Reigate Grammar School

CCF Navy Clyde Trip

July 2004

Our journey started at Redhill early on Sunday. Everyone was full of anticipation and laden with heavy bags. Ahead of us lay a long day with changes at Reading, Crewe and Glasgow.
There were a few delays along the way but the cadets were happy to amuse themselves with free tea and puzzlebooks. Mr Powell spent the time engrosssed in some challenging reading!
After a lively night in sparse accomodation we set off to meet our crew at Great Harbour. We boarded the MV Oransay and cruised to Faslane to collect our stores.
The cadets were split into three watches while on board. Usually one watch was in the wheelhouse while another was in the galley. The third watch had some free time, often playing cards or tying knots.
One of the more challenging duties in the wheelhouse was navigating using paper maps and the GPS. Well done Amber!
Everyone got a chance to be lookout in the wheelhouse on their watch. The huge binoculars were too big for some though!
Even the staff were allowed to be helmsman. This involved steering with a joystick and avoiding any obstacles. Some kept to the course better than others!
Galley duties involved tidying up after breakfast, cooking lunch and washing up after lunch. Each watch had its turn at cooking and they all worked very well. I hope some of them carry this on at home!
Our group of 12 cadets was split evenly between girls and boys from the 4th to 6th form. The group were all friends and always worked well together.
As we didn't have a boat for coming ashore, each evening we moored at Brodick and took the bus to Whiting Bay in the south of Arran. The locals on the bus were always very friendly.
Here we are at the bus stop outside our hostel. We arrived back around 7pm and were back on the Oransay by nine the next morning.
Our first night at the hostel was movie night. We all enjoyed watching Jonny English while tucking into popcorn. The staff put on a quiz for the cadets on the second night and let them have an early night after that!
This very cute long eared bat decided to share my room on the first night! It was less than three inches lond but its ears were about half its body length. The hostel staff carefully caught it and released it outside.
Each evening we took a light supper of sandwiches or soup with us to the hostel. Breakfast then had to wait until we were back on the Oransay.
One afternoon's activity was a run ashore at Lochranza in the north of Arran. This was a picturesque fishing village where the cadets sat on the beach while Mr Powell and Mr Hallpike went walking.
Other runs ashore were Millport on Great Cumbrae, Rothesay on Bute and Ayr on the mainland. We all particularly enjoyed cycling the ten miles around Great Cumbrae (some of us on tandems!).
Returning to the Oransay after a run ashore involved careful timing. We had to ensure we stayed out of the way of the ferry. Sometimes we cut it rather fine!
We stayed in Brodick a little later on our last morning to do some shopping but the cadets prefered the crazy golf and climbing wall!
We had a lovely crew looking after us, particularly Clark the Master. The cadets worked well with them but there was still plenty of shouting!
Here's Mr Hallpike presenting Martin with his award. Many of the cadets recieved awards; some serious ones for navigation and some of a more fun nature like the one for best washing up!
Well done cadets! A great week was had by all.
A great week but too tiring for a few...

Words and pictures by Kate Beamish