Graves of Boys of the BTS Formidable and National Nautical School

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By sooty1261 | Monday, June 06, 2011, 07:01

Hi I am Ronnie I am the assistant administrator for BTS Formidable on Multiply. Last Friday I came to Portishead to look at the graves of the boys of the National Nautical School in the North Western Cemetery and also those of the boys of the BTS Formidable. Having heard tales of neglect broken stones and disarray I felt I should take photos and then find the responsible parties. On seeing them I saw no real neglect or vandalism just old graves spoilt by water and frost damage. It will eventual decay as stones do so I asked Dignity the company contracted by North West Somerset to look after thier cemeteries and crematoriums

If the Old Boys could put in a garden of remembrance with low maintainance. Vicky Howells my contact at Dignity has agreed to Putin a circle of stones with silver gravel infill Gratis all I need to do is create the centre piece which will need to be paid for and made. I do not yet know the cost. I will be looking for donations to the memorial fund and would like to be making a collection in Portishead on Saturday 3rd of September during the Reunion of the Nautical school Old Boys.



  • Profile image for hongkongyan00

    please inform me of any future re unions, I was at the school in 1946-1948.

    By hongkongyan00 at 09:11 on 16/12/12

  • Profile image for thepickler

    Can you call me on 01275 857269 as I would like to do a story on this for Portishead People. Thanks Heather

    By thepickler at 18:22 on 13/06/11

  • Profile image for sooty1261

    The graves of young men who died while training at the town's Nautical School, are now in a poor state in North Weston Cemetery, some of the headstones are cracked or have pieces which have broken off.
    This is not neglect this is frost damage to some very old graves.

    Members of the public with connections to the old school say the Nautical School is a part of Portishead's heritage and as such, the graves of those who trained there should be Memorialised
    The training ship BTS Formidable was anchored off Portished Pier from 1869, providing a place where boys, usually from poor backgrounds, could learn to be sailors.

    The National Nautical School in Nore Road was built to replace the ship's activities. It opened in 1906 but was sold off in 1982 and developed in to the Fedden Village apartment complex. Money from the sale was put in to a charitable trust to help disadvantaged young people.

    Former trainee 's says it's a disgrace that no consideration is being given to this important part of Portishead's history.

    "While there is no doubt that North Weston Cemetery is one of the best kept cemeteries in North Somerset, the graves of boys who died while at the Nautical School have been left to decay

    "Members of the Old Boys association are now asking for them to be given some respect and understandably want to see them Memorialised
    A response, to a letter I wrote last week to the Nautical School Trust says that the request falls outside the aims and objectives of the charity and cannot therefore be considered.I will now fill out the application form to the Portishead Town Council for a grant There are 54 names plus an epitaph to the boys so I need to get some estimates from some local stonemasons. Meanwhile if any locdals want to join me and help with fund raising please contact me on

    By sooty1261 at 15:17 on 13/06/11

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    I have been sent a Grant application form from the rown clerk and I am about to send an email to the Nautical school Trust Dingley Brown on the High Street
    to see if I can aquire some Funding the Old Boys are pledging monies as we speak . Thank you Barry

    By sooty1261 at 09:33 on 06/06/11

  • Profile image for BarryW

    Have you approached the Nautical School Trust and/or Fedden Village?
    I suggest through Portishead Town Council Clerk.

    By BarryW at 09:17 on 06/06/11

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