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Thread: Thunderbox.

  1. #1
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    Default Thunderbox.

    Anyone remember the thunderbox? They were always on the stern of junks and smaller craft, I saw them mostly in the East.
    Once we were tied up in port, Singapore I think, and a boat tied up along side of us to pick up some of our cargo.
    My cabin was the last on the port side (City Of Ely) just above the steering flats and screw.
    This boat had a thunderbox, which was directly outside my porthole. It was so hot, we had to keep it open, due to no AC.
    Every time one of the crew used the thunderbox, I was privileged to be the only witness to the bowel emptying process, right up and personal. I'm talking about a couple of feet distance, and about the same lower than the thunderbox. A sight and sound (and smell) to behold.
    Anyone else have this experience?

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    Default Re: Thunderbox.

    Didnt know of the term thunderbox on a vessel ......but west coast ensign was usually the term i recognised for a dangerous crapper hung over the ass end of the vessel usually visited by flies in the millions....R683532

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    Default Re: Thunderbox.

    "Thunderbox" was always a term used by the army. I have not heard the name used at sea but I am sure there would be an equivalent, particularly on small vessels such as Junks and yachts.

    Frank.

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    Default Re: Thunderbox.

    Didnt have to be junks and small vessels , unless there were toilets on the ship for stevedores they were a common sight on most vessels in the likes of Japan e.g. 50 or 60 stevedores have to have facilities and the thunder box was theCarpenters piece of artwork surrounded by burlap to shoulder height and direct access to the water below. For those speaking Japanese like Cappy who will know that well known Japanese phrase “ stand from Under” . JS
    R575129

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    Default Re: Thunderbox.

    Loading Iron ore down the West Coast we used to have a thunder box over the stern for the shore wallas.
    Des
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    Lest We Forget

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    Default Re: Thunderbox.

    Not on any Ship or Junk cappy

    But on our old Farm Years back, we had the outside Thunderbox, with one great Big hole in the Ground. No Lights at night so if one went it was steady as you go or down the Hole ! LOL
    And smell, well i need not go into detail. It was aweful! Not a pleasant way to spend some alone time i can tell you! LOL
    Senior Site Moderator-Member and Friend of this Website

    R697530

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    Default Re: Thunderbox.

    Pretty sure I reported sometime ago of a series of photographs taken by one of our Engineers showing the entire process from a person climbing in, the contorted, straining face, followed down to the turd made, water splash. From what we called a “Thunder Box” in the 50’s aboard PSNC vessels serving West Coast South America.
    Many of you do remember the weighted wooden “Scupper splash boards” we had hung over the side in way of any active toilet discharge, to deflect it downward and hopefully not onto the gangway, dock side or barge. That was before Sceptic Tanks were fitted. As an aside … Sceptic Tanks in recent years had to be installed aboard the Liberty Ship “Jeremiah O’Brien” in San Francisco. The spaces we were using before then rusted through and leaked due to the fact they were not coated/lined for such service. The ship took aboard portable toilets for each cruise and does still take some on deck. Wish I had those dump photos !
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    Default Re: Thunderbox.

    My GGF up in Sunderland lived in a house with a 'thunderbox' at the end of the yard.
    Not so bad in daylight but in the early hours of a winters morn you had to go very carefully.

    Night cart came every so often to empty.

    But the house of my in laws in Ireland only had a big hole in the ground, a seat and a door.
    Once a year the f in law had to dig it out.
    You could almost ride a bike along the smell it was so strong.
    Happy daze John in Oz.

    Life is too short to blend in.

    John Strange R737787
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    Default Re: Thunderbox.

    Our Hole in the Ground was so deep John, and although it stank, we used to drop Jays Fluid down to ease the Ponk!
    But when the hole was eventually getting too full, all was could do then was to cover it up, took three of our Workers a full day to get Soil to fill it in, and then another almost Week to get another Dug! It was aweful, and that like that till Dad had enough cash to get a proper Dunny fitted , with Running Water as well. What a Blessing!
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    Default Re: Thunderbox.

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Vernon View Post
    Our Hole in the Ground was so deep John, and although it stank, we used to drop Jays Fluid down to ease the Ponk!
    But when the hole was eventually getting too full, all was could do then was to cover it up, took three of our Workers a full day to get Soil to fill it in, and then another almost Week to get another Dug! It was aweful, and that like that till Dad had enough cash to get a proper Dunny fitted , with Running Water as well. What a Blessing!
    why did you not dig the new one first, then the soil excavated could have been used to fill the old one?

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