HMS Ganges – Suffolk

HMS Ganges is situated on the Shotley Peninsula in Suffolk. It used to be a training camp for the Navy until 1976, and in later years it was a police training school. It closed in 1998 or something.

At the start of 2006 the site was subject to a controversial planning war – some developers want to build a ton of homes etc on the site, but locals don’t want that. In July 2006 the Secretary of State intervened and rejected all plans!

Mast

Anyone who visits Shotley can’t fail to notice a huge mast that dominates the skyline. I can’t find out exactly how high it is – various websites say it’s between 130 and 150ft high. That is damn high. And kids had to climb it when they were training in the navy. If that doesn’t sound too bad, the wind on the ground was ferocious when I visited. I can’t imagine what it would be like at the top of it.

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Signal school

This building was a Signal School apparently, which was created to teach flag signalling and telecommunications. I don’t know too much about it, but it did have fantastic bricks inside.

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In one room were some educational posters on one wall. They were in quite a bad state, but some parts were still readable. Time to learn some nautical signals…

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Swimming pool

This’ll be where people swam.

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Main block

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Martello Towers

There are two of these towers on site, both of which have been converted to water towers. One has had an additional observation post built onto it which gives splendid views accross the estuary to Harwich and Felixstowe. The same tower also has a mast on it, and a broken one is stored underneath it.

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Other buildings

Some of the other buildings on site…

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Fort/Battery

An old battery remains on the grounds of HMS Ganges. It was built in 1865 to protect the port of Felixstowe, and to supplement the forts at Felixstowe and Harwich.

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Bomb Shelters

Scattered around the site are various bomb shelters.

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387 Responses to HMS Ganges – Suffolk

  1. gordon weare says:

    In retrospect you had to be very mature for Ganges… at 15 ! As in all institutions you get extremes in human nature. Those banging on the door to get in or out. In my time Ganges was mainly a waste of time, the senseless, daily hours of drills achieved nothing. Time was so precious, time you never had. eg 30 men with one steam iron = no time at all. Impersonal, Ganges was far from soft. After 6 weeks bootcamp – it was far from over – You had a year more of ever meaner. Ganges was behind the times for sure. I would imagine with femmes in the present Navy, we have gone from one extreme to the other ! Today in UK the enemy is within, and like the deceived we used to see on ‘Candid Camera’ – our ‘leader’s have fallen for it hook, line and sinker. I confess, I reget not joining the RAF.

  2. Alan Cottis says:

    I joined in 65, Collingwood 44 mess. Great days.

  3. Richard Hilton says:

    That mast was one hundred and forty three and one quarter feet tall, I know this because like many other Ganges boys I sat on the button….

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