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College Cranwell Reunions
(45th since joining)
2006 (40th since graduation)
2003 (40th since joining)
2013 - 89 Entry 50 years after our
left to right - the 89 survivors who could attend)
Row - Paddy Pyper (B); Steve Wrigley (D); Black Robertson (A); Dave Donnelly
(C); Nigel Griffiths (B); Dave Harlow (C); JC Newland (C); Chris Saunby (C); Tony
Ware (A); Roger Cresswell (A)
Row - Geoff Dryland (B); Simon Coy (B); Pete Crispin (A); Andy Griffin (B);
Jock Reid (D); Malcolm Caygill (D); Mike Laundy (B); Alan Macdonald (D); Derek
Slogrove (B); Les Quigley (C)
Row - Ian Robertson (C); Chel Hibbert (A); Grant Taylor (D); Peter Squire
(A): Alan Ferguson (A): Barry Chalkley (A); Henry Middleton (B); Dick Northcote
Shuster (C); Ian Clark (A)
The start of
the 2013 reunion
Black Robertson and Chel
Hibbert meet again after several years with Pete Squire refereeing!
- Arriving in style Dave Donnelly, Dick Shuster, &, Les Quigley were welcomed at the front door of the College by Flt Lt Vikky Thorpe, the
organiser of the weekend.
Left - Paddy Pyper, Black
Robertson, Les Quigley and Pete Squire look as though someone has offered
to buy them a drink
Above - Some young chap from 91
Entry telling us Scouse jokes ...
Left to right - Derek North, Les
Quigley, Chris Coville (91 Entry); Paddy Pyper, Mike Smith (91)
(Chris would have been in 89 if he hadn't
spent his 6th Form partying with Les Q)
||Top Left - Dave Donnelly, Dick Shuster,
& JC Newland. Dick & JC are looking a little despondent since no
one has bought them a drink!
Top Right - Empty glasses -
around hoping that someone would buy them a drink?
Left - Pete Crispin, Ian Clark, Ian Robertson
& Alan Ferguson - Ian is he only one with a drink and, in true
Scottish tradition, he's
hanging on to it!
Below - 3 men who should have gone to Dartmouth -
Chris Saunby, young Dick Northcote, & Les Quigley - all born on
Trafalgar Day - Dick a year after his two elders! The other
coincidence is that Chris and Les have adjacent service numbers - Les
having joined the RAF a minute or so before Chris!!
North and Barry Chalkley - Barry's trying to get a top up from Derek
Hibbert, Tony Ware and Grant Taylor in serious conversation - Must be talking about their pensions?
- still trying to scrounge a drink - Dave Harlow the photographer and
Paddy Pyper simply enjoying himself
As usual the banter and
comradeship of very old friends meeting up after a few years, combined with
liberal quantities of wine and port, made dinner very enjoyable. However,
although adequate, the dinner was not of the traditional top quality provided by
RAF staff. Civilianising RAF services may
save the exchequer a few pounds in the short term but the reducing quality and
service will no doubt have a negative effect on the services morale and
effectiveness in the future. Many in 89 felt let down by these falling
The speeches also lacked a touch
of the RAF spirit, we had to sit, for what felt like hours but was probably only
minutes, listening to some political drivel when what we wanted to hear
was how the RAF is faring and will fare in the 21st century. May be we are
being unfair on everyone and it is old age and the "Victor" effect
catching up with us!
(Not victor as in victorious, but Victor as in Meldrew!)
Above left - Malcolm Caygill &
Paddy Pyper Above right - Dave Donnelly &
Left - Tony Ware - Praying? - But
to whom & for what? - His eyes betray it all !!!
Below - Chel and Ian Clarke - Chel
still can't work out when the guest speaker was in the RAF?
dinner we retired to the bar (Habit!)....
good natured banter until the bar closed promptly and without warning (No
call for last orders) - another sign of falling service standards not
normally associated with a Royal Air Force Mess
- Some even braved the elements outside - Ian Robertson, JC Newland, Dick
Shuster & Derek North
- Most of us were billeted in the new Daedalus Officer's Mess - about 3
star hotel standard with ensuite facilities - unlike our old homes in the
College which would rate as a 1 star hotel.
either had to walk or catch a bus to our billets - many of us managed to
get the last bus since the bar had closed pre-maturely
Sunday Church Parade
religious bunch - 89 turn out in strength to watch the college being
assembled for Church parade, before marching off ourselves!
Not a hangover between us!
Quigley, Dick Shuster & Chris Saunby
Chalkly & Roger Cresswell
"runner" comes hot foot with the cricket scores
obviously good news.....
Robertson - pleased with the score - Dave Donnelly, Dave Harlow & Les
Quigley - watch on amused!
Waiting for the troops to turn up
Reid, Dick Northcote, Grant Taylor, Malcolm Caygill, Paddy Pyper &
Wrigley & Ian Clarke
Above - Grant gets fed up
waiting and trys to sell an genuine imitation to his mates!
Above Left - Paddy Pyper, Andy
Griffin and Mike Laundy patiently waiting!
Left - Flt Lt Vikki
Thorpe & Simon Coy - Nothing changes - Simon
reverts to 1963 - This is how he reacted when he was released from 3 months imprisonment in the South Brick
Lines and saw his first pretty girl in 3 months! - Must be something
in the water!!
(PS Did any one stop to get him out of the guard room?)
Below Left - At last the troops
Below Right - A line of old codgers
watching the parade
Remembering our departed
It is a tradition at 89 Entry
re-unions to honour our dead by visiting the graves of two members of 89 Martin
Barents and Frank Whitehouse. Both who are buried in the RAF section in the cemetery
at Cranwell Village Church. Martin was killed in a road accident in his second
year at the RAF College whilst Frank was killed in a flying accident several
years after leaving the college. This year we had to honour a further loss, Dave
Foulger, making it 13 members of the original 89 Entry who are no longer with
us. Each was remembered with a white lily being placed on the two
Chief Marshall Sir Peter Squire leads the ceremony to lay 13 flowers one
for each of our departed comrades
We shall remember them
Our thanks go to -
Flt Lt Vikki Thorpe ADC to the
Commandant for organising the RAF and OCA end of the weekend
Richard Slogrove for coordinating
the 89 part of the weekend
Dave Donnelly, Dave Harlow, Dick
Northcote and Tony Ware for supplying the photographs
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