Micks and Scran

Discussion in 'History' started by middle_watch, May 17, 2007.

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  1. Can I ask help for an article I am researching.

    I am trying to trace the timeline for the changes in messing and bunking on ships (and shore bases), if you can tell me the places you served and if you had hammocks or bunks (or a mix) and if messing was canteen messing or general messing or a mix.

    For info for those not old enough: Canteen Messing was where each mess was given an allowance to buy food from the ship's Purser, each mess had to organise it's own menus and such, and two men from each mess would be tasked with collecting the food, preparing it and giving it to the ship's chef to stick in the oven or boil up. The mess cooks then served it up and cleaned up. The system was open to all sorts of abuse of course and one complaint was the single point of sale, pursers were suspected of making a profit (never! What a thing to suggest!) so crews often bought ashore and carried their own stocks, this was taken in hand (possibly by Jackie Fisher) and formalised as a canteen shop, later NAAFI, and a percentage of sales went into the ship's social fund, controlled by ratings but chaired usually by the First Lieutenant who had the power of veto (I have my own stock of dits of how well that worked, but I would welcome any more) I believe that system is still in place today with the NAAFI shops.

    Post WWII General Messing started to come into play, but with mixed compliance, the money was paid to a ship's caterer instead who planned the menus and bought the food and in theory a staff of chefs prepared and cooked the food and it was served in a central dining room (where available)

    Thanks in advance.

    PS anyone interested in how life in the Andrew changed post war should pick up "Roll on the Rodney" by David Phillipson, it is available from the public library or amazon.co.uk and is a fascinating collection of interviews on all subjects.
  2. Joined in 83 as a sparker, now a CPOCT(A) some 24 years later.
    First ship was Fearless, ate in a central dining hall on platters, I was employed as a flunky on here if that helps. Infact a PO's messman, from a JRO's point of view it was a great number. Each SR's mess had its own bar, any social they had I was barman for the night. Hermione and Jupiter followed, if I remember correctly while on the Jupiter (87-88) we went from platters to plates - no more gravy in your custartd! Invincible came next followed by the Sheffield and Coventry. The POCA on the Cov was great, he gave the JR's and SR's a large portion of the budget so we had lobster on a Saturday night aswell as steak!
  3. Thanks Chaz, so Junior rates now get plates? Wow, thanks for the feedback.
  4. Indeed they do, sachets of salt n pepper too, same appies for sauces etc. Less clearing up and small storage space!
  5. Cheers Chaz, wonder what they did with all those trays? Sold them to the Yanks probably for TV dinners.
  6. Thread hijack sorry but
    OMG a CT with a Secret Squirrel avatar, look we all know youve got absolutely no gear in the CESM shack, and you spend your 6 on lounging in the jacuzzi sipping pink champagne.
    We all know why F99 didnt pick up any intel prior to kidnap, all the CTs were in it and on it. ;)
  7. I thought the kidnap was a simple beer hit gone wrong, guess the crew did not know the Iranians do not drink.
  8. Pick ya branch and take ya chance
  9. Sorry mate I was ribbing ya, not having a go, and as a WE I do believe that i picked the right one m8. :wink:
  10. Do JRs get napkins to wear nowerdays of do they still have to turn their stripey collars round to use as bibs! (Obviously with the check side uppermost!) :wink: :twisted: :D
  11. Joined Eastbourne in '66, a few bunks but mainly 'micks, general messing
    but meals eaten in your mess.
    As we were the Weapons/Electrical mess we had the use of lots of equipment spaces, so we used to draw the kit that converted the 'micks to
    camp beds and sleep in all parts of the ship, mine was the 277/293 radar office.
  12. The only ship I was on which had canteen messing was the Romola, an Algerine class minesweeper in 1953. All other ships I had were general messing.I don't think that canteen messing would have worked on small ships with about 30 in the crew because they didn't carry any vistualling staff. The Cox'n did the victualling.
  13. Seaweed

    Seaweed War Hero Book Reviewer

    Camp-bed hammocks (could be rigged either way) were in issue 1956 (maybe earlier). Handy for sleeping on the upper deck in the tropics (until it rained).

    CMS had bunks - first ones commissioned 1954.

    Tiger class cruisers (Tiger commissioned 1959) had three-tier bunks & cafeteria messing & so also everything that came after..
  14. Hi MW,
    I joined type 15 'Ulster' as L/Cook(O) in '58. Meals were prepared and cooked centrally in main galley, collected in galley trays by cooks of messes, dished out and eaten in mess. Messtraps and hotlockers were in individual messes and washing up was done in mess, gash ditched, trays then returned to galley. This was known as Broadside Messing. Since individual hammocks had been returned in 1956, 2 modified hammocks, associated bedding, and W irons (to make a camp bed), were issued on commissioning. POs were also in 'micks. As a lowly killick, I was never invited into the Chiefs' mess, but believe they also slung!!

    Joined type 12 'Lowestoft' as POCA in '65. All bunk accommodation, and SRs had a small dining hall. Galley serving hatch was parallel with, and straight on to Burma Road. Messmen took SRs' meals to servery in galley trays and served onto plates. JRs queued in Burma Road, collected meals individually, initially on plates, but after too many breakages and accidents, later on S/S platters, (both of which were held by individuals), meals were taken to mess. There could be a considerable amount of fun in roughers. Small scullery opposite galley where rum was issued and platters could be washed. This was generally unpopular and was known as MCM (Modified Centralized Messing).

    My other ships were Full Centralized Messing and all bunks. (Bulwark and three Leanders), where at least two dining halls were available and all food and washing up were central to the galley/dining hall area.

    In all six ships the Wardroom had a separate galley/pantry and staff.

    My only experience of Canteen Messing was at "Hornet" ('52-'54), when we young cooks' mates were occasionally "loaned" from the shore Wardroom galley to various MTBs, for particular functions/trips/jollies.
    The Coxswain was responsible for victualling and they had a seaman cook, so for cocktail parties and short trips (Holland, France, Channel Islands etc.), where they were expected to entertain, they borrowed an Officers' Cook. (No shortage of volunteers - small cockers P, do the Sunday lunch, rest of the time your own, + Duty Frees, + a tot of 1 in 1 if the Swain was a good hand, and they invariably were. A great intro to life in the RN for a 17 year old!!) Their accommodation was all bunks

    Hope this is of help.
    Best wishes,
  15. 'Broadside' messing is possibly the name everyone is after, the other being the central/canteen/cafeteria messing.

    Any old Jackdusty Victuallers on here ?

  16. Not me whitemouse, but I was on catering course with five of 'em!!!

  17. Joined Chaplet (Ca destroyer) in March 61 as a baby Greenie most of the mess slept in 'micks' Messing was canteen messing we were given an allowance and bought our victals from the canteen took them to the galley each day where they were cooked (obviously) At the end of the month a tot up of what was spent, made, and the balance, when there was something left over, 'divid' out to the mess.
  18. God, i remember the metal platters on Fearless, a treat in roughers when the galley could only do potmess,pom & ice cream by the time you had found your way round the rope tied round the dining everything had run into one multi coloured slop.
    Happy days :)
  19. janner

    janner War Hero Book Reviewer

    Brocklesby '61 food prepared in the mess and taken to the galley for cooking, hammocks and camp beds. No Burma Road so you had to leave the forward superstructure and go along the upper deck and into the aft superstructure and into the galley, this made for exciting times with any sort of sea running trying to get the trays of food back to the mess to eat. All messes did their own washing up in a fanny of hot water (collected from the bathroom)
    Ulster '62 catering as per 2mb post, all hammocks or camp beds.
  20. This is fantastic stuff guys, please keep it coming, even if it seems trivial or obvious. In the 50's the RN faced a chronic retention problem despite the shrinking fleet and supposedly overhauled all accomodation on ships to try and improve it, what my research is suggesting (but not enough info yet to say for sure) is that the the overhaul was - shall we say - weighted toward the upper echelons.

    I should also add I would welcome any memories on married patches, spare me the bed hopping, we all know about that! For instance:

    I married in 1986, I was in Collingrad at the time on the Divorce Course (just call me thick) when I applied for quarters I was told that I could move in at once, provided I took Rowner One (the concrete jungle), I stuck to my first choice of Old Rowner which had gardens and real brick houses. I was told that in that case I would have to wait over six months for a vacancy.

    When six months rolled around and we moved in we had trouble opening the door due to the mail piled up, checking through it we found the house had been empty for over three years! It was priced as furnished, the furniture comprised a two seated setee with the springs shot, a double bed that was so stained and stank so much we had to sling it and fumigate the bedroom, a dining table with mis-matched wooden chairs and broken legs and... Well you get the picture, we had all the furniture removed but they refused to drop the price to unfurnished.

    But the most stinging insult was when the Poll Tax was introduced, prior to that the Rates had been part of the rent so we expected a cut in the married quarter rent to componsate. Zip. When many of us complained we received a letter stating that "rent increases had been planned but it was decided not to apply them until the introduction of the Poll Tax."

    What a crock!

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