Hi Ken Hope to see you next weekend Ken,I’m booked in Fri / Sat nights at a B and B somewhere in the Moreton area,coming with by brother-in-law and his wife (My sister)Looking forward to an enjoyable weekend Fergus
I must put on record my thanks to Haydyn Smith ,his friend Cpl Mike Briggs of RAF Cosford and his assistants, the local ATC cadets who worked so hard to make last weekend a most enjoyable one,dispite the atrocious weather on the Saturday. Due to the weather conditions we were not able to visit the memorial gardens and plaque on the old Cookhouse chimney,but did enjoy a couple of hours in the town itself which brought back some pleasant memories. The meeting and get together on the Saturday evening went well,one of the interesting things was the large screen at the end of the room which was contually showing all the old end of course photos. I didnt get to meet any one from my old course but did get to relate and discuss all the old memories from those far off days. Sunday morning was taken up by a visit to the new cold war museum at RAF Cosford All in all a very enjoyable week end.Am looking for ward next years reunion.
I was at Bridgenorth on D Squadron for two months from 24th April 1956. I remember the rail journey and the transport from Bridgenorth Statuon to the camp which was on that day by Lorry. I quite enjoyed the experience. there was no lack of hard discipline at home, my father having done a few years in Brown, before I joined so did not find the service type much different. While I was there, some of the lads, me included were selected for ’special training’ as we were to go down to London to be included in a troup at the White City Tattoo ( where the Tournament was then held) to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Victoria Cross.Unfortunately we had to have our jab boosters twio weeks early and the result was that I had vaccine poisoning. Instead of going down to London I finished up in the sick bay where I learned to lay to attention on the daily M O’s inspection. I was able to return to my original flight until passout, but I missed the survival weekend away. Our flight won the drill cup, mainly I think due to us having our own D I to command us instead of a wimp of an officer from another squadron as was often the case. i was unlucky in copping the tin room every time our lot were on fatigues. All in all a very good experience. Unfortunately our my squad photos were accidentally destroyed a few years ago, they all had the names on the back so regret I do not recall many names.
Unfortunately, the memory has now dimmed so much that I cannot put names to faces, except for five - me, Sgt Jackson, Cpl McMurtrie, Cpl Petrie and one other...the very large guy in the back row in civvies. They couldn’t find a uniform big enough to fit him His name was Kitione Lave. He was from Tonga, and was a heavyweight boxer. There is a piece about him at this link:
The article says he died a few years ago. But that got me to thinking that I might like to hear a few more names, so if anyone recognises themselves or knows anyone in the picture, I’d love to hear from you.
On a final note, I read somewhere else that Sgt Jackson became the SWO at Halton or Cosford, and earned the reputation of being one of the best SWO’s the RAF ever had. Feel free to treat that with a hefty dose of salt However, if anyone knows anything about sgt Jackson, I am curious about him too
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As some other posters have quoted i too was first at Cardington where the "Softly softly" approach was used and thenwhen the DIs. from Bridgnorth turned up, all Hell broke loose. Shouting and screaming they had us running every which way, loaded us on to a Train, with our Kit Bags and then onto trucks for the journey to B/North. Once there it was Bolluc.ings non stop until halfway through the eight weeks, then as we were being licked into shape the Cpl. instructors eased up a bit. It was Feb. 1954,breaking ice in the outside wash room and shaving in freezing cold water. Funny how after just a few weeks how we looked with scorn at the New lads coming in who could not march or do arms drill. I can’t remember any Numbers of flights etc. but we had a green disc behind the cap badge. I also remember at first we did not know just which officers to salute so saluted anyone who remotely looked like one.
In the end we passed out,by this time the D.I.s. were our pals, ( Can’t believe it today but then we even took them down to the local Boozer and bought their beer all night. Did not know at the time but they were treasured moments in my life.