Following in the family tradition set by his Uncle and Father Tim left school in 1961 with a long-term plan to join the Royal Navy. There were a variety of options available to him including seaman, submariner or aviator and he chose the engineering route. On leaving school he got a job with Cameron Nicholson boat builders in Southampton. He arrived in Feb/March of 1962. The company built wooden yachts. At the age of 18 he moved to JG Meakes of Marlow on the Thames fitting out a pair of 42′ steel hulled twin-engine motor boats. They normally made sleek launchers. Tim enjoyed his time on the boat, living on board and being paid £1 a day. His only costs were buying food. The boats were near a bridge in Marlowe. While living in Marlow he got to know local people. He had learnt camponology at school and used this skill playing the local church bells at Marlowe Parish Church.
Tim completed an engine makers course with the makers in Stroud and also did a boat radio course. In April/May 1962 he took the boat down the Thames and around to Southampton with his friend. The boat owner lived in London. During the summer of 1962 the boat was moored in a berth in Cowes (Isle of Wight). Tim had a flat in Cowes. with the boat he was looking after either at Southampton or a Cowes. When he was given time off he would occasionally go back home to Lymington, West Solent. He also went as crew on other boats. Still earning £1 a day the boat owner provided food as well during the whole summer.
At the end of August 1962 Tim had a three day interview with the Royal Navy which tested his leadership skills and problem solving ability in the gym. He joined for a full career commission with a mininum service of five years. During a long Naval career where Tim rose to the rank of Lieutenant Commander he worked in Yeovil, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Hampshire before moving to Lossiemouth.
Memory contributed by Tim Stanning from Lossiemouth
Memories of working at JG Meakes of Marlow- There are a number of blogs on the internet which feature memories of people who worked for JG Meakes of Marlow.
JG Meakes took over “Appleyard and Lincoln of Ely in approx 1972 and continued building until approx 1975.”
River and Rowing Museum image collection- a set of images including JG Meakes Ltd
Mary and Tim’s children have followed the family tradition of joining the Armed Forces. Martin is serving with the Black Watch and Alistair is a Navy Doctor. Their daughter, Heather is currently serving as an Army Officer and in 2012 achieved a rowing gold for the UK team with her rowing partner, Helen Glover. She was awarded an MBE in the New Years Honours List.