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Everyone wanted a job in the liners

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Unique ID:19435
Description:Ship worker talks about how everyone wanted to work on the liners. He worked as the Captain's 'tiger' on board Queen Mary.
Copyright:Southampton City Council
Partner:SCC Oral History Unit
Partner ID:Unknown


Well, in those days of course the Cunard sailing from Southampton, the two great liners, the Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth, it was a hard job to get a job on those because everybody wanted to do that.  It was going to the States, everything was going on in the States, there was money about, good clothes, good food, and of course bearing in mind that we were still in the ration period in here in England, I then took whatever I could.  The first ship I went on was a ship called the Almazora.  I came back into Southampton after doing a couple of months away, did a trip...a couple of trips on the old Winchester Castle down to Capetown, that was quite good, quite an experience, and then I came off that and went for a job on the Queen Mary.  First job I had on there was a cabin steward in Cabin Cass,  'cos there was three classes on the ships in those days.  There was First Class, there was Cabin Class, and there was Tourist Class. I did one tour which was about...you did five trips if I remember rightly, five trips and one off in those days...

Question: What days are we talking about here?

Talking about [19]49, around about '49, and I then worked my way up if that's the vernacular, up to First Class restaurant as a First Class waiter, and then I finished up as the Captain's steward, that was the Staff Captain Steward in those days, which was called the Captain's Tiger, generally looking after him, and serving drinks when he was ….had guests or visitors in his cabin, and serving dinner and meals when he was in the restaurant.


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