Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Motion and Emotion

I was a Children's Hostess with the Union Castle Line in the early 1960s. This is one of my loveliest memories from those long-ago days.


Two unrelated pictures, and yet they're linked for me,
And, whichever one I look at, I smell the salty sea.
I worked on the 'Transvaal Castle' a cruise ship carrying mail,
And we sailed through the Bay of Biscay in many a raging gale.
I felt no discomfort and I never felt afraid,
But I have some lovely memories I know will never fade.
I was in charge of the Playroom, which, of course, was closed at night,
For all the little passengers were in bunks and sleeping tight.
The wonderful 'new technology' was the Juke Box in those days,
And round black vinyl records were the very latest craze.
I'd go up the playroom on very unsteady feet,
For walking on a rolling ship is really quite a feat.
I'd then unlock the playroom door, but leave the lights unlit,
For various other shipboard lights brightened it a bit.
Our ship weighed 32 thousand tons and she was a steady craft,
But the Juke Box was at 'the pointy end' in other words, right aft.
The ship went up, the ship went down, and then she dipped and rolled
And high heels on a shiny floor could scarcely be controlled!
But I'd make my way to the Juke Box and switch the vital switch
And then it wouldn't matter how much the ship might pitch!
For Cliff Richard would envelope me, with his silky, ardent voice,
A voice full of youth and passion, nearly everyone's first choice.
First the ship pointed to the sky, where the clouds were wildly strewn,
And it hung there for a moment, as though about to swoon.
And then it came swooping downwards till all there was was sea!
There was nothing but the elements, except for Cliff and me!
And the shattered sea came churning up and the spume flew through the air,
But I was in the arms of love so I didn't really care!
Oh Cliff! We're both much older now, and the Mail Ship sails no more,
But the motion and emotion are with me evermore.

Another one of my heart-throbs here:


quilly said...

This captures so perfectly a young girl's fantasies! Lovely.

Kat said...

Just closed my eyes and saw you sailing in Transvaal Castle ..!!!! You're such a brave lady - to travel in Ships across oceans.

the peom was cute. Giving us a glimpse on the naughty things you were upto..!!!! Wish I could read your diary entires then :))))

I went to this website and saw the ship you had travelled :)))))


It read in the website The Transvaal Castle was launched in 1961 by John Brown & Co, Clydebank. She was delivered to Union-Castle Line, and served on their route to South Africa from Southampton from 1962. She remained in Union-Castle Line colours only until 1966, when she was transferred to the South African Marine Corp (UK), remaining on the same service under the British flag, with Union-Castle Line crew and management as S.A.Vaal. In 1969 she was transferred to the South African flag.

Pictures of the ship is also there, in the website ( you got to scroll down)