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Geoff Sheppard's Memories


Ok, here goes.  This lot is from cruises 880 and 881, in June 1978.

880 Itinerary: Dundee, Flam, Bergen, Travemunde, Copenhagen, Dundee.

881 Itinerary: Dundee, Amsterdam, Lisbon, Funchal, Corunna, Glasgow.


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ss Uganda sailing somewhere along Sognefjord.


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Uganda at anchor at Flam.


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Ditto.


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Ditto.


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Ditto.


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Going ashore at Flam on one of Uganda’s boats - the officer looks fairly senior with braid on his hat. I remember that Ron Furlong, the Staff Officer was usually heavily involved in getting groups of school children on and off at the right times.


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The village of Flam and one of Uganda’s boat alongside.


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Everyone went up on the train for wonderful scenery and the huge waterfall, where we all got out for a better view.


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Counting them all back on to the boat for the return trip - the same officer in uniform it seems and Val Jenkins, the School Office Purser in the cream top and jeans.


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Val Jenkins again, and a chap with 4 gold bars - is he the captain?


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En route in the boats.


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It looks like there is water draining from the boat so I assume this is hoisting it back on board.


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Uganda alongside in Bergen.


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The Pilot, leaving by the look of it, if the slides were in order I guess it could be leaving Bergen?


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Uganda alongside the promenade in Travemunde.


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The bus trip here was to the Inner German border. The sign says “Over there is also Germany”.


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Entering the lock at the end of the Nordzeekanal, en route to or from Amsterdam.


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Looks like we've just negotiated a swing bridge - again I can’t see whether it's going in or coming out, and I can’t find the bridge anywhere on Google maps.


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Alongside, next to a couple of Soviet warships - which all seem a bit odd having just visited the border.


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The School Office - I’m not sure how the school office assistants were selected. In my case, my father had served as the school chaplain, presumably with some pupils from the local school, and recommended that I apply. Note the useful reminder about which side was which since the front desk faced aft.


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It was usual for the SOAs to be between school and university. The company paid for travel to the port and gave us a small amount of spending money. It was a great job, we had access to the whole ship. Obviously we were involved in the school areas and school activities, but we ate in the passengers’ dining room and we could also frequent the officers’ areas and their wardroom.


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Mostly it was school admin, reproducing the daily programme on the state of the art printing machine, using waxed stencils produced on a typewriter by Nicky Shutt, and her boss Val Jenkins. I can’t remember any of the SOA’s names but here we are running some more paperwork off the duplicator, which was a messy job, hence the apron.


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I think we sold stamps, and it looks like we signed out sports equipment such as table tennis bats and balls. Nice to see some good old blue passports in the pigeon holes. I also remember the chefs producing cakes for all sorts of events such as birthdays and ‘Happy Cruising’.


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Frequenting the wardroom gave us access to very cheap drinks - and a small bit of partying with some of the cadets. No idea of names but there are some essential items for a sea cadet - A tin of beer and a can of Right Guard!


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Unknown cadet.


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The SOAs ate in the main dining room, which served exceptional food, but way above anything I had been used to at the time. There were always starters and a fish course, mains and desserts. I remember too of ordering the whitebait, not really knowing what sort of fish it was, and the girl I was with refusing to eat it. We had a cabin steward called Wahid, who was also our waiter in the dining room and he was superb. I didn’t keep a record of the number of prawn cocktails and steaks I had and he didn’t bat an eyelid when I asked for another steak instead of dessert. This must be a late night snack, looking at the informality of the dress - the chap on the left, and the one with his back to the camera are SOAs but I don’t know who the other, slightly thinning chap is opposite.


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There was always a school disco on each cruise. The incomparable Sonny Souto and his band played all the latest hits to the great delight of the kids. They would get the latest records where they could at each port of call, and would have the music worked out within a day or two. Ron Furlong, the Staff Officer here also getting involved.


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There were always activities to keep the kids busy while we were at sea.  This was a Bridge visit.


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Either inter-school or inter-dormitory sports.


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Visits to various working parts of the ship - not sure health and safety would allow them alongside rotating propeller shafts these days. No idea where we were at the time but we seem to going there at full ahead.


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Here are lots of faces from the inevitable Officers’ Revue or some other similar entertainment. This was a French themed evening, Ron Furlong and the entertainment officer (Any idea of her name?) with Nicky Shutt sitting behind. I made the Café sign. Sonny and his band provide the musical accompaniment.


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Same female singer but with one of the cadets I think, Ron Furlong sitting down.


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Marion Breeze, the headmistress and unidentified male singer.


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The Can Can including Marion Breeze far left and Val Jenkins far right.


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The hairy old male officers appeared in numerous guises - as The Apollos or as ballerinas. Possibly the engineering officer at the back? It looks like Dave Kirchin to me.


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The cast - I recognise Marion Breeze at the back in the chequered jacket, the nets person in the red spotty dress, Val Jenkins in the Can Can outfit, possibly an engineering officer in the vest (definitely Dave Kirchin), and the kneeling dancers must be pursers and/or nurses and/or bankers I think with Nicky Shutt far right. Ron Furlong I think holding the fairy star.


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Maybe some other SOAs might find this site and/or someone might recall some names - but this must have been the whole team in French garb that same evening - all with grease pencil French moustaches.


These are from cruises 994 and 995 over Christmas 1979, and into 1980.

994 Itinerary - Naples, Syracuse, Python, Alexandria, Haifa, Kos, Piraeus

995 Itinerary - Piraeus, Rhodes, Haifa, Corfu, Dubrovnik, Messina, Valletta.

Having had a thoroughly enjoyable (and presumably successful) time in 1978, I applied to come back again and specifically asked for the Christmas cruises the following year, which I got. We flew to Naples on a Dan Air BAC 1-11. I nearly lost my camera in Naples when a chap on a scooter tried to grab it as he went by. Nicky Shutt had become the boss in the school office and the other purser was possibly Helena Swallow - whose name I have only gleaned from other photos on this site, so might not be correct. We sailed through the Corinth Canal I think, which was pretty impressive, and visited lots of Greek Islands. The second cruise ended up at Valletta, where the weather was so bad we couldn’t even enter the Grand Harbour. We sailed around the island for most of the day until it improved but by the time we got in there was just time to get to the airport to fly home, on a Freddy Laker Skytrain DC-10. The big news at the time was the Russians invading Afghanistan on Christmas Eve 1979.


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Alongside somewhere in the Med - possibly Naples or Syracuse?


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Ditto.


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Going ashore at a Greek island.


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Sonny Souto, probably playing for the kids since he is in mufti, unknown officer and possibly David Baskott, with the tambourine, one of the heads or deputy heads.


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The School Office - unknown SOA selling stamps. The list pinned up has the time and date at each port and also seems to list a time at Stromboli which we must have sailed past.


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Sonny Souto and his band at the kids’ disco.


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The 2 PE staff.


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A very unflattering picture (sorry) of Nicky Shutt at the passengers’ games night.


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The other school office purser, who I am led to believe is Helena Swallow although I cannot confirm that.


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I think these were the Barclays Bank staff at the same games night - possibly Sue Warnes (?) on the left?


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Uganda at anchor at unidentified Greek island - someone must be able to identify the harbour (?).


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Landing on one of the boats, possibly at the same location.


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That panto! There are other photos of this panto on the site, one of which has me on it holding the HEDGE sign. Apparently it was Sleeping Beauty but I can’t remember how the characters matched the story. I’m told there is a programme cast list somewhere on the site but I haven’t found it. Christmas 1979. I see Michael (?) Reeves, the headmaster, and Marion Breeze the deputy head as king and queen. Helena Swallow in the pointy hat.


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Helena Swallow, the ents officer (?) as the cat, David Baskott again as the king.


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Nicky Shutt centre stage, possible Sue Warnes (?) again, and Sonny Souto in the foreground.


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Unknown squeeze box player and possibly (from other pictures on this site) Geoff Kimber far left. Helena Swallow and Marion Breezein the back row.


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More of the same with the ballerinas again.


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An appalling photo unfortunately, but a different evening I think but with the same suspects providing the entertainment - Michael Reeves and Marion Breeze, the head teachers, centre stage as ever. Given the balloons, it could have been a New Years party.


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