Brian O’Connor

Many years ago Brian was the chief officer of the "Rochester Castle", I was I think the 3rd mate.   I asked Brian what he had done to incur the wrath of the London office, for it was fairly well accepted that, if you upset the powers that be, you would end up on the old Rochester.   

Brian told me this story, which typifies Brian, a thoroughly decent and very likable person, and very friendly.

"I was second mate on the ".........................Castle", the Cayzer's were going out to negotiate the new mail contract.   

As you well know Keen, I am not at my best on the bridge at night.  (Brian's conversation at four o'clock in the morning was confined to a series of grunts, usually ending with something like, 'why don't you p..s off'!)

We were making up for Las Palmas in the morning, it was two o'clock, and the first lights on the island had just then popped up ahead.   At that moment a voice beside me asked what the lights were.  Not wanting to encourage conversation, and not bothering to see who it was, I simple said, 'oh some bloody fisherman I suppose'.  

The voice asked if I liked being on the mail ship's, 'no' I replied, 'I don't', with this final sally the voice disappeared.   

When we got back to Southampton I was told that, by the special request of Sir Bernard Cayzer I was to be sent to the cargo fleet, and here I am!  

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