Sandy was born in North Shields. At the age of 16 he began his maritime training and went to sea at 18. He is Lifeboat Visits Officer for Cullercoats RNLI and a member of the Coble and Keelboat Society.
Sandy was interviewed by Carl Greenwood on 9 December 2005. The interview took place at Discovery Museum People's Gallery and lasted 46 minutes and 7 seconds.
Adjusting to life at sea
"Well, of course, everybodyís a bit homesick at first"
Well, of course, everybodyís a bit homesick at first, because I had led a sheltered life (laughs), and a loving family and nice relatives, but you very soon get used to it, and it was very exciting. That was the good part about it- it was exciting and different, and it was what I wanted to do, I wanted to go to sea, so this was working towards that and it was great. I enjoyed it. Very much. They were two of the best years of my life, really.
Well, it was a seafaring town, a lot of lads went to sea. In our class at the high school, there was about 30 and half of them were girls so they didnít go to sea in those days, but there were five of us lads all determined to go to sea. One was an engineer, one went to the Royal Navy and the rest of us went on deck. You couldnít go on deck if you didnít have good eyesight, you see, so if you wanted to go to sea and hadnít good eyesight, good enough to pass the test, you hadnít to be colour-blind, for a start, so you either went as an engineer or a radio officer where eyesight wasnít quite so important. So a lot of people went to see and my family had been seafarers and connected with ships for years and years.
Sandy has 19 memories in the memorynet:
Sandy's memories with a Roles and Routines theme:
- Training school for the merchant navy
- Progress through the merchant navy
- A day at sea
- Master's certificate
- Loading cargo in Ghana
Sandy's other memories:
- Adjusting to life at sea
- Taking the family to sea
- Ships in bottles
- Chooky the rooster
- The RNLI and the Coble and Keelboat Society
- The Doxford Song
- Continuous Certificate of Discharge
- Notebooks and diaries of flights and voyages
- The Panama Canal
- Taking the family on ship
- Teaching knotting skills
- Chooky the Rooster
- The Golden Bear