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ON BOARD THE PENELOPE A (ex-HORSA) continued
matt@hhvferry.com
ABOVE & BELOW: Heading forward out of the aft lounge on B Deck, passengers emerge into the aft lobby, housing the purser's and information offices. Moving forward again, on either beam are the two long side lounges, joined centrally by what was originally the Tea Bar. This view shows the port side lounge of the Penelope A in July 2004 looking forward. The blue coloured seating is original and, where the old Sealink seat coverings have survived, many of the seats retain the small crown insignias which were located at the top of each seat. In comparison (below) is a view of one of the ships' side lounges as built. The most noticeable differences are the loss of the original khaki coloured floor tiles and the removal of the deckhead-mounted luggage racks. On the inboard bulkhead the advertising panels which once promoted duty free products, special offers or items of local interest remain.
Click here to continue the Penelope A/Horsa onboard tour
ABOVE & BELOW: Inside the 'Pink Panther Bar' on the Penelope A in 2004 (above). Apart from changes to signage, the scene is little changed from the space's days as 'Refreshers', including the diagonally-running ceiling panels (below).
ABOVE & BELOW: Linking the side lounges centrally was originally the small tea bar. After the 1986 refits, this area became known as 'Lifesavers'. Effectively providing the same service, the area was finished in light pastel colours and sold sandwiches, pastries and other snacks as well as tea and coffee. Within a couple of years however, it was rebranded as 'Refreshers', although there was no further refit of the facility itself.

In Greek service, the area has been retained as a snack bar (latterly under the Everest brand), although it is technically known as the 'Pink Panther Bar'. The Everest name dates back to Hellas Ferries days, when most of the fleet received this well-known branding. Prior to that, the former
Horsa had retained the 'Refreshers' name throughout the first period of Agoudimos service: the picture below was taken on board the Express Penelope prior to the installation of the Everest name.
BELOW: Latterly an at-sea branch of Everest, the former tea bar had once been 'Refreshers' and before that, 'Lifesavers' (seen on the Horsa in the mid-1980s).
ABOVE: The starboard side lounge (seen here looking aft in 2004) has been altered somewhat more significantly, receiving a new pink colour scheme although also retaining the original tables and seating. In their latter years in Sealink service the Hengist and Horsa featured an electonic signboard on the aft bulkhead in each side lounge which featured various passenger notices scrolling across, but this has been removed in Greece.
ABOVE & BELOW: Directly forward of the tea bar (and still in between the side lounges), Hengist and Horsa were built with self-service duty free supermarkets (below). Sealink were never entirely comfortable with this concept in the 1970s and it was stressed that their installation on the two new ships was entirely experimental - sister Senlac was equipped instead with an attractive shopping arcade of four traditional counter service shops. After a couple of seasons, the Hengist and Horsa would be similarly modified (officially due to "loss of bonded goods...together with congestion caused by "eye shopping" only passengers" (Sealink News, September 1975)). This thinking would however last only until the early 1980s when all three ships were re-fitted again with supermarket-style shops. In Greek domestic traffic, shopping facilities are of limited use and in 2004 the area (above) was in use as a games arcade and storage space.
ABOVE: An unusual 'relic' found aboard the Penelope A on the underside of one of the tables in the port side lounge: Sealink stickers showing 'Reserved for the Motorist' and an early 1980s Sealink logo with 'Folkestone-Boulogne' displayed (as below). The stickers hint at the previous use of the port side lounge: the two parallel spaces were originally designated the motorist's lounge (port side) and the tea bar lounge (starboard side), but this was relatively short-lived with the forward lounge, even before the VSOE refit, becoming the official motorist's area.