Below you will see an email sent to me from Scott Bailey.  Scott is an executive of the Galliardhomes Company associated with Haylink Limited. They are the owners and the would-be developers of the old HMS Ganges site at Shotley Gate near Ipswich Suffolk. The email is a kind response to a suggestion I made about the naming of the roads in and around the planned-for Retirement Village to be built on the old site. It is explicit and requires no interpretation.

However, please note the first paragraph, second sentence. Scott, I am sure, is referring to the yarns and the myths told about HMS Ganges 1905-1976 by the ex boys of Ganges. It has to be 'taken with a pinch of salt' !  In the second paragraph he suggests that the Ganges Association will be consulted concerning the naming of streets and places in the newly created complex.  He has made no suggestion that the Ganges Museum, an entirely separate organisation to the Association and far more knowledgeable than the Association be also involve. There is clearly no suggestion that the naming committee [if that is what it is to be called] should be offered to others, for neither the Association nor the Museum know all the necessary answers which would lead to satisfactory outcome.


Subject: RE: Message through MyShotley.com (Ganges)
Date: Wed, 18 Mar 2009 14:27:54 +0000
From: sbailey@galliardhomes.com
To: jeremy@myshotley.com; godfreydykes@msn.com
CC: parishclerk@myshotley.com; grahamsteel2509@btinternet.com; tessa@myshotley.com

 
Dear Godfrey
 
Your note to MyShotley has been passed to me. I am one of the developer/owner's representatives.  We too have heard the stories of young men falling to their deaths on HMS Ganges.
 
As you may or may not know, we have come to an arrangement with the Local Planning Authority that in the event that we obtain planning permission, we will consult with the HMS Ganges Association when we come to the naming of streets and places.
 
We will be tidying up the mast and its environs and therefore we will have the opportunity of dealing with this request when we begin construction (if we ever get planning permission).
 
 
I hope this helps
Scott

 Before I continue, note Scott's final paragraph and the words inside parenthesis.  I have deduced that much of the hold-up is to do with the Shotley Gate environment and not with the site, its buildings or the mast, as is supposed. The parts to which I refer are the utilities [water and sewage mainly]; the objection by those already living and crowding a relatively small piece of land to having the inhabitants increased many fold on their already restricted door step; the narrowness of the roads which could require a major and costly rebuild leading back to the A14; and the complete lack of facilities. Money is tight, councils are cutting back, the site is losing money as land/house prices fall.  As important as any element in the melting pot is the knowledge that the foreshore is already chokker-block with marine facilities, and this part would be a carrot to attract buyers to the retirement village.  Being "trapped" on a peninsular  with poor communications is not what reasonably well off retired people really want.

Have a look at the bottom of this page to see the current situation on Planning Permission sought and the outcome.

So back to naming roads and buildings, forewarned is forearmed, which has brought me to write this page.

All of us could jot down some of the Ganges names we would like revered and kept on site.  I would take any bets that I would be able to guess at least 95% of the jottings correctly.  I would also take a bet with you, that 95% of you don't know, nor did you ever, the names of the sides roads within the establishment or those closely associated with it. Lets try it.

Where, geographically, were ANCHOR LANE, HARDY STREET, NELSON AVENUE, KING EDWARD VII DRIVE, QUEEN VICTORIA DRIVE, just five named streets.

ANSWER

OK ! How many did you get correct ?  I thought so. Can you answer this question.  The wardroom, the QARNNS Sisters mess and the officers accommodation when confined to Sick Quarters, were all in relatively close proximity. What common outdoor relaxation spot did they share nearby and what was the central feature of it?  Answer at the very bottom of the page. Did you know that Kipling, author of the poem IF displayed either side of the stage of number one gymnasium, had a very sad life ? Much sadder than all the Ganges boys put together and I wished that I had known that when I was there. Instead, I often pitied myself, without cause ! Firstly he was sent away from home [India] to boarding school in England when he was only 5; his marriage wasn't always happy, and worst of all, two of his three children pre-deceased him - an unbearable thought. Now go and re read that poem and think on.

DID YOU KNOW THAT THE CURRENT MAST AT GANGES WAS THE SECOND MAST ERECTED?   Have a look at this page OLD AND RARE GANGES PHOTOGRAPHS

Moving on.

The 95% [or more] I would guess right are easy because we all know them as well as we know our own mothers. They fully deserve to be in the melting pot when it comes to taking decisions although not all will be used, regrettably.  It is therefore critically important that the pot is over flowing even though we know that some will be losers in such a small auction.  In a moment, I am going to encourage you to leave your choice of a name and the reasons why you have chosen it. Notwithstanding the response here, I will offer my list to stand against the Association and the Museum as credible and relevant choices to the history of the site.  If you want a slice of the action, then please complete my name placing below.

Before we do that, let us agree that the TIME HONOURED NAMES will be submitted to the naming committee, and this, I would hope, would accord with what the Association and Museum recommends. If I have missed any out [and I am a 1953 boy so.......] then please propose them in your submission.  In no specific order they are:-

Long Covered Way
Short covered Way
Benbow Lane
Anson
Grenville
Rodney
Blake
Drake
Benbow
Hawke
Collingwood
Annexe
Beatty
School Lane
Signal School Lane
All those mentioned in the quiz above including Faith Hope and Charity
Nelson Hall
Quarterdeck
Kipling
Erwarton
Caledonian
Laundry Hill
Signal Tower
Water Tower
Jellicoe
Tyrwhitt
Keppel
Exmouth

Now for my own original thought which will be added to yours, and to the agreed list above.

I am going to add:

Routine Lane [after Shotley Routine]
Claire, after Roy, boy to rear admiral
Magennis Victoria Cross

Here I am going to break my list to say this.

James MAGENNIS was a Ganges boy.  In Clive Watts' time, he had the decency and style to show a separate BUTTON for our Victoria Cross Boy. Under the present incumbent webmaster Phil Bridge, he has seen it fit to ditch this button effectively forgetting one of our heroes. It is an omission not to be forgiven and one of the many reasons why Ganges boys do not join the Association. His new site might be "modern" but vis-à-vis the old site of Clive's, it is SOULLESS. Come to that, is the new site original thought as is suggested? I seem to remember ACQUIA.COM having a similar model !  *** See below

Back to form !
PlaceVC Captain
Cameron VC Divisional Officer
Magennis VC
McKenzie VC
Fisk Official Photographer
Cairns the only  Aristocratic  Captain
Le Fanu the Captain who attained the highest naval rank and appointment in the admiralty
Hickman boy who fell from the mast and died
Lindsey died whilst under backward swimming instructions
Davies died whilst under backward swimming instructions
Bennett claimed cruelty subject of John Bull Magazine Story
Wilson claimed cruelty
Beaumont given 24 cuts in one week
Blair claimed cruelty
Davenport died by being hit on the head with a cricket ball
Hill, a WW1 POTEL, died of shock and of burns as a civilian in Ganges whilst as an electrician he was working in the Ganges Power Generating Plant
Springham became a national traitor
Hodgkinson died miserable death newly ex Ganges
Village Plague - Shotley and HMS Ganges had plague cases right up to and including 1911 and Ganges boys died from it in 1906
and all of these are featured in my many web pages.


Answer.  The rose garden and the fountain set in the large fish pond.

*** There is no doubt that a lot of work goes into making a website.  There are products on the market already engineered and all the webmaster has to do is fill in the blanks to personalise pre-made web site models. If you go down that route you shouldn't use superlatives which might suggest that it is entirely your own work.  We read the following on this new web site:-

"Welcome to the brand new HMS Ganges Association website! We've Finally launched.

After months testing and creating this site we are ready to show you what a community website should be like!

We hope you enjoy it!"

That would be fair enough IF the preparation work was as hard as is suggested in the middle line, and who says it is what a community website should be like ? That is an opinion of a diligent volunteer [with, as admitted, very little computer experience] and an unknown guru.  It would have been better had we all known the truth, not that that matters EXCEPT WHILST FILLING IN THE BLANKS YOU MISS OUT VICTORIA CROSS HOLDERS !!! This is what they might have said, using a little modesty:-

"Welcome to the brand new HMS Ganges Association website! We've Finally launched.

After months testing and creating this site we are ready to show you what we think a community website should be like! We have used a well known and competent company as our web host <Streamline.Net costing no more than £75.00 GBP per annum> and the whole project has been adapted from an original model at <http://www.acquia.com> used under licence from TopNotchThemes.

We hope you enjoy it!"

That sounds about right to me.

And here for the DECENT GANGES BOY, is the old style web page telling of our hero's

awmktst
 
Join
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Member Lists
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1782 - 1930
1782 - 1930
Mylor
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McKenzie
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Magennis
Magennis
HMS Ganges Crest

HMS GANGES ASSOCIATION
Victoria Cross Holders

Association Standard

 
 
Victoria CrossAlbert McKenzie VCOf all the thousands of boys and men that trained in the shore establishment HMS Ganges from 1905 until 1976, only two are believed to have been awarded the Victoria Cross.

Able Seaman Albert Edward McKenzie of HMS Vindictive, was awarded the Victoria Cross, the highest award for gallantry in the British and Commonwealth armed forces, following the Royal Navy's famous Raid on Zeebrugge in 1918.

He was chosen by his shipmates to be awarded the VC and it was presented to him by King George V at Buckingham Palace during the Summer of 1918.
He had almost fully recovered from his wounds when he caught flu in the epidemic which swept across Europe at the end of the Great War. He died at Chatham Naval Hospital in October 1918 aged nineteen.
An excellent website telling the story of Albert, his award and the Zeebrugge raid, researched and created by his great nephew Colin McKenzie can be accessed at: http://www.mckenzie.uk.com/zeebrugge/index.htm

L/Sea Magennis VCLeading Seaman James Magennis was the only boy trained at HMS Ganges to be awarded the highest British medal for valour in world war two. Boy Seaman Magennis of Belfast, Northern Ireland joined HMS Ganges in June 1935 and on completion of training served in HM Ships Royal Sovereign, Dauntless, Enterprise, Hermes and Kandahar. Before being drafted for wartime service in HM Submarines and volunteering for special duties in midget submarines.

His medal citation read: "The King has been graciously pleased to approve the award of the Victoria Cross for valour to Temporary Acting Leading Seaman James Joseph Magennis, D/KX144907.
Leading Seaman Magennis served as diver in His Majesty's Midget Submarine XE3 for her attack on 31 July 1945 on a Japanese cruiser of the Atago class.


Owing to the fact that XE3 was tightly jammed under the target the diver's hatch could not be fully opened, and Magennis had to squeeze himself through the narrow space available.
He experienced great difficulty in placing the limpets on the bottom of the cruiser owing both to the foul state of the cruisers bottom and to the prominent slope upon which the limpets would not hold.
Before a limpet could be placed therefore Magennis had thoroughly to scrape the area clean of barnacles, and in order to secure the limpets he had to tie them in pairs by a line passing under the cruisers keel.
This was very tiring work for a diver, and he was moreover handicapped by a steady leakage of oxygen which was ascending in bubbles to the surface.
A lesser man would have been content to place a few limpets and then to return to the craft. Magennis, however, persisted until he had placed his full outfit before returning to the craft in an exhausted condition.

Shortly after withdrawing Lt. Fraser (Skipper of XE3) endeavoured to jettison his limpet carriers, but one of these would not release itself and fall clear of the craft.

Despite his exhaustion, his oxygen leak and the fact that there was every probability of his being sighted, Magennis at once volunteered to leave the craft and free the carrier rather than allow a less experienced diver to undertake the job. After seven minutes of nerve racking work he succeeded in releasing the mine carrier. Magennis displayed very great courage and devotion to duty and complete disregard for his own safety."

 
magennisbook.jpg The book 'MAGENNIS VC' 'The story of an ex HMS Ganges boy (1935)
JAMES (Mick) MAGENNIS who was awarded the VICTORIA CROSS'

by George Fleming ex HMS Ganges 1957.
Mick Magennis was the last RN Rating decorated with a VICTORIA CROSS.
The book can be purchased from the HMS Ganges Association online slops room. Paperback £11.95, hardback £22.50. Signed paperback copies can also be obtained direct from the author. Please send £11.95 (Sterling) (Inc. P&P) Along with your own address to:
George Fleming, 545A Lisburn Road, BELFAST, BT9 7GQ.
Telephone. 02890 664629  Email. <george9.fleming@ntlworld.com>

Look here for an update of the James Magennis story.  BELFAST N.I. An Enigma but a REAL R.N. Hotspot.htm

Now, that promised current planning permission and how far it has got.

Application Number: B/07/01237
Application registered Consultation period Awaiting decision Decided Appeal Appeal decided
Registration Date: 24/07/2007
Parish Name: Shotley
Location: Former HMS Ganges Site and Shotley Marina, Shotley Gate, Shotley, Ipswich, IP9
Proposal: Construction of a Spine Road across the former HMS Ganges site which connects the B1456 Bristol Hill to the King Edward VII Drive and includes a new roundabout junction on the B1456, to give access to Shotley Marina. The proposed Spine Road is approximately 840m long and designed to adoptable standards including pedestrian footpaths shared cycle/footway and traffic management measures, as supplemented by i) tree survey and arboricultural report, ii) drawing number G070333/011 Rev C, iii) unnumbered drawing labelled 'sketch for question 12', and iv) soakage test results prepared by Card Geotechnics, all received by the Local Planning Authority on 5th November 2007, and as amended by drawing numbers GO70333/SK/003 Rev A, SK/005 and 012/Rev B received by the Local Planning Authority on 27/11/2007, and by Tree Condition Survey prepared by The Urban Forestry Organisation Ltd and Proposed Spine Road Drainage Strategy prepared by KMN Group Ltd, both received by the Local Planning Authority on 02/01/2008.
Case Officer: Gareth Durrant
Decision: Granted
Appeal Received Date: This case has no appeals against it
Application Number: B/07/00597
Application registered Consultation period Awaiting decision Decided Appeal Appeal decided
Registration Date: 04/05/2007
Parish Name: Shotley
Location: Former HMS Ganges Site, Shotley Gate, Shotley, Ipswich, IP9
Proposal: Application for Certificate of Lawful Development - Use as a residential training centre within Class C2 of the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987.
Case Officer: Gareth Durrant
Decision: Granted
Appeal Received Date: This case has no appeals against it
Application Number: B/00/01318
Application registered Consultation period Awaiting decision Decided Appeal Appeal decided
Registration Date: 07/09/2000
Parish Name: Shotley
Location: Former HMS Ganges Site, Shotley Gate, Shotley, Ipswich, IP9
Proposal: Submission of details under Outline Planning Permission B/88/01560/OUT - the siting, design and external appearance of, the means of access to and the landscaping of the site for a retirement community development of 404 dwellings [one to be the Managers House] some to be assisted-living houses and the rest to be 1 to 5 bedroom houses, together with a 60 bed nursing home, a club house and leisure facilities (bowling green, swimming pool and pavilion). Associated highway and landscaping works also form part of the proposal. The majority of the buildings will be erected towards the south of the site just north of King Edward VII Drive.
Case Officer: Gareth Durrant
Decision: This case has not yet been decided
Appeal Received Date: This case has no appeals against it

In Application Number B/07/01237 above, approval has already been given for a new road to be built. From what has been said I deduce that it will look similar to my drawing below.