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Author Archives: Peter Hewitson

13. Townsville

My transfer to Townsville was for two years and after saying “yes” to the VIS manager Ken Stone, things started to move pretty quickly. There was not much time for goodbyes so it was rather an awkward situation when it came time to leave. I said goodbye to Tuhi and the gang, packed my things […]

12. Australia

The profession I had pursued for the past nine years had taken me to all continents and many countries. I had loved every minute of it and could not imagine myself doing any other job. I could move from one company to another at will as there was a high demand for radio officers at […]

11. Working Freelance

The telegram from Mr DeKonning said go to Sheerness and join M/V Nahshon. Very cryptic, so I rang him and confirmed the vessel was an Israeli registered ship berthed at Sheerness. It was 19th Feb 1968 only ten days after I had left Marconi’s and I was on a train south. It seemed to always […]

10. Civil War

The Austin mini had to go I decided after I triumphantly passed my driving licence. The car I had my eye on was at the front of the show room in Fishguard. It was a canary yellow Triumph Vitesse, 2ltr six cylinder 2-door coupe. My father and I went in for a test drive. Wow […]

9. Hollybank

I arrived in Hull at the dead of night, drizzling rain and cold. It was Monday 9th January 1967 around 8pm when I climbed up the gangway of the M/V Hollybank. Escorted by the officer of the watch, I made my way to the radio officers quarters. Too tired to do anything else I crashed […]

8. South American Adventure

After the Empress of Canada, I was posted to the M/V Crispin, a Booth Line vessel which was based in New York and sailed between Canada, the Caribbean Islands and Brazil. The ship hardly ever came to the UK so she would be my home for the next 12 months. At only 19 years of […]

7. Empress of Canada

After three trips on the M/V Baron Kinnaird from Liverpool to Tampa and back, Marconi’s gave me a months leave. My parents were of course suitably impressed and my status rose higher. The pedestal was raised a few more notches. I bought them a new fridge and a new colour TV replacing the old B&W […]

6. Sea-Going Employment

My cousin David had given me one of his radio officer’s uniforms and my mother had altered it to fit me as David was a good deal taller than I. It was an expensive black doeskin double-breasted jacket and trousers and the cap fitted perfectly. The sleeves were emblazoned with one gold stripe with green […]

5. Fishguard

The pub was going nowhere and our family were all sick of living in the city, so the next move was to Fishguard in Pembrokeshire, Southwest Wales. We had somehow bought a house near the Strumble Head lighthouse overlooking the Irish Sea. The green rolling hills and winding laneways with blackberry hedgerows was a breath […]

4. Ashton-Under-Lyne

My father had always dreamed of owning a pub in the country, having a variety of cheeses on the counter and serving a nice drop of ale to a customer.  Suddenly without much warning, we were moving to Ashton-under-lyne to a pub on the corner of a dirty street, opposite a cinema, with another pub […]