Winchester Castle

17th January 2007, 21:43
Winchester C has a special place in my memories as representing my first travel adventure. Dad had gone ahead and Mum and I left Southampton I think on December 17, 1946. This was after two days on board waiting for them to thaw out the engines (or something like that!). That winter was very hard, if any one remembers, and certainly the first few hours on that ship with no heat were perishing.

It was still fitted out as a troop ship. Parents always had the idea that this was the first ship out of UK after the war with an all-civilian passenger list, but I don't know if that was true. Women, girls, and boys up to the age of 10 got cabins. Boys 11 and up (that means me) went into the dorms - these seemed massive, I don't know what kind of space they would have been originally. We slept on bunks - I think we had 3 tiers, but there may have been 5 available. I know I could not really lie on my side without touching the bunk above. It was great - my first freedom from parental scrutiny!

And I remember there was no (operational) swimming pool and so they flooded some sort of long and narrow Store(?) room which ran across the ship at deck level right under (but several decks below) the bridge. That was exciting as the water sloshed from side to side with the roll of the ship. The safety police would certainly not allow such a thing these days!

There were two highlights of the voyage for me. The first was the wonderful show put on by the "gili gili man" at Port Said, the first close-up sleight of hand artist I had ever seen. The other of course was the fabled Suez Canal itself.

So here are just a couple of bits of nostalgia, which I guess speak for themselves.

16th July 2008, 08:42
My brother and i were on this voyage and i remember sulphur drugs being used for something and many evacuation practices.