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History of the Atlantic Cable & Undersea Communications
from the first submarine cable of 1850 to the worldwide fiber optic network

James Barrowman: Cable & Wireless, Fiji 1969

Introduction: Back in 1969, almost exactly fifty years ago as this is written in June 2019, after James Barrowman had served for a year as Cable Technician on CS Cable Enterprise (2), based in Singapore, the ship set sail for Fiji to rendezvous with two other Cable and Wireless repair vessels.

Cable Enterprise came together in Suva, Fiji, with CS Edward Wilshaw and CS Retriever (5) to exchange crew and equipment prior to re-positioning to their newly assigned stations. James notes that he has good reason to remember the date:

"I had my twenty-first birthday on the return voyage to Singapore and now, on the eve of my seventy-first birthday, I clearly recall those happy times."

While at Fiji James took photographs of the ships, which he very kindly shares with us here.

—Bill Burns

CS Cable Enterprise in Singapore harbour, bunted up for the Mayday celebrations.

CS Cable Enterprise arrives in Suva where she moors alongside her sister ship, CS Retriever. The Retriever had hitherto been stationed in Suva and was to return to the UK for refit, and the Enterprise took her place in Suva.

CS Edward Wilshaw arriving in Suva from Immingham following refit. I transferred onto this ship and we returned with her to take up station in Singapore, replacing the Enterprise.

The three cable repair ships moored together at the end of the Cable Depot quay in Suva, Fiji.

CS Edward Wilshaw preparing to leave Suva, June 1969

Photographs on this page courtesy of
and copyright © 2019 James Barrowman

Last revised: 21 June, 2019

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