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Thread: Wives please get in touch.

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    Default Wives please get in touch.

    I asked Brian to open this thread because I am sure there are plenty of wives out there who want to have their say. Please join me with your stories. My name is Lin and I am writer, but I used to sail as the wife of an engineer officer on Blue Funnel, Glen Line and Elder Dempster Ships.

    If anyone out there remembers me please don't hesitate to get in touch. I sailed on The Menestheus, Glen Falloch, Achilles, Falaba, Eboe and a few more of which I can't remember because it was short. I travelled around the world for about six years. This was between 1971 - 1977.

    I have since re-married 32 years ago. The trips on the ship made us grow up! We saw life as we had never seen it before. I think lots of wives moved on, but I would like to hear from some of you ladies even if you didn't sail with me or got divorced or whatever - please tell us your stories. I still have some photos.

    Lin
    Last edited by Lin Treadgold; 30th May 2011 at 03:50 PM.

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    Please all sea-going ladies to participate. In the seventies wives of junior ratings were not allowed in our shipping company to take wives, then they changed the rules and all officers of all ranks could travel with wives on every trip. Lin x
    Last edited by Lin Treadgold; 29th May 2011 at 11:53 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Hughes View Post
    You mean ratings were allowed to carry their wives?

    It was bad enough with junior offs wives who assumed the rank of hubby. Mrs Capt and Mrs Chief
    Well later on certain ranks could do this, but in the beginning it was only second mate or 2nd Engineer. I think it was around 1972 when the junior officers were allowed to take wives on every trip. The ratings I'm not too sure about come to think of it. I think it only went back as far as 4th engineer and Chief Steward. Someone will have to remind me its been 40 years! (well almost) There is such a lot I need to think about here. I know that when I was on a voyage of one per year, right in the middle of that they changed the rules to every trip. So I took the chance and we never stopped sailing for 6 years. I must have been around the world seven times in terms of mileage and up and down north to south and round the world once.

    Lin
    Last edited by Lin Treadgold; 29th May 2011 at 01:24 PM.

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    During my voyages I rarely had competition. I was often on my own and treated like a queen. Then as time progressed other wives came on board. We had to learn how to behave, no going into the bar at certain times of the day. Men like their fire gazing time! I often had that 'I shouldnt be here' feeling and I had to know when I wasn't wanted. I made myself very useful for typing, sewing and painting lifebelts!

    All in all I do however believe that all the wives did have a 'rank' within the group, even though they probably wouldn't admit it at the time. I think it rubbed off from the husbands' rank and the way the guys spoke about work etc. We just went along with it.

    One wife and I got on really well, we were editors for a ship to ship magazine in Lobito. We had a great time putting it together whilst the ships were 100 in line to go into port at the start of the Angolan war. We had to wait our turn and the wives had to find something to do. So we did. There were also a few jealousies and nit-picking, but nothing in my experience got any further than a simple apology the next day.

    I often wonder what happened to all the 'Board of Trade Acquaintances' Where are they now?

    As I am a writer all this stuff comes in useful for my novels.

    Thanks to all

    Lin

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    Default officers wives

    I have sailed on many a voyage with my husband as Bosuns wife but on one occasion we got lumped with an engineers wife who spent her time sailing with him on every trip. She disrupted the whole crew, knew everything, drank far too much and was just a pest. There was no escaping her. They must have saved so much money by her living free. I felt she was just a bludger.There were two other wives on that trip with their husbands also being deck crew, no problems with them as they knew their place and that we were all visitors into a mans world and to act accordingly.

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    Re-reading Lyn mail, I think she must have sailed in the days where officers did think themselves a cut above others. It got better in later years when all crew mixed together especially on long voyages. One of my last was 7 months so everyone had to get on together. The officers and crew were grateful to us ladies for making their Xmas on-board a joyful one. I had bought table cloths(xmas)in Vancouver, decorations in Alaska and made my husband at sailing time, get down the gangway and cut us a couple of beautiful Xmas trees growing by the dock. The mate broke out the stores crane to haul them onboard and they said it was the best Xmas they had had at sea. So we came in handy.I also painted down the Burma road, the decks when we finally made it to warmer climates, did the mess room for the messman when he went ashore, I was busy the whole time. No time to feel bored. Loved every minute of it.

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    I suppose we loved adventure and being only 22 - 23 years of age - we grabbed the chance to see the world and we did!

    Looking back I am glad we took this opportunity. Life on board ship was an 'eye opener' we grew up very quickly!

    You must see my posts from a 'Wives Point of View' We didn't see life on board it as you guys did.For the wives it was the opportunity of a life time. For you guys it was a job. The ship was your home for months on end, for the wives it was a long holiday!

    At that time I enjoyed writing poetry and spent many hours typing, I also wrote a journal. Due to unforseen circumstances in later years my writings were destroyed and I feel very sad about it.

    Also I was not on the same ship every trip. Sometimes I stayed at home for a few weeks. So I met new crew every time. It was all about seeing the world and gaining satisfaction from knowing I hadn't sat at home doing nothing whilst hubby was at sea. It was then I became interested in bird watching and wildlife and for the rest of my years this has been my hobby. I now work as a volunteer on a nature reserve in Holland.

    I can hardly believe it was forty years ago.

    Lin

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    [

    Hi Jenny Welcome to the Board, or should that be Welcome On Board! So glad you popped in for a chat.

    Oh yes I agree with you 100%. Christmas with the girls on board made a difference I am sure. I remember it was a tradition to swap ranks with the Captain and the Chief Engineer. We girls wore their epaulettes at the Christmas table. Because my hubby was engineering - I wore the eps of the chief. The Second Mate's wife sat at the head of the table and wore the Old Man's eps. It was a touching gesture. We loved it.

    Lin
    Last edited by Lin Treadgold; 31st May 2011 at 09:47 AM.

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    Now how shallow is that? Touche'

    You could have tried getting a job and/or raising children - quote


    Michael may I remind you that this thread is for the ladies. Brian, our Moderator has made this clear. What we don't need here is shipboard overspill. Whilst I don't wish to appear rude, if you have grievances then please air them elsewhere and not on an otherwise friendly forum. The rules of etiquette on forums are clear. Your remarks seem to be lowering the tone of the thread.
    Last edited by Lin Treadgold; 30th May 2011 at 07:43 AM.

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    Hi Eifion,

    Welcome to the Forum, Not sure which gender you are but welcome anyway. I found your post most interesting. Thank you.

    Lin

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