ISSUE NUMBER FIVE
                    JULY 2003

This is is a "sanitised" version of the original sent by email of snail mail. i.e. email and real addresses etc. have been removed

Hi Guys,

Sorry I’m a little late with this edition of the newsletter, sufficient to say, the family, me included have just returned from two weeks in the Algarve.

Treasurers Report.

Another good six months with membership rising to 54 with 38 of you being life members.  As you will all probably know by now, unfortunately Doug Wyatt passed away over the Christmas and New Year period.  The association sent a wreath and the funeral was attended by Tony Whiting John Player Ray Hart Terry Moore and myself.

So far we have 29 acceptees for the reunion next year so we still have plenty of rooms left, but I think it will get a bit tight nearer the date so please, make the commitment now and come along. We promise you a weekend to remember and to reminisce.  I am still willing to take drip feeds but as time is getting short the full amount would be far better as far as I am concerned.

  The association account at the moment stands at £456.45.

  MIKE WILLIAMS TREASURER.

  (Editors note 1)  As Doug Wyatt was one of the original Life Members I will send a copy of this and any future newsletter to his Wife Sylvia as a mark of respect to Doug’s memory and to let her know she isn’t forgotten by us.  

  (Editors note 2)  I have been asked by Mike to republish the itinerary for the reunion weekend.

 

Friday 23rd April 2004.

Arrive at the Hotel in the afternoon then Bar, Dinner and bar.

Golfers meet at Bromsgrove golf centre at 12.00hrs.

 Saturday 24th

  Breakfast then own devices.

  14.00hrs

Ladies.

Coach trip to Worcester.

Gents.

Entry Meeting.

19.30hrs: Meet for Pre-Dinner drinks in the Europa Suite foyer bar.

20.00hrs: Knife and Fork Buffet Dinner.

(Menu yet to be decided)

Dancing to 1950/60 Music.

Sunday 25th.

Breakfast and depart at your leisure.

Cost £260.00 per couple, £130 per single member.

I know we’ve said this before but it is important, more so now that time is getting short that we have a reasonable idea of how many of us will be attending the reunion.  If, for whatever reason you have decided not to come then please let us know. But if you are coming, send the cash (£25 or more) to Mike without delay. 

I will now stop banging the drum.

You will remember in the last issue I finished off with a short precis of the path my career had taken after Halton.   This generated a number of letters and ‘E’ Mails from your good selves along similar lines.  As there is little Entry news to put in this edition I propose to reproduce some of your experiences over the page.

Driving Test South Wales Style.

The year is 1956 and I am at St Athan building Goblin Accessory Gearboxes.  To relieve the boredom I bought an A.J.S. 350cc “Jampot” and applied for my driving test in Cardiff.  Whilst on leave I swopped the Jampot for an Aeriel Square Four, 1000cc’s of hot machine. Now even deeper in debt than before as I hadn’t even paid for the jampot I returned from leave and eagerly awaited my test.  The great day arrived.  The examiner is very very welsh, needless to say my knowledge of that particular language was, and still is limited. His instructions, end of the road, “Tee” junction, main road, turn left, 500 yards etc etc.  I get to the main road unscathed.  A bus is coming from my right, overtaking a milk float, the road clears, I turn left and accelerate.  About 20 yards from the milk float the dairyman pulls a crate of milk off the float and drops it.  Milk and glass all over the road.  In an effort to save my tyres and with all thoughts of the test gone I anchored up, needless to say the back end slid out I put my left foot to the ground.  Even though I say so myself controlled the skid beautifully missing all the glass and the dairyman with feet to spare.  Fortunately the engine was still running so I selected first gear and pulled into the kerb.  As I climbed off the bike thinking about another date for my test the examiner arrives.  I didn’t catch all he said but phrases like, “Great control”  “Avoided serious accident”  “if that had been a child” do spring to mind.  The last bit I remember word for word.  “ Well done lad, you’ve passed.”   My test consisted of one left turn, one emergency stop, which has got to be one of the shortest on record.

Many years have passed since that fateful day.  How I wish I’d kept the Aeriel, I now ride a two stroke twin Jawa with more wheels than horsepower.

I still buy my milk from the supermarket.

Tony Kirk

Another Big Oak (See previous newsletter)

  I left Halton and was posted to wild and windy Cornwall, working on, would you believe it, Lancasters.  My first overseas tour came in 1956 when I was posted to Seletar, I  travelled out there on the Empire Fowey, one of the other passengers was Terry Jowle.  I had a great time in Singapore and on my return to U.K. volunteered to retrain as an Air Radar Fitter B.D.  During that year Margaret and I married.  I spent time at both Waddington and Gaydon.  In 1963 I saw on orders that they wanted volunteers to train as Flight Engineers. Some 18 months later my life ambition is realised and I am a Flight Engineer on Hastings, after the demise of the Hastings I moved over to the Britannia fleet and stayed with them until I left the service in May 1974.

  I joined B.A.O.C. on leaving the service, BAOC then became British Airways, after 18months training I became a Flight Engineer on Boeing 707’s, moving to Tristars in 1981.  Unfortunately I suffered a heart attack whilst in Bahrain in 1988.  It took me 9 months to get re-instated but I did and continued to fly until my retirement in 1990.

  Needless to say working for B.A. gave Margaret, the Kids and I the opportunity to see the world at discounted prices.  Since my retirement we have gone even further a field.

  I now split my time between a little part time work, the Apprentice Association, British Legion and the Air Training Corps.  I was involved with the Lions but gave that up about four months ago.

  My current project is organising the Reunion for next year so all you Guy’s who haven’t yet committed let’s be having you.  We can promise you a great time.

  Mike Williams (746)

  Finally.   My thanks to Tony and Mike, I have used editorial license with your stories guys but I hope I’ve captured the important bits.  I have some more stories for the next issue, so watch this space.

 

See you all next year.

 John