Masters: 1979 - 1995
Retired Masters gather to honour Capt W.H. Hughes on his 100th birthday in 1986. Front row: Capt W Williams, Capt R.A.H. Lord, Capt W.H Hughes DSC, Capt John Peters, Capt Ivor Griffiths. Middle Row: Capt Idwal Pritchard, Capt Alan Thomas, Capt Jack Milburn, Capt John Rowlands, Capt Emrys Williams, Capt Owen Wyn Jones, Capt Ron Howells, Capt Len Evans, Capt Geoff Butterworth, Capt Hubert Hughes. Back Row: Capt Ted Jones, Capt Raymond Jones, Capt Merrick, Capt Parri Hughes, Capt Ted Morris, Capt Cyril Powell, Capt Bob Crane, Capt John Mason, Capt Walter Lloyd Williams and Capt Alec Robertson.
Captain John Bakewell
John Bakewell joined the Thames Nautical College "HMS Worcester in January 1946 after passing the entrance exam from King Edward VI High School, Birmingham where he had been for five years. Leaving "Worcester" at the end of 1947 obtaining First Class Extra Certificates in school work and seamanship. On January 16th 1948 John joined Shaw Savill's MV Coptic as one of three cadets. At the end of three years apprenticeship he took his 2nd Mates Certificate and stayed on with Shaw Savill's to join Dominion Monarch as Junior 4th Officer. Having stayed with Shaw Savill for nearly ten years he left them as 2nd Officer with a Master's certificate.
Captain Trevor Bailey
Trevor Bailey started his sea-going career in 1971 with BP Tanker Co. Ltd and gained his Master's Certificate in 1982. He was promoted to Master in 1984. After service in container and ro-ro vessels he joined Sealink British Ferries in 1988 serving on the Liverpool - Dun Laoghaire vessel Earl William. After service as Master on board various Sealink Stena Line English Channel vessels he moved to Holyhead in 1993 as Senior Master of the Stena Cambria. Latterly he was Training Master on board the HSS Stena Explorer. In April 1998 he left Stena Line and established Anglesey-based YG Consultants - an independent marine consultancy with special interests in high-speed craft and in safety training.
Captain Ted Besson
Captain William Carroll
Capt Carroll succeeded Capt Len Evans as Senior Master of the St Columba in 1986. He retired in 1988.
Captain Val Church
|After completing his pre
sea training at the School of Navigation Southampton, Val
went on to serve his apprenticeship with P&O. He spent his
entire deep sea career with them, attaining the rank of
First Officer on their passenger ships.
In 1977 he joined the Sealink arm of British Rail and then their successors, serving in all officer ranks on Holyhead-based ships, gaining his first command on the Stena Cambria in 1993. Resulting from changes to Port Control, Val came ashore as Senior Marine Controller and was later appointed Harbour Master for the port, a position that he filled with enthusiasm and professionalism at a time when the port was undergoing major changes with the opening of the two deep water berths and the introduction of the new generation ferries.
Val retired in 2004.
Captain Chris Clowes
Captain Bob Crane
Capt Bob Crane flanked by RTE Radio 2 DJ Jimmy Greely and Miss Sealink 1983 Yvonne McKinney during a live broadcast from the bridge of the St Columba.
Captain Dai Davies
Captain Eric Davies
Currently Master of the Stena Adventurer.
Captain Richard Davies
Currently Senior Master of the Stena Adventurer. First command was the Stena Hibernia.
Captain Dyfed Ellis
Captain Len Evans
Capt Evans began his
seagoing career in 1938 as a midshipman with Blue Funnel Line,
joining British Railways at Holyhead ten years later. His
first command was on the Slieve Bloom, one of four cargo
vessels operating to Dublin. His first passenger command came in
1966 when he became master of the Hibernia.
In April 1977 he commanded the St Columba on her delivery trip
from Denmark to the Irish Sea. Retiring in 1986, Capt Evans
enjoyed a happy retirement before
crossing the bar in July 2005
In April 1977 he commanded the St Columba on her delivery trip from Denmark to the Irish Sea. Retiring in 1986, Capt Evans enjoyed a happy retirement before crossing the bar in July 2005.
Captain David Farrell
Joining British Rail in 1975 David Farrell's first ship was the Slieve Donard (last of the cattle carriers) then the container boats Brian Boroime and Rhodri Mawr before moving to the St Columba, St. David and Stena Cambria.
His first command was the Hengist, then the Stena Hibernia and Stena Cambria where he was promoted to Senior Master. The sister ships Stena Traveller and Stena Challenger followed and he held the position of Charterer’s Representative on the Italian flagged Stena Forwarder.
Fishguard beckoned with a Senior Master position on the Stena Europe.
Captain Farrell retired in May 2011 after 36 years with the company. He retires to his Anglesey farm with his wife Gillian but the Farrell name lives on, on the Holyhead route, with his sons Gwyndaff and Tomos both serving as deck officers on the Stena Nordica.
The picture below right shows Captain Eric Davies presenting a picture of the Stena Challenger to Captain Farrell on behalf of those that sailed with and worked with him in Holyhead.
Captain Hugh Farrell
Born into a seafaring family it was always fairly obvious that Hugh Farrell would go to sea. Having passed the entrance exam into the Merchant Navy Cadet Training School, Hugh was educated at HMS Conway from 1961 - 1964. On completion of training he joined the Pacific Steam Navigation Co where he spent a very happy apprenticeship, mostly on the MV Salavery.
When it came time for Hugh Farrell to consider his Master's Ticket he was faced with the decision of where to sit his exams. During this time he accompanied his Father to a cattle market in Ireland to purchase stock for the family farm on Anglesey. During that trip he called in at the Irish Nautical College on Dun Laoghaire's West Pier where he met the Principal, Capt. Tom Walsh and so it was decided that he would sit all his Ticket's here. In July 1975 he became the last person to gain a Master's Ticket from this college before it transferred to the Regional Tech in Cork. Little did Hugh realise then what Dun Laoghaire had in store for him in later years!
After further time deep sea, with Furness Ship Management and T&J Harrison, Hugh joined British Rail's Shipping & International Services Division at Holyhead in 1976. Serving on the container ships Brian Boroime and Rhodri Mawr as well as the car ferries Dover, Avalon, Maid of Kent, Duke of Lancaster, Earl Leofric, Earl Siward and many other owned and chartered passenger-car ferries.
Having obtained his Master's Ticket at Dun Laoghaire, 14 years later Hugh had the happy coincidence of sailing into the port with his first command, the St Cybi, on his inaugural sailing as Master. The St Cybi was a ship in which he also served as Chief Officer where trials and tribulations and happy memories were many. Command of the Stena Cambria, Stena Hibernia and Stena Galloway followed until in June 1993 when he flew to Malta to join the Incat 74 metre Wave Piercing Catamaran Stena Sea Lynx on her delivery voyage from Hobart, Tasmania. Inaugurating the first high speed ferry service between Holyhead and Dun Laoghaire on this craft as Senior Master and with a dedicated crew is what Hugh considers the highlight of his career. Stena Sea Lynx was followed by the larger Stena Sea Lynx II while Holyhead awaited the arrival of the HSS 1500 Stena Explorer in April of 1996.
Retiring from the Stena Explorer in 2001, Capt. Farrell had logged well over 5,000 sailings in command of a high speed ferry!
Captain Ian Farrell
Captain John Garner
After a period as Senior Master of the Stena Hibernia Capt John Garner served as Senior Master on the Stena HSS project team responsible for the design, construction and build of the Stena HSS in Finnyards for two years. He then moved ashore as Stena Line's Fleet Operations Manager responsible for the safe and efficient operation of the Stena UK fleet consisting of up to twenty Ro-Ro Passenger ships. He was also responsible for a variety of types of High Speed Craft; Stena HSS 1500, Incat 74m, Incat 78m, Incat 81m and Monohull fast craft.
After Stena Line, John served for six years with the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency as Deputy Director of Operations and Director of Standards. Regularly he acted as Chairman of a number of Government and MCA Committees, including serving as both a member and Chairman of the UK High Speed Craft Advisory Group (HSCAG).
In November 2004 John joined P&O Ferries as Fleet & Ports Director with responsibility for the safe and efficient operation of the P&O Ferries fleet and ports. John is a Fellow of the Nautical Institute, a Fellow of the Institute of Marine Engineers, Scientists and Technology, and a Chartered Marine Technologist.
Captain Roy Graves
Captain Hubert Hughes
A Holyhead man, Hubert Hughes first went to sea at the age of 15 and served four years as a cadet officer with P. Henderson & Co., Glasgow before taking his Second Mate's certificate in 1942. He was appointed Third Officer on the Hensada. After gaining his First Mate's ticket he joined Ellerman Line where he got his Master's ticket. Capt Hughes joined the LMS ship's at Holyhead, initially sailing on the Slieve Bloom and all Railway vessels at the port before being appointed as Holyhead's Marine Superintendent after command of the cargo vessel Harrogate. Retiring in 1981 Capt Hughes worked closely with Capt Len Evans, both ensuring the successful entry into service of the new St Columba in 1977.
Captain Andy Humphreys
Andy was Master on Stena Sea Lynx before commanding Stena Sea Lynx II from Hobart to Holyhead in 1994. In 1995 he went to Finnyards to standby the HSS Stena Explorer as building Master. He was promoted to Senior Master at Finnyards and brought the craft to Holyhead in February 1996 prior to her commencement in service April 1996. Andy remained as Senior Master until he was seconded ashore as Marine Manager in September 2001 located at the Ashford office. In September 2003 the Ship & Port Management Department was re-located to Holyhead when Andy became the UK Safety Manager and as such the Designated Person Ashore for the Irish Sea ships and four UK flag North Sea ships. He is also the Designated Person for the three Stena Line owned ports of Holyhead, Fishguard and Stranraer.
Captain Geraint Jones
Captain Ken Jones
Captain Richard Jones
Joining Blue Funnel as a midshipman in 1956 Richard Jones' first ship was the former Liberty Ship Tantalus. Five years later he joined Thos & Jas Harrison sailing on board another Liberty - the Statesman. In 1968 He moved ashore as a Marine & Cargo Surveyor, spending two and half years in Nigeria. It was through this role that he would later become affectionately known as "Bwana"! In 1972 Richard joined British Rail at Holyhead, his first ship being the Slieve Donard. Over the years he sailed on most ships that served on the Holyhead route to Ireland, gaining his first command on the container ship Brian Boroime in 1989. Two years later Capt Richard Jones sailed as master on board the Earl William. Before retirement Capt Jones had the honour of being the former St Columba's final local Senior Master.
Captain Tudor Jones
Tudor Jones comes from a family with port connections dating back to 1853. Growing up watching all the ships working from Holyhead in the 1950s at very close quarters as they berthed and drydocked a mere ships length or two from the family home, a career at sea was an obvious choice and in 1956 he went to sea as a midshipman with Blue Funnel after passing out of HMS Conway. Returning to Holyhead he joined British Rail continuing the family tradition - his father Gwilym Jones (who had supervised the building of the Slieve Donard and the Holyhead Ferry 1) was at the time Chief Engineer while his uncle, Capt Ivor Griffiths, was Master on the Hibernia and the Cambria. Sailing in various ships he was appointed Senior Master of the Stena Cambria in 1991. 'Retiring' in May 1993, Capt Jones is still very much involved with the Holyhead scene, serving as the port's senior pilot and also sitting on the local pilotage committee.
Captain Tony Lavis-Jones
Captain Neville Lester
Neville Lester went to sea in 1956 with Ellermans Wilson Line and after service with many of the leading deep sea shipping companies he joined British Rail at Holyhead in 1970. Passing through all ranks he became master of the Brian Boroime in 1986. His final commands before retiring in 1991 were the Stena Hibernia and the Stena Cambria.
Captain Walter Lloyd-Williams
Captain Peter Lockyer
Captain John McClymont
John McClymont joined Sealink (British Rail) from Harrison Line in 1972. His first ship at the port was the Colchester. Capt McClymont left Stena Line in 1992 to join HM Coastguards at Holyhead.
Captain John Mason
Retiring as Master of the St Columba in June 1986, Captain Mason passed away in 2004.
Captain Jack Milburn
Captain Simon Mills
Simon Mills served cadetship with the RFA in 1978 and then for a further 11 years with interesting times in the Falklands, South Georgia, the States, North Atlantic etc. A brief spell offshore on a converted trawler in 1982 after defence cuts and the called back due to South Atlantic Crisis. In 1989 he went to the Offshore industry to serve on Dynamic Positioning (DP) Dive Support Vessels working between North Sea and Far East, Sarawak, Vietnam etc. "Very interesting times they where too, allowing much exploring of the Forests and Mountains of Borneo and SE Asia!"
Christmas 1992 saw Simon promoted to Master on the BP Offshore support vessel Safe Protector, "possibly due to the fact that no one else would go for Christmas on such a mighty vessel with big storms looming North of Aberdeen."
In summer 1993 one of the sailors mentioned that a new Fast Ferry catamaran was starting in Holyhead and so the appeal of High Tech and shorter trips resulted in a Phone call to directory enquiries. The answer of tCapt Kevin Slade called him to interview in Holyhead onboard the newly arrived Stena Sea Lynx. A few weeks later he joined as Navigator serving with Holyhead stalwarts such as Hugh Farrell, Peter Lockyer, Wyn Parry, Tudor Roberts and John Gwyndaff Roberts.
"In 1994 I was part of delivery crew with Capt Andy Humphreys on Stena Sea Lynx II from Tasmania. Capt Hugh Farrell was senior master on entry into service and through my old friend Hugh somehow was allowed out as Master later that year. Two years later, I was sent to Perth, Western Australia, to take delivery of the Austal-built Stena Lynx IV, the first prototype Austal Car ferry built for and cancelled by Sea Containers. However, Stena were also to cancel and I returned to the UK without a ship. Later in the summer I was back out to Tasmania as Master to complete trials and take delivery of Stena Lynx III, the Incat 81m cat for Dover Calais."
Capt Mills then served as Senior Master on Stena Lynx, operating Dover-Calais. Later that Year the P&O Joint Venture was announced so a return to Irish Sea followed with a transfer to the HSS's, serving almost one year on the Stena Voyager in Stranraer before a return to Holyhead.
"In 1999 I left Stena
and went to Sea Containers - Irish Sea as Marine Operations Manager
looking after the Liverpool-Dublin, Isle of Man and also Belfast -
Stranraer, Troon and Heysham runs. This also sadly included the
closure of Ballycastle - Cambeltown run with the Claymore.
The two and half years with Seacat where great fun and very
interesting with great variety and many challenges, even the chance
to work with the Legendary Dublin Maritime and their Top Terminal
Manager Justin Merrigan! Sadly it seemed that the future was
uncertain there and Stena called to see if I was interested in a
return to sea on the 'Explorer'; next thing I was back!"
On September 11 2001 Capt Mills took over from Capt Andy Humphreys as Senior Master on when Andy went ashore as Stena Line's Marine Manager and later Safety Manager. A year later due to complications with living in Liverpool and working in Holyhead Simon stood down as Senior Master, being replaced by colleague Capt Tudor Roberts. Capt Simon Mills remains as Master of the Stena Explorer.
Captain Bill Moss
After one year pre-sea training at Warsash, Bill Moss began his deep sea career on board Manchester Liners' ss Manchester Mariner. In 1984 he left Houlder Bros gas tankers as a Chief Officer and joined his first Sealink ship, Holyhead's Rhodri Mawr. This was to be shortlived as the pattern was to be laid off on a regular basis. Bill recalls that Capt John Sinnott used to refer to the temporary officers as 'of no fixed abode'! In 1985 Bill Moss joined Sealink in a permanent position. Eleven years later Capt Bill Moss sailed as Master on the Stena Hibernia/Stena Adventurer. Frequent Mate/Master slots followed on the Stena Challenger before being appointed as Mate/Master on the new Stena Adventurer in 2003.
Captain Gwilym Owen
Captain Wyn Parry
First command Stena Sea Lynx. Currently Shipping & Port Manager at Holyhead.
Captain John Peters
Captain Glynne Pritchard
Glynne Pritchard went to sea as a midshipman with Blue Funnel in 1956 and obtained his Master's certificate in 1966. The son of the late Capt Evan R Pritchard and younger brother of Idwal Pritchard, Glynne followed family tradition when he joined British Rail at Holyhead in 1968. As a junior officer on the Harrogate on £17.00 a week he soon wondered what he had done! Nevertheless, Capt Pritchard stayed at the port and having sailed in many ships of British Rail, Sealink and Stena, he retired as Senior Master of the St Cybi in October 1991.
Captain Idwal Pritchard
Idwal Pritchard went to sea in 1942 at the age of 18. His father was Chief officer of the Scotia at Dunkirk. He served on deck with Blue Funnel and sat the examination for second mate whilst ashore recuperating from an accident he suffered on the Talthybius. He then joined Lamport & Holts for a short while, later transferring to Clan Line, with whom he obtained his Master FG certificate. Following in family tradition he joined British Railways at Holyhead in 1952. He was the NUMAST Liaison officer for many years. Latterly he was Senior Master of the St David which he delivered from the yard in August 1981. Retiring in 1982 Capt Pritchard was a co-founder and Chairman of the then new Holyhead Maritime Museum. Capt Pritchard passed away in March 1995.
Captain Lewis Pritchard
Captain Nigel Rebeiro
Captain Hugh Roberts
Captain Iorwerth Roberts
Captain John Gwyndaf Roberts
Captain Tudor Roberts
Tudor Roberts first went to sea in 1975, joining Ocean fleets (the old Blue Funnel, Elder Demster, Glen Line, Henderson line, Guine Gulf, OCL). Passing his Masters in 1987 he joined Sealink British Ferries in September of that year as a temporary 2nd Officer, as was the case in those days! He sailed on both container ships, as 2nd and Chief Officer and also the St Columba/Stena Hibernia as 2nd Officer and Chief Officer. Time was also spent on the St Cybi, the Horsa and the Stena Cambria.
In 1993 Tudor Roberts was made permanent and he was dispatched to Tasmania as part of the delivery crew for the new high speed ferry Stena Sea Lynx. This craft was to be Capt Tudor Robert's first command before moving to Fishguard with the vessel as Senior Master in 1994. Appointed to Holyhead's new HSS Stena Explorer as Master in 1995, Tudor first enjoyed a spell as Captain on board the Stena Hibernia in summer and autumn of that year. In January 1996 he joined the Stena Explorer in Finland as Master and has remained with her ever since, becoming Senior Master in July 2003.
Captain Trevor Salmon
Captain Trevor Shaw
Captain John Sinnott
Captain Alan Thomas
Captain Ray Veno
Ray went to sea in 1953 as an apprentice with the John Holt Line of Liverpool (Guinea Gulf Line). He went on to serve with Blue Star LIne and Cable & Wireless and also spent some time ashore before joining British Rail at Holyhead in 1970. His first ship at the port was the Slieve Bawn where the usual Master was Capt Alex Robertson. After deep sea, the old 'Slieve', then in the twilight of a long career, was quite an eye-opener, especially after a brand new cable ship with every mod con! Ray soon settled in to what became a very enjoyable career culminating in retirement as a Master on the Stena Hibernia on 1st January 1992.
Captain Alwyn Williams
Captain Owen Wyn-Jones