The Parade Ground

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This picture was taken from the top of the steps leading to the ‘Sewing Room’ (part of the Captain’s House) where boys could get their clothes repaired or altered. It was also where boys were kitted out with their uniforms etc. when they joined. Amongst other things, boys were issued with oilskins to keep them dry. Senior boys often asked new boys to go up to the Sewing Room and ask the ladies for their ‘foreskins’ as well!

In the foreground can be seen the theatre with the ship’s original figurehead on the lawn (i.e. When she was HMS Gannet). The River Hamble is in the distance looking inviting (as indeed it was in the summer). The room at the front of the theatre was the band room. The blackboard (below the white stairs) showed a map of the world. It was a boy’s duty to select the key world events from the day’s papers and write them up. The flag was raised at morning ‘divisions’ and lowered at sunset to bugle calls.