Kenya and Uganda.

ian keyl
15th September 2007, 01:24
My first taste of the see dispite coming from Aberdeen was in 1951 when as a young child we sailed from the UK London (Not if West india Royals or Tilbury) I know we came down to the docks by train (Liverpool st/St Pancaras) .The vessel was the Uganda black hull.
Our final destination was Mombasa Kenya and a wonerful life there after ,on the way out we came into the suez canal and i can still remember walking ashore on the floating pontoons in Port Said to Simon Artes store on the quay ,my mum and dad buying the usual leather puffies ,camel stools slippers and anything else that was cheap. In those days the leather was good at least . I rember them rigging a big search light in a wooden box and hanging over the wall.
She was a real happy ship the goanese stewards were so pacient with the kids at the childrens meal times food was thrown on the floor and they would just pick it up and smile.

One of the favourite tunes beaming out of the tanoy system was Frankie Vaughan and his song behind the green door.

I rember a trip to see around the engine room and we went down in a lift and walked around on the steel plates and the crepe rubber on my clarke sandals started to melt by the time we got back up on deck they were almost coming off.

In 1957 we came home on long leave on the Kenya leaving Mombasa in June having to sail round the cape via CapeTown and Las Palmas (where my dad was again conned by a genuine Parker 65 gold pen made in U.S.A. no USA japan. The gold soon rubbed off after a few letters were written.

We came back to Mombasa on the Kenya via Suez as it had just opened and Port said was a very erry place with only the masts and funnels of sunken vessels showing above the water, The militery were there in force and the bumboat men were desperate for business. I remember as you entered the bitter lakes on a hill to starbord there was a monument which had two pinicles one of these had been destroyed by Egyptian cannon fire, I think it was a memorial to the British and commonwealth troops lost there in ww2.

On the way down we ran into some bad weather off Socotra and I remember seeing flying fish land in the well deck ford as they flew out of waves which were cresting with the main deck.

As i was a bit older but not wiser and a tourist passenger we had fights with first class passengers when our parents went for dinner (was I a yob in those days) .We used to go up the stairs on the deck by the tourist swimming pool to the first class deck and trow thier deck chairs over the wall. The first class kids used to knock glasses over the wall which wereleft on the bulwark rail by the parents when they went for dinner. So when the deck steward came round there was very little to collect up.

My parents knew the ships printer I think he was also from Aberdeen , he used to give all the series of fancy menus. In the ships shop they used to have small sailor dolls with hat ribbons with the ships name on them and pencil cases ,Large bottles of Lucazade for sore tummies and Calomine lotian for sunburn no bonzy gear and no flip flops in those days.

All magic memories but credit to the crews as they made the ship a pleasant and happy one .

Rgds ian.