Today marks the 13th year since my Grandad Tom lost his battle with cancer. He died on 8th June 2003. Like me, he had a big interest in boats and had himself a 1989 Sea Ray 220DA called Jeana. The boat had a black canopy and a huge Mercruiser petrol engine with Alpha One drive. I don't remember much as I was four years old which is a real shame. I do, however, remember visiting him in his hospice while he was quite ill and then after he passed away, I remember seeing his Sea Ray 220DA moored up at the marina where he had kept in since he purchased it. He berthed Jeana at Ashlett Creek in the New Forrest, Southampton for a very long time and would use the boat to cruise over to the Isle Of White at the weekends. Clearly back when petrol was far cheaper than it is now.

Jeana and on Solent

Before he died, we all decorated a big colourful box that we would keep his personal possessions in after he had passed. When the time came, my Nan put everything in the box and most of it has been kept at her home in Southampton since 2003. Grandad was a part of the Calshot RNLI Life Boat crew and he was the main skipper I seem to remember. When he was there, he had been given a special engraved watch with his name and Calshot Life Boat on the back which he would wear every day. He also had his RNLI tie as well. All these were put in his box along with things like his key wallet, his money wallet, glasses and a selection of pictures. With donations from the Life Boat Crew at Calshot, Nan had a wooden bench made that was engraved with Tom Cozens which now lives on the balcony of the main Life Boat building on the sea front at Calshot. When ever we visit Southampton, my Nan always takes us down there to sit by the sea on his bench. We also sit down and go though each item that was stored in his colourful box.

When he passed away, my Nan presented me with a few of his special items that he wanted me to have. One was his cork key float that he had on his boat keys. These have since then been on our set of boat keys so we are reminded of him whenever we use the boat. Another was a stainless steel Smiths pocket stop-watch that he used on Jeana to time his trips. It has been at home on my desk for many years and I will, without a doubt, keep it on Bandit from now on. It would be nice to think that I use his stop-watch as he did with his Sea Ray. The last item I was given was his white cap that he used to wear while he was on Jeana. Its very old and worn but I love to keep it in my room where I can see it and be reminded of him. I remember Nan saying that Grandad wanted me to eventually inherit his special engraved wrist watch which I would be so incredibly happy to take care of. My wrist has always been too small to properly wear it so Nan has kept it safe all this time for me.

It's a real shame that we don't know what happened to Jeana after Grandad had passed away. I would love to think it went to a person that cared about it and looked after it just as much as Grandad did.


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