was not uncommon for groups of 6 or 8 sailors to 'pool' their money
and all share one cabin for the entire weekend. Thus saving more money
for beer. Can you imagine 6 or 8 sailors sharing one of these? I am
not sure what the record is for the number of occupants but I am sure
double figures was reached on many occasions.
walls were thin, decor was sparse and one can only imagine the sounds
and smells of hundreds of intoxicated sailors piled on top of one
another in something reminiscent of the Black Hole Of Calcutta -"
a poor seaman what can't handle his shipmate's breath!" (Butch
Berry, Cerberus Rifle Range Circa 1979)
an unusual quirk of circumstance - wherever matelots did happen to
gather - so did certain members of the opposite sex - Every nice girl
loves a sailor, as the song goes. Some of these were not ordinary
young ladies and could match many a bold, thirsty matelot beer for
beer or blow for blow whatever his fancy was, either to drink or fight!
Sailors being what they are had nicknames for them all, like, 'Anna
The Spanner' and her mate, 'Toolbox', 'Rocky', 'The Beast', etc etc.
They wore their sailor given nicknames with pride and possessed an
unbelievable fondness for all things navy.
The picture above
describes the bar scene as 'convivial' - Let me assure you that is
somewhat of a gross understatement and since when does a bunch of
beer soaked matelots enjoy a quiet chat?
Thabove shot is
taken from the small bandstand/stage at the end of the room. On Sunday
afternoons a live rock and roll band would see the place packed to
the gunwales with merry makers and Rock'n Rollers..