Friday, October 10, 2008

Strait Street, Valletta


This Street was known as 'the gut' by former service people as this was the red light, bar area.

23 comments:

Alifan said...

Oh memories again Dina, we were told in the 50's we were not allowed down there, but I seem to remember there being a great steak house that we used to go in!!!!!

Dina said...

Alifan, I enjoy posting photos that bring memories to you. Glad you are enjoying them. Wish you a nice weekend

Luke Wiley said...

A tiny street!

Webradio said...

Strange street !

Anonymous said...

I spent all of my time while stationed there in1970 while in thr U.S. Navy.I wasn't so drunk that I don't remember the fun I had there.And other "adventures".

Scurs, HMS Scarborough said...

Oh, memories of the Gut! Spring of 1958, anchored off Sliema and as many nights as possible down the Gut. Last bar on the right before the cross-street was where we "played", cute little Italian girl who always had me dance with her - but as a National Serviceman I couldn't afford anything else!

Tony said...

I have lived in England most of my life, to me this is strada stretta, the Italian version of the name, and translated from the Maltese name which I can't spell, the Narrow Street, which I think is more apt, as most if not all streets in valletta are straight.
This is where I still call home, as I was born at 116. My Father was a jazz drummer and often played in various bars in the area, but we remained good Catholics.

Anonymous said...

We have come across a photo of the notorious "Strait st" Valetta, Malta. (THE GUT!) in the daylight. After going through my father/grandfathers photos whilst he served in the RN between approx 1945-1950 and always wondered why this photo of "a street" was so significant now we know why! Technology is a wonderful thing

Anonymous said...

The old photo was significant, by this you mean to your father / grand father.
In fact the photo above is not where the bars are located, but further down the
the street. I am pretty sure there was also a tailors shop that specialised in
RN uniforms.

Cliff Mathewson said...

I was there in 1970 I was never so drunk that I couldn't navigate my way up and down the Gut.I remember one night I led a group of equally drunken French Sailors down the street singing at the top our lungs!Later that night the French and American sailors swapped uniforms.I saw what I thought were my shipmates, that were speaking fluent French.And what I thought were French Sailors were actually my shipmates.That's when I decided that it was time to head back to my ship and sleep it off.

Jonty 924 said...

I was in Malta in 1956 en route to the Suez campaign and I was shown around the Gut by an older colleague. What an experience for a young soldier but so enjoyabe that I went back for more. John

Anonymous said...

I remember the gut in 1972 It was absolutely throbbing and our favourite bar was the Silver Horse otherwise known as the (galvernised donkey). Was recently there and the sign are still above the door of the Silver Horse and The Blue Peter Bar but the girls and the booze are long gone!!

Anonymous said...

I came to live in Malta as a little kid in 1968, and I clearly remember the 31st March 1979, the day all the British Forces and RN Ships finally departed from Malta. As they sailed out of the Grand Harbour that morning, all the 'ladies' of Valletta were out on the Upper Barakka Bastion waving, and sobbing their hearts out. Thanks to the comments above of all you guys, now I understand why!...

Anonymous said...

Ya, think of all the money they spent only to remember nothing the next day.

fogsammy said...

I was there in '65 and '66. I met a girl there by the name of "Mary Collins". I doubt that was her real name, but I'd love to see what she's up to now. After all these years, I still think of her. Coincidentally, my wifes maiden name is Collins.
Sam Neale USN 1965-1966

Rudy, HMS Ark Royal said...

I drank my first bottle of beer on strait street. A bottle of blue label back in November 1957 while serving on the aircraft carrier Ark Royal as a junior Stoker. It was the first of many. Many thanks to the Maltese girls that made us so welcome. One in particular who I wrote to for long after.
Those were the days.

Matthew said...

Rudy blue label still exists, and strait street is being refurbished to it's original glory including the bar's names and signages

Anonymous said...

its funny how the services know straight street as the gut, you guys actually made it the gut. Without the services it would be just a narrow street and pretty much unknown.

Anonymous said...

Use to visit a bar on Strait St. When i was in the US Navy aboard the USS Forestall. Visited in 1964 and 1965. Mtet 4 beautiful sisters that worked in a bar on Strait St. Cant remember the name of the bar. Everytimr the police came into view the girls would hide in a back room. Really had some deep feelings for the oldest sister. We corresponded for a while and i had my parents send her a coat from the USA. I still have a picture of the sisters and their names. Went back to malta in 1999 with my wife and she fell in love with the island. I carried the old picture of the sisters with me and went to Strait Street to ask anyone if they knew the sisters. No opne would tell me since i was a total stranger after all the years. Finally i walked into the Tico Tico bar which was was only a few doors down from where the girls had worked in 1964 and 65. I met The ownere Tony and Anna (the owners ) of the Tico Tico. I showed them the old picture, i coiuld tell they knew of the girls but would not tell. So i left them my address in the USA. After about 1 month after i returned to the USA i received a letter from one of the sisters with pictures of her family and her sisters.
Lots of beautiful memories of Malta.
Hope to visit again and have lunch at the Cordina.

Dennis Mitchell's son... said...

114My dad was in the Royal Marines 45 commandos, and was based in Malta in the late 1940's and he loved it that much, he and my mum would go back there. He mentioned "The Gut" he had his tatoos done there, he first got drunk there, and had his first visit to the ladies of the night he told us! we go back ourselves every couple of years and enjoy the hospitality and friendship of the majority of the Maltese people but not all sad to say!

Butch said...

I was stationed at Hal Far in 56-57 with U.S. Navy. Have many fond memories of Malta and the people of Malta, and the Gut. Shortney the cab driver took me back to the base quite a few times when I had been at the Metro or Linbirds bar to long. Hope to go back to visit soon.

Anonymous said...

just back from a holiday in Malta and finally got to go back to "the Gut" - a street in Valletta where the Navy boys always partied (beer, women of the night(and day), dancing and basically getting sozzled) up until about 1979 when the Navy got kicked out of Malta. It was quite emotional going back to this place which is just like a ghost street now and so sad to see it - in 1979 I was on one of the last British Navy ships to leave - and the street (straight street - AKA "the Gut") just shut up shop !!! literally - its now as if I stepped back in time - walking down a silent street (more like a very narrow alleyway) - remembering all the noise, music, fun, girls, fights, etc, etc - brought a tear to my eye - all bricked and boarded up former bars, clubs, etc, with only rusty old bar and club signs hanging outside - one of the bars at the top end of "The Gut" - Tico Tico has reopened as a themed "the famous Gut bar" - a shadow of its former self and of course the world has changed so much with political correctness that it will never come again. IM GLAD I WENT BACK.

Chris said...

I lived in Malta the late fifties.My Father was in the Navy and we lived in Bormla. I was allowed to go to Valletta with my mates on the strict understanding we were not to go anywhere near Strait Street otherwise known as the Gut.what an eye opener to a wide eyed teenager even in day light.The happiest days of my life were in Malta and I return to my island in the sun as often as I can. Chris.