News Date Dec 2009 Apologies..... Having had a
nagging toothache for 4 weeks....(seen dentist twice at expense),
my bad leg playing up and a minor trip which resulted in tearing load of
bits in my shoulder I've been a bit subdued of late, sorry for no updates.
However all is on the mend hopefully, and those wonderful 'Thai Girls' will do
'miracles' in a week or two? - when we're away in January.
Rather than go though the couple of hundred who have sent cards and e-cards
this year, I can report that all are keeping well - yes yet another year
older, the very good news is that I have not attended any funerals this year
for our old sea-dogs and I hope for 2010 it remains that way. I spare a
moment or two in reflection and 'happy memories' of our 'friends' who are no
longer with us and their families. I and most of us remember some fantastic
times at Christmas with LOF, even on occasion loading crude at the horrible
place Kharg Island - Iran in the 70's..... we still managed a good time
irrespective of the authorities trying their best for us not too !!!!
The laughs, jokes....same old ones from the same people....party time and
normally good humour and camaraderie.
the next year, besides holidays and my many other 'community lead
I am hoping to get permission to copy and publish the story and history of
the SD14 by John Lingwood. This is another lengthy long term project.
We are still looking for photographs - the older the better?
I can report that our ex M.D. Norris Jackson is proud to inform me of
his new 'job' - as village 'paper-boy' at the princely salary of
£3:00/week.....it keeps him fit and active.
So it remains for me to wish everyone seasonal greetings, a healthy and
Many thanks for your support and to those who generously sponsor this
website, without whom it would be difficult to sustain.
Best wishes...... Roy & Connie Gerstner
News Date Dec 2009
Tom Brown..... Hi Roy, |
always enjoyed looking in to your website of LOF. I started seafaring as
Jnr/Eng on 'London Explorer' in Vlissingen Holland 1966
Was also on London Resolution, Ambassador, Harmony and
I came to live in Canada where I worked on the Great Lake-Ships 1972 to
All this time then I bumped into an old shipmate Alex McElwee who has
lived just down the road from me in Bramalea Ontario. It was his wife who
got me a blind date and ended up married. Anyway.... I have returned to live
in Canada after15 yrs working on Caribbean Yachts so now staying at the
Toronto Flying Angel Seafarers Mission Club.
Unfortunately my "blind date" wife of 20 yrs took off on me and the
family 14 yrs ago.......so single now.
My son is Captain/Chief Eng on the big yachts in Miami, daughter a Head
Nurse in Texas, so all good with them.
Our Flying Angel Club here will always welcome any News/Magazines from UK.
I worked on the last Canadian coal burning Lake-ship 'The Robert S
416 469 5391
905 872 9218
Son is doing good as Captain/Eng
News Date Nov 2009
Happy Birthday.... Bob Blake (Ex Jnr/Eng - Eng Superintendent)|
Bob and I are very
well. Bob is presently attending a dry dock in Portugal and will
hopefully be home within the next 2 weeks.
Unfortunately he will be away for his 60th birthday
on 1st December, but we plan to celebrate over the Christmas period.
Our youngest daughter, Stephanie, returns from Hong
Kong, where she presently works, on Christmas Eve.
Victoria and her husband Dominic will be joining us
(This from R.G.'s
archive locker .....a picture of Bob in his
cabin on the 'London Resolution in 1976.....
Like the Hair!
News Date Nov 2009
Roger Fuller. (Ex Rad/Off)|
was wondering if anyone could shed light on this vessel, it is an oil
painting of a vessel 'Polaris' painted in 1958 by artist G. Yamataka.
I purchase it at a local auction last Saturday. It is similar to a vessel on
ship spotting photos called Polaris #3 but this one has one hatch missing.
Can not find any information re the artist.
(R.G. - With LOF funnel markings and flying a Greek ensign, it could well be
one of R&K's vessels. They tended to name vessels after 'stars' or other
The last vessel we took over into LOF was the ex 'Nestor' - which was
renamed 'London Enterprise'
and was a sistership to the 'London Victory' & 'London Spirit'
Don Dunlop Ex LOF Engineer and since Surveyor for ABS and Lloyds was
onboard a R&K vessel a few years ago called the 'Star Polaris'
No news of what R&K's are
doing these days or whether they still have any vessels of their own or
still maybe manage on behalf of other owners.
News Date Nov 2009 Bill McGuire Hi Roy,
The LOF news is a great reminder of days gone by and it is
really enjoyable to read the contributions from the ex LOF staff. Naturally
there is some sadness as I read about
those who I knew well and have passed on. Re the Valour I have a lovely
model of the ship before conversion to a
bulk carrier. To all who knew me at sea and ashore I send my very best
wishes for the coming festive season and
the future. I would be pleased to hear from any of the LOF personnel. Best
regards to everyone.
Bill McGuire e-mail
News Date Oct 2009 'London Valour' - Remembrance.
Eric Hill (Jnr)|
Grandson of Radio Officer Eric Hill London Valour.
My uncle was in Genoa last month and visited the
Anglican Church where he saw the bell, ex London Valour
He was told that someone from the western isles had
been in contact with the church a few years ago asking for the bell.
However, due to the history of the bell and because it was gifted to the
church they refused to hand it over. But now due to a decreasing
congregation and concerns regarding the fabric of the building, the
church wish the bell to be passed to somewhere where it will be looked
after and accessible to anyone who wishes to see it. They suggested to
my uncle that it be gifted to the Maritime Museum in Genoa as a memorial
to the tragedy and as an item of maritime interest and history of
I've spoken to my father and uncles and they are in
agreement that it would be nice for the bell to be kept by the Maritime
Museum. However, we do not represent all of the relatives and
I'd therefore appreciate if you could use your
contacts to ask the opinions of those you know who are still with us and
any of the families of crew who were lost.
If there was an agreement that the bell be looked
after by the museum, it would be a nice touch for the official hand over
to coincide with the 40th anniversary.
From discussions, it appears that my father, both
uncles and I will be going to Genoa for the 40th anniversary do you
think more from LOF would make the trip?
Webmasters Note, I have sent the
above to the 3 contacts ex Valour and awaiting response from 2 of them.
It is my intention along with Robert Kitchener (Ex Ch/Off London Valour)
to join with the Hill family next April in Genoa.
If anyone else would like to join us for the occasion, please
There is plenty of time to arrange
the travel and other logistics.
Further updates will follow. (R.G.)
News Date Oct 2009
Confidence Bell Found.... Tony Goldsmith|
Also find a picture of the old ships bell that came home with me
the poor Confidence went for scrap in Pakistan I think. Cheers and
regards from Tony Goldsmith
News Date Oct 2009
News from Tony Goldsmith....|
Roy thanks for the chat and email I found a photograph of the Mv
Shackleford The vessel is a fully automated ship 85000 tons and known as a
Panamax a maximum size that is allowed through the Panama Canal. She was
sold to a rich
chappie called Phostoferles in Skaramanga 0n 9th October 1977.
News Date Oct 2009
I did an eight month stint on the
Shackleford/GUMJ around 1975 but try as|
I might, I can find absolutely nothing about it – I’ve searched all the
usual web sites – nothing - it’s almost as though it never existed !
It was owned by LOF/Rethymnis &Kulukundis, and was fairly big bulk carrier.
I’d love a photo, but anything would do.
Dave Corbin EX R/O
News Date Oct 2009 Mavroleon Family.....
Following on the death of Mr 'Bluey'
Mavroleon, you maybe interested to know that his Mother,
Mrs Violet Honora Mavroleon (nee Withers), wife of Mr
Basil Manuel 'BM' Mavroleon, was my grandfather's sister. |
My grandfather was William James Withers (born in
Ireland). The latter was father to William Norman Withers who was my
Father. I have in my possession the most beautiful photograph of
Great-aunt Violet that she gave to her brother on 2nd June 1920 with the
message 'Fondest Love, from Sister Vi', written on the photograph. She
married BM Mavroleon on 28th September 1925 in Paddington.
On Violet's death certificate, dated 26th December
1965, the name of the 'informant' given is H Mavroleon, son, - a family
mystery as we have never been able to establish the gentleman's name.
Last year, en route to Ireland, I visited Violet's grave in the Putney
I thought you just maybe interested to know this bit
of Mavroleon Family news.
Rosemary Edwards (nee Withers)
Webmasters note : This part of the family reside in Zimbabwe, another
arm of the family was in Mozambique for a while.
News Date Sept 2009
Keith & Barbara Cederholm + Jonathan Plunkett.....
Keith & Barbara were recently in
Jersey for a short break and whilst there met up EX LOF Electronics Officer
Jonathan P..... who is still in gainful employment with the Jersey Airports
Authority.... all look very well....
News Date August 2009
Michael Cuff. (Ex 3rd/Off - Personnel Superintendent) Mike has been in
and out of hospital for the past 2 months. He went to see his doctor feeling
ok.... for a regular check up and was found to have some serious cancer in
the colon/stomach area. After surgery and then getting infection and
pleurisy, he informs me he is feeling a lot better and they have re-piped
him. I am sure we all wish him a good recovery. He has just turned 82 last
News Date August 2009
Obituary..... DEREK AVRIL CLULOW
Derek was our preferred pilot on the Manchester ship
canal and a man held in great respect and affection by those who met him on
the Hunter Cambridge and other LOF vessels transiting the Canal.|
Our thoughts go out to his wife Jean, and to their daughter Wendy who
lives in Canada.
It is with regret I have to inform you that
passed away peacefully in hospital on Sunday 9th March 2008. He will be
sadly missed by his many friends in Liners Old Shipmates, with his ready
humour and his wonderful approach to life.
News Date August 2009
Everyone on Holiday?..... News drifting through has been extremely
I have been keeping very busy with various 'community' projects that I am
involved in since enforced semi-retirement.
I am Chairman of a local community group - environmental
volunteers, besides removing near 5,000 Kgs of Litter & Rubbish from our
town and villages in the last 3 years.
We recently placed a small boat filled with flowers and bulbs in a gateway
to our town.
Such is success?
that someone has found me another boat about twice the size of this one and
we are well advanced into doing something similar - hopefully in place by
the end of October. The small boy in the picture named the
Good News from Eric Hill (Jnr) The grandson of Radio Officer Eric Hill
Ex London Valour. Eric informs me that he has now located the
'original' bell from the 'London Valour' - it is in the Anglican
Church of the Holy Ghost - Genova Italy.
I hope we will get some up to date photos at some stage.
Is still 'working' even at part-time for Satellite Company 'EchoStar' - he
is hanging in to December 2010.
Jean Kirkham..... Is keeping OK, I've had contact with Jack's nephew
and put him in touch with Jean as they lost each other sometime ago, Peter
is planning to make a visit to Brittany.
News Date July 2009
Malcolm Thain (Counties Ship Management) (Exciting times to be had)
Currently resident Dorset -retired.
I joined Counties as deck apprentice in April 1947 and completed my
indentures in 1951. For the final months of my apprenticeship I was
signed on as A.B. My first ship was the 'Finnamore Hill
renamed 'Wye Valley
'. The first voyage was to Three Rivers and
back to the U.K. with a cargo of grain.
Before we left the Thames the Chief Engineer died of a heart attack
and we anchored off Gravesend awaiting a replacement.
Our next voyage was to New Orleans in ballast where we loaded grain
for India. Thereafter the vessel was chartered to B&I for 18 months
trading on the Indian coast.
The 'Wye Valley' suffered a lost propeller whilst entering the
port of Rangoon. The cause was either pilot error or a wrong engine
movement in any event we were swept by the current and were in collision
with several vessels moored at the buoys. Whilst repairs were being
carried out the Chief Mate was drowned returning from ashore at night.
Eventually we returned to the U.K. via Russia and Romania where a guard
shore and killed our quartermaster.
Two positives resulted from this voyage - we changed from U.K. crew to
Indian crew which vastly improved our lot especially the food, The
Master was Captain Cambridge who was a strict but fair man who ensured
we learned the important seamanship necessary.
My next ship was the 'Mill Hill'. Joined in London loaded general
and cars for Australia where we again were long term chartered trading
between Australia and N. Zealand. This ship suffered a casualty in the
Australian Bight when the cargo of pig iron shifted and the vessel was
abandoned. It was possible to anchor the ship and it was towed to Port
Lincoln and eventually resumed the voyage. The Chief Mate lost his life
in the incident the Master was Captain Church who was later
replaced .The voyage terminated in London some two years after its
commencement I left to obtain my second mates cert. and thereafter
avoiding British shipowners as much as possible much to my financial
I trust this short tale will be of some interest to ex Counties
seafarers and would be happy to hear from any old shipmates
Best wishes Malcolm Thain Master Mariner
News Date July 2009 In Memoriam..... Tommy
March..... Sad loss never forgotten RIP|
News Date July 2009
Godfrey Nash..... Congratulations on picking up his 'bus pass' @ now 60
Goff can make the best
Abergavenny Express. He has recovered recently from a hernia operation
and was on the
getting bored during his convalescence. Now back at work he is keeping
building/plumbing general engineering jobs. His son is now 21.
Meurig Caffery (Mogsie)..... Collected his bus pass a while back.
Alf Rutherford......74 recovered from a stroke sometime back.
Dave Vincent..... Enjoying the UK winters in Australia and back to
the UK from the summers.
News Date June 2009 Graham Nuttall has more
information about the 'London Pioneer' Bell - see story below, he is away on
his holiday in Portugal at present and will update us with the story on his
News Date June 2009
Alec Priestley..... Congratulations on reaching three quarters of a
century.....no news as yet from Alec, but I dare say he will get back to me.
Adrian Latham..... Adrian is getting to be our 'geriatric rocker', he
is working for the I.O.M. Steam packet Co, as acting 2nd/Eng. News is that
at 50+++ he is planning to get married. More news
when it happens.
Alistair Roaf..... will be a young 39, he is working for a survey and
brokerage co - out of Sidcup in
A Reminder for 6th September.....
News Date June 2009
'The Pioneer Bell' Further to the previous articles re April & May this
year. On returning from showing my Sister-In-Laws 'most of England Wales &
Scotland in two weeks (They had already covered 8 other European countries
in 10 days?). We stopped off as promised in Church Stretton, where
Headmaster of the St. Lawrence Primary School - Mr. Dick Langford made me
very welcome. Here are the pictures of the 'Bell' still in situ, it looks
slightly different to the original photos, with the overlaying name 'London'
on top of 'Overseas' more prominent.|
There 'appears' to be something 'adrift' with the story....maybe someone can
put some light on it.....
Launched in 1958 as the 'Overseas Pioneer', converted to bulk carrier
in 1967 and renamed 'London Pioneer' in 1968
The Pioneer' incident (See story on sidebar - happened in December 1975)
Captain Connor presented this 'Bell' sometime in 1975, the ship was not sold
on until December 1976.....
Was the ship without a Ships Bell? or did she have two 'Bells' - anyone know
the answer?..... (R.G.)
John Richardson has sent another interesting history of his time at sea
(LOF Yarns - Long Stories)|
My good friend
Geoffrey Baskerville (and his wife) are in the UK at present, not sure where,
but he and I joined the Stamford Hill 62 years ago tomorrow – 21st
May 1947! Those were THE days!!
News Date May 2009
North East Meeting. Our thanks to Malcolm Cuthbert who arranged a
meet up at the Missions to Seamen in South Shields.|
Left to Right
Peter Staddon (Ex Ch/Eng)
Knowles (Ex E & EO)
Jim Stronach (Ex Catering Off)
Ean Curle (Ex Ch/Eng)
Colin White (Ex 4th/Eng)
Malcolm Cuthbert (Ex Ch/Eng)
No news from Gordon Emmerson, Dick
Cunningham, Ozzie Bland, Malcolm Watson.
Dave Simpson and Trevor Swatton are both still at Sea.
News Date May 2009
Memorial Service for Bluey Mavroleon.
Will be held at the Guards Chapel
London on the 21st May 2009 at 12:00 mid-day.
Unfortunately I am unable to attend.
News Date May 2009
Andrew Gillie (Ex Counties &
LOF) sadly passed away in 2006.|
Our thoughts are with Irene and her family.
News Date May 2009
Meet - Up in North East.... Please see Malcolm's invitation for the
Birthday.....this week Bryan Watkins (Still Master with Vela)
Barry Moore (Retired to the Philippines)
Paul Cartwright (Retired & enjoying his Golf)
News Date May 2009
Jack Kirkham who sadly passed
away on this day 2005.|
Keep smiling Jack, we know there are a few jobs that needs to be finished
News Date May 2009 Colin
White Very sobering to see so many former shipmates have
passed on but very glad to
hear that Ian Hughes (With whom I
shared a cabin on the Viscount for 6 months from Jan to June 80 and both
paid off in Bremen) and Trev Gatley (With whom I attended
Highbury College, Portsmouth 78-79 and also South Shields Marine & Tech
81) are still around.
Some others I sailed with include,
Malcolm Cuthbert Ch/Eng London Viscount
Tony Bragg 3rd/Eng "
Brian Laing 4th/Eng
" " "
Malcolm Watson Jnr/Eng "
John Dunsmore 3rd/Off accompanied by wife
Dick Ethell 2nd/Eng Viscount Jun 80
Graham Nutall 3rd/Eng Viscount Jun 80
Clive (Oggy) Munn 4th/Eng.
3rd/Engs Courtney Grove, Pete Whitehead, and
Alec Priestly on 'London Enterprise II' Sep-Dec 1980;
E&EO Bill Allan & wife Evelyn,
Elec/Off Tom Dewar,
Chief Off. John (JWW) Peters,
Jnr.Engs. Steve Whitaker (accompanied by wife
Helen) ,Wayne B. Furlong, Jeff Anson, Kev Wilkie,
Radio Off. Ben Killeen.
Is this anything to go on ???
A few details about myself
School-St. Ambrose Barlow S.M.1971-1976 De La Salle
Grammar School 6th form 1976-77.
Joined LOF Dec 1977
Highbury Technical college 1978-79.
Sea service Jan 1980 -June 1980 'M.V. London
Viscount' -joined East Float Birkenhead Jan 3rd 1980.
Returned to Liverpool Seaforth (Twice!) - left at Brake (Bremen) with
Ian Hughes 10th July 1980.
'M.T. London Enterprise II' joined Willemstad
Curacao 9th Sep 1980 left 31st Dec 1980 New Orleans (still made it home
for new year-another story).
South Shields Marine & Tech college 3rd Jan-17 Dec
Received exam results and notice of redundancy March
After 9 months on standby joined Royal Air Force (as
Workshop Fitter) for 10 years - Oct 1982 - Jun 1992.
Various jobs as fitter/welder until 1999.
Joined Airbus UK July 1999. Here still-worked as
fitter and now materials inspector.
Have been married 19 years; crew-me, Jeanette, Ben
and Charlotte, plus neurotic Yorkshire Terrier-Meg.
All the best and kind regards,
News Date April 2009
Trivia.....(Overseas/London Pioneer) After Robert Connor sent the
various pictures of his
mother and father (see below). I was fascinated on
seeing the 'Bell' from the 'Overseas/London Pioneer' presented to the
'St Lawrence CE Primary School' in Owen Connors home village of Church
Stretton. I am pleased to say that the present Headmaster Mr. Dick Langford,
confirms that the 'Bell' is still in situ and was very interested in the how
and when the 'Bell' had come to be presented to the school. Around mid-June
I will be passing close by Church Stretton (Shropshire) and he has welcomed
me to call in and take some photos if I wish. Many thanks again to Robert
for opening up another small piece of LOF/ship history. (R.G.)|
News Date April 2009
Brian Ashby (RIP) Today (25th) Myself and many thanks to Carl
Suffield (Ex Ch/Eng) for his help and assistance. We attended the
memorial service for our LOF friend Brian Ashby who passed away last year.
We were very humbled by Gill, their family and friends in our attending the
service. Brian was born and brought up in Sussex, although he lived many
years and spoke with a west country accent?. The service was in the quaint
hamlet of Bramber - St Botolphs Church. Afterwards the ashes were placed
nearby Brians brother.|
We were invited back to Stenning, a village close by for refreshments and a
talk with the family.
Gill is coping under the circumstances and is as yet undecided whether she
will remain in Normandy France or return to the UK.
News Date April 2009
From Robert Connor (Owen Connor Master)
Have been enjoying looking around the LOF-News
website and the memories it has triggered of a childhood often spent
aboard. My father was Owen Connor, and as I couldn't find any
reference to him I thought you might like a few pictures to include
in your photo gallery. Not sure when the pictures of him was taken -
probably 1965 or 1966. The one of my mother Vera Connor was taken
onboard in August 1969 off the coast of Italy (don't know the ship's
name and suspect my father was then still Chief Officer) and the
third is from April or May 1970 onboard ship unknown at Falmouth -
that's Mr. Waterfall and Mr. Dixie (Agent?).
My father was with LOF through the 50s, 60s and
70s, eventually getting his Master's ticket and serving as Captain
for many years. He passed away in 1997. Have various other
pictures through the years, including many crew members who served
with Dad through the decades.
Owen Connor was born on
February 6th 1926 in Liverpool to John and Sally Connor
(John was himself a merchant seaman at the time). Owen
attended Grant Road Elementary School in Liverpool between
1937 and 1939, but he always claimed that the war disrupted
his education, not least because the school was taken over
for ARP purposes!
Not sure what he got up to between '39
and '44, (his father John was lost at sea on the
MV Zealandic in early '41) but in 1944 he joined the Royal
Navy as an A.B. Gunner and served until 1948. In 1948 he
joined the Merchant Navy and held various ratings up to
Boatswain in 1955. His first Discharge Book commences in
1953, and between 1953 and 1956 served on a number of
merchant vessels (no idea of companies but vessels worked
upon included the MV Atlantic Coast, MV Australia Star, SS
Rhineland and the Lalande).
Between March and June 1953 he studied
for and obtained his Mate Home Trade Certificate at
Liverpool Nautical College and in July 1955 he obtained his
2nd Mate F/G Certificate at Liverpool Nautical College.
This was further followed by obtaining his Mate F/G
Certificate at Liverpool Polytechnic Nautical Dept. in
December 1957 and his Master F/G Certificate at the same
Polytechnic in October 1960.
The first record of an engagement on an
LOF vessel is the 'London Victory' in April 1956 as
He married my mother Vera in April 1957.
My sister Lynne was born in June 1960 and I came along in
Dad's final command was aboard the London
Voyager between December 1982 and March 1983. He was made
redundant from his position in June 1983 at the age of 57
and although he tried to seek further employment as a ship's
captain (if it had been up to him he'd have carried on going
away to sea for ever!), he spent a few years working for a
small electronics company in Shropshire before retiring and
moving North Wales. He gradually succumbed to ill-health
(cardiac and renal problems) and died on August 2nd 1997
My mother passed away as a result of
complications caused by Alzheimer's in November 1999. She
was 69 years old.
My sister is a GP and lives with her
family near Dover. I am an IT consultant in live with my
partner near Stroud in Gloucestershire (an oasis of rural
calm after 25 years in London!).
The rumour that Dad had an old lifeboat in the garden is
sadly untrue. He DID however buy an old lifeboat off
the dock side in Belgium or Holland in the late 60's and
had it brought back to Shropshire where it sat in a
local mechanics yard (surrounded by road traffic
accident wrecks!). Dad's intention was to turn it into
a pleasure cruiser, but as it eventually involved him
being away from home from morning 'til night during
shore leave, my mother put her foot down and the boat
had to go! He did have an old brass ship's telegraph in
the garden ('salvaged' from an old Polish MV) which
today sits in my garden here in Gloucestershire.
My mother often sailed with him but
never found her sea legs.
In 1975 he presented a ship's bell to
St' Lawrence's Primary School in Church Stretton, which
my sister and I had attended. I believe the bell came
from the London Pioneer, although am not absolutely
certain. Have attached a picture, which appeared in the
local papers of the time.
Thanks again for the website and all the work you have put into
News Date April 2009
Ambrose Jones..... I was delighted
to read Geoff Baskerville's comments in the L.O.F.-News because recently I
have been saddened to read of so many L.O.F. personnel who were younger than
myself, and who have already " crossed the bar"|
It is good to know that some of the "Old Hands" like
Geoff are still about and I confirm that I certainly remember having
sailed with 11 out of the 12 he mentioned I would also like to have
added to the list the following Characters.
Master C.E.D. Brierley, George Fox, W. King,
Ch/Eng Bill Boyes Freddy Staincliffe
R/O Phil Morris John Moss
and so very many more, even two which I would like to have forgotten !
News Date April 2009 Today April 9th.....
Reflection of Geoff Baskervilles story below, it is perhaps a timely|
reminder that on this day 39 years ago, commemorates the sad loss of those
on board the 'London Valour'
May we all remember our 20 lost ship mates and friends, our thoughts are with
those who survived.
News Date April 2009
Message from Down Under..... Was looking
through an old journal the other day and came across a little incident that
is perhaps worth recalling. I note that the story is now over fifty years
ago, my how time flies when one is enjoying oneself.|
'London Valour '
It was June 1958 and we were bound up channel heading for
Thameshaven, having been away for the best part of twelve
months on a Shell time charter.
The Master was Captain Donald Ward and I was Mate. We had
joined the ship at Thameshaven the previous June. Captain
Ward had brought onboard a budgerigar, which he called Peter
and he had over the course of the voyage been in the habit
of locking his cabin door and releasing the bird, thus
allowing it to fly around his day room.
This particular day, a calm, summery Sunday, we had done the
usual morning inspection, had a drink with the Old Man,
lunched and those of us that could were having an afternoon
siesta, prior to picking the pilot up off Dungeness, where
we were due at 1700 hours.
There was a sudden shout down the Old Man's stairs of Mate,
Mate come up here quickly, I dashed from my bed to find
Captain Ward's hands up to his face, which, together with
his shirt was covered in blood. Sitting him down and looking
around his cabin, I noted that lying on the settee, on a
cushion, was Peter, who sadly not in this world. He lay, on
his back, feet in the air, gone to the great bird sanctuary
in the sky.
Dressing Captain Wards nose
and cleaning his face up, the story emerged. Apparently
the bird had been flying around the dayroom, when
suddenly it landed on his face and had bitten a rather
bulbous blue vein which ran across his nose, the result
blood shooting all over and he had, reacted by swiping
the bird off, in the process killing the poor chappie.
As Captain Wards wife was coming down to Thameshaven to
meet him it was decided to place Peter in a small
cardboard box, for his wife to see before committing him
to his grave.
I note from the journal that the 2/O was Gerbi, 3/O
Robson, 4/O Willie, the apprentices were Wareham and
Witherick and the C/E Kelly.
Keep up the good work with the
web site, some very interesting reading. Most of the names
that now seem to appear are from the late 60's onwards which
in turn has resulted in some of the real characters who made
up the LOF personnel lists now receiving no mention. Who
remembers Mates and Masters such as D'Arcy Patterson,
Murgatroyd, Humby Snr, Freddie Osler, Chief Engineers like
Douglas, Steamboat Graham, Alderson and Thomas, Chief
Stewards like Buff Turnbull, Harry Jones, Ken Allan.?????
from a wet, windy Sydney NSW. Australia
News Date March 2009
Memorial Service for Bluey Mavroleon. Will be held at the Guards Chapel
London on the 21st May 2009 at 12:00 mid-day.|
News Date March 2009
Adrian Cook. (Ex Eng/Cad - 4th Eng) Adrian is still managing to hang in
with his job at Corus/British Steel in Middlesbrough.... he sends the
Here is a picture of my son Philip (all 7ft of him )
with his daughter Mellissa born 9/3/09 at 11lbs 14oz .My 6th grandchild
! He was mentioned in "dispatches" August 1982 edition of LOF news .
He did pay a visit to the London Baron when we where
in Middlesbrough in May 1982
Keep up the good work
News Date March 2009
Brian Ashby (RIP) Gill Ashby has been in contact and as promised has
following information: |
A memorial service for Brian
is being held at St Botolphs Church and cemetery, near Bramber, West Sussex
on Saturday 25th April 2009 at 12 noon. Anyone wishing to attend will be
Mrs Gillian Ashby
53300 St Mars sur Colmont
t: 00 33 243 04 90 64
It is my planned intention to attend this memorial on behalf of all friends
and shipmates of Brian, if anyone else is planning to attend I would be
pleased if you could contact me and we can make arrangements to meet before
the ceremony. FYI Bramber is near Shoreham Airport and the church is close
by the postcode of BN44 3WA
I will take as usual a 'LOF' Anchor - Wreath and if anyone wishes to contribute
towards this, again I would be most grateful.
News Date March 2009
Happy Birthday.....this week|
Fullagar - 57
Ronny Aird - 42
Dave Corbin - 58
News Date March 2009 Bluey Mavroleon,
who died on February 16 aged 81, was a ship owner, Grenadier Guardsman,
yachtsman, pilot, patriot a good shot and a famously generous host.|
Manuel Basil Mavroleon was born on April 17 1927, the
son of Basil Mavroleon and his English wife Violet (née
Withers). The name "Bluey" arose from his
interpretation, as a small child, of his first names,
and it stuck with him for the rest of his life.
His father, a Greek ship broker, ship builder and owner,
was a great Anglophile; his vessels were built in
British yards and his fleet sailed under the British
Accordingly he sent his son to an English prep school,
Wellesley House, at Broadstairs, Kent – Bluey arrived
armed with a huge scale model by Basset-Lowke of one of
his father's early freighters, ensuring his popularity
with pupils and masters alike.
Mavroleon père foresaw the outbreak of war, and moved
with his family to Los Angeles and then to Canada, not
returning to London until 1942. Bluey then spent two
years at Charterhouse, leaving at 17 to join the
To his lasting regret he was commissioned just too
late to see active service, but his three years with the
colours left him with an enduring love of his regiment.
He regarded British traditions as the greatest bastions
of freedom in the world.
After time at sea as a deck hand on one of his father's
ships and a spell in France, at Grenoble and Tours,
ostensibly to polish up his French, Bluey Mavroleon
became a director of his father's new company, London
and Overseas Freighters. He was appointed managing
director in 1965 after his father suffered a heart
In 1975, after the Labour government imposed punitive
taxation and nationalised the Austin and Pickersgill
shipyard in Sunderland, in which his family had a
substantial investment, Bluey announced that he was
leaving Britain to live in Switzerland. "Certain things
are happening in this country that make my eyebrows
shoot up," he declared. He none the less remained on the
board of London and Overseas Freighters, although he
relinquished the role of managing director. He
eventually resigned from the board in 1985.
For all his business acumen and sporting skill,
Mavroleon will be best remembered for his generosity,
his infectious humour and near-professional artistry as
a comic actor – at parties he would entertain fellow
guests with a song and dance routine, and his friends
believed that, had he not been supported by a family
fortune, he might have pursued a career in show business
and become a household name.
Mavroleons first wife, Ruth, was a London policeman's
daughter. They married in 1951 and divorced three years
later. In 1956 he married Gioconda de Gallardo y Castro,
with whom he had two sons, Carlos and Nicholas. The
marriage was dissolved in 1961, and he married thirdly,
in 1963, Camilla Paravicini, the granddaughter of
Somerset Maugham; they had two daughters, Syrie and
Sacha, before this marriage too was dissolved.
In 1982 Mavroleon married Caroline Tomé, and it
proved a long and happy union. They entertained many of
their friends at St Moritz, where Mavroleon was a
long-serving vice-chairman of the Corviglia ski club.
Their hospitality extended to his houses at Rolle, on
Lake Geneva, and (in the summer) to Porto Helli in
Greece – the harbour there was home port to an armada of
small craft which he sailed and skippered expertly under
the Blue Ensign of the Household Division Yacht Club. He
also flew helicopters and fixed-wing light aircraft. He
was a member of White's.
Bluey Mavroleon is survived by his wife, his son
Nicholas (a former husband of the actress Barbara
Carrera) and his two daughters. His son Carlos, a
journalist working for CBS who had converted to Islam,
died in mysterious circumstances in a hotel room in
Peshawar, Pakistan, in 1998.
Acknowledgements, John Peard (LOF), Noris Jackson
(LOF) The Daily Telegraph (UK)
News Date March 2009
Andy Dow Here is a
picture of my wife
and l that was taken during my youngest
wedding. The reception was held in the Hyatt on the Rocks at Sydney harbour,
really nice venue and of course the Aussie beer is good.|
People in a Cambridgeshire town
have raised more than £5,000 to help the victims of
the Australian bush fires. Residents of
Whittlesey in Cambridgeshire are sending money to
their namesake city of Whittlesea.
More than 200 people have died in wild fires in the
south eastern state of Victoria and many thousands
more have been left homeless. After World War II,
the Australian city sent food parcels to the small
English town in the Fens.
Eight people from city of Whittlesea died in the
fires that raged through the state of Victoria.
The fires also saw 300 hundred homes razed to the
ground. (BBC East)
News Date March 2009 Obituary of Peter White.....
This will go into the Obituary section in the next day or so, in the
meantime here are some photos of Peter with wife Maggie, in Happier
News Date March 2009 Gordon
Shaw Clarke (Apprentice to Chief Officer) With LOF 1960s to mid
1970s. He emigrated to Australia in mid 70's
Thank you for your
concern, for the time being the Mornington Peninsula has
been spared and temperatures are down from 48 to 15. It is
quite horrific and quite unprecedented, especially as some
fires have been deliberately lit. One of the areas we spent
many lovely summer holidays - North East Victoria, has been
involved and I have not been able to locate the people we
You won't know that Gordon died on 4th
November from cancer. Our daughter Kendelle died on 2nd July
also from cancer. Kendelle was ill for eighteen months after
diagnosis and Gordon and I looked after her when she was not
in hospital. She had her own home and for the most part was
able to stay there with our help. Gordon did not say
anything all the while he was driving us up and down to the
city hospital and fetching oxygen bottles or wheelchairs
when we needed them. After Kendelle died we noticed he was
'odd' and put it down to grief until he started falling
asleep even during conversations. He did try and organise a
colonoscopy which was eventually scheduled but in the
meantime David (2nd son) went with him to the doctors and
insisted on a CAT scan that day. We were called in and told
of the very extensive involvement of the cancer. Gordon just
'let go' and died five weeks later. 2008 was not a good year
as there were several other minor upsets. My garden which
took 35 years to grow from nothing, has been
trashed/scorched with the weather we've had but it is
nothing compared with the people who have been burned out
and have died or lost entire families.
(Thanks to Dudley and Lynne Fry)
News Date March
2009 Greg Pinfold.....
I am a Canadian who served on the London
Splendour in the summer of 1965. I was 16 years old at the time and was
only on board for 3 months. We cruised from Saint John's Newfoundland to
Lake Maracaibo Venezuela. At the time I believe John Douglas was
second mate and I have always wondered how he had made out. If there
is a way of contacting him or getting a ships staff listing for that
year it would be greatly appreciated
Saint John, N.B. E2l 1G5
News Date Feb 2009 Thanks..... Many thanks
for the e-mails from all the well-wishers on transferring to a new webhosting
service, just a few more minor issues to sort out and hopefully we shall be
trouble free for a while.|
Received some good photos from Campbell Dobie
(Ex Ch/Eng) and they will be uploaded to the Staff & Party Pages shortly.
happen to Phil Barber????.... Phil was the Radio Officer onboard the London
Pioneer when the turbine coupling sheared.
Does anyone know what became of him or his wife....did he have any children
or where did he live?
Your help would be appreciated.
News Date Feb 2009
The LOF - News Website.
Hello, Greetings and Welcome back I hope?|
a multitude of communication with the previous and soon to be defunct Lycos
Webhoster, it looks like we are back in business once more, my apologies for
the delays, but as everyone else says - its beyond our control. There is
still a bit of fine tuning to do over the coming weeks and a few photo's
have been misplaced, which hopefully will be recovered all in good time.
Just bare with me for a while as the new set up behind the scenes will take
a bit of getting used too.
In the meantime, I need some update from yourselves in order to keep the
Latest News Page 'fresh'.....
- here's looking at hearing from you all. (R.G.)
News Date Jan 2009 Peter White (Ex E&EO) It
is with sadness and regret to announce the passing away of
I have only just been made aware of his death. He had been in poor health
for some time and had lost his sight some years ago, whilst still relatively
young. Peter started his seagoing life as a Radio Officer with MIMCO -
Marconi Marine in the 60's. He came to LOF in the 90's and afterwards sailed
on small passenger/cruise vessels, until ill health caused early retirement.
Our condolences to his wife Margaret. More details to follow.|
News Date Jan 2009
Bruce Thomas (Ex 3rd Off/Ch Off) I did not get round to filling
you in on last year. |
turned out to be rather different. In April I was at a friends wedding when
another friend who I had not seen for a while came up to me to say that my
nose had grown (stop laughing) and that my hands were very fleshy with that
the medical experts at the wedding told me that I must go and see my doctor
as soon as I got home. Not thinking that there was anything wrong I headed I
went to see my doctor who diagnosed me with very rare condition called
acromegaly which is cause by large amount of growth hormone caused by a
tumour in my pituitary gland. It was benign tumour but I still had to
undergo what was almost brain surgery which I had back in June. I was off
work for 3 months but have made a full recovery and have been completely
cured which was not expected as it was thought that I would require some
replacement hormone for the rest of my life but that is not the case and
even the doctors were slightly surprised that I did not need any further
Sally opened a tearoom in village in February which we spent 3 months doing
up and has proved to be very successful selling local organic produce and
homemade cakes, have to do some baking myself. She is having to fit all in
around still flying for BA. Christian is now 10 and doing very well at
school winning many wards at prize day. Proving to be a very good musician
on both the violin which and has won a local music
competition and the piano. He also enjoys lots of sport, skis for his
school and got to national finals, playing hockey for Havant as well as golf
and sailing our life is kept busy going from one place to the next.
Good to hear from Bruce, and pleased all has gone well with his
News Date Jan 2009 |
I went to More
House school with an Irene Mavroleon in the 1970's. I wondered what
became of her, is there any connection here? she would be about 48 years
News Date Jan 2009
LOF News Website.....
Is 4 years old? - this week, with 150,000+ hits and 500,000+ pages viewed,
this 'niche & small' website is visited on average around 100 times a day,
by mainly our ex colleagues and shipmates, but further testament of finding
new friends occasionally. Two very successful reunions and the bulk of LOF's
history. Thanks to your support and help sponsoring this website. Please
keep in contact and any 'stories/photographs are always welcomed.|
Roy Gerstner - LOF News.....
News Date Jan 2009 Request Information on 'Donald
Marchbank Muir, (RIP) I am looking for any
(and photographs if available) about my great uncle formerly Master of
'London Valour'. We are trying to further our knowledge and
history of Donald for our genealogy family tree. Donald, like most of the
rest of that branch of the Muir’s spent time in Japanese internment camps,
fortunately all survived. |
I am Iain Lourie, I
did my time with Denholm’s and after a couple of trips as third mate,
I went to NZ to see family, still there I
actually had an interview with LOF, I remember a big logo in the floor of
the foyer......... but that’s about all. I didn’t know if Donald was with
them then. I thought he was Ben Line / BP.
I will pass on any information
contact me -
A silhouette of Capt Muir
London Tradition in 1966
This April will signify the 39th Anniversary of the sad loss of the 'London
News Date Jan 2009
Welcome to another Year of LOF News..... As requested before Christmas,
if you have saved your used Postage Stamps, please send them on to me. We
are still deliberating our Web Host migration, and trying to put it off as
long as possible, but sometime within the next couple of months it will need
to be done - as Lycos our provider is selling up. There maybe as much as 5 -
7 days where the site is not accessible - but I'll try and give notice
when it happens.|
Belated Birthday Wishes to Richard 'Dick' Cunningham
Happy Birthday..... Jean Kirkham.
Happy Birthday..... Bruce Thomas.
News Date Jan 2009 Dick Ethell.
Made good contact with an old mate of his Frank Warmsley, via the
Website - Dick, whose correct name is 'Peter Richard Ethell' is also trying to
track down Tina & Irene Austin, who were Mother & Daughter living near
Stylis/Maliakos in the late 70's, they befriended the ships staff and did
many favours for people whilst the ships were laid up in Greece. Does anyone
else have any information?|
This picture taken some time ago, shows son Simon passing out ceremony.
News Date Jan 2009 Eric Drinkwater. My wife
and I recently visited the UK after 30 years living in |
Australia, during our stay we visited Aberdeen and an old ship mate Billy
Cameron who I sailed with, it was through the LOF website that we made
contact again, the ship was the 'MV London Craftsman'. We had a
fantastic time, Bill and is wife Liz really did us proud, great hosts I
enclose some pictures of our reunion as you can see there is a distinct
Aussie /Scottish theme( I'm on the left) then a picture of all of us.
I also notice Ken Baxter fifth year wedding anniversary has arrived I sailed
with Ken a long time ago on the 'MV Victore'. please pass on our (my
wife Anne who sailed on the Victore) best wishes to him and Ruth.
Best wishes & A Happy New Year to all .....Eric Drinkwater
News Date Jan 2009
Tony Pendleton. (aka Biffo!) I found your website while researching
for my own 'memoirs' - I was looking for photos of LOF ships - so when I've
done the framework of my LOF years, I'll let you have a copy! I have lots of
photos, diaries and other memorabilia - including several crew lists, etc. |
With LOF I sailed in:
'London Majesty' (Joined Feb 64*, Capt McNaughton, until she was sold
to the Chinese - in Dec 64?)
'Avon Ranger', 'London Confidence', 'Overseas Pioneer'
'London Advocate' (x 2) - "Ed Humby's Yacht" and 'London
*The early '64 date for the 'Majesty' was an interesting one, following the
(very well hushed-up?) mid-Atlantic jolly-boating exploit... (See LOF News
2008 for the story/R.G.)
Since leaving LOF (to 'export' myself to Australia). I sailed with Shaw
Savill (two one-way trips only, 'Corinthic' and 'Cedric') in
between on the Aussie coast aboard the 'Abel Tasman' - that was well
paid fun - then went into 'specialised ships' - four fascinating years as
Mate of research ship 'Sarsia'; two years in subsea investigations as
Ch/Off with George Wimpey on the first (real!) dynamically positioned
drillship 'Wimpey Sealab' (a story in itself); then as Mate and
Master of two ships both called 'Relume' (two very different
ships!) great job looking after all the navaids in the Gulf and ended up
with shorter spells in port ops in Saudi, with an offshoot of Denholms on a
new DP diving ship, and as an Mod Salvage Officer in Plymouth. In between I
did some relief work on a sand dredger, owned my own fishing boat - and
(very memorably!) sailed under Captain James Onedin and his First Mate - Mr
Baines as a dirty, scruffily dressed 19th century sailing-ship deckhand...
but very nicely paid by the BBC!
As with so many, the call of family life ashore was too strong to keep up a
real MN career and I started my own (leisure equipment) business in
1983; I'm still on the payroll as Director but don't do much actual work
there these days. It has allowed me to keep world travelling, both on
business and for pleasure; including to re-visit many of the places that LOF
took me to all those years ago...
There is one ex-LOF chap I'd particularly like to hear about, if there's
anything in your archives; Patrick Stott from Aberdeen who was my
'mate' as Senior Apprentice on the Majesty in 1964.
I had a nickname, given to me early in my LOF days - "Biffo" - though I
never found out why!
Most people remember me for my height - I'm 6ft 7.
Best wishes to all I sailed with TP