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Tal-Ħandaq Nostalgia

Memories of the Royal Naval School, Malta, 1947 - 1978.

Marsamxett Ferry

Beyond are the Tigne Married Quarters above the famous caves.

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phillrose   [Aug 09, 2009 at 10:30 AM]
Many was the hour spent in those caves/tunnels, goodness knows how we got away with it. One day found our way into that large concrete blockhouse on the beach via the tunnels, some interesting machinery in there.
Prefect   [Aug 09, 2009 at 11:33 AM]
It must have been a well kept secret of the Tigne Gang, I never knew they existed.
phillrose   [Aug 10, 2009 at 04:28 AM]
It was said that there was a tunnel from Tigne to Valletta, never found any sign of it, and quite honestly do not believe it. Would be interesting to know what was found when they excavated for the new development.
phillrose   [Aug 13, 2009 at 01:03 PM]
Was in that area 57/58, a little after your time Sheila.
Prefect   [Oct 01, 2009 at 03:12 AM]
We also spent hours in the caves the kids of 1947/52. we found lots of beds there in my day. I think it was used as a hospital in the wars. I lived at 13A Block the front block on the right as you look at the picture. I wonder if any of the 47/52 kids remember I was Sheila Morris then
Martin Powell   [Oct 04, 2009 at 11:26 AM]
Oct 2009 - just returned from Malta including a goodly excursion (illegal) into the caves - completely wide open but only accessible by swim due to the building works going on above. No doubt soon to be blocked up and fenced off again but we got right inside as in the old days, into the round fort and onto its roof. The winch gear (for the boom defence) in the engine room is still there!! But slightly rusty. Ditto the bed frames from the days as an air-raid shelter. Must take a bigger torch next time - and a waterproof camera.
simon torrens   [Mar 04, 2010 at 04:56 AM]
Excellent! Fond memories of exploring with candles... Didn't know so many had gone before! Winch gear ? I'd wondered what it was!
  [Nov 16, 2010 at 12:45 PM]
The tunnel I mainly remember was a "man dug" air raid shelter with the entrance just behind A Block. After the Tigne infant school was bombed flat early in the war, classes were held in four/five underground classrooms leading off this tunnel. Later in the war these rooms were used by the Tigne scouts. There was another very large cave under the first block of quarters which was used as a boat house, large enough to take yachts with mast upright. My brothers were allowed to keep their canoes in there.
phillrose   [Nov 18, 2010 at 03:37 AM]
Tigne scouts in my time had a room in the moat which I guess would have been to the left of the entrance gate, also if you went a little further there was a shooting range, hand guns I guess as it was quite short.
Sounds like it was a good job we were not all in the caves at the same time, would have been a bitt of a jam.

Does anyone have a map of the barracks? it would be interesting to get my bearings again.
  [Nov 18, 2010 at 12:39 PM]
There must be a map somewhere! If it helps, (from memory) on entry, the guard room was on the right, behind which was a flat space, the church, and behind that tennis courts. On the left were two one storey admin blocks facing the bk square. Behind the blocks was the school, RE wkshops, offrs mess, and a very large gun (we called Big Bertha) in a circular pit. Most of us kids had great fun crawling along the barrel.
Prefect   [Nov 18, 2010 at 12:52 PM]
I've been looking for a map but the best I can come up with is the clip from the OS map just posted.
Martin Powell   [Nov 18, 2010 at 07:00 PM]
The dry moat was round Cambridge Battery and Big Bertha, the 100-ton gun, cut up in 1956. Its twin at Rinella is HERE (then click on Rinella, couldn't copy direct link) and HERE. Watch the video in the first one, loads more on google. I used to climb on the Rinella gun but the Tigne one was gone by then. Saw a big snake in the moat once though, hope St Paul wasn't watching. Maybe it was an escaped pet.

Type Cambridge into the search button (LHS) for more pics.
Prefect   [Nov 19, 2010 at 01:13 AM]
And internal pic of Rinella gun HERE
cornner   [Jan 24, 2011 at 01:14 AM]
I lived in 4D Tigne barracks as a child in the 70s. I remember the caves. We used to climb over the fence in the courtyard to the side of A block and make our way down the cliff to the big opening that had some kind of rail tracks leading in. This , I think is the Room people mentioned that had all the machinery in. There was a hole in the back that led into narrow tunnels. I remember seing some carvings on the wall too. the tunnel led upwards and you could get up into the tower. Some tunnels were blocked off but I think there was a smaller tunnel thet led out to the sea further around the point. We used to buy our candles from the little shop just up from the guard house.

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