Self-discipline should be considered as a type of selective training; it’s creating new habits of thought, action and of course speech. This naturally will help towards improving what you do, it will also help when reaching for those visions, dreams, desires, and goals you’ve been striving toward.

Self-discipline can be task oriented and is very selective, it is one of the last steps you take when bringing together all that you have learned and more importantly that you have put into practice. You should view self-discipline as an incredibly positive strength, rather than one of denial. This will be a trait that for most of you may have to be developed. It is something we all need because it is a vital characteristic of entrepreneurial and successful people. Why? Basically, nothing easy appears as it seems, there will always be unforeseen problems and challenges in the direction and path you have chosen and the visions and goals you’re after achieving.

To keep on overcoming setbacks, you must persevere and be strong. One of my recent “Thought for the Day” stated it quite well; “Set your goals high and don’t stop trying till you get there.” If you have any sort of problem you must persevere and be strong, excessive habits foster very low-esteem and result in a lack of confidence. If you do suffer from any obsessions and find difficulty in controlling yourself, you may blame or punish yourself. The reverse can also be true, low self-esteem will cause some of the problems; this of course is the vicious circle. 

Stand Up For Yourself words on a sign held by a single man or person in a crowd to illustrate being a rebel or going on strike to protect your rights and justice

Assertiveness and Bullying…

Building your self-confidence, self-esteem and assertiveness is not as difficult as you may think. Normal people do not generally want to try to transform into being a more assertive or dominant person. When I have been talking to my mentees and clients about them wanting to become more assertive in themselves, what they really want is to know how they can resist the pressures and dominance of other people they are meeting face to face with every day, how do they stand up to the bullies I am meeting every day in work and outside work?  How will I be able to exert a little more control in situations that are particularly important to them. 

I have found that assertiveness or dominance for the sake of being dominant is not generally a natural behaviour with most people. People are not naturally assertive; they tend to be passive by nature, whereas highly dominant people tend to be driven by their personality and very often their insecurity.

For anyone seeking to be more assertive it will help to understand a typical personality and the motivation of excessively dominant people, who by the way are the cause and worry to the large proportion of non-assertive people. 

I feel it would be helpful at this point to explain the difference between good leadership and dominant leadership:

  • Good leadership is very inclusive, it is a developing force that is right and correct; good leadership leads from the front and it does not dominate non-assertive people. However, it embraces them and involves them in forward-thinking and management decision making.
  • Dominance as a management style is very ruthless and should never be allowed under any circumstances within modern business in 2020. It is typically based on short-term rewards and results, mainly for the benefit of the dominant leader. They frequently fail to take into account totally any member of the team and generally ride rough-shod over their employee’s ideas and abilities, completely forgetting the latent potential they have around them in their workforce.

Change for the better

Monday 1st June 2020

Change for the better is about you! It’s about the details of your life, the specific environment, your desires, dreams and aspirations as well as your motivation in striving to fulfil a full and healthy life. You must understand that your life is a journey taking one day at a time but planned into the future, so one way to change for the better is to accept that there are many things that are out of control. However, what is in your control is your attitude, resilience, perspective and how you react to situations that life throws at you.

Success in life and in business, requires constant re-appraisal, change and development; it should always be treated “as a work in progress”. Therefore, the past must be erased, it is gone, there is nothing you can do about it, forgotten and discarded completely. Your future should be worked at and you should start planning where you want to go and how you will reach it. Your need to embrace the view of yourself in relation to past events in your life as well as your attitude towards what is happening around you to. It means taking responsibility for the things in your life by managing the problems by finding solutions to enable you to sort them out; not brush them under the counter. You can begin to change for the better by standing tall and face all your adversities with a new vigour of the new YOU.

You feel as though you have no control of your life which if not checked will lead to stagnation, depression, helplessness and perhaps hopelessness.  To change your life and not feeling so stuck ask yourself; are you living your life or is your life ruling you? There are people who have negative thoughts about themselves when life does not work out the way they want or imagined. It is a normal reaction but that does not mean it can’t be changed

We are now 5 months into 2020; how is your 2020 plan working out? Have looked to the future and changed your ideas?

Draw inspiration and meet people who also are in the same boat. You can join one of my Zoom Networking Groups:

Tuesday           2nd June 2020 Zoom

Wednesday       3rd June 2020 Zoom

Tuesday 28th November 20117

Perception is something we all have, but sometimes use to the wrong effect. What do I mean by that? Well, firstly we must understand that we, “only have about 8 seconds to make a first impression”; we don’t have a second opportunity; therefore, our first impression makes a lasting impact that is almost impossible to shake off. It is related to a phenomenon called the “Halo Effect” which describes a cognitive bias when you are judging others in front of you, their dress, demeanour, attitude or just general appearance. In other words, the person’s character is influenced by your first impression about them. Unfortunately, your initial perception is the one thing you carry through with when making that initial perception into the future, whether it’s a positive or a negative one, warranted or not.


If your choice is a negative first impression, it does become difficult to change it to a positive one. These false impressions are often the reasons why you can be fooled by nuisance or unwarranted phone calls and innocent people are wrongly accused of terrible things. Everything is perception; it’s all you have. You think you are viewing your life through a camera lens, recording the events you see before you. However, everything you’re witnessing is being filtered through your own thoughts, beliefs and all you’re experiencing at that snap-shot of time.


You should also understand that “Sensation and Perception” are interrelated by a process developed throughout your life. Although having a close relationship, sensation and perception have distinct qualities that differentiate one from the other. Sensation is when a sensory receptor is stimulated, producing nerve impulses that travel to the brain, which in turn interprets such impulses as a visual image, a sound, taste, odour, touch, or pain. The physical stimulus present in the environment emits energy that is absorbed by a sensory organ (known as transduction), causing sensation.

Perception refers to the occurrence when your brain performs organisation of information it obtains from your neural impulses, and then begins the process of translation and interpretation. It is a vital process that helps you rationalise or make sense of the information related to the physical stimulus. Perception occurs when your brain processes information to give meaning to it, by means of emotions, memories, etc.


You must be careful, not to stereotype your perceptions and become influenced by an array of factors; they will include labels based on age, sex, ethnic background, sexual orientation, social status, religion and many other factors as well. These stereotypical facts may have been learned though your childhood listening to your parents and peers and can be very difficult to overcome and therefore shake off. They lead to inaccurate and in some cases unfounded assumptions, so please; you must look at the evidence and give an unbiased opinion. Selective perception or tunnel vision occurs when you only have a few facts to focus on and you simultaneously ignore or minimise all others; often occurring when you are trying to solve a problem or when you meet someone for the first time.


There are times when a self-fulfilling prophecy occurs when you have some internal expectation and subconsciously set up your environment into fulfilling it. You can be either negative or positive about it, which will directly influence your interaction with those around you. For instance, if you feel you’re a failure then you may not put a great deal of effort into a successful completion of a task or, indeed life. After all, if you think failure you only reinforce that negative perception of yourself.

On the other hand, if you think positively about what you want to achieve you will find that as you are attempting to complete the task you are exuding positive vibes around you and are more likely to finish the task or reach the goal you’re striving for.

The Sinking of “S.S. Somali”, on the 25th March 1941.

Seahouses, Northhumberlad Coast.

The holiday began with a slow start and grey skies and a heavy sea. Due to refitting the boat that had been booked by organiser, Dereck Shearsmith Leeds Branch, was not available, but our worthy D.O. unknown to many of the diver spent a lot of his holiday time arranging alternative boats, and in view of the heavy demand for boats by ordinary holiday makers for trips to the Farne Island he is to be complimented on being able to procure the boats at such short notice.

On the Saturday evening, approximately 75 NORFED members and families attended the Beadnall Hotel for their weekly dinner dance. During the dance a raffle was arranged by Derek Shearsmith; with one prize a bottle of local Landisfarne Mead present by Stan the manager of the hotel. The other prizes were presented by the NORFED Chairman who also welcomed the divers especially the two couple from Halifax Branch, Mr & Mrs Tommy Tomlinson, who had just got married and were spending their honeymoon at the hotel. It is rumoured that when asked if he wanted the bottle filling, Tom asked it to be refilled with oxygen!

On the Monday the seas were settling down and the D.O. arranged a dive on the Pinnacles, Farne Island. However, there was a steady rolling swell, but NORFED divers showed what they are made of, and it didn’t look too good floating on the surface!!

The next day had a glorious blue sky, hot sun and a sea that was like a mill pond. A dive was arranged on a wreck owned by Harry Hemsley and Doug Hamer of Leeds Branch; the “Samali” which lies approximately two miles offshore in about 100ft of water at high water slack. Fortunately for the divers, a local fisherman had fouled his lobster pots on the wreck, so it was easy to locate. The dive was commenced at slack water and 12 divers slipped over the side in pairs through the clear water down to the wreck which is in one piece. Many photographs were taken of the two orlican guns on the pool deck, now looking all forlorn and encrusted with barnacles. Most divers had a look at the propeller which so far had resisted all blasting efforts to remove it. For many of the divers it was their first wreck dive and they were fortunate to find such perfect conditions; this dive made up for all the earlier poor diving conditions they faced.

Any branches intending to visit the Farne Islands are recommended to contact the NORFED D.O. for boat hire, and air is available from Harry Hemsley who has a compressor at Beadnall Hall Hotel.

S.S. Somali was making steady progress up the Northumberland coast, laden with cargo valued at valued at over a million pounds and bound for China. She was to join a convoy but, before making her rendezvous she was spotted by a sharp-eyed German bomber pilot. During the attack, the ship was set on fire and unable to extinguish the blaze the Captain reluctantly gave the order to abandon ship.

However, the Somali was not finished and drifted for a couple of days refusing to sink. It was decided to take her in tow and attempt to beach her. A salvage crew were assured she carried no explosives and it would be safe to be on board; a destroyer took over the listing ship in tow and started the voyage to shore towards Seahouses, in the wake followed two local lifeboats; just in case.

Approximately three miles off-shore, when the crew were congratulating themselves for saving the ship, a terrific explosion ripped a hole forward on the Somali and tragically, in full view of the locals lining the shore, she slipped beneath the waves to Davey Jones’s Locker, into 100ft of water.

The blast broke many windows in the village of Beadnall and the poor salvage crew who were standing aft, were all blown over the stern of the Somali into the water and over the two lifeboats following her. Amazingly, they were all alive and were picked up by the lifeboats!

The column of smoke that ascended was said to resemble the mushroom shape that was later associate with the atom bomb. Some of the locals have pictures of the ship in her last death. (See below)!

For many the Somali lay on the bottom; a twisted and blacken wreck with her superstructure missing and her giant screw now silent. The only visitors were cod, conger and the seals from the nearby Farne Island. Almost forgotten and unwanted until, one day, that well-known, likable, NORFED diver from Leeds Branch Harry Hemsley, paid the old lady a visit. Harry, along with two other members of Leeds Branch, Dougie Hamer and John Ingle, they had recently formed a salvage company and were working full-time. Harry had previously been told that the screw was iron but, he intended to find out for certain. The gleam in his eyes when a few scrapes with a knife revealed BRASS- tons of it.

After many letters, telephone conversations and trips to London, the lads had completed negotiations with the insurers and were now shipowners.

A 35ft. local boat with a roomy cabin was purchased and fitted with a 2-to-1 ratio lifting winch and compressor, and salvage soon commenced.


The Heinkel 111 bomber slid out of the cloud hanging over the Northumberland coast to score three direct hits on the hay-filled No3 hold of the “S.S. Somali, on the 25th March 1941.




A nuclear bomb? No, it is the P&O Steamship “Somali”, she was carrying various cargo, as well as possibly explosives, (which may explain the massive force of the explosion) which exploded after being torpedoed offshore between Seahouses and Beadnell, during WW11 1941.





June 71


What is a Federation?

Article in The News & Views February 1970

By: Ken Crow, Harrogate Branch BSAC

An easy question to put but, not an easy one to answer, since the intangible part of such an organisation depends upon the personality of its members. However, two recent events served to remind me of the value of the organisation we are frequently in danger of taking for granted.

The first was the result of reading a note in a diving magazine (outside our area). The item commented that such and such a branch held a social evening and took the “unusual” step of visiting other local branches personally to invite members which was considered “so much better than the usual brief letter to branch secretaries” (the quotation marks are mine). When I think of the successful events like East Lancs. Hot-pot Suppers, Leeds Fancy Dress, Blackpool Socials, etc., on is entitled to a certain amount of incredulity at such comments.

The second event occurred at this year’s Norfed Whitsun dive at Trearddur Bay. Diving with us was a young man from London who was quite surprised that branches should dive together in this manner, in which a diving party could consist of seven or eight different branches, he added that where he came from people only dived with their own branch. Even allowing a little for flattery, etc, this intermingling of branches was obviously unusual enough to promote some comment from our friend and, yet the activities were only what one would normally accept as perfectly usual.

These incidents are thankfully, relative small and yet it is just the accumulations of such incidents that makes our organisation what it is. I am sure you can recall similar incidents if you try.


Ken Crow, Harrogate Branch. (What is a Federation? A Federation is the sum of the individual personalities within it. Do not forget that, it is what makes OUR NORFED Federation so unique)


Friday 15th September 2017

The real story of NORFED started back in 1955, when leaders of the BSAC, Huddersfield Branch suggested that there might be a closer affiliation between Branches in the North of England and branches in the South of England, apart from the joint expeditions that are taking place. One good point would be that the “Northern Branches” might hold an annual dinner which could be organised for the benefit of those Northern Branch members who now find it difficult as well as impractical to keep going to London.

(Neptune Magazine August 1955)

Northern Branches get Together

On a dull overcast day 45 divers met at Devils Bridge, Kirkby Lonsdale for the largest free-diving meeting ever held in the North of England. Branches represented were:

Merseyside-Blackpool-Leeds-Sunderland-Huddersfield were all in the party.

(Reported in Neptune Magazine January 1956)