It was the 15th November 1958 and a thick fog had descended along the Eastern Scottish coastline. Visibility at St Abbs Head, Berwickshire was very poor, hiding the rugged, rocky shoreline and the Meg Watson Rocks to the north of the headland.
The MV Nyon a Swiss registered Merchantman (4956 tons) was making her way to Dakar with a crew of 33 on board, after discharging her cargo of grain at Leith. At approximately 7pm and up to 3 miles from the normal shipping route, the Nyon went aground on to the Meg Watson Rocks. She lay with her bow between two rocky points less than 100 yards from the shore which rises steeply in a cliff face to 150 feet.
Nyon sat fast, in a perilous position, with massive damage to her underside, as emergency services erected a breeches buoy reaching from the top of the cliff to the vessel 150 feet below.
Charles had been immediately dispatched to St. Abbs and was watching the drama unfold. Always the one for a unique picture he had found himself a position at the very edge of the cliff and began carrying out his duties recording the courageous efforts of the coastguards as they attempted a rescue.
It was at this point things began to go horribly wrong, not for the crew of the Nyon who it was decided were safer staying on board and attempting a repair to the ship’s hull. Nor for the rescuers whose professionalism and bravery was beginning to pay off; but for Charles.
Dad was never quite sure what happened next. Whether it was the ground breaking away beneath him or a clumsily placed foot, the result was the same, he began to fall down the sheer cliff face.
Charles’ next recollection was of coming round in immense pain and perched on a small ledge about twenty feet from the top of the cliff. This short and narrow ledge had stopped the otherwise inevitable plunge to the rocks 150 feet below.
The exact details of his rescue have sadly been lost in time albeit to say that two of his fellow news photographers bundled him into a press car and rushed him to hospital in Glasgow for emergency treatment. It was a year later that Charles was finally allowed to escape the confines of a plaster cast that covered most of his body and was able to return to his newsreel work.
Charles was repaired and returned to his duties – but what of the MV Nyon?
Attempts to plug the holes in the vessel with cement and then to pull her off the rocks with four tugs had failed. She was stuck fast and badly damaged so it was decided to cut her in half and save the aft section, then after removing anything of value, leaving the rest to the sea. On the 27th November, after a number of failed attempts and the use of cutting equipment and small explosive charges the aft section came away and was towed by tugs to North Shields. A short time later the front section broke up in a winter storm.
The ships owners quickly contracted a Dutch ship yard to build a new front section and to then join the two parts together. By mid-1959 the job was complete and Nyon set out on trials. So there was to be a happy ending after all. No unfortunately not. MV Nyon plied her trade until 15th June 1962 when on a trip to Montreal from Antwerp, in thick fog and just five miles off Beachy Head she collided with an Indian cargo ship M.S Jalazad and was lost.
CameronLife are very proud to have been associated with the Handel and Hendrix London event – ‘musical celebration of Hendrix’s 1970 Isle of Wight Festival performance’. This was part of the museums ‘Friday Late’ series of live music held in Hendrix London flat. We were able to contribute a number of Charles iconic photographs and our in-house produced video presentation to help bring the 1970 I.W Festival to Brook Street, London.
Formed in 1969, Black Widow were primarily renowned for their use of satanic and occult imagery, opening their spot with a banned track “Come to the Sabbat” at six o’clock on the Thursday evening. Despite taming their act down in anticipation of success, their future plans with CBS were put on hold whilst the record company concentrated on promoting Simon and Garfunkle’s new track, “Bridge over Troubled Water”. Later, a trip to the States resulted in their road crew absconding to join the Black Sabbath troop. Romeo Challenger, who was born 19th May 1950 in Antigua, later achieved fame with pop band Showaddywaddy.
Pete Townshend, seen here on guitar for The Who at the Isle of Wight Music Festival 1970, is a talented self-taught musician who also plays keyboards, banjo, accordion,harmonica, ukulele, mandolin, violin, synthesiser, bass guitar, and drums – as well as being the main songwriter!
22nd April 2018 sadly marks the 5th anniversary of the passing of Richie Havens.
Born in Brooklyn, New York, Richie commenced bringing his intensely rythmic style of guitar playing to the public in 1965 and really sprang to fame following his opening performance at the Woodstock Festival in 1969.
This had a huge personal impact on Richie and at his own request his ashes were scattered at the Woodstock site after his death at home from a heart attack following earlier kidney surgery.
John Weider, playing bass guitar, is seen in the background wearing the yellow vest.
John, who was born in Shepherd’s Bush, London also plays guitar and violin and has featured with several bands as well as Family – amongst them are Eric Burdon and the Animals; and Johnny Kidd and the Pirates.
12th April 2018 marks what would have been the 86th birthday of Tiny Tim.
He was born Herbert Buckingham Khaury in Manhattan, New York, and was famed as a singer and ukelele player with some of his best known hits being covers of “Tiptoe Through The Tulips” and “Livin’ in the Sunlight, Lovin’ in the Moonlight” performed in his trademark falsetto/vibrato voice.
Tiny Tim sadly passed away due to complications from diabetes on 30th November 1996.
Life through the lens of Charles Everest – and his successors
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