Bond’s Bootle jacket
AMID the bally hoo about too much product placement in the new James Bond film Skyfall, there’s been no mention of International Safety Products (ISP), of Bootle.
This renowned marine survival gear company performed a vital role in protecting Wirral actor Daniel Craig for his unveiling as 007 in Casino Royale, back in 2006. It was asked to create a special life jacket for his dash up the Thames with the Royal Marines, as shown.
ISP’s Hawthorne Road site employs 100 people and sales director Geoff Billington said: “It doesn’t get more glamorous than supplying a bespoke product for James Bond. The brief from Columbia Pictures was to produce a lightweight life jacket in military green colours.
“We didn’t manage to speak with ‘Q’ directly about the design, but our team put together a design based on our Newton Challenger life jacket, which is supplied to the leisure industry.”
Brunel ship mystery
READER Joe Gray responded to my plea for information about the family of Capt John Gray, who was lost overboard from Brunel’s SS Great Britain, en route from Australia to Liverpool.
Unaware of the tragedy, Mrs Mary Ann Gray and their five daughters waited at Liverpool Pier Head to welcome him home on Christmas Day, 1872, according to the SS Great Britain Trust which is seeking further information.
The family then lived at 97 Upper Parliament Street, but Joe Gray (no relation to the captain) said that by the 1881 census, the widowed Mary Ann lived at 43 York Road, Birkdale, and she died on January 29, 1892, at 12 Church St, Egremont, Wirral.
Mr Gray’s wife’s great grandfather, Capt Charles Chapman, succeeded Capt John Gray as master of SS Great Britain.
“For years Charles was first officer to Capt Gray and served as Great Britain’s captain from 1872 until his death in 1875,” said Mr Gray.
“He was quite a character. His wife Ellen was a staunch Catholic from Dublin and while he was at sea, she’d take their daughters out of their Church of England school and put them in a Catholic school until Charles returned.
“She was also reputed to have once contacted a nun, who was a passenger, to convert him!”
Tall ship talk
WORD about Merseyside Adventure Sailing Trust’s success has spread overseas and its chairman, Jim Graves, has been invited to speak at the International Sail Training and Tall Ships Conference.
This annual event will be held from Friday at Riga, Latvia, the Baltic State port which is the next host for the 2013 Tall Ships Races.
Jim Graves (pictured) said: “It’s a great honour to address the leaders of the tall ships world. I’ll be speaking on how to involve young people from your city and recruiting trainees.
“While there are plenty of tall ships the issue is about filling them, namely attracting young people and their sponsorship.”
ON Thursday at 12-12.30pm, Liverpool Nautical Research Society presents a talk on Liverpool Ship-Owners as Gentlemanly Capitalists, by Catherine Evans, at Merseyside Maritime Museum, Albert Dock, 12-12.30pm. At 6pm the Nautical Institute presents a talk on Piracy by Rhys Clift, Partner in Hill Dickinson LLP, at Room 218, JMU, Byrom Street, Liverpool.