TS Lotus with Lotus Bud


In my youth I was a member of an Organisation called the Girls’ Nautical Training Corps (GNTC), years later amalgamated with the Sea Cadets. We were often mistaken for bona-fide WRNS! We met in Charles Hill’s Dockyard, Bristol,  where our “Ship” was called TS “Lotus”.  We went on parade, learned knots and messed about in boats. I spent a never to be forgotten week on the old training ship “Foudroyant” in Portsmouth Harbour, 1956, when I slept in a hammock.  The little rowing boat pictured here was purchased with funds the Unit raised through jumble sales and the like. Nobody had thought of sponsored walks in those days…… Our CO, Mrs Champion is on the left in the photo. I am in the front, right, on the left side of the gentleman. Was he someone from Hill’s or a Councillor? My name was Doreen Pillinger then. Do you recognise anybody? I can’t remember any of the names. There was another GNTC Unit at Avonmouth with which we joined on occasions, particularly a memorable “Crossing the Line Ceremony” we put on at a fete, where I played “Aphritite, Queen of the Sea, in green seaweed like robes, and everybody got very wet.   Happy Days.


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