Good times past


By Gordon Kerr

Fond memories sailing out of Gt Yarmouth on the Norwich Trader May 62 - Oct 62. Believe she was ex GSNC vessel, can't remember how old she was. When I signed on I joined her at dock yard in Lowestoft. First ship I was on with no radar, no gyro, no heating, just a magnetic compass, big wooden wheel you had to stand at the side of it to steer, a couple of charts and a Decca navigator. Our top speed was between 7 and 8 knots. Not very good in rough weather. I remember being in Amsterdam for extra day as weather was too bad to leave port. One thing we did have was battery lights at night. When in port we also had to pay so much for our food our cook was an old retired trawlerman from Lowestoft. Old Sid - great cook. The skipper was quite old, the mate I think his name was Keith, the other AB his nickname was Darkie. I was the only crewman who was not local.    A lot of the time we were in Yarmouth from Friday afternoon till Monday.    l used to do a casual Nightshift at the soft drinks factory. l think the engineer was German. His mother was landlady of a local pub, can't remember what one. Don't think I would recognise GY now unfortunately. I have never been back since I left the Norwich Trader in Oct 62 but I still have happy memories of my time there. Sad to see the demise of the British Merchant Fleet if we still have one. My happiest memories at sea were the 60s early 70s. Now it's all foreign flag container ships. No seamanship there - not all change for the better. I would love to know what became of the old Norwich Trader. Does anyone out there know? Please let me know. 

This page was added by Gordon Kerr on 04/02/2018.

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