Old Pharts+Good Days

Discussion in 'Diamond Lil's' started by Nutty, May 8, 2008.

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  1. Just why do us Old Pharts bang on about the Good Old Days. That Golden era when a 16 year old working class boy
    could wander and live in any part of the world, just about, at the Governments expense.
    When it took 36 hours to fly to Singapore as opposed to the current 14 hours and was out of reach
    financially to any but toffs and businessmen.

    Below are two pictures, blatantly stolen from Mr Geoffry Dykes
    site which is well worth a visit:



    This was just Malta in the early 1960's in Siliema Creek are 1 DD Daring Class, 1 DD Possibly Daring Class,
    2 DD Weapons Class, 4 FF Type 12 Class, 2 MM Ton Class and 1 Bar Class Boom Boat. Now in Lazaretto Creek could be found a Heavy Repair Ship, supporting converted LST and a Reserve Fleet.


    Add this this HMS Phoenix, NAS Hal Far, HMS St Angelo etc. etc.

    You could also be posted to Gibraltar, Simonstown South Africa, Aden, Trincomelee Ceylon, Singapore,
    Hong Kong, Sydney Australia, Halifax Nova Scotia, Bermuda & W.I's, Faslane, Plymouth, Portsmouth,
    Chatham, Rothsyth, Invergordon and various NAStations and Training Establishments. You could not join boats until you had completed
    at least 1 General Service commission and done a bit of sea time.

    Now we have a shadow of a shadow of a fleet with lads and lassies who think Gib is a great run ashore,
    when to us it was only where unlimited duty free fags started.


  2. Hmm - me thinks that picture today would be the entire fleet!

    I do have a couple of interesting pictures of Gib in the early 1900's I think. Some iron clad in what I think is the KGV dock. Would post it but not sure how to!
  3. Nutty - re the above - I've just looked at my copy of Janes (1898) and I think its an Orlando class in the first dry dock built in Gib.
  4. Nutty, I think the main reason us old pharts bang on about those days is because we were young, free and, as you point out, we could travel to the exotic places of the world at the government’s expense. Places that civvys could only dream about and rarely afford.

    I swapped draft with a married RA bloke once so he could stay with his wife in Pompey while I deployed to the FES. I didn’t join up to be stuck ashore in the UK.

    You will know what I mean when I say it was magical. Returning, after sunrise, to the ship moored in the river at Bankok, having a banyan on an island in the South China Sea or having Tusker beer at the Casablanca bar in Mombassa. These are priceless memories.

    A colleague at work said to me last week that whenever I talk about the Royal Navy, I get quite passionate about it. For me it was the most exciting time of my life, a time when I felt most alive. I guess that is why I bang on about it.
  5. I have to agree with Nutty and you Gombear,

    Not much money - but who cared ? - foreign shores and being paid for it, 24 hour working sometimes but lots of foreign ports to visit inbetween. :)

    My old man (ex Crusher) who died recently, always said that if he had his time again, he'd do it all again as would I, but only for those times !

    He was distinctly uimpressed with what he termed the modern RN - mind you, he was unimpresed with the navy that I was in !!

  6. Couldnt agree more.

    Best times of my life and always hold fond memories of the places I visited and the people I met and served with.
  7. Nutty, my old fellow Phart, this is not the first time that one of your Posts
    has brought a tear to my eye, and a lump to my throat.

    But I have to agree with everything that has been said above.

    Would I like to do it all over again - you bet I would.
    Could I do it all over again - I very much doubt it.

    The problem with youth is that it comes at the wrong time in your life.

    As usual, quality Post there Nutty.

  8. Guns

    Guns War Hero Moderator

    You had me up to that point, Pompy is no way to sell the old days. I'm with you on the rest but Pompy... no no no......
  9. Guns

    Guns War Hero Moderator

    As a "new" old fart I am with you. Recently when my mighty steamer was in London at the buoys a conversation at the Bar moved in to this area. The Navs and I (he is a grown up PWO(N) type Navs) chatted and came to the conclusion that if we were back in the day he and I would be sat in front of the fire in a leather chair whilst young Lt's crept around so as not to upset the Navs and Guns. After a nice liquid lunch we would wander around the Parts of Ship taking in the air. Then we would complete the 1 hours worth of paperwork, no emails no this and that reports to do or stupid CIS User Screen Self Health Assessment Forms (I kind you not). Then I might have a chat with the Gunner, Battleships had them I believe, and we would discuss the vast number of shells that we were going to fire that week, with no allowance to worry about. Then what is now the AAW senior management team ie me, Gunner, the Chiefs GI/Layers etc would all get together and plan the months firing.

    Then some guard training, black gaiters and parade stick at the fore.

    {Guns stares in to the distance as he dreams of the past he never knew}

    Any old and bold Gunners out there would love to hear how it used to run.
  10. Just look upon the Junglie Seakings & Navy Lynx as the Historic Flight, then you realise how bad things are.
    Most of them were in service the same time as me, I left in 87!
  11. Another thought.
    None of us regret our time in the Andrew, but how many of us regret leaving?

    I didn’t serve as long as you Nutty, I joined up on a Notice Engagement for adventure and to escape the drudge of civvy street. I remember going home for weekend leave on the coach from Pompey and looking at the rush hour around Shepherds Bush, thinking “you’ll never get me back on that treadmillâ€.

    Anyway, there came a time when I had a rush of shite to the brain, gave my notice and left, thinking that friends and family would be the same as before at home. Things were not the same apart from the drudge that I had sworn to avoid. For some time after I felt regret but, for personal reasons, I was unable to re-enlist.

    However, if I had not left I would not have met my wife and my son would not have been born.
    So, after all, for me there are no regrets about leaving.

    As someone said a few weeks ago on another thread “Once a Matelot, always a Matelotâ€
  12. Same for me.Trouble is, you realise after a while that you are becoming a boring old phart. I used to promise myself that I would never drone on about how good it was in MY day! And now I've joined the old sods. Still, at least I can still enjoy a drink or three and remember how bloody awful some of it was. Don't get me started about how we were robbed of our rations by the civvy messmen in Haslar back in the 60's. Breakfast was egg, a piece of bacon OR a (small) sausage. One of the messmen ran a bed and breakfast business at his house; the cheeky old sod. Dinner was fish that had been on the jetty all day in the blazing sun. I was a shrunken wreck by the time I got to sea and began to eat properly; the tot helped quite a lot!
  13. Sorry to hear about your dad. May he rest in peace.

  14. Steve,

    Thanks for that.
    He had a good life, one of my regrets is that he didn't speak much of service life when he was in - but I suppose having to fight in two wars didn't help much.

    Gave him a good sendoff though .. :thumright:

  15. Once saw this photo of Gib every berth was at least doubled up and there were five S/Ms. circa 1960. The sheerlegs were there, tried to climb them when under the afluence but sobered up around twenty five feet. That was a regular trick then like swimming back to the boat in Seleema Creek. I thought it was a great life, great mates, money and on a tour of the Med.
    Pompy, Chats and Guz were wall to wall matelots, and all were full of ships and boats. Portsmouth probably had more matelots then than the whole of the navy has now.
  16. I said goodbye to a very good friend today (A CMEML) that has left my ship to join SFM for his final 11 months service. Next year he will say goodbye to the RN after 32 years. He seems ok but I honestly dread to think what HE thinks of the RN after that long. The changes he's seen are massive.
  17. Many, many thanks for that Nutty - at the time, in the Med, we WERE the Dog's Bollocks, in spite of what Uncle Sam's 6th Fleet thought. A lovely reminder of how things used to be, and when anyone in a blue suit was respected and treated like the men they were,at home and abroad. I wonder if Malta will ever see such a gathering under the White Ensign again.................
  18. What a flucking good thread. Cheers Nutty.
  19. Good piccies Nutty --good days too.

    Sliema Creek my home port for 9 months on a Daring class destroyer ----
    no money on a blank week -no civvies allowed to be worn --tot time-duty free fags ---Every Xmas a prezzie from HM customs freebie contraband fags ---- broadside messing -small ships routine --Manoel Island canteen piss ups and the crews singing sompetitions

    It goes on--- happy days

    Next time in Malta was on a carrier ------Grand Harbour !! Big ship routine.

    :nemo: :nemo:
  20. Nostalgia certainly isn't what it used to be. Here's HMS Woodbridge Haven (Woo-Ha) at Malta with Ton Class vessels
    of the 2nd Minesweeping Squadron in the mid-1950s:


    And for fellow old timers who suffered work-ups under FOST at Portland, here are some ships preparing to leave harbour for the
    Thursday war (photo taken from Bincleaves):


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