Lifelong seafarer Peter living his dream
ON 31 January
2006 it was announced that seafarer Peter Hester who has sailed the
seven seas has returned to his home port to take up his dream job,
as Operations Manager of the Mersey Ferries.
Peter (51), an engineer who joined the Royal Navy as a 17-year-old
33 years ago, said:- “It must be every man’s dream, certainly
a real seafarers dream, to come back to your home town and be
involved in something as unique as the Mersey Ferries. It’s the job
I always dreamed I would do.”
He joins the ferries after spending the last six years as Head of
Engineering at Portsmouth Naval Base, a five-mile long, two-mile
wide marine base with 6,000 support staff, 50,000 naval staff, more
than 70 port-based ships and two to three major warships in repair
there at any one time.
On Merseyside, Peter takes on responsibility for overseeing work and
repairs on the three ferries.
Peter’s wife Val and three children Jamie, Becci and Katherine have
lived in Woolton throughout his varied career.
Now the well-travelled mariner is prepared to make it his permanent
berth. He said:- "I’m really happy to be back home and living
my dream. Although the Mersey Ferries are smaller in scale than
Portsmouth, they are huge in prestige.
“They are famous all over the world, a part of Merseyside life with
a fantastic history."
Neil Scales, Chief Executive and Director General of Merseytravel,
said:- “We are very pleased to have Peter on board. He’s an
experienced seaman, he comes with a wealth of experience and, along
with the ferries management team, has an important role to play in
continuing to keep the Mersey Ferries as one of the most popular
attractions in the region.”
During his busy career in the Navy Peter lived and worked in
Plymouth, Rosyth in Scotland and Portsmouth as well as travelling
He has helped repair the Royal Yacht, nuclear submarines, guided
missile destroyers and some parts of his unit were sent to the
Ascension Islands as part of a fleet maintenance unit on stand by
for the Falklands War.
After leaving the navy in 1982, Peter spent three years studying for
a degree in Production Engineering at Liverpool John Moores
He went on to work for a number of private sector companies and,
during that time, built the ‘Battle of the Atlantic’ memorial in New
Brighton (which Wirral Yacht Club now uses as its race centre) and
restored the Egerton Dock Bridge for Wirral Museums.
It was in 2000 that Peter was asked to go to Portsmouth Naval Base
as its Head of Engineering.
During his work there, Peter and his team prepared and repaired
vessels that were used in the Iraq War, the Tsunami disaster effort
and he was involved in last year’s Trafalgar 200 celebrations, the
biggest gathering of the British fleet since 1953.
However, life on the ocean waves hasn’t always been plain sailing
As a 21 year old learning the ropes, Peter joined the crew of HMS
Falmouth as a marine engineer. His first voyage involved protecting
trawlers being damaged by Icelandic vessels during the famous Cod
The British vessels were not allowed to engage the Icelandic boats.
However, during the conflict (1976) HMS Falmouth had its bows taken
off by an Icelandic vessel called Tyr.
Peter said:- “The whole front of the boat was taken off by Tyr,
which was an Icelandic icebreaker. We lost several crew, we were
taking in water badly and it took us 14 days to get back to a safe
port. I count myself lucky to have survived.”
The loss of his colleagues saw Peter rapidly promoted through the
rank, from Marine Engineer, to Petty Officer and, six months later,
to Chief Engineer.
It’s also a surprise Peter wasn’t put off the ferries for life in
1977! During a romantic summer cruise on the ferries, Peter
dropped on bended knee and asked his then girlfriend Val to become
his wife. Unfortunately, Val turned down his marriage proposal.
Undeterred and an early sign of Peter’s commitment to ‘living his
dream’ he eventually married Val at St Mary’s Church in Woolton in
However, ever the seafarer, only three weeks after they were married
Peter left to serve on board HMS Fife for nine months.
JOINING FORCES TO COMBAT SCAMS
Minister for Climate Change and Environment, has praised the
Northwest as the first English region to take action against the
damaging effects of global warming by getting a wide range of
organisations to commit to reducing their energy consumption and
curbing their reliance on fossil fuels.
The 'Ultimate Challenge Summit' took place in Liverpool against the
backdrop of alarming figures from The Greenhouse Gas Regional
Inventory Project (GRIP). They reveal that the Northwest's carbon
emissions are above the national average with more than 11 tonnes of
carbon dioxide emitted for every man, woman and child in the region
Future climate change scenarios for the region include average
temperatures rising by between 0.8°C and 2°C and winter rainfall
increasing by 6 per cent by 2050s. Storm damage payments totalling
around £1billion in the region are set to triple in the coming years
unless nothing is done.
Speaking ahead of 'The Ultimate Challenge' Climate Change Summit
that was held in Liverpool on 30 January, Mr Morley said:- "It
is encouraging to see the Northwest taking climate change seriously.
This is a top priority for the government, but government cannot act
alone. All sectors of the economy must understand the potential
impacts of climate change and their responsibilities for mitigating
greenhouse gas emissions, and I praise all organisations in this
region for taking up the challenge. I look forward to the Summit and
to hearing about what Is being done to secure sustainability in the
The historic event was hailed as a huge success and was supported by
the Environment Agency, Government Office North West, Liverpool City
Council, Manchester Airport, Northwest Regional Development Agency,
North West Regional Assembly, Pilkingtons, Renewables Northwest and
Siemens. It looked at national goal of reducing CO² emission by 60
per cent by the year 2050 as well as working out ways to ensure the
Northwest becomes a champion for climate change activity.
Leading banker and pioneer for sustainable development in England's
Northwest (SNW award winner for Outstanding Contribution to
Sustainable Development), Lord Thomas of Macclesfield CBE, said:-
"Climate change is no longer a theoretical threat, the effects of
this phenomenon can already be felt, from steep insurance rises for
properties at risk to the proposed introduction of aviation taxes.
The pressing issues of reducing our fossil fuel consumption,
minimising carbon emissions and preserving and protecting the
environment must be taken seriously, yet they can also open-up great
opportunities for businesses.
Possible economic benefits from global warming to the Northwest
could be expanded and new markets within the renewable energy
sector, opportunities for non-fossil fuels energy sources and growth
in energy efficiency and conservation."
TURNER CONFIRMED AS NEW MYERSCOUGH PRINCIPAL
leading provider of Higher and Further Education, has appointed Ann
Turner FCMA as Chief Executive and Principal. This appointment comes
at a time when student numbers for its diverse range of courses
continue to rise, with over 10,000 students now studying at the
Ann, the first female Principal in the College's 100 year history,
has been a long term member of Myerscough’s senior management team.
Having previously held the position of Director of Finance for seven
years, Ann played a key role in ensuring the College achieved
significant growth and enhanced its position regionally, nationally
and internationally. She places great emphasis on standards and
quality of teaching and learning within the College as a whole.
Ann’s aim is for Myerscough to continue to offer the first class
learning and development environment that students at the College
have become accustomed to. Ann, who has been Acting Principal for
the last two months following the departure of Professor John
Moverley OBE, will formally take up post on 1 March 2006.
Ann Stowe, Chair of the Board of Governors at Myerscough commented:-
“Following a thorough recruitment and final selection process,
it was clear that Ann had the experience and drive to take
Myerscough forward. This, coupled with Ann’s excellent track record
as Director of Finance, made her a unanimous choice for the
position. As part of her previous role, Ann managed the College
through a period of rapid growth which saw turnover rise from £7
million to over £20 million.”
Myerscough is one of the leading providers of landbased and sports
courses in the UK, with courses from entry level to degree in areas
such as Agriculture, Arboriculture, Horticulture, Sportsturf and
Sports including Golf, Rugby, Football and Cricket. The College
continues to be a UK innovator in these areas, with the recent
addition of Cricket Studies, a UK first. In addition, Myerscough has
recently introduced online degree courses in Sportsturf and
Arboriculture and students as ‘far a field’ as America are studying
remotely on these courses.
On her appointment, Ann Turner has said:- “I am delighted to
take up the position of Chief Executive and Principal. Myerscough
takes pride in offering inclusive learning, high quality teaching
and providing an excellent learning environment and, on that basis,
I am looking forward to working with the Myerscough team to continue
to take the College forward.”