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Gary Wood’s Memories

 

Oriana Seadogs 1977-84.

'the early days'.

 

Additional names and comments marked in Grey have been supplied by Chris Lawton.

 

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1978 Oriana Ocean Bar.

L-R: 

Me, Paul Robinson, Little John Elder, Malcolm Orr, Trevor Baff, Lin Mort & Gary Pemberton (VO).

 

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1978 Oriana Ocean Bar.

Back Row L-R: 

Me, Big Tommy Hunter, Peter Bennet, Mick Everson, Don Cole, & Unknown.

Front Row L-R: 

Pat Gallagher, Trevor Baff, Lin Mort & Unknown.

 

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1979? Oriana Ocean Bar.

L-R: 

Alan Plummer, Unknown, Trevor Baff, Paul Robinson, Little John Elder, Sean Atkinson & Me.

 

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1978? Oriana Midships Bar.

L-R: 

Me, Paddy ??? (the Irish Electrician), Alan Plummer & Big Tommy Hunter.

 

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Oriana Ocean Bar.

Back Row L-R: 

an Unknown purser?? Unknown, Unknown & Me.

Front Row L-R: 

The lady who I believe became 'Groucho's' wife & Geoff Heap.

 

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Oriana Lookout Bar.

L-R: 

Ginger Jon Milner (Engineer), Little John Elder & Me.

 

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There is always one guy in life that always manages to hit your funny button. With me it was Pete Gillespie (on the left). There are many stories featuring Pete one of which involves the Oriana O-Bar and a close encounter with a DJ that still creases me up when I think of it even after the best part of thirty years. I would gladly recount it but if I cold do it justice but it was just one of those many times when you just had to be there.

 

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Shooting cans - A beer can (usually Allsopps or VB) was turned upside down and a hole pierced in the bottom. With ones mouth firmly over the hole, all the air was sucked out. The can (with the protagonist's mouth still firmly sealing the hole) was then turned the correct way up and the ring-pull operated. The effect was that all the beer would whoosh down the throat in one go. If performed correctly (as shown in the photo with my mate Pete Gillespie - a past master of the art) this was a great party piece. However the effect of incorrect practice could be explosive.

 

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I own many things to Andy Jackson, a long friendship, many, many laughs and one or two inherited daft expressions of which this is one.

Oriana Wardroom.

L-R: 

Unknown, Terry ? (Elect), Me & Malcolm Greenwood.

 

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Oriana Ocean Bar.

Back Row L-R: 

Dave Shimmons, a Unknown Jokers Seven girl, Unknown Photog, yet another Jokers Seven girl, Unknown Engineer, Me (with another daft Andy Jackson look), 'Supersonic' (Elect).

Front Row L-R: 

Unknown Cruise staff girl, Kenny Gillespie, Unknown Engineer.

 

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Andy with an unsurpassable original expression. Pictured in Oriana Wardroom.

L-R: 

Ken Worsfold, Andy Jackson, John Englefield, Me and finally I do believe Sue Jones + Teddy Bear.

 

Jacko anecdote - A certain Electrical Officer, who shall remain nameless to protect the guilty, was returning the slightly worse for wear to the accommodation using the time honoured, tried and tested 'bulkhead-shuffle' method. Unfortunately he literally ran into the Chief Engineer, who had been disturbed by his somewhat noisy passage. Casting a belligerent eye on the man the Chief demanded 'P….d again (name withheld)'. To which the officer replied 'Yes, so am I Chief!!' and proceeded to wend his unsteady way to bed.

 

Oriana Seadogs 1977-84.

Oriana Wardroom Group Photos.

 

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1982-83.

Back Row L-R: 

Kerry Fox, Unknown, Phil Aldridge, Steve Robinson, Graham Bond, Kenny Barns (aka Alvin), Jim Barlow, Chris Lawton (aka Flowery), Charlie Hill, Unknown, Tony Davies (aka Sid Vicious), Unknown, Duncan Hall aka Trogg, 'Ned' Kelly, Paul Mead (aka Peam), Chris Trainer?? Bill McCandless, A Freeza known as Lazarus due to his deathly white complexion, Mike Jack & Andy Jackson.

Middle Row L-R: 

John Rennie, Roddy McConnell, Me, Unknown, Sue Allen (WAP), Sean Atkinson, 2 WAPS and an Accountant called Helen Hawkins.

Front Row L-R: 

Ann (Mrs Roddy McConnell), Cuddly Bob Ashdown, Caroline Brown (WAP), Colin Hindmarsh, Unknown, Rosy Irwin (Nurse) & Unknown.

 

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Colin Hindmarsh (far right) was a regular Australian entertainer who was the bane of the 'penguin' officers. To inadvertently pass by when he was performing was to endure an avalanche of merciless, sharp, cutting but wholly fun filled baiting. In spite (and probably because of this) he was held in great affection by us as this presentation demonstrates.

L-R: 

John Rennie (Eng), 'Ned' Kelly, Paul (Peam) Mead, Tony Davies (Sid Vicious), Dave Watson (aka Wizard), Andy Jackson & Colin Hindmarsh.

 

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Back Row L-R: 

Unknown Deck Officer, Unknown, Cliff Merwood, Sue Allen (WAP), Ken Worsfold, Unknown, Dave Grant, Kenny Gillespie, Me, 'Young' Don Oliver, Tony Davies (Sid Vicious), Rodger White (CD).

Middle Row L-R: 

Two Unknown Photog's, Cuddly Bob Ashdown, Unknown, Jimmy ?, Eddie Duncan (Storekeeper), Ken Willey, Dave Shimmons, Unknown, Scary Joe Scaramuzza, Andy Jackson, Chris Lawton & Ian Settle.

Front Row L-R: 

Of the three girls I don't remember the first one, the second is Barbara Sampies (affectionately known as 'The Bridge Barracuda), next is Sue Gregory (WAP) & Fred the Red holding John Thow's leg (laying down in front).

 

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Back Row L-R: 

Glyn Winttle, Jim Barlow, Unknown guy behind the blond girl or the girl herself (Jokers 7), Unknown Engineer (he used to share a toga with one of the J7s, when he wasn't blasting his foot off with a jetting gun!!), Andy Jackson with his head behind Tony Davies (Sid Vicious), top part of Stuart Drew's head, Chris Lawton, Sonia Grimason (now Johnson), Phil Aldridge, Alan Conlin, Unknown, Sally (Ents Staff) the blond girl at the back, Unknown WAP, Barbara Sampies, Hugh Leslie, Mike Jack with his head behind a number of passengers?, Brian Benzie, Dr Liz Fischl (Baby Doc), Unknown & Kerry Fox.

Front Row L-R: 

Unknown, John Guy, Sean Atkinson, Me, Joe Scaramuzza, My Dad, My Mum, Unknown, Unknown, Charlie Hill, Dave Shimmons, Sue (WAP), Marty Elliot, Rosy Irwin, 'Young' Don Oliver, Dr Peter Mainer, Unknown Jokers seven girl & Unknown Photog.

 

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Back Row L-R: 

Chris Lawton, Alan Conlin, Sonia Grimason (now Johnson), Unknown Baby Doc, Me, Dave Shimmons & Sean Atkinson.

Front Row L-R: 

Unknown Photog, another Unknown Photog, Bob Ashdown, Mary Walby (Nurse) & Simon Love (Deck Officer).

 

Ian Settle believes the chap at the bottom right named by Chris Lawton as Simon Horne is actually Simon Love, the son of the late Captain Love. Can anyone confirm either? John Rennie has confirmed it is Simon Love.

 

Oriana Engine Room Group Photos.

 

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1978 Chris thinks it was 1980.

Back Row L-R: 

Cliff Merwood, Dave Grant, could this be Steve Hockborn??, Andy Jackson, Unknown, Mark ?, Ian Settle, 'Young' Don Oliver, Dave Smith (Engineer).

Next Row L-R: 

Stewy Drew, Charlie Hill, Kenny Gillespie, Bob Ashdown, Roddy McConnell, Me, Dave Shimmons & John Guy.

Next Row L-R: 

Could this be a young Mike Pryor?, Tony Davies (Sid Vicious), Unknown, Unknown, Unknown, Ian Stoker & a Unknown guy I cannot recognise behind Don Cole's head.

Next Row L-R: 

Unknown, Chris Lawton, Joe Scaramusa, Ken Worstfold, Ken Willey, Don Cole, John Thow & Mike Ward.

Font Row L-R: 

Eric Smith & Mike Jack.

 

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Back Row L-R: 

Michael Blaskewicz, Terry ?? (Elect), Unknown, Cliff Merwood, 'Fritz' Fitzpatrick, Unknown & Toby Tompkins in glasses.

Next Row L-R: 

Unknown first two guys, John Guy, Roddy McConnell, Me, Jag Lewis, Unknown, Unknown .

Next Row L-R: 

Pat Gallagher, Eric Taylor, 'Flipper', Jim Angles, 'Supersonic', Tony (Elect) & Unknown .

Next Row L-R: 

Steve Stroud, Unknown, Kenny Gillespie.

Front Row L-R: 

Mick Goulding, Chris Freeman, David Garry, John Bates, Willy Dempster (Chief Eng), John Englefield, Ken Worsfold & Andy Jackson.

 

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1977/78.

Back Row L-R: 

Pat Gallagher, Malcolm Orr, Paddy (Elect), Tommy Hunter & Unknown.

Next Row (right of the picture) L-R: 

Don Cole, Martin Harris, Unknown guy in glasses, Alex Jameson, Unknown.

Next Row L-R: 

David Garry, Unknown, Mick Everson, Chris Freeman, Dave ?, Unknown, Steve Green, Dave Watson, Unknown, Me, Dave Grant & Peter Bennett.

Next Row L-R: 

The first three guys I cannot remember, Lim Mort, John Bates, Trevor Baff & Peter Gillespie.

Front Row L-R: 

Aiden Graham, Arthur Bownass, Unknown & Unknown.

 

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Oriana Main Switchboard.

L-R: 

Terry? (Welsh Elect), 'Supersonic' (Elect), Tony? Me, Unknown, Big Jim Angles, Eric Taylor (him of the 'Baby Blues'), Andy Jackson & 'Flipper'.


In our day everyone had to have a nickname (Goldfish was the master at developing them, he probably even named himself). Flipper (far right), who was not at sea very long as I recollect, gained his when convince by us all that it was 'good form' to take part in passenger Fancy Dress Night. Unfortunately for him (but fortunately for us) all he had was a full set of scuba gear. I can still picture him in full gear (including flippers) disappearing out of the Engineers alleyway on the way to passenger decks. Luckily the facemask and snorkel prevented any concrete identification by the, then, senior staff.

 

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1978 - Oriana Main Switchboard.

Back Row L-R: 

Me, Ian (Cecil) Settle, 'Young' Don Oliver, Ian Stoker.

Front Row L-R: 

Andy Jackson, Mike Ward, Cuddly Bob Ashdown, Don Cole & Dave Shimmons.

 

 

Oriana Seadogs 1977-84

Oriana Officer Review Shows.

 

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Back Row L-R: 

Unknown WAP's head (Deck Officer??), Mike Moulin? Jeff 'V-Block' Talbert, I think is Paul Morgan (Deck Officer), Cannot identify anyone else on the back row apart from perhaps 'Ned' Kelly (Elect) and tall Ian Settle with the glasses, then perhaps 'Fritz' Fitzpatrick (just behind the WAP), Ian Stoker just behind Fritz?.

Front Row L-R: 

Unknown first two lady WAP's, Mike Fatchen, Sonia Grimason (now Johnson), Unknown, John Guy, no one else up to Me, Andy Jackson, Cuddly Bob Ashdown, Caroline Brown (WAP) & Sue Allen (WAP).

Forefront L-R: 

Roger White (CD) centre & Capt Malcolm Rushan.

 

Officers Reviews on Oriana were a rare (annual or biannual) event. To say they were amateur was to put it mildly but the very fact of this, plus the sometimes chaotic renditions (usually cased in great part by the effects of too much 'Dutch Courage') made them extremely popular with the passengers. Our MC was usually Roger White Cruise Director (pictured centre) who put heart and sole (and on one or two occasions his job) on the line for them.

 

The finale shown above reminds me of a similar line-up which included many hot and sweaty engineers. This followed a not unusual blackout aboard Oriana which occurred in the middle of the Review during one of Paddy Clare's famous Swan Lake's (Paddy was heard to say, at the point when the lights went out, 'stay quite you fools it's only a fuse'!!!). The memory of all those cowboys, ballerinas and various scrawny Apollo's running around a dark and steaming engine room will forever haunt me. As I'm sure it will the, then, Chief Engineer (Tony Mazonowicz) who I remember asked me in the midst to all this, and with me in full cowboy gear and makeup, if I was part of the show and if so I should hurry up and get back on deck as the finale was about to start.

 

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Oriana's 'Hand me down my pair of jeans' country & western band.

L-R: 

Duncan 'Trog', 'Fritz' Fitzpatrick, me, Ian Stoker & Cuddly Bob Ashdown

 

Rodger White was game for most things we wanted however I could never persuade him to allow the 'hand me down my pair of jeans' band (shown above) to perform a tricky little ditty which began 'Its forty below and I don't give a fuck, got a heater in my truck and were off to the rodeo'. Or a similar song entitled 'I'm a Bastard! These we had painstakingly copied and rehearsed from a tape obtained by 'Cuddly Bob' Ashdown. The rendition of either one would have been a fine, if final, end to some sparkling careers. The rather large hat Bob is wearing in the 'hand me down' sketch was often worn by the late Captain John Young during his Review renditions.

 

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Oriana Pirates sketch.

L-R: 

Me complete with shoulder parrot, Ian Stoker, Caroline Brown (WAP), 'Capt' Andy Jackson & far right Cuddly Bob Ashdown.

 

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The 'One finger, one thumb' sketch.

L-R: 

Jeff Talbert, Young Don Oliver, 'Fitz' Fitzpatrick (standing), Unknown, I think the final member might be John Guy.

 

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The 'Swan Lake' sketch.

The Late great Paddy Clare (he is the one in the tutu and underpants!!) in the final throws of his immortal Dying Swan portrayal onboard Oriana. God bless you Paddy, no-one ever did it better.

 

 

Oriana Seadogs 1977-84

Oriana Officer Wardroom Fancy Dress

'Vickers & Tarts'

 

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Back Row L-R: 

Some Unknown 'Tart', Me, Andy Jackson, Mike Fatchen with Scary Joe Scaramuzza just behind him, Sue (WAP), Could be Duncan 'Trog' in the hat, Unknown WAP in the black dress, Sue Allen (WAP) the blond girl at the back, Dr Andy Iddles, Dave Grant, Pat Huchinson (Nurse), Dave Shimmons, Unknown WAP, Cuddly Bob Ashdown & Unknown Photog.

Seated: 

Unknown & Caroline Brown (WAP).

 

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Back Row L-R: 

Andy Jackson, again could be Duncan 'Trog' with Scary Joe Scaramuzza behind him, Sue Allen (WAP), Unknown WAP, Dr Andy Iddles, Dave Grant, Pat Hutchinson (Nurse) & Dave Shimmons.

Seated: 

Caroline Brown (WAP).

 

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Back Row L-R: 

Unknown Engineer, Me, Back of Scary Joe Scaramusa, Mike Fatchen, Duncan 'Trog'?? Unknown WAP, Sue Allen (WAP), Dr Andy Iddles.

Seated: 

Caroline Brown (WAP).

 

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L-R: 

Dr Andy Iddles, Cuddly Bob Ashdown, Unknown but inquisitive WAP, Dave Grant & Scary Joe Scaramuzza.

 

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L-R: 

Dr Andy Iddles, Cuddly Bob Ashdown, Unknown WAP, Dave Grant.

 

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L-R: 

Andy Jackson in borrowed Tele Op uniform (but I think the shoes were his!), Cuddly Bob Ashdown molesting the unfortunate Unknown WAP.

 

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L-R: 

Paul Williams, uncomfortably attractive Engineer, Cuddly Bob Ashdown & Dave Grant.

 

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L-R: 

Mmmmm!! Paul Williams (Eng) & Unknown Purser.

 

Oriana Seadogs 1977-84

'Rock & Roll'

 

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L-R: 

Me, Paul Mead & Cuddly Bob Ashdown. Boy did we have the moves!

 

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L-R: 

Me, Paul Mead & Cuddly Bob Ashdown in close harmony.

 

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L-R: 

Me & Paul Mead just before being thrown out for making an ungodly row..

 

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L-R: 

Cuddly Bob Ashdown, Chris Lawton and a sartorial Mr Cool Charlie Hill.

 

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The late great Paul Mead. The glasses and moustache were false. The nose I'm not sure.

 

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L-R: 

Back of Cuddly Bob Ashdown's head, Chris Lawton & 'Peace Brother' Gary Wood.

 

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L-R: 

'Ned' Kelly & Peter Kennington (aka Lazarus or Laz)(VO).

 

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L-R: 

Sue Allen (WAP) with garter & Caroline Brown (WAP).

 

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L-R: 

'Ned' Kelly in background & Bee Gee 'Fritz' Fitzpatrick.

 

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'Monsters'

L-R: 

The "unknown dead person" has now been named by himself as Iain Reeves, Hairy-Scary Me, Caroline Brown (WAP), Timmy Wride in glasses & the remainder are unknown. (Lazarus with a ring in his nose, the minstrel is "Fletch")

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'Silly Hat'.

Back Row L-R: 

Andy Ball, Unknown, Cliff Merwood, Me, 3 x Unknown, 'Ozram' Purser, Mick Goulding, Unknown WAP & two Unknown men.

Middle Row L-R: 

Unknown Engineer in beanie hat, 2 x Unknown Jokers Seven girls, Eric Taylor, 3 x Unknown, Andy Jackson & Sandy Gunn Joker's Seven girl.

Front Row L-R: 

Unknown Photog, Anne-Marie (Nurse) & Unknown Photog.

 

Oriana Seadogs 1977-84

Various Cabin Party Photos

 

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L-R: 

Trevor Atkins, Mike (Elect), Paul Cooper, Me, Don (RO) & Dougie Barr.

 

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L-R: 

Me, 2 x Unknown WAP's, Barbara Sampies & Roddy McConnell.

 

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L-R: 

Cliff Merwood, Eric Taylor, Dave Shimmons & Me (the eyes must have been a camera fault).

 

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Back Row L-R: 

Pete Gillespie, 3 x Unknown Engineers, Chris Trainer, 'Monster' (Elect), Dougie Beverage & Dave Turner.

Front Row L-R: 

Dave Watson & Me.

 

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Back Row L-R: 

Dave Shimmons, bit of Andy Jackson, Trevor Baff, Cliff Merwood, John Elder.

Front Row L-R: 

Eric Taylor, Lin Mort, Steve Stroud & Toby Tompkins.

 

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Mick Everson & Kenny Gillespie.

 

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Back Row L-R: 

Dave Oakes, Malcolm Orr, Peter Gillespie with Alan Plummer behind him.

Middle Row L-R: 

Unknown with beard, Unknown with hand in front of face, Paul Robinson, Unknown Deck Officer, Tommy Hunter with Eric Taylor underneath him, Me & Dave Shimmons.

Front: 

Nick Williams.

 

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Dave Oakes & Malcolm Orr.

 

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Back Row L-R: 

Dave Watson, Pat Gallagher, Unknown Engineer & Paul Robinson.

Front Row L-R: 

Trevor Baff, Malcolm Orr, John Elder, Alan Plummer, Dave Shimmons, Lin Mort & Unknown Engineer.

 

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Back Row L-R: 

Trevor Baff in Fez, Malcolm Orr, Pete Gillespie. John Elder in bowler hat, Paul Robinson & Dave Grant.

Front Row L-R: 

Tommy Hunter, the less unattractive looking end of Howie Poole & Peter Bennet.

 

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Tommy Hunter & Paul Robinson.

 

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Back Row L-R: 

Tommy Hunter, John Elder, Me & Roddy McConnell when he was a cadet.

Row L-R: 

Slightly better looking end of Howie Poole & Trevor Baff.

 

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In front: 

Dave Watson & Chris Trainer.

  

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In uniform. L-R: 

Cuddly Bob Ashdown, Dave Brown, Me, Duncan 'Trog' (friendly) Engineer. All other are passengers.

 

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Tommy Hunter I think with me in straw hat.

 

The working end!!

 

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For all those other old sad engineers and electricians here are one or two photos of the main switchboard of Oriana. Old and dim technology compared to today but bright with memories. One would be justified in thinking that all we ever did was stand around having our photos taken or whooping it up on deck or in a Wardroom and in truth we did a fair bit of that. However the good times were only made all the more precious by the often hard slogs between.

 

That Photo Shoot!

Oriana was the set for a number of TV and advertising projects. This was from an advert shoot taken in Aussie.

 

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Paul Robinson being made-up for his Show-Biz début.

 

Malcolm Orr likewise being made-up for his Show-Biz début.

 

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Paul Robinson & Malcolm Orr make Show-Biz history.

 

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Some of the camera team hard at work.

 

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All Shore!!

Back Row. L-R: 

Mike Jack, Pete Gillespie, Andy Jackson, Cliff Merwood, 2 x Unknown Engineers, Dave Grant, Kenny Gillespie, Dave Shimmons & Unknown.

Font Row. L-R: 

Sean Atkinson & Unknown Electrician in head-lock.

 

Oriana lifeboat on it's way too or from a beach BBQ.

L-R: 

Gavin Ash, Cliff Merwood, Dave Shimmons & (I believe) Dave Turner (2nd Eng).

 

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Same party with Shim, Cliff Merwood (another good mate of mine) and a VB Bitter (yet another good mate of mine).

 

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L-R: 

Unknown Engineer, Dave Watson, John Elder & Me with Dougie Beverage on top.

 

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L-R: 

Tommy Hunter, Pete Gillespie & Me.

 

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The boys get time in Disney Land.

L-R: 

Me, Sean Atkinson & Young Don Oliver.

 

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In Disney Land Chris Lawton meets a flying pig (Chris is in the funny hat).

 

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In Disney Land: L-R: 

Sean Atkinson, Me & Chris Lawton. The 'Mark Twain' is in worse condition than the Oriana.

 

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In Disney Land we waited for hours to get on the, then, brand new Magic Mountain ride. Unfortunately we only managed to get halfway up the first ramp when the thing blacked out (typical!!). We were stuck like this for twenty minutes before being released and let out as the ride was out-of-order for the rest of the day.

L-R: 

'Fritz' Fitzpatrick (just), Dave Grant. Tony Davies (Sid Vicious), Sean Atkinson, Chris Lawton, Young Don Oliver, Sue Allen (WAP) & Mary Walby (Nurse).

 

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Oriana Ocean Bar.

L-R: 

Alan Plummer (partially concealed), Malcolm Orr, Trevor Baff, Big Tommy Hunter, Dave Shimmons & Me.


It's not generally known but Dave Shimmons originally joined the sea sporting a rather fine 'viva Zapata' style moustache. As can be seen in this rare early photo above (that's Dave with my hand on his shoulder). This was until one night early on in his career when some wags thought it would be a jolly jape to wait until Dave was asleep and then shave half of it off. The following morning after some more sober reflection and feeling somewhat contrite it was felt that some solution needed to be found to massage Shims understandable ire. Admitting that what had happened had been wrong was, of course, out of the question so it was decided to convince Dave that he actually looked much better without the offending hair growth. This was so successful that the white lie still remains effective to this day.

 

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Oriana Midships Bar.

L-R: 

Paul Robinson, Mick Everson, Trevor Baff, Little John Elder, Me & Dave Shimmons (this could have been the very night Dave lost his magnificent facial growth).

 

Dave Shim and I are still close friends and see each other regularly (leave plans permitting). These meetings often end in a solemn and befuddled reliving of times past and the bemoaning of the present whippersnappers and a general 'putting the world to rights' (much to the amusement of our long suffering wives). However would we ever begrudge the accumulated sixty years of sea life? Not one second!!

 

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