Rifleye

Tai Pan
24th July 2009, 12:24
How many remember this likeable rouge. First on board at Port Said or Suez, set up shop on the aft hatch, full of information ref other bluies. Had a good line in white shoes, these had a self destruct mechanism in them, they always seemed to disintigrate 1 hour before arrival at :sweat: Port Said or Suez, and who should be there to replace- Rifleye. :sweat:

Trident
25th July 2009, 06:00
No Cant say i do remember traders coming aboard in port said or Suez in fact i thought we tried to keep them off the ship, they were a load of thieves, i remember on one occasion the stole the bottom shackles off the gangway......Al

Pat Kennedy
25th July 2009, 07:57
Yes, I remember the traders coming aboard in Port Said, they used to set up the wares on No 4 hatch on the 'A' boats. There was Rifle Eye, who was a master at haggling and addressed you as 'McGregor' if you beat his price down . I got a pair of maroon leather sandals off him in 1960, and still had them in 2003, when my wife threw them out as 'disgusting'.
There was also the barber, and the conjurer, called the 'Gilly Gilly' man, because of the noise he made as he shuffled the three shells around.There were more, and as Al says, they would nick anything that wasn't bolted down.
Pat

Bill Davies
25th July 2009, 10:07
I too remember the characters Pat and Al refers to. I seem to remember one had chickens on his person and make them appear from apparently nowhere..

Bill

Billieboy
25th July 2009, 10:54
Then there was Taffy the Barber, who would switch to Glaswegian,Scouse, Pitmatic or Cockney as the client required! One trip the 4/E, (from the Kingdom), kept the chick the Gilly Gilly man sold him, until it was nearly big enough to eat!

R58484956
26th July 2009, 11:24
On one trip we counted the small yellow chickens running around and it was 40, but you never saw or heard any of them before he started his act.

Trident
27th July 2009, 06:23
You have jogged my memory, i do remember the Gilly Gilly man now and also a guy who used to come aboard to make sure you did not disappear with the goods the boat people passed up to you before you paid them, as if we would.

price
28th July 2009, 21:06
Did Rifleye only attend Blue Funnel Ships? I don't remember seeing him aboard any other vessels that I transited the Suez Canal after my BF days.
Bruce.

Pat Kennedy
28th July 2009, 21:18
I heard he only came aboard Blue Funnel and Glen Line ships. Other companies had their own inferior version.
Pat(Thumb)

price
28th July 2009, 21:21
I heard he only came aboard Blue Funnel and Glen Line ships. Other companies had their own inferior version.
Pat(Thumb)

Hi Pat; I thought so.
Bruce.

Tai Pan
29th July 2009, 10:23
He used to have a crew list, so he could tell you who and where anybody was. He always seemed to know when my steward had left the evening sarnies, he usually left with them in his pocket. he would sometimes transit the canal so as to meet a homeward bound ship, knew more about ship movements than the agent. Agree, he only went on BF and Glen.

MICHAEL SQUIRES
29th July 2009, 17:00
In August 1954 my Dad left the Tyndareus in Suez and was put up in an Hotel waiting for a ship to take him back to the UK. Rifleye and his pal turned up at the Hotel to see my Dad, purely as a social call ,but the 2nd Steward who was also on his way home, was not impressed to see these two scruffs in the Hotel, my Dad thought it was amusing. You're probably right, that he knew more about what was going on than the agent.

Splinter
29th July 2009, 17:46
Never came across Rifleye, but what about George Robey and his bum boat.


Ray.

Boseley
29th July 2009, 19:06
Seem to remember someone chucking balloons filled with water at the Bum Boats, caused a right shin dig.

Bob Sendall

Billieboy
29th July 2009, 19:34
Never came across Rifleye, but what about George Robey and his bum boat.
Ray.

Ive still got a couple of cigarette boxes that I bought from George, gave them to my Dad and then inherited them.(Thumb)

Bill Davies
29th July 2009, 20:22
Never came across Rifleye, but what about George Robey and his bum boat.


Ray.

You have posted a name I have not heard of in 50 years. Him anf Rifleye are just names, Can any of the members really remember what these guys looked like ( No SA remarks such as ' Like an Arab...please!)

Bill

K urgess
29th July 2009, 21:38
There's a George Robey thread somewhere.
It may be that he was called that because he looked like this or was just as capable of changing his face to match whoever he was trying to sell to -
http://www.its-behind-you.com/robey.html
Somewhere I still have a copper plate with an Egyptian head on it courtesy of the gentleman or someone very similair. Probably made out of an old hot water cylinder or something. The pvc camel stuffed with bandages and the "leather" writing case have long since departed this world.
Souvenirs of my one and only trip through the canal in 1967. (Sad)

Macphail
29th July 2009, 22:14
Must have been the Rifle Eye who sold me the engine room shoes...
East bound in the Medi, playing football on the well deck, kicked the ball; the ball went over the side followed by an engine room shoe.
I purchased a new pair of engine room shoes from a Port Said bum boat trader, looked very nice and highly polished in the box.
Part of taking the fridge log was logging the temperatures in the brine room where the deck was swimming in water. Entered the room wearing the new shoes, came out in the stocking soles. The soles of the new shoes had disintegrated in the water, turned out that, with great skill, the shoes had been manufactured from compressed paper.

John.

Succour
30th July 2009, 08:44
good story, on the paper soled shoes.
Tried a few different types....Doc Martin's, Tuf boots, leather soles were deadly, slippy, and hot, the best for grip I found were the plastic slippers used by the Hong Kong firemen. size 1O's were hard to find and sometimes needed a little adjustment at the toe.
Do you remember the ritual on leaving the ship. Flinging the ER shoes over the side. then away for a beer.
Succour

Trident
30th July 2009, 10:27
I bought on of those leather holdall's, real good leather but all the stitching broke in no time at all, I got the Chinese Boson to restitch it and it lasted years, a real bargin.........Al

jmcg
1st August 2009, 10:39
And what about the "Blue" Book man and "dirty" pictures?

Mills and Boon stuff by to-days standards!

BW

J

Pat Kennedy
1st August 2009, 20:58
John,
On my first trip to sea in the Achilles, I was PO's peggy homeward bound and found a slim, badly printed, green book under the carpenters pillow while making up his bunk.
It was one of those Port Said c*** yarns. Published by the Olympia Press in Paris, it detailed in execrable English, a footman's sexual exploits with the Queen of England, presumably Queen Victoria.
It was absolutely hilarious solely because of the grevious bodily harm it did to the English language.
I certainly saw our chippy in a new light after that.

Regards,
Pat(EEK)

jmcg
1st August 2009, 21:35
That chippy must have passed it on - I read it too!!

BW

J

Tai Pan
2nd August 2009, 10:38
I think Rifleye was lebanese, he had a cast in his left eye, or was it his right eye, hence the name rifleye.

Bill Davies
2nd August 2009, 10:42
You have just about described a typical Canal operative!!

MICHAEL SQUIRES
4th August 2009, 18:14
According to my father Rifle eye was tall and thin, his pal was short and stocky and acted as a barber.