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)

Keys to Success

The 4 C’s

Friday 25th August 2017

Keys to success are simple; Confidence, Commitment, Control and Communication.

 Confidence: Knowing what to expect and how and why things are done will add to your awareness and usually make you feel more prepared and ultimately more confident. Learning and gaining knowledge will sometimes make you feel less confident about your abilities to perform roles and tasks, when this happens you need to combine your knowledge with experience. By doing something you have learned you then put that theory into practice which then develops your confidence and adds to the learning and comprehension.

Commitment: Is defined as the act of binding yourself to a course of action. It is the feeling of the responsibility that you as a person has towards the mission and goals of the company. When you as an individual has commitment, you’re more likely to perform tasks and responsibilities that will help you achieve your objectives.

Control: For years, you may have been vying to position yourself or your business for success, could be just to be more respected, appreciated and cared for. However, your goal may be evading you, driving you to feel like a failure. If this is how you feel or think, then I invite you to think long and hard at the situation you’re presently in.

Communication: Is the ability to communicate your information accurately, clearly and as intended, it is a vital life skill and something that you should not overlook. It’s never too late to work on your communication skills and by doing so improve your quality of life. Professionally, if you’re applying for jobs or looking for a promotion with your current employer, you will almost certainly need to demonstrate effective communication skills. communication skills are needed to speak appropriately with a wide variety of people whilst maintaining good eye contact, demonstrate a varied vocabulary and tailor your language to your audience, listen effectively, present your ideas appropriately, write clearly and concisely, and work well in a group. Many of these are essential skills that employers seek.

Moving on with your life is what I am supposing is something that you want, if your intention is to move into a leadership role then the above four C’s are very important. If I was to number them in any order; no one would be COMMUNICATION this to me is what denotes quality leadership.



Thursday 24th August 2017

What is visualisation? It is the ability to by one person to focus on a destination, end goal or the desire to win/be successful. Do you want to achieve more? Create more? Accomplish anything you set your mind to? Become the person you know you can be? Firstly, write your visualisation down This is absolutely the key. The whole point behind writing down what you are going to visualise is that it gives you a structure, a plan to work with and come back too when you need to reappraise were you are. So, by taking a few minutes to write down your visualisation first will really help you to stay on track and keep you focussed of the end game.


However, you do need to know your goals before you start and I mean really know your goals and what you’re really wanting, the ones that excite you and drive you. the most and all the ones that thrust you into action. When visualising, you don’t even have to have faith that this is how you will act tomorrow, or the day after, or next month. If you continue to practice, this will take care of itself.

When you’re absorbing the knowledge on how to visualise, make a point of deliberately visiting past experiences; experiences that have held you back in the past. Have you raised the point with anyone before, visualise yourself in front of a crowd talking enthusiastically and powerfully? Look at the reaction of the audience, see how they react in your presence and notice how successfully you command their attention and respect. Altered memory visualisation is a technique that is focused on changing the past memories you have to a more positive outcome. This is especially useful for resolving memories that may have involved anger or resentment. Replay the scene in your mind, only replace the angry responses with more calm and controlled ones. It will take time to recreate the scene, but commit to doing this several times over. After a while, your brain will only remember the scene playing out as you have re-created it, and the uncomfortable memories of the actual event will fade away.



Tuesday 22nd August 2017

Change, is the one question that is always being brought up by my clients. I’ve found that a lot of people really do have a loathing to face change. However, the change we generally resist is the kind that we think will make the situation worse rather than better. We are happy to change jobs when it means higher pay with more influence. So, it’s not change in general that we loathe; it’s the change that involves physical, emotional or psychological loss. Change is both inevitable and necessary. If everything stays the same, nothing is growing. We must learn to embrace change with our arms wide-open.

Very often you probably feel you’re failing at what you are doing, it may well be the negative thinking you’re having about yourself. Any type of thinking that leads to negative consequences. It can be hard to recognise negative thinking sometimes. You need to identify your negative thinking first and take that step towards changing your life for the better. Unfortunately, the truth is that most people are given to making negative affirmations. When you think repeatedly that you are not going to succeed in a project, it is a negative affirmation. Affirmations, both negative and positive impact the neurological functioning of the brain.

A fantastic way to change your thoughts is to appreciate and enjoy what you already have. I am not suggesting that you should not want for a better life. Enjoy whatever amount of success you have achieved instead of feeling sad about what you have not been able to achieve. There is nothing wrong with aiming to reach a higher benchmark or stretching to reach greater goals.

However, failure to reach them should not spoil your enjoyment of what you already have. It is one thing to achieve your goal; it is another to enjoy it after you have achieved it. It is impossible to change the world around you. So, stop fretting when people do not come up to your expectations. The best course is to change yourself or at least adjust with the people or situations you do not like.

Effective collaboration


Effective collaboration

Monday 21st August 2017

Effective collaboration depends on providing the right tools and the correct environment. Highly effective organisations really value effective collaboration. However, it’s not just about removing office walls and going over to open plan; there is a balance to be achieved as not all employees work well in such an open environment. Nowadays, the emphasis is more on allowing employees to collaborate whenever and wherever they need to. Sometimes, you need to get your head down away from colleagues for brain space to complete that vital project. Encouraging effective collaborative in the workplace helps you and the business leverage the resources you have available. Those resources are your employees. When you and your team collaborate effectively, you can be productive and stay motivated while working on team projects.

Collaboration helps people feel like they are part of a team and play a significant role in the success of the company, while feeling supported by the other team members. Charles Darwin once said: “It is the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) those who learn to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed.”

Collaboration joins the efforts of team members to share their perspectives and opinions to create an expanded vision of the problem or mission at hand. This effort should produce solutions and achievements that are greater than anyone could produce individually. Although methods to introduce collaboration into an organisation often begin and end with the deployment of software, collaboration requires a much stronger foundation. Software by itself is not characteristic of effective collaboration. Methods of collaboration that are effective work with individuals, personal and team work ethics, organisational culture, team management, and organisational values and goals to produce exceptional results. If any of these characteristics of effective collaboration are lacking, executives and managers can take steps to improve collaboration methods.

Visualise change


Friday 18th August 2017

Visualise change, it doesn’t matter what you want to do with your life, someone at some time throughout history has desired and achieved the same thing. However, providing your visions and dreams are possible and you visualise the change and of course you, yourself have what it takes to make that change happen, you will succeed. This is something I say when I guide people through a visualisation process. A great many people think they can’t visualise because they think everyone else sees in high definition (HD). Trust me, they don’t.

Visualising change is the thought that you do that makes you think you’re doing it wrong. Most people just get a vague set of images. What matters most is your intention and that you’re not thinking that you’re doing it wrong.

I prefer the word, “imagine” rather than visualise, because we all imagine in our own way. When you imagine, you have images in your mind’s eye but they are rarely that clear. For me, it’s more a feeling and sensing thing.

When you first try to visualise, change is easier said than done, but regular practice and relaxing your body will go a long way to reducing your stress throughout your body, which must be a good thing for you! Meditation is also an effective way of relaxing the body as well. Physical exercise is also a safe way of relaxing. Eating a good diet can also help, a diet that is free of stimulants and excessive amounts of sugar and saturated fat.

The choice is yours, no one else’s!

Thursday 17th August 2017

In the post today I received a thank you card from Carol Pengelly, it was from “Sent out Cards”. So it’s so very nice to know there are others who believe in developing an attitude of saying thank you.  Giving thanks for everything that has happened, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better; after all the current situation has passed and we look forward to tomorrow. There is a variety of things that can conjure positive feelings of appreciation, or gratitude.

Gratitude, is just a well thought out Thank You, instead of a half-hearted, “Thanks,” often leaves people feeling pretty good. Perhaps there was a moment that you can reflect on, that involved strong feelings of thanks?

Gratitude is an emotion like appreciation that most people are familiar with. What many people don’t know is that it plays a significant role in several historical movements, and that gratitude is now becoming an important part of psychology research, and especially positive psychology research.

Most of us associate gratitude with saying “thank you” to someone who has helped us or given us a gift, support or done a job well which we are grateful for. From a scientific perspective, gratitude is not just an action. It is a positive emotion, which is important because it serves a purpose

Appreciation for all the good things that have happened in life, is an essential part of building happiness. When you’re going through a tough time it can be hard to remember to be grateful for the good things that have been given to you, but there is a stack of benefits that can be gained from working into your everyday life. Find out more about ways to increase your gratitude and your awareness of things you can be grateful for.