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Discussion Starter #1
I was quite surprised there is no thread on the Merchant Navy College Greenhithe in this section - so here is a starter!
I did pre-sea there in Sept 1978 as a Houlders Deck Cadet but it was mostly filled with Sparky cadets who spent 2 years at college before going near a ship.
Back for the old ONC phase 1 and phase 3 in '79 and '80 plus the usual EDH and Lifeboat exams. The 3 day firefighting was done down the road at the "Peanut factory" in Gravesend AKA the Sea School.
Happy times spent at Greenhithe include a lot of boatwork and dinghy sailing on the Thames, Rugby every weekend either for the college or Gravesend 5ths, Drinking in the village at "The Pier" and trips to "the muscle factory" AKA the girls PE college in Dartford. Once we carried the MN flag for remembrance service at St Pauls, Andy Cook,Mark Coomber and myself, we did it again at Tower Hill the following year.
The Padre was Bill Mcrae - recently retired from the Sailors Society in Southampton - I will never forget his Tannoy announcements every Sunday morning inviting any students in his heavy N.Ireland accent to attend "A short Interdenominational Church Service" in the staff room ending with a comment like "Including the rugby squad who came in at 0300hrs this morning" Jerry Ayling(Jester)
 

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Hi Jerry, there are a few on this site that were there but like you I'm surprised no thread yet. I was in Greenhithe a couple of years back and took the photo of the "Worcester Memorial" in the gallery. Be warned though the parking at the housing development is run by low lifes who think nothing of sending out speculative invoices masquerading as "Parking Charge Notices" and may even clamp. Better to park in the vilage and walk back if you are visiting. Pier unchanged but "White Hart" no the "John Franklin", gentrified with indoor toilets!!

Cheers,

Duncan
 

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I had an interesting week in Greenhithe during the summer of 1979 when I went there to attend a Survival instructors course for a week along with 5 other BP Deck, Engine and Radio Officers. This was part of our training for a one year secondment as ships Visiting Safety Officers.

My arrival should have been an indication of what was to follow. I arrived quite late on a Sunday evening, having driven down from Morecambe. When I went to reception area to register, there was a tutor sat at the desk handling admissions. It turns out there was a large intake of Navigation Cadets that day and I, at 24 being the youngest of my group, was mistaken for one of the new intake. The tutor proceeded to give me a right bollocking for being late, and being somewhat taken aback I stood there and took it. Though in my mind I was thinking who on earth does this idiot think he's talking to, I'm not a school kid. Finally, when he let up, I was able to explain I was there for a Survival Instructors course and I wasn't told there was a time limit on my arrival. Realising his mistake he apologised profusely and I was able to complete my registration.

A couple of nights later, our group of 6 went to one of the village pubs and had rather a few drinks. Walking back to the college, if I remember correctly, there is a snicket that takes you round the side of the grounds to the accommodation. As we arrived at this snicket a car pulled up and two young girls got out of it and went down the path we were taking. We all had a bit of banter with them and a bit of flirting to which the girls took umbrage and retorted that their dad was the duty tutor at the college and they'd report us. Basically, we said big deal, we'd done nothing wrong or said nothing offensive or done anything that could be considered threatening. The girls disappeared of to which was probably their house and we carried on to the accommodation. As we approached our room the same tutor that had bollocked me on arrival came storming round the corner shouting the odds and saying we'd attacked his daughters. I made the mistake of trying to tell him what actually happened, recognising me, and probably because I was the smallest and youngest, he made a beeline for me and proceeded to attack me! Fortunately the other guys grabbed him before he did any harm, but I did end up on the floor.

The guy was, in mine and my colleagues opinion, an absolute nutter and bully, he should no way be in charge of young adults. The next day we reported him, I believe he was given a warning and we got an apology.

The rest of the week went without mishap, but the course was absolutely knackering. Although we left just after midday on Friday I was extremely tired and should have stayed overnight, but I had another course to attend in Exeter on the Monday and I wanted to get the most out of the weekend. So I set off home in my trusty Morris Marina 1.8 TC Coupe. On the M1, just north of London, in the build up to the rush hour, I shut my eyes for a split second and ended up writing off my car and a van. I spun the car across 5 lanes, 3 motorway and 2 for the joinig junction, hitting the van on the way, evetually ending up on the hard shoulder facing the right way! I was lucky to walk away from it. Oh how the Police Officers laughed when they heard I was returning from a survival course!

One thing for sure, I'll never forgot my week in Greenhithe!

Bob
 

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Hi Jerry, I must have been at Greenhithe about the same time as you. I was a deck cadet with P&O and there were 7 of us there for our ONC about '79 and '80. I particularly remember rowing and sailing lifeboats on the Thames in winter. We used to drink in the Railway Tavern, cos there were regular lock ins. When the doors were locked, they used to feed us as well!! Also remember the 'Muscle Factory' very well. We were associate members of their Social Club and went there regularly. Many happy memories!
All the best
Rob
 

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The Worcester

I cant believe that no other 'Old Worcester' cadets like myself havent posted until now. Its been a long time since I visited this site, and even longer since I left the infamous TNTC - aka HMS Worcester. (April 1964-June1966, Fore Division). Yes I left just 2 years before they decommissioned the old girl.
The college had a real heart with history and lineage of Captain Superintendants going back into the previous century. I believe Captain Argles was her last Captain. While I was there, Commander King had become a close friend to my father, also a Naval Commander, as they saw action in the convoys as did Capt Argles.
I visited other Naval Colleges during and after my 'apprenticeship', the last one at South Shields in 1986 to do my Oilrig Offshore survival certificate.
All these places brought back great memories including the antics that we 'cadets' got upto during our limited time off. I was always up for sneaking girls onto 'the ship', and was almost caught more than once.
I remember the PE college in Dartford but escaping to there was a feat in itself (in those days we werent allowed off college premises.) I bought an old BSA Bantam and kept it at Everards for when I would do the 'Great Escape' run.
I only ever saw 2 ex cadets after I left, and Cmdr King once, but no other officers.
Great times, collectively we should all write a book.!
 

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I was at Greenhithe various times between 1979-1981 doing a Class 5 Trainee Deck certificate with Onesimus Dorey's of Guernsey alongside Ian Diaper, also in my class were Alex Gibbons, Chris Poole-Gleed and Nigel Podger of Rowbothams, Ivor (Fred) Minnis, Kevin Baker of FT Everards. We all had a great time there and I have some happy memories of the student bar and the "White Hart" in the Village.

regards, Mark
 

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Fruity Fuller?

I was quite surprised there is no thread on the Merchant Navy College Greenhithe in this section - so here is a starter!
I did pre-sea there in Sept 1978 as a Houlders Deck Cadet but it was mostly filled with Sparky cadets who spent 2 years at college before going near a ship.
Back for the old ONC phase 1 and phase 3 in '79 and '80 plus the usual EDH and Lifeboat exams. The 3 day firefighting was done down the road at the "Peanut factory" in Gravesend AKA the Sea School.
Happy times spent at Greenhithe include a lot of boatwork and dinghy sailing on the Thames, Rugby every weekend either for the college or Gravesend 5ths, Drinking in the village at "The Pier" and trips to "the muscle factory" AKA the girls PE college in Dartford. Once we carried the MN flag for remembrance service at St Pauls, Andy Cook,Mark Coomber and myself, we did it again at Tower Hill the following year.
The Padre was Bill Mcrae - recently retired from the Sailors Society in Southampton - I will never forget his Tannoy announcements every Sunday morning inviting any students in his heavy N.Ireland accent to attend "A short Interdenominational Church Service" in the staff room ending with a comment like "Including the rugby squad who came in at 0300hrs this morning" Jerry Ayling(Jester)
Jez - Was there a seamanship lecturer there called Fruity Fuller, who advocated using electric flex as a wire stopper?
 

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After I left school in 1967, I worked as a barman for the summer. One of my customers was Commander Gordon Steel, V.C., who had been in command of "Worcester". When I told him that I was planning to become a Deck Apprentice with Shell Tankers (U.K.) Ltd., he gave me a book on Ship Construction, which I still have in my possession.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Fruity Fuller

Jez - Was there a seamanship lecturer there called Fruity Fuller, who advocated using electric flex as a wire stopper?
Oh yes there was - he used to do the sea survival courses - "Straight away lads" was his catch phrase. (LOL)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Hi Rob, sorry for the late posting of a reply. Yes we must have been there same time but I don't remember your name. Two classes for phase 1 and 3 were ONC Nash and ONC Needles, about 30 in each class. :(
 

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Ha
Fruity Fuller.. remember him and his all naked survival course in the liferaft on the pool, i remember he leaned out to grab the tender and showed us his full moon...
Sheetzz, anyone ..

We were on the Worcester 1974 induction then came ashore for phase 1
we crept over an painted her funnel in the Esso colours as it was a surefire like
we rang Esso the next day and asked what their MV Worcester was doing moored on the THames..
Great days if you were lucky you could get up at 6am to bring the cooks over from the jetty
 

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I was at Greenhithe various times between 1979-1981 doing a Class 5 Trainee Deck certificate with Onesimus Dorey's of Guernsey alongside Ian Diaper, also in my class were Alex Gibbons, Chris Poole-Gleed and Nigel Podger of Rowbothams, Ivor (Fred) Minnis, Kevin Baker of FT Everards. We all had a great time there and I have some happy memories of the student bar and the "White Hart" in the Village.

regards, Mark
I think i remeber you Mark although there was a sparky lass called Cable too. Deffo remeber Ivor Minnis. A legend! Once let him wait for the toaster to toast his bread for a whole hour before he realised in his drunken state that he hadn't plugged it in. oh how we howled! Sad really but you needed to get your laffs somehow. vaguely remeber Gibbo (blonde guy I think).
 

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I had an interesting week in Greenhithe during the summer of 1979 when I went there to attend a Survival instructors course for a week along with 5 other BP Deck, Engine and Radio Officers. This was part of our training for a one year secondment as ships Visiting Safety Officers.

My arrival should have been an indication of what was to follow. I arrived quite late on a Sunday evening, having driven down from Morecambe. When I went to reception area to register, there was a tutor sat at the desk handling admissions. It turns out there was a large intake of Navigation Cadets that day and I, at 24 being the youngest of my group, was mistaken for one of the new intake. The tutor proceeded to give me a right bollocking for being late, and being somewhat taken aback I stood there and took it. Though in my mind I was thinking who on earth does this idiot think he's talking to, I'm not a school kid. Finally, when he let up, I was able to explain I was there for a Survival Instructors course and I wasn't told there was a time limit on my arrival. Realising his mistake he apologised profusely and I was able to complete my registration.

A couple of nights later, our group of 6 went to one of the village pubs and had rather a few drinks. Walking back to the college, if I remember correctly, there is a snicket that takes you round the side of the grounds to the accommodation. As we arrived at this snicket a car pulled up and two young girls got out of it and went down the path we were taking. We all had a bit of banter with them and a bit of flirting to which the girls took umbrage and retorted that their dad was the duty tutor at the college and they'd report us. Basically, we said big deal, we'd done nothing wrong or said nothing offensive or done anything that could be considered threatening. The girls disappeared of to which was probably their house and we carried on to the accommodation. As we approached our room the same tutor that had bollocked me on arrival came storming round the corner shouting the odds and saying we'd attacked his daughters. I made the mistake of trying to tell him what actually happened, recognising me, and probably because I was the smallest and youngest, he made a beeline for me and proceeded to attack me! Fortunately the other guys grabbed him before he did any harm, but I did end up on the floor.

The guy was, in mine and my colleagues opinion, an absolute nutter and bully, he should no way be in charge of young adults. The next day we reported him, I believe he was given a warning and we got an apology.

The rest of the week went without mishap, but the course was absolutely knackering. Although we left just after midday on Friday I was extremely tired and should have stayed overnight, but I had another course to attend in Exeter on the Monday and I wanted to get the most out of the weekend. So I set off home in my trusty Morris Marina 1.8 TC Coupe. On the M1, just north of London, in the build up to the rush hour, I shut my eyes for a split second and ended up writing off my car and a van. I spun the car across 5 lanes, 3 motorway and 2 for the joinig junction, hitting the van on the way, evetually ending up on the hard shoulder facing the right way! I was lucky to walk away from it. Oh how the Police Officers laughed when they heard I was returning from a survival course!

One thing for sure, I'll never forgot my week in Greenhithe!

Bob
You were training as a Safety Officer? You sound dangerous to me.
This is the second tale I have heard in the last few months from Safety Officers who describe similar accidents. The other was not quite so lucky as you. Are there any more out there?
 

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You were training as a Safety Officer? You sound dangerous to me.
I'm not sure what you mean? I'm assuming you are linking the Safety Officer bit to the motor accident and, if so, implying I shouldn't have been in safety if I was capable of such an accident.

If that is the case you must be one of those perfect beings that has never, ever, made an error of judgement, misread a situation, or made a mistake in your entire life. (*))

Unfortunately I am not quite that perfect, I do make mistakes from time to time, and I continue to do so on occasions. Fortunately I do tend to learn from those mistakes and, generally, don't repeat them.

It has been 35 years since that accident, I have just taken early retirement, but during my working life (the last 25 years on gas platforms) I have never been involved a workplace accident or caused anyone else to have one.

I have only been involved in one motor accident since then, on my motorcycle in 2006, and that was the fault of the third party who was duly prosecuted. So no, I don't think I am dangerous.

However, the fact that I ride a motorcycle will make some people think I am risk averse, which may be true, but I do my best to mitigate this by having completed the highest training available to civilian motorcyclists and I am retested every three years to maintain the qualification.

Bob
 

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also in my class were Alex Gibbons, Chris Poole-Gleed and Nigel Podger of Rowbothams
Sailed with Alex a couple of times when I was mate on the Tillerman - he was a tall blonde lad as somebody has stated.
He either left to join the police or joined Rockies from the police .. cannot remember!
Both the other names ring a bell as well, though don't think I ever sailed with them.
 

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Greenhithe 1978-1982

Jerry- I was at Greenhithe on the same Deck ONC as you at same time (78-82). A few names: Andy Hebb, Andy Mallion, Chris Turgeon, Russell Hay, Jerry Lord. Also remember a few dodgy lecturers: Fruity Fuller and a Navigation bloke who lived on site....not to be trusted. Shame it was all demolished.

Martyn Sexton (BP)
 

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I was at MNC Greenhithe with the first lot of Class 5 Deck Trainee's from 1979 -1981 a mad lot , Ivor "Fred" Minnis , Kevin Bunten ,Stuart Vallis, Simon Nozworthy, Dave Morris, Ian Diaper, Mark Cable, Rick Hooper , Chris Poole-Gleed, Jim Podger, Ian Hutchinson, Neil Gordon, Alex Gibbons, Jim McKewen ,Andy Joscelyne etc 2 from Cunard , " from Doreys ,4 from Rowbothams and the rest from Fred Everards .Great bunch of lads ,last I heard of Ivor was he was a Ship Manager out in Kiwi . Remember going to FLICKS night club in Dartford on the weekends ,with its glass stair cases and the new McDonalds back in 81 . When we were there some ONC's let off a parachute flare in one of their cabins and it bounced off the walls a few times at supersonic speed b4 going out through the open window ! Think there were 3 of them in the room at the time ..all got away uninjured ...but a bit shaken !!
 

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Chris Poole-Gleed, Jim Podger & Alex Gibbons I knew through Rowbothams .. sailed with Alex Gibbons when he was 2/O on the Tillerman and I think another ex-Class 5 who I keep in touch with is also friends with Jim Podger (from Bridport area)
 
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