Working for Cameron Nicolson boat builders by Tim Stanning

Marlow Bridge Copyright 2004 Christopher J. Wood. GNU Free Documentation License,

Marlow Bridge Copyright 2004 Christopher J. Wood. GNU Free Documentation License,

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

Additional Information

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

Heather_Stanning Description Helen Glover and Heather Stanning licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.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.


Fred Begg’s work in a lemonade bottling plant in Elgin

Fred’s first job was at the age of 16 in 1940 working at Hayes Lemonade in Lossie Wynd in Elgin, Moray. He worked on the bottle washing machine lifting hot bottles out of a washing tub (no gloves) and putting them into a crate. They dried off and then the bottles were put into a bottle-filling machine. As it came around you took the bottle out of the bottle machine and then put it into another crate. The bottle then went off to the labelling machine. The previous label had come off in the washing process. The neck label was done by hand. It identified the manufacturer. © Copyright Christopher Gillan and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence. 087365_196f9ba6

Dallachy Strike Wing Memorial

The factory filled the bottles with lemonade, limeade, cola, ginger beer and orangeade. Most of the production went to the Airforce canteens in the area at Lossiemouth, Kinloss, Pinefield Engineers and Dallachy Bay.  Later in the war glass became more expensive.

Fred was called up in 1942 to serve in the Royal Navy. He was posted to the remote location of Butlins Holiday Camp, Skegness (known during the war as HMS Royal Arthur) 567px-Royal_Arthur_Memorialwhere he trained to be a signalman.

Memory contributed by Fred Begg, Elgin

Additional Information
HMS Royal Arthur wartime memories project
Information and pictures of HMS Royal Arthur
Dallachy Airfield pictures showing the control towers
War memory of Strike Wing at Dallachy Bay by William Mullen.