Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

Stranded in the Suez Canal between 1967 – 1975

Reunion for Seafarers stranded in the Suez Canal 1967 – 1975


Reunion for Seafarers stranded in the Suez Canal 1967 - 1975

Merseyside Museum commemorates Suez Canal anniversary:
Merseyside Maritime Museum is looking for former seafarers who were on a stranded ship on the Suez Canal between June 1967 and June 1975 to attend a special 50th anniversary reunion at Merseyside Maritime Museum on Thursday 1 June 2017.

14 merchant ships were stranded in the Great Bitter Lake in the Suez Canal at the start of the Six-Day War between Israel and Egypt in 1967. They were trapped there for eight years until Egypt reopened the canal in 1975. Four of the ships were British flagged, including three from Liverpool shipping lines: MS Melampus and MS Agapenor from Blue Funnel Line, and MS Scottish Star from Blue Star Line. The fourth British ship was MS Port Invercargill of the London-based Port Line.

Though the original trapped crews were replaced after a couple of months, over the years around 3,000 seafarers served on the ships, helping to maintain them and their precious cargos, right in the middle of a war zone. The period was the height of the Cold War, the ships may have come from both sides of the Iron Curtain, but as Ben Whittaker, Curator of Maritime History and Technology explains, it didn’t stop them forming their own ‘United Nations’.

“The ships were going nowhere, over time camaraderie grew between the crews irrespective of their country of origin. Inspired by the part of the Suez Canal they were stuck in, they established what was to become a unique community; the Great Bitter Lake Association”.
“They shared supplies and equipment, as well as created a full programme of sports fixtures and other social activities. The seafarers even produced their own hand-made stamps, which are now sought after collectors’ items”. The move to appeal for ex-crew was inspired by author Cath Senker, whose forthcoming book on the subject features material from the Blue Funnel Line Archive which is held at the Museum, as well as images of objects from the museum collections related to the Great Bitter Lake Association. These include a commemorative plate and home-made trophies that were awarded to the winners of the competitions held on board the ships during the 8 year long saga. Ben says; “We want former crew to get in touch and join us on 1 June to share their stories and reminisce. Many members remember their time in the Suez Canal as one of the most significant of their entire lives. Through the internet, many of them have now renewed contact with each other, and interest in this unusual story has been revived. With Liverpool ships and men part of the story, Merseyside Maritime Museum is the right place to hold the reunion”.
If you or a family member were on one of the stranded ships on the Great Bitter Lake during the Six Day War and want to share your story and be part of the reunion, contact Ben Whittaker. Telephone 0151 478 4401 or email <>.

 ROGER PERKIS No.45 1966 +


Indefatigable Old Boys Association (IOBA): Secretary & Archives

© 2017

Indefatigable Figurehead refurbishment : Final Phase Photo Diary

Indefatigable OBA Members celebrate the restoration of a significant object in Liverpool’s maritime history.

IOBA Members attended the Merseyside Maritime Museum for the special unveiling of the newly restored Indefatigable figurehead on Wednesday 2nd November 2016, 2:30-4:30pm.

The figurehead has been restored by world renowned figurehead conservator Richard Hunter, thanks to a donation of £2,500 to fund the project from the Indefatigable Old Boys Association (IOBA). Janet Dugdale Director Maritime Museum and Museum of Liverpool said: ‘We are delighted to be able to unveil King Billy and thank the IOBA for their kind generosity’.

Names of those present;
Sir Michael Bibby Bt (M.D. Bibby Line Group): IOBA President.
Andrew Butler (77/78): IOBA Chairman.
Martyn Hunt (82/85): IOBA Vice Chairman & Karen Hunt.
Tom Keyes (63/64) IOBA Treasurer & Membership Secretary.
Malcolm Williams (75/76): IOBA Merchandise & Angie Williams.
John Aspinall (59/60): IOBA Standard Bearer & Val Aspinall.
Marc Hardman (1961): IOBA Standard Bearer.
Ian Parr (74/75) & Deborah Parr: IOBA Members.
Brian & Norma Croxton: IOBA Members.
Steve Humphries (75/76): IOBA General Secretary & Archives.
John Wilson: CEO Liverpool Seafarers Centre.
Richard Hunter: Figurehead Historian & Restorer of King Billy.
Ian Murphy: Deputy Director Maritime Museum and Museum of Liverpool.
Ben Whittaker: Curator of Maritime History Maritime Museum and Museum of Liverpool.

See the project yourself at;

Merseyside Maritime Museum, Albert Dock, Liverpool. L3 4AQ / Tel: 0151 478 4401

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Indefatigable Old Boys Association (IOBA): General Secretary & Archives.

© 2016


MERCHANT NAVY DAY – LIVERPOOL: Sunday September 4th 2016.

IOBA at MN Day Sept 2015 (8)Merchant Navy Memorial Day in Liverpool: 4th September 2016: 

Once again the IOBA Standard will be paraded.

The Merchant Navy Day Committee is pleased to invite you to this year’s ceremony in the Liverpool Parish Church of Our Lady and Saint Nicholas, Chapel Street, Liverpool.

Merchant Navy Day is the annual celebration of the British Merchant Navy and a memorial service for the 36,000 seafarers who died at sea in World War 2. The service is attended by diplomatic representatives of Britain’s allies during World War 2 who pay homage to their own considerable losses of merchant seafarers serving in British Ships.

The service will begin at noon in the church and be followed by the laying of wreaths on the Pier Head memorials at 1pm. All should be completed by l-45pm.

The IOBA wreath will be laid along with many others, Merchant Navy veterans, High Commissioners and Naval Attaches from many countries linked with the Port of Liverpool, including Navy in Canada, plus the Lord Mayor of Liverpool and Mayors of the Merseyside Boroughs.





Steve Humphries 75/76. Indefatigable Old Boys Association (IOBA): Secretary & Archives

34th Annual IOBA Reunion Day Saturday 10th June 2017 – at JSMTC Indefatigable.
34th Annual IOBA Reunion Dinner Saturday 10th June 2017  – at the Carreg Bran Hotel.


150th Celebration VIDEO & STILL images


The Indefatigable 150th Celebration VIDEO

click on link above

Film footage from the weekend’s special celebrations in Anglesey.

Our sincere thanks goes to Tim Brunsden for making this film <>

Our sincere thanks goes to the Photographer Joe Pegler for taking the still images


Joe Pegler’s 150th images


Indefatigable 150th


Film footage from the weekend’s special celebrations in Anglesey.


Indefatigable Still Photos (2063 in total to date).

© Joseph Pegler All Moral Rights Reserved 2014

Indefatigable Old Boys Association (IOBA): Secretary & Archives