Captain William Wells

Clacton & North East Essex Arts & Literary Society

November 14h Tonight CAPTAIN WILLIAM WELLS, a Master Mariner, former Ship’s Captain, licensed Harbour Pilot and published author will relive for us the “LIFE AND TIMES OF A SHIP’S PILOT”. Sponsored by READER OFFERS LTD, Colchester. Tel: 01206 719100.

Captain William Wells

Captain William Wells Captain William Wells, Master Mariner, is a former ship’s captain and commercial marine pilot, whose career at sea lasted just short of 49 years.

Recognised as an International informative and entertaining “Topic-Expert” speaker, he was an active Member of the Professional Speakers Association, Member of the International Federation of Public Speakers and a former Vice President of Toastmasters International.

With a wide ranging programme he speaks regularly at conferences, seminars and to a wide variety of different organisations including BBC radio and aboard cruise ships with passion, enthusiasm and great authority.

Life and Times of a Ship’s Pilot:

A popular, entertaining and informative talk traces maritime pilotage from the Phoenician times to today’s modern world of computers and satellite navigation. Going behind the “green baize door” leading to the ship’s bridge and nerve centre, we take a look behind the scenes on how a ship, be it a small tramp freighter or a colossal cruise liner, is handled and docked. This talk is interspersed with many humorous personal anecdotes.


  1. The members of the Arts and Literary Society spent a fascinating evening with Captain William Wells, a Trinity House licensed pilot in the Port of London.

    Captain Wells was born in New Zealand but spent his working life in Great Britain and various places in the Middle East.

    His lecture was divided into two parts, the first being a history of the Port of London from Roman times to the present day. This was a truly interesting picture of London especially when photographs were available to compare the great docks of the late 1800s to the present day use, such as Canary Wharf and the City Airport.
    After the interval, Captain Williams told us many tales of his adventures in piloting ships in the Thames Estuary up to London illustrated with pictures of some of the enormous ships he had handled successfully and delightful anecdotes about awkward ships’ captains who resented the pilot on the bridge. It was a truly happy evening which was enjoyed by everyone.

    The evening was sponsored by Reader Offers Ltd of Colchester

    Audrey Owens Press Officer

  2. Captain William Wells-the life and times of a ship`s pilot.
    I must confess that I was one of the many, who must have thought to themselves,
    ”a chap talking for an evening about ship’s piloting-how interesting will that be?”
    “Oh ye of little faith”, I can hear Cindy Hardy saying and knowing her expertise in obtaining something different for each of our Monday night presentations, I should have known better!!

    The Captain himself stood tall and so handsome in his smart uniform in the foyer to greet us as we entered the theatre-I told him cheekily that if he expected me to be in the `crow`s nest` for the evening, he`d better `think on`-we laughed!
    A fascinating evening presented by this master mariner and also a true master of oration-his speech impeccable at all times(and for me a real bonus that he didn`t use that dreadful American terminology once, that currently describes a human being of either sex-a `Guy`-ugh and double ugh!!)

    Exciting and inspiring- a person who was happy in his chosen field, a person not afraid to laugh at himself-genuinely humble despite the great responsibility placed on him each time he berthed one of these huge vessels. And what praise when the captain of the worlds largest aircraft carrier (US Nimitz) announced over the ship`s tannoy that, ” the pilot now has control.”

    A safe pair of hands indeed-even if his wife thought his most important task of the day was drying up the pots and pans after tea!
    Yet another triumph-there is absolutely no comparison at all with this and some of the junk that passes as television entertainment these days!!

    Jennifer Kersey

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