15 February 2002


New members joining us this week are:

Roger Whittington from Merseyside, UK

Frank Lightfoot from Glasgow, UK

Andy Waite from Leicester, UK

Welcome to the OBA!


From:        David Howley, Melton Mowbray,
To:            Phil Clarke, Vienna,
Date:         08 February 2002 03:40
Subject:     Belfast names

Hi Phil,

Belfast names as follows:

XR362 - Samson  became G-BEPE
XR363 - Goliath   bacame G-OHCA
XR364 - Pallus - scrapped. 1979
XR365 - Hector became G-HLFT
XR366 - Atlas - scrapped 1979
XR367 - Heracles - scrapped
XR368 - Theseus  became G-BEPS
XR369 - Spartacus became G-BEPL - scrapped 79
XR370 - Ajax - scrapped 1979.
XR371 - Encaladus - RAF Museum Museum Cosford. Was in Heavylift colours but currently in ASC markings.

I remember loading one of the first one's at Brize in 1966 or was it '67(?), Taff Jenkins was the shift Sgt. and we were sending aerial mast units out to Akrotiri for the SU on the Salt Flats - a double pallet got stuck just past the ramp. Everyone except Taff braced against the walkway - he braced against the trim and vanished behind it - all you could see was his head and the legs from the knee.  He could swear!



From:       Ian Berry, West Swindon,
Date:        08 February 2002 15:55


No problem whatsoever, please feel free to use what you want. I’ll dig even deeper into my albums to see if there are any more. The late 60’s was my time for Brits as I was in El Adem then Nicosia and we had the Libyan visitor LYE-LUQA-EL ADEM-AKROTIRI-LYE on Fridays and LYE-AKROTIRI-EL ADEM-LUQA-LYE every Wednesday.

My last trip in a Brit was in March 1975 on XM496 Aldergrove-Brize Norton whilst still on UKMAMS. All from my era remember the Brit with affection and everyone from El Adem especially 404 as it always went u/s!!


Ian Berry


From:       Ian Bell, Masirah,
Date:        08 February 2002 23:50
Subject:    Herc XV216


Just to add my two penith to the saga of XV216.

 Bob Turner and myself were aroused from our beds early one morning in Cyprus and flew to Malta to pick up the crash gear to salvage the airframe we then flew to Pisa and offloaded 4 pallets of cables etc. BY HAND as only one small forklift was available.

It was two very tired and bedraggled MAMS Commandoes that fell into bed at Halfar Transit Camp in Malta after 23 hours of flying/working.

Many months later we saw posters in both Pisa and Sicily berating the RAF aircrew who had killed 72 Italian Paras.  Our guide told us it was the work of the Italian Communist Party in the run up to local elections. Nevertheless it was very unpleasant.



[Ed:  Thanks Ian - guess who just wrote to us?]


From:        Bob Turner, Seeb/Muscat,
Date:         09 February 2002 06:29
Subject:     Abingdon Days

Hello Tony,

Thank you for your e-mail which I owe you an apology for not answering sooner. I have not been into these new fangled machines and are only partly getting to grips with it. I will be more than pleased to reply to your Questionaire.

It has been a very long time indeed since those Abingdon days, some of my best times were at Abingdon, I still visit occasionally as I have never moved my banking facility.

Looking forward to your correspondence.


[Ed:  Thanks Bob - It was a delight getting your mail - I guess you're going to get a shipload of correspondance!]


From:        Scott Innes, Worcester,
Date:         09 February 2002 09:16
Subject:      Re: Old Boys Briefs 020802

Cheers for this weeks brief - Tony. Keep them a comin'

Thanks to eveyone for the info on XV216 and it's demise – it’s filled a gap in my wrecks and relics knowledge...




From:       Taff James, High Wycombe
Date:        09 February 2002 09:55
Subject:    Update


Just managed to sort out my puter, so could you please update my details. I now live in HighWycombe, Bucks  Tel 01494-564475.

I will list as many of the guys as I can who are currently working at ATMC:

WO Nige Robinson, FS Norm Stamper, Sgt Andy Rice, Sgt Paul Bennet, Sgt Al Rae, Sgt Tim Ketcher, Sgt Digger Barnes, Sgt Cawley, Sgt M Gibbons, Cpl Gill, Cpl John Risk, Cpl Nige Button, Cpl Matt Thompson, Cpl Taff James (obviously), Cpl Shaun Anderson, Cpl Jay Cookson, Cpl Tim Greenhaulgh and Cpl Brian Neasham.

Anyone wishing to get in touch with any of the above, just email me and I will pass the message on.

Can you please add my name to the Roll of Honour?
GSM Air Ops Iraq
Nato Kosovo
031  Cpl James  M S

Taff James

[Ed:  Thanks for that Taff - I was wondering why we still had a man listed in Bruggen!  All has been updated]


From:        Phil Clarke, Vienna,
Date:        11 February 2002 08:04
Subject:     AW: Belfast name

And David is the clear winner by 12 hours, 3 minutes, plus the names of the other 9 Belfasts, ahead of Ian.  Only 2 replies so far, so Ian will get the runners-up prize of Lauda stickers, on the clear understanding they will only be used for zapping the staff cars of station commanders and above.

Postal addresses to me for early despatch.

Chas - if you read this, your cap will be despatched in the next couple of weeks to coincide with your return from foreign parts.  If you're back already drop me a mail and I'll send it straight away.

Cheers Phil


From:      Keith Parker, Thumrait,
Date:       11 February 2002 09:52
Subject:   Britannia History


I was intrigued to read about David Berry's books on the Britannia aircraft, I may be able to help him with some photo's of Brits as in a former life I was a storeman on ASS Rectifications at Lyneham and as a keen young seventeen year old took many "snaps."  How many survived I won't know until my next leave in March, but I will certainly have a look around through my loft insulation.

By the way, some excellent humorous reading can be had in the form of David Berry's book "Tales from the Crewroom" anyone who flew on the Changi Slip will recognise some of  the many stories. I especially liked the chapter on Masirah having spent many freezing "nights" in transit there.


Keith Parker

[Ed:  Thanks Keith - there is a nice "teaser" in the Articles pages on the site entitled "Specialistr Aircrew" which I extracted from the book by the same name, written by David Berry - no relation to Ian]


From:      Frank Lightfoot, Glasgow,  
Date:       11 February 2002 19:37
Subject:    Join up

Please include me as a member

I am Frank Lightfoot.  I served with FEAF Mams 1967-69 at RAF Seletar and then RAF Changi. then Air Movs RAF Brize Norton 1972-74. I live in Glasgow

Tel: 0141-6389389



[Ed:  Welcome Frank!)


From:      Ken Davie, Minneapolis, MN,
Date:       11 February 2002 15:05
Subject:   Bob Turner

Hi Tony,

I was talking yesterday to a friend from the old days, Owen Bell. He was in 3 Para at Abingdon in 1968-1970 and his father was a Parachute Jump Instructor there also. They lived on the base. He was very close friends with Bob Turner, but has lost touch with him over the years. I know that some of the guys on OBA know where Bob is. Any chance of getting an address that I can pass on to Owen?

By the way, Mike Bush knows a few of the people in the photo from 1966 of Sharjah Movements personnel. As you know, I am in the picture, and was astonished to hear from Mike just before he joined the OBA, as he is in the front row left, and we worked together out on the tarmac there for a year. Just astonishing to find someone that was in the same photo 35 years on! The officer is FO Nigel Coleman, a real gent, and a great officer. Sgt. Jim Gallagher is also in the photograph standing at the back, and I think Mike recognized another person there.

Thanks for your help. When will we reach a thousand members? !!!

All the best...Ken

[Ed: Surprise surprise! - see Bob's letter earlier in the briefs]


From:       Robbie Taylor, Doncaster,
Date:         12 February 2002 14:06
Subject:     Strange but true

Hi Tony,

This might be old hat but I thought you would be interested, it's taken from my trade paper, Heating & Ventilation, and reads as follows:


Returning home on a nine-hour flight from America, a Bolton woman decided to spend a penny just after the plane had taken off.

Somehow, while sitting on the toilet, she accidentally managed to press the flush and was sucked back into the bowl by the power of suction.

Unable to move, the woman shouted for help, but try as they might the cabin crew could not pull her off.Deciding to make the best of a bad situation, the flight crew made the lady as comfortable as possible. They fed her meals and even managed to
show her the in-flight movie.

Upon arriving back in the UK, the cabin crew still couldn't move her and so were forced to call in a plumber who dismantled the toilet around her.

Although relieved to be free, the woman exclaimed, "I was becoming quite used to the luxury and attention".

The mind boggles, should have had a MAMS TEAM on the flight, I'm sure they could have moved her. Had there been, I wonder If there would there have been any  volunteers?



[Ed:  Volunteers?  I dunno - was she a looker?]


From:         Frank Lightfoot, Glasgow,  
Date:          12 February 2002 18:32
Subject:      Contacts


I spent 20 years trying to locate old friends with no results.  After finding your site contact has been established in less than 24 hours

Well done


[Ed:  Glad to hear that Frank - I always get that warm and fuzzy feeling hearing about long lost pals getting in contact again.]


From:        Rowan Watson-Wood, Cardiff,
Date:         12 February 2002 20:08
Subject:     Thank You!


I'm a ground handling agent at Cardiff Airport and thought the bits & pieces on your site were hilarious!  Have been passed on to various pilot and engineering friends of mine and has cheered everyone up immensely after a pretty tough year of low pax figures and ATC delays along with the usual weather problems, following Sept 11th and the New En-Route Air Traffic Centre in England.

Thank You for cheering us all up!

RA Watson-Wood


From:       Chas Cormack, Swindon,
Date:        Wed, 13 Feb 2002 20:28:33 –0000
Subject:    Back to Reality

Hi Tony

Whilst I was still down under I did get some of the newsletters, however there was one that I cannot now find which mentioned Dave Hammond and  Johnny Hudson who were both in my era on mobile the first time.

Dave Hammond, known as ‘Smoothie’ mostly because he always wore a camel coat with epaulettes, was a TAG (Trade Assistant General) not a mover, as was Jock Hunt as they couldn’t pass their basic courses.   However this said, Jock especially was a very good worker, regretably not the same could really be said for Dave.

Johnny Hudson had the knack to rub everyone up the wrong way  and I have to admit we had a couple of dust-ups in our time. I distinctly remember in the 101 club knocking him through the trellis from the lounge bar to the main hall and diving through after him to carry on before they managed to seperate us.  I was also responsible for dangling him over the upper floor bannister in the block and seriously contemplating letting him go, but we had an inspection next day. The only person I would think remembers them well would be George Redman although there were two of them at Abingdon around that time, but Bill Sheehan who lives in Aberdeen now would also remember.

This is the era of Taff Yeoman, Johnny Kelly, Little Gibby, Alan Martin and Percival Cleremon Sandiford which has really stretched my memory.

I will do a pen profile later, I think you have enough of me in your archives but another will arrive shortly when I sort it out. My dining-out at Brize in 96, that should give you some of the more recent ones who can add their profile to the photo.

Who did write the original articles an Hudson and Hammond?


[Ed:  Welcome back home!  We've been following some of your adventures with baited breath, and read with fascination John Bell's description of how you had changed!  The original account of Hudson and Hammond was written by Ken Davie and can be seen in his profile.

That photograph of all the "old boys" at your dining-out night can be seen in the Images 1990 page on the site]


From:     Ian Berry, West Swindon,
To:          Phil Clarke, Vienna,
Date:      12. February 2002 19:39
Subject:   Re: Belfast names


If I hadn't been on nights I would have read the mail earlier!



From:        Phil Clarke, Vienna,
To:            Ian Berry, West Swindon,
Date:         14 February 2002 09:02
Subject:     Belfast Names

OK OK - you were busy defending the realm, so a cap is on it's way to you too.

Our whinging webmaster is also claiming discrimination as he cannot enter ’cause he gets early notification - so one is on it's way to you Tony, so let me have your snail mail address.

This has nothing to do with the fact that I have just come into a large stock of Munich caps, and we no longer fly there.  (Lauda crew caps show the destinations we serve).

Cheers Phil

[Ed: No comment!]


From:     David Barton, Kings Lynn,
To:          Phil Clarke, Vienna,
Date:      14. February 2002 16:11
Subject:   Belfast

Hi Phil,

Read with interest your piece in OBA about the last Belfast XR365 (Hector).

Expect you have all the others, but just in case they are:- XR362 Samson, XR363 Goliath, XR364 Pallas, XR366 Atlas, XR367 Heracles, XR 368 Theseus, XR369 Sparticus, XR370 Ajax, and XR371 Enceladus.

I did fly on all ten but that was no great achievement being on MAMS for several years but did not quite make the 1000 hours.

My last trip on XR365 was to the States where the Flight Eng. was hit in a brawl at Nellis (Las Vegas), he was not in the brawl, just happened to be in the wrong place at the time. He suffered with head pains on the flight to Moffett (San Francisco) and upon medical advice, was grounded for three days - what a weekend we had in 'Frisco!

Cheers, Dave Barton.

P.S. Is there a booby prize for late response?


Well, that's it for this week

Have a great weekend

Best regards