Sep | 15 | Thu | The City of PORTSMOUTH |Matelots & New Mates

Sep | 15 | Thu | The City of PORTSMOUTH |Matelots & New Mates


  • Ask | For God’s Richest Blessing on Steve Martin who runs the Naval Christian Fellowship out of HMS Nelson | For Jack, a new rating on HMS Illustrious, just out of the box | For my new Mate Matt the Atheist who had a birthday yesterday! | For the 6 Chaplains that take care of what’s left of the Navy running out of Pompei. What a job!
  • Thanks | For being able to proclaim God’s message at HMS Nelson in Portsmouth
  • Implore | For God’s will to be doneSOUTHAMPTON TODAY. For Divine appointments please. and of course for PROVISION


  • TOMORROW’S MESSAGE | is ROOTED IN the book of | JUDGES |
  • THE DAY AFTER’S MESSAGE | is ROOTED IN the book of | RUTH |

See my Full 66 City Tour List by Clicking HERE


I was up at 4:30 this morning. There was lots to do before I got on the road. Unpacking all the video and audio, labelling it, storing it, utilising it takes time. As does this daily diary. It is worth it. But, it is time consuming. Hence the 4:30am reefer madness. My B & B which is a wonderful three start Fawlty Towers Place has very slow uploads speeds. So I don’t know if I can upload all the video’s today before I get on the road? Especially as they turn the Internet off at midnight and don’t put it on again until 6:00am. MENTAL!

I raised Bridget from the dead, my usual Caffeine miracle morning, we prayed, and soon it was time for Bridge to go to work. By 8:00 am I had already gotten my emails off the the Cathedral in Portsmouth, the Naval Chaplaincy, The Royal Sailors Rest, and BBC Radio Solent. The BBC were on the phone to me when Bridget popped her head around the door and slipped two bananas and a freshly made Tuna Tortilla flour wrap into my bag. Oh my goodness. Yummy!

The BBC said they would call me in the afternoon and also passed my name on the folks that Run the Spinacre Tower, as they thought that would be a great place to, “what was it you do again?”. So the Spinacre tower was in the offering. Nice.

I rang the Royal Naval chaplaincy at HMS Nelson to see if they could get me into the Dockyard at Portsmouth. “It’s too late really, more notice was needed” and “did I have any Friends outside of the Dockyard that could help me?” That was a very polite “get lost you nutter!” So I decided to go straight to the to the top and ring the Commodore in charge of the whole base. The MOD switchboard gave me his number and I was dialing.

The last time I spoke to a Commodore I was on two charges of drinking under age and being drunk whilst in charge of a Green Goddess Fire engine. It was 1977 and I had just come out of training and was stationed in Plymouth. I didn’t have a clue. My Petty Officer was an alcoholic and the whole crew was, like every sailor I had met, binge drinkers. The brass hats were after the PO, I was guilty, but still very wet behind the ears and they knew it. I had never been surrounded by so much gold braid in my life and as the charges were read out and my defence and then prosecutor spoke, the Commodore just peered over the lectern at me. My underpants needed changing and he knew it. Two weeks No 9’s (The Cat O Nine Tails being replaced with stoppage of leave, 2 hours extra work per day and numerous mutterings in No1 Uniform throughout each 24 hour period) and a fine. I remember that the Petty Officer was busted down to Leading Hand.

The phone was ringing.

Lieutenant Commander Otley the Commodores PA informed me that he was away in London but she would do all she could to try and get me into the Dockyard, hook me up with Chaplains and see if I could preach alongside HMS Victory, Nelsons Flagship. The day was looking good.

And just to make triple sure, I also contacted the General Secretary of the Naval Christian Fellowship, which is also based in HMS Nelson and Dockyard to see what they could do to help me and also The head of the Royal Sailors Rest, the ministry that sent the missionary, who led me to Jesus over thirty years ago. Portsmouth was going to be busy.

And to top it all, my email informed me that a lovely Friend and brother had booked me into a Bed and Breakfast in Portsmouth. VERY NICE. Thanks so much RG.

  • The Cathedral never got back to me.
  • The Anglican head of Mission, never got back to me.
  • The Spinacre needed more notice.
  • BBC Radio……never got back to me.
  • The Royal Sailors Rest, no longer have centres and can’t help me and deepest joy in darkest Africa, and blow me down, Lieutenant Commander Otley cannot get me a pass at such short notice.

Triumph to disaster in an hour. NOT Nice.

Steve Martin of the Naval Christian Fellowship rings me and says “Give me your Car Registration, bring some photo ID, your in! And speaking at the Naval Christian fellowship lunch today in HMS Nelson in the Dockyard, see you at 12:30..ish…”
“Mate” says I , “How did you get me in in less than 24 hours notice?”
“I was nice to the Ministry of Defence guys on the gate. I just asked them nicely.”
and I thought to myself…NICE.

So I pack up everything (including the memory stick) throw it in the car and I’m off. It’s ten O’Clock and I’m hungry. Bridget’s Tortilla wrap is calling, and its encased in shiny tin foil, the edge of it peeping out of my rucksack and flashing in the morning sunlight. I reach in and yank it out, but its stuck in all the tutt I have just crammed in the bag (that Haemorrhoid cream ain’t mine by the way baby!) and it splits in half. I tip the bag over and peer inside and see the other half of the Tortilla, its Tuna guts spilling out onto my cables and other stuff…….and oh my goodness, Bridget’s phone charger is in there as well. So now all my stuff smells like fish! Two hours late (man that car is fast. I do hope no tickets arrive at Mitchell’s for me. Yikes) I am in Portsmouth and at the new M.O.D. gate waiting for Steve.

He arrives on his bike and in we go to get my passes. I show my passport give my address.
” Have you been living there for three years?” Now I should have just said yes. But I said no.
My other addresses over the last 14 years do not register? WHAT!
“Can I have you parents address?”
“They’re dead?”
“Any other relatives?”
“Look you have my passport and my drivers licence all confirming addresses?”
“Computer says ‘No’ ….Do you have any other relatives?
” I have a half brother called ‘Drinkwater’ that lives somewhere on the Romford Road in London”
“OK! We’ve got him.”
So I get my passes and walk out. Bemused? I could have given anyone;s name and address said they were my half brother! Now there;s a tip for a terrorist! Good grief.

Andrew is a Chaplain who was in line watching this little contratant and is going to be at the meal later. He reminds me later that I can’t take any pictures inside the Dockyard. He had three M.O.D. Police cars come after him when he first took some pictures! Hilarious. He’s only just joined up at that time.

It was great to be with Steve, meet with his wife who he works with and Katy the office administrator who does a super-duper Job. It just so happens that the Royal Sailors Rest Pastoral workers is also there and he is going to show me around his Dockyard beat before I leave.

I speak on Deuteronomy leaning on the Picture of God with a shovel, a travelling fair, and how to do proper handovers. I hope you are blessed by the message.

I interview Jack a young rating from the Isle of Widget and later Steve. There are several compelling interviews on this site today. (WELL THERE WILL BE AS SOON AS I GET THEM UPLOADED!) I do hope you get chance to view them.

The RSR minister shows me around. We walk by HMS Ark Royal. Gutted, empty, dead. We walk past HMS Illustrious, no aircraft now, just Helicopters and Jack with a machine gun. You should NEVER give Jack a machine gun. The RSR Pastoral worker tells me that suicides carried out by sailors recently have been with weapons signed out of the armoury. Bad move. Jack and guns don’t really go. That’s why we have the Marines. We walk past the Naval Detention Quarters, the place that made many a fine Christian man as I remember. The Pastoral l worker tells me that the three top crimes are now Fighting and drinking related ( no change there then) and electronic fraud with sailors claiming expenses you are not entitled to…. Eh?

We walk past the accommodation blocks, each rating now having his own room with en suite shower and bathroom. Apparently isolation is a problem? Recruitment is also a problem as loads of recruits are now from commonwealth countries? Apparently Jonny English does not want to take the Queens Shilling anymore. But Jennifer English does! Even if she is a single mum and has to leave the kids at home with someone else whilst she goes on an eight month deployment.

When the second temple was built, the new generation rejoiced at the new start whilst the old farts wept at glories now long gone. I am an old fart. I am weeping. It makes no difference. This is all irredeemable. I am a bit depressed.

The afternoon is now far spent and later in Southsea, finding my Room for the Night really does cheer me up though. I recognise the area! When Bridget was 16 and I had just started my submarine training down here, I tried to hire a dark old bedsit down here in this neck of the woods for me and Bridget to run away to. That was 33 years ago! The Bed and Breakfast I was booked into made me laugh. I was biting my cheeks checking in. It was Fawlty Tower. It was British! The front door has a sign which says “Do not ring after 10pm. No one will answer!”

The TV has free view and the buttons have imploded into the set. It’s dangerous. I laugh. The landlady has a cold. She keeps sucking it up. I am given a scrap of paper with the Network key handwritten on it and told that I can’t use it between 12:00am and 06:00am because “people keep going to sleep and downloading stuff.” If should come on again at 6:00 but the last few days have been a bit dodgy. I lie on the bed. I itch, somethings biting me already. I laugh. I look for Basil. Its fantastic. The car needs sorting out. But I’m hungry.

I take my camera and go foraging. Around the Corner is the Sally Bash. I love the Sally Bash. I knock on the door and ask for an interview. Mary is the person in charge and she kindly accommodates me. Now I was saved and so was my mum, through the prayers and witness of the women officers of the Salvation Army. Mary was full on magnificent. She is into making Soldiers. FANTASTIC! I have never met a MALE PASTOR tell me he was MAKING SOLDIERS! He wouldn’t dare. He wouldn’t know how. I leave Mary with the offer of me coming around to speak to her band members. I pray for here. She prays for me. NICE.

The area is FULL of Tattoo parlours. Once the secondary source of young sailors getting a ‘Dose; of the POX through dirty needles(‘I kid ye not’) they are now plush and sexy. Aids did away with liaise fare sexuality. I want a Tattoo.

My mid life crisis started when I was 29 and is coming to a head. I want a Tattoo of my family Motto, “The Righteouse are as bold as a Lion” and go in to get prices ranging from £40-£120 quid. I am trying to start conversation, push doors, see what God might do, I don’t have the money for a
Tattoo. Bridget will kill me anyways. As I remember I won’t have to tell her for 60 days, yes as I am considering this 60 day repentance time, I spot THE pub! I don’t believe it. I had been drinking illegally since before joining the Royal Navy, but in this very pub, on my 18th Birthday I was refused a beer because I was under age! I had to show my ID Card to the landlady, who smiled when she realised it was my Birthday! I couldn’t believe I had found the only pub in the world where I had been carded back on February 26th 1978. As I was filming this historic landmark, a bald headed geezer waved and shouted out that it was his birthday! Fascinating. He introduced himself as Matt.

Matt is a bloody nice bloke. A committed atheist with integrity. We had to differ on some key points, but as it was his birthday and he was well into celebrating, he wasn’t on best debating form, but that wasn’t the issue for I know of old that I cannot change folk like this. It has to be a God thing. What I could do though was be human! I liked him. So we had a beer and shared some stories. Matt graciously allowed me to interview him and put it on the web here. So here is my new found friend, Matt the atheist. Enjoy. ( I WILL UPLOAD THIS AS SOON AS SPEEED MAKES IT POSSIBLE TO DO SO!)

After splashing beer all over myself (Plonka) I shook hands, said au revoir and departed and went looking for a cheap curry. Lamb Tikka Marsala, Pillow rice and a Peshawary Naan for £7.50. Not bad. I couldn’t eat the rice. It was just too much.

Kathy Cole the administrator of the Naval Christian Fellowship put me in contact with her sister Helen who is the New Youth and Students Pastor of Highfields Church Southampton. She has just texted me. I am speaking on the book of Joshua to a bunch of 11-14 year old’s tomorrow night in Southampton!

I wonder what else might happen?

NOTE TO SELF………Clean The Car Tomorrow

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About vrfarrell

Biblical activist
This entry was posted in 05 of 66 | PORTSMOUTH. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Sep | 15 | Thu | The City of PORTSMOUTH |Matelots & New Mates

  1. Matt says:

    Wonderfully written. Sounds like you had a great time in Pompey! Any luck with the interviews you were going to show? Keep having fun whilst on your trip! And try to keep in mind that you don’t “need” god to do what you’re doing. I know you might “want” (pre-emptive) it, but can’t it just be your instinctive nature and courage making you carry it out? Anyway, keep up the effort! 🙂

  2. jabulani9 says:

    RevBob, my brother, like that lovely Steve bloke says, you are BONKERS. But one luvsya regardless!! Blessings abundant, and God’s light, grace and mercy shine on you continuously. xx

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