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Topics - stokerstan

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A run ashore / Return of Trincomalee
« on: November 14, 2018, 10:55:30 PM »
     Trincomalee is now under the supervision of the National Museum Royal Navy Hartlepool. The dock area appears to have been renovated, and improved, a mini -meet has been suggested.anyone interested. I will get details if interest is there.

   We have had no suggestions for an alternative venue for the 2019 Reunion,so a provisional booking has been lodged with our friend Stacey at the Britannia for the usual week-end do.
                 Seems a long time off, but we have claimed the usual week-end (first week-end in October)--- 4th-5th-6th October 2019.  Details to follow, but hopeful of same rates as last year.

    Watch this space.

A run ashore / Osborne House
« on: September 21, 2018, 05:05:22 PM »
  Last month we had a run to the Isle of Wight.Visited Osborne House on the Isle of Wight where Queen Victory liked to have her holidays.  The house is very interesting ,but I had not known that in 1903, a Naval college was established in the grounds for the training of officer cadets. It seems that boys arrived at the age of 13, and stayed for two years before moving on to Dartmouth.
There are some very interesting photographs on display which I tried to get snaps of, but unfortunately  I did not have much success. The pictures are in what is now the public restaurant,and to take my pictures required me to sort of lean across tables. People eating lunch seemed unwilling to cooperate !!However the signage for the P.O. instructors mess is still on display, its a good day out
   The picture collection is worth seeing, and I expect that the cadets pictured would almost certainly have been young officers who went to war in 1914.

A run ashore / Flat Top Mag
« on: July 25, 2018, 08:55:17 PM »

   I did put up a rather groveling apology on this site some time ago,but its something else that seems to have disappeared into the ether.
  So Grovel Number two.  I began to construct an edition of Flat Top. My computer which was old, did not seem to be suitable for such a task, and I invested heavily in new kit. The Computer shop, asked me if I wanted an updated system, (one that did more than send out smoke signals) and of course I agreed. It seems I now have Windows ten. I have strived mightily to sort out how to get to first base !! and in the last couple of weeks I have made some progress, bits are starting to unravel !! and I am starting to see the light.

   I have the makings of some sort of Flat Top,and will press on to the end.
 On another matter, anyone who requires a booking form for Coventry but has not down loaded one, no printer etc email me and one will be posted. If F.T. gets to the publisher soon, it will have application forms enclosed.
      I will do my best.

A run ashore / China's first Emperor and the Terracotta Warriors.
« on: May 25, 2018, 01:59:05 PM »

  Had a run to Liverpool last week to view the Terracotta Warrior display in their Museum. Thought it was very good. Well put together not too academic but enough details explained to make it understandable.

                Entrance fee of thirteen quid was worth it, (our bus was from Yorkshire, so I did hear it said it was expensive). In London it will be a great deal more,

          Good run. ;D

Naval History / Malcolm Wakeman
« on: May 18, 2018, 08:35:00 PM »
    Stuart (Topsey) Turner and Dave (Crash)Evans met up with one of our older shipmates Malcolm Wakeman and his son Andrew, at the Arboretum. Malcolm has recently celebrated his 90th birthday,and I believe he got one of Topsey's famous birthday cards. However it was thought that a little something else was called for so they magicked up a Victorious hat, a tie and a little wooden dubbery advising that Malcolm had once taken the "Kings" shilling. I am not sure how all this went down, but in Crashes photographs Malcolm certainly suits the hat, maybe the verdict is still out on the tie and Dubbery !!!

A run ashore / EDEN CAMP 2018 programme
« on: May 05, 2018, 07:51:19 PM »

  For any who may not know of this place, ...its a good run. Ex P.O.W. camp turned into a WW2 museum.

  The Annual all forces parade on the ( Sept 9th, must be one of the biggest turn outs in the country for Veterans and their families. (Veterans get into the grounds F.O.C.)
 The museum canteen does a NAFFI style lunch, quite good, and if you wear your Vic blazer, its a cert that someone will come over and tell you "they were on the Vic"

  A pleasant family day out, very good forces gift shop as well.

 I know full well that shipmates reading this little blog will already be fully conversant with the above law. However, when I first heard about it, I assumed that it would hardly effect our Association, so simply did as I always do, and forgot about it.
         However, fortunately we have men on our committee, who are far more conscientious than I, and they got stuck in and (we hope) made us legal.I am led to believe that a screed will be soon with you that requires you to fill in boxes that will allow us to continue to communicate with you, without us getting arrested. I hope you send it back to the Hon.Sec. otherwise I am told I cannot continue to send you really interesting emails. I do not want to get too involved in this, as our trusty shipmates seem to have it covered, but I will share a couple of points with you re this subject.
 The Salvation Army has sent me a screed, asking if they can send me their usual request for cash at Christmas Unless I say yes they cannot ask. Now a lady who we refer to as Olga from the Volga, will continue to suggest I may want a Russian Bride,  despite my wife assuring me I do not want said person. It also seems that the poor chap in West Africa who sends me emails, desperately looking for cash to unlock our forgotten bank account, will continue to bombard us with Trash on a regular basis My phone will continue to ring so a gentleman of unknown parentage can assure me that I should ring some number that will cost me an arm and a leg, for no good reason at all.
             I am advised that little or nothing can done to sort these matters but if your Hon.Sec.sends you an unsolicited News Letter,or if you are an unfortunate recipient of
The Flat Top mag, unsolicited !!!!  well, goodness knows what might happen. Save the Sec !!! send him an O.K. to mail, he is too old to go to prison.!! :'( :'( :'(


A run ashore / Mini-Meet at Lowestoft.
« on: March 28, 2018, 12:08:07 AM »

  By Popular demand we are having a mini-meet at Lowestoft ! :D  From 20th August to 26th August we will have a presence in the town. We are proposing a Gala Dinner evening on Thursday 23rd August at a venue not yet decided, but we expect it to be at a handy location central to the town center. Kitchener's Holiday Hotel has rooms for this period, some members have already booked their room. Kitcheners does not have a lot of rooms but in the immediate vicinity there are quite a few hotels and guest houses at reasonable prices. It is appreciated that members may not be able to attend for the week,but the hotels are happy to supply single night or a couple of nights to suit, so come for the Gala night.
    Lowestoft was picked as this years venue, so that we can meet up and have a look at the famous Royal Naval Patrol Service Museum and meet some of their members. The Patrol Service H.Q. is located in Sparrows Nest Gardens in Whapload Road, Lowestoft. NR321XG. This place on its own is worth making the trip for, books have been written about the Trawler men who were gathered here at the out break of the war, and that story is almost beyond belief.
     Full details will be circulated well before August, all members of course welcome,and any guest who may fancy the run, please bring them as well.

 More info to follow.

Odds and sods / Flat Top resurrection
« on: March 14, 2018, 08:26:36 PM »
   Our Victorious magazine, the famous Flat Top, has in the past been edited by some brilliant magazine editors, well educated gentlemen, men of talent. :o I hope we all  remember our old shipmate Mike Durkan, who produced some good stuff from his retreat in the South of Ireland, and even did the printing himself, despite having to go up into "No mans land! north of the boarder to buy ink. When Mike crossed the bar we lost a good shipmate. In recent times, the magazine was taken under the protection of determined Bryan Owen, and he continued to supply us with a gem of a read periodically, until ill health put a spoke in his wheel, and he had to lay down his pen.
    The role of editor is not one that can be filled easily ! It takes a brave chap to lay himself open to the abuse of shipmates who metaphorically bite lumps out of him for spelling errors, and for printing stuff intellectually beyond the ken of the average Jack. So... I have to announce that the next Flat Top is not being produced by anyone with any talent at all,a chap who has never edited anything in his life,and is really rubbish on computers.
     However rest assured there will be some exciting items in this magazine, in depth info about three drum boilers, unbelievable stories about old ships, and lots more.

   A Bumper edition to look forward to. .......not sure just when this thing will see the light of day, but hey worth waiting for. The printer is waiting, just got to get it written  ;D

         FOR INFO CONCERNING THE FT  put a message under here  :-*

Odds and sods / The Arboretum chair
« on: February 16, 2018, 08:10:42 PM »
   Many many years ago, the 41 / 45 Victorious association raised funds and located a Memorial Chair, complete with Vic badge in the National Memorial Arboretum. Soon after, an oak tree followed, and of course, most of us have made visits to the tree and sat on the bench. Following on in the original Vic association foot steps, current Association, has continued the visits, more recently on St. Georges day. We have raised a tot in quiet contemplation and remembered our departed shipmates, and in the last couple of years there have been some real stalwarts who have crossed the bar.
  Our shipmate Crash Evans, ably assisted by the Hon. Sec. (young) Topsey Turner have kept a weather eye on the chair, and the tree, even getting the Powder Monkey to occasionally apply a coat of preservative on the old chair. However, time takes its toll on all things, and on a recent visit to the Arboretum, Crash was very perturbed to find the chair up ended and three legged.  

   A sad sight.... but wait. !!!!!!!!!

The Trincomalee, now under the protection of the National Museum of the Royal Navy is again open for visitors.

Today's Navy / Christmas Cards from today's Navy.
« on: January 07, 2018, 04:17:59 PM »
   A couple of rather good Crimbo cards, that I rather liked! From Mike Humphries, Santa landing on, presumably with lots of goodies for the boys and girls,and a very nice picture fromShipmate Mike Longhurst to all the Victorious members, of a nice new carrier being towed round Pompey harbour ( I think). No nasty black smoke coming out of her funnel !! ever ! The card is from the R.N.A,

  Mike Humphries card is produced by "The Navy Wings" and they are a charity affiliated to H.M.S Queen Elizabeth.

    Will chase up details.

        Anyway here is hoping we all have a very good NEW YEAR I 2018.

Naval History / A Rather useful Ship.
« on: December 30, 2017, 03:35:21 PM »
Was a bit undecided whether to put this little item into our history blogs, or into today's navy, I think we may have recorded this item elsewhere on our web, but hey ho, its worth repeating.
Item.... from H.M.S. Victorious commissioning book `1963/64.
    Statistics in bulk both confuse and bore, but the figures sent to the Editor by the Met. Officer of the ships first war -time commission provide a revealing commentary on the changes that have taken place during the ship's life.These statistics were first published in the 4th edition of the Fleet Air Arm Bulletin in June 1943.
    The Victorious flew Sword-fish, Albacores,Gladiators, Hurricanes,...17 types in all up to 31st. May, 1943. In that time she spent 389 days at sea, steamed 118,000 miles and flew her aircraft for 7,716 hours, they made 5,505 landings on deck, and there were only 352 "accelerator" shots, the others were all free-take-offs.

For comparison, during  the past year, we have steamed 62,000 miles in 159 days at sea,there have been 4,879 landings and 2,364 catapult launches(814 don't believe in that sort of thing), the squadrons have over 5,243 hours from the ship(and many more from ashore). Almost as many sorties, note, in under half the days at sea- and with fewer aircraft onboard too. The pace is is much hotter nowadays.

  From my perspective, (buried deep down in one or other of the boiler-rooms and as simple stoker), I do recall during the above period, we had a few odd mechanical breakdowns, but we always used to have some odd Tiffy chaps who fixed them. Have they like the Dodo become extinct  ?? Maybe been replaced by the proverbial dockyard matey ?? 

A run ashore / Roman Vindolanda and the Roman Army museum.
« on: December 21, 2017, 04:12:12 PM »

   Vindolanda, built AD85 ( before Hadrians wall).
       Had a run up into the wilds of Northumberland, rained a lot, but well worth the trip.It is worth noting that it rains a lot in Nothumberland,and occasionally one gets eaten by midges, but when either of these problems arise, retire to the local hostelry, a short distance west of Vindolanda, the "Twice Brewed Inn", where the beer is good, the food is good, and should accommodation be required the rooms have all been recently refurbed. A much different operation than that in place forty years ago when I first visited the place.
   Vindolanda is run by an independent trust, and is the life work of several generations of the Birley family. The patron of the trust, Professor Anthony Birley has done a lot of digging in the past, was seen on the television, when the famous wooden Roman letters were found and deciphered,they made world news. I am advised that the Professor in his younger days served as a Royal marine, but now  at any given day there is usually a younger family member digging up something interesting. I am advised that the site is so huge, they expect to be still digging in 200 years time !
   A good web site. .   Twice brewed Inn  post code NE47 7AN    Both places well worth a look.
pic of me in wet weather gear is a mock up of the wall showing what the original height of the wall was.

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