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Thread: RMS Windsor Castle - Merchant Navy stories

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    Default RMS Windsor Castle - Merchant Navy stories

    Hi all, good morning
    My darling Daddy passed away on Wednesday 10th November this week. I already ache from missing him. One of his defining and proud moments was his service for only a few years in the Merchant Navy in the 1960s, and he always fondly recalls his travels to South Africa and New Zealand. My sister and I would be very grateful if anyone can share any information however small, to hold tight knowing a bit more of his adventures - I think it was mid 60s or thereabouts. He remembers so many naughty times in Cape Town and Delmonico's, getting sun stroke snoozing on PE beach, and crossing the equator.
    In such an important time of the year, in remembrance and of our much loved father, I thank you all

    His name is John Gary Sowerby, he was originally from Cheltenham.

    Rach Wenzel xxx

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    Default Re: RMS Windsor Castle - Merchant Navy stories

    Hello Rachel
    Well first up may i send my Sincere Condolences to you and any of the other Family on the sad loss of you dear Father recently.
    Its always a hard time to cope with and get through, and will stay with one forever.
    But be strong and knowing that he will always be by your side watching over you.
    May he now have Gentle Winds to take him to places he so loved and enjoyed in his Younger Years
    God Bless
    Sincerely
    Last edited by Doc Vernon; 12th November 2021 at 09:11 PM.
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    Default Re: RMS Windsor Castle - Merchant Navy stories

    Hi Rachel
    Dont know if you have his Seamans Discharge Book etc, but here in case is the Link for it, if you have not, may be of interest to you.


    https://discovery.nationalarchives.g...ils/r/C8540760

    Reference: BT 372/2414/174
    Description: R758421 SOWERBY J G 08/11/1938 CHELTENHAM
    Date: 1913 - 1972
    Held by: The National Archives, Kew
    Former reference in its original department: R758421
    Legal status: Public Record(s)
    Closure status: Open Document, Open Description
    Last edited by Doc Vernon; 12th November 2021 at 09:11 PM.
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  4. Thanks Rachel Wenzel thanked for this post
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    Default Re: RMS Windsor Castle - Merchant Navy stories

    Me Again Rachel
    Well so many stories of the past on the Ships from all the Lads, and if you are with us for a time (hope so) then trawl through the various Posts , i am sure you will come across many to keep your interest.

    As for the Union Castle Liners, well as i recall the best period to have sailed on them was during the 1952 and 1962 period, as that was when they were in their peak, so to speak.
    You Dad was on the Windsor at a good time and would have as you mention had some really good and some i guess bad times. I was on the UCL Ships as well during those Years and can say were the best of my life!
    Yes many ports on the Mail Run, as they called those Ships, of course there was also the Round African Run (Intermediate) which i actually preferred, as there were many more Ports on both East and West Coasts of Africa.

    But the Mail run was as said a good run, with a duration of Six Weeks from Southampton to Durban and back, then it was a two week paid duration in Southampton, until your next trip, unless you wanted to work by and get more Money.
    Many also did not want two Weeks so did a quick turn around if there was a ship available , which most times there was, with the UCL having a very large fleet .

    Stops off at the Islands going towards Cape Town were fantastic, Ships stopping off at Las Palmas, Madeira, Ascension and a few others, then it was Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, East London, Durban .
    Many good times had in most ports but with of Course Cape Town and Durban standing out by far!


    The old Del Monico a haven for all Seaman that stopped off there, with lots going on and Oh! so many naughty things one got up to, too much to tell on site i fear! LOL
    There was also other places visited as well, some really sleasy but then we Seaman were all for all that then . Eeeek!!

    Many great Beaches there as well, and Sea Point being the pick i guess for Seaman, also down to Muizenberg, where i too got so badly Sunburnt!

    Then there is Durban, another Nightclub joint, where we all used to hang out going to Point Road down the Dock Area and the Night Club there, again lots of naughty things we got up to which again i feel is too much to post here! LOL

    Port Elizabeth and East London were mush quieter places, so one could sort of recoup and just relax on some of the lovely Beaches on offer.
    My pick was East London, with its lovely little Beach very clean and always lots of good Lookers!

    Southampton on the other end of the World was to me one of the best places during that era, with so much one could do and see, besides getting Blotto in so many of the Pubs that they once had! The Juniper Berry (which still is there) was a haven for Seaman and especially the Lads as we were know (The Lavender Mob) from the UCL Ships.
    Many a good and rough time had in that place, and also so many good Lookers found in there, but one had to be careful not to get the wrong Lady ( Men that looked so much like Women) LOL But they were at most good sorts and kept to themselves, as long as you did not show interest!

    Wonder if your Dad ever mentioned a place called the Checkpoint there, it was so well known and visited regularly by many, it was a sort of Cafe the was Downstairs where we mostly met up with out Lady Friends and played the old Wall Juke Boxes!

    Oh yes . so many memories that one can tell, but Oh! it would take all Week possibly longer!
    So for now i hope this may put a little info into your Memories ,and keep those of your dear Fathers alive. He was too Young to go ! I am 82 and still feeling like a spring chicken, and i know many on here feel the same !
    Stay strong Rachel, and hole on the the Memories Tight!!
    Cheers
    Last edited by Doc Vernon; 12th November 2021 at 09:15 PM.
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    Default Re: RMS Windsor Castle - Merchant Navy stories

    Hi Rachel.
    A sad time for you and your family at the passing of your Dad, my sincere condolences to you all.
    May he find fair winds and calm seas.
    Des


    Lest We Forget MN Flag243.jpg
    Lest We Forget

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    Default Re: RMS Windsor Castle - Merchant Navy stories

    Rachel, sorry to hear of your loss.

    UCL in those days where do you begin?
    Like Vernon I could spend a week telling stories of what happened, such stories that only those who sailed with UCL or had been at sea would understand.

    Events that today would most likely see us locked up, and maybe the key thrown away.
    But they were wonderful times and I am sure your dad would have had you in stiches laughing at some of the antics we got up to.

    The grog, the ladies and so much more, wonderful times which I have for my own personal stories written.
    Happy daze John in Oz.

    Life is too short to blend in.

    John Strange R737787
    World Traveller

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    Default Re: RMS Windsor Castle - Merchant Navy stories

    delmonicos.jpgdelmonicos.jpgWINDSOR CASTLE.jpg

    here is an image of delmonicos and the windsor castle

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