Reminiscing about Athelbrae

We were contacted via our website this week by Trevor Booth who is writing an article on the shipyard in Cheshire where the Athelbrae was the largest vessel ever built there. He wanted to know if he could use the bronze ship’s nameplate in the article that many of you will have seen on our course notes.

We had promised to look out some further information for him from the handwritten notes of the sea trials, conducted in 1956 by Kate’s father, John Nicholson, before he took the “Brae” over the Atlantic to her new home in the West Indies.

We are very grateful to Trevor for sharing some pictures of the Athelbrae under construction which you can now view via our FAQ page of the website. FAQ’s (

It has also been an opportunity to reminisce going through all the documents we have on file including the passbooks from his career at sea (apparently he was considered conscientious and sober!) together detailed information on his time in a lifeboat, aged 19, in 1942 after being torpedoed in the North Atlantic whilst serving as an apprentice on the Athel Knight.

The last time Capt John Nicholson wore his uniform in July 1988

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