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Sunday, 4 September 2022

THE CALL – A novel that never was…

While on a school cruise ship MS Dunera around about 1963, I thought of a story idea: a young student hearing a call… and diving overboard to rescue the caller. He was considered lost at sea… but in fact survived and had many adventures…

From that evolved a series of drawings featuring the young man and a young woman he met – and continued having to rescue! Well, I was only fifteen! And I was clearly influenced by the books of Edgar Rice Burroughs. (See below for the drawings)

The Dunera was built in 1937 on the Clyde by Barclay Curle. Originally it was a troop ship then later was converted to a floating school by The British India Steam Navigation Co Ltd.

Dunera anchored off St Hellier, Jersey

The ship had dormitory accommodation for the pupils together with classrooms, lecture theatre/cinema, library and deck space for sports. There was also accommodation for teachers and independent travellers. As a floating school it first set sail from Greenock, Scotland on April, 12 1961 and completed fourteen more trips in that year.

While onboard we visited St Helier in Jersey (Channel Islands), Vigo in Spain, and Lisbon in Portugal.

The ship was scrapped in Spain in 1967.

Here are some drawings of adventures that were never written about.


 Deck sport on Dunera-1963

The Meeting-1964

This picture was put on the art class wall by the teacher for several weeks; 

he pointed out that all the wristwatches had the same time!

Split-second timing - April 1963

Is this a dagger I see before me? - April 1963

Desperate rescue attempt - May 1963

Precipitous rescue - April 1963

and finally...

Wings of Death - August 1964


Charlie Steel said...


Good stuff and a lot of work. Write and publish the book.

Charlie Steel

Anonymous said...

You are a good illustrator Nik.
I was on two Dunera tours, Scandinavia and Spain/ Portugal.

Nik Morton said...

Thanks for responding, Charlie and Anon. Yes, the school cruise ship's life was relatively short but clearly generated long-lasting memories. Ah, Charlie, so many books to write...! :) Nik

Nancy Jardine Author said...

I was on the Dunera, too, but a few years after you. Your drawings are very talented and definitely worth keeping all these years. :-)

Nik Morton said...

Thanks for the comments, Nancy. Appreciated. :)