First & Last, Journal of the Halton 81st Entry

Issue Number 1

November 2004

The Journal of the 81st Entry

Uploaded by Brian Spurway

Edited by Mike Stanley

Welcome to the first issue of The Journal.

The response to my plea for articles was largely underwhelming ; it would be ironic if this first issue was also to be the last ! So please send in any thing that may be of interest to the entry, even stuff that you may think will not be of much interest ; it will keep the staff here at Publishing HeadQuarters occupied at least.

Mike Stanley.

The move from the cosy warmth of the known world of Halton to the big cold unknown world of the RAF must have made lasting impressions on most of us.

Here follows a section which has been cunningly titled:

Here is a suggestion from Alan Humphrey ; Any 'pen picture' received will be shown. A fuller account of your lives would be welcomed in order to keep the Journal going for more than just a few issues.

Alan Humphrey

I think that it would be an idea for everybody to write a small "pen picture" of themselves detailing their life after 1958. They could be printed a few at a time if too many arrived in one go. As a fore runner I will give you my details: I started in 3 Wing, block 7 room 4. Then when we split up I stayed in 3 Wing, at Block 6, room 3. Passed out as a JT. Went to RAF Horsham St Faith, then RAF Leuchars, then RAF Seletar, then finished at RAF Colerne. Left RAF in 1969 and moved back to my hometown of Southend-on-Sea. Started work at Southend Airport as a airframe fitter but then transferred in May 1969 to NDT Department with Aviation Traders Eng. Relocated to Stansted Airport when the company was bought out. Went through a few company name changes but remained in NDT at Stansted Airport until I took slightly early retirement in August 2002.

For those who missed the reading at the 2004 Entry reunion here is a rather poignant poem by the author of the last tale above:

T`was just last week , or so it seems I set off down my road of dreams,
To serve my country and my Queen , to shoulder arms to fight those fiends.
World War 2 had come and gone and the Korean War was almost done,
Suez was a one night stand , the Kenyan Mau Mau a local band.
Enosis - Eoka was the Cyprus song , Northern Ireland was yet to come.
Sukarno`s gang was Jakarta`s rum and I missed them all , never fired a gun.

For a while I was a fireman , and I drove a Green Goddess,
this time to fight for wives and kids , my pay - no more - no less
I flew to many places , and saw so many things , I can`t remember all of them , a blank is all that sings.
I spent a lot of money, on things I didn`t need , and came home broke or owing some , to a card I dare not read.
The Yanks are fighting in the Gulf , in the places we once were,
Salalah , Riyan . Aden - gosh it hasn`t changed from years afore.

The years have passed and I served my time , 38 years of bull and shine,
I smoked my fags and drank my beer , of rank and favour I had no fear.
But nature`s played some funny tricks , I`m feeling tired and walk with sticks,
with cataracts done I can see it all , my fearsome past , I had a ball.
With pacemaker fitted my heart beats strong , but plurral effusion has wrecked one lung
no good for flying , it`s sad to say as aircrew once I`ve had my day.
I`m diabetic , just to round things off and with bronchitis a constant cough .

I now have a puffer , PUFF PUFF PUFF

I would love to have joined you but I cannot fly
the cabins too high in the clear blue sky
for my lungs to work , or oxygen feed,
my slowing brain has a constant need
I wish you all well , with years yet to come,
of being plain idle just sat on your bum.
At the 50th call , I`ll struggle my best
to be there on duty , an ordinary guest.

Kris Penney

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