Christmas in Lagos

Julian Calvin
19th December 2014, 09:53
Spent my first Christmas away on the Falaba in Lagos 1967.
Remember that every berth was taken by either Elders or Palm Line vessels. Tugwell House was the focal point but plenty of ship visiting also.
Films, football matches and partying --- far cry from what I see on the vessels nowadays.

Have since spent around twenty Christmas days in Lagos, usually with John Higgins who was Bosun on the Onitsha when we sailed together.
Happy Christmas and New Year to all. Perhaps see you down here one day when Nigeria (as predicted by authorities) becomes one of the world's tourist attractions

19th December 2014, 11:42
Thanks Julian, Merry Christmas to you too. Who are these wise "authorities"? Is the 21 Club still going in Apapa?

John T

Julian Calvin
19th December 2014, 12:28
Closed down many years ago ---- but immediately re-opened as the 22 Club.
Some of the same girls may still be there, as beautiful as ever.
Do you remember the WAFSKO bar in Apapa or the LIDO and GONDOLA clubs in Yaba. Jumping on the train later for a lift back to Apapa wharf.
Famous names from the past but alas no more.
Plenty of alternatives however.

20th December 2014, 16:01
Hi Julian - Happy Christmas to you too and to John Higgins
I never spent Christmas in beautiful downtown Apapa but spent a couple up the creeks (Sapele AT&P, Port Harcourt) and one in Takoradi.


21st December 2014, 09:28
Reading this I just had to check!
4 Christmases spent in West African ports or creeks.
3 Christmases spent at sea - sailed 24/12 for one!
1 Christmas at home.
Always happily remembered.

21st December 2014, 10:12
21 club, Lido and Gondola...had forgotten about those. Brings back the memories :)

21st December 2014, 10:20
Don't forget Maxim's on the Lagos side, Barry. Very sophisticated.

John T

21st December 2014, 11:02
Was Maxims by the UAC Store John? If so, then yes I did spend some time there on occasion:)

21st December 2014, 11:12
I can't remember Barry. Not far from the berths and on top of a building of about 5 floors.

One night I saw a couple from the "Aureol" in there - she in a chic cocktail dress, he in a white tuxedo. They looked quite uncomfortable. Imagine Brangelina in the Bongo International.

John T

21st December 2014, 12:26
Yes John, five floors up rings a bell.

We used to be ten days in Lagos/Apapa at times, so was always a bit of a relief to get back to sea........if only for some sleep


Julian Calvin
21st December 2014, 21:02
As you rightly said, Maxim's was a posh joint. Opposite the Bristol Hotel.
Strangely Broad street is basically unchanged except skyscrapers abound. Traffic a nightmare of course but market and roundabout with fountain are still there.
When back will try and post some up to date pics. Do you have the addresses of your old flames. Maybe you would like pics of them also!!!!

28th December 2014, 17:33
Happy New Year, The ladies were rated on entry when sober, God what have we here, after 3 Large Star beers - well that one is not bad, after 6 upwards, they were all beautiful. Never could remember their names though

Peter Martin
4th January 2015, 11:17
Ah yes! The 21 Club - I'm told that the 'ladies-who-did' carried roll-up beds in their hand bags. Happy days 1968-1973; "You're brighter by far on a Star!"

4th January 2015, 11:25
Ah yes! The 21 Club - I'm told that the 'ladies-who-did' carried roll-up beds in their hand bags. Happy days 1968-1973; "You're brighter by far on a Star!"

They also had ads all over the place saying: "Guinness Makes You Strong". Apparently, in local jargon, that meant it made you a star in the cot.

Hoping to get a copy of the poster, I asked a guide in the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin about it and he said: "We don't promote that benefit anymore". He did say that West Africa was one of their biggest markets though.

John T

4th January 2015, 11:59
JT I won a T shirt for drinking the most Guiness's in an evening a few years ago. Part of it was I could gain entry + free pints at the bar in Dublin...I kept if for some time. We still have not been to Sthrn Ireland sadly so possibly something we must do this year.

Is it true Guiness is not owned by the family or even a UK Co now? Just one of the huge amalgamations we have seen world wide to the detriment in the main of the product.

4th January 2015, 12:22
Leratty, JT, I'm sure both of your wives are delighted with your new-found "strength"! The Guinness brand is owned now by Diageo,
a multinational company with HQ in London. The drink was always a huge seller in Nigeria, and it was also higher in alcohol content than ours. They have three breweries there I believe.


Julian Calvin
4th January 2015, 14:10
Nigerian Guinness was available last year in Tesco.

Still very big in Nigeria although sales being hit by both Star (Heineken) and new brands from SAB.

4th January 2015, 18:14
Richard, put Eire at the top of your bucket list, you'll love it.

The Guinness guide told me that there are very few places outside Ireland where they permit the production of Guinness - there has to be a guaranteed source of water of similar quality to that found in Ireland.

According to their website, Guinness is brewed in 60 countries and one of the Nigerian breweries is up "the Creeks"! Maybe my guide was giving me a bit of Blarney.

John T

4th September 2015, 21:36
a bit late for a comment, however all guiness used to go out in bottles, my first trip to lagos with elders on the dumurra we took out the brewing tanks which then chopped out a big part of elders outward carge

ed glover
5th September 2015, 15:59
Was on the Dalla maiden voyage and she was the first ship to take Guinness to the west coast straight from Dublin 1961
Ed Glover (ginger)
Controlled drifting

6th September 2015, 18:10
Was not the saying down in Nigeria that Guiness gives you power????

6th September 2015, 21:12
Absolutely right lakercapt, I remember large advertising boards with "Business gives you power" as the theme.

waitimg for orders
6th September 2015, 22:07
Guinness in the UK is a pale shadow of its former self, dumbed down to frozen brown soup which is all "yoof" can seemingly cope with. The stuff brewed overseas and sold in bottles (and I have tested it in Nigeria, Mauritius and Malaysia) is 8% strength, warm, malty, rich and potent. Delicious. And after a couple of pints forget any athletic aspirations and start quoting Yeats.

7th September 2015, 07:42
The Guinness link with Elders was still running at least until 2005 ish. Delmas who bought Elder Dempster still had the contract to carry Guiness's own Tanktainer fleet between Dublin and West Africa. I tried to get Diageo to change allegiance when I worked for OT Africa Line but they wouldn't shift.

Julian, is Peter Bleasdale and Bart Foley still with you in Lagos? CMA-CGM tried to put a French guy in his place a few years ago and I worked with Bart in OTAL. Another name from the past was Sonny Svenson who was married to a very smart Nigerian lawyer Ejidare?

7th September 2015, 10:38
Was not the saying down in Nigeria that Guiness gives you power????

I remember it as "Guinness makes you Strong" (inferring sexual potency). I asked the guideat the Dublin GuinnessStore about it and he said: "We tend not to promote those benefits these days."

John T

PS Whoops, I seem to have made a similar post to this already...... And that's after a paltry bottle of Red Ned.

Dod Caukie
21st September 2015, 20:05
I'm sure that it was "Guiness gives you power" but it was inferring sexual potency. There was also the one about a baby in every bottle!!

bev summerill
22nd September 2015, 19:57
Guinness gives you power is as I remember it

22nd September 2015, 21:17
"More power to your elbow" more than anything else, I'd say.


28th September 2015, 20:01
Was not the saying down in Nigeria that Guiness gives you power????

Quite right Laker, I remember it well (and the rather racy inference).

(Proof attached - I hope)

28th September 2015, 20:04
Picture didn't seem to succeed. Trying again.