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Thread: Gravesend sea school 1965 memories are made of this

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    Default Old frends

    Hi DAVE .I never rembered mutch about doing boating stuf .I was sent ther ,by Qunard line and paid a small pitence by todays standard .it sounds like im wingeing , but im not realy' ther where good times two ; be tetwne dogeing the bulies .as i said befor it hardend me up ,for going to sea first ship Queen Elizaberth from 14 jan 1959 to 16 june . new York run. then got a trancfer to Caronia' aug 1959 to 1961 i was a very luck boy rating to get a good ship .went just about every where .lots of tails to tell. head is full of good memeres . now living in the sun in aus good to chat with you chat again Roger
    Last edited by Roger Debbage; 12th June 2009 at 01:57 PM.

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  3. #12
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    Default Old frends

    HI Dave and frends i ansere:your mesage and it ended up on page 2 dont know y but **** happens roger

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    Default Re: crossed lines'

    It always seems that most recollections of Gravesend S/School is it was always cold ! Must hav been the austerity of the place ! I was there Sept.1954...Oct. `54
    Can recall porridge with no sugar !!

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  6. #14
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    Default Re: Gravesend sea school 1965 memories are made of this

    Gravesend may well have been cold, it is an area that can be cold even in Summer.

    But cold at the 'Vindi' was something else. arriving in November when the wet mist sat across the river for most of the day so to se the missing span you had maybe afew minutes per dsay.
    The huts were cold, I do not recall any form of heating and even if there was I doubt it would have worked.
    Most of the food, and who ever called it that would by today's definition be sued for misrepresentation, was cold by the time we got it.
    Most of the officers were the coldest people you could ever wish to meet, and to add insult to injury Friday night showers had only warm water.

    I was given the task if attempting to suggi the bulkheads in the 'galley' with water that was hardly warm and that had the look of being second hand.
    Happy daze John in Oz.

    Life is too short to blend in.

    John Strange R737787
    World Traveller

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    Default Re: crossed lines'

    Hi I joined the merchant in 1968 whent to gravesend I joined my first ship at King Albert Dock which was the Royston Grange did about 9 months going to South America. I'm 71 years old now but i still remember the training school and going into town for an ice cream 2/6 it was, we tried going into the pubs but no chance to young...lol..its terrible what happened to the Royston Grange a great loss and to the crew on her. I signed on as cabin boy...my first trip.....?
    Last edited by Alan Edward brown; 6th November 2023 at 07:57 PM.

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    Default Re: crossed lines'

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Edward brown View Post
    Hi I joined the merchant in 1968 whent to gravesend I joined my first ship at King Albert Dock which was the Royston Grange did about 9 months going to South America. I'm 71 years old now but i still remember the training school and going into town for an ice cream 2/6 it was, we tried going into the pubs but no chance to young...lol..its terrible what happened to the Royston Grange a great loss and to the crew on her. I signed on as cabin boy...my first trip.....?
    Hi. I went to gravesend the year before. My first ship was the Windsor Castle.

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  11. #17
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    Default Re: crossed lines'

    Philip, welcome like you my first was the 'Windsor' but she was doing her 3rd voyage then.
    Happy daze John in Oz.

    Life is too short to blend in.

    John Strange R737787
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    Default Re: crossed lines'

    Gravesend. 30-11-53 to15-1-54, Catering. First thing I did when I was discharged was I tossed my cap out of the train home window, the uniform followed as soon as I got home to Southend- on-Sea, Essex. First ship, Port Jackson. followed by Port Townsville, La Cumbre (awful), Warwick Castle, Dunnottar Castle and Athlone Castle, Enjoyed the Castle boats and learnt a lot about cooking.

    I passed my BOT Ships Cook's ticket at 19. was told I was the youngest to pass and hold it. The BOT rules stated you had to be an active Ship's Cook for a minimum of four days to activate your certification. The ships cook on the Warwick Castle died as we left Las Palmas to Cape Town. I was seconded from the passenger kitchen to the Ship's Galley for a week as acting Ship's Cook until a replacement joined us in Cape Town, flown in from the UK.. So I was legally a Ship's Cook at 19 years old.

    I probably still hold the record as not to long after that the Merch. came to a sad end. BOT Certificate of Competency in Cooking No.40151 Also have the Ministry of Defense Armed Forces and UK Merchant Seafarers Veteran's Badges. I've always been a saver of memorabilia, so still have badges and documentation and my Shop's Cook's Ticket, logbook and every reference from my school leaving testament to my last position as CEO.

    Cheers, Rodney





    Cheers, Rodney

    Cheers, Rodney
    Rodney David Richard Mills
    R602188 Gravesend


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    Default Re: crossed lines'

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodney Mills View Post
    Gravesend. 30-11-53 to15-1-54, Catering. First thing I did when I was discharged was I tossed my cap out of the train home window, the uniform followed as soon as I got home to Southend- on-Sea, Essex. First ship, Port Jackson. followed by Port Townsville, La Cumbre (awful), Warwick Castle, Dunnottar Castle and Athlone Castle, Enjoyed the Castle boats and learnt a lot about cooking.

    I passed my BOT Ships Cook's ticket at 19. was told I was the youngest to pass and hold it. The BOT rules stated you had to be an active Ship's Cook for a minimum of four days to activate your certification. The ships cook on the Warwick Castle died as we left Las Palmas to Cape Town. I was seconded from the passenger kitchen to the Ship's Galley for a week as acting Ship's Cook until a replacement joined us in Cape Town, flown in from the UK.. So I was legally a Ship's Cook at 19 years old.

    I probably still hold the record as not to long after that the Merch. came to a sad end. BOT Certificate of Competency in Cooking No.40151 Also have the Ministry of Defense Armed Forces and UK Merchant Seafarers Veteran's Badges. I've always been a saver of memorabilia, so still have badges and documentation and my Shop's Cook's Ticket, logbook and every reference from my school leaving testament to my last position as CEO.

    Cheers, Rodney





    Cheers, Rodney

    Cheers, Rodney
    The one word says it all - Competency. Same as all the other BOT tickets, competent to do the job, not just a piece of paper saying you passed a written exam!

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    Default Re: crossed lines'

    There was no written portion to your BOT Ship's Cook's ticket.* The test was*taken at the Union-Castle Culinary school in Gravesend, London.* *The BOT sent an inspector with the menu.* I was given 3 hours to gather together the ingredients, supplied by Union-Castle. then cook and bake the following of which the inspector gave a taste test to the prepared food.* I had to make a loaf of bread and six dinner rolls,* Beef, Barley and vegetable*soup.* Steak and Kidney pie, Dressed Cabbage, Roast Potatoes. Tossed Salad, and I can't remember the dessert.* So the meal incorporated*baking and cooking.* The reason I can still remember the damn test was* Dressed Cabbage as the vegetable.* You butter two dinner plates, line them with blanched outer cabbage leaves, chop up the rest of the blanched cabbage, season and make a small pile on one of the plates, then cover it with the second plate a, season and finish cooking in the steamer. Then lift away the top plate and cut it into pie shaped portions.* Can you imagine, deckies and greasers sitting down to that? Let alone getting six cuts to a cabbage pie and you have twenty*to thirty crew to feed? Bloody stupid,* The only ship the inspector had been on was probably the Woolwich ferry. Still, bless*his heart, I passed and Union-Castle paid me an extra pound a month because I had a Ship's Cooks ticket. That's why I sat for my ticket.

    Another weird rule of the MN.* There are only two Petty*Officers on a ship.* The Carpenter and the Ship's Cook.* I think the Chief*Steward or purser is considered a Chief*Petty Officer.* I know on the Castle Boats he was a four striper along with the Chief*Engineer and the Chief Officer on the deck.
    Cheers, Rodney
    Rodney David Richard Mills
    R602188 Gravesend


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