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.
Taking the family to sea
"We took the children in 1973 to ‘74 on what we thought was going to be a three and half month voyage to New Zealand"
We took the children in 1973 to ‘74 on what we thought was going to be a three and half month voyage to New Zealand, and six and a half months later, around the world and home again. That was a good trip. They enjoyed that very much. It was very good for all of us, actually and later on we took our granddaughter with us. Brendan brought young Sarah who was then eight out to Singapore to join the Golden Harvest, and she was with us for about 10 weeks. We went up to Bangkok and Singapore of course, China, and she walked on the Great Wall of China, and she enjoyed that, it did her a world of good. And her dad came with me for another trip- when we went to the Philippines, and that was great, you know, you don’t often get the chance to go ashore with your son and know him at all, just the two lads.
More and more common. I mean, in the days of sail, the captains used to take their wives and sometimes babies were born off Cape Horn and so it’s not unusual. And it wasn’t only the captains. The officers and sometimes others could take their wives. It depended on the company, and the ship and on the run.
For instance, on the New Zealand Star which was a container ship running between New Zealand and Australia and the Persian Gulf on what they called the Middle East container service, one of the engine room workmen, what was he called? The motorman, he was called, he took his wife and he was a really tough old Glasgow man, and I don’t think he had a shave from one end of the trip to the end of it, usually. And a real tough old Glaswegian, you know, and he asked if he could bring his wife and the company said, “yeah, okay,” because he was along time company man, you know. And Ruby came and we soon realised that every ship should have a Ruby. Because she was marvellous- he used to shave every day, he was spotlessly clean, Ruby used to knit socks for the lads, and make sure that everybody kept everything clean and proper, and she was a great asset to the ship.
Sandy has 19 memories in the memorynet:
Sandy's memories with a Women theme:
- Taking the family to sea
Sandy's other memories:
- Training school for the merchant navy
- Adjusting to life at sea
- Progress through the merchant navy
- A day at 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
- Master's certificate
- The Panama Canal
- Loading cargo in Ghana
- Taking the family on ship
- Teaching knotting skills
- Chooky the Rooster
- The Golden Bear