Gravesend sea school

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timo
23rd February 2006, 22:15
Anyone out there go to Gravesend sea school? (the peanut factory!!!).I had some good laughs there, I was there December '80 till April '81, (X class). I belive the place has just about closed down now.

KenLin39
23rd February 2006, 23:59
Hi Timmo, Some info in this site for you. Ken.

http://www.m-navydays.com/

peter lewis
24th February 2006, 00:09
hi to you timo iwent to gravesend april to june 1975 like yourself good memories and many laughs apparently the old school is now a training school for police cadets....

Jackdaw
25th February 2006, 10:40
I was there Feb '81 to June '81 (U Class) so we probably saw each other :)
Our dorm (36) Leading hand was X class. Can't remember his name now but he was Irish and had dark hair.
Had some laughs there but was glad to get out of the place.

dom
25th February 2006, 10:42
do you have any info on any other sea schools

Hendo!
25th February 2006, 11:17
hi to you timo iwent to gravesend april to june 1975 like yourself good memories and many laughs apparently the old school is now a training school for police cadets how times change its gone from making young boys ito fine young men to making fine young men into b*****ds (*)) (Hippy)

I was there between October and late December 1995 when the RMAS put us Engine Room Ratings through our Motormans course.

They were discussing the place being used for police training then. I think a local college was to take over the sea school.

I also remember Pikeys riding through the grounds on motor bikes.

jim barnes
25th February 2006, 11:19
do you have any info on any other sea schools TS INDEFATIGABLE...... have their own website... just enter TS INDEFATIGABLE on your browser... good luck (Thumb)

Tony D
25th February 2006, 11:50
I was at Gravesend in 1960,I don't recal many laughs,hunger yes,I recal eating some exceedingly stale sarnies me mum had put up for the train journey about a week after I arrived,of course eventualy everybody had to give in to hunger and eat the stuff put in front of you at meal times.
Evey course seemed to have its tobacco baron that would sell single capstan at thrupence a go out on the focs'le head
The only redeeming feature I recall was discovering a pub called the Albion Shades that would sell us a pint of black velvet and not report us.
Got into a fist fight with the only other Geordie on my intake and we both nearly got turfed out without our preciouse discharge book but I managed to stop me nose bleeding and he managed to realign his jaw and pretend to be the best of pals when the instructer caught us.

Did yers still sleep in those cells in the 1980's?
Happy days.
hee hee.

Hendo!
25th February 2006, 14:48
Did yers still sleep in those cells in the 1980's?
Happy days.
hee hee.

Don't know when they were built, but the accomodation we had was little buildings separate from the main building that shook everytime a train passed.

I'm sure that crack in the ceiling got bigger and bigger over the three months I was there.

Jeffers
25th February 2006, 15:08
I attended the NSTS Sept-Dec '68. I went down to the pool when I got back to South Shields and was given my first ship, the ore carrier Cape Howe. We sailed on the 17th Dec, 4 days before my 17th birthday and I was away for 6 months on that first trip.

I don't remember many details about the sea school, I know I got in a bit of bother because I wasn't very good at doing my laundry. A couple of scouse lads used to pick on me about it, until one night they decided to apply boot polish to my privates. I put up quite a struggle, as you might guess! They were so impressed with my efforts that we were the best of pals for the rest of the course.

I must have improved my ironing because I was later made up to Leading Hand.

I don't remember any names from the course, but the school was run by a Captain Adlam? (not sure about spelling) at the time. I do remember that we nick-named the school rules book "The thoughts of Mao Tse Adlam" inspired by Mao's little Red book of the Chinese cultural revolution.

Rowing on the Thames is one memory I have retained, it was bl**dy cold!

Broady
25th February 2006, 16:25
I attended Gravesend between Sept-Dec 78 what an experience but was it worth it,getting chased by the locals,doing a bit of peanut bashing

STRAWBERRY
25th February 2006, 18:47
I was a peanut Sept 85 to Nov 85, 3 Months of laughs...what fun!

Tony D
1st March 2006, 22:37
The peanut name thing must have been awarded later than my time, I never heard it called that.
Was it still based in the converted womens prison? not that much converting had been done. (*))

jim barnes
1st March 2006, 23:43
hi to you timo iwent to gravesend april to june 1975 like yourself good memories and many laughs apparently the old school is now a training school for police cadets how times change its gone from making young boys ito fine young men to making fine young men into b*****ds (*)) (Hippy)
sorry peter.... my daughter is a police cadet and she read your comments LOL
she says to tell you its barstwds like us(female police cadets) that make *****s like you stand to attention (Thumb) lol

oldbosun
2nd March 2006, 00:11
Go to http://www.zyworld.com/troubadourtumber2/Home.htm

All GSS stuff in there.

peter lewis
2nd March 2006, 17:47
jim im not a barsteward im a cook last time i stood to attention was probably at sea school tony d you mentioned the sea school once being a womens prison i had this conversaition with a old salt a couple of weeks ago i have since checked it out on the gravesend association apparently it was never a womens prison there is a good write up on the history of the school on the site

Tony D
2nd March 2006, 18:05
Must have been a prison of some kind we all slept in cells off landing with a open space from roof to ground floor in front,like HMP Slade, one does not recal safety nets lest some poor inmate decide to end the misery and leap to his death,anyway had someone done it one suspects the rest of us would have fell upon the corpse and devoured it,we was feckin starving all the time.
(EEK)

redgreggie
2nd March 2006, 20:11
No, it wasn't ever a womens prison, I think the correct story is that it was built purposefully at the end of the war to train much sought after Merchant Seamen.
We're not use to the kind of hardship they endured back in the 40s, then they were probably thankful for a job.
No it wasn't a picnic, I was there back in 1963 or 1964 I'm not too sure, the old memory wears thinner year by year, the way you have to look at it is it was the gate-way into the Merchant Navy, possibly the best 5 working years of my life, giving me so many good memories.
By the way how many people who went to sea heard the phrase 'pass that tin..........................................'
It mystyfied me for many a day, now it amuses me when I think about it.
So if one day you have a passing thought about some-thing special that happened to you because of your sea days then just remember of the 'gratitude ' we should show the training school for turning us into something that was acceptable to our future employers.
Cheers.............to the 'peanut factory'.

Tony D
2nd March 2006, 22:03
Oh I don't regret it,I loved my time at sea but the overwhelming memory I have of Gravesend is being hungry all the time,and I was not alone in that, I was fortunate in that It was there Christmas period 1960 and we got a weeks leave which I recall I spent eating me mum out of house and home making up for it, and stocking up for the lean days to come
(*))

shaun
6th March 2006, 12:07
I was at the "peanut factory" left in April 1966 just as the strike was finishing. It was hell at the time, cocoa and spicy buns I seem to recall were the highlight of the day. I was in the catering school and learned much that i was able to use throughout my working life as a hotel manager, licensee and caterer.

Shaun Rennison. Hull

Patalavaca
6th March 2006, 15:26
hi to you timo iwent to gravesend april to june 1975 like yourself good memories and many laughs apparently the old school is now a training school for police cadets how times change its gone from making young boys ito fine young men to making fine young men into b*****ds (*)) (Hippy)


Hang on Peter, thatīs a bit rough!!
I was a peanut in 1972 , also "X" class and had some laughs and some misery there, but I was in the crew of the boat that won the Thames rowing regatta ( or similar name ) and it toughened us no end......

THEN I joined the Police in 1982 and ended up doing the Police training in Kent too, at Ashford!
Fact : If I had not been sorted out at Sea School & as a tankerman, I would not have joined the Police and had another wonderful career.

(Jester)

LOL Rick

peter lewis
6th March 2006, 22:46
at least youve maintained your tankerman sense of humour pat no offence ment just a tounge in cheek remark (Night) (Hippy)

Billy1963
8th March 2006, 12:52
Timo,

I was in X class 8th September 1980 to 12th December 1980. As you would of been walking in the place, I was on the way out to the train station. I would of been one of those shouting the saying "Peanuts your never going home" which was part of the banter at the time. By the time they were cutting your hair off, I would be at home.

"One more wakey wakey. One more rise and shine. One more bowl of frosties and freedom will be mine" (sung to the tune of Rule Brittania)

The term "Peanut" I was told derived back in the early days of the the school when a peanut seller used to sell his wares along the road down to the sea school, shouting "Peanuts" for sale. The name was then adopted by the inmates.

Patalavaca
10th March 2006, 14:00
Peter,
knew you were jesting .... ACAB anyway!
:cool:

Rick aka Pat

dnobmal
10th March 2006, 19:31
Never went to the sea school i was lucky got ship and learnt the hard way,But I do remember some of the young lads turning up to join the ship in their uniform issue,did the two departments have diifferent coloured shoulder flashes One young lad came on board from the shipping office in Falmouth ,he was full of vim and vinegar,had been a bosun or bosun`s mate at the school or whatever ratings you had there,thought it would count for something,he soon got let down with a bang poor kid.But he ended up being a good willing youngster

Phill
31st March 2006, 19:26
I came across this plaque on the promenade at Gravesend, with no trace of this original building, but the newer building has been occupied by the Met Police public order department for at least 2 years?????????

Phill

Phill
1st April 2006, 17:01
Now I wasnít sure where to stick this one, I visited Gravesend this week, well worth a visit with a camera, I know that members have mentioned the Gravesend Sea School, but has anybody ever visited Tomís Barbers by the recently refurbished pier,
Tom has been a barber here for 42 years, and over these years he has amassed hundreds of photos of local shipping with many framed and hanging on the shop walls, also some Models, this is a piece of nostalgia in itself,
If you ask nicely he will even bring out the albums, echoing the changes over the many years he has been there,

Phill....................also posted in Maritime interests

cliff self
29th April 2006, 08:09
Timo,

I was in X class 8th September 1980 to 12th December 1980. As you would of been walking in the place, I was on the way out to the train station. I would of been one of those shouting the saying "Peanuts your never going home" which was part of the banter at the time. By the time they were cutting your hair off, I would be at home.

"One more wakey wakey. One more rise and shine. One more bowl of frosties and freedom will be mine" (sung to the tune of Rule Brittania)

The term "Peanut" I was told derived back in the early days of the the school when a peanut seller used to sell his wares along the road down to the sea school, shouting "Peanuts" for sale. The name was then adopted by the inmates.

Billy. I was there around the same time. I left Dec 19th 1980.
I went back recently to have a look, it's still the same, but it just looks smaller than i remember. Thinking back now, and rowing that flippin boat on the Thames, and having to sit outside the "Lobster Pot" freezing to death whilst McGoran was inside having a pint.
But i will never forget the times i had there, i met some good people too.

Pat McCardle
29th April 2006, 09:28
'X' Class appears to be popular to this thread? I was there Nov'76 - Feb'77 also in 'X' class. Had a great time with some good mates. Had a few laughs at those who got homesick & had to leave too.........Especially the ones who lived in those faraway places from Gravesend like Purfleet & Margate. Did we get our photo's taken on leaving? If so has anyone got a shot from those days? How many of us have turned out like old McGorran? Ha!! (EEK) (Thumb)

aleddy
5th May 2006, 07:48
I went to Gravesend, it must have been Nov / Dec 61. Don,t remember peanuts but do remember not doing any laundry during 1st week when no one was allowed to go ashore.
At 1st shore leave parade I like many others were told to fall out and return to the dorm and consider doing a bit of laundry before next shore leave parade.
My intake was on the top level which was one big dormitory with bunks and a very long way from the toilets on a cold night. The cubicles were in the levels below.
The showers,toilets and laundry if I remember correctly could only be accessed from outside our building and were drafty, cold and drab concrete.
I doubt if any of the instructors are still living so it is probably safe to mention some of their oddities.
I was a catering trainee, we had one very old snowy haired instructor who must have been beyond retirement age, he did everything wearing white cloves (plus all the other
items of normal uniform attire). Each day he would inform us that he had once carved roast beef for the Queen and he had to wear the white cloves to do it, at the time we all must have assumed he meant QE2, it could have been her mother.
Another old deck instructor welcomed us to his course with the comment that "you young Bxxxxxds are'nt seamen, you are just commercial travellers" and I think it might have been the same instructor who had a glass eye, if he caught you mucking up he would get in your face, pop out his glass eye and between his two fingers place it on your shoulder and remind you that he had his eye on you.
During the 2nd last week everyone suffered the VD course which was mainly based on fear, things like umberella scrappings, needing a wheelbarrow to carry you nuts arround and splintered glass sensations, the final advice was weather or not you might still want to approach anyone loitering close to the gates.
After the 1st week of loafing around I then settled down to it and made Captains Steward for the final week.
The training was very useful for the jobs ahead and I do still have the group photo somewhere packed away, I'll look for it one day as I'm sure i have on it the name of each person in the group.
After leaving Gravesend I never sighted one of the Strath Liners again, fortunately I had been able to get on board Strathmore at Tilbury.

reynard
27th June 2006, 19:35
Peter

I was at Gravesend in 1975, did one trip and then left to become one of those b*****ds (your words). I have met good and bad in all walks of life including at sea. Don't tar everyone with the same brush ( a seamanlike phrase I think!).

R58484956
27th June 2006, 19:45
Welcome Reynard to the site enjoy it and all it has to offer.

mick sykes
16th July 2006, 03:46
I was there in Aug 1980! Level level sticks in my memory, he used to be the chef I think?! used to stand behind us watching how much we were serving in the laddles and say level level if we were trying to dish to much up!

Hamish Mackintosh
16th July 2006, 15:53
Was at Graves End 1949,anyone remember Sweeney Todd?? (Cloud)

fitlike
17th October 2006, 17:42
I was there on January 1975 for 14 weeks, I remember at nights helping the woman at the flying angle clean up and we used to get all the chips & beans that were left. it was great when someone in your dorm got a food parcel sent down we used to share it, (if you did not share it people stole it.
) if anyone has a phot of ant classes from 1975 please post them
Regards
Eric Cardno

normanbanks
23rd October 2006, 21:51
glad I went to sea for 44 years and not stuck in a tin shed for my working life,we didnt know how lucky we were .Seeing all those fabulous places for free and getting paid for it.Happy days!!!

Hawkeye
24th October 2006, 23:43
Hi
I was there from Feb - May 1986, training as a JCR for Townsend Thoresen.
Anyone remember Titcomb, Rashbrook, Torrens, Little & McGorren who were all instructors when I was there. There were others, but I don't remember their names. Perhaps some of you can jog my memories. Little was the chef with the hearing aid, & McGorren was the Lifeboat course instructor.
On a sadder note, I read in the NUMAST Telegraph of the passing away of Captain Hunter, who was in overall charge of the school during my time there. He used to take some of as sailing during the weekends.
Regards
Karl

mee
25th October 2006, 11:19
I was there in 1981/82. I recall the cold when rowing on the river and the school issue donkey jacket didnt help. I think it was Z class and some of the class names were David Snelgrove, Adrian Wakefield, Mat Hatton and Donald Gillies who was from the Isle of Barra and could never get home. The food was always terrible and food parcels were a god send. I remember level level and him constantly standing around in case you gave out to much food. Anyone recall the Bosuns name or the instructor for ERF. I think it was something like Higham.

agentroadrunner
29th October 2006, 14:16
Was there briefly for Lifeboat ticket in the late 80's. Capt Hunter was there and later moved to GCNS and as stated passed away recently.

I think the Mate ( and chief examiner ) at the time was called Sellers.

Our lecturers were Don Gillette and Alan Bassett who was also the bar manager. Two good guys who were genuinely interseted in young folk coming through and learning something.

The Ship & Lobster was the pub on the river bank we used to go to, still there when I passed a few weeks ago.

Hawkeye
29th October 2006, 23:15
Hi
If this place has close down and being used to train the Police, why are they still adverting courses for sea survival training, etc, in the NUMAST (sorry, Nautilus) paper, the Telegraph.
Regards
Karl

agentroadrunner
30th October 2006, 07:55
The pier with the 2 Lifeboats and a Fast Rescue Boat up on davits is still there so I assume there is still a small scale operation running CPSC courses and maybe EDH and Firefighting, but the main task of the college, i.e. turning out classes of kids trained to go to sea is no more because tragically we dont need them.

dondoncarp
30th October 2006, 18:56
Hi
If this place has close down and being used to train the Police, why are they still adverting courses for sea survival training, etc, in the NUMAST (sorry, Nautilus) paper, the Telegraph.
Regards
Karl
I was there doing a fast rescue craft ticket a few years ago,the sea school now is actually the old flying angel,all the old models were in there,I was originally there 1981-82...T class,ist trip was the falklands war

PollY Anna
31st October 2006, 14:27
Hi dnobmal

I was at Gravesend in May to August 61 (no trouble with cold weather) you got the coloured thing right Blue for Catering and Red for Deck and when I was there it was 10 weeks for Deck and only 6 weeks for catering. No doors on the Toilets that was a shock. COCOA twice a day just to help the hormones. Deck hands on top deck (A) catering on (B & C) and the only way catering got up to (A) Deck by was invitation. All back in by 22.00 hrs unless you got your Proficiency Badge and then you got an extra half an hour in those days at the near end of 10 weeks it was worth working for anything to get out, but yours truly lost it the first night was it worth it YES looking back they all become good memories By the way the Skip was. by my Dis Book A M.M.Miller I Think that's how I have deciphered it. Any body confirm

davidpayne
2nd November 2006, 18:49
The old flying angel is still used as a part of the sea school and also the davits on the Thames but they are also part of the North Kent College which is in Dering way in Gravesend where they also do Nvq work and other maritime courses, but no residential courses like before.
Sad to hear about Captain Hunter, his wife taught first aid when I was there in 1989.
Also does anyone remember Mr Bolton and his dog and Mr Guilette who was there when the new Sea school opened in 1966, and was still there when I was there.
When I visited the cafe on the prom at Gravesend a couple of years ago, one of the walls in the cafe was covered in all sorts of photos of ships that had visited the Thames, well worth the look if they are still there.

agentroadrunner
3rd November 2006, 08:11
See my post of 29 Oct.

Now that you mention it I do remember one of the staff had a dog which followed him around.

dave beaumont
3rd November 2006, 10:55
I was at Gravesend 26/4/71 to 2/7/71 R 901916. Did catering course but after two trips swapped to deck so all that training on how to serve food, make beds etc out the door. Did make it to the Bamboo room so couldnt have been to bad a student.As far as weekend leave i enroled in Australia and sailed over to school to join so no going home for nice meals for me for 10 weeks!!

Mike lawrence
24th November 2006, 15:44
do you have any info on any other sea schools

The Vindicatrix was the T.S. at Sharpness in Gloucester and during its time from 39-66 it put thru 70000 odd boys to sea. If you tap in on google and put the word Vindi up will come it's website. I was there in 55 so I must be an old hand to these sprogs who went to sea in the 80's. Mike. P.S. There was quite alot of rivalry between Gravesend and us, but of course we 'Vindi' boys are the best.

chrisrice
25th November 2006, 17:28
I was at gravesend in 1962 and it was a prison then and yes we did sleep in cells chrisrice

tabnab44
26th November 2006, 15:23
Yes I was there in the Autumn of 78 X class deck...I remember the midnight rumbling of dorm raids taking place ...everyone would arm themselves with those rolled up towels called rat tails and wait for either door to open!....then the night watchman would come scurrying on behind them with his touch ...about 3 mins behind the raiding party.
For morning muster some peanuts would ask to be locked in there locker to avoid the cold...
When we left we got on the train at Gravesend and chucked our No1 uniform out of the window...I kept the jumper and the jeans though..they lasted two trips..
I also recall that when a certain deck instructor nick-named the penguin used to walk across the yard the PA loudspeakers would give out a few"KAERRR KAEER'S" if there wasn't any staff in the duty office.
I have seen its now an ANTI-TERRORIST POLICE TRAINING CENTRE with mock up streets and train carriages .

Broady
2nd December 2006, 15:36
Hi Tabnab I was there in 78 do you remember the disco's with Paki Pam and various other local girls that used to come.I remember Penguin a small white haired chap they were good times

tillo
2nd December 2006, 19:38
NSTs Greavsend,1968 November, Dorm 2,Damn coldNo food parcels but home for 'crimbo'.
two weeks break from 'MIGHTY MOUSE'.
Remember him? can't remember his name, senior seamanship officer! I think was his rating.
would he still be around or crossed the bar already?
Sure he said he was proud of being the boson on the 'Ark'.
Great fella, scourge of all peanuts when working, loads of stories for wannabe captain Cooks, when off watch.

Just moved back to UK for a few months, sorting out family matters, found suitcase at mothers full of my old photo's, I'll see if any or which are worth sharing.
Great site, Don't have web back home, will rectify that soonest!
used to sail with NZSco on M.V.Matoura (1970), had a second stwd on her (no name again) always wore cut down boiler suit. Thought he was gods gift to the company & everyone else, Any further 'happier' recollections of him or what he's doing now.

T/y

Pat McCardle
2nd December 2006, 19:57
Penguin,'Peni Tremendi', the late great Mr Newbury, best friend of Mad Jack, Mr Jackson, who Magregor hatch wheels were named after 'Eccentric' . A survivor of many sinkings in WW2, a man who 'Flew the Flag' on rememberance Sunday. He used to line us up before 'Going ashore' & if anyone had navy blue socks on instead of the regulation black your shore leave was stopped & shore card taken away. Where would some of us be without the discipline these blokes forked out, free of charge & can you imagine todays youth putting up with it? Happy days, 'May their sole's be forever guided by fair winds & calm seas'(Thumb)

Broady
4th December 2006, 15:38
Penguin,'Peni Tremendi', the late great Mr Newbury, best friend of Mad Jack, Mr Jackson, who Magregor hatch wheels were named after 'Eccentric' . A survivor of many sinkings in WW2, a man who 'Flew the Flag' on rememberance Sunday. He used to line us up before 'Going ashore' & if anyone had navy blue socks on instead of the regulation black your shore leave was stopped & shore card taken away. Where would some of us be without the discipline these blokes forked out, free of charge & can you imagine todays youth putting up with it? Happy days, 'May their sole's be forever guided by fair winds & calm seas'(Thumb)

Here here.(Thumb)

tabnab44
6th December 2006, 12:47
Yeah those discos..it was similar to hundreds of flys swarming round a couple of Richard the Thirds !...
Those anti clap and Vd films were pretty horrible as well !

Broady
6th December 2006, 16:16
Do'nt for the trip to see the dentist now that was something you wo'nt forget in a hurry.When were you there Tabnab,I was from Sept to Dec,also did you do the marching for Rememberance Sunday?

tabnab44
9th December 2006, 10:41
Ello Broady, Yeah I was there from Oct78-Jan79 did'nt do the marching thou gh but I remember watching them practice across the courtyard.think it was leading hands only wasn't it ? I remember the chap who used to teach us bridge work and that steering contraption...THE POPEYE BOAT that used to give off a loud alarm bell when you went off course ...Everytime I hear a fire alarm now I always think of that thing and how we used to get kicked off !

Les_Blues
16th December 2006, 22:37
Tillo, Mighty Mouse was still there in 71. In fact I had completely forgot him until your post jogged my memory. I can just see the diminutive fellow strutting about looking mean. His role at the NSTS in 71 was boatswain.

steve d
21st December 2006, 19:07
I was at Gravesend from april to june 1974 and though i think my time at sea was the best days of my life the abiding memory of Gravesend is these silly little men working there with more rings on their uniforms than admirals of the fleet and so bloody self important with it.

redgreggie
21st December 2006, 20:19
I was at Gravesend from april to june 1974 and though i think my time at sea was the best days of my life the abiding memory of Gravesend is these silly little men working there with more rings on their uniforms than admirals of the fleet and so bloody self important with it.

Yes, but never forget that these were the blokes that dedicated their 'now' working life to put us through the required training to allow us to do what we see as 'the best years of our working lives'.

I for one am indebted to these men, even though when I got on my first ship, the Clutha River, the cook told me to forget everything I had learnt at the Training School.
We had to go to these schools for the training, or it would have been much harder to go to sea, and we shouldn't lose sight of that.

jasper
24th December 2006, 16:54
I was at Gravesend from april to june 1974 and though i think my time at sea was the best days of my life the abiding memory of Gravesend is these silly little men working there with more rings on their uniforms than admirals of the fleet and so bloody self important with it.

steve d. You were just a few weeks ahead of me. I was there from May28th to September 20th 1974. We had just 4 weeks to complete when the Summer holiday, of I think 3 weeks, kicked in.
It was certainly a time I will never forget. I was in "U" class.
It was only afterwards when you eventually got to sea that you realised how "phoney" some of these so called officers were, but I certainly remained indebted to them for giving me the start I received.
Not coming from a nautical upbringing and living in The midlands I managed 15 years service, so they must have stood me in some kind of good stead.

VTR1000
24th February 2007, 08:15
A good laugh Gravesend was. Was there in 'V' class Dec '79 - March '80. First ship was the Texaco Rotterdam up The Baltic somewhere.

Syd young
24th February 2007, 16:13
I noticed that most of the posting come from inmates from the 1970's and 80's Anyone there in 1958 or am I the only one still breathing(EEK)

markf
10th March 2007, 23:17
Seems like I'm the oldest to post

I was there during summer 1956 in the old building

It was a dump and we had scratchy uniforms, and scratchy blankets

Best wishes to you all

Mark F

Pat McCardle
10th March 2007, 23:59
I was at Gravesend from april to june 1974 and though i think my time at sea was the best days of my life the abiding memory of Gravesend is these silly little men working there with more rings on their uniforms than admirals of the fleet and so bloody self important with it.

"All those silly little men" had had a hard life trying to get things to stick in our brains. Everyone of them, including the Bast**** should have had a medal!!

quietman
11th March 2007, 18:21
I was at gravesend January to April 73 X class if I remember rightly.Anyone remember Mr Reath (think spellings right) He seemed quite a character at the time and taught us a few new words. Once I shipped out found he was very similar in character to a lot of seamen

Tony D
12th March 2007, 23:51
There are a couple of websites dedicated to Gravesend NSTS,lots of course photographs ect ,had a Hard Disk disaster a while back and lost all me favourite URLs,will try and locate them again,I'm a bit supprised nobody else seemed to have discovered the Albion Shades,we used to sit and make a pint of black Velvet last all night,I do recal the natives of Gravesend used to delight in reporting lads out of uniform,ie cap off or buttons undone.
I recal how proud I was sitting in the train back home looking at my brand new discharge book and ID card.
Just looking at that book,it's a bit tattered now the signature of the Supt dated 20th Jan 1961 looks like R A Mellors, but it is a bit of a scrawl.
I still have the group photo of my intake.
(Thumb)

Hawkeye
13th March 2007, 00:22
Hi

I have been back to the Sea School at Gravesend on a recent First Aid Course. A gap of 21 years almost to the day I joined. Some of the instructors remembered instructors in the earlier time and I had a bit of a chat with them. I did not remember any of the places I went to during the weekends off. Everything is so different, even the area around the collage itself. Outside the classroom where we did the first aid course, there were a lot of buildings. It took almost a day to realise there was something odd about them. They were only half built. The instructor told me it used to be a plain field in which he played golf on. It used to be the sport field. They are used by the Police for training with.
I had a pleasent 4 days in Gravesend during which the whole town was closed down due to a suspect package. I only found out the next day when the other pupils told me. (They were all local teachers, doing a first aid course for their work, I was the only seafarer among them).

Regards
Karl

paisleymerchant
16th March 2007, 15:42
I was at Gravesend from July to October 1975
I remember Titcomb and Rashbrooke but the one thing that springs to mind are BEANS seemed to have them with everything

I do remember going on a weekend away with the flying angel went to a campsite at Ross-on Wye lets just say that the vicar went mental when a few of the boys absconded and ended up pissed in town (remember we were all just sweet 16 !

Shaun_Donnelly
25th March 2007, 03:10
Was at Graves End 1949,anyone remember Sweeney Todd?? (Cloud)
Sweeney was still there in 1976, in fact if I remember correctly he retired a few week after giving me his infamous and obligatory haircut!

Shaun

Shaun_Donnelly
25th March 2007, 03:14
Was at Graves End 1949,anyone remember Sweeney Todd?? (Cloud)
Sweeney was still there in 1976, in fact if I remember correctly he retired a few week after giving me his infamous and obligatory haircut in his shack adjacent to the lifeboat classrooms!

I also remember 'Mad Jack', the steering instructor on the 'Popeye' boat on the bridge of the building.

I was in W Class, June-October 1976 and my dormitory was directly above the officers bar, used to lay in the bunk at night listening to the drone and smelling the aroma. Chinese torture or what?

Shaun

tim frary
26th April 2007, 03:16
whent to gravesend 20/9/71 to 22/12/71 deck x class and sailed with houlder line what happy days .all the best tim

bobs
26th April 2007, 10:57
The Gravesend Sea School (the "new" one that is, down on the Denton Marshes) is now the Metropolitan Police's firearms and riot control training school. It is, in fact, my nearest neighbour at the back of my house. A small part of the grounds are still used by what is left of the merchant navy school (which is now located in the nearby North West Kent College) for firefighting training and the lifeboats on the jetty are still used.
Much of the rest of the grounds have been converted into a mock town for training the coppers to kill people. Also there are a couple of train carriages and the fuselage of an airliner. Occasionally we see guys sliding down ropes out of helicopters. Local rumour has it that it's not the police who are doing that but the SAS. The Met Police also use the Milton firing range, next door to the school so that, with that and riot control training going on in the Sea School site, it regularly sounds like World War 3 has broken out down there.
I guess some of you are referring to the old Sea School, which was upriver from here, between the Promenade and the Custom House and nearer the town centre. That site is now occupied by riverside, 'yuppie' flats.
Whereas the 'peanuts' could always be recognised by their uniforms, they later became anonymous when they were forbidden to wear their uniforms when going into town. This was to try to stop the local yobs' tradition of 'peanut bashing' - picking fights on the cadets. Very often the locals would come off much worse in these fights as they were coming up gainst some real, northern hard-nuts.
After the uniform ban, likely 'peanuts' could still be quite easily pinpointed by their Scots, Scouse, Geordie accents. I know I had a narrow escape in a Gravesend pub when I was a lad when a couple of local head-bangers picked up my Scots accent and were after a punch-up. But I never went to the Sea School; I was just an immigrant - with a white face! I escaped.

Hamish Mackintosh
26th April 2007, 15:44
I noticed that most of the posting come from inmates from the 1970's and 80's Anyone there in 1958 or am I the only one still breathing(EEK)

Hey I was there in 1949 , and I think i'm still breathing,didn't see my name in the obit' page either (K)

Derbyroy
26th April 2007, 20:25
Hi all
I was at Gravesend Sept 67 - Dec 67 ...T class , had the peanut gibes from all the locals as well as the rest of the lads still remember training to do the rememberance day parade . even went up to London for a practice session the week before, but missed out because of 2 trips to the dentist in Gravesend, for 17 fillings ,couldn,t eat for a week (thankfully) and wasn,t allowed to march in case the damned fillings fell out lol
happy days....

plumbob
6th May 2007, 00:11
Met guys from all over the uk and had a ball,couple of fights,put back for a week,belted with Frys wooden spoon,rowed the bosun up the thames to pub and back again when hed had his fill,met a Canadian catering teacher who hated the English!!!!still got my seamans discharge book uk008446,prized possession,i had a great time at Gravesend and went on to have a great mad time,id do it all again and be twice as mad!!!

Hamish Mackintosh
6th May 2007, 02:07
I noticed that most of the posting come from inmates from the 1970's and 80's Anyone there in 1958 or am I the only one still breathing(EEK)

Take a DEEP breath, I was there in1949, and on the last check was not in the obit's(K)

john fraser
7th May 2007, 00:44
I was there April/May 1960.What about the "Ships Stewards Handbook" by J.J.Traynor and E.C.Plumb.Anyone still got a copy.In charge was Capt.McKellar,we believed to be master of one of the Queens but others reckoned Sea Cadets.Ch/Of was Broadnbent(?)aka Beady Eyes.Deck officer I remember was Kemp.Catering was Haskins and Lawrence.If you came from Aberdeen you left on a Sunday instead of a Friday,complete with lemon curd sandwich and 2/6p to see you to Aberdeen.
Didn,t do us any harm as I am still at sea.

Tom Devaney
7th May 2007, 15:46
I was there Jan-March 1964,Haskins was my instructor,we were led to believe McKeller was ex R.N,he had enough rings on his sleeve to be an admiral.any one remember the medical orderly whose answer to everything was an asprin stuck on the forehead with a plaster.and that bloody marching on the prom each day. What a panorama it was each day though with all the ships that passed by,not like today,happy days.

john fraser
8th May 2007, 00:47
I was there Jan-March 1964,Haskins was my instructor,we were led to believe McKeller was ex R.N,he had enough rings on his sleeve to be an admiral.any one remember the medical orderly whose answer to everything was an asprin stuck on the forehead with a plaster.and that bloody marching on the prom each day. What a panorama it was each day though with all the ships that passed by,not like today,happy days.
Third week there I think it was.I was on special duties as Sick Bay Attendant.The Medic ,can,t remember his name,but,had a long swan-like neck told me if anyone reported sick on his day off to give them a drink from a jug of milky fluid.I found out later it was aspirin.I had to clean his room but it was a clutter of radio gear,spent most of the time watching ships with his binoculars.
Mind you the sickbay used to get a jug of fresh milk daily,patients or no patients.
Mistake in my last post.Broderick was the Ch.Off,s name.

ian matheson
8th May 2007, 01:24
i was ther in 82 the mighthy u class,great fun, ive still got the sea school gold filling,some characters there magoran ,yippee etc

ian matheson
8th May 2007, 02:01
i remember rowing around the thames on those lifeboats,nobody had a clue what they were supposed to be doing ,magorran just about exploding with rage!, he used to get me and aguy from stornoway to row him and one of the edh teachers up to the ship and lobster or what ever it was called and wait at the jetty while they went in for afew bevvies, they would bring us out a can each for the way back,great days,seems like yesterday.

KenLin39
9th May 2007, 12:26
I seem to remember blue shirts for deck trainees and white for catering, could have been the same for shoulder flashes on jackets. Not a sea school chap myself. Ken.

Broady
9th May 2007, 14:29
I think they were blue denim work shirts if my memory serves me right

Pat McCardle
9th May 2007, 17:03
I think they were blue denim work shirts if my memory serves me right


Deck had the blue shirts, as in RN / RFA, with dungaree's, in winter you had the Navy Blue Jersey & Reefer Jacket. Catering had the 'Borstal' jackets, fine blue & white stripes, & dungaree's when in classroom & whites when in Galley & saloon. What a time, what a place?(Thumb)

PollY Anna
9th May 2007, 18:00
I notice reading the E-Mails that over the years things changed from apparel, to time trained, and in later years the school was changed as well. So although we all went to the same school we all went to a different school.
In my time Summer 61 a lot of guys ran off to get a tattoo to make them look like seamen both Deck and Catering made in my opinion the same mistake but that's another thread. I found a photo of myself as cox in the winning boat. The sea school had 3 boats racing against each other in the Gravesend regatta which was all good fun, and we would get out of class to practice our rowing skills, which in itself was a good dodge.

All happy days. Ron

hooked cruiser
9th May 2007, 18:07
I was there in 1968-1969 and my instructor was "Rashbrook" or was it "Rushbrook"? When we had lifeboat drill we used to row to the Ship and Lobster pub when the instructor would go into the pub while we sat in the boat. One day a crane loading and unloading bags of what appeared to be grain shook the net over us and we were covered. As I lived nearby in Dartford at the time I found out quite by chance that the crane operator was a friend of the family and noticed me in the boat. (I hasten to add I never told anybody that was in the boat at the time).
What was the saying "Peanuts you ain't never going home". Remember the donkey jackets and blue and white striped jackets lads?

Many years later I joined the Police service (now retired) and went to the school on several occasions as it was then and I believe still is used for close protection firearms training purposes. (The flying Angel and Stella Maris are still next door.) Happy Days.

quietman
20th May 2007, 17:51
I was there April/May 1960.What about the "Ships Stewards Handbook" by J.J.Traynor and E.C.Plumb.Anyone still got a copy.In charge was Capt.McKellar,we believed to be master of one of the Queens but others reckoned Sea Cadets.Ch/Of was Broadnbent(?)aka Beady Eyes.Deck officer I remember was Kemp.Catering was Haskins and Lawrence.If you came from Aberdeen you left on a Sunday instead of a Friday,complete with lemon curd sandwich and 2/6p to see you to Aberdeen.
Didn,t do us any harm as I am still at sea.

Just noticed your mention of E.C.Plumb and it brought back memories of hitch hiking home for the weekend(against the rules) and being picked up by no other than the afore mentioned. On return thought I'd got away with it as he had phoned in sick, he still managed to report me though

roachy
20th May 2007, 22:18
I was at Graves End in the very hot summer of 76 training as a deck boy,I had the time of my life whilst there and ,remember rowing up the thames to a pub where we were allowed one half of beer and a packet of crisps.
There was some 600 boys there then,I remember when the boys were leaving they would sing,by-by peanuts,peanuts by-by to the bay city rollers song while at the canteen. Does any one remember that long hot summer in 76.

Charles compass
22nd May 2007, 01:50
At gravesend from april/june 1955,grub was b.awful but otherwise it was ok
Charles Compass.

kevhogg
25th May 2007, 14:21
I was there in 84 and had a cracking time,god bunch of lads mainly from the traditional seamen areas (Tyneside Merseyside and The Clyde )with a couple of Cockneys thrown in but they were mostly ferrymen and catering.Remember Deck Instructor was Mr Newburry(Penguin) who was a brilliant bloke with his stories how true we will never know but he had us in stitches.

trapper
17th June 2007, 12:02
Anyone out there go to Gravesend sea school? (the peanut factory!!!).I had some good laughs there, I was there December '80 till April '81, (X class). I belive the place has just about closed down now.

November 1979 to March 1980 Leading Hand well what a long time ago brought back some happy memories of the cold lifeboat with the Penguin! and PO who liked to get yo to row him to the local!

Hope your fine and happy!

Dave Phoenix

VTR1000
18th June 2007, 10:12
Trapper, what class were you in as I was there same time? 'V' class if I remember correctly.

jd0459
19th June 2007, 23:01
Went To Gss June-sept 1972 Y Class Deck Had Some Good Times Any One Out There With Information On How To Trace A Class Photo Please Let Me Know

trapper
19th June 2007, 23:49
boy do i remember gravesend, i was there from nov 79 to march 80 u class leading hand for my sins! Remember the food parcels! well about the only thing that kept you going.DAYO Daaayo!

trapper
19th June 2007, 23:51
Trapper, what class were you in as I was there same time? 'V' class if I remember correctly.

cool didnt know anybody else went the same time as me...lost touch with everybody. SO a BIGG hELLO! nov 79 - march 80 u class but x class for a while as leading hand

Broady
20th June 2007, 07:14
Went To Gss June-sept 1972 Y Class Deck Had Some Good Times Any One Out There With Information On How To Trace A Class Photo Please Let Me Know

Try looking on friends reunited in the college section(Thumb)

Mick Spear
25th June 2007, 03:24
'X' Class appears to be popular to this thread? I was there Nov'76 - Feb'77 also in 'X' class. Had a great time with some good mates. Had a few laughs at those who got homesick & had to leave too.........Especially the ones who lived in those faraway places from Gravesend like Purfleet & Margate. Did we get our photo's taken on leaving? If so has anyone got a shot from those days? How many of us have turned out like old McGorran? Ha!! (EEK) (Thumb)

Pat, i've been thinking of asking the same question: when were photos taken?

I recently found one on another website of my brother's class late 1971. But not from mine Late 80 and left late jan 81. I loved every minute of it and remember all the teachers' names. It's different now we do not have the pre-sea training, as we're getting young people who don't even know how to use a sugee wad, and seafaring terminology is lost on them!

Mick S

frannysea
2nd July 2007, 04:12
i was there in 79. in e class,( catering) had a great time, the teachers where psychos, some would say firm but fair !!!!!! since leaving the peanut factory ive only met 1 other person from my class, he was on a cp tanker down the falklands in 83, remember the old duffel bags we all had that everyone signed when we were leaving, and the book we were given , that we were supposed to give to our line managers as there called now, ( bosun, the cook, 2nd stwd etc) they were supposed to mark our progress, as soon as the cook got hold of mine it very quickly driffted behind the ship as we sailed to the states, we left manchester ship canal on xmas eve, sailed past cork on xmas night and there blockbuster movie for the evening was the posiodon adventure!!!! didnt catch the end as we lost the picture, on the return leg in the same area i was lying on my bunk when an a/b popped his head through the porthole and said theres porpoise outside, so i looked outside, there flapping in the wind were seagulls, i said there seaguls, he said not up there, down there in the water,!!!!!!!!!! i had never heard of them before,

jd0459
4th July 2007, 21:37
Les Blues Mighty Mouse Was Still There In 72 When We Were There
John

ibuthead
31st July 2007, 02:17
I was there in sept/Nov 1974 I can remember as if it was yesterday those white and blue striped stewards jackets I think my mum still has my uniform somewhere after 32 years and still at sea I can also remember magorran screaming with rage!, while doing your lifeboat training some things you just don't forget

Ian Butler

Mick Spear
31st July 2007, 02:49
I was in NSTC at Gravesend from Oct 1980 to Jan 81. Haviong gone back for two weeks after Christmas leave. I think i was in dorm 36, i think this was the last dorm on top floor that was being used - the furthest away from the canteen. I think i was in 'c' class (catering). I enjoyed it and remember a lot of the things that went on and remember a lot of the names of othe lads. Always wondered about my classmate Walter Holmes (wally) from Manchester, but until now have never mentioned it.

Mick S

STRAWBERRY
1st August 2007, 18:02
i remember rowing around the thames on those lifeboats,nobody had a clue what they were supposed to be doing ,magorran just about exploding with rage!, he used to get me and aguy from stornoway to row him and one of the edh teachers up to the ship and lobster or what ever it was called and wait at the jetty while they went in for afew bevvies, they would bring us out a can each for the way back,great days,seems like yesterday.

Ian, He was still doing it in 1985. We had to row under the Jetty and Tie up on the west side and wait about an hour for him to crawl back...I always remember what he used to say to me after he caught me larking about..."Get out of my Boat Monk!" Happy Days! Andy, 33 Dorm (Deck)

Malcolm Frost
27th November 2007, 12:48
i was ther in 82 the mighthy u class,great fun, ive still got the sea school gold filling,some characters there magoran ,yippee etc

hi
I was at gravesend in january 1965
my class photos are on m-navydays website.

malc.

norman c hewitt
29th November 2007, 03:21
G'day from Perth WA. I was at Gravesend in late 63. My class photo can be seen on the Gravesend webpage.

theaskew
29th November 2007, 18:09
I was at the old Gravesend Nov,-Dec 1955
Remember 3 of us playing for the Local rugby
team because there was short of players.you had to be quick
off the mark to get some butter as you sat down for your meals.
Settle your arguments in the ring.Also marching to Church on Sundays.
Good fun Artie

Alan G
2nd December 2007, 02:16
I was there in 66 in must have been Sept/ Dec, as I was one who was picked for the Remembrance day march, it was pretty good, as we went to London in those Donkey Jackets, and to brighten them up we had a Lanyard on them, I think they still use them today, it wouldn't be beyond them to get something smarter, we all gathered in the Chelsea Barracks, I think, and got a Lecture from a Sergent Major, who said "if you are Gonna Faint boys just wiggle yer feet in yer boots" I was awe struck by all the real troops, huge blokes in bearskins, and I remember afterwards getting lunch at the Guildhall in London, it is only know in old age do I really know the meaning of what I was a part off, even got myself a Blazer with the M.N. badge on it.

I wanted to go on deck, but I was Colour blind, so I went Catering instead, my first Ship was the Oransay, P&O and we went down to Aus, all full of immigrants remeber the ten pound poms, I have a group photo of us all I will post, this brings it back, I still have that Tattoo on my right arm, with MN on it, my Mum went ballistic, she said you could have had one on your left arm with "Mum"on it, I remember getting into fights as well, I think there was a lot of Bullying going on, I was one of the Cockneys, in fact even at sea everyone was basically trying to murder everyone else. Just cant remember names at the moment, remember Leman Street in E.1 London where the Pool was? and looking up at that board and seeing all these exotic names of where you could fly out too.

Forgot to put my name Alan Godfrey, but was Alan Cohen in those days

Alan

JRE
3rd December 2007, 19:49
I have an old (early 1900s) photo of the original Sea School when it was a 'Sailors Home'. Unfortunately I have no idea who took it or where it came from so not sure if I can post it.

kenneth crosby
4th December 2007, 01:43
Oh whatMad Happy Days theywere any one remember , Paddy Mac Gorran and his F*****g crazy, dog that bit every daft B*****d, He didnt like , I was one of those sad unfortunates ,He took a disliking to,But give him his dues , The mental Degenerate taught us how to row that Lifeboat from the sea school to the pub , on many cold morning ,he got so worked ,one day cos a runt called Fiddy was out of stroke that he put him out of the lifeboat and tied the poor soul to a marker bouy on the river ,picked him up 30 mins later as blue as a swedish porno , do you know that lad never lost stroke again oh happy days ,I was there from May 1970 tillJuly 1970 ,K class 13949 an Mighty mouth was a T**t an to finish ,Peanuts youll, never go ,cos Rassbrook, wont let yer go peanuts,your never goin home !

bingybangy
13th February 2008, 19:27
I noticed that most of the posting come from inmates from the 1970's and 80's Anyone there in 1958 or am I the only one still breathing(EEK)
Hi Sid,
You are not the only one alive from that year. I was their 28/07/58--05/09/ 58R695469. Remember it well and i know that the discipline and training i.e dhobing, ironing, cleanliness in all aspects along with confidence and pride in oneself shaped me for the rest of my life. A good friend of mine did MN and national service and told me that the latter was easy after doing vindy which i believe was on par with Gravesend. I allways say to my wife when we see yougsters (the few louts that are about) that they should go away to sea school and come back better people. Wifey agrees.
REGARDS TERRY

ragbag
14th February 2008, 21:06
i was at gravesend at the end of 1972/beging of 73 in y class left there first trip was 6 months on a tanker

ian d.cameron
14th February 2008, 21:45
Hey Kenneth I was at Gravesend from the 11/05/70 Ė 07/08/70. Z Class
That crazy dog never bit me but I sure as hell got some weird scary looks now and again.
Donít know if you were still there the night of the big pillow fight, and the staff were all hands on deck to round us all up and make us all stand in the square for what seemed forever.
Happy Days

Hawkeye
15th February 2008, 13:32
Ian, He was still doing it in 1985. We had to row under the Jetty and Tie up on the west side and wait about an hour for him to crawl back...I always remember what he used to say to me after he caught me larking about..."Get out of my Boat Monk!" Happy Days! Andy, 33 Dorm (Deck)

Still there in 1986 when I was there. I went back to Gravesend in 2007 for a course and was asking about former Instructors,but although I ask about him, I can't remember what was said.

Col Robinson
15th February 2008, 15:28
I was at Gravesend from June to October 1979 and was in Y Class, Dorm 9. Yes I was hungry and skint for most of the time but I have very fond memories of the place, the people and the antics we got up to. Despite the hardships, it was a fantastic time and it helped make me the person I am today.

nigeloliver
15th February 2008, 17:14
Hi Timo I am looking at my discharge book right now I was in class Y5 and left on 25th jan 1980 and joined my first ship with bp on 27 feb 80. Had my book signed by supt Ridgley. They were good times . While I was there the barber (the sweeney)died myself and another guy had to clear out his room. Send me a PM to exchange email addresses.

Burned Toast
15th February 2008, 20:52
Went to GSS 1958/59 Capt McKellar was the boss man(Jester) Great times???(Cloud)

nigeloliver
15th February 2008, 22:20
A good laugh Gravesend was. Was there in 'V' class Dec '79 - March '80. First ship was the Texaco Rotterdam up The Baltic somewhere.

I was there at the same time as you I joined in Oct 79 until Jan 80 I was in Y class send me a PM if you want to chat Nigel Oliver

sailingday
20th February 2008, 14:01
I was there n0v- dec 1950, what a culture shock I had, I remember the open plan toilets, and the lousy food, I ate it all up though. I made it and spent the next 11 years at sea, with many memories, and friendships

Larry Crowley
1st March 2008, 04:42
Well at least reading the above I now know where the term peanut came from, a retailer who sold them, not around in my time (that I remember).
I was there 12 weeks starting May 10th 1954, no complaints on food, better than most ships I sailed on.
If I was to complain about anything it would be having to buy crap clothes, ill fitting and at a time we were short of money, had they been of more use I would not have minded.
Looking back the staff did well, dealing with teenagers is never easy, most seemed more RN orientated, but you soon learn once at sea.
Very worth while, taught all the basic stuff for sure.

quietman
2nd March 2008, 18:13
i was at gravesend at the end of 1972/beging of 73 in y class left there first trip was 6 months on a tanker

Hi ragbag I was there same time as you though I started early january 73. Still have the memories and have recently reverted to a similiar hair style(Thumb)

ragbag
26th March 2008, 20:44
hi quietman i have good memories of gravesend but can only remember a few geordie lads names out of my class they are brian gabitas and kane

quietman
28th March 2008, 11:34
Im actually from Staffordshire and talked with a midlands accent whilst at gravesend. Only converted to a Makem in 75.

kenneth crosby
28th March 2008, 21:33
Hey Kenneth I was at Gravesend from the 11/05/70 Ė 07/08/70. Z Class
That crazy dog never bit me but I sure as hell got some weird scary looks now and again.
Donít know if you were still there the night of the big pillow fight, and the staff were all hands on deck to round us all up and make us all stand in the square for what seemed forever.
Happy Days
remember that one and a couple we never, got nicked for .so it was you scoundrels in Z,class that kicked it all of was it , i was in K, class oh happy days they were eh, peanut, and counting down those wakey wakies, seemed to take for ever mate , and now looking back ,we,d do it all again ,wouldnt we, as the song goes ,THE PAST IS ALL BOTTLED, AND LABLED WITH LOVE, thanks mate !yours kenny(Thumb)

kevin1506
29th March 2008, 00:55
yes i was there in 1974 great times

kevin1506
29th March 2008, 00:57
Hi ragbag I was there same time as you though I started early january 73. Still have the memories and have recently reverted to a similiar hair style(Thumb)hi was ther late 73 then went to BP

kevin1506
29th March 2008, 01:10
I was at Gravesend from april to june 1974 and though i think my time at sea was the best days of my life the abiding memory of Gravesend is these silly little men working there with more rings on their uniforms than admirals of the fleet and so bloody self important with it.was there in 74 happy times t class

kevin1506
29th March 2008, 01:16
fantastic times t class in 74 ,then on to bp tankers

rickie
26th May 2008, 18:16
ye went to gravesend 1977 some bloke mcgoran used to shout hands of c###s on with socks water porrage hard fried eggs 5 star

barrow-boy
28th May 2008, 07:48
Rickie,
I was there 10 years before you and then it was Rashbrook waking us up with that, Anyone remember having to clean the dorm windows`with newspapers. What about the 3 mile run on Friday's before anyone was allowed home for the weekend

rickie
28th May 2008, 14:54
Barrow boy.
Used to have to polish floor someone sat in the blenket while we spun em all round the dorm only got weekend leave canciled for it.
We were that skint we used to pick up fag buts and roll them in rizlas good times a. Of coarse i am now a non smoker.

barrow-boy
29th May 2008, 09:05
Rickie,
Did they still give you the Bromide laced cocoa every night when you was there, we called it anti-w*nk, and we had to box the local approved school boys every 2nd Monday, I volunteered for one fight, I still think thats the hardest thing in sport I've ever tried and it was only 3 rounds of 3 minutes. Once was enough for me. Happy days though.

rickie
29th May 2008, 20:54
Barrow boy
F### me no wonder we never scored no local talent with a gallon of that s##t in us i didnt know that. Thats why the pecker shriveled up. It was bad enough trying to s##t with a gut full of porrige and eggs they should of put laxy in it .

Art
5th June 2008, 14:54
Hi Timo,

I was at the sea training college in January 82, my name's Art from Ireland, the mad paddy, I enjoyed every minute of it and was sad to leave, 'Rashbrook 'I'm warnung you now'! was a bit of a tube, hope you enjoy the site. I went on to the Falklands in 82 on board the RFA Fort Grange. Later. Art.

Art
5th June 2008, 14:59
Well Ian,
It's Art Quinn from N.Ireland, I'm sure I remember you. I was there in 82, T class the mad paddy. Do you remember the morning we got up and the place was full of police, some guy was stabbed and thrown off the train that used to run alongside the college, crazy stuff. Art.

PJG1412
8th June 2008, 21:43
I was there for 6 weeks (catering) I always remember being told it was a Victorian womens prison, it certainly behaved felt like a prison!!! At breakfast we stood and waited for the command to SIT...and then as one sat down you had to grab the butter and marmalade on the table,or else you didn't get any !! I didn't enjoy the time there, but it was a good preparation into what the MN and the world was going to be. The invoice for clothing was 11 pounds 13 shillings and 5 (see attached) and first month pay on the Wave Chief was 15.7.6 !!!! I also remember my mother sending food parcels. I wonder if anyone out there is on the other photo, I don't remember any names.

PJG
(Cloud)

Tony D
8th June 2008, 21:59
It's strange all those class photo's look the same, I could have sworn that was my class of 1960 as the photo appeared on my screen slowly from the top down,alas tiz not as I am not sitting in the front row,I still have my class photo.
I mentioned earlier in this thread that there are a couple of websites dedicated to Gravesend Sea school with a lot of class photo's,I lost the URLs in a hard disk crash a while back ,which reminds me I did intend to seek them out again.
As I recall brecky you could have bread and butter(prolly marg) or bread and marmalade, but to get all three you had to have very quick hands.
I also recall the first meal we sat down to,a plate of gristle in gravy or something was in front of me and I said, I can't eat that!!before the "that" was out of me mouth it was snaffled by someone opposite,after a couple of days of course you would eat a straw mattress stuffed wi bugs as they used to say.
hee hee !(Eat) happy daz.

popeyed
8th June 2008, 22:32
was there in 67 sorry to say,, was a c,,,t of a place glad to get out

beatlesfab4
8th June 2008, 23:02
Was there march 76 till july 76 {y class} then went off to join joe shell for the next 10 years. Remember well rowing mcgorran to the crab and lobster for lifeboat training and the wombelling weeks you had to do. Volenteered for anything that came up to get away for the day, didnt have a clue what orienteering was or how hard a 26 mile walk could be until we put our names down for them.(Jester)

dom
9th June 2008, 03:21
sounds like Gravesend Sea School was the local approved school/(Jester)

mike pen
9th June 2008, 08:48
i was there end of dec-jan 1961 i have lost my class photo,it would be nice if someone had one of that time. mike .

mike pen
9th June 2008, 09:30
There are a couple of websites dedicated to Gravesend NSTS,lots of course photographs ect ,had a Hard Disk disaster a while back and lost all me favourite URLs,will try and locate them again,I'm a bit supprised nobody else seemed to have discovered the Albion Shades,we used to sit and make a pint of black Velvet last all night,I do recal the natives of Gravesend used to delight in reporting lads out of uniform,ie cap off or buttons undone.
I recal how proud I was sitting in the train back home looking at my brand new discharge book and ID card.
Just looking at that book,it's a bit tattered now the signature of the Supt dated 20th Jan 1961 looks like R A Mellors, but it is a bit of a scrawl.
I still have the group photo of my intake.
(Thumb)
hi tony d i must have been there same time as you,i have a card introducing me to the seamens mission,dated,27 jan 1961,lost my class photo
it would be great if you had,i might just be on.best wishes,mike(Thumb)

PollY Anna
9th June 2008, 18:39
It's funny I don't even remember having a photo done. I suppose I must have as I mentioned earlier we had the open plan toilets and Barrow Boy 2 mugs of cocoa one in the morning and one in the evening you mention the reason it didn't work on me I got lucky with a young lady who lived in Gravesend. One other interesting thing that happened while I was there was Humphrey Lyttleton did a concert in the park opposite the school and some of us were asked to volunteer to put out the seats for the paying public. While doing this he approached me and asked me all about the sea school so had a 5/10 min conversation with him. PJG1412 I was there the same time as you but top deck 'A' deck 29/05/61 to 04/08/61

Regards Ron

Tony D
9th June 2008, 19:44
Another thing I remember was being volutered along with a few other to get a room ready for the staff Christmas/New Year Party/Dance? twas in a building outside the main block,hands and knees scrubbing floorboards then hands and knees polishing them,just one of the indignities inflicted upon us.
I get the impression from reading these posts that things must have improved a bit after the sixties,of course having not long left school we were used to that kind of treatment,schools weren't much better than Gravesend then,only difference as schoolboys we went home at night and the food was better.
(Thumb)
4 pages of Class Photos on this website
http://www.m-navydays.com/newpages/ClassPhotos2.htm

mike pen
10th June 2008, 20:45
It's funny I don't even remember having a photo done. I suppose I must have as I mentioned earlier we had the open plan toilets and Barrow Boy 2 mugs of cocoa one in the morning and one in the evening you mention the reason it didn't work on me I got lucky with a young lady who lived in Gravesend. One other interesting thing that happened while I was there was Humphrey Lyttleton did a concert in the park opposite the school and some of us were asked to volunteer to put out the seats for the paying public. While doing this he approached me and asked me all about the sea school so had a 5/10 min conversation with him. PJG1412 I was there the same time as you but top deck 'A' deck 29/05/61 to 04/08/61

Regards Ron

hi ron,got this message from you this morning,just to correct you,i was there end of dec,into jan 1961,but thanks all the same. mike

sailingday
11th June 2008, 15:36
Windmill hill was the place where the local girls took us

PollY Anna
12th June 2008, 10:46
Thats right Windmill Hill spent many a pleasent evening there HAPPY DAYS made up for all the hassel in the day.

Mike (Penn) I was talking to PJG1412 about being there as the same time he was doing the catering course of 6 weeks same time as my 10 weeks.

kevin1506
13th June 2008, 08:19
any 1 know any one from t class in 1974 .deck boy .then i went to bp for 5 years.

kevjacko
14th June 2008, 08:48
I was there in 1981 E class catering. It felt grim at the time but looking back it was a great. Pillow fights, dorm raids etc.
Apparently it's a police training college now. Bet they don't have to put up with level level's meagre portions and Rashbrooks shouting and bawling though. Would be great to hear from anyone who remembers. Think I left in sept or oct. Who remembers falling asleep during Boring Beans lifeboat and survival stuff.

mike pen
14th June 2008, 10:21
There are a couple of websites dedicated to Gravesend NSTS,lots of course photographs ect ,had a Hard Disk disaster a while back and lost all me favourite URLs,will try and locate them again,I'm a bit supprised nobody else seemed to have discovered the Albion Shades,we used to sit and make a pint of black Velvet last all night,I do recal the natives of Gravesend used to delight in reporting lads out of uniform,ie cap off or buttons undone.
I recal how proud I was sitting in the train back home looking at my brand new discharge book and ID card.
Just looking at that book,it's a bit tattered now the signature of the Supt dated 20th Jan 1961 looks like R A Mellors, but it is a bit of a scrawl.
I still have the group photo of my intake.
(Thumb)
hi tony,i must been there same time as you,have a receipt for all my gear,dated 30 dec 1960,plus lifeboat handbook,price,1/6d,pencil 2d badge 6d,and a card introducing me to the chaplain to the mission,dated,27 jan 1961,lost my group photo,it would be nice to see yours,i might be on it.cheers mike(K)

Eddie Wallace
16th June 2008, 19:50
I was at Gravesend sea schoolin the late 1949 was always hungray the people I remember was mr Phillips got me loged for commimg in late mr Plumb was on of the instructors ,never ever met up with anyone of my class after I left ,I changed over to deck after my first trip as a gally boy.

bobbieb
5th July 2008, 20:50
anyone there in may-june 1948? this is before Hamish's time. remember alan ravenscroft,basher bishop, r.talbot(hendon), f.stroud(tilbury),l.couling(reading).
kind regards. bob burton.((bobbieb)

rdarrenharvey
5th July 2008, 22:14
My old man went there in the late 60s i think, (Dennis Le Bretton) He didn't really say much about the place but he was always on about a Mr Wise, think he was an instructure.
Dad tried to get me into the GSS in the 1980s but i didn't go went fishing instead wish i went to the college.
Darren

tapdnalop
19th July 2008, 13:33
Hi, was there in 73, w class,was the bosun called mcguiness he also liked the stuff, but used to take us rowing and tie up at his mates pub, good times

debbru
23rd July 2008, 00:25
Hi all, I was one of the local girls who befriended many peanuts between 1976-81. Contrary to local lads thinking we were all (Peanut scrubbers) and constantly subjecting us to verbal and physical abuse, very few of us slept around. Unlike the yobbish locals the peanuts treated us with respect and became our friends. Well most anyway. We had a blast. My mum and Dad took many peanuts into their home to clean them up after they had been in a fight with the locals or treat them to a sunday roast. I know Gravesend must have seemed doom and gloom and some of you were given a hard time but please don't tar us with the same brush.

Pat McCardle
23rd July 2008, 18:54
Nice one Deb. Obviously you & your parents knew what we were going through with the Gravesend 'Teds' of 1976?(Thumb)

el_scripto
23rd July 2008, 19:58
I notice reading the E-Mails that over the years things changed from apparel, to time trained, and in later years the school was changed as well. So although we all went to the same school we all went to a different school.
In my time Summer 61 a lot of guys ran off to get a tattoo to make them look like seamen both Deck and Catering made in my opinion the same mistake but that's another thread. I found a photo of myself as cox in the winning boat. The sea school had 3 boats racing against each other in the Gravesend regatta which was all good fun, and we would get out of class to practice our rowing skills, which in itself was a good dodge.

All happy days. Ron

Hi PollyAnna,
My time was summer 61' also. The MM office stamp on my ID says 14th July so it must have been the six weeks leading up to this date.
Great times. There was an instructor called Mr. Shaw who got half a dozen of us on board the CHUSAN straight after the course.
I spent 10 years at sea before retiring as barman.
Cheers.

paj
4th August 2008, 21:16
hi all, i was at gss in july/ august 1962. from there went on to the strathmore, joined at tilbury for a10 week cruise as bellboy. has anyone got a class photo of that time, ihave looked every where but havn,t come across one. would love to see the old faces. i cant remember the names but was pretty pally with a guys from ipswich leeds and i think from swansea. hope someone can help with photo. cheers paj

ChandlerBird
13th August 2008, 16:33
Hi all. Went to Gravesend in summer of 79. When we first arrived at train station tried to get a drink in local pub, landlord held on to two of us and called college, bolicking first day.
Daaaaaayo.

chickadeeblue
14th August 2008, 20:53
hi, i was there jan to may 70, and yes rowing on the thames is ------- cold,.

steven1960
14th August 2008, 21:31
I was there feb-june 77, I remember sailing past the school a week after leaving on my first trip and seeing the cadets at lifeboat training.

jack the lad
15th August 2008, 22:15
attended gravesend in the spring of 1969.I remember the first day . off to the barbers, then dentist, followed by several injections in the arm. we were told that it would be a hard 3 months, with that some of the boys decided it was'nt for them and went home.had some good laughs although the pillow fights in the middle of the night, was not much fun, good memories

Ivan.

doogz67
25th August 2008, 22:07
steven i was there same time 'w' class any class photos ? happy days

Four Bells
26th August 2008, 08:36
I was there Sept---Dec6th 68,Remember Puffin Billy deck instructor,seems Jeffers was there as well,another guy I remember is Tommy Franks,we took the Train to Prescot st Pool and both got a job on the Port Alfred,flying out to Japan 16th Dec 68,as Deck boys,Good memories.

spannerman
26th August 2008, 17:44
Hi everyone just signed on hope it's a long jig I was at Gravesend in 1967 I was in catering between march & april I'm sure it was eight weeks inthose days & 12 weeks for the deckies Anyone there at the same time I had a few laughs but not good with remembering names so if anyone can help refresh my memories I'd appreciate it.Joined my first ship Hardwicke Grange to South America in May what a culture shock they called us assistant cooks,that was a laugh I had already done 4 trips on Hull trawlers as galley boy & OH NO guess what 8 weeks training & I was still peeling spuds!!

steven1960
26th August 2008, 19:50
steven i was there same time 'w' class any class photos ? happy days

Hi Doogz, That was my class i think ,tho cant say i really remember much or anyone and unfortunately i dont have any photos or remember getting any taken,hope all is well with you ,regards Stevie

spannerman
27th August 2008, 09:24
Thinking about what you were saying two lads in our dorm gave in after the first week & went home I was at sea for 7 years before coming shoreside & when I think of all the places I've seen the laughs I've had I think they missed out on so much

spannerman
27th August 2008, 09:45
Rickie,
I was there 10 years before you and then it was Rashbrook waking us up with that, Anyone remember having to clean the dorm windows`with newspapers. What about the 3 mile run on Friday's before anyone was allowed home for the weekend
Barrow Boy You said you were ther in 67 is that right? what months were you there & what department.I have memories of that name Rashbrook he's been locked away in my subconscious all these years (I wonder why?)

doogz67
27th August 2008, 22:02
Hi Doogz, That was my class i think ,tho cant say i really remember much or anyone and unfortunately i dont have any photos or remember getting any taken,hope all is well with you ,regards Stevie

hi stevie,hope all is well with you,think i have some photos maybe at me ma's if i can find them i will post on site,maybe bring back some memories, been wondering what ever happened to big Tim hewison [geordie]never seen or heard from him since '77.cheers mate, Dougie.

mickcommon
27th August 2008, 23:17
Sweeney was still there in 1976, in fact if I remember correctly he retired a few week after giving me his infamous and obligatory haircut in his shack adjacent to the lifeboat classrooms!

I also remember 'Mad Jack', the steering instructor on the 'Popeye' boat on the bridge of the building.

I was in W Class, June-October 1976 and my dormitory was directly above the officers bar, used to lay in the bunk at night listening to the drone and smelling the aroma. Chinese torture or what?

Shaun Hi Shaun, I think I must have been in the same intake as you, W Class summer of 76. There were 2 Geordies, myself Mick Common and another Mick from Whitley bay. I am working a night shift at the moment but I'll dig out the old class photo tomorrow, I think I got all the lads to sign the back.. see if I can put a face to your name. I'll post the class photo as well.
Mick

mickcommon
28th August 2008, 00:38
Great to read all these threads, brings back many a memory, names and characters I had forgot but now brought back.. Sweeney Todd, standing in line waiting for that peanut haircut. McGorran, lifeboat drills and rowing to the pub, being the cox and the satisfaction of getting the boat alongside. The night dorm raids, the hours spent polishing the floors. Inspection before going "ashore" in No 1's. Steering that popeye boat, the terrible food. I just wish it had all continued and my Son could have got to experience it too. My dad was at sea but went through Vindicatrix.
It all stood me in good stead and when I joined the RAF in 1984 I was made senior man in basic training because of these experiences.
I remember dressed in white boiler suit shovelling the waste and garbage into the incinerator down by the river, was this some kind of punishment detail or did everyone do these chores?

Martyn Miller
28th August 2008, 19:13
I was there late 76 to early 77. All I can really remember was standing outside in the freezing cold at about 6.30am every morning in the main yard. That and starting week 1 listening to week 10 students singing Bye Bye Peanuts, Peanuts goodbye to the tune of Bye Bye Baby (Bay City Rollers tune). Oh how i enjoyed week 10 when we got to sing it ourselves. I was in the Catering dorms.(can't remeber the number but I remember some of the names I shared the dorm with.)

steven1960
28th August 2008, 19:18
hi stevie,hope all is well with you,think i have some photos maybe at me ma's if i can find them i will post on site,maybe bring back some memories, been wondering what ever happened to big Tim hewison [geordie]never seen or heard from him since '77.cheers mate, Dougie.

Hi Doogz, I certainly remember big Tim,nice big lad from Newcastle ,also a lad from liverpool,another big fella from Boro,didn't he get that nick-name,I never ran into anyone either shipping out,I did about 7 years deep sea and 3 with cal-mac before coming ashore in 87, cant believe its 31 years since we were at gravesend!!

doogz67
28th August 2008, 22:05
Hi Doogz, I certainly remember big Tim,nice big lad from Newcastle ,also a lad from liverpool,another big fella from Boro,didn't he get that nick-name,I never ran into anyone either shipping out,I did about 7 years deep sea and 3 with cal-mac before coming ashore in 87, cant believe its 31 years since we were at gravesend!!

hi mate i only done one year,came out for personal reasons,did fully intend going back but never made it for one reason or another,still,happy memmories of short time i done . 31years jesus,dont suppose i would get back now.cheers dougie.

doc2009
28th August 2008, 22:47
I went to gravesend june to aug 1968 we used to go into town buy chip and make chip butts spreading the butter with our fingers. Used to sneak on the ferry to the pud with a mate call Dave Cave and I was the senior leading hand for red wing good days.

pete cossey
29th August 2008, 13:54
debbru, do you remember me ? i was there from sept to dec 76. my old number was t16 can anybody else remember theres. mad jack used to take us rowing up and down the river..

barrow-boy
30th August 2008, 07:48
Sorry Spannerman I got to Gravesend in August 1968, I remember sitting in the mess room trying to watch the Olympics with all the other boys on a black & white 14" television. I was on deck and shipped out of Prescot St Pool for the next 5 years.

Burned Toast
30th August 2008, 09:55
Went to GSS in 58/59.Joined first ship Jan/59 and retired from the sea Oct/07 Had a great time(H)

spannerman
31st August 2008, 17:55
Never mind it's nontheless interesting to dredge up all those names I'd forgotten for so long

Boseley
1st September 2008, 21:54
I was there April/May 1960.What about the "Ships Stewards Handbook" by J.J.Traynor and E.C.Plumb.Anyone still got a copy.In charge was Capt.McKellar,we believed to be master of one of the Queens but others reckoned Sea Cadets.Ch/Of was Broadnbent(?)aka Beady Eyes.Deck officer I remember was Kemp.Catering was Haskins and Lawrence.If you came from Aberdeen you left on a Sunday instead of a Friday,complete with lemon curd sandwich and 2/6p to see you to Aberdeen.
Didn,t do us any harm as I am still at sea.


I was on the same course, I have photos

mike pen
21st September 2008, 11:16
i was there end of dec-jan 1961 i have lost my class photo,it would be nice if someone had one of that time. mike .i have now found my class photo,and can be seen on gravesend sea school, class photo 5, end of dec/60,to jan/21,1961,me front row,far right. mike pen(Thumb)

PollY Anna
23rd September 2008, 10:30
Hi el_sclipto

My time was 29 May 1961 to 4 Aug 1961 (long time ago but feels like yesterday) So you arrived after me and left before as I was doing 10 weeks deck training. My first ship was a tanker running to the Gulf and we where singled up some time at the end of the year in Port Said waiting for the Chusan so you could still have been on her strange World.

She came rushing in like an old maiden aunt. after that she headed the convoy.

Regards Ron

dom
23rd September 2008, 10:48
She came rushing in like an old maiden aunt. after that she headed the convoy
nice turn of words there,pity we dont have anymore old maiden aunts around/dom

PollY Anna
30th September 2008, 02:39
Well Dom It was how I felt at the time we were all standing around waiting for P & O to get their act together she must have been running a bit late she just came flying in didn't even say sorry it was if she was looking down her nose at us all. We were just a bunch of old dirty Tankers and Tramps.
It is a shame it's all gone but I am so glad that I lived it, it was a great time in my life.
Regards Ron

TILLYROSIE
3rd October 2008, 13:32
I was there in May - July 75. Had some good laughs and met some really decent people.

Larry Crowley
5th October 2008, 09:39
I got asked about the school recently and I wrote this.
May 10th 1954
The day I started Sea Training School for the Merchant Navy, I don't remember it because it was such a wonderful place but because it was a new direction. I was 16 years old and those gates looked rather forbidding, later I was told the place had been built as a prison, as time went on prisoners demanded better conditions, so we got the building.
First it was kitting out, uniforms and work clothes thrown at you by a grumpy ex navy man, one of those people whose face was twisted into a permanent snarl, he looked and acted like an unhappy man, all these years later I still remember him. Once equipped we were shown the sleeping quarters, a huge barn like structure, small rooms with a pair of bunks in each all around the outside, stairs leading to the next floor in the middle, just like prisons you have seen on the movies. One difference was the rooms (cells) had no doors, you could see at one time a very strong door had been fitted, perhaps removed for scrap during the war.
Very little detail remains with me, just scraps, made good friends that were never to be seen again, I remember we had to leave a warm bunk, go downstairs and into the exercise yard, then walk to the far end for showers and toilets. No wonder the prisoners complained.
Most of the instructors were ex Navy, a time of relative peace so the Royal Navy had no use for them, some were very good and had a lot to pass on, others were marking time.
Those going into catering were there six weeks, they did as you would expect do the catering, so food was cooked and placed in front of you at meal times, it was part of their training, although many thought the food was dreadful it was pretty good, perhaps the detractors were spoiled at home.
I was a deck trainee so a twelve week stay, ropes and rigging, flags and flares, masts and morse code, boats and barnacles, splicing and sheet bends, an endless list. I still remember rowing up and down the river in a navy cutter.
At the end of it all you packed up your kitbag and armed with a seamans ID and an appointment at the Pool (shipping office) you left with the world in front of you.

Left the training school on the Friday, had the weekend at home, come Monday I reported to the shipping pool.

tim coulson
9th October 2008, 04:30
g,day
yup i served my time sept 84 - dec 84. marched at tower hill for remembrance day service & the welsh cook ( tutor ) dont remember his name took us all on the piss afterwood.
great fun. Specially recal Paddy Mcgoran the lifeboat tutor & Saul Newbury - seamanship.
Great times indeed.

kevjacko
11th October 2008, 17:36
YO

Was there in 1981 catering.

kevjacko
11th October 2008, 17:45
Yo again dammed computer jumped ahead. Welsh cook was called Mr Messer. Remember Mr Rashbrooke, Captain Plum, Level level ( mr little) in the Galley. There was a Polish guy taught practical cookery I think, can't remember his name. Mr (Get off my F$%^ing jetty) Mc Goran. loads of faces I remember but not names, like the ex Marine who used to do the PE and swimming, the safety and survival instructor who put you through fire fighting. Had great fun there just did'nt seem it at the time. Dorm raids, pillow fights,girls of dubious reputations at the top of Canal road. Yep great fun.

IAN MORROW
19th October 2008, 21:53
I remember my time at Gravesend and it wasnt that bad. Must have been lucky and had a decent bunch on our course. I was there from june to september 1968 and finished the course as lead hand. I remember the times we had drinking in Chatham and the scrapes we got into with the locals because we had to wear those bloody awful uniforms.
When the course finished I had 2 days at home before returning to London to join my first ship mv aranda for a 10 month world cruise.
All I can say is that the college was a stepping stone to some great times ahead. Sorry to hear it is no more.
Ian

Phil Houghton
27th October 2008, 15:41
I went to gravesend june to aug 1968 we used to go into town buy chip and make chip butts spreading the butter with our fingers. Used to sneak on the ferry to the pud with a mate call Dave Cave and I was the senior leading hand for red wing good days.
Sailed with a Dave Cave from Holyhead to Japan in mid 90's, he paid off there and I havent seen him since.

Phil Houghton
27th October 2008, 15:51
Great to read all about the 'Peanut Factory' and so many mixed memories coming back. I was their 78/79 in Z class and the dorm raids and rowing to the pub on Sunday mornings and also band practice under the stage with Mr Torres on his Telecaster (me thinks). The dorm inspections where everything had to be spot on or else, oh what todays generation are missing. I too believe it is now a police thingy majig but some of the life boats etc are still in evidence. Can any one remember the name of the young lady who was the dental assistant? Remember doing the firefighting practical through the smoke filled room and nearly braking me leg when i fell over the sofer etc in the pitch black. I remember a Brodie on our course and I later sailed with his brother on a container ship.

Jim Mclaughlin
14th November 2008, 09:22
Summer 1977
Went down with school mate he lasted 2 days culture shock i think (Woose)
I loved the place Remember the dorm raids, our dorm was directly above the duty office we thought we were untouchable until our last night then everyone stormed us what a laugh.
The bromide didnt stop me I remember the local girls waiting at the end of that long road for us every night. Kirstin St*****n still remember her.Many a fumble with her on the banks of the Thames lovely girl. We had a tiff at the end of term peanut disco shame.
I used to love the canteen with the view of ships passing bye and that duke box. David bowie (Major Tom)
Shame its no longer same place I cant even find it on the google earth site.
Great times and lads

Jim Mclaughlin
14th November 2008, 10:51
Hi all, I was one of the local girls who befriended many peanuts between 1976-81. Contrary to local lads thinking we were all (Peanut scrubbers) and constantly subjecting us to verbal and physical abuse, very few of us slept around. Unlike the yobbish locals the peanuts treated us with respect and became our friends. Well most anyway. We had a blast. My mum and Dad took many peanuts into their home to clean them up after they had been in a fight with the locals or treat them to a sunday roast. I know Gravesend must have seemed doom and gloom and some of you were given a hard time but please don't tar us with the same brush.

Hi D,
Summer 1977
I have fond memories of you girls waiting at the end of the road for us
It got me threw the day knowing i would meet my girl Kirstin St*****n?
Think that was her surname
I had a great time with her. I even went to see her again after my first trip were we finally consumated our friendship. she was defo no scrubber.
I thought Gravesend was ok better than my hometown of Coatbridge Scotland.
Jim

K urgess
14th November 2008, 10:58
Don't forget this is a public site, Jim.
Fully searchable from Google etc.
No names no packdrill, eh! (Thumb)
Cheers
Kris

Jim Mclaughlin
14th November 2008, 11:27
Don't forget this is a public site, Jim.
Fully searchable from Google etc.
No names no packdrill, eh! (Thumb)
Cheers
Kris

Sorry,
Not up to scratch yet,
No packdrill?
Jim

K urgess
14th November 2008, 11:48
An old army saying, Jim.
Something my Dad and Grandad used to say.
There's an explanation here http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/257300.html
Cheers
Kris

Jim Mclaughlin
14th November 2008, 13:27
Ahh I see!
Ok Kris,
Cheers
Jim

highland hun
23rd November 2008, 05:30
Hi was there November 81 till march 82.
Big Jock intake that class,lots hassle got told if Capt found out about our antics he would kicked us all out.We were only class not to have senior leading hands because the bother,just caused chaos for class that took it over.Brill time really,one off lifes experiances.Think they get better treateed in prison nowadays lol
JOHN V11

ALAN TYLER
23rd November 2008, 14:18
Hi, to all ex Peanuts,
I was at Gravesend in May/June 1963, I,m one of the many who thought it was an womens prison in years gone by, now evidently it was an old sailors home. Anyway my lasting memory is when i got the Captains (McKellar) stewards job. I picked up his meal from the galley with a plate cover over it and put it in his oven to keep hot. Then when i served him, removing the cover I discovered to my horror it was "salad". Nice crispy lettuce etc. Needless to say that was the end of my term as "Tiger". Still it was a good time of life for me and I went on to rise to the dizzy heights of Chief Steward and 23 years at sea.

alan shelton
23rd November 2008, 20:16
I was on the same course, I have photos

You have mentiond Mr E Plumb of GSS I was fortunate enough to have his brother Frank as second stewerd on my first ship as stewards boy on the Highlland Chieftain (54) I did three trips with him on the chieftain and two trips with him on Ebro. when he was chief steward I dont think one could meet a nicer more polite and immaculate gentleman than Mr Plumb. I believe he was eventually chief steward on the Northern Star. He has been long retired now, my home being Gravesend I have often bumped into him in supermarket and round town. He is as sprightly and immaculate as ever. To mehe will always be Mr Plumb.
ALAN

Jim Brady
15th December 2008, 15:17
Hi all you ex Gravesenders,I was there Dec.56 Jan 57.We only did five weeks
providing you had your train fare home you could go home for Xmas.
I read the posting by Larry Crowley regarding the storekeeper as Larry was
there a couple of years before me I'm wondering if it was the same guy that
I encountered.I was in line tobe kitted out and the boys in front of me were
being allowed to try on their berets for size and in some cases their jackets'.
Quite a lot of happy banter going on with the storekeeper and the lads,I
thought what a nice man.I stepped forward gave in my name,without a word
of warning all my gear came flying over the half door.I was left to collect it
all together off the floor. I wandered what I'd done to upset this guy and the
boys that witnessed this change in the guy were also in awe. It was discussed later on amongst the boy's that were there the storekeeper was
a Mr.Phillips I dont know how we found this out but apparently he was
slashed down the right hand side of his face by a Scouser whilst he was at
the Vindi,he had the scar alright but how much truth was in the story I dont
know.Being from Liverpool myself thats why I got the treatment like all
scousers before me and most probably after me.

aleccrichton1982
16th December 2008, 16:57
I Attended Gravesend Sea School Feb To May 1967 Class S.our Dorm Was Called Stonepool.had Some Good Times But Couldnt Wait To Finish The Course.then The Adventure Really Started.had Six Great Years At Sea Being An Ab When I Came Ashore

bondy
22nd December 2008, 20:50
(Jester) HI TO EVERYONE,MY NAME IS DAVE BOND,I WAS AT GRAVESEND IN 1979 TO 1980,I WAS IN CATERING.I LEFT THERE I SAILED WITH ESSO FOR A FEW YEARS,THEN WITH CP SHIPS ANYONE REMEMBER ME.

Hamish Mackintosh
23rd December 2008, 00:17
The Gravesend Sea School (the "new" one that is, down on the Denton Marshes) is now the Metropolitan Police's firearms and riot control training school. It is, in fact, my nearest neighbour at the back of my house. A small part of the grounds are still used by what is left of the merchant navy school (which is now located in the nearby North West Kent College) for firefighting training and the lifeboats on the jetty are still used.
Much of the rest of the grounds have been converted into a mock town for training the coppers to kill people. Also there are a couple of train carriages and the fuselage of an airliner. Occasionally we see guys sliding down ropes out of helicopters. Local rumour has it that it's not the police who are doing that but the SAS. The Met Police also use the Milton firing range, next door to the school so that, with that and riot control training going on in the Sea School site, it regularly sounds like World War 3 has broken out down there.
I guess some of you are referring to the old Sea School, which was upriver from here, between the Promenade and the Custom House and nearer the town centre. That site is now occupied by riverside, 'yuppie' flats.
Whereas the 'peanuts' could always be recognised by their uniforms, they later became anonymous when they were forbidden to wear their uniforms when going into town. This was to try to stop the local yobs' tradition of 'peanut bashing' - picking fights on the cadets. Very often the locals would come off much worse in these fights as they were coming up gainst some real, northern hard-nuts.
After the uniform ban, likely 'peanuts' could still be quite easily pinpointed by their Scots, Scouse, Geordie accents. I know I had a narrow escape in a Gravesend pub when I was a lad when a couple of local head-bangers picked up my Scots accent and were after a punch-up. But I never went to the Sea School; I was just an immigrant - with a white face! I escaped.

You have cleared up a mystery for me Bobs, I was not aware there were two sea schools down there, the one we are talking about is the one by the customs house,and to the east of it was the prom where we did a "forced" march rain or shine every morning at 6.30am, I saw an old picture a while ago of a sign nailed to a tree which stated "graves end sea school" and I thought thats not the place I attended as I don't think there were very many trees around the place certainly not at the front gate, so I guess one lives and learns, thanks for the info

fergie10
31st December 2008, 20:59
I was at Gravesend until August 1961, what an experience although it set me up for life in the ways of the world. I remember Dave Valentine and Ruchazie from Glasgow. Anyone remember me John Ferguson from Port Glasgow i was on the catering side. Also anyone have a copy of the group photo of that term. Thanks john

dexter123
3rd January 2009, 16:25
Well plenty of memorys I was there 7/3/66 to 29/4/66 I arrived late on first day because coming from Norwich, Stroud and Strood are pronounced the same anyhow it was a lovely long train ride! cannot remember much although there was church on Sunday the most exciting event of the week BECAUSE you had fresh sandwiches (you didn't think we went for the service did you!), anyhow left on the 29/4/66 and got my first ship 11/5/66 M V Port Quebec as a cabin boy, ah the good old days now spasticated old git...Happy New Year to All

Jim Brady
12th January 2009, 15:10
Somebody stated that Gravesend was closed down during the war because it
was to near to London and the bombings.Also training during that period was
transfered to Vindicatrix.My brother was called up for the RN and had to report to Chatham.The intake were asked if any of them had MNexperience
those who did were transfered to Gravesend which was then known as HMS
Gordon Merchant Training Establishment.They did a 13 week course the
instructors were in the main RNR men. After training obviously they joined
the Merchant fleet.I dont know if it was over subscribed to or it was for
safety reasons but they took it in turns to sleep in the dorms or the air raid
shelters I'm not sure what the shift pattern was between dorm or shelter.
My brother was there in 1943,I think the Navy took over in 1941.The uniform
was square rig and peak cap.

yamaha yr5
6th March 2009, 20:24
I was there in october 1970 ,and found it okay left feb 1971. Joined my first ship port nicholson and had a good trip down to Tasmania.

Paul Eley

fisherman
6th March 2009, 21:07
Dom, there was also T S Vindicatrix at Sharpness, Glouster I have a photo of the old Vindicatrix as she looked when I was on her in1961.
web site www. vindicatrix, (Old Agate,s navy )

Neil Mant
6th March 2009, 21:29
I went to gravesend in july 1977 closed down in august went back for september and 2 weeks into october.joined first ship 10 days later Port Chalmers off the Hull pool,myton street.
Neil

Mick Spear
25th March 2009, 19:57
Just noticed your mention of E.C.Plumb and it brought back memories of hitch hiking home for the weekend(against the rules) and being picked up by no other than the afore mentioned. On return thought I'd got away with it as he had phoned in sick, he still managed to report me though
Saw this book today in the Maritime section of a book store in Cardiff. it's available at £6.99.
Mick S

freebie1243
28th March 2009, 17:56
Hi everyone..I was at Gravesend from Feb to May '68..can't remember too much about it (old age !!)..but can remember a guy called Puffing Billy who used to teach us something or other..used to say go to the window and take a bearing of of a tower in Tilbury..then before you had got out of the seat say "Too slow,sit down,backward boy..go back a week !! "...also remember not wanting to go to the church service on Sundays and getting locked in the locker we had in the dorms.by my mates..sometimes they even let me back out !!...and going to Dartford for a drink because no landlord in Gravesend would let you drink there...good times..I think !!...John Freeman

reynard27
29th March 2009, 21:33
I was at Gravesend mid 1975 on catering course. Only chose that as it was shorter than the deck course! I'm impressed with everyone who can remember their class letters cos I certainly can't. I do remember some classmates though.....Stan Hunter from South Shields (sailed on RFA Green Rover), Martin Laming from Grays I think and Ian Ottaway from Wantage (he relieved me as catering boy at the end of my first, and only trip on Shell tanker MS Fusus). Anyone know of them?

tony stockton
10th April 2009, 14:36
Hi D,
Summer 1977
I have fond memories of you girls waiting at the end of the road for us
It got me threw the day knowing i would meet my girl Kirstin St*****n?
Think that was her surname
I had a great time with her. I even went to see her again after my first trip were we finally consumated our friendship. she was defo no scrubber.
I thought Gravesend was ok better than my hometown of Coatbridge Scotland.
Jim

I was there in 77 T Class, good times and great memories

tony stockton
10th April 2009, 14:40
I went to gravesend in july 1977 closed down in august went back for september and 2 weeks into october.joined first ship 10 days later Port Chalmers off the Hull pool,myton street.
Neil

I was there in 77 T Class, good times and great memories

Terry calpin
17th April 2009, 22:06
You lads who went to Gravesend TS, lived in the heights of luxury, to us lads who went to the Vindicatrix, your food was stale, we did'nt get any only the odd cockroach. Terry Calpin

noodles
23rd April 2009, 12:31
i was there in november or dec 1980 noodles v class

Jim Mclaughlin
23rd April 2009, 13:16
I was there in 77 T Class, good times and great memories

Hi cant remember class.
Where the catering side in the same dorms as us deckies?
Our dorm was above the main office 1st floor.
I have some nstc photos on my member page.

ALAN TYLER
23rd April 2009, 17:10
Why were we called "Peanuts" Class F 1963

Tony D
23rd April 2009, 17:29
I was at Gravesend in 1960 and I never heard the name peanuts until I read it here,so the name must have come in after my time.

rickzek
23rd April 2009, 18:24
Just looked up some sites and found the following.
GSS.Gravesend Sea School 1918 - 1967 peanut not heard off.
NSTS. National Sea Training School. 1967 - 2003. peanut came and stayed.
The story is the Mayors wife gave the first intake a packet of peanuts each.
And the old joke is they must have all come from Hartlepool. Some thing to do
With a French spy.(Jester)

mattina
24th April 2009, 11:45
Hi was at Gravesend in 78. One of the things i remember is someone in our dorm putting a fire hose in someones bed and then turning it on and the floor got soaking wet and we were up all night cleaning up the mess. Only fellow trainee i remember was a guy called Steve Piggott. We shipped out together on our first trip on the Sugar Producer. He only did the one trip to sea and then left. Good times and good memories

Broady
24th April 2009, 15:56
Hi was at Gravesend in 78. One of the things i remember is someone in our dorm putting a fire hose in someones bed and then turning it on and the floor got soaking wet and we were up all night cleaning up the mess. Only fellow trainee i remember was a guy called Steve Piggott. We shipped out together on our first trip on the Sugar Producer. He only did the one trip to sea and then left. Good times and good memories

I was there in Sept 78 and I recall a similar incident and if I remember right the lad was a Geordie but dont know his name and he was sent packing because of it.

Ginger Rogers
28th April 2009, 15:29
I was there Sept '81 to Dec '81 (X Class), when I was let out two weeks early to join my first ship (ACT 2) at Tilbury.

We had a right laugh. I remember a huge food-fight breaking out in the canteen, the penalty for which was cancelled weekend leave for the entire college: it all started when a lad sitting near me flicked a huge spoonful of pudding onto one of the concrete joists in the ceiling... it seemed like the entire canteen was transfixed, as it slid slowly from the ceiling and straight down onto the head of the biggest, hardest lad in the college - he didn't even look round... just picked up his plate and flung it behind him... and that was it!

Does anyone remember the instructor that we all nicknamed "Chewbacca" on account of his remarkable resemblance to the great wookie. Don't really remember any names... although there was a leading hand called Collins who was signed up with P&O.

Great times!!

Matt Black
28th April 2009, 15:58
I was there Sept '81 to Dec '81 (X Class),

We had a right laugh. I remember a huge food-fight breaking out in the canteen,

Great times!!

Nov 81 to Feb 82 U Class

It wasn't me Guv!
I remember being there and I am sure there was more than one food fight. One night for supper there was warm cocoa and dry bread/toast not much was eaten but great frisbee practice.
(==D)

stevesas
29th April 2009, 20:06
attended peanut school march 79 remember so many of the names mentioned good time still at sea first ship was the canberra and i think it was c class i was in catering

Brianfulton
7th May 2009, 03:19
Went there April 75 to July 75 Catering.

Brianfulton
7th May 2009, 03:21
Thats about the same time as me Peter wonder if I know you!!! I was catering/cook and there for a period of 10 weeks. What memories and great times.

robs audi
19th May 2009, 11:34
hi i was there in catering in 12th maytill 18th july 1975, i went back last week to have a look at the collage, i then walked from there into gravesend town, passing the industrial estates docks past the proanade and the pier. brouight back memories. if onlt we could turn back time.. rob.(Thumb)

robs audi
19th May 2009, 12:49
the canal road leading from the collage is the same, with the old canal running beside the road, and getting to the pier,park promanade. i sat on the grass eating a ice cream. great time had. so many memories came back to me, that dident before going there last week. 30 odd years was the last time we were there, yet it dident seem like that last week. if you get chance to go there, do so. its a great experience.. rob.

Jim Mclaughlin
19th May 2009, 13:13
the canal road leading from the collage is the same, with the old canal running beside the road, and getting to the pier,park promanade. i sat on the grass eating a ice cream. great time had. so many memories came back to me, that dident before going there last week. 30 odd years was the last time we were there, yet it dident seem like that last week. if you get chance to go there, do so. its a great experience.. rob.

I might but only if the girls are waiting at the end of canal road.
Still remember those summer nights in 77.
I loved every day at that sea school.

robs audi
19th May 2009, 13:33
LOL. what the same girls NOW... i remember either going into town of a evening or down the prom, or if you had money going into the blue angel club next door to watch telly, and a couple of burgers.

Nick Balls
19th May 2009, 13:36
I was up the river a bit at Greenhithe. However I just heard a lovely story from somebody who was doing a catering course at Gravesend in the
1970's (Pre-sea) Lad was a jolly good trumpet player and decided to entertain the "troops" within the college. The "Authorities" were not amused and in Military fashion had him frog marched before god (The principle I guess) and confiscated said instrument. He was also told that he had been the most disruptive person that they had ever had!!!
When I heard this just the other day, we had to laugh ! I told him it would indeed be a singular honor to have been thrown out of the MN, even before having gone to sea!!! He did go , did a few years then moved on . However Its great that even that short time "branded him" for ever as MN bona fide.
Does anybody remember the Rebel Trumpeter?

robs audi
19th May 2009, 13:38
never heard that one..

agitator
22nd May 2009, 14:15
I was there in 58 it was effing cold and miserable, the only qualified instructor was an ex r.n diver called Kemp on the deck department side. The chief catering wallah was an ex P.+O. bloke called Plum who wrote the catering instruction book I still have it somewhere. The local female contingent was made up of v.d. vera and poxy pat. not much money in them days so couldnt indulge, but according to my brother it was a holiday camp compared to the Vindy
AGITATOR

Joemc
30th May 2009, 14:13
Hi, i was there in 1974,cant remember the months though,mam still has discharge book so will find out, i can remember sweeney and the lifeboat training, also the eggs were never cooked on the top and as someone said on an earlier page, beans with everything. The P.E instructor seemed a bit of a P**ve*t always looking at us when we were in the gym..he might not have been though however he loved the game of kill with the medicine ball at the end of P.E

Joe

david best
1st June 2009, 01:13
I was there from april to july 79 deckie. W class i think. Class mates i remember, Nick Hinds, Ste Staveley, Alistair ? (whitley bay) Bob Flux, Brian Marsh, Bob Leech, Steve Wright, Michael Cooper, Sean Wark, Steve Altoft, Tim Gough, Bert ? (IOW), Mohammed ? (Cardiff).

Pat McCardle
1st June 2009, 02:40
I was up the river a bit at Greenhithe. However I just heard a lovely story from somebody who was doing a catering course at Gravesend in the
1970's (Pre-sea) Lad was a jolly good trumpet player and decided to entertain the "troops" within the college. The "Authorities" were not amused and in Military fashion had him frog marched before god (The principle I guess) and confiscated said instrument. He was also told that he had been the most disruptive person that they had ever had!!!
When I heard this just the other day, we had to laugh ! I told him it would indeed be a singular honor to have been thrown out of the MN, even before having gone to sea!!! He did go , did a few years then moved on . However Its great that even that short time "branded him" for ever as MN bona fide.
Does anybody remember the Rebel Trumpeter?

Thats what you get for 'Blowing your own Trumpet'!!(Jester) Like most on here I had a great time there. Still on the lookout for a group photo from X Class Nov 76 - Feb 77(Thumb)

jiimy
1st June 2009, 03:14
hi timmo,

i was at gravesend in 1971 also in x class no more peanuts.

jimmy

noodles
1st June 2009, 08:56
Timo,

I was in X class 8th September 1980 to 12th December 1980. As you would of been walking in the place, I was on the way out to the train station. I would of been one of those shouting the saying "Peanuts your never going home" which was part of the banter at the time. By the time they were cutting your hair off, I would be at home.

"One more wakey wakey. One more rise and shine. One more bowl of frosties and freedom will be mine" (sung to the tune of Rule Brittania)

The term "Peanut" I was told derived back in the early days of the the school when a peanut seller used to sell his wares along the road down to the sea school, shouting "Peanuts" for sale. The name was then adopted by the inmates.
billy i was there the same time v class aka noodles

SCRUMPY
2nd June 2009, 06:02
I was at Gravesend from December 1956 until January 1957.I do not Remember much about it except the Food was Bloody Terrible.I was born across the River from the Vindi,but was sent to Gravesend.There must have been a Method in there Madness.

Scrumpy.

yamaha yr5
19th June 2009, 20:50
yes was there in oct 1970. Was in dorm v ,good set of lads,was glad to leave and take part in a great adventure!!!,and that was to go to sea.Which i did joining my first ship in feb 1971 ,port nicholson,the story goes on,and one a would repeat tommorow.

HullSpurs
21st June 2009, 13:37
I might but only if the girls are waiting at the end of canal road.
Still remember those summer nights in 77.
I loved every day at that sea school.

Hi,I was at Gravesend Feb-April 1977,Class L. I enjoyed it aswell, remember first day@ 'Sweeny Todd's' getting a #1 cut.(bit of a shock, as we all had long hair in the 70's!!)
I'll remember some of the teachers names as soon as I come off the laptop....
Talked a few times on different ships about the bloke who took us out in the lifeboats(McGorran ????)Everyone said he used to take them to the pub,but that never happened to me..
Only home a week then flew out to join the Arcadia in Oz.

Neil Mant
21st June 2009, 14:16
I was at Gravesend july 77 to sept 77 closed for 4 weeks in oct. joined first ship 10 days later port chalmers in hull.
Neil

eddie spears
24th June 2009, 07:30
attended the sea school back in 69 what great memories,Paddy[f..k.n]Magorran,Puffin Billy and Mr[hands off c...ks on with socks,your never going home peanut]Rashbrooke,real charactors,all the swearing and shouting ,couldn,t believe how many lads couldn,t take it and went home after a couple of day,s loved every minute of it,not to mention a certain miss P.T who I became aquainted with,we still keep in touch,never to be forgotton times.

rickzek
24th June 2009, 08:40
Was there the summer of 1968 May till September. First time away from home
and never looked back. Remember Blossoms cafe opposit the ferry for Tilbury.
Met a Welsh guy who lied about his age was 23 but said he was 17. Handy guy too have around built like a bull and got in all the pubs with any questions being asked. Spent a great week in Wales at Builth Wells canoening.
The plywood canoes all made by the sea school. Great time had by all.

60'sgirl
24th June 2009, 18:53
Poor old blossom,took a run the length of the High St passed the cafe and jumped into the thames R.I.P

barrow-boy
25th June 2009, 07:55
Rickzek,
I was there from August 1968, was that you calling me a Peanut when I got there on my first day? Great days never to be experienced by young boys now a days. Shame.....Nick

mark pond
6th July 2009, 13:00
i went to gravesend from june 79 to october 79 and was in z class anyone rememer me get in touch .it would be good to catch up on old times . i speent 9 years in the navy

poverf
6th July 2009, 23:43
Hi i went to Gravesend in 1969,there are some good pics on "all at sea".
After completing the course i went with my Rupert suit and sailed on the Baltic Jet.

Jim Mclaughlin
10th July 2009, 12:53
I was at Gravesend july 77 to sept 77 closed for 4 weeks in oct. joined first ship 10 days later port chalmers in hull.
Neil

Hi Neil you would defo be there when I was. Pity no pictures of yourself in your profile. It was a (Jester)