Nick Night

I appreciate the forum is dedicated mostly to the sea-going staff, but as a staff member of 'HQ' Devonshire House I have the most fond memories of my years there.
Starting off as a junior, 18, around 1975 the Accounts Dept... it was a whole new world ... bunkers / disbursements / Nippon Maritime / TMM .. what's this all about ...??? ...
Made great friends, met my wife... our eyes met over the photocopier, the rest is history ...
Every dept had a young trainee (or two) so the social life was great.
We had a football team in the Cardiff Sunday League, the RSL Cricket League (balmy summer evenings at St Fagans) taking over the Angel for our Xmas Ball ... lunches with the directors in the Bideford Suite.. and an old and perhaps too regular occurrence, a brunch & two pints of Brains in the 'Old A',
all in a hour!
I remember when doing my Institute of Charterered Shipbrokers exams going across and speaking to Capt. Lemon, Mr Major and all the Masters & Supers who were always more than willing to impart their expertise .. with a bit of a tale along the way ...for that I am ever grateful, there was no better form of education.

For my sins I used to prepare the Management Accounts for the directors of RSL .. it soon became pretty obvious that the writing was on the wall, especially with those commitments that had been made with the long term T-c's RSL/Irish Shipping - disastrous!
At one time I was showing the few 'profitable' voyages in brackets - it was that bad.
On that basis thought it was best to go when I was in a job & before the bitter end. Cardiff Ship Management was not even in the picture at that time of course.
I went for an admin job in a small broking company 'Keith Brown Shipping' down the Docks, but was eventually employed in the Chartering Dept - mainly short sea coasting - grain - scrap - coal - ferts.
Stayed there for 4 years, then went across to Charles Willie Shipping, again chartering, both ships' operating and cargo. Did 12-13 years with them & made the re-acquaintance on a regular basis with OJTL when he used to do some work with us.    
Then  just over 7 years ago moved to my current company Harvest Chartering Limited in Penarth ... again concentrating on coasting chartering up to about 10,000 size - Baltic / UK-Cont. / Med - Black Sea.....
I can honestly say have never seen such a dramatic fall in the markets as has happened over the past 12 months. We could see the bubble was going to burst six months before it finally went and consider 2010 will be just as precarious. Chin up though! Posted on Forum 27/12/09