From: Ian & April Place, Meanwood, West Yorks   

We would like wish all our friends in the Movers’ Family a Happy Christmas and Good New Year.  We have included a photo from Gerry Keyworth's wedding; the way we were 1974!  Cheers!  Ian & April
From: Tom Iredale, Heidelberg   

Sharjah was the third Christmas I spent in the Middle East; the first two were in Aden. Sometime just before Christmas in 1969, the Army had an exercise in the desert and I was there with a small team to handle movements for the Andovers and Argosies bringing in supplies. On the group pic, I am second from left, with a yellow sweat rag (sorry, towel) around my neck. I am ashamed to say that I no longer recall the names of the team. If anyone can help here, greatly obliged.

Christmas greetings to all Movers, wherever you may be, and a Happy and Healthy New Year!

Cheers, Tom
Four Candles is a sketch from the BBC comedy show The Two Ronnies, written by Ronnie Barker under the pseudonym of Gerald Wiley and first broadcast on 18 September 1976. Comic effect is largely generated through word play and homophones as a hardware shopkeeper, played by Ronnie Corbett, becomes increasingly frustrated by a customer, played by Barker, because he misunderstands what he is requesting.
From: Don Hunter, St Maximin      

Wishing all UKMAMS OBA members a peaceful and Happy Christmas, and may 2019 bring everyone good health and  happiness (as well as abundant allowances and DFs!).  Below are 2 Gate Guardians from afar that I visited in 2018. A week's extra leave for the first correct answer as to their locations!
From: Wendy Bell, Trenton, ON

Hi Tony,

I hope you will remember me as being the wife of Terry Bell who passed away in May, 2018.  The reason I'm contacting you is somewhat unusual but thought you might be able to help me figure this out.  Terry had a bottle of French red that was given to him back in the 90s by Neil McKay who has also passed away but during his time was also in the RAF.

I was going to donate said bottle of wine to our RCAF Heritage Museum because it has the label:  VE Day 1945-1995 and a transfer picture label (not paper) showing a war photo of a beach landing.  It doesn't say what beach or what country.  The bottle was, I assume. part of some celebration of the 50th anniversary of VE Day.  Underneath the picture is a quote from Churchill, I believe. which says:  "We shall not flag, or fail.  We shall never surrender....".  The Museum wants to know more about it before displaying it than the label tells so they know if it is legitimate and not end up being embarrassed I assume if it comes out later than it is a fake.  The wine comes from a vineyard called  Buzet in France.

If I remember correctly someone gave it to Neil and then when he left the British Virgin Islands (which is where we met) he gave it to Terry for safe keeping.  I would like to do the same, but through hours of research online I still am no further ahead in solving the puzzle and sadly I can't contact Neil to ask him.  It may be that Neil was given it directly since the celebration took place in 1995....who knows.  The only bottle I could find was one showing a number of people in the forces, each carrying a flag from different countries but that is none the one I have.

Thank you for any help you can give me but l certainly understand since Christmas is on its way that you are probably very busy with newsletters, etc. so whenever you get a chance it would be greatly appreciated.


Wendy Bell   
(Click on the flags above to send an e-mail to Wendy)
Atlas A400M beach landing trials
Mick probably thought I had forgotten all about him!  Merry Christmas Old Bod!
Mick Goater - Last day in Berlin -
goodbye hotel bear!
From: Mick Goater, Goole, West Yorks
A very Merry Christmas and
Happy New Year to Everyone!
From: Bernie & Osa Lafrance, Nanaimo, BC 
To all the movers around the world and at home, here is wishing you a Very Merry Christmas and all the best for 2019. May all your dreams come through. God Bless you.
From: Jeremy & Sheila Dumayne, Box Elder, SD 
Sheila and I wanted to wish all movers, wherever in the world you live, a very Happy Christmas and a great new year! We’re visiting friends in Georgia for Christmas then back on the road to Fort Myers FL for 3 months. Got to keep these old bones warm! May your turkey be nicely roasted and you well toasted, cheers!
Prince William, wife Kate bring gifts to UK forces in Cyprus
Prince William and his wife Kate brought Christmas gifts and holiday greetings Wednesday to British servicemen at the Royal Air Force Base Akrotiri in Cyprus.  The visit by William and the Duchess of Cambridge was designed to honor the estimated 11,000 British soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines deployed on foreign operations over the holidays.

After meeting servicemen in a hangar, William thanked Britain's Armed Forces for their sacrifices. "We are in your debt and Catherine and I feel very lucky to be able to spend time with you today," he said.

Officials say British forces are involved in 30 operations in 35 countries.

From: Paddy and Aileen Power, Lyneham, Wilts
We wish all movers past and present a very happy Christmas and a happy New Year. The good looking guy in the pink shirt is my brother who lives in Toronto.  Merry Christmas everybody!
Aileen and Paddy Power and Brother enjoying happy hour with a pint of the dark stuff!
John & Jean Bell with grandson Riley. Taken at Castle Bromwich on Remembrance Day.
Duane Bach at the Eagle's Nest, Hitler's Tea House on a mountain peak high in the Bavarian Alps.
Mike and Avril Stepney enjoying a quiet drink at their local watering hole.
Luke, Carol and Steve Perry in Montaigue-de-Query, Tarn Et Garonne, France, in April
Axel & Shirley Jinadu at Yas Marina F1 Circuit in Abu Dhabi, UAE
Chris and Camille Wootten with son Dale at the Anderson Botanical Gardens in Townsville
Beverley and Steve Bird on their way to London for Remembrance Sunday
Graham and Mary Allen sharing some special times with each other in Nottingham
David and Susan Powell with daughter Kathryn, grandchild Benjamin and pooch Bronte
From: Chris & Camille Wootten, Collinsville, QLD
I would like to wish one and all a safe and Happy Christmas to all movers & shakers throughout our various positions, and countries. It's a special time of the year for families and friends. The photo was taken in the grounds of the Anderson Botanical Gardens in Townsville, last Christmas, a really great place to walk, have a picnic, or just feed the ducks in the cool by the lake. Each Christmas we travel from home, to Townsville to be with Dale, a round trip of about 500 kilometers. I am fully retired now, looking after my darling wife and enjoying our time together. I do keep in touch with Defense friends via emails & Facebook. Peace and happiness to you all.
From: John and Jean Bell, Desborough, Northants
May we wish all movers, past and present, a very happy Christmas and a safe, healthy and prosperous 2019.
From: Duane & Shirley Bach, Carrying Place, ON 
Merry Christmas and Happy New Years to all Movers serving and retired.. Stay Safe and Frosty....
From: Axel & Shirley Jinadu, Mallorca
To fellow movers everywhere, wishing you and your loved ones a very merry Christmas and a safe, happy, healthy and contented 2019. The Photo is Shirley and me at Yas Marina F1 Circuit in Abu Dhabi.  We both lived and worked in the UAE for 9 years following our retirement from the RAF in 2008 until returning home to Mallorca last year.
From: Mike and Avril Stepney, Stewarton, Ayrshire
To all the Movers both past and current I wish you and yours a Merry Christmas and a happy and safe 2019.
From: Steve & Carol Perry, Royal Wootton Bassett
Best wishes all movers worldwide, hope you all have a great Christmas and  a Happy,  Prosperous and Healthy New Year
From: Stephen & Beverley Bird, Chester 
Beverley and I would like to wish all the Movements Trade, both serving and retired, a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year for 2019. Also our thoughts and prayers with those who are battling illness at this time, and those families who lost a loved one during 2018.
From: Graham & Mary Allen, Cropwell Butler, Notts   
Mary and I would like to wish everyone in our wonderful Movers family a very peaceful Christmas and and a cracking New Year. I would like to wish those in the family who have lost that special one a better year to come. Love and Best wishes to you all.
From: David & Susan Powell, Princes Risborough, Bucks
To all members of our incredible and unique Movers family and friends, especially those I was privileged to march with on the Whitehall parade of 11 Nov, and those few still standing from when UKMAMS was based at Abingdon, and Gulf MAMS in 1971.  We wish you a very Happy Christmas and a peaceful new year.  From F Team Leader 1967-69, daughter Kathryn, latest grandchild Benjamin and our cocker Spaniel Bronte.  Bronte is a 'fallen angel', now 6-years old an ex-hearing guide dog trainee who fluffed her finals.  Lady Susan is in the picture, in the mirror hiding behind her iPad as she takes the shot.
From: Christine Dunn, Upwood, Cambs
To movers past and present may I wish you all a very happy Christmas  and a prosperous New Year.
Christine Dunn (Widow of Brian Dunn, Abingdon 1964-69)
From: Tony Freeman, Thornhill, Dumfries 
I would like to send seasonal greetings to all movers past and present from myself and the Royal Auxiliary Air Force Foundation of which I am Secretary and which can be found at
From: George & Eileen Graves, Carlisle, Cumbria
We send seasonal greetings to all movers wherever they may be and thanks Tony for all the wonderful work that you do.  FEAF MAMS 1967/69.
From: Gordon & Brenda Gray, Allestree, Derby
Seasons Greetings to all, whoever, wherever and whatever predicament worldwide.
From: Michael Perks, Lutterworth, Leics
I would like to wish all movers, their families & friends, including those that don’t know me, those who do know me and those that wish that they didn’t, a good time this Christmas and that they achieve all that they hope for in 2019.
From: Murdo MacLeod, Newport-on-Tay, Fife
Merry crimbo to all serving and retired and doing whatever, have a great time of it, easy on the plonk (only joking about the last bit!).
From: Bryan Morgan, Abingdon, Oxon 
I send Christmas Greetings and Best Wishes for the New Year to all friends and colleagues I served with at RAF Changi, RAF Gan, UKMAMS (Abingdon) HQ 38 Group and the RAF Movements School.
From: Marc Lapierre, Westlock, AB
Merry Christmas and Happy New year to one and all, from our house to yours, wherever you are.
From: Arthur Rowland, St Ives, Cambs 
Thank you for the opportunity to wish all "Movers", both serving and retired, a very happy Christmas and have a really "champagne" New Year.
From: Rae and Susan Sault, St Saviour 
I would like to send my very best wishes for a peaceful Christmas to all my old mates!
From: Martin & Dee Gledhill, Selby, North Yorks  
This is to wish all movers past and present a very Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year wherever you may be.
From: Neil & Barbara Middleton, Ipswich, Suffolk 
We would like to wish yourself and everyone else a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year.
From: Fritz & Carol von Kaitz, Edmonton, AB
To All the Movers around the World.  We want to wish a very Merry Christmas and safe and prosperous 2019.
From: Dudley Olsen, Caloundra, QLD
Ho Ho Ho and a merry Christmas to all who have served or are now serving, whether at home or deployed and especially the movers. My wife and I wish that you, your family and friends have a great Christmas and a 2019 that is full of health and contentment.
From: Syd Avery & Riet, Guardamar del Segura
To all Movers past and present, may you all have a greatly enjoyable Christmas with family and those who are loved and close to you. We wish a 2019 for you to be as good as you wish yourself, with no major trials or tribulations. Good health and a bit of wealth to accompany you in the future.  We’ll raise a glass to those no longer with us, and to wish all those who are not in the best of health a speedy recovery. Let’s hope that the Standby Teams do not have to be deployed, if they are, a speedy and safe return home is wished. May you have enough, and your landings equal your take-offs. Take care and look after each other.  Lang may yer lum rheek. Happy Christmas and a great 2019.
Syd Avery and Riet - bringing more heat to the Iberian Peninsula
Sean Culligan - busy in Malta
Chas Gibson - thoughts
of Christmas's past
Chris Briggs - putting in some time at the Old Melbourne Gaol
Gail & John Boates - Whooping it up!
Dave Taylor - Author "A Suitcase Full of Dreams"
Pat Franks - honouring those who have passed
Peter Clayton paddling his ah's around the Isle of Skye
Gary Ferguson with partner Christine on her birthday
Luanne MacKinney is ready to pahtey!
From: Sean Culligan, Valetta 
I send my best wishes to everyone. To those who shared Christmas with me in 1993 in Mombasa as we did the runs to Somalia.
From: Chas Gibson, Monifieth, Angus
A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all past and current Air Movers
From: Chris Briggs, Coventry, West Midlands  
Just to wish all movers, far and wide ,a very Merry Christmas and prosperous New Year.  I will raise a glass on Christmas day to all those who have sadly passed away and gone up to the great crew room in the sky.
From: John & Gail Boates, Frankford, ON
Wishing all movers here at home and abroad a "Very Merry Christmas" and a " Happy New Year 2019
From: Dave Taylor, York
Hello Tony, Although I was never MAMS, being TC Mobile Servicing Flight we did work a lot with you guys, so would like to pass on my Best Wishes for a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all. Guess few of us drink like we used to, but I'll have one for you all anyway.
From: Pat Franks, Inverness
Wishing all Movers and their families a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. May we also take some quiet time out to honour the memory of those Movers sat in the Last Crew Room.
From: Peter Clayton, Wroughton, Wilts 
I would like to wish all movers everywhere a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year for 2019. Let us all remember those that are sadly no longer with us and their families at this special time of year. I attach a recent photo taken on my sailing adventure around the Isle of Skye in September.
From: Gary Ferguson & Christine, Ilkley, West Yorks
Merry Christmas to all Movers past and present, wishing you all a safe and happy festive season either with your loved one or your comrades. If any of you find yourselves around Ilkley in the coming years feel free to get in touch and we can sort a few beers or a round of golf for the sporty.
From: Luanne MacKinney, Fredericton, NB
Merry Christmas and may all your dreams and wishes come true in 2019!
Santa's reindeer get a day off for annual Labrador toy drop
Pallets stacked with toys and provisions like diapers were loaded into the RCMP hanger at the Happy Valley-Goose Bay airport Monday afternoon.  "These guys provide me with the toys," Santa Claus said. "For this initiative, it's great. I just pop in, grab the toys and away I go … I've got a big enough sack up there."

Toys for the North is an annual project between the RCMP and the military to deliver gifts — donated mainly from the Greater Toronto Area — to northern communities.

"It only happens for us once a year, but it's neat to be able to come up here and provide, hopefully, a good Christmas for all the kids in the northern communities," said Capt. Brian Stobbart, who piloted the RCAF Hercules which dropped the presents off in Goose Bay.  "It's an awesome opportunity for sure."

The presents will be wrapped and flown on an RCMP Twin Otter plane to several remote communities on the coast of Labrador.  "We try to hit as many communities on the Labrador coast that we can [which] will be determined," RCMP Cst. Chris Attewell said.

John & Rosemarie Harney enjoying their garden in Western Australia
Bob & Sue Dixon on the "Bassett" bench at the Swindon Steam Museum
Tony & Hilary Mullen enjoying a formal night out in Queensland
Barry Tappenden taking requests at Hospital Radio Bedford
John & Barb Baker enjoying their vacation
Richard (Taff) Allen with sons Owain and Bryn on Zugspitze, Garmisch Partenkirchen, Germany
Andy Downard, "We're gonna need a bigger boat!"
Isabel Roberts, Ian and & Christine Berry attended the RAF 100 Celebrations in Swindon
Peter Chappell - at home in Devon
Bruce Gill and family celebrate his 70th birthday at the Lympstone Manor
From: John & Rosemarie Harney, Perth, WA
I would like to take this opportunity to wish you and your family and all members of the OBA and all Air Mov's & MAMS teams past and present. "Seasons Greetings" a very merry Xmas and a safe 2019.
From: Bob & Sue Dixon, Royal Wootton Bassett
Wishing you all a very merry Christmas and a successful New Year.
From: Tony & Hilary Mullen, Toowoomba, QLD
To all ex and serving movers I wish you a great Christmas and a healthy and prosperous 2019.
From: Barry Tappenden, Shortstown, Beds
Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and the very best for 2019 and beyond. The picture is of me working as a volunteer radio presenter at Hospital Radio Bedford... any requests?
From: John and Barb Baker, Kingston, NS 
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all retired and active Traffic Techs. It is a great trade!
From: Richard Allen, Llanmartin, Mon
Happy Christmas to all the old boys out there, wishing everyone a prosperous and healthy year to come!  Did a Germany road trip with my two boys, Owain (RAF Supplier) and Bryn. Viv Neary-Phillips WO mover also came along. Visited what is left of Wildenrath and Gutersloh which brought back a few good memories. Picture was taken on Zugspitze, Garmisch Partenkirchen, where we did many expeditionss, and ski trips over the years.
From: Andrew Downard, Ballarat, VIC
To all the Movers, current and past, wishing you have a great Christmas and New Year, also that 2019 will be kind to you.  Special shout-out to Kev Skinner and the gang at Akrotiri, it was great to visit and see how much (and little) things have changed in 40 years.  Finally, looking forward to warm weather, blue skies and smooth seas for Christmas …. Greetings from Australia!
From Isabel Roberts, Ian & Christine Berry, W.Swindon   
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all past and present Movers worldwide. After attending several venues this year to celebrate the RAF Centenary we have met so many old friends. For those we haven't... there's always next year!
From: Peter Chappell, Honiton, Devon
Just a few words to all Movers past and present. Hope you all have a great festive season wherever you are. I am now living in Honiton Devon, and still earning a crust in ops for Capital Air Ambulance. Should have retired, but... 
From: Bruce & Pat Gill, Newton Abbot, Devon 
A very Merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year to all from Bruce Gill and family in sunny Devon. The picture shows myself, wife Pat, daughter Stephanie and son Andrew at Lympstone Manor for my 70th birthday lunch.
From: Andy Kay, Colorado Springs, CO
As another year comes to a close we should all take a couple of minutes to remember those ex-movers we have lost this year and those serving that may not be home with their loved ones for Christmas. Like me, raise a glass on Christmas Day and toast those gone before and those yet to come. Merry Christmas everyone from snowy Colorado, and I hope everyone has a safe and Happy New Year.
From: Robbie James, Matlock, Derbyshire 
I would just like to wish all my old friends and colleagues, from my time as a Team Leader on UKMAMS from 1966 to 1968, as OC NEAF MAMS from 1968 to 1971, as C Mov O in RAF Germany from 1985 to 1987, a very happy Christmas and a healthy New Year.
From: George Fouhey, Bedford
I wish all MAMs who were stationed at RAF Akrotiri from 1969 to1972 and all past & present military personnel a happy healthy and trouble free Christmas and 2019
From: Daniel Fraser, Liverpool  
My family and I would like to wish all those on operations around the globe a very Merry Christmas & Happy New Year.  Stay safe.
From: Keith Hubbard, Kilgetty,Pembroke  
Can I wish everyone a Merry Xmas and an even better 2019.
From: Peter & Rose Herring, Gosport, Hants  
A very "Happy Christmas" from Peter & Rose to all Movers far & wide ....especially ex NEAF MAMS.
From: Sandy Bunn, Cobourg, ON
Merry Christmas and Happy New year to all Movers Worldwide.
From: Jean-Pierre Pichette, Plainfield, ON
To all currently serving and retired "Movers", I wish you a warm and happy Christmas with family and friends, a golden opportunity to share your stories (good and not so good!!!).  For 2019, already on our doorstep, for those still serving in uniforms, I wish you challenges and opportunities to hone your skills and enhance your experience; for those (like me) who have retired and are getting a little "old", wish you health and happiness.  Lastly, to Tony Gale who has helped us stay connected with a myriad of fascinating stories, thank you very much for all of your hard work and determination - well done and BZ Tony. "Jeep" Pichette, LCol (retired) and former CO of 1 Air Movements Unit Edmonton (1991-1994)"
From: David Forsyth, Le Langon  
Merry Christmas and Joyeux Noël from South Vendée to the trusty movers who read Tony's brilliant news letters. May 2019 be healthy and enjoyable for you and yours.
From: Gordon Gourdie, Euxton, Lancs
Obviously I wish for your good self a very Happy Christmas and a Healthy and Prosperous 2019. Also thank you for the monthly Briefs which we all enjoy so much.  Would also like to send Seasons Greetings to Ian and Christine Berry with whom I am in regular contact and Colin Eyre who is going to get a shock at the next 6 Nations. Also remembering all the old Abingdon guys who may still be alive.  Would like to get in touch with Paul Steiner. If anyone has any contact information it would be appreciated.
From: Shuggie Shewan, Inverness 
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to yourself, your family and all the staff and copywriters working with you at the offices of "The OBA Newsletter" Oh, and can you also say hello and a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year all the Movers Past and Present out there and a big Thanks to those guys and girls on Op Deny Christmas this year from all of up here in the 'Shed'.
Richard Lloyd ready for the Remembrance Day parade
Don Milburn, Turkey, Sept 2018
Gary Farndale with youngest daughter, Holly
Budgie Baigent on the ball in NZ
David & Darrelle Moss with Haggis the hound at RAF 100 celebrations
Jim Abbott as a crusty Flt Sgt
Barney Fielder enjoying a game of water polo in the sun
John and Alana Gillis are about to cut the rug in New Brunswick
Gordon and Ann Black attended the MAMS Association dinner
Andy Kime having a well-earned rest  at RAF 100 celebrations
From: Richard Lloyd , Dalgety Bay, Fife
May I take this opportunity to thank you sincerely for the tireless work you do to produce the UKMAMSOBA newsletter every month. Also to wish all Movers a happy Christmas and a blessed, healthy and prosperous 2019!
From: Don Milburn, Swindon, Wilts   
I wish a merry Xmas to all ex and current members of the Movements fraternity, I hope you enjoy the festive season and the forth comining new year.
From: Gary Farndale, Torpoint, Cornwall 
To all movers still serving or like me knackered!    Merry Christmas and have a brilliant new year.
From: Budgie Baigent, Takaka, Tasman  
Merry Xmas and Happy New Year to the Movers and shakers around the globe. Cheers!
From: David & Darrelle Moss, Sorbie, Dumfries and Galloway 
To all members both serving and those of us who are now more decrepit, and your families, may Darrelle and I wish you all a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year. To those of you not able to spend time with your families due to the demands of the service, please be extra careful to ensure that you come home again to them safely once your jobs are done, and remember that you will be in the hearts and minds of those of us at home.
From: Jim Abbott, Lethbridge, AB
I would just like to shout out to all the British and Canadian Air Movers. We have all lost many of our friends and comrades over the past year, so I am of two minds as to my feelings of the past months. Thankfully we have the memories. We must move ahead so I wish a very Merry Christmas to all those in the Movements world on both sides of the pond.
From: Andy Kime, Marlow, Bucks
Still going strong with 605 Sqn RAuxAF.  Where did the year go?  Best wishes to all Movers past and present,keep on doing the great things we do!
From: Barney Fielder, Huntingdon Cambs
Wishing all past and present ‘ Movers ‘  a very happy Christmas, especially those who will be away from their families during this festive time. Equally wishing everybody a healthy and prosperous New Year for 2019.
From: John and Alana Gillis, Hanwell, NB
On behalf of Allana and I, we would like to wish all mover families a very Merry Christmas and a glorious New Year. For all the movers that are separated from their families this holiday season, we pray that you stay safe and come home soon to your loving families.
From: Gordon & Ann Black, Swindon, Wilts 
Wishing all past, present and future movers a Happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year. To those deployed away from home, stay safe and well. Taken at Alexandra house (formerly RAF Wroughton Hospital) MAMS Association dinner earlier this year.
From: David (Dutch) Holland, Ringwood, Hants   
Subject: Announcement

Hi Tony,

Many thanks for your reminder re Christmas greetings. Yes, 2019 has been a brilliant and busy year for Tansy and I. Two main events need to be mentioned that are of interest to some: UK MAMS reunion / dinner at Wroughton, also Tansy and I got married after ten plus years together.

Tansy has now met many MAMS Vets at several UKMAMS events over the last ten years and has now developed some knowledge of what we are all about, need I say more!!

Anyway, enclosed some photos of our wedding day along with the all important line up of, from right to left:  Martin Gledhill, Elaine Cob, Dee Gledhill, Carol Kilpatrick, Alan Kilpatrick, Tansy Holland and myself (Dutch Holland) at Wroughton earlier in the year. This gang, past from Tansy, goes back to the mid / late seventies no less.

So, after a fantastic year with a great summer combined, we are ending it with another item on my bucket list, Vietnam no less for Christmas and New Year.

Now the important message; to all Association members, serving members, associates and otherwise, from the two of us, is to wish you all a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy and successful New year.

Love to all,

David and Tansy
From: Mark Attrill, Tallinn  
Greetings once again from Tallinn. Another extremely busy year here in Estonia but it has been a real privilege and honour to serve here during the Centenary of both the Royal Air Force and the Republic of Estonia - It has been a truly memorable year with more to follow.....Soon to enter my last active year in Service - celebrating my 40th year in 2019 !. All the best for Christmas 2018 and the New Year of 2019, wherever you are in the world. Thinking especially of those who will be on duty over the festive season and, of course, our esteemed colleagues who have left us for the crewroom in the sky during the last year.
Mark Attrill visiting Riga, in neighbouring Latvia - December 2018
Andy Gell sailing the waters off the Cornish Coast
Cindy and Dave Salmon in Conway, Wales, during a recent visit
Tina & Brian Spademan with new Martini "glasses" following classic car rally
Keith Parker and B-I-L at Dick's Resort in Vegas - a MUST place to visit when you're in town!
Don Hazlewood shares with us the spirits of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come.
Ann and Kevan Lawrence enjoying some cuddling time at home in South Yorkshire
Pete and Shirley Ingham taking the plunge!
Roger, Dany and Valentina Gough enjoying an early Christmas party in Dubai
Don & Judy Lloyd - waiting for Santa
From: Andy and Helen Gell, Cornwall
Best wishes from Andy and Helen Gell in Cornwall to all friends and colleagues for a fun-filled Christmas and a very happy 2019.
From: David and Cindy Salmon, Springfield, OR 
Cindy and I would like to wish a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year to Movers and their families worldwide and that the holiday season brings you all joyful memories.
From: Brian & Tina Spademan, Lanarca
Wishing all past and present whether serving or retired a very merry Christmas and a safe fit and prosperous 2019.
From: Keith & Daphne Parker, Bowerhill, Wilts
Wishing movers everywhere a Very Happy Christmas and a Safe and Prosperous New Year Love and Best Wishes From Keith and Daphne The photo is of myself and brother-in-law outside Dick’s Resort, a very much MUST place to visit when next in Las Vegas!
From: Don Hazlewood, Somewhere Sandy
I have found the ideal holiday resort for Christmas and the New Year, FREE lodgings and food, NO beer, with the occasional fireworks thrown in just for fun! Merry Christmas and a happy New Year to you all.
From: Kevan  and Ann Lawrence, Doncaster
We would like to wish all our friends and acquaintances, all over the globe, a lovely Christmas and a prosperous New Year. (This includes you by the way mate!)
From: Pete & Shirley Ingham , Carterton, Oxon
Wishing you and all the OBA members and families, a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. All the best!
From: Roger, Dany and Valentina Gough, Dubai  
Wishing Everyone a Very Happy Christmas and Prosperous New Year, wherever you are… all the best and stay safe...
From: Don and Judy Lloyd, Calgary, AB
To all Movers and their families, whether at home or abroad, currently serving or retired, we would like to wish you a Very Merry Christmas and a prosperous Happy New Year!  May your home be as brightly lit and cheerful as ours during this joyous time of year. 
From: Scotty Simmons, Trenton, ON  
I would like to wish all my fellow movers a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to come. If anybody knows of a John Dodds (Doddzy) a Flt Sgt (RAF) in KAF with me 2008/09, please wish him a Merry Christmas for me.
From: Pete Price, Calne, Wilts
Just a short message and greetings to the Baron of Brecon who as the same name as me. Happy Xmas Taff from Geordie and Pete.
From: Bill Nangle, Kingston, ON  
It's hard to believe that it's 40 years this year that I arrived, right from the school, at the UKMAMS hangar.  What a great time it was there, and what a great bunch of lads I got to work with.....very happy days indeed.    Many thanks to Tony for doing this fantastic newsletter and keeping the world-wide movements family together. Happy Christmas to one and all from a cold and snowy Eastern Canada.
From: Jim & Margaret Mackintosh, Glasgow
Wishing you all a Happy Christmas and a Healthy, Prosperous New Year.
From: Ken & Heather Knott, Nottingham, Notts
To all you movers though out the world, I would just like to wish you one and all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
From: Steve Munday, Lincoln  
To all movers everywhere have a great festive season and best wishes for 2019.
From: Chris Austin, Hinckley, Leics    
Just want to wish all movers and those no longer loading aircraft, but still movers at heart, health, happiness and perhaps a little wealth for Christmas and the New Year.
From: Vivian & Alex Neary-Phillips
Festive greetings from Vivian & Alex Neary-Phillips. This will be my last Christmas in RAF regular service as I leave on 13 Jan 19. I will then be joining the Full Time Reserve as WO Airlift in DSCOM Abbey Wood on 14 Jan 19 !! non change then. I hope to see many of you around the bazaars.
From: Ken Davie, Palm Beach Gardens, FL
Happy Holidays to all of the Movers out there! Have a healthy and happy New Year and I hope that 2019 brings happiness and success to you and all of your families. I'm sure that you join me in wishing that we could turn the clock back and enjoy at least a part of the Holiday Season in some of the exotic places that we were all so lucky to visit. (India Team Abingdon 1968/69)
From: Ray Ralph, Bremen  
Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all those ‘movers’ out there who know me, and also those that don’t!
From: Frank Holmes, Stratford-upon-Avon  
I would like to send my best wishes for a very happy Christmas and an especially healthy 2019 to all members of the association but particularly to my past team members of D team UKMAMS and Blue team NEAFMAMS – such happy and fun days!  By the way, when you asked about memories of Brize Norton I immediately dismissed it as I was always lucky enough not to be posted there! However, on one of those rare moments of reverie I remembered a quite significant episode as it was in the Pax Lounge of said airport that I proposed to the current Mrs Holmes some 46 years ago... and she accepted!
From: Paul (Sandy) and Kim Sanderson, Calne, Wilts   
We would like to wish you and all of the Movers and ex-movers a very merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Special greetings go to all that are deployed over the festive season and away from their families.  Will raise a glass or three, on Christmas Day to toast our worldwide family.
H Firth on the footplate on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway
Frank Johnston wearing a Santa sweater on the Florida Panhandle
Dave Anderson - now in 74th year and still enjoying good health
Chris Clarke saving us from the naughty people in Milton Ontario
Eddie Mottram - cruising the Med
Steve Tomlinson enjoing the Xmas lights at Brisbane City Hall
John McDowall is teaching the Scottish traditions to daughter Nikita
Chas Clark remembering Norrie Radcliffe in Malta
Bob and Myna Popwell cruising the Caribbean
Alan Potts getting ready for Bomb Dump guard duty in Labuan 1965
From: H and Pat Firth, Cranwell Village 
To All Movers, Past and Present wherever in the World you may be,   Wishing you a Wonderful Christmas and a Prosperous and Peaceful 2019.  The picture is of me on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, the Pickering to Whitby run and return.
From:  Frank and Janet Johnston, Navarre, FL
Season’s Greetings to one and all from the sunshine state (Florida). Especially to the engineers - you gotta get one of these sweaters!  (UK MAMS Eng. 1972-75)
From: Dave & Lynne Anderson, Cambridge
I would like to take this opportunity to extend Seasonal Greetings to yourself and all Movers and Suppliers. I wonder if there are any 44th Entry, Boy Entrants, who might remember me?
Chris (Pig) Clarke, Burlington, ON
This Christmas I will be working with my Platoon is sunny Milton, Ontario. Best wishes to all Movers, past and present. A very Merry Christmas and a Happy 2019!  We will be dealing with the naughty ones!
From: Eddie and Gill Mottram, Woodley, Berks 
We would like to wish you and all movers everywhere a very Happy Christmas and a peaceful and prosperous New Year.
From: Steve Tomlinson, Tenerife, QLD 
Another Christmas in Brisbane, no forecast of snow with the temperatures in the mid 30's! In 26 years here, still can't get used to warm Christmas's!  Please pass on my Christmas Greetings to all and wish them a Safe and Happy holiday season.
From: John, Heng and Nikita McDowall, Nanning Shi, Guangxi
Greetings from China. Christmas in China isn’t even a holiday, no days off, no turkey, it’s just another day at work. Some Christmas traditions are creeping in like the giving of presents but it’s mainly just another day. New Years day is a single day off, but in the main the main celebration is the Lunar festival, or Spring Festival / Chinese new year this year on the evening 4th / 5th February.  This year I have had a pretty standard year nothing much exceptional happening, I suppose one thing is I have accepted my Scottish roots, brought about by trying to teach Nikita my daughter both sides of her heritage (Chinese and British). So I thought I’d attach my photo of me in my Scottish regalia and the McDowall tartan, the discovery of which lead me to re-explore that side, (both of my parents were Scottish). Merry Christmas, happy holidays and a guid new year tae ye all.
From: Chas Clark, Sprucedale, ON
The somewhat unglamorous photo was taken in the War Museum in Malta where I visited this summer. I raised a glass or two and drank some Simons Farson Cisk to the memory of Norrie Radcliffe whom I was in Malta with and played rugby together. He was also my PTI at OCTU before he was commissioned. Farewell to Alan Knox this year whom I went through OCTU with and our paths crossed many times during my time in the RAF. He did one tour in Bahrain as a station mover and, when we were there as UKMAMS doing the Aden withdrawal, he achieved fame by putting the AOC NEAF on the Argosy to Masirah when he should have gone to Khormaksar.

My Christmas greetings go to Robbie James, John Beadman (please get in touch), John Furney, Nigel Saunders, Dave Powell, Nigel Healy and all the MAMS team members that were at RAF Abingdon from 1966 to 1969 and, especially, the indominable Charlie Cormack.

A big Christmas Greeting to Tony Gale for his superb effort every year in keeping us aged veteran movers in touch throughout the year, thank you.
From: Bob & Myrna Popwell, Dartmouth, NS  
We would like to wish a Merry Merry Xmas and the happiest of new year to all the guys and gals we haven`t seen in many years. We wish that your best day of 2018 be your worst day of 2019. 
From: Alan Potts, Narbonne 
All of my widespread family would like to wish all 'Movers' and their families throughout the world a very merry Christmas and good fortune and health for the coming year.
From: Alan & Carol Kilpatrick, Weston-Super-Mare 
To all ex movers worldwide, have a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.
From: Tony Bullock, Brisbane, QLD  
To all Movers in the world, especially those that are away from their families at this time, I wish you a Happy, safe and wonderful Christmas time and that 2019 be a happy, safe, healthy and prosperous one.
From: Mark Davies, Auckland    
I would like to send a Christmas wish to all serving and past Movers all over the world from those of us who are now based in New Zealand.  at GMT +12 we will be the first to see Christmas this year, and will probably be very full of food and drink and at the end of our Christmas Day as many of our fellow movers are just waking up!    (Ex UKMAMS/Current RNZAF Movements)
From: John Kay, Reading, Berks  
I’d like to send my love and best wishes to all movers - past, present and future - especially UKMAMS and extra especially all those who were lucky enough to serve with Lima Team - Merry Christmas and a very Happy 2019!
From: Gabriele "Rusty" Rusciano, Sydney, NSW 
Greetings fellow Movers and Shakers of the World!  I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year. I have recently moved over to Sydney NSW from my home town of Adelaide during the course of my career in the Railways. If you are ever in Sydney please drop me a line as it would be an absolute pleasure to catch-up with members of the "Old Crew".
From: Bob Whitworth, Masirah Island 
I would like to wish all movers past or present  a very merry Christmas  and a happy safe and successful  new year :)
From: Brian & Annie Smith, Melbourne, VIC  
Annie and I wish you and your loved ones a Very Merry Christmas & a Happy Healthy New Year 2019.
From: Bill Franklin, Luton, Beds
Wishing a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and safe New Year to you and all old friends and colleagues wherever in the world you are.
From: Colin & Marilyn Eyre,  Ogmore By Sea, Mid Glamorgan
Marilyn and I wish all movers past and present a very merry Christmas and a peaceful, happy and healthy new year.  UKMAMS E team and training 1967-1973
From: Ron Meredith, Spalding, Lincs
To all my colleagues and associates, I wish you and yours, all the very best for Christmas and hope that all your wishes for 2019 come to pass.. Too many memories from my time in the RAF and after premature voluntary retirement, in service with the RCT, TAVR to recount.  So, enjoy the festive season.
From: Iain Rowlands, Newton Abbot,  Devon
Dear Movers past and Present - Wishing you all the best of all things, have a happy, healthy New Year. Best wishes to one and all.
From: Adrian Ryan, Quispamsis, NB 
I would like to wish everyone Happy Christmas and a prosperous 2019.  Too many stood down for the final time in 2018, so I will be raising a glass to them and live in hope that 2019 smiles kindly on the Movements Family.
From: Lucy Temple, Basingstoke, Hants 
I would like to wish all our Movers both near and far, old and new a very Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy 2019. To all our friends who are no longer around, I raise a glass to you - To absent friends.
From: David & Sue Hardy, Lake, Isle of Wight  
Sue and I would like to wish a Happy Christmas and successful New Year to all “Movers”
Dave & Sue Hardy on holiday in Grenada last Christmas
Liam & Diane Devlin Paphos Spring 2018
Al Gordon on the top bunk taking a nap on a C-130 long-range trainer in 1975
Mick Craner taking a holiday in the land of the long white cloud recently
Jeremy Dumayne - shades of Randy Quaid in the movie "Christmas Vacation"
Ray Costello visiting the war graves in Kenya
Brian Cock holidaying in Lanzarote, Canary Islands, earlier this year
Duncan Grant - a smart turnout on November 11th
Charlie Marlow with daughter Collette in London's West End theatre district
Mick & Sue Bedford at Universal Studios Florida
From: William & Diane Devlin, Port Talbot, Glam 
Diane and I wish all our friends on The OBA a Very Happy Christmas and a Prosperous New Year.
From: Al Gordon, St. Albert, AB  
I wish all the movers worldwide a peaceful Christmas and a safe and healthy New Year.  Blessings on all - as for the picture, that is me in the top stretcher, I have no idea who is in the bottom one. It was taken on a C-130 long-range trainer with 436 Sqn, probably in 1975.  We headed east from Trenton to Pakistan then down through Tanzania then over to Ghana, to Rio and eventually worked our way north again. I was one of the hard working loadmasters on this flight.
From: Mick Craner, Yeovil, Somerset
I wish all Members and families a Happy Christmas and a Great New Year.  With special thoughts for absent Friends.
From: Ray and Christine Costello, Townsville, QLD
To All the Movers worldwide, Christine and I want to wish a very Merry Christmas and safe and prosperous 2019.
From: Brian Cock, Hailsham East Sussex  
My greeting to all movers Where 'er they be, a very merry Christmas and a healthy, wealthy and prosperous New Year.
From: Duncan Grant, Trentham, Staffs  
A Merry Christmas and Happy 2019 to Movers Near and Far from a 20th Century old ‘ un!  I shall be thinking of you all and raising a glass at Hogmanay in Edinburgh!
From: Charlie Marlow, Freshwater, Isle of Wight  
To movers everywhere: May you have a peaceful Holy and merry Christmas and May 2019 be your best year ever – picture was taken two weeks ago with my eldest daughter Collette in Regent Street, London, after seeing a show with her and my son-in-law Paul.
From: Mick & Sue Bedford, Devon          
We would both like to wish everyone a very Happy Christmas and a Happy and Healthy 2019. x
From: Brian Harper, Glenwood, NL  
Wishing all Movers worldwide a very merry beer Christmas
From: Harry Grace, Fort Saskatchewan, AB  
A warm Christmas greeting to all serving and retired movers wherever they may be.
From: John McGrath, Blackpool, Lancs
A very happy Christmas to each of you. Hoping you all have a great new year.
From: Geoff Bird, Lake Albert, NSW    
Please forward a Merry Christmas and Happy New year to all members UKMAMS Old Bods Association and their families.
From: Ron Corrie, Castle Douglas, Kirkcudbright
Just like to wish all movers past and present merry Xmas and a happy new year. Lang may your Lums reek.
From: Chas Cormack, Lyneham Village, Wilts
As our numbers seem to be decreasing I wish my fellow survivors the best of health and happiness for the coming year. Lang may your lum reek.
From: Colin & Linda Pay, Isle of Wight   
Happy Christmas and a healthy new year to all movers, past and present. Spending Christmas and new year in North Carolina and Virginia so should have some of the white stuff.
From: Clive Hall, Highworth, Wilts
Can I offer the very best of Christmas and New Year greetings to all Muppets far and wide whether they be in warm or cold climes - we all have our memories etched in the grey matter (if you still have some?).
From: Nigel (Mac) McCann, Armadale, Falkirk 
Season's greetings to the mover family worldwide. Special thoughts for those of you away from your family at this special time of year, hope you are home with your families soon. Here’s to a peaceful and prosperous 2019.
From: Mike & Sandra McCann, Beckwithshaw, North Yorkshire
Sent: Saturday, December 08, 2018 11:41
Greetings and best wishes for the festive season to all movers, young and old (yes that means you) and no matter where you are in the world!
From: Gary and Eileen Horobin, St. Albert, AB 
Merry Christmas and a safe and happy New Year to all MAMS and movers everywhere.
From: Roy Craggs, Las Vegas, NV
Wishing all you Movers who remember Hickam AFB 1963/1964 (MAMS, Abingdon 1960/65)
From: Russ Carter, Caldercruix, North Lanark  
I would like to take the opportunity to pass on best wishes and a very Merry Christmas and a happy new year to all movers and their families , past and present wherever they find themselves in the world.
From: Mick Sullivan, Carterton, Oxon  
I would like to wish all Movers around the world from the “old guard” to the new generation a very merry Christmas and prosperous New Year and for those away from families over the festive period stay safe and celebrate best you can. Finally we have again lost members of our extended family to the final departure lounge up there in the stars, please raise a glass to them, I’m sure they will all be up to mischief somewhere.
From: Rab Devlin, Torquay, Devon 
All my very best to everyone, known and unknown. Sad year for me personally. All messages were most appreciated.
From: Peter & Eileen Thompson, Sunderland, Tyne and Wear 
The picture was taken this summer at the not so sunny North East seaside resort of Seaham. The sculpture is known locally as "Tommy". Still working hard to earn a crust. Only 3 and a bit years to retirement. We would like to wish all movers (who can remember us) past and present a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
From: Andrew Tiny, Kent
I'd like to take this opportunity to wish you all and your families a very Merry Christmas and Happy New year. Christmas hasn't ever been the same since Dad left the service. From a child's point of view the Christmas parties organised by the team was always the highlight of the year; kids coming together to get prezzies from Santa and the parents chatting and laughing knocking down the odd pint. I'd like to thank you all for being part of my early years (best years of my life).  If anyone remembers Eric Batty (still going strong) please get in contact with me, I'm Eric's eldest son, Andrew
From: Chris Thistle, Sidmouth, Devon
Happy Christmas to all movers past present and future.  Warm wishes from Chris Thistle and daughter Laura.
From: Mike & Gerry Lefebvre, Burton, NB  
Greetings to all movers.  Life is a dream, enjoying square dancing in Oromocto, NB.  Special wishes to 2 AMU and 436 Sqn.  Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas and all the best in the New Year.
From: Bob Pountney, Forres, Moray
Wishing you and all the Old Bods a very Merry Christmas and a healthy, wealthy and happy 2019, from an honorary member and ex Loadie.
From: Clive (Taff) Price, Brecon
Wishing all my old friends and comrades, and movers of all nations, a very happy Xmas and a prosperous 2019.
From: Bruce & Shirley Oram, San Fulgencio, Alicante
Shirley and I would like to wish all current and ex movers a very merry Christmas, and for those serving away from home at this time, a speedy return to your loved ones. Cheers the noo!
From: Mark (Turk) Bird, Edmonton, AB  
Merry Christmas to all members and families across the world.
From: Kev & Chris Stanger, Calgary, AB
Wishing movers, old, new and their families a healthy and successful 2019.
From: Ed & Karen Stout, Stafford, Staffs
Karen and I hope that you will all have a great Christmas and all the best for the New Year.
From: Jacques LeClerc, St-Alexandre de Kamouraska, QC
Joyeux Noël et bonne heureuse année a tous, from me and my Sophie.
Peter & Eileen Thompson paying homage to Tommy
Eric Batty with Andrew Tiny, his eldest son
Chris Thistle and daughter Laura having a silly moment
Mike & Gerry Lefebvre sharing magical moments
Bob Pountney with the S&R Sea King
Bruce & Shirley Oram celebrating Christmas in Spain
Mark (Turk) Bird cruisin' in Alberta
Kev & Chris Stanger walking their horse doggy
Sophie & Jacques Leclerc wishing all a Joyeux Noël
Taff Price - pretend Mayor of Brecon!
From: Jim and Mary Marchant, Cupar, Fife      
Happy Christmas, to all movers young and old, wherever you are in the world, and a prosperous New Year.
From: Andy Noel, Edmonton, AB  
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all Movers and retired Movers across the world, stay safe and Thank You for your Service...
From: Graham (Scouse) Leman, Poole, Dorset   
A very Merry Christmas to Movers across the world. Breakfast at Brize, lunch in Cyprus, bags in Belize... Ho Ho Ho.  Have a peaceful and relaxing time wherever you are.
From: Howard Farrow, Swansea, Glamorgan 
Merry Christmas and a happy New Year to all Movers both home and abroad! And especially to you and your family Tony for this great link you have created for Movers both Present and Past! 
From: Tony & Pat Last, Huntingdon, Cambs
Many, many thanks again for your brilliant efforts in keeping us old uns talking to each other. I hope you and yours have a brilliant festive season and best wishes also to all movers everywhere be they still serving or remembering when they did. Merry Christmas all and every good wish for 2019 and on.
From: Graham Fitzgerald, Newport, Mon
Hyvää joulua to all members of the Movements clan – to those who are deployed over the period – make the best of the situation, enjoy the company of your contemporaries and thrive!
From Phil & Sue Beese, Royal Wootton Bassett  
Merry Christmas and a fun filled Happy New Year to all OBA members, and old friends and colleagues.
From: Allan & Kay Mitchley, Rhyl, Denbighshire
Season's greetings to all movers past and present. Let's spare a few moments to remember those of the movements family who have gone from us and will always be in our hearts. 
From: James & Rachel Gallagher, Oxford 
I have just returned from Dubai where, thanks to your website, I met up with Roger Gough, who is working with an old pal of mine from yesteryear.  I would like to wish you and all the MAMS people around the world, both past and present, a very Merry Christmas and a Very Happy 2019. Oh, you might want to check out Gary Eason's Flight Artwork
From: Steve Cross, Doncaster, South Yorks
I would like to wish all our mover family, serving or veteran, wherever in the world they are a very merry Christmas & all the best for the New Year. Stay safe & have fun!
From: Brian (Taff) Jenkins, Portland, Dorset      
To old and new Bods, I hope you have a great Xmas and that the New Year brings the Hope and Happiness that we all deserve. Finally a special mention to my old mate Derek Baron who deserves a very special year and not forgetting our leader Tony Gale - thank you for continuing the OBA which brings back many happy. memories; though seeing the latest photo of the campsite where we spent many a happy day during the Cyprus evacuation also brings back regret - the day that we were due to fly out to U.S. airbase outside Las Vegas it was amended to Akrotiri!  That's UKMAMS for you! Merry Xmas.
From: Jerry & Kim Allen, Cheltenham, Glos  
Happy Christmas to everyone.  Stay safe and I will see you on the other side.
From: Brian & Maureen Kent, Carterton, Oxon  
Happy Christmas and New Year to all Movers during my 10 years at Brize from 79 to 89 including tours at  Belize and Falklands. Especially to those who joined 4624 Auxiliary Movs Sqn in 1982 when myself, CO Sqn Leader Dave Barnard, Phil Horton, Al Laker plus four others (another senior moment) who recruited, trained  and set up the  Sqn from scratch. Good memories. Happy Christmas to all.
From: Jake & Sharon Harms, Hawaii     
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all Loadmasters and MAMS personnel from CWO Jake Harms who retired 1980. Enjoying retired life and enjoying cruising with Sharon. Currently in Hawaii. All the very best.
Jake & Sharon Harms cruising in Hawaii
Fred & Bonnie Hebb in Louisiana recently
Trevor Porter will be spending Christmas and New Year in Cambodia and Vietnam
Pete Orton and Sue with grandchildren
Bernie & Osa Lafrance on a friend's boat cruising on Lake Okanagan, Kelowna, BC
Mike and Pat Green and granddaughter Matilda
Bob Robinson having a quiet night in at RAF Riyan, British Protectorate of Aden, 1960
Len "Woody" Wood, Diane, Dave, Jane, Chris, Karen and grandsons, Keegan & Camden
Jim Nadin paying his respects in Lincoln on Remembrance Sunday
Mandy & Steve Broadhurst, Melbourne, OZ.
From: Fred & Bonnie Hebb, Gold River, NS
Best wishes to all the Movers of the World for a Very Merry Christmas. A very special wish to all those who are deployed and not able to celebrate with their loved ones. To those who are not well or suffering from other discomforts may God be good to you all and give you good health and happiness.
From: Trevor Porter, Birgu    
Best wishes for Christmas and the New year to past and present Movers. I will be spending mine in the sun in Cambodia and Vietnam. Oh the joy of retirement.
From: Pete & Sue Orton, Camberley, Surrey  
Winter Solstice and other seasonal religious greetings to old mates, colleagues, and new found brothers (post 1977) of the exclusive fraternity of Old Bods. Never forgotten!
From: Mike, Pat & Matilda Green, Coventry   
A happy Christmas and good New Year to movers everywhere, especially survivors from the old hangar days at Abingdon.
From: Bob & Ann Robinson,  Wellingborough, Northants
Wishing all, especially those on duty, a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
From: Len & Diane Wood, Pembroke, ON    
On behalf of The Wood Family, I would like to extend to all Movers & their families, a Very Merry Christmas and Safe Prosperous New Year.  I particular wish all deployed Movers unable to be with family a safe, and uneventful Merry Christmas... May your tour be filled with PEACE and JOY... May God Bless and Keep you safe for a speedy return to your families.
From: Jim & Margaret Nadin, Lincoln   
This being a very special Centenary Year of Remembrance our thoughts are with those families whose loved ones have not returned home from recent conflicts. To those serving during Christmas and New Year we send our greetings and very best wishes and to those retirees like me well, keep the flag flying and keep well.
From: Steve & Many Broadhurst, Brighton East, VIC    
With warmest Christmas cheer to the worldwide Movers organisation. Thank you for sharing your memories, be it in the heat of the desert or the cold of the Arctic regions. A Happy Christmas and a wonderful, healthy 2019 to one and all.
From: Derek Grayson, Holbeach, Lincs
Merry Xmas to all Movers young and old, and hope everyone has  a great New Year. We must never forget all those who have been taken from us over the yearsFrom: Derek Grayson, Holbeach, Lincs
Merry Xmas to all Movers young and old, and hope everyone has  a great New Year. We must never forget all those who have been taken from us over the years.
From: John & Kay Tudor, Stevenston, Ayrshire
Kay and myself wish you and yours and all movers both serving or retired wherever they are a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year.
From: Peter Bessant, Chorley, Lancs
I would like to wish all Movers past and present especially all those I worked with at Muharraq, Brize, Laarbruch, Wildenrath and Lyneham a very happy Christmas and wish them all health and happiness in 2019 and for the future. I would also send best wishes to all surviving members of 305 apprentice entry several of whom also became movers.
From: Steven Fuller, Kettering, Northants   
Merry Xmas to you Tony, and to all serving movers and those that have left the service, may it be full of joy and mostly beer!
From: Tod Geoghegan, Folkestone, Kent 
To the entire Air Movement's Family where ever you may be throughout the globe.  A very happy Christmas and a wonderful New Year.
From: Moe Audet, St-Georges-de-Beauce, QC                                                     
My best wishes for the Holidays and I have a wood burning storv and if I add a lump of coal it might get as bit warmer!  Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
From: Roger Blow, Crown Point, IN                         <   
Please wish all movers everywhere a merry Christmas and a happy new year. Take care, stay well and be safe.
From: John & Gill Billingsley, Sidmouth, Devon                                      
Give my fondest regards to any one who should be aquinted with me . I live happily in Sidmouth with my wife Gill . Have just had a new knee but now can manage two rounds of golf per week off a 12 h/cap. I have 7 grand children and see plenty of them. Hope you have a blast at Christmas and a happy and healthy new year!
From: Steve Harpum, York                            
Thank you for this opportunity to wish movers and their families everywhere a very happy Christmas and a peaceful and prosperous 2019.
From: Gerry Blaquiere, Hunter River, PE                             
Going to be a quiet Christmas here on PEI. I do always think of all the Movers and regularly hope everyone is well!  I do hope to one day sit and share a cup with you.  That being said I do wish "ALL" Movers a Joyful Christmas and a prosperous (in love, health- physical and mental and wealth) in 2019!
From: Jeff Thomas, Llandrindod Wells, Powys                                  
May I wish you and all the guys  and a very Happy Christmas and a Merry New Year. Let us all have a good 2019, Keep up the good work with the news etc. It is  absolutely wonderful to learn how the rest of the team are doing. I will try and contribute an article or something  next year in the form of a memory , if I can remember that is! (RAF Rugby Player, Mover and ALM.)
From: John Gardiner, Carterton, Oxon                                    
So, in an attempt to avoid the ‘Gale Coal’, may I take this opportunity to wish all movers past and present a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous 2019. In particular, can we please remember those serving who won’t get home for Christmas this year. Also, a big thank you to you Tony for yet another outstanding year in looking after us ‘Old Bods’
From: Jack & Margaret Dunlop, Aberdeen
I would like to wish you all a merry Xmas and all the best for 2019. I am looking for an RAF Air Transport Command tie - maybe someone out there has one?
Jack Dunlop was in Ibiza in September
Ken Usher is Drum Major of the Summerland Pipes & Drums on Remembrance Sunday
Doug & Pam Murray sending greetings from Spain
Lee Kincart is living the dream on the slopes of the Swiss Alps
Harold & Val Jones at the UKMAMS Association dinner at Wroughton
Norman Munslow will be spending the holidays in Florida
Allan Walker - all dressed up for a parade!
Geordie Readman & Pete Price - "What it looks like the morning after!"
Mike & Susan Stoddard enjoying the season's first snowfall inTrenton
Gill & Norman Stamper spending Christmas at home in Spain
From: Ken Usher, Penticton, BC    
My sincere and heartfelt Christmas and New Years wishes to all Movers around the world who have served, are serving and will serve.  To those who have passed before us, God Bless you and your families.  To those who share the fortune of sharing life with us today, God Bless you and your families and to those who will serve after us, God Bless and may you stay safe.
From: Doug & Pam Murray, Torrevieja   
Pam and I send to all members of the movements family our very best wishes, and that you all have a fabulous Christmas and a healthy and good 2018!
From: Lee (Kink) Kincart, Basel 
A happy Xmas and new year to all movers past and present. Take care of yourselves.
From: Harold & Val Jones, Neston, Cheshire 
Wishes of Christmas cheer to all Movers everywhere with special thanks to you, Tony, for a marvelous web site and also to the team who organise our biennial UKMAMS reunion dinner.
From: Norman Munslow, Sutton Coldfield, W. Midlands  
I wish you and all  my colleagues from 1969-74 a very merry Christmas.  Regards to Geoff Vincent, Bill Doull, and all the lads from JATNE Nicosia, also my colleagues on NFN, to all of my ex-mates during my five years in the RAF best time I had in my life.
From: Allan Walker, Burnley, Lancashire
Best wishes to all Movers Past and present.  Wherever you may be have a Merry Christmas and Prosperous New Year. Yours aye.
From: Geordie Readman, Yate, South Gloucester 
Wishing all readers especially the early sixties FEAF MAMS & UK MAMS a merry Xmas and a happy and healthy 2019.
From: Mike & Susan Stoddard, Carrying Place, ON 
We would like to wish all the worldwide movers a very Merry Christmas and all the best for 2019.
From: Norman & Gill Stamper, Torrevieja  
Just got back from four days in Berlin enjoying the christmas markets, now preparing for the festive season here in sunny Spain. Wishing all 'movers', past and present,  a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
From: Wayne & Susan Flaherty, Winnipeg, MB
We would like to wish all movers and their families the warmest Merry Christmas and all the best in the new year.  May the wind always be at your back and a pint or two of Guinness nearby.
From: Adrian “H” Ford-Simms, Walesby, Notts  
It's been far too long since I messaged any of my former movers- my work and family life seem to make life fly past at an ever increasing rate.  It's 14 years since I left the RAF only to wear a different uniform- that of NHS Ambulance crew. A new set of colleagues who, instead of loading freight and passengers, load the ill and infirm. Like many of you who still serve, my role is 24/7, 365 days a year. So to those Movers I know and worked with, or met, and to those who serve today, may I send the best of season's greetings and hope for a good 2019.
From: Gilda Dolph, Trenton, ON
I would like to wish all the movers around the world, a very Merry Christmas and all the best in the new year. For those deployed and cannot be with their families at this time of the year, stay safe and know that your service to your country is greatly appreciated. Happy Holidays' season, everyone.
From: Simon & Jan Baxter, Oundle, Northants 
Please pass on my Best Wishes for Christmas to all movers both past and present. My special thoughts go out to all deployed away from home this year. I hope everyone has a fantastic Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year.  I am retired now after 38 years of work for various organisations. In the main interesting and enjoyable, and as I got older in some quite senior roles, but nothing was as good being a young, UKMAMS Team Leader in the 80s. Great fun, met and worked with some wonderful people, and learnt a hell of a lot from them, skills that have stood me in good stead ever since. Many thanks to all.
From: David Brown, Elgin, Moray
Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year to all your readers.
From: Jim & Jo Cunningham, Fareham, Hants
Please send my best wishes for Christmas and all one could wish for in the new year to all serving and retired members of our great fraternity at home and abroad. I shall be on your side of the pond soon as Jo and I will be having Christmas and New Year in New York.  I hope you and your family have a wonderful festive season all the best.
From: Jon Felton, Gladstone, NSW
To all members of the UKMAMS and old Bods group far and wide across the globe. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and yours! Be safe and enjoy wherever you are.
From: Jai Cookson & Family, Dubai  
Here’s ho-ho-hoping you all have a very Merry Christmas.
From: Paddy Hirst, East Grinstead, East Sussex
I wish everybody a Happy Xmas and a cheerful and healthy New Year.
From: Bernard Connolly, Wantage, Oxon
Best wishes to all those who still can remember me. Wishing you all a happy and peaceful Christmas and a successful New Year in 2019.
From: John & Gisela Guy, Northampton 
Our Christmas wish is that Movers, & families everywhere, have a very happy Christmas, & a prosperous, healthy New Year.
From: Eddie Hewitt, Dorset    
Love and best wishes to everybody I ‘worked’, and made memories with, throughout the 90s, particularly on A-shift Lyneham, UKMAMS, and Ascension Island.
Emily & Ingrid Trautrim sending warm greetings from Eastern Ontario
Andy Holliday tells us all about the time it snowed in Cornwall!
Paul English sends us an invitation to join the RAF Movers Facebook group
Gary Davies spends a week at the Glastonbury Music Festival every year
Mick & Myra Maybery at the Christmas lights turn on in Alnwick, Northumberland, this year
Dave & Marissa Morrow building up an appetite for the UKMAMS Association dinner
Jarvo Jarvis waiting for Santa to show up in Eastern Canada
Gary Basterfield is with FedEx in Calgary, AB
Wade & Mary Ellen Seymour will be spending the Christmas holiday in Nova Scotia
John Leek has sustenance at the races
From: Ingrid & Emily Trautrim, Pembroke, ON    
To all our friends, far and wide, Emily and I would like to wish you all, the happiest and most memorable Christmas ever.  Thank you everyone for your service, whether past or present and may God Bless you all. Our hopes for a prosperous, happy, healthy and peaceful 2019 to all!  Sending hugs to all and special thanks to you Tony, for your continuous hard work!  MERRY CHRISTMAS!
From: Andy & Faith Holliday, St Just, Cornwall 
A very Merry Christmas to all Movers past and present wherever in the world you are.  This lovely picture is the view from our lounge over Land’s End Airport towards Sennen Cove and Land’s End during the ‘Beast from the East’ this spring.  Only the second time we’ve seen snow in the 14 years we’ve lived here.   Season’s Greetings to All.
From: Paul English, Swindon, Wilts   
As the festive season approaches, as well as the close of another year, can we all spare a thought for those who have lost loved ones this year, our very best thoughts and that our colleagues will never be forgotten. Tony, may I be so bold as to use your Christmas newsletter to advertise the RAF Movers page within Facebook.  Hoss Wall and myself are admins and welcome Movers past, present and their families into our page with a view to helping each other stay in touch.
From: Gary & Rose Davies, Derry Hill, Wilts    
Happy Christmas to all of you out there. Take care in 2019 and more importantly, keep in touch. (India team 1975 to 1978)
From: Mick & Myra Maybery, Alcaudete  
A Happy and safe Christmas and New Year to all from Mick and Myra, especially those away from family at this time.
From: Dave & Marissa Morrow, Carterton, Oxon   
A Merry Christmas and a Happy, peaceful and prosperous New year to you all!
From: Jarvo & Karen Jarvis, Lunenburg, NS     
Hey everyone, wishing you everything you hope for at Xmas, love from Jarvo and K in a cold but still beautiful Lunenburg, Nova Scotia.
From: Gary Basterfield, Calgary, AB  
Best wishes to one and all at this most festive time of the year...
From: Wade & Mary Ellen Seymour, Kingston, NS    
We would like to wish all Traffic Techs here at home and who are on deployment a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year.
From: John & Lynne Leek, La Ronde     
Christmas greetings to all Movers past and present.  We will also be remembering those friends and acquaintances who have entered the crew room in the sky.
From: Nigel Moore, Devauden, Monmouthshire    
Season's greetings to anyone who remembers me from Hong Kong, Brize Norton, HQBFFI and Mov Ops MOD. Enjoy 2019 and the festive season.
From: Mike (Penfold) Pennington & Family, Warrington, Cheshire    
To all my colleagues in the Air Movements world both past and present, I would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year.
From: Keith Smith, Swindon, Wilts   
I wish all Movers past and present the compliments of the Season. Merry Christmas and all Best Wishes for 2019
From: Nigel Robinson, Chippenham, Wilts    
I would like to wish all a very happy Christmas.  And at this time of year to remember are absent friends. May the new year be happy, healthy and prosperous.
From: Alan & Lorraine Irving, Royal Wootton Bassett, Wilts   
Please wish all Mover's and their families wherever they may be a very happy Xmas and a great New Year.
From: Hugh Thompson, Swindon, Wilts    
To All my friends in the Movements world, wherever you happen to be in that world, Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year for 2019. To all those still serving and deployed, Stay Safe, it won’t be too long till you can get back to your loved ones. From Hughie Thompson, still above ground and at room temperature!
From: Andy Spinks, Aylsham, Norfolk   
Wishing all current and past movers, wherever they are in the world, all the very best for Christmas and New Year. Our thoughts are particularly with those deployed on operations but also those at base and having to work over the holiday period. What you all do throughout the year is often under-reported but nevertheless greatly appreciated – many thanks to you all. (UKMAMS F Team Leader 1975-1979) 
From: Roger & Angie Titmarsh, Cwmbran, Monmouth  
Merry Christmas to all movers past and present especially the ones away from home at Christmas
From: Colin Foster, Swindon, Wilts 
Wishing all a Happy Christmas especially all those parted from friends and family. May peace be with you.
From: John (Hank) Middleton, Huntingdon, Cambs   
I would like to say Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to everyone from past and present. My thoughts are with you all at this time, special mention to Frank Holmes, Pete Herring, Charlie and anyone I knew and met throughout my years. Special mention to all those who were in the MAMS teams in Akrotiri with Hilary and I. A lifetime of happiness and memories were made I will never forget them.
From: Steve Sparkes, Lyminge, Kent 
May I send my Best Wishes to all , especially any who were at RAF Credenhill, Hereford in 1965/66 on A&F Flights 3 Sqdn, 304 Entry Supplier apprenticeship course. Merry Christmas & A Happy New Year to all!
From: Dave (Wishy) Wash, Eastern Passage, NS 
To all movers far and wide, may the seasons both of Xmas and New Years be merry and great. Stay safe and be great like always!
From: Rod Elliott, Brinkworth, Wilts
Best wishes for the festive season and 2019 to all Movers, past and present, wherever they may be.
From: Jim Hood, Swindon, Wilts  
I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone on UKMAMS and any of my colleagues I served with on the Air Movements Squadrons at RAF Akrotiri and Brize Norton a very happy Christmas and New year.
From: Andy & Isobell Tesch, Caccamo, Sicily 
I take this opportunity to wish all Movers who know me, and of course those who don’t, and certainly those who have shared in some of the many great times I enjoyed in the RAF, a very merry Christmas and a prosperous new year!
From: Kit Ayers, Stow on the Wold   
It’s a long time since I started this movements game in 1963 and the many tours and related trips / detachments brought me into contact with lots of great people – some who are no longer with us. To those who remain may you all have a good Christmas and New Year. As a change from the picture of an old codger I attach a couple of photos of “the beginning” some of which you will recognise?
From: Nev and Ali Whitham, Preston, Lancs    
To all you ‘Movers’ out there, past and present, Merry Chrimbo and a Happy New Year!
From: Colin (Olaf) & Diana Hughes, Hastings, East Sussex   
Sadly it has become all too clear that the numbers are only going one way. We therefore wish movers of all generations a very happy Christmas and a safe and successful new year. To the youngsters (under 55), "two- six" will hold it all together!
From: Pete Hopkins, Swindon, Wilts  
Will wish all past, present and future ‘movers’ a very festive Christmas with plentiful merriment and the most successful and  prosperous new year
From: Tony Street, Buffalo, NY   
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to Movers worldwide, and especially to those who can't be home for the holidays.
From: Philip (Nobby) & Babs Clarke, Swaffam, Norfolk  
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Andy & Isobell Tesch about to crack a bottle of the good plonk at home in Sicily
Kit Ayers - Beverley at Seba, Libya
Kit Ayers - Expedition into desert from Idris
Ali and Nev Whitham at the Barut Kemer Hotel, near Antalya, Turkey
Diana & Colin Hughes were on holiday in India for Dianas 70th birthday in November
Pete Hopkins on top of the Sugar Loaf in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in October 
Tony Street, conducting airdrop qualifications on CASA's new C212 in Spain, 1976
Nobby Clarke - Babs and I at the back with my 2 kids and 4 grandkids
Sid Thompson checking in from Lapland
Ian Stacey - outside my new home in Indiana
Mary and Keri Eynon holidaying in Madeira earlier this year
Len Bowen - couldn't decide which one to wear today - "Heck, I'll wear 'em both!"
Dougie Betambeau, Ian Dewar and Ian Hill were stuck in Bermuda for two weeks!
David Barrett is looking for a game of Scrabble in the Caribbean
Steve Boucher  taking one for the team!
Sharyn & Mick Hughes - [Yeah - right!]
From: David (Sid) Thompson, Paltamo   
A very Merry Christmas and all the best for the coming year to all Movers past and present from the snowy wastes of Lapland.
From: Ian & Wendy Stacey, Nashville, IN 
Wishing you and all your readers all the best for the Holiday Season and for the coming year. Thanks for all your efforts with the website. (Delta Team 1964 - 67)
From: Keri & Mary Eynon, Thatcham Berks   
To all movers across the world and their families just to wish you all A blessed and peaceful Christmas and best wishes for 2019.
From: Len & Penny Bowen, Chisholm, ACT  
Christmas greetings to all in the movements fraternity past, present and future.  As somebody once said, "You had to have been there". (FEAF MAMS, RAAF MATU ALT1 and several other places, but I'd have to shoot you if I told you about them.)
From: Ian (Stretch) Mansfield, Swindon, Wilts
I would like to wish all Movers, past and present, the happiest of Christmases and a very drunken New Year (or Hogmanay for the foreigners). I hope tradition is being upheld and that the singlies are volunteering to work the Christmas shifts so the scaleys can enjoy time with their families, and vice versa for New Year's Eve.
Best wishes for 2019.
From: Rob & Micky Davies, Woodchurch, Kent   
Wishing all members, past and present, a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, blue skies and tailwinds! (Hotel Team 1967 - 1972)
From: Graham Cotton, Peterborough, Northants
Wishing all Movers and ex Movers a great Christmas and prosperous new year
From: Stephen Smith, Reading, Berkshire
I would like to wish all members of the Movements family all around the world, including those who are members of the Flat Earth Society, a Peaceful, Joyous and Merry Christmas, and a Prosperous New Year.
From: Dennis (Dean) Martin, Woking, Surrey   
Greetings to all, wherever you are. (Lyneham 1952-1955. TWO- SIX! the blood and thunder boys!)
From: Brian Hunt, Witney, Oxon   
A Happy Christmas to all Old Bods, particularly those on Charlie team; Colin Pay, Colin Woods and Neil Davies.
From: Don Hunter, St Maximin      
Wishing all UKMAMS OBA members a peaceful and Happy Christmas, and may 2019 bring everyone good health and  happiness (as well as abundant allowances and DFs!).
From: Mick Cocker, Swindon, Wilts   
I'd like to take this opportunity to wish you and all the OBA members a very Merry Christmas and a Happy, Safe and Prosperous New Year.
From: Ricky Howell, Doha
May I wish everyone a merry Christmas and a happy New Year.
From: Dougie & Jackie Betambeau, Swindon, Wilts
I know it’s not a festive foto, but for the three of us; Ian Dewar, Ian Hill & moi, all our Xmas`s came at once. A three-day trip turned into a two-weeker with 10 days u/s in Bermuda -thanks Santa!  Season's Greetings to all Movers worldwide & our warmest wishes for 2019, especially to those who have lost loved ones & those away from their families, thoughts are with you all.
From: David (Ginge) Barrett, Brecon
A great Christmas and New Year to movers young and old no matter where they serve or have served. And a special show of appreciation to you Tony for all your work in putting the newsletter together, not so much for what you do to my averages in Scrabble!
From: Steve & Jodie Boucher, Leeds
Merry Christmas and a happy new year to all ex movers wherever you are.
From: Mick and Sharyn Hughes, Ipswich, QLD  
To all Movers past and present, either with families or serving their country, to use the Irish blessing, “May the best of this year be the worst of the next”. Stay safe if away, and if with your family, enjoy and appreciate your good fortune.
From: Phil & Anne Horton, Harrogate
Wishing all Movers and their families worldwide a peaceful Christmas, and prosperous 2019.
From: Neil Collie, Canberra, ACT
Wishing all your readers, wherever in the world they might be, a very Merry Christmas and Wonderful 2019
From: Ron Turley, Davao, Mindanao 
My very best wishes to all movers, especially those who find themselves deployed at this time of year. A very happy and peaceful year to you all
From: Paul (Stretch) & Diane Weir, Leighton Buzzard, Beds 

On behalf of my wife Di and myself, I would like to wish every Mover throughout the world a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Once again Tony, thank you so much for your endless dedication and enthusiasm by keeping this unique and special web site going.  It’s a priceless way of receiving Movers’ news and memories good and, too often, very sad. Let’s raise a glass (or two) to those dear friends who have departed and gone to pastures new, they are sorely missed.

As you can see from the attached pictures, myself and my wife, Diane, are still busy with the business of traditional willow basketry and in recent years, cane furniture restoration.

Recently I had the privilege of restoring a Victorian child's chair and a lovely Peacock chair where I had to restore the whole seating area. Both were very challenging. 

Take care everyone, we are not getting any younger but let’s all enjoy life while we still can.

Regards and best wishes.

Paul (Stretch) and Diane Weir.

Partners in Bedfordshire Basketmakers.
Paul Weir is a Yeoman member of the Worshipful Company of Basketmakers in London. A mark of quality and excellence.
Victorian Chair During Restoration
Victorian Chair After Restoration
Restored Cane Steel Chairs
Cane Lounger After Restoration
Peacock Chair After Restoration
Di Making a Garden Oblisk
1928 Austin Seven
1904 Cadillac Model A
1903 Darracq 12HP
From: Joe Gillis, Grand Mira South, NS
Joe Gillis - Memories of a Mining Town
Nellie & Jimmie Gillis
were married in 1932
Tony: I can truly relate to your “growing up in Wales” and the many fond memories surrounding the importance of “coal”, the other black gold. I grew up in a coal miners' family; the second youngest of thirteen children.

I am the proud son of a “coal miner”; born and raised as one of 13 children to Jimmie and Nellie Gillis. My father, Jimmie “The Checker” Gillis worked 47 years in the coal mines beginning at the age of 15. He was born in 1907. He died as a result of cancer derived from silicosis or “black lung” as miners prefer.  My father withstood two “falls’ of stone” (cave-ins) and broke several vertebrae in his back at differing times. Nonetheless, with 15 mouths to feed he rarely missed a shift, despite the obvious pain he endured and tried so much to hide from us at all times. I am so proud of him that when I think of the efforts he made and the accomplishments he gained throughout his career, I am indeed humbled to the core. I wish that I could be half the man he was.

Christmases and the true meaning of “giving” has a special meaning in my family. That we hung the stockings on the wall and perhaps received an orange or and apple in it on Christmas Day was a real treat; to get an additional hard-candy put a smile on our faces for quite a long time. We were poor; but, we were rich in spirit, because we had parents who cared more for their children than any material thing, and they loved each other beyond all belief. No, we never saw them argue nor did we ever see them manifest the least bit of affection, even a little kiss for each other, because such things were done behind closed doors away from the children. Yet, we knew we were so loved and cared for.

Despite that we had little money, we always had clothes to wear, albeit they were hand-me-downs that were threadbare and patched. And they were also the cleanest amongst our school mates, for soap and water did not cost so much. And Ma ensured we were always properly fed, clean and well mannered. God how I miss them both today!
And the Welsh know about coal mining; in fact, whenever, “ How Green Was My Valley” came on TV, we were gathered around the old black-and-white to watch and absorb how connected we were to our neighbours across the pond. My father loved to sing and he loved that the miners from Wales would sing as they went to and from their work in the mines. He did that too!

As a coal miner in the 1920s, my father was the first man elected by his peers to be “the checker’ when mine management would cheat the miners of their earned pay when they would steal one or two of the tags, miners would have to place on their loaded boxcars prior to sending them up the trip, to be accounted for payment during shifts. This was an archaic method to account for the number of cars loaded by the miners below in the mine and sent to the “service” to be accounted against their name and number for later payment. They were being cheated by the management who stole their tags from time to time and kept the monies to be shared equally amongst those evil-doers.
Therefore, to ensure the miners were not being regularly cheated they elected the most honest man they knew to protect them from this shameful practise; my father. He would have to stand by the management’s chosen “counter” and tally the loaded cars against the tags that were assigned to each miner to ensure they got their earned pay. This was done after he worked his regular shifts and for no extra pay. They had elected the most honest man they knew for this particular job and that, in his eyes, was something to be proud of. A great lesson and role model for the family I might add.

Davis Day, also known as Miners' Memorial Day (and since November 25, 2008, officially as William Davis Miners' Memorial Day) is an annual day of remembrance observed on June 11 in coal mining communities in Nova Scotia, Canada to recognize all miners killed in the province's coal mines. Davis Day originated in memory of William Davis, a coal miner who was killed during a long strike by the province's coal miners against the British Empire Steel Corporation, BESCO. The key events took place at Waterford Lake, near the town of New Waterford in the industrial district of Cape Breton Island. At the start of the strike in March 1925, the corporation cut off credit at the company stores, and the coal miners survived on relief payments and donations from supporters as far away as Boston and Winnipeg. fter three months, the corporation planned to resume operations without a settlement. In response, at the beginning of June the coal miners reinforced the shutdown by taking control of the power plant that served the mines in the New Waterford district and also supplied water and power to the town. The shortage of water caused inconvenience and concern to citizens, but the coal miners were able to draw on local wells and set up a volunteer service to deliver water to the hospital.
Joe, Jerry and John Gillis
The situation turned critical in the early hours of June 11, when a force of company police recaptured the power plant. Hundreds of coal miners, possibly more than 2,000 in number, my father amongst them, marched to Waterford Lake in protest. The thirty-eight-year-old William Davis was among them. The company police started shooting and fired more than 300 shots. Davis was shot and killed, either by deliberate aim or by a stray bullet, and several other miners were wounded. In the following days, company facilities, including the stores, were looted and vandalized. The Canadian army was called out to police the district. A provincial election followed later that month, and the new government arranged for a settlement of the strike and continued recognition of the union.

In commemoration of Davis's sacrifice, the United Mine Workers of America designated the day in his honour, with miners in Nova Scotia vowing never to work on June 11. My father was there, at Waterford Lake, the day William Davis was killed and often recalled the circumstances. He recounted that story to me many times, as vividly as if it was happening all over again as he spoke. I’ll never forget the angst displayed on his face at each retelling. I am so proud of my father.

Further to his memory and his “career” as a coal miner, my father was the first, and to my knowledge, the only man to successfully complete all required educational training programs, in sequence, to receive his underground manager’s “papers” at such a young age. In fact he was offered several times the job of mine manager at number 12 colliery in New Waterford, NS, where we lived, but, refused each time because he said he spent too much time at the mine as it was, given his additional “checker” responsibilities, which as mentioned was a volunteer unpaid position, and that he did not want to be called away from his “substantial” family any more than he already was. He could not afford any more time at the mine. Notwithstanding, he became a teacher, who taught mining to miners at night school after hours, for many years. These classes assisted miners achieving their many different classifications such as, “shot firer”, underground and above-ground manager, etc. In fact, I still have all of his teaching books at home. He ended his career teaching mining at what was then called, University College of Cape Breton, UCCB.
I remember as a young lad picking coal at the slag dump, where the truckers would haul and dump the slag over the cliff at the end of the street where we lived. After school my brothers and I would go down to the cliff and pick through the slag for the lumps of coal that were missed and got gathered up in the slag to be thrown over the cliff. On weekdays we would pick a half-ton of coal and on weekends we would pick a ton. We could sell the coal we picked to other families for 6 dollars for a half ton and 12 dollars for a ton, but, this was done only after the coal shed out back and the basement bin was full of coal to help get us through the harsh winter months. All monies were turned over to Ma who always made a dime stretch into a dollar and as mentioned, made sure we had only the necessities needed to get through “life”; niceties were oranges or apples in our stockings on Christmas day.  We worked at this and all sorts of other jobs such as cutting kindling for sale and cleaning peoples’ homes for any form of payment we could earn for our efforts because simply, the family needed it. And the lessons we learned about sharing and caring stayed well ingrained in our personalities to this day. You, Tony, may well know what it takes to get by, growing up in a coal mining town and making do with what you have.
As for formative schooling, just before my brother graduated from high school my father and a group of other miners got permission to take the graduating class (boys) down in the mine to spend the day with them, learning about “mining” and the rigors thereof. I also got to go down with them even though I was a year behind. We were brought approximately three miles out under the ocean at which point the mine was operating then. We came to realise that our fathers’ may have had ulterior motives, as not one boy of that class, nor I, ended up working in the mines for a living; the message was well received by all and we were most grateful for the experience offered.

Tony, your email brought back many fond memories of growing up in our coal mining town. I am sure that many others of your readers have had similar experiences and hope that this message will also provoke a childhood memory or two.

I wish to convey my sincerest regards to all “movers” near and far, who have served and who are still serving with pride in knowing that we did and do make a difference in our efforts throughout the year to many who are less fortunate than we.

Tony, a special thank you for being the glue that keeps us together and for sharing our stories amongst those who care. You deserve more than a lump of coal in your stocking this year, indeed!  Merry Christmas everyone!

Joe Gillis (Retired Mover and Proud Miner’s Son)
Gillis family 1999; 13 of us - my father had died and my sister died as a child
“Jerry, John & Joe” shows us in Uniform years later; the three of us were Air Force Movers. Jerry retired as a BGen, John as a CWO and I as a LCol ; not bad for coal miners sons!
From: Michael (Obie) O'Brien, Corinda, QLD

Hey, G’Day Tony,

Here’s Festering Seasonal Greetings from the Antipodes, to all and sundry in the Mover’s Empire!  I trust and Sincerely Hope that the Blessings of [insert deity of choice] fall with great benevolence on all to the satisfaction of same!

Pics enclosed are of a time some eons ago when I was involved post-military career as a UN Contractor helping to receive and distribute the great unwashed around UNIFIL; mainly the bit in contention between the Southern Lebanon Hezbollah and “the Occupied States of Palestine” further to the South (Israel), whilst trying to dodge the “gifts” that the Israelis and Hezbollah had been in Jul-Aug ’06, and were continuing to exchange over our heads at Naqoura.  As the opportunity presented itself to make a lazy trip up to Beirut for a "MovCon Contractor Staff Meeting” I joined the rest of our Patrick Defence Logistics’ team who were based up there.
UNIFIL MovCon LebXmas, December 2006:  

PDL Xmas Breakifast Drinkies we bunged-on for The Beirut Radisson Staff

L-R:  JA, a recently-arrived Contractor.

Ennas, Hotel Front-of-House Manager.

One of the Hotel’s very good Chefs.

Rocky, our Boss Contractor

OBie, getting the relaxed Contractor look on.
Later, after sating ourselves a Luncheon Buffet, we repaired to meet The Big Fella Himself, who was most surprised by our offer of assistance, as we assessed that his Elves seemed overwhelmed by the occasion … or perhaps the amount of Old Monk heading downrange was of a volume they were too young to have encountered. 
UNIFIL MovCon LebXmas, 2006: 
PDL Xmas Lunch w-Santa & Elves

L-R:  some random photographer

An Elf

Slightly relaxed Contractor

Bemused Elf

The Big Fella Himself

JT, a slightly relaxed Contractor

JA, another Contractor

‘Rocky”, our Boss Contractor
So, may all the nuggets under your Yuletide Logs be either real, or at least edible.  Wishing all and sundry All the best - and mine’s a rum, thanks!

Cop Yers, OB
More Relevant Stuff
Tony Gale
If  you wish to leave a little something under my tree,  send me an e-mail and I'll let you know how you can do it