Being Grateful: 4

This week I’ve had a mountain for which I’m grateful. Out of the blue, I received a response to a post I made asking for info about Uncle Trevor.  All of that is better off in another blog, but this man unwittingly flung open a door and shed light on a life I never knew.

Although the end of Trevor’s life was fraught and isolated, this kind stranger has shared his photos, his memories and contacted friends who knew Trevor – all to show me that, at one time, he enjoyed life to the full.

I didn’t realise, until I typed that paragraph, how grateful I am for the time in which I live. Things aren’t perfect – I still face homophobic abuse, there will still be people who literally hate me and want me dead because of my sexuality – but I know that I have a strong core of people who love me and who will do their utmost to fight for me. I also now have something I think my uncle lost or never had – a sinewy streak of love and pride for myself that protects me from thinking that I’m worthless.

Maybe that was the gift he gave me.

Seeing my Uncle Trevor with friends

Seeing my Uncle Trevor with friends

gay salads

gay salads

Cutty Sark - the first trip I had to London

Cutty Sark – the first trip I had to London

Canary Wharf light streaks

Canary Wharf light streaks

Royal Festival Hall - a home for arts & meeting friends

Royal Festival Hall – a home for arts & meeting friends

Brixton's multiculturalism

Brixton’s multiculturalism

Tate membership - access to amazing art

Tate membership – access to amazing art


About richienglish

I'm a photographer with a predilection for death, sexuality, mental health and odd stuff. Say hi, I like chatting.
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2 Responses to Being Grateful: 4

  1. Ron Sheldon says:

    Richard , let’s hope we get more confirmation ( although we don’t need any ) from Trevor’s friends and acquaintances about how much he was thought of. Us oldies ruled the world once, now it’s up to you and your generation – my late Dad always said ” the best things in life are Free ” and the older I get the more it becomes true, I treasure my wife and family, my health, and 66 years of mostly good memories of People and occasions and places, my time at sea is high in that list and special friends like Trevor give me endless smiles and recollections.

    Maybe we shall meet one day

    Regards & best wishes. , Ron

    Sent from my iPad


  2. Ken Sharman says:

    Hi Richard my name is Ken Sharman and I Shared a Cabin with your uncle Trevor on the
    SS Orsova and i am the guy next to you uncle on the picture by the swimming pool.I as a very good friend of Trevor’s and once stayed with him at his mothers house in Sittingboune Kent. I had just broken off an engagement with my then fiancée and Trevor helped me through it with wise words and a kind ear.
    As Ron Sheldon has said we had some fantastic times whilst at sea and I think that was when Trevor was at his happiest. He was a fantastic chef and I learnt a massive amount from him and I know he was extremely well respected amongst the other kitchen staff.
    I was very sad and surprised to hear that Trevor took his own life I must say that during the time I new him he seemed very happy and well balanced. this would have been around 1965 the same time as Ron Sheldon who I have been in touch with over the passed few years. During the Seaman’s Strike which I think was in May 1966 We applied for visas from the Australian Embassy to go to work on Hayman Island which is on the Barrier Reef, we were offered jobs at a hotel on the island when we went ashore to help with a buffet for the passengers during a cruise along the Great Barrier Reef. Unfortunately the strike ended before we got our visas back so we rejoined the Orsova for her next trip. I have some photos of us going ashore on Hayman Island which I am going to send to Ron because I have trouble down loading them onto my computer.
    We all new Trevor was gay but in those days in the merchant navy it was accepted and the gay community on the ship had a very active and enjoyable social life they arranged all sorts of entertainment including drag shows when they would dress up and mime to Barbara Streisand etc and these shows were seen by the passengers, officers and crew.
    I haven’t read all of your blog yet so when i have and if I can think of any more memories to relate I will log on again.

    Kind regards
    Ken sharman

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