Snowbow/ Maritime Memories September 2020 News Letter
It’s always good when we can tell you that we will shortly complete production on two more DVDs in our Great Liners series. Just finding and restoring the film is difficult enough and can take several years alone, and we try so hard to make sure that the rare film we use hasn’t been made available to the public before, and when satisfied, we spend several months turning this beautiful old film into great video programmes.
Of course, it would help if you all had similar ship interests, but alas, those interests vary from the great transatlantic liners right down to coasters and tugs, so in our planning, and with a little luck, we try to make each programme in a way that will make their content of interest to us all.
In these new ones, as mentioned on our opening page, you will not only see the magnificent Queen Elizabeth battling through a severe storm, but because the film was shot aboard at the time, you will believe you are there for real. The programmes will take you on the beautiful Queen of Bermuda as she sails in convoy at the end of WW2, bringing service personnel back home after spending the whole war out in the Far East, many in Japanese prisoner of war camps…. Actually, just their arrival back in Southampton is alone worth watching.
You do a 1960s Med cruise on the majestic Arcadia, which is so different from modern day cruising and for our money, so much more enjoyable. You join Union-Castle’s Durban-Castle in the 1950s for a voyage from London to Cape town, and then around the coast which gives us a wonderful opportunity to see other Union-Castle liners we haven’t been able to show you previously.
We go to Southampton to join what for me were some of the most beautiful ocean liners ever, those wonderful Orient Liners, this time to board the majestic Oronsay on a Caribbean Cruise.. Oh how wonderful to be able to sail on such a vessel and how wonderful to be able to go back in time to the 1960s Caribbean when everything was so less commercial and busy.
We take you back to Southampton when, it was the best place in the world to watch ships, and this time we join the revolutionary designed and very impressive Shaw Savill liner, the magnificent Northern Star as she sets sail for Australia and the Port of Freemantle, with a ship full of tourists and excited immigrants, who were sailing out to start a new life in a new world.
When in Freemantle we give you another rare treat… we stay there and watch all the many great ships coming in and out of the port including Shaw Savill’s Arawa, and Chandris Line’s Australist… It’s not often we get the chance to see so many wonderful ships all in one port.
How about this for being something different… a cruise on one of the Carron Line ships from St Katherine’s Wharf in the heart of London, to Scotland. To be honest, before we found this rarest of rare film, I knew precious little about Carron Line, but Carron were back then a massive company in Scotland that produced everything from cannonballs to domestic appliances, and to help shift all this produce around the world they had their own ships, ships that when sailing to and from Scotland, carried just a handful of very privileged passengers, and what a way to go to sea! No ice rinks, rock climbing, shopping malls or even star studded cabaret, no, for all our passengers had was the freedom to sit on the ship’s cargo hatches and just enjoy being free and at sea, as going to sea should be.
It’s almost impossible to list everything on these new DVDs, but I will mention another rare moment, which is a visit to the Port of Rotterdam at the start of the 1960s, which again is full of ships of all shapes and sizes, and another great treat to enjoy.
One more treat I should mention is very rare film of WW2 Convoys, both Atlantic and Arctic, because again, it’s film never made public before. As opposed to just looking at well-worn newsreel footage, we’re actually there on the ships… Heaven knows how one of our followers managed to get a cine camera aboard and film this but they did, and we’re so grateful to them for doing so.
So, that’s the new DVDs, plus lots more footage there just isn’t the time or room to include in this newsletter, but if you really like your ships or just good old nostalgia, we’re pretty sure you will enjoy these.
The Latest Maritime Memories News
Now what’s happening with our Maritime Memory Cruises, so many of you ask, and quite right to, for when news came out that the Fred Olsen Line had taken the wonderful Black Watch out of service, we were so sad to say the least, for she was a ship so many of us have enjoyed. But not only that, we had invested so much time and money into the four cruises we had chosen and although Corona Virus isn’t the fault of anyone in this part of the world, it was a great loss.
In the first instance we were seriously considering stopping our Maritime Memory Cruises altogether until Fred Olsen Line told us the ship that would replace the Black Watch, and be there for us… They could have chosen any ship on the market, but the one they chose really brought a smile to my face, for it’s one I have always liked…Yes, it was Holland America Line’s really nice Rotterdam, now renamed the Borealis.
Now back in my day, when I was a truly young and handsome sailor, (Lift Boy actually!) I would have considered these ships to have been massive, but in today’s world of giant cruise ships, with less than 1300 passengers they’re really quite small. She was built in 1997 and has a fair old turn of speed of 25 knots, and we know you will really enjoy sailing on her.
Holland America Line did ask us if Maritime Memories would sail with them and I did look at those ships back then, but we had agreed to use the Discovery and although greatly tempted, especially with what they offered us at the time, we didn’t want to let Discovery down.
I was impressed, with Holland America and their beautiful ships, which really had a great feel about them, both from a seafarer’s point of view and that of a passenger and we always had it in mind to go back to them. Actually, we became very friendly with their Commodore, who was himself a collector of our DVDs and a great supporter, which reminds me that when we are all finally aboard and on our new cruises, I really have to remember to tell you the story of the time when in Wellington, New Zealand, and their senior pilot, Peter, took me onboard one of their Liners just prior to sailing, on the pretense that I was his new trainee pilot. You won’t believe what happened when after clearing the quayside and having turned the ship towards the distant harbor heads, he and the Captain handed the responsibility for piloting over to me, and then left me on the bridge in charge as they went and hid so to see what would happen…
If this story doesn’t bring tears of laughter to your eyes then I’m afraid little in this world ever will, because it is a maritime tale like no other… Many of you will know that when I left the sea I went in to show business and was a co-star in the top rated TV series Candid Camera, and also heavily involved with the TV comedy series ‘Some Mothers do ave em, well if you put those two series together, it might give you some idea of what happened when I was let loose on that bridge with a very serious German 1st Mate and an equally serious Swedish 2nd…
Taking on the Pilot role in the character of Frank Spencer, I asked where the wheel was (being used to those big helms on my old ships) and German Chief Officer tried to tell me that they no longer had a ship’s wheel. “I know you haven’t got no wheel, that’s why I’m looking for it.”
I looked out of the bridge window and could see rocks in the distance on our portside, and immediately pretended to panic. In full Frank Spencer mode, got down on my knees as I looked for the wheel. “Those rocks could sink us… we must find the wheel.” Then asked where the brakes were, because if we haven’t got a wheel then we would have to rely on our brakes”!
As I looked beneath the bridge controls for the brakes, the German and Swede who hadn’t a clue this was all supposed to be a joke, started to get worried. “We don’t have no wheel or brakes.” they cried. I took on a more serious stance. “Had we known this before sailing then we wouldn’t have let you sail without a wheel and brakes, why we could be up on those rocks and then what would happen.”
Meanwhile, the Captain and the real Pilot, hidden away around the corner where unseen, they could watch everything, were crying with laughter as the poor German and Swede just didn’t know how to handle this bizarre situation. I can’t write everything that happened here as it would take a book to do so, although it will be part of my next book (Carry on Sailor) which is due out in a couple of months. But it ended, and I know this will be hard for any of you to believe but it’s true, with me telling the German and Swede that I wanted to turn right, and that I wanted the German Chief Officer to stand out on the wing of the bridge with his arm out, to warn any traffic trying to overtake us that we were about to make a right turn… And so it went on, getting funnier and funnier, and even at the end, when as we started to approach the harbour heads, the Captain and real Pilot took over, still neither of the two senior officers knew that I wasn’t for real and whispered to the Captain that the trainee was crazy!
As we went to leave the bridge I turned to the two officers and said, with a smile. Oh by the way, your ship has been renamed.” The German looked at me. “Renamed?” “Yes, and now its called the… MV Candid Camera.” But still the penny didn’t drop.
If you are on one of out future Maritime Memory cruises and would like to hear the full story, then remind me and I will tell it all. which on its own will make your whole cruise worthwhile.
I’ve just had a call already from someone seriously doubting that I could ever have taken over as the Pilot of such an important ship, and I haven’t even finished writing it yet… There’s always someone isn’t there. so just to shut them up here’s a few photos taken on the day… Remember.. the camera can’t lie!
Anyway, a little more about the new ship, which really is so pleasantly pleasing… It’s luxurious in an unpretentious and comforting way, and without the hustle and bustle or the queues and crowds of most of the modern cruise ships, so for us, all will be so enjoyable, just as long as they don’t ask me to be their Pilot again!
Maritime Memories Future Group Cruises 2021, & 2022 With Fred Olsen Cruise Lines
New Ship Borealis – Islands of the Mediterranean – cruise S2109
Departs Liverpool 4th May 2021 – 18 nights
Liverpool, Cadiz, Mahon (Menorca), Ajaccio (Corsica), Cagliari (Sardinia), scenic cruising past Stromboli, Valetta (Malta), Palma (Mallorca), Cartagena (Spain), Oporto (For Leixoes, Oporto), Liverpool.
Lead interior fares from £2899 pp / Ocean-view fares from £3099 pp
Free all inclusive drinks & tips – book by 31st October 2020
New Ship – Borealis – Amalfi Coast, Tuscany & the Italian Riviera – cruise S2121
Departs Liverpool 2nd September 2021 – 24 nights
Liverpool, Ceuta (Spanish Morocco, Spain), scenic cruising past Stromboli, Milazzo (Sicily), Amalfi (Amalfi Coast Italy), Rome (from Civitavecchia, Italy), Sorrento (Amalfi Coast, Italy), Salerno (Campania, Italy), Olbia (Sardinia, Italy), Livorno (Tuscany, Italy), Portofino (Liguria, Italy), Genoa (Liguria, Italy), Toulon (France), Cartagena (Spain), Cadiz (Spain), Liverpool.
Lead interior group fares from £3609 pp / Ocean-view rooms from £3809 pp
New Ship – Bolette – Cultural Cities & Scenic Islands of the Americas – fly/cruise cruise T2204
Departs Callao (Peru) 22nd February 2022 – 30 nights
(Fly from London Heathrow, return to Southampton), Callao (Peru), daytime transit of the fascinating Panama Canal, Puerto Limon (Costa Rica), Cartagena de Indias (Colombia), Belize City (Belize), Costa Maya (Mexico), Cozumel (Mexico), Nassau (Bahamas), Kings Wharf (Bermuda), Ponta Delgada (Azores), La Coruna (Spain), Southampton.
Interior group fares fly/cruise fares from £3919 pp
Ocean-view fly/cruise group fares from £4509 pp
New Ship Borealis – Latin America with The Chilean Fjords Voyage – cruise T2201
Departs Southampton 4th January 2022 – 79 nights
Southampton, Lisbon, Funchal (Madeira), Santa Cruz de Tenerife (Spain), Mindelo (Cape Verde), Salvador (Brazil), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Ilhabela (Brazil), Montevideo (Uruguay), Buenos Aires (Argentina), Puerto Madryn (Argentina), Ushuaia (Argentina), Punta Arenas (Chile), Puerto Chacabuco (Chile), Robinson Crusoe Island (Chile), Valparaiso (Chile), Arica (Chile), Paracas (Peru), Callao (Peru), daytime transit of the fascinating Panama Canal, Puerto Limon (Costa Rica), Cartagena de Indias (Colombia), Belize City (Belize), Costa Maya (Mexico), Cozumel (Mexico), Nassau (The Bahamas), Kings Wharf (Bermuda), Ponda Delgada (Azores), La Coruna(Spain), Southampton.
Interior fares from £8299 pp / Ocean-view rooms from £9199 pp
To book call Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines friendly reservations team on
0800 0355 144 – Quote Maritime Memories group account code GRP0290 to book, followed by the cruise code (Open 8.30am – 6pm Mon to Fri & 9am – 5pm Sat).
Please ask about additional Oceans Members Loyalty Club Discounts.
Please note that bookings for the Maritime Memories group cannot be made on line.
Please ask for late sitting dinner at 8.30pm each evening, to be part of the Maritime Memories group dining arrangements.
Now this is just a taster for the cruises we have arranged for you all the enjoy, and when we say enjoy, we mean it, with wonderful itineraries, a great ship, tremendous food and service and above all, lots of fun and laughter with the best people in the world…and we mean…YOU!
If you think you would like to join us and would like more details then just call Ulla or Des on 00 44 1273 585391, or email email@example.com and we can get you started on an experience and holiday of a lifetime… So shake off all the endless doom and gloom and let’s all do something very, very special.
Finally, if you are still awake and with us, here is the latest news re Des’s record success, and we are really talking Success here.
What he’s managed to achieve is something that tells all of us that despite age, problems, and everything, we can still do so many things if we really want to, as he did when deciding to release records of some of his performances when aboard Maritime Memory Cruises.
His thinking and actions were prompted by all the doom and gloom we’re bombarded with daily and whereas he brought laughter to so many when doing a show, he had this urge to do something that would perhaps bring a little ray of happiness to people all over the world and see if we couldn’t somehow help to make this world a better place for us all to enjoy.
Then he remembered how so many people enjoyed his performances so much so that they had asked him to make copies of them, and so in what can only be best described as an almost unrivaled fit of madness, he decided that he would release one of his songs onto the internet and just see what happened.
In all honesty he didn’t expect anything to happen, but at least he had released something, so imagine his surprise when a few weeks later he received a call from the States to tell him that his little old record had Got to number one in the European Top 100… and called again a few days after that to say it was also in the World Top 100 at …Number One!
The Americans then urged him to release another track and thankfully, he had somehow managed to record a double album of things taken from his stage performances including all types of songs including Rock, Ballads, Folk, Country, and lots of comedy recordings including stand-up jokes, impersonations, and all. This double album lasted for over two hours so he had a lot of material to choose from, but how could he possibly repeat the success for the first release.
Then he remembered how, many moons ago , (2003 to be exact) he was invited to be a lecturer aboard the wonderful QE2 when she was the world’s premier ocean liner. She was sailing from New York on her world cruise, but Des wasn’t able to join her until Hawaii a few weeks later.
When he boarded her, he did what lecturers do and went to see the Cruise Director to see what lecture spot he had… “Ah, well the problem is Des, all the other lecturers aboard have all grabbed the best spots and the only one left if the graveyard I’m afraid.” “The Graveyard?” He asked. “Yes, 0900hrs I’m afraid, and you’ll only get a handful of people turning up for a lecture then”
“Oh that’s alright.” Smiled Des. “If they don’t want to come, I don’t mind, but at least I’m there if they want me.”
Next morning at 0900 hrs Des went to the lecturer theatre and there were something like fifty people sitting there, which made him feel better, and so he started his lecture. But, after about ten minutes he stopped, look at his audience and asked them. “Aren’t you bored with going to so many lectures? Because here you are on this most wonderful ship in the world, and you’re supposed to be enjoying yourselves and having fun, so please wait there a moment and I’ll be back.”
With that he shot off to his cabin and returned a few moments later carrying a guitar. He looked at the audience. “I know, you’ve probably never seen a lecturer before with a guitar, but anyway, what I’m going to do is sing you a song, but not just any old song, no, I’m foolishly going to try and make up a song all about you. I have no idea what will come out and if I do anything annoying then please remember I am ad-libbing so anything could happen… So here goes…”
With that, he started to ad-lib and sing:
I wish it was my day again,
I wish it was my day again,
With bright eyes and smiles
Instead of dandruff and piles
I wish it was my day again…
Right from the very start his audience started to giggle and as he sang more so their giggles turned to laughter A laughter that grew and grew and when he had finished, they had tears of laughter in their eyes and stood up to ask for more… And so he continued to the end of the lecture spot and they loved it.
Overnight Des felt it wasn’t right not to do the lectures he had been booked to deliver, so next morning he returned to the lecture theatre at 0900 hoping that his fifty passengers would be there again, but to his amazement, there was a queue of passengers all through the ship, all trying to get in to have a laugh.
His fifty yesterday’s people, who actually included some well-known Hollywood celebrities, were already sitting there in the front and as Des took the stand, so they called out. “Go on Des, sing ‘em that song about the dandruff and piles! And so that’s what he did and for the rest of that voyage his lecture spot, even though at 0900 hrs, became the ship’s comedy spot and people loved it. And that first song he did he titled ‘In My Day’ and was the song that, despite still having the original lead vocal as recorded aboard the QE2, he decided to add a few finishing touches and to put it out as his second release.
Again he had no idea if it would ever see the light of day, for Americans who are well versed in music and the internet told him that globally there are literally millions of new recordings released on the internet every week, and the competition is horrendous. So it went on the net and amazingly it also took off and climbed to the top of the charts.
It seemed as though there was and still is a dire shortage of comedy and laughter in today’s world, and what Des really liked was the fact that the laughter he created wasn’t just on a small stage but actually reached out all over the world, with some 250,000 stations playing it, bringing ‘A Little Ray of Happiness’ to our world.
And for all doubters, here’s a copy of part of those European and World Charts.
Now these people in America who specialise in promoting music on the internet and understand all those technical things that are so far above my head, asked to put out five tracks from this double album this time around. “Are you sure?” I asked. “Yep.. we’ve listened carefully to the whole album and we believe that whereas on most albums there’s only couple of decent tracks and the rest just throwaways, every track on that album is both different and worthy of being a single… So in My Day, together with four other songs which many of you who have been to see me on stage will probably know, are now on release and yes, I did ad-lib them all as I did the whole double album.
So whatever your taste is, be that rock ‘n’ roll, folk, country-rock, ballads or comedy, there’s something here for all of you to enjoy, and if you’re are coming with us on the new cruises then all being well I’ll be able to take to the stage and do my thing, including stand-up and songs.
The double album itself will be for sale in the not too distant future, although many people have already ordered CDs and DVDs. DVDs have the actual promo films on them and CDs, just the audio. So if you just can’t wait for your copy then do give us a call and we’ll see what we can do.
Also, if you want to lend a hand in helping to promote these records to help spread A Little Ray of Happiness around the world, then do forward this newsletter to all your friends and associates, which would really help us, and boy, do we need help!
This unique documentary tells for the first time on film the amazing story of the Boy Scouts Movement, a movement started by Lord Baden-Powell way back in 1907 after he took just a handful of boys from all different backgrounds on an experimental camping adventure to Brownsea Island in England. Despite the boys being all ages and from those very different backgrounds, the camp was a huge success and in January 1908 the Boy Scouts Movement began.
From that first small camp so many years ago has grown the biggest youth movement in the world, a movement that today is truly international and has over 50 million members and continues to grow bigger by the day. In order to be able to tell this remarkable story properly we also needed to go global so we would film Scouts all over the world including Australia, the Far East, across Africa, Europe, North America and even to Scandinavia and the Arctic Circle.
As well as all the live footage shot throughout the world we also gained exclusive access to rare archive film of those early days of Lord Baden-Powell himself and even that very first camp on Brownsea Island. The end result is a video programme that is both informative and extremely entertaining to watch. This programme is unique and there’ll never be another film like it, but the story is so important and had to be told so that you and generations to come will be able to see just how one man managed to create a movement that has done such good for so many, all over the world, and we are proud to have been able to play our part in doing so.
The programme will be available to download and on DVD well in time for this coming Christmas, so for anyone who is a Scout or involved with it in any way or would just like to enjoy something really special to watch, then this is a must for you.
Further information on price and how to order will be given in our next newsletter, which will follow this one in a couple of weeks’ time.
Best wishes from all of us at