One of our members came across a Wartime Photo of the Royalist C89
The final sentence of the caption states..
“By all accounts, she was cramped, uncomfortable, and the air conditioning inadequate for the climate in which she operated in the East Indies”
Nothing had improved, in fact, it was probably worse when we had her in the 1950’s and 60’s. as they had fitted in lots of extra equipment, some of which went in to what had been
previously Mess Deck spaces.
The fo’rard P O’s Mess became known as “The Piggery” when we did the 1957/8 “long trip” up in the Far East, because the Late P O ELect. Fred Vickers wrote to the RSPCA saying that “he was shortly going to retire from the Navy and was possibly going to start a Pig Farm in the Rodney County and what was the Minimum Space required to keep a Pig as he needed some guidance and help on this matter”.
When the reply came back, it caused hysterics amongst the 28 of us in the Mess as it worked out that we had less than 1/10th of the space required to keep a pig. in fact, only 16 could sleep in the Mess, there were 12 Bunks, 2 Tables and 4 slinging billets for Hammocks…the other P O’s slept in various “Cabooshes in their “part of ship”. e.g. U.T.R. E.W.O. Low Power Room. Chippies Shop, Pay Office, Engineers Office, etc…anywhere they could.
As it was still “Broadside Messing” with the “food” coming down from the Galley in trays, only 12 could sit down to eat at the 2 tables…the others waited, or sat with the plate in their lap.
Yes, things have improved for the better, but makes you think of where we have come from in those intervening years.
Thanks Jim B for the contribution.