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Bosun's whistle, anyone?

08 Jul 10 - 03:43 PM (#2941942)
Subject: Bosun's whistle, anyone?
From: Big Ballad Singer

Looking to buy (cheaply) or trade for a bosun's whistle/bosun's call. I'd prefer something that can actually be put to some use, and not just a decorative or poorly-constructed piece.

I have audio and written info on the different tones and patterns and so on, and I want to use the whistle in my edu-mac-ational progrum fer da kiddys... so's dey kin larn stuff.

Anyone? Anyone? Bueller...? Frye...?

Regards,

BBS


08 Jul 10 - 07:14 PM (#2942054)
Subject: RE: Bosun's whistle, anyone?
From: Leadfingers

Several on E Bay


08 Jul 10 - 07:55 PM (#2942078)
Subject: RE: Bosun's whistle, anyone?
From: Joe Offer

Googling bosun's whistle brings up a nice selection. Are these things hard to play, or can you just blow on them any-old-how and get good sound out of them?
I love loud whistles, somewhat to my wife's chagrin.
-Joe-


08 Jul 10 - 10:15 PM (#2942136)
Subject: RE: Bosun's whistle, anyone?
From: Ross Campbell

There are a few available on eBay right now, from tourist-trap replicas to serious (£975 serious!) antiques.

I don't know about being easy to play. Different notes can be produced by over-blowing. My late neighbour Stanley Barnes was an expert. He left me his banjo when he died, I guess his whistles may have gone to family and friends.

Suibhne O'Piobearachd (S'OP currently astray in Norfolk, East Anglia) may be able to explain the playing technique.

I was going to say that you can't really play tunes on a bosun's whistle, but there's always somebody who will try to put you in the wrong!

Ross


08 Jul 10 - 10:36 PM (#2942145)
Subject: RE: Bosun's whistle, anyone?
From: Stewart

Well, I still have my bosun's pipe
from about 55 years ago when I was
a sea scout in California. I used
it to pipe aboard various dignitaries
onto our boat. It's not hard to play -
I can still do it after not playing it
for these many years. It's amazing that
I still have it after dozens of moves.
But I'm not about to part with it - sorry.

Cheers, S. in Seattle


09 Jul 10 - 08:07 AM (#2942283)
Subject: RE: Bosun's whistle, anyone?
From: bubblyrat

Never found it easy to play (which I had to do whilst on duty for three months in the main-gate guardroom at RNAS Yeovilton ).Cupping ones right hand over the aperture between the ball and the blowpipe creates a kind of acoustic chamber. By raising / lowering the spread fingers,one can ,whilst simultaneously blowing harder or softer,alter the volume and pitch of the note. Some "calls", as in "Hands to Dinner" and " Out Lights--Out Pipes-Pipe Down" require a certain amount of trilling of the tongue as well.I was generally only required to pipe "Call The Hands" in the morning ; the "Still" and the "Carry on" at 0800 (summer) or 0900 (winter) when the Ensign was run up,and "Pipe Down" at 2300 ------depending on which watches I was standing, of course !!
   Nasty thing !! Full of Naval and Maritime history , of course, but a bit of an anachronism in today's Navy---I always preferred the bugle,which ruled my daily life for 3 years aboard an aircraft carrier in the '60s.


09 Jul 10 - 08:22 AM (#2942286)
Subject: RE: Bosun's whistle, anyone?
From: GUEST,kendall

After years at sea, anyone who blows one of those instruments of the Devil is in danger of getting a very painful enema.


09 Jul 10 - 08:29 AM (#2942293)
Subject: RE: Bosun's whistle, anyone?
From: John MacKenzie

I have 3 miniature bosun's whistles, made of sterling silver. They were designed to go on either a charm bracelet, or a necklace


09 Jul 10 - 10:38 AM (#2942370)
Subject: RE: Bosun's whistle, anyone?
From: Les from Hull

Well if I was going to get one, it would have to be an acme. Over here they are the real thing - the genuine police whistle, the proper football referee whistle (Acme Thunderer), the real Bosun's Call. You Mercans might get a discount if you mention you are a personal friend of Roadrunner!


09 Jul 10 - 12:35 PM (#2942443)
Subject: RE: Bosun's whistle, anyone?
From: bubblyrat

I always thought that they made washing machines ??They did in the 1950s, anyway !!


09 Jul 10 - 12:36 PM (#2942444)
Subject: RE: Bosun's whistle, anyone?
From: John MacKenzie

They also supply Roadrunner


09 Jul 10 - 05:59 PM (#2942627)
Subject: RE: Bosun's whistle, anyone?
From: EBarnacle

Went to the Acme link. They also mentioned piping competitions. WTF?


09 Jul 10 - 06:26 PM (#2942639)
Subject: RE: Bosun's whistle, anyone?
From: Les from Hull

Bonsun's pipe?


09 Jul 10 - 07:08 PM (#2942660)
Subject: RE: Bosun's whistle, anyone?
From: Sugwash

Well it was a Bosun's call when I was in the Andrew. My abiding memory of that infernal instrument was stood Trot sentry on a diesel submarine in Amsterdam with a savage wind blowing snow from Scandinavia. The skipper ("I'm the captain, fishing boats have skippers!" "OK skipper") was stepping ashore. I couldn't even find my my mouth, let alone produce the required pipe. "Next time bring your guitar Sugden." But, bless him, he did require the duty officer to organise a cup of tea with a decent tot in it.


10 Jul 10 - 05:11 AM (#2942824)
Subject: RE: Bosun's whistle, anyone?
From: GUEST,Jack Campin

There's one on EBay (woodwind instruments section) right now, auction ending in three hours, only got to 2.21 pounds.


10 Jul 10 - 06:55 AM (#2942861)
Subject: RE: Bosun's whistle, anyone?
From: bubblyrat

Yes, it's a "Bosun's Call ", or "Boatswain's Call" to be more formal,hence the nautical expression " Have my gig called away,Mr Christian ", which is what one does ; a ship's boat is "called away".Which is what Cyril Tawney meant when he wrote " Call Away The Dghaisa " , not HAUL away,as most people erroneously sing !!
    Or, more popularly, "Och Aye The Noo--Away Seaboat's Crew !".Which then sinks,if you let go the falls too soon,as happened to HMS Eagle's cutter in 1968 in the Arctic ! Photo available !!


11 Oct 10 - 02:12 PM (#3004591)
Subject: RE: Bosun's whistle, anyone?
From: GUEST,Sailor'sDaughter

I just bought one on ebay. I am trying to find someone to teach me how to make the pipe whistle properly. I know it takes a lot of wind just to get it on a clear note. Do silver pipes and copper pipes blow alike? I wonder if I am making it so much more complicated than need be. I have been practicing, and I'd be honored to do it right at my father's memorial. Some say you've got to learn it from someone who knows how.


11 Oct 10 - 06:23 PM (#3004745)
Subject: RE: Bosun's whistle, anyone?
From: bubblyrat

I should be happy to arrange for a short course of instruction in the basics,if not the finer points ; however,I perceive from your spelling of " honored" that you might not be ideally placed just now for a quick sortie to Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire. ?


11 Oct 10 - 08:44 PM (#3004816)
Subject: RE: Bosun's whistle, anyone?
From: GUEST,Seadog

A Bosun's whistle in the woodwind section?


11 Oct 10 - 09:08 PM (#3004830)
Subject: RE: Bosun's whistle, anyone?
From: Tattie Bogle

I used to have one when a Sea Ranger (one of the things you could do when you got too old for Girl Guides!)Then you could buy a bosun's whistle in Scout or Guide shops and they weren't that expensive. Didn't find it that hard to play: it largely hinged around blowing pressure and use of the hand cupped around the instrument. Mine got lost in one of the family moves, but I still have my Sea Ranger hat - great for any fancy dress nights involving sailors! Ahoy there, me hearties!