First & Last, Journal of the Halton 81st Entry

Issue Number 37

Nov 2013

The Journal of the 81st Entry

Edited and uploaded by Brian Spurway

Welcome to the 37th edition of The Journal.

My grateful thanks to those who have saved me yet again with sufficient articles to run this 37th edition of The Journal and so complete nine years of continuous publication - let's hope that I receive more articles within the next couple of months so that I can upload a 38th edition in February 2014 and so start off on its tenth year; now wouldn't that be something?


The transition from Apprentice training at Halton to working on real-live aircraft, or parts thereof if stuck in a Bay of some description or on a dreaded MU, was huge - so huge as to be unforgettable. That's how it was for me and that's why I thought (or should I say hoped) that asking the question "What was your first aircraft type?" would elicit answers from some of you who have yet to add something to this website. There have been several responses regarding the Javelin as a first real-live aircraft type (look in Feedback to read them) for which I am most grateful - but nothing, as yet, from anyone other than previous contributors.

Not to be disheartened I shall continue the theme so, following on from the Javelin, let's try the Vs. Some 49 members of our Entry, who passed out in Jul 1958, were posted onto V bombers. They went to either Honington, Wittering, Gaydon, Marham, Cottesmore, Finningley, Scampton, Wyton or Waddington. Out of those 49 I'm still in contact with 14; there must be a few stories lurking around amongst them somewhere. Strangely Finningley was the only one of the V stations that we had no one posted to.

The Valiant first flew in May 1951, entering the RAF as the B1 in Feb 1955; at the time we left Halton in 1958 they were based at Gaydon , Honington , Marham , Wittering and Wyton.

The Victor first flew in Dec 1952 followed by the production version in Feb 1956 with the first B1 being delivered to the RAF in 1958, therefore it was 'Brand-spanking' as we left Halton; at least 26 of our 49 went to either Cottesmore or Marham, the only two Vulcan stations at that time.

The Vulcan first flew in Aug 1952, the production version in Feb 1955, and then the B1 was delivered to the RAF in Jul 1956; in 1958 they were operating from Finningley, Scampton and Waddington.

There may well be mistakes in what I've written so if you spot something wrong please let me know.

I hope nobody gets the impression that I now only want articles about life in the Service, far from it - the plot always has been, and always will be, to encourage sharing of our life-experiences no matter WHERE, WHEN or HOW they came about.


If you have any comments on the articles, or just want to say 'Hi!' to old friends please CONTACT BRIAN.

Your comments will be published on the FEEDBACK PAGE.