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Happy memories of the Mercury club both as a sprog and when back on killicks course. Is it still there I know they transferred all training down to Collingwood I think


War Hero
Many happy times spent at Mercs. Was a great and relaxed place once you had completed 'nozzers' training and ever went back as ships company.

Mercury club was brilliant and I used to get back early on Sunday evening for the bops. Thursdays was the usual Hordean and Clanfield ladies invite.

Accommodation was arse though, even in the ships company blocks.

Some great pubs in the area and many a drunken evening spent in either 'The Royal Oak, G and D, Izzack Walton, Rising Sun to name but a few.

Been up there for a look around since it closed down in 1993 and it is a weird feeling stood where the QM's caboosh was, looking around at what is now left. Basically, only the Kelly accommodation and a couple of stores blocks, bank etc, not that they are open for business! The old sick bay is now some sort of 'green' hippy type place. Almost shed a tear.
Some Mess Dinner Menu piccies from ebay...



Lantern Swinger
Passed through Mercers in the early 90s as a sprog RO, returned a few years later on transfer to the CT branch but by then, only the crescent road was open. My last visit there was in 1997 to do a CT type PJT. I've been told that only Leydene house still stands now. Everything has indeed transfered to Collingwood, C School teach Comms and what was the SCU north of the road is now in Leydene building at Collingwood.
Oh those cold nights on stick-patrol!!
however, the bops were top-notch.
:grin: Went back after it closed and it was a real sad site to see but fond memories of the burger van, running around the camp when fire party with that stupid fire tolley thing, not being able to see more than a few feet in front of you when the fog came down, fleetwork trainer (FCCY Brasey) kicking arse ! Biffers, North camp training in mid winter (freezing) on black post war type writers, those 'orrible morse headsets which crushed your skull and of course, the agromat. Marvellous. :grin:
I remember that stupid bloody Fire Party trolley! They'd run you ragged dragging the thing around from hydrant to hydrant setting up branch pipes etc. Then on the one occasion when there actually was a fire they told us to get back and not go anywhere near it until the Fire Brigade arrived. Proof positive it was "makework" duty if ever there was one.

Accomodation was a bit spartan though! I remember turning up on the bus from Raleigh and seeing the place for the first time. "Oh my God" probably sums up what I was thinking. Kelly Club was always packed on weekends, used to get people turning up from as far afield as Sultan and Collingwood for the Mercury Bop. That sort of thing never happens anymore, everyone goes ashore now.

Anyone ever end up doing the Crescent Road Mattress Race at Call the Hands?


Operation SEAL and SOBERTON patrol, and those creepy night patrols. I loved the cinema. And the bloody night bus back from Pompey. Anyone recall scrubbing it out if you threw up on it.

There in 64 and many times after.


Book Reviewer
Fireparty at Mercury was good stuff, for some reason I was made throttle man on the pump, had to be the best job, just run on behind leaning on it.

I remember one drill, can't remember the timings, you had so long to pump water from the time the shout went out, this particular night the shout was to the front of the Main House. Fire Party running late threw the suction hose into the ornamental duck pond, sucked it dry and left all of the duck stood in the duck crap that filled the bottom of the pond.
Enter stage left, The Commander, not noted for his sense of humour on a good day, at that moment in time he had lost it completely.
Result Fire Party spent the rest of the evening well into the night, cleaning the duck pond and then re filling it
:grin: Went back after it closed and it was a real sad site to see but fond memories of the burger van, running around the camp when fire party with that stupid fire tolley thing, not being able to see more than a few feet in front of you when the fog came down, fleetwork trainer (FCCY Brasey) kicking arse ! Biffers, North camp training in mid winter (freezing) on black post war type writers, those 'orrible morse headsets which crushed your skull and of course, the agromat. Marvellous. :grin:

Not the heavy bakelight and steel things the Observer Corps used to use on monitoring posts by any chance? The metal top bit used to scalp you if you had forgotten your beret! I wondered where we got such antiques from! :shock: :grin: :lol:
I did my basic RO training at Mercury in late 83/early 84 when we had really heavy snow and we had to clear the roads so people could get in and out.

Scary sh!t on stick patrol in the woods at night ! Scared the sh!te out of me as a youngster anyway.

Loved the galley boys - great lads when I was doing number 9s, courtesy of, I believe, Capt W W F Chatterton-Dickson. Made that ships bell shine well though.

Anyone remember RS SM Moultry?


War Hero
Was a hard life for cookie boys in the 50s, bloody great COAL ranges, used to yaffle half a ton of coal a day each. At the end of a duty watch we looked like the black and white minstrel show! Used to stand at the door in main house and report "Galley fires drawn sir, Wardroom galley ready for rounds", then quick small ship's dhobi up in Blake block, into civvies, and across the Broadwalk to the 'Bat and Ball' in Hambledon with the duty watch of stewards (all WRNS), - Happy days!
Most of the camp was Nissen huts, (except for Main House and the blocks on the top road), and rum was issued under a nissen hut roof with no sides or ends, alongside the main galley. Each man drew his tot individually with a rum card being clipped like the old bus tickets, except for the galleys who's rum was drawn in the normal manner. The butcher, who was the only AB on the base, and Jack Dusty (V), used to put their cards in with ours and drink their tot in the cooks' rest room. There was an immaculately clean scupper in the rum shed, with an even more immaculately clean A10 tin inside it. You can guess the rest. The cooks' rum bosun would sing out "Wardroom galley 12 tots sir" and go merrily on his way, to be followed after rum issue by Butch and Dusty with the "Queens". Even more happy days!!



War Hero
KLNA-Cessna-Jockey said:
I did my basic RO training at Mercury in late 83/early 84 when we had really heavy snow and we had to clear the roads so people could get in and out.

Anyone remember RS SM Moultry?

I remember that,was that the time they were going to troop those that didnt make it in as over 75% fo ships company managed to make it?
Not sure Andy - I was a mere sprog trainee.

I had a cushy number though - cos I grew up on a farm I could drive a tractor and therefore wasn't one of the poor ones who had to shovel all the snow !


War Hero
LOL,i had to get up there from Gosport on my motorbike,took me 2 and a bit hours,but did make it.I was duty MA as well for the next few days as i was one of the few that got in.
:mrgreen: Anyone recall the time, believe in the 80's when I was on my CY course when, the NAAFI girls who worked the bar in the club used to invite the chaps in for 'afters', quite often, all night afters and spread rather large portions of the 'clap' all around the camp, mainly kept though within the professional qualifying courses at the time. Said females were invited to depart the camp and that caused megga problems as they found it hard to replace them as they had to live in. :cool:


Lantern Swinger
As a baby JRO(U) in the early sixties I didnt much like the place, but as a previous writer states it wasnt bad as ships company. As a skimmer I sent there P7R after an accident and worked on the Pig Farm it was best job I had at Leydene.
Perhaps they were preparing me for my future in submarines?


First went there in 66 and at various stages during my career. For me the best time was when the Jennies used to live at Soberton Towers. A run ashore meant climbing into or hanging onto a beat up old scrapheap of car that had two doors missing which then haired off down to the Pinky. Coming back was great fun as undoubtedly the driver missed the sharp left hand turn at the top of the hill just past the farm and ploughed straight through the hedge. To this day the hedge has never grown back. Also some enjoyable times were had in the old "spud locker" at the back of the Towers.


I was a Jenny Wren at Mercury in 87 and back again in 92 for killicks course - very sad to see the old place now. Anyone remember adder warnings on the broadwalk being piped? Happy days
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