Jomo's World

Hi peeps, names John Morrish better known as JohnnyMo in the UK, and as JoMo out here in Thailand.

When I decided to learn to build websites back around 98/99, the first thing I needed was content. After pondering a while I realised that the one subject I didn't have to research was myself. Now this might appear to be a bit self-indulgent, but it left me free to discover how web pages were constructed & linked together and so over time, Jomo's World took shape and evolved. When I learnt to build 'dynamic' database driven sites in 2011 I decided it was an ideal opportunity to chronicle my life and to acknowledge the influence that so many good friends have had on it. Thanks to all of you, you all helped shaped my life.

Having been born in Oldchurch Hospital Romford Essex in May 1951 I spent my first 5 years at Harold Hill, before moving to Wickford in 1956. I attending Irvon Hill Infants, Market Road Juniors & Beauchamps Secondary Modern before leaving school at 15. Did the usual rounds of local factory & London office jobs before joining the Merchant Navy at 16 as Laundry Boy. After eight months I came ashore only to rejoin in 1973.  I spent a further five years at sea and after leaving, joined the Fire Service six months later in 1978. For the most part I led a normal humdrum kind of life. Got married, got divorced, in and out of relationships etc the decided that the freedom a single life gave suited me better and stayed that way for nearly 25 years.

Aged 39, I spent a weekend away in Newquay with the lads of White Watch Colchester where I learnt to surf. I was never going to be on Baywatch but it made me realize that things that appeared at first glance to be the domain of the rich & gifted were achievable if only I put my mind to it. There were so many things I had fancied trying that I felt that if I didn't make a start, then one day it might be too late. Since then I have enjoyed paragliding, hangliding, microlighting, biking, drag racing, sailing, and had a dabble at skiing, snowboarding and kayaking.

Having retired from the fire service at 52 I now live in Thailand, enjoy walking, cycling and working out every day tfor the body and Forex trading for the mind.

So a warm welcome to Jomo's World and hope you enjoy the site. 

SS Oronsay


SS Oronsay was built for the Orient Line and was named after an island off the West coast of Scotland.

Oronsay was officially delivered on the 3rd of May, 1951 at Tilbury, Essex and on the same day just 15 miles away, I was born in Oldchurch Hospital, Romford.

23 years later I signed on for a 6 month voyage but only discovered the connection many years later with the advent of the internet. By then Orient Line had become the P&O Line (Penninsular & Orient Line).

On May 16th 1951 she set sail from Tilbury on her maiden voyage to Australia via the Suez Canal, arriving Sydney on 18th June.



Built by Vickers Armstrong in Barrow in Furness at a gross tonnage of 28,000 tons, her keel was laid down in 1949 and she was launched on Friday 30th of June, 1950.



On the 28th of October during fitting out, a fire broke out in the cork insulation of Number 2 hold. Due to fire fighting efforts, the ship developed a 20 degrees list and was in danger of capsiing and so a decision was made to cut a hole in the hull to let the water flow out. 

It took fire fighters 3 days to extinguish the fire.

Her completion was only setback by eight weeks and on April 29th & 30th 1951, she undertook her speed trials in the Clyde reaching a creditable 23.23 knots



Oronsay was 708 feet long, had a beam of 94 feet and a draught of 31 feet. Her twin screws were powered by two Parsons marine steam turbines producing a total 42,500 horsepower.



Oronsay originally carried 668 First Class passengers, 883 Tourist Class passengers.

In 1972 she was converted to take 1,400 one class passengers.

Oronsay carried 622 crew.



After 24 years service, Oronsay was sold to the Nan Feng Steel Enterprise Company of Taiwan where she arrived on 7th October 1975 and was broken up soon after.


For more information on SS Oronsay, take a look at


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Laundry Boy

In January 1968 I joined the Merchant Navy as a Laundry Boy and spent 8 months on the Royal Mail Line ships SS Andes and MV Arlanza.

My first cruise on the Andes took us down West Africa, round the Cape and across the Pacific to Ceylon, Singapore, Penang & Mauritius. We then headed back to South Africa before crossing the South Atlantic to Brazil then returned home via Madeira.

Read more: Laundry Boy

Fire Fighter

In February 1978 I joined Essex County Fire & Rescue Service. 

I spent 18 years at Basildon on White Watch, a further year on the Green before transferring to White Watch Canvey for quieter life. After 5 years on the Island I joined Orsett Training Centre as a Breathing Apparatus Instructor.

During the last of my 3 years at Orsett, I sustained a knee injury whist learning to ski in Andorra and was pensioned off 'unfit for duty' after 26 years of service.

To be honest I was more than happy to go as the Fire Service at that time was going through a very unsettled period.

Fire-fighters were on a national strike, there were threats to the pension, talk of raising retirement age, shift pattern changes, etc. etc. etc.

The future was not looking good and many of those fears have proved to be well founded.

With all that was looming it was gift to get out early. 

I had a great time in the job, made many good friends over the years and can honestly say I looked forward to going on duty every shift.

How many jobs can you say that about?

I could only serve a maximum of 28 years but retiring early on a Sub Officers salary made up for the shortfall and so I received the equivalent of a full 30 year fire-fighters pension.

I retired at 52 having enjoyed what I think were the best years in the service.  

Happy Days!