Swire Mariners Association

" SOFA, so good "

Photos - Ye Olde Rogues' Gallery

Deep in The Tavern, Yokohama...

Aargh, me 'earties!

...we find this gathering of ex-Swire personnel in November 2014. Left to right: Miss Petty Leung, what all radio officers should look like; Tanaka-san, ex-Swire Yokohama; Richard Haver, ex-CP Cruise Director and Cathay Pacific; and mine host, the indefatigable John Watkins.

SMA member John Madeley...

San Mig at cost!

...discovered the fact, while researching his monthly holiday plans, that TKR appears to have come out of retirement! Perhaps we may look forward to new and exciting SMA excursions to come, at a bloody great discount please, Trev. TKR's fleet of luxury minibuses come with chairlifts, keg beer on every seat back and free hearing aids. Each bus tows a cargo trailer housing a complimentary Zimmer frame for each traveller and oxygen cylinders for high altitude or to clonk over the head those with high attitude. It's the only way to unravel! Travel with TKR! (that'll be a fiver, please - Ed.)

A proud SMA member lost to us...

Ken Page aboard Hunan, 1961

Captain Kenneth Arthur Page 1928-2014. RIP. Photographed aboard "Hunan", 1961.

The collection you've all been waiting for...

Port? Starboard? What?

Those of you who read David Harper's first book may be interested to check out his latest tome. Read about it here and find it on Amazon UK in paperback or for Kindle.


David was 2/O with CNCo 1959-61. He describes this latest epic as an "historical novel about Panama’s founding with a love story and a bit of swashbuckle thrown in". Clearly a China Nav man, eh? That'll be the usual fiver, David.

Geoff Havilland was looking great...

Kwangsi in New Zealand

...when members of the globetrotting (well, Oxford) SMA committee paid him a visit in April 2014. Seen here are Geoff, Dudley Groves, Trevor Kay-Russell and that bloke from High Wycombe who takes your money but spends it wisely. Graeme Drewery is hiding behind the camera.

UPDATE: Reports from a further Committee visit confirm that Geoff remains in good form and would like to go to a pub next time, please.

Recently joined SMA member Simon Hall...

Kwangsi in New Zealand

...was with CNCo late 70s to mid-80s. In recent years he's commissioned several paintings by marine artist Robert Lloyd (Swire must have paid him too much) and has sent us this photograph of Lloyd's painting of the 'Kwangsi' in Lyttleton harbour, 1979. Simon was 2/O. Click on the image for a larger rendition. Splendid stuff!

At the 2013 Torbay Steam Fair...

Plonkers at play

...Mr. A.F. Perry once more demonstrated that quadruple expansion is not limited to engineering but can be effected by the consumption of several gallons of cider and ale. Mr. Perry is seen here with a member of the Dorset Plonkers Steam Agricultural Orchestra. Mr. Perry is the one on the left.

They went to sea in ships...

A figurehead of the SMA, taking a bow.

...or at least those who didn't 'miss the boat'. Happy times on the Thames and at Greenwich in the 2013 summer excursion to visit the 'Cutty Sark'. And not just the pub: the ship, too. Click on Stu's navel - sorry, naval Stu - to see more.

Found in a store...

Yes, I'm the Island Chief, all right.

...on one of the South Pacific islands, a painting of a ship's officer living the life of Riley. The uniformed gent depicted is, undoubtedly, our very own Julian Thorogood in younger days. Jules, I think we should be told.

Rivalling High Wycombe as a global epicentre...

Smile, we're going viral.

...Marijane and Brian Thompson (whom the web-brat last met in 1979 when Brian was 2/E on 'Coral Princess') made their home in Rhinebeck, NY, for many years and Brian lives there still. The wily Beaumont took advantage of Marijane's visit to the town to encourage her to sink several ales in his local, the Beekman Arms, America's oldest inn. Or maybe that's inmates. They had a fine time of it, anyway, and glasses were raised to Sam Adams' brewery and mutual CNCo friends on two occasions, along with a Skype to the Coopers in Yokohama. Thanks to new SMA member Ron Kendrick for spotting the common ground, and the reintroduction.

Old friends share a hot dog.

Aargh! The ladies of an English town...

Aarggh, me hearties...

...misunderstand the intent of 'pirate night'. Following the release of Colin Darch's new book...

"Former Somali pirate hostage Colin Darch poses for a photograph with members of the Women's Institute in Parkham, England. The WI members had dressed as pirates for the evening not realizing their guest speaker's connection with the evening theme." - NBC News, USA. Links to this classic faux pas, which will hopefully sell lots of books for Colin, are (as long as they last): BBC News item, BBC News clip, NBC World News item. A Google search will unearth lots more. Colin's chance for stardom? ...

Click to supersize me!

There's crew in from Taiyuan...

Old friends...

... and we thank Tony Ravenhill (right, in bold and brassy shirt) for sending us this shot of his recent reunion with Cyril Osborne (88 at time of writing) who served his apprenticeship in Taikoo, was a POW in Hong Kong during the war and served as Chief on "Taiyuan" for many years. Cyril, his wife Beth and family send their regards to all CNCo friends.

Another David Cooper celebration...

Anyone for ping pong?

... do they never stop partying in Yokohama? With Ian Bell and George Turner from Hong Kong, mine host John "Bieru" Watkins, wife Nagako, Rie and Nozomi.

Anyone for ping pong?

Few know that our legendary Secretary, Squire Stu of Shields, has a distinguished pedigree, having been born in Eynsham Hall, near North Leigh in Oxfordshire. During WWII a section of the Hall was used as a maternity ward for expectant mothers evacuated from London, which Stu advises is a suburb of High Wycombe. Known as the "flak shack", it was also used for R&R by US Army Air Corps officers, who presumably came up with such a ridiculous name. "Available recreation was reading, bridge, snooker and ping pong". Yeah, right. We wager that Stu found - or founded - the bar.

Bulk heads...

SMA freshman Tom Seel (yes! another fifteen nicker!) was with Blue Flue until '74 and then joined CNCo that Spring, sailing for four years on Erisort, Erradale & Eredine as 2/0 and C/O. This pic (click for larger version) shows Tom top left with wife Taeko; Tom can't remember who the bare-chested 3/O is or the fellow front left, whom he thinks was probably C/E (although this seems unlikely, as his boiler suit is dirty) - but recollects that this shot was taken on the last voyage of the Erisort under Captain Jim Wilby prior to the ship's sale in Glasgow. Can anyone identify the missing links? Post in the Log if so, thanks.

EDIT: Confirmed as Tony Ravenhill and Mike Baker.

Regular contibutor David Cooper...

Mine's a beer!!

... and his lovely wife Nagako spent a delightful Christmas in Yokohama and remain the picture of health. Pity about their landlord; but old friends will be glad to see that The Tavern's John Watkins hasn't changed a bit and remains as maniacal as ever. Could it be the imported beer, perhaps?

Somewhere in Spain last summer...

No rain in Spain...

... Peter and Kiyomi Jennings met up with ex-'Coral Princess' photographer Mike Andrews and his lovely bride Chiyoko, whom he found in the 'Daimaru' shop on the ship and kept. Kiyomi is on the left of the picture.

Some of us don't change at all...

Good looker, ain't I?

... or do we? We've been sent this handsome pic from 1959. We know who this is, but do you? Email the web brat if so, or if you think you know. We'll post the answer here, plus any ridiculous guesses, after a while.

EDIT: Well, nobody got it right, although Micky Seale would be flattered to have been considered by many. This is, of course, the legendary Jim Bird. Obvious, surely? :)

Sydney and 'Soochow'...

Derrick?  No thanks, Bosun, I'll manage...

... saw frolics and frivolity sometime in the 50s when Terry Connell married his (late) wife at the Garrison Church just up the road from Walsh Bay and had the reception aboard. Earned them a mention on the SMH front page! Below is Terry's shot of 9 Walsh Bay, Sydney, taken from 'Soochow' on approach, 1959. Click on the pic to view this and many other wonderful shots in Terry's CNCo collection on Flickr.

Er... full astern, Mr. Mate...

Old China Hand Gavin Needes has been in touch...

Never mind the pic, just bring more beer

...and has sent us this excellent picture from the Peking Restaurant (Singapore) at a joint party for 'Kuala Lumpur' and 'Kweilin' in 1962. It's a little small in this format, so click on it for a bigger rendition. Those present are Barry Gant, Bill Adam, Derry Sandison, John Riley, Gavin, ‘Junior’, Chris Flavell, Bill Jeffrey, Capt McLennan and another chap. All on best behaviour, states Gavin. We wonder how long that lasted...

Gavin would like to know if old friend Keith Johnson (ex-KL), and Margaret, are still with us? If you can help here, give Gavin a shout. Thanks.

On the excuse that they wouldn't be able to find Hull...

Hot dog, anyone?

...Geoff & Mary Havilland and David Walker met with the web-brat and his mum during MAJB's September 2012 visit to UK. Ale was taken at the "Inn for All Seasons". Again.

Asian Antiquities

This splendid occasion was closely followed by a pub lunch with Jules and Sheri Thorogood near Stroud, which included a long overdue rendezvous with Captain Graham Finch of Harper Shipping fame, Singapore: legendary purveyor of risqué jokes to the uninitiated. Lunch included refreshment.

We're always pleased to have lady members...


...and Winifred Jones, who sailed as Purser (Mrs. G.W. Hawley) on "Taiyuan" and "Changsha", is no exception. See some great memorabilia from her personal archives.

There were times in CNCo...

What do you mean, boy, we're out of Swarfega?

...when laundering one's boiler suit became a little academic. Alan Perry takes us back to days of yore. This page is best not publicised if you were on "Erawan" in 1973. Oh, you WERE, Tony? Whoops, too late now. Click for more.

In search of the Queen's flotilla...

Yeehahhhh! Paaaartyyyy time!

...able SMAmen took to the water from Windsor in June of 2012 in the hope of getting on the telly. Wrong week, unfortunately. But as one might expect, our gallant lads were undeterred, and drank all the beer anyway. Click on Stu's ugly mug for pictures and report.

I won't be on Facebook, will I?  Is this on CNN?

M.V. "Coral Princess" had a lot to answer for...

OK, where's the pub?

In Blighty to celebrate Her Maj's Diamond Jubilee in typical style, Cooper-San of Yoko met up with fellow Swiremen Chris Platt, Peter Jennings and Geoff Bent; all pulled in their tummies for this pre-pub piccy...

OK, where are the men?

... whereas their respective "coral princesses", Kiyomi Jennings, Nagako Cooper and Jasmin Bent just don't have to. How do they stay so young?

The late, great Donald Hutchinson...

Doing anything tonight, Fay?

...seen here with the late Fay Burbidge on 15th June, 1959, her wedding day. Thanks, AM.

A bit of fluff...

Oh, stop it, girls.

...on the chin was enough to excite great merriment in days of yore. Here shown chortling about the young AM's two day growth are, from left to right, an unnamed J/E (anybody?), Boyes, Burbidge, Nettleship, Bamforth (front) and Hume. Click for a larger version of this perfectly posed picture of mischievous merchantmen.

In days of old...

Ladies and gentlemen, behold the lesser feathered Norwegian Blue on the right hand side of the vessel

... when men were bold, they travelled great distances in the hope of spotting the occasional chilly mammal. John Davies has been kind enough to send in a few shots of a famous little vessel that shone under CNCo management for a few years. Click here.

Seen at a Swire vs. Cathay cricket match, Kaitak...

How long do we have to grin like this?  Wind the handle or something...

... sometime in the 70s. The bloke on the left was apparently demoted from player to umpire and thence to supporter for insisting on wearing his prototype of the tropical British policeman's helmet, which proved to be a commercial failure anyway. The late Bill Bailey, CX Captain, has just heard the score and the two male models on the right are seen here in typical pose. Thanks, AM, for this historical gem.

Where else does the Govt. have an annual “Beer & BBQ“ public holiday?

G'day, mate. Bring any Sheilas?

Wallaby Supporter is keen to remind those inhabiting northern climes of the benefits of living in Australia. Well, one day a year at least. We're not too worried up here in the frozen north as we drink on the other 364 days as well anyway, but it is good to see WS so content as he reposes in the very latest Aussie fashionwear.

Tales of demurrage and debauchery...

click here for the full cover

David Harper sailed with CNCo 1959/61 as 3/0 and 2/0. He has recently written a memoir cum novel where fact and fiction are intermingled - much like the average anecdote from some of our members, one might say. Anyway, read more of David in the 2011 Ship's Log (December 20). David will be in England (he lives in Mexico) in June 2012 and will happily bring some copies along if anyone would like to shell out a tenner to find out what he got up to. Note: there is a slight error in the front cover painting above. David says that whoever spots it gets a free book. I trust that he realises that when the word 'free' is mentioned, SMA eyes that are usually bloodshot and cloudy become as keen as those of an eagle... anyway, you may email David here.

EDIT: Yes, the flag was on the funnel in 1959 and the junks are correctly depicted, but good try, chaps. What is missing is the lifeboat that should have been on the boat deck by the funnel. Ah well, no freebies. But here's a review:

"This book is a must read for anyone who sailed the China Seas as an officer on a merchant ship in the 1950s and early 1960s, who wants to go down memory lane, or for those who want to know what they missed. David Harper's novel captures exactly the way it was."
- Peter Matthews, ex-CNCo

You read it on the Internet, so it must be true. David now has a web site where the book can be ordered via various e-books retailers: davidadamsonharper.com. So fork out, chaps, and keep the man in beer.

"Taiyuan" being flavour of the month, of late...

Ben Aldiss has sent in these photos taken on the legendary lady in 1956. It was actually his wedding day, in Sydney, and so he has cause to remember it! Ben writes "The Ancient Mariner appears as fourth mate, and the late Captain Micky Seal as third mate. The ladies are Mrs. Vera Bogey, complete with her husband Chief Engineer Bogey (who advised me not to get married. He was wrong.) and Mrs. Judy Campbell the Fridge engineer's lady. The party went on for three days, I believe." Ah, those were the days. Couldn't do that today in an MTL container turnaround, we think! Click on the pictures for larger images.

Pictures of Dover are finally online...

It's a long way from NZ to NY...

...but despite some years without a sextant in his hands, Dave Ewings found his way to Rhinebeck, NY, to deliver beer to the web-brat and share tales about old times and old timers. Perhaps the lovely Ainslie asked the way. Anyhow, a fine sunny day was enjoyed by all and ale was sampled.

George Leitch has been in touch...

...and is seen here with wife, daughter and grandchild. George was last reported working on a supply boat out of Da Nang, Vietnam. It's many years since the web-brat and the legendary Leitch used to sink a case or so of San Mig before stepping ashore for a few libations in Manila, but happy memories remain. George is living in Manila now.

Early September, 2011...

Alistair Thomson and Kelvin Limbrick enjoying a few XXXX over the weekend, while remembering the days on the “Anking” in 1964.

Fed up with chasing rioting yobs around London...

... our worthy troops decided to barbeque one instead. Couples Kay-Russell, Falkner and Groves gathered with some other grinning fool at Dave's pad for a spot of imbibement and consumption.

"We are sailing, we are saaailing..."

When are the bringing the fuel?

Fine times were had once more on the 2011 Summer Cruise on Lake Windermere. Click here for more pics and news of this spiffing event.

Steward!  More Gin!

Life was pure luxury aboard CNCo vessels in days gone by. Gilbert Reid has sent us this pic from Memory Lane. "My cabin on board "SS FENGNING" Oct.1962. All important items required for sea voyages after 3 years with CNCo. are there. Cigs with Zippo lighter, radio with clock, shrunken head, "tit" for assistance and all the contents of the book cabinet!"

It's rumoured that in later days the shrunken head was promoted to an office position.

Another Polynesia Reunion, after some years...

So this is where the SMA budget goes!  Cheers!

It's been a while since SMA members Julian Gomersall, Graeme Drewery and Stu Shields have visited "Polynesia" friends in San Francisco, but as their usual pubs were a bit crowded because of the Royal Wedding, they decided to do their celebrating abroad. A pleasant and no doubt jolly four days was had by all.

Yikes!  Don't squeeze so hard.  We're only little...

Braving the inclement winter snows...

Do all people living in America wear lampshades on their head?  Can't be a halo, surely?

Libations were taken in celebration of the 2011 New Year at the Inn for All Seasons, Gloucestershire, in the forlorn hope that MAJB, visiting from America, might bring some money with him. Fat chance. The Groves, Havillands and Falkners were there, together with our worthy Secretary who wouldn't miss a beer if it was hidden in a lead box twenty feet underground. Absent but intending was Lord DRW of Ferrers, who forgot to get up or something. Anyway, your web-brat was very pleased to catch up with such long-standing old friends.

Ha, waiter!  Your flies are undone!

Sad times in the hot Australian summer...

Merry Christmas and the best of elf!

We've been sent this Christmas picture of a "struggling old pensioner trying to make ends meet in Queensland, Australia". We're not quite sure which ends he is referring to, but have to commiserate with him in his misery. He's clearly enjoying good elf, anyway.

But wait! There's more to this: hold on to your hats...

The DAG Memorial Curry 2010...

The annual Gledhill Gathering was staged at the Bombay Brasserie in Fulham and saw the usual healthy turnout. Rumour has it that Stu only attended because he thought the place would be full of ladies' underwear, but then he checked the spelling. In no particular order (which may well have been the case later in the day) those noted present and mostly correct included Messrs. Third, Inman, Cutler, Roberts, Mahoney, Thorogood, Groves, Conybeare, Walford, Walker, Shields, Thacker, Adams, Coulcher and Ryden with apologies from Kay-Russell and Havilland.

Click on the pic for a slightly larger version.

Bored with semi-clad women in our Pinups?...

Here, then, are exciting pictures of your Committee and friends undertaking annual duty at the 2010 Curry Lunch aboard HQS Wellington on the Thames. Jim Conybeare, Graeme Drewery, Dudley Groves, Julian Thorogood (not in pics), Trevor Kay-Russell, John Loftin, Stu Shields and Maurice Burbidge were there, continuing their search for the perfect Vindaloo.

More marvellous memories of days gone by...

I say, second mate, got a Camel?...

Click on the picture to read of the scripture.

One day, Mr. Mate, all this shore leave will be ruined by containerisation, dammit.

DRW has also written up some useful stuff on Changsha & Taiyuan and the four Australian sisters (Changsha, Chingtu, Taiyuan, and Tsinan). Click on this pic too for more pearls of wisdom from the Walker quill.

A link worth mentioning for students of the above is Reuben Goossens' excellent page (one of his many of interest) on the captioned vessels. See it here.

The Changsha grounding, 1959...

What time is Smoko?

... has provoked much interest in the SMA log. Brian Bird (above, having righted the ship with his pinky, it would appear) has been kind enough to send in some recollections and photographs, which merit their own page. Click on the picture to go there.

June 2010: the exotic northwest...

Does Cilla still live here, Stu?

Clicking on the picture will transport you to details of this charming excursion, also known as the leaving of Liverpool.

Charlie Nesbitt's farewell...

Safe sailing, Charlie.

Several Swire friends turned out to say farewell to Charlie Nesbitt, who sadly passed on May 25th, 2010. Left to right are Dave Ewings, Alex Moore, Bob Goodwin, Trevor Whelan, Mac Post, Graham Ward, Gordon Smith and Nick Edwards. Brooke Hibberdine was also there, but is not in the photograph.

Says DRE of Charlie's final voyage: "A large contingent of friends and collegues attended his sailing. Charlie held particularly fond memories of his time in CNCo, and the lasting friendships established during that time. In spite of his failing eyesight he made it single-handedly to Crank Case every Friday to the very end; a man of standards."

We all get older...

Not my shout?  I say, this is good news.

...but some of us simply don't show it. Geoff Havilland recently celebrated his 80th birthday. Daughter Cathy organized a celebratory luncheon at St. Catherine's College, attended by many of GAH's Army and Swire friends. Happy days, Geoff! Notice that while some retired persons choose to put flying ducks on their living room wall, Geoff sports a tie with plummeting pheasants and gundog. Either that, or he had fried eggs for breakfast and put the bacon in his top pocket for later.

The Davids Crockett and Cooper...

If we post this in the SMA log, mabye Stu will cover the tab...

... do what a lot more of you sleepy souls ought to do, and that's send in a snap or two to let us know you're still alive. Here are D. Crockett,
avec chapeau CNCo as is his wont, with D. Cooper and family in the Mariners Club HK on Jan 28, 2010. The three stunners between our Pillars Of Society are, left to right, Cooper-san's daughter, Cooper-san's son's girlfriend and Cooper-san's timeless bride. Were El Crocketto's daughters there as well, all could have staged a beauty contest, we reckon. Why are we men so ugly?

While polishing his cranium recently...

At least the odd beer can never do us any harm.

...Secretary Stu was reminiscing about the time he had hair. Here's a rare picture of Stu at leisure on a Port Line vessel, with drinking associate Ian Butler.

Here's a cheerful shot of David and Nagako Cooper with their lovely daughter (wearing the Darth Vader hat) and her boyfriend. Dave is the one with all the hair at the back. Literally :)

Curry Luncheon, 12.6.09...

I can't believe we ate all that...

...with the usual suspects in attendance. Keep it up, chaps!

Whatever floats your boat...

Come on Stu, get yer boiler suit on and down below, it's time for the off.

June 9th, 2009, heralded a delightful marine excursion for SMA members and friends. 'Waverley' departed Clevedon, Avon, and against all odds, returned. Click for pics.

Escaping the NZ winter, en route to Blighty...

Do you think when the waiter has finished taking our picture he might bring us another peanut, Jimmy?

...the Daishes were entertained to an expansive Mariner's Club buffet by the ubiquitous and unstoppable Captain "Davey" Crockett. Darrell and his wife Jennifer are flying to England to join planned SMA festivities in June '09.

Keen as they are to justify their bonuses...

We're having a good time, OK?  No we WON'T smile.

...the SMA Committee suffered yet another gruelling meeting on your behalf at the Ship Inn, Aldermaston on April 7th, 2009. Decisions aplenty were made excepting, perhaps, who should pay for the last round before time is called. Did Dudley escape his shout once more, we wonder?

Not all of us can boast daughters as lovely as this...

Alright, Daddy dear, we've posed for your friends... now get your wallet out, it's your shout

...but Jimmy (Davey) Crockett can. Here is our Hong Kong-based stalwart in the Mariners' Club with his beautiful offspring, both of whom are CEOs, apparently. And we don't think that stands for Chief Engineering Officer.

If you've not visited Jimmy's fascinating blog, you should:

Those who frequent the Ship's Log will know that "Davey" is a regular contributor, seemingly bounding from one adventure to another. Here we see our action hero at the Hong Kong Film Convention, this time wearing his (CNCo) acting hat as he promotes the latest children's movie..

OK, now where's my lollipop?

Click on the picture to see an action shot from the film :)

And here is our pet action figure hitting the late night scene in Hong Kong's 'Backstage' nightclub with legendary drummer Fernando Carpio....

Yes, I think I'm getting younger...

Does he never sleep?

"It is an ancient Mariner..."

OK, Burbidge-san, where is beer?

Click ye pic for new pictures of old occasions. Thanks, AM.

The Cypriot branch of the SMA on a trade mission?

Bet they're jealous, back there in all that snow...

Evidence of a very pleasant Sunday afternoon at John Preston's house in Townsville. From left to right: John Preston (Harbour Master), Hugh Ripley (Pilot), John Madeley & Sue Preston (JP's 1st Wife). JP gets our vote, having a G&T in one hand and a beer in the other.

The DAG Memorial Curry took place in late '08...

Never mind the picture, mate.  Got a fiver?

Hahaha!  Must be years since we saw a Brownie 127...

Once again, it became clear why the importation of Cobra and Kingfisher beers from Mumbai to Pimlico is such a worthwhile undertaking.

A grand old lady. The car, not Surraya...

Dang.  Never could master those handbrake turns.

Members may not be aware that aside from his reputation as a master of the thinking gentleman's wardrobe, Mr. A.F. Perry (CNCo, rtd.) is also known for holding up the traffic on Devon roads. It's worth it, though. Alan is the proud owner of this beautiful Model T Ford, which at 93 years old is looking a lot better than most of us will. Click on ye pic for a larger rendition in PDF format. Passengers are the lovely Surraya Perry and her granddaughter and grandson.

Captain Coneybeare's cultural curry club...

Hello, Sooty!

Curry Lunch aboard HQS Wellington? Heck, it'll be the Palace next. In attendance, 27/11/08 were Jim Conybeare, Dudley Groves, Graeme Drewery, Chris Coulcher, Trevor Kay-Russell, David Falkner, James Adams and Stu Shields. Stu took the picture but didn't want to be left out, so we morphed him in, albeit legless.

It's offishal (hic!)...

Buy a round or you're wearing concrete boots, matey.

John Madeley and Neil Morris are seen here at the inauguration of the SMA (Cyprus) branch. John is doing his best to hold it up (the Swire flag, that is). Actually, this is "the morning after", but at least it appears that a couple of fine ales for breakfast are a better idea than the local Cypriot coffee. The lady in charge looks suitably bemused. Well done, chaps!

A new series of The Sopranos? No, it's...

Buy a round or you're wearing concrete boots, matey.

Click glasses for more...

They said it couldn't be done...

But it was. Learn of exciting times on the river in April '08!

Hey ho!  Glad we brought beer!

A mere half a century later... Member George Latham nipped back to Shanghai to see whether things were the same as they were when he visited on "Poyang" in 1958. Er, not, but in a very positive way. Read George's account of his visit in the 2008 Ship's Log. Here are two pics of the Butterfield & Swire HQ. One includes George, for those who have trouble telling which was taken when.

Hey ho!  Sun's shining, too!

Ye Olde But Very Large HQ Wot Is Somewhat Larger Than Quarry Baye Todaye
From Capt G. Torrible's book 'Yangtze Reminiscences'. Reprinted here with kind permission of John Swire & Sons Ltd. London.

It's 2008, and he's at it again...

Hmmm... which way now?  Bloody place looks like Sussex to me...

News reaches us that 'Motor' Markland has carved up the world's highways and byways once more in that old car of his. This time, it was South East Asia, through Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and probably a few other places that hadn't been discovered. Apparently the Bentley behaved admirably and Myra enjoyed the five star accommodation en route. See inset for the very latest in Gucci rally wear. Hardy stuff!

Paul's report of the rally makes good reading. Paul also took seventeen million snaps. See them here and here.

Never think that your SMA Committee...

Of course we're smiling, Stu, the waitress just stuck the bill in your back pocket!

... is not working hard on your behalf: the November curry.

Above you see JTKR indulging in strange behaviour with a raincoat; Chairman Graeme practicing his skills as a ventriloquist with some doll from New Zealand (Hi there, Charlotte!), Debonair Dud proudly displaying the same 'Coral Princess' tie he's worn for thirty-odd years and Jules "No Rules" Thorogood demonstrating that English breweries have some way to go before declaring bankruptcy.

I think I must have left it in my cabin... the taxi... maybe the... oh, I don't know...

Ale was taken, but neither our Chairman nor Committee Member JTKR look impressed as Debonair Dud explains why he shouldn't be paying for the round as he only bought one twenty years ago. Those who know him well, however, would testify that on that occasion he only paid because Jimmy "The Duke" of "Windjammer Pub" fame, Yokohama, managed to catch him as he slid out the door :)

The Commodore and the Chiefs...

We'll just get the formalities over with, chaps, and then we'll go below for a couple of G and T's and a nice curry.  Do you do much cooking yourself?

Captain Cyril Cocksedge has sent us this photograph of former CNCo fleet Commodore, Captain Van Ralty Woolfe with native chiefs from the Papua New Guinea Highlands on a visit to Chekiang in Lae, 1964. They had never seen a ship before. (from Swire Marine News, Autumn 2004)

Cyril was Mate. As those who follow our Ship's Log will know, Van Ralty passed away in August 2007. We think the bloke on the left may be Stu Shields after too many hours in the sun, but we're not sure.

Hoorah for Henley! Online at last!

How CNCo seafarers saw their future when they were twenty-five.

With gushing apologies to those who have waited patiently to see who was afloat in June 2007, we present The Henley Snaps. Click on Ye Pic.

And later still, we've finally got around to sorting out the Falkirk 2006 collection. Click on the yachties!

Lifeboat drill...

Shipowner, spouse and seafarer

Mr & Mrs Polynesia Line, Jens & Bente Jensen, with our secretary Stu Shields during a recent trip to the UK to see the wonders of High Wycombe (the centre of the gnome world).

And the latest in SMA headwear for 2007 is...

My head's not really square, but it often feels that way.

A flurry of emails following the posting of the pictures below of Messrs. Perry and Thomson confirms that:

1. Mr. Thomson's hat was actually procured in China in 1961, so it is probably a dead cat. Meow Tse Tung, perhaps.
2. Although not shown in the pith-ture below (sorry!), Mr. Perry also owns a fur hat from China which he was told is grey rabbit fur, so it's probably also a dead cat. Alan once had a half-blind bus collector trying to extract a fare from him for the "small dog" he had on his lap. Everybody fell about laughing when he put his "dog" on his head.

At Mr. Perry's insistence, Mr. Beaumont models the very essence of fashionable headwear, above (anything but a baseball cap, says Alan) just to show that he is also quite willing to appear a total twit at times. Why change now?

Aw, what the heck: here's the 2006 baseball cap...

Try to look normal, Mark... we're on camera.

...with friend Arlo Guthrie... we were well on the way to Alice's Restaurant at this point. Just as well it has a bar.

Any more crazy cranial covers out there?

I'm really happy.  Really.  If you think I look glum, you should see me on a bad day.

It seems that the photograph below of Mr. A.F. Ponsonby Perry-Pillock (with Bar) has inspired other keen followers of fashion to illustate the latest trends. Here we have one Alistair Thomson, XXXX (for it is he) showing us how the careful deployment of a comatose wallaby can make a lovely warm hat for those chilly Queensland winters. He has thought of exporting the concept to Old Blighty, being concerned for Mr. Perry's health on inclement days, but is a little worried that the furry little fellas might wake up.

The Empire is not dead!

Hmmm... hope the natives are friendly.

This rare photo of the (Mombasa) Casablanca Bar's favoured customer, Mr. A.F. Perry, being rowed ashore by locals (not necessarily maidens) shows how, in our globalised world, Mombasa almost looks like Dartmouth these days.

Anyway, we've promised not to take the pith.

Gordon McLennan of NZ was six in 1946...

It's tough here in Fiji.

... but must have been very handy with a camera. Gordon has been kind enough to send us the marvellous shots of Hong Kong of that era that you'll find if you click on this picture of Gordon and his lovely wife enjoying themselves at their son's wedding in Fiji. We'd smile too, Gordon, if the in-laws were paying :)

UPDATE: Gordon has also forwarded this fabulous Powerpoint show of Hong Kong in Ye Olde Days, when men were men and sheep were terrified of the fact.

Gordon writes:

"This will certainly stir a tear in the eye with our long-time HK members, it certainly did me... it came to me from Richard Worrall ex-HK Police Superintendent and my mate from our young Taikoo days. Richard was born in Stanley camp; his father was Captain Bill Worrall of the biggest salvage tug of that time, `Taikoo`, and a very personal friend of my father `Charlie`."

Not got a Powerpoint Viewer installed? Get it free here.

Terry Connell has sent us these fine 'Soochow' shots...

Smoko.  Just as well it's after 0800.

Bobby Porter3/M, Terry Connell 2/M, Leo MacGowan 4/M, Martin Tollen 4/E & Ginger Parkinson 2/E

Do engineers have knees?

Bobby Porter,Ginger Parkinson, Ship's Doctor (sorry, no name) and Mike Dixon 3/E

Bond. James Bond.

Shades, man.  You need shades.

It had been a long day. Bond was tired, and knew it. Turning his best side to the camera, he breathed in, flattened his abs and gave that look that only he could achieve and which Miss Moneypenny loved so well. But little did Bond know that, within seconds, the small town of Port Kembla would experience a maritime disaster of epic proportions. Confused, he looked in vain for the brake pedal...

Some of you may be able to read the real caption. Meanwhile, Cyril has also been kind enough to send this:

We drink it neat.  Oh yes.

This fine shot is from 'Tientsin', 1967. Left to right: C/E Noel Dowzer, 2/E Bill Urwin, Capt. Cyril Cocksedge, C/O Dudley Groves, 2/M (?) and 3/M Andy Lansdale.

Now these pics will jog a few cogs...

Drat.  Where are my smokes?

Member Alistair Thomson has sent the SMA dozens of wonderful photographs of the fleet in the '60s, together with a few of the lads as well, of course. You'll enjoy these. Thanks, Alistair! Click on the pic to wander down Memory Lane, sob sob....

Yikes! Topless crew in Moreton Bay ...

Wa-ha-hey!  Don't build 'em like this any more!

"Didn't catch up with Mr. Steer on my recent voyage south, but did give him a wave when I went past." - Tony R..

Another titillating picture of Rampant Ravenhill's curvy physique can be seen in our 2006 Ship's Log. Don't all rush.

Who needs food?  We're having fun here, mate.  Mind you, Fellowes has just seen the bill.

The DAG Memorial Curry, 2007 ... here we see stalwart supporters, drinking to his memory. In the picture are Peter "Cashmere" King, Jim "Hawaii" Coneybeare, Trevor "Mountain Man" Kay-Russell, Dudley "Peepers" Groves, Andrew "Don't Mind If I Do" Craig-Bennett, David "My Round Again?" Falkner, Geoff "Lifeboat" Havilland, David "I'm Not Paying" Fellowes and Les "Drinking Arm" French.

Once upon a time, under the British flag ...

This Persil stuff works pretty well, doesn't it?  Give the laundryman a bonus.

Thanks to Gilbert Reid for this 1961 group from "Chefoo". Click on the picture for a larger rendition with full details.

Simon Healy reminds us of gruelling days on Polynesia ...

Whose turn is it to pop the next cork?

Present in the picture are Simon Healy - Gadget, Norman "Onesock" McNee - C/O, Andy Richards - C/E, Vince Cullen - ETO, and Howie Ratcliffe - Old Man. The date is August 1997 and yes, it's a Sunday.

You'd think they'd tidy those sails up, wouldn't you?

Charlie Mullin has sent us this great shot from 'Poyang'...

Smoke-O as it used to be ...

The date is 1960 or 1961 (anyone got the roster?) and this shot of raucous New Year celebrations shows a very young Robbie Kidd, left, Charlie, 3/O, R/O and C/E Archie Blue.

Dark Moment paid a visit to Hong Kong in Sept. 2006 ...

If we all keep smiling, people might think the airline is making money ...

First port of call was the Cathay Pacific 60th Anniversary Gala (free beer). In the pic are Sam Swire, Judy and Capt. Charles 'Chic' Eather (who wrote 'Syd's Pirates') Lady Judith Swire and Merlin Swire. Oh, and some grinning idiot at the back. Sir Adrian must have been getting the beers in.

Duck's feet soup?  You've got to be joking, mate.

A visit to Lamma was a must, of course, on 'EQV' with the Cresswells and Taylors. Ale was taken.

If I stand in the shade they'll never know this suit is a twenty-year old 'Jacky Tailor' special

Your web master with Cathay's original aircraft 'Betsy' in the Hong Kong Science Museum...

Pity they got the globe the wrong way round ...

...who also paid a visit to Cathay City where this replica of 'Niki' is now on display. With Chic and Judy again. Chic was giving a series of lectures in Hong Kong.

Hold me, darlink... I thimk I'm gonna fall ofer.

Ex-'Coral Princess' Cruise Director and Hotel Manager Richard Haver joined Dark Moment in demonstrating that even at their advanced age it is possible to drink San Mig until 4:30 a.m. with few ill effects. Until the next day, that is.

Gorgeous, glamorous, pouting sex siren Petty Haver, the beautiful, bodacious Doris Luk and some other people

And finally, a shot of DM, Doris Luk, Alan Lloynd, Petty Haver and Ben Lau after a spot of Japanese luncheon.

It was fun to be back.

Annette Salmon has sent us this shot of husband Geoff ...

You think that's bad, mate, you should have seen the bow of ours.

...together with three more of CNCo men of the late 60s. Noel Dowzer and Little Johny Haines in pics 3 & 4 have been identified by one T. Ravenhill, but we're stumped as to the identity of two of the gang sharing a bottle of Gordons on the night watch. Stu thinks the chap on the left is Barry Keeble; FJT says the middle chap is Bill Elton. Can you confirm, team? We'll update this posting, if and when names are known ...

Piece of cake, these night watches, aren't they?

Recognise me?

The Tom Cruise look, CNCo, 60s

How the poor struggle by, Down Under ...

Anybody good at knots?

Here's a couple from The Land of the Amber Nectar. Chris Coy meets Cyril and Beth Osborne after many years, while Tony Ravenhill gives a new meaning to "On the rocks, please". Thanks, Tony, for sending these in to the SMA.

Hey Chris!  Got any more of that beer?

Nothing to it, mate.  Just push this thing, don't you?

Aaayaaah!  Him speak Cantonese with his nose!

"Guess the conversation kinda dried up". Shippers' party on board "Chefoo" around 1961.

Thanks to Gilbert Reid (Paddy-san to China Coasters) 5/E,4/E & 3/E China Nav, Oct 1959 to Oct 1962. MV Chefoo, MV Tsingtao, SS Fengning.

My Dad's only 33, you know.  He told me so.

Here's a space filler in the shape of one Web Brat plus six-year-old-going-on-sixteen Kate Da Great and six-month-old-I-just-weed-on-your-leg-Daddy John Montgomery B. This pic is in celebration of the fact that Dark Moment has just been told that all the lumps the surgeons recently removed from his anatomy are BENIGN! This is indeed good news (for him and them, at least) although there's clearly a risk that his brain was removed in the process if the quacks are correct in their assessment of inactive tissue.

All aboard the M.S. Oldenfart, Bristol (Channel) fashion!

Better get this done BEFORE we set sail, just in case ...

Out for the day, in a flurry of spray! A successful summer sail! See Leisure on Lundy here.

Seen in Yokohama, Japan ...

Do you think we look fat?  It's all paid for.

Messrs. Cooper, Watkins and Bent, respectively, who gathered for a few ales recently. Geoff Bent is captain of some German ship or other and the other two stalwarts live in Japan, of course.

Yokohama yokels

The second shot shows better halves and some small people. Jasmin Bent (whose capture all those years ago by Geoff is still a matter of great sadness to many a young 'Coral Princess' officer) is not present in the picture, regrettably.

Their toil is never ending, and right arms are bending ...

Ha!  Little do they know where their subscriptions go, tee hee!

Once more, SMA Committee members take the trouble to meet on your behalf to discuss details of forthcoming SMA activities and why, for his Lundy stay, The Ancient Mariner has picked an hotel without a bar in it. Has he cracked? Should he be put down? Such gruelling meetings are par for the course for our hardworking team. We must thank them for their labours.

Hair's one from twenty-odd years ago ....

Just think .. in a few years, we'll both be as bald as PJR, ha ha!

Your web brat and the then Tonnage Manager of CNCo, one James Hughes Hallett, demonstrate their confidence in the vessel to newly arrived "Coral Princess" passengers. Hmmm ... wonder what JHH is doing these days .... :)

NEW! Actually, old. Starting in 1958 ...

Oooh, Cyril, you're so .... big.

Thanks go to Cyril Cocksedge for sending in the sort of stuff we relish. Click on "Cyril's Chest" to find out more.

A Cotteswolde excursion ...

Happy Chappies

Graeme Drewery, Stu Shields and Dudley Groves drove out to Stroud on January 12, 2006 to visit Ralph Kennett, who is taking it easy for a bit in Stroud General. Ralph was clearly full of indomitable spirit. It is rumoured that when the gang of three left the hospital, they spent an hour driving around Stroud trying to buy a bottle of Indomitable.

(Sadly, Ralph passed away a week after this photograph was taken. He is missed by many. This picture below is probably how he would like to be remembered - MAJB)

Double at Mill

The DAG Memorial Curry was duly celebrated in 2005 ...

Sing WHAT? JINGLE BELLS?  You've got to be kidding, mate.

Girls, click on the image for a larger rendition if you wish to feast on every contour of these fine, well-honed physiques.

He's still not an SMA member, but then he never could sail. Many of you will remember John Watkins, of Yokohama Chinatown "Tavern" fame. John, like other notorious CNCo alumni we could mention, used to take snaps on the old CP, but the beer got the better of him. So he went on to get the better of it, and started selling it, and very successfully.

Here's proof that it pays to drink. These screengrabs from online conversations between two old lags show firstly John with beer in hand, in Tokyo by night; the second shot is at 1100 in the morning. Now which would you rather be?

What are YOU drinking, Beaumont?

Gawd, my brain hurts

John's watering establishments continue to prosper if you have a yen for that kind of thing. Visit Watters at www.the-tavern.com. Or for real, of course.

Dark Moment's little daughter has been a busy bee ...

Your father drinks WHAT?

Now, where's that bribe?

To see more of Kate The Great's big day with Chas and the missus go to www.britishmemorialgarden.org

Kelvin Troughton's grandson's christening, August 2005 ...

Keep smiling, Julie ... you can't fall asleep yet

Well that was nice ... now where's the food?

Soon afterwards, Kelvin had a rough time of it during Hurricane Katrina. See our 2005 Ship's Log.

The 2005 Thames Cruise was wet, as rivers are ....

Oi!  Grab that crocodile ... we forgot lunch.

See who was there or here and there here.

At the June Kingston curry, Stu's brother turned up ...

Press the button then, you twat!

You'd think it'd be Stu's turn for the wig by now, wouldn't you? Anyway, good to see the lads enjoying themselves ...

More on toupees ... we're now accepting advertisements:

Buy me and keep some

What will you tell YOUR wife?

A representative of Mitchell Tankers recently called on the SMA Secretary in High Wycombe and this exciting new deal was developed over several ales.

STOP PRESS! SMA Secretary seen with real doll!

You're a bit stiff, lass, aren't you?  Smile for the camera ...

You can't keep a good man down. And even Stu gets up occasionally. We're pleased to see that he's keeping good company; in fact, he's never been happier. Says "she doesn't smell, doesn't yell and she's grateful as hell. Bit quiet, though." Ah well, she is British, Stu.

This chance liaison was after more Kingston Curry. They'd better be careful that this doesn't become a habit.

More beer, did you say?  Yes, I'll 'ave 'arf.
Left to right: Camilla Parker Bowles, Stunned Mullet, Cheech and Chong, Redneck, Bald Coot, Hirsute Suit, Chris Ribald, Bloke I remember from somewhere, Man with purple clothes

Wot? The SMA Committee with no drinks in their hands?

The Incrediballs

Ha! Yes, we'll smile for another bottle!  Thanks, Jules!

Om the table, yes .. two or three bottles, it seems ... but not in their hands. Decisive and determined, our courageous committee members braved the complexity of the London Underground to meet at Swire House in February. What on earth they decided is another matter, but it does seem that there are plans afoot. See our Meetings page for more.

Carry on currying, 28th January 2005...

What?  Er, yes, sorry, that was me ...

So, knowing my rules of the road, I turned Shearwater to the left, and whaddya know, the idiot turned right .... BANG!

We're glad to report that the monthly London Curry Lunch remains well supported and that the Pimlico venue (illustrated) has favourable flavours. Spot the stranger!

News of the SMA Media Conference in New York, USA ...

Ha ha ha ... look at that picture of Graeme when he had hair .... and does Trevor REALLY own that tie?

Members of the executive administration of the SMA gathered at a leading venue in Long Island, New York, in December 2004 for the first SMA Media Conference. Well, two did, anyway. The event was a resounding success, with all catering records being broken for the first consecutive year. That is, they emptied the fridge, and demolished a dead cow or two.

If you think this webcam picture is fuzzy, you should have seen them an hour later ...

SMA's George Latham has been digging in his seachest ..

What do you reckon, fellas? That camera is probably the only thing that works on here.

M.V. Kwangtung Taikoo Dock prior to maiden voyage, March 1959. Left to right: Bruce Bolland 2/E, Chang 6/E, Tom Richardson 5/E (motorship time for his double barrel), George Latham 3/E, Peter Martin 4/E, Bob Nickerson C/E

Hey lassie ... I thought you Japanese girls drank out of a glass? Anyway, that Newquay Brown'll do you no harm.

The very hub and by far the most famous bar in Kobe, "Nancy's Bar". Nancy is the one facing the camera (George can't remember her assistant's name), George is in front, Tom Richardson is in profile. The other two gentlemen are unknown, perhaps Jardines (Humph ... I wonder if we should charge them rent to be on this page? Nice to see men properly attired when up the road, nevertheless - MAJB).

Is it a bird? Is it a 'plane? Or is it Noggin The Nog?

And for my next trick ...

This is the first photograph (and we had hoped, the last) of the festivities at Greenwich in June 2004. Here's Julian Thorogood wearing 'The Hat' and doing his impersonation of Harry Potter. What some people will do for warm beer ... anyway, lots more piccies here, thanks to Chris Nugent, who managed to stay out of all the shots by taking them.

Our Secretary once had hair ... well, sort of ...

Barber?  What barber?

Thanks to Chairman Graeme for this great shot and to Stu's lovely Jill for being better looking. Nipper Paul is a bit bigger these days too, as is brother Matthew ...

How the Merchant has changed since the good old days ...

Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil ...

John Reilly 2/E, Henry McGecchie 3/E and Calum Anderson C/O - Chefoo, c1960. What a handsome trio. What you'd call mug shots, I suppose.

Fill 'er up, please ... I've still an hour before my watch

Henry "Yes thanks, same again" McGecchie

You're kidding, right?  They've booked me Economy?

Ralph Kennett and Charlie Nesbitt: Ralph leaving Kai Tak about 1961 for UK leave. No wonder he looks happy.

One of our antipodean associates has been kind enough to dig these certificates of comradeship out of his seachest. Thank you, Cyril! Not sure the lads will, though.

MAG BEER MUNA TAYO! Farewell, Dave McHugh ...

How does she do that, Stu? ..... I dunno, Dave.  You don't see that in High Wycombe too often...

Dave's the sober looking fellow on the right. The one on the left wearing a pair of curtains is, of course, Sec Shields, no stranger himself to M.H. Del Pilar and Mabini ...

No one's sent us any snaps from the London Eye, so ...

Wheel meet again .....

Hey, Stu ... tough breathing in like this, innit? Keep smiling

... you'll just have to put up with Mark Beaumont's family album. The other old geezer in the oversized coat is your esteemed Secretary, Blind Stu, who lived up to his name by the end of the Cocktail Party that followed the circuit on the Eye. No cameras there, either, but just as well probably.

Don't worry, Ayesha, I've brought the handbook

Not content with spreading used Castrol all over Europe, China and South America, "Motor" Markland is at it again. This time, it's the 2003 Classic Safari Rally in that big bit with all the zebras, together with unsuspecting daughter Ayesha. Choice of transportation is a 1936 4.25-litre Derby Bentley. You'd think he'd get a new one. Wish them luck!

Spot the Jolly Jacks in this month's exciting competition!

Blimey, Mate, I told you you should have gone on leave ...

This happy gathering dates from 'Anking', 1970, at West Point Wharf, Hong Kong; sent to us by an officer present in the picture. Can you name these softhearted sailors? A free banana to the first correct entry! Answers on a postcard, please, to ... oh alright, go to the bottom of this page.

Now this is what the Rogues' Gallery should be about ...

Didn't do too badly, did I?

Long-lost seafarer David Cooper has sent us this wonderful snap of his lovely Nagako quaffing jars of the amber nectar, together with the rest of his great-looking family! He's still got his own hair, it would appear! (beer taken 11/8/02)

Get on with it, Dark Moment, I need more ice ... Psst ... if you don't take your hand off my bloody shoulder, you're a dead man ...

David "Worldscale What?" Mitchell paid a surprise visit to the New York Orifice of the SMA during early September. Ale was supped. If you've not seen him for a while, he hasn't changed much; still an ugly SOB blessed with the lovely Chrissie who remains, as you can see, a stunningly beautiful wife who must have been short-sighted in her youth.

The SMA visits London's Tower - voluntarily! Click ye pic:

'ere, where are that lot off to?

How our mighty adventurers roam! DRW, for one (or two) ... spotted in Long Island, New York, in June 2002, the legendary globe-Walker (second left) is seen here with Mark Beaumont, David "The Tan" Falkner and unwitting transatlantic crew member Charley Farley. What's on the shoulders? Well, we were a bit short of parrots ...

'Pass me my glass .. you only need one hand for the camera ...'

His present epic is just one of several famous voyages ...

'Just another two fingers then ...'

'Have we got wind? ...'

Not to mention the legendary mound-mounter, JTKR ...

'Now where was that oxygen mask? ...'

'Well, at least we got past The Tower without losing our heads ... now where's the Esky, Stu?'

The Rogues' Gallery kicked off with a Poly reunion ...

Who's paying for this lot anyway, Stu?

Various old salts told crusty tales at a grand meet of the pride of Polynesia on the 28th September, 1999. Party to the night's festivities were Jens Jensen (Interocean Steamship President) and his wife Bente; Jill and Stuart Shields; Graeme Drewery, Julian Gomersal, Dave Snowdon, Dave Porter and Gary Wayland. John Madeley sent apologies.

Needless to say, a fine time was had by all. All SMA members are invited to send in pictures of family and friends to build this Rogues' Gallery into a veritable wonderland of momentous memories. All lawsuits will be totally ignored.

Beats working for a living, doesn't it, fellows?

Most members will know that David Gledhill, the venerable founder of The Curry Lunch among many other significant achievements, left us at the end of 1999, thereby getting out of buying a round at his farewell curry. David would have appreciated no better tribute than the 30-something SMA members (and others) who set the Buckingham Balti House ablaze (with Vindaloo, that is) in his memory.

Get on with it, waiter ... I need a Carlsberg

HOW MUCH?  You can't be serious!  Did someone have two beers, perhaps? Not mine ... give it to that bloke over there

Most of those present subsequently attended David's funeral at St. Mary's, The Boltons (when they finally found it) and were graciously received at the Gledhill home by Kyoko Gledhill thereafter. David Gledhill's premature departure from this life leaves us poorer for it.

By guest appearance in the SMA Rogues' Gallery (it'll cost 'em next time) we welcome all friends from Down Under:

Old navigators never lose their stability, just their sextants

A blast from the past! We've been sent this marvellous photo - taken in the Piano Bar, Yokohama in 1964 - of the fine men of M.V. "Woosung" ...

Bet they don't dress as smartly as this to go ashore in 36 years time, chaps ... and the beer will cost plenty

Left to right: 2/E Bert Murdoch, 3/E Steamy McNaught, John Kelly, R/O Sparks Ewerfield, Ist Mate Dave Holland, C/E Barry Gant

Here's Dark Moment getting told what for by his lovely new Katherine at nine hours old ... born 8th June 2000 and already in charge. Uh oh. This could get expensive ...

And another thing, Dad ... about my allowance ...

A noteworthy addition to our site: our first topless shot! Here we find one Graeme Drewery, Chairman of the SMA, in earlier days. How, we ask, will he get his Avro Vulcan bomber out of his cabin, let alone fly it? This notwithstanding, this snap inspired our Cathay Pacific page.

Now where did I put that nuclear warhead?

Send in your own family news and snapshots and bore everyone to tears! Most importantly, we'd like to see pictures of any group reunions. Thanks.

'Anking' answers: Captain Calum Anderson, 2/E David Harrison, Stuart Hutton, 3/O Julian Thorogood (yes, he was young once, apparently) C/O Syd Payne proudly holding newly arrived cadet Annabelle Payne, C/E Twiggy Thorburn.






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