Contact Gerry Taylor: gerald.taylor@ntlworld
Our first re-union was in 2000 when four of us (Mick Ross, John Nixon, Kevin Calvert and Dennis Barnard) met up at Mick Ross's house in Gosport. This was an informal but very enjoyable experience as we hadn't met for about 34 years, and naturally we had changed quite a lot!
Since then we have met several times - including twice at Shotley (2002, and 2003) to re-visit the old site, and once in Great Yarmouth (2004). Below is a collection of photographs of some of our gatherings and the text of two reports we wrote for the HMS Ganges Gazette, which is produced by the HMS Ganges Association. If you are a member of our classes please contact our organiser (above) for details of future events and to make suggestions for venues.
2002 - Outside the Old School
Report in Gazette
Through contacts made via the HMS Ganges Association website, and an advertisement in the Navy News, five members and one class instructor of 320/321 classes, Drake Division, 1968/9, met up at Shotley on the 10 August. Contact has also been made with two other members - Dennis Barnard (now living in Sydney, Australia), and Pete Kerley - who sadly could not make the reunion but were very much in the thoughts of those who were present.
After the initial excitement and genuine pleasure of meeting up with our old buddies (we haven't changed a bit, honest, apart from the odd extra 'ounce' of weight (as Gerry put it) and a grey hair here and there), we started the day with an excellent lunch at the Shipwreck restaurant at 12.30. We entertained ourselves (and hopefully five of our wives) with reminders of what life was like at GANGES, shared our old Mr. Fisk photos, and caught up on what had happened to all of us in the intervening 34 years (!). We then called in to the museum, where Ron Catchpole kindly showed us around and gave us an update of developments on the site. Some of us left photos of our time at Ganges, which Ron gratefully received on behalf of the museum as they added to the exhibits for the 1960s. After a photo session Malcolm Allard then gave the 'boys' an informative guided tour of the old married patch, the remains of the Annexe (no signs of the cannons we used to polish at some ungodly hour of the morning), main gate (photo above) and School. We then returned to the Shipwreck for coffee and more lamp swinging, and later in the evening we met up for a meal in the Bristol Arms.
If our e-mail communications since then are a true representation of the day, the main question everyone asked was 'when are we having the next one?' As soon as possible is the answer - it was truly a day to remember! Like most Ganges boys, our reunion showed us that our friendships and mutual respect have stood the test of time.
2003 - in the Ganges Museum with our wives (and one baby)
From left to right in couples: Mick and Ros Ross, Gerry and Chris Taylor, John and Yumi Nixon (plus their baby, Mari), Kevin and Val Calvert, and Malcolm and Brenda Allard
2004 - at Great Yarmouth
Left to right in couples: Mick and Ros Ross, Gerry and Chris Taylor, Roy and Alison Brook, Terry and Anne Rice and John and Yumi Nixon (holding Mari)
2010 - at York
Back row: Ros Ross, Pete Slynn, Gerry Taylor, Mick Ross, John Nixon, Kevin Calvert. Front row: Jackie Slynn, Yumi (Mari) Nixon, Chris Taylor, Val Calvert.
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