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News > Pangbournian Stories > Peter Tambling (50-53) on the Duke of Edinburgh at the Nautical College on Founders' Day 1953

Peter Tambling (50-53) on the Duke of Edinburgh at the Nautical College on Founders' Day 1953

"How well I remember the Founders’ Day 1953. I had brought my 17ft ex-Ship’s Lifeboat up to the Boathouse for repainting, using traditional lead-based maritime anti fouling paints. I had converted the boat into a large sailing dinghy home in Portishead and was using her for sailing on the local Dock.

Unfortunately, I later developed a severe health problem with lead poisoning on my right-hand thumb. I had also won the Signals and Seamanship Prize that year which was to be presented to me on Founders Day.

I joined the queue for the Presentations and, when my turn came, I saluted the Duke of Edinburgh. He noticed that my thumb was heavily bandaged and asked me why. After telling him that I had a dose of lead poisoning, he instantly started to give me a Royal verbal chastising in great detail. This resulted in the Captain Superintendent Commander Skinner, all the College Governors and the Executive Officer nodding their heads like a line of nodding donkeys in agreement!

My thumb was badly damaged, the signs of which still exist. The Prince knew that my problem was caused by not cleaning the paint off my hands. We met several times on HQS Wellington at various functions and he always remembered that Founders’ Day presentation.”

Peter Tambling (50-53)

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