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John Nichols

John was born on the 18 September 1959 in the village of Earsdon near Whitley Bay.

John’s father worked for the Merchant Navy as a second Electrical Officer on board the Swan Hunter built ship the Dominican Monarch

He left school in 1976 at age of sixteen and entered the Merchant Navy. After leaving the Merchant Navy, John joined NAFFI (Navy Army & Air Force Institute) and ran shops onboard Swan Hunter vessels including HMS ARK ROYAL and HMS COVENTRY.

John was interviewed by Alex Magin on 24 October 2006. The interview took place at Segedunum Roman Fort, Baths and Museum and lasted for 38 minutes.

John Nichols's Memories

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So how did you come to be at Swan Hunter?

Well, when I left the actual Merchant Navy I kept the sea going tradition going if you like and joined NAAFI, which is the Navy Army Air Force Institute, and I used to run the shops on board the main vessels.  I was on HMS ARK ROYAL, which was of course a Swan Hunter build.  I went to work on another little ship called HMS MINERVA which was a little frigate which has now been sold.  Then I went to HMS COVENTRY which was being built up here at Swan Hunters at the Neptune Yard, that was in April ’86 it was launched so I must have joined it in January.  I spent a good couple of months up here just watching the work, watching the workers and watching everything go by.