College of IMR Brookes's Bar, Manchester

GeeMcDee
16th February 2007, 21:48
Just wondering how many of you R/O's out there did your ticket in the wonderful Moss Side area of Manchester? I was there from 1962-1964 when it was still just possible to walk to the bus stop without getting shot at.
Happy days.

I particularly remember the weekly Q Code tests, and the one we used to get every time. It was the most useless one of the lot, but in my dotage, the only one I remember with certainty - QUQ? = "Shall I train my searchlight, nearly vertical on a cloud, occulting if possible, and if the aircraft is seen, deflect the beam up wind or on the water (or land) to facilitate your landing?" How I used to long for the opportunity of using that, but in 27 years at sea, never even came close.

Well, now I've got that off me chest, ._ ._. _._
Gary

Robinj
16th February 2007, 23:35
Hi Gary, Got my ticket in 1961 just before your time, but went back a couple of years later, but spent most of my time in the Whalley Hotel. Robin(Pint)

GeeMcDee
17th February 2007, 00:30
Hi Robin,

Yes just before me, I started there in Sept 62 and finished Feb 64 with my 1st Class PMG. What a place. I can still smell the Tom cats that lurked around the premises!!!

Trying hard to remember some of the staff; The 'Boss', Mr.Wood[s] of course, and his secretary the aptly named Mrs Sparkes, and lecturers Hogan and Norwood - the rest escape me..

I spent a bit of time in the Whalley hotel too, used to have lunch there when feeling flush - once in a blue moon - upstairs restaurant, with a baby grand piano? Wonder what it's like now, if it's still there?

All in all, a most enjoyable period in my life.
Gary

Ron Stringer
17th February 2007, 10:58
Was there in 1958 and, if we didn't use the local chipshop and the basement "mess room" in the College, we used to lunch at one of the small cafes on Moss Lane. This was near the Hyde's Anvil Brewery, the strong smell of the malt from which could be a bit off-putting on some days. The jukebox was good though and several of the local "girls" used to frequent that cafe, which compensated. None of the Moss Lane eateries were very salubrious and it may be connected with their hygiene that I went down with TB whilst on the course. As a consequence of the time off whilst I was operated on and treated, I didn't complete the course until late 1959. Then I had to wait until the following June until Marconi could offer me a ship.

Amongst the remembered tutors was Terry Crowther (later at Plymouth Poly) and another, Peter (name eludes me) who also moved to lecture at Plymouth. Met them again in 1966 when I did a Marine Electronics diploma there. Terry was living up near Tavistock at that time.

There were also two Hebridean brothers McLeod, who were very similar in appearance. One of the brothers (he was Murdoch McLeod) was referred to as Mr Murdoch to avoid confusion. I remember that the elder brother had a Chinese wife and lived in an apartment above the college. Both brothers were natty dressers, preferring lightweight blue suits and always with ties, occasionally bow ties to match those favoured by Woody. The most fastidious dresser was the one that lived on the premises. Obviously he "went home" for lunch but what impressed us most was that after lunch he always had on a clean, starched and pressed shirt and a different tie. Two shirts and two ties in one day! Amazing in Moss Side. There were the obvious comments about shares in a family Chinese laundry. Both brothers had immaculate Morse hands - pity that they weren't able to pass their skills on to me.

Was watching TV the other night and I'm sure that Wray Castle (Brooks Bar's other half) was used for some of the exterior scenes.

GeeMcDee
17th February 2007, 18:19
Hi Ron,
There must have been a big turn-round in personnel between your time there and mine in '62. None of those names ring any bells with me. I do remember the dank basement 'mess room' though, plus the delectable caffs that provided alternative sustinence along the road... Forget the name, but there was also a pub a couple of streets away where we played snooker upstairs at lunch until 'time' was called at 3pm!! Well, .... it was only morse practise..
Ah yes, the morse room with the hi-tech bits of angle-iron strapped across the oscillator, for bull-dogging your 'cans' to listen in..
As I said, 'Happy days'.
Thanks for the QSO
Gary

Robinj
19th February 2007, 23:24
Gary & Ron, There was one of those greasy cafes that did tremendous Bacon Barms. There was also a smashing bakers on the corner where you got grate meat pies. The Whalley (Pint) was still there the last time I went thru Brookes Bar a couple of years ago. Only name I remember is Mrs Sparks, but the natty suits ring a bell. Robin

GeeMcDee
20th February 2007, 07:31
Hi Robin,

Yes, it's all coming back now - but 'Natty suits' ???

Gary

Hague
12th May 2007, 08:00
Gary,
Where you on the Astral , Daylight or Pinnacle in the early 70s ( Jimmy James was the Master but can't recall the exact ship)

Hewie
5th October 2007, 09:18
Gary and Ron.
Good to see there's still a few of us left! I did my ticket at Brooks Bar in 1962-64 as well. I was only 16 at the time. I well remember the dreaded Hogan. The only time he smiled was at knock-off time! Remember the cold steel tables and the rough wooden benches? I think I'm still pulling splinters out of my back-side! I didn't know Wray Castle was part of the same mob. I thought they were AEI or something. Me and Jim Thompson used to play billiards every lunch time in the pub across the road. We both passed our tickets at the same time, joined Marconi at the same time and then when I joined the Empress of Canada/GHLA I couldn't believe it when I saw Jim sitting there smiling as I walked into the radio room for the first time.

Cheers, Peter Hewitson

Ron Stringer
5th October 2007, 19:22
Yes Tomlinson and Woods originally ran Brooks Bar together. Then they had the idea of a residential establishment and Wray Castle was chosen. Tomlinson went there to start it up and Woody stayed in Manchester.

Manchester
31st March 2013, 19:27
Just wondering how many of you R/O's out there did your ticket in the wonderful Moss Side area of Manchester? I was there from 1962-1964 when it was still just possible to walk to the bus stop without getting shot at.
Happy days.

I particularly remember the weekly Q Code tests, and the one we used to get every time. It was the most useless one of the lot, but in my dotage, the only one I remember with certainty - QUQ? = "Shall I train my searchlight, nearly vertical on a cloud, occulting if possible, and if the aircraft is seen, deflect the beam up wind or on the water (or land) to facilitate your landing?" How I used to long for the opportunity of using that, but in 27 years at sea, never even came close.

Well, now I've got that off me chest, ._ ._. _._
Gary

Just found this thread - only 6 years late !!

I too was at Brooks Bar 1962 to 64. Must have been in same class. When I left nobody was taking on R/Os. Ended up going freelance with a Norwegian company on my own for 5 months. Bit of an eye opener!