16 November, 2001


A new member joining us this week is Pete Hopkins from Swindon, UK.

Welcome to the OBA!


From:         Bill Nangle, Victoria BC, Canada
Subject:      Re: Old Boys Briefs 110901
Date:          08 November 2001 23:06

Hi Tony,

Just read the past 4 weeks worth of OBA news all in one go, I can't believe how the OBA is growing!

I'm back on my feet, but not doing too much.  Hopefully things will sort themselves out in a month or two.  You sure do get tired of being poked and prodded by doctors!

I noticed the new pictures of Nev Whitham on the site, I was his roomie in '78 + '79, but I don't remember him being that good looking.  Are you sure those pics haven't been retouched? :-)



[Ed:  Thanks Bill,  it's great to hear from you again.  The healing process does take a long time and requires life style changes
but I suspect you've got what it takes.]


From:        Eddie Grace, Bangkok, Thailand
Subject:     Roger Blow
Date:         09 November 2001 08:27

Hi Tony,

I was at Abingdon in the late sixties and shared the occasional glass of the amber nectar with Roger Blow. I hadn't heard anything from him since those days until last week when I had an e mail from him. He spotted my address in the UKMAMS Association list. I have replied to his mail and forwarded the OBA Newsletter to him so hopefully I will hear from him soon.


Eddie Grace

[Ed:  Thanks Eddie - Roger Blow remains elusive this end!]


From:        David Powell, Princes Risborough, UK
Subject:     Blast from the past
Date:          Fri, 9 Nov 2001 10:56:45 -0500

Dear Tony

Thanks for your recent e-mail about the OBA. The dust has settled sufficiently to give it the attention it deserves.

Meanwhile, I have logged on to the OBA site - which is truly awesome!  So far I have only had time to dip my toe in the memories.  Also phone and access charges are still a tad higher this side of the pond!  Excuse my web ignorance, but is it possible to download the memories to savour and enjoy slowly?

I have also exchanged e-mails with Jack Riley - who was my senior instructor at Cranwell.

In fact I had F troop from Summer 67 through to May 69 when Roger Wood took over.  Before you arrived, for most of my time the gang comprised Bob Turner, Jack Murray and Taff Price.  I caught up with Taff and Bob at a MAMS reunion s few years ago.  Jack went off to join the Army and appears to have disappeared.  The Snecs included Eric Batty, I've forgotten who the Flt Sgt was - he lived out at Grove, damn senior moments!

Paddy (Al) Storey often hitched a ride on our tasks.  He was later to tell me that, there was an always an air of interesting and usually entertaining uncertainty about  F team  tasks.  I think this was a compliment.  The team leaders in my time (the ones that I can remember) included Boss Bill Jacobs, Ops  Jock Mackay,   then John Furney, Charlie Clarke, Robbie James, Martin Coombes, Jimmy Stewart, John Beadman and Pete Wiblin.

John and I were vaguely similar in appearance (when apart) and once confused the hell out of a  young Army Chalk Commander who couldn't work out how the same Movements Officer had loaded him in Malta and off-loaded him in the UK!  We left him confused.

I was also lucky to get a second bite of MAMS as the last OC Gulf MAMF in 1971.  I still have the trim sheet of the last aircraft (a Belfast) when we lowered the flag,  closed RAF Sharjah, and climbed aboard.

I stayed on in uniform until 1993.  For me my best and happiest tour by a mile was the two years I spent as a team leader on UKMAMS at RAF Abingdon.

Since 1993 I have become a sort of expensive odd-job man.  Although with the recession beginning to bite, work has dropped off - giving me time to catch up with mail such as yours.

Looking back I did seem to accumulate adventures, some of which  I have  started submitting for the UKMAMS association Team Brief.

Others included:

Being shot at (by my own side) in the Malayan jungle.

Being smuggled into Thailand in a dug out canoe (by the Chief of Police).

Being paid by the Queen to stay in a brothel in Turkey for an airfield recce.

Giving Terry Waite a lift back to London after a seminar at Oxford.

Wearing my uniform for the last time - under the glitter ball in the NCOs club at HQSouth, Naples.

Airlifting explosives into Salalah.

Going as the RAAF's mover to Lea in New Guinea during an RAF detachment to Townsville (I had got bored with the FAP and the RAAF were a bit short of Herc qualified movers!).

Driving a steam locomotive in Poland - at 65 mph on a commuter service from Wotszen to Potsdam.

Meeting the respected principal of a local college and  being able to point out that we had met 30 years previously and he had been wearing a dress at the time, and so had I.  We had been the ugly sisters in Cinderella at Changi!

Waking up in Hospital in Malta (in 1968) with doc saying 'we're not quite sure what the cure is - you're the first live one we've had!'  - I had swigged some CTC (used for cleaning the chinograph ops board) in mistake for lemonade (I had just been run over by an Army helicopter and was a bit upset and not concentrating on what I was doing)  Bob Turner saved my life by giving me a pint of milk as a chaser.

I was at an RAF Movers reunion last week and came across one Norrie Radcliffe - who I had not seen for 30 years.  Norrie's opening was "It's CTC Powell!"

Basically my RAF life was in two parts.  The first part was very much on the move.

Then in 1972 I met and married Sue and after our tour at Little Rissington in the Cotswolds, I became a Whitehall warrior, apart from a couple of stints up the hill behind us at Strike Command and our year at Staff College at Bracknell, my patch was Whitehall.  We lived in our own little house at Haywards Heath from 1975-82.  Spent 1982 in MQs at Staff College at Bracknell and then moved Prices Risborough where we are now on our second home.

Sue works (far too hard and loving every minute) as the PA/Medical Secretary for the senior plastics surgeon at Stoke Mandeville Hospital across at Aylesbury.  Her 'man' Peter Budney has a tremendous reputation working with cleft lip children.

Son Andrew (26) is in IT sales working in High Wycombe and recently moved to live with his girl friend - above her father's pub in Risborough!

Kathryn (22) has my early wanderlust (so far has worked in Bristol, Australia, Canary Islands London and France) but appears to be settling down as a PA working for the on line auction house QXL in London.

My most recent development is that I am just about to start out on a new journey through recently becoming a Reiki Healer - a form of assisted self-energy healing.  We discovered Reiki first through seeing it used to cure our cat from a severe stroke about 3 years ago and more recently on myself when I foolishly decided to have heart failure a couple of years ago.  Reiki pulled me round (greatly helped by some very clever pills) and I've now responded to the need to become a healer myself.

Thank you again for wakening old happy memories.


David Powell
Bledlow Road
Princes Risborough
Bucks HP27 9NG

[Ed: Thanks Dave, there's a lot of interesting stories there - I'll be looking forward to reading them when you get the opportunity.  In the meantime I'm looking forward to the December issue of Team Brief.  I am familiar with Reiki, having had it performed on me - and it works!]


From:       Jack Riley, Urangan, Qld., Australia
Subject:    Re: Old Boys Briefs 110901
Date:        10 November 2001 01:24

Hi Tony've done it again!  David Powell and I are happily bringing one another up to date on our misdeeds. He was one of my "young gentlemen" at Cranwell (all gentlemen wear a hat. My lot chose bowlers which seemed appropriate, especially on the cricket field).  I was delighted to find that he became your Team Leader thus closing the circle.

Subject Two. I came across Lucky (Sqn Ldr Douglas Luck), who was well known and respected but can't add to what is already known.  I have a feeling he may have appeared in one of the many books published after the war about the exploits of Bomber Command.

Subject Three.  Although I am not a member of the UKMAMS Association perhaps I may be allowed a general comment or three.Your website caters for MAMS admirably.  Yet many MAMS members started life as "straight" movers.I would have thought  the idea of having a Movers Association an excellent one.  Then a link from your website perhaps ?

After months of dry weather, drought relief and bush fires the Cricket Tests have started and it's bloody raining....



[Ed:  Who would have thunk it Jack - it really is a small world!  'aint the Internet wunnerful?  As far as Sqn Ldr Luck is concerned, I haven't received any further information myself to date.]


From:     Scott Innes, Worcester, UK
Subject:  Re: Special Request
Date:      13 November 2001 09:51

Did anyone else get a begging letter from some chappie in Brazil wanting XL t-shirts in woodland green cammo and other stuff? Cheeky sod! Didn't want much.

The latest Mystery Photo  - is someone retiring from the Movements School?  Probably a WO. I'm trying to remember who was on the school in Jul-Nov 87 but his name escapes me......


[Ed:  I also received the same begging letter - twice.  I think this XL Brazilian is probably sitting around in his XL underwear trying to gather enough inventory to furnish his one-man army.    The Mystery Photo? Close!  but no cigar...]


Well, that's it for this week.

Have a great weekend

Best regards