Our Trip Out to Malta
Two years ago, we came out to Malta by troop-ship. Having left our home in Bath in the early morning, we arrived at Waterloo shortly after lunch. What a bustle and a scurry there was getting the whole family and all our luggage from our two taxis onto the troop-train, and how excited we all were as the train slowly drew out of the station. The country-side flew by, and soon the masts and funnels of the great liners in the docks of Southampton came on sight. Then we caught our first glimpse of S.S. Nevasa, the brand new troopship whose maiden voyage this was to be.
After what seemed ages, we passed the Customs Officer and at last mounted the gangway of the ship. Everything was shiny and bright as we were led down to our cabin by the lascar steward. We were just tidying up, when there was a long blast on the siren and we all rushed up to see the ship casting off and to wave goodbye to England. In the gathering darkness of evening we watched the quayside getting smaller and smaller, and finally went down to our cabin again. In spite of all the unfamiliar sounds of the ship such as the fans and the throbbing of the engines, we were so tired that we soon fell asleep.
Early next morning we were woken up by the steward and after breakfast, we set out to explore the ship. Later on in the day we had life-boat drill. At first we thought it rather fun blowing up our life -belts and putting them on, but we soon became very bored of sitting in the lounge, when we might have been outside. The next few days passed very quickly, as we played deck-quoits and hopscotch and had races round the decks with all the new friends we had mlade. We had expected a very rough passage through the Bay of Biscay, but it was really quite calm luckily. We stopped at Gibraltar for half a day,and all the family piled onto a taxi to see round the town and visit the rock apes who made us laugh very much. Our next two days were very warm and sunny, and it was lovely cruising along the deep blue water. Then one morning the Captain announced that we would be getting into Malta earlier than expected that evening. There was a frantic rush to get everything ready, as in the afternoon there was going to be a farewell party for all the children. The party was great fun and we had a delicious tea. It was evening when we caught our first glimpse of Gozo and Malta. They looked very beautiful in the setting sun. We were very excited to see our father coming out to meet us in a barge, as we had not seen him for quite a long time. We steamed into grand harbour in the dusk and all the twinkling lights seemed to welcome us to Malta. There was another troop-ship in the harbour too and everyone cheered and waved at each other. It was several hours before we were finally through the Customs, and climbed down into the barge to go ashore. We were very pleased to have arrived, but sorry that our voyage was over as it had been such terrific fun, and so interesting.
Susan Stewart - Form 3A1J
Little ships ride on the waves. Where they go to no one knows,
Past the rocks and past the caves, By the coast with little coves,
Past the lighthouse on the shore, Out they go into the black,
On and on for ever more. No one knows when they'll come back.
David Palmer - Form 3A1J
My daddy is a sailor, I WONDER
And sails upon the sea. I wonder what will happen
And every time that he comes home, When I am ninety-one.
He brings a present for me. I may go for a holiday
It's a shame his leave goes quickly by, Cruising round the sun.
And once more he must roam. I wonder what will happen
I wish he were like other dads. When I am ninety-five.
And always stayed at home. That is of course assuming,
That I am still alive.
Anna McDonald - Form 4B1J
A Journey from England to Malta Overland
One morning in September we left Victoria station by the boat train for Dover. Whe n we arrived at
Dover we boarded the boat to Calais crossing the English Channel. It was a very nice day and the
crossing was very calm. When we arrived at Calais we had to hurry off the boat to catch the Rome
Express which always goes as soon as possible after the boat arrives. We travelled in a sleeper. A
sleeper is a carriage which is ordinary in the day but at night an attendant comes and turns the seats
We went non-stop to Paris through beautiful country, lovely woods, rolling wooded hills and rivers
running through the country. When we arrived at Paris, the sleeper was taken by a small engine from
one station to another and was put on to another part of the Rome Express. The Rome Express was
then a huge train with about 20 carriages and had an electric engine.
The train started about 7.45 pm. We travelled through the night extremely fast with lights of towns
and stations flashing by.
Next morning we were in Italy and were getting up for breakfast as we arrived at Genoa. When we
passed Genoa, we saw lovely views of the Mediterranean sparkling in the sun on the Italian Riviera
coast as the train dashed in and out of tunnels. When we were having lunch in the dining car we
stopped at Pisa where we saw a glimpse of the leaning tower. We enjoyed the Italian cheese and fat
juicy peaches very much. When we left Pisa we went on to Rome where we got out of the train and
got on an electric train, the Rapido. The Rapido was a very fast and comfortable train. It was a very
hot afternoon and I was exceedingly restless. On this train we went through two long tunnels.
After we had been in the Rapido about two hours we reached Naples where we were going to spend
a night. When we got off the train a taxi took us to the Orienti Hotel. Next morning we went up the
funicular railway. When we got to the top we went to a cafe and 1 had an ice-cream and mummy and
daddy had some coffee. From this cafe we had a lovely view of the bay and city and harbour. In the
afternoon we went aboard the ship called Sardegna which took us back to Malta. While I was on the
deck I saw a herd of Friesian cows being put on the ship. To get the cows on the people had a big
box which they put the cows into. The box is then hooked on to the cranes which are on the ship and
is lifted up on deck. Amongst the cows was a dear little calf which was only a few days old. There
was a Dutchman looking after them and he wore wooden clogs. In the evening the ship left Naples.
It was a very calm night. When we were out of the harbour we saw lightning in the clouds behind
Next morning we sailed down the coast of Sicily past Messina and Taormina. At about 9 am. we
arrived at Catania and at 3 pm. we left for Syracuse. We left Syracuse for Malta in the night. We
arrived next morning at 7.30. We then went ashore by dghajsa.
Miranda Swann - Form 3A1J
I like Malta, it is such fun
Especially in the Summer sun.
Swimming in the clear blue sea,
I think that it agrees with me.
Lying lazily on the beach,
Sucking a sweet and juicy peach.
But now the very time has come,
I must get dressed and go off home.
S. Mellor – Form 4B1J
Our marble time is here again,
We play this game in sun and rain,
On hands and knees we take our aim,
Goodness me! One’s down the drain.
Both boys and girls play this game,
Till Mother calls for tea again.
Wash hands and face always the same,
But don’t eat fast – you’ll get a pain.
Susan Willsher – Form 2AJ
My Visit to H.M.S. Ark Royal
In February we went aboard the Ark Royal. We started from home early as we thought that there
would be quite a crowd waiting to go on board.
My father managed to hire a dghajsa and we rowed out to this big British aircraft carrier which was
berthed in Grand Harbour.
We arrived at the gangway leading up to the ship where a sailor was waiting to help us aboard. At
the top of the steps a Sub -Lieutenant welcomed us and showed us the door which led to the hangar
below the deck.
The hangar was a huge place, propellers, wings, tailplanes and wheels lined the walls and many
aircraft were inside. Walking through was just like going through a large iron floored house, there
was never a swing or rock at all. The ship was completely steady.
We then went up the aircraft lift and on to the deck where there were Seahawk and Gannet aircraft
lined up on the edge, some of them looking as if they would fall off any second. While we were
walking along the flight deck a naval officer walked up to us and asked if we would like to go up into
the Island. We said we would and he took us through the door and along a passage which led to the
Captain's bridge where there was a compass and many other instruments which were used for
navigation and so on.
We then went into the briefing room where there were rows of adjustable seats and a blackboard for
displaying orders for aircrews.
After that we returned to the flight deck and from there we embarked in a dghajsa for the shore and
landed at Customs House steps after a very exciting afternoon.
Richard Curtis - Form 3A1J
When I went on board H.M.S/M Totem, I saw the escape apparatus which comes into use when the
submarine is on the sea-bed and cannot rise to the surface.
Next I saw the galley and the crew's quarters. We then went into the engine room.
On the surface the Totem uses diesel engines but when submerged she uses electric motors. I saw
the chart and control room, and I was allowed to look through one of the periscopes.
I thoroughly enjoyed my visit. It was most Interesting.
G. Rhodes -- Form 3A1J
My Pony Club Camp .
Last Summer before the holidays ended I went to Pony Club Camp at Verdala Palace. We went on a
Monday and came back on a Saturday. I rode a lovely horse called Brandy who is five years old. He
is a lovely dark brown, and has a long mane and tail. We left the Marsa stables at 10 am. on
horseback and arrived for supper at 6 pm. After supper we could read or play till 9 pm. Next morning
we had to get up at 6 am. to saddle-up for a ride. After the ride we had breakfast and after that we
had to groom our horses. At 11 am a truck came to take us to Ghajn Tuffieha for a swim. After lunch
we had a short lecture about horses then we had to wash our saddles and bridles. It was then time
for tea, after which we played till 9 pm. We had this programme for five days and then we went
home. I enjoyed my Pony Club Camp and I hope I can go again this year.
K. Simmonds - Form 3A1J
My Trip on a Tug
During my Summer holidays, 1957, I was delighted when Daddy came home one day and said that
we could go with him on the Dockyard tug "Sea Giant" the next day, because he had to take the
Battle Practice Target out for the ships of the fleet to fire at.
At 5 o'clock that morning we were awakened as the "Sea Giant" was proceeding at 6 am. When we
arrived at the Target Centre, we were soon in the power boat and heading for Bighi Bay where the
targets are moored. The Tanac towed the target to the "Sea Giant", who was waiting in the fairway.
When the tow was connected to the "Sea Giant", the Target Marking Party and ourselves were
transferred from the power boat to the "Sea Giant" which then proceeded to rendezvous with the
When it was H.M.S. Defender's turn to fire her first salvo of four rounds, three were very near the
target but the other one fell 25 yards short of the tug's starboard quarter and the riccochet whizzed
over the tug, and we all ducked.
The other ships that fired found the target, and after their shoot was completed we made for home,
which took about three hours. On the way we ran into a shoal of porpoise. We all ran to the bow to
watch them leaping and diving across the bow wave. It was a lovely sight and the first time I had been
so close to a porpoise. We arrived back home hungry, very tired but happy, and after a good meal
we were soon in bed and asleep.
J. Lockhart - Form 4AJ
Fuelling at Sea
Last Summer I was lucky enough to spend a day at sea in a Royal Fleet Auxiliary tanker whose job is
fuelling warships at sea.
"Tiderace" is the Navy's latest and biggest oiler. It can fuel four ships at once, two on either side. She
carries about 15,000 tons of oil and has a crew of over a hundred.
We left Grand Harbour on a bright, sunny morning and steamed South for about two hours until we
saw an aircraft carrier approaching at high speed. It was H.M.S. "Eagle".
As we kept a steady course at 11 knots the great carrier swept past and turned to "take station" only
120 feet from our port side.
Lines were shot across between the two ships and in a few minutes three great hoses, hanging from
special derricks, were "buttoned up" and oil began to flow into the carrier's tanks. It was a wonderful
sight seeing H.M.S, "Eagle" so close to us. The distance is kept by measuring lines and the ships
speak to each other by telephone.
At last the signal comes to stop pumping, the hoses are quickly disconnected and drawn back on
board the tanker, the "Eagle" increases speed and draws away and ahead and is soon disappearing
at full speed. The Captain told me that it is sometimes done at night and in bad weather and is not
always so easy.
As there were no more ships to fuel that day we returned to Grand Harbour and tied up to our buoy
with the help of two tugs.
Culum Campbell - Form 4AJ
Going on a Submarine
It was to my delight one day that mummy said that daddy, my sister and I would be allowed to go, at 3
pm., on board H.M.S. Tudor.
At 3 pm. we were walking along the "walk-ashore" towards H.M.S. Tudor.
We were greeted by our friend and the duty officer. Then we went down the hatch, into the
submarine, where they were hanging up Christmas decorations. Our friend then showed us at the
side of the submarine the torpedoes and gun-lever. We then went through some corridors to the
main part of the submarine, the engine room. Around the side of the walls were handles, levers,
charts and depth-gauges. In the middle of the space was the periscope. At the left-hand side corner
was a big compass, used to show which way they were going. Beside that there was a seat, which a
sailor sat on and steered by the use of the compass.
At the end of the submarine there was a lot of machinery for making it submerge but I could not
Then we made our way home, and that was the end of a glorious afternoon on a submarine.
Richard Hodge -- Form 4AJ
My Trip to Malta Overland
One day my father heard that we were to come to Malta for one and a half years. We thought it
would be lovely to motor overland to Malta through France and Italy. We only had a fortnight to pack
up the house and all our baggage so it was a great rush.
A fortnight later we found ourselves leaving Dover, all aboard the Channel steamer for Boulogne in
France. Having left the ship my job was to translate the international roadsigns for my father while he
concentrated on keeping to the right hand side of the road. We travelled nearly 150 miles a day.
We also went through a big town called Dijon.
One day we passed a French Nougat factory. That same day we saw the French Alps with snow on
A lot of the way down to the coast we drove by the River Rhone, also we went over the famous bridge
of Avignon. At a place called Orange, we saw the largest monument in France.
After five days we came to the Riviera and we stayed at an hotel by the sea. When I was paddling I
saw two fresh water ducks in salt water. A man said it was a sight I would never see again. For the
first time we stopped at an hotel.
Four days later we found ourselves crossing into Italy by the frontier. We saw the Italian Alps too.
We also went through Genoa, the biggest sea-port in Italy where we got mixed up in the docks. We
saw the Leaning Tower of Pisa when we went through.
As we did not have time, unfortunately we had to by-pass Rome. Our last night was in Amalfi (a little
way after Naples). We stayed in an old monastery. The scenery was very beautiful indeed and it
seemed that we drove for miles round the endless twists and turns with a sheer drop down to the sea
on one side.
The next day we went back to Naples where we had fun watching the car being hoisted up on to the
deck and watching Daddy's anxious face.
After some time we boarded the Argentina to sail to Malta. On the way we went through the Straits of
Messina. In the distance in Sicily, we saw Mount Etna erupting. We stopped at Syracuse while we
did a spot of sightseeing in a cart.
It took about 12 days to get from England to Malta. We arrived in Malta the next morning at seven
o'clock all wishing that our lovely trip had not come to an end.
Susan Morris – Form 3AJ
YOUNG CHILDREN’S EARLY ATTEMPTS AT STORIES (UN-CORRECTED.)
I GOT A RACING CAR WEN I WENT TO BIGHI HOSPITAL AND I DIDN’T LIKE IT IN HOSPITAL
AND I HAD TWO PRICKS AND I HAD ONE IN MY ARM AND ONE IN MY LEG AND MY MUMMY
CAME TO SEE ME NOW I AM BETTER
David Caley - Infants 5
I HAVE A SHIP. IT IS A RED SHIP. ONE DAY IT WENT OUT. IT IS AN R.N. SHIP AND IT CAME
David Horlock – Infants 5
THE THREE SHIPS
Three ships came in one day,
On the ships the children played,
And there I saw a lovely bay,
Where everyone looked happy and gay.
They lowered the boats,
And rowed ashore,
With shouts of laughter and jokes galore.
The children scrambled onto the beach,
With buckets and spades and lots to eat,
A lovely time was had by all,
And then the dusk began to fall.
They entered the boats,
And rode away,
And everyone said
What a lovely day.
Margaret Stead – Form 3A2J