HomeSchool Ship TripsDunera School Trip in 1961


Dunera School Trip in 1961 — 28 Comments

  1. Was on an eastern Med cruise in the late sixties (Manfred Mann 5, 4 3, 2, 1 was on the tannoy first thing in the morning).

    The itinerary involved a very slow charter train to Venice, about 12 hours late, followed by a rather choppy trip down the Adriatic to Rhodes.

    Very pleasant weather coming from an English winter. Then after headwinds a rather late arrival (the blessed come with the rain) in Istanbul, with as I remember some very deft coach drivers.

    Then finally before the train back from Venice, Athens where one kid from my dorm (Baffin I think)nearly started a riot intimating he was of Turkish Cypriot origin, but as a lesson to all of us, the guy who used up the last of his spending money buying souvenirs on the dockside in Athens, and working out with an otherwise apparently uneducated trader a price in British shillings & pence, Italian Lira, Turkish Lira & kuru ? With of course Greek Drachma & Lepta. No electronic calculators of course.

  2. I was on the same trip as Mike Gray. In fact we went to the same school and were childhood friends growing up in the same north east town.

    I remember being required to walk around in the heat of Lisbon in school uniform – black blazer, grey shirt, black trousers.

    I also remember being very ill crossing the Bay of Biscay!

    David Pearson

    • Hello David – now THIS is what we like to see! people who know each other and possibly getting in touch again!!

      Most excellent and if you have more to say – please either register and post it out or send on to me – I’ll add it in your name, email address supplied kind of thing..??

      Many thanks

      Bye for now


    • Hi David well I’ll be dammed.. How are you ? I do remember having to wear uniform ! In fact I still have grainy pictures of that Dunera School trip cost Mum & Dad £30 .. first trip abroad brilliant !!…. can you remember the actual date ?

      Mike Gray

      I’ll try to post pics

      • Hi Mike,
        It’s now February 2019 and I’ve just got back from a meeting of our writers’ group here in France.
        Somebody in the group was sharing some sinister history of the Dunera’s career before the war. I’d forgotten about this website. How are you these days?
        Was that trip from Newcastle actually the first? It seemed a huge adventure at the time; I remember having to do a paper round to help fund the trip. My Mum took over the deliveries whilst I was away!

  3. Hi, I too travelled on Dunera about 1961. Our trip was la Corunna (Spain), Lisbon(Portugal) and then on to Gibraltar. I think the cost was 28 Guineas. My school was Earlsheaton secondary school Dewsbury West Yorkshire we also called in at Tilbury to pick up passengers from London schools. A great experience for a 14 year old.

  4. I believe I was on the very first Dunera School Trip, which left from Scotland. I do still have my Certificate.

    I remember the cost was half price because it was the first – around £17 rather than £34!! We visited Corruna, Lisbon and Gibraltar.

    Perhaps there is someone out there who could keep me right on all this!

    Oh happy days, though I was rather homesick at times and missed my toast and cheese back home!

    • Hello Kathleen

      Thank you for adding your story here! ALWAYS good to hear from travellers on the Dunera!

      If you have any more stories – please do feel free to get in touch again.

      Bye for now


    • Hi Kathleen, you are correct it was £17 because it was the first cruise, I remember it well,March 1961 from Greenock.and took 17 days and visited la Corunna, Gibraltar and Lisbon. What a great adventure back then.

        • Hi Kathleen, do you remember a group coming on to the ship to sing in Gibraltar? I wrote to one of the group for a few years as a pen pal and was reunited with him 52 years later on the one show his name is Albert Hammond. You will see it on youtube. Bye ? Ann.

  5. I was on a school trip, from Wallsend Technical School, about 1966. We went to Norway – to a small fjord (I remember we went on a train up a mountain!) and then Helskinsi in Finland ( I remember the Tivola Gardens) and Copenhagen in Denmark (little mermaid was a disappointment).

    But I remember mostly the fact that we had to have injections, that were festering! (ha!) and the fact that we all got “homesick” and sung “Homeward Bound” as only 14 year olds can.

    It cost 40 pounds. With 10 pounds spending money.

    Does anyone remember this? Does anyone remember where were actually went in Norway?

    I’d love to hear from anyone.

    • Hello Gail

      Thank you so much for getting in touch! These comments and messages keep things alive here ant it’s superb to see!

      I really hope you get a response – if another comment comes in I’ll open it up asap!

      Many thanks and bye for now!

      Mike Finding

      • Hi
        I was on a cruise in 1963/4 which departed from Tilbury and traveled with other pupils from St Joseph’s RC school in Wolverhampton.

        This was my first holiday abroad and really exiting for a12 year old.

        The ports visited were Vigo Spain, Tangier North Africa and then across the Mediterranean to Rome.

        I remember being woken the first and every morning by loud music over the tannoy.

        I fell in love with Karen from Essex and danced at the Disco to Baby Love, Pretty Woman and Glad All Over.

        In Tangier small boats surrounded the ship and sold souvenirs.

        The only bad weather was crossing the Mediterranean to Rome and we were not allowed to go on deck.

        Rome was fantastic and we had an audience with the Pope. We returned home by overnight train to England.

        An amazing experience for me.

        • Hello Michael – MANY thanks for your post here!! Sounds like an excellent time – just a few years ago!!

          Do let us know if you get any responses and maybe add more!!

          It is definitely posts and comments like yours that keep the site alive and in the mind of so many people!

          Many thanks


  6. I was on that first cruise to Corunna, Lisbon and Gibralter – Tam Dayell was on board as the whole idea of school cruises was his! I was from a boys’ school in Northern Ireland and the ship anchored up off Bangor and we were ferried out to climb aboard. What a way to start a holiday. I met lots of gorgeous Scottish girls, and kept in touch with some over the years. I was rather priveledged to be voted Mr Dunera, and still have the trophy to prove it!

    Be great to hear from anybody who remembers!

    Alan Beggs

    • Hello Mr Dunera!

      What an excellent comment and many thanks for adding your story. It’s ALWAYS a joy to get these stories and it keeps this site active and worthwhile!

      Many thanks and all the best Alan

      Bye for now


  7. My sister Ann Barnes was on the first cruise from Glasgow (Greenock) to Spain and Gibraltar. I was on the second one from Glasgow to Bergen, Oslo, Copenhagen, Hamburg and Amsterdam, finishing in Leith.

    Coincidentally, I see that the Labour MP Tam Dalyell died today. He was also on the second cruise, and was always chasing us out of the lounge up on deck to see, for example, the Bergen fiord and the Kiel Canal.

    I remember that the total cost for the first two cruises was only £60. Happy days, and what a privilege.

    • Hello Jack

      Really good to hear this and the topical connection with Mr Tam Dalyell….

      Excellent to hear from you and if you get any more thoughts we would look forward to hearing from you again!

      Bye for now


  8. Hi Mike, I’m Ann, Jack’s Charity’s sister and indeed I was on the very first school cruise March 1961, sailing from Greenock to Corunna, Lisbon and Gibralter.

    I don’t remember Tam Dallyell being one the ship but do remember Reveille Rock by Jonnie and the Harricanes blaring over the tannoy system at 7.00am to get us out of bed!

    It was a great adventure once we got over the sea sickness crossing the Bay of Biscay.

  9. Hi,

    I was on the Dunera cruise which we boarded in the Firth of Forth from the Queensferry ferry in 1961.

    I was at Portobello Secondry School and the cruise went to Bergen, Copenhagen, through the Keil Canal to Hamburg, Amsterdam, London then we finished in Glasgow.

    Tam Dayell the local MP I think, was also on this cruise.

    I remember the North Sea crossing was very rough and everyone was baing sick.

    Had a great time!!!

    • Hello Bill

      Really good to hear from you and my apologies for the delay in letting your comment loose.

      Glad you had a good time – if a rough crossing!!

      Do please let us know if you get any replies….

      Bye for now


  10. Anyone out there from “Bogie” Strathbungo Sen Sec Glasgow who went out on the Dunera in 1961 / 62 to Coruna, Gibraltar (looked after by squaddies, great!

    Peter Mc Gillvary, Davie Watson, Gordon Strachan, remember Wee Joe Kinkaid, and a teacher who became an MP years later, name forgotten but we did through him in the pool for being a pain!!

    Mr Nelson English Teacher? Memory not so good these days but what a trip around the Bay of Biscay in storm conditions – yuk!

  11. I remember that storm in Biscay. Big Tam Dayell was a teacher that became an MP later. A very posh chap he was.

    Loved the Lisbon visit. We travelled on the tram. Also went to Estoril where a couple of the boys got tipsy on beer. Gib was really good, very friendly folks.

    • Hello Stuart.

      Really good to hear from you – these stories are all so good to see coming out on this “very old” website and they keep the memories alive for people who travelled on the Dunera!!

      It was all started years ago when I was asked to set up the site by David Matthews….Seems a LONG time ago!!

      Let us know if you get any comments / thoughts etc. IF you’re on Facebook there is a page here if you haven’t found it……

      Bye for now

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