Tonsorial artist at work on Sunday morning aboard Ulysses. The bosun gets a trim from the Lamptrimmer.

Blue Funnel ships usually carried western deck crews - mainly Scousers and Gogs (North Welshmen) with a sprinkling of Irishmen, Stornowegians and others. My first trip around the world on Agamemnon in 1947 had such a crew because it was what was known then as a 'Yorker'. That meant that we sailed from UK to the Far East, then loaded for the USA, thence back to the East and then back to UK. There was also a 'double Yorker' on which the ship did two trips to the States before returning home, still well within the two year duration of the agreement. Later on, ships were stationed out there permanently and the cost of repatriating crews became prohibitive. So Asian crews were carried. The first choice crew for a China Boat would have been Chinese, but the American authorities imposed swingeing penalties for any Chinese crew member who jumped ship so that was out of the question. Indian crews were carried for a while, but they had to come from Calcutta where the Indian lines, B.I. and P&O had first choice of the available men and we got what was left. Eventually, the company settled on Malay crews recruited first hand in Singapore. They were good sailormen.


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