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The Blue Funnel Association

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Brrr . . . Hell-o-o . . . How y're doin? Hello Mark, How yer doin? This . . is the . . Cornmarket, it's possibly the oldest pub in Liverpool, it's certainly one of the oldest pubs in Liverpool. It's a Georgian building . . . . it's immediately next door to the Blue Funnel offices in India Buildings which we've said before, the likes of us weren't allowed through the front door. But it's now where the Blue Funnel Association hold their monthly meetings. (Laughter in the background) . . and it's just fantastic so many of us can get together Errr . . we do actually take outsiders in, if you've ever seen a Blue Funnel ship you qualify for membership The Association was founded 23 years ago, errr people sailed from Liverpool with Alfred Holt & Company and decided by catering to try and get a reunion going Which errrm . . turned out that quite a few of the fellas got together again after forty odd years. and it's grown 'n' grown so we decided to open it up to everybody and now we've got over six hundred members worldwide, from all departments. We've got ninety odd abroad, . . we've got . . not just in Liverpool, but y'know all over the country. We were on bad wages . . . £9 a month when I first started . . . . and errr Good food. Bluey's were good food weren't they? Blue Funnel Ships were probably the best in the food . . .you can ever think of They were brilliant . . weren't they? You had proper menus . . erm . . we had starters, main meals, sweets, deserts, coffee and tea afterwards That was . . . that was every day. The area I lived in, probably every couple of houses there was a seaman . . in the family Because I lived just above . . . . the dock itself . . . . . . it was only a short walk down to the dock, or the Overhead Railway, and it was quite handy. so . . . . . . . . and I shipped out for twenty three years As a young man and we had to sow our seeds abroad . . . usually Japan and Indonesia We used to have, to have, check ups. To make sure we were okay down below So . . we used to have a check up in errr . . . Singapore and then when we get to Port Swettenham, we'd get the errr . . . results which was either positive or negative if it was negative, there was whoops of laughter, "Got away with it lads". But when we got home to Liverpool, we had to go down to see Doctor Ross and he was in a clinic at the bottom of Paradise Street. and we used to go in there and errr . . . surreptitiously, we'd go in there thinking; "I hope no-one's watching me, because I know I'm okay". "I'm just going because the Blue Funnel insists that you had an 'All clear' before you went on the next ship. So we'd go in there . . . . and we'd do the business, usually as soon as we got off the ship. We'd go and visit him to make sure everything was alright I'm Seventy now . . so I'm okay. I don't think I caught anything serious The type of ships that I sailed on, the container ships were starting to come in then The old type cargo boats, with derricks and all that, where they used to be in port, no matter where you went You could be in port for up to a week, a fortnight, especially in the Far East, Middle East, where ever it was but when the containers come in, of course, they had all the container vessels and all they done was lift them onto the ships and away they went. 48 hour turn-around. But when I was goin' and most of the lads that you've been interviewing, you were in for a week or two weeks Cargoing, discharging then cargoing . . . .y'know to bring . . . . taking stuff out and bringing stuff back to the UK I stayed to the bitter end, me. Blue Funnel, of course they, went into containerisation later and then I went to them . . . and that's were I finished up in containerisation. But it wasn't the same Y'know with the . . .goin' . goin' with the ships . . with the Blue Funnel was the Bees Knees. Sadly, it's an era that we belong to and its long gone It'll never be repeated again. That's why, we've started this off and errr . . . we've kept the flag flying. Hopefully, people will know basically that's what it's all about I finished sea going in 1962. So I done ten years, y'know actually, at sea I've been finished with the sea . . . what? . . 50 years and I think you'll find the majority of the lads here, are around the same age group and the same time, y'know, finished with the sea. Transcribed by Tony

Video Details

Duration: 6 minutes and 44 seconds
Year: 2012
Country: United Kingdom
Language: English
Genre: None
Director: Tim Brunsden
Views: 3,301
Posted by: mrjonesy on Apr 14, 2012

The Blue Funnel Association meet on the last Saturday of the month. It’s a chance for everyone who worked on the Blue Funnel line to get together and exchange stories.

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