1928 ~ 1962

People...page 3

           ...and events

At least, that's what we sometimes also include
 in this section


The Boys Having Some Fun

Reggie is the guy in the center with the curly hair.
I am in the back row second from the left facing you,
next to the guy with sun glasses.

Ray Thompsett   

Teddy Boys on the Town


Both photographs courtesy of Ray Thompsett

Three of the boyos stepping out in foreign parts
clearly with a good time in mind.
Ray Thompsett on the right, but who are the other two?
And were was this taken? When?




These two photographs were emailed to me by Mr. Joe Barnett, a steward who made three trips on the Rangitiki in the late forties.  It seems that the townsfolk in one New Zealand city put on a dance for the entire crew of the 'Tiki as a sign of appreciation of the service the ship had given to New Zealand.  Joe is  not sure now which town hosted this event or the exact date, but he does remember that every member of the crew left with a gift of goodies still not readily available in Britain at the  time owing to rationing still in effect.

Joe and his friend Eric are shown with little white lines above their heads.  Joe is on the left.  If the photo is enhanced, more people can be seen sitting at tables and propping up the bar.  Mick Overall is not to be seen, which is not to say he wasn't there.  Gosh, it would be great to listen to him today as he described this event.  I believe he would have enjoyed himself tremendously at this party.

Any old timers (or there famlies and friends) who recognise anyone else in this picture, or who were there, are encouraged to write to me at brit1941@yahoo.com

Eric on the left, Joe on the right enjoying a couple of long 'uns.

"Me with the glass to my mouth.  I look at my face in the picture; not bad.  Now I have a face like a bit of knitting or a road map "         ~ Joe

1 April 2008 ~ Joe Barnett very graciously allowed me to view his wage slips from a couple of voyages from 1949.  Clearly we live in a very different world today.
Nine years later (in 1958) I started my career in a professional office (behind Victoria Street, close by Westminster Cathedral) for the grand sum of
£3:10:0 a week (£3.50 in today's currency).


Mr. Anthony Fry, Assistant Cook on the final voyage in 1962, sent me the picture and the poem below by way of email. 
Anthony says that he became enchanted with Pitcairn Island the moment he first set eyes on her, and has built a
website about her.

13 May 2005 - Poem revised by Anthony Fry  

  Anthony Fry

In those days I would embark on majestic voyages of sexual paradise.
Young virulent handsome men, mariners with a dashing personality;
a conquest in every port, with us a phantom in every maiden’s thoughts.

Oh! How wonderful to reminisce those great romantic times I miss,
casting our sensual pleasures into the outwitting nights;
drinking and dancing, replenishing life's beauty on our endless ocean journey of
  emotional fatigues.

An individualistic crew whose thoughts were of fortune, fantasy, adventure,
a melancholy camaraderie and anticipated excitement created from "LAND AHOY!"

Once in the warm harbours, the roaring seas, those raging storms, the crew can forget.
A crack of lightning strikes, whistling winds, monotonous motions; what the heck,
all perilous thoughts become washed away, mercilessly to return another day;
the antagonistic high seas can so quickly turn into an irascible engulfing enemy.

Heavenly yearning female bodies so divine, uninhibited emotions we can’t decline;
a distant view of an island, a landfall - reflection of paradise or vastness of isolation,
to all seafaring souls who have been and gone remembered like a lighthouse forever 
A famous tale of fortune springs to mind; times on Papeete - paradise eternal perhaps.

Anthony Fry November 2004


Some Officers & Friends at the Wellington HM Custom's Annual Ball on 17 June 1960.
Courtesy Donald Ritchie

Gentlemen were officers on Rangitiki.
"Oh boy after 45 years, memory needs defrag.
What I can remember is:
From left:  2nd Radio Officer (Robin Miller),  Purser, Chief Steward (Barney Coleman?, 4th or 5th Deck Officer, Deck Officer,
 4th Radio Officer (Donald Ritchie) Deck Officer

The Girls: 4th from the right (seated) is the ship's nurse
(Ann Withers)
Not in photo, Chief Radio Officer, "Minty"
Lamb and skipper, Captain Calcutt."




Robin Miller with Second Officer, Willie Davidson
and Third Radio Officer

Sister Ann Withers relaxes for a few minutes with passengers
Steward waits patiently

The two photographs above courtesy of Mrs. Stewart Downing (nee Ann Withers)

Was this the same voyage in 1960 as shown in the photo from Donald Richie?


Another Celebration (some when between late 1958 to mid 1959)
Courtesy of David Webber

A little cabin party to celebrate the engagement of Mr. Sid Ford (Second Cook), seated front right, to his young lady (Laundry Maid) sitting on the left.  Seated behind her is Ship's Writer Mike Fitzgerald (whose contributions to this website will be found on other pages), and behind him, standing with tankard, is an unidentified Steward, with Ray ---?, another Writer.  On the right, standing behind Sid is Paddy Rowe, Assistant Steward, and at the rear is George Claxton (Storeman).  The other gentleman, seated with tankard, remains unidentified.