10 January 2003


A new member joining us this week is:

Dennis Martin from Woking, UK

Welcome to the OBA!


From: Robbie Taylor, Doncaster, UK
Date: 03 Jan 2003 05:00
Subject: UKMAMS Association


Re Ian Berry's remarks (20th Dec) on the lack of subs from lapsed members of the UKMAMS Association. Why not publish their names on both sites to cause a bit of embarrassment, this might get the ball moving. Sadly, I personally did not have the honour to serve on MAMS but if I had, you would have had my full support. If you would like to pass the hat around, I'm sure you would get a good response.

Interesting remarks by Dave Cromb (3rd Jan). There is a Rogues Gallery already on site, why not extend this for more mug shots? or better still why don't members fill in their Profiles complete with a photo? You have requested this info on many occasions, the last being on 102502. 25th Oct 2002 I believe. Naming nobody, but you all know who you are.

Keep up the good work, catch you later.

Cheers Robbie

[Ed:  Thanks Robbie - see John Belcher's e-mail regarding the Association membership later in this brief.]


From: Jerry Allen,  Cheltenham, UK
Date: 03 Jan 2003 05:30
Subject: RE: Old Boys Briefs 010303

Hi Tony and a very Happy New Year.

My life as many others in this modern world (especially in the aviation industry) is increasingly reliant on e-mail. At least 3 hours of each and every of my days are spent reading or answering electronic messages. Small wonder, therefore, that I become "selective" in the purely circular e-mails that I read. The one exception to this rule is your weekly offering and I have even coded my software to highlight OBA messages in a different colour in the inbox. Well done.

Introductions dispensed with, as an avid reader if not a regular contributor I have a current rant .....

I am not in favour of the mud slinging that has the potential to get out of hand. Let's be professional not personal. If there has been a problem in the past let's fix it or forget it. We all know individuals who should never have been let out of school but there is an old and very wise saying that "those who live in glass houses ........ " and I would suggest that none among us are whiter than white.

Best Regards

Jerry Allen

[Ed:  I agree with you Jerry - the OBA is not the forum to sling mud in, especially as the readership is literally in the thousands worldwide.  However, if done in a responsible manner, then tales that would enjoy a "faux pas" rating can be readily shared just as long as no names are mentioned - it does tend to liven things up a bit.]


From: Garry Brooksby, Odiham, UK
Date: 03 Jan 2003 13:42
Subject: Web Page

Dear Tony,

Could you please steer me back towards the UKMAMS OBA web page. I need my fix, I have been away in Canada myself over the grant, but on my return I hit "favourites" and just seem to get a statistics page. I have tried to find you on the search engines without any luck. You may have guessed I'm not too good on the IT side, better with chains though.

While I am on, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for all that you have done, I think it's great. I am at Odiham at the moment, (when Tony Blair allows us), but I would love to do Mobile again before I to retire to Canada.

My wife is from Dildo in Newfoundland (yep gen), but with all the ex Movers now in Canada, when the time comes I'm open to advice on where, how, why etc.


Spara Brooksby

[Ed:  The OBA did change it's address last month.  The new address is:] [no longer valid]



From: Charles Collier, Marlborough, UK
Date: 03 Jan 2003 15:17
Subject: Re: Old Boys Briefs 010303

Hello Tony, 

Dave Cromb and Ian Berry were making suggestions in the last OBA brief that stories about named individuals who crossed their path might be fair game to spread on to the net! 

I would be very careful about this. Indeed, I have mentioned one name in my stories apart from myself. And I know that if the person who I had named had access to the story I wrote, which was quite true, he would be upset! For this I apologise. After all I have a multitude of stories about a FS who shall be nameless but "Chomper" will give a clue. Remember, the web is not for airing such stories - it's too public - keep them for the reunions and such like conversations.

One only has to consider the website friendsreunited who invited people to write about their teachers. This they did and named teachers charged them with libel.

So, go carefully.

Many Regards


[Ed:  Agreed Charles - see my response to Jerry above.]


Senior citizens are constantly being criticized for every conceivable deficiency of the modern world, real or imaginary. We know we take responsibility for all we have done and do not blame others. 

HOWEVER, upon reflection, we would like to point out that it was NOT the senior citizens who took: 

The melody out of music

The pride out of appearance

The courtesy out of driving

The romance out of love

The commitment out of marriage

The responsibility out of parenthood

The togetherness out of the family

The learning out of education

The service out of patriotism

The Golden Rule from rulers

The nativity scene out of cities

The civility out of behavior

The refinement out of language

The dedication out of employment

The prudence out of spending, or

The ambition out of achievement


From: Paul Weir, Leighton Buzzard, UK
Date: 05 Jan 2003 07:24
Subject: Re: Old Boys Briefs 010303

Hi it's Paul Weir,

Happy New Year to all. Does any one out there know Steve Broadhurst E-Mail address. We Knew each other back in the late 60s and it would be great to contact him.



[Ed:  You can access any of the member's e-mail addresses by clicking on the link in the Members pages on the website]


From: Charles Collier, Marlborough, UK
Date: 05 Jan 2003 17:24
Subject: Team Brief #45

Hello Tony, 

Ian Berry in Team Brief, No 45 of September 2002, mentioned an extract from the F540 (Sqn Diary) of September 1972 Tromso - Exercise Strong Express. 

I remember it well, I was leading two teams of UKMAMS personnel for the annual Harrier force exercise in Norway. We were on the deployment phase when the support transport aircraft were to arrive in quick succession for us to offload and disperse to their forward areas.

It was then, as Ian described, that Hercules XV192 was on approach to Tromso, carrying amongst other things, the Wittering accountant officer and the imprest account for the station detachment!

As the aircraft touched down on the runway it veered to the starboard side without correction and fell plumb into the storm drain at that side of the runway. With the fuselage in the drain the mainplanes where level with the runway and surrounding area. It came to a stop near the detachment HQ without catching fire. The crew with the one extra officer escaped through the overhead hatch and ran along the port mainplane on to the runway to escape.

As the accountant officer had left his imprest on board I volunteered to recover it. Knowing that the fire extinguishers would have fired I put a breathing mask on and entered the crashed airframe. I made my way along to the point where the money bag was and recovered it. It was rather eerie as every thing seemed in place and ready for takeoff. But as Ian had said it was a write off. So I delivered to a very grateful accountant officer his imprest for the forthcoming detachment.

The subsequent Board of Inquiry into the accident came to the reason for the crash was that the captain was too short in leg measurement and was unable to take appropriate action from the co-pilot to correct the disastrous veer to the starboard on landing. 

Always remember - check the size of your pilot before flying!

Many regards


[Ed:  Thanks Charles - did you notice how the load didn't shift on the pranged frame?  I was one of the team that loaded it at Wittering!]


From: Bob Dixon, Dauntsey, UK
Date: 06 Jan 2003 16:51
Subject: Sad News - Ray Smith

Dear Tony

I received the news of the recent death of "Big" Ray Smith who retired after being a mover at the MOD some years ago. He was at one time a Deputy Director on the 9th Floor when Movements was located there in the late '70s The message from Cyprus said:

"...some very sad news. You may have heard already but Ray Smith died in the Limassol Polyclinic on Sat 4 January at 6.30pm after 2 serious Cardiac Arrests over the few days prior. Their children have flown out from UK to give Mary support in Pissouri – she is obviously devastated. You may wish to advise the widespread Mover world of the situation."

I replied as shown below. Please insert these messages in the next OBA Brief

Many thanks

Bob Dixon


From: Bob Dixon, Dauntsey, UK
Date: 06 Jan 2003 16:42
Subject: Re: Sad News - Ray Smith

Dear Brian

Thank you for telling us the sad news of Ray Smith. I will pass it on.

Sad news, but a man who has lived life to the full. He will be remembered as a kindly man, always with a twinkle in his eye and one who served the RAF so well over many years. He was a true "character" whose exploits and friendship will be fondly remembered by all who knew and worked with him. If you have the opportunity, please pass our condolences to Mary with the thought that her loss is shared by many whose days were always more fun in his presence and who also respected an excellent "mover" who motivated us to get things done.

Best regards

Bob and Sue 


From: John Belcher, Chippenham, UK
Date: 06 Jan 2003 17:40
Subject: MAMS Website update


Happy New Year

In the last OBA, Ian Berry mentioned that he had sent me some pictures to add to the Association web site and he was going to chase me up about. Well I was in the process of updating the site (yeah yeah - but its the truth....honest!!). I had finally found some time to update the site over the Christmas and New Year break. 

Like the OBA, the UKMAMS Association web site has changed host and address. The Association has its own web address now and can be found at I have changed the pages over to the new host and updated the site.

If anyone visits the site, the first thing you will notice is that the Association membership is now open to ALL current and former serving RAF Movements people and not just those who served on UKMAMS.

Ian's and other pictures are under the Movs People link.


[Ed:  That's good news John - thanks!]



I'm the life of the party...... even if it lasts until 8 p.m.

I'm very good at opening childproof caps... with a hammer. 

I'm usually interested in going home before I get to where I am going. 

I'm awake many hours before my body allows me to get up. 

I'm smiling all the time because I can't hear a thing you're saying. 

I'm very good at telling stories; over and over and over and over... 

I'm aware that other people's grandchildren are not nearly as cute as mine. 

I'm so cared for -- long term care, eye care, private care, dental care. 

I'm not really grouchy, I just don't like traffic, waiting, crowds, lawyers, loud music, unruly kids, Toyota commercials, Tom Brokaw, Dan Rather, barking dogs, politicians and a few other things I can't seem to remember right now. 

I'm sure everything I can't find is in a safe secure place, somewhere. 

I'm wrinkled, saggy, lumpy, and that's just my left leg. 

I'm having trouble remembering simple words like....... ?

I'm beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps. 

I'm sure they are making adults much younger these days, and when did they let kids become policemen? 

I'm wondering, if you're only as old as you feel, how could I be alive at 150? 

And, how can my kids be older than I feel sometimes? 

I'm a walking storeroom of facts..... I've just lost the key to the storeroom door. 

Yes, I'm a SENIOR CITIZEN and I think I am having the time of my life! 


From: Jack Riley, Urangan Qld., Australia
Date: 08 Jan 2003 18:17
Subject: Re: Old Boys Briefs 122002

Hi Tony,

Safely back and well pickled from my trip to stir up the kids and their kids in NZ (The Land of the Long Dark Cloud) I am now beginning to catch up.

I was delighted to hear that Chris Kirby has decided to retire and go on the piste. Out of the frying pan into the fire?

Jock Dunlop asks about De la Rue Brown. Sorry Jock ...I was in the wrong street at the time...Aden as I recall.

And how about 45 Commando Brigade at Arbroath !!! How the place must have changed. I did my recruit training there during the War (Second War ...wake up there !!) Then it was a place of denims and full kit doing arms drill on the cobbles at 0600 in December and January with the wind coming straight off the Russian Steppes. Where all the pubs were closed on Sunday unless one was a bona fide traveller...good training for future movers... where twenty mile route marches in the snow were routine. More importantly where one fought the Polish Army for the birds from the nearby Fleet Air Arm Station. No wonder "they" chose it as a base for Commandos !!!

More later when the fumes begin to disperse


[Ed:  Welcome home to the land of the Roos and Billabongs Jack!]


From: Dave Cromb, Brisbane Qld., Australia
Date: 08 Jan 2003 19:26
Subject: Embarrassing or Humiliating, that's the question.

Hi guys, 

A few idle moments recalling the good, and the not so good times on UKMAMS.

The good will always surpass the bad. The powers to be acted very quickly, probably too quickly, after the merging, if that's the right word, of UKMAMS & Air Movements Lyneham. Whose bright idea was that anyway? Most of the original UKMAMS chaps were posted to all parts of the globe, almost before they had time to settle at Lyneham. The only people who escaped this mass exodus were those who had just returned from tours abroad, like myself for example, having "done" Masirah 3/72--12/72.

Where am I going with this? I can hear the groans from here - bear with me.

Good team leaders & good SNCOs were few. These positions in the team structure were vital to the well being of the team morale & efficiency of tasks performed, not to mention the reputation of the squadron, globably (it had often been said the structure of teams was questionable).

To my mind, and it's my opinion only, the postings "in" to replace/rotate the team leaders & SNCOs were not as experienced or as well prepared as one would expect. I'm right aren't I? Those guys will know who they are, have no doubt about that.

This brings me to the subject matter. Who was the SNCO who ordered, yes ordered, yours truly to put vertical restraints on major items during his very first missex? Taff Eynon should know, he left me to do it on my own because he wanted no part of it, nor did I, but I did it. I had to undo my handiwork 5 minutes later under instructions from the  same SNCO who had been put wise by a most upset & furious "techie", who was overseeing the loading. During the flight to Germany all the Herc crew wanted to know was where we found this buffoon of a SNCO.  My reply was Chessington Zoo!!

This episode stayed with me forever, often taunted by aircrews and other squadron "mates". This same SNCO seemed intent on self destruction. He couldn't win a trick, somebody in a position of authority or a bit of clout should have reacted to this state of affairs, and put him out of his misery.

Who was the brand sparkling new team leader who rang all the rest of the team from hotel reception asking/telling them why weren't they in reception, and to hurry up or they would miss the taxi, already booked to take us to the Air Force base. Math was obviously not this guys strong point, especially trying to work out local time from Zulu time. He was close, only 4 hours out. To rub salt into the wound he had to pay for the taxi when it arrived, because it was 5.30 am.  Clue - he's recently retired, and liked Lajes so much, he decided to stay on for a while after the rest of team left for the USA.



[Ed:  Thanks Dave - got any more?]


From: Dennis Martin, Woking, UK
Date: 09 Jan 2003 07:02
Subject: Application Text

I signed up for 3 years to get a Movements job (I was ex Great Western Railway!) landed at Lyneham after square bashing at West Kirby and after a short stint with the 'blood and thunder boys'- loading party I was caught by Sqdn
Ldr Luck sussing out the ins and outs of load control and he said 'right lad you're in here from your next shift!' 

It was a good move - I found it a really enjoyable job - especially the challenge of getting the Hastings trim to 30.10 (I
think) I went on to do the same job in civvie street with Hunting Clan, BEA and until they went the way of all good airlines, British Eagle. 

I returned to Lyneham a number of times with the UAH pcf contract that Eagle landed in the early sixties, remember that?

Regards Dennis (Dean) Martin

[Ed:  Thanks Dennis - I suspect you and John Holloway could share some tales about the UAH.]


Once upon a time, Ole and Sven were fishing when Sven pulled out a cigar but didn't have a lighter so he asked Ole for a light. 

"Ya, shure, I tink I haff a lighter," he replied and reached into his tackle box and pulled out a 12-inch BIC lighter. 

"Yiminy Cricket!" exclaimed Sven, "Vhere did yew get dat monster??" 

"Vell," replied Ole, "I got it from my Genie." "You haff a genie?" Sven asked. 

"Ya, shure, he's right here in my tackle box," said Ole. 

"Could I see him?" Ole opens his tackle box and out pops the genie. 

Sven says, "Hey dere! I'm a good friend of your master. Vill you grant me vun vish?" 

"Yes I will", the genie said, so Sven asks him for a million bucks. And the genie hops back into the tackle box and leaves him standing there waiting for his million bucks. 

Suddenly the sky begins to darken and the sound of a million ducks flying overhead is heard! 

Sven yells to Ole, "I asked for a million Bucks, not Ducks!" 

Ole answers, "Ya, I forgot to tell yew, da genie is hard of hearing. Do yew really tink I asked him for a 12-inch BIC?"


Well, that's it for this week

Have a great weekend!

Best regards