5th Feb 2020 5:30pm-7:00pm

G4, Grand Parade

Cath Senker will give an illustrated talk about the 14 merchant ships that became trapped in the Suez Canal during the Six-Day War in 1967 and were marooned there for eight years. It will be a followed by a 4-minute clip about the story, broadcast on the BBC One Show in July 2017.

In June 1967, at the outbreak of the Six-Day War, 14 merchant ships were passing through the Suez Canal. As hostilities erupted, they were ordered to halt in the Great Bitter Lake. Although the war was brief, after it finished, the Egyptian government refused the ships permission to leave. Those ships were trapped in the Suez Canal for a full eight years, until June 1975. Over the period, 3,000 seafarers served on the trapped ships in the middle of a war zone, maintaining the vessels and protecting their valuable cargos. Despite coming from countries on opposing sides of the Cold War, the crews forged a strong community, exchanging supplies and skills, and coordinating social and sports activities through the Great Bitter Lake Association (GBLA). Cath has written a book about the extraordinary story, told through the eyes of some of the stranded seafarers.

Cath Senker has 30 years’ experience in publishing and has written more than 160 books for children of all ages, specialising in history, global and social issues, world religions, human geography and environmental topics. She is also a teacher, currently working as an Academic Skills Consultant at the University of Sussex, and a former Royal Literary Fund Fellow. Cath teaches English to refugees and migrants at the Migrant English Project in a voluntary capacity. In recent years, Cath has started writing books for adults. Her first was Cybercrime and the Darknet (2016). In a new departure, in 2017 she self-published Stranded in the Six-Day War.