11th May 2024 ~ Seven years at Sea in the Seventies ~ with Steve Pink ~

A brief career as a Navigating Officer – sixteen ships – a time of seismic changes in passenger and cargo shipping

An educational cruise inspired schoolboy Steve to seek a career at sea. A cadet agreement with shipping company British & Commonwealth … School of Navigation shore-based training, a cadet training ship voyage, general cargo ships, refrigerated cargo, a bulk carrier and passenger ships all feature in Steve’s seafarer story. 

Steve Pink is branch secretary and events organiser at WSS Dorset and a member of the Ocean Liner Society. A Nautical Studies graduate with a background in cargo-passenger shipping, ferries and cruising - Steve also acts as editor & promoter for ~Ships~Dorset~ facebook group and website content.

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14th September 2024 ~ At sea with the British Antarctic Survey ~ with Robin Plumley ~

Ships that sail the high latitudes of the southern oceans need to be robust and versatile ... under the command of very experienced shipmasters of the highest calibre ... 

Fifteen years with the British Antarctic Survey during the 1970s and 1980s … thirteen voyages to the Antarctic aboard the research ships John Biscoe, Bransfield and James Clark Ross … supplying and storing the Falklands and British bases … all this and more.

Robin Plumley - Robin retired from a senior position with UK government scientific oceanographic research vessels following fifteen years in command of world-wide research vessels and experience with polar supply and research vessels. Robin is highly decorated … Polar Medal 1993 for outstanding contribution to Antarctic science … MBE 2015 for services to marine  … Freeman and Liveryman of Honourable Company of Master Mariners … Freeman of City of London … Past Captain of the Southampton Master Mariners’ Club.

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12th October 2024 ~ Shipping at Rotterdam & Felixstowe ~ with Trevor Hargreaves ~

A full day photographing ships in Rotterdam’ and Felixstowe in May 2024 …

A full day photographing ships in Rotterdam’s complex of docks with the Thames Ship Society … a selection of shipping in Harwich and Felixstowe … traveling by ferry to the Hoek of Holland. Sounds like Trevor has some great material to share with us!

Trevor Hargreaves is a transport enthusiast and  WSS Dorset Branch committee member, a member of both the Thames Ship Society and the Ocean Liner Society. 

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9th November 2024 ~ More shipping adventures ~ with Bill Mayes ~

We look forward to Bill’s talk every year … his shipping adventures assembled over many years … his particular passion for passenger shipping. We welcome back one of the UK’s leading ship enthusiast personalities and await an enjoyable afternoon.

Bill Mayes is well known as the Chairman of the Ocean Liner Society, a director of The World Ship Society and a regular contributor to Sea Lines and Ships Monthly. He has amassed a huge “back catalogue” of voyages worldwide and a wealth of knowledge specialising in cruise ships and ferries. A good and longstanding friend of WSS Dorset.

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14th December 2024 ~ Operation Pedestal – 1942 Malta Convoy ~ with David Parsons ~

The supplies that reached Malta with the Santa Marija Convoy was enough to prolong the island's resistance for at least another month.

David returns following his excellent Merchant Navy in WW2 talk last year. This time his talk on convoy WS21S in August 1942 takes us from the Clyde to Melbourne Star, Port Chalmers, Rochester Castle, Ohio & Brisbane Star arriving into Valetta Harbour.

David Parsons served on a variety of ships including general cargo, tankers, passenger vessels, Royal Fleet Auxiliaries and latterly as master on cross channel ferries.  He came ashore in 1993 as Chief Executive of the Merchant Navy Welfare Board until his retirement in 2017.  He is currently the National Secretary of the Merchant Navy Association in a voluntary capacity.

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11th January 2025 ~ Pride of Bilbao ~ with Paul Dallaway ~

From Viking Line's Olympia to today's Moby Orli ... over ten years serving Portsmouth routes ... 

Paul’s talk covers the ships journey from the Baltic to Greece including recollections of life onboard during her Western Channel & Biscay days. Hear about Hotel Services after her P&O Ferries refit and even a section on Swedish Lloyd’s Patricia (1967-2021).

Paul Dallaway -  Paul’s passenger / cargo / ferry background has included Union Castle, Townsend Thoresen and P&O Ferries. Combined with Paul’s speaker / presentation experience aboard Pride of Bilbao and his excellent photography (which regularly appears in Ships Monthly) - he will deliver an event we can look forward to.  

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8th February 2025 ~ Falmouth through the years  ~ with Krispen Atkinson ~

The port of Falmouth has evolved over the modern age, with the development of the docks, to the bunker activities undertaken off the port. This talk will touch on the major developments the port has seen, covering several of the notable, and perhaps long-forgotten local craft and some familiar deep-sea vessels which have used the port over the years. We have enjoyed travelling around the world on our regular ship spotting adventures with Krispen - this season he takes us back to his home county of Cornwall.

Krispen Atkinson is a maritime consultant, director of The World Ship Society and regular contributor to Ship’s Monthly & Marine News with a passion for modern merchant shipping. As author of an annual “Maritime Review” series, Krispen is a WSS speaker in demand.

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8th March 2025 ~ Maritime Royalty - Britain’s Queens of the Atlantic ~ with Bill Miller ~

They are the most famous ocean liners of all time. The original Queen Mary & Queen Elizabeth ... luxury in peace, heroics in war ... and followed by the QE2, then Queen Mary 2 & three other Queens: Queen Victoria, Queen Elizabeth & the new Queen Anne.

2024 was referred to as The Year of Cunard by Port of New York WSS Branch, being 110 years since the commissioning of the Aquitania, 90 years since the launching of the beloved Queen Mary and the year of the four Queens with the first arrival of the Queen Anne. Bill presented a keynote talk to his home branch celebrating the occasion and we are delighted he will be retelling the story for us.

Bill Miller is an international authority on ocean liners & cruise ships. This includes great ships of the past, those “floating palaces,” as well as the current generation of cruise ships, the “floating resorts”. An international speaker, known as “Mr. Ocean Liner,” Bill has authored over 100 books on subjects from early steamers, immigrant ships and liners at war to passenger ships of today.

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12th April 2025 ~ Farewell to the Marco Polo ~ with David Trevor-Jones ~

When popular UK cruise company CMV was forced to cease trading during the global pandemic we said goodbye to their well-loved fleet. The last ship enthusiast / photographer to look around Marco Polo was David ... and he shares his stories with us ...  

The Marco Polo was laid-up in Avonmouth Docks awaiting sale by auction in 2020 when she was purchased by Highseas Ltd who had hoped to give her a trading future. Before she departed UK, David was able to gain an invitation to see around this deserted ship that he knew so well from her UK cruising days … this resulted in the last know library of “access all areas” Marco Polo photographs. David reminds us of the ship’s illustrious past and gives us an insight into how she looked in her twilight days.

David Trevor-Jones is talks organiser & director at the Ocean Liner Society – and a long-standing branch member, friend and speaker at WSS Dorset. David’s shipping research and photography ranges from classic liners including the Russian “Author” class, via Swedish excursion steamers to “re-borne” cruise ships of lines such as CMV and Ambassador.  

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10th May 2025 ~ Rotterdam to Amsterdam – R Class crosses centurieswith Steve Pink ~

Ships delivered in each century create the class of four still serving Holland America & Fred Olsen cruise lines …

Holland America Line’s successful S Class and the line’s purchase by Carnival Corporation formed firm foundations for the design and ordering of four R Class ships that were delivered between 1997 and 2000. Two went on to become flagships of the fleet before being sold for a second career and two continue to serve their original owner. Steve tells another story in his Millennial Cruise Ships series.

Steve Pink is branch secretary and events organiser at WSS Dorset and a member of the Ocean Liner Society. A Nautical Studies graduate with a background in cargo-passenger shipping, ferries and cruising - Steve also acts as editor & promoter for ~Ships~Dorset~ facebook group and website content.

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