Minesweeper riddle

23rd March 2007, 11:55
When I attended Dover Grammar School (61-67) there was a fairly large and active Combined Cadet Corps comprising the three Services, RN, RAF and Army and led by the schoolmasters Messrs. Salter, Peacock and Bird respectively (strange, but true). Needless to say, I joined up and was soon outfitted in blue serge, flat hat and bellbottoms (aka sailor suit) and spent my Friday afternoons, after regular school hours, parading up and down the quadrangle clutching a .303 Lee Enfield to the clack-clack of the NCO’s pace stick set to the regulation 30“ stride. All good man-making stuff right down to the spit-and-polish and the nerve-racking pressing of seven trouser creases per leg prior to inspection. But there was, of course, an upside to all this bullshyt for a young lad in that one actually got to fire the .303, together with Sten guns and the like, down on the range at Whale Island on training ‚expeditions’. Not only that, we had days at sea running up and down the Channel on frigates/destroyers firing pom-poms and depth-charges, HMSs Puma and Diamond come to mind, and one very memorable week based aboard HMS Maidstone up in Scotland with runs around the Western Isles on a minesweeper HMS …………?
Which having digressed a tad, brings me to the question that instigated this thread in my mind.

On leaving Faslane homeward-bound we Cadets were presented with two hat bands, one with “HMS Maidstone“ and the other with “HMS Miner I“ on it. Now I am sure, and I’ve googled this, that the minesweeper never went under this name. I guess it was one of the ‚Ton’ class (and, boy, there were lots of those) but could anybody verify that? We are talking Easter 1964-1965 or thereabout.
So, come on you RN buffs (not the Army type!!) put your flat ’ats on and put a proper-job name to this vessel!! (Thumb)

Oh..and thanks!

23rd March 2007, 12:13
Was the vessel in question a minesweeper? There was a class of small ship called Miner, they were all fleet tenders and had the name Miner with a number suffix, (I through to VIII at least.) One of them was the tender to the Excalibur class submarines. I hope this may be of some help and will endeavour to find a little more. (Thumb)

23rd March 2007, 12:28
....aaah, Clankie, that's it then, innit? Cos the Maidstone was a sub depot ship and we did board a few subs whilst in Faslane. Also I have just found some old pics of the Miner III & V which were mine-layers!
Thanks, mate.

26th March 2007, 20:31
This is a pic of HMS Miner I, in her later guise as Minstrel. The accompanying photo of HMS Miner II (in 1948) is how she would have looked when in commission.

19th October 2013, 20:06
I don't know if anybody will look at this rather old thread but I may be able to add something to the info about HMS Minstrel.

I was in the RAF section of Harrogate Grammar School in the 1960s and for better or worse I managed to wangle
myself onto some naval cadet courses (I was keen in those days!)
I had weeks at HMS Fulmar:RNAS Lossiemouth 6th August 1966 to 13th August 1966
and HMS Heron: RNAS Yeovilton 20th August 1966 to 27th August 1966

but in 1965
I had a weeks camp aboard HMS Minstrel (7th August 1965 to 13th August 1965)- we were due to stay aboard HMS Maidstone
but due to fleet review by the HM the Queen around that time we were shunted onto the Minstrel.
We were lucky, because we ended up having a mini tour around the Clyde - I remember calls to Lochranza (I think) on Arran,
Campbeltown (where we had a tour of 'O' Class Sub HMS Otter) and either Lochgoilhead (or ?Lochgilphead?)
I also have a vague memory at one point having to carry the large Rum containers (Winchesters in wicker baskets) back to Maidstone at Faslane
I remember that Minstrel was due to be scrapped after our visit because varous bits of her were 'saved' before we left -
I collected a small brass plate something like with the words ERA and Officers Pantry engraved on it!

Does this ring any bells with anybody?