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Thread: Black Tot day

  1. #21
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    Default Re: Black Tot day

    “Up Spirits” was the famous call that seamen aboard Royal Navy vessels had heard each day around noon for more than three centuries, signaling them to report to the deck and receive a tot, or shot, of rum.

    Before rum, the Navy had served beer to its sailors. But as the Navy began traveling to all parts of the world, it needed a drink that wouldn’t rot in barrels and would take up less cargo room. According to the Web site of Pusser’s Rum, sailors were first served rum in 1655 and it became standard practice by 1731.

    Sailors were originally served a gill (a quarter of a pint) of rum in the afternoon and evening. The rum helped to boost the spirits of men on a long journey, but often they would become intoxicated by saving their tots and drinking them together. In 1740, Adm. Edward Vernon, nicknamed “Old Grog,” ordered that the rum be watered down before being served so that sailors would be forced to drink it right away.

    The watered-down rum, which also had lime and sugar added for flavor, was unpopular with the sailors and derisively called “grog.”

    In 1831, rum became the official beverage of the Navy. During the 19th century, the serving was reduced to an eighth of a pint and later the evening serving was eliminated.

    The tot played an important social role on the ships. “At sea, rum was a kind of currency, just like money,” says Pusser’s Rum. “To offer a shipmate a portion of one's tot, no matter how small, was deemed to be the apotheosis of generosity.”

    In 1970, the House of Commons, feeling that the crews needed to be alert and sober to operate the technologically advanced equipment, decided to abolish the practice of serving rum, though sailors would be allowed an extra can of beer every day.

    The daily tot was served until July 31, 1970, a day that came to be known as Black Tot Day. Ships bemoaned the dark day in many different ways; some held elaborate ceremonies, and others threw their final ration overboard. The HMS Dolphin paid respects to the tot’s demise by having “a gun carriage bearing a coffin that was flanked by two drummers and led by a piper playing a lament,” says Axford’s Abode.
    "Our veterans did not forget about us .... Let's not forget about them." From Michael Levesque

  2. #22
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    Default Re: Black Tot day

    In Canadian Pacific on the north Atlantic run on the Beaver boats, wintertime every one on board was issued with a bottle of rum. Cannot remember the brand but recall that most thought it was pretty rough stuff.
    Rgds
    J.A.

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    Default Re: Black Tot day

    Quote Originally Posted by john arton View Post
    in canadian pacific on the north atlantic run on the beaver boats, wintertime every one on board was issued with a bottle of rum. Cannot remember the brand but recall that most thought it was pretty rough stuff.
    Rgds
    j.a.
    how often?

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    Default Re: Black Tot day

    One a day sounds reasonable Tony. Per man per bottle. JS
    Last edited by j.sabourn; 31st July 2020 at 11:53 AM.
    R575129

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    Default Re: Black Tot day

    Tony
    1 bottle each per voyage, being a good little cadet I gave my bottle to the most deserving fellow crew member, the chief officer
    Rgds
    J.A.

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  7. #26
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    Default Re: Black Tot day

    Quote Originally Posted by John Arton View Post
    Tony
    1 bottle each per voyage, being a good little cadet I gave my bottle to the most deserving fellow crew member, the chief officer
    Rgds
    J.A.
    ha ha and how many pigs were flying over the bridge at the time?

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  9. #27
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    Default Re: Black Tot day

    Quote Originally Posted by John Arton View Post
    In Canadian Pacific on the north Atlantic run on the Beaver boats, wintertime every one on board was issued with a bottle of rum. Cannot remember the brand but recall that most thought it was pretty rough stuff.
    Rgds
    J.A.
    Like you John, I cant recall the name of the rum.
    However, it did keep out the cold. And anything else.

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