Seasons Greetings

Merry Christmas everyone! Thank you all for your continued support during this past year. Wishing you all a very healthy and happy 2015. 

Photograph of Boy with Crab

We have received a query from Rosie Howard. She is certain that this is a photograph of her uncle who was sent to Watts Naval Training School from Barnado's. He was later sent to Canada. The pictures are on the second page of the photographs tab labelled WNTS and RCNS circa 1927. It is believed the photographs were sent in by Christine English. If anyone is in contact with Christine please ask her to get in touch.

Demolition of the four houses - False Alarm

After making contact with the Estate Manager at Bournemouth and Poole College I can now confirm that the houses are not being demolished. The site has been bought from the College but there are no immediate plans for any of the buildings to be destroyed. After speaking to local residents, it would seem that the confusion lay with plans concerning a Rest Home neighbouring the site. If anyone has further information on this matter, please let us know.

RCNS Contacts

Gordon Brocklehurst sends his respects to all ex-RCNS contacts on the site. 

Ghost sightings in the four houses

Millii Stewart attends Bournemouth and Poole College and has heard reports of hauntings in the four houses. The back part of one of the buildings where the toilets are is an extremely active area. A lot of the staff have experienced bizarre happenings too, such as sudden drops in temperature in the middle of June. She is wondering if anyone had any information about who may be haunting it or if the hauntings are older than the property itself. She is extremely interested having lived in Poole all her life. If anyone has any information about possible ghost stories, she would love to hear from them.


Fisgard Association - Cenotaph Remembrance Service

Stanley Oram has emailed in to let you know that the first ever parade of a Fisgard squad at the Cenotaph Remembrance service a week on Sunday is currently 10 places light. It would be good to get a full turnout so if you are available just get in touch with Pat Bradley on 01752 863009. It is unknown if this is for FA members only but at this stage we don't suppose anyone is too worried.

Demolition of the Houses - Geoff Lewis

I am sorry to hear that the four top level houses are to be demolished next year. Saving the building tablets is a good idea, but I wonder if the developer/council may consider using house names, well known ex pupils etc. for some of the street names.

Visit to PSTS - David Price

I visited the old school in March of this year. Broughton House had the old back door bricked up and the Sweet Home ramp had disappeared under the brambles, but the rest was much the same. Sad to hear that the four houses will be pulled down, but I do not think their design lends them to much other than their original purpose.

Someone was asking if the school bandmaster in 1959 was Mr Challis. Yes he was. He was an ex Royal Marine bandmaster.

I noticed on my visit that where I had carved my name in the red brick at the back of Broughton house in 1963, some wag had over carved the D changing it to an A and had done the same with the E making it into a K. As the school closed in 1965 it was probably someone who knew me. Probably someone who I had stood at the end of his bed for talking after "pipe down".

Reading some of the entries on here it appears that I am one of the odd ones out, or the rose tinted spectacles are worn in abundance. I have many memories of my 3 years at PSTS. I enjoyed the educational side of school life, but hated most of the rest of it. I was not cut out for a regimented, ordered and controlled way of life. Despite that I was joint petty officer boy with another boy named Robert Morley I think. I missed the freedom of being able to decide for myself what I would do in my free time. Not "this is your free recreational period, you're all on the bottom field (cabbage patch) playing football". As what was so often the case.

While I may not have liked it, PSTS did do me some good. I have enjoyed reading the entries and I remember quite a few of the names, Paul Wilkie if ever you read this I hope your health has improved since you left PSTS as from what I remember you held the record for the longest time ever spent in the sick bay.


Demolition of the Houses - Grahame Bell

It cannot be too soon to see these buildings, especially Broughton House demolished, and I would suggest that all memorials be destroyed as well. In fact the entire site should be levelled.

For many, this place was "Hell on Earth". The very concept and operation of PSTS like the transport of Barnardo's childen to Australia was "Child Abuse" of the worst possible kind.

Demolition of the Houses - John Trott

An excellent article by Ron Jenkins about the demolition of the Houses, it will be a great shame to see them pass, I think we should try to have the Memorial Tablets saved. 

The Tablets for each House; Broughton, Johnston, Howard and Arranmore all came about by Benefactors. Richard Eastwood and myself researched this sometime back, the story of these are at the Tab; 'Did You Know'..... along with photo's of the Memorial Tablets. A lot of history is associated with the Tablets and the Benefactors. This Maritime Heritage makes the Memorial Tablets  worth saving.

The Benefactors were two very prominent Families who helped with the founding of the Russell Cotes Nautical School. The families were the Johnstons and the Howards who were very wealthy philanthropists. The Johnstons were Shipping Line Company owners, The Johnston Line of Liverpool. The Johnston Line was a famous British pioneer Merchant Shipping Company with a Fleet of over 80 ships. The Johnston Line eventually became the Furness Withy Co. Ltd. one of the largest British Shipping Companys well into the 1990's. Both Johnston House & Arranmore House (named after a Johnston Line Ship) were built/funded by the Johnston Shipping Line monies. 

Broughton House & Howard House were built by the Howard Family. Howard House was funded by two daughters of the Howard family, being named after Mrs Robert Howard of Malpas, Cheshire. Mr Robert Howard, the Industrialist had his country seat at Broughton Hall, in the Parish of Worthenbury, Flintshire. Mr Robert Howard was Sherriff of Flintshire, hence he named Broughton House in his own honour.

Both of these benefactors were close friends of Sir Merton Russell-Cotes the founder of the Russell Cotes Nautical School, which became Parkstone (PSTS). In turn the Howards, the Johnstons and the Russell-Cotes were close friends of HRH Prince Albert, Duke of York (1895-1952) who later became King George V. It was he who laid the foundation stone at the Russell Cotes Nautical School.

The Memorial Tablets are very much part of Merchant Marine Heritage, I would think a few calls to the likes of the Dorset History Centre and the Poole Museum, (Borough Council) would be worthwhile.