25 August 2008

Don't forget - clicking on the country flag next to the person's name in the newsletter opens up an e-mail compose screen with their address already filled in.

  New members recently joined are:

  Paul Byrne, Kent, UK
  Jim MacIntosh, Glasgow, UK
  Sandra Hinks, Belleville, ON, Canada
  John Gillis, Albert Bridge, NS, Canada
  Kenneth Martin, Carlton Place, ON, Canada
  Barry Martin, Kingston, NS, Canada
  Andy St. Laurent, Ile Bizard, QC, Canada
  Tony Street, Buffalo, NY, USA
  Henri Breton, Trenton, ON, Canada
  John Boates, Frankford, ON, Canada
  John Dornan, Truro, NS, Canada
  Andy Robicheau, London, ON, Canada
  Rick Siddons, Ottawa, ON, Canada
  Marc Roy, Trenton, ON, Canada
  Paul Marachuk, Frankford, ON, Canada
  Harry Grace, Fort Saskatchewan, AB, Canada
  Al Sadler, Ottawa, ON, Canada
  Al Brewer, Edmonton, AB, Canada
  Jim Mellors, Vernon, BC, Canada
  Drew Hine, Trenton, ON, Canada
  Yvonne Lyver, Sherwoord Park, AB, Canada
  Barry Legault, Petawawa, ON, Canada
  Michael Stoddard, Carrying Place, ON, Canada
  Moe Charette, Trenton, ON, Canada
  April Roach, Trenton, ON, Canada
  Andy Fortin, Gatineau, QC, Canada
  Don Lloyd, Calgary, AB, Canada
  Brian Shearon, Barrie, ON, Canada
  Chris Chisholm, Frankford, ON, Canada
  Mark Kelly, Trenton, ON, Canada
  Wendy Secord, Courtenay, BC, Canada
  Mike Damaren, Winnipeg, MB, Canada
  John McLaren, Shanty Bay, ON, Canada
  George Lake, Winnipeg, MB, Canada
  Tom Forster, Ottawa, ON, Canada

Welcome to the OBA!


From: Keri Eynon, Newbury
Sent: Friday, August 08, 2008 11:43 AM
Subject: Some thoughts


I was sorry to read of the death of Tony Lamb, he was also my team flight sergeant on India team and I worked with him in the office at Gutersloh in 1975/76. I always got on well with him and his family, he was a gentleman in the truest sense.

I notice that some members have recalled their first task on UKMAMS. Mine was in 1971 to Kirstrup in Denmark the team consisted of Flt Lt John Miekle, FSgt Roy Millington, Sgt Merv Corke, Cpl Keith Symonds, SAC Fred Kitts and myself, it was just general equipment from UK to the Squadron on deployment out there. We flew from Benson on an Argosy - those were the days.

My last job for MAMS was while on Shift at Lyneham in 1988 - a few months before demob - it was to Dakar in Senegal, just one item to be offloaded there. The return flight to Lyneham was not without incident. On take off and as the undercarriage was raised, in the Herc, there was a horrible loud screeching noise from the starboard wheel well.

We continued on our flight to Lyneham where a State 2 Emergency was declared and we were all told to sit on the port side of the aircraft and the captain would put that side down first and "hopefully, gently lower the starboard side on to the runway and that there would be no collapsing of the undercarriage". Thankfully there was no mishap and we taxied in safely.

Will always remember those trips and time on MAMS, it is good to have this OBA. Thanks for your efforts in keeping it up to date, great to hear from old friends via the newsletter.

Just a further bit of info: I am, as well as being a minister in the United Reformed Church (since 1992) also Chaplain to Newbury Royal British Legion and RAFA, it is good to be involved at Battle of Britain Sunday and Remembrance Sunday etc. Iwas also Chaplain when in Devon at Kingsteignton, so it keeps me busy. How many others belong to RAFA or RBL? Do members know that they can apply for the Veterans Badge through the RBL? If they want any info let me know.

Sorry this has been a bit long but promised to let you have some up to date info when I had time, thankfully August is a quieter time in Church and also with RBL duties as well.

Keep up the good work.

Cheers for now. Keri (Taff) Eynon.

Thanks Taff - memories of times spent on the squadron can never be too long!

The oldest known goldfish lived to 41 years of age. Its name was Fred.

From: Ian Berry, West Swindon
Sent: 08 August 2008 17:11
Subject: Dave Eccles - A Chance To Say Hello & Goodbye

Hello Everyone,

Hopefully all of you remember Dave and Denise (Tommy) Eccles from their time in the RAF and the good times and mischief caused primarily by himself.

Although not general public knowledge until now, Dave was diagnosed with a brain tumour last November and even after having had an operation it has been diagnosed as terminal. Since then Dave has undergone chemotherapy treatment etc., but it is quite daunting.

They would both like to meet as many of you as possible on Friday 29th August in the Wootton Bassett Rugby Club for an opportunity to swing the lamp etc whilst all is still good and Dave can travel. Kick-off is planned for 7pm

If you are planning to attend it would be appreciated if you could respond to me so as I can track numbers...


Best regards,

Ian Berry


From: Nev Whitham, Preston
Sent: Friday, August 08, 2008 2:12 PM
Subject: Mystery Photo # 080808


The mystery photo: (left to right), I’ll take a guess at Bernard “Ben” Johnson, the infamous “Anthony Allen (docking)” and I am not sure who the chap on the right is. The chap at the rear is also a mystery.

Tell you what though, what a bunch of posers! They’re making out to be actually doing something – I don’t think so!

While I am on, congratulations for making such a damn good effort of this professional web site set up. It must take you a lot of dedicated time and effort.

Please can you also disclose how I go about changing my personal details on the site? I left the ‘mob’ on 27 Feb 03 and now reside in a place called Cuerden, just south of Bamber Bridge, Preston, Lancs.

I am now a health and safety consultant, based from home, and carry out work for a diversity of industries; energy (gas, electric, nuclear and renewable), construction (new property and grade 2 listed refurbishments), training (IOSH courses for whoever wants them).

The majority of my work is done at home, designing bespoke safety management systems for companies and all the other integral parts of the H&S system that they now must have. Inspecting workplaces and construction sites is a really interesting part of the job, of which I am able to relate to on the training aspects, (with some cracking pics). I should soon be delivering a lot of training to many people who will be building two rather large ‘boats’!

It’s a far cry from ‘Movements’ I know, but it beats travelling to and from an airport every day. I like it anyway!

Keep up the good work Tony


Nev Whitham

PS: Hello to all the ex and serving, fellow movers who know me and, is that Philip "Nobby" Clarke the same chap who was on Juliette team back in the late 70's?

Well, I’ll give you 5 points for recognizing Anthony Allen, but you’re way off for the other 95 points! Phil (Nobby) Clarke is not the same Nobby that you elude to… I joined up with Nobby back in ’63… a lifetime ago. You can see his profile here: Normally just click on the pen next to his name in the Member’s pages…

I’ve changed your details – showing you now as living in Preston which is the closest easily recognizable town name to where you are actually living (very few people would be able to identify where Cuerden, just south of Bamber Bridge is!). Thanks for the kudos!

If an orang-utan belches at you, watch out. He's warning you to stay out of his territory

From: David Cromb, Brisbane, Qld.
Sent: Saturday, August 09, 2008 8:12 PM
Subject: Mystery Pic 080808

LO matey. Mystery Pic 080808 stab in the dark.

First thing, the dreaded Anthony Allen dock, fingertrapping monster, those gloves won't give the Skull's hands any protection!

Is the other guy Jimmy Barr?

All well here Tony, keep the faith mate.



OK DC, two out of three 'aint too bad... Roy Brocklebank, affectionately known as "The Skull" on the right, but still no prize as that chap on the left is definately not Jimmy Barr!

Assisting The Skull in configuring a tie-down scheme for the air transportation of the Anthony Allen Dock is our own beloved Ian Berry!


From: Charles Collier, Devizes
Sent: Saturday, August 09, 2008 5:25 AM
Subject: Wessex Centre 2008/9 Programnme

Hello Tony,

First of all thank you for the 67th birthday wishes which I received on time and in our new abode.

I'm sending you my Transport Institute's programme for the forthcoming season. As there are a number of OBA members who live in the Swindon area I would welcome them to attend any of these events.

Of particular interest - I have the Chief Constable of Wiltshire coming in November and in April next year James Caan a panellist on the BBC 2 Dragon's Den Programme.

All interested members of the OBA who want to come to an event at the Blunsdon House Hotel can e-mail me so that I as chairman can give them the joining instructions.


Click on above image for full size view then use your browser's back button to return

You're more likely to get stung by a bee on a windy day than in any other weather

From: Jim MacIntosh,Glasgow
Sent: Sunday, August 10, 2008 6:48 AM
Subject: Re: Welcome!

Hi Tony,

Thanks for the info.

Chas Cormack advised me a long time ago about yr site but it was only when I received the latest edition of the "Team Brief" that I looked you up.

Fantastic site, I havent managed to read all the the briefs yet but it is amazing how many names from the past suddenly bring memories back.

Keep up the good work.


Jim Mackintosh

Thanks Jim, and again, welcome aboard!


From: Andy Saint Laurent, Ile Bizard, QC
Sent: Sunday, August 10, 2008 1:22 PM
Subject: Re: Welcome!

Greetings Tony:


Thought you might like to see the attached. It's a badge that I had made during one of my layovers in Tokyo. That dates back to 1950 during the Korean Airlift.

I had the 426 (T) Squadron Thunderbird embroided in the middle and the inscriptions read, "AIR MOVEMENTS CONTROLLER" and ON-WINGS-OF-FIRE"

This a one of a kind, there are no other badges like it in circulation.


I also noted in the membership roster that no one in that list goes back to 1948 - Am I the oldest ?



That's a beautiful collector's item Andy - perchance you might tell us a tale or two about the Korean Airlift in the near future?

In the meantime, I'm not going to cheat and look it up on the member's pages, but all you bods who joined up before 1948 (I was only 1 year old then) speak up!

Rubber bands last longer when refrigerated

From: Don Lloyd, Calgary AB
Sent: Sunday, August 10, 2008 11:52 PM
Subject: Re: Invitation to Traffic Techs, MAMS and Loadmasters

Good Evening Tony:  

What a great idea you started and now to include the other allies...Great work, thank you!

I look forward to chatting with you in the future as I spent a couple of exercises (Ex. Crosscheck) in Lyneham as well as they [UKMAMS] came to Edmonton for the same purpose.  I would have to research my log books for the dates of course.  I do recall they were fantastic exchange visits.  Must go for now, but will for sure talk later...

Cheers and best wishes...


Thanks Don - and welcome! Perhaps our readers are wondering why there was a sudden influx of Canadian representation in the member's listings. I sent out the following e-mail to approximately 400 Canadian Movers.... not a bad return for a first attempt - I'll continue to try to persuade the rest of 'em to join.

In the meantime our counterparts from down-under need to boost their membership numbers - can't have the Canuks winning the race, eh?

--- Original Message -----
From: Tony Gale
Sent: Saturday, August 09, 2008 11:08 AM
Subject: Invitation to Traffic Techs, MAMS and Loadmasters

Being an ex-RAF Air Movements Controller, and a former member of the United Kingdom Mobile Air Movements Squadron (UKMAMS), I took it upon myself a few years ago to create an Old Bods Association – purely web-based, to stay in touch with other ex-squadron members and swing the lamp occasionally.  The organization grew quite quickly and has about 400 members worldwide.  I am able to publish a newsletter every 2-3 weeks.

It occurred to me that during any NATO exercise, armed intervention or disaster relief operation, members of Air Movements organizations from many different air forces work side-by-side with one common goal; to get the job done.  With this in mind I recently extended membership to include (for starters) allies from the Canadian, Australian and New Zealand air forces.  So far, so good, except for one item – we’re missing your name on the membership roster.  No fees or annual dues, just a good place to share stories and experiences and rekindle past friendships in addition to making new ones.

The website has over 300 pages of good air movements stuff – (bring a lunch as you’re going to be visiting for quite some time!).  There are no menus on the site; it’s all icon-driven.

Click on the Maple Leaf icon on the home page to get to the Canadian portal.

Looking forward to receiving your application,

Best regards

Tony Gale
Secretary & Webmaster
UKMAMS Old Bods Association
Gatineau/Ottawa, Canada
Tel: 819-684-9140
Mob: 613-255-8465


From: Paul Byrne, Kent
Sent: Monday, August 11, 2008 7:11 AM
Subject: RE: Welcome!

Hi Tony,

Thanx for the warm welcome. I look forward to getting back in  touch with some old mates. Great website with some good old photos.
All the best,


Thanks Paul!

The average person's left hand does 56% of the typing

Mystery Photo #082508


From: Robert Taylor, Doncaster
Sent: Sunday, August 10, 2008 9:02 AM
Subject: You Tube.

Hi Tony,

This could be old news but I was looking at and came across two video clips that might interest the OBA'S

Royal Air Force Air Movements and RAF Air Movements. One of which contains some shots of MAMS.

There are also loads of video clips of various pax/cargo aircraft. I enjoyed them hope you do to.

Cheers Robbie

There are more chickens than people in the world

From: John Holloway, Shrewsbury
Sent: Tuesday, August 12, 2008 12:48 PM
Subject: NSRAF Cosford

Hi Chaps

Our guest speaker this month at Cosford was a chap who has been heavily involved in the Aircraft Recovery Group in Shropshire for the last 30 years.

He gave us a very interesting talk on many of the recoveries that he's been involved in; all WW2 aircraft German, RAF and
USAAF and there are over 1800 crash sites scattered around the county.

The USAAF 8th Airforce training base 495th  was based at Atcham and the aircraft they had were mainly war-weary P47's Thunderbolts; they lost 157 altogether, littered all over the county. The RAF OTC training bases were at Rednal and Montford Bridge and the Royal Navy near Whitchurch and again the main aircraft used by the RAF were war weary and no longer fit for action.

Quite a few German kites came down in the area and one that they dug up was a Dornier 17 which still had a bomb load on it and after the disposal people had extracated them he says that they asked if they could have one for their museum but their request was their request was politely refused!

If any of you are interested in seeing what they have in their museum and you are in the area it's located at Sleap just outside Shrewsbury and is full of many items that have been recovered Wartime Aircraft Recovery Group Aviation Museum

John Pendlebury,our speaker, was in the RAF for 7 years and spent 2 of those stationed at RAF Habbaniya.

Hope that the foregoing is of interest



More good stuff - thanks John!


From: John Gardiner
Sent: Thursday, August 14, 2008 1:22 PM
Subject: Inclusion in Future Mailings

Hi Tony

Hope you are well.

Thought it was time I asked to be included in the mailing of the Newsletter, seeing as I have been looking at them for some time now.

Excellent Newsletter by the way!

Best Regards

John G

Thanks John - I've added you to the mailing list - by the way - are you the same John Gardiner that I worked with in Load Control at Brize Norton?

The longest one-syllable word in the English language is "screeched."

From: Gus Turney, Calne
Sent: Saturday, August 23, 2008 5:36 AM
Subject: Mystery Photo

Hello to all of you who remember me!

Was on MAMS between '83 and '86, and on training from '97 to '01. Managed to squeeze in tours to Belize, Ascension, The Falklands and Hong Kong.

Mystery Photo #071808 was taken (obviously!) outside the Everest Sheraton Hotel in Kathmandu. L to R is Bob Dickman, me, John Billingsley, Ted Edwards, and the late Jim Stewart. I can't for the life of me recall who took the picture, but according to my tatty old flying log, it was on the morning of 29th July, 1984.

After leaving the RAF in 2001, I ended up working briefly with John, as a fellow security guard at the local Magistrates Court.

I am now working for Landmarc Services Ltd, in the Range Operations room at Westdown Camp, on Salisbury Plain.

Best wishes to all in the Movs world, past and present.



From: Peter Clayton, Wroughton
Sent: Wednesday, August 20, 2008 10:24 AM
Subject: Preserved Pension

Hi Tony

Good news on the preserved pension, it should be paid next week and WILL be backdated. Apparently I was misinformed about the backdating, it is only when it is more than 5 or 6 years that they have to go to the Treasury to get permission to backdate payments.

That is typical of what happens when a service is outsourced, the new provider rarely gets things right, I see this quite often with TW's payroll department handled by Logica.

So good news for Malcolm Porter, I can now afford to buy him a beer at the CL44 Swingtail re-union in London on 1st November, but don't tell him!



I promise I won't tell Malcolm - MAM'S the word!

No word in the English language rhymes with month, orange, silver, or purple.

From: James Aitken, Brisbane, Qld.
Sent: Friday, August 22, 2008 10:39 PM
Subject: Keith Park Statue

Forwarded from Derek Lehrle in New Zealand.

Getting closer!!

Jim Aitken

Aeroplane July 2008


From: John Holloway, Shrewsbury
Sent: Wednesday, August 20, 2008 12:53 PM
Subject: RAF Shawbury

Hi Chaps

A couple of months ago I was invited to have a tour of RAF Shawbury and took advantage of it this morning taking a couple of pals with me.

We were shown all the different types of helicopters used for training from the small Huey type up to the Griffon and also had a look in the service area where quite a few were in bits and pieces.

We then went over to the Glider Trust hangar where surprise-surprise one of my friends from the NSRAF Cosford Branch was working away on the Horsa wings still needing a lot of man-hours to complete them.

We then went to one of the hangars where aircraft are refurbished or prepared for sale or scrap, all run by a civilian company, a whole host of different types; Hawks, Harriers, Tucanos and a few helicopters.

Then over to the Control Tower where on the first floor there were a number of people sitting in front of computer screens showing all of the aircraft that were in the air over a ninety mile radius, both military and civilian. Then up to the top floor in the ''glass house'' with a panoramic view of the whole of the airfield. Two chaps here in were contact with Helicopters landing and taking off; one actually on its way to RAF Lyneham on a navigation trip.

Unfortunately the main training building with the panoramic screen where the initial training is carried out was closed as they were all away on leave, including Alex's favorite Squadron Leader Sally Varley, so we had to give that a miss. Also the Sqn Ldr I mentioned about four years ago in the earlier Briefs with the 00 railway layout has moved on to another posting taking his "toy" with him.

Again hope that the foregoing is of interest. It's quite easy to organise a similar tour if you are in the area, I can give you a contact.



If anyone wants to arrange a tour of RAF Shawbury for themselves or an organised group then please let John know and he'll get you in touch with the right people

"Dreamt" is the only English word that ends in the letters "mt".

From: Tom Forster, Ottawa ON
Sent: Thursday, August 21, 2008 8:19 AM
Subject: RE: Welcome!

Thanks Tony,
I think it's a great site and even better way to look up and stay in contact with old buddies.
Cheers, Tom

Thanks Tom, maybe we can share a jar or two soon


By way of clarification regarding the following - The UKMAMS Old Bods Association, to which we all belong, is an unofficial organisation based outside of Ottawa, Canada and is financed by myself and voluntary donations. The UKMAMS Association, based in the UK, is the official organisation headed up by Group Captain Bob Dixon and a committee of volunteers, and is funded by membership fees. Regretably the UKMAMS Association is finding itself in difficulties and so some hard decisions need to be made.

From: Bob Dixon, Dauntsey
Sent: Sunday, August 24, 2008 2:32 PM
Subject: Message to clarify disbandment and way ahead

Dear Tony & John,

As we discussed earlier, I would appreciate your help to widely publicise the UKMAMS Association’s future.  Now that the Team Brief has been on the streets for a while, could you publish my original message calling for an EGM to disband the Association dated 24 July 2008 and, most importantly, the message attached dated 24 August 2008 which explains where we are now and outlines possible alternatives for the future?  Both documents are attached.

This message is copied to Council Members to keep them abreast of the progress made in a variety of discussions this month, not least the Council Meeting at my house last week.

I look forward to comments.

With many thanks in anticipation of your help.

All the very best


Group Captain R Dixon RAF (Rtd)

You have the support of the OBA in whatever course of action is decided upon Bob, and that includes the use of the OBA resources.


In recent years we have been struggling to maintain the Association in the face of diminishing numbers, most especially the lack of new members. In particular, we have failed to recruit serving members and, with a very few notable exceptions, there has been no interest or support from the Squadron, now No 1 Air Mobility Wing. Only 52 of our ‘paid up’ members are serving in the RAF. The difficulties have multiplied as we have been unable to find a Team Brief Editor to replace Mick Cocker and without the Team Brief we will be unable to keep in touch with all of the membership.

In an effort to turn-around the decline in membership, which is now dipping below 340, we asked AMW to see what was wanted from the Association and, as an encouragement, asked what we could do to show support for their very busy time on Operational duties. We were told that when faced with a membership fee (and let’s face it, £6 per annum is a little over 2 beers today) they asked “what’s in it for me?” In response to our idea of giving a small memento to recognise their work it was suggested that we paid for one of their new AMW shoulder flashes which all Wing members now wear on their uniforms. As there are now just 10 members currently serving on the Wing, your Council saw little merit in such a gesture on our part.

The likely demise of the Team Brief within the next 12 months, a declining membership (less than a dozen new members recruited in the last 5 years) a growing isolation from the Wing and limited interest in meeting together for the September “Big Weekend” all lead to the desire by your Council not to preside over a sad decline of the Association. We therefore propose to convene an Extraordinary Meeting some weeks after the AGM (which is held during the September “Big Weekend”) to formally disband the Association. We will of course take account of those who have paid for future years and we will mark our demise with a suitable flourish.

The current reaction to the personal invitations to attend the “Big Weekend” has been disappointing. Apart from Council Members, less that a dozen have indicated attendance at the Friday Beer Call and on the Saturday AMW Families Day. Seventy have responded to say they will not attend that weekend but we appreciate that they have completed their AGM postal voting slips. The number attending the Dinner Night in the Sergeants Mess is unlikely to exceed 100 but we will ensure that they have a lovely evening together and enjoy what might be our ‘final’ formal event. Incidentally, if you have not confirmed your attendance at the “Big Weekend,” please do so immediately.

Not everything will be lost. We will try and maintain records as up to date as possible and provide them to any others who might decide to “resurrect” the Association in the future. We will continue to support Tony Gale’s OBA Website and use it to contact friends and colleagues. We will still use e-mail to stay in touch with as many as possible and to suggest a beer call or “meet and greet” from time to time. Whilst we are unwilling to continue to try and maintain standards whilst enduring a slow death, we will continue to try to keep the flame of friendship alive and stay “Swift to Move.”

Chairman UKMAMS Association

24 July 2008



Dear All

My thanks to Tony Gale for supporting the UKMAMS Association over the years and his current offer of assistance in publishing this message on his OBA website. 

There have been several Movers who have expressed concern about my letter in the last Team Brief (reproduced above) explaining why we, the Council of the Association, thought that the time had come to call an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) to arrange the winding up of the Association.  So, with your indulgence, can I now add to that message as we have had time to reflect upon it, gauge reactions to date and discuss the ‘way ahead’ for the Association?

Where we are now

The ‘bottom line’ for many of us has been the lack of new, practical support for the running of the Association.  I have been Chairman for some 13 years and, several years ago, I called for ‘new blood’ and new ideas and asked for someone to take over the Chairmanship from me.  However, over the ensuing 4 years there has not been one volunteer and, although I have been proud and privileged to lead the Association, I am not willing to preside over its decline and fall.  Paid up Membership has fallen by about 30% in the past 3 years.  The replacement for UKMAMS, No 1 Air Mobility Wing at RAF Lyneham, is extremely busy on operations and unable to provide a replacement Editor for Team Brief or recruit new members from within the Wing.  We must also recognise that the modern RAF and No 1 AMW are very different in their tasking, priorities and attitudes from the RAF that most Association Members were part of in the 20th Century.  The outgoing OC 1 AMW believes that there is little interest in the Association from members on his Wing and suggests that we should become an Association of ex-MAMS personnel who would be invited to join the Wing from time to time; for example when they hold a Families Day.

Mick Cocker has been Editor of Team Brief for some 8 years, over 3 years longer than his commitment at the start!  Although the latest Team Brief would indeed be his last in that format, he remains willing to continue to edit and produce a Newsletter sized publication (probably less than 10 pages) in the future, mainly consisting of information for those who have retired from the Service:

  • From the 540 - looking back at past glories (thanks to Ian Berry’s work),
  • Membership news (thanks to Colin Allen and Steve Beaumont’s contributions)
  • Publication of your inputs and old memories as submitted to him in the future.


 However, unless this Newsletter can be delivered by e-mail, and only a third of our current Members have given us their e-mail addresses, there would be a cost of publication and postage to be paid for.

Below are some of the ideas which have been discussed by the Council and amongst various members in recent weeks.  There are 2 alternative solutions that we have evolved which will be discussed at the AGM and finally decided upon at the EGM. 

Alternative 1 – UKMAMS Association “Lite”

The fact remains that the UKMAMS Association Council has largely depended upon the same dedicated people serving on the Council since the Association was formed in 1991.  Although there are attractions of continuing an Association in the form of UKMAMS Association “Lite”, there would still be a fundamental requirement to appoint a Treasurer and Committee to administer payments made by members and to be accountable to them for the Association’s funds. Under Alternative 1, the Association would continue to collect subscriptions and function as follows:

  • Retain the website (and continue to cooperate with the ‘Old Bods Association’ website run by Tony Gale in Canada.)
  • Maintain records and administer the Membership as we now do, but concentrate effort on recruiting members from those who have retired from UKMAMS and RAF Service.  Membership will remain open to all Movers who have served with the RAF (as it is today) but it should be recognised that, to date, very few non-MAMS personnel have joined the Association since it was opened up to all Movers.
  • Re-write the Constitution to simplify the way the Association is run.
  • Produce a periodic Team Brief Newsletter (see above) and send it to interested former members by e-mail and surface mail.
  • Maintain liaison with No 1 AMW but run the Association separately with an all-civilian and smaller Council/Committee)
  • Elect a new Chairman, Treasurer and Membership Secretary and confirm the current volunteer for Editor of the Team Brief Newsletter.
  • Only consider retaining the Association “Lite” if the following criteria are met:
    • Membership increases by a minimum of 60 paid-up members (returning or new members) by the date of the EGM, thus restoring the membership to 400.
    • Volunteers for the appointments of Chairman, Treasurer and Membership Secretary are forthcoming before the EGM.


Alternative 2 -  UKMAMS Association “Ultra Lite”

The other alternative will disband the organisation, disperse the funds in the account and then bring together an informal group of people (possibly mostly drawn from the present Council Members) to maintain a framework of the Association, without subscriptions from Members, as follows:

  • Retain the website (and continue to cooperate with the ‘Old Bods Association’ website run by Tony Gale in Canada.)
  • Try and keep a record of members and former members on a spreadsheet, updated largely by word of mouth.
  • Produce a periodic Team Brief Newsletter (see above) and send it to interested former members by e-mail only and place it on the website.
  • Arrange the odd ‘Meet and Greet’ in Swindon/ local area/ China Fleet Club etc and perhaps the occasional dinner or more formal event from time to time.


Alternative 2 would keep the Association flame alive pending any resurgence of interest in a formal organisation in the future.  (We might have to approach friends from time to time to contribute a small sum to pay for hosting the website and retaining the domain name of UKMAMS.)  This Alternative 2 was what was envisaged when I wrote my first message to inform you about the calling of an EGM to disband the current Association.

The Way Ahead

The way ahead has been planned as follows:

  • AGM at RAF Lyneham at 1330hrs on Saturday 27 September will have the EGM and Disbandment as a special Item for discussion.  This is the opportunity for all those who want to discuss the future of the Association to come and make their opinions count.


  • Following the AGM a special Team Brief Newsletter will be sent to all Members to explain where we stand and it will notify the date and venue for the Extraordinary General Meeting.
  • The EGM will be held (on a date and venue to be decided) in January 2009This meeting will debate and decide the future of the Association.  If sufficient members attend who want to retain the Association in some form, and they offer direct and practical commitment to sustain the future organisation, then the current Council will confirm either disbandment and winding up arrangements or the formation of a replacement organisation to take the UKMAMS Association into the future. (ie Alternatives 1 or 2 discussed above and  as modified in the intervening period)


We have much to remember with pride (and some sweat!)

It is with a heavy heart that I write these words but the ‘writing has been on the wall’ for some years.  You will recall that I have discussed the future of the Association in the Team Brief on several occasions and debated it during the annual General Meetings.  I think that Members have had good value from their modest subscriptions and have enjoyed several very successful reunions as well as smaller events and the arrival through the post of the Association’s own publication - Team Brief.  I would commend to you the enthusiastic and dedicated work of your Council members.  It has been a great pleasure to work with them.  I hope that the name and reputation of UKMAMS, earned over 40 years, is remembered with respect and warm memories of good friends and colleagues.  They have done a good job for the RAF and the nation.

Very best wishes for the future

Bob Dixon

24 August 2008


From: Chris Clarke, Burlington ON
Sent: Monday, August 25, 2008 9:51 AM
Subject: RE: Message to clarify disbandment and way ahead.

It looks like the destruction of the Squadron we all served and rallied around is nearly complete.

It’s very typical of the RAF where tradition and esprit-de-corps outside flying squadrons and the Regiment seems to be actively discouraged.

The refusal to allow UKMAMS to have a Queen’s Colour in the 1980’s should have been the ‘heads up’ to us all.

Compare the RAF to the Army or Navy who continue to take heed of Churchill’s words: A love for tradition has never weakened a nation, indeed it has strengthened nations in their hour of peril.

I could never fathom why RAF leaders didn’t encourage more unit loyalty. It’s been most successful in the Services. UKMAMS had a great history and strived for professional excellence within the Movements trade. A laudable aim, yet with a stroke of a pen all that tradition and heritage was wiped out.

In my present career I have been instrumental in bringing a more cohesive identity for my Police Service by starting and running a ceremonial unit. This Unit has been very successful and I organised our own Queen’s and Service Colour presentations by the Lt. Governor of Ontario in 2003. Believe me, I have done way more drill and ceremonial work with the Police than I ever did in the RAF. My Chief of Police see’s the Honour Guard as a vehicle for projecting our ‘corporate identity’ to the community. It’s also upped our collective ‘pride in the unit’ throughout the Service. No-brainer stuff really.

These oft learned lessons seem to be lost on the RAF. It’s sad but I can see the negative attitudes within the modern Movements org. and I don’t blame the guys for it. The Movements trade has been poorly served by our leaders (with the rare exception of the few ‘transformational leaders’ such as Bob Dixon) for decades. Not slagging the stacker officers here but few have furthered the movements cause as they went up the promotional ladder.

Aircrew have looked down their noses at us since we first boarded a transport aircraft.

In the end aircrew officers become the ‘Air Chief Marshals’ running the RAF and it’s quite obvious they don’t give a shite about movers.

I would put it out there that senior officers seem to have deliberately obstructed any furtherance of UKMAMS as a squadron.
I believe the aircrew thought we were getting above ourselves.

Those of us around in the 1980’s remember ‘Rompers Green’, an aircrew written and drawn cartoon on Lyneham (aircrew) life and its many pot-shots at movers, all tongue in cheek of course but the anti-mover attitude amongst aircrew still rings true.

I have looked at the odd thread on PPRUNE and the gloves are off in their where movers get blamed for every ill in RAF life, the disdain aircrew show on that forum borders on hatred.

I don’t see any modern day ‘Bob Dixons’ around championing our cause anymore. All I see is the decay of a once proud trade, stripped of it’s UKMAMS heritage, given a bland sqn moniker and it’s personnel destined to replaced by civilians in all but operational theatres.

It’s a sad state of affairs really but I don’t see the RAF senior aircrew that run the Air Force changing the culture of aircrew supremacy anytime soon. Maybe I’m being overly pessimistic but I see little to be optimistic about in my old trade.


Chris J Clarke
Burlington, Ontario, Canada

That's it for this issue - if anyone has any suggestions about how the official UKMAMS Association can continue successfully please use this newsletter forum as a sounding board - let's bounce a few ideas around.

Have a great week!