Where Were You?
The Royal Air Force Apprentices Memorial at the National Arboretum
HALTON GROVE at the National Arboretum
We have sent a contribution of £20 towards the
cost of a window dedicated to Sir Frank Whittle, I am sure all our members will
If you have anything relevant that you would like to share with our members then please let me have it, ideas, photos,
stories, experiences in fact anything we can publish.
Would you all please ensure that if you have a change of address,
telephone number or email address you let me know so that Entry
records can be kept up to date.
I look forward to hearing from you ALL. Rip
Catch up with the latest details for this years reunion, on the Reunion 2020 page.
Here is a little poem that came to light at this years reunion. How many of you recall it from the distant past?
...................................... THE DUAL RELAY VALVE
When e'er the pilot wants to 'brake',
A pull on lever he must make,
And by this action he is able,To strain upon Bowden cable.
This makes the Transverse lever rise,
Which takes the Push-rod by surprise,
And this in turn, to fit the scheme,Will act upon the floating beam.
Now pivot point of beam, you'll see,
At Elevator rod will be,
So fluted plunger has to drop,
Until it comes against it's stop.
This means Exhaust Valve has been closed,
And it can rightly be supposed,
That air, which soon will enter here,
Will not escape to atmosphere.
Then pivot point, it may seem strange,
To fluted plunger end will change,
So Elevator rod must shift, And cause the Inlet Valve to lift.
The air comes, in the pressure builds,
So regulator barrel yeilds,
Whilst this goes on the Pivot point,
Is where the push rod makes it's joint.
The Floating beam thus downward goes,
Allowing Inlet Valve to close,
And when it's seat it rests upon,
We can, with truth, say "Brakes are on".
..................................... .............. .Anon.
RAF HALTON 12th TRIENNIEL REUNION
The ‘Old Haltonians’ 12th Trienniel Reunion was staged at RAF Halton on Saturday 24th September
2016.The day dawned bright and comfortably warm. The 1 Wing ‘tank’ was the venue for the initial ‘Meet
& Greet’, with the 90th onwards upstairs and the remaining entries below. The bar was open at 10am as I
arrived! Those attending from the 82nd were Harold Holmes, John Hester, Sid Siddon, Mick Stracey, Ernie
King, George Wade, Mick Simmonds, ‘Ginge’ Dyson, Pete Scott and I. Some endured the overnight
Barrack Block experience and survived.After initial ‘hello’s’, most of us then went ‘walkabouts’ to old
squadron lines, Trenchard Museum, Kermode Hall and the like. The ‘Golden Oldies’ Pipes & Drums also
gave a display and musical programme, later in the morning, on the square, playing many well remembered
tunes. Some met again for lunch at 12.45 in Henderson Mess, feeling quite at a loss with no personal mug
and ‘irons’ in our possession. The food was good and the whole deal well organised considering the mass
being fed.We next assembled on the road in front of Henderson Mess at 14.45, with our original banner
made by the Mother of Hank Francis, mounted on new poles, in preparation for marching/ambling onto
Henderson square at 15.15. The parade Guard of Honour was formed from current recruits in final training
and the Halton Colour was marched on. The parade was addressed by our President AM Cliff Spink, who
thanked the hosting WRAF Station Commander and all the ex-Brats who were attending. The Sunset
Ceremony and lowering of the ensign followed along with music from the Pipes & Drums.The parade then
marched off and down the hill, much talking in the ranks – unlike our time - across Main Point ( Joe
Ballard was not in evidence), down past the Old Workshops and dispersed at the corner close to the original
church where, if my memory serves me correctly, a stuffed life-sized ‘Snoop’ was seen to be hanging, on
high, in our time. Some then went to the service at St. George’s Church and others dispersed in various
directions.Mick Simmons, Ernie King, Sid Siddon, Mick Stracey, George Wade, John Hester and I stayed
over at The Aylesbury Premier Inn for the Saturday night. We had an enjoyable dinner, wine and beer and
enjoyed all the by now familiar oft told stories and tales of ‘when I was at!!!!’ and enjoyed each other’s
company. Some ‘early birds’ met for breakfast and then we all went our various ways home. So, I believe a
good time was enjoyed by all; it was great to meet up with those familiar faces we see on an annual basis
and those we had not seen since the last Trienniel. Also to touch base with many old colleagues from other
entries or who we had met in various parts of the globe when serving Queen and Country!!Walking around
our ‘old home’ I thought that in places it looked quite shabby with peeling paint, uncut grass in places and
fading black and white kerbstones. The paint pots are obviously not in use quite so much as in past times!
We are told that this occasion will be the last in the current format and I get the feeling somehow that the
great and proud Halton Aircraft Apprentice Training history is in danger of being greatly diluted as time
marches on and general defence funding is reduced year on year and maybe memories fade. Let us hope
L to R. Ginge Dyson, George Wade, Ernie King, Sid Siddon, John
Hester, Mike Pond, Mick Stracey, Harry Holmes and Peter Scott.
Insert Mick Simmons who went walk about for the photo.