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Albert Novelli

Also known as: Bert.


Picture of Albert Novelli.

Albert Christopher Novelli, who sadly passed away on 22 December 2009 aged 72 started his working life as a van boy for a Liverpool confectionery wholesaler delivering produce throughout the north west. As a ship lover, his favourite deliveries were the ones along Liverpool Dock Road and around the Birkenhead Float Docks, where lunchtime breaks were taken in cafes overlooking docks filled with ships from many long-gone shipping companies.
Albert eventually answered the call of the sea in 1954 and joined the Merchant Navy as a steward. Over the next ten years he served aboard several Cunard passenger vessels and cargo-passenger liners of Furness-Withy and Blue Funnel Line. In his early days he completed many voyages in the 1928 built Bothnia moving on to Ascania, and later to Franconia, finally serving on the Queens on the regular New York-Southampton run.
It was on Franconia that Albert first met fellow steward John Prescott (later to become a senior Labour party politician and Deputy Prime Minister) when they shared adjoining tables in the ship's Tourist Dining Room. They remained lifelong friends.
Returning to Liverpool wearing the latest American fashions, Albert and his fellow stewards were known as 'Cunard Yanks' by the young ladies in Merseyside dance halls of the 1950's. In the days of UK post-war austerity, many seafarers serving on the transatlantic liners lived the high life in New York during their six day stopovers, a stark contrast to the long working hours and hard living conditions they experienced on board ship.
In 1964 Albert left the sea and took to the skies with B. E. A (later to become British Airways) as a cabin steward. Never without his camera Albert's first port of call was always to the nearest dock to photograph ships, and over the years he amassed a huge collection of thousands of slides and digital images.
An active member of the World Ship Society, Albert gave dozens of illustrated lectures and his last talk was to a group on board Fred Olsen's Balmoral just two weeks before his death.

He is sadly missed by his wife Ruth, Alan Carol Ed Gaby and grandchildren Lauren and Sophie.

Added by: Ruth Novelli on 24 February 2010.



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Picture of Albert Novelli.
Picture of Albert Novelli.
Picture of Albert Novelli.
 

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