Eyes down lookee


War Hero
Perhaps the only legal form of gambling in the mob, Tombola was a great chance for social contact within the fleet and in the case of boats an opportunity for a get together on a depot ship. In the shore side pussers casinos though the big time gamblers came forth and it was eyes down with a vengeance. Some considerable sums of money changed hands in the likes of the CFC and I recall in Gib, with a big win, the winner was given an escort back to his vessel.
The Union Jack Club in Singas was another place for big dollars although the time I was there, Singas, I recall an investigation into some of the cash being mis-appropriated by those in charge, a not unusual practice in such situations. Still, it was a great experience to yell at the top of your voice, HEAR YOU ARE THEN or just TOMBOLA. The chorus of " Sith 'n it" for Kelly's Eye for example and "you need it" for Doctor's Chum, number nine, all made up the character of a good run ashore instead of whoring around.
The tickets too with the same old sayings cropping up like old shipmates,
" do right fear no man, don't write fear no woman" was one of the many but Jack inevitably read them and made comment. No doubt another fine old pussers tradition gone along with the CFC, Union Jack Club and whatever it was in Gib. An old grannies game now with grannies' casinos everywhere, eyes down indeed



Lantern Swinger
I know I've heard of the Union Jack Club in Singapore, but can't for the life of me remember where it was, as I never found it. I did have a week's Station Leave out there, though, while I was on the Triumph, 1969, and I stayed at the Commonwealth Services Club (maybe another name for the UJC?).

I ran out of money by about the Tuesday, but I wasn't going back onboard - I was determined to have my week! I scraped together about 9 dollars, with 4 days left, so eked it out with a nasi goreng or a mah mee and a beer for each day. Biggest snag was that the Dormitory (I was rooming with 4 pongoes), only had the wooden shutters instead of windows and in the alley two floors down was a row of hawkers' stalls - oooo the smell of food all day and night! Must have been mad.

I remember Tombola in the Armada Club and have a feeling it was also in the Dockyard Canteen sometimes.
Used to be the Brittania Club -------opposite Raffles in Singapore.

Tombola used to be played in all the senior rates messes too --it was a capture point and a dance was held afterwards . Usually on Saturdays.

Me and the Wife used to do the Sunday morning doing the stalls at Sembawang -early breakfast --after a trip into Singapore -Bugis St or whatever.

The good old days.


War Hero
Right , the Brit Club was amost directly across from the Raffles and although I have no exact position for the UJC it was around that area but a totally different club. The Brit Club was a bit more up market with the swimming pool for example. Was quite a colourful spot in that area apart from the strong odour of the East from the river when the tide was out. The pong was enough to justify a big spit.
In the same area the Stamford Cafe, approved for use by British service personnel. The days of the British Raj were great with junior rates provided with an Amah. Dockyard maties with their exclusive club, Jacks' own shopping centre in HMS Terror. It was a terrific place and very interesting if the pitfalls and traps were avoided. The road to Singas was lined with temptation with No Nose at Ni Soon if you got past the first and last at Sembewang and a tiger in yer tank. Great times indeed

It was almost possible to slide to the dockyard from Terror as the road was coated with Singapore oysters

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