It was very good to hear from you. I remember driving you out to Hermanus for your honeymoon. What I had entirely forgotten is that you were at Berkhamsted. I was at School House (Uppers) not Overton, leaving in 1952. I took the family to Berkhamsted nine years ago. The conditions were much improved since our day but our children were still amazed at the poor conditions we suffered. I was very surprised to receive a communication from the Old Berkhamstedian Association two years ago, inviting me to a special event marking FIFTY years since leaving. How they found me I do not know since I have moved house so many times since my schooldays. I checked with some school friends and they weren't going so we agreed to leave it until the 55th anniversary. If you want to keep in touch with the school, there is a website http://www.theoldberkhamstedians.org/index2.html.
I was very sorry to hear about Lynette but pleased to hear that Diana is a dab hand at canal boating. We have something else in common: we are both involved with narrow boats and are probably the two most highly qualified boat owners on the canals. We have a share in a Challenger boat, "Vulcan", which is currently moored at Kings Bromley, near Lichfield. Let us know about your boat. Perhaps we may meet on the waterways and enjoy a sort of PU in PE, remember?
You invited some ad nauseam reminiscing so I'll give you a quick resumé of my life since Union-Castle. The only shore job I could find was as a salesman for Burrough's machines. I stood this for a year, hating it, and almost went back to sea. But I was lucky enough to find a job as computer programmer, working for Schweppes of all people, and have stayed in IT ever since. My jobs have varied from programmer, systems analyst, computer manager and, finally, consultant. I have worked for Schweppes, for local government and the police. When they reorganised local government in 1974 I obtained a post with Trafford MBC in Manchester and it was then that we moved north. We have lived in Lymm, Cheshire ever since.
I met Kath in London in 1966. We were married in 1967 and are now approaching our 40th anniversary. We have produced three children, Caroline, Nick and Elizabeth (Lilly) who between them have provided us with 3.33 grandchildren, soon to be four.
Last year we went on a Saga (yes, we are old enough) holiday to Italy. On the second morning, I was approached by a man who asked if my name was Elbra. When I admitted it he introduced himself, Ted Fisher, who had been a cadet with me on the Roxburgh fifty years before. We spent may a happy evening together with our respective wives. It was good to see him and I am surprised that he was able to recognise me after so long, now that I am disguised with beard, glasses and wrinkles.
That's all for now.
email correspondence 2006
Reg Kelso directed me to your website. Of course the first search I made was on my own name and I found that much of the details of my glorious career had been omitted.
My last position was of Junior 2nd Officer on the Stirling Castle. I left as soon as I had obtained my master's ticket. This was after eleven years with the Company. More details ad nauseam can be provided if required.
The Elbra family was much involved with the Company. As well as Elizabeth, my grandmother, who drowned when the Glenart was torpedoed in World War I, my grandfather, George, served a boatswain on the Drummond.
Unfortunately, he too drowned when she went aground in 1896.
My father, Bernard, was second accountant in the Fenchurch Street offices. Additionally my sister, Corinne, served for only three trips as nursing sister on the Arundel in 1957.
I think that the family deserves a web page all to itself.