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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.
 

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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.
 

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peter lewis said:
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.
 

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dom said:
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)
 

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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.
 

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Tony D said:
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.
 

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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!
 

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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
 

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I was a peanut Sept 85 to Nov 85, 3 Months of laughs...what fun!
 

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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. (*))
 

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peter lewis said:
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
 

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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
 

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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 ****in starving all the time.
(EEK)
 

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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'.
 

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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
(*))
 

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NSTS Gravesend

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
 
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