RE: Fan and Friend Looking to Re-connect

Forum Forums General Discussions Fan and Friend Looking to Re-connect RE: Fan and Friend Looking to Re-connect

Hey, Jean,

The Group has been really quiet for the longest time, so I was hoping that someone was still out there, besides me. The episodes on Google (or YouTube) are few, but it is nice to see them. Some years ago before the FBI seized the megaupload site, they had almost every 'Onedin Line' episode available in AVI format. There was another such site (which I can't remember) that had episodes, also in AVI format, that weren't on megaupload. Between those two sites and some help from friends in the UK, I managed to get the entire series. Granted I can only watch it on my computer, but it's better than not watching it at all!

Michael Billington was a really nice person. Though I never met him in person, I did contact his web site back in early 2000, asking if anyone had info about the ship Anne Onedin/Scotch Lass (portrayed by a redressed Charlotte Rhodes with a fake funnel). I thought I would just get a standard fan reply, but it came from "Mike" (as he said to call him) himself. It was my e-mail address that intrigued him. At the time I was active duty in the US Coast Guard, so my e-mail address ended with, and he wondered if the "usc" was something in the UK (a university, I think: can't quite remember since it was 17 years ago). So I explained what it actually meant, and we started pen-palling across the pond. He's the one that let me know how they redressed the Charlotte Rhodes to play the Anne Onedin – or Scotch Lass – depending on which episodes you watched. Basically, all of the wheelhouse structure and funnel and anything else on the Anne Onedin/Scotch Lass were fakes and lightweight so they could be added and removed easily as needed.

We even talked about his role as Paul Foster on 'UFO', and how he got to work with some great sci-fi stuff, Gerry Anderson, and those cute girls with the purple wigs on Moonbase. He said the Moon and space scenes were his favorites. He said one of his favorite pranks was to throw on one of those wigs when they were going for a take, and when one of the girls would turn around from her console to deliver her lines, expecting to do so seriously, she would see him staring at her with a blank expression and that wig on, and she would start laughing uncontrollably. (It make me wish I could get my hands on the DVD release of 'UFO'. I've heard they had some outtakes as part of the Special Features on and I'd love to see them.) Mike was so friendly. It broke my heart when I sent him an e-mail from the ship I was stationed on, with a photo of a tall ship I spotted while we were on patrol in the Caribbean, and got a reply from someone with the bad news that Mike had passed.

I have another pen-pal in the UK that was one of the crew on Charlotte Rhodes during the filming years (before the owner sold the ship to new Dutch owners), and she said pretty much the same thing about the redressing. She also said that most of the scenes filmed on the Charlotte Rhodes was done at the pier (saved on cost that way), using angles that never really let anyone see the "ocean" around them. Once in a while they would set sail for filming when it was necessary. She, like me, was sad to see Charlotte Rhodes leave the series, and even more sad when someone with a grudge set fire to her in her new home and she was burned to the waterline, pretty much destroying her. (I loved that particular ship.) Someone that once had a web site devoted to her (now defunct), had a photo of her wreck posted with loads of other photos of her. He lived not far from the wreck.

He also made a great model of the ship, and I bought a copy of the plans he'd made based on known measurements and images from the series. My pen-pal confirmed some of the measurements since she was part of the crew, so the plans are pretty accurate, or as accurate as they can be. That guy had a small video of his r/c version of the model sailing on a lake and it looked really cool. (The static model I got the plans for is 3 feet long; the r/c version is a little larger to accommodate the batteries, motors, and r/c control equipment.) I still haven't gotten around to building the model yet, mainly because I don't have the room, but one day I'll get to it. We used to send Christmas e-mails to each other during the holidays, but once his site went down, my e-mails to him got kicked back. I tried searching for him, but he's just dropped off of the planet. I'm still in contact with my Charlotte Rhodes crew pen-pal, though.

Well, I can blither on more, but I think I've probably bored you (and everyone else) enough for one night!  😉


—–Original Message—–
From: 'Jean Drew' [shiponedingroup] <>
To: shiponedingroup <>
Sent: Thu, Aug 24, 2017 5:00 pm
Subject: RE: [shiponedingroup] Fan and Friend Looking to Re-connect


Hi Dino

It was wonderful to see an email from an Onedin Line fan after all this time. I went straight to Google to listen to the music again and discovered, to my delight, several episodes. So I watched one. “Salvage”, which included Michael Billington in the cast. I think l’ve just planned my weekend. LOL

Best wishes to one and all


From: []

Sent: Friday, 25 August 2017 7:14 a.m.


Subject: [shiponedingroup] Fan and Friend Looking to Re-connect

Greetings, All 'Onedin Line' Fans,

I know this Group has been quiet for a long time, but I was wondering if Linda Huthmaker is still connected. I just tried to send an e-mail and it was kicked back.

So, Linda, if you're still out there, and you receive this, please e-mail me. I've been out of action for a long time, but I'm starting to get back on my feet again (so to speak).

Also, it would be nice to see some discussions of 'The Onedin Line' start up again. I miss those.

All the best,


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