Today marks the 43rd anniversary of ‘Black Tot Day’, when a 300-year-old Royal Naval tradition came to an end.
For over three centuries, until 1970, all Royal Navy vessels would ring out their ship's bells just before noon every day. The famous call, 'Up Spirits' would go out, calling sailors to report to deck and receive their daily 70ml ‘tot’, or shot, of rum.
But as the bells chimed on July 31 1970, 43 years ago today, British sailors were issued with their final rum ration and the popular ‘tot’ tradition was no more.
...... the Royal Navy sailors boarded their ship's decks to take their last ‘tot’ of rum, many wearing black armbands in tribute. ‘Black Tot Day’ was born and each year, on this day, the history of the British Navy is celebrated.A rum for me in the Provenance tonight then I think, thought strictly I suppose it should be taken at lunchtime.