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HMS G****S

Actually I quite honestly think I would like to have gone there! But then maybe I'm a sadist, very naive, or both... the very strict discipline aside (then again how else do you keep 2,000 15-year-old lads in order) it does sound good. I bet the camraderie and sense of pride you got there was wonderful. And in terms of employment - a very stable "job", where else can you get that now.

One question... how did anyone manage not to fall off the button? Surely vertigo would have had an effect? Was it slippy? Very small?
 
dunkers said:
Actually I quite honestly think I would like to have gone there! But then maybe I'm a sadist, very naive, or both... the very strict discipline aside (then again how else do you keep 2,000 15-year-old lads in order) it does sound good. I bet the camraderie and sense of pride you got there was wonderful. And in terms of employment - a very stable "job", where else can you get that now.

One question... how did anyone manage not to fall off the button? Surely vertigo would have had an effect? Was it slippy? Very small?

I never got up that far - scared of heights! Did the minimum I could get away with with and burned my hands on the way down (so desperate to get down the first time, see) for which I was, of course, punished - self inflicted injuries!

Ganges with less harsh discipline, with punishments tailored more to the boy concerned might have been more appropriate, but not without creating its own problems of inconsistency and perceived unfairness. I must admit that I'd love to redo Ganges now knowing what I do, but miss out on the really humiliating bits - quite happy to have strict but fair staff, just not ones that take pleasure in publically humiliating you several times a day, day-in, day-out for my first few unhappy months! The professional training was great (apart from sore knuckles when learning to type properly - it's just natural to want to look at the keyboard :roll: ). Discovered my love of dinghy sailing, sculling, archery (imagining certain instructors were in the firing line) and some more violent sports involving accidentaly clobbering other people with sticks in the name of sport :lol: :lol: Pity none of them were instructors! I knew I got my masochistic tastes somewhere! :twisted: (I still like the supposedly "genteel" sport of croquet - don't be fooled - played properly it's just like hockey for the less physically able! - didn't learn that at G though, not being Wardroom. If the lawn's drenched then it's almost like water hockey, if it's icy, then its similar to ice hockey - what more could you ask?!! :lol: ).
 
dunkers said:
Actually I quite honestly think I would like to have gone there! But then maybe I'm a sadist, very naive, or both... the very strict discipline aside (then again how else do you keep 2,000 15-year-old lads in order) it does sound good. I bet the camraderie and sense of pride you got there was wonderful. And in terms of employment - a very stable "job", where else can you get that now.

One question... how did anyone manage not to fall off the button? Surely vertigo would have had an effect? Was it slippy? Very small?

I think that it was about 12" diameter, and there was a query shaped (?) lightning rod so that the brave body could grip it with his knees and calves - though I could be wrong as I never made it to the button myself.

Even the bribe of the shilling, half crown or whatever, was not enough inducement .. :!:

There must still be some ex button boys around who could answer this more exactly ?
 
At long last after all these years I can sleep tight in my bed knowing I wasn’t the only one that went up only as high as I had to (clinging on as tight as I could on the way up as well as down).
Having said there were the mad buggers around that went up in their leisure time!
 
dt018a9667 said:
At long last after all these years I can sleep tight in my bed knowing I wasn’t the only one that went up only as high as I had to (clinging on as tight as I could on the way up as well as down).
Having said there were the mad buggers around that went up in their leisure time!

You went down the same way?! How dreadful! The ropes were better - once on (getting on was the scary, well actually, the terrifying bit) once on quickly down - never have my little paws moved so fast nor got so red raw in the process. As for my plimsoles, I think the rope friction almost set them alight! :lol: My terror of hights greatly outweighed my sore hands, until I got to the sickbay later, that is, when I had calmed down a bit... (still a bit shakey though)! Did they gently apply cetrimide and bandage my hands up - did they thump - iodine and punishment. Sadists! :x
 
whitemouse said:
The Devil's elbow was my fear - I think I may have had the pattern of the rope imbedded in my hands until I graduated .....!! :lol:

For those of us scared of heights the Devil's aptly named Elbow was a truly formidable experience. I suppose it was all designed to build our self confidence and make us men, but in my case the first time, I was standing at the foot of that massive skyscraper of a mast, looking up into the clouds above, shit scared. The instructors shouted at me, threatened all sorts of terrible punishments, insulted me, humiliated me by rhetorically asking (shouting so everybody in Ganges, so it seemed, could hear) if I was perhaps really a little girl, perhaps he should pull my trousers down to see! He had me in tears. Got me up eventually, slowly, painfully...
 
NozzyNozzer said:
Hi Dunkers, I'm quite happy for you to be an HONTROG if it's OK with Nutty, Whitemouse, etc! :D :?:

Personally I think the Ganges Association should do the same: could charge double membership subs (or Associate life membership for £500 - always a good money raiser, in my experience) to "Associates", with no voting rights - but sadly its just for old boys, which means that all those memories will perish with us - what a tragic waste! :idea:

I've got a fairly rich friend (rich by my standards) whose nuts about Ganges, knows much more about the place that I do (I went there & he didn't!!! :oops: We visited the site a few years ago and he was showing me around - I couldn't remember what half the places were that I was looking at!!!) and would happily part with his money for the cause. He wasn't even born when I went to G! He's called Seacat on RR - not yet contributed much though - a bit shy I think! Needs half a pint of neaters inside him! :lol:

Nozzy.

Hello,

I think this is supposed to be about me! As NN's more senior to me at work he's paid better so you'd have thought that he had more money!

Yes I am interested in Ganges. I find it odd that anyone would want to go there. Are all these stories here really true or are some of you exaggerating them a bit to impress those of us who have no idea what really happened? I don't mean to sound disrespectful or anything, it's just that I'm a bit dubious about some of NN's tales about his time at G! I mean were people really publically flogged there or is he just winding me up? Did you really have to climb over the mast every morning before breakfast at 6am, even in the snow in just shorts?

Seacat.
 
Seacat,

There may be some artistic licence (line shooting!!) by an odd (you can say that again) ex matelot :wink: , but if you can get hold of a book 'HMS Ganges - Tales of the TROGs' by John Douglas, you will get various views of the life at Shotley.
And yes, times may have been considered harsh there, you will need to scan the other forums here (Training Estab, Shore Bases etc) you will see a lot of lines being shot there :lol:

My father was trained at Ganges, as was his father, and he was instrumental in my going there, some of the times I enjoyed and there was more of them than bad times, and I don't think it did me any harm.

You could also try hmsgangesassoc.org for further tales from trogs (Trained Ratings Of Ganges).

Good hunting !
 
whitemouse said:
Seacat,

There may be some artistic licence (line shooting!!) by an odd (you can say that again) ex matelot :wink: , but if you can get hold of a book 'HMS Ganges - Tales of the TROGs' by John Douglas, you will get various views of the life at Shotley.
And yes, times may have been considered harsh there, you will need to scan the other forums here (Training Estab, Shore Bases etc) you will see a lot of lines being shot there :lol:

My father was trained at Ganges, as was his father, and he was instrumental in my going there, some of the times I enjoyed and there was more of them than bad times, and I don't think it did me any harm.

You could also try hmsgangesassoc.org for further tales from trogs (Trained Ratings Of Ganges).

Good hunting !

Hi Whitemouse,

I've read every book on Ganges I've been able to lay my hands on and talked about it to NN, who I agree is eccentric. I had assumed that was due to being at Ganges? I have also been reading archive material at Kew which is rather interesting. You ex-TROGS do seem to have incredible camaraderie. I personally do not think I would have coped at 15 in such a place - I would have one of those crying in my pillow at night for home - but I should have liked the training. I very briefly served in the RNXS (I know, nothing compared to professionals like you) in Ops/Comms and the RN training courses I did were excellent - even being punished was (quite) fun! - Not what I had come to expect from NN's horror stories at all! :lol:

If you ask me though I think all of you deserve a special Ganges Medal for having been there and survived the course! Whenever I meet someone who I learn has been to Ganges they instantly command my respect.

Seacat.
 
Jenny_Dabber said:
Whilst trying to work out my Grandpa's naval history, I fell across this link and thought it may be of intereset to you lot!

That's new since I last looked at the site properly ( a while back, I must admit!). I will need to email in a correction unless my senility is worse than expected as I remember Dittisham (easy to remember the name of as there is a Dittisham plum - thought you'd like to know that snippet Jenny) back in 1960! If it joined G in 1968 then I must have joined G aged 24! The oldest Junior in the history of the place! :lol: :lol: :lol: Interesting thought. :roll: John Douglas already got me muddled up about my time there a few years ago by implying that Capt.Mackenzie was Skipper in the mid-60s. Chief!!!???
 

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