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Big Adventure

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Big Adventure

When I was about 8 years old, our family, who lived in the middle of England, about as far away from the sea as you can get, used to take the train, to visit the Grandparents, in York, from there, we would take another train, to the seaside, for a holiday by the sea.... great fun,... sand castles, ice cream and fluffy candyfloss !... I remember one day, we took a local bus service and went to a small bay called Robin Hoods bay..... a very romantic place, because my brother was called Robin... and we lived not far from Robin Hood`s home, of Sherwood Forest... I also remember standing inside a BIG oak tree reputed to have hidden Our Hero, when the Sherriff of Nottingham was looking for him...
I digress !... The Big Adventure  ?  well that was going to sea in a Yorkshire Cobble.... from the beach....at Robin Hood`s Bay,......
  A Yorkshire Cobble is an open rowing boat type, usually fitted with an engine.... they are  about 16 to 18 ft long, with a high prow, and a flat raked stern...
http://www.jamesdodds.co.uk/images/paintings/yorkshirecoble.jpg
These boats were used by local fishermen for the purpose of fishing, and could be easily launched into the breaking waves because of the high prow,  from the shore,... and the flat stern, helped the waves to push the boat back onto the beach when it returned.
I remember the day very clearly,... it was " a bit dull"... and quite windy... the waves seemed enormous to me... and my father bribed me to go on the boat... "if you are not seasick, then I will give you sixpence, when we get back..".. !  well, at that age, and with that kind of money... how could I not go. ?
I remember it was a very thrilling time...being out on the sea, going up and down with the waves, and the wind blowing... and the spray ... I was standing in the prow, and thoroughly enjoying it....   
Yes.....  I got my sixpence... but more importantly... I got a love of the sea.! ! ..
What was your "big adventure" when you were a kid  ? ?   
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Re: Big Adventure

@Shutter. your post brings back memories. I remember the cobble boats very well. I often would go to North Landing at Flamborough  Head and saw them being launched to go out to sea to fish. On their return they were hauled up from the shore back onto dry land again.
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Re: Big Adventure

I used to go fishing in these when I was a child they had an old Austin side valve engine
http://www.thebeachguide.co.uk/photos/marske-sands-795336.htm
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Re: Big Adventure

A beautiful pic Jim Smiley Smiley
Here are some of North Landing. To the very right, looking out to sea, was the Flamborough Lifeboat station. The lifeboat was launched down a metal gully direct into the water and winched up again on its return.
North Landing
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Re: Big Adventure

Quote from: shutter
What was your "big adventure" when you were a kid  ? ?   

Usually a trip to the shops because my parent couldn't be bothered..
But I used to love going on the trains whenever I was dragged out on one of their super important self satisfying trips to somewhere for their own self worship. The BR NSE class 421 holds a lot of great memories for me - I loved those things but I also remember them in the cream / navy blue colour before the NSE rebrand and back then they looked awful.
Sadly virtually all of them ended up like this:

Now that is a shame for me - because todays older generations are only interested in saving steam - which they grew up with - which is of dying interest as my generation (and the younger ones) won't really understand it or have memories of using it regularly. So yet again.. the public will slowly start to fall out of love with heritage railways as they'll all become old and boring.
Anyhow.. my big adventure... a trip on a slam door.
I need a new signature... i'm bored of the old one!
rongtw
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Re: Big Adventure

Well i suppose i was lucky  Wink my father was in the RAF  ,, when i was 6 - 10 yr old we lived in Penang
The greatest day out was a visit to the reclining Buda  during the festival of Thaipusam  Cool  awesome sight 
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jab1
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Re: Big Adventure

After that, rongtw, mine seems a bit boring. Wink A trip to Manchester Airport with a short flight in a 6-seater Cesna - noisy, but really exciting for an 11 year old.
This was our 'leaving treat' from junior school in 1966, and seemed really special.
John
rongtw
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Re: Big Adventure

Jab1  when we flew to penang we first took a Bristol Britannia to honk kong the a old Dakota to Singapore  Smiley
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Re: Big Adventure

On another occasion,.... we were on holiday, again, at Great Yarmouth, I think... and an opportunity came up for us to take a trip on a "pirate sailing ship"... ( I think I was bout 10 yrs old then)... and pirates were my heroes.... to go out to a "desert island" and search for buried treasure...  It might have been to "Scroby Sands"... but my memory on the exact location is not clear... ( well it was over half a century ago)...
I do remember that I DID find a gold dubloon... but can`t remember what happened to it... ( my sister probably nicked it ! ! !)..
After that... I was definitely "hooked" on going to sea as soon as I could... and started to read books about the old sailing ships... tea clippers and naval battles... one, very very, thick book impressed me, called "two years before the mast".... took me about a year to read it !...It should have put me off, wanting to go to sea, because of the description of the hard life, and the dangers of being up a sailing ships mast in a gale, trying to reef the huge sails.... However, it just seemed to re-inforce the wanderlust in me, to go to sea and travel the world.
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Life returned to normal, after the holiday by the seaside.... back to school, and doing the usual stuff a 10 yr old kid did , (60 yrs ago).... making a "trolley" or soap box, and forgetting about the brakes... and then my next big adventure was going  up to the next school.... Not a grammar school, my parents could not afford to send their number 2 son, to one, because number 1 son got there first... and anyway, I did not want to be a "grammar school snob"... so I was happy NOT to have gone there... instead... I went to a revolutionary type of school.... not  a secondary modern, or a grammar school, but this one was something of an experiment... it was called an "Intermediate" school, and provided better curriculum than the secondary modern... and the chance to "graduate" if that was what you wanted to do, to go on to grammar school, at a later date... 
All that is background information, because at the age of 12, I joined the Sea Cadets....  I used to pass their headquarters building, on the way to my new school, and became interested in what they got up to at the weekends... ... particularly with the boats on the river.  and this led me into an even BIGGER adventure....  We used to take part in competitions between ourselves and other Sea Cadet units... doing "Whaler Racing".... however, the BIGGER adventure came when I was selected to go with 11 other young lads, to spend two weeks on "our" ship...
Our unit was called TIGER S.C.C.  and the TIGER referred to the Battle Cruiser H.M.S. TIger ( pennant number C20)... We travelled down to Portsmouth on the train, and then we were there... in the dockyard, alongside the wall was this MASSIVE cruiser...
Well, you can imagine... 12 yrs old... always wanting to go to sea... and here I was...  about to do just that... In a Battle Cruiser... WOW...
so we were guided down to our "mess deck" and looked after very well, we were all given various "parts of ship" where we were to see how things happened... and my "part of ship" was the Wheelhouse..... where the ship was steered from, and the controls to the engine room repeaters were...
I spent about 30 minutes, actually steering that great big Battle Cruiser at 25 knots, along the English Channel... and passing the commands from the officer of the watch on the bridge, to the engine room...
another "WOW" moment in my life...    12 years old... and having control of that big ship.... certainly has remained in my memory for over 60 years as a highlight of my early introduction to a life in the Navy.....
I did manage to take a few photos with an old Kodak bellows camera, and was very proud when I got home and told my parents what I had been doing on that ship... ( The photo`s and the camera are long gone, unfortunately.... but the pictures in my memory are still very clear )...
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Re: Big Adventure

Fascinating account Shutter. You have certainly had an adventurous life as well as serving your country into the bargain Smiley Smiley
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Having spent those two weeks on board HMS TIGER, I was convinced that I wanted to join the navy as soon as I was old enough...  It had nothing to do with "running away to sea" from a broken home.  My father was a cabinet maker, and working in a factory,  ... we had been around some factories, as part of our school introduction to "life out there" after school... and I had decided that was NOT the life for me... but.. going to sea, and travelling around the world, was the BIG ADVENTURE and the BIG DREAM.. for me..
And so... time passed, and school days were coming to an end... and at the tender age of FIFTEEN AND A QUARTER !.. I had my case packed... and went to the station to catch a train to London, on January 5 1960.... It was amazing... I can still remember the feelings... a king of trepidation, with a feeling of freedom, and an excitement at the start of the biggest journey of my life...
During training, at HMS GANGES, near Ipswich... we did all the stuff that sailors do...... go to school, learn about navigation,... marching,..  parts of ship... sailing on the orwell, in open boats... very exciting, and a bit scary, when the weather was a bit rough... we climbed the mast and we carried out many other tasks... all the while getting a basic introduction to the routine of naval life, Sunday parades, church on the parade ground... and learning our trades... Mine was to be a Radio Operator... and so we had to learn to type, and to send and receive morse code...
Eventually, after about 12 months, we were sent to another establishment , HMS MERCURY, on a hill top, near Clanfield, in Hampshire... Here we concentrated more on the radio side of training... covering such subjects as message handling, and encryption using book codes and machine codes... this part of the training was really intensive, and very  interesting... and I was now more certain than ever, that I had made the right decision. to joing the navy... .. and was looking forward to the "final" exams and the posting to a ship...
It was about the time of the "cod war"... and our class of new radio operators were "drafted" or posted to ships that were involved in that.. working out in the atlantic, just off Iceland.  All my mates were sent there.... Maybe I was the lucky one... ( or maybe not )... my ship was to go into refit in Rosyth, on the day I was supposed to join it.... so my "draft chit" got cancelled.. and I had to wait another two weeks after all my mates had gone...  ( oh dear... what a shame..... ! )... before I got my next draft chit.....  and that is the start of another BIG ADVENTURE .... 
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It would have been a "sort of" big adventure... to go to HMS PELLEW, during a refit in Rosyth... I had never been to Scotland... and it would have been my first "proper" draft.... instead, I had to wait around for another 4 weeks before being told... "get your kit bag packed... You fly to Malta at 1800 tomorrow ".....  Well, blow me down, with a strong south westerly ! ! !... all my mates had gone to the freezing north... and here was me... on my own,... flying off to Malta, in the sunny Med... My ship... H.M.S. DIANA, a Destroyer .... at that time she was representing the U.K. at the ceremony of "freeing the Cameroons"... something to do with us giving up sovereignty, I think !>.. as luck would have it.... that got delayed...and I arrived in Malta about 5 weeks before she did... BUT.. yet another flight was in store for me... I was going to fly from Malta to Gibraltar,  however, that, also was cancelled... and so was the next attempt to get me on board... I was told to get my kitbag packed, (again).. and was taken down to Valetta, and out in the middle of Grand Harbour, was a Royal Fleet Auxilliary ship... ready to sail for a R.A.S....  (refuel at sea) with the DIANA....  and I was to be transferred at sea, using the Breeches Bouy..... SCARY !... yes, indeed... having got a local boatman to take me to the RFA.... I hauled myself and my kitbag, up a very steep "companionway"  (fixed ladder) on the side of the RFA... only to be told, by the captain, that they were not sailing, and that my transfer had been cancelled, and I was to make my way back to the place where I came from....!  so ... on the one hand, relieved that I was not going to have the transfer... but on the other hand,.. a trifle annoyed  that I had, again, been messed about with !>!> ! ! ! ...

Evenutally, H.M.S. Diana arrived in Malta... and I joined my first ship...
. It was pretty scary, (remember, I was not yet 17 yrs old, and on my own)...  not knowing what to expect from the other guys I was to be living in close quarters with,... how they would, or would not, accept me.. and a very very steep "learning curve" in the modern parlance... having to fit in,.. and not wanting to appear stupid, by asking a lot of silly questions... best thing to do, is to try and blend in... keep eyes and ears open.. and learn,.... very quickly,.... what went on around you..
After a few weeks, we had been to sea several times... and I had begun to settle down, and get used to my new job, and my new mates...  we left Malta, to go out and do some exercises with a couple of frigates, and another destroyer, however, the weather turned rather nasty after a couple of days,... and we were called to help out on a SOS call, from an italian ship... I can`t remember the ships name, but I do remember that the sea was very rough, with waves about 25 to 30 feet, and howling gale blowing for the whole time.... In the wireless office, I was given the job of monitoring the distress frequency, where this Italian had called on, and my main memory of that time, was his high pitched voice, shouting into his microphone... " Pronto    Pronto"........    "Pronto Pronto"...  and then I did not hear him again,,.... we spent the next 24 hours in the area, but we could not find any trace of the ship, so I assume that he went down with it...
The weather eventually calmed down, and we were able to proceed back to Malta.  in sombre mood.
Action and Adventure, go hand in hand in the Navy, and that "action" , was to be one of many that I took part in ... It also helps to strengthen the ship`s company spirit, of working together and team work. and a certain PRIDE in each individual, for their own self, and PRIDE in the ship, which they serve, and PRIDE in the ROYAL NAVY.
After 6 months service in the Mediteranean, on H.M.S. Diana, we steamed back to Plymouth....  calling in at Gibraltar and Lisbon on the way...  and so started my real adventure, that I had been dreaming of, since I was about 8 years old, on the beach at Robin Hood`s bay...
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Re: Big Adventure

How do you define action? My life has never had any  Cry
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Re: Big Adventure

@Shutter, you really should write a book on all your adventures Smiley