Ganges or St Vincent

Discussion in 'Bases / Shore Est' started by Polycell, Oct 5, 2008.

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  1. I joined up straight to Collingwood but....If I joined up at Ganges or St Vincent was it compulsory to climb the mast?
    What if you were scared of heights?
  2. Yes it was !as far as the top gallant if i remember rightly(1963) :w00t:
  3. So what happened if you refused?
  4. It was compulsory but remember when at 15 and your instructors are WW2 or Korea vets you do what youre told. This will start the old argument about Ganges being " more macho " as their mast was higher but it is the sudden stop which kills not the height from which you fell.
  5. As with Lamptramp I do not think it was debatable, it was bit like saying I cannot swim and I am too scared to learn. It was who were you more scared of the Instructors and the ridicule of your mess mates or once over the mast via the half moon, that being the second platform up.

    I think one or two may have been excused the Devils Elbow but most went out and over it rather than seem lesser mortals to their mess mates. It was not the PC world of 2000.

    Nutty Circa 1961

    PS St Vincent and Ganges may tease each other but we know that both are equal and far superior to the rest of the world, OK Booties and French Foreign Legion come a very close 2nd.
  6. lamptramp, I joined up at Collingwood in 1960 and our instructor was a three badge POGI. So I guess he fired the odd gun in WWII!!
    We went to St Vincent for the day to climb the mast, why? I had no idea why but we did. Well some did! I didn't. I told our instructor I was scared of heights, he said go up to the first platform and come down the other side so I climbed up half a dozen rungs and came back down!! Nothing was said by the instructor or my class mates!
  7. Polycell, there was me thinking you you'd joined up in the late 1980s and were still skin! :biggrin:

    This is what some Ganges students did to avoid Mast Class...


    When going over the wall failed they were threatened with having to train as Baby Stewards (notice Maxi77 allowing the baby stewards to serve him)...


    If all else failed they were paraded infront of Nelson Hall and shot, as this secretly photographed image revealled (taken on a brick phone. Acknowledments to Jnr.Seaman R A Fisk).


    Nutty, I agree that the Vinceys and G-Boys are the last vestiges of an elite manhood that roam the planet the likes of which shall never be seen again! :thumright:
  8. I joined Collingwood in 1956, about half way through the basic training we went to St. Vincent. We had to climb the mast. I set off and when I got to the first platform (Devil Elbow I think) I couldn't work out how to get over it, so I went back down to look at it again. I had our own GI instructor and two Vincent GIs come storming at me (very frightening) Asking why. So I told them I'd come to have another look at it, has I'd climbed bigger trees than that bastard in the woods back home. So I went up and over and right to the very top (the golden ball and scratched my initials on it) didn't have to do that bit, I did that to show I was not scared, I was very nervous though. The three GIs came over and said well done. After that we did the swimming test in a boiler suit. In the afternoon we rowed a whaler hround Pompy Harbour, f-ing hard work that.
    PS I had climbed most the trees back home but non were as tall as that bast--d.
  9. It was a little thing called " disclipine" when told to do,you did Fred. I too was feart of heights ( still am ) but climbed the effen mast , I wouldn't loose face with my fellow inmates.Had the same problem on Bellerophon when the accomodation ship was the Belfast, told to paint the masts and yard arms,not so high but with paint and brush in one hand whilst holding on with the other ( no elf & safety then)was a pleasure I could have done without.
  10. [​IMG]

    Just as a reminder ---- St Vincent Sunday Divisions --every Sunday
    I'm standing near the right hand cannon -was work ship party that week.[Arrow pointer]

    Mast -- used to ''go over it '' about once a month . I used to climb it
    to see the outside world cos you could see the Dockyard from it.

    Happy days

    :nemo: :nemo:
  12. Small mast compared to ours !!ha ha
  13. Size ain't everything :bball: :bball:

    Was at Ganges visiting with the St Vincent swimming team . Saw the mast
    and was glad I belonged to St Vincent.

    :nemo: :nemo:
  14. I too went over the mast at St. Vincent after joining the mob at Collingwood in 1953. I seem to remember that our class instructor told us to go to the top, but not to go through the lubbers hole. I was too frightened of him to do that!! When I asked him why we had to do it, he said it was to prepare us fot the time that we may have to work on electrical equipment up the top of masts, It helped to prepare me for my future career as a wafu!
  15. I can equate with this - I must have been terrified, but still did it, I'm sure I've still got the imprint of the rigging permanantly scored into my palms to this day .. !! ;)
    The other thing was probably the thought of my old man giving me stick (he was a crusher there in the year before I joined - you might even have known him Nutty, if you'd been unlucky enough to be under #9s ?)
  16. As a Ganges chap, circa 1967, I remember the mast.

    We had to get around the 'devils elbow' as I recall.

    I have no recollection of being scared of height or it even coming into the equation. We simply climbed the mast as instructed.

    Not a chance in hell of getting me near the button. That was for the brave - or foolhardy, whichever. I mean 167 feet tall wasn't it?

    One chap, Barry Webber I believe, used to jump from the first yard as I recall. (Mans barmy was all I could think!!!). :laughing3:
  17. I'm very impressed Greenie. At what point did they cut off all but the top 15 inches of the mast? ;) By the way, why didn't they hold Sunday Divisions on Mondays, just for a bit of variety? :bball:

    PS: Those are nice looking buildings in the background. Obviously the wardroom was very large. Where were your mess huts situated?

    PPS: Waspie, the G Spot Mast was approx 143 ft high - that is 141ft 9" higher than the later one at the Vincey place. :bball:
  18. janner

    janner War Hero Book Reviewer

    I got sent over the St Vincent mast in 1960 and I'm sure it was over one foot 3 inches tall

    I remember some brave soul asking the Instructer what would happen if we fell...There's a safety net says he.... He was right, but it was made of steel hawsers, you would have come through like cubed beef

  19. Well if its not RPO Florry Ford. tall large and fat then thats the only one I really remember. If you Dad is about he will know of him. Most of 9's punishment was conducted by the Duty Instructors who were really pissed off and nasty as with no men under punishment the could sit in the S/R's mess and lord it.

    Whitemouse how can you look another Matelot in the eyes knowing you were the produce of the Loins of a Crushers. I suppose you just say to yourself Mum was OTS with the Milkman or a Seaman RP

  20. Hmmmmm, corned seaman hash, Yummy.

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