Gary Coles  


When I got to Dover there was a lad there to meet me and take me up to the school where I met the rest of my class. We all had long hair down to the shoulder's, then came the killer (BARBER). We looked like a row of bowling ball's because it was spring-summer our swim was in the sea (it was cold). Only the last few week's we went to the in-door bath's, I think it was at a army base not sure.

My first job was the colonnade cleaning up, we all would stand there on a morning to get our mug of coco from the kitchen window. All the running, swimming, rowing, climbing the rope's in the hall and PT if I was not fit when I arrived I was when I left. At the back of the school was the sport's field, the school roof was low there and a lot of the lad's jumped on to the roof and etched there name's into the slate's. 

I was on holiday at Camber in 1999 and went to Dover for the day and went up to the school. When I got there workmen and skip's were at the front of the school so I went up and told one of the men I went to the school and he told me the Y.M.C.A had taken over for the homeless and he would take me and my wife on a tour if I wanted, I jumped at it. Even gutted the memories came flooding back, Captain Vine's office was full of our old bed frame's and sink's we had used all them year's ago. The hall was the same, out back could not get to the sport's field step's had rotted away bedroom's all gutted. Then he showed us a small kitchen at the side where the small stair's were which we could not use, this kitchen must have been for staff.

This school was part of my life and made me ready to set off on the road of life. When we left the school all the lad's who were with BP went to BP house in London for a little talk about BP and what we would be trained for (marine mechanic's) as we left each one got 5. Two week's after that me, Pope, Gibbons and Saunders were on a plane to Italy and joined British power for 6 month. I still have my leaving certificate, seaman's card, school tie, seamanship handbook and my signed bible from Captain Vine. R902688