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28th August, 2013


P&O Express Mail Steamer 'Strathmore'

We arrived early enough, but ended up following a jack up ship used to place wind turbines on the sea bed. She delayed us for a short while, but not enough for us to be late for the tours. In fact most of our folks woke up to have views of a large coal storage yard on one side and the old Harland & Wolff ship yard on the other, not exactly pretty, but sufficiently close to the city centre so that a fifteen minute ride on the shuttle bus had the independent passengers standing outside Boots.


Tangier, The Flower Seller

It wasn’t a bad day weather wise and I think the passengers who went off on the all day tour to the Antrim Coast and Giants Causeway had a successful trip. I still haven’t been to see the new Titanic museum, but others that did were all very complimentary (this exhibition has been very well received). I did, however, take an hour or so off to go the Ulster Museum as they had an exhibition of one my favourite marine artists, Kenneth Shoesmith, who painted between the wars and is now very collectible. Even original postcards of his work sell on ebay for anything from £10 to £90. He was at sea during the First World War, but left to pursue his obvious ability and painted much publicity work for Royal Mail Line, his old company and included port scenes which were placed on their calendars. In recent years some of the large cruise companies have attempted to emulate his style with their advertising, but have never quite got it right in my opinion. I have a very modest number of his cards, but am always on the lookout for more if I happen to be at a flea market or the like.

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