the red ensign
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DESCRIPTIONNewsletter of the Retired Merchant Seafarers
Front Cover SS Canadian off the Pier Head Liverpool 1. Chairmans Page 2. Stockpot 3. -- -- 4. -- -- 5. Golden Euros 6. Poem 7. Quiz 8. Drink Problem on the Royal Iris 9. -- -- 10. -- -- 11. The Ship That Got a Parking Ticket. 12. Canadian Veterans 13. Theres no Bloody Cockroaches on My Ship 14. -- -- 15. Lost Souls 16 Where Are They Now 17. More Missing Persons 18. Bad Penny Blues 19. Christmas Toy Appeal 20. Handsome Youth 21. Great Expectations 22. Departure Lounge 23. Crew List 24. Happy Birthday 90 Years 25. Indie Page Super Hero 26. -- -- 27. Obituaries 28. Chinese War Memorial 29. Sad Farewell 30. Quiz Answers Back Cover Sacramento Valley Sir William Reardon Smith Cardiff Items for publication should be handed to the editor (If you can find him) or sent to; - Pat Moran Editor, All members entries for the Obituary or Sick and Hurt notices will be published if sub-mitted. All other items, if written for your magazine, get into it, get it written
Published by the Liverpool Retired Merchant Seafarers
Page 1 Chairmans Page Despite the numbers of members we have lost in the past year, we have managed to maintain our strength through new members joining. The crew list stands 173 strong. Thursday afternoons continue to be the hottest ticket in town and the club is Chocker every week. LONG MAY IT CONTINUE! It is certainly the highlight of my week. I look forward to seeing you there, til then! Good luck and good health. Joyce Gillans I have just been informed by Joyce Gillans brother that Joyces ashes will be going from the 1pm ferry on the 24th May. Her family will be joining us in the club following the service. I usually leave mention of members demise to the obituary page, but I cannot let Joyces passing, go without comment. In the few years that we worked together as committee members, I came to realise what a caring person she was. Her title: Champion of the underdog was well earned. On behalf of us all: R.I.P. DUCHESS Alf Bordessa
Dumbarton Youth The very first Bluey but not the first ship owned by Alfred Holt. She was bought for use as a test bed for Mr Holts improved steam engines and boilers. Something of a rust bucket her appearance offended him and he was determined to smarten her up. Her funnel was un-insulated and the hot fumes and steam had burned all the paint off. Whilst rooting about in the fore peak, he found a tin of blue paint. The same blue we all grew to know and love. So thats how the Blue Flue got Blue.
Page 2 Stockpot Err!
BB, our very own Whirling Dervish of the dance floor, found himself stood in his bedroom not knowing why he was there. Never mind thought the Silver Fox, if I go downstairs Ill remember what I came up for, so he did and remembered he went upstairs to go to bed.
Never mind Bobby, the rest of us are in there with you. Albert, The latest
Albert has performed no acts of outrageous behaviour, been barred out of no ale houses, insulted no Bizzies, and knows exactly where he has been for the last month in bed. The poor old soul has had a very bad malaria attack. This sickness disease is never fully cured and can return unpredictably with devastating effect. The attack has helped him save up for his trip out to New Zealand later this year. Get well soon Albert, we need the copy. A recent visitor was Terry Cox, Indefatigable 1952/53, Alberts year. Terry denies any memory or knowledge of Albert, didnt even recognise his picture as a boy. Strange how the mind can blot out traumatic memories. Breaking News. Treatment recently developed by the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine provides a cure for malaria, Alberts parasite has been killed, Albert survives.
OAP We are delighted to inform our readers that the star of the Tarzan films is alive, well and living in Hollywood. Cheetah the chimp has recently celebrated his 75th birthday. Lasted a bit better than Johnny Weissmuller didnt he. Must be the banana diet. This item is in no way connected with that preceding it.
Tom Halls Latest A letter from Mrs Joan McCool gives us fascinating inside information on this pub. Mrs McCool writes, the original Tom Halls in the Goree Piazzas was called the Liverpool Arms, she says I worked there for about 18 months in the Fifties. A man called Bob Saville was the manager, a northern Irishman. The barmaids were all in their early twenties, pretty and efficient. I remember Marie, a blonde girl, Georgina a dark girl, Joan a redhead and Tiny Pat Flynn. I also remember the Lamey Brothers Alf and Billy regular customers in the lounge. It was said more rope was bought and sold in Tom Halls than in any Docks Office. The famous Long Bar really was famous. Every nationality under the sun visited there for a pint. On opening, Bob Saville would shout in his Irish accent, WE ARE TAKING EVERY CURRENCY, but no Russian Roubles. He had a big black board on which he chalked the currency exchange terms.
Page 3 The Dockers would call in on the finish of their work too. Two I could never are forget Matty and Mavis! (real names not known). Matty was a small red-faced fat man with gold-rimmed specs. Mavis was over six feet tall and thin as a rod, both wore caps and long scarves. On entering the bar, tired after a days hard slog, they would enter the bar, packed by the way, SWEEP off their caps, make a DEEP bow from the waist and wish all the barmaids good evening. It really was funny, cos Mattie was little and fat and Mavis was so tall and skinny he looked like a wolf with a cap on. I never EVER remember any trouble, nothing that Bob Saville couldnt handle. I remember there was a wooden bar along the wall along the side of the pub as you came out and some rings in the floor down the Goree Piazzas. Marie went on to take over Ugly Mugs eventually. I dont know what happened to Georgina. Joan (myself) went to sea. Pat Flynn became a licensee in many pubs in the city, one being Frank? Cavanaghs I also knew the great Eddie Murphy. He once decided to take a trip off and went to work on the docks driving a bogey. Being unused to it he accidentally busted his hand with the handle and that ended his docking career. ALL LONG AGO. Very happy days Yours sincerely Joan McCool LRMS Member PS EDDIE MURPHY 1500811 ARR-TEN SHUN!!! Editors note, Great to get your letter Joan, it does raise some more queries, more please on the six foot docker called Mavis and who, is the famous Eddie Murphy or rather which? For there are at least four including he who sits with the Soap Wrappers every Thursday (see plan of clubroom). We still dont know who Tom Hall was. Alf and Billy Lamey were two directors of the family tug company, J H Lamey and Co. Billy was famous, or more likely notorious, for having got lost in thick fog off Anglesey. He was skipper of the J H Lamey and had hidden the tugs compass and forgotten were he put it. Being close inshore and worried the tug would become stranded, Billy lined the crew up around the bulwarks to listen for the bleating of sheep or smell of grass. The tug narrowly avoided being run down by another ship but with daylight the fog lifted and Billy found his tow, an Aircraft Carrier. The Lamey's were a family of Manchester Ship Canal Pilots. The head of the family, James bought his first tug Hero in 1916 and started a family tradition of raffish, unconventional and extravagant behaviour on the river. They were superb at poaching work from the big three, Alexandras, Cock Tugs, and Rea's, so much so that they sent Lamey's a pirate flag to let them
Page 4. know how they regarded them. Alfred Lamey promptly and proudly flew it from his tug. Usually they bought second hand-tugs as cheaply as possible but they were no cheapskates Lameys tugs were always the best equipped on the river. They were first to fit ship to shore radio, VHF and radar. They were the first to convert tugs to diesel engines and to fit the Kort rudder. William H Lamey had a radio transmitter/receiver alongside his b