Vivienne Young writes
Mike attended HMS Conway from 1956 till 1959 and from what he told me, he enjoyed every minute of it. In his " leaving" book, he wrote " I have spent a very happy three years at HMS Conway and during that time I have met many people and made many friends." He won the Royal Indian Marine Prize for Technical and Executive Ability in the Easter term of 1959. This was a barometer which still hangs on the conservatory wall, although sadly it no longer works!
On leaving Conway, Mike joined Cunard Brocklebank and he continued working for them until 1972 becoming first mate in 1969. He travelled to South Africa, India and the USA. He studied for his Masters certificate at South Shields Marine College and obtained this in June 1968.
Alongside working for Cunard Brocklebank, Mike joined the Royal Naval Reserve in 1967, attached to HMS Calliope on the River Tyne. He did tactical training courses, bridge watch keeping, amphibious warfare planning etc, both at shore bases in the UK and on board Royal Naval ships. He became a Lieutenant Commander RNR in 1978 and held this position until he had to retire from the RNR. He was awarded the Reserve Decoration in 1988.
Mike and I were married in Gosforth, Newcastle upon Tyne in April 1971 and shortly after that, Mike applied to the Tees Pilotage Authority with the hope of becoming a River Pilot. His application was successful and he started a long and happy career there in February 1972.
This of course involved more studying for several years until he finally gained his senior First Class Pilots Licence. He loved his job as a pilot, even when the weather was bad and when he was called out in the middle of the night to pilot a ship. He always gained huge job satisfaction and took pride in his work.
Mike eventually retired in February 2003 but then decided to take on a small teaching job. This he did at the Whitby Fishing School in North Yorkshire, teaching seamanship and navigation to the young men who went out to sea in fishing vessels. The " job" was only 3 hours a week but he spent hours preparing his lectures. He loved passing on his knowledge to the young men at the Fishing School. It was to have been his first day back there for the new term in September 2005, when Mike suffered a huge stroke from which he did not recover. He sadly passed away four days later in hospital having only enjoyed two and a half years of retirement.
Mikes main interest was in cars, which he loved. In his MUCH younger days, he and Tom Mason used to race their Minis around Derbyshire! He loved pottering on and cleaning the cars, jacking them up and changing the wheels around! He was very knowledgable about all types of cars.
We have a son, Andrew, who is teaching in Newcastle upon Tyne and I know how proud Mike would have been to see him making a success of his career. I hope he will be as happy in his chosen career as Mike was.
Vivienne Young. April 2014.