WORLD SHIP SOCIETY

NORTH WEST KENT BRANCH

Shipping



approximate tidal differences
Southend            -30 mins
Strood Pier         -10 mins
Thames Barrier  +30 mins
Tower  Bridge    +50 mins
August 2017
John Townsend provided the show for our meeting in August when he gave us his presentation entitled "Slides from the past". The ship photographs were taken in various ports and places both at home and abroad between 1999 and 2001.  Included were the Thames, Portsmouth, Grimsby, Rotterdam and the Hook of Holland.  The two eldest vessels seen were both preserved in Dunkerque.  These were the three masted ship DUCHESSE ANNE (1901) and the paddle steamer PRINCESS ELIZABETH (1927) which made four trips to Dunkerque evacuating allied troops in May 1940.  Many thanks for a good show John.
KS

July 2017
Branch Secretary Glen Humble showed his presentation "Local Shipping" at our meeting in July.  This was a selection of photos taken mostly on the Thames and Medway during 2013-2014.  Among the many types of vessels seen was the ARCTIC SUNRISE of Greenpeace which caused some problems for Russian security forces during 2013 and the solar powered craft TURANOR PLANETSOLAR that circumnavigated the globe in 2010-2012.  We also saw the largest container vessel to enter the Thames up to this time, the 114,044 ton ZIM ROTTERDAM which made an unscheduled call at London Gateway which was then still under construction.  Thanks Glen for a very good show.
KS

June 2017

David Walker came along to our June meeting to present his ‘Views from South Devon’ show.  The first part of the show dealt with Teignmouth and began with an overview of the port.  The initial, black & white, pictures had been taken during the ‘50s and ‘60s by his Grandfather, Gordon before moving on to David’s own work which was taken mainly from the pilot cutter SYD HOOK and also included some internal views of HEBRIDEAN PRINCESS.  After the break we moved on to Brixham which included a whole range of vessels anchored in Tor Bay Thank you David for a very enjoyable show.
 AC

May 2017
 Due to unforeseen circumstances we had to hastily rearrange our evening in May at the last moment.  The chairman's laptop came to the rescue and provided a couple of short presentations.  First up was "Big Ships" being a selection of photos that were originally put together by Geoff Watson.  This was followed by pictures taken after the grounding of the COSTA CONCORDIA in  January 2012 showing amongst others the evacuation of the vessel.
KS

April 2017

In April we joined Geoff Watson on his presentation "River Danube Cruise" which was a trip he did in August 2016.  Travelling on the river cruiser SERENITY we began our journey in Passau (Germany) and visited many places including Vienna, Budapest and Bratislava.  We also saw smaller towns such as Melk, Spitz and Linz and we finished our cruise in Durnstein (Austria).  Along the way there was plenty to see both off and on the river and Geoff kept us up to date on the historical sites we saw.  Thanks Geoff for a good and interesting presentation.

KS

March 2017

We welcomed Ian Wells to Dartford in March where he showed the branch his presentation 'London Shipping 1972'.  This was a selection of slides that had been scanned by David Brown and covered mainly inside and outside the Royal Docks.  There were quite a few comments on the quality of the photographs,which were excellent, as was the subject matter.  Ian made a point of ensuring that there was a lot more in the photos than just ships (lighters,tugs etc) so we were all able to see exactly how it was at the time on the upper Thames.  Many thanks Ian.

 KS


February 2017

At our meeting in February we had a selection of slides from the collection of our late Vice Chairman Derek Upton.  All the photographs were taken between 1970 and 1972 most of them on the River Thames and in the Royal Docks.  It was an evening of nosatalgia, from the passenger liners to the small Dutch coasters,'yellow perils' and 'flat irons'.  We had only an occasional hint of the changes that were to come in the future.  Thanks to Alan Chapman for putting the presentation together and to Glen Humble for reading the script.
KS

January 2017
At our meeting in January we saw Maurice Napier's presentation "Fishing Vessels" which took us to many countries while showing us the various types of fishing. This ranged from plain rod and line to large trawlers and just about everything in between such as squid jiggers, gill netters, long liners etc. If it swims you can catch it, it's just a matter of knowing the best way how. We also saw whalers, whale factory and fish factory ships. A very interesting evening.  Thanks to Maurice Napier for the show itself, Roy Cressey for providing the show and also to Glen Humble for reading the script. 
KS

December 2016  
Our December meeting was the usual Christmas social evening of a chat over tea and seasonal goodies which was followed by a quick quiz from the chairman.  Our treasurer then showed a presentation which was a selection of photos taken mostly between 2009 - 2016 but with a few going back to the 70's and 80's.
KS


November 2016

Our November meeting was, as usual, our AGM and main points for discussion were attendance at meetings and finances.  The committee showed there was still enthusiasm in the branch by having a full programme arranged for 2017.  The AGM was followed by the second part of Captain Edwin Gregson's presentation "Tropic Voyage 1976".  We started in the Houston Ship Canal before going on to Houston itself.  After transiting the Panama Canal our next destination was Australia visiting Sydney,Melbourne and Brisbane.  Here we ran out of time but will show the remaining part at a later date.  Very enjoyable.
K S

October 2016
In October John White took us on a slightly different type of cruise when he showed the branch his presentation "The Rhine - part one". This was part of a cruise he took in August 2015 that began in Koblenz Germany and finished in Basel Switzerland. The Rhine is a busy river and there was certainly plenty to see. River barges, that carried everything from coal to containers, ferries, river cruisers and pusher tugs. As well as castles we saw the Loreiei Rocks as we made our way to Basel. Many thanks John.
K S

Sep 2016
We dusted off the slide projector once again for Geoff Watson to give us a presentation entitled presented “Ships Built in the 50s”.  First vessel up was SIR WILIAM WALKER which set the scene for what was to come.  HMS HERMES was the first of many ‘grey funnels’ to be seen and these included a few taken approaching Chatham Dockyard and a superb night shot of USS MANLEE at Greenwich.  A whole range of types was from tugs to tankers with the latter being mostly of the bridge midships type. Yet another good evening from Geoff.

AC

Aug 2016

In August Bill Mayes braved yet again the M25 traffic to give the branch his presentation "Contrasts in Cruising 2015 - 2016. We started in the Far East travelling on several vessels and places visited included Singapore, Penang and Hong Kong. A Mediterranean cruise on VIKING STAR followed which started in Venice and finished in Istanbul. A trip around Cuba was next on the CELESTYAL CRYSTAL which began in Havana where we got to see something of this interesting city including the famous old US cars. Our last cruise was from Greenock on the 1964 built HEBRIDEAN PRINCESS. Many thanks Bill for another enjoyable evening.
KS

July 2016
In July Krispen Atkinson showed the branch two presentations from his travels. The first was a round trip from Kiel to Oslo on Color Lines COLOR FANTASY. As Krispen flew in and out of Hamburg it also included boat trips around Hamburg Docks. "Twelve Months - Twelve Ships" was an attempt by Krispen to do what it said in the title. He in fact managed to travel on fourteen different vessels starting with PRIDE OF HULL,others included CELEBRITY SILHOUETTE, DOVER SEAWAYS and STENA ATLANTICA. Among the places visited were Naples,Myconos,Malta,Piraeus and Santorini. Thanks Krispen for a very good evening.
KS

June 2016
In June our branch secretary Glen Humble gave us his presentation "Continental Miscellany" which was a selection of slides taken in 1990 in Europe and included the UK. Most of the vessels seen were built in the 70's and 80's with a few dating from the 1960's so there was plenty of variety in the deck gear to be seen. Companies included Stolt, MSC, Maersk, OOCL and Texaco and the flags of East Germany, Russia, Bangladesh, Sudan and Nigeria to name but a few. Largest ship on show was the 98.047 gross ton MAIN ORE. Thanks Glen for an enjoyable evening.
KS

June 2016
In June our branch secretary Glen Humble gave us his presentation "Continental Miscellany" which was a selection of slides taken in 1990 in Europe and included the UK. Most of the vessels seen were built in the 70's and 80's with a few dating from the 1960's so there was plenty of variety in the deck gear to be seen. Companies included Stolt, MSC, Maersk, OOCL and Texaco and the flags of East Germany, Russia, Bangladesh, Sudan and Nigeria to name but a few. Largest ship on show was the 98.047 gross ton MAIN ORE. Thanks Glen for an enjoyable evening.
KS

May 2016
We welcomed Peter and Christine Ives to the branch in May when Peter gave us his presentation "The Dardanelles". This was a selection of photographs and a DVD taken on a visit to the area in June 2014 which included Istanbul and the Bosporus. There was plenty to see as regards shipping including the numerous ferries and bulk carriers. The action that took place during World War I was of course not forgotten and Peter gave us plenty of information together with a DVD, maps and books to illustrate this. Many thanks Peter and Christine.
KS

April 2016
For our April meeting Peter Garrod presented part II of his “Career at Sea”. He began the talk with HILARY which he joined as 3rd Mate for a voyage from Liverpool to South America, this included a trip up the Amazon to Menaus. He was to serve on other ships including Royal Mail’s POTARO, Elder Dempster’s SHERBRO and Ellerman’s CITY OF BARCELONA, interspersed with these were various Home Trade stints with Everards. The talk was illustrated with pictures from many sources and accompanied by anecdotes from many of the voyages.
AC

March 2016
"Mediterranean Odyssey" was the title of the presentation given to the branch by Allan Nicholls at our meeting in March. We were taken on a trip to many ports and places which included Gibraltar, Cyprus, Genoa, Valletta, Naples, Cairo and Split to name but a few. We also got to visit the Suez Canal, Bosporus,and the rivers Danube and Rhone. Among the ships seen of which there were plenty were FRANCA C (1914), OLBIA (1947), ROYSTON GRANGE (1959), LEONARDO DA VINCI (1960) and warships of the US and Israeli Navies.   Many thanks Allan for a very good and interesting evening.
KS
 
February 2016
In February the branch had a DVD evening in which we found ourselves on board several cargo liners on their journeys in the days when ships had sticks and not boxes. We got to see a taste of life on board and also some of the weather conditions that had to be endured. Leaving from several UK ports our destinations included Australia, New Zealand and Fiji and among the places visited were Aden, Sydney, Auckland, Port Chalmers and Wellington. We also passed through the Suez and Panama canals as well as the Manchester Ship Canal
KS

January 2016
Our chairman Alan Chapman opened the new year with a presentation featuring shipping on the River Thames. All the photographs were taken during 2015 at various locations between Gravesend and London. As well as merchant ships there were naval vessels including HMS DEFENDER, HMS ST ALBANS and HMS OCEAN. During the presentation we saw the gradual scrapping at Erith of the ex naval minesweeper HMS IVESTON (1955) which by the end of the evening had all but gone. Passenger ships included OCEAN MAJESTY,SILVER CLOUD and the exploration vessel NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC EXPLORER. Thanks Alan for another good evening.
KS

December
December was as usual our social evening where those present engaged in a bit of chit - chat over some seasonal refreshments. This was followed by "Italy Revisited + Rhodes and Bali" a powerpoint presentation by Keith Simpson. We started in Genoa where we saw amongst others pictures of the colourful Moby fleet of ferries before moving on to visit Venice where the recently refitted COSTA NEO CLASSICA was seen amid the gondolas. This was followed by a visit to the Greek island of Rhodes and we finished with a few photographs taken on the island of Bali.
KS

October
"Shipping - Thames,Southampton and Felixstowe" was the title of the presentation shown to the branch by John White at our October meeting.  We began by visiting various places on the Thames before making our way down to the estuary and a visit to the River Medway.  We moved further afield to Southampton and Felixstowe,and in addition also visited Portsmouth,Harwich and Yarmouth.  All in all a good variety of ports with plenty of shipping to see,from a Chinese junk to Container ships.  Thanks John for a good show.
KS

September
Geoff Watson presented a two-part show at our September meeting with slides taken in the 1970s.  Part one dealt with British built or owned vessels and took us up to the break.  Part two were mostly ex-British vessels under a subsequent name or owner with the audience invited to (try to) identify it.  One of those present seems to have had a copy of the script.  AC

August
At our meeting in August John Townsend showed the branch a selection of photographs taken in the UK and Australia in his presentation entitled "Gone Digital".  We visited many places including Sheerness, Dover, Portsmouth and Felixstowe, and further afield Sydney, Melbourne and Newcastle NSW.  We saw plenty of shipping and ports mostly "down to earth" but also of some taken from a light aircraft.  John can always be relied on to include other forms of transport and this presentation was no exception.  Trains, planes, buses and trams were all included, something for everyone.  Thanks John for a very good evening.
 KS

July
At our meeting in July Steve Spouse gave a slide presentation that covered the last thirty years on the River Thames,with the occasional visit to other places including Chatham,Shoreham and Falmouth.  Steve's main nautical interest is tugs and there were plenty of these to see such as old favourites from the Port of London Authority,Alexandra Towing and Everards.  As well as river traffic we saw slides of riverside buildings,wharves and docklands which included the demolition of the West India Dock.  A very good presentation which gave us all an insight into just how much the River Thames and it's environs has changed over the years.  Thanks Steve.
 KS

June
In June Peter Garrod gave the branch a talk with photographs on his career at sea which started in 1948. He first went to sea when he was 14 on trawlers travelling to such places as Iceland and the White Sea. In 1949 he decided on a change of scenery and joined the merchant Ship MENDI PALM. A long line of vessels followed including ATHEL PRINCE, EMPIRE CEDRIC and AKAROA and Peter told many anecdotes and stories from his travels. Before we could finish we ran out of time but hope to see the rest of the programme at a later date. Many thanks Peter for a very interesting evening.
KS

May
For our May meeting we were treated to the PowerPoint presentation ‘Capt. Edwin Gregson TROPIC voyage 1976’ and were also pleased to welcome along Ian Wells. The show comes in two options and it was decided to do it in script mode, this being handled by Ken Humble and Ian Wells with support from Glen Humble. The show begins with internal and external views of some of the Furness Withy ships Edwin served on including PACIFIC RELIANCE, QUEEN OF BERMUDA and OCEAN MONARCH. The voyage began at Falmouth where NOVA SCOTIA was becoming TROPIC then continued to New Orleans and other Gulf Ports, a Panama Canal transit and onto Australia where we ended the show due to time. The rest of the show will be shown after our A.G.M. in November. Our thanks to the Technical Team at Mid Essex for making this show available.
 AC

April
 In April we welcomed to the branch Derek Sands from Haven Ports who gave us his slide presentation "The British Connection".   This consisted of ships mostly built in the 60's, 70's, and 80's all of which had a link to Britain either by builder, flag or design.  We were treated to an evening of nostalgia with so many conventional ships from coasters through to passenger vessels.  There was a fair amount of audience participation throughout the evening with Geoff Watson booking his place on the NWK team at Gravesend on October 3rd!.  A very good presentation enjoyed by all,  many thanks Derek. 
KS


 March
"Discovering New Zealand" was the title of a PowerPoint presentation given to the branch by Allan Nicholls at our meeting in March. The first part was mostly historical and included details of voyages made by Captain's James Cook and Tobias Furneaux to the Pacific in the vessels RESOLUTION, ADVENTURE and ENDEAVOUR in the late 1700's. In part two we saw photographs of New Zealand Shipping Company vessels RANGITANE,PIPIRIKI etc and also the more recent STENA ALEGRA, WAHINE and the ill fated MICHAIL LERMONTOV among others. Places visited included Wellington,Picton, Milford Sound and Auckland. A very interesting evening and thanks Alan for the voyage of discovery.
 KS

February
At our meeting in February Krispen Atkinson continued the journey through Cornwall with his powerpoint presentation "Cornish Ports Part IV".  Subtitled "Tamar,Creeks of the Fal and the Isles of Scilly" we first visited Port Gaverne before heading to the Tamar.  Next was a trip to St. Mary's on the Isles of Scilly followed by Penryn,Perranarworthel and Devoran before proceeding up the River Fal.  We visited many ports and harbours a lot of which no longer operate and almost all were illustrated with black and white photographs or postcards.  Krispen's knowledge of even the smallest places helped to make this into a very good presentation.
KS

January

For our first meeting of the New Year branch chairman Alan Chapman gave us a powerpoint presentation of shipping on the Thames. The photographs were taken in 2014 mostly at Erith but also as far up as Tower Bridge. As usual for Alan there was a great variety,everything from workboats to warships,and many of the "sugar boats" that call at Tate & Lyle's were shown. Of particular interest among the naval vessels were four minesweeper drones of the German Navy,certainly something completely different. September 9th saw the tall ships leaving the Thames and these were included in a separate automatic sequence. Thanks Alan for a very interesting show.

KS

December

Our December meeting followed it’s usual pattern with a small buffet being followed by some bits and pieces.  The bits and pieces consisted of a short DVD about a U.S. Nuclear submarine this was followed by a PowerPoint of pictures from the COSTA CONCORDIA incident.  To finish off the evening there was a drawing demonstration.  Thanks to those who contributed to the evening and supported the raffle.

AC

November
As usual we had our A.G.M.  Main topics discussed were dwindling numbers - our worst year since 1980,  Finances - we are holding our own, and lack of Branch Notes - sack the Chairman?   Following the break Treasurer Keith Simpson gave a “mish-mash” entitled  ‘Barbados to Bristol’”  which took us from Barbados via Canada, Australia  and Greece then back to Blighty for Ramsgate, Southampton and Portsmouth (where we saw HMS BRISTOL !).  Keith rounded of the evening with some aerial views of COSTA CONCORDIA at Genoa.   Our appreciation to all the Guest Speakers who, despite some traffic problems, made 2014 an enjoyable year.

AC

October

At our October meeting Geoff Watson gave a PowerPoint presentation on a cruise he did in May this year. After a short tour of STAR PRINCESS and a tour of the Bay we were off “From San Francisco to Alaska” The tour of the harbour took in Hyde Street Pier, Pier 45 and a cruise to Alcatraz. Amongst the many craft photographed in the bay were sightseeing vessels, tugs bulk carriers and containerships and of course the cruise ships which were about to cover roughly the same itinerary. First port of call was Ketchikan for some views af the local shipping. Next up came Juneau followed by Skagway and then a cruise in Glacier Bay. Last port of call was Victoria. Thanks Geoff for another good evening.
AC

September

Andy Humphries came along to our September meeting to present the second part of his of his ‘Baltic Cruise’ PowerPoint presentation. Part two began with the arrival of BRAEMAR at Helsinki where we saw not only shipping but a few of the sights. Next stop was St Petersburg where naval craft were much in evidence. The next stop was Tallinn followed by Aalborg once again with a mixture of Shipping and sightseeing. The show ended with BRAEMAR arriving back at Dover. Many thanks for a very interesting Evening.

AC

August
In August the Digital Projector was given another day off when Ken Flack took us back to May 29th 1989 for a harbour tour of Antwerp Docks. Many types of vessel ship were on view from coasters, gearless bulk carriers, tankers and a few SD 14s thrown in for good measure, and was even a WWII built concrete hull that had been converted to a church! he first Naval vessel, a unit of the Belgian Navy, came when were in drydock area. We later moved onto Brugge with a coach tour of the docks there and another 10 vessels were captured. The evening was rounded off with a selection of vessels in Antwerp including SIR GALAHAD and one of the SD 14s seen earlier. Well done Ken and much appreciated.
AC

July
Bill Mayes endured a four-hour car journey to give us the first part of a presentation on the many ships he visited and travelled on in 2012 and consisted of both exterior and interior views. There were many highlights including the four AIDA vessels at Hamburg's Anniversary celebrations, the three Queens together at Southampton and, of course, the P. & O. Anniversary, also at Southampton, which involved 7 vessels.  The show was rounded off with a trip around the Western Mediterranean which involved many ferries both good and bad.  Thanks Bill for braving the Traffic.
AC

June
For our June meeting John Townsend gave the branch a presentation titled "From the Archives".  This comprised of slides from the collections of two late WSS members,Frank Ogier and Louis Swallow who was a regular North West Kent member.  The slides were taken in many places both at home and abroad and the vessels shown dated from the late 1920's to the mid 1990's,so plenty of interest for all.  There were photographs of lots of old favourites including SUECIA (1929), JAROSLAW DUBROWSKI (1950), MIKHAIL LERMONTOV (1972) and vessels of P & O, Blue Star etc,which were regular visitors to the Thames.  Many thanks John for putting the show together as well as presenting it.  A very entertaining evening.
KS

May
We welcomed Peter and Christine lves to the branch in May when Peter gave us his DVD presentation "Arabian Adventure" This was a cruise on MSC LIRICA (59.058/2003) in December 2011 from Dubai to Abu Dhabi,Al Fujayrah,Muscat,Khasab,finishing back in Dubai.   In Khasab (Oman) we saw what must have been hundreds of high speed boats busy in the business of smuggling goods (from flat screen TV's to soft drinks) across the Strait of Hormuz into Iran. Business was thriving and it was entertaining to watch such activity. It was a cruise with a difference and many thanks Peter and Christine.
KS

April
For our April meeting Krispen Atkinson was to have presented Part IV in the 'Cornish Ports' series but instead he gave us an update on parts 1 to 3. The show included some ports that had been left out of the original presentatations and also an expanded view of places such as the River Fal, Falmouth Docks and Truro.  Vessels from the fleets of Everard, Metcalf and Crescent shipping were much in evidence and there were one or two naval craft, the cruiser DE RUYTER (C 802) being the most notable. We look forward to Krispen's next show.

A C

March
At our meeting in March John White showed the branch his Powerpoint presentation "Southampton etc.", a view of the shipping in Southampton, Portsmouth and Poole in the years 2001 to 2013.  John managed to photograph just about every type of vessel over the years which as well as container ships, cruise ships, vehicle carriers and warships also included dredgers, tugs, tankers, RoRo's and sailing ships, something for just about everyone.  Included were the 141.000 ton container ship NYK HELIOS, the 154.407 ton INDEPENDENCE OF THE SEAS, HMS ENDURANCE and her replacement HMS PROTECTOR and the preserved tug CHALLENGE.  Many thanks John for a very good evening.
K S

February
At our meeting in February Allan Nicholls gave us his presentation "Istanbul to Aqaba", a four week cruise in 2013 on  VOYAGER (15,396/1990).  After spending some time on the Bosphorus we headed to Canakkale and the Dardanelles.  From here we visited other places in Turkey and Greece which included Kusadasi, Antalya, Patmos, Thessalonika and Athens,and then on to Malta and Sicily.  We then headed back to Greece to Heraklion and Rhodes before travelling to Port Said to transit the Suez Canal to get us to our final destination at Aqaba, Jordan.  This was indeed a very interesting and somewhat out of the ordinary journey.  Many thanks Allan for sharing it with us.
KS

January
In January Branch Chairman, Alan Chapman, gave his Ships & Shipping on the River Medway presentation. The show was originally put together for the Society's AGM at Chatham in May 2013 but has since been expanded to include the Upper Medway and a trip aboard X-PILOT to see the homecoming of the Dunkirk veteran MEDWAY QUEEN. The oldest vessel shown was the 1898 built Thames Sailing Barge EDME to the newest the 2013 built  tug GPS AVENGER. In size they ranged from a humble tosher, HAULIER, of 14 tons to the 136,00 ton lng tanker AL ORAIQ.  Included was a visit to the Chatham Historic Dockyard with some of it's exhibits and to Chatham Marina to see some the preserved vessels moored there.

AC


December 2013
We had our Christmas Social on the 18th and following the usual buffet and tea the projector and laptop were set up.  Alan Chapman then gave a preview of the projected Branch website and this was followed by a series of promotional shorts kindly provided by the Port of London Authority.  The four concerning the Queen's Jubilee Day Pageant gave us an insight into the behind the scenes activities and made a nice counterpoint to Stuart Emery's presentation we saw in September.
AC

The branch AGM was in November and included a discussion on how we might recruit a few new members to meetings. Glen Humble then showed us a presentation of mostly black and white photographs titled "On and around the Thames" that was compiled by Mr Arthur Clark from photographs in his own collection. Subtitled "From Tilbury to Battersea in the 60's and 70's" we were treated to a fine selection of shipping on the river as well as the various wharves and docks that held everyone's interest throughout the show. Many thanks Glen and to Arthur Clark for giving us an enjoyable presentation.
AC
John Townsend provided the show for our meeting in August when he gave us his presentation entitled "Slides