Joan Kerr

My Mother was a French Polisher both in the polishing shop and on board. She worked on lots of boats throughout the war, and in peacetime worked on boats like the Oriana. She had lots of stories about Shellacing the new office boys when they passed through the shop. It would be a summary dismissal and probably police issue these days, but they all thought it was just a bit of harmless fun. Much like a lot of the stuff that went on in the Boiler Shop when I first started in 1970.

The french polishers (all women), would grab the new office boys (or any of them who were being a bit gobby), hold them down pull their trousers down and give their nether regions a good coat of shellac followed by a coat of lacquer to make it even more difficult to remove. Then sent them on their way, it was virtually impossible to remove even with scrubbing. Of course the women all thought it was hilarious, and my mother was always in tucks whenever she told the tale 40 years later. Her name was Joan Kerr, DoB 12th June 1919.

Contributed by Graham Baines

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