Last November, in the good old days when there was a great degree of normality around, we received an email from Anne Greatwood, who lives in Bury, Greater Manchester. She comes from a military background - her father was in the RAF, and until recently her son was a two and a half submariner, and despite this, we carried on reading!
Her reason for contacting 2MA was down to the fact that whilst working in a cancer charity shop in Bury, she chanced upon a photograph of a sailor hidden in a book, and was interested to know who he was.
We didn't recognise Jolly Jack in the photty and so we set about finding out, and would you believe it, our first line of enquiry produced a result! Our informant not only told us who our mystery personality was, but he provided another photty of mystery matelot cuddling our informant's Mum! A fact we promised not to divulge!
So, to make things even more interesting there is a Bottle of Port available as a prize to the first person who can correctly identify our secret sailor. There are NO bottles of Port for correctly identifying where the photty was taken, standfast Pinky Faggots! Good luck!
And the winner of the bottle of port is none other than popular pinky Dave Merrick - Hooray I hear you all cheer - who correctly identified our mystery matelot as none other than .... Ginge Crook, although he was uncertain of the location?!!
This was a good spot as Ginge has changed somewhat in the intervening years!
As it happens there is even more to this story.
Sadly, Ginge lost his father in 2018, and as a consequence a number of his father's books were donated to charity, which explains how Anne Greatwood came across said photty.
Ginge was absolutely chuffed to nuts to feature in an article in this excellent magazine, so much so he showed it to his sister, Sharon. Sharon's response? "Anne Greatwood lives two doors away from me!!
It's a small world, and it would appear Bury is not a big place!
By our Investigative Correspondent
MYSTERY PERSONALITY NUMBER TWO
By our Undercover Correspondent
So now we come to our second Mystery Matelot, and this time we will leave the photty out because he is too easily recognisable - even with a beard, a patch over his eye and a parrot on his shoulder! (he likes to look the part!) But do you know who we are talking about? Once again, there is a Bottle of Port on offer to the first person to correctly identify our salt encrusted mariner.
He joined the Pusser in 1980 as a JMEM2. His first ship was GLASGOW where he was now brackets (L). His next sea job was on HERMES, followed by MANCHESTER as a Killick and Global 86 (The Lucky [email protected]!). Next stop was the ARK before another draft to MANCHESTER (The really Lucky [email protected]!) before joining ILUSTRIOUS in refit - and sea in continuation as a PO. Further drafts to YORK and EDINBURGH, complete with "Buttons" followed.
When invited to provide a good dit for the Buzz, he graciously refused to provide a Global one ("You've heard most of them anyway, and I am not going to incriminate myself! I know what you [email protected] are like!).
So you get to hear a dit when our hero was with Southern Diving Unit 2 ....
"One day I stood in for a diver and ended up getting called out on a job! (Not what I bargained for!) Had to drive a Land Rover with all the gear from Pompey to Southend blue lighting it all the way - these lights certainly cut down your driving time!
On arrival, and being from an electrical background, I was detailed to fix a winch on a fishing boat. What I wasn't told was the winch was opdef due to a large german parachute mine caught in the attached net! Mistaking my shaking hands for enthusiasm, I was then invited to help strap HE to the mine, before assisting with lowering said mine back over the side in an extremely gentle manner! Detailed to take cover a safe distance away, I carried out the order with alacrity and drove back to Pompey as fast as I could!
(Thanks to a Matelot ex-Manchester!")
Our hero is not alone when he states MANCHESTER was his best ship! Any clues to his ID? There is a bottle of Port at stake here!
.... and the lucky winner of the bottle of port is Matty Barnes, who correctly identified Pincher Martin as our mystery matelot.