Collection of Red Ensign Ship Photographs

Red Ensign Ships

A good many of our Members and Friends of the Tyne Area Shipping Club will have served in ships flying the Red Ensign.

They will be pleased to learn that a fellow ex seafarer John Richardson, who is widely known as a talented Maritime Painter and Maritime Author is making available his collection of Red Ensign Ship photographs.

John Richardson who served on board many types of ships,  is a talented Maritime Painter and Author having been Maritime Artist for the South African Navy, and was commissioned to paint fleet vessels.  He has written several maritime books including The Cutty Sark Story which has a praiseworthy Forward by Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, (who was instrumental in bringing Cutty Sark  to Greenwich and  involved with her restoration}  John is now retired, however, during his interesting career has collected many photographs of ships.  He has now come up with a novel way to put them to good use, at the same time help generate funds for a very deserving charity – The Motor Neurone Association (MND)

John  was born in Liverpool in 1937, joined the Sea Cadets in 1950, and later spent two years at a Nautical School before joining the Merchant Navy in 1953. On joining his first ship as a deck boy he saw the ferocious and merciless North Atlantic Ocean in its many moods; it was then that he developed a strong urge to draw and paint the sea and ships. Self-taught through a lot of trial and error, the author spent much of his spare time drawing what he had seen at sea as well as using his own imagination.

He left the Merchant Navy to join the South African Navy in 1976, and in his subsequent sea going duties served aboard various supply and auxiliary vessels as a rigger, as well as spending the last years of his sea career on Ton Class minesweepers.

On invitation he later became the marine artist for the South Africa Navy and was thereafter commissioned to paint various warships. But in being a rigger he always held a special interest  for the square rigged sailing ships of bygone times.

Before leaving his last ship, the SAS Kimberley, and after retiring from the service in 1990, not only had he painted many of the South African Navy warships but numerous sailing vessels as well. He then took up his new pastime of writing which included a book titled ‘A Deck Boy’s Diary’ a publication that described his first trip to sea on the Willesden of London, and also about maritime history, his paintings and the ships they portrayed.

John left his last ship in 1990 and now lives in Swansea, Wales with his wife Barbara and their two sons. The eldest of whom chose an army life, while the youngest who opted for a life at sea, is presently serving as a master mariner of both sail and power-driven vessels

To access  John’s super collection of Ship Photographs please visit his Website by clicking the following link…

Thank you.

/Keith Atkinson Chair./

Below is John and his oil painting of the Type 12 frigate SAS President Kruger that was sunk after a collision with the SAS Tafelberg in 1982