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Pussers Rum - Help !

slim

War Hero
When I was on Eagle there was a certain Ward master Sub Lt Lyons who frequently did witnessing officer at bubbly time. He also used to partake with measuring into your tot glass. On the days he was duty you always ensured that your tot vessel was a large one. This officer was known to be extremely generous with his measures.
 
In Faslane in the late 60's it seemed common practice on D/E boats to victual everybody in for rum on Christmas day. The duty watch would normally cover four odd days over Xmas so everybody else could get away this would then allow all the tots divvied up between OOD, Duty S/R and duty watch fwd and aft up to five neat tots each which could then be used to supplement booze over the Christmas duty period.

It was also obligatory when a guest came to the mess for tot time for all to give at least sippers. If the guest was of the more unusual type, maybe Foreign or a Crab or Brown type to get them pissed before they left. Happened to my Bruv, Crab Officer Aircrew.

Nutty
 

Seaweed

War Hero
Book Reviewer
HMS Newfoundland, Trincomalee, 1956, harbour otherwise deserted. Rum issue in Starboard tube space. Local bloke in a dugout canoe fishing not far away, apparently not caring what was going on round him. Time for ullage to be poured down upper deck scupper. A flash of his paddle and this chap was alongside the scupper, tickler tin extended. I bet he thought the good times had come back! but we sailed the same day.
 

hobbit

War Hero
In retrospect, despite the good times and memories associated with tot time did it cause more harm than good . The original purpose I understand was to combat scurvy but it seemed to develop into something else and in many cases problem drinkers . Would many like to see the tot introduced again I wonder and isn't it interesting how tot time is still re-enacted at many pusser's get-togethers.
 
hobbit said:
In retrospect, despite the good times and memories associated with tot time did it cause more harm than good . The original purpose I understand was to combat scurvy but it seemed to develop into something else and in many cases problem drinkers . Would many like to see the tot introduced again I wonder and isn't it interesting how tot time is still re-enacted at many pusser's get-togethers.

The rum issue had nothing to do with scurvey that was the lime juice of 'limey' fame. Before good water supplies became common bear was often supplied as a 'safe' drink as the brewing process sterilised it, though ashore this was 'small bear' a low alcohol version which ws even given to children. In my old school they found a prospectus from the early 1800s which boasted that pupils got several pints of bear a day. On ships as they ventured further afield the strength of the bear increased to aid preservation but it was often replaced by locally sourced drinks such as wine, brandy and rum. Rum only became standard after the Napoleonic wars, mainly because it was cheap compared to most other spirits and the need to replace water for hydration declined.

I agree rum caused sme problems but the system understood it and in general could cope, and the tot got many things done better than they might have been. Even so by the time the end came I do think the writing was on the wall, manning levels were falling swiftly and you were ending up with fewer people watching many more systems indicators of all kinds and the level of overlap that allowed you to cope with one or two lads who had just had their tot and a few sippers was fast disaapearing. From my own experience the far higher workload on watch in an SSN compared to an O boat was quite noticable.

I think though there was a mistake in not at least moving towards giving all more reponsibility to regulate their own alcohol intake, after all if officers can refrain from coming on watch pissed every one else can.
 

hobbit

War Hero
Maxi_77 said:
hobbit said:
In retrospect, despite the good times and memories associated with tot time did it cause more harm than good . The original purpose I understand was to combat scurvy but it seemed to develop into something else and in many cases problem drinkers . Would many like to see the tot introduced again I wonder and isn't it interesting how tot time is still re-enacted at many pusser's get-togethers.

The rum issue had nothing to do with scurvey that was the lime juice of 'limey' fame. Before good water supplies became common bear was often supplied as a 'safe' drink as the brewing process sterilised it, though ashore this was 'small bear' a low alcohol version which ws even given to children. In my old school they found a prospectus from the early 1800s which boasted that pupils got several pints of bear a day. On ships as they ventured further afield the strength of the bear increased to aid preservation but it was often replaced by locally sourced drinks such as wine, brandy and rum. Rum only became standard after the Napoleonic wars, mainly because it was cheap compared to most other spirits and the need to replace water for hydration declined.

I agree rum caused sme problems but the system understood it and in general could cope, and the tot got many things done better than they might have been. Even so by the time the end came I do think the writing was on the wall, manning levels were falling swiftly and you were ending up with fewer people watching many more systems indicators of all kinds and the level of overlap that allowed you to cope with one or two lads who had just had their tot and a few sippers was fast disaapearing. From my own experience the far higher workload on watch in an SSN compared to an O boat was quite noticable.

I think though there was a mistake in not at least moving towards giving all more reponsibility to regulate their own alcohol intake, after all if officers can refrain from coming on watch pissed every one else can.

Thanks Maxi spot on of course regarding the limers and the added info on the rum that I was not aware of. Yes I have often thought and said a ' dry navy ' would be best given all the technology and America has been ' dry ' for years I understand. I did enjoy the rum ritual though and in particular if in UK with the then Rothsey squadron plus Portland and Pompey , all could get quite cool in winter. Rum time was a good social event on any vessel or barracks and it gave the RN ' character '. Yes , ' Up Spirits' good times .
 
hobbit said:
Thanks Maxi spot on of course regarding the limers and the added info on the rum that I was not aware of. Yes I have often thought and said a ' dry navy ' would be best given all the technology and America has been ' dry ' for years I understand. I did enjoy the rum ritual though and in particular if in UK with the then Rothsey squadron plus Portland and Pompey , all could get quite cool in winter. Rum time was a good social event on any vessel or barracks and it gave the RN ' character '. Yes , ' Up Spirits' good times .

Remeber our transatlantcs cousins have a dry navy because of a cock up when prohibition was repealed nothing to do with modern complexity, and the RN is not dry, just JRs and SRs have limits on the ammount of alcohol they can buy, something which they should have got rid off some time between ending the tot and now.
 
hobbit said:
Maxi_77 said:
hobbit said:
In retrospect, despite the good times and memories associated with tot time did it cause more harm than good . The original purpose I understand was to combat scurvy but it seemed to develop into something else and in many cases problem drinkers . Would many like to see the tot introduced again I wonder and isn't it interesting how tot time is still re-enacted at many pusser's get-togethers.

The rum issue had nothing to do with scurvey that was the lime juice of 'limey' fame. Before good water supplies became common bear was often supplied as a 'safe' drink as the brewing process sterilised it, though ashore this was 'small bear' a low alcohol version which ws even given to children. In my old school they found a prospectus from the early 1800s which boasted that pupils got several pints of bear a day. On ships as they ventured further afield the strength of the bear increased to aid preservation but it was often replaced by locally sourced drinks such as wine, brandy and rum. Rum only became standard after the Napoleonic wars, mainly because it was cheap compared to most other spirits and the need to replace water for hydration declined.

I agree rum caused sme problems but the system understood it and in general could cope, and the tot got many things done better than they might have been. Even so by the time the end came I do think the writing was on the wall, manning levels were falling swiftly and you were ending up with fewer people watching many more systems indicators of all kinds and the level of overlap that allowed you to cope with one or two lads who had just had their tot and a few sippers was fast disaapearing. From my own experience the far higher workload on watch in an SSN compared to an O boat was quite noticable.

I think though there was a mistake in not at least moving towards giving all more reponsibility to regulate their own alcohol intake, after all if officers can refrain from coming on watch pissed every one else can.

Thanks Maxi spot on of course regarding the limers and the added info on the rum that I was not aware of. Yes I have often thought and said a ' dry navy ' would be best given all the technology and America has been ' dry ' for years I understand. I did enjoy the rum ritual though and in particular if in UK with the then Rothsey squadron plus Portland and Pompey , all could get quite cool in winter. Rum time was a good social event on any vessel or barracks and it gave the RN ' character '. Yes , ' Up Spirits' good times .



The rum was nice and made the occasion but the Bunhouse and Chuffs and Puffs continued their social life just as before 31/07/1970 but took away the only social event the Junior Rates had and attempted to placate the troops by saying you can have three cans of beer a night which on your average D/E boat meant you could have beer for 6 or 7 days before it was all gone if all took their allocation. I cannot except the argument that high tech equipment needed sober people when the Officers and S/Rs manning that equipment both at sea and in harbour had access to alcohol and them that did not handle such kit had their's taken away with no suitable recompense(that does not mean cash) or the TOT being given when ashore or alongside.

That was my complaint at the time and ever since.


Nutty
 
Nutty said:
The rum was nice and made the occasion but the Bunhouse and Chuffs and Puffs continued their social life just as before 31/07/1970 but took away the only social event the Junior Rates had and attempted to placate the troops by saying you can have three cans of beer a night which on your average D/E boat meant you could have beer for 6 or 7 days before it was all gone if all took their allocation. I cannot except the argument that high tech equipment needed sober people when the Officers and S/Rs manning that equipment both at sea and in harbour had access to alcohol and them that did not handle such kit had their's taken away with no suitable recompense(that does not mean cash) or the TOT being given when ashore or alongside.

That was my complaint at the time and ever since.


Nutty

I do agree, and whilst it may have been a step to far to go from the tot which was reasonably regulated if large to fully unrestricted access to alcohol I do think we should have been able to make more progress over the intervening 35 yeatrs than we have. The rules for senior rates were whilst apparently OK just as stupid as the 3 cans a day. In theory they had to drink their allocation every day when us pigs wanted them to join us in a no spirits at sea regime, yet if they did by the rules they lost their allowance for every day at sea. Sevral boats resorted to double sets of books, the real ones which allowed the mess bill to be worked out and the official one that ensure we only recorded their 'daily' tot.

I really do think a real opportunity to change on board drinking for the better was lost.
 
Maxi_77 said:
Nutty said:
The rum was nice and made the occasion but the Bunhouse and Chuffs and Puffs continued their social life just as before 31/07/1970 but took away the only social event the Junior Rates had and attempted to placate the troops by saying you can have three cans of beer a night which on your average D/E boat meant you could have beer for 6 or 7 days before it was all gone if all took their allocation. I cannot except the argument that high tech equipment needed sober people when the Officers and S/Rs manning that equipment both at sea and in harbour had access to alcohol and them that did not handle such kit had their's taken away with no suitable recompense(that does not mean cash) or the TOT being given when ashore or alongside.

That was my complaint at the time and ever since.


Nutty

Peter said


I do agree, and whilst it may have been a step to far to go from the tot which was reasonably regulated if large to fully unrestricted access to alcohol I do think we should have been able to make more progress over the intervening 35 yeatrs than we have. The rules for senior rates were whilst apparently OK just as stupid as the 3 cans a day. In theory they had to drink their allocation every day when us pigs wanted them to join us in a no spirits at sea regime, yet if they did by the rules they lost their allowance for every day at sea. Sevral boats resorted to double sets of books, the real ones which allowed the mess bill to be worked out and the official one that ensure we only recorded their 'daily' tot.

I really do think a real opportunity to change on board drinking for the better was lost.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Peter

I can only agree that vessels should have all gone dry or worked out an equitable system for all when along side.

Nutty

PS You well know I only use the P word when having a go at a jumped up wannabee. You as a man of rank may say what you like.

Cambridge English Dictionary

rank: adjective
smelling strong and unpleasant:
 
Nutty said:
Maxi_77 said:
Nutty said:
The rum was nice and made the occasion but the Bunhouse and Chuffs and Puffs continued their social life just as before 31/07/1970 but took away the only social event the Junior Rates had and attempted to placate the troops by saying you can have three cans of beer a night which on your average D/E boat meant you could have beer for 6 or 7 days before it was all gone if all took their allocation. I cannot except the argument that high tech equipment needed sober people when the Officers and S/Rs manning that equipment both at sea and in harbour had access to alcohol and them that did not handle such kit had their's taken away with no suitable recompense(that does not mean cash) or the TOT being given when ashore or alongside.

That was my complaint at the time and ever since.


Nutty

Peter said


I do agree, and whilst it may have been a step to far to go from the tot which was reasonably regulated if large to fully unrestricted access to alcohol I do think we should have been able to make more progress over the intervening 35 yeatrs than we have. The rules for senior rates were whilst apparently OK just as stupid as the 3 cans a day. In theory they had to drink their allocation every day when us pigs wanted them to join us in a no spirits at sea regime, yet if they did by the rules they lost their allowance for every day at sea. Sevral boats resorted to double sets of books, the real ones which allowed the mess bill to be worked out and the official one that ensure we only recorded their 'daily' tot.

I really do think a real opportunity to change on board drinking for the better was lost.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Peter

I can only agree that vessels should have all gone dry or worked out an equitable system for all when along side.

Nutty

PS You well know I only use the P word when having a go at a jumped up wannabee. You as a man of rank may say what you like.

Cambridge English Dictionary

rank: adjective
smelling strong and unpleasant:

I was getting worried until I saw the proper definition below.

I think there was and still is no reason to go dry, there were however and still are very good grounds for a far more liberal regime. Even ODs of any age are far brighter than many would admit to, and once new ground rules were establised they would work. Of course on the way the table would get a trifle more busy, a few hooks and badges would fall and a few more would go to the RNDQ holiday camp but it would all have stabilised. I can tell you at the time there were quite a few sneior officers who did favour liberalisation but not enough. You must remeber the Navy at the time was run by the officer equivalent of the Ganges Boy and mosthad very traditional views of Jack.
 

Seaweed

War Hero
Book Reviewer
Troopship, HK to Singapore, 1957 - small RN contingent of odds and sods, loads of pongoes etc. No utensils - senior rates invited to find some (took them 5 minutes) and we held the issue, not as a private social event in a corner, but (by general consent) on a central flat on the main passageway, with as much traditonal ceremony as possible. Result, misery for the hordes of pongoes who could smell it for hours afterwards, one up to Jack.
 
:toilet: :tp: Some superb dits on rum, glad I started this, keep it coming lads. :tp: :toilet: :bball: :whew: :hockey: :thumright:
 

Stripey_G

War Hero
Guide on the Victory in '69...morning guides took 35-40 mins....afternoon guides after tot time...10 mins if they were lucky!! :thumright:
 
Maxi_77 said:
hobbit said:
Maxi_77 said:
If my memory is not misleading me the old rum jar was sealed with red sealing wax, which was removed with gentle tapping using the standard pussers cork screw, and then carefully cleaned before the cork itself was pulled. Mind you the last time I supervised the issue of rum from jars was 67.

The Dolphin ii dit was interestin, I supervised the rum issue there once or perhaps twice and never noticed anything untoward, though we always seemed to have enough neaters left for the boats crew if Dolphin was 'rowing the guard', went down well particularly on a cold winters night.[/quote ]

1959 it was

My first time there was 69, but Dolphin II was well known for scams by the permanent staff, trainees who in general were pretty green and rarely did an officer do duty more than twice as they tended to come from officer training classes and other officers doing training there. Mind you we were alerted to the likelyhood of scams so were perhaps more alert than we might otherwise have been but I accept that it took a fair ammount of experience to spot the more practised scams.


There was also a scam involving the Victualling dusties & chefs in Dolphin Fort Blockhouse during one of my drafts there in the 60s, in that any ullage left over was poured down the galley drain.
This drain cover was kept spotlessly clean, and it was later discovered that a similar spotlessly clean receptacle was under the cover catching all of the pourings from the emptying barrel. :)

I have also posted this somewhere else, but as a young 16.5 year old baby dusty in Albion, I was posted to the Communal party working with the Victualling Department, and I had occasion to be a part of collecting the bubbly from the spirit room.

All went reasonably well in measuring the the rum into the breaker, and I was tasked to pull the full breaker through the hatch, which I duly did. But then I left it stood on end which allowed some of the liquid to leak out through the bung - suffice it say that after a bit of earthumping and 'mild' violence I never did that again ( :blush: ) - and the Duty Officer did not allow a re-measure either !
 
whitemouse said:
Maxi_77 said:
hobbit said:
Maxi_77 said:
If my memory is not misleading me the old rum jar was sealed with red sealing wax, which was removed with gentle tapping using the standard pussers cork screw, and then carefully cleaned before the cork itself was pulled. Mind you the last time I supervised the issue of rum from jars was 67.

The Dolphin ii dit was interestin, I supervised the rum issue there once or perhaps twice and never noticed anything untoward, though we always seemed to have enough neaters left for the boats crew if Dolphin was 'rowing the guard', went down well particularly on a cold winters night.[/quote ]

1959 it was

My first time there was 69, but Dolphin II was well known for scams by the permanent staff, trainees who in general were pretty green and rarely did an officer do duty more than twice as they tended to come from officer training classes and other officers doing training there. Mind you we were alerted to the likelyhood of scams so were perhaps more alert than we might otherwise have been but I accept that it took a fair ammount of experience to spot the more practised scams.


There was also a scam involving the Victualling dusties & chefs in Dolphin Fort Blockhouse during one of my drafts there in the 60s, in that any ullage left over was poured down the galley drain.
This drain cover was kept spotlessly clean, and it was later discovered that a similar spotlessly clean receptacle was under the cover catching all of the pourings from the emptying barrel. :)

I have also posted this somewhere else, but as a young 16.5 year old baby dusty in Albion, I was posted to the Communal party working with the Victualling Department, and I had occasion to be a part of collecting the bubbly from the spirit room.

All went reasonably well in measuring the the rum into the breaker, and I was tasked to pull the full breaker through the hatch, which I duly did. But then I left it stood on end which allowed some of the liquid to leak out through the bung - suffice it say that after a bit of earthumping and 'mild' violence I never did that again ( :blush: ) - and the Duty Officer did not allow a re-measure either !

I've been feeling sorry for your poor ear and hearing loss since you first regailed us with that dit. Still, I'm sure your third pint daily Milk Ration more than compensated you..... :lol:
 
:toilet: Thanks for the tips ladies and the great dits, will put the tips to good measure shortly, HORNBLOWER. :tp:
 
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