Tam Dalyell, Labour politician, who sadly died yesterday (26-Jan-2017,) was one of the guest educationalist leaders on the Dunera cruises.
As one of his responsibilities he organised and judged the public speaking competition. On my initial ‘outing’ on Boy Scouting he put me through to the second round but my further topic had not been thought through. Nice compliments though and Mr Dalyell autographed the only item I had to hand, a sick bag, with an encouraging remark**. He left a lasting impression on that 16 year old.
In November 1962 I think it must have been, we embarked in Southampton to Coruña, Gibraltar, Lisbon and Lorient.
The evening dances on deck were popular, especially the progressive, social-mixing ones. We sat through intro lectures on language, customs and courtesies on the country and port next on the itinerary. In port dinghies full of souvenir sellers pulled up to trade through the portholes. Having been advised to bargain with vendors one of our party tried to talk down the Post Office on the price of stamps.
One of the films shown was Campbell’s Kingdom with Dirk Bogarde as a sick young man defending his father’s oil valley he’d inherited, from scheming contractors trying to coerce him into abandoning it.
**We had Force 10 head-on winds we were told, on the outward leg in the Bay of Biscay.
Among our group whose names I remember from King John School, Benfleet in Essex we had:
- our Headteacher Mr Evans, affectionally known as Fritz, (who was one of the few hardened souls who kept his composure, and his breakfast,)
- John Pring,
- Phoebe Simpkins, and
- Who else, does anyone know?
Author: Graham C