The Catering scandle

Discussion in 'History' started by jesse, Jan 10, 2009.

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  1. Any body remember or was involved in the catering fiddle scandle of the 1960s? I'd left the mob by then but recall the press coverage.I seem to recall that two and a half ringers ended up doing bird at Winchester, Any information please.
  2. I was at Lossiemouth at the time and there were certainly some very quick changes in the S&S department.
    It eventually led to the demise of the victualing branch and a new branch called the Catering branch formed.
    Lots of rumors were going around about certain members of the ships company (officers included) but even after this length of time I will not be repeating them.
  3. Oh go on,and I will then tell the tale of the 500 frozen chickens and 100 pounds of prawns.
  4. Some of the Jack Dusties who were caught, served their sentences at the Verne Prison at Portland.
    One of my mates who had left the mob and was now a screw, said that they had most of the rackets sewn up in there.
    No doubt, nowadays they would be working in the city.!!!
  5. was there ever a catering branch in any service in any country that did not have a bit of shrinkage? Many moons ago I did a little favour for the SM cook in the home of a well known regiment in H**r**sh**e and for the next 2 weeks went home with a nice little wrap up each evening.Also used to swop neck-oil for steaks with some Yankee boys in Subic bay.Its nice to see the free market really working to the benefit of us les well-off folks.
  6. I was a stoker just finishing the killicks course at HMS SULTAN when the shite hit the fan.

    There was a Company called "Q V TS O**R" who would deliver FRESH fruit and Veg to sultan. The were paid top Dollar for the goods, but the goods had about 3 days to go before being declared unfit. Sultan was able to use the short dated stock in less than 3 days..... Everyone a winner. Or so they thought..

    Grocery department asked to spend some time with HM in another establishment.

    It had been going on for YEARS.

    Edited to hide the names.......
  7. IIRC, it kicked off at RALEIGH, when the 2 1/2 handed over all the fiddles to his relief, only to find he was honest, and shopped him. COLLINGWOOD was another big one too. What astonished everyone was that these bases were winning civvy catering awards left right and centre. Despite all the fiddles, can never remember starving or going short of grub.
    One of the ringleaders, on being asked what he was going to do inside, remarked "Revolutionize the prison carering system."
    An old Chief Pusser of my acquaintence did time inside rather than pay a fine, came out and got a job as the catering manager in Swan Hunter's shipyard in Newcastle.
    Slim is right about it leading to the formation of the catering branch, but the fiddles must still be there, only better hidden. I had to do some tendering for grub at St Croix in the Windies, and the contract was awarded to the trader who gave us the best backhander - and all the paperwork was cleared by DEFIANCE.
  8. I as at Culdrose at the time, and a Chief victualler got a sudden draft away.
    But the so called ring leader was Lt.Cdr A. C. He was the guy who said on receiving his sentence, the he would transform the Catering in HM Prisons.
    I do recall, that up to that point the scran was a lot better and varied, than it was for many years after. Yes he and his co accused were getting gifts etc from dishing out contracts to Ships Catering suppliers, but we/I was never short of decent food onboard or ashore.
    Sorry, I've changed my mind, his initials will have to surffice, it's along time a go.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. There was also a Commander(S) who served time, he was the brother of a certain Captain RN.
  10. A couple of memory slips in the above.
    The Catering branch was formed in 1964, the catering trials took place in 1971. There was no "ring leader", that was just a phrase introduced by the press, and applied to Cathcart, the senior accused.
    I did the Long Catering Course in '64 as a Ldg Cook(O), and was on top line for my buttons when the s*** hit the fan. Duly picked them up in November '71.
    The two-and-a-half who blew the whistle was Joyce.
    If anyone is really interested, I still have all the press cuttings, including the names, fines, and sentences imposed, and "my" copy of the signal that was circulated round the fleet afterwards. PM me for info.

    2BM (CPO Caterer, retired)
  11. Only ship I ever went hungry on was one where we had a fuckwit from malta in charge .A**eh**e took on salmon in Buenos Aires FFS. But the point made that scran is always top class when there is a fiddle going on is valid.
  12. I was at Collingwood in 73 as ships company at I heard about the one there.
    I think there was hooks,badges and buttons flying off sleves left right and centre.
    The food there then was many for the foreign students and it was hard to get English scran we eat ashore most nights.
  13. Only knew one Maltese caterer. T.V.?

  14. Re: The Catering scandal

    I( remember well the scandal of 1973-4.when nearly all the po and cpo caterers (well nearly all )were marched up to vicy barracks There were some supply officers among st them as well .Where they more or less doft there lids and were all thrown out .this happened in the cinema in barracks.I do know this is correct because my boss the po caterer was one of them ,i was ships butcher at the time.The crux of it was that the caterers were receiving backhanders for giving the outside suppliers big orders .At the time a lot of vittles were from them frozen stuff cheese spuds bread milk fresh fruit all manner of things that pusser did not supply at the time .This also happened abroad as well it took some sorting out .But they got rid and sorted it all out later .I remember it well our lsa(v) was rated ALPO.I remember one of our big suppliers at the time was McCain's(chips fame)were just getting there feed under the table .There was also a big fresh fruit man in Pompey at the time .He was big mates with our caterer always onboard when we were in Pompey ^_^;
  15. Only heard of the one in the 60`s, never heard about 73/74.

    When I was on the fire section at Lossie, we saved the neck of a very friendly Lieutenant, Rum wise that is.
  16. Re: The Catering scandal

    I've had the pleasure or reading some the original transcripts of evidence from the scandal of the early 70s. One of our more senior Caterers who has recently become a civvy (eventually), managed to get his hands on them some time ago - v interesting and I can't believe some of the scams these fellers pulled. As a guardian of the public purse I am delighted that they went down!
  17. I know some of the scams our caterer got up to .Mind you i have got to say the ships company lived like lords
  18. I've just consulted my newspaper cuttings.
    The commitals (to trial at Winchester Crown Court), took place in front of Portsmouth magistrates in July/August 1972.
    In the Telegraph of November 20th 1972, Frank Judd, Shadow Navy Minister called for a public inquiry, and the figures were quoted as - "75 naval officers and ratings and eight civilians were convicted of catering frauds, sharing sentences totalling 49 years and fines of £34,055".
    The cutting with all the individual sentences isn't dated, but from the above you can see that it was all over by November 1972.

  19. Was in the minesweeper base in Rosyth when it all hit the fan.

    As previuosly said we ate like kings -and every Fridays if you pre ordered
    a roasting joint you paid for it and took it home. Superb quality and cheap too . I think it wasn't just caterers it was Wardroom stewards aswell that got lifted .

    After that all our victuals were issued from the main stores in Rosyth no local contracts .

    :nemo: :nemo:
  20. Re: The Catering scandal

    So did I when I worked at Mod. Two files in the National Archive for anyone intested in going further into it:
    DEFE 24/282 - Service Catering: establishment of a Committee of Enquiry as a result of RN catering frauds (1972-1973).
    ADM 330/71 - Officers involved in Naval fraud corruption cases.
    (Better one of the two - contains newspaper accounts of the trials of most of the major players).

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