On the RMS – night time entertainment

Geoff’s other great talent was he knew every game you could ever play on a ship.  As well as the daytime exploits of quoits and cricket, some of the evening games were particularly inventive.  Once coffee was cleared away you might find the tables and chairs moved aside in the lounge and the carpet rolled up.  Eventually this would turn into a disco, but usually there was time for some strange games.  I got involved in one which ended up with another passenger sitting on my knee trying to throw quoits.  We also did frog racing.  A piece of string was threaded through a frog drawn on a piece of ply board; one end of the string was tied to a chair, the other end to a hand spindle.  The aim of the game was to get the frogs from one end of the room to the other by winding the string on the spindle.  There were also the games which involved doing intimate things with balloons. It was a good job the kids were tucked up in bed and could not see it.  I wondered where the purser staff kept all the props they used; they had an inexhaustible supply of bats and balls, wooden cut outs, pieces of string that appeared each night.

The entertainment staff did a grand job – they were up at the crack of dawn to get the days’ events going and they were playing music or tidying up long after most people had gone to bed. On the last night they would try and have a big event out on the sun deck.  I remembered my first trip the party was cancelled due to bad weather, but I had some memorable evenings up there.  By this stage in a voyage you knew everyone and mucked in.  The crew set up a barbecue and laid out a huge buffet table and you went back again and again to pile up the plates.  After dinner there were games – quizzes and the best game of nine pins I have ever had.  One particularly uproarious evening found a gang of us stripped to our underwear swimming in the pool.  I had a sore head after that night.

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