Obituaries       


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 Flag.
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 Grenadier Guards.

Photo: DESMOND O'NEILL

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 attack.

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) Paul Cartwright (LOF)
The Daily Telegraph (UK)

News Date March 2009 Peter White (Ex E&EO) (b 30/05/45 - d 21/12/08) It is with sadness and regret to announce the passing away of Peter. 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.
Born in Gillingham Kent, the family moved to Belfast. Peter attended the Belfast College of Technology to obtain his PMG Certificate. He was employed by Marconi Marine, joining his first ship 'Oswestry Grange' on the 8th September 1965. He joined LOF as an E&EO in 1995 and his last voyage was on the 'London Victory' in 1997 when the company was sold. He joined a small passenger ship but was taken ill and went into retirement. Peter did a total of 80 voyage/contracts during his seagoing career.
Married for the second time to Margaret, they moved to St. Austell in Cornwall. No children, Peter has a brother. The funeral took place on the 7th January 2009.









News Date October 2008

Brian Ashby (Jnr/Eng - 2nd/Eng) ( b 27/07/41 - d 24/09/08) It is with great sadness to report the passing away of Brian Ashby aged 67. Brian was a Sussex born and schooled man, he carried out his apprentiship as a toolmaker at the company of 'Hellmans'. At the age of 24 he joined his first shipping company 'LOF' and remained with them with promotion to 2nd Engineer until 'the big chop' in 1985.
He then joined Crescent Shipping and onto Pentmarine with a few other LOF Engineers until 1999, when on the death of his father he decided to come ashore. He worked 'ad hoc' for Lloyds and various other agencies on a job by job basis. He and wife Gill bought a large property in Brittany France, although 85% complete some finishing off was required and Brian set about this with great enthusiasm. Brian and Gill joined us at the 2004 LOF Reunion. When I visited him in 2006 he was showing signs of illness and was in the process of building a driveway, this consisted of a double carriageway some 150 metres in length, he had 'blocked' about a third (18,000 Blocks) when he became too weak to carry on.
Never complaining he underwent numerous checks and tests, he informed me last year that he had cancer, but wanted to keep it quite and private. Brian died of Asbestosis (His brother also died of the same) in hospital in France. He was cremated on the 29th September. Unfortunately I was on holiday and was unable to attend, however we are grateful to Mrs. Jean Kirkham who attended on behalf of us at LOF. Brian and Gill have no children, I understand there is to be a memorial ceremony sometime in March 2009 and I will advise the website as soon as details are known. No Flowers or Wreaths were requested, however donations were made to the French Cancer Charity. (R.G. & J.K.)

News Date March 2008

Martin John "Sky" Clark (04/01/1965 - 20/01/2008) John entered the British Merchant Navy as an Officer Cadet with London & Overseas Freighters (LOF) in 1982 to whom he dedicated the first fifteen years of his working life. He gained his Second Officer's certificate in 1986, his First Officer's certificate in 1989. He gained his Master's certificate in 1992 and was promoted to Chief Officer. In pursuance of a position as Humber Pilot he joined United European Car Carriers to gain experience in handling smaller vessels on some of the busiest waterways Europe has to offer.
In 1999 he was employed as a Pilot with Humber Pilots Ltd. Starting as a Junior Pilot he was promoted twice on ability and capability. In his capacity as Pilot he navigated a diverse selection of vessels from large tankers, bulk carriers and ro-ro's to small coasters, trawlers and even the tall ships, which visited the Humber. In 2002 he left the Pilotage and was employed as Marine Superintendent for the FPSO Ikdam by Lundin Petroleum where he was responsible for the day to day running of the marine operations of an oil production and offloading tanker working a field offshore Tunisia.
John went on to join Briggs Marine in September 2003 originally taking up the role of Deputy and quickly working his way to Manager at their marine terminal operation on the River Humber. Following this success John was selected to head up a two year long contract negotiation with Serco Denholm and the MoD. In December 2007 he successfully delivered a £100M deal for Briggs which will safeguard the employment of 21 shore based staff and over 30 British seafarers for the next 15 years. John was a key part of the management team at Briggs and well liked and respected by everyone he worked with.
John was married to Cheryl and had one son and one daughter. His interests included reading the latter day biographies of politicians and sportsmen and he was a keen follower of football at all levels. Other interests included swimming and golf.
John moved to Walkington in East Yorkshire when he became a Humber Pilot and he was a popular member of the village community where he made many friends. He moved to Burntisland in Fife when he commenced work on the MoD contract but retained his links with Walkington. He will be greatly missed by everyone who knew him and heartfelt sympathy goes out to Cheryl, their children and all his family.
(Steve Dowler & Cheryl Clark).
Funeral for John (Martin) Clark. The funeral was held at the AllHallows Church in Walkington near Beverley West Yorkshire on Saturday 29th March @ 11:00. It is unfortunate that I was unable to attend the funeral due to other commitments that have been pre-arranged.
Our thanks to Martins long time friend Steve Dowler (Ex Shell) who has liaised with myself and kindly arranged the 'LOF Anchor Wreath'. Our thoughts and deep condolences to all the Clark family on the tragic loss of such a young man with a great future and potential in front of him.
Acknowledgements and many thanks to the following for their generous donations towards the wreath.

Paul & Gwen Cartwright. Bob & Margaret Stinchcombe.
Bob & Margaret Bruce. Jean Kirkham.
Rod & Jeannie Tarbuck. Roy & Connie Gerstner.
The LOF Wreath Fund

(R.G. 29-03-08)

News Date Feb 2008

John Harvey Mitchell. (Ch/Eng) (b 16/12/25 - d 16/01/08) 'Eden' man Sam Mitchell who died at the age of 82, was a seafaring Chief Engineer, who survived a shipping disaster which claimed the lives of 20 crew members. Sam was part of a 60-strong crew on board the 'London Valour' when it got into difficulties off Genoa during a freak storm in April 1970. Thrown from the ship into the sea whilst trying to prepare the lifeboat. Mr. Mitchell was in the oil and debris-covered water for 90 minutes before he was rescued. The disaster made headlines across the world and was witness by thousands of people at Genoa harbour, where the London Valour was due to offload its cargo of Iron Ore having sailed to Italy from the Russian city of Novorossiysk. Providing his account on the tragedy to a 'Herald' (The Cumberland & Westmoreland Herald) reporter several weeks later Mr. Mitchell recalled that there were times when he thought he would not survive. Remarkably the only injury he sustained was to his arm as he was dragged to safety.
He returned to sea soon after and remained until the early 1980's, retiring to live at Stainton near Penrith with wife Mary.
After a long illness, bravely bourne, Sammy Mitchell died on the 16th January at Penrith hospital, his funeral took place at Carlisle crematorium.
Born at Millorn in 1925 Samuel Harvey Mitchell grew up with his parents and brother in the Carlisle area. After leaving school aged around 14, he became an apprentice locomotive fitter on the railways. When the Second World War broke out he joined the RAF voluntary reserves, although he was never called up for duty. After the war he joined the Merchant Navy, firstly with Esso and then with the Orient Line. He married Mary in 1953 and went to work at Carlisle power station, but decided on a return to sea. He attended night school during his leave periods and obtained his Chief Engineers certificate (Steam) and joined LOF in the mid - 1950's. Thankfully after the 'London Valour' incident the rest of Sammy's career was less eventful. He was accompanied by his wife on many of his voyages, she was not on the 'London Valour' as she was in the process of moving from Carlisle to Stainton. He was the Chief Engineer on the VLCC 'London Pride' for many years.
On retirement around 1983, it gave him and his wife further time to travel the world. Whilst at home Sammy was a keen darts player. For the last two months he was treated in the Carlton ward of Penrith hospital, where he was very well looked after by the staff. He is survived by wife Mary who is now 87 (They had no children) and by brother Eric 77.
Credits to the 'Herald', Mrs Mary Mitchell, Mr. Eric Mitchell, Captain Peter Wright (LOF)
Edited for LOF News by Roy Gerstner February 2008

 

News Date Dec 2007

John Clark. (Master Mariner 1927 - 2007) Unfortunately I do not have a complete history of John Clark. He was born and educated in Goole, went to sea around 1944, sailed on the 'Duchess of Athens' in 1954 as 3rd Officer. Joined LOF in the 1960's and sailed for some 25+ years, until premature retirement in 1986. Married to Norma for 50 years and had two sons and a daughter. The second son (John aka Martin) sailed with LOF as Nav/Cad through to Ch/Off). John and Norma retired to live in Spain for nearly 20 years, until he became ill in 2007 and came back to the UK. John died in late November 2007, the funeral was held at The Church of St. John the Evangelist, on the 4th December 2007 (John Clark was a choir boy there). Ex LOF were Captain Rodman Tarbuck and Roy Gerstner.
I thank the following for donations received by myself towards the Wreath.

Robert (Bob) Bruce Roy Gerstner
Jean Kirkham David Meare
Ron Mortimer George Pringle
Derek Shoebridge Bob Stinchcombe
Rod Tarbuck John & Barbara Thake
Ron Todd

                                   
The Merchant Navy Association                                     The LOF Wreath




04th December 2007
L-R
Roy Gerstner, Cheryl Clark, Martin Clark,
Mrs Norma Clark, Russell Clark + Wife
Sabrina ? Capt Rod Tarbuck





News Date July 2007

Thomas William March. (R767006) (23/04/41 - 11/07/07) Tom was born and went to school in Hull. He did his apprentiship with J. Holmes shipbuilders of Hull, on completing this he asked a friend Ron Todd, (Ex LOF Elect/Off) if he knew of any 'good' shipping companies - Ron put him onto LOF. He joined in December 1962 his first ship being the 'London Majesty', Tom sailed with LOF on most types of the company vessels, and had a reputation as a very hard working 3rd Engineer - a 'grafter'. Made redundant with many at the time in 1985, he sailed on the 'Sir Alexander Glen' a sister ship to the ill fated 'Derbyshire'. Then joining Beta Maritime with a number of other LOF Officers. When Beta went 'bust' he sailed with Denholm Ship Management for a short while. Re-joining LOF during its resurgence on the 'London Victory' in September 1994 - his last ship being the 'London Enterprise III' signing off in Balboa on the 05th October 1997. Tom clocked almost 36 years as a seagoing Marine Engineer. On coming home it was discovered that he had the onset of Parkinson's disease and he has lived very bravely with this condition until his untimely passing away this July. Tom had a good sense of humour and never complained about his illness. He leaves Wife Barbara, and son David, who has gone to sea himself and currently serves as 3rd Engineer with B.P. Tankers. The funeral was held on the 18th July 2007 at the York Crematorium.

Many thanks to the following for donations received by myself towards the Wreath & Donation to the York Parkinson's Society.

Rod & Jeannie Tarbuck. Bob & Margaret Stinchcombe.
Roy & Connie Gerstner. Ray & Sheila Appleyard.
Ron Todd. Dave & Nancy Vincent.
Mrs. Jean Kirkham. Ron & Rita Mortimer.
Graham & Jean Nutall. Carl & Julia Suffield.
Steve Foulis. Paul & Gwen Cartwright.
Bob & Margaret Bruce. Bob & Shirley Ford.
John & Kathleen Aspin. Dave & Joanne Lawrence.
Roger & Lindsay Bancroft. Brian Laing.
Mick & Gwyn Howells.  


A receipt will be posted here when received.

L-R
Ron Todd
Mick Howells
Gwyn Howells
Kathleen Aspin
Roy Gerstner
David March
Roger Bancroft
Ray Appleyard
Sheila Appleyard
John Aspin

Not in picture but attended was Roger Harrison.


The epitaph to Tommy March

News Date January 2007`

Michael Rowley. (Ex 3rd/Off) (b 1930 d 2007) Mike Rowley left school and went to the T.S. Mercury from 1946 to 1948, they called it 'remission for sea time! it was an exceedingly hard life on the 'Mercury' - he got a years' worth of seatime!. It was more akin to a prison camp, no time off the premises, watched all the time, no money, mail cencored in and out, hair all cut off, sleeping in hammocks often with ice on the deck - watch a start to a life at sea in 1948!. Mike joined Shell Tankers. He had been on the "Dromus" in Pulo Bukom and he was still in Singapore the following day when the "Dromus " blew up with loss of life. He joined LOF in the early 50's and sailed until 1955 when he emigrated to New Zealand. Initially working on Chatham Island where he worked in the fishing industry, then on to a sheep station. From the 1970's he built up a very successful bussiness called 'Ruahine Kayaks'. During a recent visit to the UK in 2006 he visited a Senior LOF citizen Ambrose Jones, whom he had sailed with in the early 50's and it was Mike Rowley who saved Ambroses' life in a near swimming pool disaster in Willemstad Curacao 1953. Active to the end he had recently completed the kayak leg of the Infracon Challenge (also known as the Akitio Challenge) the Saturday before and it's  some what fitting in a way in that he died in his sleep on January 28th reclining in the lazy-boy spot prize he received at that event of which he was immensely proud to have won. (Ambrose Jones & R.G.)

News Date September 2006

Colin Creighton. (Ex Elect Off) (b 1920 d 2006) 'Jock' Colin Creighton was born in Dumbarton 29th June 1920. He was apprenticed to Wm Denny & Bros of Dumbarton. He sailed with BP Tankers 1949 - 51. Colin joined LOF in 1956 and sailed on 4 of the company vessels, Integrity, Prestige, twice in the Valour, and finally in the Overseas Explorer. He came ashore to work in 1960. He passed away on 24th April 2006. (R.G. & Cedric Paterson)

News Date September 2006

George Mochrie. Radio Officer. (b 1944 - d 2006) Ruth Mochrie informs of the unfortunate and untimely passing away of George on the 18th April 2006. George was born in Muirkirk Ayrshire 31st March 1944. He trained at the James Watt College Greenock and joined MIMCO (Marconi Marine) in June 1962. Joining LOF in November 1964 until 1970. He then worked at Wick Radio (BT), Sealink, the REOU (Radio Officer Union), P&O, Dtp, IDB Mobile, SES and finally back with Marconi in Chelmsford prior to retiring in 2004. George was in hospital having an operation when he suffered a post operative heart attack from which he never recovered. He leaves wife Ruth, son Neil and daughter Shona. Ruth and George joined us at the 2004 LOF Reunion. In retirement George and Ruth had hoped to travel to New Zealand. We send our condolences to the Mochrie family. (R.G./R.M.)

News Date June 2006

Jim McIndo. Chief Engineer. (b 1930 - d 2006) Jim passed away following a stoke on the 13th June in hospital. He had been unwell for a few weeks following some heart surgery in May, but had seemed to get over that. Jim was apprenticed in Engineering in Cardiff 1944 - 49 and went to sea with the Bolton SS Co 1949 - 51, the with Standard Vacuum Transportation Co. 1951 - 62. Joined LOF to get his endorsements from 1962 as Chief Engineer and remained until 1969, he then worked in the Engineering Department as Engineering Superintendent, he was made redundant in 1976. He then worked for Associated Shipping and then as Senior Superintendent for Papachristidis UK 1982 to 1989. Jims wife died in 1976, during his retirement he enjoyed Golf, Wood Carving and his dog. During the past couple of years he had been taking 'Flying Lessons'! He has a sister but no children of his own. The funeral was at Coychurch near Bridgend Wales on Friday 23/06/06. It was attended by family and friends, from LOF were Bill and Maureen McGuire, and Ann Johnson (Wife of Ex Master Alan Johnson). (R.G. & Bill McGuire)

News Date June 2006

Andrew Donald Gillie Master Mariner. (b 1938 - d 2006)
Born in small the village of Embo Sutherland Scotland, Andrew was apprenticed with Counties Ship Management in 1956, towards the end of his apprentiship he was brought to Southend-On-Sea, by a Seagoing uncle, to receive some dentistry work, during this short leave he met Irene. They were married in 1960. They had 2 daughters Andrea & Jeanette.
Andrew sailed with Counties through the 60's, and transferred to Mavroleon Bros (a subsidiary company). In 1971 all staff was amalgamated within the LOF umbrella at this time he was Chief Officer. In 1973 he was the Ch/Off on the VLCC London Pride II, and subsequently sailed on most types of vessels. Promoted to Master in 1977, his last voyage in 1997 being on the London Pride III. When LOF was amalgamated/sold Andrew went into early retirement, he and Irene had enjoyed sailing and kept a boat in Holland, where they had spent most of their leave periods in the last few years and in retirement. Andrew & Irene's daughter Jeanette is married to Stephen Tierney.

Andrew contracted cancer in 2005 and had been having treatment, his untimely passing at the age of 67 was a shock to many who had seen him in apparently good health at the LOF Reunion June 2004.

The Cremation at Southend-On Sea was attended by some 80+ people, including many from the Thorpe Bay Sailing Club. Ex LOF were myself, David Lawrence (Ex Rad/Off), Peter Rickards (Ex Office Staff & Thorpe Bay Sailing Club) and Son-In Law Stephen Tierney.
The reception was at 'Maison Renouf' restaurant.

     
(Click on a photo to enlarge)

Donations received by myself to date total £220.00; We are grateful to the following

Jef & Janet Campbell. Paul & Gwen Cartwright.
Keith & Barbara Cederholm . Bob & Elsie Fullagar.
Connie Gerstner. Jean Kirkham.
Dave & Joanne Lawrence. Martin & Erica Littlewood.
Bill & Maureen McGuire. Bob & Margaret Stinchcombe.
Rod & Jeannie Tarbuck. Mel & Vicky Vearncombe.

Receipts received from Macmillan Cancer Research and The RNLI.
(R.G. June 06)

News Date October 2005

'Bill' W.H. Overhill. (Ex LOF 3rd/Off 1955 - 56) Died in Tokoroa, New Zealand on the 15/10/2005 (Ambrose Jones)

News Date August 2005

Captain David Ian McMinn. Born Glasgow 1938 Died Dartmouth N.S. January 2005. News of David was unfortunately slow. David came from a seafaring family. He joined Clan Line as a cadet in 1955 and came to LOF in 1961. After obtaining his Masters Certificate he joined the Canadian Coast Guard in 1966, he retired from the CCG in 1996. His son Ewan sails as Mate with Upper Lakes Shipping. (CCG/Capt D. MacAlpine)

News Date May 2005

Jack Kirkham. Jack passed away after a relatively short period of illness on 2nd May 2005. Born 1933 schooled and brought up in Blackrod near Bolton Lancs, he served his apprentiship in Mills and local Industry. Originally went to Sea in the 60's with Eagle Oil and Shell Tankers, came to LOF in 1974.
Jack will always be remembered as a 'jolly' - happy-go-lucky man who loved a pint and a pound or two on the horses. He was one of the easiest going people you could meet and got on well with nearly every one. Married to Jean for 25 years, they bought a place in Brittany in 1994 and moved there in 1998, recently selling up and were in the process of buying another property in France at the time of Jack's death. Jack also leaves a son from his previous marriage. Jack has taken his welding equipment with him, in case the gates to heaven need some work doing. (R.G.)

News Date December 2004

Dave Moorhouse. ex Radio Officer LOF passed away. Dave was in his late 50's and sailed with LOF for a short time in the early 80's. He originally went to the Colwyn Bay Radio College with me during late 1969-70. I understand that more recently Dave had been doing some Teaching work in Greece. (R.G.).

News Date December 2004

Nick Nicholaidis, see below. (Bob Stinchcombe)