2010 West Country Lunch
At the Belmont, Sidmouth, May 22nd 2010.
Yet another successful OH West Country Lunch was held at the Belmont Hotel, Sidmouth. On Saturday 22nd May, when Captain Nigel (Nick) Kettlewell RN retd. (JH 45-47 & M 47-51) was our Guest Speaker; he was billed to talk about ‘Tales of the Cod War’ or rather as our President Roddy Long said, his days at Allhallows and what he had done afterwards!
Before he introduced him Roddy said Rosemary Sidwell had sold 86 copies of her painting of Allhallows by John Hoar and raised £1200 for the Club, for which we are most grateful. He thanked Richard Bean, our West Country Secretary, for gathering us together and Sharon Chatting for the help she gave organising the lunch.
We had an exciting Golf Week ahead from June 29th to July 2nd, organised by John Harper and on Saturday 18th September a super OH Luncheon, organised by Brian Clark and John Clark to which husbands, wives and partners are welcome. He urged us to give it our full support.
Nick said his first memories of a prep school in Norwich, which led indirectly to Allhallows, was to his mother’s alarm, of it receiving a direct hit by a German bomb, though he and his fellow pupils were safely ensconced in the crypt of a nearby church. He then moved to Old Buckenham Hall, run by Honor Preston’s father, and to the Junior House at Allhallows in 1945.
His memories are of desperate attempts by Henry Yool to get him through School Certificate Physics – essential for the Navy, of being driven by a local taxi driver, known as Speedy Gonzales, to a pub and the abortive efforts of Vacy Lyle and Jimmy Bliss to catch them in an Austin 7. Nick entered Dartmouth after his A levels by Special entry in 1951 and his first ship was HMS Vanguard. James Turner asked him to captain an OH 2nd XV which had been playing top club rugger in London, while the School 1st XV, who weren’t so experienced, gave the school 1st XV a comfortable victory.
He attended nuclear test in the Pacific, took part in the 1956 Suez campaign and the served on the Royal Yacht as a navigator. Staff College followed when he met Peter Chiswell and Tony Lauri-Chiswell. As 2nd i/c of HMS Antrim he was in evolved in the 3rd Cod War, when the Icelanders were trying to increase their fishing limits from 50 to 200 miles and cutting the nets loose of British trawlers. A Scottish reporter on board Nick’s ship demanded after an incident immediate communication with the BBC who flashed the news out on Women’s Hour. Similar Icelandic problems plagued the Macmillan, Heath and Wilson governments. When their terms and EEC regulations were accepted, thousands of UK jobs were lost.
Table 4, Table 3, Table 2, Table 1.
After John Nott’s Defence Review, Nick found himself working in Scotland with the USN. He was then based in Plymouth with all the attractions of Ten Tors, in which Allhallows participated. In retirement he had been a County Councillor and a JP for 15 years – a thoroughly worth while job.
Giles Blomfield, our Vice-President, rose to thank Nick for a fascinating talk and said he was intrigued to see that our West Country Secretary’s e-mail is ‘madasafish.com’ appropriate for Nick’s talk. He then presented Sevena Kettlewell with a beautiful bouquet on behalf of the Club.