(Illustration by David Howley)

21 December 2001


From:     Jack Riley, Urangan, Qld., Australia jjriley@australis.aunz.com

Date:      05 December 2001 05:10
Subject:  Happy Hours

To all our members, new, old, young, or young in heart, frozen or far flung, Judy joins me in hoping that you and your families will have a peaceful and happy time at Christmas or, for the foreigners among us, at Hogmanay.

See you all in the New Year.

Jack Riley


From:     John Holloway, Shrewsbury, UK Jhy122@btinternet.com
Date:      10 December 2001 13:25
Subject:   Seasons Greetings

Hi Tony

Just a line to say how much I’ve enjoyed this last year looking forward each Friday to your Brief  with all the memories and up to date news. I almost feel that I know some of the regulars who contribute to it.

Like you I missed out in a matter of days on the GSM; had I left Aden on Feb 1st 57 instead of the 21st January I should have had one, however I don’t really mind I was glad to get away from the place.

Best regards, Season's Greetings to all and here’s looking to another fine year.

Cheers for now

John Holloway


From:      Andy Kay, Stafford, VA, USA andrewkay2000@msn.com
Date:       14 December 2001 07:26
Subject:    Season's Greetings

Wishing all my old friends from my days in Air Movements, a very Merry Christmas and a safe and prosperous New Year.

Hoping the UKMAMS-OBA goes from strength to strength in 2002 -- that weekly e-mail with all the news is always enjoyed!

Andy Kay,
Stafford Virginia.



From:      Bobby Atcheson, London, UK Robert.Atcheson@CliffordChance.com
Date:       14 December 2001 08:03
Subject:   Roll of Honour Addition

I was wondering why Bob Davies' name still hasn't appeared on the MBE list.  Bob himself wouldn't care,  but as one of his old friends I'd certainly like to see it there, especially with the SAC next to his name.  Quite an achievement I'd say!

Best wishes,


[Ed: I would love to put it in myself Bobby, but the Roll of Honour criteria states: "for all those personnel who have earned honours and awards whilst serving on UKMAMS in its current form or any of the former FEAF, AFME/MEAF or NEAF equivalents."  You are absolutely right though, as CEO of Meggitt Defence Systems, Bob Davies has apparently done a tremendous amount for the economy of the UK, and I guess the fact that he's a multi-multi millionaire has nothing to do with it <grin>  not too shabby for an ex-SAC MAMS Commando!!]


From:      Pete Underwood, NS, Canada peter.underwood@ns.sympatico.ca
Date:       14 December 2001 08:24
Subject:   Re: Old Boys Briefs 121401

Hi Tony,

Still keeping up the good work I see.

Re the Roll of Honour, you can add my name to those who received the GSM clasp "South Arabia", I also got the "Radfan" clasp, and was actually there!!  I have received a message from Derek Clayton who was my team mate on "Charlie" Team in 1964-66. The first contact since Changi in mid 1968.

Re Gordy Gourdie's comments on the Radfan clasp, I am pretty sure that more than two were actually there, there were at least two UKMAMS  teams were deployed to Thumier in June/July 1964 and were there for sufficient time to qualify for the clasp.

Best wishes for a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all MAMS personnel past and present


[Ed: Thanks Peter.  I need your "last 3" (That would be RAF and not Canadian Navy!) and when you write to Derek please invite him to join the OBA]


From:      Norrie Radcliffe, Ramsey, IOM, UK normar@enterprise.net
Date:       14 December 2001 12:39
Subject:   Mystery Photograph Suggestions

Greetings from the Isle of Man.

Re the mystery photograph - Bob Thacker is correctly identified, however Ben Johnson is the figure on the left. I was the MAMS officer on Hellenic Express at the time. Quite a feather in the MAMS cap was the Don Wickham mess tent, on Day One come evening, the American contingent were still building a Fort Knox to house their messing facilities, whilst MAMS already had a couple of tents lashed together, a stove going, and food being served.

As the exercise wore on the daily demands on our kitchen were at least trebled when the Americans realised just how organised things were. Don and Ken Browne suggested the most reasonable concession would be to let our brothers in arms pay their way, this they did. Very soon a daily shopping trip to the market in Thessaloniki was organised and the menu was extensive. A multi burner cooker was bought locally and the good old US of A financed us to the hilt.

On completion of the exercise Don was the proud owner of multi burner stove, whilst several pots and pans were up for grabs - the kitty (to which MAMS did not need to contribute) was fairly shared and a good time was had by all.  Those comprising the MAMS contingent were: Tony Barrell, Dave Eggleton, Don Wickham, Ken Browne, Ben Johnson, Tony Pyne, Colin Eyre, Pete Vane (engineer) Dave Bell, Hugh Curran, Jim Gallagher, Bob Thacker, others involved during the ex were Paul Knight, Alan Pratt, Jim Marchant, plus a visit from Gurney Slade and Brian Morgan. I will send you a copy of a cartoon drawn by Tony Pyne at the time.

Cheers and best wishes to you and all movers, ex or operative.

Norrie Radcliffe.

[Ed:  Maybe my memory is suffering a little here, but I too was on that exercise.  I recall the first night or two we were in tents, but  then the creepy crawlies got to us and so we changed our accommodations to one of the hotels in Thessaloniki.  I do recall that on the last night we took over the kitchen in the hotel and prepared a dinner for the hotel staff.  There was lots of wine and song, and at the end the traditional dance where all the dishes were smashed on the floor!]


From:       Phil Clarke, Vienna, Austria ClarkP@laudaair.com
Date:        14 December 2001 14:27
Subject:    Very Interesting

Hi Mate,

Hope this gets to you ok / From The Mail on Sunday, December 9th, 2001:

"New recruits from the ranks may not even need 2 GCSEs to be a pilot, says RAF"

"Top Guns with no exam passes"

By Bob Graham - Defence Correspondent

Britain's 'Top Gun' pilots could soon be recruited from the ranks with little or no academic qualifications.

In a new initiative due to begin next year, the RAF will drop it's minimum requirements for internal candidates wishing to become officers from 2 A-levels & 5 GCSEs, including maths and science.

Instead, under the Internal Promotion Scheme, those already in the Air Force will only need 2 GCSEs.  And a spokesman at the MOD confirmed yesterday: 'That may not even be necessary for the right candidate.

'For those within the Service it will depend on what they have already been doing and what they want to achieve.'

However, new applicants who want to be one of the 500 recruited annually to RAF Cranwell in Lincs to become a Pilot Officer will still require the 2 A Levels and 5 GCSEs.

Civilians who want to become RAF Officers in the engineering, medical or educational branches will still need to have a degree.

And those from the 'ordinary ranks' will go on 'lifestyle courses', including ballroom dancing and etiquette, to 'knock off any rough edges'.

Already more than 39,000 RAF Service personnel in the 'other ranks' have been told of the new 'flexible' educational requirements.

One senior source at the MOD said last night: 'In the past few years there has been an awareness among recruitment officers that already within the RAF there are young men and women who are more than capable of being pushed forward to become officers, even pilots.  The only thing that has been holding them back was their lack of academic qualifications.

'We're moving towards the view that it is far more important to have experience of Service life than perhaps an extensive knowledge of a subject like Greek mythology.'

The new scheme has been met with opposition from the 'old guard' officers.  But, said the source:  'This is going ahead no matter what they feel about rubbing shoulders with less well educated types in the Mess.

'This is all about whether or not the person can do the job properly, not about how many exams they passed in their mid-teens.'


Well mate, how about that there then?  It would be nice if you could forward this to a few of the bolshier old boys (Pig?), so we can have their comments in the next brief.

I just thought it was interesting to see the RAF being dragged kicking and screaming into April 1918, a few years late.  I wonder how many millions have been saved in the mob by some young erk or older NCO, who after having a few pints in the Malcolm Club has gone back to his billet and invented the best widget since the Sopwith Camel.

I look at some of your photos on the site of our guys outside billets, messes, working on aeroplanes etc, and reflect on the talent that the RAF has allowed to lay fallow.  I also look at some of the amazing civilian careers that have been carved because of the lack of recognition, and then I really want to weep!

A note for Pig: Do you think the 'lifestyle course' mentioned above will include elocution lessons to knock off the edges of our Lancs, Yorks, Geordie, Brummie, Taff, Jock, Paddy, Scouse etc accents?  You know - those little things that make us all individuals!

Anyway - enough.

Thanks again for all your hard work - the site looks better by the day

Cheers Phil

[Ed:  I did copy the above to Pig Clark, but unfortunately no response was received as yet.]


From:       Pete Underwood, NS, Canada peter.underwood@ns.sympatico.ca
Date:        15 December 2001 07:34
Subject:    Last 3 etc.


My last three was "559". I will be in touch with Derek Clayton this weekend and will pass the message.  Best wishes to you and your family for Christmas and the New Year.

Yours Aye  (That's Navy Talk!)



From:      The Editor the-editor@the-ex-forces-network.co.uk
Date:       14 December 2001 16:48
Subject:   Royal Star & Garter Project

The project is called Odyssey Timeship and it helps raise funds for ex-service people in the Royal Star & Garter home. The initiative involves submitting the stories of current and ex-service people on or off the internet and collecting them in order to store them in a time capsule for future generations to read.

The website will explain more, at http://www.odysseytimeship.com

Best Regards

Raymond "Ray" Day
The Ex-Forces Network


From:     Pete Underwood, NS, Canada peter.underwood@ns.sympatico.ca
Date:      15 December 2001 09:41
Subject:  Re: Roll of Honour


Hi, it's me again. It suddenly dawned on me that I received an AOC in C's Commendation in the New Years  Honours List for 1967. I also received a letter from Sqn.Ldr. Bill Jacobs advising me of my award and also that Sgts.Clayton and Earl had received AOC's Commenations and that Squadron Leader Spiers and Flight Lieutenant Healy also received (unspecified awards).

I have sent a message to Derek Clayton advising him of the OBA website and urging him to sign up.


Peter Underwood

[Ed:  Thanks Peter - looking forward to receiving Derek's app.]


From:      Scott Innes, Worcester, UK Scott.Innes@worcsacute.wmids.nhs.uk
Date:       17 December 2001 09:46
Subject:   Mystery Photograph Suggestions

Pic 1  An Argosy (Whistling Wheelbarrow) guessing it's El Adem.

Pic 2. Colerne? (Looks like Kidderminster Hospital though!!) or possibly Berlin? Abingdon??  Aircraft looks like a Fokker F27.

Sad fact - There's an Argosy at Cosford in the museum which still has a 10k floor point stuck in one of the tiedown points.....yawn!   Can I ask the audience?

Chrimbo greetings to everyone.


[Ed:  You're right about the Argosy Scottie - but then that's a gimme.  I'll give you a clue - the pictures were taken on the same day at the same location in the mid 60s - and it's far, far away from where you're guessing!  Go ahead and "ask the audience" in the FlyPast forum.]


From:       John Belcher, Chippenham, UK john_belcher@lineone.net
Date:        17 December 2001 14:37
Subject:    Association Survey - interim web results

Dear Tony

It looks like the voting on the Association survey is heading for a 60 - 40 in favour of changing the Association to a Movements Association. But that is just the Internet results.

The survey should be going out in Team Brief very soon and all Movements units are being sent the survey as well.

Happy Christmas and a Great New Year



From:       Chas Cormack, En Route, pamnchascormack@hotmail.com
Date:         17 December 2001 23:42
Subject:     Season's Greetings

This is for all those who will not get a Christmas card this year.  I am just about to give Jack Riley a call as I am currently just round the corner from him in Hervey Bay.

I get back to UK via Singapore and South Africa in February, hopefully meeting Don Hunter for a beer on the way (he owes me a few).

Best wishes to all and keep up the good work Tony

Chas Cormack

[Ed:  Thanks Chas - I forwarded this message to Jack - trusting he would share a "Red" or two with you...]


From:      Gordon Gourdie, Euxton, UK gordongourdie@hotmail.com
Date:        18 December 2001 07:18
Subject:    Personal for Tony Gale

Hi Tony,

Just a personal thank you for the pleasure that the OBA has given me since I joined a few months ago. I now look forward to Friday not just because the weekend is nigh.

Ian Berry will have told you of finding John Moreland after losing him for 30 Years. John has just retired and is now living in Episkopi, Cyprus. He will be viewing the OBA when he gets his computer set up. I hope to meet up with him on holiday next year.

I have also exchanged greetings with Roger "Puff " Blow whom I haven't seen since circa 1964 although Roger thinks that we may have staggered into each other in Bahrain sometime after 1964.

I am sure these are only two of many success stories of old mates getting in touch again.

Tony, hope you and yours have a great Christmas and a Prosperous 2002.

Looking forward to your next transmission.




From:     Jack Riley, Urangan, Qld., Australia jjriley@australis.aunz.com
Date:      Tue, 18 Dec 2001 20:02:46 +1000
Subject:  Report From The Front

Dear Tony

Happy to report that Chas and Pam Cormack have been duly "watered" and passed on down the line



[Ed:  That's a beautiful thing Jack - I'm sure you had a wonderful time!]


From:      Phil Clark, Vienna, Austria ClarkP@laudaair.com
Date:      19 December 2001 06:06
Subject:  Wot's SCAF?

OK OK, I admit it - I did work in SCAF.  In my defence it was my first and only Supply Posting, and was perfect training for searching for that missing suitcase in the very full belly hold of a Comet on the Muharraq QTR pan, with a shade temperature of 120F.  Not to mention loading the tons of frozen meat onto the Sharjah/Bait al Falaj/Masirah Beverley resupply run in the
middle of the night.

Philip M. Clarke


From:     John McGrath, Thornton-Cleverleys, UK Johnofpreston@aol.com
Date:      Thu, 20 Dec 2001 09:06:27 EST
Subject:  Season's Greetings!

I'm all for making it a bumper Christmas.  So a very happy Christmas to all ex Muppets everywhere. And a very special greeting to any of you presently serving (keep your heads down in Afghanistan guys)


John R Mcgrath.


From:      Dave Barton, Kings Lynn, UK David.Barton2@tesco.net
Date:       20 December 2001 12:09
Subject:   Photos

Hi Tony,

Nice talking to you the other day - all too short, you must let me have your phone number. Glad we got the photo finally sorted out and will dig up some more after the holiday. Unfortunately many of my early pictures were coloured slides and guess they are a no-no when it comes to e-mail attachments?

Anyway, thought you may find the following amusing.



The brain insisted, "Since I control everything and do all the thinking, I should be Supervisor." The feet said "Since we carry man where he wants to go, we should be Supervisors." The Hands said, "Since we do all the work and earn all the money to keep the rest of you going, we should be Supervisors." The Eyes also staked their claim, "Since we must watch out for all of you, we should be Supervisors."

And so it went on, the Heart, the Ears, and finally the BUM! How all the other parts laughed, to think the Bum should be Supervisor!!

Thus the Bum became mad and refused to function. The Brain became feverish, the Eyes crossed and ached, the Legs got wobbly and the Stomach was sick.

ALL pleaded with the Brain to relent and let the Bum be Supervisor. And so it came to be, that all the other parts did their Work, and the Bum simply Supervised, and 'passed'  a load of [the dark stuff].

MORAL; You don't have to be a Brain to be a Supervisor, only a Bum.

Cheers, Dave.

[Ed:  Thanks Dave.  All of our phone numbers are on the Member's pages.  There is now a scanner on the market that will accommodate slides - I hope to get one myself fairly soon as almost all of my pictures from my days on MAMS are on slides.]


From:     Bill Nangle, Victoria BC drummy443@lycos.com
Date:       20 December 2001 13:42
Subject:   Season's Greetings!

Season's Greeting to all Muppets past and present!

Many thanks to Tony for getting this project up and running, I'm sure it brings us all a weekly smile as we remember the times, good and bad, we had on the world's finest movements squadron!

May the new year bring us all peace, joy, and a quiet year for the current crop of serving muppets!

And as we say here in Canada......Merry Christmas eh!

Bill Nangle
British Columbia


From:      Robbie Taylor, Doncaster, UK robert@336taylor.freeserve.co.uk
Date:       20 December 2001 13:48
Subject:   Season's Greetings!

To everybody that knows me, or did know me, or those I am still trying to contact:

Have a great Xmas and good luck in 2002!

All the best

Robbie Taylor

p.s. Tony, Special thanks to you for all your help, keep up the good work, you are doing a great job.


From:     Brian Jenkins Weymouth, UK BRIAN@jenkins331.fsnet.co.uk
Date:      20 December 2001 13:54
Subject:  Season's Greetings!

Season's greeting to all the lads who moved across from Fairford to Lyneham in the early 70's and brought a bit of class to the squadron before the heavy mob from Abingdon arrived.

A special Xmas cheer to the likes of Baz & Arthur who took me under their wing and occasionally worked with me and the rest of the lads on team Bravo .

Merry Xmas & a Prosperous New Year.

Brian (Taff) Jenkins


From:       David Howley, Melton Mowbray, UK howley@nildram.co.uk
Date:        20 December 2001 13:52
Subject:    Season's Greetings!

Dear Tony,

A Mover's work is never done!  Regards to all.


[Ed:  Thanks David - the picture at the start of this week's Old Boys Briefs on the website was created by David - super job!]


From:     Foddy Newlands, Didcot, UK IanNewlands2001@aol.com
Date:      20 December 2001 14:38
Subject:  Season's Greetings!

Hi Tony & All the Old & Current UKMAMS / Movers

Just to wish everyone a Merry Christmas & A Happy & Prosperous New Year

All the very best

Foddy N


From:      Phil Ward, Durham, UKdorothyward22@hotmail.com
Date:       20 December 2001 16:36
Subject:   Season's Greetings!

I would like to wish yourself and family, old friends and new a very Merry Xmas and a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year.

Cheers Everyone

Phil (Geordie) Ward.


From:       Kevin Stanger, Goose Bay, Labrador, Canada fskevinstanger@hotmail.com
Date:        20 December 2001 18:18
Subject:    Season's Greetings!

Season's greetings to movers new and old, from all the boys at Goose Bay:

Geordie Stanger, Steve Moore, Pish Martin, Tony Douglas, Jim Rodger, Jim Stenhouse, Bob Sowden, Pickles Plowman, H Haddfield, Frank Byrne, Sam Wyatt, Nick Banton last, but not least, Steve "The Boss" Chappell.

A full update on Goose Bay in the New Year as the future of the Movers unfolds.

Take care,  have a good one.



From:      Murdo N.Macleod, Newport-on-Tay, Scotland m.n.macleod@btinternet.com
Date:       20 December 2001 18:40
Subject:   Season's Greetings!

Nollaig Chrideil agus Bliadhna Mhath ur dhuibh.

Or, as you say in English:

Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year to you all.

From. Murdo Macleod


Today is the first day of Winter - and Mother Nature didn't forget - here in Ontario we're having the first heavy snowfall of the season - it's going to be a white Christmas.

Thanks for all your support over the past year.  I will make a toast to absent friends on Christmas Day with you all in mind, especially for those that have to spend the holiday in far flung and perhaps hostile territory.  Have a safe and enjoyable holiday.

Best regards