03 October 2003


New members joining us recently are:

Mark Haining from Akrotiri, Cyprus

Mick Press from Norfolk, UK

Paul Byrne from West Wickham, UK

Welcome to the OBA!


From: Ian Berry, Swindon, UK
Date: 29 Aug 2003 03:42
Subject: Re: PPRUNE Forum


Sorry to disappoint you but I'm neither of them although I do know who they are as well as your handle! You'll also notice that it's the 'Flying Caterers' who start to get nasty and lower the tone. Some have tried to calm it down but the WSO's are in a feeding frenzy. No - if our guys start losing the argument then I will get involved...



From: Peter Donald, High Wycombe, UK
Date: 30 Aug 2003 13:52
Subject: Re: OBB 082203

I've been reading with great interest the stories of Salalah and Masirah. Oh if they were only still there as a posting!! Does anyone recall the falling of the forklift from the pontoon in Masirah when it was being driven by a certain Paddy Gallagher? The RFA had been delivering stores and Paddy was helping out. Early 75 I seem to recall. 

Also, funny seeing the picture of Troop Smith from Ian - he isn't that slim anymore, but still slaving away at BA in the Valuables dept of World Cargo.

Anyone know what happened to Al Warwick-Moore by the way? 

Thanks and keep up the great site, 



From: David Howley, Melton Mowbray, UK
Date: 01 Sep 2003 07:28
Subject: Re: OBB 082903 York TS798

Hi Tony,

In reply to John Holloway's comment on the York at Cosford the serial TS798 is genuine - but according to Air Britain serials listing is one of 15 diverted for civil use. A weird number to use for an aircraft in a branch of the RAF Museum - I wonder what "blessed individual" came up with that one!




Chas Cormack was kind enough to share the following with us:


As a senior citizen was driving down the freeway, his car phone rang. Answering, he heard his wife's voice urgently warning him,

"Herman, I just heard on the news that there's a car going the wrong way on Interstate 77. Please be careful!"

"Hell," said Herman, "It's not just one car. It's hundreds of them!"



Three retirees, each with a hearing loss, were playing golf one fine March day.

One remarked to the other, "Windy, isn't it?"

"No," the second man replied, "it's Thursday."

And the third man chimed in, "So am I. Let's have a beer."



One evening a family brings their frail, elderly mother to a nursing home and leaves her, hoping she will be well cared for. The next morning, the nurses bathe her, feed her a tasty breakfast, and set her in a chair at a window overlooking a lovely flower garden. She seems OK, but after a while she slowly starts to lean over sideways in her chair.

Two attentive nurses immediately rush up to catch her and straighten her up. Again she seems OK, but after a while she starts to tilt to the other side. The nurses rush back and once more bring her back upright. This goes on all morning. Later the family arrives to see how the old woman is adjusting to her new home.

"So Ma, how is it here? Are they treating you all right?" they ask.

"It's pretty nice," she replies. "Except they won't let you fart."



80-year old Bessie bursts into the rec room at the retirement home.

She holds her clenched fist in the air and announces, "Anyone who can guess what's in my hand can have sex with me tonight!!"

An elderly gentleman in the rear shouts out, "An elephant?"

Bessie thinks a minute and says, "Close enough."



Three sisters, ages 92, 94, and 96 live in a house together. One night the 96 year old draws a bath. She puts one foot in and pauses. She yells down the stairs, "Was I getting in or out of the bath?"

The 94-year-old yells back, "I don't know. I'll come up and see."

She starts up the stairs and pauses. Then, she yells, "Was I going up the stairs or down?"

The 92 year old is sitting at the kitchen table having tea, listening to her sisters. She shakes her head and says, "I sure hope I never get that forgetful." She knocks on wood for good measure.

She then yells, "I'll come up and help both of you as soon as I see who's at the door." 


From: Charles Collier, Marlborough, UK
Date: 02 Sep 2003 15:42
Subject: Working Situation

Hello Tony, 

For the last two weeks and this week I'm working starting as an agency driver at 0530 for Benson's Beds in Wootten Bassett delivering bedding to all sites in the south of England. So, my usual story will not be coming this week but I have an amusing anecdote from my American cousin.



[Ed:  Seems like this was published in a Brief a couple of years ago - oh well, it's good reading!]

The US standard railroad gauge (distance between the rails) is 4 feet, 8.5 inches. That's an exceedingly odd number.

Why was that gauge used?

Because that's the way they built them in England, and English expatriates built the US Railroads.

Why did the English build them like that?

Because the first rail lines were built by the same people who built the pre-railroad tramways, and that's the gauge they used.

Why did "they" use that gauge then?

Because the people who built the tramways used the same jigs and tools that they used for building wagons, which used that wheel spacing.

Okay! Why did the wagons have that particular odd wheel spacing?

Well, if they tried to use any other spacing, the wagon wheels would break on some of the old, long distance roads in England, because that's the spacing of the wheel ruts.

So who built those old rutted roads?

Imperial Rome built the first long distance roads in Europe (and England) for their legions. The roads have been used ever since.

And the ruts in the roads?

Roman war chariots formed the initial ruts, which everyone else had to match for fear of destroying their wagon wheels. Since the chariots were made for Imperial Rome, they were all alike in the matter of wheel spacing.

The United States standard railroad gauge of 4 feet, 8.5 inches is derived from the original specifications for an Imperial Roman war chariot. And bureaucracies live forever.

So the next time you are handed a spec and told "We have always done it that way" and wonder what horse's ass came up with that, you may be exactly right, because the Imperial Roman war chariots were made just wide enough to accommodate the back ends of two war horses.

Now the twist to the story...

When you see a Space Shuttle sitting on its launch pad, there are two big booster rockets attached to the sides of the main fuel tank. These are solid rocket boosters, or SRBs. The SRBs are made by Thiokol at their factory in Utah. The engineers who designed the SRBs would have preferred to make them a bit fatter, but the SRBs had to be shipped by train from the factory to the launch site.

The railroad line from the factory happens to run through a tunnel in the mountains. The SRBs had to fit through that tunnel. The tunnel is slightly wider than the railroad track, and the railroad track, as you now know, is about as wide as two horses'

So, a major Space Shuttle design feature of what is arguably the world's most advanced transportation system was determined over two thousand years ago by the width of a horse's ass.

And you thought being a horse's ass wasn't important ??


From: John Holloway, Shrewsbury, UK
Date: 03 Sep 2003 03:45
Subject: Fwd: Enquiry

Hi Tony

I should have paid more attention when I went over to Cosford last week. There are a lot more exhibits that have disappeared than I noted.

At least the TSR2 is safe for the moment.




From: Murdo Macleod, Newport-on-Tay, UK
Date: 13 Sep 2002 03:52
Subject: E-mail Address

Hi Tony,

Please take note that from the 16th of September my email address will revert back to good old BT as Murdo is moving up to the space age with Broadband.

It has finally been acknowledged that I do not live out in the woods just because my little hamlet is three miles from a city.
If you could be so kind as to list me as such on your next bulletin. My address will be as before, 

You've been quiet of late, or am I missing something.




A decision on the £13 billion contract to manage the Royal Air Force's new fleet of air-to-air refuelling aircraft is not expected until at least December, says a bid consortium backed by BAE Systems, Serco and Boeing.

Keith Archer-Jones, chief executive of the Tanker Team consortium, said the process was still undergoing "risk" assessment at the Ministry of Defence investment appraisal board.

The Tanker Team, which has BAE, Boeing, Serco and Spectrum Capital as equity partners and Smiths Group, British Airways and Marshall Aerospace as partners, also revealed yesterday that it has secured financing from Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds TSB, HBoS and NAB.

The Tanker Team, which is proposing to use former BA-owned 767s for the new tankers, is competing with the Air Tanker consortium, which is backed by Airbus-owner EADS, Rolls-Royce and Cobham.


From: Dave Cromb, Brisbane Qld., Australia
Date: 13 Sep 2003 19:13
Subject: Re: AWOL again!

Tell u what, I'm getting a bit p****d off wif your lack of support!!

I know it must be terribly difficult for serving members to contribute, but as for the uvvers, myself inc, there is no excuse. Bloody complacency that's what it is in reality. I'm inclined to work my way thru the members and ask a few straight questions. It's the same wif MAMS ASSOC, same people contributing.

I look back wif pride at my service career, or lack of whichever way u want to view it. And I get a buzz passing on news for the younger members to read, or look at. Reading articles submitted by the more senior members, places they have been to, RAF bases that no longer exist amaze me, and educate me.

It's called the treadmill of life, the thirst for knowledge. My son Chris never stops asking q's about where I've been and what I've done. I'm sure there are many uvvers "out there" who harbour the same feelings, do u agree?. Course u do that's why u conceived the OBA. 

I regret not having the wealth of material to select from to send to you, but I do try to give you something on a regular basis. If everybody adopted that philosophy you would be inundated wif articles. Sorry to ramble on buddy, but that's me, that's how I feel & fink.

Your comments awaited.

Cheers, DC


From: Jim Aitken, Brisbane Qld., Australia
Date: 17 Sep 2003 05:38
Subject: Here's something interesting...

Aoccdrnig to smoe rseecrah at an Elingsh Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht frist and lsat ltteer is in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae we dno't raed ervey lteter by itslef but the wrod as a wlohe.


Jim Aektin


Tragedy at the 50th Entry Reunion

Just last weekend, former members of the 50th Entry Boy Entrants gathered at the Marriott Hotel in Swindon to celebrate 40 years, almost to the date, of their joining up on the 25th September, 1963.   I was also a member of that elite group, but was unable to attend.

Standing Left to Right: Dave Moss, George Lynes, Bill Kearney, Keith Wilson, Nog Norris, Bobby Atcheson, John Philps, Tosh Dunphy, Bernie Kilcullen, Pete Gulliver, Bernie Connolly, Dick Campion, Chalky White, Ray (Dinger) Bell, Connor Nannery, Bernie Hurdsfield, Alex Angus, Stan Seggar.

Sitting Left to Right: Phil Clarke, Stan Shepperd, Tom Elliot, Tommy Mulligan, Cpl Mick McCarthy (Trade Instructor), Mike (Dino) Dean, Alan Liptrot, Bob Chadwick, Phil Todd.

By all of the various accounts I have received the evening was a tremendous success, much better than the organisers had hoped for.  

Alan Liptrot said, "I've never been in the company of so many overweight old gits in all my life; neither have I ever been in the company of so many of the Entry with nobody arguing, falling over or doing other things associated with alcohol intake. All perfect gentlemen, but I'm assured that it really was our old lot."

On the Sunday morning following the celebrations, Phil Todd had just arisen and was making his wife, Marilyn, a cup of tea, when he was suddenly struck down by a heart attack and died almost immediately.

John Philps wrote, "I personally have lost one of my greatest friends, we have been great buddies since the day we joined up, I am sure you will all join with me in wishing his wife Marilyn our deepest sympathy. At breakfast on the Sunday morning many of you kindly made donations for a floral tribute, this, I assure you will be done according to Mrs Todd`s wishes. Anybody who has not made a donation and wishes to do so, would they please forward a cheque to me asap. A card has already been sent to Mrs Todd on behalf of "C FLT 50 ENTRY RAF HEREFORD"

Funeral arrangements: Monday 6th October 1:40 pm at Southampton Crematorium, East Chapel, Southampton. Marilyn has requested "family flowers only" and has asked that the money you all have so kindly donated be passed on in the way of a donation to Phil's chosen charity which is the "Wessex Heartbeat Foundation"


From: Jack Riley, Urangan Qld., Australia
Date: 20 Sep 2003 20:54

Dear Team, past and present

Some of you may have wondered why the Briefs have been a little thin on the ground of late. It seems likely that many of you are heavily engaged in world events whilst others are probably enjoying Summer holidays and other unusual pursuits!!

We are fortunate in having one of the World's great websites (a quick look at some of the others would soon persuade the unbelievers) and the World's Greatest Webmaster. (The Australians do not readily dole out accolades to ' foreigners.') However even he cannot make bricks without straw.

This, then, is a plea especially from the older generation. We rely on you to keep us up with the play and we so much enjoy hearing from, and of, you. It helps us to feel still wanted. Sometimes our experience and contacts can bring influence to bear when problems arise.

It would be a disaster if our association and its website should fold simply because we are not putting our twopennyworth in. Please, then, stir your stumps and fire off to Tony news of happenings in your corner of the world. Remind us of things that happened in the past. Amuse us with fun things which come your way. Moan if you must but DON'T just sit there and expect it to all to happen without you.


Jack Riley 


From: Chris Clarke, Burlington ON, Canada
Date: 21 Sep 2003 09:52
Subject: The PPRUNE Forum

Hey Tony!

I checked out the web site that Martin Liggett talked about on his last post. I got so mad a rant just flowed forth - I joined the web site and posted a reply.

Here it is.

Titled “Movers vs Loadies, the feudal struggle”

There's some lovely mud over here...

Reading the PPRUNE web site on Movers Vs Loadies really kind of sickened me. It brought me back to the bad times in the RAF that I’d mostly put in the back of my mind.

As I scrolled through the sanctimonious diatribes and the blatant verbal ‘looking down the nose’ of most Airmen Aircrew contributors, I know I made the right choice in leaving the RAF after ten years of being trodden on by aircrew officers and plastic Sgt Loadies.

It is a shame that teamwork still takes such a back burner in the RAF to individual posturing and one-upmanship which is so valued in the Military.

The RAF still operates on the British Empire principal that the lowest British subject is still superior to the native he has conquered. 

In this case it’s the lofty Loadie lording it over the poor mover who left school when he was 16 and is trying to serve his country the best way he can.

When the lofty Loadie serves the meal to the Captain he in turn looks down his nose at Sgt Lofty, and so the never ending saga goes on.

The feudal society enshrined in the RAF. (And other British Military Arms)

Bravo. Fine principals indeed.

Some of you will say its just banter but those who have served any time in blue with SAC props will know that these prima-donnas really do act this badly.

I’ve been a civvy cop for sometime now and that is real teamwork. 

The bosses all started in the job as Constables. We respect them for it.

Nobody thinks that they are any better than the new guy just starting his or her first day.

We all eat at the same table, there are no exclusive ‘messes’ and advice is freely given and problems solved with the help of others. Sounds almost idyllic eh? Compared to life in the RAF, it’s a totally different planet.

To those disillusioned with the status quo of everybody strutting over somebody, take heart, it’s not like that in the real world.

Remember the old song. Don’t buy a telly, don’t buy a car, save all your money and PVR. 

I’ll stay in Canada (I won't tell you how much I earn and how much it buys in the Dominion, that would make me like you sad types.)

Chris (Pig ) Clarke
Burlington, Ontario

I can hear the sarcastic Lofties of the world stirring as I type..... (yawn)


I feel better now…..


From: Jack Riley, Urangan Qld., Australia
Date: 24 Sep 2003 19:26
Subject: Burma

Dear Tony,

In the early 1950's I returned to Burma, where I had been during the war, as an Adviser with the British Services Mission. Here I trained Burma Air Force officers and helped them set up an Air Movements Organisation from scratch.

I quickly came to know, like and respect them, as also the local civilians.

At that time the country was beset by a host of minor wars and insurgencies. Our hope was to see a free, peaceful and democratic way of life for them.

It has saddened me to see that, fifty years on, this has still not come to pass. I suppose I could state my position as not anti-Government but rather pro-people.

It seems just possible that someone who reads this might be able to help bring this about. To my mind a good start would be to free Daw Aung San Suu Kyii and to help her bring about the democratic government which Burma's people chose so long ago.

Jack Riley 


Now that Uday & Qusay have been eliminated, a lot of the lesser-known Hussein family members are coming to the attention of American authorities.

Among the brothers:
Sooflay ............the restaurateur
Guday................the half-Australian brother
Huray...............the sports fanatic
Sashay..............the gay brother
Kuntay & Kintay....the twins from the African mother
Sayhay...................the baseball player
Ojay........................the stalker/murderer
Gulay......................the singer/entertainer
Ebay.......................the internet czar
Biliray......................the country music star
Ecksray..................the radiologist
Puray......................the blender factory owner
Regay.....................the half-Jamaican brother
Tupay......................the one with bad hair

Among the sisters:
Lattay.....................the coffee shop owner
Bufay......................the 300-pound sister
Dushay...................the clean sister
Phayray..................the zoo worker in the gorilla house
Sapheway..............the grocery store owner
Ollay........................the half-mexican sister
Gudlay....................the prostitute

Finally, there is Oyvey, but the family doesn't like to talk about him.


From: John Dunlop, Aberdeen , UK
Date: 29 Sep 2003 03:08
Subject: Back Home

Hi Tony, 

I have been away for three weeks touring with my wife Margaret and on return to base I find I am not receiving your Briefs. I have renewed my computer and wonder if this has had anything to do with it? 

Incidentally, I have just bought my first metal detector and am seeking basic advice on this subject. Is there anyone out there who can help? 

I also would like to thank all the guys who sent me info on Sunderland flying boats, many thanks - George Strachan was very grateful. How is my old pal Murdo MacLeod ? 

All the best to everyone

Jack (Jock) Dunlop


From: John Wickham, Ajman, United Arab Emirates
Date: 28 Sep 2003 02:16
Subject: Sharjah 2003

Please find attached a few photo’s of Sharjah circa 2003.  A few of the old sweats wont recognise the place!!
"The Old Runway"  is the old runway!! The Arabs just turned it into a dual carriageway, the creek is at the bottom of it and ATC is on the right hand side at the end of the concrete wall. The photo to the left is Sea Movements! 

If anyone wishes to visit the place I live in Ajman, 6 miles from Sharjah and would be happy to accommodate them.

Best regards

John Wickham


From: Ian Berry, Swindon, UK
Date: 29 Sep 2003 11:09
Subject: The last Beverley is under threat

In the November (yes-November) issue of Flypast Magazine it states that the last remaining Beverley is under serious threat of the 'chop'. 

It seems the Army Transport Museum went bust last year and the 5 permanent staff were made redundant. The roof of the building is in dire need of repair and there's no money. Most of the exhibits were on loan from other museums and have already been re-claimed. It seems the site is being considered for industry and so a museum on site is not an option. Rumours stated that the Confederate Air Force (now known as the Commemorative Air Force) were ineterested but this seems to be a spoof. The Yorkshire Air Museum (YAM) at Elvington is showing great interest but it will cost £100,000 to dismantle, transport and re-assemble at the YAM. The Liquidator will present his options in October. The Flypast Editor quite rightly states that any paintings under threat are quickly rescued but our Aviation Heritage is perilously vulnerable. There are also two pages of Beverley photographs in this issue, mostly of aircraft that had returned to Shawbury awaiting the 'chop!'.

If anyone sees Bedouin Bob Turner whilst he is on his three month European Tour will they please pass this info on.



From: Jim Aitken, Brisbane Qld., Australia
Date 01 Oct 2003 12:30
Subject: What's up Doc?

G'day Tony

I became aware of the reason for the 'scarcity' of our OBA Briefs through contact from John Holloway. I have been "offline' for 3 weeks due to a house move and our local telecom company's stuff up. I fully expected to find a backlog of newsy Briefs when I was able to re-connect.

I just did a quick count of our 'membership' and I made it around 260 registered subscribers. It is truly amazing that from that pool you only get a couple of offerings over several weeks. Running down the lists of names it is obvious that some of the membership is content to sit back and be entertained but not prepared to offer any input. There only seems to be a handful of regular contributors whose names appear each newsletter. Considering the time and effort you put in, firstly to establish this association and the ongoing maintenance of the site, I can only say what a poor showing. 

John and myself are from the 'early days' of Air Movements and our "well" of interesting chit chat has all but run dry. I personally would love to hear from some of the others who have still not contributed, as to their careers. There must be hundreds of untold stories and anecdotes that we could all enjoy. Let us hope that the apathy of the many does not affect the pleasure of the few. As John so rightly put it to me... Use it ..or lose it.

Hey....... I just noticed recently that Lyneham Old Boys Assn (LOBA) now has a website. Did you know?

Winter is on the way so perhaps "stay cool" is not appropriate !!

Cheers mate

Jim Aitken


A young Iraqi footballer had been recruited by Liverpool FC. On his first match he played a brilliant game and was the hero of the match saving them from defeat and winning the cup.

He decided to phone home and tell his Mother of his success . She was of course pleased about her son's progress.

"What sort of day have you had mum", he asked.

"Well first we were burgled, then your Dad was mugged and later your two sisters were raped," replied his Mother.

"I'm sorry to hear that" said her Son.

"Sorry?.............  SORRY?...... It was YOU who wanted us to come to Liverpool to live "


Well, that's it for this week

Have a great weekend!

Best regards