All at Sea

Seafaring days
On the bridge of HMS Yarmouth in Southern Thule.
Falklands conflict 1982

I joined HMS Arethusa aged 13, liked the way of life and decided to stay in the Royal Navy. In 1962 I joined HMS Ganges, moving on to the shorebase named HMS Vernon in Portsmouth in 1963. I remained in Navy until May 1989 serving in frigates, aircraft carriers, the Royal Fleet Auxiliary and other odd vessels. I also served on various trials teams, mainly for Admiralty Underwater Weapons Establishment.

My favourite ships whilst serving in the Royal Navy were the Type 12 frigates and I served on three; Berwick, Lowestoft and Yarmouth.

I retired from the service on 30th May 1989 from my final posting (back at HMS Vernon again) to the Minewarfare, Diving, Demolition and Seamanship (MDDS) faculty.

The area which was once HMS Vernon has since become a rather pleasant shopping and leisure area called Gunwharf Quays that opened its doors in early 2001. It is an especially pleasing thought that my old office is now part of a restaurant / pub on the complex. I can only say George Gale Brewery of Horndean did a tremendous job with old building - it has been sensitively and cleverly restored and refurbished whilst still retaining many of the familiar features. All of us who passed through Vernon would have know it as the Administration Building, but it now thrives once more under the name of The Old Customs House.

The Administration Building is now a pub

On leaving the Navy I became a quartermaster on HMS Warrior (1860) and in Jan 1991 moved backwards again historically to HMS Victory as a member of the Victory Corps of Historical Guides. I became the ship's Schools' Liason Officer for The Admiral Lord Nelson School here in Portsmouth and later the ship's Schools Liason Officer working with children from the age of five upwards. This led me towards work in the adult education arena in conjunction with other agencies outside the Portsmouth Dockyard Heritage area. A lot of hard work but great fun and very rewarding.

Now fully retired from (paid) working life I can follow my own passion of Royal Navy history and take my own good time about it. I have a vast collection of photographs, postcards and slides and the pleasure of my own library. If anyone should find they have any material on the Royal Navy they no longer require I can usually give it a good home to help in my research.

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