Ganges mast

Discussion in 'Bases / Shore Est' started by Tanzi, Mar 28, 2008.

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  1. Ganges mast. Let it go !

    It has no place amongst a modern housing estate, looked upon by people who have no idea of the fears it wrought, the strengths it challenged or the satisfaction it gave.

    Let it go. It’s job is done, it serves no further purpose, it should be allowed to rest.

    Let others prove the strength, the tenacity and the trust of youth. These old timbers, fraying ropes and wires have played their part. There is no honour in preserving a dead thing. Honour is in remembering - and those who served need no wooden stick to remind them.
  2. I disagree, the mast is a physical reminder to all that important stuff happened there, take that away and within years it will only be a few old salts that understand what Shotley was, and then they will die off and it is over.

    There is also the thought that with such a reminder in the middle of these nice new cardboard boxes the realisation that something good did happen there will perhaps inspire a little spirit of community amongst the residents, perhaps the mast should stay in that hope.
  3. I agree Tanzi, trying to keep and maintain the mast in its present position is not logic anymore. Once this new estate is built on the old Ganges site at Shotley the Mast will always be a danger to people and children living and playing in the local area.

    However the Mast is part of RN early 20 century naval history and with this large donation by an ex matlot billionaire towards a new wing at Greenwich, surely some of the donated dosh could be used to dismantle, repair and relocate the Ganges Mast to London were it could be re erected and seen by millions of UK citizens, tourists and veterans alike each year.

    Israeli billionaire gives £20m donation to UK naval museum

    HMS ganges association members could even hold a parade to this mast in London every year until we all cross the bar for the last time.
  4. FlagWagger

    FlagWagger Book Reviewer

    Oh FFS, don't be so wet - you sound just like one of those Elfen Safety types that are stopping people from doing just about everything!

    Converting large tracts of land to housing estates or retail parks seems to be a national past-time - if in doing this we remove all traces of the former user of the land, the UK will be transformed into a country consisting of millions of homes built to the same design, served by thousands of off-the-shelf retaill parks distinguished only by name, all containing a standard set of brand names ("fashion" and phones) and one grocery superstore from the Tesco/Asda/Morrison/Sainsbury cabal. And then, occasionally, light a oasis in a cultural desert, there'll be an item that no one understands anymore - things, like the Ganges mast, or a factory making things.
  5. Historically Greenwich has a connection to Ganges through the
    Royal Hospital School 1 "With the move to Holbrook, it was decided that Greenwich should be ... leaving impressive mast-manning ceremonies to near neighbour HMS Ganges...
  6. Tanzi - what have you started?

    While I have no Ganges connection, it is wrong that sites with historical connections are built over and forgotten, so something should remain or be put in place to tell the history.

    But should it be the mast? If it is not going to be looked after properly, vandalised, emasculated to stop little Johnny trying to renact a mast manning etc. then maybe it should be moved.

    I think this thread is going to run and run and run!!!

  7. Keep the mast. Perhaps some of the chavs will see it as a challenge and in their drugged/drunken state be taken out of the gene pool.
  8. Ah Slim, as ever a practical solution.
  9. Agreed McCloggie, for those like yourself with no Ganges connection just reading about the history is outstanding. See here:
  10. Tanzi, you naughty sailor! Whilst I'd have no problems with letting our religious heritage, mostly financed by robbing the poor or through the slave trade fall to rack-and-ruin, the Ganges Mast is different. Most British monuments celebrate the apparent contributions made by the rich & powerful but not the working class sacrifices that made those triumphs possible. The Mast is not yet another monument to the aristocracy, etc, but to ordinary lads a number of whom won the VC and who were regarded with high esteem by those ships fortunate enough to receive a quota of Trogs.

    To paraphrase the motto at the top of the LCW:

    Fear Ganges, Honour the Trogs!
  11. The mast is part of the Naval Heritage of this (once) Great Country.
    To often these days important pieces of our history such as this are consigned to the rubbish heap.
    I say it should stay.
  12. FlagWagger

    FlagWagger Book Reviewer

    However, there was initially a mast at Holbrook when built in 1933, but it had gone by the time I went there (but we still wore square rig for divisions).
  13. One of my colleagues at work was also at Holbrook from the 1990s and wore square rig for divisions too. Looks like nothing's changed! :)

    Perhaps we should divert some of the money that sustains the Royal Opera House at Covent Garden to preserving the Mast at Shotley. Those of us who choose to attend performances at the ROH should simply pay more. And yes, I do like opera.
  14. FlagWagger

    FlagWagger Book Reviewer

    Its changing now I understand - the nautical element is being (for want of a better phrase) watered down :)
  15. They can't do that, that's tantamount to Tanzism!

    Stand fast Tanzi! :biggrin:
  16. Sorry about the delay in responding boys, bit of a time lag downunder.

    I can't see the point of preserving it where it is. I can't see the point of preserving old buildings in situ. There are one or two exceptions if they are still in use, such as St Paul's Cathedral but Battersea Power Station and the old GLC offices - give us a break. Sure, if some rich ex-matelot wants to move the mast to a dedicated site, restore it and maintain it then fair play to him. But to restore it where it is would be a waste of time and money.

    BTW how many people visiting the Victory realise they are looking at a replica ? All the rigging and huge amounts of rotting woodwork have been replaced. But that's another storey.
  17. Come on THINGY, your one of my hero's but not many out there can understand LCW . So lets here it for the nozzers,who become trog's etc.
    LCW = LONG COVERED WAY,as opposed to the SCW?
  18. There was an attempt to save the mast: one Bill Boakes (ex 2 1/2 ringer), who regularly stood for Parliament in the 60s and 70s as white resident non aligned party and always lost his deposit, sent a pound note to the Skipper of GANGES. On it was written "To the Commanding Officer, HMS GANGES to meet cost of striking and re-erecting elsewhere the mast now at that establishment".
    It's sitting here in front of me, will try and get it posted on the thread soonest. (it fell out of a file they were sending for destruction anyway - as it's a part of our Naval Heritage, I picked it up and pocketed it). At least he tried.................
  19. I've allocated 2% of my estate when I cross the line to the Mast Fund. If there's no mast. Waaaaaaaaaaa!

    Perhaps it should be relocated in Parliament Square. It would make an excellent mass gibbit for those whose fraud dwarfs that of most benefits cheats, and I'm sure it would be within The Rules! :twisted:
  20. Ref the mast,tend to agree with Tanzi,even though he's an Ozzie!
    The site owner has shown they have no interest in doing any work on the mast,its houses ,an lots of em they want! The mast is old some of it a'int even original,in a isolated spot ,made from wood ,and will be a on going saga of funding issue's, to maintain it ,i believe its demise is just a matter of time :(
    However it is Iconic,methinks the best place for it,would be either,a current naval training base,Raleigh,Sultan,Collingwood.,or within the Historic dockyard area of Pompey,failing all else,take it down,make memorabilia from it,and raise funds for 'Help for Hero's. Yes i did go over it :!: once,that was enuf.

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