Port Call 5: Portsmouth, England
25 November-1 December
From the Yorktown 1969 Cruise Book:
"'They say one 'f your blokes bought the Lawndon Bridge, he did. A cryin' shame, aye mate?'
We were riding on the second level of a 'Red Devil' double-decker bus amidst the maze of London's historical streets. Our companion was 'a typically Englist [sic] gentleman' with his bowler, umbrellas and 'typically English shoes.' He had simply taken us under his wing and gave us a tour of this favorite city.
The case of a 'local' just striding up to one of the Yorktown's sailors--asking wher they were from and wanting to know all aobut where we had been and so on--was repeated over and over again throughout our Portsmouth-London visit. The American Navy was on parade and the English welcomed the sight of our white hats and peacoats.
Portsmouth was Yorktown's last liberty port.It had been an exhausting cruise and the men were getting their last-minute Christmas shopping done. Where is it better to buy tweeds, china and a thousand other 'Made in England' articles than at the source.
Chaplain's tours were both single-day or package day and night attractions. In either case, the little money spent was 'just a thrupence' compared to the sights we saw.
There were stops at Westminster Abbey, the Tower of London--for a gander at some 'ice' and bangles of unrecorded and unbelievable value, and the majestic interior of St. Paul's Cathedral.
Several tour stops were simply brief views of a spectacular castle or statue. Photobugs snapped it up: Big Ben and Victory will be projected on living room walls for years to come.
The Coachmen (bus drivers) were rightly proud of their city. So it just wouldn't do to attempt an American comparison. They are very sensitive about such things. 'Those American........!'"