22 March 2002


New members joining us this week are:

Malcom Rochester from Lyneham, UK

Gary Spacey from Barnsley, UK

Sam Mold from Brighton, UK

John McCarthy from Oxon, UK

Pete Morrison from  Stafford, UK

Chris Quirk from Plymouth, UK

Welcome to the OBA!


From:     Ian Berry, Swindon,
Date:      Wed, 13 Mar 2002 23:50:13 –0000
Subject:  Zagreb 1992


These following e-mails are in reply to a photograph I sent to Karl & Mick asking where, why, when etc.  This is good stuff don't you agree?



From:     Karl Hibbert, Sabang,
To:         Ian Berry, Swindon, UK
To:         Mick Mayberry, Thumrait, Oman
Date:      Tue, 12 Mar 2002 05:22:48 –0000
Subject:  Great photo Ian

Hello Ian and Mick,

Hope you are both well, and not letting the bastards grind you down :-)

I reckon from left to right the team was Andy Walters, Carl King, Carl Widdup (not sure about that), Erica Best, some handsome dude, Rod Morgan, and a slightly barking mad Flight Sergeant, at Zagreb in 1992.

We used to fly on every RAF flight to Sarajevo then (usually 3 a day), not like when they moved to Ancona. Because I was there for about 7 weeks I had the distinction of more flights than any other mover.  I knew Carlos King wanted that crown so I let him start to take my flights and eventually he overtook me.  I reckoned the more times you flew, the more chance you had of getting killed.

That was yet another detachment that we had no ACHE for. Had to beg and borrow from the Yanks when they arrived, but I got fed up with that and just used the civvie handler's kit. Cost us but so what, we got the job done.

I am surprised at Fitz coming out, I thought he was there until the end. I guess he wouldn’t have left without something to go to though? Last one out please turn off the lights!  PMA should get their ass kicked. It wouldn’t take much to be a little flexible (like every other section is expected to be) and now after 22 plus years another guy leaves with a sour taste in his mouth. What about you Ian..... what are your plans?

For Mick: That was a good detachment out in Zagreb, certainly one of my best. Do you remember when the Iranians came in with two 747’s?  One we were asked to offload (flour, rice etc.), the other parked at the far end and we weren’t allowed near it  (weapons & ammo we reckoned).  Next day, right outside our tent, was another Iranian aircraft and the big black limo’s pulled up and all these guys with briefcases boarded it. All very suspicious eh?  But that’s war I guess.

I 've just signed and returned the contract to start work with Dyncorp out in Qatar, should be out there by the end of March.

Will speak at some stage I'm sure.

All the best to you both



From:      Mick Mayberry, Thumrait,
To:          Karl Hibbert, Sabang, Philippines
To:          Ian Berry, Swindon, UK
Date:       12 March 2002 11:32
Subject:   Re: Zagreb 1992

Hi Karl and Ian,

I well remember the times in Zagreb, the crazy dog who hated locals but loved the British, used to jump on each RAF C130 on its return from Sarajevo, have a look around and then get off.  In the end some local shot him.

I wont forget the Iranian 747’s in a hurry, they made us take all the flour off their pallets and rebuild them on our pallets as they didn’t want to take "Western"  pallets in exchange.

I remember Carlos taking hours in the only bathroom getting ready to go out while the rest of us waited patiently for our turn .

Good times if a little crazy, especially landing at Sarajevo. You would be doing a "Khesan" approach, there would be a tank on the road outside the airfield firing shells into the city, the flares would be firing out of both sides of the aircraft and there beside the runway is a little old lady calmly pegging out her washing !!!

For Karl:  I have just spoken to George Whittington up at Muscat as we are under the impression you are coming here in Thumrait. He will check tomorrow and let me know and then I will let you know. Watch this space. By the way Big Brian says, “Hello you w****r!”

Speak to you tomorrow,

Regards, Mick.

[Ed:  Good stuff indeed!  The picture can be viewed in Images 1990]


[Ed:  The following was included in Pete's application:]

From:     Pete Morrison, Stafford,
Date:      20 March 2002
Subject:  Application

I joined the RAF in May 1977 and after trying out several trades became a Mover in Nov. 78.  I left in Jan 01 after 24 years  and set up my own company in Stafford importing and selling European motorhomes.  While the company is in it's infancy, I teach Sport's Science on a part time basis at Stafford College, although the way things are going this could be a short lived arrangement. 

I still support the RAF Rugby League Team as their Physio and we had some success this season winning the inter-services and getting to the second round of the RL Challenge Cup.

[Ed:  Thanks Pete - it's a pleasure to have you on board]


From:     Murdo Macleod, Newport-on-Tay,
Date:       15 March 2002 16:30
Subject:   Re: Old Boys Briefs 031502

I  hear what you're saying, however my employers do not share yours or my point of view regarding age.

I'm still the same old me, unchanged, maybe not as fast as I used to be, but can still graft a bit harder than some of the youth that surround me. I think that I still possess all of my faculties and all of the knowledge that Ive gleaned over the years.

If all else fails, well there's always the old maxim: "Age and treachery will always overcome youth and skill.”

I’m just a bit annoyed that they think that I'm over the hill at 60.

I still enjoy fast cars, younger women, and good whiskey, and on that note I rest my case!



[Ed:  Thanks Murdo, you old sea dog!]


From:     Ken Davie, Minneapolis, MN,
Date:      Fri, 15 Mar 2002 08:03:29 -0800 (PST)
Subject:  'Old' Murdo

Hi Tony,

I read the e-mail from Murdo in your report. It's really sad that a capable and experienced individual has to consider age when they are looking at options for employment. In my (Casino) business in London, many of my friends have lost their jobs as a result of age. They are brought into an office and given a paltry settlement for all their years of loyalty and hard work. They are also told quite bluntly that they are 'too old' for the job, and that younger people are being hired in their place.

This really hits home for me as I 'escaped' from the business in London and came to the States. Here at Mystic Lake, I have dealers and Pit bosses that are in their 70's. This is also true in Las Vegas and in Atlantic City, where I was a boss for 20 years. They were very good employees and we were delighted to have them. In the event that I had brought them into my office to inform them that they were too old for the job, I would immediately be in contravention of labour laws, and the company would be liable for huge lawsuits, to say nothing of having to keep the person employed indefinitely.

It's such a bloody shame that Britain, once the vanguard of sense and progress, has deteriorated into such behaviour, and deprives good people from working into their later years. Sometimes that's all that a person has.

It used to give me great pleasure to walk around the casino floor in Atlantic City, and to chat to dealers on the floor who were as old as my mother. Imagine my 70 year old mum applying for a dealing job at a London casino!!!

More and more, I've come to love the States and what they stand for, and to despise the powers-that-be in the UK and what they stand for. It wasn't always so, and I used to criticize and complain about the States, but I've been assimilated, become an American citizen, and am a staunch supporter of many of their laws and habits,  though not all.

Another annoying aspect of the UK that you don't find here: Young people don't have a ceiling on their expectations that is put there by the class system, supposedly not in place anymore. Bullshyte, it'll be there for another 1,000 years. Young people here don't have any restrictions on progressing through society. None are placed on them either physically, or worse yet, emotionally. If you believe that you won't succeed, you won't.

Try to start a small business in the UK - what a hassle! The Government almost guarantees failure for most of them. Here however, everybody and their mother is starting small businesses by the thousands, many of them kids just out of high school. Who helps them the most? - the Federal Government in the form of the 'Small Business Administration' low cost loans, and information up the kazoo to get you on your way. Bloody marvellous!

Tell Murdo or any of those other "old guys" that there is always a job in the States for them if they can ever get here! Dealers make about US$700 a week (£500) and get full benefits and a great boss!

One last thing I love about the States. They are NEVER outgunned!

All the best. Sorry for the rant...


[Ed:  Thanks Ken - I personally enjoyed the rant!]


Two builders, Chris and James, are seated either side of a table in a rough pub when a well dressed man enters, orders a beer and sits on a stool at the bar.

The two builders start to speculate about the occupation of the suit...

Chris: - “I reckon he's an accountant.”

James: - “No way - he's a stockbroker.”

Chris: - “He ain't no stockbroker! A stockbroker wouldn't come in here!”

The argument repeats itself for some time until the volume of beer gets the better of Chris and he makes for the toilet. On entering the toilet he sees that the suit is standing at a urinal. Curiosity and the several beers get the better of the builder...

Chris: - “Scuse me.... no offence meant, but me and me mate were wondering what you do for a living?”

Suit: - “No offence taken! I'm a Logical Scientist by profession.”

Chris: - “Oh? What's that then?”

Suit: - “I'll try to explain by example - do you have a goldfish at home?”

Chris: - “Er ... mmm ... well yeah, I do as it  happens”

Suit: - “Well, it's logical to follow that you keep it in a bowl or in a pond. Which is it?”

Chris: - “It's in a pond.”

Suit: - “Well then, it's reasonable to suppose that you have a large garden then?”

Chris: - “As it happens, yes I have got a big garden.”

Suit: - “Well then, it's logical to assume that in this town if you have a large garden then you have a large house?”

Chris: - “As it happens, I've got a five bedroom house ...built it meself.”

Suit: - “Well, given that you've built a five bedroom house, it is logical to assume that you haven't built it just for yourself and that you are quite probably married?”

Chris: - “Yes, I am married, I live with my wife and three children.”

Suit: -“Well then, it is logical to assume that you are sexually active with your  wife on a regular basis?”

Chris:- “Yep! Four nights a week.”

Suit: - “Well then, it’s logical to suggest that you do not masturbate very often?”

Chris: - “Me? never!”

Suit: - “Well there you are then!  That's logical science at work!”

Chris: - “How's that then?”

Suit: - “Well, from finding out that you had a goldfish, I've told you about your sex life.”

Chris: - “I see, that's pretty impressive... thanks mate!”

Both leave the toilet and Chris returns to his mate.

James: - “I see the suit was in there. Did you ask him what he does?”

Chris: - “Yep, he's a logical scientist.”

James: - “What's that then?”

Chris: - “I'll try and explain. Do you have a goldfish?”

James: - “Nope.”

Chris: - “Well then, you're a wanker!”

[Ed:  Thanks to Anonymous for that gem!]


From:     Jack Riley, Urangan, Qld,
Date:      15 March 2002 01:58
Subject:  Re: Old Boys Briefs 031502

Dear Tony,

A happy hello to Fred Martin!

He is quite right...we missed each other, sad!  Although working at Steamer Point, I ended up living in one of the OMQ flats at K'sar and did indeed know Charles Delaney, although he too went back to the cold soon after I arrived.

Regards to you both



From:     Martin Liggett, Swindon,
Date:       16 March 2002 16:40
Subject:   Re: Old Boys Briefs 031502

Wg Cdr Symmonds’ statement that his men/women of 4624 Sqn RAUXAF are interchangeable with their regular counterparts and are trained to the same standard , has led me to ask the question; is this still the same Reserve Movements Squadron which only gets to see and work on a real aircraft rather than the Movements School mock-ups only around once a month? Then it is usually only wheeled loads of Landrovers & 4-Tonners etc., that they tend to onload/offload?

I appreciate that they still do their 2 weeks away at an Overseas Movements Unit, but surely this is now limited to Akrotiri?

As for the statement that they are trained to the same standard, the regular’s training is ongoing and every day is on the job training, so how can one evening and one weekend a month bring them to the standard of regulars ?

I know that the above will set the cat amongst the pigeons with the stalwarts amongst you, however, I served for 3 years on the squadron and saw the standards which they achieved.

Also, I remember Malcolm Symmonds and at the time he was more interested in his guys winning Reserve Inter-Service Military skills competitions rather than honing their movements skills.

I await the multitude of replies!
Martin Liggett 

[Ed:  uh oh!]


From:     Ron Turley, Doha,
Date:      17 March 2002 02:35
Subject:  Re: Job Opportunity Advertisement


I see that Murdo is confused. Qatar is NOT a dry state (those who know me would know that I would not end up in a dry state!!). It had it's first rain in 3 years in January. Booze is available in all the big international hotel bars and domestic consumption needs are met by having a special license to buy booze from the one distributor in the country who can sell the stuff legally. Beats making gin in the bathtub!

The country is liberalizing slowly and my guess is that in a few years it will be like Abu Dhabi or Dubai. Now whether this is a good thing or not...


Ron Turley

[Ed:  Thanks for the info Ron. I guess a lot of us "Old Timers" still view your neck of the woods as it was 40 years ago!]


From:     Ian Berry, Swindon,
Date:      17 March 2002 10:44
Subject:  Mystery Photograph Suggestions

Where: Kathmandu?

When: 1974?

What: Presenting Nepalese Handling Agents UKMAMS & 38 Gp Plaques?

Why: To keep them sweet?

Who: Left Brian Hunt?  2nd Right Mick Steed?

[Ed:  I’ll give you this one Ian.  Dave Berry, ex-Britannia Captain, sent the photograph in and writes: “Kathmandu 1974, Ghurka Airlift - UKMAMS Fg Off Brian Hunt and his Sergeant with our 'Staff' at Britannia House - staff known as No.1 and No.2. They performed ALL the duties - cooking, waiting, cleaning, barmen etc. Brit crews brought rations and beer from Hong Kong and shared with MAMS. No’s 1 & 2 are displaying the 99 and UKMAMS Squadron crests."   I will endeavour to place another Mystery photo on the site over the next few days.]


From:     Ian Berry, Swindon,
Date:      17 March 2002 11:19
Subject:  Mystery Photo

Well, I was half right! 

By the Way Brian Hunt (nice man) retired as a Sqn Ldr years ago and now lives in Harrogate - here I'm not sure but he’s either a chiropodist or a dentist .

Mick Steed, who did a tour as RAFLO Bermuda (lucky s*d), retired as a FS years ago and is now a Prison Warder at Parkhurst on the Isle of Wight.

[Ed:  Thanks for the update Ian.]


[Ed:  I had received an infected e-mail from Dave, and wrote to tell him.]

From:    Dave Webb, Abu Dhabi,
Date:     17 March 2002 12:29
Subject:  Re: URGENT - I believe you are infected!

Good Evening Tony,

I did a virus scan just a moment ago and I am not infected with anything.

However, I did get a virus, possibly from you just a few days ago. It was called “W32Badtrans.”  It is common and infected two of my files.  It cannot be cleaned, so I deleted it from Euroda Light and from my Win folder with little effect.

Don't worry Tony, we are big targets for viruses here in the the UAE and we get used to it.  I have have had my PC completely hosed twice since Dec 2001, much to the disgust of 24 Ebay auction sellers who have given me much bad press...what can I do???

I have a few postings to add to your web site and shall do so in the next two weeks or so.

Please give my best wishes to all within the O.B.A, especially Bob Dixon.


David Webb

[Ed:  Thanks Dave - we all look forward to your submissions.]


From:     Murdo Macleod, Newport-on-Tay,
Date:      19/03/02 09:32
Subject:   On the Move

Hi Young Tony!

Old Murdo is off on his travels again, this time somewhere nice and warm.  I'm off to sunny Dubai to join an RFA vessel which is on station with the peace keeping effort in the Gulf.

I've asked for a five month engagement instead of the usual four and that will give a me bit of tax back with a bit of luck, and so I shall be out of circulation for a while.

I fly from Heathrow Sat 30th March, bit like old times really only a different locale.

I was in Bahrain in 67, and I was in the Emirates during the original Gulf conflict circa 87, and again after the last barney and a couple of times since, so I am quite at home there now and everything has changed a lot out there, quite civilized nowadays.

Anyway, keep sending the Old Boys Briefs and if you do manage to get a hold of Willie Crossley let him know where I am in case he thinks that I've stopped speaking to him.


"Old Murdo"

[Ed:  Well shivver me timbers!  I trust you'll enjoy the sunshie - as I write this it's snowing here with a wind chill factor of -17C.  I have heard from Willie - he's okay and his new e-mail address is  Have a safe trip Murdo, and don't forget to write and let us know how you're (sea) faring from time to time!]


From:     Dave Williams
Date:       19 March 2002 10:37
Subject:   Thanks!

For making my day!  I just came across the site and was amazed to find a picture of me on it, posing by an Antonov with a few of your guys.  There are some POL smellies and a couple of 'Loggy' conscripts roped in for our 'Q-Supp-LL' skills learned 10 years earlier and long forgotten.

Have to take you task over the date though. December 1991 just prior to the Gulf kicking off is more like it as I was granted my freedom in 1994!


Dave Williams
Senior CRM Analyst
0161 837 5001

[Ed:  Thanks Dave - but which picture is it?  There are over 400 pages on the site!]


From:     Phil Clark, Vienna,
Date:      19 March 2002 11:46
Subject:  Guestbook

Hi Tony,

I had a look at your Guestbook and saw the name Bumford.  I'm sure he was my shift Corporal on one of my Muharraq tours.  I e-mailed him and copied you, but put a dash in your address instead of an underslash, so you won't get it.

Cheers Mate


[Ed:  Trust you'll get in touch with him.]


From:     Dave Williams
Date:      20 March 2002 03:20
Subject:  Re: Thanks!


The page is No longer valid

I didn't realise that there were over 400 pages -  which makes it an even more bizarre coincidence that I stumbled on that one!

For the record, the front row of TG18A people is L-R Chris Arnill POL, Barry Knock, Supply, 'Max' Wall, POL,Unknown Bloke from Supply, Dave Williams, Logs Sqn. Martin Smith, POL. The little guy at the back with the glasses is WO Ken Cooper, Logs Sqn, the best Sqn WO ever!

I think Pete Cosgrove was a Corporal at the time and he seemed to be pretty much in charge of the whole thing - which was getting that big thing on the ramp off to the Gulf war.

What makes the picture unusual are the 2 KGB guys in the picture (civvy coats) the cold war was still on (ish) and I think I'm right in saying that this was the first combat co-operation 'twixt us and the Russkies – they were happy with the duty free Bensons we supplied!

If  Ginge Riches and Gideon Wyche are Old Boys now (and they bloody should be!) give them my regards, we 'did' Belize together in 1984.


[Ed:  Thanks for that Dave.  I've moved that photograph over the the Images 1990 page.  Gid Wyche is, as far as I know, still at Lyneham.]


From:     Fred Martin, Godalming,
Date:      20 March 2002 06:59
Subject:  Old Boys Briefs 030802

Hi Tony

I would just like to add a bit more to my Khormaksar article if I may re: the Cuba Missile Crisis, October 1962.

Parked just a few hundred yards away from us as we worked away on the Bevs and the Britannias were about 6 V-Bombers that had been specially deployed into Aden.  They were under heavy RAF Regiment guard so no one could get near them.Their tail fins were silhouetted against the setting sun. This was no exercise, this was for real!

They were on a moment’s notice to carry their cargoes to secret destinations. I remember remarking to a colleague that we might not have even have a country to go home to, let alone a home. Those few days of the Crisis were big time scary. Thank goodness it ended safely.

Thanks Tony, perhaps you could merge that bit with what I have already on the Missile Crisis. Hope you can find room for it all on the Khormaksar Article site.

All the best

Fred Martin

[Ed:  I'll always find room.  It's there already!]


From:      Howie Bumford, Carterton,
To:          Phil Clark, Vienna, Austria
Date:       20 March 2002 20:18
Subject:   Re: UKMAMS-OBA guest book 31/1/02


Yes thats me, 1966-67, the days of Mike Furney, Trev Ellecker, Alec somebody the sergeant and Geordie Crocker etc.

I came back to Lyneham from there until 1973.  I was promoted and sent to Gutersloh until 76, then Brize and JATE.  In 1980 I was promoted and posted into UKBags but never wanted mobile.

Did 2 tours at Lyneham with a stint at DTG where I got my Warrant in 84 and went to RAFMS. I PVR'd there, did 9 months back at UKBags as DDAMO in 87.  I have been at the College here since then as Buildings Officer (proposed new job title coming up as “Facilities Officer” it still means "Clerk of Works" whatever it’s called) I only have 14 months to go to retirement now so I have the "Moonrocket Chart" on the wall, just like in Bahrain!

I have lived in Carterton since 1976.

All the Best

Howie B
Buildings Officer
Estate Services Department
Oxford College Of Further Education
01865 269243


From:     Phil Clark, Vienna,
To:         Howie Bumford, Carterton, UK
Date:      21 March 2002 05:55

Hi Howie,

What a terrific surprise - this Internet is amazing!

When I saw your name it all came flooding back.  I can see us all trooping out at 3 in the morning to load that bloody Beverley with frozen meat for the Sharjah-Bait al Falaj-Masirah run, or being dragged out of the Astra because the delayed inbound had suddenly made up the time.  The poker and pontoon schools - that git Crocker always winning. 

I can see you now as clear as yesterday - mind you it's the '66 version I'm seeing.  If I remember rightly, on our shift we had a great team spirit with hardly any squabbling.

After Muharraq I went to Hendon with JSATC.  Had a great 3 years, half working at Gatwick with British United, then the 2nd half at Luton with Britannia.  They then sent me back to Muharraq - new SHQ and Movements buildings, but the same crappy Twynhams to live in.  I decided I'd had enough and after tourex went to Lyneham where I was demobbed.

Most of the time stayed in aviation, and have worked in Saudi, Oman, British Virgin Islands and Abu Dhabi.  Now with Lauda Air here in Vienna - been here 5 years already (full details on the UKMAMS web site).

You mention Trev Ellecker - I joined up with him, and he was my best pal for many years.  The last time I saw him was I think at Brize after my demob.  I've tried searching the web etc., but no sign of him – have you heard anything?

Why aren't you in the OBA? - it's for all movers, not just MAMS, join up so you'll be in touch with us all - Tony Gale who runs it, was another I joined up with - that was Sept '63 - 50th Brats at Hereford. 

A 40th anniversary reunion is planned which I'm really looking forward to.  A bunch of shagged-out 55/56 year olds who last saw each other in their mid teens - if that isn't an excuse to get wrecked on the same scrumpy as 40 years ago, I don't know what is!

Again - great to hear from you - and have a great retirement when it arrives - another 10 years to mine!

Cheers Phil

p.s. Tony - re: Trev Ellecker, if anyone can put me in touch with him I'd be grateful.


From:      Rip Kirby, Basingstoke,
Date:      21 March 2002 16:39
Subject:  Cheers

G'day mate,

Sorry about the late reply.  No sooner had I put my initial ramblings on line than I got zapped for 3 weeks in Kabul, then went straight on 2 weeks leave.

Cheers for putting my info on the website, I’ve already made contact with some old rogues and colleagues. Thanks again.

Cheerio for now,

Regards Rip..

[Ed:  Thanks Rip - glad to see you made it home okay.]


From:     Jack Riley, Urangan, Qld,
Date:      19 March 2002 16:09
Subject:  Attention to orders

To All Members

I do not need to remind you what a debt we all owe to Tony for the work he does on our behalf. As you will know from the Briefs he has recently had to upgrade his computer so that he can continue to provide us with such a great website.

I fully endorse his view that the UKMAMS OBA should not involve a membership fee and that we should not get involved in commercial advertising. However, I hope you will agree with me that he should not be left to bear all the costs on his own.

May I therefore ask you to throw a little in the hat, once off, as our way of showing him how important he and the site have become to us.

Would you please send cash, cheques (payable to "Charles Cormack"), foreign currency notes from your travels hither, thither and yon, and such to Charles at:

Charles Cormack
9, Lineacre Close,
Grange Park,
Swindon, SN5 6DA

It would be helpful if you could do this by the end of April so that he can make a one-off transfer to Canada. All contributions will be acknowledged.

Thanks team

Jack Riley
Hon Chairman

[Ed:  <blushing> ]


New on the site this week?  All kinds o'stuff!

It will make you laugh, it will delight and enthral you, some will cry (I guess the more sensitive, but there's not too many of that type here!).  Regardless, you must pay a visit to the Articles page on the website and read Robbie Taylor's account of Kuching.  He worked very hard on that article, so an e-mail to him would not go amiss.  It's a lengthy piece and will take a while to download, but it's worth the wait.

Fred Martin's account of Khormaksar in the early 60's has been added to that Article - it really doesn't seem like more than 40 years ago that all those events were taking place - the very brink of World War III!

Lots of photographs have been added - just check the Notice Board page for an up-to-date listing.


Well, that's it for this week

Have a great weekend

Best regards