GROWING OLD!

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Stanley
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Re: GROWING OLD!

Post by Stanley » 30 Jun 2017, 03:20

That's my view of interviewing as well Tiz. Read the LTP transcripts. I usually managed to avoid steering the informants.
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Re: GROWING OLD!

Post by Thomo » 01 Jul 2017, 11:28

I am about to re introduce one of my old topics "welcome to cat world". This maybe a less popular subject, yet a part of it concerns a recent development in my life's experience.

It may be hard to imagine that adopting a stray animal could result in a life changing experience that is a positive and beneficial one, but it has certainly been one for us. The animal concerned here was a stray cat who we named TC. In late November last year, 2016 we were having to cope with the death of my Sister, and if this wasn't bad enough, TC was also nearing the end. My Sisters funeral was set for the 8th of December, on the 7th, we had to have TC put to sleep, make no mistake, both are sadly missed, and I am not trying to compare the difference between the two. My Sister had been a major part of my life for 76 years and as such will never be forgotten, TC on the other hand was a more recent arrival, and had brought us into touch with younger Woman, She had asked us for help, when TC's future was under threat.
We have lived in rented accommodation for 13 years now, the reasons for which were posted on here some while ago, most of this was spent in two properties owned by a local Woman, and managed by her partner, what happened between us and them is lengthy and will be posted later.

The simple upshot is this:- In 2015, the young Woman whom we had helped with TC inherited a property, and sufficient monies to renovate it, quite by accident, she became aware of the distressing situation we were in, and offered us a way out. We took it, and moved to where we are now in April 2016. Prior to moving in, this house was completely renovated and refurbished, it also is a part of my families history.
My Parents were married at Ghyll Church, in 1925 and could not afford a home of their own, few could back then. They had friends who had sponsored the building of properties in the Town, and had offered them a home to rent, this was No. 7 on the street where we now live, in 1926, that was where my late Sister was born. In 1927, the Landlords Daughter was married, and was moved into No. 7, my Parents and baby Sister having been moved into No. 20. This is where we now live, 90 years since my Family first moved in. In 1930, they were joined here by my Mother's Brother, Arthur and his new wife Annie, who shortly afterwards gave birth to a Son, my cousin Gordon, this was just a short stay until they found a place of their own. Gordon was killed on his way to safety with family in Canada, three months after I was born in 1940. He was on the refugee ship, "City of Benares" when it was torpedoed in the North Atlantic. I have a letter written by my great aunt Florence in Canada on the day that he died and received here later, stating how they were looking forward to his arrival, they had no idea what had taken place.

Experience comes under two main headings, good and not so good, this little story is a mixture of both.
Thomo. RN Retired, but not regretted!

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Re: GROWING OLD!

Post by Cathy » 01 Jul 2017, 14:21

Wow Thomo... If your walls could talk.
I know I'm in my own little world, but it's OK... they know me here. :)

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Re: GROWING OLD!

Post by Thomo » 02 Jul 2017, 13:11

Cathy, maybe they can. The aforementioned landlord and his wife became my Godparents in 1940.
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Re: GROWING OLD!

Post by chinatyke » 04 Jul 2017, 00:39

Isn't it strange how things drop into place? It must truly feel like home with all your family history there. I wish you many years of happiness in your new home.

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Re: GROWING OLD!

Post by Thomo » 05 Jul 2017, 14:24

Hope and Expectation. When those of us who now consider, and know that we are "Growing Older", and are classed as Old by more recent generations, there are many things to remember, and "Hope" is one of them. At the time of our births, hope was an item that was our parents concern, not ours. This is something from our point of view that would develop as the years progressed. Expectation on the other hand came later, when having worked hard to achieve an ambition, your expectations were fulfilled, and this could take many years if it was to become successful. In our earlier times "Peer Pressure" did not exist, if our hopes and ambitions were fulfilled, it was all down to our own efforts with help from others who knew what they were doing. We now live an age where youngsters and many of their parents have to deal with the pressures of expectation, and not hope. I would like, and I wish I had, have been all frequently been replaced by a "must have" situation. This can put both Parents and Children in a bad situation, if the Parents lives are not in a good financial state. Modern media has much to answer for in this context, and of course it follows that todays parents and their offspring appear to be unable to survive without it.
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Re: GROWING OLD!

Post by Tripps » 07 Jul 2017, 11:31

I'll put this here for sake of continuity. The Tesco alarm saga.

I've had a good run for a few visits with no 'alarums and excursions'.

Yesterday - for sheer devilment I walked in with an empty trolley through the exit channel. The alarm went off. The guard was conducting training at the time and had a group of students with him. I showed them it was my wallet which was the trigger, by waving it in front of the sensor. I then asked if I could test the latest card which was the chief suspect. This was waved, and did not alarm. So much for that theory. He said it was probably due to the aggregate of the quantity of cards, and that only fat wallets were vulnerable.

He said that he kept his cards in an old metal miniature cigar tin / Faraday cage, and showed it to me. A bit extreme I thought - he then said that he didn't trust pin numbers, and insisted on signing at the checkout.

"I am not a number - I am a free man" he said. I think that's from some TV series.

I phoned customer services, and they were most sympathetic. He said they would advise the store, and next time it happens I should ask for the duty manager, and he'll get to the bottom of the problem. I think I'm slowly turning into Victor Meldrew. :smile:
Born to be mild. . .

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Re: GROWING OLD!

Post by Thomo » 07 Jul 2017, 11:37

If we are fortunate enough to achieve Old Age without impediment, and have gained in knowledge, experience, common sense and skills, and above all else, still have the ability to put them to good use, then we are indeed fortunate. I am certain that very few of us have any objection to being advised on anything, provided that we consider the advisor to be capable of sound judgement on whatever is in question.
Moving with times is all down to our desire, or otherwise, to do so, and I am sure that most of us do. Being told by youngsters that we should do, have to, or even worse, must do, can be mildly offensive.
We all have our "Pet Hates", as do all others, high on my own list is Football and all that goes with it, this stems from my childhood when every Saturday afternoon, I was taken away from whatever I wanted to do to go and see the local match, this situation ended when I learned to ride a bike and started to explore to local area, at the appointed match time I was nowhere to found! Football was always high on the agenda during education, I went long distance running instead. I still cannot come to terms with the idea that someone can earn as much in a week for kicking a ball about, than the head of government earns in a year. Another pet hate is having to sit around waiting for something, a visitor or whatever, when I have many other things that I could be doing. It could be imagined that as we grow older, the list of things that we really need to do diminishes, often instead of this, it is the time left in which to do them that is diminishing, and the list is getting longer.
I hold much of my families history in one form or another, hard copies and digital information. I now also have the material passed to me after the death of my Sister last year. One of my main tasks is to correlate all of the data and save it for the future. This would be the easy way, but with technology advancing at an almost alarming rate, would it still be accessible? A hard copy would be the answer I imagine, yet it does beg the question as to where it would go when I have gone.
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Re: GROWING OLD!

Post by chinatyke » 07 Jul 2017, 12:43

Thomo wrote:
07 Jul 2017, 11:37
One of my main tasks is to correlate all of the data and save it for the future. This would be the easy way, but with technology advancing at an almost alarming rate, would it still be accessible? A hard copy would be the answer I imagine, yet it does beg the question as to where it would go when I have gone.
There are people who can still read cuneiform script so I wouldn't worry what form you use to store your records, digital or hard copies, there will always be experts who can access them. Publish them online and Google and the other search engines will pick it up and keep a record of it for posterity.

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Re: GROWING OLD!

Post by Stanley » 08 Jul 2017, 03:09

When we researched archiving for the LTP the best answer is to make the database you want to save freely available for download so that it is in multiple locations plus hard copies lodged in other archives.
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Re: GROWING OLD!

Post by Thomo » 08 Jul 2017, 12:54

Thanks to you both for that. I have created an updatable master disc from the information that I have, and have sent my Son a basic copy. When new data is added to my database, I can mail him the updates, it is then up to him to add them to his own disc, "when he has the time!"
Stanley, I mentioned on here a number of books that may be of interest to yourself, they are as follows:-

Two volumes in pristine condition of "The magic of a name" the Rolls Royce Story by Peter Pugh, volume one is "The First 40 Years", volume two is "The Power Behind the Jets".
Next are two books given to me by Newton Pickles in the 1950s. Both are titled "Model Steamers and Motorboats" How to build and run them by Percival Marshal & Co, London.
Another is a small book titled "Carts and Wagons" by John Vince.
And finally, "General Engineering Workshop Practice". This book belonged to my Uncle Bernard Walsh, and is possibly 1920/1930s. Bernard was born in 1905 and later a Textile worker, he had health problems and was declared unfit for service in WW2. He tried to do his bit by going to work for Ruston Bucyrus in Pontefract, building Tanks. Always having been interested in how things worked, he had amassed a large collection of "Meccano", He bought me my first set in 1943. After the war, he went to Rolls Royce here in the Town. Bernard was a self taught pianist, and post war, when Rolls Royce/Rover held a dinner in recognition of this Towns efforts, he was invited to provide the entertainment, this may have been in Preston. The Guest of Honour was Sir Frank Whittle, I still have Bernard's invitation card signed by Sir Frank. Bernard ended is working life as an employee at Bancroft mill.

Image
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Re: GROWING OLD!

Post by Thomo » 09 Jul 2017, 12:16

I forgot to make it clear on my last post that the aforementioned books are offered gratis to anyone who would like to have them, I only wish them to go to a secure new home.

In regard to experience, good and bad, there is one item that none of us can escape, "Death". This is something that touches all of our lives at some point, it may be how we learn to deal with it that can make a profound difference. I fully appreciate that this is probably not a very popular subject, and we all have our own ways of dealing with it. For many of us who are older, we were possibly shielded from the death of family members until we were considered to be old enough to understand what had taken place. From a personal point of view, my first experience of the death of a family member was that of my Father in 1966, I had been married just one year and we were expecting our first child.
Then aged 26, I had already experienced death. In the 1950s I sometimes on my own, or with a friend, had been what is known as First on Scene at three serious fatal Road Traffic Accidents. The first was on the A59 near Salmesbury Aerodrome, I was with my then employer on our way to Preston, two Rover cars collide head on, each carrying two adults and four children, without going into great detail, I was told to hold and comfort a small unconscious girl on the grass verge. The girl died in my arms, I was just sixteen, she was the child of a total stranger, and as I found out later, was only three years old. Out of the twelve occupants of the two cars, only two survived. Next was tragic accident at Kelbrook when a cyclist was hit head by a van, he was still alive when we reached him, but died soon after in hospital, 38 serious injuries, he was also the Brother of a friend of mine. The last of these three was on Kelbrook Rd. not far from the school. Coming home from college with a friend in his Fathers car, we were coming up the hill from Salterforth, there was another vehicle ahead of us. It was dark and it appeared that this vehicle was spinning, eventually coming to rest upside down in the middle of he road, as we approached, my friend told me that he didn't wish to go any further, I got out, and he returned down to Salterforth to call the emergency services. As I walked up the road I Came across the body of a young woman laid at the foot of a lamppost like a broken doll. I found a young man laid in the road beside the vehicle, on his back but still alive. I was doing my best to help him with what I knew, when Doctor Robertson who lived nearby, and had heard the crash arrived in his pyjama's, despite our combined efforts, the young Man died soon after. He was the only Son of a local Publican, and She was the only child of a local window cleaner.
In 1974 I saw at first hand what is left when an aircraft collides with a mountain. Four square miles of devastated jungle, and the remains of 191 people, all burnt beyond recognition. What I remember most is the total silence and the terrible smell. In the years that followed I have seen a Man cut in half, another drowned, and had to remove the body of a Man who had burned to death in his bed, I have also been to more than my share of funerals in later years.
What effect has this had on me? you may wonder. In short, I have become "hardened" to the impact of death, this is neither a fault nor a blessing, it is something that I still have to deal with as best I may.
In 2016, after my third and most serious breakdown in two years, I was attended by an out of hours Doctor from Blackburn, he was very good and fully understood what my problems were, in respect of medication and mental state. He asked about past traumatic events, and when I described what I have just written above, he asked "did you receive any counselling" I had to explain to him that during most of this, counselling as we know it today was still in its infancy, and that it was dealt with accordingly, gain knowledge from it, and try to put it at the back of the mind.
Being "hardened" to the impact of death can be helpful at times, particularly when trying to help others, it can also come back to hurt when you least expect it.
In my next post I will explain the hurt that can occur from personal experience, and the damage it can do, after that I will move on to the better side of experience. Many thanks for your time.
Thomo. RN Retired, but not regretted!

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Re: GROWING OLD!

Post by chinatyke » 09 Jul 2017, 13:38

Reading that makes me realise what a sheltered life I've had. I deal with death and life expectancy by accepting it, same as I do for other things I cannot change.

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Re: GROWING OLD!

Post by Thomo » 10 Jul 2017, 13:24

Chinatyke. That was a bold and what I consider to be a brave response, thank you. What separates this site from the other local alternatives is easily defined, nobody resorts to foul language to make their point, most posts are made as a result of careful and balanced consideration, and not "knee jerk" reaction, and they who do post on here come from a wide ranging cross section of the public, with a varying range of knowledge and experience.
In my last post, I tried to explain what effect exposure to death, most of which was violent, May have, and used the term "Hardened", I also mentioned how this state of mind can come back to hurt, or haunt yourself. In my case it has cost me the love and respect of my Daughter.
In 2011, I was made aware by phone that my Daughter was expecting a third child, this was not planned for as She was already happily married and had two Children, a Boy and a Girl. This news came as a surprise as She was no longer a youngster and there was danger involved, add to this, they were about to move home from Bristol into North Somerset.
The child was born premature, a Boy, and my next call was to inform me that he had not survived the first 24 hours. My reaction was sympathetic, yet tempered by past experience. I was saddened but not coming apart at the seams.
Later in the same year and unsure as what my two Grandchildren would wish for Christmas, we sent money to spend on presents for them, this was returned shortly afterwards with a letter stating that it would be hypocritical to give them gifts from someone that they hardly knew, and that it would be better if all communication ceased for a while.
There has been no direct contact at all since then, if I want to know how they are, I have to ask my Son on Anglesey, and even he is not kept well informed.
It is quite clear that I did not react as may have been expected at the time, for which I am truly sorry, and should feel ashamed, not a day passes that I do not regret my reactions, or wonder how they are. My Daughter was born in 1970 at Cawder Gill Maternity home, Skipton, almost two months premature, and was immediately transferred to Bradford Royal Infirmary. What her Mother and I went through before she came home is beyond description, it was something that happened and we had to deal with it.
I am aware that there are among you, they who have suffered the loss of a Child, and fully understand the impact that this can have, losing a Child, and knowing that they are still alive is extremely difficult to live with.
After 2011, I lost myself in work on a number of projects, a book being one of them, in 2015 this work all came to an end, and in September I had my first breakdown. After the last one in 2016, when the good Doctor, mentioned in an earlier post asked about traumatic events in my life, I left this one out. I made a big mistake by reacting as I did in regard to what happened to my third Grandchild, and fully accept that my actions cannot be reversed, or eradicated, I will just have to carry on and deal with it.
I apologise if what I have recently posted is a bit "heavy", but it is helpful to get it off my chest.
From here in, with the bad experience's out of the way, I will be able to take a much more light hearted look at the good experience's and the impact they have had.
Thomo. RN Retired, but not regretted!

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Re: GROWING OLD!

Post by Big Kev » 10 Jul 2017, 18:36

I understand your 'hardened'. At 19 years old I was an Operating Theatre Assistant, a varied role that included shifts in A&E and the mortuary. The 5 years I worked there I became 'hardened', I was on shift when they brought my father in following an accident , I was also on shift 3 weeks later when he died. Although upset for my mother I almost felt detached from the events that followed, the funeral etc. I did have the advantage of a wife and a baby to keep me occupied. I stll feel the same now as my mother has just lost her second husband of 17 years, upset for my mother but still with the feeling of detachment. It's a strange old world.

Just thought I'd add that at 56 I don't consider myself old yet :laugh5:
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Re: GROWING OLD!

Post by Thomo » 11 Jul 2017, 09:00

Kev, at 56 you aren't old, becoming hardened in relation to death, does not mean that you lack compassion. In 1973 I was at sea in the gulf of Mexico when I was informed that my Mother had died. All efforts to get me home were made, but sadly I missed her funeral by 24 hours. Not knowing where my Wife and Children were I was picked up at Colne Station by a relative and taken to join them in Earby to discover that my Son was in Airedale Hospital following acute appendicitis. "Welcome home Thomo!".
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Re: GROWING OLD!

Post by Thomo » 11 Jul 2017, 14:59

We "Oldies"" whoever we are, and whatever we have achieved, seen, done. or experienced, is all down to our past, our origins. Before going any further, I will briefly outline my origins. On my Maternal side, nearly all were immigrants from Ireland, who settled in Lancashire. The Walsh's, Lennon's and Mellor's, almost, but not all were textile workers. One, my Great Great Grandfather was a Sailor. He was at Trafalgar in 1805 and was lost at sea 20 years later. My Paternal ancestors were originally from Northumberland, and later settled mainly in the Grassington area of what is now North Yorkshire. These were quarrymen, Lead and coal miners, farm labourers, and again a Sailor.
In the years in which many of us were born, living was not easy, the facilities for future expectation were very thin on the ground. What is nowadays accepted as readily available. Travel, extended education and career prospects were much limited.
Despite all of this, we are still here, and for many of us having to deal with the pressures of modern life, we carry on. We have a great deal to be thankful for, as there have many who were even less fortunate.
Apart from education, one of the main features of our adult lives has been built around what we did with what we had available, jobs, careers, and vocation.
We have all probably heard this "What do you want to be when you grow up?" Having become interested in aviation at the age of seven, I wanted to be a fighter pilot, and may have seen this wish fulfilled until suspected TB intervened when I was 16.
When I look back at my life, and what I have experienced in my time, I always feel a reasonable amount of pleasure, things that many of the current generation may never experience.
I did learn to fly. I have travelled extensively, I have ridden on the footplate of a steam locomotive, swam in the deepest waters on Earth, been under the Polar Icecap and met many interesting people in all parts of this planet, from what are now known as Celebs, right down to those who had absolutely nothing. I am extremely grateful for what I have, and have had.
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Re: GROWING OLD!

Post by Thomo » 12 Jul 2017, 14:41

When we take a look around us in respect of the changes that have, and are still taking place in our lifetimes, it may be difficult to understand where we and this World are going. Downhill, and quickly could be the assumption. It is hard to imagine a future that could be better than what we have known and experienced. "Hope" appears to have been superseded by expectation. What we had in our early years was for the greater part minimal.
Such items as "Travel" were dependant upon the situation at the time, and the affordability. Today, Travel has become easily available and is now a must do for all, including they who cannot truly afford it. It was always understood that Travel could "Broaden the Mind", it can, but to a great extent it depends on the choice of destination. Prior to joining the Royal Navy in 1972, my only experiences of Travel were holidays in Blackpool, Scarborough, Southport and wherever I could get to at weekends, by pushbike, motorcycle and later car. Two visits to the Isle of Man were the first times that I had ever left these shores.
My time at sea took me to many places, some of which are still not regarded as major tourist destinations, and some I would definitely not recommend for a holiday if beaches, booze and party's are what is desired, suntan, maybe! Since my seagoing days, I have had a couple of holidays in Europe. mainly for pleasure, yet some of these delivered new experiences. One the advantages of Travel with the Navy was that when you arrived at a destination point, there were often organised trips available, or you could organise your own by whatever means. The following list is in chronological order and includes the number of times visited and the extras involved.
1st trip, Belgium, Antwerp, Brussels, Waterloo and Hougomont. Holland, Amsterdam. Germany, Wilhelmshaven, Bremen and Hamburg. Denmark, Copenhagen. Norway, Oslo and Kolsus. Sweden, Malmo. 2nd trip, Gibraltar, Bermuda, New Orleans USA, Fat City and Houston. Puerto Rico, San Juan. Virgin Islands, Virgin Gorda. Norfolk VA, USA. It was at this point after the death of my Mother that I left my ship and returned home. First by Greyhound coach through Jamestown, Williamsburg and Yorktown to Washington DC and past the White House, And the Capitol buildings out to Dulles Airport. Thence, courtesy of the RAF, home via Ottawa in Canada to Brize Norton in UK. 3rd trip. Gibraltar. Malta. South Africa, Capetown. Kenya, Mombasa, Killindini. Pakistan, Karachi. India, Bombay. Ceylon. Pakistan, Karachi. India, Calcutta. Singapore. Hong Kong, Kowloon and New Territories. Philippines, Manila and Bataan. Borneo, Kota KInabalu. Hong Kong, Kowloon. Philippines, Manila. Cambodia, Phnom Penh. Thailand, Rayong, Bangkok and Sattahip, also a visit into Burma. Singapore, Sembawang. The Seychelles, Victoria. Brazil, Rio de Janerio. Norfolk VA USA. Gibraltar. 4th trip. The Artic Circle including Iceland. Sweden, Gothenburg. Germany, Wilhelmshaven, Hamburg. Germany, Bremerhaven.
Each one of these visits is worthy of its own story, I will pick out the best and detail them later.
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Re: GROWING OLD!

Post by Thomo » 17 Jul 2017, 12:54

Over many years the two of us have built up a moderate collection of music and video items. The musical ones are in the form of records (vinyl), cassettes and discs, video being on cassettes and DVD’s. Many of these items are now quite old, and the devices required to play them began to fail. This situation has now been rectified and once again all can be played. I have one LP given to me by the Artiste Carole King on my first trip to the USA, Tapestry. The opening lines of this song are: - “My life has been a tapestry of rich and royal hue”. In some ways this sums up my own life fairly well. “Rich”, not too good in monetary terms, but high in the things that I have experienced. “Royal”, I never have been nor are ever likely to. I have met several Royals, one from UK the rest from other countries; all were pleasant meetings and are fondly remembered. “Hue”, I am all about on having at one time been a fully skilled decorator, added to which of fair number of my experiences have been quite colourful as well. I can safely say that my time in the Royal Navy added more knowledge and experience, than much of what had come before it, yet some of the latter surfaced again to serve me well whilst at sea.
When I joined the RN, and being the oldest Man to do so since the end of WW2, I was to a degree a bit of a novelty. Already married with two children who were at that time still living in Earby, precluded their attendance at any ceremonies due to practicalities. Within days of my arrival in “New Entry” at HMS Fisgard, Torpoint in Cornwall, I was made “Class Leader” and responsible for the other 24 new arrivals under the supervision of a Petty Officer. All of us had joined as “MEM’s” Marine Engineering Mechanics, “Baby Stokers”. After the first week we transferred over the road into HMS Raleigh for six months of basic training. This was where my recently elevated position truly came home to roost. I had to be able to do all manner of things, some of which were alien to me, but do them better than my comrades. It was here that I learned a valuable lesson that I have stood by ever since, and still do. “Never order, or tell, or even expect, anyone to do something that you cannot do yourself”. During this period of training little had anything to do with Marine Engineering, it was all about discipline, seamanship, personal hygiene, fitness, tradition and the ways of the Navy, how to enter combat with an enemy, and if needs must, kill them. First aid and a whole range of diverse subject were taught. We learned how to manage sailing vessels, how to avoid venereal disease, how to survive if things went pear shaped and much more!. At the end of this period were all rated;- MEM2’s and after our “Passing out parade” would go to HMS Sultan at Gosport, the Navy’s Marine Engineering School. This parade was attended by the Princess Royal, at the appropriate moment; I was called out in front of my class to receive my Gold Class Leaders Badges, before they were presented it became very clear that she was well acquainted with my past, I was also elevated to SSMEM2, Specially Selected for accelerated advancement, it was a very proud moment, and later I accompanied her to the firefighting school to demonstrate the techniques involved in Naval Firefighting, and she had a go herself! The day went well, and the following party, even better
There have been many changes regarding all of our Armed Forces since my time. I look back on it now just as my forebears had done. “The Old Navy”, I now believe that I have the privilege of being considered as worthy of such a description.
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Re: GROWING OLD!

Post by Thomo » 22 Jul 2017, 13:57

For many of us when we were young, tragedy was a common occurrence, both personally, locally and nationally. At the time this was usually dealt with in the stoical manner of the age, and regardless of personal feelings and grief, life had to continue. More recent events have brought about a change in attitude and response towards personal, community, and national tragedies, and in far too many cases, blame has to be apportioned to others To paraphrase a line from Marriott Edgars writings about “Albert and the Lion” someone’s got be summonsed, and this was decided upon.
Hardly a day goes by now when the main news is not concerned with the ongoing stories of tragedies past and present, some of which will quite possibly still be rumbling around in the far distant future. Whilst many of us fully understand the impact of any tragedy on a personal or national level, we are also probably fully aware that a satisfactory outcome for all may never happen. In regard to something that has now become an understandable, if irrational reaction to tragedy, we have what is referred to in our house as “Diana Syndrome”, the laying of floral tributes however well-intentioned at the locations concerned, in all fairness, the only persons who benefit from this are the florists.
There have been many tragedies recently, and the latest one to come to fore is the terrible circumstances surrounding the fate of a small Child. The parent’s grief is understandable, yet what is taking place is rapidly developing into something that is difficult to comprehend. If, as a result this child could survive and live a long and happy life without constant and complete dependency on his Parents and others, it would be a miracle. In short, there appears to be less consideration for this unfortunate Childs circumstances now than what is taking place. We are frequently reminded by the media of the plight of countless numbers of small Children around the World who are suffering from disease, malnutrition, conflict and poor circumstances, not all can be saved,. This is not a heartless assumption, it is a fact.
Hillsborough, Stephen Lawrence, Ben Needham, and little Madeline McCann, “Little Boy Blue” are all scenarios that should never have happened, but they did, and no amount of legislation will ever put to rights what happened, or bring complete closure for they who are or were concerned. In some of these cases it was human failure or unfortunate circumstances that brought about such terrible results.
Once again, the situation regarding the small child, Charlie Gard, has come to fore. Anyone with normal human feelings can only feel sympathy for his parents and sorrow for what that child is enduring. The furore surrounding this is now beginning to have an impact on the lives of people who are trying to do a difficult job as best they can, the staff at the Great Ormond Street Hospital, and the parents of other children who are in their care, are having to face the supporters of little Charlie’s cause. All over the World, new born children are dying, and is has been ever thus for Centuries, not all can be saved, and very few attract this manner of attention.
Thomo. RN Retired, but not regretted!

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Re: GROWING OLD!

Post by Thomo » 02 Aug 2017, 13:24

When we “Oldies” embarked on life’s journey, we did not have access to what is available today. When you take a good look at this scenario, it becomes quite clear that we probably would have made much better use of what is now on offer, few of us were handed our futures on a plate. Despite this differential generated by time and advancement, most of us have successfully managed to apply ourselves in order to make good use of what we had at the time. In short what we were offered were the fundamentals, and it was all down to us to do with them what we were capable of doing. I recall my time at the local Secondary Modern School, on top of the usual obvious lessons, we had a full day, split between woodwork and metalwork, and we also had a full afternoon of horticulture. What I learned with these subjects has proven to be invaluable over the years, add to this, many years of working alongside skilled men of other trades, Plumbers, Electricians, Plasterers, Tilers, Carpenters and Builders and later Engineers of many different types. All have made their mark and contributed to my working life, I would also add that none considered that imparting their knowledge upon myself, would in any way affect their futures, they were not “selfish”, I imagine that in today’s working society, such an existence is extremely rare, and that the opportunities gained throughout it are rapidly disappearing.
In my working life I have had two main occupations, the first in the building trade, and the second in engineering, both required an apprenticeship, I have also had other employment at times using skills built up over the years. In the building trade I was a fully skilled Decorator, this included Signwriting, Gilding, and Heraldry, plus the normally associated tasks. In regards to Engineering, I have worked in Marine and Aerospace, also General Engineering, eventually building boats for the inland waterways from start to finished product, from construction, to fully fitted and painted vessels. I have over the years also worked in the Licensed Trade, first as a front of bar waiter, then barman and cellar man, then club steward and eventually Licensee of a public house. For a while I made my living from a hobby, producing and marketing “Ships in Bottles” and was at the time a member of the Welsh Craft Council, more about this later, plus pictures.
How many of this must have, must do generation that we hear so much about, will have learned to fly an aeroplane, and are capable of building a fully fitted house, or a an eighteen ton steel fully finished narrowboat single handed, seen much of the World and met its peoples, been under the Arctic Icecap, and been fired on by two opposing groups of rebels whilst caught in a river between them, or ridden a racing motorcycle in club events. I do not have a single “App”, nor do I require one, and can still manage quite well without. I am also possibly one of the very few people to have hung wallpaper on a warship at sea.
And now, here I am, just another grumbly old git with much to do, and the means and tools to achieve success, all I need is the time!
Thomo. RN Retired, but not regretted!

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Re: GROWING OLD!

Post by Thomo » 03 Aug 2017, 12:01

At this point, I would wish to apologise to any of you who may think that I may be "Blowing my own trumpet", when it comes down to how my life has been, and what I have experienced, be assured of this, it is all fact, and not the fictional ramblings of someone with a wishful mind. Each day I am reminded of others of my age group who are struggling to survive such things as "boredom" and lack of interest, and are caught up in the uncertainty of their own existence, this I find not only sad, but to an extent unbelievable. Apart from life's experiences, one of the key features for me has always been "Hobbies", this should not be confused with "Pastimes" although there are parallels involved. In respect of this, I will shortly introduce a new topic. I do not have letters after my name, and several of my qualifications are now classed as no longer fit for purpose, having been replaced by fast tracked alternatives. This hurts a little as there is a World of difference between the two. Earlier I spoke of having had flying lessons, this came about as a result of an Hobby at the time, this will be clarified in the new topic, "The value of Hobbies". Art, has played a great part in my life, and I am proud to have to have won several prizes for drawings and watercolours, yet I am not an artist in the true sense of the word, but it is also still one of the reasons as to why I am never bored.
Thomo. RN Retired, but not regretted!

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Re: GROWING OLD!

Post by chinatyke » 04 Aug 2017, 01:09

Thomo wrote:
12 Jul 2017, 14:41
When we take a look around us in respect of the changes that have, and are still taking place in our lifetimes, it may be difficult to understand where we and this World are going. Downhill, and quickly could be the assumption. It is hard to imagine a future that could be better than what we have known and experienced.
I love life today and I'm sure it is just as good as it was for us when we were kids. Yes, it's very different. Almost everyone had very little in the early fifties and definitely no luxuries. Modern day kids take for granted many things that were only in sci-fi books when we were little. I help three 13 year-old boy students with English and I'm impressed with their enthusiasm for life. Bloody good kids and the future is in good hands. We can only guess at the wondrous things there will be in 50 years time.

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Re: GROWING OLD!

Post by Thomo » 04 Aug 2017, 14:13

There is little doubt that most things are better now, its how people apply the advantages that makes the difference.
Thomo. RN Retired, but not regretted!

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Re: GROWING OLD!

Post by Thomo » 09 Aug 2017, 14:21

Sometimes things happen, completely out of the blue, that make you realise that despite the onset of "Old Age", experience and knowledge gained can still play a very useful part in the world of today. On the 11th of February 1917, a young married man from this town, Private David Walling, service No. 40749 of the Northumberland Fusiliers, was killed by a bomb. David is remembered on the Ploegsteert Memorial and on this Towns War Memorial, his descendants still live here. Thanks to the efforts of a number of people that I have been involved with since 2011 in respect of this Towns War History, and its War Memorial, and the on-going work involving several organisations, the Commonwealth War Graves commission, the Imperial War Museum, the website, Cravens Part in the Great War, (CPGW) and now the Western Front Association, it appears that David's Grave may have been found. Today I had the honour, and pleasure of advising David's descendants of this development. There is still much to do, but the outcome could mean that David will no longer just be another name on a Memorial abroad, but have a headstone marking the place where he lies.
Thomo. RN Retired, but not regretted!

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