Nautical Nostalgia Talks

David has frequently been invited to sail as Guest Lecturer aboard cruise ships, which he gives under the Nautical Nostalgia banner.

Previous appointments include Cunard’s “Queen Mary 2” and “Queen Victoria”, the “Saga Sapphire”, P&O’s “Oceana”, “Ventura”, “Oriana” and “Arcadia”, also Fred. Olsen’s “Balmoral” and the old “Black Prince”.

He has also given talks at other venues and events on land.

One of his favourites was the venerable “Discovery” (now sadly no more since it was scrapped in 2015.

This activity began when, during a cruise aboard “Discovery” in 2005, David was asked if he would like to give a talk on board about his experiences in Antarctica. The resulting talk – “Antarctic Antics” was so well received that he was asked to repeat the talk the following year. Since then he has expanded his repertoire to around twenty talks (see Repertoire below).

David’s subject relates to various aspects of Maritime History. Two talks are based on his own career at sea in the 1960s and 70s (a little bit of maritime history in itself), while others relate to the late 19th and 20th century Merchant Navy, particularly the history of the great liners in peace and in war.

David champions very strongly that much-maligned and unloved character – the Merchant Seaman.

Nautical Nostalgia for Groups

David is available for after-dinner speaking to charities, groups, clubs, etc.

He has an extensive maritime-related repertoire of talks each of 45 mins to one hour duration.

He is available in the East Anglia area.

Click to see drop-down info.


  • 1. Antarctic Antics

    A narrative of the speaker’s experiences working as Navigating Officer in the research vessel RRS “John Biscoe”, in Antarctica during the 1970s. A time when the technology was more akin to that of Shackleton and Scott than to the 21st century. A look at work in Antarctica from the standpoint of operating a ship, with a few of the more humerous episodes.

  • 2. Tramps and Ladies

    Passenger ships, and cargo ships. A light-hearted look at the colossal changes that have occurred during the last fifty years, with some of the speaker’s own experiences included. Also, the story of a remarkable seaman.

  • 3. Ocean Greyhounds

    The story of the Blue Riband of the Atlantic and the ships which held this coveted trophy. How technology and national pride influenced sea travel during the 19th and 20th centuries.

  • 4. The Battle of the Atlantic
    Part 1 - Convoys and Corvettes

    The story of the struggle during World War 2 to maintain the lifeline of merchant ships supplying Britain. This two-part story is a tribute to the men of the merchant navy who gave their lives manning this lifeline.

  • 5. The Battle of the Atlantic
    Part 2 -Part 2 - The Turn of the Tide

    The continuing story of the battle against the U-boats, and the ways and means by which they were finally defeated.

  • 6. Story of a Duchess

    The remarkable story of an otherwise unremarkable passenger liner. Includes the Dr Crippen incident, and the biggest salvage operation ever undertaken in UK waters.

  • 7. When are you going back?

    The most frequently-asked question of the merchant seaman on leave. The speaker describes his early years at sea in the 1960s; a world that has disappeared forever. Numerous anecdotes illustrate life in the merchant navy during this period of change.

  • 8. Triumph and Tragedy

    The story of the liner “Lusitania”. From the triumph of the Blue Riband to the tragedy of her sinking by U-boat, the biggest maritime casualty of the Great War.

  • 9. Liners at War

    The story of the passenger vessel in wartime, including some of the more surprising rôles to which they were put. Passenger ships of all types were vital assets during time of conflict, and this talk describes their many rôles

  • 10. Twenty Maritime Questions

    Not so much a quiz, as each question has a little story attached.

  • 11. Shipshape

    “If it looks right, it IS right. If it don’t, it’s ugly and probably won’t work”. A look at what it is that makes a ship look attractive or “right”, and how those factors relate to the ship’s function. Some witty insights into the character of the naval architect.

  • 12. Three Voyages

    A description of three epic voyages made by merchant ships through the ages.