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Up for Masters early 1973 , one of the lads ( union castle ) I think had the very first electronic calculator the rest of us had ever seen. Cost him a fortune , could only add , subtract , multiply and divide but to us it was a miracle . Even Capt.Callender was impressed.

Five years later... you could use a calculator, BUT you had to show all of the working on the work sheets or go zero marks. I would guess you could still loose 50% of the mark and gain a big red 'P'!!!
 

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Pity they were ever invented as the modern youth can't count without them. Bring back the "times tables" in schools! (2x2=4 etc)!
Don't get the logic behind that. Can you recall all your log tables or work out your sights by remembering your Nories tables?
 

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My logic was based on a light hearted view however try getting a lad or lass behind the counter in a shop when you have mentally added up the price while they are still counting via their calculator.
My response was light-hearted too - but all these things are relative. You have a skill that they don't have but you still can't recall things that some other people can. Those kids can probably quote you every tune recorded by their latest on-line idol, of whose existence you aren't even aware.

Maybe not important to you and I but essential if you are to move in their social circles.

I too am of an age where multiplication tables had to be learned and recited, where a session of mental arithmetic started every school day (immediately following morning assembly). In an instant I could tell you the price of a dozen eggs if one cost three farthings. In our youth and early adulthood, such skills proved very helpful. But today I am no more able to shop than the lad or lass behind the checkout. Like my ability to send and receive morse code by telegraph or radio, my ability to repair radios and radar equipment which used vacuum tube technology, hard-won skills are frequently by-passed by developments in technology and made redundant.

It isn't my fault that the world moved on and made my skills of only academic interest and I would be displeased with someone who considered me inadequate as a consequence.

So while I'm pleased that I can work out the shop prices quicker than the girl behind the till, I don't consider her to be lacking in any way. It would not help her to do her job (or live her life) better if she were to make the effort needed to learn those old skills. Let her get on with things her way while I try to figure out how to remove an unwanted caller from WhatsApp. (I should ask the girl on the counter how to do that - not a problem to her).
 

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I can assure you that children do still learn their times tables. In fact many parents will tell you they can't do the maths homework that their children get. My 9yo Grandson is brilliant at mental arithmetic but I know many of my generation that just can't do it. And when you get onto percentages I find a huge proportion of the population can't get their heads round them.

I agree that for some reason many shop assistants can't work out the change and it is quite amazing the reaction when you give them some change along with notes and it dons on them that you did this to get larger coins in change. Can't see why times tables would help with that anyway as it just simple adding and subtraction.

It was on the radio this morning that we are morphing into a cashless society with the growth in contactless paying so there soon won't be any need. As people no longer have to use mental arithmetic the skill, even if learned at school, will atrophy. Like many other things - use it or lose it!
 

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Up for Masters early 1973 , one of the lads ( union castle ) I think had the very first electronic calculator the rest of us had ever seen. Cost him a fortune , could only add , subtract , multiply and divide but to us it was a miracle . Even Capt.Callender was impressed.
My apologies to you John for making a light hearted remark about a calculator which has brought on a stream of defence and comment on the youth of today.
Still have fond memories of the Glasgow Nautical college and Friday afternoon over at the pub.
 

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This is changing the subject slightly, I wondered if anyone knows how many candidates attended the GCNS at any one time?
Also I wondered if anyone knows how many people are employed in the British Merchant navy.? In my day I remember seeing a figure of 1000,000 but I have no idea how accurate that was.
 

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Hi all,
Me again. The college is asking if anyone has any class photos they would be willing to share. It seems the college either didnt take them or didnt keep them. They have scarcely any archives.
Please message me with email address to take this further

thanks
nina
 

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I was with benline and left after one 6 month trip at sea?‍♂- too much of a home boy- I still regret leaving without giving it a proper chance
Still have some good memories though - interrogated in my cabin by the old man and the chief engineer as to who wrecked the bar and threatening to put me on the first flight home if I didn’t give them a name- I refused but the perpetrator kicked the door in and held his hands up? at the time he was a third engineer but I’m sure he went onto better things- I thank you mr Thomas fairweather
 

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Having seen both the discussion on here and the redevelopment of GCNS I thought I would contribute some of my memories of the place

I did First Mates and Masters there in late 70s, early 80s and the lecturers I remember were Andrew Callendar, George Gordon, Alistair Douglas, Bill Whiteford and somebody named King I think who tried to teach us deckies engineering. I will always remember his plaintive cry "Do you boys never look under the bonnet of your cars!"

After leaving the sea I became a lecturer in Aberdeen and renewed my acquaintance with GCNS as SQA External Verifier for some of their courses. I went there for the then International Association of Navigation Schools meeting one year and for a job interview another. Although I didn't get the job the then principal wrote me personal letter encouraging me to persevere.

Finally after I moved south I went back on the sad occasion of the funeral of the aforementioned principal and on another occasion to speak to the local branch of the Nautical Institute. And so I have both happy and sad memories of GCNS but it played a big part in my career
 

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I did First Mates and Masters there in late 70s, early 80s and the lecturers I remember were Andrew Callendar, George Gordon, Alistair Douglas, Bill Whiteford and somebody named King I think who tried to teach us deckies engineering. I will always remember his plaintive cry "Do you boys never look under the bonnet of your cars!"
I went to GCNS during the same period. A finer group of lecturers could not be found! I went to London for Masters at the Poly. No reason than just to have something different. What a big mistake! The London college was dreadful. Huge class. No handouts, everything hand written etc. I lasted for three weeks, sent back to my ship. J&J wrote to the Poly saying that I was required to come back to the ship so I got the fees back. Eight months later went back to GCNS as I should have done in the first place!

Do you remember Drummond? Two brothers. One on top who taught 'Deck' and went down to the lower decks to teach stability to the engine. His brother came from the lower decks then came topside to teach the engineering to the 'Deckies'.

For the engineering I tried to keep ahead with the class so I had a set of Kandy books. At start of the lecture I had a head start. One day, Drummond made a comment, "For a lot of 'Mates', you seem to have a lot of good engineering knowledge." I quipped to him, "We should, we all have combined Chief's tickets!" :)

Stephen
 

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Stephen

I don't remember the Drummonds. We had lecturer called King for EK. A South East Asian guy named Ng was in my class sitting not far from me and this King asked him how you pronounce his name. His response was "like yours but without the ki" ?

Did you have one of those far east copies of the Kandy books, all neatly bound into one volume? At Mates I got referred in Electricity & Electronic (?) and so spent a month learning "Electricity Made Simple" parrot fashion, misleading title for book if ever there was one!

I also remember Bill Whiteford's first Business & Law class when he announced it was a boring subject. He wasn't wrong. But most of it was easy for me cos I worked for Salvesens at that time and they were quite old-fashioned so I could do portage bills, knew all about notes on owners, etc. which most of my classmates had never seen.

I also remember having to hang around on a Friday to get attendance slip to send to my company so that I could get paid! As well as things like my birthday which we celebrated in style at lunchtime and beyond! Happy days

Ian
 

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Having seen both the discussion on here and the redevelopment of GCNS I thought I would contribute some of my memories of the place

I did First Mates and Masters there in late 70s, early 80s and the lecturers I remember were Andrew Callendar, George Gordon, Alistair Douglas, Bill Whiteford and somebody named King I think who tried to teach us deckies engineering. I will always remember his plaintive cry "Do you boys never look under the bonnet of your cars!"

After leaving the sea I became a lecturer in Aberdeen and renewed my acquaintance with GCNS as SQA External Verifier for some of their courses. I went there for the then International Association of Navigation Schools meeting one year and for a job interview another. Although I didn't get the job the then principal wrote me personal letter encouraging me to persevere.

Finally after I moved south I went back on the sad occasion of the funeral of the aforementioned principal and on another occasion to speak to the local branch of the Nautical Institute. And so I have both happy and sad memories of GCNS but it played a big part in my career
Hi Ian
George Gordon here.
I am the only one left of the mentioned names.
Alistair Douglas died in July last year.
If you look in some of the earlier replies you may recognise some of the faces in the lunch photos.
I gave up compass adjusting in August 2018. At 81 I thought that climbing ladders on fishing boats,RN ships, tugs and jetties was too much.
 

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Hi Ian
George Gordon here.
I am the only one left of the mentioned names.
Alistair Douglas died in July last year.
If you look in some of the earlier replies you may recognise some of the faces in the lunch photos.
I gave up compass adjusting in August 2018. At 81 I thought that climbing ladders on fishing boats,RN ships, tugs and jetties was too much.
Hi George
Good to hear from you but saddened to hear you are the last of the cohort of lecturers who taught me at mates and masters.
As you may know I went from Aberdeen College to the Nautical Institute finishing my career at IMCA. When I retired from IMCA at 60 (I'd always promised my wife I would go at 60 and made it with one week to spare!) I appeared in the Offshore Support Journal top 50 industry leaders, which must in many ways be done you guys at GCNS. I appeared at No.46 so my children kept me firmly grounded by asking why I wasn't higher up!
I had noticed that you were involved in compass adjusting and was racking my brain to remember if you taught us compass work at masters. The reason I ask is because when I was at Aberdeen I supplemented my teachers pay but tutoring two of Thomas Gunn's apprentices for the compass adjusting exam. So that may be done to you as well.
The other strong post college memory I have is when Aberdeen had decided to try its hand at delivering HND, albeit ultimately unsuccessfully, I came down for some meeting with Alistair Douglas who was very helpful. Then some years later when I attended Chris Hunter's funeral I spoke to Alistair at the tea and when I said I was no longer at Aberdeen college he said he knew as he liked to keep an eye on former students which made me smile!
Anyway thanks for all you help with my career, I'm just saddened that I didn't get a chance to tell the others.
Take care and enjoy Christmas.
Ian
 

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Gordon Mawson

Sadly Gordon Mawson passed away in February
Gordon joined the college in the 1970's from Springburn college.
He taught maths and seldom mentioned his seafaring experiences.
Originally from Yorkshire, he left school early and I understand had a couple of jobs but there was a war on and he joined the Royal when old enough.
The Navy recognized that this new recruit had potential and sent him to a camp for assessment at Lochailort.
He passed and was now an RN Officer.
His mathematical ability was recognised and was sent to the USA for a 6 week course in Navigation on the Queen Mary.
He passed again and was posted to an infantry landing craft and sailed back to UK via the Bahamas and the Azores.
Eventually Gordon ended up in the Philipines and was there until VJ Day.
After the war he studied mathematics and so to teaching.
I shared a staff room with for may years and enjoyed his company.
A quiet unassuming gentleman.
 
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