Summer 1968 was the second "Summer of Love". Long hair, hippies, beads, kaftans,
Hueys and Hue, LSD, pirate radio and pop music at its best. We saw little of this
of course. What we did see wasn't even on one of those new colour TV sets. This Summer
of Love also signalled the end for TS Mercury. The school closed in July 1968. Here
is a picture of the ships company that final term.
I attended the school from September 1965 until its closure (that’s me, top right).
Helped by a calendar for that final summer term (which I still have), these are some
of my memories about the various activities we boys got up to that summer....
The Films We Watched
Every Saturday night we had a film show on a 35mm Bell and Howell projector operated
by a couple of the senior boys. Each show usually involved at least one breakdown
not to mention the 10 minutes or so to change reels. If, like me, you were in the
6th form you would be privileged to enough to spend your A Level 'self study' periods
in 'Noddy' Chambers' office leafing through the film distributor's catalogue selecting
the films for the next term. These are the films that myself and other members of
the 6th form had some hand in subjecting the school to that summer:
Doctor at Sea
The Longest Day
The Glass Bottom Boat
That Riviera Touch
A Taste of Honey
Morgan, A Suitable Case for Treatment
The Cricket We Played
The school had an active sports calendar. Here's the local teams we played that summer.
The results are not known and I cannot claim to have played cricket for TS Mercury.
I was more a ‘football boy’.
Embley Park School
The Royal Greenjackets
The School of Navigation, Warsash
Where The Band Played
I was a member of the T. S. Mercury school band playing trombone. The band was very
much modelled on Royal Navy or Royal Marines tradition. One attraction of being a
band member were the Saturday afternoon outings to such events as those listed here
for that summer. Some were more thrilling than others.
St George's Day Parade, Netley Abbey
Fawley School May Fair
Fawley Church Fete
Women's Institute Garden Party, Durley
Upham Church Fete
Hedge End Carnival
School Final Closing Ceremony (on Southern TV)
What The Band Played
No doubt the band's repertoire varied over the years. But that summer the following
were at the top of the band's 'Hot One Hundred'. How we wanted to give 'Waterloo
Sunset' or 'Whiter Shade of Pale' a go!
When You're Smiling
Over The Waves
Congratulations (yes, the Cliff Richard hit!)
March No. 4
My Fair Lady
The Standard Of St. George
Listen To The Band
Theme from No Hiding Place (from the television detective series)
When The Saints Go Marching In
Pass Me By
La Reve Passe
The New Colonial
All The Nice Girls Love A Sailor
Evening Hymn and Sunset
The Great Little Army
California Here I Come (We played this alongside Southampton Water when the Queen
Mary departed for the last time)
The Pirates of Penzance
Under The Double Eagle
Men of Harlech
The Work We Did
Oh yes, at the end of the day we had to do some work! Here were the big exams that
were held that summer just to spoil the fun!
CSE: Mathematics and English
GCE 'O' Level: Seamanship, Navigation, Geography, Physics, English Language, Additional
Mathematics, Mathematics, English Literature and History
GCE 'A' Level: Physics, Pure Mathematics and Geography