Who Rules The Waves?

A camp cruise or charabanc à la mer is the entertainment innovation from Tricky Dicky who pioneered gay discos all over the suburban wastelands of South and East London.

Gay News went on his latest boat trip which took place on the evening of Friday February 23rd, and despite extremely cold weather, the two-tier cruiser was filled to capacity when it moved off Westminster Pier at 8.30pm. Journeying westwards for eight miles or so, to Putney, and then east, back again past Westminster, to a point just short of Tower Bridge, and back to Westminster by 11.30pm.

Photograph: c/o Manus Sasonkin
The boat peopled by gays of more varied backgrounds and types than I have ever seen cohabiting in a small place before, really seemed to enjoy this novel trip, which cost £1. The boat was divided into two covered, heated tiers, the upper containing one of Tricky Dicky’s inimitable, ebullient discos, and the lower a bar lounge, where it was nice to see fast efficient bar staff and drinks at normal pub prices. For those who dared to risk the seemingly sub-zero temperature to catch a glimpse of their city in its best aura – from the river at night, there was ample outdoor accommodation as well.

FOOTNOTE: On arriving at Westminster Pier, the ‘gay sailors’ were welcomed back to dry land by the Metropolitan River police. There were no incidents; the amazed officers just cruised around in their launch. The timely arrival of the ‘water watchers’ was reminiscent of Chelsea Constabulary’s activities around closing time at the Coleherne, Earls Court.