Ship Mate?


When we don’t know what’s going on, we make up a story. As a child the story we tell is much more innocent.

Walking along Liverpool’s waterfront this morning, I was reminded of the day the aircraft carrier, HMS Eagle was in town. It was early 1970, I was five. My dad took me to see the ship, which was docked at the Pier Head. We joined a long queue with hundreds of other people waiting for our turn to get on board.

The way I remember it, a sailor walked past the queue and my dad recognised him. Dad said to me, “Wait here” and went off for a quick chat with his old mate the sailor. Next thing I know, dad’s got me out of the queue and the three of us are going up a different gang plank to everyone else and onto the ship. We walked along a corridor, through a couple of bulkheads and came out at a large below deck area where the front of the queue was and we joined the next official tour of the ship.

In my five year old mind, we were so lucky that my dad knew one of the crew of the aircraft carrier and he managed to help us jump the queue. Now as an adult, I realise that there’s no way Dad could have known anyone on that ship, he’d never even been in the navy!

The not so innocent true story must be that money changed hands!

Craic on!

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