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Big ships were the money ships

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Unique ID:19440
Description:A ship worker on board 'Queen Mary' talks about how to make extra money to supplement the wage.
Copyright:Southampton City Council
Partner:SCC Oral History Unit
Partner ID:Unknown


The big ships were the money ship.  I mean if you’re gonna make any money you're gonna make 'em on the big ones.  You're going so fast, you made more money.  And coming back to the Queen Mary, she was such a happy ship. That's the whole point of the Queen Mary.  Queen Elizabeth was alright, but they hadn't got the...shall we say, companionship or...there was something about the Mary that nobody was out of the act, didn't matter what job you were in, you all seemed to be in it when he were down below in the boilers or topside on the deck, everybody was in what was going on.  No class distinction whatsoever, didn't matter what you were, everybody was in it.

Question: When you said you made a lot of extra money, you ... how did you make your extra money?

Well depending on the job you're on.  Now, just to quote the plate house.  The waiters at the end of the trip, both ways, and the scheme worked both ways, the waiters always put a dollar so if there were 35 waiters at the tourist end you get 35 dollars, but that was divided between three of you, and the same thing coming back usually a ten shilling note and you divided it again.  Well all all…, the only expense I got then was to pay me Glory Hole steward, who I gave ten shillings to for the trip, but the higher you got the more you were paying out …. on the other hand you were making more money.  I mean the smoke room steward, I am speaking about the AD not the latter part of him...the smoke room steward, lounge steward, but everybody paid. I mean the lounge steward paid me if I was a lounge then he'd paid me, he also paid his bedroom steward and he paid more than they... it depended on what your job was but from the top to the bottom there was a circulation of money no matter where you worked, except of course with...I'm not speaking of the engine room, they were a different department, and the deck I don't know how they worked...but even in the deck they had little side jobs such as booking the deck chairs out and all that...they all got paid.  Everybody got a slice of the cake put it that way. 


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