"I Am The Captain of the Pinafore"
Good morning and welcome to my guest post which the amazing Sian asked if I would like to take part in while she and the family were off sailing. Hope the weather is not too rough. So, she said I could choose something themed around sailing and so I have.
Several year's ago I did a family tree for my dad's birthday and found out some fascinating things about our family inheritance. One of these is a love of the sea. Many of our ancestors lived in Hartlepool and were fishermen, whilst a few joined the navy. There is much I have to learn still but one day I will find out more about the exploits of my ancestors. Below is the most hysterical and somewhat embarrassing story about my ancestors who hung a monkey thinking it was a Napoleonic spy.
Anyway, my dad must have picked up the family DNA for sea legs as he joined the Merchant Navy when he was a young man of twenty three. He had already been working as an apprentice engineer in his home town and national Service was well and truly over. However, my dad decided to join up and do two years of service. I think it was really to see the world!
The first ship he joined was the RMS Windsor Castle which was part of the Union Castle Line. Here she is in all her glory
He would tell us all stories, and incidentally still does,about his travels between England and South Africa. If my sister and her South African partner come to visit, he is often to be found telling tales of his jaunts into Cape Town. The ship took post and also passengers in very plush accommodation to South Africa and back. This is the journey they would have taken:
You can imagine the fun he must have had going to different ports after working hard in the engine rooms for weeks on end.
After being on the RMS Windsor Castle, he then joined the Shaw, Savill and Albion line where he was a Junior Engineer on the Cretic. This was one of four sister ships which travelled from the UK via South Africa to Australia and New Zealand.
My Dad has told me many stories but the ones which stay in my mind are of the time he walked across Sydney harbour Bridge with holes in his shoes. apparently my Grandma said he should have bought a new pair of shoes rather than an engagement ring for my Mum! he obviously knew how much more important it was to have the woman he loved over some leather!
The other story is of seeing the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh when they were travelling in New Zealand. He has one photo which is really clear of them in a car wearing very regal attire.
My Dad came home in 1962 and married my Mum two years later. He loved his time in the Merchant Navy and anything about the sea. He is a very proud man.
Sadly I have not inherited the DNA sea legs and have great difficulty on board ships and ferries. Even a trip down the Thames makes me nauseous so I am extremely happy that we have the Channel Tunnel.
I hope this has been an interesting jaunt into my family history. Here is a fun rhyme to end with.
Jo, thank you! Can't she tell a good tale? Jo blogs at Curly Scrapbooker, with an infectiously entertaining mix of stories, scrapbooking and crafts. Her honesty has won her many admirers, including me. Go! see!