Bob belongs to: The Fishermen's Mission
Bob was born in North Shields. He has worked in the Royal Navy, merchant navy and steam trawlers. Bob is retired and spends his time painting.
Bob was interviewed by Kylea Little on 8 November 2005. The interview took place at North Shields Fishermen's Mission and lasted 52 minutes and 23 seconds.
Life after the Royal Navy
"When I came home there was nothing at home at the time"
When I came home there was nothing at home at the time, and my old man said, “well, you’ve had the rough so you might as well stay in and have the smooth,” and I said, “who told you it was ever smooth?”
But no, I came here, I came down here to stand on the riverside debating what I was going to do next. Whether to jump in and finish it all because I was totally sick. And I thought if it doesn’t come off I can always swim back but then a fellow on board one of the trawlers says, “hello lad”, he says, “you fancy a pot of tea?” and this was late at night, half past 11, 12 o’clock at night. And I had just been turfed out the house, you know and told not to come back sort of thing. And, as I say, I came down here sick, sick as a chip, and, I went aboard the trawler and had a cup of tea and a natter with this watchman, and he said, “well, why don’t you sleep on board if you,’ve got nowhere to go?” He says, “I’ll give you a shout in the morning.”
Well, the owner of the trawler came down and asked who was sleeping in one of the bunks with the curtain drawn, you see. And he said, “it’s a fellow who seems to have fallen on hard times." He said, “so I let him sleep on board.” And he said, “well, give him his breakfast,” and he said, “I’ll have a word with him.”
So I had a word with him and he said, “can you cook?” and I said, “well, yeah, yeah I can cook.” He said, “well go up to the Irvin's’s office and sign on- you’re the cook aboard the ship.” And so I did and that was the start of going off in the trawlers.
Bob has 15 memories in the memorynet:
Bob's memories with a Change theme:
- Life after the Royal Navy
- Joining the trawlers as a cook
- The merchant navy and St. Elmo's Fire
- The smell of the smoke houses
Bob's other memories:
- Joining the Royal Navy
- Manning the guns
- Landing the catch on North Shields Fish Quay
- Swimming under the ice store
- Taking a break on the Suez Canal
- Continuous Certificate of Discharge 2
- Bob Cawley at San Domingo
- Continuous Certificate of Discharge 1
- Individual Certificate
- Continuous Certificate of Discharge 3
- Painting of Trawler and North Shields Fish Quay