9th February 2001


The airport in Toronto, 2 hours east of us, was closed Thursday owing to severe blizzard conditions capped off by freezing rain. Friday we are scheduled for a balmy 9 deg C. with thunderstorms.

On to OBA biz...

From: John Belcher
Date: Thu, 1 Feb 2001 23:14:59 -0000


Take it no one has updated you but there is Meet and Greet planned for Fri 2 March 1930 at Winch Inn Lyneham. The Winch Inn is the Sqn bar - sorry conference centre. They can't call it a bar because of RAF regs so it's a conference centre which can be used for occasional beer calls etc. No one defined how often 'occasional' is though!!!


[Editor's Note: Thanks John - the "Team Brief" page has been updated with all of the events scheduled so far for this year.]

From: Merfyn Phillips
Subject: 'Geordie' Flanagan photo at Brize
Date: Fri, 2 Feb 2001 14:04:12 -0000


Regarding the photo, The Cpl was Ian (his surname even I forget), then Hughie Davey, the third one in from this end refered to by 'Geordie'as the next guy, is myself. During my service time I was always known as 'Taff' Phillips. this is the first time that I have seen this photo.

In one of your OB Briefs, Ian 'Foddy' Newlands was mentioned, he works for Royal Mail at Didcot, passed him this morning on his push bike delivering mail, I will find time to talk to him soon and let him know about the site.



[Editor's Note: Geordie's profile page has been updated with this information - thanks Merfyn. We look forward to hearing from Ian.]


From: John Belcher
Subject: Photos from Got-al-Afraq
Date: Fri, 2 Feb 2001 18:31:43 -0000

Hello Tony

I showed the photos that are on the OBA site from the execise at Got-al-Afraq around the Sqn today. Dave Allen saw the shot and gave me a couple of names for the people in the photos.

The one showing the 4 people are, left to right: SAC Dave Allen (now WO and still serving), FS Dave ????, Sgt Tommy Benson and SAC Ken Davie (as you already know). He said that the photo had been taken by Cpl Dave Gillinder.

The same people are shown in the other photo as well.

Dave Allen has about 1 year left to serve. He is currently the WO Air Cargo at Lyneham. He did suffer a heart attack about 3 years ago but seems to have recovered OK.

Hope this helps


[Editor's Note: Many thanks - I have made the changes. Give my best personal regards to Dave Allen please.]


From: Graham Flanagan
Subject: Re Profile
Date: Fri, 2 Feb 2001 18:52:49 -0000


Many thanks for your effort. I wish I could get into the Internet stuff - VB - JAVA - HTML , but my forte is mainframe.

Unfortunately I do not know the whereabouts of Bob Thacker. Since I found your site I have had a lot of memories come back and, other than the JAMC, I think I was stationed somewhere with Bob but cannot remember where. As 'Paddy' is a member of the Association, he passes on the 'Team Brief' to me and that is where I last saw Bob's name mentioned, and that was some time ago.

Talking about the 'Team Brief' I do not see many names that I know now, so I hope that your site does take off in a big way and then, with this modern technology, we all can get in contact with old mates.

Keep up the good work


'Geordie' Flanagan


From: Ken Davie
Subject: Bob (Rob) Davies
Date: Sat, 3 Feb 2001 10:10:17 -0800 (PST)

Hi, Tony,

I had a long chat with Bob ( Rob!) Davies yesterday. He was working on some deals in California with his company. Although he sold it several years ago, they had some problems and asked him to come back as MD full time, so he travels all over the World now.

He may know where Bob Turner is, and a couple of other old MAMS people. He is at airshows with his P51 Mustang all the time, and may be a great help to the site. I made him promise to go onto the site when he gets home, so you may hear something fom him on Monday. He doesn't surf himself. He says that he has a number of people that do it for him!!!

All the very best... Ken

[Editor's note: Portions of this e-mail have been edited out - to protect the innocent and weak of heart - sorry Ken!]


[Editor's Note: This next e-mail, from Ian Stacey, came about when we were corresponding about the photographs he had sent in for the site. One of the photographs, taken we believe during the Oil Lift in 1966, is a real historical shot - it's of a Belfast, pressed into service, that was so new it hadn't even been completely painted!]

From: Ian Stacey
Subject: Re: Photographs on Web Site
Date: Sun, 4 Feb 2001 10:39:32 EST

Hi Tony,

Thanks for the E Mail - yes I was surprised when I saw that Belfast - in fact I'm wondering if I took that photo in Kenya at all! If not, I'm damned if I can remember where it was taken and yes, you are right, I clearly must have taken it because of the curiosity of the Belfast at that time and it was obviously taken at a civil airport.

I worked several times on Belfasts and I cannot say I was all that enamoured with them. They had such a poor weight to lift ratio that in order to save on weight the interior of the cargo hold was constructed with flimsy plastic - you only had to lean on certain parts to see them buckle - not an air movers paradise. Give me the good old Beverley every time - what a great aircraft that was.

I noticed the correspondence over how many rivets in loose formation and I have to agree with Dave Stevens that this nomenclature belonged to the Bev. At least it was used that way all the time we were at Abingdon, especially by one of the 47 Squadron crews that we used to drink with in the mess. The Captain was Jim Young, the co-pilot was "Stumpy McNeil" (a South African) and the Navigator was Len Clayton. Altogether they were a real bunch of comedians.

One time on a regular trip to Wildenrath, Jim Young had our Station Padre travelling as a passenger. The aircraft was struck by lightning in a storm and, without hesitation, Jim was on the intercom with the immortal words "Padre, a message just came in for you!!"

Jim also used to relate the famous story about the green air traffic controller who asked a Beverley pilot on approach if he had three green lights on to indicate that the undercarriage was down and locked and who received the caustic reply that the undercarriage was indeed down "and welded!"

Well - who knows about where that Belfast was. I appreciate your efforts on my profile and feel guilty that you had to bother. I promise to try and update it myself when I get more time. Right now I'm getting ready for a trip back to the UK next month, a family re-union for my Mother's 80th birthday which Wendy and I are also combining as a business trip to buy antiques for our business here in Chicago.



[Editor's Note: There are 24 new photographs on the site courtesy of Ian - some are in the Khormaksar Photo Page (click on one of the links in the Khormaksar article) and the balance have been added to the Images page, including the aforementioned Belfast.]


From: George Lynes
Subject: Masirah Railways
Date: Mon, 5 Feb 2001 19:23:38 -0000

Tony, Happy New Year dear boy.

I have made contact with Paddy Gallagher, Norrie Radcliffe and Boot Pratt. Can we come for dinner this weekend? Am I right in thinking there was an article on your site with reference to the RAF railway installed on Masirah; or have I lost the plot? If there was, do you still have access to it?

I am doing a module on railways at univ. at present, and I think it would make an interesting subject, to include information about it's history. Might be able to slip in the name of UK MAMS if I work it right.

Well what a shock, a profile of Pete Chappell. You could have knocked me down with a feather. I clearly remember him, but if somone had asked me his name before I read the profile, I would not have been able to tell you his name! Terrible memory, and getting worse with age. I only remember that he always wore a green woolly pully.

Ciao carissimo,


[Editor's Note: I thought the woolly pully was cream-coloured with a polo neck. I managed to dig some stuff up for George about the Masirah Railway - let's hope he gets an A+ on his module!]