World Ship Society - BRANCHES -United Kingdom Branches
BEDFORD & DISTRICT
Meets: Kempston Constitutional Club, 196A Bedford Road, Kempston, Bedford MK42 8BL, (located 100 yards from Sainsburys store toward Bedford), on the 3rd Thursday of each month, at 19:30 for 20:00 start. Contact: David Menzies, 149 Spring Road, Kempston, Bedford, MK42 8NR. Tel: 01234 352014. E-mail: email@example.com [02.2013]
On the Horizon: our forthcoming Bedford & District Branch meetings
17 Jan 2013 — Edward Parry Blue Funnel Part 2
21 Feb 2013 — Bill Mayes returning to give a cruise presentation "What I did on my holidays 2008"
21 Mar 2013 — Branch AGM, followed by a DVD presentation from Bill Barber featuring shipping in Darwin and Singapore
18 Apr 2013 — Don McKeand presentation "Waterline Ship Models"
16 May 2013 — Edward Parry presentation "Great Sea Battles of World War 2"
20 Jun 2013 — An Australian Night themed WSS Slide Shows: 1) Royal Australian Navy Review; 2) First Fleet re-enactment
18 Jul 2013 — Dave Sutton with "PLEASE no more holiday snaps!"
15 Aug 2013 — Alan Moorhouse, presenting a Liner Evening
19 Sep 2013 — Snowbow DVD Evening featuring the shows 1) The Worst Journey in the World (Arctic Convoys); 2) The Great Port of Manchester
17 Oct 2013 — Travels with my camera 1982 Part 2 / 1983 by Tim Webb
21 Nov 2013 — Branch social evening at the King WIlliam PH Kempston
19 Dec 2013 — Alan Pepper giving a presentation "D.E.F. of Ships"
On August 25, 2008, Ian Wells was presented with a book of Bedfordshire, by David Menzies, after his 25th visit to the branch to show slides and talk about shipping at Tilbury. [02.2009]
Meets: After a recent re-launch a regular pattern of meetings has been arranged. Friends Meeting House, Champion Square, Bristol BS2 9DB on the first Thursday of the monrh from September to May, 7:30 PM. Contact - Richard Brown, 4 York Avenue, Ashley Down, Bristol BS7 9LH. Tel: 0117 9513168. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org [02.2013]
Upcoming Branch Programmes
3 Jan 2013 — Bristol and its ships — Geoff Williams. Long time Branch member and former Chairman, Geoff has a supurb collection of slides of local shipping
7 Feb 2013 — Cornish Ports and Harbours — Krispen Atkinson. Although he now lives by the Thames and works for Lloyds Register, Krispen loves to talk about his native Cornwall
7 Mar 2013 — Shanghai Shipping 2010 — Jimmy Poole. The Secretary of the World Ship Society tells us about his time in China
Meets: Athenaeum Club, Kimberley Place, Falmouth, on the 2nd Friday, September to June, at 7:30 pm with one meeting in the summer as an outdoor activity. Contact: Tony Atkinson, 'Tregarth', 20 Lower Redannick, Truro, Cornwall TR1 2JW. Tel: 01872 275602. E-mail: email@example.com [03.2013]
On 16th August 2012, members of the Cornwall Branch were privileged to visit two Royal Naval vessels at Queen's Wharf, Falmouth by courtesy of the commanding officers, RN port liaison and A&P Falmouth. HMS Mersey P283 (1,677 tonnes displ.) was on a routine visit during her busy deployment on fishery patrol duties in the area as one of the three River Class patrol vessels conducting all such patrols around England, Wales and Northern Ireland. HMS Enterprise H88 (3,500 tonnes) one of the Royal Navy's two Survey Vessels Hydrographic Oceanographic (SVHO) was alongside for a period of maintenance. A tour of each vessel with a detailed explanation of its durites was much appreciated. Our thanks to Adrian Symons for initiating and arranging the visit. Photo by Tony Atkinson. [08.2012]
Meets: Broadstone Community Centre, 21 Dunyeats Road, Broadstone, nr. Poole, on the 2nd Saturday, September to May, at 2:15 pm. Contact: Mrs. Marion Browning, "Tarven" Corfe Lodge Road, Broadstone, Dorset BH18 9NF. Tel: 01202 694338. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org [02.2013]
UPCOMING BRANCH ACTIVITIES
WSS 2012 ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
The 2012 Annual General Meeting of the World Ship Society was held in Poole, Dorset on the 11th to the 13th of May 2012.
The Dorset Branch is hosted the AGM at the RNLI Lifeboat College in Poole. The RNLI have an excellent website giving a virtual tour of the Lifeboat College. www.rnli.org.uk All hotel and conference rooms have a harbour frontage and it is only a short walk to Poole Quay. The Lifeboat College has full hotel amenities.
Meets: Kevill Arms, Church Road, Gorleston, Great Yarmouth, on the 1st Thursday of each month, at 7:30 pm. Contact: David Tuttle, 38 Orwell Cres., Belton, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk NR31 9NZ. Tel: 01493 780548. E-mail: email@example.com [02.2013]
Meets: Fleur-de-Lys Hall, Gatefield Lane, Faversham, on the 1st Friday of each month, at 7:30 pm. Contact: Ralph Bigrigg, 55 Sandwich Road, Eythorne, Dover, Kent CT15 4DG. Tel: 01304 830916. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org [02.2013]
On the Horizon - Upcoming East Kent Branch meetings
4 Jan 2013 — Members' photos of 2012
1 Feb 2013 — Ken Larwood - ABC of Ships
2 Mar 2013 — AGM & Photographic competitions
5 Apr 2013 — Jimmy Poole - Shanghai Shipping 2010
3 May 2013 — Bob Radcliffe - Medway Shipping
7 Jun 2013 — Bill Mayes - Ferries and Cruise Ships of 2012
Meets: Ardgowan Primary School, Newton Street, Greenock, on the last Thursday September to April, except the second Thursday in December, at 7:30 pm. Contact: Peter Gifford, 11 Gordon Avenue, Bishopton, Renfrewshire PA7 5EX. Tel: 01505 863386. email@example.com [02.2013]
Meets: Edinburgh Cine & Video Society, 23a Fettes Row, (off Dundas Street), Edinburgh, on the 3rd Monday, October to April, at 7:30 pm. Contact: Ian Duff, 93 Craigmount Brae, Edinburgh EH12 8XN. Tel: 0131 339 1668. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org [02.2013]
Meets: "The Pop In", Barnwood Road, Hucclecote, Gloucester (opp. "The Waggon"), on the 2nd Monday, September to May, at 7:30 pm. Contact: Malcolm Bell, Gloucester Branch, 61 Oldbury Orchard, Churchdown, Gloucester GL3 2PU. Tel: 01452 714167. [02.2013 RW]
RECENT BRANCH EVENT
H.M.S. GLOUCESTER’s CREST
When it was announced that a Class 42 Destroyer was to be named GLOUCESTER for service in the Royal Navy, the thought occurred to Tom Askew (a member of the WSS Gloucester Branch) that there should be a physical link between the ship and the City which had given that name to ten of her naval predecessors since 1654.
Tom had been a shipyard apprentice at the Rosyth Dockyard towards the end of World War One, and had become a skilled craftsman to the extent that he was an Inspector of Shipwrights prior to retirement. So, the idea of a ship’s crest began to emerge, but there was no precedent for the presentation of what would normally be a bridge crest by a private body or individual to ships of the Royal Navy.
A huge amount of effort was put in by Chris Witts, then Secretary of the Branch (and later destined to be a Mayor of the City of Gloucester) to cajole and persuade the numerous organisations with an involvement. Initially, they included the shipbuilders Vosper-Thorneycroft at Woolston near Southampton; Admiralty Procurement at Bath and more generally the Ministry of Defence. It took the involvement of local MP, Mrs Sally Oppenheim and presentations by Tom Askew and Branch Chairman, Terry Robinson, before the MOD gave full authority for the Crest to be created and offered to the ship.
Meanwhile, the effort to source suitable hardwood had eventually born fruit when a piece of old and well-seasoned timber was found in the Gloucester Cathedral works yard. With the full backing of the Cathedral, Tom was able to carve the crest using a bench mallet and planes made by him as an apprentice; after soaking the wood with preservative and coating with primers and sealants, the gilding and painting was carried out by Mr & Mrs George Gough as per the existing ships badge which was based upon a 16th century version of the City coat of arms.
The Crest was completed in time for the launch of GLOUCESTER on 2nd November 1982, when the Branch was represented at the ceremony; however, for an intervening period during fitting-out of the Destroyer, the Crest was put on display in the Cathedral Treasury.
On 7th June 1985, six members travelled for the formal presentation to D96 of the Crest, accompanied by a brass plaque denoting that it had been presented by the Gloucester Branch of the World Ship Society. Initially, the Crest was mounted at the head of the gangway.
The connection between the Branch and HMS GLOUCESTER was maintained at intervals, culminating in the Branch Treasurer, John Mayer, being a supernumerary on the voyage in May 2011 between Avonmouth (where the ship had made a farewell visit) and Portsmouth prior to decommissioning.
John Mayer on the bridge, May 2011, watching the officers navigate the Needles Channel at the western end of the Solent
John Mayer on the deck of HMS GLOUCESTER, May 2011.
From the left: David Acland, former President of RNLI, Jim Porter (Gloucester businessman who helped to sponsor John's trip) and John Mayer on the fo'c'sle of HMS GLOUCESTER, May 2011.
WSS ‘Marine News’ Vol 66, no 6 (June 2012) reported that the Crest had been returned on 16th July 2011 by the ship’s Operations Officer, Lieutenant Tom Rowley, and accepted by Canon Celia Thompson on behalf of the Cathedral for their safe keeping. It was particularly appropriate that the Branch was represented by Chris Witts, Les Dalton and Mary Tibbetts from the 1985 presentation party, along with a good turn-out of current members.
Following on negotiations led by Branch Chairman, Ken Guest, positioning of the Crest was decided and led to a re-dedication ceremony at the Cathedral on 10th October 2012, in the presence of Dame Janet Trotter, the Lord Lieutenant of the County of Gloucestershire, and the current Mayor of the City of Gloucester, Councillor David Brown. Thus, this permanent link between warships named GLOUCESTER and the City is on display in the Cathedral, along with the plaque which informs of the involvement of the WSS Gloucester Branch.
(from left to right) Branch Chairman Ken Guest, Lieutenant Tom Rowley RN, Weapons Officer of HMS Gloucester, Mrs Mary Tibbetts, Chris Witts, Les Dalton and Canon Celia Thompson outside Gloucester Cathedral. Photo by John Mayer, July 16, 2011
Canon Celia Thompson of Gloucester Cathedral with the Crest. Photo by John Mayer, July 16, 2012.
This photograph shows Branch members below the Crest after the re-dedication in the Cathedral, from the left:
Harry Phillips, Ted Tedaldi, Dave Markey, John Mayer (Branch Treasurer), Penny Meenagh, Mr & Mrs Fred Jones, Malcolm Bell (Branch Secretary), Mrs Margaret Mayer, Mrs Mary Tibbetts, Ken Guest (Branch Chairman) and Chris Witts [10.2012]
The presentation party on 7th June 1985 as Capt Dermot Rhodes of HMS GLOUCESTER receives the Crest from WSS Gloucester Branch members: (left to right) Tom Askew, Chris Witts, Mary Tibbetts, Les Dalton, Ken Vincent and Les Tibbetts.)
Meets: The Library, Felixstowe Seafarers' Centre, Carr Road, Felixstowe Dock, on the 2nd Thursday of each month at, at 7:30 pm. Contact: Graham Dines, 68 Roman Way, Felixtowe IP11 9NR, Tel: 01394 670507, E-mail: email@example.com Web: http://www.wsshavenports.co.uk [02.2013]
OUR PROGRAM OF EVENTS FOR 2013
14th February, 2013 — "Piraeus 1983/84", WSS Tape/Slide show
14th March, 2013 — "Cruising on the Marco Polo", Derek Sands
11th April, 2013 — "Shipping on the Colne". Barry Crickmore
9th May, 2013 — "Around the Black Sea and Mediterranean on Black Watch", Tony Wycraft
13th June, 2013 — "Cornish Ports, Part 2", Krispen Atkinson
11th July, 2013 — Shanghai 2010", Jimmy Poole
August – NO MEETING
12th September, 2013 — "The last of Mike Wood's Vintage Slides", John Hall
10th October, 2013 — "The Sealink Story", Pip Cone
14th November, 2013 — Branch AGM, followed by members’ slides, etc.
13th December, 2013 — Christmas Buffet at the Crown Hotel, Manningtree
Meets: The Danish Church, Osborne Street, Hull, on the last Friday, September to May, but the penultimate Friday in November and December, with no meeting in January, at 7:30 pm. Contact: Sorry, No contact names or numbers available. [04.2010]
Meets: Christian Spiritualist Church Hall, Dukes Road, Douglas, on the 1st & 3rd Fridays, October to March, at 7:45 pm. Contact: Malcolm Magee, 16 Port-E-Chee Avenue, Douglas, Isle of Man IM2 5EW. Tel: 01624 676882. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org [02.2013]
Meets: Commencing with the September 2009 meeting — Riverside Centre, Newport Quay, Isle of Wight, on the 4th Thursday, except for June & August, at 7:00 pm. Contact: Tony Westmore, 29 Queens Road, Cowes, Isle of Wight PO31 8BW. Tel: 01983 295550. E-mail: email@example.com [02.2013] Interesting and informative Local Branch website: http://www.isleofwightwss.org.uk [07.2009]
Meets: "The Britons Protection Hotel", 50 Great Bridgewater Street, Manchester M1 5LE (across from GMEX), on the 3rd Thursday, September to June - first Thursday in December, at 13:30 hours. Contact: Jim Charnock, 27 Bollin Drive, Timperley, Altrincham, Cheshire WA14 5QR. Tel: 0161 969 1581. [02.2013]
17th January, 2013 — "Slides from the WSPL". Jim McFaul. Jim is bringing more slides from the library to make up a show. Based on previous years, this is a must for nostalgia and seeing many ships that we knew in unfamiliar colours after being sold.
21st February, 2013 — "Merseyside Nostalgia", Dave Crolley. Dave will be showing us some of his more interesting and unusual maritime photographs from his vast collection that he has been given over many years.
21st March, 2013 — An extra programme of 'Shorts' by Branch members. This is an extra chance for members to bring along a few slides and give a short talk. The results in recent years have been outstanding and this meeting is now a 'regular'
18th April, 2013 — "Yorkshire Shipping", Roy Cressey. Roy is coming across the Pennines again to talk to us about the ships to be seen on rivers and canals in Yorkshire. Starting in York we will wend our way to the North Sea and hope for a good variety of shipping.
16th May, 2013 — Branch A.G.M. + supporting programme. After the business of the AGM we will project a selection of slides and possibly, digital images
20th June, 2013 — "The Stories of HMS BAYONET and HMS HAVOCK", Richard Osborne. Richard is presenting two separate talks 1) Who sank the netlayer HMS BAYONET on 21st Sept 1939? A re-evaluation of her loss using British and German records. 2) The loss of the destroyer HMS HAVOCK off Kelibia on 8th April 1942 and the subsequent Courts Martial
Meets: Chatham Historic Dockyard, Dock Road, Chatham, on the 2nd Tuesday March to November, at 7:30 pm. Contact: Jimmy Poole, 101 The Everglades, Hempstead, Gillingham, Kent ME7 3PZ. Tel: 01634 372015. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org [02.2013]
Meets: "The Fly in the Loaf", 13 Hardman Street, Liverpool, on the 2nd Tuesday of the month, September to July, at 7:00 pm. Contact: Philip Welsh, 11 Garswood Close, Moreton, Wirral, Merseyside CH46 3SF. Tel: 0151 678 4758. E-mail: email@example.com [02.2013]
8th January 2013 — Cammell Laird - part 4 - 1950's to 1960's — John Taylor / Philip Welsh, Merseyside Branch PROGRAM CANCELLED TONIGHT - see next entry
19th January 2013 — January meeting is being held on Saturday January 19th commencing at 13:00hrs, and will be held at: Liverpool Seafarers Centre, 20, Crosby Road South, Liverpool, L22 1RQ PROGRAM CANCELLED DUE TO ADVERSE WEATHER
12th February 2013 — Classic Scottish Cruising — Iain Quinn, Clyde River Steamer Club
12th March 2013 — Cornish Ports & Harbours - Part 2 — Krispen Atkinson, Cornwall Branch
9th April 2013 — Mersey Docks - 1970's to date - Part 2 — Philip Parker, Vessel Opeation Manager - ACL
14th May 2013 — Coastal Shipping & Tripping- Part 2 — Bernard McCall, Bristol Branch
11th June 2013 — Maritime Infrastructures Past & Present — John Luxton, Merseyside Branch
9th July 2013 — Branch Annual General Meeting — Followed by Members Slides & Digital Images
Meets: Ingatestone & Fryerning Club, High Street, Ingatestone, Essex, on the 1st Monday of each month, at 8:00 pm. Contact: David Brown, 8, Forefield Green, Chelmsford, Essex CM1 6YU. Tel: 01245 465052. e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org [02.2013]
LESLIE SARGEANT MEMORIAL QUIZ Held at Ingatestone & Fryerning Community Centre on Saturday 9th October 2010, hosted by Mid-Essex Branch.
Questions set and Quiz organised by Mid-Essex Branch
Attendance was slightly lower than usual but in the event 4 branches entered teams: guest branch Bedford; Haven Ports branch; South Coast branch and Southend branch. Unfortunately a scratch team could not be assembled from the audience as in previous years.
There were a good number of stalls selling a range of books, photographs and slides brought to the event by individuals, branches and the Chatham Library, all of which generated a lot of interest. The Mid Essex Branch charity, the RNLI, was also well patronised, selling a range of goods including calendars and Christmas cards.
There were many donations to what turned out to be a huge raffle with a principle prize of a return voyage from Dover to Calais for a car and up to nine passengers courtesy of P&O. Further prizes included bottles of wine and whisky, a basket of fruit, mugs, books, dvds and cds.
With only 4 teams in the competition it was decided to run an eliminator round to select the three teams to go into the final. Out of a possible 50 points Haven Ports scored 24, Southend 23, Bedford 18 and South Coast 12.
The points after round one in the final were Bedford 14, Southend 15, and Haven Ports 9. In the second round the points were Bedford 10, Southend 17, and Haven Ports 12. Southend excelled and scored maximum points on both of their bonus rounds. The final positions were: runner up, Haven Ports Branch; second, Bedford Branch and first, Southend Branch who had a run away victory with 32 points. Congratulations go to Southend branch who had won only once since the competition began back in 1995. They were very pleased to walk off with the trophy this year.
Mid-Essex would like to thank all members from the South East that attended, particularly those who were part of a team. Thanks also go to the guest branch Bedford for attending and hope that they had an entertaining afternoon.
Our grateful thanks go to all the branches and individuals who bought prizes for the raffle which has enabled Mid-Essex to financially break-even on the cost of the afternoon.
The results of the questionnaire sent out indicated a general willingness for the event to continue, but many branches found difficulty in attending due to dwindling numbers and a reluctance to travel any long distance. Perhaps some thought should be given as to the form the quiz should take in the future. This event not only has an enjoyable competitive edge but allows local branches and members to meet socially.
To ensure the continuance of this enjoyable event please make a special effort to attend next year’s quiz which will be hosted by South Coast branch. Southend Branch will be responsible for organising the quiz and setting the questions.
The winning Team accept the trophy from Robert Butcher Mid-Essex branch Chairman (left), with Southend team members (left to right) David Salisbury, Stuart Emery (captain), John Killen and Ray Palmer. Photo taken Oct 10, 2010.
Meets: Hirael OAP Centre, Ambrose Street, Hirael, Bangor, usually on the 2nd Saturday, September to April, at 2:00 pm. Contact: Alan Smith, 35 Maes Seiriol, Pensarn, Abergele, Conway, Gwynedd LL32 7RZ. Tel: 01745 825824. E-mail: email@example.com [02.2013]
Meets: Temple Hill Community Centre, Temple Hill, Dartford, on the 3rd Wednesday of the month at 7:30 pm, for 8:00 pm start. Contact: Glen Humble, 195 Old Road East, Gravesend, Kent DA12 1PN. Tel: 08707201130. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org [02.2013] Local Branch website (with lots of detail about local events) http://wssnwkbranch.wetpaint.com
Upcoming Programmes & Events
Jan 16, 2013 — Shipbreaking at Aliaga (Part Three), by Selim San
Feb 20, 2013 — Kiel Week & Christchurch NZ, by Allan Nicholls
Mar 20, 2013 — Cornish Ports (Part Three), by Krispen Atkinson
Apr 17, 2013 — Cruise on CELEBRITY SILHOUETTE, by Geoff Watson
May 15, 2013 — An Olympic Summer 2012, by Alan Chapman
Jun 19, 2013 — Presentation by Bernard McCall
Jul 17, 2013 — Hong Kong Shipping in the 1980's, by Ken Flack
Aug 21, 2013 — Frank Ogier Slides No 4, by John Townsend
Sep 18, 2013 — Thames Pageant, by Stuart Emery
Oct 16, 2013 — Presentation by John White
Nov 20, 2013 — A.G.M. + Promotional videos from the P.L.A.
Meets: Ballynafeigh Methodist Church Hall, Florenceville Drive, Belfast, on the 2nd Tuesday September to May, at 8:00 pm. Contact: Roy Snowden, 'Alcantara', 48 Killycomain Road, Portadown, Co Armagh BT63 5SH. Tel: 028 3833 1371. E-mail: email@example.com [02.2013]
Meets: Wensum Lodge, King Street, Norwich, on the 2nd Friday, October to April, at 7:30 pm. Contact: Mrs. Jenny Tomlinson, 'Riverlea', Fakenham Road, East Bilney, Dereham, Norfolk NR20 4HS. Tel: 01362 860604. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org [02.2013]
Meets: Plymouth Naval Base Museum on the 1st Tuesday of each month at 7:00 pm. (Access to the Museum is not now through the Devenport Dockyard Gates. The nearest postcode for the Museum is PL1 4HG, reference the block of flats at crossroads down Granby Way from A374; turn left at crossroads, then immediately right past Spinnaker and HMS VIVID; Museum on right.) Contact: Ian Denton, 'Kestrel', 11 Edgecombe Way, St. Ann's Chapel, Gunnislake, Cornwall PL18 9HJ. Tel: 01822 832871. E-mail: email@example.com [10.2012 RW]
Meets: Southwick Community Centre, Southwick, Sussex, on the 4th Thursday of each month - 2nd Thursday in December, at 7:30 pm. Contact: Mrs. Val Thompson, 60 The Grange, Hurstpierpoint, Hassocks, West Sussex BN6 9FD. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Tel: 01444 410679. Publications: bi-monthly - South Coast Look Out; semi-annually - South Coast Packet. [02.2013]
On the Horizon: Forthcoming South Coast Branch meetings:
Thursday 25 April, 2013 - AGM, Quiz (Questions by David Start)
Thursday 23 May, 2013 - T.B.A.
Thursday 27 June, 2013 - Cornwall Ports Part 5 (Scilly Isles), by Krispen Atkinson
Thursday 25 July, 2013 - Thames & Medway Ports Past & Present, by Steve Spouse
Thursday 22 August, 2013 - My travels in 2012, by Bill Mayes
Thursday 26 September, 2013 - Blue Funnel at War, by Trevor Cox
Thursday 24 October, 2013 - The Thames Pageant from the River, by Stuart Emery
Thursday 28 November, 2013 - Milford Memories, by John Davidson
Meeting Notes: Thursday 28th February, 2013 — Shanghai Shipping, presented by Jimmy Poole. Jimmy Poole received a warm welcome from members when he returned to present “Shanghai Shipping 2010” – a photographic account of his cruise up the Yantze from the sea to Shanghai’s Bund on board LEGEND OF THE SEAS. Jimmy estimated the journey took about four hours and ships were being continuously passed on both sides – a ship photographer’s delight. We saw a truly vast amount of shipping: numerous container ships, VLCCs, bulkers and many smaller cargo ships and coasters – most of the older tonnage having had its cargo handling gear removed – plus naval vessels, numerous ferries and tugs. The background was just as interesting as the ships: container cranes by the dozen, many shipbuilding and repairs yards, a huge steel works, and the modern high-rise buildings of this vast city which occupies 2500 square miles with a population approaching 30 million. A fascinating evening and a real eye-opener of just how much China has progressed in recent years – little wonder the west is in recession.
Meeting Notes: Friday 24th February, 2013 — The Keith Rivett-Drake Annual Branch Dinner. A most enjoyable evening was had by some 30 members and their guests when they sat down and enjoyed a superb dinner roast beef or lamb with seasonal vegetables accompanied by equally excellent starters and desserts at the Sussex Yacht Club. This was our annual gathering in member of our generous benefactor and former member, Keith Rivett-Drake. A vote of thanks must be given to Philip Simons and the committee for their meticulous planning and organisation which made the evening most enjoyable.
Meeting Notes: Thursday 24th January, 2013 — “A City of Ships” – the London Docks 1924-1948, presented by Trevor Cox. Sub-Arctic temperatures effected attendance and caused a last minute change of subject at our first meeting of the year, however, those members who did venture out thoroughly enjoyed three excellent Port of London Authority films on the London Docks in the DVD “A City of Ships” presented by Trevor Cox. The first was a silent film set in 1924, the second 1938/39 with a most informative commentary, and the last a colour presentation from the late 1940s when the docks were still recovering from damage sustained in the Blitz and many of the ships were wartime constructions. We saw the docks in the days of intense manual labour when almost all the cargo was moved and handled by 35,000 dockers, the wide varieties of cargoes handled along with their inspection and distribution. The 35 miles of quays were full of shipping in an era when there could be 1000 daily shipping movements passing Gravesend.
Meeting Notes: Thursday 14th December, 2012 — Christmas Film Evening. A last minute technical hitch meant that the branch’s annual photographic display and competition could not take place – (it is now scheduled for the April meeting along with the Branch AGM and Quiz) – and in its place members were entertained, and most thoroughly enjoyed, a showing of the 1955 classic Ealing Studios film “The Ship that Died of Shame.” Many harbour scenes taken at Weymouth, Poole and Portsmouth provided a background to an interesting storyline. At the film’s conclusion a very acceptable seasonal buffet was produced by Val Thompson and Sheila Watt, to whom sincere thanks are given, and which was greatly appreciated and enjoyed by all present making a very pleasant end to the branch’s activities for the year.
Meeting Notes: Thursday 22nd November, 2012 — “A Personal Voyage Through the 1970s”, presented by Andy Skarstein. Andy Skarstein took members on “A voyage through the 1970s, Part 3” when he showed ships he encountered and ports visited when serving as a Radio Officer with Clan Line on board CLAN GRAHAM, CLAN MACINDOE, CLAN RAMSAY and CLAN MACLEOD. The London Royal Docks, coasters on the Thames, Union Castle at Southampton, and shipping on the Rivers Mersey. Clyde and Tyne were featured, followed by visits to northern European ports before visiting India, South Africa – including the well-known S.A. Railway tugs – and finally the Mississippi and Miami in the U.S.A. The first generation of container ships were just starting to appear so we saw a superb mix of shipping both new (for the period) and old – the latter dating back to ships built during the war years. Also included was a variety of steam railway locomotives found in ports where steam was still in daily use. It was also interesting to see how much the ports had changed in the intervening years – shipyards had become housing estates and docks industrial sites. A fascinating evening left members hoping Andy has a Part 4.
Meeting Notes: Tuesday 6th November, 2012 — Fish and Chip Supper. Sincere thanks to Phil Simons and the members of the Committee for organizing the convivial gathering at “The Plaice in the Square” fish and chip restaurant in Southwick. Some 21 members and their guests sat down and enjoyed a most pleasant evening which was deeply appreciated by all present.
Meeting Notes: Saturday 3rd November, 2012 — South Eastern Social and Leslie Sergeant Quiz, St. Andrew’s Art Centre, Gravesend. Eight South Coast members joined up with forty colleagues from Southampton, Southend, Thames Valley, North-West Kent, Haven Ports, Mid-Essex and North Surrey for a most enjoyable afternoon. Brisk business took place in sales of books, photographs and postcards on Branch and Chatham Library tables followed by the main feature – Lesley Sergeant Quiz. Two heats were held – we were up against Thames Valley North Surrey (“deceased”) and Haven Ports but failed to make the final which was contested by heat winners Thames Valley and Southampton, along with Haven Ports as best runners-up. Thames Valley then took the honours and won the cup. Many thanks must go to Krispen Atkinson for organizing the day, ably supported by Phil Simons, and to Val for providing an ample and delicious table buffet which was consumed to the last crumb !
Meeting Notes: Thursday 25th October, 2012 — “19th Century Cruising”, presented by David Hornsby. David Hornsby made a welcome return when he presented “Cruising — the Early Years” which covered the history of cruise ships from their inception in the 1830s through to the start of the Great War. The history of the foundation of many liner companies, their development and expansion of cruising itineraries, along with the careers of the ships, were all covered in David’s most interesting commentary supported by fascinating artistic and photographic images. P&O, Thomas Cook Tours, Hamburg-Amerika, Neopolitan Steam Navigation, and Polytechnic Steam Yachting Cruises were just a few of the companies covered. Cruising commenced through the alternative employment of liners in the off-season through to the huge purpose-built cruise liners we see today — last year there were over 18 million cruises booked with British cruises being an average of 10.5 days and in the U.K. (where up to 10.9 cruises were booked) being 6.5 days. The start of cruising can be traced back to Arthur Anderson, the co-founder of P&O, who along with his business partner Brodie McGhie Wilcox set up Wilcox and Anderson Co. in 1832 and secured various Admiralty mail contracts. It was interesting to learn that in the 1840s Anderson had suggested the construction of the Suez Canal but this was dismissed in turn by the Admiralty and Parliament as not being feasible, a decision based on inaccurate tide levels. Members look forward to his port-WW1 era at a future meeting.
Meeting Notes: Thursday 27th September, 2012 — “United Molasses Co. / Athel Line” presented by Trevor Cox. Members became fully acquainted with the molasses trade when they were given the story of the United Molasses Company / Athel Line from its beginnings when founded by Danish-born Michael Kroyer-Keilberg just before WW1 with the sailing vessel SUNLIGHT through to its eventual demise in the 1980s. He proposed the prefix “ATHEL” for the ships of his company which can e traced to his Danish ancestry as being derived from the Dutch “Adel”, or Norse “Ethel” or other Aryan words which have the same meaning of “noble, splendid, fine, or pleasing” – the company’s first ship being named ATHELSTANE, possibly from the first monarch of England, Aethelstan. Member Trevor ox covered the history of each of the company’s ships, along with photographs, from their building through to their scrapping or loss, including interesting links with other casualties during the war years. Athel’s Caribbean coastal fleet, the absorption of Tankers Limited, WW2 managed ships, and the amalgamation with the Anco Group were also featured in the presentation which was greatly appreciated by all present.
Meeting Notes: Thursday 23rd August, 2012 — “A Tale of Travels in 2011”, presented by Bill Mayes. We joined Bill Mayes, Chairman of the Ocean Liner Society, for his “Travels in 2011” which involved sailing on 74 different ships – a mixture of ferries and cruise ships – and covering 11,200 miles and involving 49 nights at sea. GRAND HOLIDAY (strawberry-flavoured soup with garlic!), OCEAN PEARL (41 years old), BOREAL, GRAND MISTRAL, AIDABELLA and NAPOLEON BONEPARTE were just some of the liners featured along with numerous ferries and visits to ports in the Mediterranean and adjacent Atlantic coast. Bill accomplishes his outward and return journeys with meticulous planning so as to include a multitude of ferry connections – including 18 ferry crossings in one day while visiting Istanbul. His commentary includes a comment on the standards of catering to be found on board each ship – along with photographic examples – as well as his excursions ashore. One ferry of particular interest was EXPRESS SANTORINI, fondly remembered as the Newhaven-Dieppe ferry CHARTRES, built in 1974 and now operated by Atlanticoline on their Faial – Pico – Sao Jorge service in the Azores. Ship visits to EMPRESS, RYNDAM, SAGA RUBY and MSC POESIA were also on the itinerary. We also travelled across the Irish Sea to Cobh for the WSS AGM and saw the various memorials to the loss of LUSITANIA. Warmly thanked, Bill readily agreed to return next year with his travels in 2012.
Meeting Notes: Thursday 26th July, 2012 — “Travels in the Caribbean”, presented by Peter Ives. Members were taken on a tour of the Caribbean when Peter Ives from the Medway Branch presented his “Travels in the Caribbean” which he undertook a few years ago on board Thomson Cruises THOMSON DREAM, 42,092 grt., built in Germany in 1984 as HOMERIC for Home Lines. The Caribbean islands of Grenada, Barbados, Curacao (what a transformation: the island can now cater to several large cruise liners both inside and outside the harbour waterfront at Willemstad, and where not a single Shell tanker was in sight – how times have changed !) and Aruba were among the islands visited as well as the coal-exporting port of Santa Marta in Columbia. Peter covered all the shipping he saw, from tugs and harbour craft to cruise liners and container ships. Of fascinating interest were a series videos taken of shipping transiting the Panama Canal when Peter stayed at a hotel overlooking the Miraflores Locks from where he had a superb grandstand view of ships entering the lock and how they were manoeuvred through with the assistance of the “mules” keeping them centered in the locks. Peter was warmly thanked and invited back for a further travelogue of his shipping adventures.
Meeting Notes: Tuesday 3rd July, 2012 — P&O’s 175th Anniversary, “The Grand Event.” A good number of members assembled at lunchtime in Ocean Village, Southampton and, with members from other branches, boarded WIGHT SCENE at 1500 for the first of two cruises. The first was to tour the docks where the P&O fleet of seven liners were berthed. We remained on board for the highlight of the day – the departure of the ships and to follow them down Southampton Water as they proceeded outwards in line ahead. ADONIA was the first to slip at 1745 followed by VENTURA, ARCADIA, AURORA, ORIANA, AZURA and OCEANA, each slipping her moorings as the last ship in line passed. By 1915 all seven ships were underway – some 570,000 grt., carrying some 15,000 passengers and 6,000 members of crew. Unfortunately for much of the time the weather was not in our favour but this did not “dampen” the spectacle of the first time the complete P&O fleet had been in port together and then sail together – a stunning sight unlikely to ever be seen again.
Meeting Notes: Thursday 28th June, 2012 — A Visit to the Cornish Ports – part 3, by Krispen Atkinson. Krispen presented “Cornish Ports and Harbours, Part 3” when he took us on a fascinating tour of all the ports to be found from Mounts Bay and along the coast of north Cornwall to Bude. In an excellent presentation we viewed the ports today and in their heyday in earlier years, all enhanced by Krispen’s well-informed commentary and an imaginative use of aerial maps. A wide variety of coasters and local ferries through the years were seen along with some commercial docks and infrastructure which have now disappeared. It is quite a hazardous coast for ships in difficulty and accidents old and new were covered. Members congratulated Krispen for a most interesting evening and agreed that his planned Part 4 is eagerly anticipated.
Meeting Notes: Thursday 24th May, 2012 — A Nautical Miscellany, presented by Martin Wright. Martin Wright made a welcome return to our branch when he presented his “Nautical Miscellany.” Through his camera we visited the Polish ports of Gdansk, Gdynia, Szczecin, Kolobrzeg and Swinoujscle in 1992 and then returned in 2009 when we could see what had changed. We then travelled to Vietnam to view shipping on the river at Saigon before coming back to the North Atlantic to visit Las Palmas and then into the Mediterranean to conclude our journey at Messina. At each port we toured the local docks viewing a wide variety of shipping as well as the local shipbuilding and repair yards. Members warmly thanked Martin for a fascinating and wide-ranging evening.
Meeting Notes: Thursday 26th April, 2012 — Branch Annual General Meeting, followed by our Annual Quiz, this year set by Mike Hearn. The Branch A.G.M. sailed on a straight course through calm waters with our Chairman, David Start, in command, ably assisted by his crew of Philip Simons and Val Thompson. Members expressed their sincere thanks and satisfaction by re-electing the committee for a further year’s voyage and were enthusiastic in giving their support to future planned ports of call. All reports wee accepted and members were brought up-to-date with reports on a suggested branch website, latest news from Chatham via Alan and Sheila Watt, and our in-branch publications. After the business was concluded Mike Hearn conducted a most enjoyable annual quiz, this year won by David Start (67%) (whose prize is to set next year’s questions), with Andy Skarstein just one mark behind (66%) and Trevor Cox (64%) closely following in third place.
Meeting Notes: Saturday 31st March, 2012 — WSS Merchant Ship Day, Civil Service Club, Whitehall, London. Several members attended and enjoyed five informative presentations: on-line historical research through the huge, and increasing number of digitized newspapers now available on-line, ferry services to and amongst the Orkney Islands, Naval Control of Shipping in the Great War. Merchant Navy Cadet Ships in the 20th Century, and the early days of the collier trade to the Thames. Unfortunately your Editor’s presentation on training with Shell Tankers for some reason was not compatible with the two laptop computers available.
Meeting Notes: Thursday 22nd March, 2012 — "Paddles, Props, Jets and Foils". presented by Nick Hall. A wonderful trip around the various lakes of Northern Italy, Switzerland, Bavaria and on the Elbe at Dresden was provided by Nick Hall when he presented "Paddles, Props, Jets and Foils" following his visits to the various regions in 2006 and 2008. Among the lakes we visited during the evening were Lac Léman, Vierwaldstättersee, Lago di Lugano and the Starnbergersee where we saw the local commercial, service, and passenger traffic along with the delightful vintage paddle steamers. One of the oldest was at Dresden, DIIESBAR, nearly 130 years old, built in 1884 and still fired by coal. Nearly all the paddle steamers were over a century old - GENEVE, BLÜMLISALP, SCHILLER, URI, MEISSEN - although some have been converted to diesel-power, all are kept in immaculate condition and they were made even more picturesque by the superb backgrounds of the Alps - and Nick's expert photographic eye and skills.
Meeting Notes: Friday 24th February, 2012 — The Keith Rivett-Drake Annual Branch Dinner. Some 30 members and guests sat down and enjoyed a superb dinner of Supreme of Chicken in a White Wine and Mushroom Sauce, Sauté Potatoes and Seasonal Vegetables accompanied by equally excellent starters and desserts at the Sussex Yacht Club for our annual gathering in memory of our generous benefactor and fomer member, Keith Rivett-Drake. A vote of thanks must be given to Philp Simons and the committee for their meticulous planning and organsiation which made the evening most enjoyable.
Meeting Notes: Thursday 23rd February, 2012 — Ship-Breaking at Aliaga, by Selim San and presented by Geoff Watson. Geoff Watson from the North-West Kent Branch provided a fascinating evening when he presented Selim San's "Ship-Breaking at Aliaga." The views were taken over the past 20 years and so we saw ships that covred a wide period, with a few, such as the former ARGONAUT, dating from the 1920's. Liners, ferries, tugs, Great-Lakers, warships and former Soviet research ships all met their end on the foreshore. Easily recognisable were STEFAN BATORY and Union Steamship Company's RANGATIRA, our former local STENA LONDONER, ex VERSAILLES from the Newhaven-Dieppe route, the Normandy Ferries DRAGON, and the former British Antactic Survey ship JOHN BISCOE. On a smaller scale we saw the former Red Funnel Southampton-Cowes CARISBROOKE CASTLE (1959) and General Steam's ROYAL SOVEREIGN. Another presentation on this rarely seen but most interesting and unique theme would be most welcome.
Meeting Notes: Thursday 26th January, 2012 — Memories of the London River, presented by Stuart Emery. Stuart Emery from the Southend Branch was our guest speaker when he presented Memories of the London River. Members were able to visit the London Docks as they were in the 1960s and 1970s, and not just for the ships from those times but also the infrastructure and service vessels. These were the days before containerisation had taken over from break-bulk cargo, and one aspect most conspicuous then, but now mainly vanished, was the numerious and wide variety of dockside cranes. Ocean-going ships were seen in the Upper Pool when today such ships rarely proceed above Tilbury. Well known companies such as P&O, British India, Harrisons, Ben, Port, and Glen Line were all featured. Passenger liners, cargo ships, training ships, Thames barge races, ship breaking, Thames lighters, coasters, tugs and salvage work were also included in what was a fascinating evening of pure nostalgia. We sincerely hope Stuart will return for another view of bygone days on the Thames and its various docks.
Meeting Notes: Thursday 8th December, 2011 — Branch Annual Photographic Competition followed by the Christmas Buffet. A good number of members took part in the branch’s annual photographic competition with some 24 entries, which, with many thanks to Krispen working intently with his laptop and scanner beforehand, had all the photographic prints, transparencies, and digital submissions displayed on the screen in digital form. All photographs were voted on using a 1, 2 or 3 mark scale with the results being close, and many thanks to all those who took part. Peter Longhurst took first place with a superb view of the 1905 Buoy Tender BUSSARD taken at the Flensburg Steam Rally, “Dampf Rundum,” for which the newly inaugurated Peter Roberts Trophy was awarded – a scale miniature model of our affiliated ship, the minesweeper H.M.S. SHOREHAM, which will be mounted in a display case. Second place was taken by John Davidson with an elevated view of HMS ARCHER and HMS EXPLORER underway and abreast in the entrance when leaving Portsmouth Harbour, while Peter also took third place with the former 1908 Hamburg-built SCHAARNHÖRN – a twin screw coal-fired Inspection Vessel accompanied by a preserved tug. After voting, results and presentations members concluded the year’s final meeting by enjoying a sumptuous Christmas buffet. Many thanks to all those who took part and especially to Val, the prime provider and organizer of the excellent buffet.
Meeting Notes: Thursday 24th November, 2011 — The Forton Lake Archaeology Project , by Mark Beattie-Edwards of the Nautical Archaeology Society. The branch welcomed Mark Beattie-Edwards, Programme Director of the Nautical Archaeology Society, N.A.S., when he presented “The Forton Lake Archaeology Project.” It was an excellent exploration of the history of the inlet on the northern outskirts of Gospost, the survey and recording work of the remains of the various craft to be found, the detective work to determine their various identities, service history, and how they came to be in the lake. The former Gosport ferry VADNE, a Cowes chain ferry which was once the floating home of Uffa Fox, a naval steam pinnace and two R.A.F. craft were covered in detail. The Forton Lake project, to investigate the remains of hulks and associated history of the Forton Lake project, to investigate the remains of hulks and associated history of the Forton Lake area in Gosport, Portsmouth, has been a collaborative project between the NAS and the Hampshire and Wight Trust for Maritime Archeology which began in 2006 thanks to a Local Heritage Initiative Grant. Local residents and schools, including support from St. Vincent College situated on the shore of the lake, have taken part in the practical tasks of recording heritage around the lake by helping to photograph, survey and excavate some of the abandoned vessels. Members warmly thanked Mark for a fascinating evening and hope for follow up presentations covering the future projects.
Meeting Notes: Thursday 27th October, 2011 — A Further Selection of Roger's Slides of Yesteryear, by Val Thompson. We enjoyed an evening of pure nostalgia when Val showed another batch of Roger's slides he had taken in the 1960s and 1970s. Most were taken in the ports of Shoreham, Newhaven or Littlehampton, on WSS visits to the Thames docks, and across the Channel to Calais, Antwerp and the New Waterway. These were the days when cargo ships were festooned with masts, sampson posts, king posts and derricks, containers were somewhat a novelty and carried as deck cargo, most tankers had their bridge amidships and passenger ferries and liners had funnels rather than elaborately-designed exhaust pipes. Not only did it bring back memories of the ships of that era but it was also a graphic illustration how much our local port infra-structure has also changed. Thank you Val for another most interesting presentation and we certainly look forward to another voyage down memory lane next year.
Meeting Notes: Thursday 20th October, 2011 — Branch Fish and Chip Supper. Sincere thanks to Phil Simons and the Committee for organising the gathering at "The Plaice in the Square," Southwick. Some two dozen members and guests sat down and enjoyed a most pleasant evening which was deeply appreciated by all present.
Meeting Notes: Thursday 22nd September, 2011 — A History of Shipbuilding in the Western Balkans, by Dr. Allan Ryszka-Onions. Allan received a warm welcome from members when he returned to present the second part of his detailed history of shipbuilding in the Western Balkans. We viewed the shipping through the years that have come from the various shipbuilding yards in Croatia at Split and Trogir. For example the present, and largest, Brodosplit Shipyard Company (Brodogradilište Split) was founded in 1922 and has built ships from small ferries up to 140,000 dwt. tankers, including the 20,000 dwt BRITISH UNITY and BRITISH FIDELITY. On a more local note the former Newhaven-Dieppe ferry VERSAILLES / STENA LONDONER came from the Brodogradiliste Jozo Lozovina Mosor shipyard at Trogir in 1974 as STENA NORDICA. We then viewed shipyards in Serbia on the banks of the River Danube such as the Belgrade Shipyard and the Danubius Team Shipbuilding Group which specialised in tugs, pusher-tugs, barges and river/sea vessels. Allan's presentation included a very wide range of shipping ranging from small local ferries, coasters and tugs through to large Scandinavian ferries, freighters, and super tankers. An unusual trade was the tanker ORANGE STAR, a 9980 grt. specialist orange-juice tanker capable of carrying 32,000,000 litres. It was a most ineresting evening accompanied by Allan's extremely informative commentary.
Meeting Notes: Thursday 25th August, 2011 — Travels in 2010 by Bill Mayes. Bill Mayes made a welcome return when he presented his "Travels in 2010" which involved passages on 96 ships covering 17,640 nautical miles and involving 73 nights at sea plus a great deal of meticulous planning. We joined him aboard SAGA RUBY for a cruise from Southampton to the Black Sea, a Mediterranean voyage aboard BLU DE FRANCE, an Agean trip on SEABOURN ODYSSEY, and a trip to Channel ports aboard ATHENA, the former STOCKHOLM. Hotel ships CRUISE HOTEL ex-ROTTERDAM with its 252 rooms in Rotterdam and the 1961 British-built passenger ship TURAN EMEKSIZ now called OTANTIK HOTEL moored at Bursa, to the south of Istanbul, were also on the itinerary, along with cruise ships BLACK WATCH, DISCOVERY, SAGA PEARL II, PRINZENDAM, OCEANA, and QUEEN ELIZABETH. Some of the many ferries we travelled on were PONT AVEN, DOVER SEAWAYS, CAP FINISTERRE, PRIDE OF BILBAO, BRETAGNE and JULIA. We enjoyed trips ashore in many ports and experienced the numerous ferries across the Bosphorous as well as seeing the various transport systems in Istanbul including trams, underground railway and buses. In the Black Sea we saw the Romanian REGINA MARIA, ex HMS LONDON. Bill was warmly thanked for an excellent evening and we look forward to his "Travels in 2011" nest year.
Meeting Notes: Thursday 28th July, 2011 — Members other interests A fascinating evening in which five members gave 20 minute talks on their non-shipping pursuits. First Frank Halliday provided an excellent history of North American Lakawanna and Western Rail-Road Company in a presentation "Through the Port Hole - The Route of Phoebe Snow." He was followed by Andy Skarstein showing a first-rate selection of vintage aeroplanes, road vehicles and steam locomotives at home and abroad. David Start took us through to the interval with biographies of two aviation pioneers, John Springfellow and Frederick Miles. After a break John Davidson showed some magnificent photographs he had taken at various air shows - Farnborough, Goodwood and Shoreham - from vantage points not accessible on show days on the day before the shows from where he could capture the aircraft arriving, and on the days after to catch them leaving. Trevor Cox brought up the rear with a presentation on some of the former WW1 German cemeteries in the Ypres Salient which the Belgians required be removed and concentrated in just a few sites, from 280 cemeteries in 1920 to just four today - the futility of war is obvious when you visit a cemetery the size of two football pitches holding in exess of 44,000 burials. Thanks go to the contributors for sharing their diverse interests. It proved to be a much appreciated and successful evening which members asked to be repeated in future years, and thanks go to the contributors for sharing their diverse interests.
Meeting Notes: Thursday 23rd June, 2011 — The Gosport-Portsmouth Ferries, by Philip Simons. In a change of programme our Branch Vice-Chairman / Treasurer Phil Simons presented a very well-researched and most interesting illustrated history of the Gosport Ferry from its early days in the 1880s as the Port of Portsmouth Steam Launch & Towing Company through to today's Portsmouth Harbour Ferry Company. We viewed all the various ferries that have operated on the cross-harbour service and followed them through their various lives after being sold. Many of the ferries saw naval service in WW1 and WW2 - some in both - and one as far away as Sierra Leone. Several still exist today as houseboats in various parts of the country, one is virtually buried on the foreshore of a country estate, and sadly several are rusting hulks in the mud. Also covered was the steam operated chain ferry which was in service 1840 - 1959. This was Phil's first talk and he is most certainly to be congratulated for such an enjoyable and fascinating account, and we certainly look forward to another.
Meeting Notes: Saturday 18th June, 2011 — Tri-Branch Meeting (South Coast, Isle of Wight and Southampton) at the Amberley Chalkpits Museum. Some two dozen members from the three branches met up at Amberley and enjoyed a fascinating day at the museum exploring the various exhibits and displays of yesteryear - it's quite alarming to see objects you remember using (or still do!) not so long ago now regarded as museum exhibits. With coffee, tea and biscuits being provided throughout the day, for lunch an excellent well-presented hot and cold buffet lunch ws provided which all present attacked with relish. Many thanks to Phil Simons and the committee for organising this most successful day, and to Alan Watt for bringing boxes of postcards, photographs and books from Chatham for members to browse at leisure and purchase.
Meeting Notes: Thursday 26th May, 2011 — Shipbuilding at Goole by George Robinson. The subject of our May meeting was George Robinson's PowerPoint presentation of "Shipbuilding at Goole, 1875-1987." We were taken through the wide range of small vessels constructed at the various shipyards in the locality over the 112 years from "Tom Pudding" tugs used for towing skips of coal to large coasters for Everards, tankers for Crescent Shipping, and larger vessels for Ellerman's Wilson Line of Hull. Auxiliary naval craft were very well represented from armed trawlers and drifters to minesweepers - including an "Ascot" Class paddle-minesweeper, and salvage craft, and even 'Q' ships. George has produced a most interesting show with some fascinating old photographs from the early years accompanied by a fully informative commentary on the screen. With a little time to spare members then viewed a DVD of King George V battleships which included the hunt for the Bismark - rather appropriate as it was 70 years ago to the day.
Meeting Notes: Thursday 28th April, 2011 — Branch Annual General Meeting followed by A Nautical Quiz set by Nick Hall. Vice-Chairman/Treasurer Phil Simons was ably assisted by our Secretary Val Thompson when together they took the helm and calmly steered the branch through the agenda of its AGM. No contentious items were raised, the accounts were accepted, and members gave a unanimous vote of thanks to the committee for their hard work throughout the year on behalf of the branch and the four members were re-elected en bloc to serve another term with Nick Hall being available to be co-opted during the year. After the interval members took part in the annual 50-question quiz set by last year's winner, Nick Hall. This year's victor was Mike Hearn - whose prize is the honour of setting the questions for next year - he was followed by Phil Simons and Alan Watt in second and third place respectively - also congratulations to Alan, the Honorary WSS Librarian at Chatham, for being nominated as the WSS Manager at Chatham.
Meeting Notes: Saturday 26th March, 2011 — Merchant Ship Meeting 2011, London. Three South Coast members were present at the meeting held in the Civil Service Club, just off Whitehall. The day commenced with answers to the 50 question quiz set by Malcolm Cooper and sent out in advance - your editor came second with 32, and Alan Watt third with 31 - many thanks due to the Internet and Google! There were six illustrated presentations during the day: Freights Down - Ships Down: a look at one of the consequences of the slump in freight rates in 1920 (John Cook); The Development of the Reefer Vessel during the 20th Century (Tony Breach); Elder Dempster - A Fleet shaped by its trade (Andrew Bell); Confessions of an Everards Marine Superintendent (Ken Garrett); United Africa Company/Palm Line, 1929-1985, a shipping company and its ships (Trevor Cox); Evolution of the Fleet Supply Ship (Tom Adams). Many thanks to Roy Fenton, Malcolm Cooper and their committee for organising the most enjoyable day.
Meeting Notes: Thursday 24th March, 2011 — Clan Line Steamers, part III. This was the third and final part which concentrated on the ships that served the company post-war through to its decline in the 1970s and on to its total demise in the 1980s. It was during this period that many consider Clan Line operated some of its finest designed ships - the last of the break-bulk cargo ships. As with many other British companies they were somewhat late to respond to the dedicated container trade and facing freight rates being under-cut by foreign companies the Clan Line house flag sadly vanished from the seas. A brief look was also taken at King Line Ltd., whose ships were absorbed into the Clan Line Fleet, the Scottish Tanker Company and Scottish Shire Line. The evening concluded with some recent photographic "finds" of Clan Line's turret ships.
Meeting Notes: Friday 25th February, 2011 — The Keith Rivett-Drake Annual Branch Dinner. Some 30 members and guests, including our former Chairman Alan Bishop, enjoyed a succulent roast beef dinner with all the trimmings at the Sussex Yacht Club at our annual gathering in memory of our generous benefactor and former member, Keith Rivett-Drake. It was a most enjoyable evening and a vote of thanks must be given to Philip Simons for his meticulous planning and organisation.
Meeting Notes: Thursday 24th February, 2011 — The Thames and Medway, by Steve Spouse. Members enjoyed a most interesting and informative presentation from Steve Spouse, a member of the North West Kent Branch, when he showed "The Thames and Medway" through a slide show of tugs, towage and shipping on the two rivers. Tugs belonging to the various local towage companies were seen : J.P. Knight, William Watkins, Gamecock, Elliott, Sun Tugs, Ship Towage Ltd., London Tugs Ltd., Alexandra Towing Co. (London) Ltd., Howard Smith, Adsteam, Tilbury Dredging and the Port of London Authority. There was an excellent blend of then and now, old and new, including an excellent view of a newly launched tug CHALLENGE which is at present now berthed in Aldrington Basin. However, what was truly spectacular were Steve's remarkable aerial views of tugs, ships and various London docks from cranes, the tops of high-rise buildings and similar vantage points - he must have a good head for heights ! The evening was a blend of two fascinating subjects - tugs and Thames shipping - brought together in a unique show and we certainly hope to see Steve again at another meeting.
Meeting Notes: Thursday 27th January, 2011 — Ocean Liners and Cruise Ships, part II: letters F - Q, presented by Alan and Sheila Watt. Continuing on from last year, Sheila and Alan Watt treated members to a showing of Joe Clark's A-Z of Ocean Liners and Cruise Ships, parts III and IV covering letters F to M, and O to Q. Numerous passenger vessels were seen in a variety of settings all accompanied by an easy yet informative commentary. There was some remarkable pre-war black and white footage of Orient Line's "O" ships at Colombo - ORCADES, ORION, ORFORD, ORONTES, OTRANTO, post-war P&O and Union Castle liners in Southamptom - ORIANA, ORONSAY, KENYA CASTLE, PENDENNIS CASTLE, PRETORIA CASTLE. Other ships included FAIRSEA, FAIRSKY and FAIRSTAR, GOTHIC, HIMALAYA, MALOJA, LAKONIA, NALDERA and MONA LISA with the famous painting reproduced on her funnel. We saw the final departures of QUEEN ELEZABETH and QUEEN MARY plus QE2 leaving on her maiden voyage, and amongst other well-known liners from the past -- MAJESTIC, MAURETANIA, GRIPSHOLM, FRANCE, NEVASSA, ORANJE to name but few. A most interesting evening and an excellent start to the year's programme.
Meeting Notes: Thursday 9th December, 2010 — Photographic Competition. The Branch's Annual Photographic Competition followed last year's successful format in which each image was digitised and projected via the computer, and each photograph was given a mark by each member of 1, 2 or 3. There were 35 entries and the winning three were : first - a port quarter view of Princess Cruises SAPPHIRE PRINCESS (2004, 116,000 grt.) in the Tracey Arm Fjord and entered by Geoff Bedford : second - the 1922 German-built Dutch steam tug NOORDZEE at the Dordhrecht Steam Festival (Dort in Stoom) taken by Nick Hall, and third - the 1997-built Dutch coastal tanker STAR BONAIRE on the New Waterway taken by Geoff Bedford. By popular consent the old clock / barometer trophy was donated to the WSS Chatham Library and the committee have decided to replace it with a new award which will be known as the Peter Roberts Trophy in honour of our late shipmate whose funeral was held that morning. The three winning photographs will be printed in the next edition of South Coast Packet - thanks are due to Krispen Atkinson for bringing his laptop plus scanner and working hard to scan members' images at the start of the evening. Aftr the awards members enjoyed the customary Christmas buffet for which a vote of thanks must go to Val Thompson and Sheila Watt for supplying and then organising many of the eatables and drinkables. All too soon a most enjoyable evening, and year of meetings came to an end.
Meeting Notes: Thursday 25th November, 2010 — An Evening in Stockholm with Nick Hall. Nick Hall gave a fascinating presentation when he took members on a most interesting shipping tour of the port of Stockholm and the surrounding waterways. Situated amidst an archipelago of some 24,000 islands, water-borne transport is essential and we saw the complete range of the city's classic ferries, some dating back to the 1870s and still in service, some in steam and coal-fired as built. The various types of commerecial shipping from cruise ships and container ships through to houseboats were all very well documented along with their relevant histories, for example Wallenius Line's first ship, the coastal motor tanker SOYA III which is still afloat but has been converted into the company's floating conference centre. Tugs, and former tugs (one being VIDAR dating back to 1865), old lightships, and ex-coastal naval craft, converted into houseboats were all seen along with a variety of floating hotels, floating restaurants and the Vasa Museum. Members commented on the immaculate appearance and high standard of maintenance apparent on all the various ships and craft — indeed the city of Stockholm itself was spotlessly clean and tidy. The whole show was complemented by Nick's very high stand of photography and knowledgeable commentary — many thanks Nick for the most absorbing evening.
Meeting Notes: Thursday 28th October, 2010 — Clan Line Steamers ~ Part II, by Trevor Cox. We resumed our voyage under the Clan Line flag (still minus seagulls) with the MacNair Class and followed the histories of the ships that were either built or acquired during the Inter-war years through to those built by the end of WW2. Member were stunned by the incredibly high number of war losses sustained by the company during WW2 – 34 ships sunk and over 60 lives lost – facts which underlined the role of the Merchant Navy during those was years. It was also interesting to note just how many of the Clan Line ships fell victim to U-boat “Aces” responsible for other major attacks: ATHENA, HMS MALAYA, and EMPRESS OF CANADA, to name but few. Clan Line ships were to be found in most major theatres – the Malta and Russian Convoys, Operation Torch, and the D-Day landings as cargo ships, store ships and troopships. Three ships were taken over by the Admiralty during building and completed as aircraft transports serving as RN vessels HMS ATHENE, ENGADINE and BONAVENTURE, not being release back to civilian service until 1946/47. The last leg of our voyage will reach its home port next March when we witness the decline and eventual demise of this large company by which time was part of the British and Commonwealth Group. As with many other fine British shipping companies the rapid advance of containerisation was not appreciated, planned and prepared for in time. Also include will be a brief look at some of Clan Lin’es associated companies: Scottish Tanker Co., Scottish Shire Line, King Line and Houston Line, plus some recent additions to my Clan Line Steamers collection. [01.2011]
Meeting Notes: Thursday 23rd September, 2010 — “Roger’s Slides” — Part II. Val provided members with an evening of pure nostalgia when she presented a further selection of slides taken by Roger in the 1960s and 1970s. Roger conscientiously took a photograph of almost every ship he saw, especially in Shoreham Harbour, and today we can be grateful that he did for we can now see the many old favourites of yesteryear alongside landmarks also now disappeared with the passage of time – a time when Shoreham boasted two power stations and a gas works. We journeyed back to the time when Shoreham was a busy port in the number of ships it handled – classic Dutch coasters, flat iron colliers, wine tankers, Russian timber ships with their complex-looking cargo-handling gear and a wide variety of small tankers. Further along the coast at Newhaven SNELAC was a new ship on the crossing to Dieppe and large cargo ships still berthed just inside the seaward end of the harbour. Ocean-going ships were seen on visits to the now long vanished London Docks and across the water in Rotterdam. Thank you Val and we certainly look forward to another evening of shipping photographs from the past next year. [01.2011]
Meeting Notes: Thursday 26th August, 2010 — Cornish Ports and Harbours, Part II ~ The Clay Ports and St. Austell Bay, by Krispen Atkinson. Krispen produced a very well researched and superb presentation covering the ports of Mevagissey, Pentewan, Charlestown, Par, Looe, Lerryn, and Fowey (your editor learned it is apparently pronounced “Foy”!) The history of each port was interlaced with aerial views, old postcards and photographs, and brought up-to-date with Krispen’s own photographs from similar vantage points showing “Then and Now.” The shipping varied from old time sailing ships, through coasters old – Everard – and new, to laid up shipping and modern cruise liners. The main export of the harbours was china clay and it was amazing to see several coasters alongside in harbour so small you wondered how even one would fit in. Pentewan started life as a 16th century fishing haven – before WW2 it exported clay and copper while it imported coal and lime – since 1940 when the harbour entrance started to silt up it has become totally landlocked. Charlestown was built as a “Georgian New Town” – it fitted out MFVs in WW2 – today it exists as a maritime museum town. Par had a large china clay drying plant, today the port is closed. In Fowey we saw the famed tugs TURMOIL (of FLYING ENTERPRISE fame), and tug CANUTE now in Exeter museum, while at Fowey the thriving cargo trade has been mainly replaced by cruise ships. A truly fascinating evening Krispen, and we look forward to a Part II – and then a Part IV . . . . . [01.2011]
Meeting Notes: Thursday 22nd July, 2010 — An Evening of Shipping Films. The first film was “Mersey Bound” Part 9 of Snowbow Productions “The Great Liners”. It was a genuine nostalgic voyage back to the 1950s and 1960s, the days before containers and, in many cases, palletised cargoes. Companies such as Elder Dempster, Harrison Line, Blue Funnel, T & J Brocklebank, and Palm Line (which included a voyage on IKEJA PALM – and now you know why your editor chose this film!) were all strongly featured showing all aspects of life afloat and a wide variety cargo work. It was an era when going to sea and trading to foreign shores was almost romantic and seamanship played an important part in everyday work – today it has become a sterile business dominated by high tech computer systems. The second film was “Day Trips to the Sea” which was a compilation of cine films taken on Thames pleasure steamers in the 1960s and 1970s. We sailed on board m.s. ROYAL SOVEREIGN, p.s. QUEEN OF THE SOUTH (ex JEANNIE DEANS), and p.s. WAVERLEY which, at that time, was in her first few years of operation on the Thames. Starting at Tower Pier, Southend Pier was almost an obligatory call but other resorts included Greenwich, Gravesend, Margate, Herne Bay and the River Medway. Thank you to Trevor Cox and Val Thompson for providing the films at short notice in the absence of Ken Johnson who has no taken up residence in Gibraltar. [01.2011]
For meeting notes prior to this date, check the listing to the left, marked "FROM THE PAST - South Coast Branch Notes".
Meets: Meetings from December 2010 will be held at: St. James' Road Methodist Church St. James Road Shirley, Southampton SO15 5HE on the 2nd Tuesday of each month, at 7:30 pm. Contact: Colin M Drayson, 57 The Drove, Commercial Street, Bitterne, Southampton, Hampshire SO18 6LY — Tel: 023-8049-0290. E-mail: email@example.com [02.2013] Branch website: (with lots of information about local branch activities) http://www.sotonwss.org.uk [04.2011]
Meets: Civic Centre, Victoria Avenue, Southend-on-Sea, on the 3rd Monday of each month, at 7:30 pm. Contact: Stuart Emery, 66 Bellhouse Lane, Leigh-on-Sea, Essex SS9 4PQ. Tel: 01702 528948. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org [02.2013]
Meets: The Environment Centre, Pier Street, Swansea, on the 1st Friday of the month, September to June, at 7:00 pm. Contact: Captain Tony Breach, 'Playas', Marcross, Vale of Glamorgan, CF61 1ZG. E-mail: email@example.com [09.2011 RW]
Teesside Ship Society / Teesside Branch of the World Ship Society. The Teesside Ship Society was formed in 1956 and became a branch of the International Society in 1971.
Meets: Newport Settlement Youth & Community Centre, St. Pauls Road (entrance from Union Street), Middlesbrough, on the 3rd Wednesday, September to July, at 7:00 pm. Additional meetings in Hartlepool, Indoor Bowling Club, Raby Road. Contact: Stuart Hardie, 26 Southbrooke Avenue, Hartlepool TS25 5JB. Tel: 01429 274881. Publications: Tees Packet - quarterly - Editor: Derek Hinds. Branch Website: http://teesships.co.uk [07.2010]
Additional meetings of the North East Tug Society (St. Stephen's Church Hall, S. Shields) - starting at 7:30 PM
Recent Meeting Highlights:
For details of selected meetings, subscribe to the Tees Packet, The Journal of the Teesside Ship Society
Meets: Carnation Hall (lounge), Chavey Down Road, Chavey Down, Ascot, Berkshire, on the 1st Thursday of each month, at 7:45 for 8:00 pm. Contact: Bill and Brenda Mayes, Mayes House, Vansittart Estate, Windsor SL4 1SE. Tel: 07768 234507. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org [02.2013]
Upcoming Meetings & Programmes:
Jan 3, 2013 — Ships travelled on, visited and seen during 2012, Part One, by William Mayes
Feb 7, 2013 — Review of 2011, by Douglas Cromby
Mar 7, 2013 — Branch AGM, and "The Chairman's farewell but not goodbye", Chris Guscott
Apr 4, 2013 — Branch Photographic Competition (Digital only - maximum 6 images per person), follwed by "Our Snapper in Southampton", by Alan Woolfenden
May 2, 2013 — WSS Travelling Show - "Fleet Air Arm and Australian Navy"
NOTE: date may change if elections to be held
Jun 6, 2013 — The Blue Funnel Line (Alfred Holt & Company), John Lillywhite
Jul 4, 2013 — Danube Shipping - Part Two, Allan Onions
Aug 1, 2013 — Ships travelled on, visited and seen during 2012, Part Two, by William Mayes
Sep 5, 2013 — WSS Travelling Show - "Solent to the South Atlantic (2002)"
Oct 3, 2013 — RNLI—an evening from the archives, Peter and Bruce Dawes
Nov 7, 2013 — RN Destroyers of World War II, Derrick Gray
Dec 5, 2013 — Members' Evening - Short presentations, objects of interest, DVDs - whatever we have on the night, plus Christmas goodies
Meets: Alice Cross Community Centre, St. James Precinct, 1-3 Bitton Park Road, Teignmouth, Devon TQ14 98T, on the 2nd Tuesday of each month, at 7:30 pm. Contact: Bob Collins, 116 Twickenham Road, Newton Abbot, Devon TQ12 4JH. Tel: 01626 356196. E-mail: email@example.com Local Branch Website: http://www.worldshipsdevon.co.uk [02.2013]
Meets: Holy Saviours Parish Centre, The Broadway, Tynemouth, on the 2nd Tuesday of each month, at 7:30 pm. Contact: Paul Hood, 28 Teal Avenue, South Beach Estate, Blyth, Northumberland NE24 3PT. Tel: 01670 360132. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org [02.2013]
Directions for finding the new venue: click on the following link for a map (for Satnavs, the postcode is NE30 2LD ) http://www.streetmap.co.uk/
Meets: Five Bells Public House, Norfolk Street, Wisbech (unless otherwise stated), on the last Monday, March to December at 7:30 pm. Contact: Tony Bray, 16 Prince Andrew Drive, Dersingham, King's Lynn, Norfolk PE31 6JW Tel: 01485 542983. [02.2013]
October 13, 2012 — Port of Hamburg — Jim Charnock, down from Manchester, takes us around the busy port of Hamburg
November 10, 2012 — Operation RATION — Dr Richard Osborne gives another of his excellent Grey Funnel talks. This year he reviews the Royal Navy's last war with France from 1940 to 1942.
December 8, 2012 — Harland & Wolff — Jim McFaul's selection from the Society's Slide Archive of vessels built by Harland & Wolff
January 12, 2013 — Down Under — Dave Menzies, Bedford Branch, should have recovered sufficiently from his recent extensive travels around Australia to tell us all about it
February 9, 2013 — Members' Social — A chance for members to chat in the lounge. Bring your favourite book, photo or ship model to share
March 9, 2013 — Kiel Canal — Our regular visitor from Bristol, Mike Bevan, travels the length of the Kiel Canal from Brunsbüttel to Kiel
April 13, 2013 — Branch AGM — AGM followed by a slide presentation from the WSPL Archive
Some past Meeting Highlights:
Meeting Notes: In November 2007, the branch was proud and honoured to welcome four verterans who were involved with Operation Pedestal, the crucial Malta convoy of August 1942. Les Dalton, our speaker, served on HMS EAGLE, Les Rae on HMS CAIRO, John Berrill on HMS INTREPID and Harold Highfield had served on Holt's DEUCALION. For the first part of his illustrated talk Les reviewed the warships that participated and took us through the action from the Glasgow and Liverpool departures, across the Bay of Biscay, passing Gibraltar to face continuous attacks by aircraft, surface vessels and submarines in the Mediterranean which included the loss of his own ship. Of the fourteen merchant ships only five including the tanker OHIO reached Malta. All were damaged but helped in the island's survival. In the second part, Les covered the 50th anniversary of the arrival of the Pedestal convoy sponsored by the Maltese Government. This was a meeting that the members of the branch will not forget.
Branch Chairman welcoming the veterans, l-r: Doug Yates, Les Dalton, Harry Highfield, John Berrill, Les Rae.
Note to Branch Secretaries: Please send updates / changes of venue / details of upcoming programs / meeting notes & photographs / changes to contact name and/or addresses to email@example.com