Leighton Seabrooke

My 1st trip to sea was with BP as a Galley Boy in 1963 on The "British Ensign". Her and the "British Captain" were the 1st 100,000 ton Tankers in the BP fleet. We ran between Milford Haven and the Middle East. Then with Common Brothers as 2nd Cook/Baker on MV Afghanistan (4) carrying Ore to the UK from Africa, Norway and Canada. Again with Common Brothers on MV Daghestan (5) carrying Ore to the UK. Then a change of companies to Huntings and Sons
as Ch Cook on MV Derwentfield and MV Wearfild tramping around the world going right up through the Great Lakes to Delouthe Superior. I then Joined Reardon Smiths as Cat/Off on the New Westminster City. Captain Danny Lloyd was sailing on his last trip as Master and Captain Richard Vanner was on his 1st trip as master.

My last trip was on the M V Amparo and paid of in Rio, and took voluntary redundancy from Reardon Smiths. I joined a company that owned a hotel in Babbacombe named The Babbacombe Cliff (this was another faulty towers. I could spend hours writing about this hotel, just telling you about it).
I stayed there for two years when I joined Whitbreads and with the help of Joan (my wife for 42 years) we opened the first Brewers Fayre in the south of England in the village of Otterbourne Hampshire called The White Horse near Kenny Hometown's sister. We stayed there for four years, then moved to Ashington West Sussex to open another Brewers Fayre called The Red Lyon.
While we were there we were poached by Marstons of Burton on Trent to move to Derby and open their new Tavern Table (like a Brewers Fayre) called the Dog and Duck in the village of Shardlow.
We stayed there for two years then we moved around opening Tavern Tables in Lincoln, Broughton Astley, Rugby,Coleville Swarkstone Bridge Derbyshire and Kingsbury Tamworth.
In the year 2000 we finally purchased the lease of the Queens head at Ockbrook and have been here ever since. We specialise in fresh fish in our pub combined with a full range of home cooked foods. For those of you who remember my kids, Ruth is 40 married with two girls living in Pulborough West Sussex. Sally who is 38 and has one daughter has taken over the Queens Head with her husband Adam while Joan and I have retired.

I spent alot of my youth looking at Newport Docks and watching the ships coming and going from a railway bridge (there were quite a few ships in and out of Newport in the late 50's and early 60's) on the coast road in St Brides Gwent, and dreaming of going to sea and later when I was old enough driving around Cardiff docks looking at the ships. So I knew about Reardon Smith Line and read about Sir William and I always wanted to work for them but they did not take British Crew at that time.
I finished my apprenticeship as a chef at the Angel Hotel Cardiff in 1968, and after a while found myself at sea working as Ch/Cook on the mv "Daghestan" and after a few short trips bringing ore back to Cardiff from Africa or Norway I was offered promotion to Cat/Off. I came home and telephoned Reardon Smith and had an interveiw with John Lowden (what a nice bloke he was) and was employed with them from then,until I left in 1983 to go into the Pub Trade. The time I spent with you all was some of the best times of my life. Posted on forum 25 April 2013.


November 2012.