Black Caps/White Caps.

Discussion in 'Current Affairs' started by higthepig, Mar 31, 2006.

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  1. I have read many things on these pages which i find quite odd to say the least.Ijoined up in jan 1956 was issued with a black round cap and an oval white cap which was kept white by the use of blanco,imagine stood in the rain and think of your blue suit,the suit of course had no zips and no pockets you wore a money belt,it was skin tight and needed your oppo to assist in taking it off,invariably it went intoyour dhobey bucket after each run ashore,no laundries then sad to say,icant see for obvious reasons jenny wearing that today,then along came the zip,greatest thing ever as far as uniform was concerned, now im told no1s is all one piece,tops i mean, wearing shirts im afraid does not make you look like a sailor which is surely the point.As for bullying,beasting ,mess initiations or whatever,never heard of them certainly not in my time and i left in july 1979.sowas the old navy any better?you be the judge,a drunken civvie well look at that effin pratt whereas jack in his rig it tended to be,Oh look at that poor sailor,lets take him home.And as for discipline i think it was harder then i can imagine what would happen to any sailor refusing to get into a boat.and nowadays how many ladies want to touch your collar for luck?as for bollockings whose fault would that be?any way ive had worse from my wife for doing f tell me why is pure nastiness creeping in branches have always taken the piss out of other branches good friendly banter which you wouldnt get away with nowadays with all this pc crap around could i call my childrens godfather who was as black as my navy cap snowball?i doubt it. well thats it ive done my time and enjoyed every minute of it,i just feel sorry for the future for those to come if the navys attitude keeps changing the way it does if it aint broke dont fix it.
  2. More of these please! Excellent, bloody excellent Higthepig! I think we all need reminding sometimes ... :D
  3. Good rant. The topic of the black caps is interesting since I was just researching this issue and found that the RCN went to white tops for year round wear 30 Apr 56. We were also the first to make the caps of plastic, put zippers in the jumpers and have button on collars. Of course, all that went away when the bastards unified our armed forces in '68 and put everyone into green bus driver suits. We went back to blue uniforms in '86, but not to a seaman's rig and now all rates look like POs.
  4. We changed from white fronts to shirts because some of the JRs looked like sacks of shit in them - couldn't tell Jack from Jenny sometimes....also, the quality of the material was so poor that they never cleaned up white, and if you tried to bleach them the blue faded and the seams gave up the ghost.

    The branches banter was destroyed by Pay 2000 - putting people in higher and lower pay bands when we were used to being all of one company was divisive and possibly one of the most stupid moves, and worst internal PR exercises that I have ever witnessed. Until JPA....

    PC - we have to because of the amount of external monitoring that goes on. The day they banned the EW branch from having a gollywog on their tie was a black (sorry, colourless) one.
  5. Levers_Aligned

    Levers_Aligned War Hero Moderator

    I understand your concerns hig, but in many ways, the Navy was broke and needed fixing. The services can't be seen as a haven for discriminatory remarks based on race or gender. It's a case of moving with the times. I doubt anyone feels easy with the scales and scope of remarks made back in the seventies, words such as 'paki', 'coon' and 'nigger' were all the stuff of low-rent racist 'comedies'. It wasn't funny then, and it isn't funny now. Similarly, the treatment of women as lower-status employees, fit only for domestic duties is harking back to pre-WWII mentailities, and certainly, when I joined just two months before you left, that legacy was insipid in everything we did and knew.

    People use the term 'political correctness' as a convenient label for anything that irks their reactionary bent. Don't get me wrong. Some 'policies' invented by clip-board toting imbeciles have got right up my nose. They are the ones which get short shrift and lip-service paid to them. The promotion of multi-race recruiting like it is something new, improved and a worthy issue is a prime example. To me, it isn't a big issue, and we should not strive toward having a token smiling overseas recruit and a token woman in every recruiting poster, as if it is some statement of how ace we are. All through my long career we ahve had women, asians and black personnel serving. It isn't a big thing. The point that is missed is that the mindset amongst ethnic groups is not set toward service in the military in the mainstream. That is the issue, not how many Patels we can get through the gates of Raleigh.

    Fixing what is broken is what the Navy is about these days. Change is the new steady state.

  6. I go along with any improvement in the Navy as, in my time 1967-1991, I always felt we were a strange mixture of excellent personnel driving around in highly over-rated hardware.

    The submarine fleet, while way short on numbers, particularly as the SSKs were phased out and not replaced due to the Upholder saga, generally kept up to date with hardware and technology as best it could. However, the number of boats available at any time was, and is, fairly pathetic, though the variety of weapons carried has made those few boats invaluable.

    General Service, though....... what a sorry bunch of ships we had post-war. Even when there were still lots of escorts around, up until the 60s, they were no more than gunboats, and unable to provide group or self-defence.
    Let's have a wade through the rubbish we had to stand up to the Moskvas, Kirovs, Krivaks, Krestas, Karas, Sovremennys etc......
    Type 14 - no gun, just mortars, no chopper.
    Type 12, bigger but no better, later got choppers. Add the 'radar-pickets' etc - almost unarmed - a floating radar mast.
    Tribals - single 4.5" front and back, mortars, chopper, later got Seacats.
    Leanders.... twin 4.5" gun, mortars, Bofors, chopper - what was the ships company, 230? Later 'improved' with twin Seacats - a joke. Eventually got Exocet, woopee.
    Type 21 - do me a favour!
    Type 42 - Sea Dart and gun, mmm getting there maybe, but the radar was dodgy to say the least.
    Type 22 - don't think anybody knew what they were when they started (Broadsword, Battleaxe) but they evolved gradually to carry gun, exocet, seawolf, goalkeeper etc.
    Type 23 - ah - starting to get sorted out now...
    Type 45 - will this be the biz?

    To go with this very slow improvement - and current naval personnel may have other views - has come the concept of pooling our resources, when applicable, with Army and RAF - naver mind the politics, it give better availability and value.

    The Warfare Branch and the re-thinking of careers, tasks and training is also dragging the navy into the 21st century.

    We "old hands" may go on about the "good old days", but I've no doubts whatsoever that the Navy is in good hands (well, the uniformed ones, at least)
  7. janner

    janner War Hero Book Reviewer

    Geoff you didn't mention the mainstays of the early '60's the converted wartime U,V and W class Frigates, very cramped, hulls rotting out, on the Ulster we had to stop at sea from time to time whilst the divers went over and fitted a concrete patch over the latest hole.

    On some of the still in service war time classes there was no way through deck, you had to go out onto the upper deck to get from one part of ship to the other, you could go through the boiler room but it wasn't encouraged because of the air lock.

    On the Brocklesby (Hunt Class being used as a trials ship for AUWE at Portland) the galley was in the rear of the ship and the messdecks amid ships, all food had to be collected mess by mess in mess tins and carried across the upper deck, no matter what the weather.

    No bunks, just hammocks, the most junior in the mess slept on a mattress on the deck or mess tables as there were insufficient hanging spaces, this was fine until someone came off shore in a very tired state, swings up into the hammock, lets go, misses the hammock and lands on the poor on the deck.

    After the Ulster I went into Boats, great thought I they'll be newer, three A boats all of which started service just after WW2, the last one Artemis leaked like a sieve from the time I joined her, on our initial deep dive the Gun Tower hatch didn't seat properly at first, the Killick Steward made a hell of of noise whilst trying to pick up the Wardroom carpet to stop it ruining, so much so that the Skipper came in and bollixed him, the Scratcher and I then got a bollixing when the Steward explained that he was only making so much noise 'cos we grabbed his Arris everytime he bent over to pick up the carpet. Everything that you read about A boats, stresses that they were fitted with an excellent airconditioning system, I bet it was as good as new when they took it out on scrapping, Skippers wouldn't use it when dived because it ran the box down, you didn't need it much of the surface with a gale force wind coming down the tower.
    I served on both a P boat and an O boat, but thats anothe story

  8. The humour of the british matelot has always been his best attribute. So the Pakky ,nig etc etc wasn't meant as a down to the people of the various ethnic groups it was a nick name and most of them laughed at it
    The classic --Jim Davidson and Chalky-- with the appropriate take off.
    The politically correct [PC] decided otherwise .

    As for women and the second class citizen attitude's -it didn't really happen. The WW2 era and the skilled labour women provided proved that.
    The burning the bra and advent of the contraceptive pill giving women almost equal status with men came about in the sixties. However at that time the PC brigade then decided it was correct to keep women in certain jobs--and of course pay them less .

    Bad news now is that the forces are a bit short of men to fill the sea/front line billets--the average civvie isn't interested in getting his head blown off.And seeing the world can be done quite cheaply and safely.

    As for equality--the females are still held back from killing zones in the other services --another PC ploy ????????????

    The old saying lets be British about this is now lets be PC !!!
  9. I think that i may have misled you all on the points iwas trying to make ie dress and bullying.You dont see sailors anymore thats a fact unless its on parade somewhere.As for training it must be bourne in mind that when i joined up,and indeed on my first ships most srs had war medals on their chest and seemed to have a great compassion that appears to be sadly lacking.but then, they had been there hadnt they?Iknow the navy must change it always has,but not the nature of the people,remember too, that all the skills have been handed down word of mouth from the old elizabethan and privateers of an even older navy.Some of them must be spinning in their watery graves.My son who is a chief tiff on bombers,invited me and his mother to a families day on his boat(ok hes a bomber Queen)and while i admire the young sailors if you looked into their eyes there was no wicked gleam or rapists smile on their lips, there is something lacking in todays sailors im sorry to say,but then thats my point of view,after all i was trained by the best to be the best were you?
  10. Levers_Aligned

    Levers_Aligned War Hero Moderator

    Indeed. You have to realise that today's 'person' per se, is an entirely differnet animal from those days gone by. Many of my generation are from stock who remember the war and, llike my own late father, have parents with campaign medals from WWII. I understand what he went through, but I have trained, evolved and developed through one of the most trasitory times that the armed forces has ever seen, possibly in the past two hundred years since the advent of steam. In thirty years we have changed from a bloated, flaccid and at many times ambivalent mass which had serious shortcomings and lived by bygone reputation into a flexible, leaner fighting force which can easily switch roles and deploy rapidly to troublespots all over the planet. Couple that with changing attitudes in society in general and you'll see why the navy has become what it is, and not what it seems to be.

    As for the attitudes toward the likes of Jim Davidson and his 'Chalky' skit, let's face it, if people laughed back in the day, not many are laughing now. It's ancient material, from a grim past of racial stereotypes. Most comedians move on and develop thier material to suit the times, him and his ilk seem cemented to it because it raises a chuckle from those a trifle afraid to approach black people and strap-on the 'nigger' voice and do his rubber lipped crap. Tell me that the UK's black population resembles his parody and I will say get out a bit more. Laughing along with it? I doubt it.

    It may be painful for people who have served to see their ivory castles of great British tradition being shaken to their foundations. Being in and amongst it gives a different perspective completely. Having to adapt to the ever changing backdrop of cultural diversity is no big deal to those forward thinking enough to see that it does have it's benefits. All we have to do is tear the scales from our eyes and get on with our jobs.


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