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Author Topic: HMS Gannet 1878  (Read 535 times)

Hotglove

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HMS Gannet 1878
« on: May 04, 2018, 09:12:23 PM »

My late brother, Duncan, was the research officer for Gannet until his death. He had trained as a cadet on TS Vindicatrix, then spent a few years at sea until he worked inshore too long and got called up for National Service, He trained in the RAF as an aerial erector, then worked around the World building towers, erecting aerials, etc.
Living in caravans in the desert and eating junk food took its toll and he developed Athero Sclerosis, and had to have a leg amputated.
Unable to climb steelwork, he went to college, then on to Uni and obtained a degree in English, he got the job of research officer on Gannet and set about gathering info about her. One of his enquiries bore fruit when a guy who had worked in Sheerness Dockyard got in touch, this guy had been given the task of destroying some documents when the Dockyard closed, happily he decided instead to keep them safely, a fine decision.
Among the documents were original working drawings of Gannet, not only were they invaluable information, they were also works of art.
They were drawn on oilcloth, in full colour and all text was in superb copperplate, simply wonderful.
Duncan, amongst other achievements, had some drawings of Gannet commissioned, first from Medway College of Art and Design, then, memorably, from Bournemouth and Poole College. Some of these drawings can be seen on HMS Gannet today, they were originally unveiled and handed over at a ceremony on board the Cutty Sark, a very memorable day for me.
The early days of Gannet's restoration were penny pinching extremes and, sadly, Duncan did not live to see the wonders wrought by an injection of Lottery money.
Now she sits in Chatham Historic Dockyard alongside the destroyer, HMS Cavalier, and the submarine, HMS Ocelot, if you get the chance, have a look, and the icing on the cake is that The Dockyard Model Shop is just a few metres away.
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daiappy

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Re: HMS Gannet 1878
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2018, 04:04:05 PM »

I worked on Gannet in the early 1980's when still afloat in Portsmouth Harbour. We were dismantling the box built on top when converted to TS Mercury. Spent many happy hours with saws and sledgehammers taking it all off. The plan then was for the ship to be based at Gosport but when that fell by the wayside the Maritime Trust took her to Chatham. Great to see her now but remember those days when Portsmouth had Victory, Gannet and Trincomalee?
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Hotglove

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Re: HMS Gannet 1878
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2018, 05:07:07 PM »

I remember seeing the photos of her before you removed the box, and seeing her as she arrived at Chatham.
Sadly, my brother did not see the results of the Lottery grant, when he was involved everything was very much on a shoestring, but many happy memories.
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