Tiffies in training

Skins being  soaked in a lime pit ready for glove-making

Parchment makers worked hand in glove at Havant

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A fortnight ago I published a photo of what I said might be petty officers during their training. Brian Smithson dropped me a line and thinks the three lads at the back were artificer apprentices because of the uniform and cap badge.

He was such a rating, joining the navy as an Artificer Apprentice in May 1954 at HMS Fisgard, Torpoint, Cornwall, where all Tiffies, as they were known, joined up and did their first 16 months’ training.

They had to wear the ‘hated’ single-breasted uniform until they went to their second establishment, which in his case was HMS Collingwood, Fareham, as an Electrical Artificer. Other establishments for Tiffies were HMS Caledonia at Rosyth and HMS Condor in Arbroath.

Brian doesn’t know where the photo was taken but because of the uniform thinks it could be Fisgard.

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