HMS Conway - Click here to return to the menu HMS Conway 1859 - 1974

Alfie Windsor 1998
HMS Conway - Click here to return to the menu
 

The Stone Frigate 1964 - 1974


Winter term 1963

The New Block was occupied for the first time, the huts were closed and another phase of Conway's life began.

"I suppose the camp was sort of more military when you think of films of people doing National Service, whereas the New Block was more educational establishment."

"There was definitely a different feel to it, maybe because of the newness of the building as opposed to the camp, everything was bricks and plaster instead of wooden planks and wooden walls, proper classrooms and science labs etc. The Dining Hall and the Kitchens in the New Block were light years ahead of the old Mess Deck at the Camp (food was better I think, but that might have been QB seniority)."

Many cadets at the time of purely huts pedigree thought the New Block was for sissies and too easy. No doubt the last ship based cadets in 1953 thought the same of the cushy life in the huts. Similarly ship borne cadets who spent their whole time in the ship considered the use of the shore based Nelson Block from 1949 for New Chums to be an equal weakening of Conway standards. Conway through the 60s and 70s would be considered a more disciplined place than any modern Young Offenders' Institution could are to be today. Despite all the changes of accommodation the officers and masters and general regime remain pretty constant. At OC reunions today cadets from the 1920s to the 1970s can share common experiences and life forming influences."The core of officers in my time (late 60s) were pretty well the same as the 1950s – they hadn't changed in what they expected   of us as individuals – except for higher educational attainment."

“No doubt the New Block was a softer touch than the Camp, which I am sure was the case when the ship was lost and the camp created, but the facilities were so much better and if I remember anything much about that term was how good it was.”

The early morning dash in pyjamas from the Camp to the Kelvin Block in all weathers was replaced by an early morning run from the New Block to the site of the old huts in all weathers so not everything changed!

 

1963

"I had a Snipe sailboat for the summer and capsized in the Straits in a real blow with Caldwell and nurse... what ever her name was that he ended up marrying. If you remember she had a wooden leg (you could hear her "clonk" around the halls of the house at night when she was doing her rounds). When we went over, her wooden leg got caught up in the centre board housing and she almost drowned as the lea side went under water!! Bit hair raising for a few minutes!"

Yahaa! - Mr Parry

"I recall I was a bit of a mimic when I was on Conway, and was a dab hand at taking of the masters and officers. Poor old Caldwell took some stick from me, and came damned close to taking a swing at me once when I copied his mannerisms to his face. I nearly came totally unstuck with this one day when I was left in charge of the dock. The phone rang, so I picked it up and in my best mimicry said, "Yahaa ! Lieutenant Commander Parry here" expecting some poor cadet to get a bit flustered at who was on the other end of the phone. The situation was totally turned on its head when a voice replied, "That's damned funny! Lieutenant Commander Parry here too." And it was! I slammed the phone down, and waited for it to ring again, furiously trying to think of some excuse, but it never did ring. I sweated for some time over that, but Parry, bless is socks, did nothing but give me a couple of very knowing looks later on. I think he had more of a sense of humour than we gave him credit for."

He also had a unique way of pronouncing 'horizon' Ed

Real Sailors                              

Through the good offices of Thomas-Davis cadets Mike Warner Marks and Mike Dunham were selected, through Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme, to be one of six Englishmen to do the 64 tall ships on a square-rigger.  

"Four of us wound up on Gorch Foch and two on Danmark. I had my seventeenth birthday halfway across the Atlantic on a square rigger and, of course my first ship to sea   was square rigged.   It took the holidays and a term so I missed my proper QB term and had to come back after my mob had left.   It was a bit difficult after tasting real freedom but I think that I was unofficially cut a fair bit of slack!!"

1964

Tops

By the mid 60s (certainly from 64) New Chums were placed directly into one of the Tops/Divisions (Focsle, Fore, Main and Mizzen) where they remained for the duration.

The system of allocation is not absolutely clear but it   seems to have been in blocks of 3-5 cadet numbers. The Christmas 64 Watch Bill shows e.g.   41- 43 in Fxl (Andes dorm), 55-59 in Fxl (Nestor), 110-112 in Foretop (Rawlpindi) and 66-70 in Mizzen (Jervis Bay).

Hold by then was not a division but an "overflow" dorm (Mauretania) in the Nelson Block. Cadets there were allocated either individually or in pairs of cadet numbers. It held cadets from all 4 tops. For some reason there are odd gaps in the numbering sequence eg no 73, 101 or 113. Oddly my number was 72 but when I was still in the house with most of my term, 73-76 were also my term and Fxl but in the New Block.

Messing Around In Boats           

"I was the engineer on No 1 and we had done the usual evening run to PD to take the bosun home. We had two 'Stowaways' who were onboard for a fag run. After disembarking the Bosun they both shot up to the cafe to do the biz. One was also seeing the love of his life at the time. Meanwhile No 1 was doing ever-decreasing circles off of the concrete jetty awaiting them. Ebb tide and thump we grounded right on the edge of the jetty. Ending up bow down and the stern in the air at low tide. Panic stations all round – the girlfriend fled and we called the school. Another boat came down t rescue us. That crew were so busy laughing at us they came in too close and beached   as well. More panic. If I remember correctly the headline in the paper was, 'Red faces for the Navy' Everything as you know was resolved. On returning to the ship the stowaways passed themselves off as part of your crew and the fags were evenly distributed. If memory serves me right, none of us were punished."

Mountaineering Expeditions

One of the delights of the Menai Strait was that it was on the edge of Snowdonia. Groups of cadets made expeditions into the mountains at weekends. Various groups each with 6-10 cadets of varying ages (14-17) would plan a route ands set off Friday evening. They walked to Snowdonia, spent two days walking, smoking, scrambling,drinking and climbing and returned to the ship on Sunday evening. They camped rough – there were a few gash tents but cadets often just took their hammocks (now used as liners betwenen bed matresses and springs) and lashed them up in the trees.

"I well remember one weekend in 67 a group of 4 of us camped on the hill way up above the Aber Falls. The slope was so steep our hammocks were at ground level by our heads and about five feet up in the air at our feet! The local forestry warden turned late on Saturday eveing to see what the noise was up on 'his' hillside. He was all set to turf us out until he relaised we were Conway cadets - we were then allowed to stay!"

There was no adult supervision, cadets were completely on their own.Each outing had to write up a report of their expedition. Another daily event that would be impossible today!

 

1967

Not So Secret Drinkers...

"My only remembrance of note was being in the '67 1st XV which was caught red-handed by "Ning Ning" in the Caernarvon Arms in Birkenhead after we'd just played Birkenhead Grammar. We were all on "Captain's Reports" on the Monday, where Eric managed to scare us all witless before decreeing that all 1st XV away matches were cancelled for the rest of the season. The end of term 1st XV photo allowed us some semblance of revenge. We managed to persuade Mr. Harris (by then our new master i/c 1st XV) to add "Absent from photo, D. Diamond, C. Arms and T. Totler" put on the official 1st team picture. The drink must have been good for us, we beat Pangbourne the next term!"

The 1st XV also got caught in a pub in Betws-Y-Coed around the same time. "Mr Kingsford would always drop us off in the village and very pointedly tell us that he would be the bar of such and such a hotel "just in case you need me". Unfortunately Mr. Harris was not aware of the subtleties of this arrangement and wandered into the one small bar where we were all packed in! More Captain's reports. I felt very hard done by as I was actually over 18 at the time."

Flags & Clocks.

"I had the job for 2 terms before I left in Dec. 67. What a doss it was ! Before that I was in the library, another good skive ! I remember having to sit in Lt. Cdr. Clarke's cabin and await the 8 o'clock signal on the radio and note the variation of the chronometer and set my watch then go and check all the clocks and hoist signal of the day. If the chronometer was more than about 2 mins. out, I used to unscrew the bezel and move the hands to a more accurate setting ! Not the best thing to do to a precision instrument.

The flag locker was in the Kelvin Block. As I remember it was on the right as you went through the archway. It was very handy for cross country runs and Saturday nights if the film was "Fire down below". I think I spent most of my time there when I should have been elsewhere. There was a fireplace in the room, so myself and a select few would gather up the bread and spread after the evening meal on Saturday if the film was no good and take it down to the flag locker make a fire and have toast and marmalade.

The other thing I remember was making up a few dubious signals, which amazingly where not picked up on. One in particular was :- "I have lost my anchor 2 miles west of Liverpool pier head" This would have placed it somewhere in the middle of Birkenhead ! All through my last term I was hoisting similarly inventive signals and no one ever noticed. I assume they were used on occasion until the place shut.

I've still got my ensign that slipped out of the flag locker inventory, "storm damage" I think I reported as."

1967

Mountineering & Mrs Lord

In 1967 Snowdonia mountaineering weekends were very popular. Groups of 6 to 8 cadets would prepare an itinerary and set off from the ship on Friday afternoon, get themselves to the mountains where they would walk and scramble around their chosen itinerary. They would camp out for two nights before returning to the ship on Sunday evening. Expeditions were written up and handed over to an officer for checking and filing. Some cadets evolved the concept beyond that intended.

"Two of us more senior cadets used one such trip as a cover for a camping weekend with our dancing class partners in a quiet corner of a public park by the Strait in Bangor. The rest of our party (younger cadets chosen with great care) were despatched into the mountains as planned. For the two of us smart civvies were secreted away in a box behind a door in the estate wall just outside the entrance to Plas Newydd and we changed out of our mountaineering kit on the way into town. To the surprise of the rest of the group when we reached Bangor we left them to their trek whilst we made for the park.We had a relaxing time with our young ladies, lazing in the sun, wandering along the foreshore, gazing across the Strait and constructing our walking notes (based on an emotive vision of conditions in the mountains - and quick cross checks with the rest of our bemused group back in the ship on Sunday evening. On Saturday afternoon, knowing no fear, I sauntered into Bangor with my young lady on my arm without a care in the world. Unfortunately Mrs Lord had decided to go shopping that day. Wandering up the High Street we came face to face. I looked at her and nearly died, she looked at me - for a very, very long time (perhaps it was just the bright lobster colour I had turned), then at my partner, then back at me. I thought "the end is nigh", my promising career as an SCC is about to crumble.... Obviously being a very busy lady (and perhaps a bit short sighted?) she said nothing and walked on. LIke the condemned man I made the most of the rest of the weekend and scuttled back to the ship on Sunday evening expecting the worst. Nothing happened. I awaited the deadly call from Lordy, Eric or Brookie all day on Monday. Nothing happened. After several more days nothing happened. What a nice lady."

31 Dec. 1967

Ownership

The MMSA relinquished control of the Conway and it passed to Cheshire County Council.

1968

Stand back The Who        

"Dodo Woolley was a physics teacher for sure, we use to borrow an excellent valve amplifier off him for the 'rock group' led by Steve 'Spider' Webb (still making a living from his excellent guitar skills, now in Helsinki with a recent baby daughter), with Pete Brown on drums (now a builder in Old Dalby, Leicestershire), Bill Philp on rhythm guitar (died in car accident in 1984), and myself on bass which was Pete's instrument really but there was no way they could teach me to play the drums in time.   Dodo helped us design and build the bass speaker cabinet in the physics lab, and on one occasion when we played a gig at the Bangor High Girl's school he came along to keep an eye on his precious amp ... just as well as he was needed to carry out running repairs on it part through the evening." 

TV Stars

"I recall a group of cadets from Conway appearing on a television programme recorded at Liverpool University in the late sixties called Top of The Form, Young Scientists of the Year or something like that. They presented a science project led by Mr. Woolley (dodo I think was his nickname), and involved a large tank and models of hulls, and was used to demonstrate resistance etc.   If I'm not mistaken the team either won the whole thing, or came a very close second . The result of this was the introduction of a new 'O' level: Marine Science, and I believe my year was the first group to take it. It was developed by Dodo and involved many wonderful subjects, such as meteorology, plankton, whales, you name it , it had it."

"Not known for my prowess at Physics I was a particular challenge to Woolley and he attempted to stimulate my interest in the subject by including me in the project as "minder" of the tank. My job was to spot and plug leaks. There is a photo somewhere of the pioneering boffins with me lurking in the background at a safe distance from the sharp end of the technology."

1970

1970 Death Of The Pinnace

The pinnace had been built with iron nails and these were continually being replaced as they corroded. The decision was taken in the summer of 1970 to scrap her as she was beyond economical repair. She was beached in the dock, stripped of fittings and a working party ordered to setfire to her. The party consisted Rob Tubb along with Mike Holyoake, "Oris" Dean, John Hopkins and I think Robin Povall SCC Mizzen in charge.

"I do recall we had great difficulty setting her alight, mind you we were using TVO!!!"

Nick Goodwin remembers her coming out of the water onto the slip: "I lost the top of my little finger to the starboard leg we were attaching.   I remember picking it up and putting it back on the end and going off to see Sister Jones and being taken off to Bangor Hospital.   It knitted back on but never grew to match the rest of the finger.   So I missed the firing of the wooden hulk.There I waited for 3 hours for a Doctor to see me, it wasn't that there was no Doctor on duty but she wasn't going to have one of Conway's boys seen by some wet behind the ears intern but a real doctor.   Long and short of it was I had my finger in bandage and arm in sling for the end of term dance."

1971

Courses

" When I joined, in 71, it took boys in the 3rd form for a 3 year 'O' level course, and/or the 6th form for a 2 year 'A' level course. The nautical bias was there for the out of school activities, and the curriculum included Seamanship, Navigation, and Marine Science 'O' levels. The whole ethos and daily pattern of life and work was still firmly Conway and things nautical, but educationally it was a standard boarding school."

Mess Deck

"I was looking at a photo of Josh Garner the other day and it brought back memories of the Mess Deck. I was on Josh's mess, and if I recall we all had to take turns doing 'cooks'. It was split between the 5 plebs on the mess, (the JCC was exempt), and we had the choice to do it all in one go (ie 10 or 12 days on the trot) or spread it between us. The duties involved laying the mess, fetching the grub from the galley, cleaning up etc. Josh, I think, was unique. His table manners were immaculate, and we were not allowed to make chip butties (like everyone else), we had to eat jam sandwiches cut into quarters. I seem to remember one of the favourites was sugar butties! Not on Josh's mess. it was like dining with the Queen, you couldn't start before he did, and when he had finished, so did you!, you learnt to eat quickly. I also remember coming back to Conway at the beginning of term and praying I was not on his mess, but I was on his mess every single term. I hope he reads this and it brings back memories for him, I had a lot of respect for Josh even with his Noel Coward outlook on life"

Messing Around With Boats

"I was coxswain of No1 during my last term and did the daily paper (and fag) run to PD. We used to have a mug of tea and some toast followed by a fag in the cafe at PD before heading back. One particular Sunday we spent longer than usual in the Cafe, but not to worry it was a rising tide. After the leisurely break we all sauntered outside to find No.1 high & dry, half on and half off the slip. It was an ebb tide. Coxswain (me) now in major panic mode. What to do?. After a few minutes a workboat motored passed, I took command of the situation and flagged him down. Entering into a non-Lloyds Open Form Salvage agreement (packet of fags) he pulled the boat off. Everyone leapt onboard and we started up at full ahead to regain time. Terrible vibration so had to slow down. Turns out the shaft was bent whilst aground. Swore aforesaid crewmembers to silence. I got away with it, although no one could work out why No.1 suffered from vibration all of a sudden. Mystery to me Guv. I await the dawn knock of the Marine Accident Investigation Branch with trepidation. Is there a statute of limitations on these things?"

Conway cadets never change Masefield recounts several similar incidents over the previous 70 years at Bangor and Rock Ferry Ed.

More Messing Around With Boats...

"I was looking through my reports and found an entry (plus bill) for bending one of the masts on a GP14!! It brought memories flooding back of trying to right a dingy turned turtle in a huge blow, and wondering who the hell thought it was a good idea for us to have to wear the white woollen roll necks...at the age of 12 it easily doubled my body weight!!!"

The Conway Chapel

The Conway Club's Centenary Appeal Fund paid for and built a memorial Chapel to the West of the New Block.

"The Chapel when I arrived was a hut (a survivor moved down from the hutted camp Ed) and I can remember the excitement generated when we watched the steeple being raised on our brand new HMS Conway Chapel. This purpose-built Church cost contributing Old Conways and parents 20,000. It was ironic to be told shortly after the dedication of this permanent building that Cheshire Education Authority was withdrawing its financial support of HMS Conway, and would require 200,000 per year to keep HMS Conway open. Otherwise the school would have to be closed in 1974. Which is what happened, in the end!"


Click image to enlarge

1972

Courses

"I was 15 years old when I began my 1st term at HMS Conway in September 1970. Had I been 14, as some of the new boys were, I would have been on a 3 year course leading up to "O" levels. As it was, I was on a 2 year course, towards the same end. As with any school, there was always the possibility of continuing for another 2 years for "A" levels. I was unable to do this, but those who did saw the last years of HMS Conway M.N. Cadet (Aided) Sea Training School."

The Captain Superintendant having retired, the school was under the charge of a civilian Headmaster, Basil Lord. There were 4 Divisions of 2 Platoons. Each, Division was accommodated on one of the 4 floors, each with 2 dormitories. Each Division had a "House" Officer and a Housemaster, a Senior Cadet Captain (who had a "cabin" all to himself), and some Junior Cadet Captains drawn from amongst the boys. There was also a Chief Cadet Captain, who shared a "cabin" with his Deputy. There were 180 boys in total.

Typical Day

The day began with "reveille" played upon the bugle, a mad dash for the "heads" (the washrooms) as the Duty Officer or Duty Master would march through the dorms with a variation on "Wakey, wakey, rise and shine", "Show a leg, show a leg, show a leg", "the sun's burning your eyes outside" for the benefit of any loafers or slackers - who might well find their bedclothes dragged off or even their beds upended by their friends!

The bosun's whistle called everyone to the "Mess Deck" for breakfast. The bosun's bell was sounded before grace; gabbled through by the Duty Cadet: "Bless this food O Lord, for the support of our bodies, and grant our souls Thy heavenly grace." No "Amen", just the clatter of forms and cutlery as the "cooks" for each Mess, a table of 8 boys, dashed to the galley to collect the first course from the "galley Trogs", as the Welsh cooks were nicknamed. After each meal, 3 cooked meals a day for growing boys with plenty of fresh air and activity, another unanswered grace ran "We thank Thee, O Lord, for this Thy glorious grace."

After breakfast, time was allocated to "Sweeps", when the respective Divisions cleaned up their allotted part of the school. Much of Saturday forenoon was spent in this activity, leading up to a big inspection by the Headmaster on the Sunday.

Clothes were "2nd Bests" weekdays, "Reefers" on Sunday and for "Liberty", "No.8s" for Saturday "sweeps" and for activities at the dock.

Morning Divisions, "Divvies", took place outside on the Parade Deck, between the old Mizen Mast and the Figurehead. We would stand to attention for the raising of the HMS Conway Ensign to the sound of the bugle. The Colours were raised to the top of the Mast, except on sombre occasions such as the death of the former King, the Duke of Windsor. The Duty Master on a weekday, the Headmaster on a Sunday, and on one occasion I can recollect Vice-Admiral Jellicoe (of distinguished Naval descent!), inspected the respective platoons. Then "Caps Off" for prayers, read by the Padre. "Caps On", then a March Past to the sound of our own Band of bugles, drums and cymbals playing various medleys of tunes. On Sunday this was followed by Chapel.

All this activity would have laasted until about 9a.m. Weekdays, school was from 9a.m. to 1p.m. and 4p.m. to 6p.m., "Prep" (homework in a day school) from 7p.m. to 9p.m. Classes included English, Maths, Physics, Geography, History or Marine Science, Seamanship, and Navigation. 3 year coursers also took Spanish.

Evening Divvies would take place on the Mess Deck, when the Padre would also read us some meaningful moral story. Then cocoa, and bed, the bugler played "Last Post" at 10 p.m. which signalled "Lights Out."

Every 4th weekday one Division would jog down to the Dock, after consuming the rest of last night's cocoa, for activities on the boats: cutters and gigs, power-boats and the little skiff. "A classic prank was to send some unsuspecting new chum to report to the Dockmaster as "Skiff's Engineer": poor victim would find himself in charge of a one-man rowboat." (Don't ask me how I know).

Breech's Buoy, a method of rescue between ships, was rehearsed over the Dock and the outdoor swimming pool, enacted complete with flare and all. On more informal occasions it wasn't unknown for some poor victim to be thrown, fully clothed, into the swimming pool.

Punishments consisted of an "Early Heave-Out"- getting woken at 6ish instead of 7:25, in order to undergo rigorous Physical Exercise; "Slack Party", who lapped the Parade Ground "on the double" (running) prior to undertaking the dirtiest jobs available to be done, which was never so dirty as "coaling up" on the old ship, but whatever the Duty Cadet Captain could think of; or an Extra Watch, which usually had you on duty when other chaps were at the pictures, or dating, or whatever they did on a Saturday evening or Sunday afternoon.

Sports took place on Wednesday and Saturday afternoons. In the Winter: Rugby, Hockey, Cross-Country. In the Summer: Cricket, Tennis, Athletics, Sailing. I can remember one weekend the Sailing Group circumnavigating the Island of Anglesey. Another time there was orienteering in Snowdonia. Along with the regular Cricket and Rugby fixtures, there was also the annual Sports Day when all Cadets got to show their prowess. We also had an annual inter-Divisional Gig race.

"I was 'i/c port classroom heads' (I've kept that off my C.V.) and spent many a Saturday morning Brasso in hand polishing the piss pipes till you could see your face in them. Then on Sunday rounds standing at attention at the entrance to the heads when Basil poked his head through the door and, as Doug says, grunted and said 'carry on', the mixture of relief that he had not found anything to criticize, and the frustration of yet again not having received a 'compliment' which would go towards the Hobsons Cup."

 

"The year I left was 1972, and for the 1st time ever less than half of us actually went to sea. However, the HMS Conway experience set us up for life, whatever we were to do. Our year had the notoriety to agitate for change. Why did we have to wear Reefers, Number 1 uniforms to go on Leave? They weren't the best for 'cycling, or snogging the girls, and anyhow they had to be clean for Sunday. Eventually we were permitted to wear "civvies", civilian clothing, so long as we passed inspection prior to going on Leave."

Paper Darts

"One Summer's evening an unspoken challenge between the Divisions took place. From the 4 floors of dormitories paper darts came sailing out of the windows. How far could we throw them, who would be first to get one to reach the Strait? Someone had the ingenious idea of pinching a Chart from the Navigation Room, taking it up to Port Forecastle (top floor) and casting the hugest paper dart ever into the Strait! It went the whole way!!! The ecstatic reception alerted at least one Master and Books (Boots?) caught Port Foretop out of bed, saw the litter on the lawn outside, and sent them out in their pj's to gather up every single paper dart from that area. They got some barracking from the rest of us...."

1973

Changing scene

"We were allowed to smoke off-duty in the grounds but out of sight of the main buildings and also in the designated smoking room (ex common room) on the ground floor, once we had achieved 5th form status. Unless I am very much mistaken, the decision to "allow" us to wear civvies ashore and when travelling to and from home was on safety grounds. It was more to do with the kicking-off of the Northern Ireland troubles in the early seventies, which gave cause for concern as we may have been mistaken for the armed forces and therefore could have become targets - bushy-eyed and fresh-tailed as we were!!!"
1974

"When I went back to visit the school in 1974, ostensibly for the last Old Boys' Rugby match although a gruelling journey saw me arriving too late for that, discipline was very different from what I remembered. There were now much fewer boys, naturally enough, who were now permitted to wear civvies around the school. The ban on smoking no longer extended to 16 year olds, or so it appeared. I had a nice evening watching a movie on the white wall of one of the 6th form studies."

Climbing The Mast

"I recall an incident much later when the stone frigate was nearing its end. One dark and freezing morning the "early heave out' lads were assembled on the parade ground just as first light was showing and the CC of the morning stood planning exactly what form of punishment he should meter out to us unfortunates.. I remember suggesting that we should perhaps all climb over the mast and perhaps organize races over the top. His reply was that if I was mad enough to "sit on the truck' he would find some easy task for all the party. Well being one to never let a challenge go up I went to the ooh and ahs of the others and shimmied up to the truck. Sitting on it for what felt like hours but in reality was seconds scared to hell and shaking. From the cold you understand... Any way on my return to the ground we were made to clean some internal area of the building and tea and smokes were had by all. I was at least friends with some of the lads for a few weeks for saving them from the torments of a cold welsh morning and a grumpy."

The Britannia Bridge

The tubes of the bridge were lined with wood sleepers and over the years had been soaked in oil from passing trains. The bridge was set alight by local youths one night. The fire was a spectacular affair.

"There's a story that Josh Garner and a few other seniors went down to the dock and took the Pinnace out to get a better view (it happened after lights out - or at least was raging then), only to be caught out by being in an aerial shot taken by a helicopter of the inferno. I'm not sure whether his features were distinguishable in the photo.

Those of us who attended Conway towards the end had front row seats for the reconstruction. The arch sections were fabricated in a yard just below Port Dinorwic, and then taken up to the bridge on barges to be hoisted into position. It was quite eerie to be out on the straits early in the morning and have a huge tug and barge combo loom out of the mist and head up towards the bridge. I think the school closed before the new bridge was finished."

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