Fleet tender trips (1980's)


This is a bit of an old one. When I was a Sea Cadet back in the early 1980's I remember that you could spend a week on a fleet tender either the Bembridge or the Alnmouth. Now I always thought these two ships were RNXS, I never went on them although did know people who did. When I was looking for photos of Alnmouth and Bembridge on the web, I was surprised to find they had actually been RMAS not RNXS. Back in 1982 and 1983, I did have two trips out on the RMAS Meon from Faslane, the Meon looks similar to R.N.X.S. LOYAL MEDIATOR. Anyway, did anyone have trips on the Alnmouth or Bembridge, how about the Meon or any others? Did SCC ever have any trips on RNXS vessels? I seem to remember RNXS Shipham was an unarmed minehunter that on VHF Marine was identified as "Warship Shipham"


RNXS Loyal Mediator

RNXS Shipham


Lantern Swinger
Pride of Bristol is ex RNXS Messina I believe. It is run by a charity and conducts training for cadets, reservists (RNR) and others.


I spent a week on HMS Bembridge in the summer of 1969. I was a 12 year old AB Cadet with TS Dainty at the time (a Drummer Bugler). I travelled down by train, on my own, and embarked at either Pompey or Gosport. She was painted grey then and was indeed classed as a Royal Navy Fleet Tender (whatever it was supposed to tend I never worked out). There were about twelve of us and I think that was the full complement plus officers (probably due to messing facilities). We made our way out of Portsmouth and off through The Channel to officially sail into the Atlantic. On the return trip we harboured at Bembridge, Isle of Wight, and the Mayor greeted us. We all slept in a hold in the forward part of the vessel. A very enjoyable week tying knots, doing general seamanship and scrubbing the decks. I got a turn at the wheel as well but I couldn't keep her on course! I think we had a swim over the side. I also did a gunnery course at HMS Daedalus - firing Ack Ack and messing about with Sea Slug missiles and learning to box my uniform! We were quartered at the Royal Marine Barracks Eastney and had a bumpy trip on a hovercraft and a flight in the Queens plane. I feel privileged to have those treasured memories.

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