About

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Tom-Fleck-Amazon

Welcome to Fusion and 1513. It comes out of Eskdale in North Yorkshire, England. Have a look at the enamels, stories and verses; also details of my Tudor novel, ‘Tom Fleck’.

The historical adventure, ‘Tom Fleck’, is set in the year 1513. In 2013 we saw the 500th anniversary of the great events that determined Tom’s future.  I’ve completed a sequel – ‘The Black Caravel’.  It takes up the story of Tom Fleck and Rachel Coronel twentythree years after they met – and we meet their children.

‘The Black Caravel’ is now displayed on Amazon.

And in May 2018, “The Best of Days” became available; it is largely a memoir of my time at sea. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Best-Days-memoir-sea/dp/1981922954/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

The sequel to ‘The Best of Days”:   My latest book appeared on Amazon on 23 Sep 2020. The title comes from advice given when I went to sea: brother-in-law, an engineer with Elder Dempster, cautioned me to never be cynical – ‘You’ll see wonders’, he said. ‘You’ll See Wonders’ is the sequel to my first memoir, ‘The Best of Days’. It has been a pleasurable two years in the writing, and I’ve enjoyed trying to write with the spirit and atmosphere of the time. It is not autobiography, but memoir – which allows for scenes and character to be built where memory gives only snatches and fragments of conversation and visual recall of sixty years ago. I’m now cogitating around a possible book 3, whilst Pieris rapae is out there, in the sunshine, laying her little lime-green eggs on my cabbages. The cover of “You’ll See Wonders” is from one of the last paintings by my old friend and venerable man of the sea, Bill Wedgwood of Robin Hood’s Bay – he did it for the book. Though he did not see it finished, I passed him chapters as they emerged.1-BW Marwarri 2.7mb best crop

28 Responses to About

  1. John Trotter says:

    Hello Harry, just downloaded “Green Linnet” and couldn’t wait to read “Hokkaido the Noo” – great title. Doubters should chat to the Motomachi bar girls, any of whom will tell them that “Auld Lang Syne” is an ancient Japanese folk song.

    Thanks for the book. John, ex RO (’68-’92).

    PS Meandering through your blog, I saw a mention of Lythe – my Uncle Tine, local Bobby in Loftus and Staithes born and bred, was riding down Lythe Bank and saw a ghost come out of the cottage on the right hand side , cross the road and disappear. Spooky!

    • I’m pleased you have the Linnet! That spooky cottage on Lythe bank might be the gatehouse to Mulgrave Castle – if not, then it will be the cottages at the bottom, leading into Sandsend. My wife’s family lived at Sandsend in 18th/19thC when the place was busy burning alum shale for the dye industry – now it is all costly holiday homes. Our daughter’s father-in-law looks after the tiny church there.

      • John Trotter says:

        Thanks Harry. Think it’s the lodge, passed it many times but never stopped. Fond memories of the Hart Inn in Sandsend. Sorry I’m unfamiliar with this mode of comms.

  2. Christopher Jenkins says:

    Really enjoyed your books Harry. I too was a Sparky (PMG 1, not one of those MRGC’s). GTZM, IMRC, Redifon, GKA thence Silver Line. Could relate to your experiences so eloquently recalled.
    TKS OM
    (Chris)

    • Thank you, Chris. I am busy with book 3 and so your post has spurred me on. I don’t have a title for the current book yet. It is heartening to have a response from a reader – writing can be such a solitary pursuit. If ever you are inclined, please leave a brief review note on the book’s Amazon page. Amazon’s algorithms are much stimulated by a new review, and tend to promote the title. I hope all is well with you.
      Best wishes
      Harry

    • Hello Christopher: I’ve an anthology ‘Green Linnet’ on Amazon free until 29th. It has sea stories etc. It is here: A chance to glimpse the curious stories that I write.

  3. Charlie Brown says:

    Hello Harry,
    I just finished your two Memoir of the Sea books and really enjoyed them. Love your writing style. I came from a small rural town, had no money and joined the U.S. Navy at 17. I spent 9 months in Radio School, code 22 wpm, and in 1963 was assigned to the USS Norris DD859, a Destroyer. My experience as a Radioman was quite similar to yours as I went thru the Suez Canal, Red Sea, refueled in Aden and up the Persian Gulf to Iran, and many other ports. Your accounts of liberty (shore leave) in various ports brought back many memories as a young sailor without much money. If you think storms at sea are bad in a “large” merchant ship, try it in a “Tin Can”, about 300 ft long 30 ft wide. Boy do they roll.
    Thanks so much for two very fine books. I went on to a very fine career with the Government and am now retired.
    Charlie

    • Hello Charlie,
      I am delighted that you were moved to write – thank you for the affirmation. Writing can be a solitary pursuit, so it is heatwarming to hear from a reader, and also good to hear of your own career.
      After seagoing, I took work in early and primitive Video Tape recorders in commercial TV studios. That career lasted 30 years and closed with me as engineer in charge of Europe’s largest drama studio. I’m retired now and happy writing, making art enamels, and growing veg for the kitchen, near Whitby, in this blessed corner of North Yorkshire.
      I’ve just issued a revised version of an anthology: ‘Green Linnet’ – short stories etc. Now I’m back to vol 3 of the sea memoir, for which I don’t yet have a title.
      If you are ever inclined to post a brief review or comments on the memoirs on Amazon, please feel free. Amazon’s algorithm feeds hungrily on new reviews and promotes the book to readers it deems interested.
      Take good care in these strange times.
      regards
      Harry

    • Hello Charlie. I’ve a free anthology ‘Green Linnet’ free for download until 29th. After a digital struggle, I’ve managed to upload the proper version of ‘Green Linnet’. The ebook anthology is free to download until Thursday. A chance to glimpse the curious stories that I write.

  4. Theodore Pitsios says:

    Hello Harry, I have just finished reading both of your Merchant Marine memoirs. As a fellow ex-mariner of a somewhat later vintage (I sailed as an engineer 1961-67), I’d like to say how much I enjoyed your books, and how much of your account rang true to my own experiences. My first ship was an American-built Liberty and my last a Canadian-built Liberty also, with turbine and diesel propelled ships in between. When stopped sailing I started a ship-repair company which kept me in touch with the world of ships and ships’ crews. I must say we have been fortunate to sail at the time we did when things were relatively peaceful the working conditions not as harsh as during the previous generation and our stay in port was more than the few hours of the present day. Now, in retirement I’ve published three books in which most of the content is derived from the sea experience.
    Best wishes for a Healthy and Gratifying New Year.
    All the best,
    Theodore Pitsios

    • Splendid to hear from you, Theodore. I’m under the weather with covid this last week, so you have cheered me up. Yes, we had the best of times in our seafaring – I could do it all again. I went from the radio room into early TV studio engineering and ops, and did well, ending up in charge of the biggest drama studio in Europe – life at sea in our formative years did equip us well for the future.
      I’m pleased to know you are still writing – it is a stimulating pursuit that probes the creative mind and keeps it young. Once I complete my series of memoir I’d like to return to historical fiction saga – I miss Tom Fleck and his adventures.
      Keep safe and well.
      Harry

  5. Paul says:

    I really enjoyed both your seagoing memoirs Harry. I spent just five years at sea in the mid Seventies as an engineer with BP but so much of your experience chimes with mine., though runs ashore were few and far between on a tanker. It was great to discover that the dreadnought kit wasn’t a figment of my memory, either, no-one I’ve mentioned it to believes it existed. When I left the sea I went to the upstream oil business and a few years later was running some of these cities in the sea that will soon be history; all the challenges of a ship without the propeller. Many now being scrapped in Hartlepool, of course.

    • Thank you, Paul. Writing is a solitary pursuit and so it brings a rush of warmth to have a response from a reader. Book 3 is two-thirds complete and may be in print by the summer if all goes well.
      Re the rigs – we’ll be driving to Hartlepool this weekend, so I’ll look out for what is berthed in Graythorpe drydock. They keep busy. Brocklebanks often used that drydock – it was delight to catch the bus for home every night.
      best wishes
      Harry Nicholson
      Sleights
      Whitby

  6. Clive Kaine says:

    Hello Harry, I have just finished reading both of your Merchant Navy memoirs. As a fellow R/O of a somewhat later vintage (1971-81), I’d like to say how much I enjoyed your books, and how much of your account rang true to my own experiences 10 years or so later. I left the sea in 1981 because I could see the writing on the wall for the British merchant fleet, and I count myself lucky to have enjoyed the last few years of the golden age of British shipping. I look forward to the next instalment of your memoir and wish you all the best.
    73 om, tu and see u

    • Hello, Clive. Thank you for the positive comments on the memoirs, your message has lifted my spirits. I’m encouraged to continue with the third book – which is up to chapter nine so far. The writing of it is not as straightforward as book one – I must try to make it work as a stand-alone and at the same time give enough backstory for it to be a sensible sequel to the first two books.
      I left the sea to plunge into the beginnings of ITV in London, where other Sparks had gone before. Our ability to work alone and not waste resources was sought after. It seemed sensible at the time – but there has been nothing to equal my days at sea. As you say, it was the golden age.

  7. Sherry Marr says:

    Harry, I just looked back and saw you visited my blog………how lovely to see you! Congratulations on your books . Good for you to be producing something during these stressful days! I applaud you! Stay safe, kiddo!

  8. Jim Muir Ex Port Line 1960-1965 says:

    Harry, there are a number comments on the ship and Lt Mann you mention in your post on Ships Nostalgia on the net under the heading “Sandakan Death Camps” Regards Jim Muir

    • Thank you, Jim. I’ll investigate those. The manuscript for ‘One Jump Ahead’ is on the point of publication, but no doubt new sources will arise.
      best wishes
      Harry

  9. Hilary says:

    Harry I am writing on behalf of John Harrison, a 101 year old academic, SOAS London, whose field is South Asia. He has just finished The Best Of Days with great enjoyment and interest and was wondering if you have published the second half of your memoirs of life in the merchant navy – in volume, article or programme form?
    His own first studies were of the Portuguese as shippers around the African Coast, Persian Gulf, Goa, Cylon, Indonesia and China. (Based upon work in the Portuguese archives from Damao to Macao)

    • Hello Hilary. I’m honoured to have a reader of such distinction, and one who is twenty years older than me. I’m half-way to completing a sequel to ‘Best of Days’, though it may not be finished until early next year. Perhaps I could send you a file of the opening couple of chapters that he could read meanwhile, content that could be printed off for him.

      I note his interest in historical matters Portuguese — My first publication was “Tom Fleck”, a novel set in Northern England in 1513, it includes a refugee family from Portugal. The sequel to ‘Tom Fleck’ is ‘The Black Caravel’, a sea story (of 1536) which also has Portuguese content.
      best wishes
      Harry Nicholson

  10. Hilary says:

    Harry I am writing on behalf of John Harrison, a 101 year old academic, SOAS London, whose field is South Asia. He has just finished The Best Of Days with great enjoyment and interest and was wondering if you have published the second half of your memoirs of life in the merchant navy – in volume, article or programme form?
    His own first studies were of the Portuguese as shippers around the African Coast, Persian Gulf, Goa, Cylon, Indonesia and China. (Based upon work in the Portuguese archives from Damao to Macao)

  11. jguenther5 says:

    Happy New Year, Harry.

  12. fairwinz says:

    Hallo Harry. Congratulations on your creative stuff. High quality and standard, if I may say so!

    I have a WordPress site called banklineonline.com, and have also written a memoir book called ” Any Budding Sailors?” which is both an ebook and a print version via create space. Also have a love of writing poetry but have yet publish a volume. Don’t imagine poetry sells very well, although there is a lot of interest on line. I am always struggling a bit with the technology, and admired your efforts which are so professional.

    all the very best/Alan

    • Good morning, Alan. My compliments on your work to preserve memories of The Bank Line (I often observed those vessels standing off obscure eastern ports, and wondered about the adventures they would have.
      On poetry, it seems there are more poets than buyers of poetry books; but that is no reason to hold off our creative urge. My own collection ‘Wandering About’ finds a couple of new readers each year; possibly curious after reading one of my novels.
      I’ve become fascinated by memoir, and feel it worthy of much more than the recording of bare fact.

      This is good: http://www.writersdigest.com/whats-new/10-ways-to-tell-if-your-story-should-be-a-memoir-or-a-novel.

  13. Dolores Davis says:

    Fragments of Tom’s world is a delightful insight into the ancient roots of Northern England. As an American possessing a modicum of muddled English heritage, i find your storytelling touching and entertaining …

    • Thank you, Dolores. It still feels ancient away from the roads and particularly at night. I’d be a touch nervous in the dark among the standing stones on the moor above this house. My forebears have been around this region since at least 1570 and, considering the surnames, probably much longer . . . so I feel at home.

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