John Gibson: Real raft of memories from cap’n

Captain Nick Bates. Pic: Comp
Captain Nick Bates. Pic: Comp
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Will the house band (in fact they don’t have one) at the Royal Scots Club in Abercromby Place go down with the ship playing God Save the Queen?

Captain Nick Bates is guest speaker there on April 3 and he has vowed to keep the club afloat.

Nick, pictured below, will regale members and guests with light-hearted recollections of a lifetime on the ocean waves. Got his master’s ticket in 1975 and a kenspeckle career with the Cunard Line that lasted 35 years and climaxed with the captaincy of the Queen Mary 2. He retired in 2010. Hear all about it come April. Starts 7.30 and the and seafood dinner costs £33 a pew.

Musical notes

A voyage round their fathers. I knew drummer Clark Tracey’s keyboards genius dad, Stan, who has died, and Alec Dankworth, son of the late, illustrious John.

And I was a bandstand groupie of the Basil Kirchin Band at the Fountainbridge Palais when Stan Tracey was their pianist. Gives me untold satisfaction to impart this useless information.

All change

While they’ve kept changing the guard at Buckingham Palace, again they’ve been rearranging the furniture at the BBC. Robert Peston, or “Pesto” as he is affectionately known in every takeaway on the Old Kent Road, has become the Corporation’s economics editor (increased wages?), replacing Steph Flanders, who blanks colleagues who shout “Big Steph” at her.

They do love their titles down there. Kamal Ahmed, a journo at the Observer and Guardian, is stepping into Pesto’s moccasins.