A Message from Mike Hill reference the rearrange 60th celebration Dinner
Please contact Mike if you intend to attend or want additional information.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Hoping everyone has stayed safe and well during the restrictions and all now fully jabbed and raring to get out & about again - obviously with the requisite precautions!!!
I was recently in contact with Emma at the Holt Hotel and they would be delighted if you could contact them to rebook your rooms. Their dust after the reopening/delays and ongoing lockdown has now settled a little and they are in a position to get advance bookings in order again.
Reminder that the basic plan is for B&B Tues 5th Oct, and Dinner B&B Weds 6th Oct - but, of course, should you wish to stay longer in the area there is not a problem, advise accordingly when booking! Please ensure you mention 91st Entry Locking Apprentices when you contact the hotel.
Nearer the dates we will ask Emma & the Chef to produce dinner menu choices in case there are any items originally planned unavailable.
I would appreciate it if you could sent me a note to confirm you have made your booking so I can keep my own spreadsheet up to date. I'm also hoping that the later dates and some of the overseas jab regimes will have caught up and may allow some of our expats to join us.
60th. Anniversary Graduation Get Together June 2021
Please see the events page for the latest on the get together planned for 22 & 23 June 2021
Mike Hill is organising a get-together in June 2021 to celebrate our 60th Anniversary of our graduation from Locking. June was picked as it's a better time of year for travel etc.
Similar to our last gathering a central location was needed and the Holt Hotel was very good last time so it will be used again in 2021. current preferred date are Tues/Weds 22/23 June 2021. It does give us a long evening of daylight - and mid week keeps us free from most wedding receptions etc.
Projected costs are £250 per double room and £215 per single. This covers 2 nights B&B and a group 3 course dinner on Wednesday evening. B&B only on the Tuesday means you can make your own arrangements - the restaurant is open, bar food is available, or you can eat en route etc. With the possible numbers involved a pre-selected menu will be necessary to enable the kitchen to prepare & deliver. Look on their web site to see the sort of menus they provide, https://www.holthotel.co.uk/?fbclid=IwAR1dP3oc4HuivR3l1xOP4ya-TCIgGiiwGhu58KTWzH6siPo2xRv2Cqu2nVk
Please let Mike know if you would like to attend or make your apologies. The Holt needs a firm commitment by the end of September 2020 so please put thinking caps on.
Mike one of the older members of the Entry says I shall be 80 in Sept '21 so this will be the last of our little get-togethers I intend to arrange - so it would be great to see as many as possible before we all reach our dotage!!! It's also a great time of year for all you ex-pats to arrange a trip back to Blighty!
Mike is looking forward to hearing from you all, apologies as well as positive, please, plus any comments.
Mike's email address etc. is available on the Entry WEB site by selecting the Individual Details page.
Come on guys let's make this "probably" our last major reunion one to remember with a great turnout.
added 17th January 2020
It is with regret that I have to inform you of the passing of Ken Ryles on Wednesday 8th January 2020.
Our thoughts and sympathy goes to Margaret (his wife) and all his family.
Ken's funeral will be a private family gathering. A Thanksgiving Service will take place at the Minister of St Andrew Church on Royal Parade, Plymouth on Friday 13th March at 1pm. This will be followed by tea, coffee and a few nibbles next door at The Treasury Bar. Margaret and family welcome any of Ken's friends and colleagues and look forward to hearing some of the stories that so many people will no doubt have to tell of their time with Ken.
RIP Ken Ryles
June 18th update ; upcomming event at Locking on July 18th 2018
This is the RAF Locking Apprentices Monument which one of our entry member Rick Atkinson was heavily involved in bringing to fruition.
Ian Davis is hoping to attend the Dedication of this RAF Locking Apprentices Association Memorial at Locking on July 18th. Ian sent me the following information. Please read below for the planned programme times etc.
Note from RAFLAA reads:-
The RAF Locking Monument which has now been installed on the site of the Gate Guardian of former Royal Air Force Locking. Your Association has organised the 18th July 2018 for the event which is a formal ceremony for the dedication and unveiling of the RAF Locking Monument (located across the road from the Radio Wing). The Radio Wing is now a Community Centre and is the former Chapel as we knew it.
The current order of events is as below:
13.00 - 13.30 setting up;
13.00 - 14.00 guests arrive, Tea & biscuits;
14.00 -14.30 Dedication;
14.30 - 15.30 sandwich buffet
15.30 - 1600 clear up and depart.
It is not necessary to notify us of your intention to attend however, should you decide to do so then it would go some way to alerting us to potential numbers.
March 2018 Tony King has now left Prayssac, France after 20 years and has settled in Rye, East Sussex.
Entry Photos update 18th October 2017
Two photos added to the entry main photo album courtesy of R Lambert. Plus two photos of the entry wooden floor block at the Woodspring Museum in
Weston -S- Mare.
Update on get-together at Peterborough on Friday 21st April 2017
Mike Sent the following email to members that we currently have email addresses for :-
I thought I'd update the group on the Friday get together some of the Entry attended at the start of the Locking Apprentices Association (LAA) AGM weekend in Peterborough.
After an afternoon spent reminiscing over beer and/or tea in the afternoon 19 of us (11 chaps & 8 other halves) enjoyed dinner together in the Marriott Hotel where the majority were staying. Sadly Bing & Mim were unable to join us after Bing went down with a virus which he said left him too weak to even lift a glass! After dinner the reminiscing then went on much later into the night and the Marriott Bar takings received a boost!
Those who aren't members of the LAA departed on Saturday and 7 of us - plus partners - stayed for the Saturday AGM & Dinner dance. The AGM was the usual somewhat protracted Mess Meeting style event but a couple of interesting points have come out.
The AGM next year is planned to be held there again. I don't yet have the exact date but similar to this year towards the end of April. It transpired that the Bircham Newton Admin Apps also use the Marriotts for their re-unions but have negotiated a 35% discount on costs! The Committee are making a similar approach & hope to obtain a similar reduction - better than the 10% we enjoyed this year.
So make an early note for next April as we shall try and repeat a similar event. Unfortunately the discount is only available to LAA members attending so perhaps a few more may consider joining. It's only £15 and can be done via www.raflaa.org.uk - I think the 91st membership of the LAA currently stands at 9 or 10 - including the President & 2 Committee members (sorry only Rick now as Nigel stood down at the end of his tenure).
I appreciate that several of us live further away from Peterborough than from Weston but I have no say in the choice of location as it was done by the LAA Committee - ostensibly to make it more central to the whole of UK especially as Weston apparently has lost a lot of its attraction!
I'm certain that if any of you living South of London want to try and arrange a get together closer to you then I'm also certain that several of us within reasonable striking distance would make efforts to attend. Gilly & Martin very kindly hosted two BBQs at home near Bristol which had good attendance. However they have more than done their bit so perhaps someone else can try?
Looking forward to hearing from you. If you manage to locate any other of the lads then we'd be delighted to get in touch.
Not a bad turnout for the Friday evening get together. Dave Crookes attended the AGM but couldn't make the 91st get together on the Friday. People starred attended both events the 91st get together and the LAA AGM on the Saturday.
20th January 2017
Mike Hill is planning on a get-together at Peterborough on Friday 21st April. See event page.
08th December 2016
Mike Hill posted the following on the 91st Entry Facebook site. As not many of you are on facebook I repost his message and pass on my Seasonal Greetings to you all. Charlie Tyler
Good grief, Guys! Christmas 2016 and most of us still of fairly sound mind but slowly weakening bodies. I was 75 this year and still have great memories of our times together at Locking.
Please all stay in touch and maybe we can organise some sort of get together next year if we can find a suitable, central venue.
Anyway, merry Christmas to all and a Happy & Healthy 2017.
04th November 2015
Can anyone identify the 91st owner of this picture?
I received this email via this WEB site:
I am nothing to do with the 91st entry, however, I am Ex RAF and live in Locking Village.
The local pub the Coach House has recently been renovated and one of the items stashed away in their store for disposal was a framed certificate of the 91st Entry Passing out Parade reviewing officer Air Marshall Sir Herbert Spreckley. I have rescued this framed certificate and am therefore hoping it can find a home with someone with a connection to the 91st entry. If anyone is interested please contact me.
I got in touch with Ian Davis and Ian arranged to meet with Howard and as a result now has the picture. So who does it belong to and how did it end up in the Coach House pub?
21st September 2015
Some sad news to pass on, I'm afraid.
We've been advised by Mike Ford's son, Chris, that Mike sadly passed away Wednesday. He suffered a heart attack on Sunday, followed by 3 days in ITU, but sadly never recovered.
The funeral will take place at 13:00 on the 23rd Sept at Parc Gwyn Crematorium, Norberth, Pembs, SA67 8UD. The funeral directors are Colin Phillips of Carmarthen.
Chris has requested no flowers but any donations to Cardigan Ambulance Station in Mike's name will be appreciated.
1st August 2015
The RAF Locking Apprentices Association have decided to go ahead with the Monument to commemorate apprentice training at RAF Locking and as a result are requesting ex Locking apprentices who made pledges to now commit to their donation towards the cost. So come on lets make this happen make a donation. Any little contribution will help, even a quid. Payment can be made via BACs or cheque. See RAFLAA website for details www.raflaa.org.uk
5th May 2015
As you may or may not know the RAF Locking Aircraft Apprentices Association intends to place a Monument to commemorate Apprentice Training at RAF Locking on the Locking Parklands site.
It will be situated where the Spitfire gate guardian was situated.
Details of the proposed Monument can be found on the RAFLAA website www.raflaa.org.uk
The association is currently asking for pledges of donations from all ex Apps who may be interested in donating to this project.
Pledges can be made via the RAFLAA website.
Peter Cleaton's wherabouts added to the list.
Extremely Sad News RIP Les Waddington
We all remember Les with great affection. He always had a smile on his face and never had a derisory remark to say about any of us. Our condolences to Sheila and the rest of the family at this very sad time.
Les' Funeral will be held at 10:30 on Monday 1st December at Lincoln Crematorium. Further details may follow.
Email received Saturday 22 November 2014 from Mike Underwood
I regret to say that Les passed away last night with Sheila and his family around him.
Although his diagnosis was known some months ago, the end came much sooner than expected. I was due to go and see him this coming week. We had kept in regular touch for the last couple of years and he was still the great guy that some of us had known from 50 years or so ago.
Other emails received :-
Very, sad news Mike, meeting Les again at reunions after all those years was a real tonic.
I have attached a "photo" I took of Les in 2009, just as I still picture him today.
A BIG smile on his face, and a big thumbs up that says it all.
(thanks Mike for the photo now inserted at the top - webmaster)
From Michael (Tom) Tucker
A sad loss. To be honest I did not know he had been ill so it does come as a shock. Last time we saw him was at the WSM reunion and he looked well. Was it a recent development or was he hiding it as Sheila was unwell at that time?
From Ian Moreland
So sad to get the message from Sheila this morning, the funeral will be in Lincoln and I will send date as soon as I know.
From Clive (Bing) Crosby
What a shock! Such very, very sad news. No idea Les was ill. Locking memories came rushing back, he was such a popular chap - a complete all-rounder. Everybody liked him and wanted to be his friend. We shall all miss him.
From John Stapleton
Thanks for the mail, I am so sorry to hear that Les has passed away, my
memories of Les are a big guy and such a gentleman, please pass on my
deepest sympathy to Sheila and the family.
It is a long time since I had seen Les, I think it was at 390 MU, RAF
Seletar in Singapore in the mid 60s, such a great guy.
2nd October 2012
Not much activity to report. Eric Barham's location has changed from Brunei to Chiang Mai, Thailand.
1st May 2012
An extra album " Golden Graduation Dinner" has been added to the Gallery Page.
Thanks to Paul 'Robbie' Burns for supplying the photographs of the entry's Golden Graduation Dinner at The Royal Hotel Weston Friday 20th April. The Photos of Weston and of the RAFLAA's Dinner / Dance on Saturday 21st April at The Webbington.
20th April 2012
50th Graduation Dinner held at the Royal Hotel in Weston. See events notice page.
16 March 2012
Sad news reported By Tom Tucker
It is with great sadness that I pass on the news that Dev Bray died suddenly last night at his home in Spain. Myra Bray (his ex wife) told Jeanette and myself that although he had been in hospital the previous week with a heart issue it was still very unexpected. The funeral will be in Spain on Monday. I am sure all our thoughts will be with his wife Pauline and children from his first marriage, Michael and Jackie.
It appears that Dev had a valve missing in his heart! It is hard to comprehend this fact when we all remember him as the extremely good rugby player in the Apprentices. I also recall at our January get together everybody remarking how well he looked and how much slimmer he looked - although he denied the latter!
Sad news indeed just before our reunion.
04 November 2011
New page added - National Aboretum - information of interest to Locking Apprentices
03 November 2011
New page added - 50th Graduation Presentation
31 October 2011
See events notice for list of attendees to 50th Graduation Anniversary Dinner on Friday 20th. April 2012
15 October 2011
Whereabouts of Bill Pearn and Brian Yates added to 'Where R they?' WEB page
Paul (Taff) Brewer sent me the following. Can anyone add any further information on the change to our service number. I recall it was due to "computerisation" and if I am correct two letters were added in front of the numbers and I thought were related to a trade group. But as Paul was Air Radio that does not follow as being Air Radio myself PO was added. Unless PO was Air Radio Bomber, GO Air Radio Fighter or Transport. If you know the answer please add to the 'Have Your Say' page.
|1||Allen (Taff) Jones|
After exiting the Air Force in 1972 I eventually ended up working for Airworks of all people. I then found out why most Airworkers had a lean and furtive look. I was working on an old T82 radar at North Luffenham after it became an Air Traffic set up. I started there as the "Link Co-ordinater"
complete with a Hadley box and a couple of antique microwave links. I was intrigued as to why the special moulded rubber cables that connected the main units to the RF Head were called "Camera" cables. I also noticed there was a sub chassis that was not used and did not feature in the AP. The chap I
took over from was a far better tech than me and managed to keep the gear up and running. However, being an ex 'lecky he had little real knowledge and even less interest in the gear. He was bright enough to work out where to hit it when certain faults were evident. I later, towards the end of the
link's days, met some engineers from the makers who explained the link was ex BBC and was used to supply Sutton Coldfield from Ally Pally when the first expansion took place. Apparently it ran up the route of what later became the M1. The unused chassis was the frame tb department. Around the late
70' early 80s, it was decided to replace the microwave analogue link with a digital link down a grade 3 telephone line. I couldn't see it working but ended up on a computer course, at of all places, Locking. All the old wooden huts had long gone but interestingly the air raid shelters that were in
front of my last hut down on skid row, opposite the tech blocks, were still there. I couldn't help checking the padlock on my old workshop and lo and behold there was a civvie look alike of the original padlock. I bet the remains of the workshop with the egg carton sound proofing would have been
My accommodation was in the Officers mess and the Sgts mess as I was there on two occasions getting trained up in the new block where a locked door led to the top floor. On both occasions I was at Locking the Mine was still in it's original position (as I remember it) It was marked up with some
spurious junior entry's number and looking a little unloved but still intact.
I regaled my fellow Airworkers with the story of Penhale camp and the march but I was not really believed. Most were ex servicemen but "boggies" so lacking any experience of the pre war social scene that was Locking for us.
Now, can anyone sort out something that has bugged me since our new computerised number was issued. Mine was the addition of Golf Zero or Golf Oscar to my service number of 685313 (yes, I know that's a 92 entry number and there is a reason) I have pestered several people of my vintage and they are
all second character a 0 or an O. They don't know either what it is. There must be some body out there who knows. I met a (very sad) chap who refused to believe I was ex RAF, when I told him my number he asked "what entry" I told him and he said. "Now I know your shooting a line" that's a 92 entry
number! That is what I call really sad. sadder than collecting train numbers.
All the best,
Confirming that our 50th Graduation Event will be held on 20th April 2012 at The Royal Hotel Weston-S-Mare. Please see the events page for details on Booking etc.
Hope to see many of you there next April to make this a memorable event.
See events page for latest
Latest - 50th Graduation Celebrations will probably be held on 20th April 2012 in Weston-S-Mare. Will keep you posted with any changes.
50th Graduation Celebrations. Gents below is a copy of an email sent by Pete Elliott to members he has email addresses for. Please if you are a 91st entry person let us know your views to Pete if you have his email address, to the webmaster or via "Have your Say Page" on this WEB site.
At the RAF Locking Apprentices AGM we discussed the pro's and con's of having a 50th Anniversary get together. The conclusion was that we should give it a good go! It would be a real help to planning something if you could give some indication of your feelings and intentions. bearing in mind that the actual anniversary date is the 19th of December, very close to Christmas and potentially subject to bad weather! We also discussed location. The main feeling was that Locking and Weston were the two places that we were associated with and since Locking is derelict (apart from the run-down church) then perhaps we should look at one final bash in Weston. The sea front has had a lot of money spent on it. The pier looks good and there is a new ferris wheel near the pier, though £5 for 4 hours to park, was a bit steep! Here goes then.
2. I would attend/be unable to attend on 19th Dec
3. I would attend/be unable to attend if date was late Autumn or following Spring.
4. I would be happy to come to Weston
5. I would prefer a more central location, (Any ideas?)
6. Number attending
Update by Nigel Lodge on the Armed Forces Pension Group Page
Copy of email received from Alan Brigfht:
This is Alan Bright, Ex Timperley, Altrincham Cheshire. Now living in Earley, Reading, Berkshire.
Brief summary about myself now - I am now a widower,my very beautiful, talented wife died about 3 years ago. we had 4 daughters - all of whom are married, and I now have 9 grandchildren.
Still very much involved with sport, mainly rugby now, and rambling. Stiill like and go to Trad Jazz clubs, Folk Clubs and concerts.
Question - Can you give me details of events / get to-gethers etc. If I need to sned any money, etc, give us a yell telling me where / how much, and I will sort it out.
Hoping to here from you
10th June 2009
Message from Mike Hill re BBQ 20th June
10 days to go and we’re turning finals with three greens!
Green 1 – location – Elm Park House, Chewton Keynsham, Keynsham, Bristol. BS31 2SS
Green 2 – Time – 16:00 onwards Sat 20th June
Green 3 – Rations – standard barbecue fare (subject to a charge on a per head basis once calculated).
Extras – if any of the Ladies (or even the Gents!!) have any speciality desserts which will travel we will be delighted to assist in their disposal.
Note – Martin’s pool is at a very comfortable temperature so don’t forget to bring swimsuits & snorkels/waterwings.
If the weather’s similar to 50 years ago we can pretend it’s the Weston open air pool!
Looking forward to catching up with everyone on the 20th.
29th April 2009
For those members I don't have email addresses for I received the following from Phil Phillips.
DON'T FORGET THE BBQ on Saturday 20 June. See the Events Page
16th December 2008
email from Mike Hill reference attendees for 21 January get together.
I was looking up the RIU - well documented on main RAF History pages - and found the Cranwell Apps site but no mention of Locking at all. Out of curiosity I looked for 91st Entry RAF Locking and immediately found your site! Excellent.
I was surprised to see how much information was there and enjoyed reminding myself of the incidents recorded there.
I still have the POP photograph preserved with the names on the back and one or two from Penhale Camp including one of Flt lt Barmby stuffing his face and one of David Brooksbank (I think) erecting a flag on the spiky rock in the centre of Newquay beach.
Cameras weren't common in those days so I don't have any others except 6 of us were posted to RAF Norton near Sheffield to do Ground Radar 3rd Line and one photo from then (I think) shows Alan Lock and others (Dev Bray and Keith Allen come to mind).
Dev and I went to Aird Uig fron Norton and he made a name for himself by apparently getting lost over the 100 ft cliffs but actually spending time with a local lass from Mangastar one afternoon. Station search party included her boyfriend.......
In 1963 I returned to Locking to teach computing in the RAF DCF school on the Locking site, then after 2-3 years running the Transistor Lab, went to Biggin Hill, OCTU, Cranwell and ended up spending more time teaching real-time computing to the Aerospace courses and providing technical assistance to help them use the Elliot 4100 for their Course Theses.
After that I ended up in RIU for some years and then some other places and finished in 1981 back in RIU procuring radar for Boulmer. After that various jobs for MoD and other bits of HMG...
My other memories of Locking include Sundays transferring ("liberating"?) sausage, bacon and beans, toast to feed Hut 336 and two inveterate fishermen, Neville "Crap" Crowson and Simmie Simms who fished at the weekends on nearby ponds. Also storing a motorcycle with one of the entry who lived in WSM. And Dave Brewer running his MC and sidecar back to Wales via Aust Ferry, dropping me in Chepstow to walk home to Brockweir late at night. Ah! Happy Days!
Apart from seeing Tony Mason on TV once or twice and recalling Martin Palmer as being at Stornoway I have not heard of any of the Entry so delighted to see where some are now. I turned 65 and retired last September to a farm in West Wales and so now able to silver-surf occasionally. If any of you are in NE England or Scotland and are still interested in radio you will be welcome to visit the Scottish Museum of Communication in Burntisland (other side of Forth from Edinburgh) where many familiar items will be on display or accessible on polite request. Any assistance from nimble fingers or historical notes on items in the collection would be gratefully received.
Best wishes to all ex-91'ers where ever you are
And this one from John Nash
I happened across the 91st Entry Website a couple of days ago and have since spent a few hours browsing through the Gallery. I should explain that I was one of the 26 apprentices who did not complete their training with the 91st Entry as I transferred to an Administrative Apprenticeship late in 1959. However, there I am on the “Original Sprogs” photograph (3rd Row down, 12th from the left.)
If you also refer to Photo No 47 in the Gallery, entitled “Tony Kings Classmates, there I am front row kneeling on the far right. The un-named CAA at the centre of the back row is named Goodwin who I think was 85th or 88th. I came across him again at RAF Scampton in 1984 where for a while he was Flt Lt OC Tornado Radar Repair Unit (TRRU) and I was the FS i/c the TRSF (Tornado Radar Supply Flight.)
The only other 91st member I have recognised and had contact with was “Jacko” Jackson (P.B. I think.) I believe that his father was a Valiant Crew Chief at Finningley circa1963/4 and we met while he was visiting his parents in AMQs there. I was in the S&M Sqn and happened to meet Jacko one evening when we were both walking to the local “Chippy.” The only other time I saw him was on one edition of the Antiques Road Show (or similar programme) from somewhere in Norfolk where he had purchased some fine furniture from Sandringham (or so he said!) and was interested in its value.
Anyway, the your excellent site is now bookmarked and will receive regular checks in the future.
Thanks for the memories.
This loooks like the final list and I believe the hotel is also now fully booked. Three singletons (see figures under Ad.) but Rog Horne might be accompanied in the end. Dave & Caroline Atkin will be joining us for dinner and aren't staying over but that gives us either 49 or 50 sitting down for Dinner. Excellent!!
20th Nov 2008
5 Photos added to Gallery by courtesy of Ian (Jock) MacDonald
Signing-ON get together
|Mr Keith Allan||2|
|Mr Micheal Ambler||2|
|Mr Richard Atkinson||2|
|Mr Dev Bray||2|
|Mr Paul Brewer||1|
|Mr P Burns||2|
|Mr David Crookes||2|
|Mr W Dalrymple||2|
|Mr Ian Davis||2|
|Mr Peter Elliot||2|
|Mr Alexander Hardie||2|
|Mr Micheal Hill||2|
|Mr Roger Horn||1|
|Mr Peter Jackson||2|
|Mr Nigel Lodge||2|
|Mr John Macdonald||2|
|Mr Roy Martin||2|
|Mr & Mrs Palmer||2|
|Mr Mike Tucker||2|
|Mr Charles Tyler||2|
|Mr L Waddington||2|
|Mr John Walker||1|
| || || || || || || || |
Any 91st entry interested in celebrating 50 years with other entry members on 21st January 2009 of our "signing on day" 21st January 1959
please contact the Court Hotel, Honiley to confirm your attendance and reservation. Tel: 0844 6008730 Quoting BK02960
The cost for the Honiley Court Hotel (check their website) for Dinner/B&B is £135 per room double occupancy and £115 per room single occupancy.
The following have confirmed they will be attending:-
Mike Ambler, Rab Burns, Dal Dalrymple, Martin Plamer have stated they'll be attending and Dev Bray is a possible.
So come on the rest - "let's be having you".
|Mr Richard Atkinson|
|Mr Paul Brewer|
|Mr David Crookes|
|Mr Ian Davis|
|Mr Peter Elliot|
|Mr Alexander Hardie|
|Mr Michael Hill|
|Mr Peter Jackson|
|Mr Nigel Lodge|
|Mr John Macdonald|
|Mr Roy Martin|
|Mr Mike Tucker|
|Mr Charles Tyler|
|Mr L Waddington|
|Mr John Walker|
See email to Mike Hill below for additional information :-
From: Reservations Honiley Court [mailto:Reservations.Honileycourt@Foliohotels.com]
Sent: 01 October 2008 13:31
Subject: RE: Anniversary Celebration
Dear Mr Hill,
I shall be dealing with your booking, and thank you for confirming your details.
With regards to naming the rooms, if the guests will be calling the hotel direct, all we will require is their credit card details to secure the booking.
They can quote the arrival date or booking reference number BK02960.
The booking has already been made as anniversary celebrations, sorry I am unable to change the title.
I shall contact you 28 days prior to the arrival date for update and any rooms not taken up.
For any further assistance please do not hesitate to contact me.
Honiley Court Hotel
Meer End Road
Warwick CV8 1NP
Tel: 0844 6008730
Fax: 01926 424474
31 December 2008
Ian Davis Pension letter to MP on Pension Injustice Archived.
Dr Liam Fox
Member of Parliament for Woodspring
House of Commons
Dear Dr Fox
Service Pension Injustice
The Queens speech has announced that there is to be a new pensions bill. I would be grateful if you, as my Member of Parliament, and Shadow Defence Secretary, would assist thousands of ex-servicemen, like myself, in rectifying an injustice that has occurred that denies us a pension for the years served in the 1950's & 1960's. I am now just about to draw my state pension and would like this hole in my pensionable life to be filled.
I joined the RAF in 1959, left in 1972, after serving over 13 years. In spite of this I have no RAF pension to cover these years I gave to the RAF. This is not the case had I been a public servant in another area, such as civil servants, police officers, firemen, etc. All of which would have qualified for a preserved pension during that time. RAF personnel had to serve at least 22 years to qualify!
This anomaly was changed in 1975 when a pension bill brought the services into line with the industry standard, and ensured that those who left the services after 1975 qualified for a pro-rata pension even after serving a few years. Also those who left the services started to receive a lump sum more in line with redundancy payments.
I find it particularly annoying that I am in a position of leaving the services just before they rectified the acknowledged injustice. Yet, the changes were made to exclude those, like me, who had already suffered the lack of accrued pension, although our salaries must have been set to take into account the expected pension.
I fortunately received some very valuable training during my service career, and I have been able to join a firm's pension since leaving the forces.
But I am not able to make up for those lost years whilst I served my country.
I ask you to take this matter up with the Government, and hope the new Pensions Bill can be used to right this wrong.
Ian M Davis
Dr. Fox's Response:
How to be heard
A petition has been approved by the Number 10 web team, and is now available on the Number 10 website at the following address:
The petition reads:
We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to give the same pension benefit rights to servicemen who left the services prior to 1975 as those who left after that date.
Prior to 1975 RAF servicemen had to serve for 22 years before any pension was payable. This is unlike other public servants who recieved a pro-rata pension after only a few years. I, like many other servicemen, served for 13+ years and now have a gap in my pensionable years. During the 60's it became the industry norm to have pension and redundancy rights. I left the RAF in 1972 and it is unfair that the rules were changed to cure this anomaly in 1975 without regard for those who had served before. Also a severence payment on leaving was greatly increased to reflect the redundancy rules of the time. Please make use of the forthcoming Pension Bill and the Early Day Motion 67 to restore our pension rights.
29th September 2008
6 Photographs added to Gallery by courtesy of Tom Tucker.
25th September 2008
Mike Hill send out the following email today. As you can see an event for the 21st January 2009 is now up to us. Come on guys let Mike know asap your intention. Send an email Mike.Hill@viscountalarms.co.uk
You have previously all expressed interest in attending a get together next January to celebrate the 50th Annversary of our original signing on.
Well, it's crunch time!!!
The hotel I had a preliminary quote from needed a quicker response than I could give and they had to accept another confirmed booking.
I have been in contact with 6 other suitable hotels in the Kenilworth/Warwick area - 4 were already booked & 1 was way too expensive. I've had a price from the Honiley Court Hotel (check their website) for Dinner/B&B of £135 per room double occupancy and £115 per room single occupancy.
So I urgently need your confirmation of attendance, please, so I can make sure we don't lose this!
Dinner will be a 3 choice menu selected at registration.
If you Google-map their postcode you will see from the sat.photo that it is nice & quiet but accessible from M40/M42/M6 - and there is plenty of parking.
Currently we have 39 attendees promised -19 couples & 1 singleton - but I also have another 8/10 possibles which is why I need to confirm your acceptances before I chase the ditherers and go for extra rooms.
I look forward to your early response.
(P.S. I understand there are some golf courses in the area if anyone wants to stay over & get a game in - but that's down to individuals!! M)
04th September 2008
7 photographs added to Gallery courtesy of Don Donovan.
02nd September 2008
Mike Hill is sending out the letter below to all those members known to him, if you don't receive this info please reply to Mike by email or via this web sites "contact us" address.
As you probably remember next January 21st is the 50th Anniversary of that fateful day we all signed on and began our experience of a whole new world.
We are hoping to arrange some sort of get-together on or around that date to celebrate (or commiserate - delete as applicable). 21st Jan 2009 falls on a Wednesday so that will be the initial target date.
As Locking no longer exists Weston isn’t necessarily the venue location – we will probably try and select somewhere geographically central to attendees – unless there’s an overwhelming desire to go to Weston of course.
It isn’t a stag do and wives/partners will be more than welcome. The purpose of this note is to establish the level of interest there is before we arrange such an event.
I will be very pleased to hear from you by phone or mail to my home address above ( Webmaster has removed these for obvious reasons) – or to my work email Mike.Hill@viscountalarms.co.uk as that will be the quickest.
I currently have a database of some 35 names, many with e-addresses, but I’m not sure of the status of all of these as people change ISP and forget to update me with their new e-address. Unless I’ve heard from you recently on e-mail you will be reading this hard copy!
It is also planned to hold a summer gathering at Martin Palmer’s place near Bristol as part of the 50th anniversary celebrations – but we felt that Jan 21st shouldn’t pass unmarked. The date for the summerfest will be advised shortly in case any of our ex-pats wish to co-ordinate a visit to UK in conjunction with that.
A reminder for those with internet access that there is a website of which Charlie Tyler is webmaster - http://91stentryraflocking.com - log on & check the gallery! You may be able to add some missing names – or more of your own photos. Were we really that young, slim and dark-haired?
If you happen to be in contact with any other members of The Entry I would welcome receiving their details. I will also be putting a listing in the re-unions sections of the RAF News and the RAFA magazine to widen the trawl. Anyone with access to any other publication which may add to our contact list please feel free to use it.
On the other hand you may not wish to be reminded of your time in the R.A.F. If that is the case please also let me know so I can remove your details from my database and not trouble you any further.
All for now with best wishes to you and yours,
25th August 2008
email from Mike Hill:-
Next thing we have is the 50th anniversary of our original signing on. It doesn't feel like 50 years, that's for sure! Are we really that old?
Martin Palmer has kindly volunteered to host a barbecue during the summer at his home near Bristol which we'll discuss in more detail later in the year. In the meantime it would seem there is interest in having a gathering on or about the auspicious date - 21st Jan.
I'd like to establish how much interest there is in such a Jan 09 "do". Having established that the next question is - Weston or elsewhere? As Locking no longer exists it might be better to look at somewhere geographically central to interested parties. Please let me know preferences.
On that subject I would appreciate feedback from those I haven't had emails from lately so I know my contact list is current.
Also if you are aware of any others of the entry who aren't on my group list could I please have their contact details - email or snail mail? Nev Crowson has appeared & I know Alan Bright made some sort of attempt to get in touch some time ago, without success.
Please also let the webmaster know your email address, send an email to - see contact us page
14 August 2008
See the report into Dave Trueman's fatal air accident on the AAIB website. Link below.
Look in their August Bulletin. Look for the Zenair about half way down the list.
Mike Hill sent an email with the following:-
Just a follow up about the tragic death of David in a
flying accident in Scotland. A family funeral & cremation was held on Sat
12th Jan and a Thanksgiving Service followed on Tues 15th at Melrose Parish
Church. The Entry was represented at the Thanksgiving Service by Peter
Elliott, David Roforth-Smith, and myself. It is worth noting that Dave R-S
came from his home in the USA to pay his respects.
The service was very well attended and at the "Reception" afterwards it was
most apparent how well respected David was locally. Angela & the family had
done a photo montage board and the three of us were in demand to explain
various aspects of his career. The most questions coming about some photos
(see the Entry website) of the arrival of The Mine at the Boxing Comp!
What was the event and why were they dressed/undressed like that etc?
Pete & Dave later visited the crash site and said that he was only a few
feet too low and just a hundred or so yards from the grass strip they used.
A few feet higher & he would have missed the small hillock he clipped.
A very sad loss.
Angela asked me to pass on her thanks to everyone who sent cards or passed
messages of condolence. She is fortunate to have the support of quite a
number of the immediate family in the local area.
Dave Trueman died tragically when his aeroplane crashed following an engine failure on 30 December 2007.
See The Southern Reporter for details. http://www.thesouthernreporter.co.uk/news
A Service of Thanksgiving for Dave will be held on Tuesday January 15th at Melrose Parish Church at 11.30 a.m.
An announcement is planned for the Daily Telegraph Thursday 10th January or Friday 11th January.
Thanks to Peter Elliott for his photographs. Added to the Gallery 9th January 2008. There must be a few more out there - so let be having them.
Information on The Armed Forces Pension Group supplied by Nigel Lodge has been added to the WEB site 28th December 2007.
See page AFPG