A.W. PICKERING (45-48)
Anthony William Pickering (45-48) died on 21 January 2021 at the age of 90 in Cheltenham General Hospital after a very short illness. He left a devoted wife, Chris, two daughters, Caroline and Sarah, four granddaughters and six great grandchildren.
At the Nautical College Tony was in Form MN and Hesperus Division and was awarded a Bronze Medallion and Bar by the Royal Life Saving Society. From the NCP, he joined P&O. His daughter Caroline Wilson continues:
“My father started his apprenticeship with P&O in August 1948. His first ship was the Surat and he spent quite some time on her delivering cargo to the Far East. He then went onto Canton as Acting 4th Officer and was very proud as she was the P&O Commodore’s ship at the time and also his first passenger ship. After five trips on Canton, he joined the Straithaird as 4th Officer. This ship was much larger and she went round the world to Australia with both passengers and cargo.
Subsequently, he did a Mediterranean trip on the Molton, an old P&O passenger ship before joining the Carthage to Hong Kong. He then got a promotion to Third Officer and a berth in the Pinjarra. This was another passenger-cargo ship (including four race horses on one occasion), sailing between the U.K. and Australia via the Middle East. Soon after, it seems that he joined Royal Mail but Dad’s memoirs go no further. Although his mother was desperate for him to take his Second Officer’s ticket, Tony was never academic and left the sea in the late-1950s.
Once Tony came ashore, he went on to become a very successful horticulturist establishing one of the first garden centres in Gloucestershire and also running a landscape business alongside it. He sold that business in the mid-1980s at which point he and Chris took a year out to sail Bossy Boots, their Contessa 32 yacht, around the Mediterranean.
On returning to England my parents set up a florist shop in Exmouth. In the 1990s they moved back to Gloucestershire to run a flowers-by-post business. This was sold in 2008 by which time Dad was 78.
In retirement Tony’s main hobbies were building model boats and gardening; his pride and joy was a large model that he made from scratch of Canton his favourite ship. To say Tony was a big personality would be an understatement, and he was always full of amazing stories about his time at sea in the Merchant Navy. He is very much missed by his family.”