Toys for the North: RCMP, RCAF deliver gifts to children in need
Celebrating its 11th year, “Toys for the North” has been distributing gifts to roughly 4,000 children living in isolated northern communities since Christmas 2010. Donation collections are led by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and supported by the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF).
“The Toys for the North initiative is a fantastic opportunity that facilitates cross-organizational collaboration, with the aim of bringing joy to families who are located in our remote, northern communities,” said RCAF Aircraft Commander Capt Mark Bowering.
Andy and Helen Gell, Cornwall Christmas greetings and best wishes to all for 2022 from Andy and Helen Gell.
David and Karen Jarvis, Lunenburg, NS
K and I would like to wish anyone who knows us and you other people, a very happy Christmas and a spanking new year from beautiful Lunenburg NS.
Jacques Guay, Port Charlotte, FL
Just wanted to wish all Movers and their families a wonderful and Happy Holiday.
Pete and Shirley Ingham, Carterton, Oxon
Shirley and I would like to wish a Happy and Prosperous New Year to OBA Readers.
Richard and Sue Lloyd, Dunfermline, Fife
Wishing you all a very happy Christmas and a peaceful, healthy and fulfilling 2022!
From: Alan and Josephine Potts, Narbonne
At this time of year we turn our thoughts to loved ones, here and departed. Josephine and I would like to wish all the Movements family, especially those with whom we have served, a wonderful time at Christmas and a peaceful and safe New Year, free from covid.
Steveand Fiona Harpum, Faringdon, Oxon
Our best wishes and the compliments of the season to Movers far and wide. Here's hoping that 2022 is a happy and peaceful year for everyone.
Arthur Rowland, St. Ives, Cambs
Wishing you and all Movers, past and present, a very merry Christmas, and make 2022 really special!
Graham, Mary & Emma Allen, Nottingham, Notts
Wishing all current and ex Movers a wonderful Christmas and an excellent New Year. Wherever you are in the world, take care.
Andy Kay, Bowling Green, KY
Hopefully this Christmas season will find everyone a lot closer to family and friends than we all were this time last year. I hope we are all being smart and staying safe and getting back to something closer to normal. As always at Christmas, I will raise my glass to all the movers I knew and all the friends we have lost over the past 12 months. Always an Airman, never an Aviator!
Gordon and Ann Black, Swindon, Wilts
Wishing all movers, wherever they are a very merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year. Particularly those who are separated from family and loved ones.
Rae and Sue Sault, St Saviour, Jersey
We would like to wish everyone in the Movements Family all around the world a very safe and happy festive season.
Syd Avery and Rita, Guardamar del Segura, Alicante
Rita and I wish you all, as much as you can, a very Happy Christmas and a great New Year/Hogmany Let's hope that 2022 improves from the get go for us all. Feliz Navidad y Prospero Nuevo Año.á Todos.
Norman and Gill Stamper, Torrevieja
Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Bruce and Pat Gill, Newton Abbot, Devon
After the two years we have all had, we wish everyone that knows us a very happy Christmas and a prosperous and safe New Year.
John Bell, Birmingham
Merry Christmas to all movers wherever, those I know and those I have never met, those still serving and those now retired. Have a safe and happy festive season and a very good 2022.
Peter Clayton, Wroughton, Wilts
I hope that all movers everywhere had a very Merry Christmas and let's all wish for a return to 'normal' in 2022. Stay safe everyone.
Andy and Helen Gell cruising on the Truro River, Cornwall, last July
Karen and Jarvo in the Canadian Maritimes are excited about the upcoming festivities
Karen and Jarvo enjoying Christmas lunch
Jacques Guay is enjoying his retirement in Florida
Pete & Shirley Ingham live close to Brize Norton
Richard and Sue Lloyd in Llandudno last month
Alan and Josephine Potts with their daughters, April and Emma
Fiona and Steve Harpum at a friends wedding - pre-pandemic
Close-up of the happy couple - not the happy couple - but happy nonetheless!
Arthur Rowland, Christmas 2020 the turkey fought back!
Graham, Mary & Emma Allen on the occasion of Graham's 71st last August
Andy Kay's office mate, "She is a lot less trouble than some I have worked with over the years!"
Gordon and Ann Black at Overbecks Garden near Salcombe, Devon, in August
Sue and Rae Sault send greetings to all from the Channel Islands
Syd Avery and Rita are enjoying a luncheon on the shores of the Mediterranean
Gill and Norman Stamper are busy wrapping gifts
Bruce and Pat Gill at Coleton Fishacre, Devon, recently
John Bell was hiking on Dartmoor last summer
Peter Clayton in search of otters on the Isle of Mull off the west coast of Scotland
Peter Clayton with Eve, his new fiancée
Peter and Rose Herring, Gosport, Hants Very many thanks for the very special Remembrance edition Old Bods Brief. Wonderful reading the reflections on great MAMS characters. We shall always recall how Bob Turner kindly assisted Rose with our hiring 'march-in', in Limassol 1971 - when I was on task in Oman. What a character, nothing ever a problem, a truly lovely man. And may we forward greetings to all Movers everywhere, especially the ex-members of NEAF MAMS - A Very Happy Christmas and healthy New Year !
Ian and April Place, Meanwood, West Yorks To all the serving and retired members of UKMAMS, a very special Christmas and a happy new year. Love, April and Ian Place still living in Leeds UK.
Eddie Hewitt, Dorset Many thanks Tony for another year of keeping the newsletter an integral part of communications for Movers old and new. Wishing everybody a Happy and Healthy festive season - in particular, my old partners-in-crime during the 90s on both A-Shift Lyneham, and UKMAMS. What a decade, what amazing adventures and memories - I’d love to do it all again!
Fred Hebb, Gold River, NS I trust that all our Traffic Techs and their counterparts from around the world had a very Merry Christmas and want to wish all a Happy New Year and a prosperous 2022. Those who travel please stay safe and follow the protocols in place and stay well. To those who are separated from loved ones because of duty I wish you all well and that includes those who are at home holding down the Fort, HAPPY NEW YEAR from our house to yours.
Christine Dunn, Upwood, Cambs To all "MOVERS" who were at Abingdon from 1964-1969 I extend the compliments of the season to you all. Christine Dunn (Widow of Brian Dunn).
George and Eileen Graves, Carlisle, Cumbria We would like to send seasonal greetings to movers all around the world and their families, keep safe!
Colin Easdon-Smith, Ingham, QLD The Virus is playing havoc around the world, thank goodness it has let us alone so far. I am due for my booster next week. All is well. Cheers, eat up, drink and be merry!
John and Lynne Leek, La Ronde Deux Serves Wishing all Movers past and present plus their families a very Happy Christmas and a safe 2022.
Rod Elliott, Brinkworth, Wiltshire To those of you left standing who remember me, and to those who don’t, I wish you all a great (lockdown free) Christmas and healthy and enjoyable New Year.
Lorraine Hughes, Stourport on Severn, Worcs Happy Christmas to all current movers and those in the association around the world . Here's hoping you all have a happy and healthy new year and that 2022 brings you joy.
Jean-Pierre Pichette, Plainfield, ON To all of you active duty and retired Movers, I wish you a warm and loving Christmas with family and friends. Hope the year 2022 will bring you health (without COVID), peace, and happiness. And many thanks to Tony for all his hard work in publishing the OBA.
Dudley Olsen, Caloundra, QLD Greetings of the Season Tony plus for all past and present Movers and may 2022 be something to look forward to. Spread the laughter - Share the cheer - Let's be happy - While we're here!
Steve Munday, Lincoln I'd like to take this opportunity to wish all movers, wherever they are a safe, peaceful and very merry Christmas and best wishes for the coming year.
Jim Mckintosh, Glasgow, North Lanarkshire Wishing all movers past and present, worldwide, a Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy 2022.
Fritz and Carol von Kaitz, Edmonton, AB We would like to wish all Movers, whether deployed or defending the Homefront, a very Merry Christmas and a healthy and safe 2022.
Keri and Mary Eynon, Thatcham, Berks Having enjoyed the monthly newsletter, especially the later issues with the passport photos (did Tony get them from Police Records?) and the memories of the people they worked with or held special thoughts of. As I looked through the issues, it made me stop and think of all those I had known and served with; all the good times we shared and yes, even the not so good. Once again we are doing all we can to work through covid. So as we approach 2022 and prepare to bid farewell to 2021 may we wish everyone a blessed and peaceful Christmas with hopes for a much improved New Year. Stay safe everyone.
Bernie & Aase Lafrance, Nanaimo, BC Wishing to each and all my mover friends out there, a very Merry Christmas and the best for 2022. May we meet again in September in Vernon.
Al Irving, Royal Wootton Bassett, Wilts To all Mover's wherever they are in the world, May we wish you a very happy Christmas and an even better and COVID free 2022.
Dave Brixey, St Anne's Chapel, Cornwall Greetings to all former & current Movers. Stay warm and safe wherever you find yourself this Christmas & New Year.
Michael "Barney" Fielder, Huntingdon, Cambs To all movers past and present and those who sadly are no longer with us, I wish you all a merry Christmas and a happy new year. Also will be thinking of those on Exercises and current Operations away from their families over this festive period.
From: David Powell, Princes Risborough, Bucks
So all RAF Airmen and Airwomen are to be Aviators.
Oh dear! Will someone not a million miles from whoever is running the RAF for real these days advise the great and good that Aviators are MALE aviation type people while Aviatrix are the FEMALE equivalent!
I also understand that in the name of gender neutrality with effect from 1 April 2022, the RAF will be adopting the Kilt as the standard working and parade dress for Avia-tors and -trixs.
Happy Christmas and Stay Safe!
David Powell F-Team RAF Abingdon 1967-69
Steve Cross, Doncaster, South Yorks
I trust this email finds you well and in good spirits (excuse pun) during some interesting times? Usually this time of year is a reflective period, so I was reminiscing about all the things that I had accomplished in the past 12 months of WFH/ lockdown. So I started to list them…
9 litres of Capt Morgan Spiced Rum 2 litres of Bacardi white rum 2 litres Bacardi Oakheart 468 litres of Diet Coke 1.4 litres Tamnavulin Speyside whisky 7 litres Various gins 6 litres Taylor’s 10 year old & LBV port
I lost count after that!!!
Wishing everyone a very merry New Year and hoped you’ve had a great Christmas.
John Guy, Northampton
To Movers & their families, wherever they may be, a very Merry Christmas and a healthy prosperous New Year.
Howard Firth, Winkleigh, North Devon I would like to wish Movers present and past, wherever they are, a very Happy Christmas. May you all have a wonderful festive season and a Prosperous and Peaceful 2022 More importantly, stay safe!
Dougie Russell, Carlisle, Cumbria Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to one and all!
Keith Hubbard, Kilgetty, Pembroke Just a quick message for all Old Bods and Movers - Wishing you all a Merry Xmas and even better New Year. Stay Safe!
Trevor Porter, Birgu Best wishes for Christmas and the New Year. Last year I was stuck in Vietnam with the borders and airports being closed due to the covid situation. I went for a twelve week holiday and ended up being there for one year and eight months.
Charlie Marlow, Freshwater, Isle of Wight Merry Christmas and a happy & content 2022. Please raise a glass to our dear departed friends.
Budgie Baigent, Takaka, Tasman Wherever you are, whatever you do, take care of yourselves and those dear to you too! Thanks heaps Tony for your selfless dedication in maintaining this network. Happy festive season everyone from Middle Earth!
Stan Seggar, Sheffield
I'd like to send you all the best wishes for New Year and 2022 and thank you for supplying us with great memories of years gone by. I would also send best wishes to all the lads of u/t 50th Entry Boy Entrant suppliers, RAF Credenhill Hereford 1963/65. Memories forever, best wishes to all!
Gary Basterfield, Calgary, AB To one and all a very Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year. It's been an interesting 2021.
Tim Buckeridge, Calne, Wilts I would like to wish a Happy Christmas to mover friends old and new, I’m sure you will join me in raising a glass to absent friends.
Tony and Pat Last, Huntingdon, Cambs
Season's greetings to all old pals and current serving movers. Hope 2022 is kind to you all and life can return to some sort of normality next year.
Chris and Lindsay Thistle, Ottery St Mary, Devon
I had double brain surgery last year and Lindsay literally saved my life! Ain't I a lucky boy? We would like to wish everyone a very happy new year!
Stay safe all who know me and those who don't.
Duane and Shirley Bach, Carrying Place, ON
Wishing All Movers a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year in 2022 and safe healthy travels to those far away lands...
Philip “Nobby” Clarke, Swaffam, Norfolk
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all my past fellow movers hope next year will be a lot better than the last. Stay safe to you one and all.
Jake and Sharon Harms, Arizona
My wife and I are currently spending the winter months in Arizona, enjoying the warmth. This is my 86th healthy Christmas and we wish a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all. The enclosed card I created reads, "All the very best to Loadmasters around the world and a special Merry Christmas to my fellow Canadian Loadmasters - Cheers, Jake"
Tom Burrows, Sudbury, Suffolk
I wish you and all my fellow Old Bods a Happy and safe Christmas and New Year. May 2022 be the year we all get back to having some normality restored in our lives. Have a good one everybody. God bless.
"H" Firth on the seafront in Minehead earlier this year
Dougie Russell, Remembrance Sunday
Keith Hubbard - at home in Wales
Trevor Porter – happy to be at home in Malta for Christmas
Charlie Marlow sends Xmas greetings from the Isle of Wight
Gary Basterfield sends warmest greetings from Alberta, Canada
Tim Buckeridge was at the Calne Xmas Festival, collecting for the RBL
Budgie Baigent - Armistice Day in Middle Earth
Stan Seggar - Happy memories of Boy Entrant Training at Hereford
John Guy - an instructor at the Air Movements Training School, 1970's
Tony Last is at home in Cambridgeshire
Lindsay and Chris Thistle were just married on November 29th
Duane Bach's pooch is in the ice hockey penalty box!
Nobby Clarke, Wunsdorf 1979/80, when Gutersloh runway was closed
Jake Harms created this special card - the text is shown at left
Tom Burrows is wishing all Old Bods a safe Christmas and New Year
I’ve past my prime, I’ve had a good time, and the days are short and moving. A meet and greet and lots to say, is what’s offered on Christmas day, Movers old and Movers young, not forgetting those in reserve. Will while away until late in the day, with stories that will say. The life we’ve had, the life we’ve shared is such a distant past, So, good luck good cheer and have a beer remember friends of old, To all the Movers family, bless, keep you safe and prosperous. Christmas greetings from an old mover of more than 50 years ago.
Gerry Davis, Bedminster, Somerset
Alec Angus, Leeds, West Yorkshire To all serving and veterans of the movement and supply brotherhood (sisters included), I wish you all the best that you can make of this festive season, it’s got to better than the last one. Stay safe, and revel responsibly.
Chris and Jane Briggs, Coventry, West Midlands We would like to wish all the Movers far and wide a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and of course our thoughts will always be with those who are no longer with us.
Colin Foster, Swindon, Wilts Wishing all members of the mobile community a very happy Christmas and New Year . For all those that have lost loved ones I hope you can have as good a festive season as possible. May we then have a year of no losses. Peace to all.
Neil Baldock, Royal Wootton Bassett, Wilts Seasons greetings from Royal Wootton Bassett. Another strange Covid year but we have got this far so we can do this. Great to see lots of old faces at the Blunsdon Arms last week. Happy Christmas all
Don Hunter, Saint Quentin de Caplong Knowing the MAMS ability to make something positive out of almost any awful situation, I am sure that all of us will find a way of celebrating yet another bizarre Christmas season in the best possible manner, hopefully with family and friends close by. May 2022 bring us generous allowances, great tasks, excellent hotels and (for those active in the 70s) an abundance of Harvey Wallbangers! In our dreams, perhaps but may the happy days continue. Best wishes to all.
John and Elizabeth Cockayne, Chippenham, Wilts We would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Alex McGrath, Halton, Bucks To our fabulous Logistics community, may I wish you all a very merry Christmas and a most prosperous New Year. Stay safe and keep those tales of daring and mirth coming. Cheers and beers!
Jim Gillespie, Hampshire I would like to wish everyone a Covid free Christmas and New Year!
Whaty Campbell, Limassol Festive greetings to you from Cyprus. Could I please pass on my warmest wishes and festive greetings to all far and wide. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and your own, stay safe and be good for Santa.
Don and Fern Hatton, Liscomb, NS Fern and I would like to wish all the movers out there, past and present, and their families a Merry Christmas and a happy New Years, especially remembering those who who deployed away from home over the season.
Jim MacKenzie, Aylmer, QC Well, here’s wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy New Year. For those shovelling snow, do be careful. And to those basking in the Southern Sun and wishing they were here, maybe next year. So, cheers all and good night.
Ricky and Lin Howell, Swindon, Wilts Just a quick Christmas note from myself and wife Lin to all of the movements family. Stay safe and have great Christmas and a happy New Year.
John and Gail Boates, Frankford, ON Sending from our home to all those movers retired and serving around the world our Very Best Wishes for a "Merry Christmas & a Very Happy New Year 2022"
Al Gordon, St. Albert AB Wishing all the movers throughout Canada and the world a happy and safe Christmas.
Mark "Dutch" Holland, Market Drayton, Salop Never been on a good list in my life but good grief not to wish fellow Movers a happy and back pain free new year the opportunity you offer just cannot be missed. To all of you a very Merry Christmas and the happiest of New Years.
Brian Cock, Hailsham, East Sussex To all “Humpers & Dumpers” past and present where er they be, stay safe and well through these troubled times. Seasonal wishes to you and yours.
Simon and Jan Baxter, Louth, Lincs Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all movers serving and retired and especially to those who are away from home and family this year. We’ll raise a glass to you all. All the best!
Jack Cross, Moralet, Alicante Hi Guys and Gals. I'm so sorry about this but evil Tony Gale has forced me (by bombarding my inbox with reminders 😉) to wish all Movers, past and present, my very best wishes for Christmas and 2022. Good luck and good health to you all from up here on the hill. JC. 🎅🍻🍻🍻
James Gallagher, Oxford, Oxon Dear fellow Old Bods, Wishing you a wonderful Christmas, and a very Happy New Year. Let's hope this virus will have gone completely next year so we can celebrate in a good and proper way. Very best to all and thank you Tony Gale for all the amazing effort you put into the Old Bods Association.
Jim Hood, Swindon, Wilts I haven't forgotten about my old colleagues who I served with as a mover I still wonder how many of them are still with us? Anyway, to those surviving colleagues and their families I can only wish them a very happy Christmas and a New Year that hopefully will keep everyone safe. God bless.
Harry Grace, Fort Saskatchewan, AB A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all serving and past Movers.
Michael Cocker, Swindon, Wilts
Once again I've left it till the last minute! One thing I know about enjoying semi-retirement is the loss of time management, a necessary skill most of us acquired during our military careers (although I did meet one or two young officers who never did acquire the skill, usually owning watches that were running a day or so late!).
Having just moved house, hopefully for the last time, to a bungalow, which may save my aching joints for a while, I find that I no longer have that time management skill - whole days go past without having achieved anything noticeable, while I determinedly put off yet more chores for another day, pour another G&T and settle down for an episode of "Vera" and some good Northern crime!
This Christmas Season seems to come round with alarming regularity, getting quicker by the year, so once again I will wish all my Mover family around the globe a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. May we meet again some day. Stay safe everyone.
Dave and Rosemary Abrams, Weymouth, Dorset
We would both like to send goodwill greetings to all movers past and present around the world. Hoping that you and all your families have a happy Christmas and a good new year.
David and Michèle Forsyth, St Hilaire de Riez
Michèle and I wish you all that you would wish for yourselves, for you and yours, as we approach Christmas and the New Year. Particularly for the New Year, perhaps not in the spirit of COP26: «Lang may yer lum reek» That thought in spades for Tony to keep up the priceless work with these Newsletters - thank you, Tony.
Gerry Muffett, Cirencester, Glos
I just became a great granddad and am over the moon! I'd like to wish everyone in the air movements family the very best for Christmas and the New Year.
David (Sid) and Marika Thompson, Paltamo
Wishing all Movers past and present a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Best wishes from us both.
Mike and Sue Stoddard, Carrying Place, ON
Merry Christmas to all the movers from Mike and Susan Stoddard and family.
Neil and Louise Jones and Family, Akrotiri
A very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year - to all the Movers and Movements Qualified Officers around the world. I hope your 2022 is all that you wish for!
Pete and Jayne Hopkins, Swindon, Wilts
Season's greetings to one and all; a time to reflect on another difficult year and to look forward to fresh challenges for 2022. Taking an extended break from work with the closure of Honda UK in July and spending time with our latest addition to the family, Cocker Spaniel “Amber”. All the very best and wishing all a safe, healthy and prosperous new year.
Len “Woody” and Diane Wood, Pembroke, ON
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Trappers! From our family to all the Movers & their families, past & present, serving home and abroad, we wish you a Very Merry Christmas and Happy, Healthy, Prosperous and Safe New Year. To all the Trappers deployed, we wish you a peaceful tour and safe return home to your families.
Steve & Mandy Broadhurst, Brighton East, VIC
To ALL the Movements Family wherever you may be, my family and I wish you a Safe, Hearty, Healthy & Happy Christmas & New Year. May 2022 be nothing like 2020-2021. From Steve Broadhurst, Mandy, Melissa, Daniel, Anthony & Rusty the Border Collie.
Lee Kincart, Basel
Happy Christmas to Movers both old and battered & new and shiny. Best wishes for the year ahead. Take it easy!
Dougie & Jackie Betambeau, Swindon, Wilts
Festive greetings to "The Movers Family" around the world & hoping that 2022 is better for all... Remembering those who are no longer with us... Peace & Love
Gordon and Brenda Gray, Powick, Malvern
Here’s wishing all Movers, Past and Present, particularly all of you OBA members, a hopefully settled and Happy Christmas, with Best Wishes for the New Year in 2022, regardless of whatever situation you might be in this Festive Season.
Frank and Janet Johnston, Navarre, FL
Season’s greeting to one and all! Merry Christmas and Happy 2022 from warm & sunny Florida.
Ed and Karen Stout, Aylesbury, Bucks
A very Merry Christmas and a Very Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year to all the Movements family both near and far. Stay safe.
Barrie Hay, Northallerton, North Yorks
Here’s hoping that all movers and their friends and family worldwide are able to make the most of this Christmas despite the unnecessary limitations imposed on us in the name of Covid-19 and that 2022 will herald a return to a normal way of life.
Ingrid and Emily Trautrim, Pembroke, ON
Near and far we wish all movers a wonderful Christmas season and a very healthy and happier 2022! Many thanks to you Tony for the amazing job you do, love your newsletters. Stay safe everyone, sending hugs from Ingrid and my daughter Emily from the Ottawa Valley🙏
Chris Clarke, Burlington, ON
A Happy Christmas to all in the Movements family! Hopefully 2022 isn’t as shite as 2021! All the best from the colony of Upper Canada UKMAMS detachment!
Andrew Downard, Ballarat, VIC
Sorry to be occupying space on the naughty list. I’ve been spending a lot of time this year on Zoom as you can see from the photo. For some reason some of the people on the calls appear to be nervous, can’t think why! Anyway please pass on my best wishes for Christmas and the New Year to movers near and far, old and young and of all the flavours that you have gathered together into this fine group😉
Michèle and David Forsyth send Season’s Greetings from Vendée
Gerry Muffett is really looking somewhat bewildered on becoming a great grandfather!
David (Sid) and Marika Thompson send their best wishes from Finland
Mike and Sue Stoddard and family send their greetings from Eastern Ontario
Louise, Jonah, Daisy and Ava Jones at Dreamers Bay, RAF Akrotiri
Dave Abrams on the occasion of his age advancement day last year
Pete and Jayne Hopkins are spending time with Amber
Woody, Diane, David & Jane, Chris & Karen, grandchildren – Keegan, Camden & Quinn.
Steve and Mandy Broadhurst send greetings from Victoria, Oz.
Lee Kincart is picking up his Christmas tree in Switzerland
Dougie and Jackie Betambeau enjoying a Lockdown Cream Tea from the Grandkids
Brenda and Gordon Gray (on holiday somewhere)
Janet and Frank Johnston send greetings from a warm and sunny Florida
Ed and Karen Stout Santa and Rudolph!
Barrie Hay was vacationing at his bungalow in Lanzarote, Canary Is.
Ingrid and Emily Trautrim are enjoying a barbeque in the Ottawa Valley
Gun happy Chris Clarke in Halifax Harbour on board HMCS Sackville (Battle of the Atlantic)
Andy Downard is scaring Zoom participants away!
Mick Craner, Yeovil, Somerset
Here’s hoping to be included on to your “Goodish list” not wanting to be confined to camp or a spell of Jankers.
In 1951, I spent the whole month of February on Jankers; 14 days for being late back from a 48 hour pass and 14 days for having non potable water in my water bottle. For this, I was charged by the orderly officer, a pimply youth who looked about 15 years old. It was serious at the time, now looked back on with amusement.
A Merry Christmas and a Bountiful New Year to all Airmen and Airwomen both serving and retired. I think of the many good times and places we were all privileged to enjoy.
I must remember a wonderful Mover, Flt Lt Frank Murray, who was stationed at Changi. I met Frank later at a place called Afrag, Libya, when flying on Hercules with 36 Sqn. Out of a big cloud of dust a figure emerged with raincoat, peaked cap down to his ears and goggles.
I said, "Bugger me it’s Rommel!"
The figure said, “No it’s Frank Murray!"
Vern Mike Lefebvre, Burton, NB Tony I look forward to your great newsletter every month. And I will take this opportunity to wish you and all of us retirees and serving members a great finish to this year and a better start to the next one. Chin up and carry on.
Andrew Finlayson, Glynde, South Australia Tony, I so want to support your efforts that do so much good for the greater movements fraternity and sorority. However, once again I find myself coming up short and depressingly unoriginal. May I therefore wish you and the entire movements diaspora the happiest Christmas and the most healthy and prosperous of new years.
Tony and Jackie Freeman, Thornhill, Dumfries Jackie and I send our season's greetings and best wishes to all movers past and present. Stay safe.
Clive Hall, Highworth, Wilts Christmas greetings to all around the globe remembering our days in Muppet Land. Kindest regards to all, stay safe.
Andy Holliday, St Just, Cornwall Wishing all Movers, whether former colleagues, friends or those I never had the pleasure of working with, a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy 2022. Any of you finding yourselves in far west Cornwall do please give me a shout so we can lift a glass together.
Peter Chappell, Honiton, Devon A Happy Christmas to all movers past and present. Still living the dream in sunny Devon and still working; sadly not in aviation, but with NHS test and trace. Keeps me busy and earns me drinking vouchers.
Andy Brookes, Stoke-On-Trent, Staffs Merry Christmas and a Very Happy New Year, to Movers everywhere. Here's to a healthy and prosperous 2022.
Allan and Kay Mitchley, Rhyl, Denbighshire Firstly many thanks for all the hard work you do in keeping us in touch with first class newsletters. Myself and Kay would like to wish you and your family all the best for Xmas and the New Year. To all of you past and present movers: season's greetings to you all. Please raise a glass over Xmas to all those of us who have lost a loved one or a friend/colleague over the last year. Merry Xmas to all.
Paul Kavanagh, Ramsgate, Kent A merry Christmas and a happy New Year to all serving and ex-Movers (Gan 68/69, Lyneham 70 & Akrotiri 71/72).
Luanne MacKinney, Fredericton, NB Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Surely to [heck] it HAS to be better than 2021! All the best and Happy Holidays.
Steve, Carol and Luke Perry, Royal Wootton Bassett, Wilts Best wishes for a happy, succesful and healthy Christmas and New Year to all serving and vet movers across the world. Have a great one.
Mike Perks, Lutterworth, Leics To movers past, movers present and movers of the future, festive greetings. Take care of yourselves and take care of those you care for. Merry Christmas
Robert Pountney, Forres, Moray As an Honorary Mover may I wish all the "real" Movers and their families my very best wishes for a Merry Christmas and a safe, sane Happy New Year. May 2022 bring you luck, health, wealth and peace.
Tony Street, Buffalo, NY Hey, Movers, past and present. All the best for this holiday season. (Humbug)
Steve Sparkes, Lyminge, Kent Happy Christmas Everyone 🎄🎅🧑🎄 Wishing all a Very Happy Christmas and a good New Year Any of you from 1965/66 training 304th entry A&F 3 Squadron @ Hereford or Sharjah 1969/70, West Raynham / Marham on 61 Squadron Bloodhound missile exchange; be pleased to get in touch 👍 Stay safe & well.
Marc Lapierre, Westlock Alberta All the best wishes for all movers past and present. Merry Chrismas and Happy new Year to all.
Neil and Barbara Middleton, Ipswich, Suffolk Barbara and I would like to take this opportunity to wish all my colleague’s and friends from the past a very Merry Christmas and a Happy, Prosperous and Healthy New Year.
Gaetan and Sylvie Chasles, Gatineau, QC Sylvie et Gaetan Chasles de Gatineau aimerais souhaiter Joyeux Noel et Bonne Année a tout les membres des mouvements et leur famille ainsi qu’une pense spécial pour ceux en mission.
Sylvie and Gaetan Chasles of Gatineau would like to wish Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all movers and their families with a special thought for those on mission.
Alex and Heather Masson, Tunbridge Wells, Kent Christmas wishes to all movers everywhere from Alex and Old Legs and Happy New to all and keep safe.
Graham Leman, Poole, Dorset A very merry Christmas and a happy new year to movers far and wide. May 2022 bring us health, happiness and the back of Covid 19.
Derek and Sandra Grayson, Holbeach, Lincs Christmas and New Year greetings to all Veterans and Serving members I am extremely humbled to be associated with such a great bunch of people; I will certainly be having a toast to you all this Christmas. Cheers!
Paul “Arfur” English, Sparcells, Swindon, Wilts
As the festive season is upon us after another year of covid issues, let's not forget the colleauges who sadly took their final posting this last twelve months. I was shocked and sadddened to hear of Daz Redgwick's passing, a great guy who I had the priviledge to work with.
Last month it was great to see a contingent of fellow ex-Movers parade in London for Remembrance weekend; a weekend of pulling up sandbags, swinging the lamps and reminiscing of times gone by. Sadly, a prior original engagement meant I couldn't join the family in London.
For those who subscribe to the Facebook groups Hoss and I run, on behalf of us both, thank you all for your continued support
A massive thank you also goes to Tony Gale for keeping the OBA going, and his "unknown" accomplice, without whom a lot of us wouldn't know where anyone is.
Finally, let's all stay safe, enjoy the festivities and hope for a better 2022. Season's greetings to one and all.
Jim and Trish Bissell, Ellenton, FL We would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year. Anyone visiting Florida let me know and maybe we could get together.
Tony Dunphy, Swindon, Wilts I hope all movers - those still serving and those on an extended NAAFI break - and their loved ones, had the best Christmas possible and a better New Year ahead.
Chris and Helen Owen, Andover, Hants Wishing the entire Movements Family across the whole World, a Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year! With special thoughts to those away from their loved ones at this special time of year.
Mike & Sandra McCann , Beckwithshaw, North Yorks We wish all Movers, young and old, a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year, one which, hopefully, progresses better than the last couple.
Mike Green, Coventry, West Midlands Here’s a Christmas toast all movers everywhere, particularly those venerable enough to remember dear old Gordon Spiers and the corner of the hangar at Abingdon, in a pint of home brew. Have a healthy and prosperous New Year. Cheers! (Charlie Team 1964-67)
Dave and Cindy Salmon, Springfield, OR Another year almost over, 2 Moderna shots plus a booster, and yet I still haven't made it back to the Mother Land. Wishing you all the very best for 2022, stay safe and maybe I will get to visit my kids, grand kids and a few of you next year.
Andy and Isobell Tesch, Caccamo, Sicily
Wishing all OBA members and their families a very Merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous new year. Also to all "Movers" past and present serving.
To all the Mover fraternity far and wide, wishing you a wonderful Christmas and New Year! Wherever you may be around the world Stay Safe and well. All the very best from Down Under.
John Billingsley, Sidmouth, Devon
Here's hoping you will all have a grand Christmas and New Year!
Russ Carter, Caldercruix, North Lanark
After another strange year and goodness knows what is to come next year, I would like to wish all Movers, young or old, serving or veteran and their families, a very Merry Christmas and safe New Year wherever they are in the world.
Wayne and Sue Flaherty, Winnipeg MB
Sue and I would like to wish all Air Movers throughout the world a very Merry Christmas and a great New Year!
Mick Bedford, Newton Abbot, Devon
Please wish friends near and far a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, and here's hoping 2022 will be a safer year for all.
Joe & Jacquie Gillis and Family, Grand Mira South, NS
To all the movers and at home or on deployment abroad and to all my friends and acquaintances in the Military Movements world, please know that my family and I are thinking of you this Christmas and wish you much joy and happiness throughout the season and for 2022. Thank you for your service and the continued superlative efforts you make, always. Be safe, be sound and be aware that you are needed and appreciated for all you do!
Dave Elliott, Skelmersdale, West Lancs
I’d just like to wish a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all the Movers both serving and retired.
Rob Williams, Brize Norton
The years seem to pass so quickly and as we begin our Christmas festivities; I wish to pass my sincere best wishes to you all! Happy Christmas and safe 2022.
Obie O’Brien, Corinda, QLD
Wishing all a great Festering Season, and an enjoyable New Year … and I’d say “don’t over-indulge” but that’d take some of the fun out of it, wouldn’t it! Keep Yerselves nice, and keep smilin’ coz it makes all those around you wonder just what it is that you know that they don’t!
Allan Walker, Burnley, Lancs
Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year to all Movers, Past & Present, wherever you may be. "KEEP MOVING!"
Jim Bissell - back in the day
Tony Dunphy - Cheers!
Chris and Helen Owen - thoughts for those away from their loved ones
Sandra & Mike McCann in France, just before the proverbial hit the fan!
Mike Green is enjoying a pint of home brew
A steely-eyed Dave Salmon sending good wishes from the Pacific NW, USA
Andy and Isobell Tesch Cheers from Caccamo!
Gary Farndale has found his true vocation!
Jon Felton with his "Bro"
John Billingsley - ex-50th Entry, Boy Entrants, RAF Hereford
Russ Carter in his Sunday best for the Remembrance Day parade
Wayne Flaherty with Hemi
Mick Bedford is enjoying a pint at his local in Newton Abbot, Devon
Jacquie & Joe Gillis. Joe is wearing the homemade ancient Gillis tartan
Dave Elliott - an Ozzie playing Santa in Lancashire - what next?
Rob Williams handing 4624 Sqn chain of command to Bev Peart in 2016
Obie O'Brien's Xmas preparations are well underway down in Oz
Allan Walker is proud to have marched down Whitehall last month
Ian Envis, Crowborough, East Sussex
2021 has been a most challenging year for us all - CV19 and its variants, damaging natural disasters and the Afghan evacuation to name but a few. As always Tony's outstanding Monthly Newsletter provides me (and I'm sure most readers) with memories of our youth, chuckles, and news about Movers worldwide - Brits, Ozzies, Canadians and Kiwis, and developments for the future in Movement's equipment and capability. The coverage of the Afghan evacuation and the role of ''Movers'' is now archived as a ''keeper''.
The recent excellent inputs on ''Movers who we respected and remember'' reminded me that I enjoyed the company, feedback & professionalism, throughout my Movers career of just about all ranks and I would have written a list nearly as long as a Government advisory on Covid so please excuse my non-contribution. Most of those mentioned would be on my list, so thanks guys who provided the most welcome missives. Suffice to say at The Bi-Annual Movements Dinner I managed to catch up with so many friends who would be on that list. To those now in God's Waiting Room ''Blue skies folks'' you have not been forgotten.
Thus, as we end 2021, may I wish you, your families, and friends a superb Festive Season, stay safe, dodge the variants. Importantly, have fun when and where possible and fingers crossed 2022 will be better for us all? To those deployed from home, thinking of you all - come home safely.
Ciao, Ian (Delta Team 1974-1976 and numerous other Mover appointments)
Mike Stevenson, Carterton, Oxon To all those serving in HM Forces my respect and hopes for a great Christmas to all. To all those who knew me at JATE, JATEU, JADTEU, still going strong, hope I find you all in good health in these strange times and my sincere wishes for the the new year.
Andy Holloway, Durham Yo everyone far and wide, sending Christmas greetings and all the very best for 2022.
Mick Sullivan, Carterton, Oxon I’d like to wish the entire Movements family a very merry Christmas and happy New Year. For those on Ops or missing someone round the table this year stay safe and enjoy the festive period best you can. Eat, Drink and be Merry but safe!
John McGrath, Blackpool, Lancs Hello! And Merry Christmas to all movers past and present. I hope everyone enjoys the day and doesn’t get too drunk. If like me, you are working, don’t work too hard.
Dave Snyder, Red Deer, Alberta Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of the Movers of the world! May all your years in the future be blessed with good health and happiness 😊🙂
Paul Thornton, Blythe, Northumberland To all of my friends and colleagues, a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Let's hope that 2022 will be much better than the last two years. Also, not forgetting our dear friends that have left us this past year, especially Tommy Brown, taken from us way too soon.
Mike and Avril Stepney, Stewarton, East Ayrshire We would like to take this opportunity to wish all Air Movers from the UK and commonwealth organisations, a very merry Christmas and a prosperous and safe 2022.
Brian Smith, Melbourne, VIC I wish all the Air Movers and their families around the world all the very best for 2022.
David Barrett, Brecon Have a great Christmas and New Year to all movers, past and present, and of course stay safe!
John and Kay Tudor, Stevenston, Ayrshire Kay and I wish movers wherever they are in the world a very merry Christmas and a happy and safe New Year.
Mark Hounsell, Eastbourne Hope all are well despite covid, have a good Christmas and New Year.
Keith Simmonds, Nottingham I would like to wish all movers a Happy Christmas and let's hope a better 2022 (UKMAMS 1969/75).
Chris "Two Dogs" Wootten, Collinsville, QLD I would like to wish all the movers out there, no matter where, no matter if current, or retired all the very best wishes for the Christmas season and the New Year. Hopefully better with Covid getting under control.
Stephen Davey, Tadcaster, North Yorks Please pass on my best regards and greetings to all for Christmas & the New Year and keep staying safe.
Clare Turner, Swindon, Wilts I always scour the newsletters and take great delight when I see familiar names and faces. I was particularly moved by your last newsletter when Bob was mentioned many times - it gave me great comfort! Roisin and I would like to wish the very best of the season to you all.
Nige and Linda Robinson, Chippenham, Wilts Wishing everybody across the World a very Happy Christmas and a good and healthy New Year. Will raise a glass to absent friends and will reflect on how much we miss them. Stay safe.
Mark Brierley, York Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all Old Bods around the world and especially to my colleagues past. Best wishes, Mark.
Bob Whitworth, Masirah I would like to wish all Movers and their families a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year :)
Colin and Marilyn Eyre, Ogmore By Sea, Mid Glamorgan We send our best wishes for a merry Christmas and a happy and healthy new year to all movers past and present. Can we give a big shout out to all those who marched on Remembrance Sunday. It made us proud.
Brian Kent, Carterton, Oxon Another eventful year gone by, my 82nd. Recovery from my triple heart bypass surgery back in 2020 took some time, but regular light exercise is the answer. I'd like to convey my best wishes to the OBA members and their families for a happy festive season. Remember, living through adversity only makes us stronger!
Mick Day, Carterton, Oxon I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone in the Air Movements world a memorable Christmas and New Year. Being in the RAF and especially Air Movements was a wonderful period in my life which I look back on with fondness and great memories.
George Fouhey, Bedford Can you pass on my best wishes to Alan Wilkinson & Pete Johnson who I worked with at Akrotiri Air Movs back in 1969 to 72. Give me an email sometime at email@example.com. Stay safe guys!
Jessie Sanford, Falmouth, NS Merry Christmas and a happy New year to you and all the movers around the world🙈
Clive Price, Brecon
My old friend and workmate, I find myself at 81 and a half (the fractions count, ask any child and they will tell you), wondering how the hell I have lasted so long. I'm all jabbed up against Covid - "If it's free, I will have it!" was always my motto.
Before I was Movements trained, I was a helicopter squadron storeman and put on 72 hours standby to travel anywhere in the world for 10 months. With all the jabs, I was like a pincushion. I did have to travel up to London for three of the jabs - three days off work and a day out in London was well worth it. As it turned out, I didn't go anywhere and stayed at RAF Odiham for four years until I was posted to UKMAMS in 1966.
I wish all world Movers a very happy Xmas and a much better 2022.
Taff Price The fat one who drank with Bob Turner F team UKMAMS 1966-70
Roger Blow, Crown Point, IN To all movers, past and present, have a wonderful Christmas and a fabulous New Year. Be well and stay safe!
Ian Berry, Eastleaze, Swindon, Wilts As 2021 draws to a closes, it has been the second of two very strange years and like many of my colleagues, it is affecting our quality time after many years of work and service. We wish you and your families all the very best for Christmas which has just passed and 2022. We both look forward to many a meeting and catch-up with old friends next year.
Nigel McCann, Armadale, Falkirk Merry Christmas to all Movers world wide , hope you all have a peaceful one. For those away from family at this time our thoughts and prayers are with you.
Ken Davie, Palm Beach Gardens, FL Headed up to Montreal for Christmas and will be close to Gatineau! I remember the UKMAMS family with great affection and still keep in touch with Bob Davies and Bobby Atcheson. Abingdon holds great memories! I wish you and the Movements family a Merry Christmas and a wonderful 2022. I still look at the old photos from all over the world. Wonderful stuff! Stay safe!
Mark "Turk" Bird, Edmonton, AB A glass raised to all members and memories of those who are no longer with us. Merry Christmas, stay safe.
Shane Bull, Calne, Wilts Wishing all my fellow movers, retired and still serving a very merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Andy and Sandra Rice, Ipswich, Suffolk
Sending Season's Greetings to all my Movements family around the world, here's wishing you all a very healthy and prosperous New Year!
Wayne Donner, Medicine Hat, AB
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year... all the best to everyone for the year ahead. May 2022 bring us hope and a return to "normal".
Wade and Mary Ellen Seymour, Kingston, NS
We would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year especially those who can’t be home. Let us remember why we celebrate this time of year by keeping Christ in Christmas. May God bless us each and everyone.
Jacques et Sophie Leclerc, St-Alexandre de Kamouraska, QC Joyeux Noel et Bonne et Heureuse Année
Meirion and Sue Jones, Barry, Glamorgan
Seasons greetings and hoping for a better New Year. (It was nice to see Ivan and Bob mentioned in dispatches.)
Kevan Lawrence, Cape Town
I'm back in South Africa for the festivities - you would have thought that I had learned my lesson last year with the unplanned lengthy stay thanks to Covid - but no... here I am again - a sucker for punishment! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all.
Colin Pay, Isle of Wight
Best wishes from me and my Golden Retriever, Remy.
Mark Stephenson and Elisabeth Crener, Dieppe, NB
Many thanks once again for keeping everyone informed and entertained throughout the year! Merry Christmas to all your followers and we share great hopes for a healthy New Year.
Steve Tomlinson, Tenerife, QLD
Christmas greetings and best wishes to the Movers fraternity, and sisterhood, from a warm and sunny Brisbane. I will raise a glass to all those who have served, currently serving and those souls who have had their final tasking. Cheers! Stay safe & well.
Kit Ayers, Stow-on-the-Wold, Glos
Greetings to all Movers everywhere and great memories of Christmas past spent in their company. The Christmas Tree “swindle” from Lyneham for overseas stations including the 25ft tree for Gibraltar that almost ended up in Faro. The vast mounds of Christmas surface mail accommodated in extra aircraft magicked up by friendly taskers using up spare hours. The scramble in the AT Force to recover to the UK for the holiday, excepting the lonely standby at Gan. (This Empire drinking task got sorely interrupted one year when Darwin got blown down). I note with sorrow the increasing list of former comrades now deceased. May you all have a good holiday and New Year.
Grandpa Roger Blow was on Hallowe'en duty in Indiana
Christine and Ian Berry in a holiday snapshot 16th December 2021
Nigel McCann is a volunteer presenter at Veterans Radio Net
Ken Davie after leaving the RAF that's not a wig!
Mark Bird celebrated his 60th a couple of weeks ago
Shane Bull was looking good for the 75th anniversary of VE Day
Andy and Sandra Rice were dining on the banks of the Danube last year
Wayne Donner is echoing all of our thoughts for a return to normailty
Sophie Leclerc et le sapin de Noël
Wade and Mary Ellen Seymour are at home in Kingston, Nova Scotia
Meirion and Sue Jones in Wales Here there be dragons!
Kevan Lawrence - a sucker for punishment in South Africa!
Colin Pay and best pal Remy are sending greetings from the IoW
Mark Stephenson & Elisabeth Crener were visiting Peggy's Cove last month
Steve Tomlinson is imbibing a libation in Queensland, Oz
Granddad Kit Ayers keeping his hand in with containerisation!
Andy Spinks, Falmouth, Cornwall
In these very difficult times when those of us who have retired are pretty much battened down at home, my admiration for the Forces deployed has increased even more.
I was very humbled by the Air Mobility Force’s efforts on Op PITTING (and other operational names for Allies) under very difficult circumstances. It was great to see the positive news on air mobility, even if the global context was less welcome.
My best wishes to all movers, especially those deployed, for a peaceful and healthy Christmas and New Year. Let’s hope we can all safely get airborne again in 2022!
Doug Stewart, Stouffville, ON Hope you and yours and all the Old Bods out there have a great Christmas and keep our hopes high for the coming year. The best is yet to come! All the very best. (RAF Salalah, Oman, 1946-1947. Aden 1947-1949).
Iain Rowlands, Coffinswell, Devon To all past and present Movements Staff, stay safe and wishing you all a very Happy Christmas and all good things for the New Year.
Stephen and Beverley Bird, Chester Beverley and I would like to wish all our friends, both retired and still serving, a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Graham Fitzgerald, Newport, Mon To all members of the 'movers' family – make an effort to appreciate and cherish the people that you are fortunate enough to spend the holiday with. Stay safe and prosper!
Jordie Larson, Trenton, ON To all fellow movers and your families, I would like to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Gordon Gourdie, Euxton, Lancs Thank you Tony for another twelve months of OBA Newsletters which are always welcome. So to you and all Movers I wish a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy 2022
Eddie Mottram, Reading, Berkshire I would like to wish all Movers past and present a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Fingers crossed this Christmas we will be able to get together with family and friends to celebrate.
Merv Corke, Swindon, Wilts Thank you for contacting me. I remember the last time I saw you was when I put you on a plane from Prestwick, Scotland, to Canada in 1974. This month I am 91 so my daughter does my emails. I would be grateful if you could wish everyone a merry Christmas from me and I also wish you and your family a merry Christmas and a happy new year and hope you and your family are keeping well.
Steve and Jodie Boucher, Bridlington, Yorkshire Please wish all movers and ex-movers, wherever they are in the world, a very merry Christmas and a safe new year.
Bob Tring, Wantage, Oxon Happy Christmas and a Happy New Year to all Old Bods - regretfully getting older and fewer. Keep Well, Keep Safe, Keep waking up each day! (Echo Team 1972-74)
Chris "Rip" Kirby, Hull Very best wishes to you all. Keep on keeping safe in these extra surreal Covid times.
Don and Judy Lloyd, Calgary, Alberta Judy and I wish to send the very Happiest of Wishes for a Merry Christmas and the best it can be for the New Year to all "Old Bod Movers" and their Families wherever they may be.
Paul Newman, Newmarket, Suffolk Seasons Greetings from Newmarket. Wishing all Movers, past and present, a great Christmas and a safe 2022.
John Delia, Geelong, VIC Festive Season Greetings to you all from Geelong, Australia, where we are still experiencing Covid restrictions but managing them. All the best for the new and exciting 2022. Couldn't be any worse than 2020-2021
Tony Mullen, Toowoomba, QLD From sunny Queensland Seasons Greetings to all ex Movers wherever they may be. We have not really been affected in any significant way from the pandemic so far but now that borders are open I am sure the situation will change dramatically. Let’s just hope for a safe and healthy 2022.
Dave “Wishy” Wash, Eastern Passage, NS Wishing all movers presently serving and retired a very Merry Xmas and a joyous New Year... Stay safe!
Phil and Sue Beese, Royal Wootton Bassett, Wilts To all Movers past and present we would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a safe and happy 2022. Above all hopefully we stay well and fight through these most difficult of times.
Jerry Babington, Frome, Somerset Wishing movers young, old and in between, a very Happy Xmas. I do hope that most of you have avoided the effects of Covid as I have so far. P.S Anyone out there heard from Gerry Keyworth recently? I've lost touch and am concerned.
Dave Hardy, Lake, Isle of Wight I wish all that may know me a Happy Christmas and a very COVID free new year.
Jai and Jan Cookson, Dubai Wishing all Movers, past and present a festive and safe Christmas.
Daniel Fraser, Liverpool Please pass on my best wishes to all those who are deployed at this time of year, love to them all x. We have all had and may have tough times to come but there is always someone at the end of a phone, text, e-mail or WhatsApp, so please stay alert stay alive and talk.
Chas Cormack, Lyneham, Wilts First working with MAMS in Cyprus and then posted to them in 1964. There are so many old friends still around the world who I remember well and I take this opportunity to wish them all the best for the remainder of this year and also 2022. Stay well and safe wherever you may be.
Derek Barron, Calne, Wilts
A wee note to pass on to the troops...
I’d like to wish my old colleagues from the RAF and Wiltshire Police a Merry and Negative Xmas.
I would also like to say a huge thank you to the Men and Women from all services, who have given up their Xmas’s with their families to look out for us and protect us over the holidays. Stay safe, and get home to your families.
And a special mention to all the Boys and Girls involved in the Afghanistan Evacuation. An outstanding and professional performance (as we would expect). You made us old Movers proud!
Thanks Tony, for all the work you do to keep us Movers in touch, great job mate. Wishing you and your family a great Xmas and a fully negative New Year.
Letters to the Editor - Part One
Brian Everett, Darlington, County Durham
I wouldn't want to miss the opportunity of thanking you for all you are doing and to wish you, and the many friends I've worked with during my time in the RAF, particularly during my years in air movements, a very happy Christmas and best wishes for 2022. Let's hope it's an improvement on what we've experienced over the past 2 years.
Just as an add on, I would just like to mention that over the past 20 years I've been carrying out challenges for a variety of charities and in the process raised some £200k - climbing mountains, volcanoes, long distance cycle rides of up to 1,000 miles and long distance walks.
My current challenge for charity - "A walk around the World" - raising funds for dementia, is still on target. To date I've covered 16,219 miles in 1720 days (an average of 9.4 miles every day, come rain or shine), all of it on roads or tracks.
In the process I've climbed 401,147 ft, the equivalent of about 14 times the height of Everest and burned off almost 6 million calories - don't ask me how many have been added!
I've also written a book entitled "A Footprint in Time", published by Xlibris, the proceeds of which all go to charity.
Donald and Jan Milburn, Swindon, Wilts
Richard English, King’s Lynn, Norfolk
As I'm not a mover or shaker, but a hard working ex-Transmitter Fitter, often confined to stations in the wilderness, unlike you lot who have nothing but well-appointed hotels in exotic places, I have little to share. But, one Christmas at RAF Jurong, Singapore, an HF transmitter station, we had nothing set up for Christmas on the eve thereof.
After a few "liveners", we who were left on the station in the mess (all scalies had emigrated to their homes on the island), decided that Christmas HAD to be observed - a saw was found and one of the pine trees opposite the mess was relieved of a particularly suitable branch. Then said branch was inserted into a fire bucket (sand for the use of), and decorations were found for the "tree" and the lounge and dining areas.
This was a particularly difficult time as the NAAFI manager, Geordie Tan, left the bar open to us as he too went off for the Christmas Holiday!
Needless to say, we ran out of beer but a good time was had by all.
David Bernard, Bicester, Oxon
No air movements related material to offer this time I’m afraid; but one very memorable Christmas occurred when I was serving in Malta during the 1960s. This memorable event was devised and orchestrated by our ‘educator’ and PMC, one Squadron Leader Danny Clements.
The “livers’-in (note the term “liver”!) Christmas arrangements for the mess at Luqa revolved around a very special event with the timing of 1130 for1330, to assemble for free drinks in the bar followed by a formal lunch. With the assembled diners plus one guest each we ambled unsteadily towards the dining room from the bar. A spectacular 6 course silver-service meal was served together with assorted wine, generating a well-lubricated chatter, which now exceeded 100db. The loyal toast was unsteadily given to be followed by a liqueur of individual choice – one whole bottle each! This was followed by the enforced remit for each of us, in turn, to stand up (now becoming a major challenge), to sing a rude song or tell a joke. Failure to do so meant consuming a wine glass of ones chosen liqueur. By now we had generated a major outbreak of morale by the assembled inebriants - so back to the bar for yet more ‘golden throat charmer’.
The pace of alcohol ingestion slowed somewhat but the queue for the gents was becoming longer. Teatime for the non-partying attendees was starting and attended by one dear lady, the headmistress of Tal-Ħandaq Primary School – known irreverently as “the dragon” saw fit to write in the complaints/suggestions book that “Inebriated officers were seen helping themselves to teatime sandwiches after visiting the gentlemen’s toilet, without having had time to wash their hands, and something needs to be done immediately, such as tongs provided."
Next day Danny Clements wrote, “I entirely agree with your sentiments madam and recommendations so – tongs are now hanging in the Gentlemen’s’ toilet”.
Best wishes to all for a major outbreak of morale this Christmas and fond memories of unbridled over-indulgence and no political correctness!
Martin Read, Torquay, Devon
Pictured from this year's UK MAMS do 3/4 of a former Wildenrath posse and latterly UK MAMS.
Left to Right: John Purkiss, Self, Brian Mcveigh and Al Randal.
Season's Greetings to all UK MAMS, Movers and friends and let’s hope we can all move forward in the New Year and get to next Xmas safe and well.
Patrick Meehan, Fuengirola
Christmas Greetings from my hometown in Southern Spain. Still haunted by fond memories of Lyneham in the 70’s. Always pleased to see you are all well and saddened when reading last month's ‘final posting’ section.
This year I published my first book, a social history for nerds; just search ‘Fuengirola Revisited’.
Very Best wishes for 2022
Patrick H. Meehan
John and Allana Gillis, Hanwell, NB
These past few months have been out of the ordinary for people of British Colombia and the East coast. The weather has caused extreme damage and has ruined many lives. The military has been called in to help and have done a marvelous job.
During these past holidays, let us reflect on the sacrifices that our men and women make, to insure the safety and wellness of our nation. For all military personnel and their families that are located in other countries and remote areas, Allana and I would like to wish you a very Merry Christmas and the best New Year ever. God bless.
The RCAF's 442 Transport & Rescue Squadron evacuates people trapped by landslides on roads in B.C.
This is a painting my sister Lynne has done and will be framed and auctioned at the next Western Traffic Tech Reunion in September 2022
Ken Usher, Penticton, BC
Let me start by expressing a huge plate of gratitude to you for your continued efforts of keeping the "Movers" around the globe in touch! Thank you!
Allow me to wish all our Movers who have served and are serving a very Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year. Please do what you have to and STAY SAFE! To those who have passed on in life, may you forever rest peacefully!
Barry Tappenden, Shortstown, Beds
A very busy time at Hospital Radio Bedford at the moment putting together Christmas programmes and doing outside broadcasting and keeping the patients here at the hospital happy. My Christmas message to all the movers out there, a very Happy and Merry Christmas and a stay safe New Year.
Next year I would dearly love to put together a 2 hour programme for all the ex-MAMS personnel with your type of music and dedications to everyone in the association across the globe. Hospital Radio Bedford can reach out to every corner of the wide world web on www.hospitalradiobedford.org.uk. So get your thinking caps on and surprise your fellow movers and their families.
My very best wishes to you all and stay safe,
Stephen and Kamini Smith, Reading, Berks
Many, many thanks for all the hard work that you do in keeping us all in touch with each other.
At this time of year I would like to wish all of my friends in our Air Movements Family a Wonderful and Merry Christmas and a fabulous New Year.
Let’s remember those who are no longer with us to celebrate Christmas. My dearest sister Julie passed away peacefully in the Mountbatten Hospice in Hampshire on Monday 20th December.
I would be eternally grateful if people could donate a small amount toward the hospice in the fundraiser that has been set up in her memory.
Wishing all current and former movers a Happy Christmas and New Year. It also comes from Iain McHardy currently residing in Thurso and still working as a senior nurse in the local hospital. He also sends his regards to Andy Kay.
The photo, taken last year, shows me in my 15 minutes of fame as a pop-up historian on Yesterday TV channel. It turns out I’m rather knowledgeable on WW2 defences in Surrey where I live! The series is called "The Buildings that Fought Hitler". Bizarrely, the editor decided I was a former army officer!
Note, I still have my 1977 moustache grown in Halton hospital after a rather personal and a most embarrassing accident!
Once again season's greetings from Epsom Downs.
Liam and Diane Devlin, Port Talbot, West Glamorgan We wish all Movers past and present a very Happy Christmas and Prosperous and healthy New Year.
Jean-Yves Gagnon, Clermont, PQ I wish a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all my Canadian Mover friends and to all Movers and their families around the world.
Karl Hibbert, Sabang, Dasmariñas City All the best to everyone, enjoy your life and not live in fear.
Paul and Ellie Austin, Aylesbury, Bucks Merry Christmas to all and here’s wishing everyone a healthy and Happy New Year too. From the Austin family at the Manchester Christmas markets. Good health!
Neville and Alison Whitham, Preston, Lancs Yuletide Greetings to 'Movers' all around the world, wrinklies and newbies - we hope all goes well for everyone and that you have an 'omicron' free 2022.
Frank and Mandy Holmes, Stratford-upon-Avon
Our very best wishes to all our mover friends and their families who remain at room temperature and, of course, those we’ve lost over the past 2 years through Covid, old age or other issues. We miss you all and ask all those friends still around to take special care and attention this year and next so that at Christmas 2022 we can all be here to celebrate together. Have a great year and keep safe. Frank & Mandy x
Liam and Diane Devlin are sending their greetings from Mid Glamorgan in Wales
Jean-Yves Gagnon has very happy memories of his time in the RCAF
Karl Hibbert shared a picture of a beautiful sunset taken from his balcony in the Philippines
Paul and Ellie Austin with the kids at the Manchester Christmas Markets
Alison and Nev Whitham at the Chorley Mayor's Ball in 2019 - gathering/drinking with impunity
Mandy and Frank Holmes were celebrating her birthday with a trip to London - 2018
Gary and Tannis Horobin, St Albert, AB Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all movers world wide.
Howard Farrow, Swansea, Glamorgan Merry Christmas and a Happy New year to all Movers and their families both past and present, with particular mention to those serving overseas!
Jeremy Dumayne, Somewhere in Arizona We're full time RV'ers and have been for a little over 5 years now. Living the dream! Wishing all movers around the world a merry Christmas and a happy new year from sunny Arizona!
Pat Franks, Inverness To all Movers, Past, Present and Future. As I get older and the arthritis takes over I think of my time (1980-1989) as a Mover and I miss the ghost of the Past more and more. Sending my love and best wishes to you and your families. I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Jerry and Kim Allen, Cheltenham, Glos 2021, a bit like 2020 except I have several holes in my arms. To all the movers and shakers around the world may 2022 be the year we all remember for all the right reasons.
Nigel and Jane Cameron, Mansfield, Derbyshire Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas, and a Safe, Healthy and Prosperous New Year.
Val and Harold Jones, Neston, Cheshire Christmas Greetings Tony and Movers everywhere. Once again it is time to thank you Tony, for all your hard work keeping us together and in touch. These last few years have been strange, here's hoping for a much better 2022. Cheers to all.
Peter Bessant, Chorley, Lancs I would like to wish all members of the movements family past and present a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and bountiful 2022 . May you all enjoy yourselves and find joy in your families and friends old and new.
Bruce Oram, San Fulgencio, Alicante To all movers past and present also near and far around the world I wish you all a Happy Christmas and a brilliant New Year. Felix Navidad y Prospero Anos.
Murray Smith, Blenheim Greetings from the South Island of New Zealand, currently traveling around to see the sites and catch up with family. Trust everyone has a good break and time of celebration as much as the various restrictions will allow in your locality. Hopefully next year will be a better one for us all.
Gabriele Rusciano, North Sydney, NSW Merry Christmas my fellow Movers! I wish you all a safe and merry Christmas and a much better New Year.
Ray Ralph, Swindon, Wilts Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to everyone, and all that know me. Stay Safe, wherever you may be in the world and whatever you may be doing.
Roger and Angie Titmarsh, Cwmbran, Monmouthshire Merry Christmas to the mover family past and present hope it all goes well for you drink too much and stay safe.
Bill Nangle, Kingston, ON Merry Christmas to all Muppets, near and far. Let's hope 2022 is a far better year than the two we have just gone through.
Bryan Morgan, Abingdon, Oxon I send Christmas and New Year greetings to all former colleagues in the Movements and Supply branches. Best wishes and keep up the low profiles we have all been observing.
Jim and Margaret Nadin, Lincoln, Lincs To all Movers, either serving over the Christmas and New Year period or relaxing Veterans, we wish you a peaceful Christmas and whatever the New Year may bring your way stay happy, stay healthy and stay safe.
Jeff Thomas, Llandrindod Wells, Powys I do wish to send jovial and royal greetings to all the movers and clan. Please pass my best Christmas wishes to all the guys and gals. We are in the middle of Wales, the sun is out, we are playing golf, this is the shortest day and the beer is flowing. Best wishes to you all.
Hugh Thompson, Swindon, Wilts To movers and veteran movers all over the world, whatever your National identity and service have a very Merry Xmas and best wishes for the New Year. Those of you either overseas or otherwise in harm’s way, stay safe and get home to your families and loved ones.
Tony Bullock, Brisbane, QLD To all Movers and their families, Happy Christmas and wishing you a Happy New Year. Stay safe! (ex-4624 Squadron and RAAF)
Rick "Dibs" Loveridge, Brough, East Yorkshire Tony, thanks for another year at the helm of the OBA. Best wishes to everyone, hope to get to see a few of you in the summer. Hoping to get to the MAMS bbq in June. Stay safe and well.
Don and Maureen Hazlewood, Swindon, Wilts We have been away for a pre-Christmas break at Rock in Cornwall, very nice place, lots of things to do and the weather was unusually warm and sunny, which made it even better. As usual we will have the regular Christmas fun here. We wish all the party goers a merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Letters to the Editor - Part Two
Bob & Sue Dixon, Royal Wootton Bassett
Can I send greetings to the OBA from Sue and myself. It has been a difficult time for many and we hope this Christmas they can meet together and exchange memories.
To all Regular and Reserve Movers my especial best wishes. My 2 Squadrons - UKMAMS (1 AMW) and 4624 (County of Oxford) Squadron and their respective Associations - appear to be thriving and continuing to add to the laurels and folklore of Movers past.
Very best to all and let's meet together again whenever we can.
Bob and Sue Dixon
Picture from the ramp when revisiting Singapore, my 1st Movements posting
Mick Hughes, Collingwood Park, QLD
To all ‘Movers’ wherever you are, whatever you are doing
Have a Cool Yule
Be safe and take care!
In June, Melanie and I travelled back up to Tallinn to witness our daughter, Pippa, graduate from Tallinn University with a degree in International Law; but she is not 'off the books' yet as I am now helping to fund her Master's programme at the same University!
Anyway, its that time of year again to think about our friends who have passed away to that crew room in the sky during the past and previous years, to salute those from the Movements fraternity that will be separated from their friends and family and on duty this Christmas and to my many friends and colleagues in this wonderful community of fellowship"
Season's Greetings and all the best for 2022!
Mark Attrill, Tallinn
As I reflect back, 2021 has been a momentous year in more ways than one. I FINALLY left the Royal Air Force after 41+ years of service with a last official day in uniform on 29 January, during which I got a great send-off from my International colleagues in the NATO Force Integration Unit here in Estonia. I started my new job as a lecturer at the Baltic Defence College the following Monday (no rest for the wicked!) and have not really looked back.
Not very Christmassy I know, taken on a recent holiday before Covid closed off that little avenue of pleasure!
Simon Coughlan, Chiseldon, Swindon
To All my fellow Movers, retired and serving, here in Blighty, and all around the world.
This year I have managed to get in contact with other members of A Shift BZN circa 1998 and will hopefully get a mini-reunion going - WO Dave Lacey, FS Brian Kent, and Sgt Pete Hopkins. All from this network, so thank you Tony for all your excellent efforts keeping this forum going.
I hope all of you and your families are well and have avoided the dreaded virus, and wish you all a Merry Christmas and healthy and happy New year!
Jim and Maureen Abbott, Spruce Grove, AB
Maureen and I would like to wish all movers both past and present a Very Merry Safe Christmas and New Year. As our numbers dwindle we should all take a moment to think about those wingers that are no longer amongst us.
Brian Hunt, Brighton, East Sussex
Wishing all past and present members of UK MAMS a very Happy Christmas and a healthy New Year.
I would also like to send best wishes to all those who were on Charlie team in 1974 and 1975 and to the families of those who are no longer with us, Bert Wilford, Mac Bernhardt and Gus Cobb. They were all great operators; here they all are in Barksdale in December 1974.
Rod Stone & Joëlle Perrin, Silchester, Hampshire
I have only just returned from a few days sky diving in Egypt with my fiancée Joëlle.
Best Wishes to all for a very Happy Christmas and a Happy, Healthy, Prosperous New Year.
John and Sandie - pre-pandemic
John and Sandie Gardiner, Carterton, Oxon
Season's Greetings to you and to thank you for the outstanding job you do in keeping this newsletter going. Both this and the Movers Facebook page have been brilliant ways of staying in touch with Movers far and wide, particularly during the Pandemic. Sadly, it appears C19 isn’t going to be over any time soon; therefore, my better half Sandie and I have curtailed our travels/adventures for the foreseeable future. The upside has been that we have visited places in this fabulous country of ours that we had not seen previously.
May we wish all our friends and families in the Movements fraternity a wonderful Christmas and a happy, prosperous and safe 2022. In particular, our thoughts are with those who will be working away from their families at this time of year and wish them ‘safe home’ when their respective tours end.
Ian and Theresa Russell, Algarve
After reading such a wonderful OBA newsletter last month I couldn’t not send an Xmas best wishes message to yourself and all fellow Movers both serving and retired.
But firstly, how can Mark Attrill still look the same from his IOT days as he does now? I sense some Photoshopping going on! Secondly, I’ve now read Jarvo’s toilet seat memoirs on Amazon and his recollections are eerily similar to my MAMS, Det Cdr Calgary and NATO movements tours. A great read!
Anyway Theresa and I are happily starting our second year living in the Algarve on the edge of a couple of wonderful golf course fairways. We arrived just before COVID 19 so the timing has been great. Three double bedrooms so all welcome (10 at a push!).
Best wishes to all and a very happy and healthy Xmas and New year.
Al Stacey, Calne, Wilts Normally I don’t get excited about Christmas but this year I’d like to wish movers old and new a merry Christmas and safe new year. I still see many old faces in the ever growing band of ex-movers who now work at Brize for various contractors. We seem to turn up everywhere!
Ian Sloan, Aberlour, Banff All my best Christmas wishes to all ex-FEAF MAMS and all movers and hope we all have a far better New Year.
Malcolm Symonds, Cardiff To all my former Movements colleagues and my many friends, both serving and retired, I wish you all a stellar Christmas and a brighter, Covid free New Year. May 2022 bring only the best life has to offer, to all!
Kevin “Geordie” Stanger, Calgary, AB Wishing Movers, past and present, and a normal 2022. Take the opportunity to reach out to an old friend, see how they are doing, not forgetting to take the mick out of them. Raise a glass to those who are in the crew room in the sky, I’m sure the shenanigans will be endless, even locked gates never stopped Movers having a good time. You are never guaranteed tomorrow, you can live in fear or you can live, you choose.
Tony Hall, Northam, Devon Happy Xmas a New Year greetings to all movements personal past and present, enjoy your family time together and look forward to 2022.
Hugh Thompson, Swindon, Wilts To movers and veteran movers all over the world, whatever your national identity and service, have a very Merry Xmas and best wishes for the New Year. Those of you who are overseas or otherwise in harm’s way, stay safe and get home to your families and loved ones.
Konrad and Kasia Putu/Kurene, Wellington Kia Ora you bunch of reprobate Movers! I have been a bit slack lately as I transition out of the mob to civiy street. I joined up in January 1978, did 22 years, had a break then rejoined in 2007. I finally exited in May this year, having spent 29 years in Air Movements. So, time for something different! Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year.
New members who have joined us recently:
John R Scott, Waterloo, ON (Ex-Herc Driver - Honorary Member)
Pat Rowney, Chippenham, Wilts (Had previously lost contact)
Welcome to the OBA!
Perfect For The Job: The Airbus A400M's Role In The Kabul Airlift
The Kabul airlift is the biggest mass evacuation since the second world war, with more than 120,000 people moved out of the city. The UK’s Royal Air Force (RAF) moved around 17,000 of them, using a combination of C-17s, C-130s, and the Airbus A400M Atlas. The A400M hasn’t had the easiest introduction into service, but it more than proved itself in this operation.
The A400M proved to be a vital tool in the Kabul Airlift operations
The UK’s RAF evacuated a total of more than 17,000 people from Kabul under ‘Operation Pitting.’ Using the C-17, the C-130, the A400M, and the A330 Voyager, the teams undertook more than 100 evacuation flights, 31 of which were conducted by the A400M. A relative newcomer to the RAF fleet, with seven years in service, the Airbus aircraft is the future of the RAF’s heavy-lift capabilities, and was a big asset to the force during the Kabul airlift.
Evacuations from Kabul packed as many people onboard as possible
During those missions, the A400M also shifted 428 UK military personnel and 113,000 kg of freight. Over the 31 flights, the type airlifted a total of 3,538 evacuees. While other aircraft types were also involved in this historic mission, the A400M proved itself to be a versatile and crucial piece of equipment, as Horne explained.
During the recent Dubai Air Show, Wing Commander and Air Capabilities Advisor Ed Horne said, “With the A400M, we flew 31 missions and 225 hours. On our largest passenger mission, we carried 213 people, the aircraft is designed to carry 160 passengers normally, but we knew how important it was to evacuate as many people as we could.”
The vast capacity of the A400M made it a vital tool in the airlift operation
One of the first key attributes of the A400M that made it critical to Kabul operations was its impressive range. The A400M can fly to a maximum of 4,100 NM, although this reduces to 2,000 NM with its maximum 37 tonnes of payload. That ensured it could get to and from Kabul with fuel to spare, which turned out to be a crucial quality.
The UK RAF were based in Dubai, just over 900 miles southwest of Kabul. However, with Iran’s airspace closed to the military, the aircraft had to take the long way around, making the trip more than 1,000 miles in total. Horne recollected a mission on May 15th, when the endurance of the A400M really came into its own.
He said,“On the 15th of May, the crew arrived overhead the airport to discover the runway was closed, because a small aircraft had been abandoned on the runway by the Afghanistan Air Force. And of course, the endurance of the A400M meant that it could hold overhead the airfield while the runway was cleared. On the final approach – fuel is now burning down, fuel is tight – on the final approach some vehicles crossed the runway. It was quite chaotic at Kabul airport, so they had to perform a go around and make another approach but they still had enough fuel to do that.”
The impressive endurance of the A400M made it capable of flying to Kabul and back, even with unexpected holdups on the way
Having successfully landed at the airport, another aspect of the A400M’s features proved to be invaluable. Although the Taliban had not reached Kabul at that time, as the plane landed, the airport came under attack. Thankfully, the flight crew were protected from stray bullets and shrapnel by the A400M’s Kevlar flight deck armor.
The second example of the A400M’s impressive capabilities took place on May 26th, when there was a terrible bombing outside the gates of the airport. Kabul is renowned for having poor visibility, sitting as it does in a ‘bowl’ between mountains and permanently shrouded in a blanket of woodsmoke. Add into that the chaos from the bomb going off and then the runway lights going out at just the wrong moment, and the crew of the approaching A400M could have been in big trouble. But, as Horne recalls, using a combination of night-vision goggles and the Enhanced Vision System installed on the Airbus, the crew was able to land safely in the pitch dark and with thick smoke blanketing the runway.
He said, “The Enhanced Vision System was able to cut through the smoke and allow the crew to positively identify the runway, which had no lights. I spoke to the captain of the aircraft, and he said, “It’s not a date, I will forget in a hurry; one of my most challenging in 25 years of flying. The Enhanced Vision System is an amazing piece of kit and an essential tool to a situational awareness in night operations. It pretty much saved our backsides today.” He was very grateful.”
The A400M also has impressive short unpaved airstrip performance. It can land virtually anywhere, even on airstrips under 750 m/2,500 ft, still retaining a payload of up to 25 tonnes and with enough fuel for a 500 NM return trip. Thanks to the many wheels of the A400M, it has many brakes, and Horne noted that it has impressive stopping abilities.
Wing Commander Horne stated that the low-level flying training course for the A400M is now complete, and that this will soon be rolled out to the frontline crews. The next step is air-to-air refueling, something that the A400M is already equipped to do, but for which additional training is required.
He noted, “Airbus has done a great deal of the certification of all of the capabilities on the aircraft. When we receive those capabilities, we then go into a process of designing and delivering training courses so that our frontline pilots can operate the aircraft. We’re hoping to have that as a refuelling receiver capability later on this this year, which will vastly extend the range or the endurance of the aircraft.”
The A400M is gradually replacing the role of the C130 in the Royal Air Force. It’s a plane with huge capacity, as much as a C17, but with the additional capabilities of landing on rough strips. It’s the future of the RAF, and a very impressive bit of kit. Simply Flying
Paul “Stretch” and 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. It has been especially difficult and very sad for those who have lost loved ones due to the pandemic. Let’s raise a glass (or two) to those who have departed and gone to pastures new, they are sorely missed.
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 from years gone by.
As you can see from my pictures, I am still busy with the basket making business, but I have over the past few years dedicated myself more the cane furniture restoration.
This year has been a particular special one for me and Di where we have been commissioned by the Royal Lodge at Windsor to carry out restoration work on their much treasured outdoor and indoor cane furniture. I have fully restored the single sun lounger and the black & white picture shows King George 6th sitting on it. I am in the middle of restoring the twin sun lounger where Princess Margaret is sitting. I have attached other pictures of fascinating commissions I've had throughout this year.
Take care everyone, lets all stay safe and hope 2022 turns out to be better than the one just past. 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
King George 6th sitting on the single sun lounger and Princess Margaret is on the twin sun lounger
Royal single lounger - fully restored
Royal twin lounger for restoration
1904 Cadillac Model A
1912 English built Model-T Ford
Vintage motor bike side panniers
Bespoke baby crib
Bottle and glass carrier
Fishing creel Circa 1880 - for restoration
Diane and Paul on a Mekong River cruise, Vietnam 2018
Frank Holmes, Stratford-upon-Avon
As we enter December 2021 and observe the evacuation from Kabul, it brings back memories of a similar task we undertook on MAMS some 50 years ago!
In December 1970, I was the team leader of Blue Team NEAFMAMS and based at Masirah in Oman for Operation Hamish. There, we were joined by my former colleagues on Delta team of UKMAMS, led by Flt Lt Norrie Radcliffe, and tasked with assisting in the evacuation of civilians from Dhaka in what was East Pakistan before the war of independence between the Bangladeshi of East Pakistan and the Muslims of West Pakistan, in what is today the modern state of Pakistan.
These two disparate Muslim areas, created rather hurriedly by the British partition of India at the end of colonial rule in 1949, were at war with the Bangladeshi majority in East Pakistan, seeking independence from West Pakistan, situated some 1,000 miles away to the west. The Bangladeshi majority in East Pakistan had the support and backing, including military action, from India and, as with all civil wars, there were casualties and the dispersal of people, including the British diplomatic personnel and staff – hence the presence of our mixed team in Oman.
Flown in on a daily basis by Hercules of 70 Sqn (Akrotiri) we were responsible for the safe passage of many hundreds of passengers out of Dhaka. Interestingly, we were always airborne and holding over the airport whilst the Indian air force undertook their routine and daily bombing of the airport and surrounding area. As these Canberra bombers departed so would our aircraft spiral down to land rapidly to fulfil a very narrow and specific time slot before the bombers returned to their task. Once situated as close to the airport as possible we (MAMS not Aircrew) had to find our way through the melee to the airport buildings to liaise with British Consulate staff to document and load a large number of panicking people. Chaotic is not a word to use lightly but that’s exactly what it was. In fact, in the end, we used that old tried and tested method of securing people with chains across the floor and attaching seat belts and we certainly moved a lot out over the course of several days.
However, the thing that always sticks in my mind about that operation was not the chaos etc but the fact that the aircrew sitting comfortably in their aircraft were issued with handguns for safety but the MAMS teams, working up close and personal to the action, had nothing! Ah well, t’was ever thus!
At the end of the period of evacuation, it was a very successful operation with many hundreds of people saved and here, once back safely in Masirah, we took this photo for the record and our memories. It was a real hybrid mixture of MAMS teams, engineers and station movers cobbled together to complete a terrific task.
Great days eh?
Standing: Frank Holmes, Jerry Smeeton (NEAF MAMS Eng), Keith Parker, Troop John Smith, Bob Thacker, Charlie Dalgleish, Norrie Radcliffe Don Stewart, Roy Millington (Movs Masirah)
Kneeling: Doug Lister, Colin Allen, Hugh Curran, Charlie Marlow, Keith Simmonds
Ian Berry, Eastleaze, Swindon, Wilts
IF YOU’VE TIME TO SPARE – GO BY AIR
In the last 20 months since the arrival of the plague and all the restrictions, I have had three planned cruise holidays cancelled. In two cases, the ships have now been scrapped. No money was lost though and I received FCC’s (Future Cruise Credits) to use on future cruises. As time progressed the cruise lines then insisted the FCC was to be used by Dec 2021 and a cruise to be taken by Dec 2022. Consequently we used the first one to book a seven day cruise of the Caribbean Islands. This was preceded by three nights ashore in Barbados, what could go wrong?
We were booked on Virgin Atlantic from LHR and due to fly on the 9th December. Barbadian rules dictated we arrive with a negative PCR test taken within 72hrs of the flight. I booked the tests with a UK Government recognised NHS Pharmacy in Commercial Road, Swindon, for the 6th December. The cruise line, Royal Caribbean, also advised me that ALL passengers would receive a free Lateral Flow Test (LFT) at the Port before boarding on the 12th December. The same test was required to be taken and a negative result shown 48hrs after arriving in UK. These tests were booked and paid for through Boots. You need the serial number of the test booking to add to your Passenger Locator Form which must be submitted to the UK Government not more than 48hrs before arriving. Still with me?
This was starting to get stressful and I contacted my travel agent to see if we could cancel the trip? I was politely advised that if I was not ill and cancelled voluntarily I may forfeit the whole cost of my holiday! Carry on was the decision. Towards the end of November, Boris and his gang moved the goalposts. The LFT needed 48hrs after arrival was now changed to a PCR test. More expense booking these and NO refund on the LFT tests I had already booked.
On the 1st December, Royal Caribbean emailed me saying they had changed their protocol and all passengers would now be required to show a negative PCR test not more than 72hrs before boarding. I once again contacted my travel agent and asked if we could scrub the three days ashore in Barbados and then we could slip our UK PCR tests by three days? The response was that our flight bookings were for that particular flight and we may have to pay again for seats on a different flight! Stress level climbing! I now had to book two PCR tests to be taken in Barbados, spoiling our time ashore. On the 3rd December the UK Government stated all passengers returning to UK would need to show a negative LFT test taken not more than 48hrs before arrival. How would we manage that as we were on a ship and were transferring straight to the airport an arrival back in Barbados.
Fortunately that was resolved when the cruise line advised they would test all passengers on board 48hrs before arrival back in Barbados. We discovered that there were two UK nurses on board on a “busman’s holiday” for that purpose. The 6th December arrived and we reported to the Pharmacy in Commercial Road for our “Fit to Fly” PCR tests. This was done by Mr Chopra in an upstairs room. We had to read the instructions on a wall chart and then under his supervision take samples from our throat and nostrils. He said he was no longer allowed to do this himself!
A330-343X G-VLUV Lady Stardust
On the evening of the 7th December we received our negative results and photocopied the certificates and added to my growing document folder. Confirmation and payment was made and received with the Lab in Barbados that would carry out a further PCR test on the 10th December. Next step, drive to LHR, park the car and check-in with Virgin. Passports checked and negative PCR certificates too. Our mobile phones were needed to show our NHS Covid jabs as they would not accept the NHS jab cards. Not being that clever with technology this was also stressful.
Eventually we were checked-in and baggage too. Security had not changed, you still strip and hobble through the scanners, this time masked! I must admit that the Departure Lounge of Terminal 3 was packed. Good old Virgin though; were on time and we were boarded as planned. Our aircraft was an A330-343X G-VUFO, Lady Stardust. Gone were the freebie gifts of socks, toothpaste, notebook & pen etc and instead was a bag containing a face mask, hand gel and sanitizer. As our last trip had been on Emirates the entertainment package on this flight was a bit of a letdown. 145 movies and nothing really decent – NO James Bond either. The catering had also changed and now there is no starter, just a meal in a foil and a piece of cake. When offered wine I chose a red. Absolutely gobsmacked to be handed a tin of Malbec which had come straight out of the fridge! The crew however were first rate as always.
The flight down to Barbados was scheduled as 9hrs 10 mins but we achieved it in 8hrs 30mins. 4.30pm in the afternoon and the temperature was a balmy 80F. Once we got to arrivals the Health questions began and we had to show our negative PCR certificates. We were then asked how they were taken? Once we said under the guidance of a Pharmacist we were told this was NOT acceptable and made to wear amber wristbands. We were then taken aside (with others) and then given a further (free) PCR test and told we had to quarantine for 24hrs.
So, we had made it to Barbados but now I started to fret and wonder if we would get back to UK. On the plus side we were on the beach location, the weather was brilliant as were the staff. The next day (10th) I discovered that Covid tests were being carried out in the hotel. I mentioned that we had to report to another resort for our pre-booked PCR tests but the Receptionist was outstanding and got the location changed, saving us US$124 in taxi fares. PCR test number 3 carried out! We never got the results of the Airport test but our negative third results were emailed to us. After a lot of hassle finding a working printer we obtained hard copies for my document collection.
Two days of bliss then followed until we had to travel to the Port. We were all allocated a 30min window in which to report, be you early or late and you would be delayed. Eventually we were bussed to an empty warehouse where we had to undergo a further LFT test. I was asked to show a 4 digit serial number they had emailed me for both our tests. I only had the one and they said there should be one each! Once again taken to one side and the stress began again as we tried to get online using a mobile phone and try and book my wife in. After 40mins without success one of the staff gave us a handwritten number to use. Eventually we had our LFT tests and then had to wait in another area until emailed a negative result within 30 mins. This system too was not working as advertised and eventually, without a result, allowed to board the ship.
Once again we started to chill as no further tests or actions were required until 48hrs before returning to Barbados. Although we were calling at six different islands we were not allowed off the ship or port area unless you had booked a ship’s excursion. We managed three and just sampled a local bar within the port (for free wifi) on the other three. The ship was due back in Barbados on the 19th December and we were due to fly back to UK that evening.
Free LFT tests were carried out on the ship (Grandeur of the Seas) on the morning/evening of the 17th. Negative results and certificates were provided on the 18th. I had already tried to complete the UK Passenger Locator Form and discovered that 48hrs before arrival meant just that!
Computer says NO was the response. We were due to arrive at LHR at 7am on the 20th and the computer would not accept the form being submitted before 3am local time on the 18th. Not an easy document to complete and we had to complete them individually. It also asked you to complete more pages for each transit stop, this was getting ridiculous and so I just stated to/from Barbados and would claim we never got off the ship on stops. This was also the document which required a serial number of your pre-booked PCR tests after arrival in UK. Without it I don’t know the consequences.
The 19th December arrived and so did we in Barbados. As we were to leave the ship by 8.30am and our flight was not due to leave until 6.30pm we had booked a 4hr excursion around the island. Fatally the first stop was to the Mount Gay Rum Distillery. After several generous samples of different rums the bus was full of “giggling” people or the sounds of snoring. Eventually we arrived at Grantley Adams International Airport. Once check-in opened the stress levels really began to rise again. Every passenger was being interrogated by two ground staff and taking at least 10mins per couple.
When they reached us they checked our negative LFT certificates meticulously, including that the passport numbers corresponded. We then had to show our email acknowledgments of the UK Pax Locator Form which had a barcode they copied. They then wanted to see proof of vaccinations. They would not accept our NHS cards and wanted the barcode from our NHS Covid apps. At this stage the NHS app kept crashing out and so we were told to step to one side. I must admit that it took several attempts to access this information and I just wanted all this hassle to end. That said the staff were very helpful and sympathetic, at the same time complying with the rules at all times.
Eventually we provided all the information required and obtained the magic stamp seal on the back of our passports enabling us to check-in. Once in the Departure Lounge I needed a couple of G&Ts to calm me down. This time our aircraft was some 25mins late but who cares, we were past the last hurdle.
Eventually we boarded our flight back, another A330-343X, G-VLUV, Lady Love. Once again we received free masks and the same entertainment package. Lesson learnt, this time I had a white wine in a plastic bottle. The return trip was even faster and we made it in 8hrs 10mins. After hearing all the horror stories of Immigration and Passport Control at LHR, I was amazed at how quick we got through. NO requests to see our Pax locator Forms were ever asked. From landing to exiting the Arrivals Lounge took 50mins.
From there we collected the car and made our way back to Swindon. Suntanned and feeling better by the minute.
All in all it was a good break but was it worth all the hassle?
As I write this we have been back four days and still await our Day 2 PCR results. In total we had six Covid tests in 13 days. Some results were never checked but if it is to stay safe I am happy to comply.
This may put you off travelling at the moment but I thought I would highlight the pitfalls and worry that it presently entails. For the fitter, younger, tech-minded people it will be easier. Stay safe.
This Newsletter is Dedicated to the Memory of: Roy Irish (RAF)