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  #201  
Old 17-08-2009, 16:28
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TrotOneLower TrotOneLower is offline
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Default Re: HMS GANGES

The recollection I have is; coming over from the Annexe and being driven up to the Devil's Elbow, climb out and over, a short trip along the lower yard, and you were done.
Thereafter it was only on free mast days that the "naively stupid" (amongst whom I include myself) then went any further.
Bit by bit, I got further, and further up the mast, until one Saturday I made it to the "Cowhorns". Grabbed the stay and stood up, only to be greeted by shouts from below (probably the same PTI as Jan's, nasty bstd), that as I was that far up, I may as well go the rest of the way. This was of course done in a manner so as to bring attention to yourself, and cause you a whole heap of embarrassment should you start your descent from that point. I feel it would have been a braver man who would have come down, and been subjected to a whole range of ridicule.
So, face the mast, legs and arms wrapped firmly around it's aging timber, and start to shin, and shin, and shin, along what must have been the longest twenty feet in any boy's life. Arrive at the top, again grab the stays, and reach a hand over to touch the button. Thinking you have done enough, begin to start descent, only to be met with more abuse from below. So, being stupid, grab the stays again, get your self positioned, take hold of the Lightening Conductor, and swing, landing legs astride the button. Now feeling like a smug little TROG, you glance down at the nasty Club Swinger in the vain, and stupid hope that some offer of praise would be forthcoming. Yes? No, not a bit, nothing, just a reminder of some non existent tradition about standing up, properly to attention, and saluting. So, absolutely petrified, you force yourself upright, holding on for dear life to the lightening conductor, and with knees slightly bent, gripping the thing between them as if your life depends on it (which it probably does), you "chop off" the quickest salute ever. Then you return, with amazing speed to the sitting position, and contemplate how you are going to get back on to terra firma. So, again gripping the dear old lightening conductor, you slide off the button, legs tightly around the mast, grab the two stays, and check position. Then, grab the mast, and squeeze it tighter than Mummy on Parent's Day, and slowly start to slide down toward the Cowhorns. Easy! Did it three times in all, but luckily, I was too tall to be button boy so wound up on the Starboard Cowhorn.
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  #202  
Old 17-08-2009, 16:40
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Default Re: HMS GANGES

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Originally Posted by Bee View Post
Did you have any sort of safety harnesses...or was there some kind of safety net set up down below...or did you basically risk life and limb climbing that mast??? Also is there anyone on the forum who actually did the Button Boy thing...standing up on the very top???

Regards,
Bee

p.s. I seem to recall a story my Dad told us about having to climb a mast and him getting part way up and "freezing". He had all kinds of things yelled at him but he wasn't budging. I think they had to send someone up after him to prise his fingers open and get him down. (I think he had a bit of a heights phobia )

There was a "safety net", which was probably more for show than any practical use. It may have done you more harm than anything else should you have landed on it.

Yes I am a Member Dave.

I sure some of you will have seen this before, on Youtube, from the film "Boys To Men", full version available on request.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=htmC__eg8hc
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  #203  
Old 17-08-2009, 16:45
Bee Bee is offline
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Default Re: HMS GANGES

Thanks for that info Dave,

Latest bit of new from us here in Oz...I sent the link (about the Ganges Mast) to my Mum and she's forwarded it on to my Dad's old R.N.A. mates...so the word's being spread here as well. Hopefully they'll add their penny'sworth.

Re: climbing the mast..I think you were all very brave to climb it....I could take heights when I was younger...but the last time I tried climbing our Gloucester Tree here in W.A. (which has a ladder winding around it up to a cage at the top)...I only got up about 12 rungs before I started getting freaked out.

Previously, in my early 20's I'd got to the base of the top platform of this very tall tree, when my brain started playing a silly little mind game of..."Look how high we are...you're looking out over the tops of trees from up here...we could just decide to open our hands off the rungs etc, etc"...I ended up doing the same as my Dad, freezing..and had to let people who wanted to get to the top climb around me...somehow my hubby eventually coaxed me back down.

Cheers,
Bee

p.s. At least you overcame your fear of heights Jan...maybe the yelling instructors were good motivation. (e.g. climbing the mast was the lesser of two evils.)

p.p.s. Just read your post TrotOneLower..great story and as I said: very, very brave!!!

Last edited by Bee : 17-08-2009 at 17:26.
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  #204  
Old 17-08-2009, 16:46
Dave Hutson Dave Hutson is offline
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Default Re: HMS GANGES

Great one Trot - Almost felt I was with you. When the Solent Division tow their trailer round they have a replica of the Button and Lightning conductor so people can stand on it and imagine what it must have been like, but you cannot simulate the terror, wind and sway.

Dave H
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  #205  
Old 17-08-2009, 16:57
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Default Re: HMS GANGES

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Originally Posted by Dave Hutson View Post
Great one Trot - Almost felt I was with you. When the Solent Division tow their trailer round they have a replica of the Button and Lightning conductor so people can stand on it and imagine what it must have been like, but you cannot simulate the terror, wind and sway.

Dave H

Were you at the RN Past and Present thing last month? We stopped and had a "tot" at your stand prior to boarding the Daring (D32) not THE DARING (D05).
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  #206  
Old 17-08-2009, 18:06
Dave Hutson Dave Hutson is offline
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Default Re: HMS GANGES

Nay sorry Trot - me ere in Devonport. We at Devonport Div like to borrow the trailer if it is available for events and promote the Association - if we keep it alive the memories live on and I haven't found anyone yet who survived Ganges that can find a really bad word to say - we was boys from all over who became a "Band of Brothers" and it shows even today. I've never come across anyone who wasn't proud to be a Ganges Boy.
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  #207  
Old 17-08-2009, 18:27
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Default Re: HMS GANGES

To those of you who made it to the button.... R E S P E C T and guddonyah guys. Half moon only geezer that was me. Yet quite happy to do the w/e free n easy waftin about on the thing.. strange when the pressure was off.

On ships though, did plenty excursions up top, changing crystals up on the AYC,AYD,AYE horns...

Little h
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  #208  
Old 17-08-2009, 18:31
Dave Hutson Dave Hutson is offline
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Default Re: HMS GANGES

Er rite on 'arry - was good trainin' for renewing the main roof when some dockie had forgotten to include the safety links. One minut over starb'd side next over port side and clingin' on fer dear life. Those memories I can really do wivout. At least the mast didn't sway that much.

Dave H
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  #209  
Old 17-08-2009, 18:38
Dave Hutson Dave Hutson is offline
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Default Re: HMS GANGES

Well normally your Rx and Tx Stations were manned by Radio Greenies or Civilians. We were lucky in that we only had to operate and call the stations for frequency or aerials changes.

Most of the aerial fields were maintained by civilian staff.

Dave H
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  #210  
Old 17-08-2009, 18:40
Dave Hutson Dave Hutson is offline
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Default Re: Communicators Only

Well normally your Rx and Tx Stations were manned by Radio Greenies or Civilians. We were lucky in that we only had to operate and call the stations for frequency or aerials changes.

Most of the aerial fields were maintained by civilian staff.

Dave H

Sorry guys, this was the answer to a Q by Qpr on the Comms Thread - 'oo maintained the aerials shoreside?

Last edited by Dave Hutson : 17-08-2009 at 18:47. Reason: Wrong thread
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  #211  
Old 17-08-2009, 18:40
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Default Re: HMS GANGES

That's right Dave, with shouts from the senior hand with his feet firmly on the deck below of, "Don't you dare fall you b*****d, I can't afford a new suit for YOUR funeral!!"

best wishes
Jan
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  #212  
Old 17-08-2009, 18:44
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Default Re: HMS GANGES

Wasn't ever overly worried about shuffling out to the AJE's either - but for the life of me I can not bring to mind why I would have been out there ?? what was there to be fixed.??

The big concern was that even though I knew I had been and secured the 'safe to transmit keys' and placed them on the board... why could I not relax in the belief that noone would flash up the radars for instance

Anyway you'll all now have remembered that it was the comms guys who were doing all this - I never knew a maintainer who was keen to go up there!! and I thought that was what REM's were for

Suppose this is comms stuff really but it was mast climbing after all and the PTI's at Ganges were to blame for sure!!!!

Little h
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  #213  
Old 17-08-2009, 18:46
Dave Hutson Dave Hutson is offline
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Default Re: HMS GANGES

Jan, You got it in one mate, good on yer. Saw a guy once tore his ring finger cos' he wudn't take the damn thing off, caught it in a strand of wire and bingo. Still kept most of the digit but boy wot a mess, yuk.
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  #214  
Old 17-08-2009, 18:47
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Default Re: HMS GANGES

Sorry Lads. I put the question here. I deleted it, but not quick enough for every man and his dog to see. I put it where it should have been. In the Comms thread!!!!
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  #215  
Old 17-08-2009, 18:47
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Default Re: HMS GANGES

Bee, as Trot has said there was a safety net but it was made from flexible steel wire. If anyone did fall and hit it, they would have come out the other side looking like chips! There was a popular story that always seemed to have done the rounds of GANGES regardless of when we served there. It ran that one young boy did fall, hit the net, bounced and disappeared through the post office roof. The post office was adjacent to where the mast stood. A patch of newish tiles on the roof seemed to support this. Fact or myth? I never did find out and I'm not sure that anyone really knows the answer. Gave we young boys something to think about though as we made our way skywards!

best wishes
Jan
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  #216  
Old 17-08-2009, 18:53
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Default Re: HMS GANGES

I heard that as well Jan. also never told if it was true or false. I expect It was kept alive intentionally. Possibly to remove the over confidence that we all had at 15 years old
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  #217  
Old 17-08-2009, 18:56
Dave Hutson Dave Hutson is offline
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Default Re: HMS GANGES

Going the rounds in 53/54 was that a PO, peed out of his brain climbed it, took a dive and went thru' like chips - probably another one to keep we young impressionable lads on our toes - and it worked.
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  #218  
Old 18-08-2009, 08:20
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Default Re: HMS GANGES

The lad through the Post Office roof was still doing the rounds when I was there, also some one going through it like chips, I don't know if there actually was anyone who fell off though, but even one or two is not bad considering how many lads through the years who must have been over it.
Can you imagine the health and saftey outrage that would happen today if you tried to force a 15 year old lad up a step ladder let alone a blinking great mast.
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  #219  
Old 18-08-2009, 14:17
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Default Re: HMS GANGES

Divisions, photo courtesy of RA Fisk

Does anyone know what happened to him when Ganges closed?

and what happened to his vast photo collection?


Regards
Alan
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  #220  
Old 18-08-2009, 15:48
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Default Re: HMS GANGES

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Divisions, photo courtesy of RA Fisk

Does anyone know what happened to him when Ganges closed?

and what happened to his vast photo collection?


Regards
Alan
No, but the bugger took enough money off me through my "credits".
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  #221  
Old 18-08-2009, 21:24
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Default Re: HMS GANGES

I'm not sure Alan but I think the Ganges museum acquired them.

I may have shown this picture before. This was when the CMG first opened in 1952. Pictured are members from our two classes 187 and 188 from 27 mess Anson division. They wouldn't have been called cooks of the mess in those modern days, possibly table waiters, any ideas?
These lads, those who are still alive are all in their seventies now.
I must have been sat at a table with the rest, patiently awaiting that lovely grub!!

Bob.
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  #222  
Old 18-08-2009, 21:54
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Default Re: HMS GANGES

It a good picture Bob

When I was there in 66/67. All Juniors would do Work Ship. Some would work with the Buffer some would be detailed to work in the Senior Rates Mess and Wardroom.

Others, me included, worked in the CMG. We were divided up some worked in the Galley and some worked in the Dining Room. These guys worked in the Galley, plate, dish and pot washing, general cleaning and serving at mealtimes. This picture was taken in the Galley

My next work ship was Mail Office Messenger. Cushy little number

Dave
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  #223  
Old 18-08-2009, 21:56
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Default Re: HMS GANGES

Fallen in on the parade ground three deep, regardless of the weather. Badge boy comes along, thrusts his not yet manly arm in amongst you, and barks in that "Ganges" fashion; "eckshun ell, ick arch". Then a quick "ite eel", march along a bit, "all art", followed by a mad dash inside to sample yet more culinary delicacies conjured up by our very own maritime epicurean wizards.
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  #224  
Old 18-08-2009, 22:24
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Default Re: HMS GANGES

Hey up mate tiz linguists time .. attnshun; qik march; o/s wheel; brakz on; .. and run for yer nosh. can I have my 1st class star now pse
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Last edited by harry.gibbon : 18-08-2009 at 23:00.
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  #225  
Old 18-08-2009, 22:51
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Default Re: HMS GANGES

Dave, in those days there weren't any working parties unless the mess was work ship week.
The guys in the picture had been sent up to the servery to collect the food for their appropriate tables where there were "x" amount of people. The gadgets in their hands were for carrying the food whether it was for 8 plates or ten I cannot remember.
They collected the food and returned to their tables where they were passed around. The food was scoffed then I presume they cleared up the plates and went to collect the sweets. It's such a long time ago that I have forgotten.
No doubt it was completely different in your time.

Bob.
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