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Thread: Cunard Yanks - short video interview

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    Newbie Stephen Wolstenholme's Avatar
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    Default Cunard Yanks - short video interview

    Please see

    www.youtube.com/watch?v=O7V520MqpmY

    for an interview with former Cunard Yanks, recorded at the Liverpool History Show, St Georges Hall in 2006.

    Liverpool in the late 40's through the 50's to the early 60's had almost 25,000 seamen sailing from what was then one of the largest seaports in the world.

    This interview is part of the personal history of some of those young men, focusing mainly on members of the catering staff, waiters, cooks, stewards, who sailed from Liverpool to America. ...........and because they copied the Americans' style, their dress, their music, and often their manner, they were called Cunard Yanks.

    The clip, inspired by the Cunard Yanks film/DVD, is about them, told through stories, recollections and memories of a group of their former shipmates, Cunard Yanks walked the same streets together in New York, Montreal, and Liverpool. They chased the best looking girls in local dance halls such as the Grafton, Locarno, Reeces and many others. Most of them sailing from Liverpool in the late 40's and early 50's were 15 and 16 year olds. They were leaving the City still scarred and battered from the war, so it wasn't surprising that when they docked in America , particularly in New York, they were like kids in a giant candy store. Everything seemed bigger, brighter, better.

    In this interview former Cunard Yanks talk about how they worked, how they played, dressed and danced, what they thought, and some of the things they did and brought home.


    ADVERTISING




    With special thanks to Ritchie Barton for permission to use material from www.cunardyanks.org/index.htm

    Stephen Wolstenholme

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    Re-member Ged's Avatar
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    Met Mr H and Mr B again just today at the opening of the Liverpool Museum's new galleries. The last time we were together was for a joint screening of Gardens of Stone with my model and their film showing in St. Georges Hall big history festival a few years back. Great lads both in their late 70s now but you'd never know it.



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    Senior Member Lizzie1's Avatar
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    I saw these gents a few years ago at LIPA, they never look any older!

    My Dad was a Cunard Yank, he was married when these 'youngsters' were strutting their stuff! so instead of buying himself the smart suits etc he'd bring us kids DC Comics, toys and all kinds of goodies! and of course perfume and nylons for Mum.

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    Senior Member lindylou's Avatar
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    My dad was a Cunard Yank too

    I've posted this on another thread - but here's a pic of my dad in his New York clothes. ( my dad in the long overcoat - so smart!)



    He had a collection of beautiful silk ties with colourful pictures and motives on them from a New York shop called 'Tie City'
    You can just about see one of the brightly patterned ties where he has his coat open.

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    My father in law was one too, I posted a pic of him on the Franconia on another thread. He served on there when Dom Volante was the gym instructor. The 2 chaps above told me they took Bill Harry to task making him eat his words that there were no such things as Cunard Yanks bringing previously unheard songs and LP's back from America. I expect they did do that but that also I know that record stores could order overseas records for their shops.
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    Senior Member Samsette's Avatar
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    Great pictures, Lindy. I never sailed with Cunard, but came across Cunard Yanks on other company's ships, and they were always interesting in their accounts of what New York had to offer.

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    Newbie neville's Avatar
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    I have the video of he cunard yanks , I too was one I guess having sailed on the carinthia and sylvania, 1960 we were knownas the hollywood boys, I dont know how we got that moniker but we were posing a lot for the girl passengers . and after all the cruises on the Empress of Canada in 1965 I emigrated to nYC and got a job in the Waldorf on Park for a few months then went to restaurant assoc ,wich had many restaurants in the city I ended up in a english ale and chop house for the next 21 years . now in florida for the last 25, always be a scouse at heart and miss my youth as Merchant seaman 21 ships in 10 years ,thos were the days footloose and fancy free

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    Senior Member ChrisGeorge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ged View Post
    My father in law was one too, I posted a pic of him on the Franconia on another thread. He served on there when Dom Volante was the gym instructor. The 2 chaps above told me they took Bill Harry to task making him eat his words that there were no such things as Cunard Yanks bringing previously unheard songs and LP's back from America. I expect they did do that but that also I know that record stores could order overseas records for their shops.
    Hi Ged

    I think it was probably a bit of both. The story that the Cunard Yanks brought the music over sounds great, but they probably were not the only ones responsible for bringing rock and roll back to the UK.

    My father emigrated to the United States in September 1954 and was able to sample the bounty of the New World, initially staying in the YMCA in Manhattan and sampling the joys of automats and doors that opened for you, etc. The younger generation probably have no concept of the economic and technological gulf that existed between the U.S. and the U.K. in that era -- these days the two countries are much more alike.

    Great thread!

    Cheers

    Chris
    Christopher T. George
    Editor, Ripperologist
    Editor, Loch Raven Review
    http://christophertgeorge.blogspot.com/
    Chris on Flickr and on MySpace

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    Senior Member BlueJeans's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ged View Post
    Met Mr H and Mr B again just today at the opening of the Liverpool Museum's new galleries. The last time we were together was for a joint screening of Gardens of Stone with my model and their film showing in St. Georges Hall big history festival a few years back. Great lads both in their late 70s now but you'd never know it.



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    I have met them and they are a great pair of guys, passionate about their story. I am sure everyone in the City has a relative/ friend who served on the ships in some way. Some of the memorabilia such as the original menus etc really bring the story to life.

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    Stephen ,i would like to thank you very much indeed for posting that link, it was a fascinating clip and the lads taking part in the interview were excellent in the manner in which they described just what being a Cunard Yank was all about. .

    collegepudding

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    My brother's father-in-law Hughie from Vauxhall Gardens as was, was also a Cunard Yank and actually was on the same ship as my father-in-law. He still frequents the Eldonian Village Hall who have ex seamen's get togethers there.
    www.inacityliving.piczo.com/

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    Newbie Stephen Wolstenholme's Avatar
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    Default Cunard Yanks - thanks

    Thank you for the responses to this thread. I'm glad to hear that two of the guys are still going strong. They are born performers for filming!

    Stephen Wolstenholme

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