & Enterprise. I am still living in Wistaston near Crewe  - the same house - same wife, Anne & same dog.  
Returned to my previous employer - Rolls-Royce & Bentley Motor Cars - Engineering Department as a project Engineer on the design and development of the Bentley Arnage interior trim. After the Arnage was launched to the public I moved on to the prototype build department, helping to coordinate the build of the prototype Continental GT's I am now a Test Engineer involved in the testing of the interior trim for the next generation of Bentleys. I spend most of my spare time restoring /working on my vintage Foden lorry, which I use to transport a friends Traction Engine to steam rallies throughout the country. Best Regards Tim
News Date April 2008      John (Martin) Clark. (b 04/01/1965 - d 20/03/2008) The details of the untimely passing of Martin have now been archived to the Obituary section - see sidebar. Our thanks to all who contributed to the wreath. (R.G.)
News Date April 2008      Mike & Rosemary Annett. Mike is enjoying his retirement, having been involved in Channel and North Sea Piloting for over 25 years. He was one of the youngest ex apprentices to be promoted to Master aged 32ish. Rosemary is doing well.
 
Terry Edwards. I joined LOF from school and left in 1986, just before the redundancies! I went coasting with Stevie Clarkes before joining United Marine Dredging in 2000. At present I am sailing as Master on the City of Westminster operating mainly out of Greenwich. I did a brief stint with Campbell Maritime in 1998 for two years but decided deep sea and tankers were not for me so joined UMD.  I am married to Julie and have two grown up daughters. I had to work during the last reunion and would have loved to meet up with some old friends including Paul Cartwright and Pete and Carol Collins. I spoke to Rod Shaw at the MCA last year. I also met up with Mike McDonnell who keeps in touch occasionally.  I regularly check out the website and congratulate your efforts most sincerely. Good luck and best wishes for the future. Terry (Edwards)

Thanks to Ron Todd. who recently sent me an article from 'Ships Monthly'© March 2008 of Archie Coulter EX LOF Nav/Cadet in 1969 and now Master with 'Saga Forrest Carriers'
mainly  onboard the 'SAGA HORIZON'




Click on Picture and enlarge....

News Date April 2008     Robert Wilson. "On Halloween night, 1984, I was the Radio Officer aboard the 'RMS ST. HELENA', a small passenger ship (3,150 gross tons, 76 passengers) en-route from Cape Town to Avonmouth. Well off trade routes we suffered a bad engine room fire. I had just left a Halloween party at 2200 & was fast asleep by 2230 when awakened by alarms, bells & smoke. Main power failed, but came back on again, but Sat-coms no good because gyro wandering & had taken dish off satellite. Emergency Generator conked out because it choked on smoke, so main Transmitter no good either. Sent SOS on 24V Emergency Tx & 'OVERSEAS ARGONAUT' answered immediately, 25 miles away (auto alarm job). They arrived very quickly. Flooded E/R with CO2. E/R Burned for 48 hours with tanker standing by. Once fire was extinguished, released tanker & just lay there for several days till German salvage tug FAIRPLAY IX took us in tow. Arrived in Dakar in about a week & remained there for one month for repairs. Then rather than sailing home, we went south again to Cape Town & embarked more passengers despite fact our public rooms were a bit soggy & damaged. No one killed, but one or two minor injuries."

Standing By                           Good-Bye Argonaut            Long Tow               St Helena @ St Helena
                                                                                                                               (Falklands Era)
Thanks to John Trotter (Ex Radio Officer - living in Australia) 
 
News Date April 2008        'Tankers Galore' - Now uploaded in full Black & White with Mono sound?
As the Company began to build ships under the LOF title, Basil Mavroleon and the other Directors commissioned a film to be made of the original buildings of the 'London Pride I', 'London Prestige I' and the 'London Splendour I' in the UK Northeast shipyards around 1950. This film was original 16mm and was later converted to US/NTSC VHS format, I converted it sometime ago to UK/PAL VHS and then to DVD format. We have now successfully converted once more to a 'Flash' format (most computers with windows will have a default Flash Player installed).  Unfortunately our technology is not that of 'You Tube
©' and the Flash format once started is about 60Mbit, it took about 2 minutes to load on a decent broadband connection, if you are not broadband connected - don't bother it will take to long to load. The film is just over 30 minutes in length in total.
Our thanks to Miles Kulukundis who sent me the original NTSC tape and has released copyright for it. This is a unique part of the beginnings of LOF History. There is a link placed on the sidebar. (R.G.)
News Date April 2008        David (Di) Walker. Dave had a poorly spell recently having developed severe 'Gout' from his feet to his knees, Rita had been feeding him with 'Plums' and apparently it was the skin which contained a vast amount of uric acid - onset of gout?, anyway he is much better now and will be looking forward to his big '80' next January......Rita is keeping well. (R.G.)
News Date April 2008       John Russell.  (A friend of LOF) Sorry to report the passing away of John,  who passed away on the 2nd April John published several books including 'Another Pinch of Salt'.  True tales of the sea by various Ex Seafarers, in this particular book many by Ex Radio Officers. David Meare has made a significant contribution from his days in LOF and other companies that he sailed with, other Ex LOF Officers contributing are John Trotter and Ron Stringer. John Russell studied at the Norwood Technical College and went to sea in 1956 with Marconi Marine, after a few trips he joined New Zealand Shipping as a direct employed R/O. John came ashore in 1963. He was just 71 years old.
I am sure we all pass our condolences on to Jean.
(David Meare)
News Date April 2008      Martin Littlewwood. (Ex Nav/Cadet - Master) Martin is back at sea - still with 'Vela' a Saudi Company. He is on the 300,000 dwt 'Alphard Star'. 'Vela' must be short of Masters as they always asking Martin to go back early - he normally tells them he can not....
Both of us rather down, after the car accident we were in just over a month earlier.  A pick
up truck doing about 120kph, went over the top of the A-class bonnet while we were stopped at a cross roads. A couple of feet further back I and it would have hit my door.  Airbags popped, and they car spun round 270, and the rear end clipped the back of the pick up as we spun round, some how as well. Erika did a couple of ribs in on the seat belt, and the mirror fell down and hit me in the corner of the eye, and on the finger.  Both of us banged knees together.  Erika still has pain in the rib, and my finger and knee is still not right.  I cant run on it - or climb stairs like I used to.
Some 'life' at sea these days? Paperwork, emails, vetting audits inspections it's never ending.  Oil major inspector telling me I should have a net over the swimming pool it case some one falls in-  when the railing and gate round it are to the same standard as the ship's side rails. I won't even mention the 4 first trip locals - been told if they do 90 days, filling their record book then can come back as a 4/E. One the bright side - on one of the ships hear 4 failed the D & A (Drug & Alcohol) test, - over a month at sea, and then they use the stuff a few days before arriving.  Also on Ch Off joining in Yanbu in the Red Sea ended up in jail, when joining with a porn stash in his hard drive. So life goes on. Regards to everyone - Martin.
News Date April 2008       www.whalesrevenge.com is trying to get a million people to sign a petition to stop whaling. Thank you - Peter (Titley), Outlane, Waltonhurst Lane, Eccleshall, Stafford, ST21 6JS
Tel:+44 (0)1785 850183. (m) 07969 617853
News Date March 2008      The Stroke Association - Sponsored Abseil.... Connie Gerstner....
After a glinch yesterday - the wind was blowing at 40 kts and it began to rain, all had to go on hold. The girls were invited back today and with a band of enthusiastic supporters completed their abseil today Sunday 30th in fine and calm conditions.
The Stroke Association were sponsored throughout the weekend by various groups in Peterborough and at other venues throughout the country. The Peterborough event raised in excess of £20,000 and The Peterborough Stroke Unit contributed over £1,000. Connies sponsors included below raised £446.11 - Many thanks for all your generosity in giving to such a worth while cause. The weather remained fine for the rest of the afternoon and we celebrated at the Pub afterwards?                                                                                                        

Adrian Cook                  Ron Todd                Keith Cederholm         
Roy Gerstner                 LOF News               Paul Cartwright          JWWP                           Bob Stinchcombe  John & Kath Aspin




 

If you are doing any fundraising or sponsored event let me know and I'll put a placement here on the website.... (Free advertising)

News Date March 2008     Quine Parkes... I was a cadet from 1968 to 1972 (M. Q. Parkes) and served on several ships, 'London Harmony', 'Citizen', 'Resolution' and 'Overseas Discoverer' and 'Ambassador'. I noted with interest the photographs from the reunion however I was unable to put names to faces. Such a long time ago. However I do remember some of the names on the crew lists. Memories, gee wiz. I appreciate that the reunion was in 2004 and 2007 but do you have contacts for any of the people who attended?. I noted that a “Andy Sinclair” was mentioned. The reason I opened the website was in conjunction with a UK pension enquiry as I’m now and have been since 1972 residing in Australia. (DOB 21/11/50) They asked for details of past employers and I found my original Cadet Agreement with LOF. Wonders never cease, and my son suggested a look see on the internet. - amazing.
For interest sake,  On leaving LOF in 1972 I came to Australia with a few to see the world in my own time. I worked on Prawning vessels out of Darwin for a couple of years and then joined the Maritime Arm of the West Australian State Government driving 20m Patrol vessels and in Administration for 30 odd years. Things then became all to difficult so I resigned and I have only recently gone “back to sea” as a 2nd Mate on 70m rig/anchoring vessels operating in the Northern waters of Australia, and enjoying life again. I suppose if any regrets I should have stayed on and got my 2nd Mates, way back when but oh well. Cheers for now Quine Parkes

This Saturday, the weather forecast is not looking too good?
A Total of £446:11  (£349.96:00 locally + LOF sponsors) and £96.15
from the link 'Just Giving' - See below for further details.....    Many thanks to everyone.....
 
News Date March 2008    Tim Walley. (Ex Jnr - 4th/Eng) Tim has found us at last..... he was on the 'Most Wanted' list sometime back, Tim will be in contact later with his update, he is an ex Rolls-Royce (Motors) Engineer and is now the Test Engineer for Bentley Motors - and gets to drive some very prestigious motorcars indeed...more about Tim in a few days.... (R.G.)

Bob Patmore (Ex 3rd/Off - Ch/Off) Bob has now retired, he and Janet moved close by their old house to a bungalow, he is enjoying plenty of DIY..... (R.G.)

News Date March 2208      Martin Stokes. (Eng/Cadet - 4th/Eng) I was a Welsh Ore Carriers Engineer Cadet in 1975 and subsequently with WOF and LOF. My last ship with LOF was the 'London Glory', which I signed off from as 4th/ Eng. in Singapore on 15th July 1985.  I enjoyed reading the history of WOC/WOF and could provide a few more names for the personnel list. The Ch/Eng was James Ross Bailes,  he lived in Sunderland and died from cancer about eight years ago if I remember rightly. There was a WOF Engineer Superintendent called Ken Bateson, perhaps this is the reason for the "Ken Bailes". 
A few names that spring to mind are John Winter who I believe is presently a Lloyd's surveyor, Malcolm Cuthbert and F. Hughes who were Chiefs on the Glory and Enterprise respectively. William Black from Aberdeen also stands out, I believe he was a 2nd Eng. Another 2nd Eng. possibly ...? Baxter lived in S. Shields. I shall have to wrack my brains a bit further on this one. 
As to what I have done since leaving LOF in 1985, I joined Buries Markes as a 3rd/Eng and stayed with them until 1989.  I had a year with South Coast Shipping as 2nd/Eng. on dredgers but the pay and conditions were lousy, however, three weeks on and three off was pretty good. After South Coast, I sailed for four years with Farstad UK on anchor handling and supply vessels. The adoption of two boys meant that I really needed a shore side job, so I undertook a two year teaching degree at Sunderland University which lead on to me becoming a lecturer at South Tyneside College for eleven years. I was HoD for Engineer Cadet Training for the last three years but resigned last August due to disillusionment with the politics of the job. I have decided to take a sabbatical and then launch myself back into the world of work once more.
Hence lots of time for DIY.  It's a bit like being on leave again, i.e., living in a boiler suit for most of the day! 
I will have a dig through my old papers to see if I have anything that might be of interest. ...Best wishes Martin.....
 
News Date March 2008
On a slightly lighter note at these sad times, here is a picture of Martin Clark with Capt Rod Tarbuck, when we flew out to Japan on taking over R&K's 'Nestor' - 'London Enterprise III', the mainly Greek Officers had 'run' down the gangway?. One of the more unusual things found (1992) was a small chicken pen with 3 large hens, this was fresh eggs daily, and later on undoubtedly fresh roast chicken or curry. The new Philippino crew wanted to keep them, but alas, the vessel was bound for US/Canadian waters, and Capt T didn't want hassle from the authorities believing the 'chickens' could be 'terrorists or something similar. So the dockies at the Panama Canal were offered to take 'safe' care of the pet chickens.... if you believe they lasted a week you'd believe anything. Still the chickens proved a source of entertainment on the pacific crossing and laid most days....

Roger Harrison.
It is with sympathy and regret to announce his wife Lynn passed away a few weeks ago, she was taken ill with cancer and was 59 years old. They had been married for some 38 years and have one son. Roger suffered a minor stroke a few years ago, but manages fairly well and works for ASDA.
News Date March 2008  Trivia.....For all our overseas associates, weather in the UK has been pretty unseasonable, the coldest Easter for some 40 years, my friends 'Timmy & Suntan' are well over 40 and can not remember anything like it.... ? they are waiting for some decent warm sunshine, but for the time have to do with basking under the boiler.....thinking about happier times. Timmy on the left is a Male Mediterranean Spur Thigh Tortoise and Suntan is the Female version.... she is in overall charge.                                              

                                                                                                                                
Thanks Ron Caine - There is to be a Warsash Association Silver Jubilee Reunion, planned for October 2009 for further details see Warsash Web re John Downs.
Geoff Baskerville has changed his e-mail address - living in sunny Australia, if anyone wants to contact I will pass on details.
 

News Date March 2008     Rod & Jeannie Tarbuck. have just returned from Tenerife, being there for the last month, awaiting the arrival of their first Grandchild - born on 07th march - 'Louis George' - Tarbie is over the moon with events, Jeannie is still awaiting a knee operation.
                     Bobby Fullagar..... Still at sea as Master with part of the CY Tung Group Hong Kong, he is due back next week after a 6 month trip. His two sons have move out at last, and Elsie is still a Senior Community Physiotherapist. Bobby is a Big Gillingham Football fan.....
 
News Date 22/03/08          I am awaiting further details on the funeral arrangements, but it seems likely that Martin will be brought back to Walkington East Yorkshire, it is my provisional intention to attend this funeral and if any of our LOF friends and associates would like to donate towards the wreath - this will be most welcomed.
News Date March 2008     John (Martin) Clark. (b 04/01/1965 - d 20/03/2008)
It is with great sadness to announce the sudden death of Martin (It is only 3 months since his father passed away). I understand that he came home yesterday (20th) to enjoy a lunch with his wife Cheryl, when he was taken unwell and admitted to hospital. He died of a brain haemorrhage and a heart attack he was 42. He leaves wife Cheryl and children Josh (17) and Alex (6)
Martin sailed with LOF as a cadet joining in 1982 and rose to Chief Officer leaving when the company was sold in 1997.

I am sure this is a great shock to his family, and on behalf of us all at LOF I would extend our condolences. As I get more information, I will update. (R.G.)

News Date March 2008        Ambrose Jones.  sends the following extract from Lloyds List© Thursday 6 March 2008
Six months ago, admits Basil Mavroleon — a shipbroker with a rich Greek shipping lineage — he was a lot more pessimistic about the immediate future of the tanker market than he is today.
Until recently the managing director of leading US-based tanker chartering broker Charles R. Weber, Mr Mavroleon cites the fallout from the recent Hebei Spirit spill in South Korea and a significant list of tanker conversion projects among factors that have brightened his market outlook.
“I am guardedly optimistic,” he said, noting the number of VLCC conversion projects for floating production storage and offloading units or very large ore carriers, 60 by some estimates, may substantially offset deliveries scheduled for 2010.
Mr Mavroleon handed over the daily reins of the Connecticut-based firm to colleague James Ford early this year, although he continues to be director of the company’s project group and holds a number of other industry positions, including vice chairmanship of the New York World Scale committee. The move is portrayed as an opportunity to shrug off a burden of administrative duties and do more oft he kind of work he wants, and that includes spending more time in Greece, he said.
Two years ago, Mr Mavroleon co-founded with Bobby Mitropoulos, formerly a US-based broker with Compass Maritime, a new brokerage in Piraeus that has just been renamed WeberSeas (Hellas), reflecting a 50% participation by Charles R. Weber and Mr Mavroleon, who personally heads the venture’s tanker department.

Taking up the story, he says that there were two goals behind the move. “Greece-based owners have always been a main client base for us but we believed Greece and the owners we already had needed a real professional service,” he said. “We felt that even if we never fixed a ship we would enhance our own position in the Greek market. Secondly, we wanted to add sale and purchase activity. We were the biggest tanker brokers in the US but small in sale and purchase” Mr Mavroleon believes the S&P business has already paid for itself, going by WeberSeas’ initial experience. The company, however, was a little slower to launch its tanker business, but “we now have three good brokers and it is really starting to gel”, he added. Activities have also branched out into less advertised areas. One such is that the company recently undertook management of a pair of 7,000 dwt vegetable oil tankers trading in the Mediterranean and Black Seas and office expertise in this niche has been added to the office. Moreover, the principals have been counselling a number of Greek shipowners on possible initial public offerings. While declining to identify those concerned, Mr Mavroleon says that voices plying down the possibility of new tanker listings this year may have got it wrong. “We are trying to help a couple of companies and maybe in spring you could see a couple of tanker companies going public,” he said.

Portraying Greek owners as consummate market players, he added: “They like to be in the market, although they know you cannot control it. “They know today you have to be big and need a lot of money to support you.” Even so, he marvels at some instances of owners paying extraordinary sums for large, modern ships and then eschewing the relative comfort of period chartering in favour of the excitement of the spot market.

Some of nation’s largest owners are maintaining a VLCC presence, while newcomers aim to plunge into volatile sector. (Sounds familiar? R.G.)

News Date March 2008     Dave Meare. (Ex Rad/Off) The 'Hunter Cambridge' had a bit of jaded career and when I joined her things were no different. Our initial attempt at departure was set back about five days by a collision in the ship canal. They shoved us alongside in Mode Wheel Basin while they replaced a peeled back section of bow and shrugged off a big dent amidships.
Once under way however the weather was vile but at least we were supposedly heading for warmer waters. Just after lunch on the 7th August we were a few hundred miles to the North of the Azores with the weather poor but not appalling any more. To our surprise saw a small boat ahead to port. It was about to pass us some distance off, going the other way. The second mate called the old man and asked if we could wander over for a look and he was agreeable to that.
A change of course set us up to pass close by them and a ring on the telegraph to slow us down was completely ignored as it hadn't been the subject of prior negotiation, presumably between the Old Man and the Chief.
As we got closer we could see they'd got a big banner draped across the rigging with "LAT?" painted on it in BIG letters.  Fortunately the 2nd mate was a big lad with a fine pair of lungs and using the loudhailer managed to bellow it out sufficiently well for them to wave acknowledgement. They had apparently all come on deck to give us a wave and we waved back, but as we continued at a breakneck speed of 11 or 12 knots the meeting was a brief one.
We watched them disappear astern heading into the black skies behind us and wished them luck. I asked the old man if I could report their position to Portishead and he was okay with that. Some time later we got the attached letter from Lloyds. Portishead had forwarded the letter to them. LloydsLetter-GYUB
regards, Dave
News Date March 2008     Ok.... we're back after some sunshine, a few bits of news.....
I have upgraded a lot of software on my computers and as usual nothing goes smoothly (unless you're a Mac user), also I've gone completely cable, so my home e-mail will be changing (and will change again in a few months I am told) so please be patient. News on Connies forthcoming charity abseil the total is now £240:00 (R.G.)

From Mr. Jonathan Davis.....
I came across your site whilst browsing. It was of great interest to me because my Grandfather was Capt. Macdonald LLoyd Thomas who was Master for a time of the 'Welsh Herald' and I believe, the 'Minstrel'. I was only a little lad at the time, (and hence need to check the facts with my mother, his daughter), but believe I spent a short period of time on board the 'Herald'  whilst it was in dock. I can remember being spoilt by the Chief Steward with loads of jelly and ice cream and drinking cold lemonade. Was it Pang Lui? I can also remember being almost overwhelmed by the size of the ship and was quite nervous about walking aboard. I didn't want to fall in!
My Grandfather died a while ago, but his wife lived until quite recently. When we sorted out their belongings I made sure I personally kept everything that related to his life at sea, even notebooks that were obviously used for rough notes whilst at sea.
May I take this opportunity to thank you for taking the time to develop your site. It has helped me answer some questions about my Grandfather's working life.
Could you tell me when he was the Master of the Herald and/or Minstrel? I cannot put a date to it?
(Does anyone know the answer please
contact me)
I know my Grandfather was at sea all his working life. He always smoked and was never allowed to have a cigarette indoors, (I used to spend much of my summer holidays as a child with him in South Wales after he retired), he used to go outside to the garden for a smoke, especially after dark and tell me tales all about the things he had seen and done whilst at sea. He told me all about navigating by the stars, and about many sad things he had seen whilst running grain back to the UK during the War. 
As well as his career at sea he ran a few small shops in S Wales for certain periods of time, the work being done by my Grandmother whilst he was at sea.  My Mother still has his sextant that dates from WW2.
I have got with me a notebook that appears to have been used for rough notes made during the early 70's. At this time he appears to have been working for 'Constants of Cardiff'. He sailed the M/V Lottinge and the 'Susan Constant'. 
I must explain my situation. I was born in S Wales in 1969 and my parents moved to Oxfordshire in the late 70's. My home is in Abingdon Oxfordshire and this is where most of the stuff is stored.
To complicate matters my wife's Great Uncle was a 'Charles Horton' who was also a Master based in S. Wales. He worked for the Hobart Line, specifically on the 'Hobart Star'. I met her in Oxford and it was pure coincidence that we had family contacts with the Merchant Navy in S. Wales.

Anyway,
Thanks again for a brilliant site,
Jonathan Davis. 

News Date Feb 2008      It's time for some Holidays......again, so I hope no salt is going to join Davy Jones, whilst we are away, there will be sparse news for the next couple of weeks, we still have a little way to go on Connies' Sponsored Challenge, I hope to get her in training whilst on the beach?

So please dig deep and help a very worthy cause.
I'll be by the pool (watching the training) with a Large G&T (that will do nicely thank you)....more news around mid-march......
 
News Date Feb 2008      New Photo's.... I am 'slowly' working through a bunch of new pictures and have recently uploaded a few.... Party Days 3, Staff Page 7 and a few new pictures of LOF Ships.... (R.G.)
Total £240:00     As of 20th March we have raised £185:00 locally and £55:00 through
 
                                           the link below.        
I am pleased that Joan Tiplady JP General Manager of the Medical Unit of PDH has also confirmed her sponsorship.


News Date Feb 2008    
Connie Gerstner.
(Stroke Ward Manager Peterborough District Hospital) On the 29th March all of 5ft 0 inches and 110 lbs and dedication will be carrying out a challenge of a lifetime - a sponsored abseil down the sheer wall of Peterborough's Woolworth Building, to raise funds for the worthy cause 'The Stroke Association.' and I would be very grateful to any of our generous LOF Associates who would like to donate and sponsor Connie.

The easiest, and safest way is to log onto the www.justgiving.com/conniegerstner
webpage. We and others have used this facility in the past and found it to be genuine and secure. I am sure that with the amount of publicity surrounding Strokes and Heart problems that our friends and associates will be generous in our fundraising efforts, and we thank you in advance. Connie & Roy Gerstner.

                                                                   
                                                                  
           ©peterboroughpictures.co.uk

 
News Date Feb 2008     Brian (Badger) Gray. (Jnr/Eng - 3rd Eng) I recently had a great reunion with Tony Bragg of Brightingsea, whom I sailed with on two ships for almost 2 years - 40 years ago! He told me of the LOF News (which I had no notion of) and would dearly love to be part of it. Briefly I served with LOF & Mavroleon Bros from 1962 to 1969 and sailed on the 'Overseas Courier', 'London Banker', 'Avon Ranger', 'London Advocate', 'Overseas Discoverer', 'Finnamore Meadow', 'London Banker' -again, and 'Victore'. Tony Bragg (Wedge) and I (Badger) sailed on the 'London Bankers' maiden voyage and then on 'London Advocate'. A host of names have come to mind since meeting up with Tony :- Captain Mackenzie, Tony Tucker, Phil Barber, (Courier), Hylton Burdon, Captain Dryden, Rod Tarbuck (Banker), Mike Annett, Chief Eng John Alderson, 'Hamish' Long - R/Off (Advocate), Gordon Wilson (Finnamore Meadow) - who survived an engine explosion. Tino Douris & Gordon Wilson (Victore) - so many names come to mind. Trying to catch up 40 years with Tony was an uphill task in the short time of my visit, but never fear - there will be more visits. I am peeved that I missed the two Reunions. After LOF days Brian sailed with SAFMARINE and Unicorn Shipping of South Africa, he emigrated to South Africa and returned to the UK in 1983. Divorced he has a son in his 30's, Brian lives in Cramlington Northumberland, he is 70 years young. Best wishes Brian Gray (Badger) Jun/Eng - Refrig - Chief Eng.
 

News Date Feb 2008     The Sea. (A New Magazine)

The eagerly anticipated 'The Sea' magazine hits the news stands on the 16 April 2008.

The first issue includes the following maritime features: ‘Mega Marvel’ – aboard the world’s biggest container ship; ‘Plight of the Albatross’ – 11 dying every hour; ‘Light Fantastic’ – celebrating 1500 years of the lighthouse; ‘Maritime Crime’ – the killers stalking our seas; ‘Sea Heroes’ – the amazing work of the RNLI and ‘Making Waves’ – oceanography explained. Readers will also find news and views, expert Q&As, great days out, book and film reviews and fantastic prizes, all with a marine theme.

The Sea will be sold at outlets of WH Smith for £3.70, A Special Merchant Navy Association Members Offer  - Subscribe and save over £1 and issue! - 12 issues just £30 - saving over £14 on an annual subscription!

You can subscribe any time after Monday 26th February (and before 16th April)
Just call 01442 879 097 and quote ref: MNA01 or subscribe online at
www.theseamagazine.com
(The Merchant Navy Association)
 

News Date Feb 2008      Bill Cameron. Just wondering if anyone has ever come across some of the Engineers etc I worked with. On my first ship when I joined LOF in 1969 the London Craftsman I had a chap Jackson (Goole) was C/Eng, a Burmese chap was 2nd/Eng, (Could have been Aung May?) the 3rd was a Geordie guy Pete, Eric Drinkwater (Manchester) was 3rd, I was one of the junior engineers and two Welsh guys were also juniors. We were on charter to States Marine and started off in New York. Unfortunately my dad died when we were in Los Angeles (San Pedro) for bunkers and I will be eternally grateful to the mate a chap called Low for arranging for me to get off the ship and home for my dads funeral. He even loaned me some of his own money which even though I am a Scotsman I posted back to his wife in the UK when I got the funeral passed with. Mr Drew  kindly left me at home for a couple of months to get things sorted out. Then I was sent to the Victore with such people as a chap Wilson chief (Newcastle) his mate was second Joe (Sunderland) on a dispensation, Ginger Tom (Hull) 3rd, (Could have been Tommy March?) the 4th was John (Glasgow) a guy Hugh (Newcastle area) and another Scottish guy Bill were juniors with me. Electrician was Des from Belfast and then a guy we called Armaclean his surname started with an A-------- all he did was wash down anything electrical with BCF. I then joined the London Confidence and strangely I cannot really remember a lot of the guys from that one. I then joined a Canadian company and worked in Nova Scotia for a while but I was now married and missed home. I joined the fire service and served for almost 30 years ands retired some years ago as a watch commander. I am now in the oil industry. regards Bill Cameron (Aberdeen)
News Date Feb 2008     'The Tarbucks' Are at present in Tenerife, awaiting the birth of their first Grand-Child expected to be a boy from their eldest daughter who lives and works in Tenerife. Jeanie is still awaiting surgery on her hip and all is on hold at present awaiting more tests.
News Date Feb 2008      Vel Athanassiadis. (2nd/Eng - Eng/Spt - M.D.) Congratulations to Vel on receiving his 1st Class BA Hons degree from Liverpool University, I understand he is continuing with his studies for higher academic qualifications. Beyond his technical engineering attributes, Vel is an accomplished musician and was a member of the Magic Circle. His still lives in Liverpool.
News Date Feb 2008      Lost & Missing..... Lets see if we can locate and get contact with the following...
Brian Porter (Personnel Dept) The last I heard from Brian was around 1987 when he had set up with Viking Marine in Dover is he still around? Steve Tobin. (Rad/Off) Give me a lead please on Peter Fewster (3rd/Off) Glen Samuels (Ex EEO) possibly Plymouth area? Dave Corbin (Rad/Off) Frank Walmsley (4th/Eng)
 
contact me
News Date Feb 2008     'The London Majesty Incident'..... (as at 06th Feb) Several associates have asked me for some more information regarding this part of history, and with your help we shall attempt to put together a correct version of that incident. I would respect facts although over the years I have sent Captain Robert Mayman hard copies of the LOF News and invitations to attend both Reunions he has never responded to my correspondence. I am aware that on occasions he told his version of what happened in the Officers bar, but I was never privy to be there.

Brief outline..... The Chief Officer of the London Majesty persuaded the two deck apprentices to join him in leaving the vessel whilst it was underway, (somewhere near Cuba) the Chief Steward launched the Jolly Boat with the three of them in it (whilst underway). Mike Pulsford the Chief Officer was unhappy with the conditions and the run from Russia - Cuba they were on. Details on Mike Pulsford below.

We know that the vessel was the                     'London Majesty / Callsign GPFJ'
Was she en-route or departed from Cuba?    en-route to Cuba/Santiago from Russia carrying fuel oil cargo
                                                                             (After discharging they loaded molasses in Cuba for Europe)


When did it happen - dates?                            March/April 1964                      
What happened afterwards?                            On being picked up by the 'Majesty' some 12 to 14 hours
                                                                             afterwards (badly sunburnt) the Mate/Mike Pulsford carried out his
                                                                             duties until the vessel came back to European waters, where he
                                                                             was repatriated. He and his Austrian born wife had two shops -
                                                                             newsagents in the Scarborough area. There was some mention of
                                                                             him in a 'Fastnet' boat race some years later.

                                                                             Robert Mayman remained in LOF and rose to becoming Master
                                                                             He was made redundant in 1997.
                                                                            
                                                                           

Who was onboard at the time?

Master :                                     George Douglas.
Ch/Off  :                                     Mr. Mike  Pulsford. (Came from the Scarborough area)
Ch/Stwd :                                  Steve Shadforth.
Deck/App :                                ? Thomas?
Deck/App :                               Robert E Mayman. (b10/01/45 Wembley UK R782666) (listed in B.T. directory)

4th/Eng     :                                Ron Todd.

Any other relevant Information :

Michael Pulsford passed away in 2002 aged 69, after leaving LOF he worked briefly for the RFA, his wife was Austrian not German and they had 2 sons. Their shop sold fancy goods/sweets etc. Mike took part in the Trans-Atlantic Yacht race in a catamaran he built himself. After the RFA he worked 12 years for the RAF in intelligence and after a car accident where he received quite serious injuries
he worked at RAF Fylingdale
the long range early warning Radar in Yorkshire. He died of cancer of the pancreas, he wife preceded him. (Alan Pulsford Ex Radio Officer Marconi & Roy Gerstner 06/02/08)


(1) After the Chief Steward let the 'Adventurers' slip off into the night, the Chief Steward went up amidships to report to Captain Douglas that the trio had taken off. The Captain, being a sensible man, told him to take a cold shower and go back to bed of course. However, the truth eventually prevailed at the USA Coastguard had to be warned as the jollyboat was in waters scrutinised by the Coastguard for illegal immigrants wanting to settle in the USA. (B.S.+ B.M.)

(2) I was the 4th Engineer on that eventful voyage, we had a cargo of fuel oil for Santiago then tank cleaned for a back cargo of molasses for U.K. (Birkenhead) The Captain was George Douglas the Mate was Mike Pulsford from Scarborough. It was in  March/April 1964. The 12/4 Jun/Eng was on his way to call the 4/8 watch and noticed the Jolly Boat missing, the bridge was informed about the missing boat they replied so was the Mate. All hands then manned the rails to search for any signs of the missing boat. By this time the American coastguard had a spotter plane out. It located them and dropped a radio, which packed up so they dropped parachutes with messages in containers.
(Stand up if you are off the British Vessel London Majesty - they stood up)
(Stand up if you wish to return to your vessel - they remained seated)
They told the Yanks they didn't want to return on board. Mike told me later it was only when they saw us steaming towards them he knew the game was up.
It was some 12 - 14 hours that they had been off the vessel - when they came back they were badly sunburnt?
They came back aboard and Mike agreed to carry out his duties until he was relieved. What happened to the jolly is another story. I left the Majesty in late July and went to see Mike in Scarborough he was preparing his boat for a trip he intended to make around the world. Next time in Scarborough I called in one the shops he owned but it had changed hands.

(2a) We arrived in Birkenhead 14th May 1964 Jock McLeish Chief Engineer joined on the 15th and was still there when I left in Falmouth on the 25th July We arrived in Falmouth 7th July when a few officers paid off. I remember 'the old man J. McNaughtan was onboard in Birkenhead and the Jun/Eng who spotted the missing boat left also along with the Ch/Steward. I have feeling no Sparkie was aboard during the time the repairs were being carried out. I think the repair took around three months (RT)


(3)  I joined the Majesty at Falmouth in August 1964 as R/O when she was undergoing major engine repairs. The jolly boat event had already happened and initially no mention was made of it. I did not meet my predecessor, Steve Tobin, as he’d been taken off a week or two earlier and transferred to one of the cargo ships 'London Craftsman', I think. I don’t know if he was on board at the time of the incident or not.
I only became aware that something had gone on after we had left Falmouth and were at sea. The Old Man, Jimmy McNaughtan, came into the saloon, fuming because he, along with others, had been listening to Merchant Navy Requests on the Overseas Service. One of the company ships, The 'Victory', I seem to remember, had requested that “Red Sails in the Sunset”, be played for us. He was minded to write to the office and complain. It didn’t seem like a good idea to ask what that was all about at dinner, so I left it a while and asked later.
I was told that the 5th Engineer on the 12-4 had gone up for a smoke during his watch and noticed that the Jolly Boat was missing. When he went back down to the engine room he phoned the Bridge. The Engineer was still on board and his name was Len. He was Irish and I can see him now, but I can’t remember his surname. The 2nd Mate was said to have sent the QM to get the Mate, but he wasn’t in his cabin. So the QM was told to turn out the apprentices and get them to find him. They weren’t in their cabin, either. The Old Man was called. (D.M.)

contact me
 

News Date Feb 2008     Sammy Mitchell. (see below + Obituaries)
News Date Feb 2008      Happy Birthday.....  Dennis Jakobaufderstroht (Ex Rad/Off - E&EO) Dennis is getting ever closer to the big 60, he is still working for 'NERC'  as E&EO on the research vessel  'Discovery', married to Kathleen, they live in Perthshire, their son is still at University studying Business management. Dennis is still being chauffeured around not yet passed his driving test?

Bob Stinchcombe.... will be 77 He and Margaret are off to the Canary Is in a few weeks for some winter sun. Bobs' knee is still not 100% and his other knee is giving him pain. Margaret has not been too good herself and maybe some 'retail therapy' is what is required. Bob informs me the Dave Walker is in hospital being checked over, again not been very well recently.


Picture of Bob and Connie Gerstner (1979) (Deck Golf Fanatics?)

News Date Feb 2008     Samuel Harvey Mitchell. (aka Sammy) (Ex 2nd/Eng - Ch/Eng) I am sorry to advise the passing away of Sammy, on the 16th January 2008. Sammy was 82 and one of the survivors of the 'London Valour' tragedy of 1970 I am in the process of completing an article for the 'Obituary Section' and this will be posted in a day or so. My thanks to Capt Peter Wright for informing me.
(See Obituaries)
News Date Feb 2008     Tony White. (Ex Training Officer) Sends the following.
I have just been involved with an exchange of information with the Webmaster at Merchant Navy College Greenhithe. Any LOF personnel who attended the college, either in Greenhithe or at Tower Hill may like to click on Merchant Navy College if they haven't discovered it. I note some LOF names already appear in the listings. Paul Bird - paul@greenhithe.org.uk  I have been delving back into the days of King Edward VII, both pre sea and 2nd Mates, Sir John Cass, Worcester, and Poplar Technical College. All these colleges merged to form M.N. College.  I'm sure any information anyone can provide from past experiences in any of the colleges would be welcome. Two other links which relate to vessels used by the college in bygone times are 'Wendorian'  and her replacement the 'Glen Strathallen'. Through Google there are various links to the G.S, but only one mentions King Teds in passing. Probably the most interesting and comprehensive is at  'Glen Strathallen Nobody appears to know the final fate of the Wendorian, other than she required a massive amount of money spending on her to combat corrosion, and was no longer financially viable circa 1959/60. Is there anyone with more information?
Regards, Tony White (T.O. 1973/74 Balfour Place)
News Date Jan 2008      Used Stamps..... My thanks to Ambrose Jones, Roger & Lindsay Bancroft, who sent me in excess of 10,000 used stamps, these have been split between two charitable organisations - who raise money by packaging and selling them on. Please keep your stamps and we shall try to do the same at the end of this year. I also collected 3 used and old mobile phones, which have been sent onto the Sailors Society - BISS for them to raise funds on. (R.G.)
News Date Jan 2008      LOF News Website I am pleased to announce the 100,000th visit/hit of the website which occurred on the 29th January, since the 'launch' on the 16th January 2005 (just over 3 years), the number of visitors has steadily increased, the average recently is around 200 per day, still not bad for our 'small' website. Again I would thank everyone for their support and occasional contact, although I would like to be able to find some more 'lost' personnel and have a bit more 'latest news' to publish - Thanks again.  -  Roy
News Date Jan 2008     More News from Gallows Hill - Ben K..... After Ben Killeen had a small celebration on reaching 85 earlier this month, he sent me a short letter, firstly apologising for the condition of his 47 year old typewriter (needs a new ribbon Ben) (See also War Stories - When Ben K went to Sea) he elaborates on this part of his first trip to sea (1942) when the 'Ocean Rider' carrying Aviation Fuel and Ammunition was bombed?
'After we got hit we got orders to go to boat stations, 34 Officers and men headed to the only motor powered boat, including the 2nd Mate, Chief R/O, 2nd/Eng etc. The 2nd R/O and myself loaded the lifeboat radio into the boat, two firemen and the two of us stood looking at each other, the ship was dead in the water with a slight list. Then the 3rd Mate arrived and we launched the boat but we were ordered not to cast off. About 30 minutes later the 2nd R/O was called to the Radio Room and sent for 4 tugs to take us into Algiers. We all won the 'Lotto' that night!. Months later when joining my next ship in Liverpool I got a £10 bonus from the Admiralty, it was a welcome as I was only earning £5 per week'

                                                        
News Date Jan 2008        Roy & Connie Gerstner - LOF Friends - Connie has 2 years and 8 months to go for her retirement, she is the Senior Stroke Manager at Peterborough District Hospital and has worked her socks off for the last 30+ years (a few trips away at sea) and is looking for more relaxing times, (see picture - left) although vocationally very rewarding the stress of the modern health service is becoming extremely demanding (compensation culture). Some retail therapy this last weekend in Manchester, we were privileged to meet up with Bernie Gill (see below), who made the effort after a 6am to 3pm shift to join us and enjoy a fantastic curry along Wilmslow Road (Curry Mile) at the Lal Qula. On Sunday we were very pleased to meet up with Dave & Val Meare and George & Margaret Pringle at the Wing Yip - Glamourous restaurant - where we not only enjoyed their company but had a fantastic 'dim sum' meal, we revisited a few of our 'salty' stories, and I am pleased that Dave is going to 'celebrate' their upcoming 25th wedding anniversary later this year? (Rome) - well done. George and Margaret have enjoyed a recent weekend away in Edinburgh visiting the amongst other places the Royal Yacht Britannia.


               Bernie Gill & R.G.                                L-R Connie Gerstner, Val Meare, R.G.          R.G. George Pringle & Dave Meare
                                                                       George & Margaret Pringle, Dave Meare
 
News Date Jan 2008     Ian Hacking. (Found) (Ex Rad/Off) I have been visiting your LOF web site now for around one year. It brings back some very happy memories of the exciting LOF voyages of discovery. It pleasantly surprised me that someone was enquiring of my whereabouts on your latest update page. I live in Poulton-Le-Fylde near Blackpool with my wife Edwina.  We have three grown up children the eldest our son and two daughters. My first LOF ship was London Banker in 1968 (Captain Roy Nelson) then London Independence, London Citizen, Overseas Adventurer, VLCC London Pride and London Tradition.  In 1973 I went to Cardiff Uni and graduated from there in 1979. I then went in to further education teaching.  I taught on the radio officer course at Lowestoft College for 3 years then, as a senior lecturer for the next 20 years at Fleetwood Nautical college. It was there in 1981 that I bumped in to two ex LOF Captains whom  I had sailed under, Captain Roddie Tarbuck and Captain Eddie Kemp. They were attending a course at the College.  Suddenly, I heard "Hello Sparks" from Captain Tarbuck so I went over for chat. The radio officer courses dwindled down to a hand full of students so I took redundancy in 1999 and since then have been in the legal weighing industry. First it was with Toshiba TEC in Preston where I took the company through a legal process under the British Standards Institute to allow their engineers to test supermarket weighing instruments and to confirm that they were fit to be legally used for retail trade – a role normally carried out by Trading Standards. A job came up in 2001 at Lancashire County Council Trading Standards in Preston to set up a similar quality system to obtain accreditation for the calibration of weights. Using my computer programming skills in visual basic we calibrate mass to the second highest international standards – we are UKAS accredited lab 0797 I am semi-retired now, working a 3 to 4 day week and training up a new member of staff.
My first LOF ship was the London Banker which I joined when she was in dry-dock in Osaka, Japan after flying out over the North Pole via Anchorage in Alaska. Captain Roy Nelson wasn't too happy when he saw from my discharge book that it was my first trip as sole radio officer. He was even less enthusiastic when I received a telegram from our charterers Statesmarine to change course and head for Bugo bay in the Philippines - it wasn't even on the charts so I had to send a telegram asking for confirmation. This duly arrived confirming that we were indeed to head for Bugo bay. After some four weeks touring the Philippines picking up pineapples and calling at Hong Kong then Keelung in Taiwan we returned to a couple of Japanese ports before setting off across the Pacific heading for San Francisco. On the second day out I came on watch at 6am to hear relatively week SOS signals from a ship called R. B. Angus. I immediately answered and advised the mate on his 4 to 8 watch who promptly got Captain Nelson out of bed. Captain Nelson advised me to confirm to their R/O that we were on our way. I then asked their R/O to send out long dashes so that we could take D/F bearings to put us on a collision course with their ship. After some hours the signals started to get stronger which indicated to me that we were definitely heading to them by the most direct route. However, it was a ship carrying timber which had shifted and the list was increasing steadily such that the crew were preparing to abandon ship and were preparing to take to one of the lifeboats. I had the ships name as rbangus call sign ZCVK which didn't make a lot of sense and furthermore it was not in the latest list of ships/call signs; subsequently we found out that the ship was the R. B. Angus and was only some 16 months old!! Not long after this the R/O on the R. B. Angus said he and the rest of the crew were getting in to the lifeboat; the only thing I could do was assure him that we were still on our way and his bearing had remained dead ahead so we should soon be on scene to pick them up. Captain Nelson then asked me to contact Japan and ask for aircraft assistance to help locate the sinking ship. We were out of range of Japan on the Morse distress frequency of 500 KHz so I had to use short wave with its much longer range. It did not take long for two search and rescue aircraft to reach our position after they took D/F bearings on our distress relay transmissions. We then did expanded squares and the aircraft did expanded circles from the position 37.42 North 150.30 East. This continued until around 3pm with no sightings. I was monitoring the R/T distress frequency of 2182 kHz to talk to the aircraft. I was then called up "We are the survivors of the R.B. Angus we are on a Japanese fishing vessel who have picked us up". Within minutes the aircraft were over the top of the Japanese fishing vessel and one of the paramedics then parachuted in to the sea and swam to the ship to attend to their chief engineer who was suffering from a dislocated shoulder. We arrived on the scene about 2 hours later to see the crew lined up on the deck and with lots of debris floating all around them. Their captain asked us to send a message back to London confirming all their safety and that they were on a small fishing boat bound for Japan. Captain Nelson said to their Captain on the radio that it was the best excuse he had heard of to get home for Christmas; it being early December 1968. LOF to the rescue – more chapters to follow!!!
Best wishes Ian Hacking
 
News Date Jan 2008     Bernie Gill. (Ex Eng/Cad - 3rd Eng) Bernie sailed with LOF from 1973 to 83 his last trip he was seconded to the Rowbothams tankship 'Rudderman' before being made redundant. He has worked for the Greater  Manchester Police Force since and now is involved with traffic management. Married to Janet, they will be celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary later this year, going to Sorrento in Italy. They live in the Bolton area. (R.G.)
News Date Jan 2008     Malcolm Cuthbert. (Ex Ch/Eng) Been a bit lazy so far this winter although the weather has been quite reasonable really, the bikes are still wrapped up in the garage with probably badly deflated tyres with lack of use. Still I must make and effort to get out and about to try and shed these few pounds I have put on over the festive season, all the chocolates the grandkids buy me. Did have a bit of bother with my shoulder again, was talk of removing the steel plate on my shoulder blade but the problems caused with bone calcium and scar tissue build up and the surgeon reckons it might cause more problems doing further surgery. So it looks as if I will just have to put up with nerve twitching problem and sometimes locking up of shoulder unless it gets too bad I suppose. The last time I saw Ossie was with Jack Knowles probably over 24 years ago, don't know when I'll get round to visiting him but will try and make it sooner rather than later. Don't see as much of Pete Staddon these days as he has dropped out of our Wed. night pool team due to grandchild baby sitting and health reasons. Take care and all the best.  Mal. (Malcolm lives about 8 miles from Ossie)
News Date Jan 2008     Oswald Bland (Ossie) (Jnr/Eng - 3rd/Eng) Born North Shields 1937, apprentiship with Wallsend Slipway 1953 - 1958. He joined Reardon Smiths of Cardiff, (Atlantic City) in Gateshead on the 20th October 1958. Joined LOF in 1964 first ship 'London Glory I' - Bob Lee was Ch/Eng and Ernie Fox was Master. Last ship 'London Confidence' 1984 on being made redundant. Worked in Nigeria for 2/3 years Oil supply vessels. Bought and ran the Pub - 'The Blue House' for 3 years in Sunderland. Worked for Viking Shipping - North Sea supply vessels until 2003 then retired. Married to Jackie for 24 years they have one daughter aged 21 still at home. They still live in Sunderland. Ossie has recently celebrated his 70th birthday.

When Ossie was the senior 12 - 4 Watchkeeper on the London Glory II around 1983, before going below at midnight he enjoyed a cup of tea and a slice of toast, however at around 23:30 there was never any bread left and Ossie was getting pretty miffed. Jimmy Stronach the Ch/Stwd put more bread out, however Pete Chivers the Stores Officer would make a whole loaf of toast just for himself during the evening. Jimmy baked a 'special' loaf just for Ossie - a King Size Cob, left it marked not to be eaten - special for Ossie. The rest of the Engineers' decided to play a trick on Ossie, they carefully split the loaf and took out all of the insides and the carefully put it back together. They then hid around near the games room to watch Ossie appear to find his special marked load of bread. He was ecstatic that he had been left a whole loaf from which to make his toast, the elation quickly disappeared when he put the bread-knife through the loaf, only to find he had a ''crust' of bread only - his words and exclamation can not be repeated. He blamed Pete Chivers although Pete had nothing to do with the trick. Ossie recovered from his 'sulk' after a few days and was back into his usual mode. (R.G.)
News Date Jan 2008      Jill Lay. (P.A./Secretary) Worked for LOF from 1963 to 66 previously had worked for Niarchos and Marconi Marine. I moved to Canada in 1979 and live in a small town on lake Ontario, called Picton. My two sons live in Toronto and Ottawa. I am divorced, retired, involved in some volunteer activities. I have worked in new home sales, homecare and in UK was working as a PA/secretary. (Friends Reunited)
News Date Jan 2008     Martin Scorer. Was with LOF from 1980 to 84 joined the Merchant Navy after school and saw a good bit of the world before I took up with computer consultancy for investment banks (boring) Worked for Cambridge Scientific Instruments 84 to 88  Running a paragliding school here in the UK and various locations around the world. Single, 1 dog, 2 kids (15/12), 3 cats, 4 fish. Home is the Lakes/Dales when not abroad. (Friends Reunited)
News Date Jan 2008     Happy Birthday Robert Mayman. (Ex Nav Apprentice - Master) Will be 63 this week Came into LOF in to 60's and was famous for being launched into a 'jolly boat' whilst the vessel was underway and nearing Cuba. Promoted through to Master when LOF's expansion took place in the early 90's.. Used to live in Rothbury Northumberland.
News Date Jan 2008     Norman Neill. (Ex Elect/Off) Norman and Valerie are off to Sunny Morocco where their daughter and son-in-law are living, they are there for the latest grand-child arrival a grandson. (R.G.)
News Date Jan 2008     Birthdays... Ben Killeen. (Ex Rad/Off) Will be 85 years young. Bens sense of humour has not diminished with his advancing years and always sends me some message at Christmas. Ben married when he was more mature, and just prior to his wedding decided to shave his head and massage it with coconut oil, supposing to encourage some growth, a few days later he was somewhat miffed to find out he was being relieved early. I am not sure what the family of his intended wife Madeleine thought when he arrived home? and have not been privileged to see any Wedding Photos? Ben remains well and reasonably fit, he is very pleased that he has well outlived the MNOPF's prediction of going on more than 5 years after his retirement.
Ben informs me he went on to have 4 children 2 boys and 2 girls. His first ship was called 'Ocean Rider' in late 1942, he had been to the Dublin school of Radio-Telegraphy and then to the College in Limerick which had an excellent name. His pay was £16:00 per month of which £10:00 was War Bonus. He still has his dog called 'Sailor II' which he walks every day, he still drives - ? (R.G.)
News Date Jan 2008      John WW Peters. (Ex Nav/Cadet - Master) John has not yet reached 60, but is getting close, he is still part-time Channel and North Sea Pilot. A Gentleman farmer, he rears cattle and enjoys shooting with his dog, mainly game. John and Doctor Julia live in a nice part of Devon, outside of Kingsbridge.
News Date Jan 2008     John Winter. (Found) (Ex Eng/Cad - 2nd Eng) I did a cadetship with LOF starting in September 1972. First ship London Pioneer 1974. Last ship London Enterprise 1983 then was made redundant. Sailed foreign flag till 1986 then worked as surveyor in Saudi Arabia for two years before getting a job back home with a local survey company for about a year. Went to Sunderland Poly (later University) did a degree. In 1994 went to Papua New Guinea teaching at the marine school in Madang for two years. After that made a brief comeback with LOF and did a trip on the Enterprise and the Spirit. Joined ABS as a surveyor then after six months lecturing at South Tyneside college joined Lloyds Register as a surveyor in January 1999 in Dubai, been with them ever. John still has a house in South Shields. (Thanks to Don Dunlop)
News Date Jan 2008      Alec Priestley.... Is travelling to New Zealand at the end of the month they are going for 5 weeks.
News Date Jan 2008      Brian Ashby.... Is still recovering from the complications of a serious bout of double pneumonia he contracted last year, undergoing various check and tests - he is not firing on all cylinders. He is unable to send out e-mails at present but is able to receive them. Get well soon.
News Date Jan 2008     The British International Sailors Society has changed its name and logo - to 'The Sailors Society', founded in 1818 is the oldest of the main Christian Charities and supports many thousands of seafarers worldwide. Last year the Society raised £3.5 Million UKP and I am pleased that our LOF Reunion provided a small amount to this worthwhile cause. We have a mention and picture credited to us in the Issue 4 2007 of 'Chart & Compass the societies news magazine.

                                  
More information www.biss.org.uk
(R.G.) 
News Date Jan 2008    Don Dunlop (Senior Lloyds Surveyor) Informs me that John Winter (See below) is working as a Surveyor in Dubai - more info hopefully coming. Don is carrying out surveys on 'Pride of Calais' where at present Dave Lawrence is the E&EO - a few beers will be drunk later I hear.
Thought for January... SUCCESS is ?
                                           At age  4 success is... not piddling in your pants.
                                           At age 12 success is...having friends.
                                           At age 17 success is...having a drivers license.
                                           At age 35 success is...having money.
                                           At age 50 success is...having money.
                                           At age 70 success is...having a drivers license.
                                           At age 75 success is...having friends.
                                           At age 80 success is...not piddling in your pants.
(MNA)
News Date Jan 2008     Paul Cartwright. (Ex Cat/Off) Paul and Gwen had Christmas and New Year at home this year, they have in the past spend this period in the Scilly Iles. Paul is to see the heart specialist at the end of January and hopes all is well. He is playing golf two to three times a week. They enjoy their weekends away in Cheshire at their mobile home. (R.G.)
News Date Jan 2008     Lost & Missing..... Lets see if we can locate and get contact with the following...
John Winter  (
10/01/08 found see above) from the Northeast, was last known to be still at sea. Steve Camm Ex 3rd/Off. Peter Fewster Ex 3rd/Off I have asked a few times previously....someone-somewhere knows his where-abouts?. Glen Samuels (Ex EEO). Ian Hacking (Ex Rad/Off) (Found 25/01/08 see above) Was studying at Cardiff Uni during the 70's and possibly went to Australia? If you have any knowledge of the above, please contact me
News Date Jan 2008     John Clark (See Obituaries) Unfortunately I have had no further contact with the Clark family since the funeral and have put together only a terse account, I acknowledge and thank everyone who contributed generously to the LOF Wreath. (R.G.)
News Date Jan 2008     LOF News experiment Any of you TechNet's connected to Skype if so contact me and we shall try to make the air-waves? (R.G.)
News Date Jan 2008    Jeremy Channon - Grandson of A.A. Smith (Alfie-Bill Smith) (Ch/Off - Commodore) He had during the war been torpedoed when on tankers on three occasions but each time got off without getting his feet wet, he stepped off the deck into the lifeboat. After the war he had a job with the Overseas Development Corporation and his job involved the packing of every plate, bolt and fitting, as well as the engine into cases that could be manhandled. These cases were shipped to Africa, then by rail to the railhead nearest Lake Nyasa, then by cart to the lake where he had to assemble the passenger ferry and run it on the lake. He was married and lived in Bournemouth, he had a daughter called Penny of whom he thought the world, she had been born with a hole in her heart but had survived well.  Later when he was master you knew instantly when any LOF vessel came over the horizon in daylight if it was Captain Smith's ship because he always had the mast truck painted with gold paint. 
I am currently resident in Grand Cayman, British West Indies but I am moving back to the UK in early February (I must be mad!).. am getting out of law and hopefully going to become more involved with the super yacht industry. My grandfather has now passed away (a long time ago). His career advice to me was to avoid going into the British Merchant Navy as he saw it as a dying industry at the time. Of course he never foresaw the rise of the super yacht industry.
I met a Greek chap down here the other day called Nick Pappadakis. I met him rather randomly on the beach as I was walking a friend’s dog and he also has the same breed. He was the first person I had ever met who actually knew my grandfather. Both my grandparents only really spent time with family and had no real “outside friends” (as far as I could ever tell at least).  I still have his Commodore’s uniform and my office is packed full of framed pictures of his previous commands. I also have his Honourable Company of Master Mariners Certificate dated from 28 January 1970
Best wishes Jeremy Channon
News Date Jan 2008    Bob & Margaret Stinchcombe.. Hi Folks, Just got home after seeing in the New Year with friends at the Oxwitch Bay Hotel in Oxwitch, Swansea about 50 minute run from here. Hotel was right on the beach and a cracking New Years eve was had by all. Thought you might like to get an update on young Trevor, who seems to be getting on well with his Company, so sent him some good luck messages. Hope 2008 will be a good year.
Trevor Gatley. Hope that you had a good Xmas and your New Year celebrations are going well. We are  now on our way to the Amazon and up to Manaus. Heather is in Canada (-21 deg c this morning). I am leaving the sea January 16th and will be taking a job as senior superintendent in our Southampton office and so a new chapter begins!!! I will be able to wear my old tan brogues again! Regards Trevor + Heather (P&O/Carnival)
News Date Jan 2008    Birthdays this week.. Dick Cunningham (Ex Rad/Off - E&EO) Was a welcome and happy surprise on New Years Eve...1941 Jean Kirkham living in Brittany, and Bruce Thomas (Ex 2nd/Off - Ch/Off who will reach a young 40. (R.G.)

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