The Lighthouse

tedc
26th January 2007, 20:13
In the mid 1950s, Calcutta had a cinema named "The Lighthouse".

This edifice was magnificent, not because of the films shown therein - of which I remember not one - but because the place was heavily airconditioned!

Now this would not seem important to those fancy dans, whose later Brocks craft were fitted with aircon anyway, but it was hailed as "better than sex" (in Calcutta) for those worthies in ships like the Makalla & the Mahout, etc etc., in which you had to survive the monsoon period unassisted.

Some of us tried to live our entire stay in that cinema...walking out at closing time into the "wall" of blazing humidity...ah! Those were the days!

Wonder if the Lighthouse is still there....?

Tony Sprigings
27th January 2007, 10:25
Ted,
I remember it well and like you spent many happy hours just 'cooling off' after the heat and stench of Kidderpore Dock. Life was tough in those days!

Cheers.
Tony S.

Hugh Ferguson
27th January 2007, 12:58
Me too! I remember it well, a veritable sanctuary, a refuge. The worst bit was coming out into Chowringhe after the show and worse still, back on board the ship-the mossies, the heat, the humidity.

R58484956
27th January 2007, 14:58
According to google the cinema is still there at 2 Humayun place, Kolkata.

Derek Roger
27th January 2007, 15:09
It is or was about 6 or 7 years ago which is the last time I visited Cal; I did not go the the cinema that time as all that was showing were Indian Movies .
Back in the 60s it was a pleasure but I think the A/C in the bar at the GOH was better . The Gin and limes certainly were !
Derek

A.G.Greenwood
27th January 2007, 19:18
Remember it well. Went there with a lovely girl by the name of Pam Richin. Film, if I remember correctly was Danny Kaye in the Five Pennies (life of jazz musician Red Nichols). Gin and Grapefruit was the in drink at the time. This was in 1959 or 1960. Really happy days, long gone.
Tony Greenwood

Roger Bentley
27th January 2007, 19:54
Now there is a memory. That air conditioning was a welcome respite. One memorable evening we went to watch the Dam Busters, leaving the cinema we heard an English Mem Sahib say "But it didn't really happen did it?" What a sheltered life she must have had! Salaams, Roger

gwzm
27th January 2007, 22:04
Hugh Ferguson got it absolutely spot on - cool inside and baking hot and humid outside, not to mention the seething mass of Calcutta humanity.

All part of life's rich tapestry.

John/gwzm

noel grayson
27th January 2007, 23:16
Hugh Ferguson got it absolutely spot on - cool inside and baking hot and humid outside, not to mention the seething mass of Calcutta humanity.

All part of life's rich tapestry.

John/gwzm

Trouble is that we forgot the heat and the stench once we were at Sandheads homeward bound, and of course went back for more the next voyage, but I do remember The Lighthouse well.
Nobby Grayson

Tony Selman
29th January 2007, 21:21
I only went to The Lighthouse a couple of times because I was one of those lucky Brock's men that seemed to end up in Colombo much more often than I ended up in Cal - now there's a blessing that I did not fully appreciate at the time.

I did, however, regularly go to the cinema in Colombo and that was air conditioned as well but for the life I cannot remember the name. I am sure someone with grey cells in better condition than mine will come up with the answer.

docgk
30th January 2007, 09:35
I have a strong recollection that the Colombo cinema in question was the 'Regal'. Air conditioned, yes, but for me the memory of the 'circle' with wicker chairs/tables and waiters bringing gin and fresh lime is the main defining feature!

Hugh Ferguson
30th January 2007, 11:36
I forgot to mention that the first time I went to a film at the Lighthouse was about June/July in 1945. I was in the M.O.W.T. Empire Capulet at that time, and during our seemingly unending 9 months in the Bay of Bengal we were up and down the Hooghly 13 times!
It was my first ever experience of air-conditioning and I don't recall it in any cinema I went to in Bombay, Colombo or Madras, or anywhere else in the world we got to for that matter, during that two year long voyage.

Tony Selman
30th January 2007, 12:58
Graham, I do believe you are right, The Regal does ring a bell now you mention it. I had completely forgotten about the wicker chairs and gin and limes though.

Hugh, I don't know whether there was such a thing as the Bay of Bengal long service medal but if not there should be one and you are very deserving of it. That is service above and beyond the call of duty, 13 times up The Hooghly in 9 months - dear God the mind boggles. I am surprised the Lighthouse had a/c in 1945 though, it must have been a very modern invention for Cal in those days.

Hugh Ferguson
31st January 2007, 19:21
Graham, I do believe you are right, The Regal does ring a bell now you mention it. I had completely forgotten about the wicker chairs and gin and limes though.

Hugh, I don't know whether there was such a thing as the Bay of Bengal long service medal but if not there should be one and you are very deserving of it. That is service above and beyond the call of duty, 13 times up The Hooghly in 9 months - dear God the mind boggles. I am surprised the Lighthouse had a/c in 1945 though, it must have been a very modern invention for Cal in those days.

Since, Tony, we're into the Hooghly via the Lighthouse cinema, I wondered if any of you Brocklebank people had ever experienced being on the Garden Reach buoys at BORE time. In the hell ship EMPIRE CAPULET in 1945, we were always assigned to the buoys, and on no less than 2 occasions, failed to survive the experience, or rather, I should say, our cast iron fairleads failed the test and we were obliged to adjourn to Kiddapore Dock.
Twice a day on spring tides we were obliged to standbye-with steam on main engine-and witness that incredible influx of water that flung dinghies right up onto the grass and at the same time lifted the ship so rapidly that you could feel her rise!
As this happened you could see those enormous coir springs on their 4 fold tackles, stretch & stretch. Then the tremendous stresses began to be taken up by the chains, which at the fore end were through the hause-pipes and at the after end, through our ordinary mooring fairleads. Then the fun began as the sparks began to fly and bits of fairlead detached themselves and went flying through the air. Our own ship was throwing more shrapnel at us than the Japanese had so far succeeded in doing!
I remember the odd B.I. ship nearbye (KARAPARA comes to mind) sharing the experience but I'm sure that somebody in Brocklebanks would have witnessed the same but with non wartime standard fairleads.

Tony Selman
1st February 2007, 10:04
Hugh, the Hooghly bore has been mentioned before on another thread/s and some learned deck officers have described in detail the mooring arrangements. I will have a plough through and see if I can find it when I get a minute.

Tony Selman
1st February 2007, 12:12
I have had a trawl round and can't find the thread that contains the comments about how ships were moored for the Hooghly bore. I haven't read every single thread but it certainly hasn't jumped out at me, can anyone else remember? I think it may be one of those that started under a different title and then moved on to another subject.

Hugh Ferguson
3rd February 2007, 10:45
See Ports, Docks & Harbours for a posting on the Tercentenary of the Hooghly River Pilot Service.

Hugh Ferguson
8th February 2007, 20:25
I have had a trawl round and can't find the thread that contains the comments about how ships were moored for the Hooghly bore. I haven't read every single thread but it certainly hasn't jumped out at me, can anyone else remember? I think it may be one of those that started under a different title and then moved on to another subject.

I've just posted an old photograph in Ports, Docks & Harbours section which demonstrates the unchanging way in which ships were moored in the Hooghly stream at Garden Reach.

Derek Roger
8th February 2007, 21:59
Back to the Lighthouse for a moment .

In late 1965 the Chief of Police in Calcutta was a fellow by the name of Stephenson .
He apparently had a very beautifull daughter and the Brock apprentices vied for her attention : she did I am told go to the "Lighthouse " with a few lucky lads .
I was not fortunate enough to have the honour and in fact lost interest when told that part of the " deal " was as well as taking the young lady one also had to pay for the chaperone who was an aging Indian woman with eyes ; like a " Calcutta Sh-te Hawk "
With limited apprentice funds a night at the Lighthouse with Firpos to follow was a treat !!
I think I could have seen my way to an extravagent night out with Miss Stephenson given the chance but to hell with also having to entertain and feed the 'Nanny ".
Apparently a car with "Police " driver was supplied so at least taxi fares were saved .
Derek

Tony Selman
13th February 2007, 10:50
I have at long last found an image that I could recall having seen on the board. One of our Brock's stalwarts Stuart Smith posted this image quite a while ago and it is entirely fitting for this thread.

Stuart has given his blanket authority to use any of his photos on the site, and due acknowledgement is given, but I am sure he would be pleased to see this most nostalgic of pictures used in this way.

Incidentally I haven't seen a posting from him recently, has anyone heard from him.

Tony Selman
13th February 2007, 10:53
For some reason the picture does not enlarge when you click on it - I have no idea why at the moment. On the original picture Stuart said The Lighthouse was showing Taras Bulba and you can see the hoarding in the background.

roy quirk
14th February 2007, 00:29
Tony,
I started a thread off about the Hooghly bore. Its on page 3 under the heading of "Markhor" . THere is a good photo on site of the Markhor chained up in the river.

Hugh Ferguson
17th February 2007, 20:37
Graham, I do believe you are right, The Regal does ring a bell now you mention it. I had completely forgotten about the wicker chairs and gin and limes though.

Hugh, I don't know whether there was such a thing as the Bay of Bengal long service medal but if not there should be one and you are very deserving of it. That is service above and beyond the call of duty, 13 times up The Hooghly in 9 months - dear God the mind boggles. I am surprised the Lighthouse had a/c in 1945 though, it must have been a very modern invention for Cal in those days.

Re. Hooghly river and the "bore". See new contribution on this subject in the Ports & Harbours file.

Derek Roger
18th February 2007, 03:09
Checked with Googgle tonight .
Light House tonight is showing repeats of
" Dixon of Dock Green " to be followed by " Jewel in the Crown "

Lefty
24th February 2007, 12:45
Seem to remember a section of a thread regarding the correct anchor per hemisphere got around to The Hoogli Moor. H

japottinger
2nd March 2007, 18:19
No smoking either!

tonybutler
13th March 2007, 23:21
Looking back on my time with Brocks, 51-54, in seven visits to Calcutta, we never once tied up in Kidderpore, every time we were at the buoys in Garden reach and loaded from barges. Is this a record or was it usual? The big advantage was that it was very handy for the Swimming Club, of which I have fond memories. There were two pools there and after sunning oneself in the outdoor it was lovely to cool off in the indoor pool, even though there was only a few degrees difference.
I only went to the Lighthouse once each visit, it was too expensive for us poor apprentices, but an Ice Cream at Firpos! That was luxury, indeed.