Matlock Forum Club

FORUM CLUB: On Tuesday 4 June 2013 club member Ron Murnane gave a talk about his early working life as a Merchant Navy Apprentice.

He gave a brief description of his life as a wartime evacuee and of his final schooldays at the London Nautical School which led eventually to his going up to Liverpool to join his first ship as an apprentice.

This was a rite of passage, a transition from one status to another or, as Ron more succinctly put it, “ this was me as a lad and me growing up”. He described the surprises, shocks, pleasures and pains of adapting to this new environment and meeting his fellow apprentices, other members of the crew and generally having to adopt a new lifestyle.

The ship was a small world of its own with its own rules, duties, functions and relationships and it was this world that Ron conveyed to his audience with his lively and humorous presentation of a series of word pictures.

He singled out a number of the individuals on board and their particular characteristics and skills as well as explaining (in terms appropriate to his audience of landlubbers) some of the everyday activities necessary for the running of the ship and , in particular, some of the more unpalatable tasks allocated to himself and his fellow apprentices.

Ron went on to talk about various countries which the ship visited and the people and places which he got to know,as well as some of escapades in which he and his shipmates were involved which were ,presumably, part of the “ growing up process” mentioned earlier and the telling of which certainly amused his listeners.

The talk was enjoyed by the audience who particularly appreciated his presentational style which enabled them to share and enjoy with Ron some of his most significant memories.

Members were reminded that the next two meetings of the monthly Summer Programme would be as follows: Tuesday 2 July 2013 and Tuesday 3 September 2013

Details of the Club and its activities can be found on its website at: wwwmatlockforumclub.co.uk