Welcome to RockHeart

A Welcome

Welcome to RockHeart – Memoirs of Gibraltar


There’s a million reasons why I love Gibraltar. Her beauty, her history, her people, her apes; how could I not love her apes? Is such a thing even possible?


Some of my reasons come directly from feelings, memories and emotions which began when I was a boy of about 9 listening to my Royal Naval cousin Paul telling me tales of his travels; he’d been all over the world but his stories about the Rock of Gibraltar fascinated me the most.

In the mind of a little boy the idea of a massive rock with apes on it was awesome – ‘…what…and people live there too?’
I knew then that I would join the Royal Navy and I would see the world, especially this Rock of Gibraltar with its apes.


Other reasons connect to when I was a teenager in 1974 (serving in the Royal Navy) and saw the Rock for the very first time from a warship and then later when I was fortunate to live there with my family in the late seventies. Recently, in 2016, I realised an absolute dream and finally returned to the Rock after an absence of forty years and to say I was nervous doesn’t come close.


I’m not the most skilled writer but for me that isn’t important; my memoirs tend to be a collection of anecdotes strung together over a theme and in this case over most of my lifetime. My aim is just to write my story and touch on some of those million reasons I love Gibraltar because when I write, I’m there.


RockHeart is written in 3 Chapters (1) 1974 – (2) 1976/77/78 – (3) 2016. The link below will take you to Chapter 1 after which you can continue reading by pressing the ‘next post’ button. You can also revisit pages by clicking on the relevant link on the left hand side of the page.

I hope you enjoy reading my memories of Gibraltar as much as I have enjoyed writing them. Please feel free to comment or contact. Alan x


4 thoughts on “Welcome to RockHeart”

  1. Michael Olivera said:

    Hi Alan, good to see you posting again mate and hope you are well…..don’t know if you have this pic but I think you said somewhere that you once lived at Cormorant and you couldn’t find it last year (facing West towards Coaling Island)….these were demolished to make way for new multi storey buildings (“King’s wharf”, block number two going up now)

    Warm regards

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Michael and thanks for calling in, I really appreciate the support. Not sure if you were sending me a picture because I can’t see one??Was it attached?

      At the moment I’m still trying to edit out the chapters I’ve already written but I will be continuing to write so it’s nice to know you’re signed up to receive notifications Michael. Hope life is good for you.

      Kind regards Alan 🙂


  2. Ian Winship said:

    Hi Alan
    I stumbled across your memoirs totally by accident while looking for the number I lived in Edinburgh House Gibraltar between 1976 and end of1977. My name is Ian Winship married to Judith Winship. Judith gave birth to our first child Leanne in October 1977. From Newcastle you would probably remember me as ‘geordie’ who played guitar in the Oliver Twist (sometimes). I can remember, Jim and Betty Simm, Steve & Diane Allen, also Sandy & Penny.

    Judith and I still talk about our time In Gib. Trips on the fleet tender to Morocco and social functions in the fleet pav.
    It’s good to read your memoirs it’s fired up lots of memories of my own.

    Good luck Alan with the rest of your memoirs ‘ ROCK HEART’

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Ian
      Really good to hear from you and thanks for your nice comments on RockHeart. I’m glad they bring back positive memories for you. No doubt you’ve read that my love for Gib has never wavered and I was thrilled to go back for our 40th wedding anniversary.

      My memory for names is appalling but as soon as I said to Carol ‘Do you know Judith Winship?’ I got a history lesson. Indeed Carols memory is still very sharp, Judith was one of the Naval Wives who looked after our children Samantha and Tracey while Carol was in RNH having Benita and I had to go to work – Carol remembers being pregnant at the same time as Judith. She also remembers you well too Ian: ‘That dark haired Geordie with a square face, we went to the beach with them often’. She’s surprised I can’t remember much about people, particularly having written RockHeart and especially those who are Geordie since I’m a Geordie too! More so a guitar player since I am also a guitar player but I guess I only have a certain capacity and its exceeded with places and events lol.

      Hope you are both well Ian and really nice to hear from you. I imagine with your fond memories of Gibraltar that you’ll trip back at some point if you haven’t already done so. I totally loved it, particularly climbing the Med Steps for Cancer Research. Looking down at the docks brought everything back for me as a very lucky Killick Jack Dusty with a lovely wife and three lovely daughters living in such a beautiful place. Warm regards Alan

      We lived at 21 Ed House which I revisited when we went back to the Rock in 2016 and you lived opposite. I think LREM Funky Gibbons and Claudia lived on the left hand end (backed on to Rooke) looking out from our balcony and Derby Allen and Diane lived to the right hand end. Have a feeling you were between the two. Jim and Betty lived in the next quadrangle while Penny and Sandy’s faced the NAAFI.


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