Since the age of 15, Bernard Keightley, now 71, has worked in shipyards all over the north of England. Life at the shipyard was hard, mostly because of lack of health and safety measures at the time, and subsequently Keightley’s memories are infused with tales of death.
Originally from Gateshead, a town on the river Tyne, Keightley describes his northeast childhood much like the docks – “tough”. There were highlights though. Keightley has fond memories of ships being built in the region that went all over the world. Then, about 30 years ago himself and his wife moved to Blyth after they were offered a house which only required a £10 deposit.
With a long line of family who have served in the British Army abroad, Keightley says he is “fairly patriotic”.
Watch the video below to hear his story in full: