a story lives forever
Sign in
Form submission failed!

Stay signed in

Recover your password?
Form submission failed!

Web of Stories Ltd would like to keep you informed about our products and services.

Please tick here if you would like us to keep you informed about our products and services.

I have read and accepted the Terms & Conditions.

Please note: Your email and any private information provided at registration will not be passed on to other individuals or organisations without your specific approval.

Video URL

You must be registered to use this feature. Sign in or register.


Visiting the Buddhist temple in Kelaniya Vihara


Passing through the Suez Canal
Norman Greenwood Scientist
Comments (0) Please sign in or register to add comments

So I came through the Suez Canal, but that was also, as it happens, an experience, because – and we give a couple of dates here – I came in August... beginning of August 1948, and in the beginning of May in 1948, the State of Israel was created and recognised, first by Britain and the United States, and then by other countries. But, as you know, when it was created it also created a state of war with the neighbouring Arab cases... Arab countries, so there was a state of war, and that had an impact on the Suez Canal because it was a military zone. It didn’t close the canal, but it meant that you had to stay onboard ship. But fortunately for us, we were – and this is three months afterwards – the traders in Port Said, which is the northern end of Suez Canal, revolted, went on strike, whatever word they use, and they said, ‘We have no livelihood, we live off these liners coming and spending a day, with the tourists coming onshore’, and so they threatened some action. As a result, it was agreed that we could spend the afternoon onshore, so I was actually on the first ship that was allowed to put down passengers after the war started in May of 1948. Then we went through the Mediterranean, we saw the Straits of Gibraltar, and all of these things for an Australian were a great experience.

Norman Greenwood (1925-2012) was born in Australia and graduated from Melbourne University before going to Cambridge. His wide-ranging research in inorganic and structural chemistry made major advances in the chemistry of boron hydrides and other main-group element compounds. He also pioneered the application of Mössbauer spectroscopy to problems in chemistry. He was a prolific writer and inspirational lecturer on chemical and educational themes, and held numerous visiting professorships throughout the world.

Listeners: Brian Johnson

Professor Brian FG Johnson FRS, FRSE, FRS Chem, FAcad Eu, FAS. Professor of Inorganic Chemistry University of Edinburgh 1991-1995, Professor of Inorganic Chemistry University of Cambridge 1995-2005, Master Fitzwilliam College Cambridge 1999-2005. Research interests include studies of transition metal carbonyls, organometallic chemistry, nano- particles and homogeneous catalysis. Professor Johnson is the author of over 1000 research articles and papers.

Tags: Suez Canal, 1948, Israel, UK, USA: Port Said, Mediterranean Sea, Straits of Gibraltar

Duration: 1 minute, 51 seconds

Date story recorded: May 2011

Date story went live: 25 November 2011