The "Pig & Whistle" (Crew's Bar)

The term the "Pig 'n' Whistle" is a name associated with a crew recreation space and bar located aboard the RMS Queen Mary while in service. It encompassed a small service bar space that opened onto the broad baggage handling area located at the stern end of original C deck (now named "R" deck).

Map of Area on Ship

Location of the original "Pig" on "R" Deck (dark yellow). The lighter yellow shows the baggage area used as a bar/recreation area whilst the ship was at sea. The green area is the aft end of the modern day Pig 'n' Whistle staff restaurant (the starboard portion of the second class restaurant).

History of use

When the Queen Mary was in port, this cross space was a busy baggage handling area. Two large, high speed service elevators were used to move trunks and baggage not required by passengers during the crossing into a large baggage hold area many decks below.


Crew members play darts in the loading area just outside the bar. The doors behind them are the loading doors.

A second photo of crew members relaxing in the "Pig". Photo courtesy of Les Streater.

Once all of the baggage was stowed, the massive steel shell doors closed and when the ship was at sea, this broad cross space was available for use as a crew recreation space. A makeshift performance platform was frequently set up in front of the large pair of baggage elevators.

Decked with teak planking, with walls made up of steel bulkheads, exposed light bulbs and furnished with hand-me-down tables and chairs, the area nevertheless attracted some of the world's most famous artists who willingly performed here gratis for the crew whilst traveling as passengers! Additionally, the crew put on their own entertainments.

Ironically, the most valuable single piece of furniture that came to Long Beach on the ship was found in this area. It is a antique (circa 1840's) concert grand piano. Covered with layers of paint, it was donated to the crew by the family of a past crew member. Its true value was only recognized when the contents of the ship were inventoried for auction. It fortunately remains on the ship today (with the exterior case restored, but working mechanism in disrepair) on display on Sun Deck.

1967 to present
Configuration of the area today

With both the need for baggage storage and a recreation space for a captive and "live-in" crew gone, the original functions of this area have ceased to have any interest or acknowledged value to the current owner and their string of lessees. No attempt at preserving the area or even at documenting its use was made by them. They have however appropriated the name "Pig'n'Whistle" and assigned it to a number of crew-cafeteria operations run on the ship and property over the years.

A photo of the current staff cafeteria. While called the "Pig n' Whistle",
it is actually the sole surviving portion of the Second Class Dining Room.

What originality remains in this area is the result of incomplete demolition and the fact that it is a designated storage area, poorly lit and "off the beaten track."

The Pig & Whistle today looking at the starboard shell doors. This is the area where the photo was taken of the crewmen enjoying a game of darts.


The forward bulkhead on the starboard side of the room. The area through the opening in the wall leads to the current crew costuming area.


A view facing towards the center of the room where the elevators should be.


The aft bulkhead on the starboard side. The service bar window is blocked by discarded furnishings.

Potential for future restoration and re-use

Located adjacent to a gutted area than now houses the "crew costuming" area, this important area might be refurbished and used as a bar in conjunction with a fourth dining room that could be recreated where the crew costuming area is now located. As indicated in the discussion on the potential-use of the second class dining room, this fourth dining room would be adjacent to the second class entrance on "R" deck.


Possible future configuration of the area


A rendering by Jeff Taylor of a restored aft-kitchen

This original "Pig 'n' Whistle" space is directly behind the space we recommend be used for the Club Queen Mary dining room. Restored and perhaps subtly upgraded with better lighting,  upgraded furnishings, photos and/or posters of some of the artists like Jimmy Durante, Sophie Tucker, Mae West, etc. who sailed the Queen Mary and entertained the crew here. It might be used as either:
a.)   A unique and evocative club bar, used in conjunction with the proposed new dining room, or 
b.)   A space reserved for use by the crew of today’s ship.  Used as a cafeteria and relaxation space, it would also serve as a memorial to the thousands of crew members who worked on the Queen Mary over the years.

Until a more ambitious restoration effort is undertaken on R Deck, this facility can also be restored as part of the self-guided tour displaying crew life related exhibits. By reopening the existing crew staircase to this area from B Deck, it is linked to the Isolation Ward exhibit area.

The "Pig & Whistle" was arguably one of most significant spaces for the crew when the Queen Mary was at sea. It was their place to kick back, unwind, and share a drink in good company. The restoration of this area represents an inexpensive place to begin a true restoration of R Deck as well as an opportunity to tell the story of the more personal side of crew life on the ship.

A rendering by Jeff Taylor of a restored Pig 'n' Whistle

Note: There is adequate space behind this area for a new galley to service the Club Queen Mary dining room.  The original stewards’ quarters and wash places at the stern have been entirely gutted and are now simply a dead storage area.

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