Ref no38087
TitleRecords of Bristol Training Ship Formidable, the National Nautical School, and Clifton Industrial School
DescriptionThe collection contains records relating to the Training Ship Formidable (operating 1869-1906), the National Nautical School (operating 1906-1982) and the Clifton Industrial School (operating 1849-1924).

For the Clifton Industrial School these records comprise annual reports and salary/wage books (under 38087/CIS, although some material such as minutes has been listed under the 38087/NS section).

For the Training Ship Formidable, later National Nautical School, these records comprise minutes, letter books, annual reports, admission, progress, discharge and licence registers, staff papers, punishment books, journals, ledgers, cash books, subscription books, wage books, press cuttings, photographs, printed Acts and printed booklets.
Extent25 series
Administrative historyThrough the efforts of Henry Fedden and Augustine Woodward a meeting was held including the Lord Mayor asked the Lords of the Admiralty to loan an old ship, following the examples of other redundant Navy ships, and so the Bristol Training Ship 'Formidable' was opened in 1869 as an industrial school specialising in nautical training. Boys in the Formidable were sent on training cruises in a tender, in this case the brigantine Polly, which was sold off in 1914.

In 1904 the Cardiff Industrial Training Ship Havannah was closed and the boys were transferred to the Formidable.

In 1905 the authorities announced that boys would not be allowed on the Formidable another winter because conditions on board were considered unsatisfactory. Furthermore there was evidence of leaking and fears she might break away from her moorings. The boys of the Formidable were transferred to an on-shore building called the National Nautical School near Portishead on 22 Jan 1906, the building being officially opened by Princess Christian in May that year.

The Clifton Certified Industrial School, later Mardyke House School, was established in 1849 but was closed in 1924 and the pupils transferred to the National Nautical School.

In 1933 the school ceased to be an Industrial School and became a Junior Approved School under voluntary management for the reception of committed boys aged 10-13. In 1940 the Home Office re-classified the school as an Intermediate Approved School with an age range of 13-15, and in 1950 the age range changed to 14-16 with consideration given to special cases down to 13 1/2, to avoid an undesirable gap between the end of training and admission to the Merchant Navy which had a minimum age of 16.

When the National Nautical School ceased to operate as such in 1982, it became known as the Portishead Nautical Trust.

Please note this administrative history was amended in 2017 to more accurately reflect the history of the three institutions that this collection includes.
Access statusMixed
Access conditionsFor permission to inspect closed records, please contact Bristol Archives directly
SubjectVocational schools
Related materialA brief history of the Nautical School is contained in NS/X2/4 See also "History of Nautical Training of Delinquent and Destitute Boys" by Lt Cunda N Hefford (non-printed material in BRO Library A 49) See also copies of documents not in BRO No 114. 8 letters written by William Clogg and of the boys, to his mother 1879-1881 See also 39903, 40465
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