Recently I had the pleasure to host an ol' seadog Les Nixon, better remembered as Kiwi Les, on Shaw Savill ships and probably others too.
Les and I first met on Arawa in 1970, but we also sailed on Southern Cross (1971) and Northern Star (1972-3).
Kiwi, who was senior steward, worked with Shaw Savill for almost 25 years, on many of the cargo vessels and passenger ships, even staying with some of the cargo ships transferred from Shaw Savill to Royal Mail on the South American run.

He worked on 59 ships in total with various lines, but mostly within the Furniss Withy group. His entire working career was at sea, and if truth be known, at the age of 82, he is still very much all at sea.
When Les suggested he visit NZ this year, and asked if I had a berth for him, told him I would swing a hammock on the deck for him, to make him feel at home.

He was with me 10 days, every evening we 'swung the lantern' to the wee sma' oors and enjoyed many a (bottle) G+T, ice and slice - he even introduced me to Fever-Tree tonic water, which I had never heard of!
Since returning to London a few days ago, he has phoned me twice, for short call (about 60 mins) to relate how wonderful his trip was to New Zealand, and is already planning the next trip!

I introduced him to the Irish group, Celtic Thunder, which he enjoyed very much, but had never heard of them. Arranged a DVD for him featuring the song "Home from the Sea" - he is now in love with CT!!

Les, has lived most of his life, when not at sea, in an apartment in Canning Town, close to the once famous Seaman' Mission Anchor House, where I have stayed frequently in the 70's, although Les was always away at sea, when I was in residence.

Les asked me today, if I could post something online, he is computer illiterate (as I am too) but he would love to hear from anyone he sailed with over the years. He uses Whatsapp for communicating, so I would be happy to put you in touch with him, either contact me here, or email me:

Thank you,

Jamie, the Scottish Purser, Shaw Savill passenger ships 1967-1973