Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 14°C

min temp: 10°C

Search

The pigs are coming. Find out more about

Pigs Gone Wild

here.

Les of the ‘originals’ returns for a trip down Port of Felixstowe memory lane

10:30 23 January 2016

Les Batterick, one of the original shipping company bosses who kick-started felixstowe port 50 years ago, returns to Felixstowe for reunion with an old colleague, George Russell (right).

Les Batterick, one of the original shipping company bosses who kick-started felixstowe port 50 years ago, returns to Felixstowe for reunion with an old colleague, George Russell (right).

One of the key men who helped launch a tiny dock on its path to being the most successful container hub in the country revisited his former workplace to mark 50 years since he started his career in shipping.

Les Battrick was one of the “originals” – the nickname of those who ran around a dozen shipping and transport companies at the Port of Felixstowe in the mid-1960s that set the foundation for the future.

But Mr Battrick – who also later spent two periods working in the ports industry in the Middle East – started his career in shipping, by his own admission, “by mistake”.

In 1965, at the age of 16, he left his home town of Sheringham, to live with his sister in Ipswich.

He said: “Like most 16 years olds at the time, I had no idea what I wanted to be – I just wanted a job!

“I signed on at the employment exchange in Ipswich and they put me down as a clerk. After three attempts and being told three times, ‘sorry, no jobs as a clerk’, I was just about to walk out of the door when they said, wait a minute, there’s a job here for a shipping clerk.

“I had no idea what a shipping clerk did, but I turned around and said I’ll take it.”

After initially working with LEP Transport in Ipswich, where the manager was Roy Davies, he went to work for Lockett Wilson Line in the then little-known Port of Felixstowe.

Mr Battrick, now 66, found himself in the right place at the right time as Felixstowe took off, firstly with roll-on, roll-off ships and then containerisation with the arrival of American Sealand and Seatrain.

At Lockett Wilson Line, Mr Battrick worked in The Little Ships Hotel, where around half a dozen of the original shipping companies were based, and later at the newly-built Trelawny House office block.

He returned to Felixstowe this month to meet up with a few old colleagues at the Fludyers, and also visited his former boss at Lockett Wilson, George Russell at his home.

Mr Battrick said: “I saw many friends from 50 years ago – I really enjoyed it.”

1 comment

  • A good story only spoiled by the lack of clarity re the spelling of this man's name (with the "e" or without it).

    Report this comment

    John Shirley

    Sunday, January 24, 2016

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Gusford Primary School, Ipswich

Pupils who were evacuated this morning after a caller made a bomb threat have safely returned to their school grounds.

Abbie Howard, who died this month after suffering from cystic fibrosis.

A young Ipswich woman could have had a second chance at life if more people were willing to sign up as organ donors, her friends have said.

Ipswich Crown Court.

An Ipswich man with “an entrenched and disturbing interest” in sexually abusing females has been jailed for 12 years.

Fiona Cairns, director at Suffolk Preservation Society

A charity which aims to protect and enhance Suffolk’s landscape and iconic buildings wants to join forces with town and parish councils to help them fight against ‘inappropriate’ developments.

File picture of Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service at work.

Firefighters rescued a woman from a house fire in Ipswich during the early hours of the morning.

Watch the new equestrian challenge

There are just days to go until the gates open for the 2016 Suffolk Show, and with an action packed programme set to please visitors, organisers have shared their top 10 new things to enjoy at this year’s show:

St Mary's pre-school celebrates outstanding Ofsted rating with tea party for pupils, staff and families.

Celebrations were had at St Mary’s Pre-School in Ipswich yesterday as it marked its second outstanding Ofsted rating in a row.

A rise in the older population could put strains on health services. Getty Images/iStockphoto

New estimates predicting a steep rise in the region’s older population have prompted fears for the future of health services.

Some of the PhotoEast exhibition on the Ipswich Waterfront

Celebrations were enjoyed on Ipswich waterfront as the inaugural PhotoEast Festival was officially launched.

Stock image of the A14 near Bury St Edmunds.

One lane is blocked on the A14 westbound at Thurston due to a broken down van.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24