Mysteries and memories
Retired shipmaster and author Captain Peter Thomson is a resident of Mariners' Park who became interested in the 30 memorial benches dedicated to former residents which are dotted about the park. He also noticed that two of the benches are not dedicated to residents but to the two young Bibby Line officers Robert Prescott and Max Biggam who died in the line of duty. Capt Thomson felt it was important to learn more about the seafarers' lives and started some research, during which he got to know their family and friends. He presented his research into the Liverpool Bridge explosion in memory of the two young seafarers in a Wirral Merchant Navy Association talk in summer 2022.
Some time after the explosion, the Liverpool Bridge was renamed the Derbyshire – which sank during Typhoon Orchid in south of Japan on 09 September 1980. The Derbyshire remains the biggest British merchant ship ever lost at sea, and its tragic loss helped to leave a legacy of improved safety standards – not just for bulk carriers but also for the wider shipping industry. There is a memorial garden for the crew of the Derbyshire in the city of Liverpool.
- Anyone wishing to have a bench dedicated at Mariners' Park in memory of a mariner should contact estate manager Danny Kenny at Nautilus by telephoning +44 (0)151 346 8840.
Image: Capt Thomson presenting his research into the Mariners' Park benches at a MNA meeting. Credit: Tim Brunsden/ Liverpool Ships and Sailors
Watch Capt Thomson's talk