Blackboard Place Setting

Win the hearts of your dinner guests with these quaint mini blackboard peg place settings, in the shape of mini hearts, so you can write the name of each guest. Product code: 24972. Made in wood/ metal. Height 8cm, width 7cm.

Price £1 each.

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In the main, the majority of wives were kept on a fairly tight leash by their husbands, who had no illusions whatsoever about the level of morality of many people at sea. A wife who was too independent of her husband and spent time drinking with the rest when her husband was in bed was not well thought of, for two reasons.

First, it was generally assumed she was bored, which was probably true, and was therefore after a thrill of some sort. Too much drink and lack of female company make an interesting cocktail: a wife showing a loose side would be homed in on soon enough. Everyone could see it coming and everyone knew there would be trouble.

No one wanted the trouble, but the potential pursuer, or pursuers, would be powerless to resist. Second, a wife on the prowl, away from her husband who was tucked up in bed, would be tolerated, although there would be resentment if she horned in on too many work-related conversations. The general feeling was that if someone brought their wife to sea, then they had an obligation to look after them, entertain them, and keep them from disrupting the wheel of life onboard.

Some wives were good value: amusing, clever, adding spice to the social life and blunting the harder edges of their husbands. This was greatly appreciated by most onboard, particularly by those at the bottom of the pile, the cadets.

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