Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Life on the Ocean Waves

If there's one thing I can't resist, it's vintage ephemera. "It's my one weakness" (as Dorcas Lane would say). Just as buttons, vintage sewing things, fabric, tins (the list could go on) are "my one weakness" as well! So imagine my sheer delight when I found this little lot bundled together in an antique shop...

There's all sorts of interesting bits that someone obviously collected and saved when they were cruising in the Mediterranean in April/May 1930.

This is the cruise ship - the 'Arandora Star'.

Inside the Blue Star Line's 'Guide to the Mediterranean' is a handy pull out map followed by pages of useful information and places to visit for all the stop offs on the tour. The introduction starts as follows:

"Passengers bent on garnering a full harvest of sight-seeing experiences from the present cruises, will doubtless have provided themselves with copies of the excellent guides published by Messrs. Baedeker and Messrs. Thos. Cook & Sons, Ltd...And while this guide is not meant to augment or understudy the voluminous literature written about the romantic and historical places of the Mediterranean Shores, it is published in the hope that it may be of some assistance to our passengers..."

The menu for the fancy dress dinner and dance on Friday, April 25th, 1930 reveals that the hors-d'oeuvres included Cavier Russes, Smoked Salmon, Devilled Herrings and Queen Olives. There was certainly lots to choose from for the main course, but dessert seems only to have been a selection of fruit, nuts and raisins (I'm afraid I'm a cheese board or gooey pudding kind of girl!)

The Passenger List gives the names of all those on board this cruise. There were even a few Lieutenant Colonels, Captains and Sirs! The Passenger List Competition looks like it was good fun. Clues were given to names of some of those onboard the ship, for passengers to decipher and arrive at their answers. Clues include: "'Tis said little boys should not be this" (Heard), "This Johnny was banished from USA in 1920" (Walker) and "Proverbially possessed by every dog" (Day).

There was certainly lots to keep cruise goers occupied on board ship...a library, hairdresser and a shop that carried "a large and attractive assortment of articles obtainable at reasonable prices".

I think the Fancy Dress Dances, Ping Pong and Deck Quoits sound like fun!

Passengers were given a card of 'Items of Interest for Tomorrow" every day. On the list for Sunday, 27th April, a note at the bottom reads, "During the Cruise it is proposed to hold a concert. Passengers willing to assist are requested to advise any member of the Sports Committee". I'm sure lots of people would have volunteered...I wonder what the concert was like?

Even though I have the sea in my blood (my Grandfather was in the Merchant Navy), I've never really been one for water. Still, with all the entertainments on board ship and excursions I think I could have managed a trip around the Mediterranean in 1930!


Country Cottage Chic said...

What a fabulous collection - I find ephemera fascinating & often buy it just to save it from the bin!


Purrfect Haven said...

the smell of them is something special too, isn't it. Helen xx