The National Sea Training College has been located in Gravesend since early in the 20th century. Originally in 1918, it occupied what was once part of the Commercial Hotel that in 1886 had become a Sailors' Home. Here sailors of all nations could procure lodgings between discharges from one voyage to signing on for another. The old building was demolished and the Sea School itself extended to provide facilities for training of youth for the Merchant Navy. Outside the main gates of the Sea School was the garage of the St. John Ambulance Association. Nearby, up a short flight of steps, was an office occupied in the late 19th century by the Royal Engineers that is now a residential property.
The Sea School was moved to new premises on Chalk Marshes in 1967 and the original building was demolished in 1975. In 2003, because of a decline in the size of the Merchant Navy and therefore a reduction in student numbers, the premises on Chalk marshes became a Metropolitan Police College. This is used for practical crime fighting scenarios and the like. The Sea School was incorporated into the North West Kent College and is the home for Gravesend Sea Cadets.
Link to the Gravesham sponsored memories website for the Sea School
Link to the National Sea Training College (old) site