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16 October 2014
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Shipyard humour
There are 7 messages in this section.

Bob Gilchrist from Old Kilpatrick. Posted 12 May 2003.
Sir, I often recall the many funny things which happened in the yards. One of which I
am particularly fond of is the following, and it is true: An apprentice of mine was in
the pay queue on the Friday and remarked that his girl-friend's birthday would be on
the Sunday and that her didn't know what to get her.
I said "Well Jim, you're getting married in a couple of weeks, so why don't you go into town and buy her some lingerie - a pair of silk pyjamas or a negligee or something of that sort" He
thought that was a great idea so on the Saturday he went into town and bought night-
wear for a present. Fine. On the Monday morning we were all in the workshop talking
and Jim came over to tell me that the lass was absolutely delighted with her present.
I asked him how he got on in the shop and he said "Nae bother, Boab. Ah wis staunin' lookin' aboot an' a wummin came up tae me and asked if there wis onythin' she could help me wi' and Ah telt her I was lookin' fur a negligee and she looked at me as if Ah wis daft" This
statement brought forth the immediate retort from an old journeyman "Aye, an' Ah bet
you looked back as if ye wurny!!! This was typical shipyard patter and caused a
minor earthquake of laughter in the workshop, as everyone and his uncle saw the funny
side of it.
I think I could write a good book about shipyard happenings but I doubt if I would have the time now, as I'm 74 and it might run out before I've finished it!
Mo Mallon from Markham Ont. Canada. Posted 2 Jun 2003.
Bob, you have a warm & natural writing style, you should go ahead and write your stories into the Forum. Thats what its all about. Otherwise they will be gone forever.
I worked in John Browns for a short while before moving to Canada. I well remember the jokes and stories from the weekend warriors on a monday morning & also the overwhelming support when one of the boys needed a helping hand.

Alan Kuhlwilm from Kirkintilloch. Posted 24 Oct 2003.
Just go for it Bob and get it down on paper before all those funny stories are lost for ever from our great Scottish heritage

Birger Kuhlwilm from USA. Posted 2 Dec 2003.
Hello Alan Kuhlwilm,
sorry for the OT message. Do you have the e-mail address of Andy Kuhlwilm?
Could you please send it to me?


Gwyn from Utah, USA. Posted 26 Jan 2004.
One of the most treasured items I have is a copy of "memories" that my Uncle Dave wrote (at about 76 years of age) regarding the early days of his youth in Scotland. He covered everything from the coal mines and linoleum factories to food, fun and school. Don't let those memories die! Your family will treasure them forever!

Kev Gilroy from Lauder, Scotland. Posted 4 Apr 2005.
Couldn't believe it when I found this mesage posted by Bob. I am doing exactly what he suggests. I was an apprentice in a Tyne yard in the 70's and therefore share the humour - although I was generally on the receiving side. I am pulling together material from all over Britain and would be pleased to dedicate the book to Bob. If anyone has any stuff please post here. Here is one of my stories to get you all going:

Flash Billy was a slinger at NEM (North East Marine) during the mid 70’s. The words dapper and snazzy described him well. Every Monday morning he would turn up in gear that most young’uns would be proud to wear on a good Saturday night out. This Monday he turned up with a pair of spanking new alligator platforms, and as the lads got ready for the shift he announced:“Waddya think t’ the new skeets lads. Fowteen pund n’ coppers change.”
He then proceeded to rattle on about how shabby the rest of the lads were, how they took no pride in their looks and how he could pull any lass off them.

Some of the lads had had enough of this Monday ritual with Billy. When they returned to the lockers for bait, lo Billy’s new shoes had disappeared. Off he went ranting about “robbin’ b”%$#$rs" and so on. When finished, a whistle came from the crane driver above. “Diddint worry bonny lad, they”re up here man…” and pointed to a large painted circle at the top of the bay wall with the notice “Billy’s New Skeets” emblazoned above.
Unfortunately for Billy, there were his treasured shoes – NAILED to the wall in the centre of the circle.

As far as I know, when they tore down the welding bay 1 at NEM, they tore down Billy’s skeets with it.

Arturo Hernandez Correas from Halle (Saale) Germany. Posted 1 Aug 2005.
Does somebody have information about those John Brown Shipyard's big old cranes? I want to know everything about them; their story, how they work, their sound, feeling, smell... everything. Getting in contact with somebody who has worked there from around 1930 to now would be of incredible help. But anything about it from anybody else is also more than welcome.


Arturo Hernandez Correas

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