To Thread - Forum Home

The Mudcat Café TM
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=139444
5 messages

Sailortown by Hugill-anyone have a copy?

30 Jul 11 - 02:10 PM (#3198583)
Subject: Sailortown by Hugill-anyone have a copy?
From: Richard from Liverpool

Is there anybody out there with a copy of Stan Hugill's book Sailortown who could help me out? I'm wanting to find out what he says there about "Paddy West" and his boarding house (the snippet view of google books suggests that the relevant parts are between pages 85 and 87).


30 Jul 11 - 02:19 PM (#3198589)
Subject: RE: Sailortown by Hugill-anyone have a copy?
From: Dave Hanson

I have a copy, I'll look it up tomorrow when I've a bit more time.

Dave H


30 Jul 11 - 03:53 PM (#3198628)
Subject: RE: Sailortown by Hugill-anyone have a copy?
From: KathyW

I've got a copy here. From the bottom of page 85:

"...Many tales are told of the food dished out to Jack. In Liverpool, in Paddy West's boarding-house, of which more anon, Paddy's wife would be about to put a round Dutch cheese on the table, when Paddy would query, 'How are the boarders tonight?' 'Dead drunk,' his wife would invariably answer, and Paddy would then declare, 'Aw, be Jaysus, did-drunk are the'? Well, thin, me dharlin', fleet the chase, an' put th' grindstone on the table, th' divils won't know th' dhifference, b'dad!'"

Page 86 is an illustration of shanghaiers at their work.

From the bottom of page 87:

"...We have already met Paddy West of Liverpool and his 'chase.' He and Paddy Doyle are both said to have had set-ups in their back-yards for the speedy making of a sailor-- sort of 'instant-sailor' systems. In San Francisco, too, a certain boarding-house master, Mike Connor, is said, by those who are supposed to know, to have had a similar set-up in his back yard and parlor. But more of this anon.
    Instead of allowing tailors the privilege of 'fitting out' the outward-bounders the boarding-house masters, in some ports, preferred to handle this service themselves. Paddy West was one of these. The chorus of a popular forebitter, singing of Paddy West, runs:
          Then it's put on yer dungaree jacket,
          An' give the boys a rest;
          An' we'll think of the cold nor'westers that blow,
          In the house of Paddy West.
[continuing to page 88] But many of the dungaree jackets given to the outward-bounders, by others as well as Paddy, were those taken from corpses or diseased men. This obviuosly furthered the dissemination of sickness among merchant seamen; a serious matter that worried the crimps but little."

There's more in the chapter on Liverpool. From the bottom of page 101:

"I don't know whether Paddy West was one of these [Irishmen who left Ireland during the Potato Famine], but he was certainly one of the most famous Liverpool boarding-house masters of all time. Many streets are given as his habitat. Dick Maitland, a wise old tar who knew the decks of many a hard-case packet, declare he had a 'straw house' up on London Road, and he gives the 1870's as the period of Paddy's performances. A consensus of sailor opinion, [continuing on to page 102] however, seems to give his habitat as Great Howard Street, and his period as somewhere around the fifties and sixties. The following sailor forebitter, too, identifies Paddy with Great Howard Street:   
    Oh, as I wuz a rolling' down Great Howard Street,
    I strolled into Paddy West's house;
    He gave me a plate of Americian has, and swore it was English scouse;
    Sez he, 'Look 'ere, young fellar, ye're very jist in time,
    To go away in a big clipper ship, an' very soon ye'll sign."

Hugill continues with another page and a half explaining the various "sailor-training" activities from the song, such as stepping over a string = crossing the line. I don't want to retype it all here, let me know if there's something specific you are looking for.


31 Jul 11 - 04:37 AM (#3198949)
Subject: RE: Sailortown by Hugill-anyone have a copy?
From: The Doctor

Alternatively, if you want to send me an email address I could scan and send you the relevant pages.


31 Jul 11 - 06:59 AM (#3198999)
Subject: RE: Sailortown by Hugill-anyone have a copy?
From: Richard from Liverpool

Thanks to all for their help and offers of help), I think thanks to KathyW and Matthew Edwards (who was kind enough to send some extracts via e-mail), I now have what I need!