Sunday, December 30, 2007

Friends 1970-80s

Martin's summer lunch, held more or less continuously since 1974.
Left to right, standing: Di Gibb, Geoff Spawton, Chris Gibb, Annie May (Spawton), Will Martin, Anthony Provest, Julian Pearson , Sandra Wake, Nick Duke, Herry, Mike Lawford, Peter Cartwright, Pauline Provest, Sheila Proffit, Jane Lovell, Ian Hay, Richard Lovell, Erica Hay, Val Pile.
Front row: Anna-Maria Pearson, Charlie Madge, Terry Porter, Wendy Cartwright, Ayako, Penny Lawford, Sally Wilson-Young, Prue, Belinda Martin

Click the heading for more photos from this lunch.
Click here for more photos from the Sydney Albums

Bernard and Grittie Allez
Philippe and Carol Allez
Gerard and Vigdis Allez
Julian and Quenelda Avery
Sam and Claudia Bartowsik
Tim and Sally Boycott
Nigel and Susannah Bateman
Tomo and Vedrana Badurina
Bill and Nik Birch Reynardson
Carol and Barry Bowhill
Frances Duke
Patrick and Angela Bruce-Gardyne
Janie Christmas
Peter and Penny Crittle
Richard Courtauld
Julie Courtauld
Michael and Diana Cowdy
Gervaise and Helen Cooke
Nicky and Tom Carter
Tim and Libby Cocks
Peter and Wendy Cartwright
Penny Cenci di Bello
Sarah and Martin Couzens
Rod and Tina Cooke
Paul and Lulu Cooke
Georgina Cooke
Johnny and Henrietta Cooke
Peter and Penny Crittle
Tony Daniels
Ed Domanskis
Tessa de Mestre
Nick and Jay-Jay Duke
Patrick and Rosie Findlater
Johnny and Victoria Findlater
Gopika and Iain Fraser
Chris and Di Gibb
Christopher and Nancy Gault
Adrian and Audrey Gale
Patrick and Isobel Kelburn
Glen Oxton
Ian and Denise Hay
John and Kathy Hatgis
Tony and Patricia Holland
Blaize and Caroline Hardman
Tim and Dilly Hobson
Nick and Jess Holmes
John and Ruth Howard
David Henley
Bruce Harris
Richard and Rosie Jenks
Arthur Johnson
Jo Johns Taylor
Dorothea Viscountess Kelburn
Harry and Jenny Kacic
Jeremy and Paula Lawford
Vincent and Margaret Lawford
Mike and Penny Lawford
Vijaya Laxmi
David and Caroline Lentaigne
John and Caroline Lushington
Frank and Constance Ledwith
Sandii Lloyd
Richard and Jane Lovell
Nick and Mel Meredith-Hardy
Will and B'lin Martin
Tommy and Pushie Mann
Andrew and Susie Main
David and Juliette Mallett
Ron Murphy
Annie Ommanney
Jane and Jim Munro
Ian and Jane McCormick
Rosalyne Nielsen
Jane and Geraldine Onslow
Tita Ommanney
Georgina Phillips
Chris and Val Pile
Anthony and Pauline Provest
Michael and Shiela Profitt
Terry and Sandra Porter
John Rendall
Jock and Sue Russell
Patrick and Za Rowe
Geoffrey Roome
Arthur and Sonia Sparks
Geoff Spawton
Richard and Avril Shaw
Charlie and Lucie Skipwith
Ricky and Annie Skipwith
Moto and Nagako Sugiura
Ernie and Sylvia Stiles
Tom and Marney-Jane Swan
Lincoln and Tish Seligman
Ian and Penny Smiegelow
Julian and Tessa Tregonning
'Venky' Venkitesewaran
Andrew and Caroline Ward
Mel and Beatrice Watson
Timmie Watson
'Venky' and Lakshmi Venkitesewaran
Giles Wingate-Saul
Charles and Jenny Woodham-Smith
David and Sally Wilson-Young

And numerous Lawford and other relations

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Tuesday, December 04, 2007

My Parents' Friends

Colin Balfour's Eleven
Patrick played regularly for Colin Balfour's Wintershill eleven in their annual match against Durley. Colin is sitting in the middle at the front and Patrick, in an excerable hat, over his right shoulder next to Jonathan Findlay. Annette is standing at the back, third from the right (in dark glasses). The others are as follows:
Back row (l to r) John Colvin (Prue's brother), Marie-Therese Hill, Minnie Hughes-Onslow, Bruce Spicer, Peter Lyndon Skeggs, Jenni Napier, Annette Lawford, Gill Winterton, Robbie Walford.
Middle row - Fergus Hughes-Onslow, Patrick Lawford, Jonathan Findlay, David Winterton.
Front row - Jamie, Harry Joynt, Colin Balfour, James Hill, Robin Napier.

These were some of my parents' friends:

Lady Liz and Capt Sir Edward (Teddy) Archdale
Cmdr Colin and Prue Balfour (Colin died 2009)
Nigel and Susannah Bateman
Derek and Ann Bazalgette
Pat Bertlin
Michael and Patricia Blake
Capt. Peter Bence-Trower
Bill and Nik Birch Reynardson
Paddy & Jane Bowden
Adml. Sir Varyl and Lady Rosemary Begg
Adml. Sir Geoffrey and Lady Caroline Biggs (now Thynne)
Air Chief Marshal Sir Dermot and Lady Una Boyle
Percy and Mary Bragg
June Bragg
Joyce and Michael Bruce
Patrick and Angela Bruce-Gardyne
Cmdr Denis and Kitty Bulman
General Hugh and Mrs Joanna Butler
Field Marshal Sir Michael and Lady Edith Carver
Margaret Carey
Sir Francis Cassel
Hermione Cassel
Robin and Lady Kate Cecil
Ed and Kitty Clive
Ann Cubitt
The Hon Sonia Cubitt
Bernard & Martine Champenier
Adml Gervaise and Mrs Helen Cooke
Sir John Colvin
Sybil Colvin
Mark and Zoe Colvin
John and Esme Colegrave
Peter and Fay Courtauld
Jane Crystal
Tony Daly
Jane Daly
Joanna Delmege
Sir Alastair & Lady Bunny Down
Sir Eric and Lady Margaret Drake
Tom and Anne Duke
Biddy and Martin ffrench-Constant
Jenny and David Fradgeley
Raymond Faux
Hugh and Fiona Faulkner
Jonathan & Jutta Finlay
Robin & Lindsey Fox
Archie and Pat Gordon-Pugh
Felicity Hindson
Admiral David and Eve Gregory
Admiral Mike & Jenny Gregory
Adrian & Audrey Gale
Pam Gilbert-Harris
June Goblet d'Aviella
Jim and Nancy Groves
Col Scrappy and Lorna Hay
Angus and Anne Hewart
Patrick Heyworth
Billy and Joan Handcock
Adrian and Angela Henderson
Ian and Margaret Hollick
John and Ruth Howard
Adml Bunny and Priss Holford
Bruce & Betty Hopkinson
The Rev Canon David Henley
Adml. Sir Joe and Lady Daphne Henley
Bob Hennessy
Sir Alfred and Lady Nina Herbert
John and Rachel Hay-Drummond-Hay
Col John and Elizabeth Hulbert
The Rev Anthony & Mrs Nicola Hulbert
John and Patricia Nevill, Marquess of Abergavenny
Sir Ian and Lady Cilla Jardine
Dorothea, Viscountess Kelburn
Wacky and Lucy Keppel
Griff Kewley
Adml Michael & Meg Kinsman
Charles and Ann King
Gill Luxmoore
Henry and Diana Lambert
Angela Lang
Cmdr Norman and Biddy Lanyon
Robin & Jenny Lalonde
The Rev Hamilton and Mrs Suzanne Lloyd
Naomi Longden
Baronesses Midred and Gwendolyn Leijonhufvud
'Buffie' (Hon Mrs AHH) Macdonald
Adml Sir John (died 2011) and Lady Rosemary Martin (died 2014)
John and Bridget Mill
Frank & Mary Morison
Shamus and Cathy Graham (Duke and Duchess of Montrose)
Simon & Vicky Mort
Carolyn Maguiness
Mme Lily Manileve (Tante Lily)
Air Chief Marshal Sir Dermot and Lady Marion McEvoy
John and Elaine Macphail
Jim & Sue Meyrick
Lucy Nicholl
Victoria Nicholson
Juliet Oram
Richard and Jill Onslow
Sir John and Lady Barbara Pelly
Julian & Anna-Maria Pearson
Joe and Panny Phillips
John Phillimore
Pol and Poppette Pol
Tony and Marjorie Powell Edwards
Humphrey Prideaux
Archie and Pat Pugh
Ivor and Jean Pugh
David and Helen Pugh
Madeleine Rampling (Annette's goddaughter)
George & Yvonne Robertson
Capt Jackie Slaughter
Adml Sir Peter and Lady Ann Stanford
John and Ursula Sedgwick
Betty Seymour-Price
Maj Bruce and the Hon Ros Shand
Jim and Fay Scott-Elliot
Jill and Carlyle Sayer
Robin & Jan Sayer
Philip and Barbara Skipwith-Tyser
Richard and Annie Skipwith
Charlie and Lucie Skipwith
Adm. Sir Jock & Lady Annie Slater
Chantal Stokely
Barry and Ruth Stevens
Betty Trasenster
Derek and Susan Trasenster
Betty Seymour-Price
Tom and Marney-Jane Swan
Tommy Steele
John and Betty Sykes
Lady Kenya Tatton-Brown
John Tetley
Pug and Dodie Wallis
John and Val Webster
Rosie Whiteside
Jane and Anthony Whinney
Ruth Wise
David and Sally Wilson-Young
Sir Richard and Lady Dawn Vassar-Smith
and of course many other Lawford, Pugh and Luxmoore relatives

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Sunday, November 25, 2007

Litchfield 1938 - 1946

Litchfield Manor during the war. Herry's bedroom was on the near corner. The window was broken by a bomb just after he was born.

Having completed his pupilage with Percy Bragg at Headbourne Worthy, Patrick was offered the Litchfield Estate by the then owner, Carey Druce (who lived in Switzerland). He came there in 1938 and married Catherine Stephenson in 1940. She died in December 1941. Patrick married Annette Luxmoore nee Pugh (who was living with her mother, Lady Herbert and step-father, at the neighbouring estate of Dunley) in 1944. Herry was born at Litchfield in 1945 and christened at Litchfield Church that September.

It was at Litchfield that Patrick became a a fine horseman and shot. Carey Druce gave him a pair of Holland & Holland Royals. His shooting book, which he kept for over 50 years, begins with entries here in 1943.

After completing his work at Litchfield, he and the family moved for a few months to Wadwick and then to Danegate at Eridge for Patrick to manage the Abergavenny Estate, before buying his own farm at Meonstoke, Stocks.

Litchfield played a large part in the lives of the family ever since, and the little church of St James the Less became the family church.

Click on the heading to see more photos of Litchfield in those (wartime) days

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Monday, November 12, 2007

Engleberg Winter 1963

Bottom right: Elsa and her mother by the fire, both characteristically smoking. In the other photos - Ruth's stepdaughter Sara [from Ruth's photo album 1946]

In 1963, between leaving school and going to university, Herry spent the winter in Engleberg where a distant cousin, Frau Prof Hauthal and her daughter Elsa had a chalet called 'Haldengutli'. Members of the family who loved skiiing - particularly the Pughs and the Cassels (Francie - Sir Francis- and later his son Tim) - had spent the winter there since the 1930s. Griffith Pugh, who later played a crucial role in supporting Hilary and Tenzing on their successful conquest of Everest in 1953, learned to become an Olympic skiier there, ignoring his father's entreaties to return home to his medical studies.

As Elsa and her mother got older, looking after up to 16 guests every day proved too much for them and one of the family or close friends used to send their sons (and more rarely, daughters) to Engleberg for the winter as 'chalet girls'. It was a marvellous experience; preparing breakfast, clearing up and making the beds in the morning, skiiing until about 4pm and then collecting the shopping and calling in at Frau Barel's for a hot chocolate on the way home, before cooking supper. I can still make a mean wiener schnitzel and rosti.

Charlie Skipwith followed me the next year. These photos show Charlie, 'Tiny', Fuff, Belinda, Dominic Thompson and his wife Jill, Harriet  (then Jacky) Pugh and Belinda Heathcote-Amory

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Saturday, November 10, 2007

Patrick Lawford 1914 - 2002

Notes for the Address at the Funeral of Patrick Lawford in Meonstoke Church in February 2002

Patrick Lawford was born on 23rd November 1914, the youngest of five children, to Capt Vincent Lawford (CMG, DSO, RN) and Jane Agnes nee Mapplebeck at Chorleywood in Hertfordshire. The Lawford family were mostly bankers and solicitors but his brothers Adrian and Denys followed their father into the Navy, while his other brother Valentine had a distinguished career in the diplomatic service and then became a noted author, art connoisseur and artist in New York. His sister Sylvia Findlater, who is 92, survives them all.

It was doubtless the Navy’s loss but Patrick had one term at Dartmouth before deciding to go farming after he left Repton - where he was an outstanding long-distance runner - and was taken on as a pupil by Percy Bragg at Headbourne Worthy, just outside Winchester in Hampshire. There he spent a marvellous three years before being recommended to Carey Druce, the then owner of the Litchfield Estate, as manager.

While at Litchfield he married his first wife Catherine Stephenson, who tragically died of a brain tumour after less than two years of marriage. A year or so after her death he was out riding when he caught sight of Annette, who was living with her mother Nina and her husband Sir Alfred Herbert (known to us as ‘Step’) at the neighbouring estate of Dunley, following the death of her husband, Wing Commander Arthur Luxmoore who had been shot down over Belgium. She was pushing a pram; and the pram of course contained Fairfax. Patrick and Annette were married at St Peter's, Eaton Square in 1944 and Herry was born at Litchfield Manor in 1945 and christened in the church there.

In 1946 Patrick took another job as manager, this time on the Marquis of Abergavenny’s estate at Eridge in Kent. They lived at Danegate House on the estate for four years and became friends of the Abergavennys. Piers was born in 1947.

By 1950 Patrick had completed his farming apprenticeship and knew enough to set out on his own. Hampshire was a natural choice as he determined to farm again on chalk. He was wisely advised by Carlyle Sayer of Strutt & Parker on the merits of Stocks Farm under Old Winchester Hill in the Meon Valley, when it came up for sale. No doubt his old friend from Headbourne Worthy days - Jim Harris of James Harris & Sons (whose former partner Robin Lalonde is now one of Patrick's trustees) advised him too. In fact it would be true to say that one of Patrick and Annette's characteristics was their ability to chose and make wonderful friends who both helped them in business and shared their company over many decades.

It is interesting to recall that when they bought Stocks, though smaller in acreage than it is today, it had several farm cottages in the village as well as in the valley – particularly those opposite the church above The Buck’s Head. The cottages were slowly sold off as mechanisation reduced the number of jobs available on the farm and all are now very much grander than they were then. The Manor House in Meonstoke was also part of the farm, but was sold off separately. Coincidentally, some years later, Ruth Howard, nee Pugh, Annette’s first cousin, came to live there with her husband John.

By the end of the 1950s Patrick and Annette had begun their long love affair with the South of France, chosen originally as a winter holiday destination to ease the pain of Annette's rhumatism (caused by a car crash in her cousin Tony Powell-Edward's car on the way back from a hunt ball at Glynde when she was 22). They quickly settled on the little Saracen village of Ramatuelle near St Tropez and lived in and near Ramatuelle for close to 40 years, for three or four months of each year - and sometimes more. They were only able to do this, of course, because they had been fortunate in the employment of John Spreadbury, their head man, who only retired from working for them just after Annette died in 1998 and Ernie Stiles - who still works at Stocks as he has done for the last 45 years, as well as John's son Andrew.

Stocks Farm grew over the period, taking in Harvestgate Farm in 1969 when Tom Biles decided to retire - and later Little Stocks Farm, bought from the Hendersons in 1980. Later, this was partly given to John Spreadbury and partly sold for village homes made from the barn and the farmhouse, while Herry built up the house at Harvestgate Farm with his first wife, Prue.

As a farmer, Patrick was a traditionalist but also knew when he had to move with the times. Stocks under his husbandry became known as one of the finest farms in the Meon Valley. It is again illustrative of his capacity to chose the right people to work with that following Annette's death, Stocks has been farmed by Stephen Horn on Patrick's behalf and it is a great credit to him as well as a source of great pleasure to Patrick that the farm today can today be said never to have looked better - and that is as we all know at a time when most farmers are finding their profession difficult and increasingly profitless.

Patrick did not take on many civic duties - apart from the farm, he made sure that he always had enough time for Annette and his friends, but he was a Droxford magistrate for over 30 years and retired as deputy chairman of the bench. He always said he was fortunate never to have any of his children appear before him. He was also president of the local Conservative party for a many years, but even his closest friends would not describe him as overly interested in politics.

He remained very fit all his life. He rode to hounds when at Eridge and rode of course at Litchfield, and around Stocks later on. He had learned tennis on his parents' grass court and was of club standard. Later they had many happy tennis parties on summer evenings when he would play and Annette would watch and talk to their friends. Characteristically, one never knew if he had won or lost his games. That was never important to him – though his children readily admit to the fact that he rarely lost to them! He also played a fair game of cricket and for many years was proud to wear the colours of Colin Balfour’s Eleven at their annual match against Durley village.

He was also an excellent shot. It the early days at Litchfield and Dunley, he shot with some of the finest guns in the country, who regularly brought down 1000 or more birds in a day. Carey Druce gave him a priceless pair of Holland & Holland Royals which he valued greatly. He continued to shoot until his 70s and enjoyed the more modest sport at Stocks and on the surrounding estates with his friends.

It would be difficult - in fact I think impossible - to find anyone who did not love Patrick. He had enormous unaffected charm and was perhaps unusual in that he was admired equally by men and by their wives. He never tried to take centre stage, but people loved to talk to him and he somehow managed effortlessly to put everyone around him into the same good spirits as he always was. He loved people and he turned many acquaintances into friends - and all of them returned his love a many times over.

It would be wrong not to make special mention of Ruth Howard, who as Annette’s first cousin was brought up with her and of course knew Patrick from the beginning of their marriage. Following Annette’s death, she and Patrick were devoted companions, travelling together and being together both at Stocks and at her house in Chelsea, and enriching his life in his final years.

Herry Lawford
13th February 2002
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Thursday, November 08, 2007

Danegate 1946-1950

Fuff, Annette with Piers, Herry in the wheelbarrow at Danegate Summer 1949 . Photo by Horst

Following Patrick's pupillage at Headbourne Worthy and his first management job at Litchfield, the family moved to Eridge in 1946 - first to Crown House and then to Danegate on the Marquess of Abergavenny's estate. Danegate was an imposing crenellated house overlooking Eridge Park and we had a most happy time there as it was a perfect place for children. Herry remembers to this day the taste of the Michaelmas daisies he tried to eat in the border and his mother remembers finding him half-way up a huge ladder trying to see the moon better! He also used to ride his tricycle (and later an orange tractor) in the house's wide corridors. Later, having learned to ride a bicycle, he used to bike down the long drive to play with the little girl who lived in the lodge. Piers was born there in 1947 and Fuff started school at St Ronan's the same year.

The farm near the house (known as 'Sham Farm', as it too had crenellations on the farm buildings) housed a dairy where Herry learned to milk cows and the peculiar smell of the steam-cleaning equipment stays in his memory even now. There were also several breeding bulls, one of which unfortunately killed a man who unwisely entered its stall.

came and stayed often, sometimes with Horst, who took some marvellous family photos including the one at the top of this page. The huge American car which Valentine had been given by the Shah's sister, Puhran, when he was Charge d'Affairs in Tehran was garaged there for a while before being put to work on the farm!

Several pupils came to learn farming under Patrick; one of whom, Count Sandy Manassei, became a particular friend.

Patrick rode to hounds with the Eridge Hunt and he and Annette became friends with the Abergavennys - John and Patricia - which continued after we had bought Stocks Farm and moved there in 1950.

Click on the heading to see more photos from Danegate

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21 SAS

Herry had enjoyed the corps at Winchester and shortly after joining Millers, Herry also joined the TA - 21 SAS - which was then based at the Duke of York's Barracks on the King's Road. He had a marvellous time training at weekends on 'The Fan' (Pen-y-Fan') in the Brecon Beacons and on the moors outside Newcastle. He took the selection course in 1970 and was 'Best Recruit' in his year. Subsequently he went on a number of training courses, including becoming a parachutist.

As his travelling for Millers increased, he had to give up the TA in 1972, though he remains a member of the Artists Rifles.

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Winchester College 1959-1964


Following St Ronan's, Herry went to Winchester from 1958 until 1964, in Phil's (Sergeant's) where Francis King was his housemaster. Although his father Patrick had been at Repton, his mother Annette's brothers were all at Winchester as was her father, and she went to St Swithun's.

Although a distant relation, Herry didn't get on with King, partly because of his (Herry's) eclectic reading tastes (Maupassant, Zola, Iris Murdoch) of which King (a devout man) did not approve. King also ran an appalling kitchen, the taste of some foods remaining with Herry to this day.... Herry's mother probably contributed inadvertently to the reading problem by maintaining an account for him at Harringtons in Parchment St and encouraging him to buy any books he liked - a practice which he later continued with his own children. She also supplemented his food rations by maintaining an account at Cullen's, a rather smart grocers in Jewry St, not far from Barclays Bank, where he used to have his cheques cashed by the beautiful Carol.

At Winchester, one was expected to play many hours of sport a week, which Herry enjoyed but he was no more than a useful footballer and cricketer (as he had been at St Ronan's), and being small until the age of 16, played an indifferent game of Winchester football. He was also cox of his house four and eight. However, as with his father Patrick, his best sport was long distance running ('tolling') and he became school captain (making his nickname at St Ronan's the more prescient). However, he lost the senior steeplechase of 1963 in spectacular fashion, after leading throughout. Thinking he'd won, he slowed up a few yards from the tape and was passed by Simon Beloe....

In 1961 the school put on a splendid Masque to celebrate the opening of the New Hall. It was written and produced by the dons, particularly by Ronnie Hamilton, Michael Burchnall and Colin Badcock. The programme can be seen here

Herry was keen on the corps (CCF) which led him naturally to join the TA later.

Herry made a few good friends at Winchester, his closest probably being David Mallet, who had his own pop group while still at school. Herry used to go and stay with him in the holidays at his parents' house (Sir Victor and Peggy's) at Wittersham and once they drove up to Liverpool together to see the Beatles (they weren't on, but they did see the Cavern). Another close friend was Nils Pherson, a noted musician, whose family lived on Sleepers' Hill and who were wonderfully hospitable. In his last summer term, they would allow Herry to park a car in their drive, to be used discreetly when we wanted to go out somewhere - mainly to Old Winchester Hill for picnics.

Click the heading to see some more photos from his time at Winchester and some modern ones here
Here too for the Winchester College Society 50 Years On Dinner at which Herry was happy to see old friends such as Angus Maclay and (Sir) Roger Vickers and well as David Mallet.

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Sunday, November 04, 2007

St Ronan's 1953-58

Herry went to St Ronan's from 1953 until 1958. Fuff (known there as 'Lux') preceded him and Piers (known then as 'Scurry'), came in 1955. St Ronan's was a marvellously happy prep school in huge grounds outside Hawkhurst. Founded in 1883 in Worthing, it moved in 1946 to Tongswood House, which had been owned by the Gunther family (the makers of Oxo cubes; hence the oxo motif in the stonework). It was owned and run by WB 'Dick' Harris who was succeeded in 1957 by the Vassar-Smiths (Sir Richard and Lady Dawn), who were friends of his parents, Sir Richard having been at Lancing with Fuff's father Arthur Luxmoore. Dick Harris, the retiring headmaster, used to amuse the boys by allowing them to put sweet papers in his enormously bushy eyebrows.

In addition to huge playing fields, the school had a magnificent wood - 'Tongswood' - which contained a stream where we constructed clay water-slides and built 'hides', a sinister and enormously deep 'hammer' pond which we weren't allowed to go near, a lake on which we could boat or skate, kitchen gardens where we could grow things, a huge rockery complete with caves and grottos and a marvelous 'pinetum' full of rare trees in which we could play 'he' for ever. An old rabbit warren was the scene of the 'dromes' where we played with our 'Dinky' cars in the summer - models which Piers still has today...

The Vassar-Smiths were a wonderful couple; Sir Richard was a powerful man who's father had been chairman of Lloyd's Bank (and who's ancestors founded Vassar College in the United States). He was a Cambridge football blue and had played for the Corinthian Casuals. He ran the school with great humour, following Dick Harris's tradition of giving every boy (there was only one girl, his daughter Julie - who was a rugger colour!) a nickname. Herry was known as 'Hurry' as he always ran everywhere. Sir Richard could usually be seen carrying a mashie niblick and practicing his approach shots on the dasies. Lady Dawn was universally loved for her no-nonsense kindness. Delightfully, she used to read aloud to the youngest boys in her drawing room in the evenings.

The school also served good food, though the bread and dripping (or bread and hot sweetened milk) that one had after games might not be approved of today. Sweets were sensibly rationed and however much 'grub' one brought to school at the beginning of term, only 16 pieces were allowed to be eaten each week, beginning in a ritual which began with a cry of 'grub now or never' when the pantry in which the boys' sweets were stored was unlocked for an hour.

Herry particuarly rembembers 'Crofty' - Richard Crofton, the kind French master, who - in order to practice his French - he used to meet in the mornings walking up from his rooms below the school, and who taught him a number of useful 'idioms' which he uses to this day. Others included David Urch and Mr Hood who taught history, Mark Portal, 'Jevvy' - Mr Jevons (who taught him Latin sufficiently well for him to get into Winchester), Guy Clark who taught geometry ('An axiom is a self-evident fact which can't be proved') and 'Pooley', who put him off maths for the rest of his school years. There is a photograph of most of them in the school magazine of August 1958 here.

Like all at St Ronan's, he did acquire a good degree of general knowledge though, by means of a simple and enormously effective annual exam for the whole school in which 100 general knowledge questions were asked and the results published. To come top of that exam was regarded as one of the most prestigious school achievements of all and accounts for the fact that all St Ronan's boys know which is the highest capital city in the world, how to address a bishop and whether they would be prouder of their father if he was awarded an OBE or a CBE. The other memorable skill which we acquired was to be able to sing Handel's Messiah, which consequently remains a favourite to this day.

Herry was a reasonable footballer and rugger player and was also in the cricket side. He was not as good as Fuff at football and rugger and not as good as Piers at cricket, despite playing endless games with him on the lawn at Stocks. But he could run, even then, and used to win the annual steeplechase.

Herry in his St Ronan's jersey 1957

Click here for a fascinating excerpt from 'The View From King Street' by Christopher Hurst who describes life at St Ronan's in the pre-war days

Click here for extracts from the St Ronan's Magazine Sept 1953 when Dick Harris was still headmaster. Fuff was at the school and Herry is named as a new boy for the next term (Autumn 1953).

Click here for some surviving entries from Herry's diary c1956/7 including a rare entry by WB Harris and one by David Urch

Click here for some more photos of St Ronan's from those days and here for photos taken at the Centenary in 1993.

The school has an excellent website which also contains much history and a searchable database of old boys
St Ronan's
Finally here for some more recent ones.

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Thomas Miller & Co Ltd 1967-2006

The UK Club's 125th Anniversary Dinner at the Guildhall in January 1995. Click the photo for a surprisingly good enlargement, with most people clearly identifiable. Herry is at a table 7 o'clock from the centre

Thomas R Miller & Son was founded by Thomas Robson Miller, a third generation German immigrant from Hanover whose family name was originally Reichmuller. TR Miller was born in Newcastle and became mayor of Morpeth and a shipowner as well as secretary to the North of England Hull Club before being invited down to London to run the UK P&I Club by the then managers, Lamplough & Co. In 1885 he took over their business and by the 1890's the UK Club was the largest such institution in the world.

There is an excellent description of the early days of the firm and a photo of Thomas R Miller in 'Mutuality' - The Story of the UK P&I Club by Peter Young - on the internet.

After graduating in 1967 Herry started work for Thomas Miller at the suggestion of Bill Birch Reynardson, later senior partner, who his father got to know from shooting with the Balfours.

For a photo of the partners in the late 1980s, see here

In addition to the UK P&I Club, Millers managed a number of mutual insurance clubs, including the TT Club, which insures the multimodal and logistics industry, the UK and Hellenic War Risks Clubs and the Bar Mutual, which insures the barristers in England and Wales for their PI risks.

Herry worked mainly for the UK P&I Club ( dealing with marine liability claims and handling some fascinating casualties. He travelled frequently to talk to shipowners, lawyers and correspondents - initially to Yugoslavia and India and then to the Middle East (eg Saudi, Iraq) and in time to Japan and China. In all he visited more than 50 countries, many of them regularly.

Herry became a partner of Millers in 1982 and in 1984 the founding manager of a new Miller 'club' for shipbrokers, agents and managers originally called Transport Intermediaries Mutual (TIM) and following a successful merger with another Club, International Transport Intermediaries Club and had great fun helping to build that up to be the largest such insurer (of marine intermediary professional indemnity risks) in the world. He was particularly involved with the shipmanagement industry (who are also agents and intemediaries) and helped to draft the now universally accepted BIMCO SHIPMAN and CREWMAN agreements.

In 1993 he moved back to the UK P&I Club while also taking various management positions in London, including Chairman of Thomas Miller (Asia Pacific). In that capacity he spent eight years commuting from London to Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and China as well as developing the services provided by the marine clubs in London.

Always interested in technology and communications, he spent time developing an on-line Encyclopaedia and also managed the UK Club's website, largely in his spare time. He also helped create an online claims recording and management system for one of the Japanese shipping lines and as well as a system for checking the pre sign-on health of seafarers.

He retired in May 2006 after 39 years with Millers - but then took on a year's consultancy with a firm of City solicitors - Clyde & Co - and continued to travel in Asia. For a while he also undertook work from time to time for Thomas Miller in places like India and China, where long relationships are all-important.

Click on the heading to see more photos from his time with Millers.

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Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Herry's Wedding to Prue in Sydney 1971

Herry and Prue's Wedding

Herry and Prue Watson married on 18th December 1971 at St Peter's, Watson's Bay, Sydney, with the reception held at Somerset, Prue's home in Vaucluse. Prue was given away by her father, Mel. Nick Duke was my best man, and Peter Crittle (Prue's brother in law) gave the toast to the bridesmaids - a virtuoso speech which had the company in fits of laughter. Herry's parents came out from England for the wedding, taking the 'Galileo' from Genoa to Melbourne and then flying up. Others from England included Charlie and Lucie Skipwith, who were then running a restaurant in Melbourne, and Frances Duke (then married to Arthur Johnson).

The honeymoon was spent at Mel's house on the beach at Surfers' Paradise (long ago sold for development) and later at Castaway Island, Fiji and Hawaii (where Herry left his new Guccis outside their room to be cleaned (as was common in Europe) and they naturally disappeared....

Click the heading for more photos from the wedding
Click here for photos of Prue when she was single in the late 60s and early 70s, mostly in Europe

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Wadwick House 1946

Wadwick was part of the Dunley Estate which Sir Alfred Herbert, my step-grandfather, owned near Whitchurch.

Although I had no knowledge of it, being only one, the family lived there for a few months in 1946 between Litchfield Manor and Danegate. Some photos from that time can be seen here

After Sir Alfred died in 1957 ‘Granny’ (Lady Herbert, nee Nina Arundel, later Pugh) moved Dunley Manor to Wadwick House, which had become the 'dower house". The rest of the Dunley Estate was sold to Sir Brian Mountain of Eagle Star.

She took with her as her housekeeper, the strict Scotswoman from Dunley, Mackenzie, and some other servants, but I best remember the two cheerful Sicilian nurses, Maria and Concita, who looked after her for many years when she was bedridden by a stroke. She was a Christian Scientist and declined to see doctors.

My mother Annette used to drive to see her from Stocks every week, and I used to go along too and play in the garden or around the house, which is bigger than it looks in photos as it stretches back a long way. There was a baby grand piano which my mother used to play (and which came to Stocks after Granny died and which Piers now has). I used to be fascinated by a plaque on her writing desk which thanked Sir Alfred Herbert from the government for the gift of ‘One Spitfire Fighter’ during the war.

Sadly, Granny died without really regaining her faculties. We sold the house in the early 1970s for £10,000! Rather sad as it’s a perfect country pad and now with the M3 nearby, not so far from London - but it seemed a lot of money then…

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The Three Musketeers

Sadly I don't have many photos of us from the early days , but this one has some interesting features, particularly the girls - Penny Hitchcock, Frances Duke and Sally Farmiloe. The boys are 'the three musketeers' - Herry, Charlie Skipwith and Nick Duke. We were going to a party at an hotel in Southampton on 6th August 1966.

Here we were actually dressed as musteteers at Sally Farmiloe's 18th - Herry, can't recall and Nick Duke

Nick Duke's Stag party at Cobbetts 11th April 1974

Nick Duke, Charlie Skipwith, Andrew Ward, Ian Hay, Mike Lawford and Will Martin. Herry took the photo in Botley Square sometime after midnight

This photo was taken at Naomi Skipwith's wedding in June 1999 when the three musketeers and at least one of the original girls - Frances - were together again. Frances was the 'original cause' of my meeting Prue, leading to our wedding and subsequent Australian history.

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Monday, October 29, 2007

The Summer of 1967

My parents, brothers and friends having tea in the bottom of the swimming pool at Stocks in October 1967

Left to right: Tim Hancock, Belinda Martin, Cilla Clempson, Tim's sister Deidre, Annette (with Justin in her arms), Mike Lawford (probably - back to the camera), Annie Skipwith, Patrick, Belinda Luxmoore (kneeling), Jess (in chair), Nick Duke, Ricky Skipwith, Fuff (or is it Piers?)

Charlie Skipwith was in Bordeaux at that time, otherwise he would certainly have been there...

I guess I was the photographer even then

Click on the link below to hear what we were listening to in those far-off days

Friday, October 26, 2007

Southampton University 1964-1967

Chilworth Manor
Chilworth Manor. The upper bay window is of the room he shared with Julian Avery

Following Winchester, Herry went to Southampton University to read law. The professor of the relatively new law school was Prof Phillips whom his father Patrick had got to know when sitting on the Southampton Bench. It seemed a good idea; no exams to take to get in and only about 30 minutes from Stocks and Herry's childhood friends.

The transition was made the more smooth when Herry was allocated to the universtity's newest hall, Chilworth Manor, which had been acquired from the Willis-Flemings and which was a splendid old house surrounded by enormous grounds. Herry spent his first two years at university there. In his second year he shared a room with Julian Avery - the upper room with the bay window in the photo.....

Blue Hayes

In his final year, Herry took a cottage on the edge of the New Forest outside Romsey called 'Blue Hayes', which he shared with Julian Avery and Giles Wingate-Saul.

Herry was intending to join the bar, and used to go up to London regularly to eat his dinners at the Inner Temple. Indeed, he spent a good deal of his final year in London. During the summer, he wrote his 'thesis' on 'Homosexuality and the Law' - which was in an interesting issue at the time, and was fortunate in having it typed by Frances Duke.

Herry was a member of the 'Gentlemen of Wessex' cricket and dining club which which held a reunion dinner at the Royal Thames Yacht Club in 1996.

Reunions continue to be held between Herry, Julian Avery, Giles Wingate-Saul and John Collard at various London clubs - and Blue Hayes!

Law Faculty Reunion 27th October 2007

Professor Gabi Ganz
Professor Robert Grime
Councillor Alec Samuels
Professor John Wilson

Julian Avery
Patricia Burton
Christine Baty (nee Farley)
John Collard
Veronica Hamilton-Deeley
Robert Dyson
John Crawford
Ken Gulati
Gillian Impey (nee Hennah)
Christopher Impey
Robin James
Herry Lawford
David Mallinson
Tony Nicholson
Nigel Pugh
Noel Peck
Patrick Robertshaw
Marylin Ross (nee Stables)
Richard Smith
Kip Waistell
Giles Wingate-Saul

Unable to attend
Guy Bagnell
Chris Branston
David Campbell
Michael Collins
William Goff
Chris Holland
Michael Steele
Hugh Taylor
Michael Tinling

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Friday, October 05, 2007

Herry's Christening

Herry's christening at Litchfield on 26th Sept 1945. Annette, Patrick, Jane (Patrick's mother), Carey Druce, Granny (Lady Herbert) and Arthur Luxmoore's brother

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Memories of Dunley - Richard Johnson

Photo from Richard Johnson, whose mother, Winifred Morgan, worked at Dunley. The names of those in the photo are Pam, (Florence peeping out), Hilda, Winnie, Peggy, Molly & Mary Morgan on the lawn at Dunley Manor circa 1940

"My mother too lived at '3 Dunley Cottages', just like Jackie Sopp! She has a photograph of her younger sisters sitting on the step outside. She does not recall Jackie but says a large number of evacuees were present over the WWII period. She does recall Nancy Seabrooke.

The tap across the road which Jackie refers to was a well in my mother's time, and a deep one at that. She recalls a barn with a number of individual coal sheds with the well at the end. All of which are long gone.

In the six cottages were: Bone/Fuller/Morgan/Randall/Vincent/Ted Munday.

She recalls how Crouch (who had an Irish wife) would call on the parents complaining that the children had let off his gin traps in the woods. She recalls 'Mondon's old horse' and how they would get out of the way for it. Monden may have been the dairy maid.

My mother remembers Fairfax (Fuff). She is not sure, but thinks that somebody's father was killed in Italy during the war? [this was Capt Michael Pugh, Annette's brother]. She recalls 'Crouch' who she thinks was 'the keeper' and MacKenzie, the parlour maid, who they would tease by throwing gravel at her door. She recalls a dairy maid with a name similar to 'Mondon'.

I am told that a worker was killed in the little pump house there and have been given a graphic account of it that I cannot verify. There is also a tale of a man shooting someone in the pond a 'little further up from Dunley towards Woodcott'. Again, I have no information on this other than a rumour.

I was able to rumble around Dunley Manor looking for cabling following a lightning strike last year. A tree behind the old dairy (now a flat) took a direct hit and it blew up all the phones nearby (Dairy, House, Cottages, Lodge etc.) Working out just how engineers of old had wired up Dunley Manor was a task and I finally found what I needed in a little cellar. My mother remembered it and put me on to it. At this time she told me there was a room with a 'stage' in it. The current elderly lady owner had the staff make me tea and chatted with me in the morning room. She was quite unaware of any of the previous owners"

Richard Johnson - extracted and abridged from various e-mails in February 2008.

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Monday, August 20, 2007

Memories of Dunley - Jackie Sopp

"The following (in no particular order) are some of my mother's (Nancy Seabrooke's) reminiscences......

Piper was indeed a Chauffeur (but she said he was the 'under-chauffeur) who sometimes drove a pony and trap. Apparently, he was very friendly with my grandfather, Arthur Seabrooke, who was Estate Carpenter. Busby was the Chauffeur.

Miss MacKenzie had been parlourmaid to an artist (Mother can't recall the name) who was well-known, in London circles. Then she had worked for Winston Churchill (no time period given here, so don't know whether it was before the war - presume so?). Her brother was a policeman in Edinburgh, and they originated from Sutherland, away up in the Highlands. Mother says, once Miss MacKenzie gave some bread (which was left-over,) to the dogs and Lady Herbert severely reprimanded her because she had fed them with bread bought up in Coventry, which cost 1/2d more than in Whitchurch!

The gardener's name was Mr Sopp (honestly, no known relation! - but we suspect he may have a connection with my husband's father's family who all hailed from Linkenholt/Vernham Dean/Hungerford areas.) His wife may have been a cook at Dunley, my Mother thinks.

She also recalls the sugar basins on the dresser at Dunley, with Sir Alfred's name, Lady Herbert's name and all live-in staff names labelled on them. Sugar was still rationed, and woe betide the person who used someone's sugar ration!

Mother also spoke about Miss Tidd, Ursula, and Miss Tidd's adopted daughter, Penelope.

She mentioned the Gun Book , and says she well remembers packing the hampers for the shooting party, with Miss MacKenzie taking charge.

And finally, yes, I did receive a very interesting email from your brother, who named most of the people above. I am sure he would recall my mother if you said she was NANCY SEABROOKE, as she remembered 'the boys' visiting the Manor from time to time. She would've been about 24-26 years old at the time. As I said previously, we lived in 3 Dunley Cottages (The Swedish Houses, as they were known). Among our next-door neighbours were the Bone family, and my grandparents Arthur and Helen Seabrooke. The water was drawn from a tap across the road, (finally piped into the cottages when Mother was close to having me!) and the lavatories were up steps in the garden! Apparently, there is still a lilac tree growing where our WC stood.......

Oh, and Lady Herbert knitted bootees for me before I was born."

Extracted from an e--mail from Jackie Sopp 19/8/07 (

Dunley Cottages in 1947

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Dunley 1917 - 1957

The Dunley Estate was originally part of the land belonging to the Earls of Portsmouth (the Wallop family) and was bought by my step-grandfather, Sir Alfred Herbert in 1917 and owned by him until his death in 1957.

Sir Alfred's family were farmers from Leicester and he attended Stoneygate public school, but unusually for that age and time, he became an engineer and one of the century's most successful industrialists, founding Alfred Herbert Ltd, at one time the largest manufacturer of machine tools in the world. He was a noted benefactor in Coventry, where he contribted to the reconstruction of the cathedral as well as the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum. His second wife, Florence, for whom he created Lady Herbert's Homes and Garden in the centre of Coventry, lived at Dunley until her death in 1930 and she is buried with him at Litchfield.

Sir Alfred (who we called 'Step') married my grandmother, Nina Pugh (nee Arundel) in 1933. Her first husband (my grandfather) Lt-Col Archie Pugh, had died in 1923. My mother Annette lived at Dunley for a time before she married Arthur Luxmoore, who was in the RAF, at St James the Less, Litchfield in 1935. She had Fairfax in July 1940. Sadly Arthur was shot down over Belgium in 1941 and my mother returned to live at Dunley with Fairfax (always known as Fuff) until she married my father, Patrick Lawford, who was then running the neighbouring Litchfield Estate, in 1944.

It was at Dunley that 'Step' pursued his favourite recreations - shooting and fishing. He was a fine shot and had as friends and guests some of the best shots in the country. My father Patrick was fortunate enough to shoot with him often and 'Step's' name can frequently be found in his Shooting Book. He described his fishing career in a short memoir written in the 30's, which can be read here. In it he writes about some the rivers he had fished and the friends he fished with. Stuffed fish in cases lined the walls of the hall at Dunley, which intrigued us greatly.

The house was run by a fierce but kindly Scotswoman, Mackenzie, who had been parlourmaid to Winston Churchill. There was a huge billiard room with a polished wood floor on which my brother Piers and I used to race about with cushions under our shoulders. There was a substantial complement of household and estate staff whose stories are interesting. Click here to read an e-mail from Jackie Stopp whose mother, Nancy Seabrooke, and grandparents used to work at Dunley, and here to read exerpts from e-mails from Richard Johnson, whose mother, Winifred Morgan, also lived and worked there. Sir Alfred's daughters (from his first marriage to Ellen Ryley) and grandchildren also lived at Dunley and one granddaughter, June Gracey (nee Hollick), has provided some further names and reminiscences which can be found here

Typically, given their support for hospitals, almshouses and schools such as the Town Thorns Residential School at Easenhall, Sir Alfred and Lady Herbert used to hold an annual tea party for the inmates of a local institution. Click here for a description of it from the local paper.

On Sir Alfred's death in 1957, my grandmother moved to Wadwick House nearby and lived there until she died in 1970. Dunley was sold to Sir Brian Mountain and subsequently in 1979 to Capt George Brodrick, who's widow lived there until 2017.

Click here for some more photos of Dunley and the family

Click here for a website devoted to Sir Alfred Herbert

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Click here for Wadwick
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Thursday, August 09, 2007

Business Memories of Japan

Moto Sugiura, the UK Club's Representative in Japan, with his family June 2010

I first became involved in Japan in 1972, when as a junior executive in Syndicate 1, I was called upon to look after visitors from our correspondents, Dodwell, Naga Kotsuru and Moto Sugiura. I took them, as was recommended, to a Japanese restaurant, Miyako, the first that I had ever been into in London. There I was introduced to sushi and the many other delights of Japanese cuisine. That was the start of a long love affair with Japan, which continues to this day. But it's not only built around friends and food, although both are important. Japan has also provided a vast amount of intellectual stimulation. I remember one of my first cases in the Syndicate was a Japanese tanker collision in 1974, just after the Arab Israeli war and the closure of the Suez Canal. The value of tankers soared overnight, and the owners of the "DAUPHINE" found that their ship was seriously under-insured in respect of its hull and IV policies. The shortfall of their claim was no less than $32 million! Something which led me to a close study of our excess collision and general average rules! Shortly afterwards a horrific collision occurred between the "PACIFIC ARES" and the "YUYO MARU" in Tokyo Bay. The "PACIFIC ARES", a bulk carrier carrying steel, struck the "YUYO MARU", carrying gas and naphtha, setting off a fireball which killed all the crew. The "YUYO MARU" was eventually towed out of Tokyo Bay and sunk by the Japanese Navy, not without great difficulty and pyrotechnics. That case too lasted for two decades, and also involved an excess collision claim. It was also the first recorded major LPG casualty.

My first visit to Japan in 1978, as part of trip to China to negotiate the settlement of some large demurrage claims with the Chinese state charterers on behalf of three Greek owners (Lykiardopulo and two branches of the Goulandris family). I was received by none other than Tsuboi, the chairman of Tokyo Tanker (the Club’s oldest Members in Japan) and treated like royalty by them and by NYK. This was simply because of the high esteem in which we – and particularly Sidney Fowler, then the senior partner of Millers, and Terence Coghlin, then in change of Japan, were held.

My role in Japan was seriously stepped up in 1980 when I took on the role of manager of Syndicate 1 from John Jillings. I travelled out to Japan and spent a month getting to understand the country and local conditions, the law and meeting all those who I could. Soon afterwards a number of serious casualties kept me coming back to Japan on a regular basis, including two major car carrier fires, and several collisions. In 1982 also, the case of the "ASIAN SUMMIT", where Algerian stevedores made off with eight Walkman cassette players, but told the police that the crew had sold them to them, caused the ship to be detained for 194 days while we negotiated a sensible settlement. Constant contact with the owners involved us getting the Club's first fax machine as they required, quite properly, a written report on the latest developments each evening. The case was eventually settled on terms which included a payment to the Algerian Secret Service into their bank account in Switzerland.

Several cases involved ships encountering typhoons - or at least tropical storms of the type that were found fairly regularly off the north east coast of Japan in winter. So much so that a Japanese hull underwriter, Nissan Fire & Marine, wrote a study on the subject, which helped prepare the courts for a proper defence of heavy weather.

I left the Syndicate in 1984 to help found TIM (later ITIC), and although I travelled occasionally to Japan in furtherance of that business and to maintain my links generally, Luke Readman took on my role until I returned to P&I in 1993. However I was in Japan at the time when the Japan branch licence was awarded in 1989, and I visited the Ministry to receive the licence in a ceremony known as "coming down from the clouds".

In the early '90s our major member NYK produced the NYK 21 Plan, which called upon them to become a logistics mega carrier. We looked hard at how we could best offer our support to these plans, and I prepared a long report on their insurance needs, including the possibility of writing P&I and TT Club business together. One aspect of their logistics development was the need to keep track of the claims of their key logistics customers - those who gave them large volumes of business but had no tolerance of either delays or claims of any kind. This led to a fascinating conference which we organised in New York, in which Tsujimoto, then head of the insurance / claims division at NYK explained the realities of the logistics trades from his study of Toyota. From this we developed a philosophy – ‘claims handling is part of the line's service to its customer’ - that at that time was revolutionary. In support of this, we also developed a worldwide claims handling system. In fact this was borne out of a night's work at the Palace Hotel in Tokyo. Turning up to visit Tsujimoto, we learned from our office that he expected us to come up with a fully fledged plan to deal with their logistics customers. Nigel Carden and I, working much of the night on flip charts in our room, prepared that plan, with two revolutionary features. One was that we would set up a worldwide claims reporting system, whereby claims were reported in to 25 regional centres linked electronically so that incidents and claims would be known to NYK and to us as soon as possible. The other was that all claims would be handled by our correspondents, NYK's agents and offices giving up that role. It seemed to us to be unnecessary to have a duplication of effort in each of the ports in the world. This system was adopted and went into effect from 1995 and is still running smoothly today. The annual NYK conference that takes place to discuss the workings of the system and its results, has become a valued set piece, although the full conference involving the 25 regional centres is now held only every two years, with every other year the Club and NYK alone discussing key issues.

Japan is unique in the P&I world in the number of general enquiries it generates from the Club's members. Up to 50% of the syndicate manager’s time and those involved in claims policy can be taken up in dealing with more or less esoteric questions generated from Tokyo. This helps us enormously in keeping up-to-date with issues and events, and learning to summarise them in a coherent way.

No note on our Japanese business can avoid the enormous contribution made by our correspondents Dodwell - now ISS - and the Japan Branch office. Moto Sugiura has led both for many years, and the operation is regarded as the most sophisticated that we have outside our own operations. The Branch has to produce 29 financial reports annually for the Japanese Authorities, and it does so immaculately each year through the self-taught efforts of Masako Kodaki. The Branch also looks after the underwriting of Japanese Members whereby the rates are set in London but much of the negotiation takes place in Japan. One of the Branch’s early roles was to ensure that all the Club's documentation was completely accurate - something which could not be counted on when it was sent out from London. In addition the particular way in which Japanese business is conducted - frequent meetings, constant personal attention, gifts, golf, entertaining at a high level; none of this would be possible without the work of the branch. Moto Sugiura’s role in this has been invaluable, and it is very good that he will continue with us beyond his original scheduled retirement.

Reference to our Japanese business should not avoid specific mention of Shikoku; our business began there in 1982, through the auspices of Kobe Shipping, the Tanabe operation who financed and then helped develop the then relatively small Shikoku ship owners such as the Abe family of Nissen Kaiun - which has now grown to a fleet of nearly 100 ships. We spent a lot of time in Shikoku in the '80s getting to know the individual families, attending launches and giving seminars. Unfortunately the claim surge of the late '80s/early '90s and the hike in calls that followed meant that we lost a lot of that business for the next 10-15 years, but some of it remained loyal - particularly the Abe's, and our Shikoku business is now a strongly growing area following the opening of the ISS Imabari office in 2004. This opening, coupled with the opening of Lawyer Kimura's office nearby, has given us a good platform for further growth in this area of Japanese shipping. Moto Sugiura now spends a week or more a month in Imabari.

Herry was fortunate in having his farewell party combined with the UK Club’s Directors Meeeting in Tokyo in May 2006 and over 240 of the Members, lawyers, surveyors and others attended. His speech can be found here (and in a Japanese translation at the end)

Herry Lawford
May 2006