Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 19°C

min temp: 15°C

Search

The pigs have arrived. See the latest

Pigs Gone Wild

news 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

Nitro Circus Live at Foxhall Stadium.

Fans have been left upset and out of pocket after they claim they were turned away from a stunt show because of bad weather - only to find the event went ahead slightly later than scheduled.

Chemical incident in Glamorgan Road, Ipswich

Fire, police, and ambulance services were sent to a chemical incident in the Stoke Park area of town.

The Pigs Gone Wild trail covers key Ipswich landmarks

There were shrieks of delightthis morning as children scrambled over concrete plinths holding some exciting new additions to Ipswich town centre.

Parade to mark the opening of the Southwold Arts Festival

The circus rolled up to a Suffolk seaside town for the launch of an annual festival featuring some ‘big top’ names from the world of art, literature, music and dance.

Will Young at Newmarket Nights - photos by Simon Traylen

Evergreen pop star Will Young showed he remains a hit with fans as crowds flocked to see him perform at Newmarket racecourse.

Race for Life in Nowton Park, Bury St Edmunds has been cancelled due to heavy rain overnight.

Today’s Race for Life event in Bury St Edmunds has been cancelled due to heavy raining and flooding at Nowton Park.

Dougie and Sheila Gedny with their daughter Linda Main at the completion of Upper Abbey Farmhouse at Leiston.

A Suffolk woman has returned to the house where she was born more than 70 years ago to see it fully restored following a fire.

Turner's watercolour painting off Orfordness, dating from around 1827.

Art historian Eric Shanes, who is giving a talk at Southwold Arts Festival on Turner’s east coast tours, spoke to Sheena Grant.

600 primary school children are attending a science fair at Thomas Gainsborough School in Great Cornard. Pictured with flame is Head of Chemistry Andy Cameron.

This week our headlines were dominated by the EU referendum, with campaigners from the Remain camp hitting the streets of Bury St Edmunds before the vote on Thursday.

Lionel Richie on stage in Colchester

“What the hell is this? You call this a summer evening? Welcome to Cold-chester!”

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24