17 May 2002


From:     David Powell, Princes Risborough,
Date:      10 May 2002 09:21
Subject:  Defence Policy as viewed from the back of a MAMS Landrover


Enjoyed the erudite stuff about Defence policy in the latest brief.

And I'd always thought that the role of the RAF was to protect the Royal Navy while it was evacuating the Army!

Happy lashings

Dave Powell

[Ed:  Many thanks for that Dave - had to admit the word "erudite" had me stumped for a while - had to look that one up!  It's funny you should use the term "Happy lashings"  as that could be the title of this week's Mystery photograph, and it does not contain any chains - as far as I can see...]  


From:     John Holloway, Shrewsbury,
Date:      10 May 2002 13:38
Subject:  Nizam of Hydrabad

Hi Tony

Seeing Phil Clarke’s article this weekend with reference to ‘The Nizam’ rang a bell.  I’d seen something recently relating to it and sure enough in April’s issue of ‘Sandscript’ the Mauripur newsletter, there was a memory from one of our members who was an aircrew pilot stationed at Mauripur 1947 to 49.

‘Quote’ One of his duties was to fly the Nizam’s adviser, Sir Walter Monkton, from Hyderabad to Delhi. They were given a choice of staying in the palace or an hotel in the city. They would choose to stay in the hotel which gave them more freedom and they were given a telephone number to use if they wanted anything, and this did mean anything.

On one occasion they asked for a car which duly arrived, a Rolls Royce with a large crest on the front complete with chauffeur. The crest acted like magic; Hyderabad at that time was built on a grid system with wide and clean streets. At each intersection there was a policeman directing traffic, and the car being visible for at least a couple of blocks they never had to stop.  

Evidence of the Nizam’s benevolence was everywhere, with modern public transport Leyland buses, schools and hospitals.

One of my favorite hostelries here in Shrewsbury is a pub called ‘The Romping Cat’ and I took them a photo from another issue of that newsletter of the pub our lads had created at Jiwani, which was an emergency landing strip on the Iranian border just up the coast from Mauripur.   The pub was called ‘The Pharting Cat’ with the pub sign clearly hanging outside the building, quite a novelty which they even got away with during the AOC’s annual inspection.

Beer glasses were manufactured by standing a beer bottle in a metal container and pouring a measure of oil in the container then pouring a similar measure of water into the bottle. By inserting a red hot poker through the neck of the bottle, a clean break would occur at the liquid level about 5” up from the base of the bottle and ‘Hey Presto’ you had your glass!

I saw similar glasses on the mess tables at Sharjah, but they were filled with rancid butter!


[Ed:  Thanks for those wee gems John.  Didn't you cut your lips on those glasses, or were you just too hammered to even care?]


From:     Garth Hammond, Beaumont, AB,
To:         Dave Barton, Kings Lynn, UK
Date:      10 May 2002 16:56
Subject:  Kidbrooke ‘62

Dear  David :

I only became part of the UKMAMS OBA some 4 weeks ago, I had noted your bio.  I have had the same photo on hand ready to update and pass to Tony. I know more than a few of these people and will advise.

I think our paths only crossed at Kidbrooke Jul./Aug. '62 You will find me in the middle row 3rd from left.

I have been a Freight Forwarder for 27 years. Life's journey has brought me to Canada and Alberta where we have been for some 20 years.  My company is called 'GBH' all because of 6 weeks in Kidbrooke !!!

I look forward to ongoing contact.

B. Rgds.  /  Garth B. Hammond

{Ed:  I trust you and Dave can share a lot of memories about those days.  Looking forward to receiving an update on the chaps in that photograph.]


From:     Fred Martin, Godalming,
Date:      11 May 2002 05:15
Subject:  Dave Barton’s Photo Kidbrooke 1962

Interesting to see Dave Barton’s photo of Kidbrooke 1962.

I have a similar one taken in 1961 which contains a couple of the same training staff. I will send it when I get a scanner. Like Dave I also served at JSCBC London. I must have arrived after he left as I was there 1963-1966 after I returned from Aden. I did come across Sgt John Jennings and SAC Jim Macintosh.

JSCBC was a funny little unit comprising of about 6 RAF Air Movers and About 20 Army bods.  We used to deal with the documentation of Forces travelling to Germany on civilian air trooping flights from Manchester and Gatwick. There was also a small RAF Surface Movements Unit based there. We used to work office hours and travel to and from work in civvies. It was just like being a city gent; a slight change from the heat and hurly-burly of Khormaksar from whence I had come.

Best wishes
Fred Martin

[Ed:  Thanks Fred - look forward to getting your photograph]


From:     Robbie Taylor, Doncaster,
Date:      11 May 2002 16:47
Subject:  New Site

Hi Tony,

Thought  you all might be interested in this site I just found, you might already know about it, but I’ve found it to be of great interest:

On my one and only visit so far I could not find any mention of MAMS.

Cheers  Robbie


From:    Tony Gale,
To:         Robbie Taylor, Doncaster, UK
Date:      11 May 2002 23:30
Subject:  Re: New Site

Hi Robbie,
Yes I was aware of that site - it used to be a HUGE site - but unfortunately they had to close a major portion of it.
OBA member John Belcher wrote an article in there about the Gulf War - and MAMS - I forget what it's called, but it's very similar to the one I put on the OBA site (FILO).
I have spent most of the day rearranging my furniture - found all kinds of dust bunnies to chase away!  Now I am just relaxing - flying a C130 (XV292) from St. Mawgan to Lyneham in Flight Simulator 2002.  It's a marvellous program, and I plan on digging out my log books and repeating a lot of my flights from 30 odd years ago.  There's so much in these programs nowadays, other aircraft flying around the skies and Air Traffic Control to keep it all in order - 'fraid I'm hooked on it!
Well, enjoy your Sunday mate.


From:     Robbie Taylor, Doncaster,
Date:      12 May 2002 07:54
Subject:  Re: New Site

Hi Tony,

Had another look at that site, found John's article and yes, it is very similar to yours.

I have also got Flight Simulator 2002, but at the moment I am keeping to the Cessna.  I can get the bloody thing off the ground, just, then I lose all control and crash. It wont beat me, I'll stick with it and maybe one day will progress to the Herc and other a/c.

With the technology around these days, wouldn't it be great if someone would make some software so that not only do you fly the a/c but also load it, do the trim sheet etc., then fly to various destinations to offload and reload?

Talking of loading a/c, can you recall a Belfast at Brize being tipped on it's tail? As far as I can remember it happened when I was out in Cyprus, sometime between 72 and 74.Or have I been dreaming? or getting mixed up with the VC 10 that went on to it's tail, when some fitter forgot about the fuel in the tail tanks?

I will always remember in Cyprus I nearly did it myself with the weekly run of frozen food to Salalah (or somewhere out that way, the old memory is going). It was always a very rush job to load the Herc from 70 Sqn when the container arrived at cargo in the early hours of the morning. Transferred it to the condec, out to the awaiting a/c, with the crew as always panicking that they not will get away on time (but they always did).

Started to winch the container on the Herc, got about one third on, suddenly realised no bloody anti-tip strut in position, my heart was in my mouth when I realized. The crew did not know, thank God for the DAMO

Cheers         Robbie

[Ed:  Regarding the Belfast tipping - I never heard about that one - perhaps someone out there has some knowledge of it that they can share?]


From:     John Bell, Cairns, Qld.,  
Date:      13 May 2002 03:07
Subject:  Humour


Any use for your humour pages?


Subject: Some Great headlines

Actual Newspaper Headlines (collected by journalists)

1. Something Went Wrong in Jet Crash, Expert Says

2. Police Begin Campaign to Run Down Jaywalkers

3. Safety Experts Say School Bus Passengers Should Be Belted

4. Drunk Gets Nine Months in Violin Case

5. Survivor of Siamese Twins Joins Parents

6. Farmer Bill Dies in House

7. Iraqi Head Seeks Arms

8. Is There a Ring of Debris around Uranus?

9. Stud Tires Out

10. Prostitutes Appeal to Pope

11. Panda Mating Fails; Veterinarian Takes Over

12. Soviet Virgin Lands Short of Goal Again

13. British Left Waffles on Falkland Islands

14. Lung Cancer in Women Mushrooms

15. Eye Drops off Shelf

16. Teacher Strikes Idle Kids

17. Reagan Wins on Budget, But More Lies Ahead

18. Squad Helps Dog Bite Victim

19. Shot Off Woman's Leg Helps Nicklaus to 66

20. Enraged Cow Injures Farmer with Axe

21. Plane Too Close to Ground, Crash Probe Told

22. Miners Refuse to Work after Death

23. Juvenile Court to Try Shooting Defendant

24. Stolen Painting Found by Tree

25. Two Soviet Ships Collide, One Dies

26. Two Sisters Reunited after 18 Years in Checkout Counter

27. Killer Sentenced to Die for Second Time in 10 Years

28. Never Withhold Herpes Infection from Loved One

29. Drunken Drivers Paid $1000 in `84

30. War Dims Hope for Peace

31. If Strike isn't Settled Quickly, It May Last a While

32. Cold Wave Linked to Temperatures

33. Enfields Couple Slain; Police Suspect Homicide

34. Red Tape Holds Up New Bridge

35. Deer Kill 17,000

36. Typhoon Rips Through Cemetery; Hundreds Dead

37. Man Struck by Lightning Faces Battery Charge

38. New Study of Obesity Looks for Larger Test Group

39. Astronaut Takes Blame for Gas in Spacecraft

40. Kids Make Nutritious Snacks

41. Chef Throws His Heart into Helping Feed Needy

42. Arson Suspect is Held in Massachusetts Fire

43. British Union Finds Dwarfs in Short Supply

44. Ban On Soliciting Dead in Trotwood

45. Lansing Residents Can Drop Off Trees

46. Local High School Dropouts Cut in Half

47. New Vaccine May Contain Rabies

48. Man Minus Ear Waives Hearing

49. Deaf College Opens Doors to Hearing

50. Air Head Fired

51. Steals Clock, Faces Time

52. Prosecutor Releases Probe into Undersheriff

53. Old School Pillars are Replaced by Alumni

54. Bank Drive-in Window Blocked by Board

55. Hospitals are Sued by 7 Foot Doctors

56. Some Pieces of Rock Hudson Sold at Auction

57. Sex Education Delayed, Teachers Request Training

58. Include your Children When Baking Cookies

59. 4-H Girls Win Prizes for Fat Calves

[Ed:  Thanks John.  Some of those headlines are familiar, I believe I published something similar to that a while ago - but the majority are "new".  Regarding the Humour Page - I am considering removing it - any comments?]


Ryanair in talks over RAF Leuchars landings

James Dow -  The Scotsman, Monday May 13, 2002

THE Ministry of Defence confirmed yesterday it is in talks on plans which will see budget airlines jetting into RAF Leuchars military air base, carrying tourists heading for a round of golf at St Andrews.

Dublin-based Ryanair has revealed it is one of the airlines in discussions with the MoD, but it is understood that a number of other carriers have expressed an interest in providing services to and from the base.

A spokesman for the MoD told The Scotsman: "Strike Command has done a feasibility study of the commercial potential [of RAF bases], and we’re looking to see how spare capacity can be used by allowing civilian contractors to land at certain airfields."

He added: "RAF Leuchars has identified some "irreducible spare capacity", and it definitely has the capability to accept commercial aircraft because it is an airbase with a large airfield."

The spokesman said it would be "inappropriate to name the companies involved," but added: "we’re aware of significant interest from industry."

Ryanair said: "Talks are in the very early stages and we couldn’t put a timeframe on them."

The Irish airline is known to be anxious to add another Scottish hub to its network, after talks with Inverness terminal operator Highland and Islands Airports broke down last week.

Fife Council has also been approached by the MoD. After preliminary discussions during the past months, the two parties have agreed to meet in six weeks’ time to discuss the proposals in greater detail.

The Council has been invited to provide recommendations on the scheme, which is expected to require significant investment in local transport links, as well as on the air base.

Speaking yesterday, Fife Council head Jim Findlay said: "Obviously it would be a tremendous boost for Fife in terms of attracting more tourists into Scotland."

He added that the job of building the facilities necessary for thousands of commercial travellers "will be a huge task", but pointed out that the airfield is already being upgraded in preparation for the arrival of a squadron of Eurofighters next year.

The prospect of military strike aircraft landing alongside commercial airplanes will raise many security and safety concerns. The MoD insisted it was well aware of those dangers.

The spokesman said: "There’s got to be a balance between what we can allow commercial users to do and our own requirements."

He added: "We have to make a decision about what is feasible within the remit of having a base within what is primarily a military airfield."

The spokesman said the use of RAF Leuchars as a commercial destination would not be unique among air force facilities, as RAF Northolt is already used by civilian airlines.

However, the volume of passenger traffic passing through RAF Northolt, largely restricted to high profile celebrities and politicians, is considerably less than the numbers of passengers Ryanair and other operators are likely to carry.

More than 1.3 million travellers passed through Scottish airports last month, and even a fraction of that number threatens to overwhelm local transport links.

The MOD said it had initiated discussions with local transport authorities, and Fife Council’s Findlay said the environmental impact of such operations, and the support services necessary, need to be carefully considered.


[Ed:  The folowing was received in the Guestbook of the website:]

Tuesday 05/14/2002 7:41:37pm
Name:    Emily Hooligan
Referred By:    A Little Bird
City/Country:    REDCAR
Comments:    Popped in to see if I could spot a pal (Hiya Gary) couldn't leave once I spotted the photo's, while looking I think I must have fell in love about 589,900 times. What girl wouldn't?  You are all true Hero's!  I found it hard to hold back the tears though when reading about the deaths & suicides. I am very sorry especially when all I can offer is a few words in the way of a BIG THANK YOU for years of unconditional protection.

[Ed:  Very thoughtful sentiments for which I, and I trust the rest of the OBA, thank you very much.]


Rumour has it that Spider Jolley and Dibs Loveridge are getting together over 180 litres of  imported French plonk  the weekend of the 25th at a campground somewhere in North Yorks.....  that's only a rumour though and you didn't hear it from me!


From:     Robbie Taylor, Doncaster,
Date:      16 May 2002 19:45
Subject:  Mystery Photograph

Well, the bombs are obviously dummies, dare I say the personnel carrying them are d-------- as well?  No I did not mean that, honestly. But why should they pose for this photo?
I have not got a clue, but sorry about above, couldn't resist the temptation.
Going to our 40th reunion this weekend, that is the 46th Entry out of Hereford, who signed up on 16th May 1962.
Will report back after the do.
Cheers         Robbie

[Ed:  I don't know the reason for the posing Robbie - perhaps the big burly gentlemen in said photograph could explain it to you?  Looking forward to hearing all about the reunion this weekend - have lots of fun.]


From:     Derek Barron, Calne,
Date:      16 May 2002 17:54
Subject:  Mystery Photograph


This is scary and somebody stole my thunder. I've had the same photo in my scanner for about two weeks waiting to find out how to use it !!!!

Abingdon 1974 - J.A.T.E

SAC Dougie Betambeau, SAC Ben Walters and myself with USAF Major George Bussing (Exchange Officer.)  This was in the days when there were no forklifts and movers were strong !!, and officers didnt take any nonsense from the troops


Derek Barron

[Ed: Thanks Derek - I guess you owe me a new Mystery Photograph now as you just shot the heck out of that one!]


New on the site this week?  Well, there is a new Mystery photograph that was just put  up - but I guess it's not a Mystery anymore - we'll just call it a "Curiosity" photograph.

Thanks to Ian Berry there are 4 more photographs in Images 2000 that are worth a shuftee.


Well, that's it for this week

Have a great weekend!

Best regards,