Bars on RFA Ships.

OLD STRAWBERRY
31st October 2007, 11:13
When exactly were bars allowed in RFA Ships. I Joined the RFA in 1958 and left late 1963. During that time there were no bars in any of the ships that I served in. To My recollection there was an allowance of three cans per night per person,consisting of mainly "Simmond's" pale ale. Does anyone have any further memories on the subject?.
Regards. Tony.

gdynia
31st October 2007, 11:45
Tony

I went on one of their tankers in the early 70,s whilst at South Shields College they had a fully stocked bar onboard her.

Degema
31st October 2007, 17:37
I was R/O in Black Ranger at Portland 1962/63 and there was a bar then.

MikeK
31st October 2007, 18:01
I was on Tidepool and Tidereach in the early 70's and they both had three bars on board ie Officers, PO's and Crew

Mike

OLD STRAWBERRY
31st October 2007, 20:12
I was R/O in Black Ranger at Portland 1962/63 and there was a bar then.

Degema, I was aboard the Black Ranger Oct/Dec 1963 at Portland. She was my last Ship, prior to leaving the RFA for the first time. I can definitely say that there was no crew bar during that time.
Regards.Tony.

aleddy
1st November 2007, 02:00
Only an Officers Bar on Wave Prince when I joined her in 62.
Chief Steward served the crew cans of beer direct from Bond Store and on the slate. 3 cans I think
I tried to get some but at that stage was promptly told, "you are too young lad" and I had thought I had made an art out of getting served in Belfast Bars
Cheers
Ted

Degema
1st November 2007, 10:18
My apologies Old Strawbs. It was probably an Officers bar. I remember having quite a few RPCs there.

Lancastrian
3rd November 2007, 13:55
I dont think there is a simple answer to your question Old Strawbs. In RFAs built or acquired since the sixties, there have been bars for all three messes. The policy was introduced as it was thought preferable to have public drinking rather than "secret cabin drinking".
On older ships it depended on whether the ship was wholly UK manned, her size and her previous history. Even the early Officers bars were often makeshift affairs sectioned off from the Saloon.
It will be interesting to see how long they survive in todays pc climate!

STRAWBERRY
3rd November 2007, 20:32
It was the crew bar that actually kept me Sane in my 14 RFA Years...

OLD STRAWBERRY
4th November 2007, 09:41
I do remember sometime around 1976 going aboard RFA Resurgent. I was working at The Naval Base at Portland and I was serving in RMAS Cockchafer (stores vessel). We were alongside delivering stores and had occaison to go aboard, probably an invite to lunch. There was a bar on board then, Situated in the old PO's rec Room. I was in Resurgent 60/61 definitely no crew bar then. Someone Must have said in the Heirachy,Yes RFA vessels can now have a bar or bars. I just wondered when. I guess we are narrowing it down to somewhere between 1963 and 1976???.
Regards.

MikeK
4th November 2007, 15:46
I do remember sometime around 1976 going aboard RFA Resurgent. I was working at The Naval Base at Portland and I was serving in RMAS Cockchafer (stores vessel). We were alongside delivering stores and had occaison to go aboard, probably an invite to lunch. There was a bar on board then, Situated in the old PO's rec Room. I was in Resurgent 60/61 definitely no crew bar then. Someone Must have said in the Heirachy,Yes RFA vessels can now have a bar or bars. I just wondered when. I guess we are narrowing it down to somewhere between 1963 and 1976???.
Regards.

When I joined the Tidepool in '72 I never got the impression that the bar(s) were a comparatively new addition, so I would err towards sometime in the 60's
Mike

CEYLON220
4th November 2007, 15:46
I was invited aboard the Resurgent in Manila Bay in 1959 by mates of the ships crew to celebrate my 23 birthday. I remember going into the cabin space and seeing 12 boxes of can beer stacked up against the bulkhead,I did`nt see any bars but after saying that I did`nt see much of anything except that no cans were left full that night, Iwonder where those lads are now, I fancy a repeat of that night----any takers????????????

Noddy-Billing
8th February 2008, 13:35
I joined 'Resurgent' in September 1967 (my 25th birthday) and there was a crews bar ( just aft of the flight deck). However, we were 'rationed to 2 cans on a work day, 3 at weekends and none during RAS's! Hope this helps date the issue.

OLD STRAWBERRY
8th February 2008, 13:50
Noddy, My memory of Resurgent was if the crew Bar was just aft of the Flight deck You'd be on the poop. Unless it was situated in the housing under the flight deck.
Regards. Tony.

Peter4447
8th February 2008, 17:47
Back in 1964 in Gibraltar I was storing a Coastal Minesweeper prior to it being towed back to the UK. The Minesweeper was outboard of the Tug 'Warden' and I had to carry the boxes across her deck. Half way through I was suddenly shouted at and glaring down at me was a very inebriated gentleman with four bars on his shoulder, who left me in no doubts whatsoever as to what I should do with my boxes (although physically impossible) and to get them off his ***** deck asap!
He then wandered off forrard and it was very clear that the crew members of the tug who had been helping me were very embarrased. Once the boxes were on the CMS they invited me to a room equipped with a bar on the port side and just forrard of the towing deck (and under the main deck) where the first of several pints of beer in mugs (with handles) was thrust into my hand.
So all I can say is that a crew bar certainly did exist on the tug 'Warden' in 1964
Needless to say this was in the days before I signed the pledge!!!
Peter4447(Jester)

Lancastrian
8th February 2008, 19:09
Resurgent didnt have a flight deck, just a winching platform aft. The Crew Bar was midships on the Main Deck. I think it was there in 1964, but certainly was by 1969 when I had the dubious pleasure of closing it every other night. http://www.rfaaplymouth.org/images/WCN3.JPG

slick
8th February 2008, 21:36
All,
I also had the pleasure of closing RFA Bars, I did not think it be of any use to me till I had the task of closing down cells in HMP's, I leave you to guess which was the easier.
Yours aye,
Slick

dom
9th February 2008, 02:17
no bars on the Olna in 1956 but you could buy tots of rum whisky gin whatever at four pence a go,buy a bottle, never.

OLD STRAWBERRY
9th February 2008, 07:52
All,
I also had the pleasure of closing RFA Bars, I did not think it be of any use to me till I had the task of closing down cells in HMP's, I leave you to guess which was the easier.
Yours aye,
Slick
Ah,Yes but that was only a formality, there was always a spare key and the same also applied to the officers bars.(Pint)

Noddy-Billing
9th February 2008, 18:21
Noddy, My memory of Resurgent was if the crew Bar was just aft of the Flight deck You'd be on the poop. Unless it was situated in the housing under the flight deck.
Regards. Tony.

Doh! Got my forward and aft mixed up! It was immediately forward of the flight deck, of course.

STRAWBERRY
9th February 2008, 18:23
I agree with the locking up rule each evening for the most part, however as my dad has just stated, there were spare keys, for all 3 bars. but what about the lads coming off the 8-12 or the 12-4 watch. (Engine room and Deck) surely they are entitled to have a few cans before getting their heads down, I often had a few cans of McEwans before I turned in. I was technically off watch, and I couldn't have a few before I went on watch.

STRAWBERRY
9th February 2008, 18:25
Doh! Got my forward and aft mixed up! It was immediately forward of the flight deck, of course.

Yeah, but did you ever go to the toilets aft of the Poop deck??
I never but some did!!(Thumb)

Noddy-Billing
9th February 2008, 18:28
Resurgent didnt have a flight deck, just a winching platform aft. The Crew Bar was midships on the Main Deck. I think it was there in 1964, but certainly was by 1969 when I had the dubious pleasure of closing it every other night. http://www.rfaaplymouth.org/images/WCN3.JPG

Not sure what a winching platform was. In 1967-68, helicopters from Ark Royal often landed on the 'flight deck' situated aft, which makes it a flight deck in my world! Also it was two deck levels above the main deck, if you follow the convention of the 'main deck' being the highest continuous deck of a ship. or is my memory incorrect?
(A)

OLD STRAWBERRY
10th February 2008, 07:38
I tend to agree with You Noddy. I was in her in 1961 and We did flying trials at Portland during Work-up prior to Far-East deployment. We had a Whirwind touch on for a few minutes.
Regards Tony.

Lancastrian
11th February 2008, 14:18
Not sure what a winching platform was. In 1967-68, helicopters from Ark Royal often landed on the 'flight deck' situated aft, which makes it a flight deck in my world! Also it was two deck levels above the main deck, if you follow the convention of the 'main deck' being the highest continuous deck of a ship. or is my memory incorrect?
(A)
I'm not saying that the odd helicopter never touched down unofficially but it was never designed for that. It was built as a platform from which loads could be vertrepped . It was very small and had none of the facilities which a proper flight deck requires. See this one http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=62813
If helos from the Ark used it they were breaking the rules which was very naughty of them considering the possible consequences of a mishap!
Are you sure you've got the right ship?

MikeK
12th February 2008, 09:39
Got an aerial picture in front of me of the Tidereach, Resurgent and HMS Bulwark during a RAS, when I was junior 3/o on the Tidereach. The pad on the 'Reach was a tiny affair only suitable for VERTREP, however the helo's used to fly along 'crabwise' with one wheel on the edge while people transferred ! (Health and what ??) The Resurgents' pad looks to be a far more substantial affair, but still a bit cramped.
Mike
PS I also remember the aggravating farce of 'closing' the crew bar (to catcalls etc !) then passing by the PO's bar just to show you had been there ! Then returning midships where there was no extra bar key on that ship !

Lancastrian
12th February 2008, 19:39
Well the Resurgent's vertrep platform was for issuing so it had a Heath Robinson Lift contraption but it still wasn't a Flight Deck iaw BR.766A. We have strayed a bit from the thread which in later posts was the location of Resurgent's Crew Bar which I reckon was forward of No.4 Hatch with a door on the starboard side. Unless anyone knows different.
Whenever I passed by the PO's Bar it was a model of decorum and very hospitable.
The age of "spare keys " and refreshments for the watchkeepers came to an end with the introduction of the breathalyser in the nineties.