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  • In the July issue of Best of British
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Best of British is the UK’s premier nostalgia magazine covering every aspect of life from the 1930s to today.

Each issue encourages you to:

  • Explore readers’ own recollections and memories in our Yesterday Remembered section
  • Discover more about days gone past with stories on everything from vintage transport to great Britons and from Christmas traditions to great days out
  • Enjoy regular reader favourites such as Treasures in the Attic, 1940s Post, Postcard from… and of course our Puzzle Page and Crossword

We hope you like reading our magazine as much as we love compiling it. In the meantime here is this month’s letter from our Editor, Simon Stabler

Ahoy There
I can’t recall the last time I took a cross-channel ferry, but I can remember the first; a school trip to Brittany on board the MV Reine Mathilde. These days, thanks to High Speed 1, I could be in Paris within six hours of walking out of my front door. Back then, our crossing alone took almost as long. Then there was the added hassle of a coach trip from school in Peterborough down to Portsmouth through the dead of night.

Nowadays, almost every teenager owns a mobile phone to keep in constant contact with family and friends. Back then the ultra-high-tech way of alerting our parents to our safe arrival was for a teacher to make a quick call to the school secretary, who would then post a pile of postcards we had each scribbled a message on, confirming we were now in St Malo. It really was a different world.

While communication and transportation might be faster today, on a ferry you could at least stretch your legs, track down the legendary giant Toblerone in duty free, enjoy a proper cooked breakfast and a pint, or even a tot of rum at the bar and imagine you had the sea legs of Jolly Jack Tar.

Talking of rum, this issue we mark 50 years since Black Tot Day, the day that the Royal Navy ended its daily rum ration. Joining me for a taste of Pusser’s Rum, the only drop made to Admiralty specifications, is my friend Ken who was in the senior service when the ration
ended.

We’d been planning to do this tasting for at least a year, looking forward to downing a few in a pub, but in these socially distanced times, the rum sampling took place over the phone. I look forward to the day when I can reunite with Ken and others over a few pints of cask ale in a proper boozer. I dare say we’ll even enjoy a measure of rum: after all, the return to normal life will surely be an occasion to “splice the mainbrace”.