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A friend and I are discussing memories about film shows at sea. I recall my dad saying Yogi Bear was popular, and he says that my dad must have acquired a Yogi Bear cartoon because I was aboard.

I'm curious about anybody's memories of watching films aboard cargo ships, especially in the early sixties. And how it worked - who sent the films? How were films selected etc.

My dad (Capt. Bill Pascoe) had a story that when his ship (One of the Garth ships) was in Murmansk one time - probably mid or late sixties - they showed From Russia With Love, setting up seats on the hatch covers and projecting onto the bridge front. And that the Russians invited thought this was fantastic.

My friend questions the veracity of this story! Says it couldn't have happened for various practical reasons e.g. the projectors used then were too puny, they wouldn't have gotten such a good film, and etc etc.

I don't know the details - it could be that my Dad made it up or embellished a simpler story.

What do you all think? Yogi bear a favorite? From Russia with Love shown to Russians in Murmansk?

Love to hear others' experiences and opinions!

Jackie
 

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Interesting story Jackie...I know of one instance where the heavy film box was 'lifted' in Russia and when it was returned half of the films had been removed...... " for security reasons".

I must admit that the odd film show I saw onboard in the Tees had very very poor projecting capability, even for a Cory Maritime vessel!

geoff
 

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Did a trip to Murmansk on the Clarkeden 1971 or so . From what I can remember of that trip don't think the average Russian there would have appreciated the film.
 

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I don't know about British ships but on the Norwegian cargo ships and tankers that I sailed on in the late 60's /70's, the films were shown by a volunteer (me a lot of the time) or someone willing to learn how to operate the projector. On all the ships the projectors were good ones, Bell and Howell usually and so the films were good quality to watch, the films were shown in the crew day room. As to selecting the films it was down to the projectionist and the steward who went ashore to the Seamens missions to pick the films (some of the crew put in requests), On some of the tankers the films were brought to gates or the jetty in a van by mission staff. one of advantages of being the projectionist was that you got to pick some of the films.....

Cheers Frank
 

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Just remembered they were Walport film boxes and like the Seafarers Education Library boxes had to be collected and redelivered to Middlesbrough station....this unpleasant job was usually mine in BISC(Ore) days...the office car had a few small dings in it from corners on the film boxes.

The projectors were quite decent,for showing in a mess room, but had a tendency to need repair fairly often ,again, a job for the more Junior Water Clerk!

geoff
 

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In my first go at sea, late 50s, in Blue Funnel,there were no films. I dont know if its true or not but there was supposed to have been a vote ,within the fleet, for either a de-mountable swimming pool or films,and the swimming pool won.I certainly remember having a pool on the Alcinous ,or I think I do.

When I did my 2nd stint late 60s,I first sailedon the WX ships and we had five films to cover a four week stint,they were all fairly recent releases. I assume they were provided by the Air Ministry,we were charged a small amount for them. However if you volunteered to show them there was no charge. I did volunteer and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

I eventually ended up in he RFA and the films there were not as recent and quite a mixed bag. I suspect they came from Walport.

I was a bit spoiled on my 1st ship in 1956, which was the Parthia. I was allowed to go to the showings in the Passenger lounge.

The memory I have of all this was ,the cry that went up, when the Bugs Bunny cartoons appeared and the name Fred Quimby appeared in the credits.
 

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Walport, usually carried 3 boxes, could be changed in some ports where they held them.
Cadets got the job of rewinding them by hand, and setting up/showing the film on Saturday . So that meant we had the late afternoon in the bar unsupervised, and spent the evening behind the bar as projector was sat on the bar!! Sometimes the 3rd reel didnt work very well!
Dannic.
 

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In my first go at sea, late 50s, in Blue Funnel,there were no films. I dont know if its true or not but there was supposed to have been a vote ,within the fleet, for either a de-mountable swimming pool or films,and the swimming pool won.I certainly remember having a pool on the Alcinous ,or I think I do.
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I was with Blue Funnel from 1952 until 1956 and there were no films or swimming pools on the ships I sailed on. We did have though, in the crew recreation room an old fashioned radiogram which was put on board by the company and every trip the top ten records were put on board, picked by a lady in the office. OK in port or on a flat calm sea but useless when we were rolling around.
 

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I was with Blue Funnel from 1952 until 1956 and there were no films or swimming pools on the ships I sailed on. We did have though, in the crew recreation room an old fashioned radiogram which was put on board by the company and every trip the top ten records were put on board, picked by a lady in the office. OK in port or on a flat calm sea but useless when we were rolling around.
The electrician on the Navua bought a battery operated portable record player in Suva and soon learnt the reality once we got to sea.
No problems , he hung it from the deck head of his cabin with cordage on four corners and we had music in most weathers.
The down side was the battery consumption and we soon ran short of them for our ER torches !

Bob
 

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I was with Blue Funnel from 1952 until 1956 and there were no films or swimming pools on the ships I sailed on. We did have though, in the crew recreation room an old fashioned radiogram which was put on board by the company and every trip the top ten records were put on board, picked by a lady in the office. OK in port or on a flat calm sea but useless when we were rolling around.
The time I was there was post 57 and think the term pool is rather misleading, it was canvas slung over a wooden frame.
 

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Films at Sea

This is a topic that has come up at intervals since the very beginning of SN. Some of the earlier postings can be seen here, here and here

Enjoy!
 

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Further to the Radiogram in the rec room of the Blue Funnel boats. They were quite regularly made inoperative by an angry AB objecting to the noise.
 

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......
My dad (Capt. Bill Pascoe) had a story that when his ship (One of the Garth ships) was in Murmansk one time - probably mid or late sixties - they showed From Russia With Love, setting up seats on the hatch covers and projecting onto the bridge front. ......

My friend questions the veracity of this story! Says it couldn't have happened for various practical reasons e.g. the projectors used then were too puny, they wouldn't have gotten such a good film, and etc etc. .......

Jackie
Hello Jackie, while movies were normally shown ' indoors' I was on one ship in 1970 - Eastern Muse - where the projector was set up at the frd end of #3 hatch and a screen set up at the after end of the hatch.... all this aft of the accomodation and out of the wind..
This was while at sea in the Malacca Strait etc.

So yes quite feasable...

My first experience of movies at sea was in 1964 on 'Hector Hawk'.

A weekly 'big night out' in the Captain's private dining room... Capt Cornwell would beaver away in his private pantry knocking up small eats that would be served.. by him.. at intermission.... happy days :)
 

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My memory is the projectors were good quality and in addition had a cinema-scope lens. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CinemaScope
We loaned a John Wayne film to a Russian ship for an evening and tried to explain about the lens but weren't successful. When they returned the film they commented that it was a strange film.
 

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My last voyage as a Cadet we used the show films to the crew (Rotterdam international Spanish speakers) They were well received and I noticed that love stories and western's were most popular.
One night we were showing an absolutely rubbish western and unfortunately at the end of the second reel found the we had reached The End.
We tried to bluff our way out of us leaving reel 2 out but the crew were far from pleased and it was some time before harmony was restored.
 

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At sea from 1958-65, apart from the Union Castle boat , never ever had the luxury on trampers of a film show, 4 small cans of beer per day, if it did not run out, that was it, however, would i do it all again ?, you bet i would
 
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