Death of a City

SaadaMy maternal grandfather was Joseph Ineichen. After my grandmother’s death in 1959 and being in a state of mental distress someone at Lloyd’s of London, where he worked, advised him to take a trip and get away for a while.  It was suggested that he would go to Agadir, in Morocco.

This trip was in January 1960 and he later described the fortnight there as a great success. He was then asked to write an article about this holiday for the Corporation’s magazine- The Lloyd’s log. This was my grandfather’s first attempt at writing. The article was approved and meant to be published when news came, of the terrible disaster that struck Agadir just over one month after his departure.  The city which he had visited and enjoyed, the city he had just described, was gone! The hotel Saada where he had drank coffee with the owners Mr. And Mrs Rosen, was left a ruin. On the 29th of February a violent earthquake had struck on Agadir.

After that the article was withdrawn and rewritten. Fortunately for the family it was but the first of many articles published for the Log. Because of this, we can now learn much about his own upbringing and breathe in the memories of a Londoner born in the year 1900. I remember how my grandfather enthusiastically told me about his articles in the Log and I feel that this blog will give me the opportunity to reminisce and report on some of those stories.

My grandfather was an important person in my life. Especially during my first years in London when as a teenager I was obviously in need of more support than I would probably ever admit. He helped me to my first job in the City, bought me my first tie and taught me to make a knot with it. He sent me an envelope with a pound every Friday and I will admit that that pound many times kept me going.

A curiosity not to be ignored is that even I started writing about my memories at the age of 60.