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50th Anniversary

Reunion 2010

Where Were You? 


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Ian {Rugger Noo} Newton

 His life and times,  or ( Empire and Cold War; My part in their downfall? )


          RAF Halton            

             Last term “Snag”,   three lots of “jankers”,  passed out somewhere in the middle.

              Rugby for station [App level]. No other redeeming features what so ever.


         RAF Swinderby  [Lincs]  8 FTS Flying Training Cmd       1959 - 61

             Aircraft – Venom Mk 5s, Vampire T11s.

             With Joe Melvin and Alan Ponting.    Rank- Junior/Tech.   Rugby for unit,

             Newark and Flying Training Cmd.  Learned to drink and married Maureen.            

            Should that be the other way round?


               RAF  Tengah, [ S’pore.]   20 Sqdn   FEAF                            1961 - 64  

                  Aircraft – Hunter FGA 9s

              With Mike Pond.    Rank  Cpl/Tech.  Rugby for unit and FEAF.   Detachments

              to fend off various invading hoards –Korat & Chieng Mai [N/E Thailand],

              Labuan & Kuching [British Borneo].   No medals but improved on the drinking

              with the Aussies at RAAF Butterworth. [another detachment]


               RAF Marham  [Norfolk]  ASF                            1964 - 67

              Aircraft  - Valiant BI, Victor B2 and Tankers

             With Martin Harvey & Mike Pond.    Rank  Sgt.   Rugby for unit and Norwich.   

             Detachments to Cyprus and Butterworth again, with all that previous F/East

             Tiger supping knowledge. Minor ring twitter on way to Butterworth when the

             VC 10 pilot informed us that we had been painted by an extremely serious Israeli   

             air defense/attack radar and to watch out for fighters, were we bovered, Yes!                                        

             It was that 6 day war.   During the Valiant/Victor change over carried      

             out a major servicing on an “Annie” Am I the only one to have made use of that

             fabrics phase?


     RAF Bruggen    [Germany]   213  Sqdn                                 1967 - 69

             Aircraft  -  Canberra B [i] 6

             Rank   Sgt.      Rugby for unit. Detachments to Norway, Denmark & Greece.   

             Ist NATO Sqdn into Greece after the Army Coup.

             Couple of exhilarating low level trips around Germany in these old but venerable

             aircraft. Oh yes! Liked the beer and schnapps. Trip to Berlin to shout “ yah boo”

             at those chaps from the East across the wall at “Check Point Charlie”


   .................RAF  St Athan      [ S Wales ]   Maintenance Cmd             1969 – 71

             3rd Line Structural Repair.

             Rank  Sgt.   No rugby, the pitches are all on the sides of mountains, besides the

             Welsh were to good in those days, but you could always get a ticket for the

             Arms Park. Some good beer up the valleys! Trip down a coal mine, don’t fancy

             that job.  Joined the Sgts Mess escape committee. Red star on your door after

             one year at Saints.  Who posted me here?

      RMAF  Kuala Lumpur   [ Malaysia ]     Seconded        1971 – 74

           Aircraft  -  Doves, Devon’s, HP Heralds & HS 125s of the PMs Flt.

            Rank  Chief/Tech.     Rugby for unit, RMAF & Malaysian Combined


            Round robin flight in 1st HS 125 to Rangoon, Chieng Mai & Bangkok as

            flying maintenance with Tom Brown of the 86th.

            Sad to say this posting was my rugby swan song, getting blind and slow.

            It was age not the Tiger in case you wondered. This was also where I closed

            down the Empire!!   Lots of exotic hols on this one.


     RAF College Cranwell      [ Lincs ]      ASF                   1974 - 78 

           Aircraft  -  Jet Provosts  Mks 3 and 5

           Rank   Chief/Tech.

           Lots of flying here [passenger].  Became the flying ground crew boss for

           The Poachers Aerobatic Team which often meant going into the flying display

            with the team.  Some hairy moments with my hands not far from the seat

            handle, can confirm an adrenalin rush beats booze and sex.

            Also had the pleasure of being the ground crew boss [Snco level] when

            “Charlie Boy” came for his refresher. His mum also gave me a medal for

             The Poachers stuff and looking after Her lad.           


       RAF  St Athan       [ S  Wales ]     Production Control   1978  -  80

           Production Controller for General Engineering

           Rank    Flt/Sgt

           Good and interesting post but trade group 5 are sometimes difficult to

            get on with.  Who is this guy who keeps sending me here?  Re-joined

           the escape committee, over the wire 22 months later.


 ..................RAF  Cottesmore  TTTE  [ Rutland ] Stk Cmd     Eng Records  1980  -  85

           Aircraft  -  Tornado  GR 1

           Documentation control           Rank  Flt/Sgt

           Another interesting job as we worked closely with the German & Italian

           Air Forces in bringing the 1st  Tornado GR 1s into service. This was the start of              

           my “interregnum” years and the booze caught up with me via a drink and drive

           rap, so no WO for me. But the GAF beer fests were terrific.


                RAF Brampton [ Huntingdonshire]    HQRAF Sup Cmd  1985 - 87    

         Tech docs stuff  and QA roll office.         Rank  Flt/ Sgt

          The best about this job was that at any time I fancied a change I could jump

          in a Mini and clear off to a Flying Training Unit on some pretext or other.

          Within reason anyway. Getting weary of RAF life now.    


                    RAF Cottesmore TTTE   [Rutland]  Strike Cmd       1987 – 88

       Aircraft   -  Tornado GR 1

        Snco i/c Structures Bay, Hydraulic Bay & Wheels, Tires and Brake Units.


        As previously mentioned I’d come full circle and was tired of it all, plus

       promotion was out and I had stopped the Cold War, with the help of a few others you                                                               

       understand, so called it a day after a year here. Although Taff Cooksey and myself

       saved the MOD quite a few quid and aircraft downtime by getting the air force to

       to take on in house throttle box maintenance. I understand Taff received a good

       monetary pay out from MOD.  Where’s my whack Taff?    


So the end of the line for the military and my part in it and on to civilian life.

Not a difficult transition as I  had mentally prepared myself for some years.Well

sort of!

Between 1988 and 1997 bought into two pubs, one in Norfolk { the Swan } and

one in Northants { the George }. 10 years ,5 each. Some of you were kind enough

to visit. Pub life is hard work and never ending, give me the military any day. But it

was a good experience. So was the alcoholism!!!


From 1997 to 2004 I worked for Corby Boro’ Council and Northants Police as a

CCTV operative catching the odd ne’re-do-well and hobbledehoy. The job was OK

but there were many hrs of boredom. But my RAF background came in good use

when I took on the writing of a couple of operating manuals.


2004 -  Interregnum”  over, and Maureen and I are happily retired in Grantham. 

                                                      MADE IT.


Looking back over these pages, I think life was one 40 year paid piss up.


This exciting resume can be purchased in hardback for a small donation