The Stone Frigate 1964
New Block was occupied for the first time, the huts were closed
phase of Conway's life began.
suppose the camp was sort of more military when you think of films
of people doing National Service, whereas the New Block was more
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
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."
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!
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
He also had a unique way of pronouncing
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.
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!!"
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.
Around In Boats
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."
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.
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!"
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!
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
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."
& Mrs Lord
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.
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."
The MMSA relinquished control of
the Conway and it passed to Cheshire County Council.
back The Who
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."
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."
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."
Death Of The Pinnace
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.
do recall we had great difficulty setting her alight, mind you
we were using TVO!!!"
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."
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."
"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
"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
"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
Click image to enlarge
"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.
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
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
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/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."
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."
"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...."
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!!!"
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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