LIFE AFTER SERVICE.

By John Taylor.Airframes.


My last posting was at RAF Acklington and I played fairly regularly for the Station cricket team which involved moving around a bit to play other station teams. One of the matches was against RAF Lossiemouth which was quite a journey by train from Acklington. As I was unable to get off until the morning prior to the match I went up by Jet Provost with another of the team who was one of the flying instructors. Our team captain was a certain Flt Lt John Laycock. When I got up to Lossiemouth I booked into the Sergeants' Mess and there met up with John Hathaway who at that time was an AEOp on Shackletons. We went down into Elgin that night and had a few beers. The reason I mention this is that on reading the book on the Falklands Raid, which John had been involved with, it turned out that John's station commander at the time of the raid had been a certain John Laycock. Odd how these coincidences crop up.

Prior to leaving the Royal Air Force I had started day release to obtain the ONC I had missed out on in the Finals at Halton. I eventually carried on and had an extension of about two months to my service so that I could take my final exam for HNC. The idea was that I would not stay with aircraft engineering as I thought it might restrict me as to which areas of the country I could work. My idea was to get into Work Study and hence into management. The first bit went okay as I got a job with a light engineering works as a Work Study Engineer. Most of the shop floor staff was female of all shapes and sizes. After serving for nigh on thirteen years and never stationed with any WRAFs it was quite an eye opener. There were some very interesting situations arising from our involvement with the shop floor workers.

The job itself was very interesting. We had done quite a lot of work looking at changing the work layouts for a particular assembly line. During the annual works shutdown we got involved in redesigning the shop floor and making new jigs etc. and an automated assembly line. The couple of weeks we did welding etc. during our training at Halton were put to good use.

There followed two to three years changing works layouts and procedures and a lot of brain storming to get new ideas for improvements to all manner of assembly lines/shops etc..

Later I was promoted to Production Control Manager which as the name suggests made me responsible for liasing with the Sale Dept. and the Production Units plus the supply of materials. I was also made responsible for the Work Measurement section which produced all the target times etc for the various bonus schemes that were in operation. I was not as happy here as I had been in work study but it paid better and helped pay the mortgage.

About this time local government was undergoing major changes with substantial increases in salaries. I decided to jump on the band wagon and joined a highways section responsible for drawing up plans and estimates for major highway schemes. This involved the use of critical network planning and manpower planning. I was involved in trying to get this part of the planning onto computers but at that time there was only mainframe computers and you had to fill in endless forms just to get the details into the computer before you could even start to analyse it. Later with the advent of personal computers it got a lot easier although there was not much software available for that sort of work at that time.

Several years later after plodding along and with the occasional promotion I then decided that I had had enough. The city council were trying to get rid of staff and were offering retirement incentives. I retired just before my 54th birthday and never looked back.

A friend had also retired at the same time and we both got into doing stock checks/audits for companies such as B&Q, Dixons, PC World, Woolworths and several other national firms. I didn't stay with that for more than a couple of years as it was beginning to impinge on my playing golf and so had to rely on the better half working and keeping me in the manner to which I had become accustomed.

At the moment my golf is not what it used to be but I keep going to the golf course and trying to repeat my past glories (??) I have a great wife and three sons who are all doing very well for themselves. We are kept busy looking after eight grandchildren. The problem is one lives near Towcester, another in Nottingham and the youngest lives in Sheffield.