Denton a village in South Norfolk, England

Captain Adrian Hague 1944 – 2002

From the Parish News – February 2003

21st March 1944 - 23rd December 2002

Many relatives and friends of Adrian and Sally travelled long distances to join with local parishioners in St Mary's Church, Denton to pay their last respects to Adrian, who sadly died aged 58 years, following a brave 14 month battle against cancer. The service, led by the Revd Ian Bentley was planned by Adrian in his own meticulous style, the 3 Hymns, "Fight the Good Fight", "Guide Me, O Thou Great Redeemer" and "Will Your Anchor Hold in the Storms of Life" told a story in themselves, and the eulogy by his very long-standing friend Capt Maurice Austin, the poem "The Ship" read by Audrey Kennard, wife of another maritime friend, with the retiring music "Sail Away", left one in no doubt that his love if the sea was paramount in his life.

We in Denton, who knew him only briefly for the last 8 years since he and Sally moved here, when he retired following his career with BP Oil, soon found them entering into the spirit of the community. Although he was almost immediately sought after to take the post with a Yarmouth Offshore Shipping firm, his artistic flair and attention to detail soon became apparent as, with Sally's assistance, "Jasmine Cottage" and garden took on a new appearance. It was not until the Millennium craft exhibition that his expertise as a model maker and artist were revealed, when he entered his model ships and water-colours for us to see. However, it was not long before he became familiar enough for his indomitable sense of humour to send the occasional chuckle through the village as his "wind-up" telephone calls and practical jokes were revealed. This humour was also shown on stage in his performance with the DVC, and we have since learnt that his talent was used to entertain the crew on board ship. On one particular occasion as a mimic of Mick Jagger using a mop as a microphone, it was an "unforgettable" experience! Adrian became a member of the parish council but, unfortunately, his ill-health did not allow the benefit of his service for more than a few months. His hobbies, gardening, fishing and painting, with more latterly a passion for vintage cars, kept him fully occupied.

Adrian's nautical career began as a student at King Edward VII College, London before gaining his Captain's ticket when he was to navigate oil tankers to all parts of the world. He met Sally in 1966 when she was working in a commercial stationers in Worthing. Originally he was looking for a navigational slide rule which they could not supply, but it was a case of love at first sight. After 2 more visits on successive days, he left a note asking her out. She accepted, and after 3 hours at a coffee bar they were virtually engaged. They married in 1968 and bought a bungalow near Worthing. Sally accompanied him on many of his voyages. In 1978 he took a shore job in Aberdeen where they bought a house in a very isolated area, when the rigours of the Scottish weather proved quite a challenge! Adrian found his "shore" job was soon to involve him in moving oil rigs, and in 1979 he supervised the clean up following the Shetland oil spillage.

Adrian was a member of the Honourable Company of Master Mariners (a Livery Company of the City of London), and was held in the highest regard by both his employers and those under his command. In fact, as put by one of his associates, he was "A real gentleman of integrity."

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