All Aboard! Exploring the Newfoundland Railway

Railway Workers

A Day in the Life of a Steward

Larry Hickey - Dining Alert

Larry Hickey speaks of the alerts used to call passengers to meals

JavaScript must be enabled and the latest Adobe Flash Player must be installed to interact with this page.

Length: 1:42 Min
File Size: 10.9 MB
Transcript

How do you alert? The people knew uh... we didn't have any signage up saying lunch is at 12 o'clock or whatever. We would have a gong. This is a... this is a metal gong that it was a... Then we have a... a little drum... with they and we got out there. Like breakfast time was served at... 8 o'clock so what we would do... you would go downstairs - down below deck where they have the first class passengers, and they work the way up. They go - they go dong dong dddong d-dong d-dong (continues) you had your own sound (continues gong noises). People say gee boy what is that. That's how we wake people up. That's 7:30. There's a call for 8 o'clock breakfast and then 8 o'clock (more gong noise). Again I used to love that (more musical noise) all this and um... That's how they were you know.

But now when people came on board, let's say St. John's... okay first class passenger... you'd say this is your seat for the rest of the voyage if this is where, wherever they were going and this is the way it was. People knew then, people would come on at the coast... they come in the saloon and we'd be standing by on tables. Here you are ma'am and over here, service and um so uh... that is how we operated then. Now, we have the menu, saying today, you know people say today now what'll it be today, you know, coffee time, today I say that today we have uhh... we have uh... tomato juice, pea soup, roast beef corn beef, cabbage, potato, carrots, and gravy, whatever.