From: Davey Jones, Wellington


Hi Tony, not much to say by way of the lock-down really.  By the time you go to print we will have hopefully moved out of our Alert Level 4 to 3 (or lower).   Our levels of infection here in NZ at the moment are low by way of European and USA standards and there was me wishing for a NBC suit and respirator (yea, nah); spent too many hours smelling of charcoal and dust in the 23 years of service! 


We are in a changing world and any conspiracy theories aside, we all feel for those who have been impacted, whether through being sick and surviving or, the bereaved families of those who have passed.  I have an elder brother and sister in the UK – both in the 70s and 80s; the support of their neighbours in getting through lock down has been awesome and being the other side of the world there is some comfort in that.  That said, I’m no longer the spring chicken I used to be either (LOL)... and working as a volunteer fire fighter in my local town I am deemed an essential worker. With that in mind, I am trying to be slightly more sensible than I might have been in my past career! Yea right....   So we operate in interesting times. 


I do think as vets/retired service or current serving, we have a slight edge on the general civilian population.  At least we have experienced the NBC (CBRN) environment in training or for real e.g. Gulf War, and have spent considerable periods of time constrained either by the environment we have operated in or by necessity cut off from our families, friends and society for periods.


I will close in saying that my wife, Eve and yours truly send best wishes  to all members, wives, partners and extended families for a safe outcome from Covid-19. 


Cheers, Davey

Davey, Stefanie and Eve Jones -

playing with the stocks last January

From: Tony Street, Buffalo, NY


A Loadmaster idle

Doth chomp on his bridle

As being locked down is a sin

As his sad mood is "deeping"

He's given to weeping

As he thinks of the places he's bin (sic)


As he takes off his bridle

His hands are not idle

As model assembly begins

His heart's full of joy

As he brings forth a toy

Much to his buddy's chagrin


(Kits available from:


From: Budgie Baigent, Takaka, Tasman 


Carolyn & I were meant to be in Rarotonga for our wedding anniversary earlier this month but that was canned.  Luckily we live by the beach so took our own little bit of 'Rarotonga' down there to celebrate - complete with tropical dress, beach chairs, palm tree pics, bubbles & nibbles and my boom box playing Island music! Living in an isolated part of the world does have it's advantages and we Kiwi's are very fortunate as it seems we may soon be coming out of lock down. Sadly that's not the case in may parts of the world and our thoughts and prayers go to those struggling with this dreadful virus. Take care & be safe. Cheers, Budgie



From: Phil Smith, Exmouth, Devon


Not renowned for doing things by half, I have experienced two Lockdowns recently, one on Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands, Spain, and one currently in the UK.


Lockdown One. From 4 to 25 March 2020, we were booked for a holiday on Fuerteventura. All was well for 12 or so days then all hell broke loose. Flights cancelled, being asked to leave hotel accommodation ending up in a place in the middle of nowhere that I couldn't`t even pronounce. Armed Police and Army on the streets with loudhailers being used to tell people to stay indoors. Only one person in a taxi at any one time resulting in two trips to the airport costing £200. Stressful in the extreme and very very frightening. Dark thoughts going through my head constantly resulting in me barricading ourselves in each night at the alternative accommodation. Money and medication running low.


To cut a very long story short we managed to get two seats on the very last rescue Easyjet flight off the island on 29 March 2020 into London Gatwick (after flying out of Bristol). Another £200 for a car to take us to Bristol Airport parking to pick up my car.


With cancelled flights having to be rebooked and then cancelled again the whole experience cost us and extra £1500. It doesn't` matter what the cost was to be honest, we are safe and at home.


It was only because of very kind people that we made it out. Filip, the Belgian guy who owned the alternative accommodation, and who did not want payment for our six night stay (he was left 300 euros) and my old mate Graham Lockwood (RAF Fairford 1968) who guaranteed payment for accommodation and flights without being asked to do so. I will never forget their kindness.


Lockdown Two. After going through Lockdown one we have nothing to complain about. It`s a piece of cake.

From: Gary Ferguson, Ilkley, West Yorks


Hi Tony, hope everyone is well and staying safe. Here in Ilkley we are just back from a stroll on Ilkley Moor Bah Tat with our friend's dog Rusty. Have also just attempted my first home haircut with new clippers, not sure about that being a good idea. Still working on a rota basis at school looking after vulnerable and essential workers kids, though only about 25 from 1500. Have also been forced to make my own shorgame area as the golf club shut for the duration. Hopefully we can all get back to some sort of normality before summer. Best wishes to all take care and stay safe. Best wishes Gary Ferguson



From: David Salmon, Springfield, OR


I am one of four guys who work in the warehouse for the Springfield School District. 


Part of the warehouse day-to-day operations; include mail courier, the maintenance and delivery of custodial equipment, and the delivery of frozen and dry food to the 20 schools in the district. 


Although many of the employees in the district are at home, we in the warehouse have been extremely busy. 


We are still providing a mail courier service 5 days a week, equipment to custodians to deep clean their schools. 


Most importantly, the support of 2 schools that are providing day care to the kids of doctors, nurses and EMTs and food delivery to the 8 schools that are providing over 1100 sack breakfast and lunches daily.


Our shops are finally starting to fill the shelves after the mad rush at the beginning, there are a few items that are hard to come by.


After a hard day at work, there is nothing better than sitting with my wife, Cindy, in our back garden having a couple of drinks.


Cheers One and All,


Dave Salmon

From: Lucy Temple - Somewhere in the Caribbean 


In the spirit of Lockdown Special I thought I'd share how I’m spending my lockdown, with the aim of reminding your fabulous readers of happy times gone by when things too were uncertain.


I’m currently supporting Op BROADSHARE (the Op name associated with support for the British overseas territories during COVID19).


I’m deployed to the Caribbean (in a windowless office ) working as the military logs planner for a multi-national military initiative.


My team consists of a Frenchman, a Dutchman, a Royal Navy Commander and me (RAF logs officer Movs q, but former SAC Mover) now there’s got to be a joke in there somewhere especially as the gents are all Navy (by choice).


We’ve no idea how long the deployment may be, for if COVID is still around when the hurricanes roll in we may have to hole up and stay for the duration.


Why is this detachment strange? Because never before have I deployed and not known when I’d be home.


Can anyone relate? And if so, care to share your story?


Sending health and happiness to you all. 

From: Gordon Gray, Allestree, Derby


Hello Tony, I hope you’re well and safe too.  Thanks to you for the web, also Ian’s idea for this unusual item this month.  Here’s us two in a quiet country location but very mindful of many others during this catastrophe, confined to areas with limited scope for comfortable social distancing, wherever in UK and worldwide.


Who’d have thought during those Cold War ‘Tacevals’ that we would ever see a type of situation of near potential apocalypse we find ourselves in now. Do keep safe everyone and hopefully none of you get infected.  Fond Regards, Gordon (and Brenda) Gray



From: Neil & Barbara Middleton, Ipswich, Suffolk 


Hi Tony, I hope you and yours are keeping well and safe.  Well here is what Lockdown has done for me; I have been keeping busy:  Before and after shots of my garden 4/5 weeks ago and yesterday.  I had forgotten that I had a shed until I uncovered it!  When I have had enough of gardening I enjoy using my gym! I think I have been doing a lot of dreaming recently, But the good thing is that we are all keeping well and keeping busy.



From: Mike and Avril Stepney, Stewarton, East Ayrshire 


In response to your Lockdown Special request; I have been paying particular attention the past few weeks to the part alcohol is playing in the fight against Covid-19. 


It would appear that alcohol, in sufficient quantities, will disable the virus (prevent it from replicating), and it will self-destruct! 


The attached photo is my armoury for self-defence against said Covid-19!  The bottles have already rotated with some new unusual whisky’s from Japan, Indiana, Kentucky and Wales! 


I wish everyone well, and hope all your readers wherever they may be around the globe, their families and friends, manage to get through this event, Covid-19 free!


Good luck to all…




Mike & Avril Stepney

From: Andy Tesch, Caccamo, Sicily


Isobell and I have been in Lockdown for nearly 2 months now, in Italy (Sicily).  As everyone will know, it was one of the worst affected countries in Europe.  Fortunately, here in Sicily most people are very responsible and wear masks and gloves.  Things are starting to ease now with some businesses relaxing a few of their restrictions. Unfortunately, it’s not the Bars & Restaurants.


We’ve had glorious sunshine over this period so Isobell has been keeping herself busy in the garden while I brave the streets and supermarkets doing the shopping and the cooking which is something I’ve always enjoyed. As they say in Italy “Andra’ Tutto Bene”



From: Bernie Lafrance, Nanaimo, BC 


Hi Tony, I retired from Esquimalt in Dec 1987 and moved to my new home in Nanaimo BC, where we still are,  in September of that year, as I had a job which I thought would last me the rest of my career.  Not so, after 2 years I was let go and became a handy man. I never looked back. Here is a pic of my wife Osa and I last Christmas; we had re-married 2 years ago.



From: Joseph Gillis, Grand Mira South, NS 


Hey Tony: I’ve been isolating well here in Cape Breton with my wife and daughter at home.


Each evening I post a different song performance on Facebook and more specifically on the “Nova Scotia Kitchen Party Site “.  A lot of other folks are on this site with various musical offerings as well and it really has been a wonderful respite whenever I choose to view all of the various talents therein. Highly recommend this to all readers as there are some fantastic musicians here doing original and cover tunes.


Check it out at: ULTIMATE ONLINE NOVA SCOTIA KITCHEN PARTY (COVID19 EDITION) . It certainly helps to pass the time and is a great medium for budding as well as established musicians. It also cannot be overstated how much it helps to keep the Covid 19 blues away and to help heal from the events of the past weekend where 22 people lost their lives to a deranged shooter.


Tony, to you and all your subscribers, stay safe and well!

From: Andrew Kay, Bowling Green, KY 
Subject: Last issue of OBA


I just wanted to write and say what great reading the last issue of the Old Bods Brief was (OBB #022920). Some of the things ex-movers have done in their post RAF/RAAF/RCAF/RNZAF careers are absolutely amazing.

Next time some idiot on social media says anything about dumb movers or muppets screwing things up, I'm going to point them to this issue and tell them to shut up!

I wonder if anyone regrets getting out when they did (if they left early) or if they know that their life definitely turned out for the better after making that decision.  Sometimes I look back and wonder 'what would have happened if I'd stayed in', but honestly I know my life couldn't have turned out any better than it has.

Best regards


From: David Powell, Princes Risborough, Bucks 
Subject: How the OBA impacted my life

The OBA and the meaning of Life as we used to know it?

How has the OBA impacted my life?  Tony, that’s a bit deep and meaningful.  Well for starters, it has meant a metaphorical clip round the ears and a ‘What are you up to now, shouldn’t you be (insert control’s latest project)?”  As I sit, usually smiling, at the keyboard.  Reading the stories and memories of galaxies far far away, especially the one called Abingdon and its dwarf moon sometimes known as Gulf, invariably they stir up incredible memories.   In the scheme of things, it was memories from just 39 months in a period of 31 years in a crab-fat grey uniform.  As you may recall, that was the correct name of the colour of the pile of cloth abandoned by the Russians for the Czar’s personal guard in 1917 in a mill in Yorkshire, when a committee somewhere was trying to work out how to set up a new Service on the cheap.  This set the tone for many subsequent RAF initiatives in the future.  Remember the hours spent in the 60s scrounging not very used flying suits and Nav Bags?

Without the impetus of the OBA and the regular memory stirring injections from Tony’s incredible every growing compilation of stories accurate, understated or unbelievable, I would never have remembered, and sometimes recorded, long forgotten events.   The other great pleasure has been rediscovering through Tony’s circulated words and pictures, chums and colleagues of past adventures.

How has the OBA impacted my life?  More than I can ever explain.  Thank you Tony.

Best wishes from Chiltern solitary confinement camp C, cell 42, just because I am over 70!  My world for at least the next 82 days.  Still haven’t worked out if it is because of the risk of them on me or me on them!  But at least I was allowed to keep a DVD (Bruch Violin Concerto No 1), a book (Lord of the Rings) and a luxury, my ever constant Sue – how does she put up with me?


David Powell

From: Charlie Marlow, Freshwater, Isle of Wight
Subject: Great Read

Hi Tony,

I always enjoy the newsletter but found the latest exceptionally good.  It was great to read how our fellow movers made their way in civilian life.  Whilst reading their news, I found myself forming clear mental images of my connection with most of them whilst we served together.  I would like to say well done to all and remind all those currently serving that hanging up the blue uniform is not the end but THE BEGINNING.

Best Regards


RNZAF Hercules To Deliver More Aid To Vanuatu Following Cyclone <Video>

A second Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) C-130H Hercules flight will take more supplies tomorrow to cyclone-struck Vanuatu, including tarpaulins and other equipment to build temporary shelters.  The flight to Vanuatu follows one last weekend, as well as a flight this morning to Fiji, which was also hard hit by Category 5 Tropical Cyclone Harold.


Today’s Hercules flight to Nadi, Fiji, is delivering more than 2000 tarpaulins, 94 water containers, five diesel generators, 10 chainsaw packs, satellite phones and 550 packs of hygiene products for families such as soap and sanitary items as part of New Zealand’s support to the relief efforts.


An RNZAF Hercules will fly to Port Vila tomorrow to deliver 2500 tarpaulins, 150 tool kits, and more than 350 kilograms of hygiene products for families in Vanuatu.


The flight to Vanuatu last weekend delivered water cans, chainsaw kits, agricultural tool kits and some satellite phones, while also on board was a privately owned Robinson R66 helicopter to be used in the relief efforts.  To prevent any potential spread of COVID-19, all the cargo is sanitised before loading and again on off-loading.


Air Component Commander Air Commodore Tim Walshe said the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) had been working with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade to deliver the emergency supplies following the Category 5 cyclone, which caused extensive damage in the Pacific. With the Ministry’s assistance, people wanting to repatriate to New Zealand from Vanuatu and Fiji have also been able to come to New Zealand on the return flights by the Hercules aircraft.


The NZDF has a medical team on the aircraft to Fiji today to assist with the repatriation of people to New Zealand from Fiji and to provide guidance around COVID-19 safety precautions.


Air Commodore Walshe said the NZDF was pleased to be able to provide assistance to Pacific neighbours in their time of need.


New Zealand Defence Force




From: George Graves, Carlisle, Cumbria
Subject: How the OBA impacted my life

I was a member of the MAMS Association so when it closed down I missed all the Movers' gossip. Then by chance I bumped into my former team leader and retired Group Captain Bill Girdwood, who since has sadly passed away, and he introduced me to the OBA which, thanks mainly to you Tony, is absolutely brilliant. Keep up the good work.

With regards to the lockdown,  I'm sad for those who have lost loved ones and it's not fun to be unable to visit family and friends, but the garden has never been as tidy!

Keep well and stay safe everyone.

Cheers, George
Gang of Marauding Alberts Pulled Over for Violating Self-Distancing Guidelines

Well, not really, but this wonderful picture is believed to have been taken at RIAT Fairford some years ago.  Actual date and photographer unknown.

From: Gerald Blaquire, Hunter River PE 

Subject: How the OBA impacted my life


The OBA has given me the opportunity to stay in touch with the guys. The most notable was when I met Tom Bayliss - a one in a kazillion chance. It was good to be able to connect you two. I had him on my bus for a shore excursion, and was able to establish that he was a mover, thus an interesting conversation only to find he knew you. Had I not been part of this association we would have never made the connection. Amazing! A Small world!  Stay healthy "ALL MOVERS"



From: Tony Street, Buffalo, NY
Subject: How the OBA impacted my life

Tony, the OBA has allowed me to contact a few of my old acquaintances who I thought had been posted to the Great AMU in the Ether.

However, the biggest impact on me has been our meetings in Gatineau, enjoying lunch while reminiscing about many things, past and present. See you soon.

From: Brian Canfer, Shrewsbury 

Subject: Message of Appreciation


Just a note of appreciation from the RAF Mountain Rescue Association. I thoroughly enjoyed your article on RAF Masirah especially the mention of the DMRT callout in 1972 that I was unaware of. Having served on Canberras in Cyprus 1968-69 I think your mention of Vulcans from Akrotiri in 1968 should be 1969.



From: Dave Elliott, Skelmersdale, West Lancs

G’day All.  Hope everyone is well and safe. Been keeping myself entertained playing online games (Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 - about a world wide plague!) and trying to surprise people with my new Corona mask!

From: Steve Boucher, Bridlington, Yorkshire

We are doing OK to date.  I work as a Medical Technician for Yorkshire Ambulance Service and have been very busy throughout so far.

From: Dougie Betambeau, Swindon, Wilts

Hi Tony, hope you're well & safe. All good in Swindon in Retirement Lockdown. Two divots out of the lawn & she called a halt! Stay safe everyone. Rgds Dougie 'n' Jackie.

From: Alec Angus, Kippax, West Yorkshire

Taking the opportunity to try (optimum word) to get the old 45's in some kind of order. Should have done it years ago, but better to do it now, rather than leave the job for the next generation when I expire.  Reckon she wouldn't have a clue as to who some of the artists are, a fair few of them predate our enlistment.  Keep safe everyone, let's get through this plague and return to normality (whatever passes for normal), together.

From: Richard (Taff) Allen, Llanmartin, Newport, Monmouthshire


I hope everyone is staying safe, locking down and keeping out if trouble! Doing fine here in South East Wales, gardening and out walking locally which we are lucky enough to be able to do down here! fantastic weather so lots of photo opportunities!



From: Richard Lloyd, Dunfermline, Fife


We are well here,  although surroundings tend to be a bit samey. Missing direct human contact. Wishing all movers safety and sanity as the long days pass.



From: Roger Whittington, Prescot, Merseyside 


I keep myself busy with Zen Gardening and it’s brilliant. What you do is, the evening before, put four bottles of wine in the fridge so they get nice and cold. The following day when the sun comes out, sit in the garden and drink the wine and get as contemplative as a newt. It must be good because I can’t remember the last three weeks of lockdown at all! Here’s hoping everyone is staying safe and keeping well. Cheers from a rather blurry northwest of England.



From: Axel Jinadu, Mallorca


Hope fellow OBA members and your loved ones are all managing to keep safe and well of body, and strong and positive of spirit! Lockdown Day 34 (17 April) here in the Balearics (Spain). And with no outside leisure activities permitted, indoor cycling on a turbo trainer in the ‘mancave’ is one of the many ways Shirley and I keep active and positive... Stay safe everyone!  Regards as ever, Axel Jinadu  (MAMS 95-97, RAFLO Bahrain 98-00)



From: Mike McCann, Harrogate 


Tony and all movers young and old. Sandra and I are well here in Harrogate. Both our kids, their spouses and our grandkids are all well too. I pass the time ass a DJ on Veterans Radio, an online music station for us oldies. I knew that my Radio Gan training would kick in eventually.  I’m on Tuesday and Thursdays 1600-1800 and Saturdays 1200-1400 UK time.  You can listen in here: Hope you and yours are all well too, Mike & Sandra McCann



Dave Elliott keeping busy by scaring everyone in West Lancashire
Steve Boucher heading out to a suspected Covid-19 patient
Dougie Betambeau in
his Sunday finest
Taff Allen - trying to keep things in focus whilst maintaining perspective
Alec Angus is sorting out his
45's for the next generation
Richard Lloyd - staying in
touch via the Interweb
Roger Whittington prior to
embarking on his Zen Gardening
Axel Jinadu getting exercise on
the turbo trainer in his man cave
Mike McCann is spinning the
vinyl at Veteran's Radio
Nigel and Elvana Moore on
holiday in Namibia last year
Andy Kime is Air-Fixin' at his
secret hideout in North Wales

From: Nigel Moore, Devauden, Monmouthshire


Lockdown: Shed immaculate, not a blade of grass out of place  and cars gleaming. Now dreaming of another self-drive holiday in Namibia. Keep safe and regards to all.



From: Andy Kime, Secret Hideout (Llangollen)


Hi Tony,  hope this finds you and yours well and coping with this strange turn of events? All well in my secret hideout in North Wales. Working from home 5 days a week helps keep me busy and the weeks of lockdown just fly by. When not working I am helping Sue out in the garden and working on clearing my backlog of aircraft kits started then put aside pending renewed interest. Wishing everybody good health and retained sanity. See you on the other side!



From: Mark Hounsell, Eastbourne

I'll kick this off - I'm ok and so is my family. Working for ASDA on night shifts.

From: Charlie Marlow, Freshwater, Isle of Wight


I’m in great form Tony, out daily walking and keeping in touch with many friends by social media. Yesterday I cycled down to Harewoods store in Yarmouth to buy an extra bottle of gin to see me through the lockdown. Got outside and thought I was a bit wobbly coming down here, what if I fall and break the bottle?  I thought "bugger it!" and I sat on the harbour wall and drank it all.  Just as well I did - I fell off the bike 8 times on the way home!



From: Allan Mitchley, Rhyl, Denbighshire


We have just moved from an 8 bedroom ex-guesthouse to a 2 bedroom bungalow. Now in lockdown with 80 boxes in the shed. Unable to make my retirement man cave.  It's like being at Brize Norton on Tacevals. Stay safe Tony, best regards, Allan and Kay Mitchley.



From: James Cunningham, Fareham, Hants


Hi Tony, hope you and yours are keeping well during this horrific pandemic.We should have been heading to Texas in two weeks time but like many others we have to accept the situation. Jo and I are in good spirits, we only go out for exercise. Our lovely daughters are looking after us. Best wishes to all members, keep strong, keep safe, see you all on the other side. Regards, Jim Cunningham.



From: Don Hatton, Liscomb, NS


My wife Fern and I are doing well, we’ve imposed self-isolation upon ourselves fo well over a month now. Fern says we’ve been isolated for the past thirty years, living at the dead end of a pulp road which has made the transition seamless. I keep busy in my woodworking shop and Fern is cleaning where no one has cleaned before. We’re anxiously awaiting for warm temperatures so we can dig in the dirt.  All the best to all the movers and their families, keep well and “negative”. Through the grace of God and following the advice of our health professionals we will get through this!



From: Barry Tappenden, Shortstown, Beds


Hi Tony, firstly I hope you and your family are well and staying safe. Lockdown for me is busy as we are still broadcasting on Hospital Radio Bedford, albeit from the comfort of my bedroom. I've been banned anywhere else in the house because of the constant swearing when the WiFi drops out. The radio station is reaching all parts of the globe on the web: so the offer to all members if you want me to send a message then send it to my email address I go out live on Tuesday between 5 - 7pm (BST) and Saturday morning between 10 - 12noon (BST). Please mark the subject "Lockdown Special Request". From my family to yours, stay safe.



From: John Leek, 79380 La Ronde, Deux Serves


Lynne and I escaped from Portugal on 15th March with a 1250 km/11-hour drive through Spain into SW France. Night stopped in Bayonne in an hotel that was closing the next day. Home on 16th, emergency shop then complete lockdown. Been shopping once since then. Next venture out will be early May! Hope and trust that all group members are safe and well.



From: Arthur Rowland, St Ives, Cambs


Trust you are well during this turbulent period. Still fit enough to keep the dog exercised. Best wishes to all Movers, stay safe and, as my Movements staff said to me (it is inscribed on the redundant 5000 lb tensioner which they presented to me), "In times of tension, screw weekly"



From: John Tudor, Stevenston, Ayrshire


During this lockdown period I have been using my time to track my relations on various ancestry sites and have found quite a few skeletons in the cupboard that should probably stay in the cupboard! The garden is looking good but it needs bedding plants which we cannot get.  Stay safe everybody; it will end eventually.



From: Philip (Nobby) Clarke, Swaffam, Norfolk

On my 4th jigsaw. My wife, Babs, is doing her normal shifts at Tesco. Out with the dogs twice a day. Stay safe.

From: Keith Hubbard, Kilgetty, Pembroke  


Everything fine with me in Pembrokeshire. 4 weeks in lockdown and never spent so much time on the lathe!



From: John Bell, Desborough, Northants


With this great spell of warm weather we have had, and are still having, it has been good to get out into the garden and get our hands dirty.  We are both well and hope that all movers everywhere are staying safe; those we know, those we have never met and all their families.

Regards, John and Jean Bell.



From: Jim Abbott, St Albert, AB 


My wife, Maureen, and I are trying to stay safe in an apartment in St Albert, Alberta. Trying to keep busy in the bad weather by walking in the parking garage of our building. Probably better off than a lot of folks... Everyone stay safe! Have a "Great Air Force Day"... Eh!



From: Paul Stanford, Chelmsford, Essex


All is well with me and the family. In splendid isolation in my pub-shed whenever I get the chance - life can be tough! Still working 3 days a week from home (the shed) and getting though all those garden jobs I didn’t know existed.  Stay safe everyone.



From: Jerry Allen, Cheltenham, Glos


All is well here in the Cotswolds.  Three little-mentioned advantages of lock-down: (1) Improving bakery skills (2) The word ‘Brexit’ no longer features on the news (3) Petrol is really cheap. Three little-mentioned disadvantages of lock-down: (1) My wife is home (2) She thinks I should work harder on the garden (3) She thinks I should decorate.  Our very best wishes to everyone, Kim and Jerry Allen



From: Peter Clayton, Wroughton, Wilts


I am keeping well and staying safe in these very strange days, I hope that is the case for everyone. The weather has been really good for being outside and I have taken advantage by sorting out the sheds and tackling the garden. I have also been doing my permitted exercise on my bike, I attach a photo near the village of Compton Bassett that some families may remember from their time at Lyneham. Stay safe and keep well. Best wishes, Peter



From: Ian Berry, West Swindon


I hope everyone is surviving this lock down, smiling at their wives and obediently working through the list they have been given? Special wishes to those who are at risk more so due to illness or ongoing treatments. Fortunately the panic buying is subsiding although there still seems a fetish for toilet rolls?  I have become "Gin Critical" but Christine, my nominated shopper, just smiles and said "Tough!" So, in my garage I have found many rare bottles... one stamped "NAAFI STORES - HM FORCES" and another (Apfelkorn) with an 8.99 Deutschemarks tag on it! Stay safe.



From: Harold Jones, Neston, Cheshire 


As a lifelong railway modeller, this "confined to camp" has its good points. Like most modellers, I have a large collection of bits and bobs and unstarted projects and quite a few that need completing. I am spending lots of time in my workshops, starting and completing many jobs. I have also carried out some non-essential tasks - my window cleaning has come on by leaps and bounds!  Val is self isolating at her home, to be near her family, as a result we have now joined the mobile telephone set and video call each other daily. One of the tasks I had, was to paint and decorate some railway freight comprising assorted wicker baskets, beer crates and casks and mail bags (remember how the rough canvas bags took the skin off your knuckles when loading them?). When I came to do the crates of lemonade I just could not resist the temptation!  Greetings to all fellow movers and thanks to you,Tony, for keeping us all together.



Nobby Clarke staying busy doing jigsaws while Babs is on the front line at Tesco
Keith Hubbard is keeping his wood lathe busy
John and Jean Bell are getting their hands dirty
Jim Abbott is avoiding the cold by walking
in his apartment's parking garage
Paul Stanford - inviting everyone over
to his man shed for a libation or two!
Jerry Allen is "skipping" for exercise
Peter Clayton cycling through Compton Bassett
Ian Berry in his man cave - apparently
keeps a secret stash of gin in his garage!
Harold Jones' railway is shipping
the Corona back to China!
Peter Chappell about to start an at-home
night shift for Capital Air Ambulance

Paddy and Aileen Power, locked

down in Lyneham Village

Ian and April Place - post walk

From: Peter Chappell, Honiton, Devon


Hi all,  still doing OK during lock down, in fact it's not much different, still doing 12 hour shifts for Capital Air Ambulance. Getting exercise through walking my dog, and spending time in the garden. Photo of me just about to start a night shift from my home office. Keep it up guys we have all been through a lot worse than this, and come out smiling (or is that smelling?).



From: Alan Power, Lyneham, Wilts


Hi everyone, between sitting in the garden and walking around the perimeter fence at Lyneham, Aileen and I are both fit and well. Keep smiling, things can only get better. Stay safe, Paddy and Aileen Power.



From: Ian Place, Meanwood, West Yorks


Hi Tony hope everyone is well and keeping safe. Strange times these. In this photo April and I are outside our flat after our allowed walk--- Ian



From: Syd Avery, 03140 Guardamar del Segura, Alicante

Hi, yo’all,

Not so sunny España reporting. Both Riet and I are well at the moment, no symptoms to report. But who knows what is lurking around the corner?

We arrived in our casa on the 15th March, a day or so before España declared the lockdown and associated restrictions. We follow them as do just about all of the people on our Community of 100 properties owned by various nationalities. Since we arrived, Riet has only been on rubbish chuck-out duties, about 70 mtrs. away, several times a week. I do the shopping trips, once every couple of weeks plus ad-hoc trips if necessary.

Essentials? Cava and tinto de verano. No shortages that I have seen, I usually go mid-afternoon when things are quieter and there are few, if any, empty shelves. The rules here are stricter than in the U.K., and by and large people adhere to them. 

We cannot have two people in the car unless it is for medical reasons, and then the second person must sit in the back nearside seat. Shopping must be at the nearest supermarket, and only one person. Exercise within 50 mtrs. of your house. Dog walking, one person only with the animals (there was an instance of one poor creature being “lent out” to several different people, it was cream crackered!).  There are checks by the police and Guardia, and fines range from €600 to €3000! Best not to mess with them. They are far stricter than the U.K. police. Hot on social distancing.

People here were horrified to see the clapping incident on Westminster Bridge! Several Brits. out here have been fined because they think that as they are Brits., they should follow the Brit. lockdown rules. Error, here, Brit Rules don’t rule! Covidiots!

Riet is coping very well, bless. The lockdown affects her more than me, as she is a member of walking clubs here, and they were out every week in the hills or down the coast. (I’m not noted for my energetic capabilities!)  Golf, of course, is out of the window. Beaches closed.

We are due to fly back to Belgium on May 20th. As yet, of course we aren’t sure whether this will happen, but everything is crossed for it happening.

Heard this a.m. that some rules are to be eased shortly, So we will be able to go for a trip around on our velocipedes.

We hope that all and sundry are well and that no-one has this dreaded virus or any other associated illness. Take care of and look after each other. Keep taking the pills, Kids.

Warm Regards, Syd.

p.s. On 22nd April we celebrated 18 years together - really pushed the boat out!

From: David Powell, Princes Risborough, Bucks
Subject: Greetings from Deepest Bucks

Hi Tony,

Greetings to you and all Old Bods and their friends and families from the self-isolating Principality of Risborough. 

It's pretty tough here at the rear in the fight against CV19.  So bad that a Mr Johnson who was staying just up the road, trying to have a bit of a rest, couldn't handle the tranquility and has fled back to London to be Prime Minister, again.

As to my being stuck at home.  When it started 5 weeks ago, I thought great, catch up on some railway modelling, and a new book to read on the 1896 Light Railways Act (by John Hannavy - highly recommended!).

The reality is that each morning, my controller comes up with yet another project that WE should get round to. Except 'we' is spelt with three letters beginning with a 'Y' and ending with 'U'.  Day after Day - I am exhausted.  And when the day's project is crossed off the list, our Spaniel Bronte demands to play ball.

One thing CV19 did concentrate my mind on was: what would happen if I suddenly went 'off piste'?  So in parallel with DIY, gardening, painting and a script to finish next week for a one hour transport video programme on some early 1960s 8mm film that has just been discovered (Little job for you David now you are shut in with nothing to do!). 

I have been having a major blitz on accumulated folders, piles of paper, drawers of stuff, especially that accumulated since I became a multi-portfolio expensive odd-job man now semi-retired when I said goodbye to my F1250.  Ten (and growing) black bags of shredded paper in the garage.

Could I be overdoing it?  Yesterday I found I had shredded several tomato plants and buried a Commercial in Confidence report in the vegetable plot.
So, from Sue and from me, stay safe, take care.

David Powell
F Team UKMAMS Abingdon 1967-69

From: John Furney, Hampton, London

Dear Tony,

Grabbing the opportunity to do a little bit of self publicity if garages and attics have been cleared out. Hope it fits into the spirit of what you are looking for?

Had time to sort out all those old boxes in the attic or clear out those cupboards? Well if you did and if you came across any old Christmas cards or bits of paper with a military crest on them which you don’t know what to do with, then I am your man.

I am a collector of such crests from all over the world and not just limited to Air Forces but Army and Navy as well. The collection was started over a hundred years ago and is fairly comprehensive but is far from being complete.

The lock down in the UK has given me fresh impetuous to catch up with the collection to try to include all those relatively new organisations which have sprung up with the amalgamation of many world defence forces. If you do have any such crests you don’t want please contact me by email on

Best wishes,

John Furney

From: Norman Stamper, 03184 Torrevieja 

It's day 46 of lockdown here in Spain and our spirits are still high. I've never known it to be so quiet, don't see any one or movement in our street for days, Gill and I both get quite excited when we hear movement outside on the road.

Lockdown has been very strict, only being allowed out to go food shopping or visit the chemist. As I do all the driving, it's up to me to wander out once a week, Gill only gets to  go out to our communal rubbish bin which is only a few yards from our house, very exciting for her. This week all us oldies collected 3 free masks each from the chemist, I wonder if this is in preparation for our possible limited freedom we may get later this week if the situation improves.

Thank goddess for the Internet What's App etc., to be able to keep in contact with family and friends around the world. Stay safe wherever you are.

Norman Stamper

From: Paul Newman, Peterborough, Cambs

I am currently volunteering with Team Rubicon UK, a Veterans' organisation, receiving and distributing PPE to everywhere, other than Hospitals, in Cambridgeshire. I spent my 65th on Saturday being a blanket stacker doing a huge order for care homes. I’ve even got a NHS email address so can get 20% off a curry. The best thing is I get to fly a forklift again, last time being on the Antonovs with Heavylift.  Stay safe all.

New members who have joined us recently:

Welcome to the OBA!

Dave Gillinder, Lowestoft, Suffolk



Gary Basterfield, Calgary, AB



Nige Cameron, Mansfield, Derbyshire


Phil Beese, Royal Wootton Bassett, Wilts



PPE delivered into RAF Brize Norton

Crucial supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE) for medical staff have been delivered into a Royal Air Force base for distribution around the country.


Following an agreement between the UK and Turkey, 250,000 items of PPE equipment to the UK, including 50,000 N-95 face masks; 100,000 surgical masks; and 100,000 protective suits, arrived at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire on Friday. The supplies will be taken to a regional NHS distribution hub to be delivered to medical centres across the country.


RAF bases have been a vital resource during the coronavirus pandemic, with military and chartered civilian flights utilising them to deliver resources and repatriate Britons stranded across the globe.


Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: "The delivery of this vital equipment will bring protection and relief to thousands of critical workers across the UK, as they bravely and tirelessly work to keep us safe. It is also a tribute to the strong bilateral ties with our ally Turkey, and I am immensely grateful for their kind gesture. As NATO Allies we can always depend on each other, whatever the threats we face.”


This is just one way the UK’s Armed Forces are helping, in addition to helping to establish temporary hospitals, delivering supplies and assisting with a variety of tasks to support the NHS and other public bodies.


The delivery by Turkey comes after 37 tonnes of UK aid was supplied by an RAF C-17 last month to those affected by the crisis on its border with Syria. The UK has also received 60 ventilator units from the German army, as it continues to strengthen its resources to fight coronavirus. 


Royal Air Force



From: Dave Gillinder, Lowestoft, Suffolk  
Subject: Re: Welcome to the OBA!

Hello Tony,

Yes, I have finally succumbed to pressure on two fronts from my wife, Mary, and Keith Parker to join the OBA.

I was  on India team from September 1967 to August 1970. The original team make-up was P/O Pete Wiblin (DPOW), F/S Jim Bannister, Sgt Tim Benson, me, Ken Davie and Bob Thacker.

Pete Wiblin was replaced by Flt.Lt Meikle, Jim Bannister was replaced by Roy Millington, Merv Corke took over from Tim Benson and Ted Moore (INAPS) replaced Ken Davie during my stint.

Regards Dave G

A Pictorial of the Royal Australian Air Force Caribou


A Royal Australian Air Force Caribou comes in on final approach during Exercise Pitch Black 08. — at Mount Bundy.

White Caribous of 38 Squadron over Sydney

13-01-1965. Arrival of the first Caribou Aircraft on ferry flight from Canada to Australia.  at RMAF Butterworth.

Caribou carrying out local area flying during Exercise Flying Start.

A Whiptail Wallaby Caribou of No 35 squadron touches down after an airdropping sortie.

South Vietnam. 1969 - RAAF Caribou aircraft of No. 35 Squadron were

used to air-lift Australian troops from the field to their Nui Dat base.

Home to roost - a pair of No. 38 Squadron DHC-4 Caribou return from having

conducted a ceremonial flypast for a Squadron Parade at RAAF Base Townsville

Wing Commander Tim Smith, Flight Lieutenant Ross Benson, Flying Officer Michael Read

and Flight Sergeant David Farrer delivering supplies to the village of Tapini, Papua New Guinea.

Unidentified Australian troops await quarantine clearance at the domestic terminal of Honiara airport.

They are returning from their deployment to the Solomon Islands under Operation Anode

Caribou UN-324 landing at Punch [Poonch] airstrip to pick up Capt Newman

about to go on CTO [Compulsory Time Off] to Kabul. Note - hospital on RH side.

A Caribou aircraft of No. 38 Squadron RAAF, on a dirt runway during a stopover at a landing ground in Maliana, East Timor

Taxiing after landing at their first training airfield in Papua New Guinea, Kokoda airstrip. Warrant Officer 'Budge' Andrew Newman

is seen here out the top hatch of his Caribou providing advice on wing clearance and surface condition during ground handling

DHC-4 Caribou aircraft at dawn during Exercise Northern Station 2007

Former No. 38 Squadron (38SQN) pilot John Lindner stands aside aircraft DHC-4 Caribou A4-140 on the flight

line at RAAF Base Richmond. John was part of the first crew who ferried the A4-140 from Canada in early 1964

The DHC-4 Caribou in Air Force service celebrates 45 years of dedicated service to the nation in 2009. To acknowledge the milestone, A4-299 has been painted in 45th Anniversary colours and is seen here over Townsville in the lead up to the Australian Defence Force Air Display and Open Day, Townsville 2009

A pair of No. 38 Squadron Caribou stand on the apron at RAAF Base Townsville during Caribou End of Era festivities.

Latest RCAF Traffic Technician Recruitment Video
UK Armed Forces Deliver Essential Equipment to the Falkland Islands

The UK Armed Forces have delivered essential equipment to the Falkland Islands to enable the construction of an oxygen generation plant to increase the supply of oxygen to King Edward Memorial Hospital. A Royal Air Force A400M Atlas along with a C-17 Globemaster delivered the equipment to British Forces South Atlantic Islands as part of the UK Government’s support to the Overseas Territories during the coronavirus pandemic.


Thanks to the tireless work of Armed Forces personnel and Ministry of Defence civilians and contractors, the hospital will now have increased capacity to treat patients with breathing difficulties. A team from 5001 Sqn RAF Wittering will shortly deploy to assist in the installation and maintenance of the oxygen generation plant.




Loads of relief for neighbours in crisis

Air Force Globemasters have carried critical supplies to Vanuatu and Fiji in the wake of Tropical Cyclone Harold, which hit the island countries on April 6. The flights were part of the ADF’s contribution to Australia’s whole-of-government response to the humanitarian crisis.


A C-17A Globemaster, from 36SQN at RAAF Base Amberley, delivered pallets of humanitarian supplies to support the disaster relief efforts of the governments of Vanuatu and Fiji.


Air Movements personnel from 23SQN prepared and loaded the first aircraft with stores from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade on April 9 and the mission departed for Vanuatu on April 12.


OC 86WG GPCAPT Anthony Bull said the C-17A also transported Australians and permanent residents back to Australia via Brisbane International Airport. “Despite these challenging times it is rewarding to be able to deliver assistance to our Pacific neighbours,” GPCAPT Bull said. “Flying in Australian aid is professionally very satisfying. The Air Force is a proven partner in times of crisis and our personnel are ready to move at short notice.”


23SQN prepared two more C-17A loads for Fiji that arrived in Nadi in the third week of April. C-17A captain FLTLT Chris Moore said the loads contained critical humanitarian relief supplies including kitchen kits, hygiene and shelter kits and critical medical supplies.




This Newsletter is Dedicated

To the Memories of:

David Taylor (RAF)

Linda Angus - wife of Alec (RAF)

If you wish to help support the OBA:


In Canada, via bank e-mail transfer to


Overseas (including the UK), you may send Cheque or Money Order to:


Tony Gale

602-60 Rue Cormier,

Gatineau, Quebec, J9H 6B4