Mike Fletcher

Have just stumbled across your site (wet Saturday Afternoon) and see you have a MNC reunion this evening. I wonder if anyone will be there that I know. Looking at your page of Deck Cadets 1968 – 70 and 1972 – 78 there seems to be a gap, I and eight other Deck Cadets from New Zealand Shipping Company which was at the time in the process of becoming part of P & O General Cargo Division were sent at short notice onto Worcester at Greenhithe in September 1970 until March or April 1971 to do ONC Nautical Studies Phase One in place of the planned Mid Cadetship Release (MCR) at the Sir John Cass school at Tower Hill, I believe our course and a concurrent one at Riversdale Liverpool were the first ONC Nautical Studies courses. The nine of us were part of about approx 40 deck cadets from different companies including RFA and Houlder Bros. Conditions on the ship were fairly dire and the resident uniformed staff tried to treat us as pre sea schoolboys instead of 18 year olds with a years sea service behind us so there was a lot of rebellion and strife, I for one seemed to have survived it as am still at sea 26 years after passing Masters FG.

Actually stopped at Greenhithe on a trip back from Canterbury a few years ago, certainly has changed a bit since 1971

Okay, good luck with your reunion tonight, is this an annual event as would like to catch up with the guys from those days, I have the names of the other eight P & O cadets and a couple of the others if you would like to add them to your lists, even have photos of the other eight on the deck of the Worcester (how sad is that).

As a matter of interest one of the other eight was a John Bird who had a younger brother studying at Pangbourne at the time, any relation ?

Best Regards

Mike Fletcher

Email via mike&monica@library16.fsnet.co.uk