|Mr. Ripon Seamanship and navigation teacher - Jack|
| Clive has already recounted his most famous story about the whaling boat I will just recall a few memories of probably the only qualified mariner in our school.
Legend has it that Jack was a pilot on the Humber, in fact he took a year out from school to go back to his first love down in Hull.
He always wore the most brightly ox-blood polished Doctor Marten shoes, even before they were in fashion. He was also quite well dressed in classic tweeds and liked to wear a mustard colored or red cardigan.
Mr. Ripon was a very good maritimer, he taught us seamanship and navigation and Morse code, his speed was amazing, and we had no chance of keeping up with him on his morse buzzer, he had a special high speed sidetapper morse key, and he used to disappear in his own world sometimes keying morse at about 50 words a minute. Considering we had enough trouble reading 15 words a minute you can imagine what happened, we just gave up. I have him to thank for my rapid promotion in the Royal Signals, came top of the class in morse, and completed my morse training in 6 weeks, given that we were allowed 36 weeks to complete the morse training you can see that his teaching was excellent, one odd thing happened though, I went to an interview to skive pt whilst I
was in my trade training at catterick, and because of the speed that I completed the morse, along with the fact that I could send and receive morse in excess of 50 wpm I actually was chosen to go to a certain place in Hereford directly after completing my trade training, so by sciving PT I ended up going through the most physically demanding 2 years in my life, just shows Jack had the last laugh after all, told you he was switched on.
When he was in a particularly mischievous mood he would take us into the school gym/hall and send morse code by using an aldis lamp, the only problem was that it was only about 1cm in diameter so we couldnt see anything. Mr. Herbert used to like doing this to us aswell; maybe because he classed it as high-tech, when he was at sea they communicated by semaphore flags, something that we also used to practice in the schoolyard.
Jack Ripon also taught us how to use the log and lead, which meant going out into Scarborough bay off the Spa and throwing a big piece of brass overboard with some tallow stuck in a hole in the bottom of this missile, with bunting attached to the tethering rope, the tallow would show us what was on the sea- bottom and the bunting was different colors of cotton which indicated the depth of the sea.
The ships log was a weird thing with fins that went round supposedly to tell us how fast we were travelling through the water, and/or how fast the current was travelling. We never got it to work anyway; we lost most of them, so I wont bother to go on.
Anyway an excellent teacher, slightly odd but nothing special, don't really know how he managed to end up at the Graham Looney Training School.
|Mr Ripon is still around and living In Scarborough.
This report from the horses mouth....
I served my time with the British India Steam Navigation Company of London, commencing my indenture in August 1943.
In the next 2 years I served on a hospital ship in the mediterranian and the Far East and on a troop ship delivering troops along the Arakan Coast in th Burma Campaign, culminating in my ship taking part in th invasion of Rangoon.
During that time my elder brother Ralph was the Chief Officer on a BI ship operating in the Bay of Bengal and my sister Isabel was a Queen Alexander Army Nursing serving in the field hospital near the front line in the 14th Army.
My cousin Jack was a Captain in the Royal Engineers serving in the front line during the whole of the Burma Campaign.
I obtained my 2nd mates, 1st mates and Masters certificate between 1946 and 1953, serving in shipping companies around the world and in September 1953 became a pilot on the River Humber until 1961 when I obtained a Certificate of Education at the Institute of Education in Hull.
This enabled me to become a teacher and in 1967 was employed at the Graham Sea Training School, Scarborough. The school was situated very appropriately at Paradise, a small street overlooking the South Bay with clear views over to Flamborough Head.
It was a wonderful site and a very significant school in Scarborough as it formed an intrical part of the fishing community spread out below it.There was a family atmosphere about the place that, although it shut many years ago still persists in memory to this day.
During my time at Graham I was master of their newly acquired training vessel the "Maisie Graham" and took the vessel with students on voyages along the yorkshire coast and down to the Humber.
Mr. Jack Ripon
Thanks for the memories Mr. Ripon wonderful to hear from you.
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