Portrait: Steve Bingham
by Robert Hannaford

#14

Steve Bingham

Steve is a retired seafarer based in Hobart from Hull, UK. He first went to sea at age 12 with his Dad, he remembers the joy and excitement of the weeks when his dad was due back home. He would wait by the shore and run alongside the ship. His dad would be away at sea for weeks at a time, but only ever home for a couple of days at a time.

Steve ran amock around the world as a young man during the heyday of the industry, living the dream life, girl in every port etc. He’s worked on all sorts of vessels from fishing trawlers to pirate radio. Steve remembers the industry before containerisation, when there were crews of 30-40 men, hundreds of waterside workers at every port. Now the ports are empty. It used to take two weeks to unload the cargo. Now the crew is down to 12-13 people and the cargo is unloaded overnight. Steve says conditions have improved in terms of accommodation, but in terms of camaraderie, it’s all changed.
Eventually he and 3 mates all jumped ship together in Tassie and managed to marry 4 sisters. Steve distils his own whiskey and is still very skilled at traditional rope work. Retired, he now looks after his wife who is unwell.
He does miss going to sea; “I’d do it all again from day one, and I wish I could.


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