Ernie describes sailing underneath the Suspension Bridge for the first time

Photo credit: Bristol Archives:  40826/SUS/2

13-year-old Ernie had a run-in with his woodwork master one day at school. He ran away and down to the sand and gravel stores near to the General Hospital where he leaned over the bridge, watching the working docks. There, he came across some men from Scandinavia drinking in the Ostrich Inn. They were working on a whaler, and had stopped off in Bristol for stores (and a drink).


The men were also looking for a ship's boy to join them on their chaser.


It would be years before he saw his parents again! Here he talks about his travels around the world, and remembers sailing under the Suspension Bridge and seeing the Avon Gorge rocks from the water for the first time.

Ernie's story was recorded by A. C. H. Smith during his research for the much-loved play Up the Feeder, Down the Mouth