Furness Bermuda Line: ships’ crew reunited

Text Box: This website is for ships’ crew of the FBL— more than 40 years on.

Grand Reunions

For Grand Reunion 2009, click here

For Grand Reunion 2011, section 2, click here

For Grand Reunion 2011, section 3, click here

For Grand Reunion 2011, section 4, click here

For Bermuda FBL Association reunion in May 2012, click here




Grand Reunion May 2011


They came from around the world: Bermuda, USA, Canada, Belgium, Ireland, South Africa and the United Kingdom to share memories and memorabilia from the golden days of Furness Bermuda Line.  More than 80 former crew, partners, relatives and guests joined the second FBL reunion in southern England on Saturday 14 May.

For many, it was an emotional event captured on film and in photographs, some of which are reproduced below.  In future updates, we will be showing highlights of the weekend on film, reporting on the many thanks and comments received from former crew and publishing more pictures.

For a full record of the official photographs by Simon Mitchell, with an option to purchase copies at reduced prices, visit his website at http://www.photoenterprise.co.uk/Portraitpage2.htm and click on ‘Furness Bermuda Line Reunion’.


Former crew, their relatives, partners and guests (below) grouped behind the Furness House Flag  and the Bermuda Ensign.

Above, former deck officers, Colin Townsley (left) and Allan Davidson.

We are grateful to Graham Higgins for the Furness House Flag used in the photographs from the estate of his late father, former deck officer, Bryce Higgins.

The Bermuda ensign was kindly donated by Rod Pattinson, former assistant purser.

Former shipmates of Ocean Monarch (above, right) and Queen of Bermuda (below).

Deck department: Left to right, Colin Townsley, Ian Denton, Allan Davidson, Eric Donnithorne, John Day, Brian Hoare, Russ Urry, Peter Hockaday, Emlyn Jones, Mike Edwards, Martin Howse, John Turner, Clive Wales, Lyndon Cooper and Martin Greenwood.

Please scroll down the page for more photographs.  The page ends with the site navigation bar (page tabs).

Former members of the catering department::Joe Higgins, Steve Martin, John Hillier, Dennis Knight, Doug Hansell, John Clark, Howard Soares, Albert Chapman, Martin Simpson, Peter Manley, Trevor Summerfield, Donald Cameron, Mickey Johnson, Roger Booth, Dave Nelson, Allen Soares (behind), John Durban and Brian Broome.

Former Furness Bermuda Line page boys: Doug Hansell, John Clark, Howard Soares, Joe Higgins, Martin Simpson, Peter Manley, Trevor Summerfield, Brian Broome, Allen Soares, Roger Booth, Dave Nelson, and John Durban.

Renowned marine artist, Stephen Card, signing a copy of his book (left) for editor David Svensen and (right) sharing artistic insights with guest fellow artist, Helen Dence.

Russ Urry from Oregon, USA and Mike Shailer, (left) share some memories before dinner.

Peter and Bronwyn Hockaday (below left) from South Africa talk to Des Kirkpatrick from New York, USA.

Mickey Johnson (below) from Bermuda in demand from his admiring fans!

Left, Brian Broome (right) sharing a joke with Eric Donnithorne.

‘Sparks and Clerks’, former Radio Officer and Pursers of Furness Bermuda Line: Dave Harris, Bob White, Bill Cox, Alva James, Dave Townson, Des Kirkpatrick, Dave Gillmon with Mike Shailer behind him, Jeff Walton and Bill Hanlon.

Above, your organisers, from left to right, Anthea and Bill Cox, Sara Avery, Allen Soares, Alva James, Bob White, Christine and Peter Manley.

Former members of the engine department: Left to right, Brian Walker, Denis Kelleher, Terry Howson, Alex Moran, Terry Doran, Alec Reay and John Mercer.

David Svensen, assistant editor of ‘Masthead’, the official journal of Gravesend Sea School/College Association, attended the Grand Reunion as an invited guest.  To read his report, click here and go to page 12.

We are grateful to GSSA for permission to publish.