The ship as seen from the pier head at high tide. The ship had three decks. The Main Deck was original and was where the boys formed up morning and evening for roll call and general assembly. The Lower Deck was originally the engine room. Above the Main Deck was the Upper Deck, which was an 'add on'. Senior Boys slept on the Upper Deck whilst Junior Boys slept on the Lower Deck. All boys with the exception of Cadet Captains slept in hammocks. At this time, the ship was officially HMS President. She had originally been launched in 1878 as HMS Gannet but was renamed ‘President’ when she was retired from the Royal Navy and used by the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve in London (some years before coming to the Mercury).