The Yotties' Memories of Britannia
During the annual Yotties’ Week, many of the Royal Yachtsmen who worked on board during 44 years of service return to work alongside Britannia’s ‘new’ crew in maintenance roles for a week in May.
Working on The Royal Yacht Britannia was a great privilege for the over 3,000 ‘Yotties’ who served between 1954 and 1997. Some of the many different duties included ensuring the gangway was never greater than 12 degrees, diving to search the seabed below Britannia, running the 24-hour Laundry, polishing the beautiful silverware and working at the state banquets and dinners which were held on board around the world.
Around half of the ‘Yotties’ were appointed for a two-year tour of duty. The rest were hand-picked for permanent service and remained with Britannia throughout their naval career.
Last year during Yotties’ Week, some of the crew recounted their memories of Britannia and what the Royal Yacht meant to them.
Dave ‘Sooty’ Broom, who worked on the Fo’c’s’le, washing and painting the deck where anchors and cables for mooring were operated, spoke about being back on board.
Andy Fletcher, who served on board Britannia between 1976 and 1978 was Leading Radio Operator. He talked about his first impressions of the Royal Yacht.
Andy’s favourite memories of his time on board:
The role of Royal Steward, involved Peter Barraud working in the Royal Apartments.
Radio Operators, Rob Shields and Michael ‘Oscar’ Wilde share what they enjoy most about their return to Britannia during Yotties’ Week.
At sea there were many traditions. Sailors were given a daily tot ration of rum until the tradition ended on 31 July 1970. Visitors can see the rum tub which was used on board. At 4pm every day during Yotties’ Week, this tradition is revived.