Training Ship Mercury Today

TS Mercury - The Final Day

The school closed in July 1968. The final day was cold and dismal as the boys came ashore for the last time but brightened up as the day progressed. Parents came to collect their sons and by the end of the day all boys were gone. Well not quite. There had been a request for 12 senior boys to stay behind for a further week to tidy everything up. These volunteers had a great time. They were accommodated in real beds in the sick bay and treated quite differently by those members of staff who had also been retained to supervise the running down of the school. In short, it was a week of hard work but these boys had a great time.


These pictures were taken on the last day and the subsequent week.

Boys coming ashore for the last time heavily laden with their hammocks and bedding.

07:05 on the last morning and during the night someone had climbed the roof of the New Place and placed an oilskin over the statue of Mercury. To this day no one as admitted doing this or knowing who did it.

During the latter years the theatre had, sadly, become nothing more than a boys’ locker room. Here we see boys cleaning out their lockers and packing their cases on the last morning.

The weather has brightened and parents start to arrive to collect their sons.

Boys departing for the last time in school uniform. The boy in day dress on the right would have been one of those staying behind for the clear-up week.

Tea break (or apple break) for one of the 12 boys who stayed behind for a week to clear up the school.