From: Len Bowen, Chisholm, ACT
Subject: Lockdown Special Part II..."What did you do in the lockdown Daddy?"

G'Day Mate.

Travelling fine here. Biggest problem is what I am going to cook for dinner each evening. Penny is working from home, so I am house-husband Mon - Fri, but we share the kitchen at weekends. Running out of 18 - 24-month-old curries in the freezer for weekdays!

Mild relaxation of visits & distances has allowed a staggered visit of Euan, Carmen  (younger son & daughter-in-law) & the grandchildren on Mothers' Day, followed by Callum (elder son) and Special Lady Brooke later when Callum came off shift with Air Services Australia. All social distancing observed, but when younger grandaughter Lily broke into paroxism of weaping because "She couldn't hug Nanna" we did relax the rules just a little bit.

Myself? Well really it is great to be forced to do what I wanted to do anyway; modelling & reading books, with rescue dog Oliver close by to give Penny & I much needed furry hugs when required.

It seems that Australia & NZ may just have missed the worst - through no fault at times of our Government agencies in OZ  [vide SS Ruby Princess], but the Kiwi Boss Lady in charge and her team have really been on top of it from about Day 1.5. I'm touching wood when I say that, in case the over-anxious now allowed to run free trigger another spike. 

Hang in there gentlemen and ladies. It will come good eventually.



Known as the Bradenstoke site, 213 acres of the former RAF base at Lyneham utilises 269,000 solar panels and has a 69.8MW peak capacity, providing enough energy to power 10,000 homes plus the base.  RAF Lyneham opened for flying operations during World War II in 1940 and closed in 2012 when the majority of its assets were relocated to RAF Brize Norton.  The site is now home to the Defence Technical Training College, which became operational in September 2015.


(Photographed on 16th May, 2020)


From: Kevan Lawrence, Baboon Village
Subject: Re: UKMAMS OBA OBB #043020

Hi Tony,

Thanks once again for an interesting and entertaining letter. We are stuck in South Africa as all flights were cancelled, we should have left tomorrow (May 3rd) but now won't leave before June 3rd.

Seem to spend most of the time chasing baboons that have taken over the village now there are so few people and vehicles about. The wildlife is finding its way firmly back into the area, the last spotting was of Caracals, wild cats, but we have the resident porcupines too.

Lockdown has been quite strict here, we have just been allowed to take exercise between 06.00 - 09.00 so every man and his dog is out at the same time! We haven't been able to buy cigarettes or booze, but the local micro gin distillery is now selling 80% proof 'hand sanitizer' and it takes a lot of tonic to make it drinkable.

We live 5 doors down from our eldest son and his family and have some nice neighbours, so we don't have any problems - other than the wildlife!

Take care mate, be safe!


From: Don Hunter, 30700 St Maximin 
Subject: Pete Arnold

Hi Tony,

A number of us are trying to find out whatever happened to Pete Arnold, who was a Team Leader at the same time as me (1974-76) and I had taken over from him in Gan in '73.

Pete, Ian Envis and I shared the infamous Bramble Cottage in Hillmarton when on MAMS, and we were all really good friends.  Pete subsequently got promoted to Sqn Ldr. I had gone to Washington by then and Pete just seemed to disappear in the early 80s. All efforts to find out where he went and where he is now have failed and Ian and I (and others, I’m sure) would love to know how to contact him.

Does anyone have any ideas?

Best regards


From: Ian Envis, Crowborough, East Sussex
Subject: Trotters Independant Trading C130

In the last week of April, the UK Government & NHS were in a very heated argument about the provision of PPE for the frontline staff in their battle against Covid-19.

Eventually the RAF were tasked to mount the uplift of 80 Tonnes of PPE from Turkey, as arranged by the combined might of the Government & NHS Procurement. Well, then the story gets complicated.

The first aircraft launched and then was delayed loading in Turkey by 24 hours, due to some paperwork issue. When it was finally resolved, within about four days, two additional RAF aircraft collected the remainder of the order - and each aircraft was unloaded at Brize Norton. The media went wild with excitement, the frontline NHS blew a sigh of relief and the RAF got some great media coverage.

However Tony, on 7th May it transpires that the entire load has FAILED some UK NHS manufacturing grade standards and the media are talking about the entire shipment being consigned to the scrap heap!! Hence the funny folks have brought out the C130 and Trotters (UK Sitcom "Only Fools and Horses") spoof.

Ciao, Ian

From: John Gardiner, Carterton, Oxon
Subject: Update

Hi Tony,

Here's hoping this email finds you and everyone well and staying safe.

Must say, the lockdown has forced me to take on jobs that I have been putting off for ages… Garden has never looked better and have even got a motorbike running I've not used for years… not that I can go anywhere on it given the current situation, but looking forward to getting out on it in the near future, subject to Boris’ approval of course.

Not really a lockdown picture attached, but unearthed it in a tidy up.  It was taken at Benson around 1969/70. How scrubbed up were we in our ties!  Who can name them all?

Best Wishes and Stay Safe


From: Brian Jenkins, Southwell, Portland, Dorset 
Subject: Lockdown

Hi one and all - hope you are all well.

At the moment our Isle of Portland is in lock down - no visitors to the island and no one can leave unless it's a dire emergency - there's a police check at the end of the causeway!

To be honest Wendy and 1 haven't walked so much for a long time - round and round the island - starting to get dizzy. Luckily the views are fantastic plus the wildlife which includes seals, dolphins, birds of prey, wild goats and alpacas and the occasional fox and squirrel.

At the moment we have six passenger liners anchored out in the bay including the Queen Mary.  Thankfully the weather has been great. The worst thing is that we pass at least 4 closed pubs on our walk. It's sad to say the most exciting part of the week is a shopping visit to Tesco on the Island.

Luckily Wendy and I are still talking!!

Anyway, best to all

Brian (Taff)

From: Fred Hebb, Gold River, NS
Subject: Lockdown Special Part II

Hi Tony,

Since we got home from the South it has been pretty boring. Most of the time I sit at home waiting for something to happen.

Meetings I usually go to have been cancelled so my wife and I got caught up on a lot of TV programs that we recorded. Not much has changed, they still haven’t found the big treasure on Oak Island, we will have to wait I guess.

As if that Covex-19 isn’t bad enough, we in Nova Scotia had other tragedies like the murder of 22 innocent people in our province, the tragic loss of the helicopter and crew from HMCS Fredericton (home port is Halifax), the loss of a 3 year old boy from Truro, NS and the death of a friend from New Brunswick who was in Alberta at the time.

Our flags have been at half mast for 22 days so I guess I will raise mine tomorrow morning. RIP to all.

As I write this today, Mother’s Day, I hope all of the mothers, especially all those serving in the movements business and those who have served had a Happy Mothers Day.

Fred Hebb

From: David Gilinder, Lowestoft, Suffolk  
Subject: 540 Entries

Hi Tony,

I have been looking at the F540 entries for my time on mobile and have some additional info for a couple of entries.  The first is for the entry regarding the special in February 1969 recovering the teams from Maguire AFB during the longshoreman's strike.  My log book shows Ken Davie, Bob Thacker and myself travelling via Comet IV XV398 to New York via Shannon and Stephenville, Newfoundland on 31st January 1969 (the Comet IV obviously didn't have the legs to do it in one hop). We were met at JFK by Jim Stewart (what a gentleman!) and taken to Maguire where we  met up with F/S Les Mather. Jim Stewart then recovered by civil flight to UK.  The four of us were at Maguire until we recovered on Brit XM498 on 3rd March. I think we had one aircraft a week but I could be wrong. I also have the name of the Op but that may still be classified so will leave it at that, I don't want the 3am knock on my door!

The second set of info is in relation to Execise Ranular in October 1969. My log book records the teams mentioned plus Jim Stewart and myself positioning on Brit Flt 6538 (Lyneham- Akrotiri) on October 30th and myself and probably others recovering on Here Flt 3330 (Akrotiri-Lyneham) on13th December. Jim Stewart and I were the Ops Cell and my abiding memory of that task is the abysmal Cyprus telephone service.  We had to shout to get ourselves heard. It had not improved by the time I went back to Joint Services Port Unit in 1984. Sometimes it was easier to open a window and shout in the general direction of Akrotiri or Episkopi.

All the Best

Dave G

From: Don Hunter, 30700 St Maximin 
Subject: Lockdown Special Part II

Hi Tony,

We are in our 7th week of being locked down in rural France, near Périgueux in the Dordogne, waiting to move into our new home near Bergerac. All the notaires (solicitors) are also locked down, so we have to wait a little longer for paperwork to be finalised and get the keys.

At the beginning, I made a list of half a dozen things I would achieve during lockdown (improve my French, lose those few extra pounds... the usual suspects. Success rate? Next question!

The lockdown here in France has been necessarily strict and the rules (not “guidelines”) have generally been clear and unambiguous. Yes, it’s really tough being confined and away from friends and family, but break the rules, expect a €135 minimum fine. Consistently break or flaunt them, go to prison. Hard but fair.

Anyone who has been in the military will understand the need for discipline in the unique situation the world finds itself in and even if sometimes you don’t fully agree with what you are being told, you just get on with it. The French (surprisingly?) have generally been extremely good at obeying the rules, and the various national recovery graphs seem to be all heading in the right direction. Fingers crossed.

Here, it’s  all about having a clear, enforceable and unambiguous directive from a central source, whether you agree with everything or not. Just like being back in the mob!

All best wishes to everyone, with good health and a quick return to whatever “normal” might look like, wherever you are.


From: Ken Davie, Palm Beach Gardens, FL
Subject: Lockdown Special Part II

All OK,  hunkered down in Florida with the wee prehistoric beasties in the backyard.  This one is enjoying a fresh fish for his breakfast!

Aye the noo, Ken

From: Frank Lightfoot, Millport, Great Cumbrae Island  
Subject: Lockdown Special Part II

Hi Tony,

Best wishes to you and the old guard!

Living on the island reduces the risk of infection from the virus, as the ferry is monitored you must be a resident to get here nowadays.

I am in fine health, will be 77 next month. I take my white Westie out to the beach each day for walkies and don't see anyone; normally the beaches are full of tourists.

Cheers for now,


From: John Gillis, Hanwell, NB
Subject: Lockdown Special Part II

Hi Tony,  I still enjoy your newsletter and look forward to the next publication. Having said that, the lock-down has surely made our lives different. Since being in lock-down, my wife has found numerous odd jobs for me to do and I bet I'm not alone.

I did mange to finally get around to casing some of my collected pins that I managed to get hold of over the years.I counted over 1,000 and had seven case frames available to work with . When I finished the seven, I still had another 500 pins left and now have to wait to get some more frames. Hope you're staying safe and that this will be over soon. Keep up the great work.

From: Ian Stacey, Nashville, IN
Subject: Lockdown Special Part II

Hello Tony -

As you can see we are well off the beaten track here in the hills of Southern Indiana.  Here I am in my UKMAMS  t-shirt trying not to be bored after over 8 weeks of near hibernation. Hope everyone out there is keeping safe and healthy.

Best regards, Ian
From: Harriet Thompson, Northolt   
Subject: Lockdown Special Part II

Afternoon Tony,

Since the lockdown, I’ve been keeping busy at RAF Northolt, staying in the Officers’ Mess and often enjoying the sunshine outside in the garden. The work here has continued and we have been busy assisting with some repatriation flights and handling inbound C-17 freight. There are less passenger flights but we are busier handling more freight than usual – so this is certainly keeping us busy and keeping our minds sane! It is nice maintaining some routine during this very peculiar time.

I look forward to the day we’ll all be able to enjoy going out again and hopefully there will be a chance to catch up at a reunion in the future and have a beer…or two!  Stay safe and take care.

Kind regards


From: Al Sadler, Port Elizabeth, Bequia, SVG  
Subject: Lockdown Special Part II

Happy May two-four weekend Tony, and to all the movers that your newsletter reaches. So this will be my first time sending you a submission for your OBA. First let me say I look forward to reading your newsletter every month.

So for us full time live-aboard cruisers down here in the Eastern Caribbean life has been a real mixed bag of restrictions, lockdowns, and rules to follow... except where I dropped my anchor! Back in February, I arrived here in Port Elizabeth, Bequia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines to visit friends, both locals and other "yachties" as we are called by some. Little did I know I'd still be here in May. But honestly I could not have picked a better place to ride out this storm called COVID-19.

SVG has 26 islands within its borders, so we can still do what we love to do, sail to different islands. SVG has recorded only 17 total cases, 3 that remain active to date, and all were on the main island of St. Vincent. But as countries to the north and south of SVG are imposing lockdown procedures and restrictions on both their citizens and to the transient yachties, here in Bequia life has remained as normal as can be. Giving that the island is small, a little hard to get to, and no international airport to import the virus. With the exception of some of the weaker immune system citizens wearing masks, the few grocery stores limiting the amount of customers in at a time, and hand sanitizing. Life, business, and socializing goes on as if normal. We read reports from other yachties caught in other countries about being quarantined to their boats and not allowed ashore, what so ever, (I think now that has been lifted?). The only way they were able to get fuel, water, and/or provisions was to arrange for it in advance online and pay a local delivery guy to bring it to a town dock where you could pick it up and return to your boat without ever stepping ashore. Some were having issues getting their prescriptions filled, and in one island they were even patrolling the bays and if you were caught swimming too far from your boat they were threatening fines. All of these reports reinforced my thought that I couldn't have gotten luckier by being "locked down" in this amazing country.

Anyway, I hope this message finds everyone healthy, happy, and safe. Remember "Stay Calm and Wash Your Hands".

Al Sadler
S/V Furling Around

From: Andrew Kay, Bowling Green, KY

Subject: Lockdown Special Part II


Since moving to our new home in Kentucky, I've been going through a few old envelopes of "stuff", so here's some pictures I found.


Picture 1: Stu Curson, Taff Smith and Lionel Earndon in Paphos Village 1975

Picture 2: Self, Stu and Lionel with the pelican, also in Paphos


Picture 3: RAF Aldergrove 1978 and the names, left to right: Taff Brimble, self, Steve Croston, John Willans (Diilon), Jock Hayes and Clive Chapman. 


I know at least a couple of this lot are on the OBA.  Own up!  For me, I am coping with the Coronavirus lockdown well.  I actually got tested a couple of weeks back with a negative result (hooray!).  We are both being smart, practicing safe distance and wearing masks. It would be nice to actually see our son now we have moved to be closer to him, but so far that hasn't happened.  Hopefully soon.


Stay safe, soon all this will be over!


From: Steve Harpum, York
Subject: Lockdown Special Part II

Hi Tony,

I was lucky enough to work with a great team of people in Oxford NHS supply chain and logistics. It was much more like hard work than I had intended when I started here last year, but as the picture shows, we got there in the end (this is a lecture theatre that we took over as an emergency PPE store).

Best wishes to everyone as we head towards the new normal - stay safe!


From: Neville Whitham, Preston, Lancs 

Subject: Lockdown Experience


Back in the depths of March, our entire office got geared up for working from home and I used my own lap-top to get converted with a VPN programme to enable me to access the work’s server remotely. Imagine my displeasure at finding out that the broadband download speed at home was insufficient to support ‘VPN’, as it sucked the life out of my average 5.4 Mbps download speed! I tried changing ISP suppliers but none could offer more than I was already achieving.


At the start of the lockdown, I had envisaged being furloughed, as with the majority of the nation’s workers, but it wasn’t to be. The company that I work for are a principal contractor for Highways England (HE) in Area 10 (North West England) and we had been deemed as ‘key workers’, keeping the nation’s road network safe, open and in a good state of repair.


Essentially, on 25 March, HE had declared that it was “Business as Usual” within their internal communications. That meant that furloughing was out of the equation for our company, as we had contracts to service. HE obviously saw this situation as a great opportunity to service the ‘Strategic Road Networks’ with drastically reduced traffic numbers and a full workforce.


Roocroft Road Restraint Systems is the company that I work for, based in Leyland. They carry out the removal and replacement of concrete steel barriers (CSB), you know, those immovable walls in the centre of motorways that you always have a little respect for when driving! We also install all types of steel barriers and parapets.


The contracts are situated all over England and Wales, having carried out work South of Bristol, Hinkley Point ‘C’, Mersey Gateway (bridge), M5, M42, M1 and many others. The majority of work is carried out at night time by our guys, so as not to inconvenience the customers too much!


My role is as the Safety, Health, Environment and Quality Manager (SHEQ), so as CV-19 Site Operating Procedures (Protecting our workforce) kicked in, my role became rather busier. We are now on revision 8!




The company offered me a safe solution, which was operating from a small office at work, so that I could self isolate myself from any others that remained in the HQ building. The rest operated from their homes. My issue wasn’t so much about myself, but about the likelihood of taking something into our home and thereby reducing my mum’s health and longevity.


My wife Alison retired early and elected to be my mother’s carer, who we had offered to support in our own home due to her medical frailties. My mum is 89 and suffers from three of the categories listed in the Government’s “Extremely Vulnerable” categories relating to the pandemic. Mum has been with us in our home for two and half years now and we wish for her to remain in as good a health as possible, as you would.


Yesterday, I managed to get myself and Alison CV-19 tested, for piece of mind as a key worker and carer! A precautionary measure so that we will be able to reassure one another under the continued lockdown.


To date, touching wood, none of our workforce have contracted CV-19, but we do impose and maintain strict procedures whilst working.


I have included a few pictures of the machinery that we use to slip-form the concrete steel barrier into position, continually fed by a stream of concrete mixers from other suppliers. The wall in the picture was taken on the A19 in Newcastle last year, in case you wondered about the 2 metre rule!


Hope all is well with the UKMAMS OBA members and readership out there Tony.


Keep up the good work and Keep Safe.


Best regards,


Neville Whitham


Cuerden, ‘Up North’.

From: Keith Parker, Bowerhill, Wilts   
Subject: Lockdown Part 2

After all the who-ha of the start up of all the worry, we went into lockdown with the spirit of 2 world wars, "It'll all be over by Christmas" echoing in our ears. The first thing we did was tidy the garden that had been long overdue anyway. The roses are the best ever and the lawn's not bad either.

Then we had the good news that we could go to the allotment if it was near, well mine is a 5 minute drive so that was acceptable. I was a bit concerned as I have changed it for raised beds - no worries and with aid of my head gardener most is planted out. 

Some time ago you sent some details on the squadron badge, and after seeing Nip Betts (I think) with his on the front of a snazzy car I thought that's for me. Only thing is they don't have a place to put them on the new cars. So, true to my word and with the help of one very good neighbor, I have put it on my other set of wheels - I'm sure you will approve Tony.  Well after all my exertions one just has to have a rest and my SWMBO just happened to catch me in rest mode!

And so to end this epistle I leave you with the thought made immortal by the one and only Uncle Reg Carey, "STAY ALERT, YOUR COUNTRY NEEDS LERTS"

From: Jim Bissell, Ellenton, FL 
Subject: Lockdown Florida style

Well, lockdown came to Florida starting on April 3rd, the owner of the company I work for told me that because of my age and being diabetic I should stay at home. This started off as three weeks off with pay but after the second week they increased it to a total of five weeks with pay.

I went back to work on the same day that the lockdown was lifted here in Florida, May 4th, so it's been almost two weeks back now and glad to be back . The picture was taken quite awhile before the lockdown on one of our Universal trips over to Orlando only just over an hour away.

Hope everyone is safe and well.

Jim & Trish Bissell

From: Peter Price, Calne, Wilts  
Subject: Lockdown Special Part II

Hi  Tony,  

All well here in Calne. Hope all Old Bods are safe and well. The RAF Association have been very good, They check on all old boys every week here in Calne.  All the best and keep in touch and stay safe

Pete and Chris Price

From: Pete Hopkins, Swindon, Wilts
Subject: Lock down

Hi Tony,

Àll well with Jayne and myself in Swindon after an encounter with the dreaded Covid!  All ok now and still furloughed (Honda Logistics), hopefully going back soon! 

Jayne still working in the hospital in Bristol every day so keeping busy.

Wishing all the very best and take care and importantly safe!

Pete & Jayne Hopkins

From: Peter Thompson, Sunderland, Tyne and Wear
Subject: Lockdown Special Part II

Hi all,

Just to let you know that Eileen and I are fine. Eileen is classed as vulnerable so she is staying safe at home.  Meanwhile, I am still working hard to ensure that the wheels of commerce keep turning and you all have bog roll and beer on your supermarket shelves.

Take care all, love, Hammy and Eileen.

From: Alexander Angus, Kippax, West Yorkshire 
Subject: Lockdown Special Part II

Hi Tony,

Further to sorting out my various music media, I made a start to make inroads into 51 years of accumulated stuff that loiters in the attic; it's surprising the trash we keep. I had several bonfires of old wage slips and bank statements, lord knows why we kept them so long. Some of the rubbish brings back memories. I have lots still to sort out yet, just can't get it to charity shops as everything is still shut.

I think my next job is to get my tins of soup in alphabetical order!

Stay safe everyone, Alec.

From: Colin Easdon-Smith, Ingham, QLD 
Subject: Lockdown Special Part II

Hi, Tony, thanks for the mail, and good wishes. The Virus has played havoc around the world, but fortunately I did not have to change my life style. I live 4 Kms from town on a friend's cane farm, fairly isolated. I drive into town daily to pick up my mail and newspaper and do any shopping at Woolies. Have a chat with  lots of people (keeping  the required distance) no more shaking hands and hugging.

Still have the glass of white before lunch, have a siesta, potter around later, have the sundowner at 5.30 –6, dinner at 7 accompanied by a glass or two of red. Watch Foxtel on the TV, retire at approx 11.

Cheers for now, Colin.

From: Edward Stout, Aylesbury, Bucks
Subject: Lockdown Special Part II

Locked down in the man cave. Making fishing flies.  Photo and video editing all those photos and videos from the Far East, Europe, Cyprus and Gib; especially enjoying the ones that will embarrass old friends and colleagues.  Continued research into the family history files.  All that time interspersed with some gardening, art rock painting, cooking fruit scones and getting under the feet of HWMBO.

Stay safe out there everyone.

Very best regards, Ed

From: Barry Tappenden, Shortstown, Beds
Subject: Lockdown Special Part II

Hi Tony, firstly I hope you and your family are still well and staying safe. Lockdown 2 for me is still busy as we are still broadcasting on Hospital Radio Bedford, albeit still from the comfort of my bedroom.

Managing to still do a few hours at the allotment, looking after the chickens and planting out the normal only to suffer a late frost... small disaster with the tomatoes... still learning!

The radio station is still reaching all parts of the globe on the web: so the offer to all members is still open if you want me to send a message then send it to my email address or

I go out live on Tuesday between 5 - 7pm (BST) and Saturday morning between 10 - 12 noon (BST). I have made arrangements with the other presenters to play any requests on their show as well. Please mark the subject "MAMS Lockdown 2 Special Request".

From my family to yours, stay safe.

From: Paul Newman, Peterborough, Cambs 
Subject: Lockdown

Hi Tony,

I'm still volunteering with Team Rubicon distributing PPE to Cambridgeshire. Managed to have 5 days off up to now. My team consists of an ex-army Rubicon regular, an ex-Blues and Royals, an ex-Marine and myself. We moved to and set up a new warehouse the week after we started and have distributed over 1.3 million items to 11,000 customers. We have only had 2 consignments returned, the customers weren't in, and no wrong orders.

As you can see from the pictures, military p*** taking is still alive and well.

Funny old thing that we have such a good system going that the NHS controller has had an army logistics guy drafted in to run the warehouse "more efficiently". We have  counted the same thing at least 4 times and different sizes, and makes, of gloves have got their own iv number. We are still managing to have fun though and two of us are going into competition with Ikea using pallets as minimalist furniture.  I managed to go gliding last weekend after 10 weeks, that was a welcome return.

Anyway the virus is still amongst us, so keep taking precautions and stay safe all!

Cheers, Paul

From: Mick Goater, Goole, East Yorks   
Subject: Lockdown Special Part II


Lockdown is driving me mad, cannot travel and no football, but I do have my ticket for Wolves v Olympiacos in the Europa League (bought it the day before the lockdown) so hope to be off to Molineux in next few weeks. Currently sat at home all alone.

Have been recording all my vinyl to hard drives and that is keeping me busy - blimey, I have some crap records! I am also out cycling quite often to keep fit and get some fresh Yorkshire air, doing 10 miles most days.

Have my face mask ready for when they impose rules to wear them - open for suggestions on how to drink my pint while wearing this, but at least it hides my moustache!

Trust everyone is well and I am sure we have all gone thru worse at some time - at least I can still get gin.

Regards, Mick

From: Harold Jones, Neston, Cheshire
Subject: Lockdown Special Part II


Greetings, trust you are all safe and well in these interesting times.

I am still "enjoying" quality time with my modelling, all those little jobs that are either too awkward or too big or just too too!!  Val is enjoying her baking and we are still having our daily video calls. In fact, you might say, all is well here. That is, apart from the CAT... who is literally climbing the walls!

Many cheers to Movers everywhere.


From: Tim Newstead, Bourton-on-the-Water, Glos 
Subject: Lockdown Special Part II

All is well here.  We are actually quite enjoying the lockdown, despite its limitations (we consider ourselves very fortunate – many are finding it tough); we are keeping our heads well down, being required to rely on shopping coming to us rather than us queuing at the supermarkets.

The garden has never looked so good and the car never so sparklingly clean!  Other standard lockdown chores completed include garage clearing & tidying and drive & patio pressure-washing! 

To continue the gardening theme, herewith a pic of yours truly tackling tree pruning the low-tech way!  Guess who used to be a trained Health & Safety Officer!

Best wishes to all and stay safe.

From: Peter Orton Camberley, Surrey  
Subject: Lock down survival

Surprisingly, as a natural recluse, I am enjoying the peace and quiet! My therapists have always told me to list positives and negatives and then assess the balance.

Positives:  No school-run mums blocking my drive - Cleaner air along the M3 corridor - Less air traffic from Heathrow, Farnborough, Blackbushe and Fairoaks - being able to hear birdsong from adjacent MoD Pirbright / Deepcut ranges.

Negatives: Missing granddaughters - Royal Oak pub closed - Family holiday in Naples cancelled.

On balance, personal life not really changed, just chillin'  in retirement as they say in the Islands. Outside, the greed and opportunism of the corporate moguls disgusts me. Many good people face loss of income as speculators cash in. Just when you think you're at the bottom of the cesspit, the media reassure us that there are thicker and lower forms of life than all the rest of us. Stay safe all of you. As ex-servicemen we have all been F'd by experts, so we can adjust to anything.

The selfie is of my lock-down haircut.  I always could set a trend.  Keep looking for the positives!

From: H Firth Dolton, Winkleigh North Devon 
Subject: Lockdown in Devon

Life in North Devon is very relaxed despite the pandemic. We are very lucky to have unfettered access to the beautiful countryside hereabouts so being able to get out of the house is a real bonus, especially with the weather being so good. 

I would like to pass on best wishes to all the “Movers” on the site and hope that they are keeping safe. 

I am looking forward to returning to the golf course this week to start the preparations for the Dave Wall.

Warm regards


From: Jeff Thomas, Llandrindod Wells, Powys   
Subject: Lockdown Special Part II

Hello Tony et al.

Greetings from Mid-Wales where the countryside is greenest and the Sun always shines. Our Lockdown, our very own lockdown, has been going for eight weeks and Wendy and I have remained isolated, mostly, IAW Government Orders. Fortunately, we have a quite active Welsh Border Collie, she is brilliant at getting us out, me in the mornings and last thing at night, with Wendy on duty in the afternoons. A shortish walk from our home takes us down to the famous Llandrindod Wells Lake so that is the area for our exercise activities. Very useful it is too mainly because the golf course is OB for now. There are plans for restricted opening starting later this month so there is hope on the horizon. I expect that many of the guys and ladies are waiting for playing days to begin. Patience is a virtue and love is strength. We wish you all the very best, be good and stay safe.

Photo: Jeff on duty as chairman of Llandrindod Wells Twinning Association, greeting a very smartly dressed Patrick Carre, Chairman of Contrexeville, France, twinning. Welcome to the Lake (pre-lockdown).

From: Phil Smith, Exmouth, Devon
Subject: Birthday Lockdown

Today is the 13th May 2020 and it is my 71st birthday. Lockdown continues. No foreign travel, no meals out and no drinks down the local. Just a couple of bottles of Prosecco in the back garden.

This afternoon, for excitement, we visited the local 13th century church in the village and walked round the graveyard. Noticed quite a few inscriptions on gravestones and I am very pleased to report my name did not appear. Bit of a relief.

Attached is a photo of my birythday present that was bought and paid for weeks ago and is still in the car showroom. Due to a midlife crisis recently I asked my wife to purchase this Mercedes SLK AMG sports car. She thinks only blokes under 35 years of age with hair on their head and their own teeth should be driving one. I disagree.

I have requested our son and his wife, both ICU nurses in Auckland, New Zealand, for my birthday, send us their Prime Minister and they can have ours. I await developments.

Keep your chins up as they say. Cheers from Dozy Devon!

From: David Moss, Sorbie, Dumfries and Galloway
Subject: Local parade

Hi there Tony,

The lock down has not really made a great difference to us because of the very rural area where we live, except that we do not at present do our own shopping.  Our landlord and landlady live only 75 yards from us and the youngest daughter is doing their shopping and kindly does ours at the same time.

As there were no public parades or other gatherings allowed for today’s VE Day celebrations, I had a small parade of my own in our garden.

With very best regards,

David and Darrelle Moss

From: Keri Eynon, Thatcham, Berks  
Subject: Lockdown

Although I am following all the instructions, I am still also officiating at funerals. These are now very harrowing as there are only up to a maximum of 10 family members allowed at the crematorium and the seating is very widely spaced. There is to be no contact with the coffin by the family or with whomever is conducting the service. This is most distressing especially when the circumstance of death are particularly painful;  I recently officiated for a 39 year old who had committed suicide. Having to deal with people over the phone or by email makes it that more difficult as I only meet them just before the service and then have no contact afterwards at the crematorium.

I get my daily exercise in with a long walk around Thatcham thereby ensuring I achieve more than the aim of 10,000 steps or 8 km/5 miles on my fitbit counter. Glad to say that my wife, and the rest of the family - son and grandchildren in Oxford and daughter in Thatcham are free from the virus so am basically waiting for and when restrictions start getting relaxed. Hoping you and all your relatives are keeping safe and well.

Keri (Taff)

From: Stephen Smith, Reading, Berkshire    
Subject: Lockdown Special Part II

Last week was a bit of a downer when I heard about the sad passing of our friend and colleague Terry Christie.

I’ve now been working from home for seven weeks and due to health reasons, my wife was told by her employers – the NHS – to stay away from work and be shielded. Working from home is a strangely stressful situation to be in and whilst my daily commute after breakfast has gone from 1 hour to a little under 10 seconds, working from home is quite isolating and not something that I am enjoying to be honest.

After eating all the junk food around the house, I started to feel like a bit of a bloater so I enrolled in the Noom Weight Loss and Health programme.  In five weeks, I have reduced my weight by 7 Kgs and I’m still a fat bugger but it’s going in the right direction.

I would like to wish my colleagues and friends from all over the Movements world good fortunes and Stay Safe!

Kindest Regards, Stephen Smith MBCS

From: David Powell, Princes Risborough
Subject: Lockdown Special Part II

Hi Tony,


Morale good, garden immaculate, malt stocks down.

However, sourcing suitable face masks is challenging.

Take care, stay safe.

David Powell
F Team, RAF Abingdon 1967-69

From: Tom Burrows Sudbury, Suffolk
Subject: Lockdown

Hi Tony,

I am very fortunate to live about 400yds from the River Stour and Sudbury water meadows, so for my daily walk, that is where I head for. I have been amazed at the wild life I have been able to enjoy. This includes buzzards, sand martins and swallows. I have also heard at least 2 cuckoo’s and watched a hen harrier and sparrow hawk hunting.

On the river there have been kingfishers, mallards, geese and swans. There are also some deer and hares around. All this with a carpet of wildflowers and grasses.

So with my binoculars in hand I have become a fervent bird and nature watcher; it has given me something to do instead of being at home all day.

From: Ian Berry, West Swindon, Wilts

Subject: Lockdown Special Part II


I hope everyone is coping? Getting bored now and so I do the 6,000 step walk down to the local garage for a newspaper.


As with many others I assume I am struggling to stop gaining weight! Today is day 4 without alcohol... it hurts.


Christine is now back golfing and managed to lose several balls in the first few games, I won't mention a number.


Earlier this month we did celebrate VE Day and had some bubbly. I also flew a 4ft RAF ensign on the front lawn but don't know what our Polish neighbours thought. restrictions are slackening but a way to go yet.



From: Mark Brierley, York
Subject: Lockdown Special Part II

Hi Tony,

Here in York, our garden hasn’t looked this good since we moved in almost four years ago.  The garage has also received lots of attention too.  I’ve done a rewiring job and installed better lights as well as tidying the place to AOC’s Inspection standard.  Well, maybe Stn Cdr’s Inspection standard. 

My volunteering job at the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, which is Secretary to the Board, has actually got busier (using video-conferencing) as we seek to reduce costs whilst raising funds to keep this heritage railway alive during its closure because of the pandemic. (The below photo was taken before Covid-19.)

Best wishes to all Old Bods.



A day in the life of the Humper Tacticius

Penned by Alan Liptrot, RAF Lyneham, C1970

(Discovered by Alec Angus while sorting out his attic recently)


And so it came to pass, in the 13 hours of the sun, in the land of confusion and bewilderment, that the weary laid down their chains and tensioners and lifted their voices in prayer towards the throne where the Big Chief sat, where all things begin.


And as the Tensioner Tighteners assemble in prayer there ariseth great clamour, weeping and moaning, for they are heavy-eyed, sore footed and weary of limb, for their toils have indeed been great!


Surely now, the Chief of Tensioner Tighteners will give them rest? Then there is a great hush, for the Chief of Tensioner Tighteners and his two disciples came forth from their sanctuary and donned heavy coats; for indeed the weather is cold and dangerous even for them.


A disciple cometh forth and speaketh in riddles of aircraft to be loaded and the glories to be gained.


Then an even greater hush and stillness, for the Chief cometh forth to speak, and he sayeth unto his flock, “Return to your labours and forget thy meal, if you be lucky on the next 12th hour of this day next week you shall have an hour of respite.


And one of the braver Humper Tacticius ariseth and sayeth in a meek voice, “Surely thou hast not forgotten so soon thy promise that on this day thou wouldst give us rest and food?”


And the  Chief becomes exceedingly wrath, and speaketh in a thunderous roar, and the Tensioner Tighteners whimper and quake in their denims of many colours, for great is their fear. 


The Chief sayeth, “Be thou gone oh scruffy one and complete what thou hast been told!”


And the Tensioner Tighteners whimper and murmur, “Yea verily, we will load 192 if thou wouldst give us transport to Bay 32.”



And the Chief speaketh again, “Hear my words, for ye are the unfortunates.  Walk to Bay 32 for I need my chariot to go where the booze doth flow.  And henceforth ye shall load twice as many aircraft, but we give unto you no lashing tape and ye shall rummage through the land of B1 for new rolls.  And I shall send my Corporal to work mischief among thy people, to harass and spy upon thee. And great will be the punishment of any moaners.  Yea verily, thou shall know the torments of empty stomachs!”


And the Tensioner Tighteners rend their denims and kneel on the pan and plead for mercy, but the chief is unforgiving.


Then the Chief and his disciples turn away from their place and go where the booze and food flow, and abide in abundances.  And the Tensioner Tighteners return to their tasks and revile in the flap-winged monster.


For three hours of the sun they work and slave to load 192 in time until, suddenly without warning, the Chief of all Tensioner Tighteners appears as if from nowhere, following behind the disciples cast a sorrowful look at the state of the load.  Without hesitation the Chief sayeth, “The aircraft is u/s, and our Master will hath us offload.”


Great mutterings and curses arise from Humper Tacticius and chains and tensioners are flung to the floor in weariness.


This is the last straw for the Tensioner Tighteners, their blood begins to boil and great is their anger and determination for nourishment.  In one mad moment of bravado, their fear of the Chief and his disciples dissipates and as one man they swarm off the aircraft and vanish into the mist and plod back to their abode.


In their dark hole of a crew room, a multitude of bodies fling themselves upon the coffee making machines.


Lo and behold, the Chief of Tensioner Tighteners appeared and he saideth, “Take thee thy rest you rabble, for this day is just beginning!”




From: Richard Lloyd, Dunfermline, Fife 
Subject: Bomber Command Stand-down 29 April 1968

Dear Tony,

I have just been going through some old paperwork, and came across this booklet and these manifests which I’m sure will be of interest to some.

The signature on the manifests themselves is SAC Dyer.

Of all the VIP Flights I handled at Northolt, the Andover flight to Scampton & return is the ultimate in VIPness!


And Now For Something Completely Different


A good friend and neighbour of mine is Jim MacKenzie.  Jim started out as a patrolman in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), eventually ending up as a helicopter pilot for the force.  During this pandemic he has taken to writing weekly reports for the entertainment and amusement of his e-mail circle.  I take great pleasure in sharing an extract from his latest missive:


Once again while dredging through the long dormant memory banks I recall one morning, again while doing highway patrol duties from Moncton, NB, and heading out on the Shediac Road probably in 1963 or 1964. 


Before leaving the populated area I came up to a bunch of kids on the side of the road.  They’d be in the 9 to 11 year old age group I’d guess.  One of them stuck out his thumb and hitch-hiked the police car.  Now that’s not a big deal but it was not really legal and since he was just being a bit of a smart ass I decided I’d just remind him of that fact. 


I turned around and stopped on the far side of the road and told him that he shouldn’t be doing that sort of thing.  He looked me straight in the eye and said, ‘F*ck off flat foot’. 


Oops!  What now?  Knowing full well that if I’d gotten out of the car he’d have been off like a rabbit and heading for home which was likely just across the street.  Since there was no reason whatsoever to chase him, with the exception of maybe giving him a little kick in the pants, I stayed put.  So, can you imagine the futility of a fully uniformed police officer chasing a ten year old kid into his home or yard with lots of people around watching?  And chasing him with little hope of catching him just because he’s a potty mouth punk.  Well, sometimes when you find yourself in a hole you just have to stop digging.  I decided the best course of action would be to take the kid’s advice and I F***** Off.  Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose.  The end.


Ah!  Now we move to the mid 1970’s and it was a hot and sultry prairie summer’s day in Manitoba. We were flying out of Selkirk, Manitoba and would be heading up Lake Winnipeg to Berens River and other assorted stops.  In those days we had the Bell 206A with room on board for five persons.  On this particular day there would be four on board.  JK, JM, Capt. S and yours truly.  The weather was absolutely CAVU [Ceiling And Visibility Unlimited], none of that PTAFH stuff [Peeking Through a F’n Hole].  And I did mention that it was hot didn’t I?  Anyway the 206 is reasonably comfortable but considering that it is a working machine, air conditioning was not one of the primary concerns of the designers.  There is some ventilation available through small sliding windows in the doors but it is limited.  There are two seats in the front with a bench type seat for three behind.  So, away we go.



At this point I should mention that the previous evening, JK and I, with nothing else to do had downed a beer or two.  In addition, should I remember correctly, we had also indulged in a supper of perogies.  Now beer was not really an unusual item of our diet but perogies, although not entirely unknown, were somewhat foreign to our regular intake of foodstuffs. Having said that I must now assume that our respective digestif systems really didnt know what to do with this foreign entity and it was allowed to lay there and ferment during the night hours.


Back to the Bell 206 and although it is a reasonably smooth machine it does have the inherent vibration of all two bladed helicopter systems.  In that there is a bit of a bump in each rotation of the rotors when the advancing blade meets the disturbed air of the retreating blade.  Not something thats overly disturbing, except to professional photographers who absolutely hate the tiny induced blip that the rotor bump puts in their high quality camera shots.  They can see it with their magnified images but to the casual observer of photographs it is non-existent.  So, back to our journey as we droned North along the shore of Lake Winnipeg.


Now I must assume that the fermenting perogies were induced into forming gas bubbles by the little bump of the rotor blades.  Id guess you can imagine the interior of the helicopter under these conditions.  It is hot, cramped, non-ventilated with magically appearing gas bubbles every now and then.  Eventually we made it to Berens River and we landed on the end of one of the docks that jut out into the river just at the entrance to Lake Winnipeg.  It had been a good flight and not much was said although I do sort of recall JM asking JK when they got out on the dock, Did someone die up there?   Whatever could he have meant?


So, away they went to do whatever they had come to do and I, as per usual, waited on the dock.  All was quiet and peaceful, until suddenly without any warning, KABOOM! just like in the old Captain Marvel comic books.  There was a very loud explosion and a big cloud of dust from the edge of the village just up from the dock.  We were then treated to a large number of rocks in varying sizes falling from the sky.  None of the missiles hit the helicopter although a DHC-2 Beaver parked closer to shore took a couple of hits to the wings.  Nothing serious occurred damage wise and I later learned there were no injuries in the village although a few cars took some hits.


It transpired that in order to complete some roadwork near the edge of the village some blasting had been required.  So the holes were drilled and the charges laid and the blast mats put in place.  When they attempted to complete the action, nothing happened.  So the blast mats were removed to check the wiring.  The wiring seemed ok so it was determined that the igniter must be at fault. A plane was sent down to Winnipeg to get a new igniter.  While waiting for the new igniter to arrive some of the local characters decided to hook up some car batteries to the lead wires to see what would happen.  Well, as noted it did happen and without the blast mats in place the result was the rock fall from heaven.  Id guess there was a little bit of luck involved in the no injuries, little damage outcome.


However we did wonder if Capt. S, who had been a destroyer captain in the German Navy in WW2 thought he was back in action with gas attacks, explosions and shrapnel falling?  When we eventually returned to Selkirk, Capt. S bought us a beer, said thank you and with those few words departed.  How about that sports fans?



Then away back when, there was the day I almost lost Santa Claus. I had flown to St. Catherine’s airport from Niagara Falls to pick up and deliver Santa to a nearby sports field where all the kiddies were waiting for their hero.  The helicopter was the Bell 47H, this is a small, three place enclosed cabin machine with a solid tail boom, it is not your usual Bell bubble type with an open framework tail boom.  And being mounted on skids the blades are a bit close to the ground.  When picking up new, and passengers who are probably unfamiliar with a helicopter, a good safety talk is always given.  Although I feel that most of it is not absorbed, understood and quickly forgotten.  Santa had been told that after landing he was to wait in the helicopter until the engine was shut down and the blades stopped turning.  With a piston engine helicopter there is always a little waiting period while the temperatures cool down a bit.  It isn’t long but to someone sitting in a helicopter, on the ground, it seems like an eternity.  In addition there isn’t a brake for the rotors and although you can pull a little pitch to get the air resistance to aid in the slow down it still takes more time.  It is usually then that something that you couldn’t have possible foreseen will raise it’s ugly head and that’s exactly what happened on this occasion.


Without any prior notice or indication of what was going to happen a ½ ton pickup truck was backed under the blades right up to the helicopter.  At this point Santa forgot all the safety instructions and exited the helicopter and jumped up in the back of the waiting truck.  Now that move put his head and upper body within easy range of the still turning blades.  Fortunately at this point Lady Luck turned a bit in our direction and the truck driver began to pull away. 


This threw Santa off balance a bit and he was unable to stand up right away.  By the time he’d regained his balance and stood up to wave to the admiring crowd the truck had moved outside of the rotational plane of the blades.  All was well with the world.  Sometimes no matter how hard you try someone will figure a way to make a mess.  And a mess it would have been had things not gone to the lucky side of our street. Woof! A very close one.  Anyway, there really isn’t a Santa Claus, I know because the Easter Bunny told me so.  How about that sports fans?


And now, returning to 1960.  It was a dark and stormy night [probably it wasn’t but I just had to say that] and I along with one other constable were working the Campbellton City Detachment.  Yep, the same place where the doctor just recently caused the big stir by spreading the CV-19 here there and everywhere.  However, way back then it wasn’t the virus that was causing us problems, it was an inebriated patron at the Glory Café.  It was the weekend and when the call came in it was extremely easy to take a guess as to whom we would be meeting at the Café.  So, BL and I went to see what we could see.  Sure enough here was PP again.  He’s not a bad guy, but on weekends when he comes out of the woods he tends to get a little carried away with the alcohol. In actuality it is far more prudent to talk with PP than just try to grab and remove him from the premises.  He’s not a real big boy but he’s been working in the woods all week swinging an axe and a chain saw and struggling with logs.  In other words he’s plenty strong.  In fairness although PP did create a problem for the proprietor of the Café and sometimes he get into a tussle with some other patron who may or may not be under the influence, PP could be talked down and things would generally end peacefully and PP would get a $10.00 fine from the judge in the morning and leave to go home presenting a very meek and mild manner.  Only when boozing would the devil take over. 



Anyway, that being what it may we brought PP back to the detachment and put him in one of the holding cells downstairs under the fire department that was in the same building.  The cells were constructed of sheet metal strips interwoven something like a screen. 


There were two bunks in each cell, hinged to one wall and supported by chains.  PP would usually just lay down and sleep for awhile and then wake up a few hours later and the fun would begin.  His usual tactic to gain attention would be to lift the top bunk and then let it fall.  Of course with every thing being metal this caused quite a good noise. 


He’d do that for the longest time and it would be like lifting a bar-bell over your head time after time.  Eventually he’d wear out but we all knew he’d done it a heck of a lot longer that any of us could have managed.


He’d rest for awhile and then he’d start to yell and his voice would carry up the stairwell extremely well.  Most of his one way conversations went something like this:


Hey!  Are you up there?




I’m going to break out.




I’m breaking out.




I’m out.




Aren’t you going to come and see?




Aw! You’re just a little man with brass buttons.


After that he’d usually go back to sleep.   [How about that sports fans?]



Ok, let’s put this week’s nostalgia classic to bed.  But before I do just one little blast from the past that, to me, kind of shows how things have changed.


Now we’re away back in 1957-58.  The bus would run from Sydney along the old highway, through North Sydney and Sydney Mines to the end of the route at Cranberry.  Naturally it would do a return run from there.  I would take the bus in the evening and get off just before the end of the line in Cranberry.  I’d visit in a house right along the road.  The bus driver knew I was in there and on his last run leaving Cranberry at midnight he’d stop and beep the horn if I wasn’t at the stop.  Kinda’ neat eh? Imagine a bus driver, these days, stopping at a house to see if you wanted a ride home? I’d let him know if I was going to take the bus or not. 


Quite often I declined the bus ride. The reasons for the decline will remain outside the realm of this narrative. Of course that meant I’d be walking home.  If the weather was nice it wasn’t a bad walk, out the side door and then down around the swamp to the shoreline.  Along the shoreline and up over the cliffs and through the old emplacement where the harbour defense guns used to be placed.  Along for awhile on a street in Sydney Mines, down Greener’s Hill and along the road past the Indian Cove Coal Mine and then through Centerville.  Eventually past Indian Beach and the trestle for loading coal on the ships.  Up through various streets in North Sydney and home.  It made a neat seven or so mile walk following a nice evening.  Times were good.



RAF Brize Norton - Update from the Station Commander
From: Steve Perry, Royal Wootton Bassett, Wilts
Subject: Lockdown

Getting through lockdown, unfortunately I am not able to work being a Driving Instructor and have not been accepted for any work paid or voluntary that I have applied for.

On a positive note my post as Membership Secretary for the RAF MAMS and Movements Sqn Association give me something to do, so if anyone reading this is not a member please visit our website and consider joining. As well as Trade group 18, 4624 Sqn and Officers of the Supply and Logistics branch the Association is open to current and retired members of Commonwealth Forces, The United States Army, Air Force and Marines who served as Movements specialists

I am also currently a Befriender for RAFA and that is very rewarding. One of my clients is a very interesting chap who spent time in the RAF and the RCAF. He is now 93 and after living for many years in Vancouver has now come back to the UK with his wife and daughter. During his time in the RAF he  carried out ferrying duties flying a variety of aircraft from the UK to the Far East. He was also the flying stunt pilot for Kenneth More in the film "Reach for the Sky" . He has some interesting photos of himself with Kenneth More and Douglas Bader. After joining the RCAF he eventually retired aa a Colonel ,I understand he was based in Namao for some time. Unfortunately during the lockdown I am unable to visit him but can keep in contact over the phone.

Hope you and all readers are keeping well.

Best wishes Steve Perry

From: Ian Berry, West Swindon, Wilts

Subject: Ace Freighters Accident - Khormaksar


Hi Tony,


I wonder if any of your readers can remember this incident from their Aden days? - And what the real truth is?



I'm assuming it happened between 1964-66 as ACE Freighters only lasted three years.


Never handled them myself but the tales of them buying rope and second hand lashing tape, or worse, are famous.


Cheers for now,





From: Tom Walker, Brize Norton

Subject: Movements, UKMAMS and 1AMW History


Dear Colleagues and Veterans of the RAF Movements Trade,



We on 1 Air Mobility Wing are in the process of constructing a history room to celebrate 50+ years of movements, UKMAMS and 1AMW. We know the history but we currently lack the photos, artefacts, and stories that bring it all to life – can you help us? 


We hope to attract the support of the RAF Charitable Trust in order to transform one of our rooms into a suitable museum arrangement, but we need your help.


You may well have old photos, uniform items or accoutrements, signage, equipment, maps, medals, or documents that are being kept in storage somewhere – perhaps you also feel they are better treasured somewhere where they can be seen and explained to a future generation and others. 


We are also in need of people who are prepared to sit for recorded interviews to capture their memories of many years of service in the Royal Air Force.



If you feel that you can help us, please drop a line in the first instance to: or or or call us on 01993 897453. We can’t do this without you!


OC 1 Air Mobility Wing – Wing Commander Tom Walker RAF


From: Ian Place, Meanwood, West Yorks 

Subject: **MORE**




Normally this is a non-event, but seeing as though Ian Berry put you up for a Lockdown presentation can you ask him if he remembers being my best man at our wedding 27th April 1974?


These photos are taken in the Red Lion Pub after the event. As you can see he did the honours at a speech. I apologise for the quality but they have survived 46 years--Ian



From:  Kevin Briggs, Coventry 

Subject: Then & Now


Hi Tony,


Just thought I would send a couple of photo's, one taken early 1978 in Belize (taken if memory serves me right by Chris Thistle), the other today in the back garden. Hair's got thinner and greyer and body has spread a bit! I am quite useless when it comes to computers but luckily for me my step daughter found time to attach the photos.


Hope this finds you and your family well in these trying times. We are both still working, partner is a nurse at Redhill Hospital and I am still driving trains for Southeastern.  Take care and look after yourselves


Regards, Kevin



From: Chris Kirby, Bourg St Maurice

Subject: Re: A Gang of Marauding Alberts


Hi Tony,


I can shed some light on that photo. Indeed, I have an almost identical one.  Unless I'm very much mistaken (which is of course entirely possible, due to past consumption of Brandy Sours!),  it's one of the milestone years (possibly the 20th?) of the Herc in RAF service.


That shot could well be at RIAT, but maybe also at Lyneham when they were practicing building up to achieving an impressively large number of Allison engines flying in close proximity.  If memory serves, they'd start with a flight of 3 doing circuits, then add another 3, and so on.




Rip Kirby



Congratulations to John & Jean Bell who celebrated their 60th anniversary on May 21st!

Congratulations go out to Dave & Rosemary Abrams on their 50th Anniversary, May 9th!

Carol and Steve Perry celebrated their 23rd on the 23rd!

Tony and Pat Last celebrated Victory in Europe day in style!

And finally...  Sock Face Mask Goes Wrong!



More Relevant Stuff


This Newsletter is Dedicated

To the Memories of:

Terry Christie (RAF)

Maggie - wife of Al Kelley (RCAF)

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