Sadly we have not heard from our leader, Steve, for a while( hope you are above the yardarm Steve )so let's feed in another topic for discussion. Having recently returned from the annual reunion lunch in Southampton, very well organised by young David Jewkes first time this year, and being so full of memories of the faces of yesteryear among the the 220 plus attendees still mobile, and otherwise,I propose users of this forum put forward stories of favourite times experienced aboard and, possibly?, ashore during those wonderful years.
Don't hold back we are all older, wiser, more tolerant as seniors than we were then, ( very evident at the reunion).!!!! There was, and is, so little time at these events that we only touch briefly on the memories and maybe we can indulge those times with this forum at at our leisure at home.
Over to YOU shipmates and shore staff.
Well Mike, I think you may have tapped a rich vein with this one. there will be many stories, some of which may well be true! I saw the photos of the reunion and they are a tribute to the iron constitution of what are now "old boys". Also a tribute to the National Health Service!
I had thought this would attract some replies. I have one and it is true.
I was in Rotterdam (Wilton Feynoord) with a ship being fitted with Tallow tanks- Shaw Savill, We were there for some 14 days, not a lot to do so naturally a fair time was spent ashore. One remembers the "Bitterballen- Croquetten and chips mayonnaise. However one night the Chief Engineer and I went exploring the local hostelries. In the distance an enticing blue sign. We entered with a will and were surprised to see so few male patrons. There were around 25 well dressed ladies in evening gowns and expensive jewellery. "This is the place" We thought. A closer inspection revealed that the "ladies" were anything but. Never have I drunk a large Amstel so quickly! The "Blue Grotto" was in fact a well known place for Transsexuals.
One lives and one learns.
This should be a good forum topic but I seem to have already told all my memorable stories previously in this forum.
I'll have to try to dredge up something from my archive memory.
As a Purser cadet in the early 70’s eleven of us were sent away on a training cruise on Oriana for seven days. The cruise stopped at Lisbon and Casablanca. This was the first time of leaving the homeland for many of us and we were very wet behind the ears. Lisbon was fine but Casablanca was a completely new world to us. Some off us decided to wander off and explore the souk. Before long we were totally lost as one street led into another and they all looked the same. Arabs in their long tunics wearing what looked like very large knives watched as we wondered around totally lost. We were getting very uneasy and a little scared by the time we finally broke back into the sunshine of the main square.
Some of the cadets went off in search of other entertainment, four of them had to visit the doctor a few days later. No names mentioned.
Thanks Graham, Greg and David for venturing forth. It doesn't look like too many are going to do so. I have stories to tell of the Edgecumbe? and Wacher dynasties which I am about to put forward.Then of course there were Dallas's Arcadia ' Dallas Cowboys ' whose exploits were legendary. There were also stories galore from the cargo ships that bear an airing once more.
Trouble is Mike most can not even remember what they had for breakfast this morning never mind fourty years ago.
Others just make no effort at all typing in a few words far too much bother.
A group of us went on a visit to the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral and were almost arrested.
We went by taxi and got the tour bus around the place, and fascinating it was.
At the end of the day, we needed to get taxis back to the ship (Oronsay it was), it was getting pretty late by this time.
I was at a wall booth trying to arrange transport, when I realised the area had gone very quiet, I looked round to see the lads I had gone with stood against the wall being held up by policemen with guns drawn, and one standing just behind me, telling me to join them.
As we had not gone on an organised tour, we had somehow been locked in when the place closed for the night.
We managed to sort it out with the police, after a long discussion, but had to have a special escort out.
They organised two taxis, and we were driven out in convoy, a police car in front, and two behind.
We were taken on a very long route out, through various gates and fences with army checkpoints on them, until we rejoined the civilian roads, where the police cars dropped off and we were on our wat back.
The taxi driver kept asking us who we were to be getting all this fuss, they would not believe we were just a group of engineers from a liner.
If you want a few memories ...
Take a look back (exactly 3 years) on a subject I
started called "Bad Boy Stuff"
On what was my very last trip at sea, Having left forever 3 times before! I did a trip with Elders and Fyffes.Singing the Banana boat song we arrived in Jamaica. That night we ventured to a local bar. "El Cantina"for a quiet relaxing Red Stripe.At this time we were also carrying the company agent destined for another of the companies officies in Central America. This worthy gent had never left U.K. before. Some six ladies descended on our table. A hideous crone ( at lest 60) picked the agent as an object of interest. "Looking for a girl" she said. O.K said the innocent, how much? For you she said 2 shillings. He left rapidly. We left soon after. The foot note to this story is that within 5 weeks he was shacked up with his housemaid and attempting to divorce his wife and 4 children in U.K.
I did a trip with Fyffes, before my P&O/Princess days.
On the S.S. Patuca Nov 1974 until May 1975, last ports
of call before heading for Soton. Montego Bay, Ocho
Rios and Port Antonio.
Went to a similar bar in Montego Bay, Fortunately did not
sample the local talent ...
Banana Ports: Gulf Side,
Banana Ports: Pacific Side,
Oh dear, where do we start with this?!
I was on the "original" Oriana and a favourite trip ashore in San Francisco was to the Red Garter bar themed for the 1920's and their band used to feature regularly on the keyside at pier 35 to play us out. It was a great night for sure, but one of our party got a little too over the top at one session. He at least had the wherewithal to realize this, but it seems his judgement then deserted him! He exited the bar and saw what he thought was a taxi outside - wrong it was a police cruiser! He dived into the back seat and managed to utter "Oriana" to the bemused guys in the front seat. However, they did as instructed and brought him down to the wharf and saw him safely on board! Pretty good stuff indeed. I suppose "those where the days" and the P&O ships where in those days part of the furniture.
Ah yes David, the Red Garter, many are the memories for a lot of us of the exploits in that place. One that sticks in my mind above most, is of exiting the place, late-on as always, I chanced upon one the nursing sisters waiting for a taxi.I joined her and discovered this enterprising young lady had appropriated one of the red leather topped bar stools from the place and calmly requested by assistance in transferring it to a taxi and then ORIANA. As I was a good friend of the young lady I did as asked without pondering the possible outcome of discovery.
Upon visiting her house fairly recently I discovered she still has it and I was able to once again put it to the use for which it was made while we laughed and relived the story.Perhaps there may be some who will read this who may know the identity of the young lady and remember some of her other exploits.