Monday, 12 December 2016

Consulting Editor

Introducing Our Resident Editor 

Elizabeth Sharplin

The expertise of our Founding editor, Graeme Loft's was critical and fundamental in getting this Website built and operational and for that we are grateful to him. However, by early 2013 because of the growing size of the Website's content and depth of continuous research the decision was taken to streamline the editing process of this process by shortening the time spans involved.  More importantly the technical aspect of the website needed to be strengthened in the maritime knowledge being brought to bear during the editing process.

As a result Elizabeth Sharplin (then Penny) was appointed to the role.   Elizabeth came with extensive maritime knowledge particularly from her Father’s side of her family who were Yorkshire based owners and operators of deep-sea fishing trawlers, whilst on her Mother’s side they were a family of Sheffield cutlers and silver smiths.  Elizabeth although born in Kent bears all the traits of a Yorkshire lass with a deep no nonsense but sensitive attitude to life with an exceptional sense of community exercised through her strong support within several volunteer service  oragaisations in her local residential region.

Elizabeth brought with her senior management experience from various diverse multi-national companies including an engineering company who possessed a significant presence in the automation and controls engineering sector of the marine industry. Elizabeth's experience and knowledge also embraces that of organisations such as the Historic Dockyards, ships including exhibition ships, and maritime focused organisations like the Veterans Associations and maritime research facilities.

Last update: June 20th, 2018

Our Founding Editor

Graeme Lofts B.Sc(Ed), B.Ed, M.Ed.

  • Teacher of Physics, Science and Mathematics at secondary schools in Melbourne, Australia and in the USA at Denver, Colorado.
  • Lecturer in Science Education and Methods of Teaching at the University of Melbourne and RMIT University, and Curriculum Development at the University of Melbourne

         "Science Quest”.  Award winning series of educational text books and interactive material,    
            first published 1996.
         "Science Quest 1" and "Science Quest 2" were shortlisted in the ‘Best Series’ category
            of "The Australian Awards for Excellence in Educational Publishing". The first two Science
            Quest books were subsequently named as the winner of that category and the overall winner
    "Jacaranda Physics"   
     -  A series of educational text books and interactive material, first published 1997, now into  
        its third edition published in 2009.
     -  Indonesian translation "Jacaranda Fisika" published in 2008.
    “Australia’s Dangerous Creatures for Dummies”, 2008
          “Heart & Soul, Australia’s First Families of Wine”
           -  Published 2010.
           -  Ranked Second in the "New World Wines" category of the global "2011 Gourmand World   
               Cookbook Awards" held in Paris,  March 2012.
           -  The Mandarin translation published in December 2012 was judged Third in "The Best
               Translation" category of the global "2013 Gourmand World Cookbook Awards"
               held in Beijing, China, in May 2014.

Friday, 30 September 2016

The Ship's Builder

The Ship's Builder

Vickers Armstrongs holds a most prestigious position in the annals of British shipbuilding and was one of the world’s most well known shipbuilders. It’s foundation as a shipyard was conceived by a James Ramsden, a former Railway Superintendant and then Mayor of Barrow-in-Furness, in the north eastern English county of Cumbria. He established the company in 1871 as the Iron Shipbuilding Company, a name soon changed to Barrow Shipbuilding Company. In 1897 it was purchased by Vickers & Sons and in 1927 merged with Armstrong Whitworth to become Vickers Armstrongs Ltd. In the early 1900’s it became the Naval Construction Yard.

Vickers Ltd Advertisement in 1914 Edition of “Jane’s Fighting Ships”
Since then the company has gone through an almost bewildering change in names, ownership, company structures and diversity into other engineering activities, notably the design and manufacture of the celebrated Spitfire fighter aircraft of World War 2 fame.
HMS Ajax
Believed to be lying off Vickers Armstrongs shipyard and almost finished building, Photo thought to be about February to March 1935
Over the years the company has built many warships of all types for the Royal Navy and many foreign navies plus a host of passenger liners, cargo ships, oil tankers etc many of which bore names that are almost household names.

The company is now known as BAE Systems Submarine Solutions, is Britain’s busiest shipyard with the largest covered ship building hall in Europe, currently constructing among other vessels seven Astute Class nuclear submarines for the Royal Navy of which the seventh will be named Ajax (Note 1).

1. ibid - “Ships Named Ajax”, Ajax 9, the “Astute” Class

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Archive - Personal Records & Papers

Royal Navy Service Record of Robert (Bob) John Sharplin

Royal Navy Official Number: KX80024
Port Division: Chatham
Service Period: 8th July 1929 – 12th February 1953

Research by his son - Clive Sharplin.

Bob in his “Whites”
Photo: Sharplin family archive

Click on this link to view quality scanned images of original Admiralty documents detailing Bob’s career from his entering the Royal Navy on 8 July 1929 until his retirement and release on 12 February 1953.

Click on any image and then scroll through the gallery. Every image is accompanied by a descriptive caption beneath it.