About me and about this site


Me having a bad eyebrow day

I am Richard Eric Stafford, son of Eddie and Lou (nee Pearson) Stafford, grandson of Captain Eric and Louie Pearson and great-great-grandson of Zachariah Charles Pearson - all of which sounds rather grandiose, but I'm usually know in the family as Dick...  I was born in Broadstairs in 1951 and grew up there surrounded by seemingly countless numbers of uncles aunts and cousins, never realising at the time how special this experience was, nor how rare that seems to be among families these days. I went away to navigation school when I was sixteen, then to sea as a navigating cadet in the Merchant Navy - then I realised what a terrible mistake I had made and returned to full-time education. Some years later I drifted back to sea as a seaman and have spent most of my life working on merchant ships of many descriptions and serving in a variety of positions from Ordinary Seaman to Captain (but not necessarily in that logical order!). These days I divide my time between being master of a tugboat in tropical northwest Australia and my "real life" which is a semi-rural existence in the mid-Wales border country. I have a stepdaughter Tamsyn, an opera singer, and a 14 y.o. daughter Cassie, both of whom live in Perth, Western Australia.


I first had the idea of preserving and promulgating some of the family stories before they slipped from living memory in the early 1990's and actually got round to doing something about it around 1994. That was before the internet existed to any practical popular purpose (amazing no?) and the idea was to produce some sort of booklet. Accordingly I dug out granny's diaries, various old newspaper clippings, and also set about trying to construct a meaningful family tree. I was able to glean a fair bit of information and clarification from my mother by letter (I was living in Australia at the time and she was still in Broadstairs and Benson). However, mum died in 1995 and soon thereafter my own family life reached critical mass and exploded (not a good year for me..) and the whole project got shelved and festered. Years later, over a beer with cousin Jack in Fremantle, the idea got resurrected, this time as a website, and fired with enthusiasm I returned home to dig up what I had got - sadly all the material I had written and transcribed was on 5.5" floppy discs (remember those?) and inaccessible or my computer or any others I knew of.... sigh.


Anyway, after a few kicks up the backside from Jack, and with the help of Jack's very own "Go Global" technology to rescue me from the unfathomable mysteries of other website software, I have finally got this far, though the concept has changed somewhat in the process - the idea now is that the site becomes a tool not just for preserving family history and stories but for creating a sense of family community in an age when we are scattered on at least 4 continents - of recreating that closeness and community that my mother's generation had and which I just took for granted as a child. Having had that grounding, and having rediscovered many of my cousins as an adult and realising how that community has endured, I hope that this site may go some way to promoting that "specialness" of family belonging to our children. Or you can just have fun looking at the pictures...!


Farmer Jack hard at it tending the fertile fields of "Go Global"

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