Hi Pat,I found it difficult to believe at first. Bill and I came from the same hometown, attended the same school and both of us joined Blue Funnel at age 16 as deckboys, although Bill was five years ahead of me.
When the allegations surfaced that he had been posting under various names, I couldnt believe it but the ,then, site owner, Steve, actually telephoned me and gave me chapter and verse of Bill's rule bending, I was gobsmacked.
It was a shame. As others have said he was a very knowledgeable seaman who had accomplished much in his life. Latterly he was, maybe still is, a farmer in Shropshire, who occasionally shipped out as master on VLCCs.
Bill Davies was the type of individual who always had to be right, hence the reason for him inventing all those alter-egos so that it appeared that others supported his views, regardless of how ridiculous they were.
Just goes to prove the dangers of remaining at sea too long, as it's a young mans game and I don't think I ever came across anyone over 40 who did not display some type of idiosyncrasy in their character.
Across the spectrum, from old bed-room steward to old-man, they were always a little weird and whether it was down to the life of isolation or the grog, who knows but life at sea certainly high-lighted those flaws in peoples character.
Sorry to hear about the demise of Odyssey Works and Birkenhead docks, as they were the type of institution I just assumed would go on forever in my youth. I'm coming over to the UK in August so will have to try and re-visit my old haunts just for old-times sake but guess I will be in for a shock.
Regards Phil (Thumb)