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Thread: Just David Francis (Cullen) dropping in for a few minutes

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    Default Just David Francis (Cullen) dropping in for a few minutes

    Hey! No! I am not a phantom, but I have reached the Grand old age of 76? Written a few articles about my time on the Great ships. Always I was in Hotel services, from the Castle ships, P &O and Cunard. From the early days on the old ship, to the spectacular liners as the HMS: Queen Elizabeth II.

    If it was even possible by using a Time Machine, I would go back and live my life on all over again on the ships, but now I have settled down in the United States. In 1980 I even became an American Citizen and live with my Southern California wife in the West San Fernando Valley?

    I have lost track of many of my friends, owing to my archaic series of computers crashing on me? Today I have Windows 10 specifically made for me, which is a gaming machine. Its so fast, however I don't use it for Video Games, as for me to trace my ancestors. It stunned me to learn after investigating my family ancient history, that I am not an Englishman at all? Tracing my ancestors back prior to the Battle of Hastings (1066) that through many sources, including the website "Ancestry" that my great Ancestors arrived in Britain to Conquer Us, was a consolidation of the Queen of Norway and the King of Denmark and the Duke of Normandy, France in 964 and even further back.

    So anyway it would be nice to find some old crew mates. who were on the Island Princes, Pacific Princess (where I met my wife on the 'LOVE BOAT' TV series. Then their is Sun Princess and many more. I have even worked on a German Ship, 'The Gisella Venmann" as Captains Tiger?

    Some old chaps might remember that I run the Crew Entertainment, on the Island and Pacific Princess. The money I collected from the crew slot machines, was used for crew trips to Disneyland and other fun places. Then at night, at sea, got crew members involved in General Knowledge quizzes, and other games to win money and other prices. But then you could win a 'booby' prize as two day old hamburger? Even the Captain and his wife (if on board was invited) all or any officers, purserettes and even an invitation to certain passengers, specifically movie star and other celebrities?


    This is like a forward to the vessels I have worked on, but the interesting story of what jobs I did after my last days on the ships, to live in America. I have authored numerous Cartographic Books (13) about the West coast History of early maps. A few manuscripts of Horror Novels that were stolen from me? But my last unpublished book is about a job I had. I took a 3 year course, compressed into 1 1/2 years to become a Paralegal. I became a researcher for a legal firm as an investigator? When the leading attorney died, I went free lance and wrote a Manual of 500 pages, on how to locate Missing Heirs and make a small fortune in America, Canada, Britain and many foreign countries? Its all there, the pages of Judicial Documents of which are based on English Common Law.

    I believe its the only book written on the process of tracing missing heirs, contracts and everything you need to trace somebody, who has a small fortune coming to them, of what you can collect 15-30% from the government. I traced a person who had no idea where the money was waiting? My share was $7.000.00.

    I think I am going to write a story about my life, even to the fact that was hired as a steward on a yacht traveling to the Galapagos chain of Islands?
    Last edited by Dave Francis; 26th September 2019 at 07:09 PM.

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    Default Re: Just David Francis (Cullen) dropping in for a few minutes

    Thank you Dave a nice Post and I do hope that you will continue in this vein.
    I also hope that you will go ahead with that Book you talk of,i am sure it will be one of the many out there,and also very interesting.
    I have wanted to do similar,but cannot seem to get the start,must be the Age thing LOL
    Anyway enjoy the site and keep looking in.
    Cheers
    Senior Member and Friend of this Website

    R697530

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    Default Re: Just David Francis (Cullen) dropping in for a few minutes

    Hi Dave.
    We used to have the real captain of the love boat on here a few years ago, a Welsh bloke, nice bloke, bought a restaurant in Miami I think,
    Haven't heard from him for a few years.
    Des

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    Default Re: Just David Francis (Cullen) dropping in for a few minutes

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Francis View Post
    Hey! No! I am not a phantom, but I have reached the Grand old age of 76? Written a few articles about my time on the Great ships. Always I was in Hotel services, from the Castle ships, P &O and Cunard. From the early days on the old ship, to the spectacular liners as the HMS: Queen Elizabeth II.....................................


    I think I am going to write a story about my life, even to the fact that was hired as a steward on a yacht traveling to the Galapagos chain of Islands?
    "I worked on QE2 1972-86 and again 1992 to 2004. In the interim I was working on board Cunard Princess. I also live in the United States now. When I worked for Cunard I was a Purser. You might remember me."
    Last edited by Chris Allman; 2nd October 2019 at 06:32 PM.

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    Default Re: Just David Francis (Cullen) dropping in for a few minutes

    Probably the only one thing I have done in my life that was wrong, regarding the ships was the Accommodation Supervisor wanted somebody to paint the mirrors although the MV: Orsova Christmas scenes. Well being a bit of an artist, I volunteered as it took me out of the restaurant to spend days painting huge murals of Santa Claus on his sleigh and his reindeer and different scenes. Much to children and adult passengers delight on our way to Sidney, Australia?

    So anyway I eventually run out of water colors and we were loss for anything to finish the job. Then the ships carpenter offered me regular paint which I readily accepted, not knowing the consequences to come? Best as I can remember at my advanced age today, I placed the regular paint underneath my bunk.

    The first thing I knew something was wrong with me, was we about to dock in Southampton. Passengers were disembarking and we were sitting at the pier waiting for passengers to embark on the next part of the Itinerary, the 'The Cherry Blossom' voyage to Japan & other Oriental other locations.

    The great old ship was more or less empty, Stewards like me had finished their work cleaning Cabins and Staterooms and were going ashore except for galley cooks and all those involved in mandatory activities, getting ready for the next onslaught of passengers. I had finished my work, but I cannot remember if I had time off or waiting on my tables for afternoon teas? Thought if I went down to the galley, I could get something to eat as I thought sickly feeling would go away. Hadn't been feeling great for a number of days, so I would go an see the current ships Doctor? The cook I knew was readying Lobster Tails and ask if he had a couple for lunch and he agreed.

    I was sitting in the crew mess-room, with an empty plate in front of me and talking to other Stewards, when the Lobster Tails I had eaten suddenly left my stomach and landed on the floor. I was sitting on the floor still throwing-up, when the Doctor arrived and after a quick examination was picked up by a couple of Stewards and taken to the ships small hospital.

    I remember the Doctor saying you cannot travel with us and you will be delivered to an ambulance waiting on the Quay and conveyed to the local hospital. Taken off the ship I noticed the ambulance people and the hospital nurses wore masks, which seems strange to me? Remember this was in the late 60's and medicine still had issues?

    The doctors came to me while I was on the gurney and ask me a bunch of questions, then they ex-rayed my upper part of my body? This was one big mystery to me, then the head Doctor came in and after the examination stated you my have Tuberculosis? All I knew about Tuberculosis was to the lay person, it was called TB. Even knew from old Westerns it had been labelled 'Consumption' and people died from it eventually. Even Jim Bowie, one of the hero's at the "Alamo", who was coughing his heart out had the disease, spitting blood into his bandanna in 1836 before the massacre by Mexico's General Santa Anna. That Saved Bowie a terrible agonizing death by the fluids building up in his lungs.

    I remember several doctors standing over me and one holding a syringe and sticking into my rump. Afterwards it felt like they had injected a walnut below the skin? They consulted with me and asked me, if I had exposed myself to chemicals on board ship? I told them that we I had run out of water color paint, substituting it for regular ships paint?

    Not sure it was a day or what as once again in an ambulance, driven into the greenness of Hampshire County to what was considered a 'Fever Hospital'. There I was admitted into a isolated ward, cut off from the rest of the premises fed on drugs and some kind of substance that looked like chocolate bird seed. It was the most evil tasting stuff, that came in individual packets. I think I was held in that hospital for three or four months, when they decided I was able to leave.

    I went home to my Mum's and Step Dad's on the outskirts of London and went to see several Specialists, at the Cottage hospital. Cannot remember exactly what happened but I received a Check from the Merchant Navy Establishment as it was called back then, saying I could no longer be employed on any ships, because of the fact that I had caught a strain of Tuberculosis. Of course I was utterly devastated by this reply and decided in my own mind to return, as that was the only skill I knew as a Steward?

    I felt healthy now and full of beans; certainly not sick any more? So I concocted my own scheme of things, to return to the best life I ever knew?

    What is told now are facts and only a few people knew of what I did, to return to the sea? I took one of the letters from the Doctors and copying it, except about the possibility that I had TB and changed the wording. Then with desperate hope in my heart and changed the envelope and with a potato I changed the dates. I said that I could return to the sea? I didn't have a car at that time, but caught a bus on Sunday night and walked a long the silent road, where the Merchant Navy Establishment had its headquarters and slipped up the stairs with the letter with that I had forged, addressed and found a place in the mail box and slipped it into the slot beside the actual letter inlet? Prior to this I had made the letter a bit dirty and hoped for the best.

    Didn't know if I would qualify for a short time in Wormwood Scrubbs prison or get off with a warning? But people do bad things when they are desperate? So I sat around in my Mum's home drinking tea waiting for the outcome? Would the next person appearing my Mum's door, be a policeman; a detective? One day after another past and my sleep was interrupted during the night, worrying for that knock on the door?

    Then that knock at the door was 7.00 in the morning on a cold, wintry day. My Step Dad Frank was already at work as Supervisor at the United Dairies. Checking the milkman who had turned up for work. My dearest, departed Mum without fail, had been scrubbing the front door steps and the polished deck that led up to entrance. I was sitting on my bed, wondering what the outcome would be and then gathering the courage to overlook the street from the second floor? Saw the motorcycle sitting on the street outside the house. My family had lived in this old house since the 19th century, but it keep the cold out in the winter months? So I was saying to myself was this a motorcycle cop, delivering a warrant for my arrest, to my Mother?

    As the figure walked away from the front doors, I finally saw it was a young man in Post Office livery, with big leather boots? I really didn't know what to think, as my my mind was exploding with scary thoughts, that was suddenly severed by my Mum shouting up the stairs that it was from the Merchant Navy.

    I crept down the stairs over the one that always creaked and my Mum handed me the letter. It wasn't a normal envelope? Had the Board of Trade found out, through the hospital, the Doctors? Finally I opened the large envelope and train ticket slipped out, while I read the contents of the letter.

    I was to report to Southampton pier # , to the ship 'Southern Cross' a Shaw Seville Ship. The Train ticket would take me to all the way there, but I had to get to Charing Cross Train Station.

    So all that worry and even anxiety. I did one other very strange, I changed my name? Why I really have no idea why. I changed my name. Something stupid, but it was legal? I liked the name 'Cullen' because of a TV detective crime show. So I used that by going to a lawyer.

    It was my new name when I finally met my American wife, on the 'Love Boat' (Island Princess) years later.

    Living today in Southern California, on the West side of the San Fernando Valley is more quiet side of Los Angeles. At 76 my favorite thing is to play the 'Super Lottery' but right now I am in Bloomington, Indiana where I volunteered to look originally looked after my spouses Grandmother who just survived a Brain Aneurysm. Before Christmas I be catching that jet home finally?

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