Inspection stokes up the memories for Sultan staff

Officers were reminded of their own training while inspecting the engineering trainees 'Picture: LA(Phot) Dave Jenkins
Officers were reminded of their own training while inspecting the engineering trainees 'Picture: LA(Phot) Dave Jenkins
Sian Crips, Georgia Perry and Abi Robinson, from Oaklands School, Waterlooville, celebrating their A-level results. Picture: Habibur Rahman PPP-170817-140116006

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Fond memories of their stoker ancestors were brought back for HMS Sultan staff at a recent inspection.

Some wintry weather offered staff and students a rare opportunity to link in with practices of the past when the Engineering Technician Initial Career Course (ETICC) carried out a No1 inspection in the surroundings of Watt Hangar.

The trainees fell in wearing their smartest uniforms for the inspection.

It was shadows of the past for the divisional officers from the Defence College of Technical Training’s Defence School of Marine Engineering supervising the students, as they remembered their own experiences of being surrounded by machinery of the past in Newcomen Hangar.

Chief Petty Officer Nigel Watts said: ‘The inspection was a fantastic reminder for all of the staff of our own early training.

‘Even looking back further, thoughts of our heritage come to mind as we walk past the black and white photographs on display within the ETICC, including the images of our stoker ancestors down below in square rig and coaling ships in tropical whites.

‘Nothing much changes, as stokers in No1s we all fell in next to the machinery that they are sure to grow to know and love.’

But times and technology have changed.

The boiler and steam turbines have now been replaced by gas turbines and state-of- the-art CAT and Wartsila diesel engines.

The experience of the No1 inspections held as a testament that despite technology moving on at a phenomenal rate since those days of old, a stoker in No1’s next to machinery still remains a spectacle to behold.

The engineering course, which was introduced in 2014, will give the Royal Navy’s engineers increased hands-on experience of the machinery and systems they will 
be using in the front-line fleet of submarines.

They will be responsible for keeping the ship running smoothly, safely and effectively and will work on everything from the ship’s hull and engines to its electrical, fuel, hydraulic and firefighting systems.