Oh how I wish those Happy Days were back again, but when looking back at the wonderful old shipping posters on the main part of this newsletter, nothing in today’s world could ever hope to equal the happiness we knew back then… Oh to suddenly find that we have somehow managed to travel back in time, and are on our way down to the docks to join a great ship like the ones in those posters, a magnificent ship that would take us on a truly exciting voyage, just as in that famous old song; to faraway places with strange sounding names… Oh well, at least most of us experienced those magical days; days that we will never forget, but at least we still have each other and our Snowbow newsletters to hopefully bring us some joy and we now have a wonderful ocean liner that will allow us to experience again, just what it was like to go to sea, during the Golden Age of Ocean Travel… Hooray! But more about that in a few moments.
So many of you have been ordering DVDs from our Award Winning video series, The Great Liners, and here’s some great news… We still have so much rare film to work on and restore, so you will be able to continue enjoying those amazing maritime scenes from the past, that’s of course as long as we’re able to fund the work, which without help from UK Heritage interest organisations (I don’t know why either!) makes it extremely difficult for just Ulla and I to do it all, but it is important work and if we don’t do it, then no one else will and then all this wonderful old film will be lost forever… But, what makes it all worthwhile is knowing the happiness these DVDs bring to so many people all over the world, and also, in doing this we are also ensuring that the history of our once great maritime past will never be forgotten.
Coming up in the not too distant future are some unbelievable old films including; a pre-war cruise aboard the Carron Lines ship the Forth, sailing from St Katherine’s in London to the Firth of Forth in the 1930s, so if you really want to experience a sea voyage slightly different to say one aboard the gigantic, all bells, whistles, entertainment, lights and sounds of today, then make sure you watch this DVD when it comes out, and see how they enjoyed themselves back in those pre-war days.
What else, well hopefully we can follow a family emigrating to Australia in the mid-1960s, travelling down from their little house up north, before arriving at the great port of Southampton, crammed full of great ships including Sahw Savill’s magnificent Northern Star for the then so exciting voyage through the wonders of the world all the way to their final destination, Freemantle. If I’m not mistaken, when stopping at the Canary Islands we actually see the QE2 there whilst on her maiden voyage… another rarity.
In Freemantle we pause to look at more rare film sent to us by another of our treasured followers, showing so many ships arriving and sailing, as well as some great footage of old buses and steam trains, which I know many of you enjoy as well and, one of our American followers, who served his time at sea with President Lines, actually filmed almost every voyage he did and what’s more, did so on a wonderful 16mm camera, and even more, what’s more, he has sent all his film to us, which is many boxes, all of which we are working to restore, so at long last we can show you just what it was like to have sailed aboard those great President Line ships.
All this wonderful film is, along with all the other rare footage we are currently working to restore, creates an almost never ending task but we must, whatever happens, make sure we do this work and do it well. Other rare film we’re working on, all of which has never been made public before includes footage of oil tankers, coasters, tugs, famous transatlantic liners, ordinary passenger liners, cargo liners, traditional cargo ships and even convoys including a big one returning from the Far East at the end of WW2, and you should see all the famous ocean liners in that convoy. What else? Oh, and just to show that us ship lovers also appreciate the ships of the Royal Navy, we have found amazing coloured film shot aboard a British Aircraft Carrier in the Pacific during WW2, with spitfires taking off and landing on her decks… plus going through the Panama Canal on her.
Thank goodness we do have so much film to restore because there will come a day when we will have come to an end, but for now we can all look forward to seeing lots more amazing maritime footage and all we’ve got to do is to make sure we live long enough to do the work, and you lot, you will have to make sure that you all live long enough to watch them… Mind you, we are gathering more and more young people who are developing a very keen interest in the ships of yesteryear and at the same time, in the lives that all us ex-seafarers lived when we were part of the biggest Merchant Navy in the world. As one young person said to me the other day…”You really looked as though you were enjoying life back then, and you all had so much freedom!
Just an important word or two about our up and coming cruises we have so carefully chosen for you to enjoy; we’ve discovered that as Coronavirus seems to be coming to an end, people are now hurrying to book their cruises and it looks as though there is a bit of a rush on, especially for the ones we have selected to do, with the Med ones booking heavily, so if you want to come with us and have fun after all the rubbish we’ve had to put up with of late, then do book early, for there is nothing worse than calling us one day to say that you wanted to go but when you tried to book you were told that all accommodation was sold out! Then there’s our October cruise, which is only a nine nighter, but that’s long enough for us to visit some great places and for us all to meet up and have a ball.
Latest on that record I released… In the last newsletter I told you that it had topped the European Top 100 Charts, which is no mean feat and had me swallowing tranquilisers by the bucket full, to try to keep me calm, but now… guess what… I went and topped the World’s Top 100 Indi Charts as well, which is even more amazing, and the very latest, hot off the press update came in a call from America last night, to tell me that I am also in the top five of every other chart, mind you, they didn’t quite say what charts, so knowing my luck perhaps instead of hit record charts, what they were referring to was the World’s Most Wanted Man charts!
Thank you all for being you and all the pleasure you bring to us that really helps to make our lives that much more enjoyable and in return, we hope that we have been able to bring a few smiles, wonderful memories, and fun into your lives as well.
Des and Ulla.