Derwent class 1970, had the friends Jim Hill
and Stewart Craigie. I
recall the class rowing that old lifeboat out in the harbour on a summers
day with Sludge (Bill Smith) barking out the orders. He was tough but
always ok to me. PE was with Taffy Williams, donít think anyone liked him
much. Went with Capt Vine and a few others one night to see a G&S opera up
at the army camp near the castle. Anything for a night out, turned out to
be quite good! End of the course we all went to London for a medical, two
failed, including a lad with a large fresh tattoo of a sailing ship on his
Joined my first ship in 1970 the British Lancer in Italy as an ERB with
Paul Draxford. We got on ok but he decided it wasnít for him and went home
after 2 or 3 months. Spent most of that trip doing menial work and
learning little. The training scheme allowed BP to treat us one moment as
apprentices and on the next ship as cheap labour.
Several other ships after that Ensign 1971,73,74, Mallard 1974, Laurel
1972, Argosy 1975.
British Laurel as J.O.E.R circa 1973, had a group of 6 ERBís on board for
first trip with a training officer, inc Mick Murphy, King and others.
Back to Dover for Mechanics course at the college. Lodged with 4 others in
a B&B run by an alleged armed robber. Social life was good but course run
by ex R.N. lectures who had very little understanding of the sea life we
were involved in. Had a visit from some BP office big wig, who came down
to intimidate us and tell us how lucky we were. Probably the same guy who
sent out the redundancy letters a few years later.
Back to sea as a Petty Officer, on the Argosy, (+ Carl McDermott) By now
doing a juniors watch and carrying a useless 3rd Officer. Few more trips
like this on the Admiral before deciding that the sea wasnít good for home
Moved to a shore job in 1976 with Hamworthy Engineering, Poole earning
twice what BP paid and home every night. Then joined IIG in Cork Ireland.
Joined family firm of fine art dealers in London, working in sales and
Moved back to back to Cork Ireland circa 1995.
Married with three daughters and living in Dorset.