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Jim Brady
30th September 2011, 08:25 PM
I'm sure that there are quite a few on here who were in the Sea Cadets,I must admit it was one of the most interesting times in my life.We spent quite a lot of our childhood down the dock road looking through the fence at the ships and all the goings on on the docks.The secret was to get in there and get amongst it,get aboard the ships and whatever other mischief you could get upto.The answer was to join the cadets,you recieved a pass"Please allow this cadet to be shown around your ship or establishment" this was like pure gold.When I joined I was to young so I gave in a false date of birth,the date being 5/11/39,how could I ever forget Bonfire Night.Kitted out in our uniforms and down to the docks the first available Sunday.first ship we seen HMS Montclare Gladstone Graving Dock.I think it was the Montclare I know it was a submarine mother ship.We were down the mess and given a Lemon Cheese Butty and a cup of cocoa by the sailors,we came ashore and bumped into an old hand (cadet)"You dont go aboard them ships you come down here to get aboard the American cargo boats"That was it,we had a small library on the corner of our street,every friday we would be in there and get the Journal Of Commerce ( the commerce was necessary around there due to the amount of seaman living in the area)We scanned the Commerce to see what was in,we knew every dock and had our day planned out for Sunday.We became quite friendly with Captains and crew on the Lykes boats and some of the others.They made sure we had a good meal and then as much apple pie and ice cream as we liked.We also came home with lots of cigarettes.When there was no ships in we got upto all kinds of mischief like racing each other up and down the sheds on the Bogies.
Back to the cadets,I never missed a parade Monday Wednesday and Friday nights.I ended up A.B.and my own Division (Anson).I took to the Semaphore quite readily and I must say I became very fast at both sending and recieving.
Another perk of being a cadet was doing a trip on a Coaster to the Continent,Antwerp,Amsterdam and Rotterdam,imagine that as a 14 year old,all you had todo was pay 7s6d insurance I was certainly up for that.It was all being set up for me to go when this new officer joined the unit.He informed me "this unit has not got any badges so before you go anywhere you will go and get a semaphore badge"I had to agree and I was tobe sent to I think a place called Streatham.We came to fill out the paper work for this semaphore gig and I gave my correct date of birth as I was old enough by then,this clown queeried this and puffing my chest out I told him I had given a wrong date of birth in when joining.I was thinking of all these WW1and WW11 heroes who had joined when to young giving a false DOB.He was not amused and took off on me good style shouting and raving "I dont like boys who tell lies".The cadets was a big part of my life at the time and I must admit I got home and cried my eyes out.To use present day parlance I felt my position was untenable so I packed my uniform into a cardboard box and when my mates called for me for the next parade I handed them the box to return my uniform,as they walked down the road another tear came to my eye.
Yes it was a good two years spoilt by a clown who had no idea how to deal with kids.
Regards.
Jim.B.

Neil Morton
1st October 2011, 01:51 AM
Hello Jim thank you for your post. No I was not in the Sea Cadets, I was in the RAF cadets. As a boy Biggles was my hero, and most likely most of us were fans, convieniently the cadet hall was just across the road from our house. I desperately wanted to go to Cranwell and become a pilot. Two monster probs kept me out :one was a total lack of mathmatical calculation the other a dodgey right eye. However if I get the drift of your post correctley those of us that joined whether it be the Boy Scouts, the Boys Brigade etc we wanted to participate and had an ambition to serve.
With that came church parades, country camps, harvest festival at the parish church, stuff which is I must confess as the years drift by I miss and bore folks crazy with given half a chance.
Cheers mate Neil.

Captain Kong
1st October 2011, 11:20 AM
I did four years years in the Sea Cadets, 12 to 16, loved it, The Uniform was great for picking up the girls in the early teens, My cap band said , TS DIDO, I then changed it after we left the drill hall to HM SUBMARINES,
The lamps were swinging with seafaring yarns of how I won the war . couldnt go wrong with the girls.
.
It was good training tho`, they taught us Seamanship, the usual bends, hitches, splicing, rigging blocks and tackle , Bosuns Chairs and rigging stages.I did training courses on some great ships , HMS DUKE of York, 35,000 ton battleship that sank the SCHARNHORST. HMS s DIDO, and SIRIUS, 10,000 ton Cruisers, Went to HMS SOMETHING? at Portsmouth where we did a Submarine course on HM Submarines. Gunnery courses at Whale Island Portsmouth, shooting down German planes in the Dome, a week at HMS BLACKCAP a Naval Air station near Warrington and many other events. So when I joined the Vindicatrix I was well trained in what they were doing.
Kids today instead of moaning they have nothing to do so they hang about street corners should all be made to join these services, they could have some good adventures. I loved it.
.
A couple of years ago they had a 65th anniversary dinner at the HQ and then they got some of us old Cadets to do a demonstration of Rifle Drill and Marching for the young ones. I was amazed at the weight of an old Le Enfield 303 rifle with bayonet attached when we did the rifle drill, When we were kids it was so easy. For us old timers we did quite good and got a good encore from al the guests. I have the photos on my computer which is in dry dock at the moment. I can put them on when I get it back.

Jim Brady
1st October 2011, 12:16 PM
Funny you mention the cap ribbons Brian there was an abundance of the m around our way.When the fairground came to town we would put the cap ribbons of ships on and hang around the waltzer etc.Looking back on it I was'nt even 5ft at the time.I remember one time we had ships cap ribbons on and we were down the docks,I forget what one I was wearing but this docker leaned over the side of the ship and shouted to me "Ay lad that F*****g thing was sunk in the first world war".
Joking apart the discipline played a great part in it,kids today would'nt tollerate it.I can't remeber what I did wrong but my punishment was to hold a 303 rifle above my head for as long as this P.O. decided,my arms were buckling keep them up straight was the order.We were always told to carry out the last order.The P.O. was marching us around the yard,we were based on the Leeds and Liverpool canal,we where three abreast and I was in the front three.He marched us strait towards the canal one more pace and we would've ended up in the canal.He shouted halt just as we were about to go in That was always carry out the last order,and believe me we would've marched into the canal had he not shouted halt.
Regards.
Jim.B.

Captain Kong
1st October 2011, 12:26 PM
Good one that Jim, brings back a few memories.
Good days, big adventures for young lads, I never knew if the girls believed us or not,
Thin skinny kids with those hat bands, a big Western Ocean Roll, a ciggy in the mouth and coughing the lungs up with it. trying to be grown up.
At least we were not mugging old ladies or smashing up bus shelters.
Cheers
Brian.

Jim Brady
1st October 2011, 08:19 PM
Just learning how to upload following Gullivers instructions.

Jim Brady
1st October 2011, 08:29 PM
Previous picture was the first sucess I have had posting. Took me over an hour to get there,Gullivers instructions got me there in the end. as a matter of interst I'm the little kid on the end right.
Brian (Capt Kong)will be interested in seeng your cadet photos when your back up and running.
Regards.
Jim.B.

Ron Kendall
1st October 2011, 08:43 PM
I too was in the Cadets, I flew from RNAS Anthorn in a De Haviland Dragon Rapide, on a visit to the Cumberland Naval Air Station in 1952, then I didnt fly for40 odd years!, I did a gunnery course at HMS Vernon at Portsmouth, andreally enjoyed the activities, Some years ago when the local unit in Whitehaven was short of Instructors, I offered to help, and before I realised what had happened, I had agreed to go back in uniform, then had serveral trips to sea on the MFV 7, AS a full time bus and coach driver, I took the North West Cadets to HMS Raleigh at Torpoint a number of times, and although retired now, the Chief Po's uniform is still in the wardrobe!I must hand it back sometime...... Happy days!

alf corbyn
2nd October 2011, 11:53 AM
yes lads. i too was in the sae cadets. got into trouble whilst teaching semaphore sending rude commnts and the co saw me and i got a right rollocking. spent months on the river lee at enfield getting an old whaleboat ready for the water caulking, painting etc. came the great day for putting it in the water, sorry corbyn you can't get in, you can't swim. had a few punchups with the army cadets. my hat silk had stc on it but on the reverse i had hms, cant remeber the name but i also had my brother-in-laws paybook, so could get in the pub for a drink. tried the air cadets but didn't like it. alf

Hugh
2nd October 2011, 12:38 PM
I, too, was a member of the Sea Cadets. As a youngster I think it set me up for my later career at sea. I remember being taught all the usual things like splicing, bends and hitches, semaphore, seamanship, rifle shooting - the list goes on. I remember my father, who was an ex- MN QM, also teaching me how to box the compass and tie Turk's Head knots.
I remember travelling down to Weymouth and spending a week on board the fleet tender 'BEMBRIDGE'. Others went on the sail training ship 'Royalist' - what a way to give young people life experience it was ideal.

When I later joined the RN, the basics were already there and breezed through the basic training.

Yes, very fond memories of the Sea Cadet Corps and a lot to be thankful for.

Regards
Hugh

Jim Brady
2nd October 2011, 01:14 PM
Yes Hugh apart from teaching you seamanship etc it also taught you how todo a bit of dhobi and how to press your gear.We did'nt like the brand new collars and were scrubbing them every five minutes to get them light blue,then there was the way in which to fold and press them to get the four creases,for the four winds we were lead to believe.I dont think our mothers would've pressed the bell bottoms in the way in which they had to be done.Turn them inside out and fold them seven times from bottom to top they were quite hard to press them to get the required result.I made a press from two pieces of egg crate and a couple of bolts with wing nuts (no brace and bit, burning the required holes through with a red hot poker)I used to put my bell bottoms in the press as soon as I got home.All good clean fun I can't imagine the kids of today doing it.I seen some sea cadets the other week the uniform seems tobe a blue shirt and navy strait trousers.
Regards.
Jim.B.

Phil Crawley
2nd October 2011, 04:25 PM
I too have a lot to thank the Sea Cadets for, the four years I was in and the courses I was sent on set me up for the Vindi and for many other things in life, thanks to Jim Brady for introducing this thread.
Phil Crawley.

Jim Brady
2nd October 2011, 06:18 PM
Hi Phil,thanks for your nice words.When I look back maybe that new officer that came to our unit was right when he complained that the unit had no badges.When I look at some of the activities that some of you did partake in we did nothing like that.I remember being in Fleetwood on holiday with my kids and there was a band competition between diffferent Sea Cadet units,the music was brilliant and the badges on their arms was something that I had never seen,we did'nt have a band or any badges!!!but i still enjoyed our unit.
Hi Ron,I bet you got some satisfaction of going back as an instructor it's nice to pass on some knowledge to kids who are interested.I met an old school mate of mine in a pub,he had done 22 years in the Marines,he had some high rank in the cadets.I was telling him of my time in the cadets and my strong point being semaphore,he wanted me to come to the cadets and teach them the semaphore,he insisted "never ever come there smelling of drink" enough said I never went what a pity.
Regards.
Jim.B.

Tommy the T
4th October 2011, 12:45 AM
I too was in the Sea Cadets, from 1976 to 1980 , only left the cadets as I went to Gravesend Sea School, I was at T.S. Fortitude in Stockton on Tees, loved every minute of it, certainly taught me alot of things including discipline & self belief & working as part of a team etc .

Our unit was only a few hundreds yards from the River Tees so we did alot of sailing, pulling etc, as I rose thru the ranks from J.S to O.S & onto A.B. I soon cottened on that all that "Pulling " was hard work so as our unit had a "Cutter" I always tried to get on that :p, 1 of the officers suggested that as I liked being on the Cutter so much that I should do the MEM course, so a long story short I was sent to HMS Sultan a few times for various courses & gained my badges to become MEM grade 1 , I hardly ever "Pulled" again after that.
Finally made it to Leading Seaman & 1 year I was part of the Guard Drill when entered into the Areal Finals, I remember the countless sundays we spent practising for the competition, If I say so myself we were pretty darn good, went to Rosythe for the finals....& won :cool:
The prize for winning was 10 days onboard HMS Averley, a Mine Sweeper, we joined her in Chatham & sailed to Bologne, Cherbourg, Jersey & Guernsey & back to Portsmouth, what a fantastic trip that was, & with me being an MEM ( cadet) I spent most of the trip in the engine room....lovely & warm :), tho all cadets had to do Bridge watch on the helm etc.....I recall the OPEN bridge .....couldn,t wait to get back to my engine room.

As others have said, the uniform always helped when chatting up the ladies ....when we were in Jersey I sadly was on duty & couldn,t go ashore, but was on gangway duty when we first arrived there....anyways some of the cadets had been ashore & had met up with a few girls & brought them back to the ship to see if they could get them onboard....I asked the RN Officer on duty & he allowed them onboard but only to stay up on deck....not to go below....sighs ( lol) , I got chatting to 1 of the girls & the next day had a "date" with her, had a great time, after my date & when I got back onboard I was grilled by the RN regulars on what i got up to , I,ll refrain on the details ;).

The following year I became Guard Commander for the Guard competition & was promoted to Cadet Petty Officer......wow, lots of gold badges to sew onto my uniform , PHEW ! & we spent 4 days aboard HMS Buchante ( not sure of the spelling after all these years ) as she was our unit parent ship, again, great time was had.
I recall our guard being on parade when the Duke of Edinburgh visited HMS Warrior ( where she was renovated back to her former glory ) in Hartlepool....anyways....theres me standing to attention as HRH inspected our guard & he stopped & chatted to me cos he noticed I had a badge on my uniform for the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme, I was honoured indeed & had a photo of me chatting to HRH in the local paper the next day .

I recall the trouser press I made from 2 short planks of wood & bolts /wingnuts, my creases were always regarded as good, other cadets didn,t know how I did it until my trips on the above mentioned ships where my press went with me onboard , LOL .

Great times indeed, kept me off the streets & out of trouble, something the youth of today would benefit from I,m sure.

cheers
Tommy the T

Jim Brady
4th October 2011, 11:44 AM
Tommy reading your story and the stories of the other chaps I realise that our officers must'nt have had much interest.As I mentioned our unit never had one badge amongst about 40 boys,we never went anywhere apart from one time we went on a parade to the Liverpool Cathedral.Reading some of the stories here some good times and places visited made your units far more interesting than mine.I still really enjoyed my time in the cadets,it was only mine and my three mates own initiative to go down the docks of a sunday that made it that bit more interesting.
Tommy funny you should make that trouser press,I made mine 20 years ealier I should've taken out a patent on it.
Regards.
Jim.B.

Colin Hawken
4th October 2011, 12:11 PM
Captain Kong,your post#3,would the Submarine course have been at HMS Dolphin?

Graham Payne
4th October 2011, 01:28 PM
Hello everybody, I thought I would mention that from their members annual subscriptions the
T.S. Indefatigable Old Boys Assosiation each year donates a cash lump sum of approx 700 to the most improved Sea Cadet Force in the country :):)

Captain Kong
4th October 2011, 01:32 PM
Captain Kong,your post#3,would the Submarine course have been at HMS Dolphin?

That is the one Colin, HMS Dolphin, the Submarine traing school at Gosport I think. We did the tank escape with the Davis Escape apparatus and then went to sea for a day on an A class submarine. HMS Aeneas, That was very exciting. I think it stopped after that when HMS Affray was lost in the Channel the year later in 1951.
The Gunnery Course at HMS Excellent, Whale Island was great, Very Strict discipline there, with the big hard case GIs shouting orders and you really had to move. No one walked, you went everywhere at the Double.
They had 15 inch gun turrets with the bags of "cordite", learned how to load the shell and then two bags of "cordite", All dummies of course.
Then they had the Dome where we had twin Oerlikon `PomPoms`, shooting down the attacking German planes, that was really good.
To be on HMS DUKE of YORK was really something, A 35,000 ton battleship that had sunk the German battleship Scharnhorst, with her ten 14 inch guns, Sleeping in hammocks in the Mess Deck, with drills and parades on the Quarter Deck.
We did racing in Portsmouth Harbour in 32 foot cutters rowing the mile against other crews, we won same as when I was on HMS DIDO, the previous year, I had two medals with my name and the name of the DoY, and DIDO on , These were stolen from my office when I had a party in my home on my 70th Birthday, I had kept them safe for all those years. Some of the guests kids went in there and were playning on my computer, while I was getting a few bevies and entertaining their parents and then found the medals missing after they had gone.
I have a few photos on my computer but still waiting for it to come out of dry dock.

The Sea Cadets were part of the Admiralty at that time but later they were cut adrift and had to become self financing and the courses with the Navy were cut back or even stopped.
Cheers
Brian.

EIFION
4th October 2011, 06:16 PM
Pleased to saythe sea cadets are alive and well, during August we had a crowd of them aboard the schooner " Pickle" at Holyhead, took them for a parade of sail around the harbour including firing the canons etc, great kids loads of fun

John Griffiths
5th October 2011, 08:53 AM
Was in the Holyhead Unit - TS 'Mona' as it was then back in oh....must have been late '60's......about '67 to definitely when I reached 14 ( which was in '71.) She somehow became TS'Prince of Wales' later on.

Loved it all. Sailing in the ASC's in the harbour and now and again for a 'banyan' across Holyhead Bay to Church Bay. Rowing - or pulling - the Admiralty Whalers around the harbour on a drill night, getting an 'easy' time by manning the motor boat known as a cutter - all ex Navy small boats.

Loved the uniform too! Never changed hat ribbons, mind - but then, we did have the best band in the North West and won trophy after trophy at Fleetwood in the heats and finals. That was great with the girls and I did have a 'romance' up there as a result of winning the comps one year. Funnily enough, I still remember her name!

Marching through the town in blancoed belt and gaiters, with a Lee Enfield almost as nig as myelf at my side....the annual 'Thetis' submarine parade and the annual Rememberance Day parade at the cenotaph - always followed by a bit of a luch with soft drinks and sarnies at the local British Legion.

They were good times and I enjoyed every day which, for a lad off a council estate who could not afford to go on holidays, meant I was 'taken care of' by the Unit in return for which I learned self discipline, respect for my elders and ocupied my time doing something constructive.

My daughter also joined the Cadets - up on The Wirral - and she loved it. She is now in her mid twenties but her experiences gave hjer a taste for adventure and she has been on a few tall ship cruises as a result of the passion for the sea given to her by the cadets.

As for me, it stimulated a desire to go to se - which I did in '75 - and 20 years of it still never took the sea out of my blood. I'm ashore now, but the Sea Cadet corps did a great deal for me and for that I will always be grateful.

John

Colin Hawken
5th October 2011, 11:04 AM
Sea Cadets seem to be still active here. We had a visit from a RN submarine sometime ago and the Sea Cadets were taken on board to visit. Guess they would have enjoyed that. I would rven now at my age. Would love to experience the dive.

Captain Kong
11th October 2011, 09:01 PM
I have found a couple of pictures from my Sea Cadet days,
HMS DUKE of YORK, 35,000 Battleship and me under the 14 inch guns of Duke of York

Jim Brady
11th October 2011, 09:05 PM
Good shot of you Brian on the Duke Of York.Happy days ay.
Regards.
Jim.B.

Captain Kong
11th October 2011, 09:08 PM
Yes Jim, wonderful adventures for a young teenager,
A pity more young lads dont do it today instead of hanging around the off licences and the street corners. I have a few more somewhere, if I can find them.
Cheers
Brian.

Captain Kong
16th October 2011, 04:26 PM
Hi Jim B.
Here is another photo I have found.
It was an 60th anniversary of the Sea Cadets, 2003, and some of us from the originals were invited back.
We had to do rifle drill etc.
I am nearest to the Camera next is Fred, He was a second cook and tabnabs and winger on the Franconia and Ashcan then in 1955 went in the army after the strike and became a Major in the Liverpool Kings Regiment. next is his cousin Bill he joined the Royal Navy and became a Captain, he died three years ago.
We had the old Lee Enfield 303 with fixed Bayonets
Cheers
Brian.

Jim Brady
16th October 2011, 06:08 PM
Hi Brian,another cracker that from the album.The nearest I got to a 303 was holding it above my head for what seemed like an eternity on jankers for some misdemeanour I had committed.As a 4ft11in 14 year old I found it heavy enough without holding it above my head,I think we were told that they were 8lb in weight surely they were much more than that.
We have mentioned on here, would the kids of today put up with what we did in those days could they take the discipline and we are always ready to decry the present day youth.As I have mentioned I was at the Pier Head yesterday for the FEPOW ceremony,the stewards (I think thats the correct title) for the day, is it the ATC (Air Cadets) were doing the business and what a good job they did.They were spaced out like a guard of honour directing the public to where they should be.When I was coming away many of them were stood at ease this little guy(I dont know if he was a rookie)was stood ridgidly to attention,maybe the little guy had been like that for over an hour.So there are still good kids around and I'm sure all on here will say what good kids and grandkids they have got,so who are these yobs!!!I think I'l have to start a different thread on this story of todays youth,never a chance in hell of the chances we had.
Regards.
Jim.B.

Hugh
16th October 2011, 06:45 PM
Hello Jim,
The weight of the Lee Enfield .303 would be correct, well almost - just over 8.5 pounds. Remember though that it would have felt like double that to your 14 year-old frame.

I remember doing rifle drill with the said Lee Enfield with bayonets fixed and also shooting every weekend at the local Territorial Army Drill Hall. I wonder what the policy is these day for the Cadets? I take it they are not allowed this sort of drill now.

Regards
Hugh