Author Topic: Customs & Excise !  (Read 362 times)

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Offline alkhamhills

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Re: Customs & Excise !
« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2020, 07:29:00 PM »
I worked at Sheerness Customs  in the Waterguard from 1971-1976. Our offices were in a small building at Garrison Point, and our launch just below Garrison Point
We covered “control” of the ships at Sheerness Dock(On foot), Queenborough, and all ships coming into the Medway from foreign places(On launch)
We would board those ships to a/ check quarantine Regulations, and b/ put a Customs seal on the Bonded stores(Tobacco goods/wines/spirits)
We would often meet the ships near the Montgomery wreck

Time on the launch was fun, especially in rough weather. In the summer, in slack times we would sometimes go to Stangate Creek for a spot of fishing or an occasional swim.

We would also take turns on the Rummage Crew(of 4), used to be known as the Black Gang!! Some of our largest seizures were Cannabis from the Banana boats coming from West Indies
Back in 1973 odd, I remember  a night spent covering  the Swale. We had heard that 3 blokes had bought a boat locally. They then bought various charts from Swale to Holland
Our Revenue cutter was following them back. It was thought they intended going  up the Medway to just beyond Rochester. I and my crew were stationed on the mainland. on the Swale  opposite Harty ferry. If they chose to come back via the Swale, then we were on hand to track them through the Swale.
In the event they chose to go via Garrison Point and up the Medway, shadowed by our Cutter. 
There was a rummage crew  waiting just beyond Rochester. They fond a Gent there. “What are you doing”. “Just Fishing”. “with no fishing rod ?”. He was arrested and when the boat arrived , there were 16 illegals(from Pakistan) on board
So illegals off dover today is nothing new!!

Offline shoot999

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Re: Customs & Excise !
« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2020, 12:36:29 PM »
We used to mainly work the east and south coast on our ship which was based on the outside dockyardberth opposite Upnor. On returning from our frequent trips we would report from whence we came and our intended  destination to Garrison Point I believe it was. As regulars its was just a brief friendly hello and welcome back response.
Except one trip where we were diverted to Holland. On returning we reported as usual; 'returning from Den Helder' which was acknowledged. Just as we were approaching our berth the radio crackled into life with 'where did you say you had come from again?' When we responded 'Den Helder',  it was met with a muffled conversation followed by 'err, Customs are on their way'. 
Needless to say, by the time Customs  arrived the ship was as clean as a whistle,  ;D

Offline castle261

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Re: Customs & Excise !
« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2020, 11:52:26 AM »
In my 31 years in the dockyard, I was never troubled by the Customs & Excise or the police.
Searched a few times by the dockyard police, then released.

One dockyardman I knew, used to take a (few ?) items home. One day he was stopped by the
police. Instead of stopping, he reved up his motor cycle & side car, then roared out the gate.
The policeman stopped a motor cycle coming into the yard & said ` follow that motor bike.
The result he was caught, home searched, he had dockyard small mats ( with red or green
borders ) there was even a front door mat. Also a couple of brass clocks.
What put the police on to him was, he used to hammer brass clips to straighten them, for sale.
His neighbour was so fed up with him hammering at midnight, he shopped him. He was dismissed.

Offline Colin walsh

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Re: Customs & Excise !
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2020, 12:25:05 PM »
 The Custom & Exise office was just inside the main gate ,on the left as you entered ,can't remember if it was a permanently staffed station ,or just when ships returned from foreign parts,do know there was no love lost between the Dockyard constabulary and C&E staff.

Offline castle261

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Re: Customs & Excise !
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2019, 09:12:29 PM »
Yes Battery Corner was in No 1 basin, but at the north east corner. 464 batteries, on non nuclear subs, weighing half a ton each. Five nights work for the removal, same for returning. I have worked on them.

Offline stuartwaters

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Re: Customs & Excise !
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2019, 05:03:50 PM »
I think I can answer that one. As far as I'm aware and I stand to be corrected, Battery Corner was at the western end of No1 Basin, opposite Upnor Castle.
"I did not say the French would not come, I said they will not come by sea" - Admiral Sir John Jervis, 1st Earl St Vincent.

Offline DaveTheTrain

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Re: Customs & Excise !
« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2019, 08:48:41 PM »
Where was Battery Corner in the yard, Castle261?

Offline castle261

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Customs & Excise !
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2019, 02:50:54 PM »
While working in the boiler house at Battery Corner in Chatham Dockyard, a young Irish lad
was in charge, when a Customs & Excise man bought in a sack of confiscated cigarettes.
in a sack. ` Open the boiler door lad `. The fire was burning brightly. He proceeded to take
packs of 200 cigarettes, then into the boiler. some packets miss the the door, & dropped to
the floor. While the man`s back was turned, getting more cigarettes out of the bag, the Irish
lad pushed a couple of packets, out of the man sight, or so he thought.`Come on lad, put them in`.
So ended the lad`s FREE issue of cigarettes !