Author Topic: Chatham dockyard X submarines  (Read 1068 times)

Offline castle261

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Re: Chatham dockyard X submarines
« Reply #16 on: January 16, 2021, 03:29:44 PM »
That story of the `rabbit` by granarog - I heard it was a sailor with a cat + duty free cigarettes.

Offline AlanTH

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Re: Chatham dockyard X submarines
« Reply #15 on: January 15, 2021, 09:35:26 AM »
I'm fairly sure we used the term "rabbit" at Blaw Knox for anything made for yourself with material supplied by them, during works time. My mother in law and oldest bro in law also worked in the dockyard so I probably heard it from them as well.
AlanH.

 

Offline Colin walsh

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Re: Chatham dockyard X submarines
« Reply #14 on: January 14, 2021, 10:46:21 AM »
Well there we are, several meanings of a "rabbit"in dockyard terminology ,who's to say what one is nearest the truth,reguards "over wills mothers" it's apparent it was not just a yard thing but was fairlyin fairly wide usage in the south eastern counties,something else Lerned ,
Just love this type of blog ,just a friendly chat among fourum members,brings back memories of the lost fourum,remember the landing craft saga,plus the slip coach tome,all gone now.But thanks to our leader we have a great new forum to work in ,

Offline Lyn L

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Re: Chatham dockyard X submarines
« Reply #13 on: January 10, 2021, 06:54:26 PM »
The term Rabbits was always used by my late hubby, but he was RN and came home each time from abroad with 'Rabbits '. Toys especially that we couldn't get here. 
As for It's raining / sunny over Wills mothers,  That was  something I was brought up with  and my Mums family came from Hampshire , so not necessarily a Kent saying. But being a child and having an Uncle Will there, I always thought it was over her home  ::)


Offline Pete

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Re: Chatham dockyard X submarines
« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2021, 05:09:18 PM »
Slightly O/T but the term chat was used around Sittingbourne, covered anything that was free/cheap, "on the chat"-on the dole or sickpay, "done some chat" -overtime, got some chat -" scrap (toot) or  something made on the firm"

Offline shoot999

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Re: Chatham dockyard X submarines
« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2021, 04:08:14 PM »
I worked in a number of bases, inc Chatham, and they all used the term 'rabbits' for items being made, or other  non-authorised work being carried out.  From making nets (to catch rabbits!), repairing damage to some of our vessels without the 'paperwork', to having our cars and bikes repaired or serviced by our engineers. All came under the term rabbit.
Can't recall the term rabbit being used for taking stuff out the yard, but as we were 'mobile' with an all Dockyards pass, we were able to just walk out with tools, clothing, sleeping bags, etc.



Offline Dave Smith

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Re: Chatham dockyard X submarines
« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2021, 03:30:20 PM »
Although my Dad worked in the yard & my best friend was an apprentice there, I never heard them use the expression " rabbits" for items being made or " removed" from the yard. When I was an apprentice at Shorts, items made illicitly were called "foreigners". Mostly cigarette lighters made from a solid block of Dural ( duralumin).

Offline castle261

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Re: Chatham dockyard X submarines
« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2021, 01:12:16 PM »
I was working in the Dockyard - when some of the younger members  fathers were. (1953 - 1984)
I made a model of H.M.S. Eskimo - 4 ft 6 long - using cut up tin cans + solder - I was working on H.M.S. Eskimo - as I was modelling it - It got lost in a move - anyway - when it was finished I went
to No 8 machine shop to inquire about having a glass cover - to house the model - Later that got
lost too - I could not find a driver to take it - out of the yard - I had a cycle then - I let it drop.
I did make a model of tin - of the Short Brothers planes - the Maia / Mercury with a 16 inch wing span the same size as the Shorts apprentices made to be presented to the test pilot Mr. Lancaster.
In the dockyard - that took two years - I have three photos of them - but I am not technical enough to put them on here.

















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Offline grandarog

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Re: Chatham dockyard X submarines
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2021, 12:33:31 PM »
I always understood the Dockyard term Rabbits was to do with nicking goods from the dockyard.
When stopped on leaving a worker was asked what was in the bag by the Dockyard Policeman at the gate. When he replied rabbit the copper said show me where  upon the rabbit would escape and run back in the dockyard ,hotly pursued by the worker. On returning with his nicked goodies in the sack the worker puffing and blowing would be waved through by the amused Policeman with out a bag check . :)

Offline Stewie

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Re: Chatham dockyard X submarines
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2021, 09:30:21 AM »
We used this on the railway as well Colin, I thought that it may be a Kentish saying?

Offline Colin walsh

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Re: Chatham dockyard X submarines
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2021, 09:16:49 AM »
Hi all,something I often came across in the yard was ,it's raining/snowing/ sunny over "wills mothers"who the mythical Will was ,or the location of his maters abode is still a mystery to me today😳

Offline Stewie

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Re: Chatham dockyard X submarines
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2021, 08:22:52 AM »
Thanks Colin, I have heard many Dockyard men talk of 'Rabbit' jobs but no one seems sure where the term originates from.

Offline Colin walsh

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Re: Chatham dockyard X submarines
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2021, 01:44:22 AM »
Change of subject,dockyard sayings,ask any ex yard person,"about the term "rabbit "and I bet all will say it was some small job /article made or performed in yard time,using 'liberated 'material .
In fact the term "rabbit"came from way back ,most yard employes ,apart from skilled men,shipwrights ECT ,were payed on the 'job and finish'system part time only.so cash was hard to come by,(nothing changes).at that time st Mary's island was virgin scrub land,lnfested with rabbits,so catching them in dockyard time was a fair way of subsiding wages/family food supply ,being caught of said deceased bunny on leaving the yard was considerd a sackable offence.so over the years any illegal work / item became known as a "rabbit".
I knew a chippy who during ww2 made a good living manufacturing copper fire guards from shimm sheets,we had a engine fitter who produced beautiful cigarette. Lighters from brass ,plus beautifly made bags &a zip up hold alls from the sail makers,

Offline Dave Smith

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Re: Chatham dockyard X submarines
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2020, 10:41:21 AM »
Stuart. It was definitely after I came home from being evacuated, so July 1942 onward. However, I'm sure it was later than that, possibly sometime in  '44 but prior to D day. Sorry I can't be more specific but thanks for all the info' you have just given.

Offline stuartwaters

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Re: Chatham dockyard X submarines
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2020, 11:58:19 AM »
Hi Dave, do you remember roughly when this was? The reason I ask is because a Chatham-built submarine, HMS Tradewind, was used as the prototype for a conversion into a high speed submarine. The conversion was covered in the article about HMS Tradewind on the old forum, but I haven't managed to retrieve it yet.


The data gathered from those trials was used to design the later conversions for Second World War-built submarines of the T and A Classes and in the designs for the 50s and 60s-built submarines of the Porpoise and Oberon Classes.


The designs they produced were slightly faster surfaced than dived. The boats which are faster dived are of the slightly more modern teardrop or cylindrical shape, the first of which was actually the American boat USS Albacore. All modern submarines are of this kind of shape now, particularly nuclear-powered boats.


It was actually the Germans who designed the first proper submarines. Before the advent of the German Type XXI and XXIII U-Boats towards the end of the Second World War, submarines were little more than submersible Torpedo boats, whereas the German boats were designed to operate submerged all the time, only coming up to periscope depth to raise their snorkel and run their diesel engines to draw fresh air into the boat and recharge their batteries every couple of days.


The conversion of HMS Tradewind was prompted by the capture at the end of the war of some of these German boats which the Allies found were far superior to their own submarines.
"I did not say the French would not come, I said they will not come by sea" - Admiral Sir John Jervis, 1st Earl St Vincent.