Make and mend afternoons

This picture of sailors sewing sparked memories from Jim Carter-White.
This picture of sailors sewing sparked memories from Jim Carter-White.
Opening of the new school by the home secretary in October 1927. The headmaster, Canon Barton, is on the lowest step, on the left. Dorothea Barton is possibly there, somewhere. (PGS Archive)

NOSTALGIA: A red bluestocking at Portsmouth Grammar School

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JIM Carter-White, from Gosport, was able to shed some light on last week’s picture of the sewing sailors.

He said: ‘The Royal Navy used Wednesday afternoons as ‘make and mend’ when the sailors would as the name suggests, repair their kit and uniform.

‘On large ships (mine was HMS Bulwark 1972) we had old ‘three-badgers’ who made leather goods like knife pouches and moccasins.

“The term ‘make and mend’ now refers to any afternoon off usually after carrying out the middle watch (00.00-04.00 hours).’