View Full Version : What?

Tony Morcom
2nd May 2012, 06:51 PM
We are all on this site because of the common bond of going to sea, most of us at 16 or even earlier. But imagine that you couldn't have gone to sea for whatever reason. What would you have liked to do instead and why?

John Albert Evans
2nd May 2012, 07:04 PM
My parents wanted me to be an electrician. They arranged an interview for me which i had to attend but which I failed.(Deliberately)
They had no idea that I had applied to join the merchant Navy, but when they found out they didn't stop me. When left the Navy after 7 years I joined the Police Force and stayed there of the next 22 years 19 years of which I was in the CID ending with the rank of Detective Sergeant in the No1. Regional Crime Squad ( epitomised on the TV as the Sweeny, Lots of little adventures happened to me during that time) Happy days:D

John Albert Evans

John Pruden
2nd May 2012, 07:15 PM
tony my sea time was cut short my dad was terminally ill and the 26.00 per month wasn't going to go far so i came ashore i told them in BF the same time as they ask if i wanted to be a midshipman it was a shock to both sides but i had many careers and always made good money i never swallowed the anchor the anchor swallowed me but i got a couple of more years to get to know my dad and i always looked after my mam but the sea has always been in my blood i did a lot of marine work and the rigging always came in handy? two days after coming home i was earning 180.00 per week and in 1969 that was good pay driving caterpillar tractors digging the new seaforth dock out so i have walked on the bottom of the dock 92ft deep. i have no complaints at all 1 daughter and 4 fine sons 9 grandkids and a great grandson thats me i was a plasterer for over 20 years and did a lot of national trust work. then the body packed up 5 years ago but i hope to keep winding all you lads up for a few more years yet life is great enjoy it:p:cool:JP

Captain Kong
2nd May 2012, 10:37 PM
I honestly do not know what I would have done. I went ashore for a few years when I got married, did several jobs. Steel erecting, salesman, even with a company car and expence account I didnt enjoy shore life, so went back to sea again. until retirement.

Doc Vernon
2nd May 2012, 10:41 PM
Well for me if i had another choice in life (as you know i have done all sorts haha!) but would have loved to become a Motor Cycle Racer professional,my late Dad used to in his days,and both my Brother and myself just loved it!
But as life has it,we were both dealt with other things to get through!

happy daze john in oz
3rd May 2012, 06:34 AM
Not sure, did electrical training at school and had the idea of becoming one. Dad thought I should go in the Army, but I went to sea instead. But it has been good to me being in catering, spent my working life in hospitality, never a day out of work. My brother became the electrician.

alf corbyn
3rd May 2012, 10:26 AM
when i left school i wanted to be a lollipop man as that meant i started work at 65. haha. seriously one of my teachers had traveled and lived in india for a while, and she inspired me to travel the world. so as soon as i could, i joined the merchant navy. i only wish now that i had gone as deck crew and would have probably stayed in a lot longer.

Ivan Cloherty
3rd May 2012, 01:02 PM
Never ever thought of anything else but the Merchant Navy since I first set foot upon a ship at five years old in WWII, I of course didn't realise at that time it was called the Merchant Navy, to me the ship was just a wonderous thing that had a gun on the back that looked big enough to win the war all by itself, everything looks big when your five years old, Went on a few ships as a kid when dad had the fortune to dock in Hull and it just made me more determined to go to sea, and even enhanced further on my first trip to Iceland and the Arctic regions on a deep water trawler at the age of thirteen...............what else is there?

Later in life I sometimes wished I'd been Gene Kelly as I loved dancing (and still do)

Dennis McGuckin
3rd May 2012, 02:11 PM
Guess I was around ten or twelve years old, and lived in Durham City.
Often on week ens or holidays I used to ride my bike to Newcastle-on -Tyne, about fourteen miles one way.
As in Roger Whitaker's song Durham Town, I would site on the banks and watch the ships go by.
Recall just after the end of the war going aboard the Cruiser 'Battle Axe' [amazing how I still remember the name] I was fascinated by the size of it, and all the guns.
Right then I was determined to go to sea.
Parents would not hear of it. Dad had a small electric contracting business, but for what ever reason didn't want me in it.
As mentioned in previous posts.
Mom sort of pushed me into a four year apprenticeship as baker and confectioner.
During that time I talked to an ex RN who told me. If you want to see the world join the Merchant Navy.
Just before my apprenticeship ended, I went to the UCL office in Ledenhall St, and after medical, was accepted.
Finished my time September 12-55 and was aboard the Warwick Castle Sept 19-55.
Loved ever minute of my years at sea.
My original dream was to be a cadet. But in hindsight the baking trade has served my well over the years.
So all's well that ends well.
Still mis the sea.

captain gordon whittaker
3rd May 2012, 04:50 PM
I had every intention of becoming a Veterinary, having been raised in the countryside. Instead I enquired about apprenticeship with Cunard, and joined my first ship three weeks later! No regrets.

john sutton
3rd May 2012, 06:45 PM
from a very early age I wanted to go to sea.At eleven I went to a Dr Barnados naval school with the intention of joining the RN but when the superintendant told me at 15 it was time to go to HMS Ganges and I woul have to sign a contract for 7 and 4 years I changed my mind and opted for the merch.Even at 15 I wouldnt be tied to a contract and this is how I continued for life.Never ever signed a contract,notr even a rental agreement
john sutton

Rodney Mills
3rd May 2012, 07:38 PM
Back in the mid 50s I lived in Southend-on-Sea, Essex. My leave over I would take the train to London to join a ship. The majority of fellow passengers in my compartment were businessmen commuting to the 'City'. How I envied them; starched collars, bowler hat, grey striped pants, black jacket, briefcase and reading the Times. They probably had a big house in Westcliff; wife, kids and a pedigree dog.

I served four and a half years in the M.N., glad I did, then I emigrated, first to Canada then the U.S.. Twenty-five years later I'm living in Connecticut and working in Manhatten. I didn't care if the snow was a foot deep, I'd realized a youths dream. No bowler hat thank goodness and the Wall street Journal instead of the times, but I loved it. I was the only commuter that enjoyed commuting, and I even had the dog, an English sheep dog.


happy daze john in oz
4th May 2012, 06:43 AM
You would have done well as a vet on some of the Castle ships, many of the bloods ate like animals!

captain gordon whittaker
4th May 2012, 08:39 AM
Come to think of it, I sailed with a few animals over the years, but not too many!

Colin Pook
4th May 2012, 01:59 PM
As a boy, my ambition was to work on the railway. Left school at 15 and went for an interview in Brighton. Heart broken when I failed the medical due to a perforated ear drum. Not long after went to sea, and no one, but no one ever found out that I was partly 'mutton jeff'. In 1960 missed my ship (Oarsman) in Immingham and got suspended for three months. Lived in digs in Preston and got a job in Preston railway marshalling yard. Recieved a telegram one day saying the 'Clarkeden was in the Manchester ship canal and short handed, so I joined her. Had I not, I think I could have stayed on the railway for life. Obviously not to be!!

Lou Barron
6th May 2012, 01:20 AM
I thought of being a commander of a destroyer but ended up as a deck boy

Des Taff Jenkins
6th May 2012, 05:47 AM
Hi All.
Went to school at four, by the time I was five I had built and sunk in about six tin boats, and so it went on for the next ten years, untill still as daft as when I started I left school and went to work in the local tin works at 14 but by then I was determined to go to sea, and sent away to join the Vindicatrix. If that hadn't happened I could see myself as a slave to the tin works like my forebears not a pretty picture.
Cheers Des

6th May 2012, 09:12 AM
In the NE the 3 main Industrys were Shipbuilding, Fishing, and Mining. All now gone, but at time most youngsters finished up in one of them. I wanted to go in the RN as a boy seaman at 15, but parents wouldnt sign the papers. My father wanted me in the building trade but I had no wish to finish up there. However he signed my Indentures with a company which employed an old friend of his. If had gone in the RN, in hindsight could of come out after 22 years with a pension, and carried on where I finished off at sea in the civilian side, and would no doubt have been much better off now financially. Parents think they are doing the right thing at time I suppose. I have never stood in the way of my children as regards what they wanted to do, even though I may have thought they were not doing the right thing at the time.
Regards John Sabourn.

Keith Tindell
6th May 2012, 09:30 AM
I left school in 1957 with no qualifications, and worked in a shop for a few weeks, quickly realised this was not for me, always wanted to go to sea, Dad finaly agreed, he had not wanted me to go to sea, he had had a bad time at sea, he was on HMS Suffolk and was badly injured after shelling Stavanger airport in the war. But off i went to Graves end, and had a great time at sea for seven years until a certain lady entered my life. I had taken my AB ticket in London, and had gone to a fire station as part of the ticket for fire fighting, the guy there had told us all in the class that the fire service would gladly employ us all. So on getting married joined the fire service, and served 30 years, married now for 47 years, would not change anything

Neville Roberts
6th May 2012, 01:24 PM
I always wanted to go to sea ,after watching Errol Flyn on the spanish main . but my dad wanted me to go in an office , wrong choice as it was a oil tanker company called HE MOSS, and I used to read about the ships in the war in the basement storage room. suffered 2 years at that job then joined the merch and went to the Vindi a great experience. I dont know what I would have done if not the sea as I just went with the flow and saw the end for me in the sixties ,as the planes took over the passenger trade I knew I could make a living in the states as a waiter so off I went

happy daze john in oz
7th May 2012, 06:45 AM
I thought of being a commander of a destroyer but ended up as a deck boy

Well LOu you have to start somewhere.

Tony Wilding
7th May 2012, 05:20 PM
Stepped aboard a ship for first time aged 8, SS Fort Augustus, was hooked, parents refused permission for me to go to sea, so did many pointless jobs untill i was 21, salesman, bus conductor, taxi driver, weekend work on local fishing boats, pleasure boats, at 21 off i went, no sea school, jumped straight into the engine room. no regrets.:th_thth5952deef:

John Pruden
7th May 2012, 05:45 PM
thinking back{that's all we do now} the padres in the flying{tab nab} angel did a fantastic job all over the world and still do. we all took them for granted because they were there what people they were always a kind word a feed and a smoke. and still to this day they are doing the good work looking after displaced sick and injured from all far of lands colour creed means nothing to them but to help others{bless em}.JP