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A PAIR OF STEAMING BATS: Life in the Royal Navy

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Ever wondered what it’s really like in the Royal Navy? Then you’ll love this hilarious, entertaining and very personal portrayal of the author’s 1980s’ experiences. The author – known as ‘Rocky’ on his first seagoing ship – joined the Royal Navy aged 17 in September 1982, shortly after the Falklands Conflict, and served until 1990 when he left the Senior Service to start a Ever wondered what it’s really like in the Royal Navy? Then you’ll love this hilarious, entertaining and very personal portrayal of the author’s 1980s’ experiences. The author – known as ‘Rocky’ on his first seagoing ship – joined the Royal Navy aged 17 in September 1982, shortly after the Falklands Conflict, and served until 1990 when he left the Senior Service to start a family. A Pair of Steaming Bats captures the author’s training period, first taste of life at sea on a frigate and subsequent drafts including further life at sea on board an aircraft carrier. His experiences both on board and ashore are recounted as he sails from Plymouth and Portsmouth to various corners of the globe. From Mombasa’s seedy backstreets and the red-light districts of Hamburg and Amsterdam through to the glorious sandy beaches of the Seychelles and the Bahamas - there is coarseness, sex and drunken shenanigans. The people he encountered – from the poor beggars on the streets of Karachi to the millionaires of the Gulf states – are still fresh in his memory today. This witty, behind-the-scenes account of life in the Royal Navy combined with the author’s stories of his Irish Catholic roots and his upbringing in a Peterborough pub will have you laughing, reminiscing and reflecting on for a long time after you read the final page. You’ll find everything in this compelling, no-holds-barred memoir.


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Ever wondered what it’s really like in the Royal Navy? Then you’ll love this hilarious, entertaining and very personal portrayal of the author’s 1980s’ experiences. The author – known as ‘Rocky’ on his first seagoing ship – joined the Royal Navy aged 17 in September 1982, shortly after the Falklands Conflict, and served until 1990 when he left the Senior Service to start a Ever wondered what it’s really like in the Royal Navy? Then you’ll love this hilarious, entertaining and very personal portrayal of the author’s 1980s’ experiences. The author – known as ‘Rocky’ on his first seagoing ship – joined the Royal Navy aged 17 in September 1982, shortly after the Falklands Conflict, and served until 1990 when he left the Senior Service to start a family. A Pair of Steaming Bats captures the author’s training period, first taste of life at sea on a frigate and subsequent drafts including further life at sea on board an aircraft carrier. His experiences both on board and ashore are recounted as he sails from Plymouth and Portsmouth to various corners of the globe. From Mombasa’s seedy backstreets and the red-light districts of Hamburg and Amsterdam through to the glorious sandy beaches of the Seychelles and the Bahamas - there is coarseness, sex and drunken shenanigans. The people he encountered – from the poor beggars on the streets of Karachi to the millionaires of the Gulf states – are still fresh in his memory today. This witty, behind-the-scenes account of life in the Royal Navy combined with the author’s stories of his Irish Catholic roots and his upbringing in a Peterborough pub will have you laughing, reminiscing and reflecting on for a long time after you read the final page. You’ll find everything in this compelling, no-holds-barred memoir.

30 review for A PAIR OF STEAMING BATS: Life in the Royal Navy

  1. 4 out of 5

    MR T M TOOMEY

    A slice of life in the Navy in the 80s A very well written and not particularly sentimental account of youth in the Navy that is written in a conversational style that grips and entertains, without ever tarrying too long on any aspect. Thoroughly reccomended to those with or without an interest in the armed forces. Something about the authors style reminds me of Saturday Night and Sunday Morning by Alan Silitoe. I'm sure it could have or could be adapted into a rip-roaring fictional account, rath A slice of life in the Navy in the 80s A very well written and not particularly sentimental account of youth in the Navy that is written in a conversational style that grips and entertains, without ever tarrying too long on any aspect. Thoroughly reccomended to those with or without an interest in the armed forces. Something about the authors style reminds me of Saturday Night and Sunday Morning by Alan Silitoe. I'm sure it could have or could be adapted into a rip-roaring fictional account, rather than the humorous but truthful autobiographical account given.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Adrian Lovell

    It was fun. Thanks for the memories I enjoyed this read. Covers all the aspects and more for a Junior rating. I joined at Gangies as a baby Jack Dusty. It was fun and an eye opener all in one. Finally ended up as a Senior Exec now retired with the same as the author. TH is the bathroom ding for life.

  3. 5 out of 5

    jason ellis

    A thoroughly enjoyable read.. Really enjoyed reading this book about Rockys career in the RN,very funny in places. Found it interesting as I was due to join the RN in 1988 straight from school but “options for change” and an MO at the Birmingham recruitment office saw to that dream..

  4. 4 out of 5

    Mr Michael R Stevens

    Repetative As an ex matelot I was initially hooked but after a couple of chapters lost my enthusiasm. Join a new ship or establishment, make new friends, to ashore, (foreign or home), drink beer, meet girls, repeat. I suspect that this book was written as a 'dad's after a reunion. It did make me laugh with recalled similiar memories though. Repetative As an ex matelot I was initially hooked but after a couple of chapters lost my enthusiasm. Join a new ship or establishment, make new friends, to ashore, (foreign or home), drink beer, meet girls, repeat. I suspect that this book was written as a 'dad's after a reunion. It did make me laugh with recalled similiar memories though.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Phil Altimas

    a really interesting insight into life in the Navy

  6. 5 out of 5

    David

    Glad I didn't pay for this book pleased you enjoyed your cruise on the grey funnel line while the rest of us real matelots had to 'dig out'. Glad I didn't pay for this book pleased you enjoyed your cruise on the grey funnel line while the rest of us real matelots had to 'dig out'.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Mark D Tyler-Cox

    Memory provoking read Thoroughly enjoyed reading this, it brought back a lot of memories from my own time serving in the RN, albeit ten years after this time. Once started it was hard to put down. Humour just as I remember it. BZ Rocky.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jacquie Jerrard

    Only for those who like naval life. I found it boring all it concerned with was sex. Very disappointing could have been better.if dialogue was used also.

  9. 4 out of 5

    James Peberdy

    What a fantastic read ,me being an ex sailor as well ,having served in 80s/90s I can relate to this book ,absolutely fantastic read ,couldn’t put it down

  10. 4 out of 5

    Ali Nicoll

  11. 4 out of 5

    David Roberts

  12. 5 out of 5

    Norman Cooke

  13. 4 out of 5

    malcolm Irvine

  14. 4 out of 5

    Joan Birks

  15. 5 out of 5

    Frank Hayley

  16. 5 out of 5

    Pete

  17. 4 out of 5

    Philip Earl

  18. 5 out of 5

    Linda Carter

  19. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Crooks

  20. 5 out of 5

    Christopher Anwyl

  21. 4 out of 5

    peter aitchison

  22. 4 out of 5

    Mrs Nita Wood

  23. 5 out of 5

    Mr. Alexander Frow

  24. 5 out of 5

    David Jakes

  25. 4 out of 5

    WF Jordan

  26. 5 out of 5

    STEPHEN BAMFORD

  27. 4 out of 5

    Keith Holmes

  28. 5 out of 5

    claire rourke

  29. 4 out of 5

    Mr M W Watts

  30. 4 out of 5

    Ralph Smith

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