Reunion with an old shipmate

Had a good lunch the other day with my old shipmate, and mess mate, Sid. I hadn’t seen him for 44 years – yes, I am that old. He was travelling from Plymouth to his home in Colchester so we arranged to meet for a pub lunch at the Rudgleigh Inn near Portbury. We had swapped photos to ensure we would recognise each other and so avoid propositioning strange men.

The pub was fully booked. Luckily I had arranged a booking so we just about got in. They were doing a carvery so we got the food, a drink and then started to talk – which went on for nearly three hours – well a lot has happened in 44 years.

We were on the same ship, HMS Sirius, a Leander class frigate, from 1968 until 1971. We were in the same mess for most of that time, a small mess of 8 people – 2K Stbd mess! We talked about our families, things that happened during our time at sea and trips on the ship to – Reykjavik, Akureri, Seydisfjord, Isafjord, Aarhus, Malta, Naples, Gibralter, Portland, Avonmouth, Faslane, Rosythrtsmouth, Bournemouth, Exmouth, Torquay, Ponta del Garda, Bermuda, Freeport, Port of Spain, Chagaramas, Kingston, Montego Bay, Grand Cayman, San Juan, Key West, Antigua, Trinidad, Curacao, Cariacou, St Kitts, Nevis, Guadeloupe, Grenada, Barbados, Belize, Grand Turk, Jacksonville, Miami, Dominica, Tortola, Grand Turk, Belize, Santo Domingo, St Petersburg, Cape Kennedy, Freeport, Nassau, Andros, and the people we knew and some who we were still in touch with from the Royal Navy. Also who we knew had died over the years.

The time soon went and it was time to go our separate ways but I am sure we will meet up again. We got on well and it was as if we had seen each other a lot over the years. We have very similar attitudes to life although we have both obviously changed during our different journeys through life.


My featured image: Photograph by Mike Peel

©Richard Kefford 2016

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