I have just read both reports from David and Norman and mine will not be anywhere as detailed as theirs but any way here goes.
My memories start with my parents saying goodbye to me as I boarded the train at Christchurch , which was in Hampshire then. I still have the British Transport Commission chit to cover my journey from Christchurch to Waterloo via Sway. 2nd Class £1.16.09.
The Ship sailed from Tilbury so presumably I must have met a coach which collected those youths who were going on the Hampshire County Council’s Young People’s Cruise to the Baltic, which I heard about at my local youth club.
I don’t remember details about leaving the docks, but I remember I was in a bottom bunk, that there was the smell of diesel etc. and that I wasn’t seasick. It must have been a fairly calm cruise. I did hear that others were sick but I wasn’t aware of them personally.
The cruise was to visit Stockholm, Leningrad (now known by its original name of St. Petersburg), Helsinki and Copenhagen. The outward journey included passage through the Kiel Canal. This took place at night, I think, and the next day there was an announcement that due to some kind of mishap during the passage through the canal the ship could only travel at reduced speed. The knock on affect of this was that the visit to Helsinki was not now taking place.
There is one incident I remember. I was awoken one night by giggling and voices – our boys’ dormitory was invaded by some girls! I can report that nothing untoward occurred. In fact the girls had gone as quickly as they appeared. I think there was a notice given over the tannoy that girls and boys are not to invade the others dorm!
I had a box camera with me and took some photos of the ship and places we visited. I have attached two photos of parts of the ship plus a postcard view of the ship at Lisbon, or some exotic port, from my wife’s album…….photos
I have a paper sick bag from the cruise that my dormitory and the girls which we met have all signed and some have given their home address and phone numbers. There are some kind comments as well. The problem is that as they are written in pencil and are now a bit faint and hard to read. This bag was signed by some folks from the Fareham area at the time – I wonder if they remember??
In Copenhagen I bought four small wooden dolls painted in traditional costumes. I still have the dolls and receipt!
Finally, because of the accident in the Kiel canal we arrived a day late and not at Tilbury as planned but at Immingham, near Grimsby! At the time it didn’t bother me as all the travel arrangements to get us to Hampshire had been organised. There were 900 Hampshire young people on the cruise, 250 were young people who had left school: I would have been in this bunch. My parents received the same information about times and trains as I did so the parents were kept informed of what was happening.
My wife who was living in Warwickshire then has also travelled on the Dunera, but in May the following year – 1963. This was to visit Gibraltar , Lisbon and La Coruna . We didn’t meet until 1967 shortly after her family had moved to Christchurch……more here
I now live near the Bournemouth/Poole border with my wife. We have three sons: Two at home, one of whom is at Teesside University, and the third in Luxembourg.
My Mother still lives in Christchurch.
Then aged 17 and three-quarters
21st June 1962