New book by member Captain Barry Thompson

Unfortunately this book is now out of print – May 2019


First published 2008 by The Bush Press for the author, this hardback book of 350 pages has 14 illustrations, and 14 line drawings of ships. It contains an extensive index of 2000 entries to assist reference.
Have you ever wondered what these expressions mean or where they come from?  ‘All hands and the cook’  ‘Going like a fiddler’s elbow’  ‘Worse things happen at sea’.
Many books have covered nautical language and customs, but this is the first that explores the little-known colloquial language of Britain’s Merchant Navy, when Britain was a great maritime nation with ships trading to almost every port in the world.
It’s not, however, just another book of professional nautical terms. Rather, this book preserves the everyday vernacular unique to merchant seamen — and describes the social customs and institutions around the world that helped shape their working life.
Covering the hundred years from 1875 to 1975, it is a fascinating work of social history as well as a reference book for seafarers past and present, libraries, writers of fact and fiction, researchers of maritime history, etymologists — anyone interested in the working language of those colourful men, and latterly women, who spent their lives at sea during the heyday of British shipping.
It’s an ideal present too for wives and sweethearts for their seafaring menfolk and to all with an interest and love of ships and the sea.

‘I am completely and utterly impressed by the range and depth of knowledge that the book contains. I am sure it will be an invaluable source of information’.
Captain J.M.R.Sail, MNI National Chairman of The Merchant Navy Association.

‘The British Merchant Navy had a great and proud history. The author has ensured that its everyday customs, language and expressions have been admirably recorded before they are lost forever with the steady decline of the Service. This book will bring back memories of a way of life that has long gone’.
Rory Smith. Retired Commodore P & O Cruises.

Obtainable by post.

In the UK. £18.50 plus £3.00 P & P.   Cheques payable to: M.D.Rushan

Captain M.D.Rushan,

17, The Croft, Bishopstone

Salisbury, Wilts. SP5 4DF     E-mail:

In New Zealand: NZ$49.95 incl. GST plus $4.75 P & P.  Cheques payable to C.B.Thompson

For postage to Australia: Add NZ$6.25

Captain C.B.Thompson

2/126 Selwyn Avenue

Mission Bay, Auckland. 1071     E-mail:

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2 Responses to New book by member Captain Barry Thompson

  1. Marie Johnson says:

    A gentleman has tried to obtain a copy of “All Hands and the Cook” by sending a cheque to Captain C B Thompson at the above address. As he has had no reply would you please advise if this book is still available.

  2. My apologies for the delay in responding.
    Unfortunately the book is out of print and Captain Thompson has no copies left.
    He moved from the address above some time ago and email has also changed.
    Please pass on his apologies to the ‘gentleman’.
    Barry advises that very occasionally a copy will appear on Trademe.
    Gen. Secretary

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