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End of term hops




I remember the Radio 126 transmitter very well, I was the deejay. There were two REA apps involved in the construction, the record player (found in every mess) was connected into the TV circuitry which was modified as only REA's know how and then to one of the curtain rods as an antenna. This also limited transmission range. Records(Remember them?), were scrounged from every where. The enterprise lasted about a week. The Fisher Section Admin Office received a letter addressed to Jim the DJ at Radio 126. Apparently it was sent by a young girl who lived on the housing estate that bordered on Collingwood. I never got to read it , as it was intercepted and investigated by the Fisher Section Regulating staff. Nothing was found when 126 mess was searched as transmitter was dismantled every evening. 126 mess occupants had to muster in the mess on a couple of occasions for a kind of mass interrogation by the Regulating Staff. On the last round of questioning, an RPO asked if anyone had an interest in radio, lots of snickering while it was pointed out that a number of those present had been training in that field for about 3 years. Next question was about radio as a hobby. One soul volounteered that he was interested in radio controlled models, and did in fact have some components in his possession. One of the RPO's seized a battery operated motor about the size of a roll of mints and asked "Can this be used to broadcast a radio signal?". It was difficult for them to regain control of the situation with the whole of the mess roaring with laughter. As I recall that was the end of the matter, but Radio126 was off the air. Great fun while it lasted!!! Jim Hough.


On cars ó Jim Stephen and I went halves in a nice Vauxhall Velox we bought from a PO (his accomm was just up the road from Fisher Section) for 75 quid. I couldn't drive and don't think Jim was too crash hot either, so with Jim Neville (designated driver) and Geoff Clark we went to the continent for an August leave.
When we got back just three weeks later we managed to limp it round to a junkyard where the guy looked at it and refused; then it died on the spot so he gave us "Yer bus fare back" for it.
Actually that 30 bob got us back to Collingwood and a couple of beers.
It was jumping that fourth red light in a row in Amsterdam that did us in ...

(John Hough RNZN)


Marlborough Division (126 Hut) decided to introduce themselves to to rural areas around Hampshire, probably during 7/8 class. Terry Radford and Jim Hough were the social secs and telephoned pubs and got agreement for a night out. They then laid on a coach and off we went.
I recall vaguely one night we decided to play Buzz, you know 1,2,3,4,5,6,buzz change direction 8,9,etc. Dusty Miller was an excellent chairman, adding spice to the game and inventing the rules as we went along. I believe we bought jugs of beer and filled the glasses freely. At one point we pleaded for a "comfort stop". We were allowed five minutes, with the last one back to buy the next round. I was soon back, and watched the squabbling through the door to get seated before the last. I think, I recall something like Jim Hough and ?? fighting across the pub, knocking over the locals pints, and causing havoc when they arrived at our table. The chairman decided they had to buy a round for the whole pub and while they were protesting about this, Mouse Walmsley came stolling through the door without a care in the world, we laughed and were treated to two rounds of ale.
I believe on the trip back we had to stop very often.


A few dry weeks after the intro of the breathalizer, Len Munro and I with Denis Craig and a mate drove off to Pompey in my Cortina. After a few sherberts on route, we returned somewhat under the weather and decided to drive over C'Wood parade ground. Denis was feeling sick and decided to walk across to his mess. When I was changing into 3rd Len told me that Denis' sleeve was stuck in the door and we were dragging him across the parade ground. (Thanks Len). Denis ended up needing to buy a new suit after spending a week in Sick bay with bruised kidneys.
We of course knew nothing of this at the time, we had left Denis and his mate to make their own way, while Len and I drove to the milk machine outside Jellicoe(?) . Len shook/rocked said machine until it fell forward onto it's face. Because of the blast walls I couln't see Len and thought that the m/c was on top of him - I did laugh!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Martin Higgs)


Re App. (or not) in Tree in Fareham churchyard - but I remember it as a funeral (!) It was when we had returned to C'wood after sea training. Said tree jumper was AJCF and ended in Haslar where we took him Brandy (with the Guiness). He was unable to eat as his jaw was wired and they had knocked out his front teeth to allow a straw to be inserted. Suspected broken back (I seem to remember thru the haze!) and broken wrist (possibly two) and broken forearm also a possibility. "Killick" was D C from Belfast who was on Hermes where Al and I did sea training. (2 others whose names will come to me sometime.) Subsequent to the Haslar visit Denis returned to his ship in Pompey Dockyard and slipped on the icy rails and broke his leg!. (Martin Higgs)

It is hard to think that much time has passed, I can still remember returning to " Collingwood " from an night out and the milk and orange juice machine nearly killing me when it fell after I rocked it several times. (Len Munroe)


I remember a run ashore in Southampton, (probably the teachers training college again), when in the taxi on the way back, we had to stop so as one apprentice could relieve himself. he came running back two minutes later saying "hold this and get moving quick". It was the road sign for Northumberland Road" which will not fit across the back seats of any taxi. We chucked over the fence at Collingwood and collected it the same night. It sat well alongside the traffic cones etc.
(P.S.) I feel I must be careful in what we print, because some of us may still be trying to bring up teenage children, and trying to get them to act maturely. (Paul Merrett)


Just one quick ditty about Collingwood-there was a guy from the Channel Islands called" Le Grove", I remember one of the Fisher section RPO's giving him a the 3rd degree about the name tape on his #8 shirt, which read APPLEGROVE . (by Jim Hough)


I seem to recall that one apprentice went ashore one Saturday afternoon with a killick he knew. Somehow they ended up in a tree watching a wedding.

When next the apprentice spoke to his mate, his mate was in the next tree, "How did you get there " said the apprentice. "I just walked over the branch" said the killick. He was quite badly injured and several of went to visit him I recall him in hospital with his jaw all wired, drinking his daily ration of guiness through a straw.



We should require a 1958 Ford Prefect motor car with hissing air wipers and a dodgy rear offside window, complete with the only driver having a learner license. We should acquire two two-man tents from the Navy

The windscreen wiper should be ripped out by the navigator in a fit of rage and the driver will alternate driving left and right around roundabouts on the continent to bring a little excitement. We shall drive the wrong way down one way streets in Brussels.

We shall stop in a field beside a pub and refuse to recognise that "Oefs" on a sign behind the bar means hot fluffy scrambled eggs for sale even though after two days we are starving. The wife of a British couple camping in our field shall come over one morning and invite us to bring over our dishes for a lovely hot bowl of porridge, but we shall refuse on the grounds that we donít have any dishes.

We shall then pass through Luxembourg but only after running into the back of a Mercedes.

And so into Germany, onto a campsite where a schoolteacher will see we are lost souls that cannot speak the language, and help us get a hot meal in the local bar. Viener Schnitzel has been a favourite of mine ever since. On to Koblenz where a very attractive barmaid caught our eye and caused us to spend too much of our precious funds. Two of the company threatened to fly home at this point but would give us one more chance, so it was decided to head for Cologne where their must be a big NAAFI that we could book into and get a good nights sleep and do our mountains of washing. (photo)

We sleep the night in a campsite just outside Cologne, which has a Snacks Van serving Pomme Frit mit Wurst (Sausage & Chips). The next morning after waving goodbye forever, to the nice people on the site, (we were the centre of attraction wherever we went), we headed for Cologne city. After "cruising" for a couple of hours without sign of a Welcome to the NAAFI sign we stopped a police car, the occupants of which could not speak much English, but with the help of their radio controller said follow us and shot off at 50 mph. We could not follow at even half that speed. Things were then getting a bit desperate so we stopped another police car, and followed them at 20 mph, when they flashed their blue lights they would turn left and we would go straight ahead over the bridge over the bridge and the NAAFI would loom in front of us.

On the other side of the bridge we could see no NAAFI but instead we had just joined the biggest Autobahn crossover system in the world with cars passing us by at 80-100mph. This caused a little bit of discussion in the car until the engine noise made speaking impossible. Our exhaust pipe was laying in the outside lane of the autobahn and we were parked on the hard shoulder. The exhaust pipe was warm and I donít know haw we got it back but our driver/mechanic managed to attach it back to the car using a shirt to tie it on. Eventually we saw a sign for a campsite and decided to postpone the hunt for the NAAFI until to-morrow. The campsite was only the one we had left 12 hours earlier and so to Pomme Frit Mit Wurst and two-man tents.(photo)

The date of the return ferry crossing may have been a little optimistic and it was decided to cut our losses and head for Ostend for an earlier ferry crossing. Passing back through Brussels a guy jumps on our running board and shout FEAR! FEAR! The navigator attempts to push him off, when we realise we have excessive smoke coming from the rear of the car. The shirt holding the exhaust in place has caught fire. By this time such a disaster is childís play to us and we once again effect running repairs, then the rain comes like never before and the navigator has to reach under the dash and operate the wipers by hand. It all but did for him.

As soon as we arrive back in England the driver decides to drive on the right hand side of the road, and the two disgruntled agmost us, decide to catch the train from Dover to London, and recover in the Sailor Rest at Waterloo.