December 2018

At our December meeting we held our AGM chaired by Ian Wells. He and Secretary David Brown gave their reports on the branch activities during the year. It was decided that the room hire donation would be increased to £4 to cover our lower turnout and room fee increase. John Hampson, kindly prepared the treasurers report. The decision to maintain the 7:30 p.m. meeting start time was generally agreed. Members commented on the finish time which occasionally stretched to 10.30. It was agreed that we would make every endeavour to finish at 10.00 p.m. and restrict our break to 20 minutes.

The officers and committee were unanimously re-elected

en bloc for a further year. The Treasurers position remains vacant. Other Officers and Committee members were re-elected en bloc.


Current Committee:


Chairman: Ian Wells


Secretary: David Brown


Treasurer: Vacant


Vice Chairman: Jerzy Swieszkowski


Honorary Vice Chairman: Robin Butcher


Honorary Auditors: Ray Smith and David Berg


Committee: Andrew Smith, John Raven, John Harrison, David Berg and Ray Smith.


After the break we showed a couple of promotional films from the Shaw Saville archive.


November 2018

At our November meeting we were pleased to welcome Derek Sands from Haven Ports branch with his show “Passing the Pier”. A resident of Harwich, he is often to be seen with his camera on the town’s “Halfpenny Pier”.  We were amazed at the variety of shipping to be seen. These included the regular ferries to Holland and formerly to Esbjerg using Parkstone Quay. Parkstone handles bulk cargoes of grain and also a small amount of container traffic along with its cruise ship visitors, sadly now diminishing. The quay also serves oil/gas drilling rigs and many jack up barges serving the wind industry, some visiting for stores others to shelter from bad weather. Further upstream is the “Halterman Carless” depot which handles hydrocarbon based fuels and solvents. The nearby Navyard Wharf handles a wide variety of cargo and in the past has imported and exported vehicles. Regulars serving the port of Mistley at the head of the navigable river Stour are sizeable coasters which handle a variety of cargoes including dry bulk, fertilisers, grain and wood. Also to be seen are vessels serving the port of Ipswich which handles dry bulk, forest products, general products, containers and RoRo cargoes. Our thanks to Derek for coming to see us with his very interesting presentation. Who knew such a variety of ships were to be seen from such a small north Essex pier? New member John V Nichols started the evening with video of the three Woolwich ferries that left the Thames bound for Le Harvre for breaking. Thanks to John for recording this event for posterity.


October 2018

We welcomed Krispen Atkinson to our October meeting where he presented “Cornish Ports 3”. A native of Cornwall now living in Kent, Krispen obviously maintains his passionate interest in all things Cornish. We started our “journey” in Mounts Bay at Mullion on the Lizard peninsular with Portleven the home of Curnow Shipping which ran the service to St Helena with RMS ST HELENA until January this year. This part of the coast also saw the wreck of HMS WARSPITE in 1947.

Penzance was also discussed, a port which had a lot of associated industry but now only supports a repair yard in the old dry dock. She is the home port to the Scilly Islands ferry SCILLONIAN II. Nearby Newlyn is now largely a fishing port. There were also pictures of the “landing site” of the communication cables to Inda and other parts of the world at Porthcurnow. At Land’s End the Torrey Canyon disaster was discussed. Attention was then directed to the North Cornish coast covering St Ives the home of Haine’s Shipping. Hayle once a shipbuilding/breaking port is now silted up and doesn’t allow much shipping traffic.

The narrow port of Portreath exported copper and tin to South Wales and imported coal on their return as was the port of St Agnes which ceased trading in 1900 after a violent storm decimated the harbour.

China Clay was exported through the port of Newquay and at Padstowe drifters unloaded their herring catch directly into railway wagons and were in London the next day. Padstowe also had a small shipyard and shipbreakers. Large quantities of slate were exported from the small port of St Gaverne. Photos of before during and after the flash floods of 2004 at Boscastle were shown.

By way of the Bude canal and the Tamar Manure Navigation we were taken back to the South Cornish Coast. Wher the ports of the Tamar River were shown along with ships in the river. The presentation ended showing the demise of the Port of Truro.

Thanks to Krispen for such an absorbing evening and we look forward to his return with another  presentations.


September 2018

We once again welcomed Peter & Christine Ives to our September meeting. Their presentation this year covered a visit to Vitoria and Tubarão in Brazil in November 2016.  Vitoria Port was originally used for the export of iron ore but was not the easiest port to navigate for the increasing size of shipping. During the early 1960’s therefore, the port of Tubarão across the bay was developed to handle the increasing export of iron ore. The port now also handles steel, paper, cellulose, and coffee. Peter showed us the variety of shipping at the two ports which included bulk carriers, container feeder vessels, heavy lift ships cruise ships and tugs. Also included were points of interest such as the local museum and some of the abundant wildlife to be found. We thank Peter and Christine for a most interesting presentation and look forward to seeing them again next year.

August 2018

At our August meeting we screened Maurice Napier’s PowerPoint show “Falkland Islands”. Maurice has visited the island several times, mostly on business but also holidaying with his wife. The show started with an overview of the history and geography of the islands and some of the wildlife to be found there. Following a visit to the memorials and war graves from the 1982 and 1914 conflicts we viewed the local ships that serve the islands with many an ex-Soviet Bloc vessel featuring. A large number of the wrecked vessels that litter the islands shores were shown. Visits to the Islands by cruise ships are becoming popular with visitors being ferried ashore. If a gale blows up apparently there is a contingency plan to accommodate them ashore until the storm dies down.  The concluding section included a moving video of the ceremonies on the Islands to commemorate the 1982 war with Argentina. Thank you Maurice for bringing your Falkland Islands pictures and film into one presentation that was enjoyed by all present.


July 2018

At the July meeting our own David Berg showed an excellent selection of photos taken during visits to Holland and Belgium in 2016. Nearly every kind of ship was shown including his beloved car carriers.


June 2018

At our June meeting former branch member Neil Davidson payed us a visit from the wilds of Suffolk and showed images of the many ships and sights taken during a TSS trip to Panama and the Panama Canal. This visit was taken after the canal had been enlarged and showed many of the larger vessels now able to make use of the canal. The trip included a passage through the canal, visits to the Miraflores Lock, the new Aqua Clara visitor centre and a trip around the Pacific anchorage. Also included was a journey on the Colon to Panama City canal railway and a rain forest trip.

A thoroughly enjoyable evening complemented with maps and Neil’s informative commentary. We thank Neil for coming to see us and look forward to another visit at some time in the future.


May 2018

The Annual Photo Competition for the Colin Viney Trophy is normally held in February but was postponed due to the “Beast from the East”.  Entrant’s these days have digital pictures but we are able to scan slides and photographs for inclusion. These are assembled into a PowePoint presentation.  The entrants this year were David Berg, David Brown, John Harrison, John Raven and Ray Smith who submitted their best six images for judging by the members. The selection included images from Gibraltar to Terneuzen  and from Norway to Felixstowe. During the break scores were totalled, followed by the entrants giving information on their pictures. Our 2017 trophy winner is once again Ray Smith, with just 2 points between Ray and runner-up David Berg. The best picture of the competition was John Harrisons image of MARCO POLO on a snowy day in Norway whilst he was on a cruise.


Click  HERE  to view a slide show of the images entered into the competition.



Listed belotw are the score details of each image and each set


PhotographPointsShip NamePOSITION
Image 1-147  ARCO AVON17
Image 1-349  CMA CGM CHATEAU D'IF12
Image 1-447  DIAMOND SKY17
Image 1-544  EDZARD SCHULTE22
Image 1-654  SB MIROSA3
TOTAL285 3

David Brown



PhotographPointsShip NamePOSITION
Image 2-153  COLD STREAM6
Image 2-254  LEWEK FALCON3
Image 2-354  PHENEX3
Image 2-449  QUEEN VICTORIA12
Image 2-552  STAVROS NIARCOS        7
Image 2-651  VICTOR HORTA8
TOTAL310 2

Ray Smith



PhotographPointsShip NamePOSITION
Image 3-145  FORT GEORGE20
Image 3-238  HHL FREEMANTLE30
Image 3-342  Unk Tanker & FREDERICA29
Image 3-442  Poole Pilot26
Image 3-544  MOSCOW MAERSK22
Image 3-645  BERTHA20
TOTAL256 5

John Raven



PhotographPoints48Ship NamePOSITION
Image 4-147  FLOYFJELL  17
Image 4-248  RICHARD WITH15
Image 4-341  RICHARD WITH28
Image 4-460  MARCO POLO1
Image 4-548  PORT of AMSTERDAM 5 15
Image 4-639  BANDITS 24
TOTAL283 4



PhotographPointsShip NamePOSITION
Image 5-1         50   BEN VARRE


Image 5-249  BEGEN NORDIC12
Image 5-351  FROYA8
Image 5-450  LOMBOK STRAIT10
Image 5-544  MEIN SCHIFF £22
Image 5-659  MULTRATUG 3 & EN AVANT 102
TOTAL303 1


April 2018

Unfortunately our planned evening was postponed at short notice.

We used the evening to catch up on some of our unfinished shows from the past.

From last month we completed the show from Ian Wells of slides he took in 1962. After the break we completed John Luxton’s presentation SeaTube 2 which we were unable to complete previously. This was a compilation of short films and clips from the internet and was much appreciated.


March 2018

Ian Wells fourth PowerPoint show comprising scans of slides taken in 1962 in and arround London Docks, the Blackwater Estuary, Scarborough and Calais. The first slide, that of FANDANGO originally a "Dance" class Admiralty trawler, was the first colour slide Ian took. Previously he had used black and white print film. Nostalgia took over with pictures of ships from the well known lines of the time; "Blue Star" "Glen Line", "Shaw Savill & Albion", "Gamecock Tugs" "Shell Tankers", "Houlder Lines", "Bibby Line", "British India", "P & O", to name just a few. Many foreign flag vessels were also included that visited the docks at that time. Ships layed up in the Blackwater were included ans were ships seen on a visit to Scarborough. Ships seen on a trip to Calais on the ROYAL DAFFODIL completed the evening. Thanks to Ian for his diligent research on the histories of the vessels shown. His next PowerPoint show will feature a selection of ships scanned film from the 1950s.


February 2018

Unforseen circumstances forced the postponement of our advertised meeting which was changed at the last minute to a DVD evening. Our films covered the pilotage of a new container ship entering the English Chanel and visiting Southampton for the first time before departing for the continent. The rest of the evening was given over to a film on the life and times of the Thames Barge. This flexibility showed the value of our investment in a digital projector enabling us to offer a different program at short notice. Our Photographic Competition will now be held at our May meeting.


January 2018

Our first meeting of the New Year fell on a bank holiday and as usual is a local or home grown affair.  We completed showing the last few images of David Brown's "Secretary's Miscellany" started last month after our AGM. We then watched a trio of films featuring the port of Bristol in the 1950's and 60s. This was generally a film extolling the virtues of the port's "modern" facilities to encourage shippers to use the port, and was of course before the advent of containerisation. The film showed the port's capability of handling all manner of cargoes at at Bristol, Avonmouth and Portbury docks ranging from oil to dry goods and chilled fruit to frozen meat and tobacco to wines and spirits.




November 2017


October 2017


September 2017


August 2017


July 2017


June 2017