I have enjoyed reading Gerry Weatherhead’s letter extracts in recent editions of Sea Breezes (‘A Voyage to the Far East and Australia’).
The extracts have brought back many happy memories. I was senior midshipman on Orestes from March to October of that year along with Gordon King, Charlie Nicholls and John Pollard. We travelled out on Antilochus and home by Radnorshire, the complete time away being from Feb ‘59 to January ‘60, changing at Singapore.
I left Holts in ‘62 having completed a total of six years, due to the changes coming about in the shipping industry.
I then joined Tate and Lyle Shipping and stayed with them a total of 17 years rising to the dizzy heights of Master until further changes came about, mainly from Flags of Convenience threat and so I ended up here in Fort William as Operations Manager of an Underwater Trials facility and diver training school.
I stayed there for a further 11 years due to financial problems with the company before moving on to become manager of an oil distribution depot. The job was easier but became the victim of globalisation being taken over by BP. I was 60 by this time (1998) and took retirement then and have managed to survive quite well since.
Here are some photos I took when on Orestes. I too remember going to see The Lions. The photos are in B&W possibly taken by a Box Brownie camera! I don’t think colour had been invented and as middies we were only on about £7 per month!
DAVID N L THOMSON
Alltbeag, Tighphuirt, Glencoe
Ballachulish, Argyll, PH49 4HN