Federation of Old Cornwall Societies

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Torpoint Old Cornwall Society



President: Sir Richard Carew Pole


Chairman: Leadville Parsons  10 Trelawney Way, Torpoint PL11 2QG  01752 813044


Chairman: Mr L Parsons


Secretary: Ms Jacki Downing  10 Trelawney Way, Torpoint PL11 2QG  01752 813044


Treasurer: Mrs Carina Davis  Borough Farm, Torpoint




e-mail contact







Meet third Wednesday of the month, 7.30pm, September - April at The Torpoint Council Chambers


Meetings include lectures, raffles, tea and biscuits
















Founded: 1978


Colours: Blue, White & Black



On Thu 15 Jun 17, Members of the Torpoint OCS on a visit to Devonport Dockyard, the first three hours were spent at the

Royal Navy Heritage Centre learning about the history of the Royal Navy and visiting their museum and collection of exhibits

including ships figureheads and other artefacts, the tradition of the Service and origins of many of our sayings still in use today. Included were d Cats Head Boards so that illiterate and drunken seamen returning from a run on shore could identify their ship,

instead of waking up in the morning on the wrong boat!


The Plymouth Rope Works had once the longest building in Europe , the ropes made here had a red thread running through

then, to be caught with a section or piece of one was a capital offence.   The Chatham Ropes works had a Green thread and

Portsmouth,   Blue. The three Devonport Housing Tower Blocks reflect this connection in all three colours.  Ships of the Line

would  have  carried  over thirty miles of  ropes for use in  their rigging).


The highlight of the tour was a three hours visit to the now decommissioned nuclear submarine Courageous, just one of twelve

such vessels  tied up and sleeping at Devonport,  each would have had a crew of 120 men living silently, 'cheek to jaw' for months on end  under water not knowing if it were day or night, not seeing the sun or life outside their steel tube!  


All water on board was recycled over and over for a multitude of purposes and the electricity a generating system capable of lighting Plymouth several times over. All refuse condensed and compressed and brought back to base upon their return. The crew slept in sleeping bags that were replaced every three months!


When embarking on such underwater commissions, tinned food and supplies were stored everywhere, lining the deck floors and corridors then covered with planking, it would not have been easy to walk upright until well into several months at sea!


Emergency Escape Procedures are no longer from the conning tower, but by auxiliary rescue craft that can both locate and lock onto the stricken vessel like that with the Spece Station. Other methods of escape may be in special suits and floating to the surface eliminating the risk of the Bends, as the men would not have been breathing compressed air!


Quite a different lifestyle that than of us Country Folk, but a most valued part of our Nation's First Line of Defence.