Trampships, Tankers and Polite Conversation: Experiences of the Merchant Navy During the 1950's and 1960's.
by John Lee
When John Lee joined the Merchant Navy he had no idea of the adventures which were to come his way over the next ten years. An innocent sixteen year ... Show synopsis When John Lee joined the Merchant Navy he had no idea of the adventures which were to come his way over the next ten years. An innocent sixteen year old from East Yorkshire, he was first apprenticed to the toughest of trampship companies before experiencing the potentially explosive delights of life on an oil tanker.Finally, as a young officer enjoying rather more civilised surroundings, he is obliged to learn the art of polite conversation as he mixes with affluent first class passengers and takes charge of a memorable rescue at sea.... The book is a fascinating insight into life in the Merchant Navy of the 1950's and 60's peppered with a wealth of characters and stories. Often hilarious, but always truthful and entertaining, life on board and in port is described in all its facets- the typhoons, icy, bone-chilling North Atlantic gales, freak waves and near disasters, awful food and the demon drink. The stories and anecdotes come thick and fast of gnarled seadogs and eccentric captains, knife fights and bandits as well as sex pests and the beguiling females who haunt the dock gates. This entertaining book is a window on a way of life now largely gone, a tribute to that unique breed of men who put their skills and mettle to the test as they crossed the wild, unforgiving oceans of the world.