Memories of Bryan Maloney

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Reading what Harold wrote about Gosport has made me remember some of my own memories.

I was born in Yorkshire but adopted and brought down to Gosport to live, I lived in Gregson Close number 6. I was 7 when I came to live there, and had a lot of friends, I went to Holbrook School, this I hasten to add, is not the school that you know of there now, our school was in the field near Fortblock house at Rowner, the Fareham/Gosport road was on the left hand side with Grange Air field being to the south of us, I believe there is some kind of Warehouse or supermarket there now, there was also one yard square concrete blocks running around the school, I guess this was probably some kind of army camp during the war.

We were sat in school in around 1949/50 when someone said look at the plane, there was a plane heading straight for the class room, this happened so fast no one had time to move really, but the pilot managed to swerve the plane away and it straddled the main road, I often wondered if every one got out alright from the plane, some one said that the accident was caused by a vehicle crossing the run way as the aircraft was either landing or taking off.

The planes that landed at H M S Daedelus used to come over our houses in Gregson Close the Pilots used to wave to us.

When I was 13 years old in 1953 there was a massive explosion at the naval storage yard Bedenham, next to Bedenham, some people will remember that there was also a pen nib factory, and they had a dump for seconds outside, when the barge exploded under the pier there, the force picked up the scrap nibs and duly scattered them like confetti over a large area of square miles, we had free nibs for months, also, it was my first place of work, I started as an office boy with Mr. Self, Mr.Scard? also Mr. Barter, I got fed up with stamping stationary and so asked to go into the warehouses to work there, I was told it was very cold in winter, but it was compensated by the spring and summer, also there were the biggest horse mushrooms I have ever seen.

Across the road from Bedenham, there was a wood yard where I used to do some evening work there, cutting and binding the sticks, one day we were out with a delivery and I was sat in the middle between the driver and the mate, it was a nice day so I said I would ride in the back of the lorry, this was very fortunate, as shortly afterwards there was a terrific bang, and the shaft had come up through the floor and also a half inch sheet of metal, where I had just been sitting, I left there shortly afterwards.

Soon afterwards I left the place and joined the Royal Navy, and served on H M S Adamant, Centaur, Bulwark, Sheffield, AFD 58, Belfast, and last but not least entered H M S Fife into service from the builders yard.

Whilst I was on the Bulwark in 1958/61, I found my wifes name and address in a book, I wrote to her for a year, then came here to meet her and married my wife and moved up to Nottinghamshire where I have lived ever since married 42 years this year and am an amateur Historian and poet, I finished my working life as an Upholsterer, and have been finished work since 2002 I retire officially in October of this year.

I do come down to Gosport occasionally as I have Relations in Stubbington.

You can print any of this, and if anyone asks how to get in touch with me will you let me know please.

Just a quick note to say that the ship was there, I never went on it but it definitely was there, Bedenham, I worked there in the years 55 56 and 57  and the explosion was the one I said about in my write up for you, I think it
was about 52 or 3.

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