RE: Name Onedin

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Diana ,

Thanks for the information, very interesting. Nice to have an account of
this which has a documented source.

My mother was a very keen fan of the series and I had to tape everything to
do with it that was broadcast if she was going to miss it because of work.

This was before the days of video recorders, when an episode was on she knew
she'd miss, I had to record the sound track from the TV – sort of a "radio"
version, so she would not miss the episode entirely. I still have a reel of
tape that has "winner take all" from the original broadcast, you can hear
noises in the background that were not part of the programme, like our dog
barking! All recorded through the crystal microphone on my Sobel tape
recorder. The story worked surprisingly well audio only.

There were also some radio interviews with Cyril Abraham, these must have
been lost or the tape re-used for something else, I still hope something
will turn up. Trawling through the BBCs websites has not found any reference
to them.

The name thing is something at odds with what I remember form one of these
items, but I'm probably wrong or confusing what he said with some other
aspect of the story. It is something like 3 decades since I listened to

Looking forward to the pages on Gilmore-Stallybrass site.


—– Original Message —–
From: Diana
Sent: Monday, June 11, 2007 7:14 AM
Subject: [shiponedingroup] Name Onedin

Hi Elaine,

You asked a while back about the surname Onedin. I can tell you that
Cyril Abraham made it up. In Cyril's own words, this is how he
eventually came up with the name.

When he first thought of the idea that lead to The Onedin Line, Cyril
quickly came up with a name for the head of the family ".. I called
the old man James – I couldn't think of a surname ." He still hadn't
found a name when the BBC agreed to film the story. "All I needed
was a name for the family. One day I stumbled across the word
Ondine, a mythological sea monster. By transposing the "e", I had
James Onedin, a sea devil."

The interview with the author of The Onedin Line was published
in "Woman" magazine dated 28 July 1973. It's a fascinating piece.
Cyril describes his first meeting with the cast (this was for the
pilot in 1970, not the series), how he came up with the idea for
Onedin as well as a couple of stories about filming the series, such
as his realisation when out in the middle of the Channel at the start
of filming that he was the only professional seaman aboard the
Charlotte Rhodes.

Marianne and I intend to put the whole interview with Cyril on the
Gilmore-Stallybrass site soon – I'm sure all fans of the series will
enjoy reading the piece and find it interesting (http://www.gilmore-