A View from a Fart

Discussion in 'The Quarterdeck' started by slim, Dec 29, 2013.

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  1. As one of RR resident Old Farts I would like to put in my two bobs worth of thoughts of the RN

    As Old Farts we had it all, great runs ashore in the FEZ, loads of ships and a great life.

    So wind back 28 years.
    Runs ashore in the fez, great excepta great deal of time was actually spent on the oggin, not much shoretime.
    Loads of ships, yes but the accomodation was foul, many messes contained between 50 and 120 men, the aircon when fitted rarely worked, many ships just had fans. All this in the tropical heat of the FEZ
    Pay was crap, and the single man was paid at a lower rate than his married oppo.

    Compare this with todays RN
    Still get some runs ashore in decent places, not many ships but these ships are nicely fitted out and the crew have been provided with great accomodation, Life aboard the grey funnel line is comfortable.

    So would I join todays RN?
    Would they take a 68 year old,and would I have problems at Raleigh, the answer of course is yes.
    If todays sailors are living beter lives than yesterdays then they deserve it. so did we but we just manked about it:biggrin:
  2. Interesting.

    At the time the (sea-going) accomodation (in general) didn't seem too bad, it was 'the norm'. Shore-side, it was like th curate's egg. I recall being in a single cabin in RNB - I also recal being in a 400 man 'dorm' round the back (Jellicoe/Frobisher?) where one had to down the stairs and out into the open to get to the bathrooms - and take a bath plug with you!

    Then as a Chief I had to share 6 or 8 cabin when on course at Cally - that was in '92! However, I had a lochside view to myself in Neptune - to compenate for the 32 man SR accom onboard!

    My last job before escaping from the UK was with T45 Design in Filton and I was amazed and impressed by the standard of the troops accomodation onboard. They even built mock ups for us to see.

    Would I rejoin? Well, I was gutted not to get 2OE, but there were redundancies and if I had, would I be where I am now?
    I'd have snags with the mile and a half time as my knees are shagged! But I DO have a decent iron!
  3. Fraser gun range '66, wooden hut with pot belly stove, rusty B, 3c mess (I think) full of cockroaches, 50,60,70? in the mess, P boat, no water, smelly and cramped, the stables in Viccy barracks, but hey ho, I got the runs in, all round the med, the fez, South Africa, USA etc, would I join to-days mob ( I wouldn't pass the entrance exam, too thick) no, from what I read on here it seems to have gone all corporate and disappeared up its own arse.
  4. It's always good to compare earlier times with now. What would give a more accurate assessment though would be to put it in context. What was life like in civvy street while you were living those experiences in the mob? Life in civvy street today is what points people towards the door. It's the comparison between what the young lads and lasses mates are doing for their beer money and what they themselves have to do. These days the comparison for many is not that favourable. Much of the RN is of a better standard these days but much has also been stripped away. We have high tech ships with marvellous accommodation but they are manned by much reduced crews as if this high tech kit will run and repair itself. Although we've moved on we are still watchkeeping in the way they did decades if not centuries ago!

    So is the Navy better than when you served (by my maths the 60s to 70s?)? In many ways yes. The more relevant question is this. Is the navy still good enough compared to civvy life to attract and retain people. Yes to the first, the jury remains out on the second but for increasing numbers the answer is no.

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  5. When I joined, '65, there was full employment, factories sent recruiters to the schools offering jobs, where I lived there were many engineering jobs for companies like Hawker siddley, Avro, ferranti, this was the "swinging 60s" life wasnt too bad, I joined the mob 'cos it was something I always wanted to do and the mob took anybody with the regulation issue body parts, hence my involvement in things pusser. Foreign travel was limited to Wales or Scotland then, now everyone has been round the world and can find the money to do it, plus people leave school with a better education these days, what makes them join the mob? maybe a lack of good jobs, stand fast Macdonalds or a desire to "do something different"
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2013
  6. I joined at 15 in 1961, the Navy was still in the hands of the wartime establishment. Most of the instructors at 'G' had rows of medals on their chests and were coming to the end of their service, change was something to be resisted by them. Change came gradually throughout my time (61-73), most of it for the better.
    I was lucky enough to see the world twice over. My first ship was older than me, my last ship was a 60's built DLG so the accomodation was bound to be an improvement. Pay was better, although not a patch on today's rates.
    The only information I have on todays Navy is what I see on here, and I agree with Sharkey that it seems to have gone all corporate and over the top PC.
    ...but then again...hasn't life in general. ?
    Some old salt told me years ago.....'You only remember the good times'.....and its true...but once again....the same can be said of life.
    ....Having said all that....joining when I did was the best decision I have ever made.....I had a great life in the Royal Navy.
  7. Almost right 60s to mid 80s a 22 year man.
    Last ship a type 42 and PO accomodation not really much of an improvement on PO accomodation in the 70s.
    However as a civie I did a couple of trips on type 22s in the mid 80s and things had changed for the better.
    Life as a civie was prety good in the 60s, however I wanted a trade and the RN gave me that, pay was also better, £14 a fortnight all found, I was getting £5 a week as trainee grocery manager.
    I'm pleased I made the decision to join, and yes if I was of an age I would do the same again.
    Finally my last 20 years of working life were much better and more profitable than the 22 years I spent in the RN, however without the RN training (topped up at civie college) I would not have been offered these jobs:bounce:
  8. Seaweed

    Seaweed War Hero Book Reviewer

    Up until the 60s were well underway hardly anyone went abroad on holiday or at all, certainly not to Hong Kong, Fiji, Yokohama, everywhere from North Cape to the Magellan Straits ... of course some had been away in the war but there were snags to that .. join Navy, see world and at a time before all those exotic places had been cleaned up, let alone had a McDonalds.
    • Like Like x 1

  9. .....Ah.. but we still had Coca Cola.....:relax:
  10. (granny)

    (granny) War Hero Book Reviewer

    Started to tell my life story just then...I had a major nostalgia hit. In my life one word seems to suffice... transitions.
  11. Three things in life are certain.....death, taxes and change......(and I don't mean the coins in your pocket).....:happy3:
  12. Three other rules at my time of life, never trust a fart. never walk past a toilet and never waste an erection
  13. I joined in 64 and it had been along held ambition to do so. Living in a rural area the work options were limited for a lad with average ability so I took a route that would get me out of my little world and literally into the big world. I had no expectations of what the accommodation would be like either inboard or at sea so I wasn't disappointed or shocked at the way we had to live. I accepted it as part of the job although I never enjoyed the cramped conditions on board or the Victorian barracks. In this regard I envy the ratings in today's RN and they definitely have it better than the 60s and 70s and quite rightly so. What we did have was a much greater chance of travelling the world and get paid for it than is the case today. There was also a period of relative peace around the rest of the world so few places were off limits. I consider myself lucky to have had this opportunity but whether I'd sign up for service in today's navy after what I've read on this forum I'll admit to being in two minds.
    • Like Like x 1
  14. It's good to see your mother passed down her rules to you. Parents these days eh? They teach their kids nothing..... Grumble grumble.
  15. Thats modern parents for you, hows your mum these days?, has she remembered which one was you dad yet.
  16. I like threads such as this one as it makes me realise that the navy I experience at the start of my career. Just out of interest did it take a while for you to notice the changes or were they sprung on you over night? Only asking because my old man did 22 years and said it wasn't the same navy he joined, from what I gathered the changes came thick and fast towards the end of his career.
  17. She's an English teacher. It's a pity yours chose prostitution rather than the same.
    • Like Like x 3
  18. English teacher!, that's not what she called herself on the cards in the 'phone box
  19. The mob I left in '77 was pretty much the same as the one I joined, apart from no rum and less runs ashore
  20. Ninja_Stoker

    Ninja_Stoker War Hero Moderator

    Everyone says it changes & most that do, say it's not as good. They said it when I joined & I probably will when I leave, thirty-odd years after joining. For those joining now, much as when I joined, they know no difference...until a few years elapse.

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