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Geoff Sheppard's Memories
Ok, here goes. This lot is from cruises 880 and 881, in June 1978.
ss Uganda sailing somewhere along Sognefjord.
Uganda at anchor at Flam.
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.
The village of Flam and one of Uganda’s boat alongside.
Everyone went up on the train for wonderful scenery and
the huge waterfall, where we all got out for a better view.
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.
Val Jenkins again, and a chap with 4 gold bars - is he the captain?
En route in the boats.
It looks like there is water draining from the boat so I assume this is hoisting it back on board.
Uganda alongside in Bergen.
The Pilot, leaving by the look of it, if the slides were in order I guess it could be leaving Bergen?
Uganda alongside the promenade in Travemunde.
The bus trip here was to the Inner German border. The sign
says “Over there is also Germany”.
Entering the lock at the end of the Nordzeekanal, en route to or from Amsterdam.
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.
Alongside, next to a couple of Soviet warships - which all seem a bit odd having just visited the border.
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.
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.
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.
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’.
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!
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.
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
There were always
activities to keep the kids busy while we were at sea. This was a Bridge visit.
inter-school or inter-dormitory sports.
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.
are lots of faces from the inevitable Officers’ Revue or some other
similar entertainment. This was a French themed evening, Ron Furlong
entertainment officer (Any idea of her name?) with Nicky Shutt sitting
behind. I made the Café sign. Sonny and his band provide the musical
Same female singer but with one of the cadets I think, Ron Furlong sitting down.
Marion Breeze, the headmistress and unidentified male singer.
The Can Can including Marion Breeze far left and Val Jenkins far right.
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.
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.
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
Alongside somewhere in the Med - possibly Naples or Syracuse?
Going ashore at a Greek island.
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.
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.
Sonny Souto and his band at the kids’ disco.
The 2 PE staff.
A very unflattering picture (sorry) of Nicky Shutt at the passengers’ games night.
The other school office purser, who I am led to believe is Helena Swallow although I cannot confirm that.
I think these were the Barclays Bank staff at the same games night - possibly Sue Warnes (?) on the left?
Uganda at anchor at unidentified Greek island
- someone must be able to identify the harbour (?).
Landing on one
of the boats, possibly at the same location.
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
Helena Swallow, the ents officer (?) as the cat, David Baskott again as the king.
More of the same with the ballerinas again.
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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