Tributes Paid To Former Scillonian Captain

The Scillonian III

The Scillonian III

Dozens of islanders are expected to pay their respects today to the former master of the Queen of the Isles and the boats, the Scillonian II and Scillonian III.

Captain John Ashford passed away in hospital in Truro on Sunday the 13th of January.

John, who was 77, was a life-long friend and former colleague of islander John Nicholls.  John described him as, “a true Scillonian seafarer.”

Captain Ashford starting his working career in his family’s bakery and shop on St Mary’s where the Galley fish shop is today.

He worked with the Thompsons on their boats Nemo, Kingsley and Springfield before buying that boat.

After completing sea training at Warsash, he worked for the New Zealand Shipping Company. Later, following a desire to return home, John joined the Steamship Company and was in charge of overseeing the build of the current boat in Appledore.

John Nicholls says his friend, “was responsible for the great ship we have today” and he says that Captain Ashford’s biggest regret was that he wasn’t chosen to sail the boat to Scilly on her maiden trip.

He leaves a wife, Brenda, and daughters Anne, Bev and Lynne as well as four grandchildren.

The funeral service is at 2pm today (Thursday) at the Parish Church, followed by a cremation service on the mainland next Tuesday at 2pm at Pen Mount.