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The following great sketches were done during the 1980’s onboard Canberra by Don Cole. They’ve been kindly sent to me by Kenny Gillespie and the narration has been supplied by Don Cole.
Please be aware that no apology is made for the language in the sketches as it’s important that I show them as they are in their original form.
Mr Barraclough (3EO) was caught wheeling in a big Aussie bird on Island Night, the comments are poetic licence but are typical of Dave's Yorkshire accent.
Alec Jameson (1st ELO) put a note in the electrical watch keepers book saying that "No decisions were to be made about changing over TA's without his authority" Thus negating the need for watch keeping electricians and their brains to be on watch together.
Dai Thomas was made up to 1st Elect and we all new about it.
Andy Day (J2 Elect) was an idle person at the best of times and came off leave with a "build your own steam engine kit", which Andy did with vigour as Rome burnt around him.
Geoff Kimber (AEO) was so pissed after Alan Casey's (AEO) birthday bash he was seen swaying while answering the phone. He’d also forgotten to take off his ear defenders before answering the phone in the TA flat.
Alan (Mr Pinks) was a J2 ELO watch keeper who liked a drink of cold milk which he kept in the brine room, and he said he’d encountered a ghost in the room while he was on watch one morning. There was a stiff in the room at the time, as the morgue was full (typical world cruise), and he was as white as one afterwards. Someone said he’d met the ghost of Ron Bacardi (Alan's favourite tipple).
During a boiler room panic Alan Champkin (AELO) was spotted admiring himself in Bert McAughtrie's "mirror mirror on the wall" in the boiler room. While everyone else was doing the blue arsed fly routine.
Ken Gillespie and Charlie Hill where running up a TA in New York one morning and forgot to open a steam valve. When they did finally remember, they opened the valve and the TA shot up to full speed in around 3 seconds and tripped out on over-speed. Embarrassed or what ?.
Ken Willey was a nice guy who was always playing hard and hence his wine account was top of the pops most times. Unfortunately, Ken passed away after a heart attack before he was 40. Our deepest sympathy goes out to Ken’s family and friends.
Barry Viscount was an ex Cunard electrician who got into a bit of bother on the main switch board one morning trying to balance the load which kept "throwing" from one side to the other before he could stop it. He was crying for help when I (Don Cole) arrived. Unfortunately again, Barry passed away a few years back as a result of an epileptic fit. Again, our deepest sympathy goes out to Barry’s family and friends.
Following a dawn (five to eight for the day work lecky's) snack attack, the mess room pantry was deemed "Out of bound's to all day work lecky's" by Alec Jameson (1st ELO) as the guys had just snaffled his breakfast as he came through the door.
A note in the electrical watch keepers book from Mr Note (you guessed it Alec Jameson 1st ELO) said that all air vents were to be pointed at the TA's to keep them cool and not at watch keeper's (mission impossible or what ?).
The Hotel Flying Squad, Paul Lightfoot (4EO) and Jack Brabham (AEO), were seen to be getting a bollocking by Brian Flower-Ellis (2nd EO) for breaking something in the galley. Paul (aka The Mad Bugger) who, a few months previously, had thrown himself out of a 1st story window in the Bon Gardine Restaurant in Lisbon (as you do) trying to emulate the indestructible P&O legend Dave Oakes had joined Canberra with a nasty limp and was quick to defend himself by blaming everyone else.
Mr Barraclough "Barras" (3EO) reckoned he was quite a good footballer in his day and had been in the Orsova cup winning team of 1952 or some thing like that. (mostly poetic licence again I’m afraid).
Paul "Granny Green" (4EO) who liked much older women and Toxteth O'Grady (AEO) from Liverpool believe it or not, had spent much of the day drinking beer and "Bronzing" their butt's on the monkey island in Suva (Fiji) and by 4 pm they were both declared medium rare and when asked to go and warm through a boiler, there was so much radiated heat coming of there arses that the need for flashing torches was greatly reduced thus saving the company a considerable amount in fuel oil. “Well done lad's” Arthur Bowness (CH Eng) was heard to say … Not.
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