1977 The Queens
Jubilee year. Oriana was cruising through the Med, the sea was like glass,
the O was like a shark basking in her area. The sun was exactly where it
said it would be in the brochure (the Americans love that bit) and, as
usual, everything was tikkety-boo. The Engineers (best in the world) were
alert, and not on the piss like everyone thinks they were. The Grocers 'n'
Naffs were all having their wee snooze after Tiffin. Just a normal day in
paradise when up popped the royal yacht Britannia, proud as you like.
Oriana sent a
message to them:- "Have a good voyage, God bless the Queen."
The reply from Britannia:-
"Have a good voyage, God Bless All Your Queens".
more photos of Malcolm in Gary Wood's Memories.
Malcolm Rushan, then aged 51, at the helm. He sailed as an apprentice with
Port Line from 1947, eventually becoming Chief Officer. He joined Orient
Line in December 1956 and was on Orontes, Orcades, Orion, Garonne and
was with P&O from 77-88. He started as a Deck Cadet then saw the error
of his ways and transferred to Engineering. He finished his Cadetship just
as the company had sold off most of its GCD and BSD ships but was lucky
enough to get an AEOís job on Canberraís Falklands refit then on to
the Sun Princess for 2Ĺ years where he got his 2ndís ticket then back
to the Pacific Princess for 2Ĺ years where he got his Chiefís. He then
had a short stint on the Sea Princess and then left when his eldest son
was born. He then went back on the Pacific Princess as he knew it was the
place for him.
photoís called ĎMe & Mrs Barkerí but I donít know who Mrs
is a familiar scene Ö chilling in your cabin. Thatís Phill Archer on
old Bunkering. Not that I ever had to do it having being snatched away
from the Sea in my prime as a Junior by the Wicked Witch of the West.
Never mind. On the right is Kieran
the left is Paul Truman (aka Freddie Truman) in PPís control room. Heís
now a Shift Engineer at Fawley Power Station and a great bloke to boot,
always laughing. Gerry Dyer is in the background. Good old Gerry always
Barratt (aka PB), Markís Ex (unnamed), Mark and Jim Bennett.
was taken on the Pacific Princess. PB was working for Princess in LA and
Jim was in the new build team.
above shot is called ĎThe Driftersí
Dyer, Freddie Blackmore, Mark Barnett, Mick Sammy, Mark Rendle, John Ward
and Brian Benzie.
remembers this great story about Freddie Blackmore. In Markís words. This
has me cracked up every time I think about it, I was on watch as Freddieís
Junior. He went out to change over the lube oil filters for No1 and No2
Gennies. He didn't put the lid back on the clean one properly and as he
changed over he got covered in oil. Fred was like Capt Mainwaring off Dadís
Army, he stepped back into the control room and the only part of him not
covered with oil was where his glasses were. I cracked up then rushed out
to get the job cleaned up. Funnier still was the shadow on the bulkhead
straight out of Tom and Jerry, where Fred had been between the filter and
the bulkhead and he appeared to be legs and arms akimbo as it hit him. You
had to be there! I believe Freddie is in WA these days.
next few photos are of some pretty heavy partying. Itís good to see the
boys playing hard after working even harder. As it should be and as it was
before the sick era of lawyers and litigation.
never failed to turn up for duty and do our jobs.
of the many stupid things Mark remembers doing was to upset Bill
McCandless. Heíd shown some totty round the engine room and let her
wear his earmuffs, which then stank of her perfume. When Bill came down in
the morning he said "Who's been having women in my engine room? in
only the way he could. Did he get a bollocking.
did his Engineering Cadetship with P&O and was with the company
from 1973-78. After leaving P&O, he joined OM Ships (now also known
as GBA Ships) as 3rd Engineer aboard the Doulos (former Franca 'C'). He
came ashore in 87, and has been at the GBA Ships HQ in Germany since
then, apart from a year (91-92) as Director on the Logos II on her tour
round South America.
may remember me as one who ran Bible studies for the passengers. Capt
Ian Gibb (as Staff Capt) gave me the first permission to do so on
Oriana, and apart from Himalaya, I ran them on each of the ships I
served on. I remember two other people from my time on the Oronsay, but
I've forgotten their names. One was the resident pianist and the other
was one of the cruise Hostesses.
is Mark and wife Esther taken in 2009.
has sent in 29 photos of his time with P&O which are in Mark's
Mark Sawyer is a definite one of a kind. They broke the mould after making
Mark. Heís confident, cocky, intelligent, funny Ö he could have easily
made a living as a stand up comedian. Heís also deep, sensitive and
sincere and a better friend you could not wish for.
Mark sitting in a lifeboat (with the other bloody slack Leckies while the
real Engineers were down below on standby) as the Big O left Sydney. As it
turns out it was actually my very last Sydney departure. Thatís Bob
Chambers on the right in the same boat.
hereís a motley crew, God knows where we were or what we were doing that
Les Diffey, Alan Conlin, Speedy and Steve B.
I wish I looked that slim now :)
a great shot that Mark sent me with him on the right doing something with Geordie
John that only the two of them will ever know. The Barman, who I
remember very well but canít remember his name, also looks a little
concerned :) You just had to be there!
another one of me in drag that Mark has so kindly dragged out. Iíve got
no idea where the wig came from of what that was all about. I didnít
think ďthe fingerĒ was invented then. Maybe I invented it!
is Mark as he looks today. He hasnít changed one iota and not just
physically but heís still the same life and soul of the party. The photo
was taken at our first official Reunion Dinner in Fremantle on the 5th
April 2003. Thatís Markís beautiful wife Veronica on the right and Garry
Stewart almost making it into shot on the left. Markís actually
talking to Geordie John Atkinson at
that moment who was at home in Sydney at the time. We passed the phone
around and all had a chat with him which was the first time Iíd spoken
with Geordie for 28 years.
done very well for himself professionally and is currently the Business
Development Manager for Ausclad Group of Companies here in Perth. Those Chilli Mussels
look good Mark!
courtesy of Steve B
above shot was taken 9th March 2006 down the Engine Room of the MV Oriana
during itís visit to Fremantle. Mark looks fitter and younger every time
I see him. Iím sure he must have signed a pact with the Devil.
joined the Orcades on the 4th September 1971 and did the trip to Oz via
the Cape followed by Ozzy cruising. They spent Christmas near Darwin and
had to be quarantined for a couple of days in Brisbane because of
suspected smallpox outbreak which fortunately turned out to be a false
alarm. The Orcades was a very popular ship with expats and Ozzy cruising.
She nearly sank in Fiji when a 3 ft section of cast iron pipe
disintegrated and flooded the engine-room before they had chance to
shut-off the side valves.
photo above shows some of the Engineers at Captains cocktails. Dave Lund
is on the extreme right and Martin is the 3rd from the right.
Unfortunately he canít remember the names of the other guys. Maybe
someone can help there.
shot above is a BBQ in Fiji and is basically the total of the engine and
deck 8-12 with some day workers. The chap with the flower in his hair is
the boiler-room 4th Garry Kerr.
Tonga shot shows the engine room 8-12 watch with Garry's girl friend. Dave
Lund (JE) is in the foreground and David Ferguson with a 3rd Engineer that
Martin can't remember.
left the Orcades in February 1972 and joined the Uganda in Naples on the
3rd March 1972 and left her in Greenock on the 20th June. Martin considers
Uganda to be the best run, most efficient passenger ship of all the 3 he
sailed on. He thinks the fact that she carried 700 school children as well
as the 300 cabin class passengers helped to focus minds and as I was
on her sister ship, Nevasa, I can concur with that.
was called back to the Orcades in August for her last UK cruise because
the Chief and Second wanted people who knew her to get her through her
last days. Her tanks were rotten and the FW double-bottoms were
contaminated with fuel oil. It was a struggle but she made it. He last saw
her lying in the new docks in Southampton waiting for her trip to
then joined the Spirit of London during her building on the 10th October
1972. She had been launched and was lying alongside the fitting out birth
in La Spezia. He left the Spirit in July 1974 following a very happy time
in his life and one he looks back on with fondness and mirth.
is the cast of a music hall show of which Martin is the one being sat on
is Martin picking up ice flows in Glacier Bay.
is Martin on the left and Dave Harbinson
tells me thatís Peter Pallas
(Deceased) in the middle and Iím told itís Paul Hill with the Carling
Black Label in his hand. Itís a very long time since I tasted one of
those. They were getting a lifeboat ready for a picnic. Great times.
tells me thatís Ian Brown (now Chief Eng) on the left but Peter Pallas
says itís Tony Dyson (2RO) ... any takers? Sorry Dave but Martin tells
me itís definitely Tony Dyson. They both agree the other is Peter Sara
(AE) (lecturer at Soton College last Dave heard).
oneís called ĎThe three 3rdsí. Dave thinks that the guy in the
middle is a young Peter Chester and
Pallas agrees with that and adds itís Mike Brogden on the left and
John Hill on the right.
remembers it was taken on San Tarenzo (approximate spelling) beach in
Italy. Google suggests he may mean San Lorenzo beach. Anyway, Martin
confirms that Pete Pallas is right, left to right its Mike Brogden, Pete
Chester and John Hill. Broggy was an old Passenger-ship hand but Pete and
John were drafted in from the Cargo ships because they had motor tickets.
Quite how or why Pete (aka Bonz) is displaying such a magnificent colour
one can only speculate. Too long in the bar perhaps?
emailed me for the first time yesterday (Monday 8th August 2005) and heís
still at sea. Heís Chief Technical Officer on the MV Arcadia and heís
going to be sending me some photos in October when Paul
Clasby relieves him. I sailed with Marty and Paul on the Big O 30
years ago and Iím looking forward to getting something I can post about
them both soon.
Marty standing on the left at the Orianaís Port Engine controls with Bill
Wilson in the middle and I donít know the other guy.
good things come to those who wait Ö Iíve finally got some great
photos from Marty :)
Marty wearing the very famous Red Garter Club (San Francisco) hat thatís
had a few bites out of it Ö as you do.
only recognize 2 of these 5 and thatís Speedy
in the middle and Oakesy on the right.
Maybe someone can name the other 3. Don Cole
believes the guy with the hat on the left is Brian North. Any takers? Andy
Ball has confirmed the guy on the left Steve Allen (aka Slimey) who was
his mate and a Cadet at the same time as him.
thatís Les Diffey with the OMO and
Vodka bottle (donít ask) and Mike Jack in the
middle and Dai with Pooh but I donít know the others. Don
Cole has also named the guy in the front with the beard as Pat the
blow me down with a feather. Nick Williams (aka Taffy)
wheeled in Ö two at once !!! Onya Taffy.
is Taffy on the left, Ginger
John in the middle and Bunny on the
right but I donít know anything about Bunny so maybe someone could tell
me about him.
is a very rare photo indeed Ö one with GOD in it (aka Toni
Mazonowicz). It was taken in Mosoís cabin in 1977 when he presented
Marty with wedding gift after a whip round. They also got a beer out of
him. Amazing !!
finally this one really confused me. Iím thinking why have Marty and Paul
Clasby being presented with gold medals? But then it dawned on me that
the girl in the middle is Kelly Holmes (British Olympic Champion) and theyíre
holding her medals Ö durrrr.
After passing out from
Gravesend Sea Training School in Denton, Kent I joined ss Iberia in 1971.
I was the Tourist Bell Boy. My fist trip was a 6 month world cruise. On my 2nd trip
I got rerated to Waiter/ABRS. I think that was her last trip as she left
Sydney she flew her paying off pennant. I then joined Canberra as first class
Waiter/ABRS and was Commodore Waitchers Tiger in 1971-72.
lost touch with all my sea mates and would be very grateful if you can help me with this task.
I am seeking a Peter Thickbroom, he was a bedroom steward on Iberia 1st class.
At that time I was a bell boy. He had a brother on the same ship, his name is
Colin Thickbroom, he was the 2nd butcher. Colin left Iberia to work at the
Ford factory in Dagenham.
wish has been granted and you can see the reunion here.
Other mates .....bell boys; Paul Spock, Gail Mark, John ?, Bill ? ...
there was ten of us in our berth next to the bear pit. Anybody that remembers me or my ship mates please contact
me as I have to thank them for many happy memories.
was one of those quiet ones who are always the worst. I mean that in the
nicest sense. He knew how to have a good time and always joined in the fun
but then heíd quietly disappear and be off cracking onto the women. His
tall handsome rugged good looks meant he was right up there with the best
of the wheelers but never boasted about. Quiet but deadly.
Glyn Dodson, Dave
George, Mick Everson.
Oxley, Ginger Jon Milner, Peter
Gillespie (aka Goldfish)
Mick with a friend and thatís Gavin
Ash putting up the trimmings.
is Mick today, taken at a recent reunion which can be seen here.
was a big mate of Mark Sawyer's and mine and another Pompey dockyard man.
Mick and I did our apprenticeship together and we joined up with P&O
together. He was as mad as me, if not worse. During our induction course
we were told that we would never sail together because we caused so much mayhem
and they were right, we were never put on the same ship. He got the
Arcadia and I got the Oriana. We had many adventures during our times on
leave though but he didn't last more than 2-3 years at sea. He was mates
with Jady Stevens, Willie Henry and the rest of the Scottish contingent.
We drove up there one year to see the lads and if I could only remember
the things we did I could write a book about that trip. He was the Best
Man at my wedding and I've never forgiven him. I managed to hook up with
him and a few other mates for 1 night on my last business trip to the
another photo of Mick here, here
and Oakesy has just spotted him here
was on the PP, IP, Canberra, Sea Princess and Royal between 1985 and
1992. Latterly I have worked in Engineering inspection for a company
called National Vulcan that is now part of Royal & Sun Alliance
where I came across another Seadog, the late Alan Ferguson.
joined P&O as an engineer cadet in 1984, sailed on the Sun, Island,
Sky and Sea Princess till 1993 - leaving as 3EO - loved every second
and would go back tomorrow!! Left to emigrate to Oz, became Chief
Engineer on FPSO's off WA. Spent the last six years training along with
my gorgeous girlfriend Sharon Griffiths (Bars Royal and Sea Princess)
to become wildlife veterinarians!! Worked with plenty of animals in my
time so shouldn't be too hard!!
Great to see names like Ian Marks, The Bopper and Mike Ramsey - all
stand out in my memory as great mentors and men you could admire and
aspire to be like.
only photo of Mike is where the above was cut from here.
across this site and spent hours trawling through some old and happy
memories of my time at sea. I was known as Fritz, given the name by David
Grant, who was 4th in the boiler room on my first trip on the O. I worked
onboard ORIANA and UGANDA as Junior-3/E/O from 79 to 84. There are plenty
of people I recognise in the photos and the stories. I appear in a few of
them, in Garry Wood's collection and in a few of the gearbox photos.
I was a cadet
with P&O from 75-79 at Riverside, Liverpool with Neil Lindfield. I've
seen Neil Lindfield's name mentioned on the website. I never sailed with
Neil but believe he may have gone to Canberra. My first recollection of
the Oriana was reporting as what I thought was Junior Engineer onboard
early in August 79 to the 2nd engineer John Englefield's office, only to
be reminded that I was 20 minutes late and that I still had a few weeks to
go as a cadet. The Bopper had a way with him but I found him hard but fair
and someone I had a great deal of respect for during my time onboard. You
were there to work hard and play hard as I recall.
Garry Wood's memories, we have copies of the same events held up in the
wardroom - I have pictures of you Garry with your Dracula teeth in. It was
a Transylvanian night, where me and Sid Vicious got confused and went as
transvestites - nobody told us!!! Do you remember that dance we all did
sat one behind each on the floor, swinging from side to side? I have
photos of that - Peam is at the front. I was stunned to hear of his
passing. A very dry and funny guy indeed.
A few years ago
now, my daughters were at nursery in Newcastle. One of the ladies who
worked there announced one day she was going to Australia to see her son.
When she told me that he was on Oriana, I knew instantly who he was - a
few of you will remember Steve Scott, one of the VO's. He and Scary Joe
were good mates. Steve settled in Australia - Melbourne I think. We had a
brief exchange of emails - in which he told me of Ken Willey's passing
(again another shock). My first meeting with Ken Willey was when we were
playing rugby on opposite sides as cadets during the inter college games.
Joining the Oriana in '79, we then had a long stint on the 4-8 together
with John Bates as J2 and David Grant in the boiler room. I have a photo
of Ken Willey and Chris Lawton in the engine room of the O somewhere, one
with a Fez on. I feel a trip to the loft coming on.
Then there was
Graham Bond. Good to see you on this site Graham. Do you remember painting
your cabin on the O with dolphins and other things you can paint out of
various shades of blue and grey paint? Where did you get the paint? I have
some photos of that too. Do you also remember pouring out in a sewage
treatment tank Graham? The manholes covers fell closed as I recall and
everyone retired to your cabin to drink your booze. I recall you doing a
long stint in the sewage farm on hotel services, following me and the
Aussie guy with the beard called Bruce (a very quiet fella was Bruce but a
great observer of human nature).
Also in some of
Garry's photos, I recognise one big lad. He was a VO onboard. He's not
named but I think he was called Mark - a big lad with black hair from
London somewhere. A real gentle giant. We called him Rocky. Onboard around
late 79-80. There was another lad called Mark Steel from Manchester - a
boxer as I recall.
Then there was
Dougie Beveridge, who I'd heard a lot about but who flew into my cabin in
Soton one day looking for someone in our first introduction. Had a cough
and a laugh in the style of the William Tell Overture as I recall and
astounded everybody by suddenly acquiring a smoking jacket for after watch
beers one day. Do you remember the Krankies onboard Dougie? Does anyone
else remember them? We had many parties down the cabins with them - I have
a signed photo somewhere. We all had a great time. Still can't believe
what I saw one night in the disco.
I remember the
Bopper of course, and big Stewie Drew getting bashed by the huge plastic
mallet he'd bought him as a Christmas present.
My first line
voyage was in November-December 79. We had great time on day work with
Steve Stroud and another lad with very dark hair, unnamed in one of the
Garry Wood photos. I'll have a think if I can put a name to it - an
electrician from the south coast I think (Pompey dockyard?). Another guy
in those photos was a scouse(?) electrician called Tony Carolan. Steve - I
still practice your moves in front of a mirror. I remember you nearly
electrocuting yourself at the top of a hatch one day. Priceless.
When we got to
Sydney, I was put on the 8-12 watch, Cliff Merwood in
Boiler Room. not sure who else was 5/E/O - it may have been Ken again. I
wasn't sure how this was going to work because the only words I'd
exchanged with the 3rd before this was over a boxing up job on a small
heater I'd done on the 4-8 - just the little matter of my leaving the
valve out! Anyway, what followed was a truly memorable period of 8-12 with
the gang. I met up with a girl called Linda Brown - someone
else from a previous era would also know her I believe (Cliff Merwood, can
you remember who it was?). I went to Oz on leave to meet her but it didn't
work out - had a great holiday up the coast though. I have a picture of
Cliff Merwood in front of the waterfront restaurant somewhere. Julie, my
wife and our girls were in Oz on a tour the summer before last and had a
few days in Sydney - good to see the Orient still there but my, the Rocks
have changed. We had an absolute hoot that Christmas cruise.
Roddy McConnel. We did many an officer's revue together - one finger one
thumb, ballet. I recall Paul Fletcher standing on a drawing pin one night
during a performance of the latter. Again, Garry Wood's photos bring these
back - "hand me down that pair of jeans" comes to mind Garry -
Ian Stoker and his banjo. Fletch is the lad with the blacked out face in
your photos of Transylvanian night. Another one who I think ended up in
Oz. Do you remember shaving your beard off one day Roddy - you looked like
a spell - no, a very long spell - on the 12-4 watch in the boiler room of
the Oriana, blowing tubes and fixing gearboxes. Then there followed a long
spell in refit - in the boiler room, fixing sootblower lances, then
another long spell in the boiler room, on 12-4. Then I got off and onto
daywork, went mad one night with drink and turned up poorly the following
day. After being given my job by Dave Turner, I went to the loo and fell
asleep for a few hours, just below the cross alleyway where they used to
prepare the veg (anyone on hotel services will remember Greg's emporium
where you could get a delicious burger). Do you recall an elderly
midshipman (?) who set the clocks at midday - we always met him in the
cake shop. Sadly died onboard and was buried at sea somewhere of San Fran.
Geoff Kimber -
good to see your contribution here Geoff. I well remember the trip up to
North Shields on the Uganda after the Falklands War, my first ever trip to
the north east - I still pop down that way regularly on a Saturday morning
to walk the dog on the beaches, for fish and chips from Kristians and to
get some fresh fish for our tea. I recall the pub just outside the dock
gates - the Woolsington - I now live in Woolsington, just below the
airport north of Newcastle. Your comments - "few knew how the thing
worked" - rings so true. I was on 12-4 with Malcolm Dann, who did.
I'd come off leave after doing my second's ticket in Cardiff -
end-tightened blading anyone - to join the ship in Soton. I also recall
those leaking boiler header doors - they were in a right mess. I have some
very funny memories of that time in South Shields - someone welding the
Mate's bike to the deck and the "anti-government feeling" which
may be present in the yard as a result. I recall the Merchant Navy Hotel
across the river and asking the receptionist out one night, only to be
refused. "Don't you like seafood?" I asked her. "I love
seafood" she replied. Oh well, if you don't buy a ticket.... Do you
remember the old shoreside guy they put in the engine room, tasked with
unclogging the cyclone soot separator up in the funnel? I will always
remember his screams "3rd, 3rd...", charging up through the soot
fall to find him stood with a sack under the newly opened up flange,
trying to catch 3 tonnes of shiiiite! I also remember a few of us sat on
one of the large pink/orange sewage clack valves at the bottom of the
engine room one night, all opened up and trying to clear it. What a night
that was - and a great pourout followed.
A few trips on
the Uganda - anyone remember Mr Mal's curries? I have the recipe
somewhere. Laurie Bradley, and of course Dave Oakes - see later. I spent
months on day work with Oaksie on the Uganda after the ship was
re-requisitioned by MOD. I think also Ken Worsfold, who I'd also done
hotel services with on Oriana. Fridges for the troops seemed to be the
order of the day. I recall P&O very worried about how we might behave
down there. so what did they do? A shoreside expenses tab? No. Dancing
girls/boys? No. We got airfix models, wooden boat models, lots of darts,
barbecues and of course the art appreciation course. It was all brilliant
stuff - who'd have thought we would take to it? It was there that I
learned to squint my eyes at the Impressionist paintings and learned about
the brilliant reflection in the mirror of the Amalfi wedding (?). Who'd
ever thought this would happen. Did anyone become a vicar after all that?
The reverse osmosis plant shaking itself to bits and flooding out the
doc's drug store, finding an expert stainless steel welder in the crew was
a life saver. On my last trip on the Uganda, it was decided that we would
have a purge of all leaks down below and save some feed water - and that
this would be followed by a huge drinks session, courtesy of someone else.
Unfortunately, we got it the wrong way round - but a good few hours down
below in Ascension Island before paying off was no obstacle to us getting
the job done. Happy happy times - and of course being dumped on the tarmac
at the far end of the airport in Africa (Dakar?) - courtesy of the paras.
Mr Oakes - how
wonderful to see your contribution to this site. I well remember your
wedding, though sadly have forgotten the name of your wife. It was on the
same day that Prince William was born as I recall. Mick Lemm was there, a
very shy pensive man as I recall, as was Ginger Jon and numerous others
who I cannot recall. I was also at your stag night - though don't remember
much about it. Strangely - as the brain does - you had a mate who was a PE
trainer in the prison service. Don't remember it? Well you did, it's in my
brain so it must be true! Not a bloody clue how these things stick around
in the old grey matter. Did we go to Pompey for the night - and a curry? I
remember a pier somewhere - oh no, not Isle of Wight was it? You lived in
Chandler's Ford didn't you? Don't remember? Well you did cos it's in my
brain so must be true! The last time we spoke you were on your way abroad
to work somewhere, not sure where now - southern Europe? That time down in
the South Atlantic travelling between Ascension and Falklands could have
been enough to send us all over the top but thanks to the steadying
influence of people like your good self, we came through it unscathed. I
remember helping you make an audio tape to your loved one one day. It
involved a lot of screaming, banging and the crumpling up of chocolate box
plastic. Did you ever send it to her? One other memory I have is of a
silhouette of 2 soldiers doing some odd things to each other behind the
funnel one moonlit night - by the time I called the wardroom out (TB et
al), they'd scarpered. Strange, strange ship indeed. Someone mentioned the
ghost of the Oriana - some odd things on the Uganda too.
Out of the
engine room, I have memories of Caroline Brown, a WAP, Sue of course,
another called Sue Thomas I think who was part Welsh but lived in London
(black hair - anyone recall her?) There was a deck guy called Dick - I
think we had some WAP man certificates made up - just for him. There
was Hilke Hasenkampf and Sandy Elson, Barbara the deck officer I recall
and also an RO called Jeneatte who married a fellow RO called Chris (blond
hair). I met them on the Oriana around 1981-ish and we were on the Uganda
I went back to
the Oriana for a trip or 2, though really my time to leave was long
overdue. I loved my time at sea but felt for me, it was time to move on.
Leaving was not without its problems as one or two of those on the site
may recall but I dusted myself down and now have a wonderful life. No less
though, I have some wonderful memories of that time and the people I met
and will make contact with one or two in the coming months. A couple -
Paul Mead and Ken Willey have sadly passed on. I knew Ken had died, no
idea of the circumstances but was told heart failure. But Peam's demise
was a great shock.
When I left the
sea, I popped up to see Hilke Hasenkampf - who I'd met on the Oriana - up
in Redcar. Also up there was Sandy Elson - I recall visiting Sandy too,
somewhere up near Burton on Trent as I recall. After sea, I came up to
Newcastle upon Tyne to do a degree in Naval Architecture and Shipbuilding.
The first year was a complete doss - 3 subjects a week, plenty of time to
find my land legs again. I met my future wife, Julie - we were doing
Physics together, her for her Dentistry degree. A year after I started my
degree, a guy called Rob Murrison turned up to start a degree in Marine
Engineering - he'd been a Junior on the Oriana during my last days. Some
time after that, another lad called Mark (?) who'd spent a short time on
the Oriana but then went on to the Princess ships started a degree. I
think he was one who P&O had sponsored to do a degree around 1980-81.
After graduating in 88, I went to work at VSEL in Barrow, initially
getting co-opted into the SMITE turbine installation testing establishment
there and then into the installation outfitting hall, where I met Don Cole
again. I see Don you are still there and have moved upwards and onwards -
all the very best. I note you are looking for Jim Angles. My recollection
of Jim is waking him up one morning, he asleep on the bed in his uniform,
the second call seeing him standing at his basin brushing his teeth in his
boiler suit. Job boxed then - Jim was up. Jim turned up in the engine room
10 minutes later in his boiler suit - uniform still on underneath. I left
VSEL after 6 months to join Shipboard Informatics / TMC (Marine
I still work
for TMC as a Naval Architect, based up here in Newcastle, where I develop
software for shipboard use and shoreside simulations and look at modelling
for various marine salvage cases we get involved in. I recall in my time
at sea the Oriana hitting a sand bank coming out of Alexandria - I was in
one of the shaft tunnels at the time and have never shifted so fast in my
life. I know the Uganda ran aground there once didn't it? Coincidentally,
we had a job come in last week involving a container ship which had run
aground there. Some things never change! I've been married to Julie, a
dentist, since 1986 and we have 2 beautiful daughters, Emily who's doing
GCSE's this year and Megan who has just started at High School. We live
just below Newcastle Airport, which is a bit handy at times, in
Woolsington. It's been a long time of self imposed exile from all things
has kindly supplied this very interesting history of his career.
was an ANCHOR LINE of Glasgow cadet in the early sixties and joined
P&O in 1966. My first ship, coastal only, was BARADINE then
HIMALAYA at the start of the 1966 seamens' strike which gave me six
long weeks gangway duty in Tilbury. I very nearly took my bat and ball
and went home! A P&O cricket tour under Russell Peters and the
brilliance of Peter Hodges, saved the day and convinced me to stay.
Mike Prowse (Captain), Ian Adie (Staff Captain) and Philip Jackson
(Chief Officer) were the first opponents I came up against as Jnr
Fourth Officer in the box cabin!
there to COMORIN (ex SINGAPORE) and happy times with Mike Moulin, Mike
Carter, Alan Reed, and Geoff Savage as 'old man' then to ORCADES as 3/O
and later J/2/O and probably the most carefree and happiest times of my
life. Captains were Ayles, Harris and Reed for those that might have
memories of the good times.
the big jump and life in the fast lane, ORIANA, August 1970, just in
time for the boiler room fire in the Solent which changed so many
lives. None less than that of relief Chief Engineer John Howell one of
God's true Welsh Gentlemen!! In 1975/6 I had a West Coast year in Sun
Princess and then Pacific Princess before rejoining Oriana.
Cutler and Wacher and Reed in my early days. Many years were to follow
in ORIANA in the ranks of J/2O, 2/O, 1/O, and C/O until 1980 and my
final appointment to the West Coast and Sun Princess, probably the
happiest and most desirable ship in the fleet at that time. Six years
there with Captains Clark, Hannah, Ellingham, Townsend, Bradford,
Sample and John Crichton (the very best) saw me eased out to appease a
fleet personnel management that couldn't manage and would later regret
the loss of so many officers they desperately needed in changed
Already living in Sydney and commuting to the West Coast, I was asked
to be a part of the Riding Crew on ORIANA, during her tow to OSAKA by
the rig tug LADY LORRAINE. My final duty on this ship I loved was to
lower the Red Ensign and raise the Rising Sun with the new owners, a
lump in the throat would be an understatement! The trip took four and a
half weeks and, as we had no running water or sewage facilities, life
was as you made it. The team with me were stalwarts and only they could
have made it possible. They were gorgeous George McHugh, Dave Mitchell,
George Stoker and Tom Heyhoe. After my rejection, from which I was
presented with a beautiful inscribed carriage clock (perhaps guilt
inspired as I had always given my all to the company) I became a Marine
Surveyor in Sydney and first job was to inspect Island Princess!!
Philip Jackson as Master and Tony Chadwick as Chief Officer. Later I
was to join Captain Cook Cruises in Sydney and do the Harbour, the
Hawkesbury River, Barrier Reef, Fiji, and finally return to P&O
(Australia) in command of M.V. BALI SEA DANCER based in Bali and
cruising Indonesia. After which I taught myself to design and install
kitchens and bathrooms for several major hardware companies in Sydney
before retiring in 2002 to the south coast of New South Wales where I
now live with my two beloved dogs for company.
canít say I knew Magic Mick (seated row far left). The same goes for all the senior officers
really. They kept themselves to themselves most of the time and if you
werenít actually on their watch (3rds) then you hardly got to know them
and J2s and above were Gods and you were only too pleased to keep out of
their way. There were a few exceptions.
to find this web site with so many names I associate with my times at sea
with Sun Princess, Sea Princess, Canberra, Oriana and Arcadia. A lot of
the guys may remember my outfit Mike Hayes quintet or my former band mates
in Jack duff quintet, Mark Stevens Set 1975-1984 cruising with P&O and
Princess Cruises. I would love to hear from ex ents staff, musos and
soccer team members of the SUN.
above photo was taken on the Island Princess around 1980 and shows Mike
just to the left of Captain Philip Jackson (center talking on the mic),
between Ian Tomkins and Steve Morton-Smith. Mike joined the Orient
Line as a Cadet Purser in 1960 and served at sea until 1995, his last
appointment being as Purser of Crown Princess. He then came ashore as
Princess Cruises Hotel Operations Director, New Buildings until he retired
in March 2004. Lucky man
Cliff Perry, Emilio Gandolfi, Bernie Warner, Steve Morton-Smith, Mike
Hawkesworth, Ian Tomkins, Phil Jackson, Bruce Waller, Graham Lewis, Tom Beck & John Evans. What a team!
a great shot of a very young Mike and a connecting trail of Mike's career
is in the middle at the back of this photo and he was a Deck Cadet and then 3/0 on the following ships;
1984 ss Uganda (troop carrying to/from the Falklands)
1985-1986 ss Oriana - did the last cruise into Sydney which was very sad.
1986-1988 tev Canberra
1988 mv Royal Princess
Mike left P&O in 1989 to seek other employment elsewhere but has very happy memories of the whole experience.
above picture is from the Canberra around 1987.
L to R:
Smullen Coxín, Mike Hitch 3/0, Steve Young 1/0.
and I were good mates. We were on watch together quite often and got on
well. Iíll never forget the time when he and I were singled out by
Bruce Waller to crawl under the Starboard Turbine (while it was running
and bloody hot) to scrape away all the burnt asbestos lagging that was
left after the fire. An oil pipe had burst and sprayed the lagging
which soon came to flash point and wumpah, the whole Starboard Turbine
was on fire. Iíve never been so scared in my life when we opened the
Engine Room door leading down the stairs and plumes of black smoke
billowed out and we had to go down there. We did what we had to do and
Mike & I were left to clean up the mess. I donít know how may lung
fulls of asbestos fibres I swallowed that day but Iím sure itís not
helping the bronchial pneumonia Iím suffering now which has given me
the time to work on this website.
Mike on the far right then me, Toby
Tompkins and Dirty Harry. Look how
much beerís left in Dirt Harryís glass compared to the rest of us and
they were all bought together. Thatís the first time Iíve noticed
though this may not look like it, we did actually work down below Ö
sometimes. This was Christmas Day 1975 and thatís Mike on the far left,
donít know the next guy, me with the Red Garter Bowler Hat on, donít
know the next guy, Dirty Harry on the
right with the lantern and Dave Oakes
being carried. Dave was actually too pissed to stand up and a few minutes
later he was asleep on the plates.
Mike in the middle pouring beer in his ear. We drank so much it was hard
sometimes to remember where to pour it. Thatís me on the right and Don
Cole reminds me the guy in the Uganda Tee Shirt is Andy Ball.
is Mike now. He hasnít changed one iota. I canít believe how I look so
different and most of my old Seadog mates look just the same. I believe
this shot was at the completion of the new deck that Mike made himself.
Good job mate, you can come to my place with your joinery kit
is Mike in Antarctica. He went for some reason to do with his work.
Unfortunately I lost the email explaining the reason in an earlier computer crash. What a fabulous opportunity.
lives in New Zealand, New Plymouth to be exact and has been threatening a
trip to Perth in the near future which weíre really looking forward to.
a great, and very recent, shot of Mike with Celia Cowan (now Chester) on her recent visit to New Zealand.
a very recent shot of Mikeís wife Barb on the left and his gorgeous
daughter Kymberley on the right and thatís John
Englefieldís wife Pippa in the middle.
spent three happy years on the P&O ss Himalaya between 1967 and
1970 immediately after leaving the army. I was a ship's writer in the
Pursers Bureau and made some good mates during my time at sea. I have
already tracked down Brian Richards (2nd Butcher) and fellow
Cornishman, Mervyn Huckstepp also a writer, Bill Gaade (Carpenter) and
recently Violet Jardine (WAP) popped up out of the blue. I live in
Germany but am originally from Falmouth, Cornwall. We had a few Janners
on board who kept the flag flying for the Duchy of Cornwall. Would be
pleased to hear from any of the old gang still out there.
is Mike today, taken at a recent reunion in Cornwall which can be seen here.
sailed with P&O from 1967 to 1971. He started as J/E/O and finally
finished as 3/E/O. He sailed on the Cathay ,Chusan, Iberia and the Pando
above two photos were taken in 1967 on the Cathay.
this is Mike now in 2007, 40 years on, much wiser and better looking. He
lives in Sydney and works for himself as a Boiler Surveyor.
for the motor men, mv Somali rounding the Ocean Terminal Hong Kong.
and a Strath boat (not sure which one) tied up at the Ocean Terminal in
thought this might
be Orcades in Sydney which evoked this amazing information from Alan Mackenzie;
two rather nice pics of "Orcades" at Circular Quay courtesy of
Mike Maskell, are in fact Oronsay (at least I'm 99% sure). In the second
of the two you can just see Oronsay's single heavy mast (as opposed to
Orcades' tripod structure), also Orcades had a row of square open ports
forward of, and on a level with, the aft mooring deck, whereas Oronsay did
not and finally, the aft end of Orcades' funnel casing had quite a sharp
slope to it, whereas Oronsay's was flat and squared off. So yes, on second
thoughts, I'm 100% sure this is Oronsay, not 99%!
comes under the category I mentioned earlier Ö he was Jesus. He used to
scare the pants off me but fortunately I managed to stay out of too much
trouble and missed facing his wrath.
believe heís still with P&O and has attained the dizzy heights of
Commodore of the Fleet. Congratulations Mike. Oh, thatís Mike seated 5th
from the left sitting on the right of God (Toni Mazonowicz).
this is what he looks like now at the grand old age of 80. Seen here with
Cowan (now Chester) who used to be the Senior Officers' Secretary on
the homeward bound in 1976 and had spent hours in his office taking
dictation and laughing her socks off at his antics. In October 2008
Celia went to see a show featuring Mike's daughter Kate who is quite
well known in the UK and Mike was in the audience.
is Kate Robbins, being the 2nd cousin of Sir Paul McCartney (Kate's
grandmother, Annie McCartney and Paul's Father, Jim McCartney were
brother and sister) meant that Kate was born into a long musical
tradition, references to her parents Bett and Mike Robbins are in the
Beatles anthology - Mike being the first "show business person" that
John Lennon and Paul McCartney knew when they were teenagers - booking
them to perform in his pub and billing them as The Nurk twins. Paul
McCartney employed Kate as a backing singer many years later on the
album Press To Play.
can be heard on a recording of Oriana's Sunset Sounds here.
Mike passed away on the 16th February 2009 and his tribute can be seen here.
was an engineer on Cannanore from 1969-1970, Oronsay from April 1970 to
December 1971 and Canberra from August 1972 to January 1979. The
picture above was cut from a great group shot that Mike sent in of the
Oronsay Engineers of 1971.
was very pleased to meet Mike's son Ian on the
new Oriana in Fremantle on 9th March 2006.
is 2nd Engineer on the new O and a really nice guy.
a great family shot of Mike with his lovely wife Christine
who was a WAP on Oronsay in the early 70's and their very
cute granddaughter. Wow, doesn't Ian look like his Mum.
leaving P&O in 1979 Mike joined Shell International, trained in
Holland before postings to Oman (1980-86), Brunei (1986-89) and finally
My wife Christine and I recently travelled on Oriana's Baltic Cruise in August, where we met up with our son Ian Smith 1/VO.
see here a father very proud of his fon and a son very proud of his father
... brilliant stuff.
Williams was a Junior Engineer/Refrigeration Engineer from 1967-71 and
served on Chusan, Oriana and Iberia. The above photo was taken on ss
Chusan in 1967.
Wow I was
so young, I can remember the photo being taken, but I can't remember being
as slim as that, 22 years old ... WOW!! If only I could wish, and if only
wishes really came TRUE!! Wouldn't there be a lot of happy people in this
a great shot of Mike taken looking down onto ss Chusan berthed at Ocean
Terminal, Hong Kong in 1967.
P&O Mike joined the Royal Marine Auxiliary Service commonly known as
the RMAS. He was the 3rd Engineer on this rescue tug RMAS Cyclone. She was
I had some vary
scary moments on her rescuing tankers and ships around the UK coastline
and the English Channel. That was a completely different life, in fact the
complete opposite to what I was used to on the passenger liners. 2 years
service and a very worthwhile experience and another way of sailing the
Mike taken just yesterday (Sunday 5th August 2007) at his beautiful home
taken yesterday relaxing in the garden.
is Mike's son Martial (pronounced Marcial) ... French name.
I've already fallen in love with Mike's gorgeous daughter Victoria. WOW!
here she is in Dubai in March 2007. Double WOW!
This is my best
mate, he's a 9 years old French Poodle. His name is Fluffy and he's always
with me 24/7, he even sleeps alongside me on the floor (he has a
comfortable cushion) and he's a very important part of the family Williams.
(ANTI STRESS) I call it...
has recently visited Australia (Aug-Sep 2009) and couldn't keep away from
the place we all know so well, Circular Quay...
and Pyrmont. Great photos and gee you've lost some weight Mate. Doesn't
that always happen under the circumstances, makes me want to do the same!
went for a cruise around Sydney Harbour in the beautiful Schooner.
is Mike's fitting shrine to Oriana and Beer!
kindly sent in many more fantastic photos which I've added to his own new
"Mike's Memories" section here.