Anyone interested in a Brocklebank reunion?

Tony Selman
26th June 2006, 12:09
I have thoroughly enjoyed being on this board since I found it and like so many of you I have found several former shipmates and we all have a lot in common. The Brock's thread is the most active of all the individual shipping companies and we seem to have quite a regular group of posters. It occurred to me that there could be some mileage in trying to organise a meeting where we all got together again to renew old acquaintances and make some new ones. I know there was an "official" Brock's reunion some years ago which I did not attend and I have no wish whatever to offend anyone if another such a thing is in the planning stage, but I thought I would test the water to see whether the posters on here think it is a good idea or not.

If we give enough advance notice and we spread the word amongst our ex-Brock's contacts who are not necessarily posters on here surely we can muster up enough to justify a get together? What does eveyone think? I very loosely had the following plan in mind. Arrive Friday afternoon, drinks and an informal meal on Friday evening. Hopefully some form of visit or the like on Saturday followed by a more formal dinner on Saturday evening, disperse on Sunday morning. Allowing for the geographic spread of posters we need to pick somewhere relatively central so that the Scots don't have to travel to Cornwall etc and my opening shot is somewhere along the M62 corridor covering the ports of Liverpool, Manchester across to the Humber.
Some of you are members of The Radio Officers' Association and my business actually prints QSO. The annual get-together of R/O's gives us something of a template. We are fully capable of printing agendas, name badges and all the rest of the requirements for such a meeting and I would be pleased to take on the organisation of the event if there is sufficent interest.

I have no pre-conceived idea of timetable but we need to give everyone plenty of time to plan ahead and I would suggest some time in the autumn if there is enough interest.

26th June 2006, 12:21
Am interested

26th June 2006, 14:12
A great idea!!! Sorry can't support it physically though being over here in Canada and not due to visit UK untill "07.I hope all ex Brocks get behind it, over there ,after all we worked for and had a lot of great times with the Best Sipping Company out of UK.


26th June 2006, 15:20
Hi Tony
I conduct many Sunday Reunion Services for various Royal Naval ship associations of which I am Chaplain and, as a result, I tend to travel quite a bit from my Devon base, venturing as far afield as Llandudno, Blackpool, the Isle of Wight and Eastbourne. Some Hotel groups are happy to provide special weekend packages for this sort of function at reduced rates. Can't advertise them publicly but if interested drop me a PM and I will let you have further details.
Peter4447 (*))

Derek Roger
26th June 2006, 15:52
A good idea Tony ; I missed the last one held in Bootle. Am retired now but have no immediate plans to visit UK againthis year ; but would be interested . My brother attended the last one and I shall ask if he remembers who organised it as it would be a help to get a list of ex Brocks who may be interested .
I would think Liverpool would be my choice location .

John Leary
26th June 2006, 17:07

What a great idea. Would be very interested in attending.
Best regards
John (Applause)

26th June 2006, 19:54
ref Tony's reference to Brocklebank popularity among posters this does seem ironic given that they as a company never seemed to feature large in the popular press or shipping magazines in contrast to Blue Funnel, Clan etc. etc.
Apart from the official two volume history by Gibson the only books I have ever seen with any special reference to Brocklebank are that by Haws and the illustrated Clarkson/Fenton Anchor Brocklebank volume, although there was a potted istory in Sea Breezes which was lkargely culled from the Gibson books.
(Incidentally the late author's son runs a marine offshore consultancy here in Aberdeen.)
I have seen it reported that they inevitably launched their ships from Wm. Hamilton at Port Glasgow without any ceremony or subsequent address or speeches following the event.
Given the above it surely says much for the loyalty, which works, and mostly did work, both ways, that there is such an affection and respect for the company.
I am sure we all had our ups and downs, "never again on this ship , never going back next trip etc. " but overall the impression seems to have been that the company looked after their personnel and given a fair crack they were always willing to meet halfway, or even further in certain circumstances, as has often been related by members.
In ones working career, often in a number of different industries or employers, there are inevitably some that stand out as being something special. I can count myself fortunate that having been employed by Scotts' of Greenock, Brocklebank and John Swire I can only say that in my opinion these do fully meet this criteria.

john g
27th June 2006, 13:39
I went to the re-union in Bootle some years ago and must admit it was very well attended. I have the program somewhere with the list of guests and the name of the guy who organised it , yes it was at the Town Hall but I doubt such a big venue would be necessary so many years on. I will post the details, being local ,as a good few of us were, I didn't get involved in the daily activities but I believe there was a visit to the Albert Dock where the "picture man " did a roaring trade. Perhapes we should bear in mind at the last re union Brocks were fresh in peoples minds 15 or so years on it may be different but still a great idea...count me in....john g

27th June 2006, 18:36
Brock Reunion

Would be interested, depending on when and where.


27th June 2006, 19:06
The reunion sounds a good idea to me, so please count me in - even though I seem to "pre date" most of the Brocks people who post here.

I think that the Liverpool - Hull corridor is favourite; if it's the Liverpool end I good probably get some local press/ radio support if required.

I suspect that the trick is how to move to the next stage


Tony Selman
27th June 2006, 19:16
I think how we move it forward, if at all, is very much dependant on numbers. We have to leave this thread open for a while as people may be on holiday and maybe everyone does not spend several hours on here each day as I do!

If only 10 or so are interested then it is obviously a non starter, however, I suggest once we get up above 25/30 then it may well become viable. If it really takes off and we go above 50 then we are getting into the territory where hotels will start to sit up and take interest. All this is conjecture as I have never done this type of thing before but common sense would dictate that we have to generate sufficient numbers or it becomes a waste of time. In my opinion if we don't do something like this soon then it may never get done as none of us are getting any younger.

Accompanying wives, who may or may not wish to join in, will raise the numbers and reduce the exposure to single room supplements.

27th June 2006, 20:03
I think it is a great idea, in theory. Perhaps there are a lot of people who would need to know a little more about the details before commiting themselves. I know several people who think I should have been commited years ago.

I for one, or two if you count she who must be obeyed, are very interested at this stage. As always finance, location and timing are all important.


S Fraser
30th June 2006, 17:16
Wonderful idea. Count me in regardless of location.

30th June 2006, 22:38
We held our Elder Dempster annual lunch last week. We can usually count on 100+ pensioners attending and it is a huge success every year. It is surprising that when such a function becomes regularly established how many old friends and acquaintances appear out of the woodwork.
My recomendation (none of my business I know) is to go ahead, advertise it as widely as possible through all your known contacts and go ahead and enjoy it! Good luck.


Eric Walter
1st July 2006, 10:26
Great idea. Will attend if the event takes place.

Pleased to see the support already shown. Let's hope more Brocks are able to attend a reunion.

Eric Walter

Harry Nicholson
1st July 2006, 13:07
I am very interested in a Brocks reunion and will do my best to be there.

2nd July 2006, 23:06
I'm interested too - depends on timing. Living in Sydney makes the logistics a bit of a challenge....

Alan Marsden

Stuart Smith
3rd July 2006, 09:53
Count me in, sounds like a great idea. I will be there.
Stuart Smith (*))

Don A.Macleod
6th July 2006, 16:12
I'll go for it Tony, sounds good, after all time marches on. Will be in touch shortly. Don.

David Byrne
8th July 2006, 14:29

Please count me in - I was sorry to miss the last one. There are one or two old boys living up here in the North east who could be persuaded to come along as well, I believe, plus a fairly large number around Liverpool/North Wales who would come if it were advertised in some way locally.


David Byrne

john g
10th July 2006, 22:09
I've found the original reunion letter !!... 18th November 1989 was the date at Bootle town hall . The bash was organised by a guy by the name of Derek Hammond of Marine Marketing International Ltd London ( I have a feeling this guy was ex Brocks as he was presented with an original ships bell off the SS ?? ) a very well organised do and very well attended the big disappointment was the poor quality print on the yellow and red Tennants can specially ordered for the occasion. I was surprised to meet so many guys who I had sailed with. Two of the big hotels in Liverpool were involved along with coaches to and from. But we have to remember it was 1989 and Brocks were still fresh in many memories. I am sure a call to the Liverpool Echo and Daily Post would unearth the sleeping masses who toiled with T&J and like all of us on SN still have fond memories of a very unique experience with a unique company which was taken for granted all those years ago.

Derek Roger
11th July 2006, 01:33
I have contacted Alan Atack and he is interested too . If things move forward and a general time frame is established we shall both contact other Brocks Ex Shipmates to see if they are interested .
I think word of mouth will quickly generate more interest .
I would Favor Liverpool as the site and perhaps next spring( April/May would be a good time frame ) This would allow us colonials a bit of time to prepare ( And Save Up )

What are the thoughts of other members with respect to Location and Time Frame ???

11th July 2006, 07:02
The bash was organised by a guy by the name of Derek Hammond of Marine Marketing International Ltd London ( I have a feeling this guy was ex Brocks as he was presented with an original ships bell off the SS ?? )
I believe Derek Hammond was a Brocklebanks man who then left the sea and joined the police force. He rejoined Brocklebanks after several years in the police and was 2nd Mate on Makrana in 1970 where I was 3rd Mate. He organised at least one earlier reunion, I only heard of them afterwards.

Count me in for a reunion.

11th July 2006, 09:25
If the plan goes ahead, and I hope it does, with a location near Liverpool then I've some good contacts with local radio and Daily Post & Echo. I'm sure we would get an appeal for ex Brocks from the area


Tony Selman
11th July 2006, 10:56
It looks like this is gathering momentum now. I am going to leave it a bit longer as there are still a couple of names that I would have expected to have responded that have not. Coincidentally my own personal feelings seem to coincide with several other comments as to location and to a lesser extent timing.

I think Liverpool is favourite because so many of us sailed from there, it fits geographically and of course Head Office was there. We have a better chance of organising an off site event in Liverpool than most other places. I have also gradually come round to thinking that Spring 2007 is probably best. Autumn this year is not very far away and a couple of people seem to be thinking of coming from some distance which will be great so we need to give them time to get things organised.

So provisionally I propose that we meet in Liverpool in April or May 2007. I think I will leave it until the end of July to get a provisional set of numbers from this board and then take up the kind offer of publicity locally on Merseyside. My gut feel is that we will get to a minimum of 50 with word of mouth etc. Does anyone who lives on Merseyside know of any hotels that either do this kind of thing or are worth contacting to test the water? Any thoughts on my original plan which was to arrive Friday afternoon, an informal evening with dinner no doubt turning into a p.u. on Friday evening, an off site event on Saturday, more formal dinner on Saturday evening and disperse on Sunday morning.

The Radio Officers' Association had an annual bash based in Chester a couple of years ago but that was organised by the Chairman who knew someone at Chester University. We visited the Coastguard Station in Crosby which was very interesting but whether we could organise that again I have no idea. I don't suppose anyone is in contact with Derek Hammond are they?

Anyway I am delighted this is gathering speed, which is more than be said for some of the ships we sailed on, and am looking forward to meeting up with all of you.

Stuart Smith
14th July 2006, 10:34
I will almost certainly be able to convince Dennis Henshaw to come along.

16th July 2006, 18:09
Hi, I'd be interested too but a lot depends on timing and location etc.

All the best,


Tony Crompton
16th July 2006, 20:43
Count me in.
Tony C

17th July 2006, 08:54

Interested depends on timing though.

Regards. Martin Cadman

17th July 2006, 19:12
Whoever's counting can also please count me in and I will look forward to some details .
Cheers to all

28th July 2006, 17:50
OK chaps, if I say I won't go, will that news bring this site back to life once again?
Don't think I can recall a 10 spell without someone with something to say
Cheers to everyone John

Derek Roger
29th July 2006, 00:46
I agree ! Seems to have gone Dead ??

Tony Selman
30th July 2006, 18:53
I had set myself a notional date of the end of July before trying to do an initial headcount and get some investigation underway. There are still a couple of names I would have expected to respond who have not done so but there is plenty of time.

I think once we get on the case we will stir a few people from their summer torpor.

5th August 2006, 16:32

Remember the last one at Bootle about 1990? Well attended and enjoyable.
Would be interested in another. Don't delay, numbers are dwindling!

michael james
9th August 2006, 20:58

Remember the last one at Bootle about 1990? Well attended and enjoyable.
Would be interested in another. Don't delay, numbers are dwindling!

RG. It was 18th Nov 1989 and 6th Nov 1993 to be exact both at Bootle Town Hall, I attended and thoroughly enjoyed the experience,especially as some that could not attend the earlier bash were able to make the later one. These two events were 18 & 22 years after I left the company, it is now 35 years, so some members of the older generation are unfortunately unlikely to be able to attend (tempus fugit) nevertheless, it is a great idea and I (and my other/better half) will be there whenever the date/venue is set.

I have been away abroad for a couple of months and I apologise for the lateness of this input into the thread, which has ceased to be active and I hope is not in Davey Jones` locker already. (Thumb)

Tony Sprigings
1st October 2006, 10:50
Tony, Sorry to have to advise that Derek Hammond died in 1995 or thereabouts from a heart attack.I might be able to advise you in some of the detail because I helped him to organise the first get together in 1989

Tony Sprigings

1st October 2006, 20:45
I'm up for it, given that I have to come from Spain advance warning will enable a good air fare can be arranged.

Michael Meredith

Harry Nicholson
7th March 2007, 21:30
Hello chaps. Has anything come of the idea for a Brocklebanks reunion sometime this year? Have I missed it?

Tony Sprigings
8th March 2007, 09:17

Tony Selman
8th March 2007, 10:27
Harry, the reunion was put on hold because I became tied up in the sale of my business. That is still the case - unless anyone on here wants to put in an offer!

There is another thread advising readers of this and asking if anyone else wanted to take over the task of organising it. That met with a stony silence. In summary I am prepared to do it but not until I have enough time to be able to do it properly. Another complication is that I am a rugby fanatic and I am going to France for the whole of the Rugby World Cup later this year and a good chunk of the spare time I have is spent on organising that. I think a reunion is still a great idea and if it turns out that I do organise it then I think realistically we are looking at Spring 2008 at the earliest.

Tony Sprigings
8th March 2007, 17:24
Sorry about my earlier false start. I hit the wrong button. The idea of another Brocklebank get together is tempting but as most of my age group are now approaching or just past their 80th. birthdays I don't think many will be able to make the trip. Mind, I speak only for myself, so I wish you luck.

Allan Holmes
22nd March 2007, 21:14
Sounds like a good idea. I know the whereabouts of a few ex R/Os who might be interested. Depending on date, count me in.

Allan Holmes/GWZM

Tony Selman
22nd March 2007, 21:28
Salaams Allan. We met in New York when you were on Media I think. I was on Alaunia at the time and I came across and scrounged a few beers. I also did a couple of trips on Samaria and I suppose I could have relieved you there but on balance I think probably not.

I see from your profile that you were on QE2 in the early days. Interestingly Arthur Orum approached me in 1968 about joining QE2 as 3R/O before the maiden voyage. I turned it down because I had seen enough of the North Atlantic and have often wondered whether I made the right decision or not. I subsequently joined P&O so I got my passenger ship time in there.

Good to hear from you and welcome to the board.


Tony Selman
22nd March 2007, 21:31
Message for Allan Holmes again.

Allan there was a poster on the board who was trying to contact you not long ago. Have a search through the older messages and you will find it.

Roger Bentley
23rd March 2007, 17:39
Tony et al. Re reunion - Liverpool has to be the best place. I do have all the addresses of those who attended the 1993 reunion, but I suspect many of those will have gone to the big dockyard above now. I also remember that Noel Grayson got some stick from some relatives when he was trying to set up the 1993 reunion, they seemed to think he should have known that Dad had passed away. There was no support available from official sources. I stayed at the Adelphi and so did several others and a lot stayed at a travel lodge type place outside. It was a night to remember! Salaams, Roger

Marcus Cardew
22nd June 2007, 08:32
Salaams Tony Sahib,
I think it may have been I who was looking for Allan, and he did manage to find me....
I spent 4 happy days staying down at the Albert Dock last month.. Underwater Vehicle stuff in Salthouse Dock... I'd try and make a T&J fest..

noel grayson
22nd June 2007, 13:18
Yes, I organized the 1993 reunion, and wish the best of luck to whoever is considering arranging the next one! As Roger Bentley mentioned, I received a few uncomplimentary replies implying that I should have checked records before writing..As it was many years since I had been with Brocks I was not impressed. All my records were lost when we moved some four years ago, but somewhere in the archives I have the list that Roger Bentley made. It may be quicker to approach Roger. Just remember that to send an initial letter to everyone, would cost somewhere in the region of £70 including a SAE for a reply. This amount of course would be recouped from tickets if the reunion became reality, but if not, a total loss.
The idea is excellent but I doubt if it will materialise.

Tony Selman
22nd June 2007, 14:25
As it was my idea initially and as no one has offered to take over the task if it is going to happen it may well be me that organises it. The project is still on hold from my perspective because I am currently too involved in my business.

That said I would still like to do it but based on comments from Noel Grayson and Roger Bentley I don't think I am prepared to write to everyone on the last list and risk the invective of distressed relatives. I think at this stage I would publish a message on here, give everyone plenty of time to think about it, check on travel arrangements etc. and rely on word of mouth to spread the word to people who do not use this board.

Roger Bentley
22nd June 2007, 16:41
Tony, As stated previously I have the listings prepared by Noel, but I had a recent scan and I feel sure most of those listed will no longer be around. I would think word of mouth or use of this site will produce the likely attendees. I will send you a full listing on CD of the old addresses for interest. Count me in anyway. Salaams, Roger