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A Sailors Log

The talk to be presented at Scottish Maritime Museum on the 17th August concerns an Ayrshire man, William Lawrie Sinclair, born and brought up in Stevenston in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s who served his apprentice indenture with Thomas Law & Co, the Shire Line of Glasgow, a shipping company who operated a fleet of sailing ships, which he sailed around the world twice during his apprenticeship.

All his life he was a keen photographer and had a camera with him on his travels which give us an insight into the hard life aboard a full rigged sailing ship at sea at the beginning of the twentieth century, from being becalmed in the Doldrums, to sailing in the Roaring Forties along the perils of rounding Cape Horn.

The talk also gives some personal insights into his thoughts during the voyages of others on board and from the very hot weather on the Equator to the freezing temperatures around Cape Horn, also his thoughts about the Clackmannanshire at the start of the voyages and latterly at the end, all of which have been taken from his daily diary.

On return to the United Kingdom, he switched to steam ships and as a member of the Royal Naval Reserve he was called up during the first World War in which he served in Minesweepers and latterly in Submarines, where he patrolled off the Danish coast.

After the War he went back to steam ships, reaching the position of Captain and eventually a shore job as a Marine Superintendent for the Anchor Line in Glasgow and the London Midland Scottish Railway in Holyhead and London.

He retired in 1952, settling with a sea view in Saltcoats.


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