2014 UpdatesBack to Home
News Date 15th Dec 2015
Firstly the good news.... The LOF News Website is undergoing a make-over, the Web programming which I have been using for the
past 14 years is becoming obsolete with newer versions of 'windows' - so a lot of work is being under-taken to modernise and make it
easier to update and edit, especially whilst I am away. We hope that most of the New format will morph over from the 01st January.
News from Ship-Mates.....
Ben Killeen - News from Gallows Hill - Ben is still managing a 'tot' a day, and will be 92 in January.
Bob Fullagar - Bob has 'nearly' retired after 46 years at sea, wife Elsie retired in September, they are Grandparents now.
Charlie Stuart - Also retired this year.
Bob Stinchcombe - Managing to cut his own grass at 83, he and Margaret are having the occasional holiday abroad.
Jill Ashby - After husband Brian passing away, Jill returned to Redruth
Roger Bancroft - Roger and Lindsay have move to a 'Flat' still in Harrogate, Roger reaching 70 this year, informs me that
he still has the odd game of golf with Ray Appleyard. Contact with Kenny Woods, who not been well lately.
Barbara March - Nice to have a coffee with Barbara earlier this year and meet with son David and is now a Grandmother.
Rodman Tarbuck - Again good to have spent some time with Tarbie, Jeanne and Shaja, all well...
Vel Anthanassiadis - Just a Christmas Card - so presume all is Okay.
Dougie Brown - Again a Christmas Card.
Arthur Finney - As above
Adrian Cook - As above
Keith Kershaw - As above
Many thanks to those who help to finance the website, Connie and I wish you a Very Merry Christmas and a Peaceful and Healthy
New Year, where-ever you maybe. We luckily will be in a much warmer place.
News Date 19th Nov 2014
Valerie Baskerville, wife of Captain Geoffrey Baskerville died on the 28th October 2014, peacefully in Sydney Australia.
In her journal are the following ships on which she sailed.
May she rest in peace.
News Date 10th November 2014
Peter Trevithick (Ex 3rd Eng)|
There was an enquiry on the messageboard regarding the where-abouts of Pete Trevithick.
On trying to make contact - No connection to his known phone number.
I last met up with the Falmouth Guys 01st December 2008 and if you look back to the 2008
archive you will photos....
It is my understanding that Pete has passed away a couple of years ago.....
News Date 05th October 2014
Another Old Salt passes on.... Gordon Emmerson. (1918 - 2014)|
I am travelling in France at present and issues with connections....
Today I am informed....
I am sorry to inform you that my great uncle, Gordon Emmerson passed
away in his sleep on the 26th September.
The funeral service is being held at
Sunderland Crematorium on Thursday
News Date 17th September 2014
A Nice Meet-Up....|
News Date 13th September
2014 Davey Thom
| News Date 06th September
David Thom (Ex 3rd Eng)|
Message received from Tony Tierney/George Gorman....
Sorry to inform you that Davey Thom (Ex LOF 3rd Eng) passed away on Wednesday 03rd
September. He had undergone an operation for lung cancer - he seemed to be winning but
As a post mortem is to be carried out, funeral arrangements at this stage is unknown.
| News Date 20th August 2014
Captain Roger Clipsham|
Captain Roger Clipsham's career in his own words written 22nd July 1999 (As General Secretary of IFSMA)
A LOF Anchor Wreath was sent to Captain Clipsham's funeral - I am very grateful to those who donated towards this
befitting tribute (R.G.)
I went to sea as an Indentured Apprentice in August 1944 with the Counties Ship
Management Company Ltd in respect of which I was paid the princely sum of £10
for the first year's service, £12 for the second, £18 for the third and £20 for the
fourth together with a further £5 on completion making a total of £65 for the whole
four years plus 'twelve shillings' in lieu of washing. My first vessel was a wartime
built coal burning 'Fort' boat with scotch boilers and steam reciprocating triple
expansion engine. We used to carry additional coal in No 3 Cargo Hold and this
had all to be shovelled through into the cross bunker which meant fourteen days of
hard labour for the four seamen and two Apprentices on daywork. Each day at
noon the Captain would dispense a tot of rum to the four seamen but would
persistently disregard the two Apprentices who doggedly tagged on the end of
the queue each day. We were also prohibited from frequenting houses of ill
repute. Navigation Equipment onboard comprised only of magnetic compass,
echo sounder radio direction finder and an Aldis Lamp, chronometer and
sextant. Shortly after the end of the war in Europe my vessel was engaged in
running NAAFI stores to Hamburg and, of course, a very rigorous control was
exercised over stevedores damage and pilfering from the cargo of such items as
soap, cigarettes, and chocolate. Periodically Junior Officers with the two
Apprentices and a couple of AB's were sent down into the cargo holds to ensure
that no cases or crates had been broken into and also to collect up any pilfered
items which had been stashed away for collection later. Inevitably we always found something and we had to bring the items out of the hold and keep them locked in our cabins until they could be delivered to the cargo officer. Came the fateful evening when military police descended upon the ship, searched all the cabins and produced the damming evidence. Protestations were to no avail and we were carted off to jail forthwith. The Captain would not allow our removal from the ship which sailed for Southampton. En route he severely reprimanded each one of us and made appropriate entries in the
Official Log Book. The Military Police Officer meeting our arrival in Southampton was curtly told that appropriate disciplinary action
had already been taken and we could not be punished for the same offence twice. My career and reputation had been saved!
I have had my share of both nerve wracking incidents and exhilarating experiences. The most traumatic of these was the loss at
sea off the Brazilian coast of the other Apprentice. The ship still had her wartime liferafts on steel launching skids and he with two
seamen had been assigned the task of painting one of them. Being young and agile he had clambered on top of the liferaft while
the seamen remained on deck to paint the undersides. Around 08:00 on a fine sunny morning he lost his footing and tumbled
overboard into the sea. The alarm was quickly raised and a lifebuoy thrown overboard but no one thought to release the liferaft.
I joined the second mate and four seamen as boat's crew and in just four minutes we had swung out and triced in at embarkation
deck one clinker built wooden lifeboat stowed under radial davits. Lookouts were posted, the ship was turned round and the
Captain could see the Apprentice through binoculars. He was seen to raise an arm or a leg and then disappear.
The search continued all morning but no trace of the Apprentice could be found. It was presumed he had been taken by sharks.
My Company was now managing some eighty odd wartime built cargo ships tramping worldwide and promotion ranks were wide open
following the departure of many seafarers ashore at the end of the War. My Apprentice's Indenture was cancelled in February 1947
upon my promotion to uncertified Third Officer. After one year as 3rd Mate I graduated to s ship with a Gyro Compass and an Indian
Crew of 44 persons - such bliss! I spent four years as 2nd Mate and three years as 1st Mate, and with an Extra Master's Certificate of
Competency in my pocket I was appointed to Command in May 1954 and there followed three of the most enjoyable years of my life.
The ships had by now been converted to Oil Fuel and I happily continued tramping around the world occasionally running short of
bunkers. A rope fouled propeller in North China, a minor collision in the Eastern Anchorage at Singapore while doing my own
pilotage one dark night, and a couple of groundings under pilotage in the Canton River were about the worst that befell me.
I remember well arriving of the Northern Greek port of Alexandroupolis close to the border with Turkey early one morning to be told
there were no tugs, no mooring boats and the only Pilot had died six months before and please Captain will you take the ship in and
berth her alongside the quay? Having accomplished this relatively simple task which involved steaming between the breakwaters,
swinging the ship around on her port anchor and laying her to the starboard side alongside in what can only be described as ideal
conditions, I was then summoned to lunch with the General commanding the Greek 8th Army who wished me to tell his Officers how
they too could reach the peak of perfection which they had just witnessed. With tongue in cheek - for the General was quite elderly -
I sought to explain that youthful exuberance coupled with mature understanding of manoeuvring characteristics and considerable
practising of shiphandling techniques had produced a rapport between the Captain and his Ship which was nothing short of sheer
enjoyment for them both. (I didn't tell him that it had been just a text book exercise).
In those days the average duration of a trampboat voyage was somewhere between 12 and 24 months and it sometimes happened
that a Shipmaster would seek to relieve the tedium of long sea passages at 9 knots by a little private commercial enterprise. It has
been said that my own Marine Superintendent once loaded his number 3 hold full of coconuts in India anticipating a Ballast Voyage
down to the River Plate for Grain. The ship was diverted en route and he had to jettison the lot! My own little flutter was more simple
and - or so I thought - less risky. Chartered to carry railway wagons from Poland to India and return with Iron Ore. I would pick up a
surfeit of India Rupees as Cash to Captain, change it into Sterling Pounds while transiting the Suez Canal and then change it into
Polish Zlotys at a very favourable (if unofficial) exchange rate. On my very last night ashore in Polish Ports I was picked up with
some Sterling Pounds concealed in my sock which had not been declared on arrival. The Serial Numbers identified the Notes as part
of a Time Charterers bonus which I had that morning collected from the Polish Bank and I was duly admonished for concealment.
Some of my Officers were not so lucky!
I was seconded ashore in August 1957 as Assistant Marine Superintendent for Rethymnis & Kulukundis Limited and was appointed
Marine Superintendent of London & Overseas Freighters Limited in 1961 in charge of Dry Cargo New buildings and became Chief
Marine Superintendent in 1970. In August 1983 I joined the Marine Survey Service in the UK Department of Trade and spent two
years in the London Marine Office as Flag State Surveyor, Port State Control Inspector and Casualty Investigator. This was followed
by four and a half years in the Marine Directorate HQ with special responsibilities for Traffic Surveillance in the Dover Strait and the
prosecution of Colreg Contraventions.
In January 1990 I transferred to the Training Certification and Manning Branch as Principal Nautical Surveyor and was appointed
Deputy Chief Examiner (Masters & Mates) in February 1991. I held this appointment until my retirement in June 1993 when I became General Secretary of IFSMA.
Editors Note : My sincere thanks to Felicity Clipsham for supplying this very interesting story. (R.G.)
| News Date 05th August
2014..... Captain Roger Clipsham.....|
Dad's funeral arrangements are: Roger Clipsham 1928-2014
The funeral service for Captain Roger Clipsham will be held at Randalls Park Crematorium in Leatherhead (KT22 0AG) at 2:45pm
on Monday 11th August.
Although we will respectfully ask that where desired, flowers are sent from family only, I'm sure a LOF wreath would be greatly appreciated. Alternatively, in lieu of flowers we would be most appreciative of donations to the Alzheimer's Society, which can be
made using the following link: Click Here
I would be most grateful if those wishing to attend could kindly confirm to me so that we have the appropriate organisation in place.
I will be organising our usual LOF Anchor Wreath (R.G.)
| News Date 30th July 2014
...... Capt Roger Clipsham.|
I understand that provisionally the funeral service for Capt Clipsham will be held PM of the 11th August.
More details when confirmed and known.
| News Date 29th July 2014
..... From Felicity Clipsham.|
It is with great sadness that I write to inform you of the passing of my husband, Captain Roger Clipsham.
Roger was born in Downham Market, Norfolk on 21st June 1928 to Clement Jack Clipsham, a Bank Cashier, and Dorothy Clipsham (nee Payne). He was educated at King Henry VIII Grammar School in Coventry, becoming apprenticed to Counties Ship Management Co. Ltd in 1944.
Roger served all Ranks in
the Merchant Navy, obtaining his Foreign-Going Master Mariners Certificate
in 1952, and his Extra Master’s certificate in 1954, upon which he was
promoted to Command. He was brought ashore in 1957 after nearly 14 years at
sea, to serve as Assistant Marine Superintendent. He was transferred to
London & Overseas Freighters in 1961 as Marine Superintendent and was
appointed Chief Marine Superintendent in 1970.
He was a founder member of
the Nautical Institute, becoming a Fellow in 1985 in recognition of his work
to promote the nautical profession.
On the afternoon of 20th
July 2014, Roger was admitted to hospital with breathing difficulties.
Doctors diagnosed a pulmonary
| News Date 27th July 2014
..... Captain Roger Clipsham.|
It is with great sadness to be informed that Captain Roger Clipsham passed away on 21st July.
I will publish a history of Capt Clipsham in a few days.
Our thoughts and condolences to wife Felicity, daughter Caroline Jane and son Andrew James.
| News Date 14th July
2014..... Message from Geoffrey Baskerville (Australia)|
It is with deep regret that I advise the death of John Richardson (A Counties Man)
John Richardson joined Counties in May 1947 serving on the 'Stamford, Lulworth & Fir Hills'
He left in 1951 to live in South Africa, where he eventually became the Marine Superintendent of South African Fisheries.
| News Date 14th July
Rodman Tarbuck 1947 The 'Tarbucks' @ Tarbys 80th birthday (2010) Rodman Tarbuck July 2014
| News Date 11 July 2014
Tom (Alec) March
| News Date 09th July 2014
Yet Another Good Meet-Up.....|
This passed weekend saw us in Cheshire, where we met up with
Keith & Barbara Cederholm along with Rod, Jeannie & Shasha
Tarbuck. Our venue was Chinese Chung Ku on Sunday
Good to catch up again after a while....'Tarbie' is looking and
keeping very well, he has been on an enforced 'diet' and for 83
has got ALL his 'marbles' he will be 84 in October.
Keith has had a few issues of late but is recovering and coping
We visited both the next day .....
Keith C, Connie & RG, Tarbie, Jeannie T, Barbara C
A birdie informed my that Roger Bancroft 'celebrated his 70th recently
Alec Priestley was 80 recently
Adrian Latham 58
Godfrey Nash 65
Moggsy Caffery 66
| News Date 29th June 2014
Another Very Good Meet-Up.....|
Dudley Fry & RG RG, Barbara March with Grandson & David March Ron Todd, Dudley Fry & RG
Ron Todd, Dudley Fry & RG Ron Todd, Lynne Fry, Dudley Fry, Audrey Todd & RG
A long weekend break for Connie and myself in
Scalby near Scarborough, we were joined for some of the time by Ron and
How 'life' has 'changed' - David informs me
that everyone onboard gets 20 minutes a day 'free satellite phone time' and
Our next mini-break will be in Ellesmere Port, and I hope to meet up with a few of our LOF friends then.
| News Date 21st May 2014
Website having a holiday....ability up update whilst away....|
| News Date 21st May 2014
'Happy 60th Birthday Bryan Watkins'|
After meeting Bryan a couple of weeks ago, he
tells me he like the rest of us - is catching up with all the jobs he was
| News Date 14th May 2014
A great meet up with John and Julia Peters along with Bryan and
Kim Watkins. Whilst on a short break to Plymouth this weekend.
A 5 hour 'Lunch' at the 'Oyster Shack' in Bigbury (a big pity we
were all driving) fantastic food and company.
We certainly exchanged some 'salty LOF stories!.....
We men are all retired now and left our wives to do some work!
On the left front to rear - Kim Watkins, John Peters,
On the right front to rear - Bryn Watkins, Julia Peters,
Our next UK journey will be in the 3rd week of June - Scalby near Scarborough -
if you would like to meet up - get in contact with me.
| News Date 08th April 2014
In Memoriam John Dunsmore (Passed on 2010)|
The 20 Officers and crew of the 'London Valour' (1970) (09th April)
| News Date 01st April 2014
A brief visit to Manchester....|
This last weekend saw us on our regular visit to Manchester, mainly for a 'food fest' weekend. we met up with George & Margaret Pringle along with Bernie Gill at the 'Lal Qila' for one of the best curries in the country. That is excepting the curries we experienced with our Indian Crew in LOF.
George, Margaret, Bernie & R.G.
Happy Birthday George '75' on the 03rd April.
| News Date 22nd March 2014
My apologies with some ongoing issues of the web host.... there appears to have been various problems and issues for a while.
Some people can access some can not - some peoples anti virus blocks the site some do not.
I am in contact with the web host and trying to resolve the issues.....
Alan Sinclair 60 ..... Alan is still running his own company based in Johor Malaysia he travels extensively and I hope to meet up with him again in Malaysia 2015
Bobby Fullagar 62..... Bobby is what he states is semi-retirement? training of 'new' Masters.
Ronnie Aird 57..... No other info.
| News Date 17th February 2014
Wilson Cotton.... Counties Ship Man...|
I come from a family of Master Mariners going back approximately six generations on mother & fathers side and in a nostalgic moment after being invited as a veteran to the 70th anniversary of the Battle of the Atlantic celebrations (excellent outing) at Liverpool Cathedral.
I decided to research and write up my family history, fascinating stuff for future generations.
Sadly I broke the continuity through no intentional fault of my own when I was second mate on the 'Putney Hill', I failed the eyesight test when studying for my 1st mates ticket, this put paid to my planned future back in 1949. I still remember Basil Mavroleon’s reaction to the news.
I served my apprenticeship with Sir William Reardon Smith from 1943 to 1947, took my 2nd mates ticket then joined Kulukundis as a 3rd Mate on the 'Fort Mingan' (6th July 47 to 10th July 48) then 'Putney Hill' (15th Aug.48 to 9th April 49). I have had no real problems sorting out the voyage itineraries of the ship’s I served on for Reardon Smith because the voyage cards are available at the National Archives for the years 1943 to 1946 but because the war ended in 1945 and convoys were no longer functioning these were discontinued.
Up until now I have had little success in finding out the routes taken, ports visited and arrival/departure dates for the 'Fort Mingan' and the 'Putney Hill' during the time I was on board but I am sure they must be available somewhere. I am a little too old to remember these accurately but I have been trying my best but it is almost an impossible task after 60 odd years. Any information would be appreciated.
Incidentally, I don’t know whether it is relevant to your research but a few items which might be of interest
The 'Fort Mingan' was carrying a cargo of brown coal from Houston/Galveston to Birkenhead when spontaneous combustion occurred we had to be very very careful to prevent flames occurring and setting the ship alight . When the ship discharged in Birkenhead the fire brigade was in attendance to pour water on the coal because it was bursting into flames as it landed in the railway trucks.
The 'Putney Hill' on a trip from Hamburg to Amsterdam after discharging her cargo was due to convert from coal to oil burner her boilers failed at the mouth of the Elbe and a gale blew her across a minefield almost up to Esbjerg on the Danish Coast we sent out distress calls but Captain O’Neill refused to take assistance from tugs which appeared on the scene because he was convinced that they would demand salvage money. Fortunately the storm abated and we were able to patch up the boiler tubes and make the foredeck hatches secure before limping on our way to Amsterdam.
I was born in Sunderland which at one time was the largest shipbuilding town in the world hence the nickname of being a Makem
(never a Geordie}, this was derived from the proud boast that we “Could Mak’em and Tak’em “ ie Make ships and sail ships, Sunderland football supporters are referred to as Makems to this day. Birth date was the 9th August 1926 (almost 88yrs.old). I still remember the sound of the shipyard riveting hammers echoing all around the town, now when I return to the place it all seems deathly quiet.
As you mention my discharge book number seems to be a low one, it was first issued in Sept 1943 and at that time you were not photographed so I can’t oblige you by sending that and during wartime cameras were not allowed to be carried in your luggage.
The best I can offer is a studio portrait I had taken in St. John New Brunswick near my 19th birthday in 1945, this was a historically memorable day because on that very day the 2nd atomic bomb “Fat Boy” was dropped on Nagasaki ..and this precipitated the end of the war in the Far East . I and all my fellow shipmates were grateful because we left St John on the day after VJ day, the 16th, laden with military equipment and munitions scheduled as part of a first or second wave invasion convoy.
We lay at anchor in Bombay harbour along with 52 other ships for approx 3 months awaiting discharge because the Port authorities would not allow ammunition laden ships alongside since the Fort Sitkine disaster which had killed over 800 civilians.
The next photograph was taken just after I had just joined the Fort Mingan as 3rd Mate, my wife, Doreen, and I were celebrating our forthcoming engagement and this was taken in her college gardens. Whitsun1947
The third photograph was taken on board the Queen Victoria two years ago when I was reliving my past life by taking a noon sight, and I was reasonably proud of my effort because it was always tricky to be deadly accurate as I am left handed and sextants are always made and calibrated for right eyed users. Incidentally, I differed from the satellite location by only 13 nautical miles.
Fourthly, at the wheel of the Star Flyer a barquentine owned by Star Clippers gossiping with the second mate.
Finally Doreen and I leaving Liverpool Cathedral as a veteran and guest after the 70th Anniversary Commemoration of the Battle of the Atlantic.
So far as my later career is concerned I must confess that I have always felt that war time Merchant Navy personnel were shabbily treated in terms of grants and allowances for further education. It took me seven years of evening study to achieve degree status all at my own expense whereas my conscripted associates were able to attend university with ex servicemen grants and achieve that in 3-4 years. Nevertheless I managed with the loving assistance of my wife to forge a successful career with an International aluminium co. Canadian based Alcan Aluminium Co Ltd. and finished up as Managing Director of three of their subsidiary companies all building product based.
My wife and I currently try to live as full a life as possible ,we are blessed by having a close and harmonious family with 3
children 6 grandchildren and so far 2 great grand children! We take as many holidays as the garden will allow and have resumed cruising after several years tho’ see a vast change in their style these days. We also enjoy the south of France – and as we are only 10 minutes from Bhm airport we can be on the beach near Nice in less time than driving to Bournemouth
Sadly my family are no long producing seafarers although we have a couple of cousins who are deep sea divers and were involved in the Russian nuclear submarine rescue!
Yours Sincerely :- Wilson Cotton - R279005
| News Date 14th January 2014
In Memoriam ..... Jimmy Stronach
Bruce Thomas .... Happy Birthday
John Peters ..... Happy Birthday
Robert Mayman .. Happy Birthday
Ben Killeen ... Happy Birthday 91 today. I spoke to Ben this afternoon
and he is in good spirits.....
| News Date 13th January 2014
I was a Jnr/4th on the London Pioneer & London Resolution, I joined L O F in 1971 to 1974 after leaving Pacific Steam Navigation Company, after leaving L O F went to work in the north sea oil industry. Now employed at Wellington Barracks in London as a mechanical fitter, Painting of London Pioneer by myself.
| News Date January 2014
Website on Holiday......|
I can update any news whilst we are away.....
| News Date 13th January 2014
Richard M Smith....Ex Eng Cadet/Jnr Eng|
Fantastic Richard has found us after all these years?.... He has been out in Brunei for a number of years as the Tech Manager for
Lantana Services, he is married and unfortunately had a heart attack followed by a stoke shortly after, he is recovering quite well at
I will be in Malaysia during February/March, but unfortunately am unable to change our plans to visit Brunei on this occasion....
Date 01st January 2014 A Happy New
I was a simple
employee of the company and had no part in its management.
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