Weymouth and Portland in Dorset UK are in the news for Olympic Sailing Events

Weymouth and Portland in the Western County of Dorset have been in the news as hosts to the 2012 Olympic Sailing events.

It brings back happy memories of 1946-1947 when I was undertaking a Specialist Torpedo= Anti- Submarine course, the Anti Submarine segment was taken at HMS Osprey at Portland, where I was resident for some months.

My cabin at Osprey was located at the far end of a long carpeted corridor, and there was no lock on the cabin door. The officers gave a Wardroom party for wives and friends, as I did not have either at the time, I left quite early and went off to bed.

Soon after my door burst open and my very attractive WREN Steward, Penny Wilson came in, and tried to get into bed with me, she muttered “ Fancy you!

Took my knickers off.” I quickly hussled her outside, just in time, as she was sick on the carpet.

I scampered back to bed, very lucky to have got her out of my cabin in time.

I had no control over the development of this episode which might well have proven highly embarrassing, the following morning Penny very abjectly apologised for her behavior.

Portland is a limestone Island some 6 kilometers by 2.4 kilometers lying in the English Channel, a stone causeway on which runs the A354 road joins Chesil Beach with Weymouth.

The Royal Navy’s Anti- Submarine school HMS Osprey was located at Portland.

Six million tons of limestone from Portland was used by Sir Christopher Wren to repair London buildings including St Paul’s Cathedral after the Great Fire of 1666.

When my new wife arrived in UK from Australia, I had rented a two story house at 17 Icen Road Radipole, a near suburb of Weymouth.

I had recently bought a BSA 350 cc side valved motor cycle number plate: BPR 290 for 40 Pounds. As I was on sea training often at night, I was granted a special quarterly Petrol allowance, it was the third month into the quarter, and the authorities mistakenly gave me a full three months allowance, and at the start of the next quarter another full three months allowance we thus had petrol to let us explore the countryside. As Britain was keeping double summer time it remained light well into the evening, and we often sallied forth into the surrounding counties to the north, west, and east of Weymouth

Our first trip proved to be a disaster, we were some 90 miles from home and our BSA broke down, nothing would persuade it to start, my sole tool, a pair of pliers.

Another couple on a bike, and also from Weymouth offered to tow us home, alas, no tow rope. A length of wire from a Farmer’s fence was cut off with said pliers, it saved the day acting as a tow rope and got us back home.

I would ride from home across the causeway to Osprey where I joined 9 Royal Navy, 2 Canadian and 2 Indian officers for our training using a tame Submarine.

Five of the RN officers on course had commanded Submarines in WW2, their former First Lieutenants now in command themselves. We had an arrangement with them, when we lost contact via the ASDIC with our target Sub, it would put on a burst of speed, we would switch to Hydrophone and quickly regain contact, thus we never lost our quarry to the complete amazement of our Instructors.

When it was time to sail home to Australia, I sold the old bike for 42 Pounds, and the very next week, the supply of petrol for civilian use was abolished, and the BSA would probably not have been able to be sold.

These recent Olympic Sailing events bring back fond and happy memories of a time immediately post WW2, when we thoroughly enjoyed the rather sleepy town of Weymouth, and the British countryside, surrounding the County of Dorset.


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