14 June 2002


From:     David Stevens, Bangor, Wales
Date:      07 June 2002 05:42
Subject:  Old Boys Briefs 060702-Gulf War Tom Thweatt Et Al

Dear Tony

Viz Tom Thweatt's "mission" and Howard Firth's offer of help with research.

There is only one person to contact in Saudi who can help and truly save everyone a lot of time and effort with Tom's project. He is one Hedley Molland, a BAE Systems employee based in Jeddah. He has a unique and unparalled knowledge of the RSAF. One fone call by Howard to either the BAE office in Jeddah or the BAE office in Taif should do the trick IF Hedley is still in Jeddah.

If he has been 'forced' into retirement then BAE might be willing to give you Hedley's UK/Home address. Hope this helps.
Interested to see that I get a mention in Charlie Cormack's biography. I have a few tales I might tell about Charlie, but one thing I can say and maybe embarrass him a little, is that he was one of the best.

Good luck.

Best Regards  David Stevens

[Ed:  Thanks David. You're so right about Charlie - he is STILL one of the best.   It was eventually discovered that Hedley had retired from BAE. Perhaps Gordon Gourdie over there in Salmondsbury could offer some help, or even my brother Dave who works for BAE in Filton....?]


From:     Andy Kay, Stafford VA, USA
Date:      07 Jun 2002 07:03
Subject:  Re: Old Boys Briefs 060702

Hi Tony,
I think I actually know the answer to this one!  A 'Tick-Tock Man' was that poor unfortunate that couldn't (for whatever reason) master the art of walking normally.... instead of the usual left leg/right arm movement when marching, these individuals would swing their left arm with the left leg.  It not only looks very odd (VERY odd), but is almost impossible to do as the body is not inclined to do it naturally.  We were told that it came from concentrating too hard on what was being done instead of marching in a 'normal' way!  And to also confirm, I was not a 'Tick-Tock Man'!!
Sitting here ready for the England-Argentina game on the telly,
Andy Kay

[Ed:  Thanks Andy - yours is the first correct answer, but I don't have any Lauda crew hats to give out, save for mine and you 'aint getting that!]


From:     Keith Parker, Thumrait, Oman
Date:      07 Jun 2002 11:56
Subject:  Re: Old Boys Briefs 060702

Hi Tony

I expect you will be inundated with this one, a Tick Tock Man was, and probably still is the poor chap in the flight that cannot co-ordinate his marching, usually swinging his right arm with his right leg etc. 

But rest assured I encountered more tick tock men on my basic training in the police force than I ever did in the RAF. Believe me you've never seen anything so funny as a squad of coppers trying to behave like the Military. Loved the article about basic training in the RAF.


Keith Parker

[Ed:  Thanks Keith.  Your comments about enjoying John Holloway's reminisces about basic training must have struck a chord with a lot of us.  Although you might be familiar with the following, I thought I'd repeat it for those who haven't yet seen it.  It was originally written in 1959, but for Boy Entrants everywhere it brings the memories flooding back:]

Ode To Boy Entrants

From lowly backgrounds we all came
Thought not good enough for Apprentice fame
Accents strong dressed Sunday best 
We arrived to begin our determined quest

Allegiance given dressed in blue
Heads held high what a motley crew
They broke us down and built us up
Whatever became of that flabby pup

The square to bash and back to school
The room to bull the daily rule
Short arm inspections naked shame
Fit and healthy was the name of the game

Each week we’d wait for the special day
The point in time we lined up for our pay
Stepping forward SIR Knife Fork and Spoon 
Here’s seven and a tanner now leave the room

To the NAAFI for a tuppenny tea
Bromide laced it was said to be
Off to the Astra like a band of brothers
One cigarette shared with fourteen others

The infamous Anson [Chipmunk] for most first flight
The parachute straps pulled far too tight
Your turn has arrived all wish you luck
You walk to the aircraft like a crippled duck

Stood to attention at the end of the bed
The kit inspection all of us dread
Not good enough would yell to CO.
Out of the window our kit would go

Marching to work they could not fault
We improved each day our sliding halt
That’s not the drill the DI would bark
But to us brats it was our trademark

Half way through we are beginning to win
No longer sprogs new entries are in
We are different from them one can tell
Our caps are slashed and propped so well

Berries shrunk and shaped to fit
We do look different, well just a bit
Now senior entry we have a ball
Trade training finished we know it all

One week to go to your passout parade
You are all getting ready for the final charade 
You do feel different from all the rest 
You’ve beaten the system and passed the test

Posting through you study the maps
Discard the chequered bands from around your caps 
Kitbag shouldered you are ready to go 
Saying farewell to the friends you know

We are all getting older maybe putting on fat 
Remembering the days when we were a brat 
Memories fade but what the hell
We’ve all joined this club with a tale to tell


From:     Josie Bailey
Date:      08 Jun 2002 14:55
Subject:  Ken Browne

I would very much like from anyone out there who can tell me what happened to Flt Sgt Ken Browne ex El Adem, Akrotiri 1967-1971 ish.  I remember him so well, he was such a cheeky chap!!

[Ed:  Oh no!  I passed this on to Ian Berry as I know he is in regular contact with Ken]


From:     Howard Firth, Kharmis Mushayt, Oman
Date:      10 Jun 2002 05:14
Subject:  Change of E-Mail Address

I have a new E Mail address which is; please send further communications there. Many thanks
Best Regards.

H Firth

[Ed:  Thanks Howard - I have changed everything this end]


From:     Ian Berry, Swindon, UK
Date:      10 Jun 2002 09:33
Subject:  Josie Bailey


Received a phone call from Ken Browne with Shirley listening in on the 'conference net' ref Josie. All very innocent - she was the NAAFI girl in El Adem and used to make a fuss over the kids!

I used to baby sit for Ken's kids in ELA, very sobering three years ago when I attended his eldest son's 40th birthday...


[Ed:  Thanks Ian. What a relief!]


From:     Charles Cormack, Swindon, UK
Date:      11 Jun 2002 05:40
Subject:  Change of E-Mail Address

With the demise of Lineone which has been swallowed up by Tiscali we have had to change our ISP and our new E mail is as follows;-
( )
( )
( )
We are available on all three as far as I can make out, but the virgin one is our preference until we get fully sorted out.
Bye for now
Pam & Chas Cormack

[Ed:  Thanks Chas,  all changed here.   If there are any "returned" briefs from Lineone addresses, I will re-send them using the Tiscali address as a default.  For all ex Lineone clients please let me know of your preferred addresses a.s.a.p.]


From:     Dave Barton, Kings Lynn, UK
Date:      13 Jun 2002 12:43
Subject:  Les Charlesworth

Had Les Charlesworth and his wife Jean staying with us last weekend and he mentioned about sending some pictures and profile for the Team Brief. I suggested that if he sent the details to me I would let you have them as well.
Hopefully you will be able to get Les into the rogue gallery from the photo. For the records Les joined up in October 1948. FEAF MAMS at Seletar 1962/3, Gulf MAMS 1968/9 and UK MAMS 1980/81. I do have his profile covering all his service (35 years) if you are interested. GSM Cyprus 1957, GSM Brunei 1962, LS&GCM 1966, Bar to LS&GCM 1970. He can't have been much short of Reg. Carey's record!
Have a couple of other photos which I will send on later plus his profile if wanted.
Dave Barton

[Ed:  Thanks for that Dave - I certainly could use Les's profile and the extra photo's.  Does Les have an e-mail address?]


From:     Dave Barton, Kings Lynn, UK
Date:      13 Jun 2002 12:16
Subject:  J. Holloway

Hi Tony,
In reply to John Holloway's question about 'Tick-Tock Man' , there was a book written called 'The Tick Tock Man(Men)' and my copy has vanished amongst many books. As far as I remember it was about the troubles in N.Ireland - perhaps bomb makers -can't even remember the author.
Dave Barton

[Ed:  Thanks again Dave, but as you can see from the e-mails from Andy and Keth above, you were a little off the mark.  It was interesting to see the responses from both of them with regards to suffering the Tick Tock Man. If my memory serves me right, I believe Bill Kearney started his RAF career as one of them!]


[Ed:  Phil Clarke over there in Vienna (bless 'is cotton socks) sent this to me several months ago, and I was reserving it as a standby for when I needed a "filler" for the Briefs.  That's a hint that you all have to write to me.... :)  I'll overlook the "Taffy Bashing" this time around!]

You have two cows. You sell one and buy a bull. Your herd  multiplies, and the economy grows. You sell them and retire on the income.

You have two cows. You sell three of them to your publicly listed company, using letters of credit opened by your brother-in-law at the bank, then execute a  debt/equity swap with an associated general offer so that you get  all four cows back, with a tax exemption for five cows. The milk rights of the six cows are transferred via an intermediary to a Cayman Island company secretly owned by the majority shareholder  who sells the rights to all seven cows back to your listed company. The annual report says the company owns eight cows, with  an option on one more. Sell one cow to buy a new president of the United States, leaving you with nine cows. No balance sheet provided with the release. The public buys your bull.

You have two cows. You sell one, and  force the other to produce the milk of four cows. You are  surprised when the cow drops dead.

You have two cows. You go on strike because you want three cows.

You have two cows. You redesign them so they are one-tenth the size of an ordinary cow and produce twenty  times the milk. You then create clever cow cartoon images called Cowkimon and market them World-Wide.

You have two cows. You reengineer them so they live for 100 years, eat once a month, and milk themselves.

You have two cows. Both are mad.

You have two cows, but you don't know where they are. You break for lunch.

You have two cows. You count them and  learn you have five cows. You count them again and learn you have  42 cows. You count them again and learn you have 12  cows. You stop counting cows and open another bottle of vodka.

You have 5000 cows, none of which belong to you.  You  charge others for storing them.

You have two cows. You have 300 people  milking  them. You claim full employment, high bovine productivity, and arrest  the newsman who reported the numbers.

You have two cows. That one on the left is kinda cute.......


Well, that's it for this week

Have a great weekend!

Best regards