The guy who was actually instrumental in starting this site is David Matthews – aka: David The Letterman!
“ I remember”, said David the old man of the sea, as I sit now in the 21st century typing on my computer. I remember 36 years ago Tuesday October 17th 1967, and the following the stormy 17 days as if it were just yesterday. On that unforgettable Tuesday a Force 9 to 10 gale was blowing westward up the English Channel, bringing with it heavy rain. It was 5am when a large group of us boarded a Coach to take us to Southampton. The atmosphere was one of excitement and trepidation.
Upon arrival at Southampton Docks around 8am, our ship the 12.615 ton M.S. Dunera an ex troop carrier was far from ready for boarding. So, from there many of us walked into Southampton and dwindled away the day returning to the ship around 3pm. We collected our luggage, and found our way to Baffin Cabin which slept 42 people. I bagged a lower bunk and Norman Day the lower bunk opposite. I don’t recall the name of the person who had the bunk above me except he used too much Old Spice body deodorant.
We put on warm clothes and went up onto the deck and walked around to get our bearings. The rain had stopped and in the lee of Southampton Harbour it appeared the wind had died down. On “B” deck a man in uniform was handing out streamers to the passengers as they assembled to get a guard rail position for the leaving of Southampton. Hundreds of family and friends assembled on the quay in the greyness of the evening. Sheltering in front of a large rusty metal building, a Brass band who struck up “Rule Britannia” and “For Those in Peril on the Sea”…….
As the first mooring lines were cast off, the Dunera’s horn blasted for the last time over Southampton Waters. The Band played a sad lament of “Old Lang Syne”, as we slipped away from the dock, just as The Dunera had done 30 years before on her Maiden Voyage. This was now her last voyage before going to a scrap yard in Spain.
Read ALL of David’s article here...