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Hi

Welcome to the Cunard Yanks. Org.

This is a website dedicated to the men and boys who sailed out of Liverpool to New York, Montreal and points west with Cunard C.P.R., and other passenger liners from the late 40's 50's and early 60's.

We have hundreds of photographs taken through these years and know the names of many of them, but not all.
So we are looking for confirmation of who they are, on what ship they were on at the time and if they are still around (if they are
they can park their zimmers next to mine!).

Have you a tale to tell, a picture to share, memories to good to forget?



Give us your memories of the ships you sailed on out of New York, Montreal, Liverpool in the late 40's, 50's and early 60's.

From Broadway and St. Laurence to the Grafton, Locarno, the Tower and all the other dance halls that were local dream palaces. Filled with the best looking girls in the world, and the best dressed young men in Britain.

It's true, you know, it's true.

Come on, think back to the time when no one went to a dance in a track suit or jeans. If you have memories, pictures, stories from these days, or are looking for an old friend then
come aboard, don't forget your discharge book, we are looking at V.G's for all who sail back in time with us.
Well 2008 has come and gone .. we are mid way through 2009 .. Cunard have launched the Queen Victoria .. and the new Queen Elizabeth 2 is on its way .. great news .. but if they were British ships .. with British crews .. perhaps I could get more excited over them .. Nevertheless .. they are fantastic ships .. and carrying on the old Cunard traditions ..
I would like to think that the city fathers here in Liverpool would do the same .. I don't think any of them have any idea of the history of this once great port .. or of the opportunities that still exist .. The landing stage finally appeared .. nothing like it should have been .. and with no facilities for embarking and disembarking passengers .. what the hell do they think the landing stage was for ?????..... They expect people to disembark at the Langton dock .. next to a scrap iron quay .. and then travel into Liverpool by way of the worse scenario in the city .. disregarding the fact that the Pierhead waterfront with the Three Graces is one of the iconic and best known docksides in the world ..
We have been told that facilities for the ships and their passengers will be forthcoming .. I'm not holding my breath .. the ignorance of our city fathers on the impact the liners could make to our economy is staggering ..
Anyway .. the seaport of Liverpool .. and the men who sailed from it .. who for hundreds of years where the lifeblood .. and heartbeat of a great city .. is largely forgotten .. It was ever thus ..
Well I suppose we should be grateful for the fact that we were once a part of that great tradition .. and still around .. I know .. it wasn't all cakes and ale .. we grafted like hell .. but so did most of our generation .. we knew no better .. but we had a little bit more than our mates at home .. we travelled the world .. when it couldn't be reached on the internet .. thousands of streets in hundreds of ports .. we made friends the world over .. learnt from people of all races .. all cultures .. rich .. very rich on the liners .. and the poor .. again sailing out to the far east .. the very poor .. And we brought home a lot of what we had learned .. of other people .. of their cultures .. their ways ..
But here on this we have our memories .. okay .. so they are history now .. but they are your history .. and mine .. every lad who went to sea can relate in some way to the Cunard Yanks .. So .. if you can add to our memories .. In words of pictures .. please do .. I know that your kids .. and theirs .. will be delighted .. and so will I .. keep well .. fool everybody .. R.B.



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Liverpool a city of the sea...for almost seven hundred years... it's prosperity built on ships and seamen...though if you looked at the history books...even our local history... you would never guess...in the forties...fifties...we had almost 25,000 men... sailing out of what was one of the greatest seaports in the world...people forget... hundreds of years ago... what little the average person knew of other lands ... other people... they learnt from seamen...Then as now...it was seamen who brought other nations goods and cultures to our shores...In the late forties...through the fifties...when Britain was still getting over the traumas of a hellish war...which had left us anchored in the thirties...time had stood still in comparison with the America's...it was the seamen again who brought back the styles and consumer goods that had passed us by as we fought the war...
We didn't know... but in the fifties... Time was running out on us...
The government of the day was signing away our birthright... allowing the Ship-owners to hire labour from anywhere...British ships were no longer manned by British crews...
Air travel was also eroding the old ways... the big liners were being scrapped or sold... and not being replaced... but for some of us... particularly the lads on the transatlantic liners... we still had our swansong...
Before the cultures began to merge...as they did in the late fifties...we still were the guys who had it all...
Because we dressed in American style...brought home their music...their clothes... and in a lot of cases... even their mannerisms... And all things American... And again... because most of us sailed with Cunard from Liverpool...we were called "Cunard Yanks"... a lot of lads from Southampton filled the same criteria...So where's our history?... with a little bit of help from people who are watching this site... some of it...even though it is of a personal nature...how we worked...and how we played...and the lads we sailed with... will be here... I HOPE...


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You know...we got a lousy press...didn't we...Seamen... we were drunk's... layabout's... no marks...the fact that we were grafters...working a minimum seventy hour week...often more... for week's... sometimes months at a time...without a day off...was completely ignored...Okay...we often kicked over the traces...but a great deal of it ...in fact...most of it...alright...so I'm biased...was the high spirits of young men and boys... As I said...when you have been cooped up in a cabin... say 10ft by 20ft...For the weeks or months...with eight or ten other guys...you had a lot of living to do... How would they know...that when you were in the tropics... with no air conditioning... very little space... You grabbed whatever time you had off... To go on deck...and get a little "Bronzie"... Then when you reach a port...abroad or at home... you are entitled to let off steam...and we did...And most of it was funny... and harmless...Some of us drank a little to much...well... it was the macho thing to do those days wasn't it...but a hell of a lot didn't... A great number of the lads went sight seeing when they were abroad...a lot of people deny this ever happened...but it did... Wife's...Parents... and Children,,, can retell the tales that were told to them..They will have been told of the times when the lads... who were lucky enough to have time off...would go on tours ...mimicking the passenger's tour's...and doing it a lot cheaper...If you look at some of the pictures in the Gallery's you will see The Acropolis...Monte Carlo...Rome...The Vatican...The Coliseum... Venice... and on the world cruises...The Pacific Isles...Bali...Hawaii...Fiji...I could go on and on...we went ashore...looking around...as curious as any of the passengers... Again... in the Gallery... you will see the boys at play...take the big picture in the "Henry Hudson" hotel... over a Hundred and Fifty of us...at a dance...organised and paid for by ourselves... look at the way we were dressed...a great number in Dinner Jackets...this is a crowd of working class lads...we could move in almost any social circle...and not let ourselves... or the company we were with down... Get with a bunch of the boys...boys...metaphorically speaking that is...good word that isn't it...and they can talk about almost any port in this world... no... Every port in the world...and you won't find a more knowledgeable group of guys anywhere...They could tell of the people... the cities...the economy...remember...we shopped in every port...You would learn more about how other people lived...worked...and played...from one of us... than any newspaper or television programme could ever tell you... at the time... but...no...All you will read about us...will be of a bunch of dissidents...strikers...unreliable casual unskilled labour... Strange wasn't it...that if you went ashore in New York...and was looking for a job...the fact that you was a Cunard Waiter... Was a good enough reference to get you a position in the best restaurants in town... "The Forum"... and" The Four Seasons"... being the two top examples...because we were the best... Ah well... a lot of us are still around... and some of the lads have done very well..." Thank You"... but more of that later...


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Well what do you know...this week is our birthday....yes...I first opened the Cunard Yanks web site November 06...Doesn't look to bad does it...nearly two hundred pictures... and over a thousand of the boys in them...I have to thank a lot of guys... and one girl... for all the help I have recieved... and I have... In the Tall Tales Column...As I have said before, this is a small piece of social history... our social history... and also the social history of Liverpool... when it was one of the greatest seaports in the world...okay...it may be only of interest to us...and our kids...but believe me...there is no other work force in the world...that had the times we had...did the things we did...met the people we have...And I am not talking just about the passengers we waited on...

You and I...each and every one of us...have walked the streets of a hundred or more ports and cities...met strangers... who would become friends...struggled with foreign tongues...and as any Cockney...Scouser...Glaswegian...will tell you...English often one of them... and strange cultures...Influence is very hard to define... but I think we all learnt a little from every one we happened to meet... even if we didn't know it at the time...and that knowledge we passed on to those ashore...again not intentionally...I have heard a thousand stories... true stories... but if you put them down...they would have to be with " Ripley's "...

So...what of the future...I don't know about you guys...but I don't even buy green banana's anymore... still... as long as there our some of us around...I look forward to hearing from you...of the old days...with pictures of course... and some of your stories...I don't know how many ex-pats get to the site...but it would be great to hear from them...Also... if you are looking for an old shipmate...tell us... and we will put it in the contact page...who knows...you may get in touch with the guy who still owe's you that ten bucks...

Anyway... can I say that I have had a great deal of fun from this site...I just hope others have too...So to all who have come aboard...thanks...R.B.

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