Tributes paid to Master Mariner Bryan Collinson, 86

Bryan Collinson on his wedding day with Romey

Bryan Collinson on his wedding day with Romey

First published in News
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TRIBUTES have been paid to a York man whose adventurous career in shipping took him and his family across the world.

Bryan Collinson, who was born in the city in 1927, died in York Hospital on August 6, at the age of 86 after a battle with cancer.

Mr Collinson grew up in York and went to Poppleton Road school, where as a young boy he met and fell in love with his future wife Rosemary Whitwell, known as Romey.

As with many of their generation, the Second World War disrupted the couple's lives and Mr Collinson joined the Merchant Navy.

On his first voyage in 1945 when Mr Collinson was 17 years old, his ship, the Athel Viking, was torpedoed and sunk off the coast of Nova Scotia. While many of his crew mates did not survive, Mr Collinson made it onto a life raft and was rescued.

After the war, the couple married and in 1952 had their only child, John.

As his career progressed Mr Collinson became one of the youngest officers ever to get his ‘master’s ticket’ and his rank of Master Mariner took the family across the world.

It was in the 1970s that the couple were living in the Lebanon and one day, on a flight returning from a weekend in Damascus, their plane was diverted from Beirut airport. War had broken out, and the couple had to return immediately to England, leaving all their possessions behind.

Eventually Mr Collinson retired from shipping, and he and his wife returned to York where they worked with son and daughter-in-law John and Gilly, running first The Albert hotel on The Mount in York from 1982 and 1988, and later the Santralla retirement home in Scarborough. Their only grandson Jamie was born in 1985, and later followed in Mr Collinson footsteps by choosing a career that has also taken him across the world.

In 2011, after a difficult battle with cancer, Mrs Collinson died in St Catherine's Hospice.

Mr Collinson outlived his wife by three years, and his family have paid tribute to his as "always a mariner - a man of the sea".

Grandson Jamie added: "He had a good innings, and he had a grand life. He lifted the family from the poorer corners of York to a comfortable life by the ocean. He was a great sailor, and there was never a wilder captain than him on the sea."

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