26 April 2002


New members joining us this week are:

Karl Riches from Stafford, UK

Kevin Laing from Redcar, UK

Welcome to the OBA!


From:     Jack Riley, Hervey Bay
Date:      19 Apr 2002 01:11
Subject:  Re: Old Boys Briefs 041902

Dear Tony

Hope all is well with your world, that Spring is duly sprung, and that you've discovered "where the boidies is."
Would you please let me lead again next week as follows
To all members
I was delighted to hear that EUROS to the occasion and fired off  money to Chas. If we all chip in a little the problem is solved.

Please fit it into your busy schedule this week so that he can fire off the cheque at the end of April.

Many thanks


From:     Keith Wilson, Highworth,
Date:      19 Apr 2002 05:45
Subject:  British Airways

Dear Tony

I trust you are well and congratulate you once again on providing a great web site and newsletter. With the formation of the Defence Academy here at Shrivenham all our E-Mail addresses have now changed, be grateful if you will amend my E-Mail to:

I forwarded the newsletter re the BA article  (British Airways Flies on a Wing and  a Perk – OBB 041902) to my daughter who is a coffee jockey with the airline on long haul.  Her comments are listed below!

All the best mate

Keith aka Willy

PS I trust you will be attending the 50th's reunion next year?

[Ed:  Thanks Keith - I have changed your details.  I do intend on being in the UK for the 50th reunion.  Will you please pass on my thanks to Clare for her response.]


From:    Clare Orgill
To:         Keith Wilson, Highworth, UK 
Date:     19 April 2002 10:20
Subject:  Re: BA

For a start, British Midland have cabin crew the same age as BA, but as  we're such a huge airline, it just seems we have more mature staff!

As for stopping over in Cyprus, it is one night, but it depends I would imagine on what time the flight goes.  If it leaves Heathrow in the morning, the crew would stay on the aircraft and bring the flight home).  The only  reason crew would stop over for two nights is if there wasn't a daily service, and I'm not sure there is in the winter months.  How would BA ever make a profit if they started flying home empty aircraft?  Believe me, if BA thought it was profitable to fly us straight back they would. As I work long haul, the only time I get to Cyprus is either on holiday, or when I've been rostered a Tel Aviv.  We're all aware of the current situation in the Middle East at present, several bombs have gone off in the street of our hotel, so the flight now flies direct to Tel Aviv and either comes straight home (there are two flights a day to Tel Aviv) or we drop off the pax., wait for 8 hours or so, board new pax. and then fly to Cyprus, change crews (so we don't go out of hours) stop over a single night, then take the flight home the following day! I'm sure nobody would begrudge BA staff our safety!

Can't comment about the £30 for European crew, all I do know is in 1997 (the year of the strike) short haul cabin crew lost all their overtime and were, on average £500 worse off a month.  Plus, have you seen how much lunch costs in an hotel?

The sentence about a bonus payment for turning up to work on time really made me laugh.  I have only been late once in 7 years (due to M4 being closed) and have yet to receive my bonus payment, could someone tell me what it is please!

Well, I can't deny that we do have huge piss-ups on our dinner allowance, maybe four time a year do we all, as a crew, go out.  I don't have much of a social life at home, you can never plan where you are or make arrangements  with friends.  Today’s date is 18th April and I have only been rostered up to 13th May.  Most of us pay for the crew purchase on board (four quarter bottles of wine is all we are allowed), any thing else we buy is usually purchased in a shop like the next man!  Sorry, are we not allowed to be normal and socialise with work colleagues?  Then again, the quote was by an  ex manager and not ex cabin crew, and we all know what corporate lunches are like.

It is true about the negotiations with the pilots, but not to do with the cheese board.  They agreed not to eat First Class food for a small wage increase, they do still eat the cheese, but what else is there to do, now  they are locked into the flight deck for up to 14 hours a day!

What the article failed to mention is the time we go to work.  I usually work through the night, like a lot of shift workers all over the world, but they go home 12 hours later.  I however, will fly through several time zones, shovel up someone's vomit, while wiping it off myself, or maybe wipe diarrhoea (that doesn't belong to me) off the toilet bowl, I may have to deliver a baby, save a life, calm down an irate passenger that may have been refused a drink or maybe one day, God forbid, save hundreds of passenger's lives evacuating the aircraft!   The best bit is being spoken to like you're something on the bottom of a shoe!  All this I do while missing my husband's, mum's, dad's, sister's, friend's etc. birthdays, funerals, Christmas's, parties etc. and still look glamorous as the pax. depart.

I don't think we have to justify earning the money we get paid.  Yes, I do get a decent wage, but I feel we all sacrifice something for it.


From:     Ian Newlands, Didcot,
To:         Paul Weir, Leighton Buzzard, UK
Date:      19 Apr 2002 10:37
Subject:  Ray Webster

Hi Paul

Saw your e-mail on the OBA weekly chat and I will be making the sad journey to Stourbridge on Monday to say farewell to a super bloke and long time friend. I will pass on your condolences to Lesley and the girls, or should I say young ladies.

I have many happy memories of Ray & Lesley going back to 1974 at Coltishall MSF to the present day. Our families have kept in touch all these years and it is a standing joke that we would always find them if they ever moved. Needless to say we kept the promise that we would always visit.

I remember Ray & I were banned from drinking Stella Artois after one good old session at New Years by our respective better half’s. When Ray decided his dog looked cold and wanted to give it his jacket, even although it was -10 Degrees and I volunteered to round the dog up to get the jacket on it.  This ended up with the two of us rolling around Cirencester Park at 1.30 a.m. New Year’s Day trying to get our coats on Rays dog. Great times!

I am sure you have end stories yourself "Stretch" about Ray so I will gladly pass on your condolences to Lesley and Family

All the best

Ian (Wee Foddy) Newlands


From:     Trevor Curzon
Date:     20 Apr 2002 07:24
Subject:  Ray Webster


Thanks for the info, much appreciated, but have already been informed by UKMAMS Bob Todd in Vegas.

Three weeks ago Ray Webster contacted me after a lost 39 years for a 2003  Boy Entrant re-union. It's so tragic we knew each other as lads and were just finding out about each other as men. As someone said we're all in God's waiting room - it's how quick you get to see the doctor.

Thanks again for taking the time to inform me, you're very kind.


[Ed:  I had been aware that Ray was a member of the 49th Entry of Boy Entrants and found Trevor's details listed in the 49th Entry on the Apprentices and Boy Entrant's website .]


From:     Rip Kirby, Basingstoke,
Date:      21 Apr 2002 01:28
Subject:  Airline Humour

For all of you out there who've had to deal with an irate customer, this one is for you. It's a classic!

An award should go to the United Airline's gate agent in Denver for being smart and funny, while making her point, when confronted with a passenger who probably deserved to fly as cargo.

A crowded United Airlines flight was cancelled. A single agent was rebooking a long line of inconvenienced travellers. Suddenly an angry passenger pushed his way to the desk. He slapped his ticket on the counter and said, "I HAVE to be on this flight and it has to be FIRST CLASS."

The agent replied, "I am sorry, sir. I'll be happy to try to help you, but I've got to help these folks first, and I'm sure we'll be
able to work something out."

The passenger was unimpressed. He asked loudly, so that the passengers behind him could hear, "DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA WHO I AM? "

Without hesitating, the agent smiled and grabbed her public address microphone, "May I have your attention please," she began, her voice heard clearly throughout the terminal, "we have a passenger here at Gate14 WHO DOES NOT KNOW WHO HE IS. If anyone can help him find his identity, please come to Gate 14."

With the folks behind him in line laughing hysterically, the man glared at the United agent, gritted his teeth and swore, "F***

Without flinching, she smiled and said, "I'm sorry, sir, but you'll have to get in line for that too."

[Ed:  Thanks Rip - Got any more?]


[Ed:  I was writing to Ron about different things, and asked him if he had received any responses from the advertisements on the Jobs page of the site.]

From:     Ronald P Turley, Doha,
Date:      21 Apr 2002 08:05
Subject:  Re: Job Ad

Hi Tony,

Disappointingly, there were no responses to the ad. I have been out recruiting in the Philippines and China and am off to Romania and Singapore at the end of this week to interview some candidates in those parts of the world.

What makes all this interesting is that, in this part of the world, 'globalisation' also means globalisation in human skills terms. So far on my team I have Qataris, Philippines, Indians, Pakistanis, a Palestinian, an Algerian lady, a Yank, one Brit, one Singapore Chinese and, hopefully a Romanian or two! I would have liked to have captured a few ex-Muppets though. On second thoughts the common language is English and not obscenity!

Thanks for putting the ad in. Could I ask you to leave it in for a few more weeks before withdrawing it?

Best regards

Ron Turley

[Ed:  No problems Ron - I am happy to leave the ad in for as long as you want me to. It's not only Movers that look at the advertisements - perhaps you'll get some Suppliers looking also, and not just RAF types.]


From:     Rip Kirby, Basingstoke,
Date:      24 Apr 2002 18:41
Subject:  More Airline Humour

Some possible topical humour for the next newsletter:

All too rarely, airline attendants make an effort to make the in-flight "safety lecture" and their other announcements a bit more
entertaining. Here are some real examples that have been heard or reported:

On a Continental Flight with a very "senior" flight attendant crew, the pilot said, "Ladies and Gentlemen, we've reached
cruising altitude and will be turning down the cabin lights. This is for your comfort and to enhance the appearance of your flight attendants."

On landing the stewardess said, "Please be sure to take all your belongings. If you're going to leave anything, please make sure it's something we'd like to have."

Heard on Southwest Airlines just after a very hard landing in Salt Lake City: The flight attendant came on the intercom and said, "That was quite a bump, and I know what y'all are thinking.  I'm here to tell you it wasn't the airline's fault, it wasn't the pilot's fault, it wasn't the flight attendant's was the asphalt!"

A plane was taking off from Kennedy Airport. After it reached a comfortable cruising altitude, the captain made an announcement over the intercom: "Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. Welcome to Flight Number 293, non-stop from New York to Los Angeles. The weather ahead is good and therefore we should have a smooth and uneventful flight. Now sit back and relax - OH, MY GOD!"  Silence followed and after a few minutes, the captain came back on the
intercom and said: "Ladies and Gentlemen, I am so sorry if I scared you earlier, but while I was talking, the flight attendant brought me a cup of coffee and spilled the hot coffee in my lap. You should see the front of my pants!" A passenger in Coach said, "That's nothing. He should see the back of mine!"

My own personal favourite:

Alleged comment made by RAF Tristar pilot after taking off from the Falklands: “Welcome aboard, relax and enjoy your flight back to the UK, and would all females please note that you are now officially ugly again!”

Regards Rip Kirby.

Ed:  Thanks again Rip - there were quite a few in this latest batch that I removed, as they are already on the website.]


From:     Peter Adams,
Date:      24 Apr 2002 18:09
Subject:  Mystery Photograph Suggestions

Possibly Operation Agila 1978/9? Airlift of ex-pats from the then Rhodesia before Mugabe ruined the country ? 

[Ed:  Thanks Peter -  you are right - Ian Berry was right last week when he wrote "The current one at a guess was taken at Brize Norton in December 1979 when the Pumas were being transported to Salisbury, Rhodesia, as part of Operation Agila"]


From:     Jack Riley, Hervey Bay
To:         Editor Courier Mail
Date       23 Apr 2002 21:20
Subject:  Letters to the Editor

Dear Sir

On my 75th birthday and ANZAC Day Eve I felt constrained to take stock.  I have to conclude that my generation may have won the war but lost the peace.

Jack Riley


The youngest of those who served in the Second World War are now seventy five.

If one had asked them at the time what they were fighting for, they might have given the stock answer "For freedom" not just for themselves and their families, but for people they knew had been invaded and enslaved all over the world.  But it went deeper than that.

Looking back over more than half a century since the war ended they must wonder what they achieved. Whilst, in immediate terms, they could look to freeing those who survived the Holocaust, the prisoners of war, and the occupied countries they must now view the world of the 21st Century aghast. In the past fifty odd years they have seen the rise and fall of dictators, conflict after conflict arising out of religious or ethnic differences, and a decline in standards, both moral and ethical, unthinkable in the 1940's.

Man's inhumanity to man continues unabated.

They returned to homes vastly changed and watched as their national values, customs and traditions gave way to uneasy multicultural societies all over the world.

They have seen the basic stability of marriage and the family unit become the rarity rather than the norm.

Their standards of discipline, respect and mateship have given way to selfishness, greed and a failure to accept personal responsibility for one's actions.

Appreciation of, and support for, literature and the arts wanes.

A world in which universities were places of study, research and debate and a degree an honoured rarity, has given way to one of sausage factories churning out more and more narrowly educated young people in an ever-growing diversity of specialised subjects. (They must wonder how C.P.Snow would have viewed a degree in Circus Performance). Meanwhile the very subjects which provided the building blocks of civilisation disappear from the curricula.

In their world an officer looked after his men first. Now they see politicians and their families, so-called “captains of industry” even sporting heroes feathering their personal nests, often to the detriment of those who should be their first concern.

Such is the situation today that they must despair of finding, in their lifetimes, anyone who will lead them to the sort of world they envisaged all those years ago.

It might be enough if they could see the repair work started.

[Ed:  Thanks Jack - very deep thoughts indeed.  I suppose our parents had similar thoughts about our respective generations.  With the advent of modern technology we are all more well informed than our predecessors - the same things were happening in their time, it's just that they had no way of knowing about them all.  Regardless, I'm sure I can speak for all of the members of the OBA on wishing you a very happy 75th birthday!]


Cilla Black and the Blind Date team at Granada TV are looking for Forces personnel to take part in a 'Forces Special' Blind Date programme to be screened later this year.

They are seeking 'fun loving single men with an out-going personality' from each of the Forces to take part in the top-rated TV show.

To apply for an application form, either call the Blind Date hotline on 020 7737 8743 or request one by e-mail:


New on the site this week?  There have been several photographs added to the Images pages (unfortunately no new profiles have been received lately!)


Well, that's it for this week

Have a great weekend!

Best regards,