" An Engineer Lieutenant"

Ex_Matelot

Midshipman
"AN ENGINEER LIEUTENANT"


Devonport Navy Days 1964; the said Officer was in
his ships Land Rover wending his way across the
Dockyard,returning to his ship,one of many open to
the public for Navy Days that Bank Holiday weekend.

He overtook two damsels tottering on their stilettos
and white micro-minis,negotiating a perilous path
across the inner basin.

On an impulse he stopped and offered them a lift.
"Where to?" he enquired.
"Anywhere" they giggled,"as long as its on a ship"

Their thick Brummie accents showed that they were
a long way from home.

"How about this one? "enquired the Lieutenant as he
drew up alongside the gleaming flanks of his latest
commission,a Guided Missile Destroyer,much bigger
than the surrounding Frigates.

"Yerrrs" they chorussed.so the Officer lead them up
the Officers gangway to the Quarterdeck.

With their mascara cracking and there false eyelashes
fluttering like butterflies in a strong breeze, they
were shepherded up the gangway.

Their guide returned the salute of the Officer of the
Watch, turning towards the Quarterdeck, as they
stepped on board.

"Who are you anyway?" the girls enquired.
"No matter" he replied airily,"would you like to see
bridge first?"

He lead them wonderingly through the maze of the
gangways in the ship,up and down vertical ladders,
averting his gaze decorously at appropriate moments.

They were taken to parts of the ship normally
denied to the public; the War Room with its arrays
of monitors and screens,the Weapons Control and
Director Head Quarters,Engine Rooms and Missile
Launchers were all included.

He concluded the tour with an invitation to tea in
the Wardroom.

Breathless,subdued and very impressed,they stepped
into the club-like comfort of the Officers Mess.
They sipped tea from bone china cups served by a
Steward from a silver tray.

Throughout the tour they had whispered and
giggled together incessantly.
They could contain themselves no longer they had decided,
and the knowledge that they had, finally solved the question.

We know who you are!" they cried in unison,eyeing
the two gold stripes on his sleeves.

"You do?" the Officer enquired.

"Yes" they cried,"you're a bloody corporal"

Stanley N. Ex_Matelot
 
That reminds me of an official visit of one of her Majesty's Submarines to Dundee (a very good run in those days). On the open to visitors day we had as normal the search periscope raised and on the pins for the punters to gaze through. One dear lady on looking through exclaimed with great delight "Its in colour!". I might add that this was a few years ago about the time colout TV was becoming just about affordable.

Peter
 
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