Tracey Fowler, Reporter
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
A MEMORIAL has been installed in North Weston cemetery to remember Portishead’s old Nash Boys.
The memorial stone has been placed as a tribute to men who died while training on BTS Formidable and at the Nautical School in Nore Road. B
TS Formidable was a training ship anchored off Portished Pier from 1869, providing a place where boys, usually from poor backgrounds and many of whom were guilty of petty crimes, could learn to be sailors. Most of them went on to a career in the merchant navy.
The Nautical School, which was sold to developers in 1982, was built to replace the ship’s activities and opened in 1906. The trainees were often referred to locally as Nash Boys.
Several years ago those with connections to the old school, including former members of the school, became concerned that the graves of the trainees were falling in to disrepair. There was a call for the sailors, as an important part of Portishead’s history, to be recognised and remembered.
Former merchant seaman Ronnie Corbett, aged 65, supported by others who trained at the nautical school and belong to the BTS Formidable Association, led a campaign for a tribute to be installed at the cemetery and raised the funds to pay for the permanent memorial.