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#857616 11th Feb 2014 10:05pm
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granny Offline OP
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Just watched the above programme on BBC Four.

When those who have done research make a statement that the crew were treated badly, where does it come from? My Gt. Aunt, whose husband died, ended up working as a stewardess on the Muaritania. When she related stories to us, it would appear that she had a marvellous life and great fun. No mention of bad conditions etc. and definitely no regrets.

Can anyone add to that?



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We had an uncle who worked for donkeys years as head barman on many of Cunard line ships , including the Mauritania and he always seemed to give the impression of enjoying the job. They got good tips, (well at least in the Observation bar) and he never mentioned any downsides to the job. Didnt see the programme , what was the poor treatment they were supposed to have had?

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granny Offline OP
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General stuff about sweat shop working conditions and poor living conditions.

Maybe they didn't get bonuses and had to work 10 hour shifts (which wouldn't have bothered them,- better than twiddling their thumbs for hours on end!) I suppose it's someone elses viewpoint, rather than how it really was.
This is a nice link, lovely pics of the beautiful interiors

http://amhistory.si.edu/onthewater/exhibition/5_3.html

Last edited by granny; 11th Feb 2014 11:47pm.

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I never worked on liners granny, but I was in the MN, nearest I got was on cargo passenger ships, cant comment on the catering side, but on the deck side, you don't get time to twiddle your thumbs believe me, you work watches, and when you reach your destination there are usually a number of ports of call with hours or days of each other, so its continuous sometimes working day and night with a few hours sleep in between. Conditions on different ships varied depending on wether you had a good Captain or a bad one, bad meaning very strict and to the book then it was misery, restrictions on beer issues ciggies shore leave etc, you could be logged (fined)or given a DR ( decline to report)which could in turn affect your future employment.

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granny Offline OP
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Casper, you must have been working on the ships a bit later than the ones mentioned. At least , I hope so !
They were mainly referring to the 1920's and I dare say it was pretty constant work, but that was what I meant, when saying too much work was better than too much idle time.
It doesn't feel like work when you live onboard. Just get up in a morning and hey presto, you are there.
I worked on cruise liners in 1970's and it was a fantastic life. Yes we worked hard but also had plenty of free time when in port. Did all the things the passengers did. Our pay of £8 per week, was to spend on what we wanted. However, we were not allowed to fraternise with the passengers, there again we didn't need to, other than a friendly word or provide any assistance needed.
Nearly got chucked off for getting drunk at the Captains cocktail party ! Whoops. For every guest it was the, 'one for you and one for me' scenario raftl
To be honest, they were the best days of my life. After that I still went to sea as a wife, that was even better.... lazed around all day. The crew didn't really work hard then, plenty of time for themselves but that was before the quick turn around and a week or so in port was quite usual. Will say that it was my first insight on how bitchy men can be to each other. Worse than women!
The Cunard ships in the early half on the 1900's would have probably been back breaking work for the chaps shovelling the coal and that I dare say, could have been pretty gruesome at times.



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