Wednesday, January 7, 2009
This is one of my favourite Allan Hughan photographs. I find it utterly fascinating, and for years wondered what on earth the sailors were doing. I then spied very faint writing in lead pencil on the reverse of the image, and upon taking it outside into the strong sunlight I discovered the words "Sailors play the game cordonnier. These were taken before a very heavy thunderstorm." The word 'cordonnier' translates from the French to 'shoe-maker' in English, which probably explains why two of the sailors have their shoes off!
I would love to know what was involved in the playing of this game- after intense "googling" I am still no wiser!