Sealink Memories

cambria49
5th March 2008, 23:29
John Hendy and I are currently gathering stories and anecdotes (both amusing and otherwise) from former Sealink personnel for inclusion in a new Ferry Publications book called 'Sealink Memories.'

There must be a treasure trove of such material and if there are any former Sealink people who would like to share their personal reminiscences with a wider audience, we'd be delighted to hear from them.

We can be contacted by e-mail on:
johnhendy479@btinternet.com
justin@sealink-holyhead.com

With many thanks in advance for your kind assistance,
John Hendy (Ferry Publications)
Justin Merrigan (sealink-holyhead.com)

Vindi Phil
8th March 2008, 17:22
I served on the B.R. / British Ferries / Sealink Ferries / Stena Line from Dover from 1964 to 1990 when I was declared "permanently unfit for sea". I recall one particularly funny incident which concerned a Purser on the "Shepperton Ferry" when on the Sleeper service to Dunkirk. I will refer to the Purser by his nick-name of Dan Druff. This particular evening at about 2350 hours the BT Police and Immigration came aboard to hand over a returnee to the Purser who had had a tiring period on duty and his signature was required on the paperwork. He asked the returnee, "What is your nationality?". To which he mumbled, "Morrocan". The Purser replied, "American?". "No, Morrocan" was the reply. The purser repeated, "American". Again he said, "No, Morrocan". Finally he accepted his nationality, signed for him and went to the next passenger. This passenger was a big Scot who required a cabin for the crossing. He was required to give his name and said "Mackenzie". The Purser asked, "Is that with an "I" or an "E"?" and received the reply, "Aye". With an "I" said the Purser. "Eeeh" said the Scot. The purser then scratched it out and rewrote "E". He confirmed, "With an "E" ". "Aye" says the Scot which then wound up the Purser. "Good God man, don't you know how to spell your name?" and threw away his pen to laughter from all around him. He then walked out of his office to cool down. At this point the Assistant Purser was approached by a lady who asked him a question and he swiftly directed her to the Purser informing her with a smile that the Purser's name was Mr. Dan Druff and he was just along the deck. She saw him and shouted to him on a crowded deck, "I say, Mr. Druff, Mr. Dan Druff, can I see you?" To which many passengers started to laugh at his name of "Dan Druff".
Regards,
Vindi Phil.

cambria49
8th March 2008, 20:14
LOL, thanks for that Phil - good days eh!!

May I just ask folk to send their tales to any of the email addresses indicated in my message above, rather than post them on this page? We would like to keep the material original!!

Many thanks!!

Tmac1720
9th March 2008, 21:37
Ahoy Cambers,

Do you want shipyard tales about the ferries or just operational stories ?

Hawkeye
10th March 2008, 04:13
Hi Cambria
Whilst I have never sailed for Sealink (I was in the other camp), many of my present shipmates have, so I'll see with they want to give any stories.

billyboy
10th March 2008, 07:04
afraid i was there when it was stiill "british railways". Did the Newhaven to Dieppe run for a while

cambria49
10th March 2008, 08:39
Tom me auld mucker - shipyard tales relating to the railway / Sealink ships would be absolutely wonderful!!! (Thumb)

Ahoy Cambers,

Do you want shipyard tales about the ferries or just operational stories ?

cambria49
10th March 2008, 08:40
Good on you!!! (Thumb)

Hi Cambria
Whilst I have never sailed for Sealink (I was in the other camp), many of my present shipmates have, so I'll see with they want to give any stories.

cambria49
10th March 2008, 08:41
That's okay Billyboy - we'll make the connection - send what you can!!!! (Thumb)

afraid i was there when it was stiill "british railways". Did the Newhaven to Dieppe run for a while

meechingman
16th March 2008, 13:29
My brother will have a heap of stories to tell. He was on all the Newhaven Dieppe ships from the Londres as an apprentice to 2nd (I think) engineer on Senlac until Robbing of Sherwood sold it.

Sadly, he's in hospital following major surgery, but I'll get him to tell me and I'll pass on the tales. Little snippets like the old man ringing down for Full on leaving the East Quay and getting the Brighton up to 19kts in the harbour!

Andy

billyboy
17th March 2008, 11:07
ha ha ha! ... would have loved to have seen that Andy. bet there was some wash down through the narrows that day

billyboy
17th March 2008, 11:18
We had a relief skipper both on the Londres and the Brighton. we nicknamed him the cowboy. Down in the boiler rooms we always knew when he was aboard by the sudden jolt when the ship came alongside.

Had a new lad join the londres. he had washed his white shirt and wanted to dry it. I said put it in the fiddley on a hanger after shut down in Dieppe. he did, But, the dummy had put it on a black plastic hanger. just a black and white mess on the grating 10 minutes later.

There was a relief mate came aboard. tough liverpudlian man. he was angry to see a rather camp steward with shoulder length blond hair standing down aft running his fingers through his golden locks> he called out to the steward from the boat deck "Hey, what do you think you are doing" the steward replied "waiting for a nice big man like you ducky" (the rest of us off watch disappeared a bit quick) the face on the mate was redder than the port light.

cambria49
17th March 2008, 11:34
Fantastic!!! But errr, trying to be diplomatic now, if you want to send memories through for publication, try not posting them on here first as I would like to keep things original!!!! :)

I have a great story of the Stena Cambria entering Newhaven in a Force 9 with a Holyhead master - but you'll have to wait for the book!!

Robin Craythorn
17th March 2008, 11:53
The book is a good idea, I look forward to reading it. I was with Sealink from 1973 - 1989 ( 14 years as Master) on the Weymouth/Portsmouth to Channel Islands/Cherbourg services. I have many happy memories though the close down of our route in 1986 was dramatic to say the least. Will put a few stories together over the next few days, and forward to them on your listed website.
Regards Robin Craythorn

cambria49
17th March 2008, 12:35
Many thanks Robin, have sent you a PM. Some good ships to think of there!!

The book is a good idea, I look forward to reading it. I was with Sealink from 1973 - 1989 ( 14 years as Master) on the Weymouth/Portsmouth to Channel Islands/Cherbourg services. I have many happy memories though the close down of our route in 1986 was dramatic to say the least. Will put a few stories together over the next few days, and forward to them on your listed website.
Regards Robin Craythorn

jason1234
17th March 2008, 23:01
Your post Robin is very good

billyboy
18th March 2008, 01:47
Put me down for a copy of the book. look forward to a good read. will send anything else to your e mail address.

cambria49
18th March 2008, 02:44
Billy, thank you so much!!! Look forward to hearing from you on email!!

CAPT.BOB
12th December 2008, 16:59
Good Day to all "Railway Children," I'm delighted to see there are some still collecting the pension and remembering the days before "British Ferries" and "Stena." Halcion Days!but remember there were other routes apart from Dover and Hollyhead.We in the far north at Larne-Stranraer also found it to have been the best preparation for retirement invented and going to sea was never such fun as under the this way that way badge.

Danica
7th February 2009, 12:59
My brother will have a heap of stories to tell. He was on all the Newhaven Dieppe ships from the Londres as an apprentice to 2nd (I think) engineer on Senlac until Robbing of Sherwood sold it.

Sadly, he's in hospital following major surgery, but I'll get him to tell me and I'll pass on the tales. Little snippets like the old man ringing down for Full on leaving the East Quay and getting the Brighton up to 19kts in the harbour!

Andy

Senlac was gorgeous - such a shame I wasn't alive to see her. As everyone says, looking forward to reading that once its finished.

R396040
7th February 2009, 14:25
Senlac was gorgeous - such a shame I wasn't alive to see her. As everyone says, looking forward to reading that once its finished.

I was Chf Catering Officer on SENLAC from Jan 1974 to Oct 1976 running Newhaven to Dieppe. We had three complete crews A B C and worked 24 hours on and 48 hrs off. She was a nice looking ship. My last ship to sea after thirty years seagoing, moved on to oil rigs North Sea then Middle East.

Returning to the trend though, one trip I had a well spoken lady passenger approach me nearing Newhaven. She asked if I was responsible for toilets throughout the passenger accommodation and I admitted that it came under my brief. My thoughts at first were that she was a Green,worrying that we flushed sewage directly into the pristine Channel, I assured her that no that wasnt the case and all sewage went to a tank down below and was emptied ashore on a regular basis. She then suprised me by asking if she could see the tank. I said it wasnt possible and why did she want to do so. She then informed me her husband had lost his false teeth down one of the toilets whilst suffering a bout of mal de mer. I sympathised but said it just wasnt possible and the poor man returned home toothless..

Stuart Henderson
France

Danica
7th February 2009, 16:12
I was Chf Catering Officer on SENLAC from Jan 1974 to Oct 1976 running Newhaven to Dieppe. We had three complete crews A B C and worked 24 hours on and 48 hrs off. She was a nice looking ship. My last ship to sea after thirty years seagoing, moved on to oil rigs North Sea then Middle East.

Great stuff! She's now sailing round Greece if I'm not mistaken as Express Apollon, with a few more decks than back in the 70s!

meechingman
7th February 2009, 23:06
Just Apollon now, Danica, running from Bari to Albania and looking very much like she used to, just the usual extra aft extensions to the deck. Looks much better back with a blue hull!

Stuart, you might have met my late brother Barry Gilbert, during your time on board. He was 2nd Eng most of the time.

I got involved with catering on Senlac, but not until 1984, long after you'd left. Working shoreside, it was my job to try and keep track of the complex paper trails that showed where things were going on board. Tricky, until they let me use the pile of spares to build a duplicate computer system and we could just back up the data on one of the removable drives, take it ashore and see it all on screen.

R396040
8th February 2009, 10:40
Just Apollon now, Danica, running from Bari to Albania and looking very much like she used to, just the usual extra aft extensions to the deck. Looks much better back with a blue hull!

Stuart, you might have met my late brother Barry Gilbert, during your time on board. He was 2nd Eng most of the time.

I got involved with catering on Senlac, but not until 1984, long after you'd left. Working shoreside, it was my job to try and keep track of the complex paper trails that showed where things were going on board. Tricky, until they let me use the pile of spares to build a duplicate computer system and we could just back up the data on one of the removable drives, take it ashore and see it all on screen.

Hello there,
Yes your brothers name does ring a bell, sorry to hear he has crossed the bar. I think he might be on a group photo I have somewhere when I arranged a coach trip to Beefeaters/Gordons distillery in London. Very good day out I recall/ I had to go straight on to Dover to catch Senlac as she had been transferred temporarily because of a strike. I have heard from a couple of others from those days in the past. I lived in Seaford in those days,great place..
Best wishes
Sttuart H

meechingman
12th February 2009, 21:09
If you could find that photo and recall a few details and names, maybe, it would make a great item for the Our Newhaven website - www.ournewhaven.org.uk

Cheers
Andy

sarnarea
27th February 2009, 11:39
Any idea of when this book is likely to be published ?

R396040
28th February 2009, 11:51
If you could find that photo and recall a few details and names, maybe, it would make a great item for the Our Newhaven website - www.ournewhaven.org.uk

Cheers
Andy

Hi Andy,
I am in Marbella at presenr on three week break and havent been on line. When I return home I will try and find photo of Gordons Gin visit.
Stuart Henderson

Grendel
29th March 2009, 01:37
My Father was ports manager for sealink, and has many amusing stories he tells, I will pass on the contact details.
Grendel

Fred Wood
31st March 2009, 11:33
My Father was ports manager for sealink, and has many amusing stories he tells, I will pass on the contact details.
Grendel

Which port was he at Grendel. Maybe he knows my old man?

Grendel
2nd April 2009, 21:09
he was the ports manager for most of the ports. he was based in London- then Ashford, his name is Jim Ashby.

Fred Wood
3rd April 2009, 14:55
Ask him if he knows John Wood, Ports Director for Sealink and then SeaCo.

Grendel
3rd April 2009, 23:21
will do.

cambria49
3rd January 2010, 12:47
Gents, just to advise, this project is still underway - indeed work on running order is currently underway. So, please feel free to drop me an email at justin@sealink-holyhead.com with any contributions you may have.

speedkiller
30th September 2010, 20:01
Just Apollon now, Danica, running from Bari to Albania and looking very much like she used to, just the usual extra aft extensions to the deck. Looks much better back with a blue hull!


Today the ship sailed for it's last voyage to Aliaga (Turkey) to be broken up!

meechingman
1st October 2010, 22:38
That's sad news, but thanks for letting us know. At least she had a good innings, over 37 years, more than most of our Newhaven ships. Any news of her sisters, ex Hengist and Horsa. They're a year older.

speedkiller
2nd October 2010, 15:44
Her sisters continue serving their lines without problems.

This is the site of the operating company of hengist http://www.ventourissealines.gr/index.asp?a_id=159.It has some photos of the ship!The ships is in excellent condition and the most people that travel it talk for it with the best words!

Horsa on the other hand as they say is in worse condition than hengist but still stands decently.http://apostolossphotos.fotopic.net/c850685_49.html

I would also like to inform you that superferry II (ex Prince Laurent) had recently a quite serious crash on the port of Tinos.Now it is at syros on drydock for repairs!

44-002
16th October 2012, 12:41
The book was published in November last year.

expats
30th March 2013, 14:36
From 1975 until 1982 I was on the train ferries Harwich-Zeebrugge....I served on the Suffolk, Norfolk and then on Freightliners....

The old Suffolk was always referred to on VHF, by the 'flash' Townsend Thoresen boats, as the Golden Hind....

There were some real characters Big H. (Keeble), 'Dutchy' Holland, Lennie Smailes, the list goes on...

Alan Rawlinson
8th August 2013, 18:30
Have just sent a contribution for Vol 2 (under consideration it seems) to Justin, covering a few years in Heysham Harbour. Pity we have to tone it down a bit!!