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Photograph of Ray Lorrison

Ray Lorrison

Ray belongs to: Royal British Legion Seaman's Mess

Ray was born in Moon Street, South Shields. After leaving school Ray went to cookery school before going to sea with the merchant navy in March 1937. He left the sea in 1953.

Ray was interviewed by Carl Greenwood on 30 November 2005. The interview took place at the Interviewee's living room and lasted 39 minutes and 44 seconds.

Photograph of Ray Lorrison
Photograph of Ray Lorrison

Joining the merchant navy

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"My sister was working for a fellow and he was the harbour master, a fellow called Captain Gordon and he was asking about me. And he said “well, would he like to go to sea"

My sister was working for a fellow and he was the harbour master, a fellow called Captain Gordon and he was asking about me. And he said “well, would he like to go to sea, it’s about the only thing he can do- your father won’t let him go down the mines. Because I can get him into the cookery school.”

So I went down to the cookery school and I got on. And I was there a fortnight- two weeks and one Friday, this fellow came in, and I didn’t know why he was talking about that at the time but he said there was a job going and there were two of us.

And we signed on a ship called the Hopemount, it was a tanker and it was up at Swan Hunter’s. It was quite an experience because we went out of the piers in March in a hurricane, well we called it a hurricane but it was a storm outside the North Sea. And we went from there to a little West Indies… to an island that used to be British but they sold it to the Dutch I think, and they called it Curaçao.

And I quite enjoyed the time there- homesick a little bit but I quite enjoyed the time I went out. From Curaçao we went to Vadau, Genoa, Leghorn, Naples and Palermo, discharging. From there we went through the Red Sea to Persia, Avidan they called it. We loaded there and it was quite warm.

The first two days the crew were laid up- there were only two first trippers, the cabin boy and myself. And we were the only two working, and the cook. And of course when we left and got back into the Persian Gulf it wasn’t too bad. It was warm.

And we came back to Amsterdam. From Amsterdam we came back to the Tyne and the dry docks so we had to be paid off. And that was my first experience of going to sea. That was a six month voyage that.

Seen a lot of the world in six months. It was quite an experience going to foreign places and speaking the different languages. When you were in Italy of course all you thought about was getting an ice cream.

Ray has 14 memories in the memorynet:

This memory has these themes:
Environment | Work

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