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Bellboys rollerskating on the deck of 'Queen Mary'

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Unique ID:19443
Description:A former bellboy on board 'Queen Mary' talks about him and his friends rollerskating on deck and getting caught.
Copyright:Southampton City Council
Partner:SCC Oral History Unit
Partner ID:Unknown


A bellboy, you could go anywhere.  You know, I mean you go from the decks of the ship to the storeroom right up to the Captain's bridge.  When it was rough, you could go up there just to see the waves, you know, it was right up on the top.  But on our time off we used to go up to New York where Maddison Square Gardens used to be on Eighth Avenue, there was a big sports shop there, on Eighth Avenue and Fifteenth Street, which is only four blocks up from where we docked, and we all bought these roller skates, and of course when you're coming home and the ships rolling like that, we'd go down the working alleyway and you have waterproof doors going across sections, and we'd come along and we'd jump over them.

Of course some poor old waiter was coming up, in his late 50s, with his bad feet, and a little bellboy would come flying through the door on roller skates.  And then we'd go on the afterdeck when it was rolling, and the dare was you'd start one end you'd come right around the Queen Mary, round the bollards on roller skates and of course the ships going like this (gestures) and you're careering down like this... until the passengers seen us from above decks and of course reported those boys were going over the side... and then of course we'd get sent for or the Officer of the Watch would come down and reprimand us all and take our names.  Then we'd be off limits and nobody... bellboys not allowed on the after deck at any time with roller skates.  And we used to climb up the mast, because the mast was right inside of our cabin I’d say, and go up two decks and get in, because you used to go up the mast from inside and we used to climb up there and we'd get up to all sorts of tricks.


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