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Discussion Starter #1
Gentlemen,
I have a question regarding the ship's galley(s) on a cargo/passenger vessel prior to 1970. (No super cruise ships)
Looking at ship and deck plans, it is rare to see where the galleys are located. If they are, they are quite a considerable distance, even decks away from the dining rooms and messes.
On land, hotel and restaurant designs avoid this issue, so It seems odd for a very important service available 24/7, regardless of the number of passengers and crew, that marine architects neglected to design both the galleys and dining facilities closer to each other and make them more efficiently to each other for obvious food quality, presentation, speed of service etc.
Your input would be appreciated,
Regards,
P.N.
 

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In my own memory, on cargo boats, the galley was usually abaft the saloon, in close proximity to mess rooms. Today, a lift is used from galley to a common pantry, for ship's staff. Passenger services are on the same deck, as the galley. This is on a ferry.
 

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I sailed on several general cargo ships/passenger cargo ships in the 60/70s. in each case the galley was in the main accommodation block on the main deck amidships On one of those ships (king Arthur) the officers saloon was further forward in an accommodation block separated from the other accommodation by no. 3 hatch. The food was transferred in kits from the galley to the saloon. Deck and engine room crew food was also distributed in a similar fashion to poop accommodation by peggies as there accommodation was separated by hatches 4 & 5.
I also sailed on about 20 bulk carriers/tankers every one of those had the accommodation aft with the galley on the main deck aft. the exception was 3 Shell tankers which all had a centre castle where the deck officers slept and to eat they had to proceed via a flying bridge aft.
 

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In 1950, on the Blue Funnel A boat I sailed on, the Galley was on the port side on the main deck, between the Saloon forrard. I think the seamans mess was aft of it, again on the port side.
 

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In 1950, on the Blue Funnel A boat I sailed on, the Galley was on the port side on the main deck, between the Saloon forrard. I think the seamans mess was aft of it, again on the port side.
Correct, all 'A' class 'P' class and 'H' class had the galley on the main deck midships on the port side abaft the saloon and fwd of the sailor's messroom
There was also a galley on the poop which served the Chinese engine room ratings whose accomodation was aft.
 
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Discussion Starter #8
Norm H.
Thank you for your reply and attached photograph. Location arrows are very useful.
Regards,
P.N.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Correct, all 'A' class 'P' class and 'H' class had the galley on the main deck midships on the port side abaft the saloon and fwd of the sailor's messroom
There was also a galley on the poop which served the Chinese engine room ratings whose accomodation was aft.
Holland 25 & Pat Kennedy
Thank you for your information. I googled Blue Funnel Line "A" boats and came up with the same information that you both sent me.,
Thanks again,
P.N.
http://www.rhiw.com/y_mor/blue_funnel_home/blue_funnel_home.htm
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I sailed on several general cargo ships/passenger cargo ships in the 60/70s. in each case the galley was in the main accommodation block on the main deck amidships On one of those ships (king Arthur) the officers saloon was further forward in an accommodation block separated from the other accommodation by no. 3 hatch. The food was transferred in kits from the galley to the saloon. Deck and engine room crew food was also distributed in a similar fashion to poop accommodation by peggies as there accommodation was separated by hatches 4 & 5.
I also sailed on about 20 bulk carriers/tankers every one of those had the accommodation aft with the galley on the main deck aft. the exception was 3 Shell tankers which all had a centre castle where the deck officers slept and to eat they had to proceed via a flying bridge aft.
Johnny Walker
Thank you for your reply. Your information is very informative and useful.
Thanks again,
Best regards,
P.N.
 

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Of the nearly 1000 ships I boarded, i found that in ships where the sole superstructure was aft, the galley was aft in the ss, positioned to serve equally the officer mess and crew mess. On ships where the sole ss was midship, the same was usually true, but when there was a second ss at the stern, it could be in either one (tankers it was aft). Some Norwegian ships had the galley below deck on the starboard side.
 

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It was standard on coal fired ships/galley’s, to have the galley handy to the coal needed for the stoves, near the engine room cross bunker hatches. Until the 40’s these were usually just abaft No.3 hatch on the standard ‘three island’ cargo ships of the day.


Collecting the ‘kits’ from the galley’s lee side door one lunchtime I was making my way aft to our ‘mess’, when a big lump of water took charge. On picking myself up the first thought was to look around for my false tooth.
It was only later I realised the two sets of ‘kits’ containing soup, gravy, the salad, main course and pudding for three other hungry young men had gone too. Reporting this loss to the senior apprentice he rattled my remaining teeth then marched me back to the galley, but the cook was adamant, he had ‘wiped-down’, there was nothing he could/would do until dinner that evening. I then got another ‘seven bells’ knocked out of me.
We were always hungry so it was good policy to keep-in with the cook. The firemen and trimmers were always thoughtful, giving us any extra food or dry stores, they had.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Of the nearly 1000 ships I boarded, i found that in ships where the sole superstructure was aft, the galley was aft in the ss, positioned to serve equally the officer mess and crew mess. On ships where the sole ss was midship, the same was usually true, but when there was a second ss at the stern, it could be in either one (tankers it was aft). Some Norwegian ships had the galley below deck on the starboard side.
TTSW
Thank you, interesting.
Cheers,
P.N.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
It was standard on coal fired ships/galley’s, to have the galley handy to the coal needed for the stoves, near the engine room cross bunker hatches. Until the 40’s these were usually just abaft No.3 hatch on the standard ‘three island’ cargo ships of the day.


Collecting the ‘kits’ from the galley’s lee side door one lunchtime I was making my way aft to our ‘mess’, when a big lump of water took charge. On picking myself up the first thought was to look around for my false tooth.
It was only later I realised the two sets of ‘kits’ containing soup, gravy, the salad, main course and pudding for three other hungry young men had gone too. Reporting this loss to the senior apprentice he rattled my remaining teeth then marched me back to the galley, but the cook was adamant, he had ‘wiped-down’, there was nothing he could/would do until dinner that evening. I then got another ‘seven bells’ knocked out of me.
We were always hungry so it was good policy to keep-in with the cook. The firemen and trimmers were always thoughtful, giving us any extra food or dry stores, they had.
Harry,
Thank you for your response, interesting story. Still using coal in 1940? Nasty.
Regards,
P.N.
 

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I recall Ellerman Line vessels built in the 50s and 60s had three galleys. Other than the big four (which had about 120 pax?) a few carried 12 pax. However, come the early 70s and after the sale of the big 4 none of the vessels were regularly carrying any.

The officers were accommodated amidships and the crew aft in the poop.

There was a midships galley for officers and petty officers (quartermasters and carpenter) and this was generally at main deck level at the aft end of the accommodation close to the messrooms?.

The deck and engine crew had their own galleys in the poop, deck crew on the starboard side and engine crew on the port side side - both in the housing on the top of the poop. Both had there own bhandari (y) or a cook in a lascar ship's crew.

I remember the aft galleys on my first ship (City of Wellington) were coal fired (remember taking coal down aft in London a couple of times). Not sure about the powering of the midships galley?

All in all by modern standards the catering departments were huge, Purser, assnt purser, chief steward, cooks / bhandaris (3 or 4), officer messmen / cabin stewards, Captains Steward, quartermasters messman, bhandari assistants / crew steward aft etc.... and so it went on. By todays standard a full ships complement worth.

One ship, City of Capetown had a total complement of about 80, while others, such as the City of Wellington were probably in the 40/50s?
 

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Coal fired galley stoves

Harry,
Still using coal in 1940? Nasty.
Regards,
P.N.
Hi and hello Hobo5, this lady, attached, was still burning coal when I joined in the mid-fifties, bumped up from apprentice to uncertificated 3rd mate. I do remember after donning a new doe skin uniform my dad had paid for, being covered in a layer off dust after arriving on the bridge to keep a watch, having had to climb over the coal bunkers still on deck. Shortly afterwards she was converted to oil, engine and galley. The ships cook, wee Billy, all off 4 foot eleven off him, regimental cook ex. Irish Guards, was still shipmates a dozen years later, the only man I met who could fry up ‘rubberised eggs’ you could bounce off the breakfast plate, but a great shipmate nonetheless. I sailed with one cook, magic, meals to die for, he had been sent by the owners to ‘dry out’. We kept him ‘prisoner’ onboard for two years before returning him to the International hotel were the owners had been patrons. I’m told he later wrote a book on his seafaring adventures.
 

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My memory may be at fault it is a long time ago,but the Harrison Liberty ship I sailed on in 1956 had a coal fired galley. The galley was midships just after the funnel on the main deck. The engine was an oil burner but I have a memory of sacks of coal being carted around in a wheel barrow.I am happy to stand corrected.
 

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When I sailed on the wartime Liberty Ships Samite And Samforth, the galley was on the main deck; directly below my room on the port side of the boat deck and made it uncomfortably hot in warm weather.
 

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On BP's tankers, built immediately after the war, the 8, 12, & 16,000 dwt classes had the the galley located on the poop deck, as far aft as possible (for obvious reasons). The officers' lived midships & this was where their saloon was located. All meals had to be hand carried from the galley, along the flying bridge to the saloon. There was a small pantry adjacent to this saloon where the the food could be re-heated/dried out. It was only when BP's first super tanker was built in 1951 that the officers' dining saloon was located adjacent to the galley, port side on the poop.
 
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