Merchant Navy College
Captain E K Ballard, Extra Master
Captain A G Russell, Chairman
F W Archer
Captain E K Ballard, Extra Master
D E R Barker
R S Brown, Master Mariner
J E Bryon
D F Carter B.Sc, Extra Master, LIMA
G E Carter
A F J Chorley MBE, JP
R G Douglas T.Eng (CEl), FSERT, MRIN
A J Hichisson
Dr R Hope OBE, MA, D.Phil
Captain S J E Hunter
Patrick Johnson OBE, MA
D H J Lester, B.Sc (Econ), FCIS
M T Marwood
F C Mayoh BEM, C.Eng, MIERE, MRIN
Captain G R A Murray
Captain D W P Varwell M.Sc, Dip.Ed, Extra Master,
A R M White
of new Buildings
By HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, KG, KT
on Thursday 28 October 1976 at l0.40am
Inner London Education Authority
Merchant Navy College
Kent DA9 9NY
10.20 Guests are requested to be seated in the assembly area.
10.30 HRH The Duke of Edinburgh will be welcomed by the Chairman of
the Inner London Education Authority and will meet distinguished
guests and College officials.
10.40 HRH The Duke of Edinburgh and the platform party to be seated.
Mrs Anna L L Grieves, Chairman of the Authority will welcome the
HRH The Duke of Edinburgh to address the company and formally
declare the new buildings open.
A vote of thanks to HRH The Duke of Edinburgh will be proposed by
Captain A G Russell, Chairman of Governors.
10.55 Tour of the new buildings by the platform party followed by
Guests in the main body of the hall are asked to remain until the
platform party has left.
11.00 The new buildings will be open to viewing by other guests.
11.55 Refreshments for guests will be provided in the students' dining hall.
12.30 Guests are requested to leave the dining hall.
The College was formed in 1968 by merging the world
famous nautical training establishment, Incorporated
Thames Nautical Training College (better known as
HMS 'Worcester') with part of King Edward VII
Nautical College. The College so formed was con-
cerned only with education and training of deck cadets,
and operated on 'Worcester' and in London. In
September 1975 when the new buildings were occu-
pied, the London section of the College moved to
Greenhithe, and the remaining work from the King
Edward VII Nautical College (which by then was in
the City of London Polytechnic) was also transferred.
At the same time the scope of the College was greatly
extended by the transfer from South London College,
Norwood, of their Marine Radio work which had been
established in 1952 and had the highest reputation.
In its present phase of development the College is
responsible for educating and training officers in the
navigation and radio disciplines up to and including
the first professional certificate of competency, and is
formed in departments of Nautical Studies and Elec-
tronic Engineering respectively, but with an additional
departmental Head of Extra Mural Education.
It was considered that a unique opportunity was
being afforded to train radio officers in such a way that
in the future they would be far more fully integrated
into a ship management team than in the past when
they were very much the 'odd man out' on the ship.
The policy was therefore evolved of integrating the
students of the two departments to the fullest possible
extent. This has presented some problems since the
radio trainees are mainly direct from school, relying
on grants and holiday earnings to meet their expenses,
whereas the deck cadets have had one or more years at
sea, are earning a salary and have all expenses paid by
their Shipping Company.
The Shipping Industry expects cadets at residential
Colleges to be subject to somewhat more control
than would be appropriate at a normal Technical
College. Encouragement of extra curricula activities
that would be of value to the seafarer is also a necessary
feature of a residential nautical establishment. To be
responsible for this, and the control of the College
outside teaching hours is the task of the Head of
Extra Mural Education who has non-teaching staff
under him and calls, as necessary, on teachers from the
The Nautical Studies Department (staff of 23) offers the
Phase I of Ordinary National Certificate/Diploma in
Nautical Studies (1 8/24 weeks)
Phase III of Ordinary National Certificate/Diploma in
Nautical Studies (2l/27 weeks)
Second Mates Certificate of Competency (20 weeks)
Refresher Course for Certificate of Competency (10
Mate (Home Trade) Certificate of Competency (12
Master (Home Trade) Certificate of Competency (12
Restricted Radio Telephone Certificate (2 days)
The Electronic Engineering Department (staff of 11)
offers the following courses:
Marine Radiocommunication General Certificate (2
City and Guilds Marine Radio and Radar Technicians
Certificate (3 years)
Radar Maintenance Certificate (6 months)
Revalidation of ex Radio Officers' Certificates (part
time or evening)
The 37 acre site rises 93 feet from the south bank of
the River Thames to the crest of the North Downs
and faces north. The lower half of the site consists of
two sports fields with a football pitch, rugby pitch and
athletics track. The river banks and surrounding
slopes have been terraced to form a spectator viewing
area. The upper half of the site consists of a flat area
providing a cricket table and tennis court, and a
sloping spur of land projecting between two disused
chalk pits, and upon this spur the main College
buildings have been constructed.
These consist of two terraced student residential
blocks orientated east-west high on the site, and a
combined teaching administration and student com-
munal block lower down the slope facing on to the
river. This latter building bridges a disused mineral
railway cutting into which the main site access road,
carrying continuous heavy lorry traffic to the neigh-
bouring Empire Paper Mills, has been diverted. A
public footpath crosses the site and this has also been
diverted into the cutting.
The student residential blocks, built from load-
bearing fairfaced white concrete blocks with insitu
white concrete floor and roof slabs, are stepped back
to match the contours of the hillside. They provide a
total of 265 study bedrooms, each one fitted with study
desk, shelves, wash basin and wardrobe unit. There
are also a pair of two-room suites for resident instruc-
tors, and a Padre's cabin. Each block is split into four
sections by staircases and lobbies, and main toilet
shower and utility rooms are situated centrally within
each section. A large student recreation room is
provided on the ground floor of the north block
which contains table tennis, billiards, bar billiards and
The administration and communal functions of the
College are contained in the main building comprising
a four floor block orientated north-south over the
cutting, constructed in an insitu reinforced concrete
frame with coffered concrete floor and roof slabs.
Internal partitions are fairfaced blockwork, paint
finished. All the services are contained within the
white concrete undercill panels which form the lower
part of the external walls. The window frames are of
stained pine with metal opening lights. Within this
part of the building are the teaching staff rooms,
student common rooms, library, sick bay, laundry,
maintenance staff rooms, boiler room, kitchen and
dining room. The latter is a two storey room occupying
the whole of the north end of the building offering on
three sides panoramic views of the River Thames and
the playing fields.
On the roof is a full size replica of a ship's wheel-
house containing steering and engine room controls
and all standard navigational instruments for training
purposes. This is backed up by a windowless radar
training cabin, the scanners for which are mounted on
the surrounding roofs and on platforms on the 4-1/2 ton
steel ship's mast that surmounts the building complex.
The mast was built in a Thames-side shipyard at
The rest of the teaching rooms are contained in a
ground floor single storey wing running east to west
along the southern side of the playing fields. There are
lecture rooms for ship construction, seamanship, radio,
morse, electronics, physics/chemistry, optics and
photography plus preparation rooms, demonstration
rooms and chart room, instrument room and plane-
tarium, 7 general classrooms and a seminar room.
At the western end of the teaching wing are the
Games Hall and Swimming Pool which form a two
storey split-level complex. The games hall has tinted
high level glazing on all four sides. The swimming
pool is roof lit, fully air conditioned and provides five
swimming lanes and a diving area.
Boatwork, which is an integral part of all the main
courses of the College, will be centred around a new
boat house, dinghy park and slipway situated astride
the river wall, which is at present being raised by the
Kent River Authority to provide full flood prevention
when the GLC's new flood barrier across the Thames
at Silvertown comes into operation.
Staff residential accommodation consists of a block
of eight self-contained bungalows and garages for the
Principal and senior staff on the western boundary of
the site, with its own access from Greenhithe. The
caretaker and College domestic staff are accommodated
in a two storey building alongside the main access
Landscaping is mainly confined to reinstatement of
grass and planted areas following completion of
building operations, plus the replacement of trees
killed by 'Dutch Elm' disease and the increasing of
screening on the boundaries as required by the
The buildings were designed for the Inner London
Education Authority in the Department of Architecture
and Civic Design of the Greater London Council.
Architect Sir Roger Walters KBE, FRlBA, FI Struct E
Education Architect Peter E Jones FRIBA, FRTPI
Job Architect Stephen L Wagstaffe RIBA, FRSH
The structural design was carried out by Messrs Andrews
Kent and Stone Consulting Engineers.
Partner in Charge David W Lazenby DIC, MICE,
MI Struct E
Project Engineer Ian A MacGilchrist
The mechanica1 services were designed by Messrs J Stinton
Jones and Partners, Consulting Engineers.
Partner in Charge Raymond A Woodruffe MIHVE, MRSH
The electrical services were designed in the Department of
Mechanical and Electrical Engineering of the Greater
London Council under the direction of Mr P C Hoare
C Eng, FlEE, AMBIM.
The grounds were laid out under the direction of Mr J C
Kennedy, Chief Officer of the Parks Department of the
Greater London Council.
The main contractor was 'Willett Ltd.
The new buildings were occupied by the College in Septem-
Designed by GLC Supplies Department (Printing and Graphic Design Division)
Printed by The Hillingdon Press. (13157) 9.76.