I was on what I believe was the first ONC course kicking off in September 1970. We had 2 weeks pre-sea training on HMS Worcester, then away with our companies for our first trip, back at HMS Worcester for 18 weeks in 1971, then back to Merchant Navy College Tower Hill for our final 18 weeks in 1973.
Happy times, I remember Capt Argles, I remember an instructor getting us all to strip off and swim bollock naked so we could snuggle up in the Life raft and learn how warm it was! (We were of course naive schoolboys who hadn't been to sea) But lots of good fun, the escape committee used to take us to The Cherry Tree at Dartford or the Cavendish, or was it Clarendon at Gravesend?
Failing that I spent a fair bit of time in The Pier and the Brown Bear.
Names I recall are Dave Griffiths (Hain-Nourse), Keith Miller and 'Taff' Uren from BP, Paul Moorhouse and Bob Hooley from Holder Bros, Alan Lybird (LOF) 'Hutch' from Trident Tankers, and many more who's names escape, after all it's 45 years ago!