ISSUE NUMBER FOUR                          DECEMBER2002

This is is a "sanitised" version of the original sent by email of snail mail. i.e. email and real addresses etc. have been removed

Hi Guys,

               As you can see from the header this is the fourth 68th ENTRY NEWSLETTER it differs from the first three, that were, headed 68th ENTY NEWSLETTER.    Thanks to our President for pointing it out.

Iím afraid ideas are thin on the ground for this edition but Iíll press on with what Iíve got and see where I finish up.


The Association and reunion funds have both increased over the past six months.  The first with members going from annual to life membership and the second through members committing to coming to the reunion and sending their deposit.

 We currently have 53 members of the association, 18 of, which are still annual members the rest are life members and are of course the proud possessors of an association tie.

We currently have 49 people committed to the reunion, which means we still have places for 41 more.  Time is getting short guys, only just over a year. You need to let me know if you are coming so that I have some realistic figures to work with.   The cost is, as Iíve said before £260 per couple for the whole weekend.

A £25 deposit will secure your place.  If you wish to ďdrip feedĒ me the cash in order to reduce your costs at the end, then Iím pleased to accept any amount you send against the final bill.

 All of the annual members, without exception, haven'tí paid their £5.00 subscription yet, so could you please forward the money.  There is an alternative, if you send me £20 you become a life member and never have to be pressed for subscriptions again.  You also become the proud possessor of a free Association tie.  If you wish to remain an annual member I am happy to sell you a tie for £8.75.

  The current status of the funds is:-

      Association               £376.45
Reunion 04             £2035.40
Interest                     £111.99
Balance                  £2523.84




I came across this poem a couple of months ago and I wonder if it is still as relevant today as it was to most of us, and certainly as it was to the author.  Most of you will recognise the name.


  Wherever you walk you will hear people talk of the men who go in the air.

Of the daredevil way they go into the fray facing death without turning a hair.

Theyíll raise a cheer and buy lots of beer for a pilot whoís home on leave.

But they donít give a jigger for a flight mech or rigger with nothing but props on his sleeve.

They just say ďNice dayĒ and then turn away with never a mention of praise.

And the poor bloody erk who does all the work just orders his own beer - and pays.

Theyíve never been told of the hours in the cold that he spends sealing the enemyís fate.

How he works on a kite til all hours of the night and then turns up next morning at eight.

He gets no rake-off for working til take-off or helping the aircrew prepare.

But whenever thereís trouble its quick at the double, the man on the ground must be there.

Each flying crew could tell it to you, they know what this manís really worth.

They know heís part of the RAFís heart even though he stays close to the earth.

He doesnít want glory, but please tell his story spread a little of his fame around.

Heís one of the few, so give him his due, three cheers for the man on the ground.


ERIC SYKES.  1942.

My apologies to those of our brethren who went aircrew.

                                    JOHN PLAYER


Four of our members attended the service at the Cenotaph, Tony Whiting, Mike Williams, Eric Broughton and Ray Hart (Whitey).  Two have written to say what a great day it was, even though the weather was crappy.  It seems the order of the day is that you turn up with a hip flask, which is emptied, (usually by those who havenít brought one) as you chat over old times and renew old acquaintances.  Iím told that the banter between us and the ex Boy Entrants is generally good-natured.  If you live within easy reach of London there is always next year.  If you wish to go apply to the HAAA office at Halton.


I have just spent the day at the Museum at Hendon.  It was in fact my 68th Birthday so the visit was doubly significant.  It is an excellent museum and well worth a visit.  The Apprentices corner brought back many memories.

I have included on our website some of the photographs that I took on the day.  I would encourage all those who can, to visit; it is certainly a day that you will remember.  By the way, itís free.

                        BRIAN McCARTHY.

Editors Note.
                        Brian has asked me to remind you all of the webpage address, it is: -

Even if you donít own a computer but know someone who does and is on the internet have a look, better still if you have anything you would like included on the page let me know and Iíll put you in touch with Brian.  Incidentally, Iíve looked at the photoís he mentioned, theyíre great.


 I have had a ĎEí mail from Vic Mitchell; he is ex 68th from Cranwell.  He tells me that the ďKeeper of namesĒ for them is one Vic Ludlow, and they are intending to have a ďShindigĒ in 2004.  I havenít had time to get back in touch with Vic yet, but I will and keep you all posted.


We all had a common beginning to our adult life, the three years that we spent at Halton.  From there we all went our separate ways thanks to the Records Office.  I know the potted histories of some of you from that time on and I think that some of those histories should grace these pages in the future.

 For instance, among our members we have; - an ex Pop Star, a computer wizard, a second hand bookstore owner an ex USAF/CAF protocol officer, a number of pilots, both military and civil A college lecturer and goodness knows what else.  Just a short precis on what you got up to after Halton and how you got to where you are now.  Iíll give us a start.

As with most of my contemporaries I went from Halton to St Athan.  I stayed in the mob until 1974 having visited California, Malaysia, Yorkshire and East Anglia in the intervening years.  I then went to Saudi Arabia for a couple of years to ease my way into Civy Street so to speak.  When I came back the Family and I made the great trek north (Suffolk to Lancashire) which is where we reside today.

The reason for the trek was a job with BAC; I worked for them for 18 years initially at Samlesbury in divisional spares moving to product support at Warton in early 1980 just before Tornado went into service.  I stayed there until 1992 when I started my second stint in Saudi Arabia.  BAC had, by this time become Bae. I spent the last two years before retirement working directly for the RSAF as an advisor on configuration control.

All of my working life was associated with Aircraft and I donít regret a minute of it. What I learned at Halton stood me in good stead for all of that working life and Iím very proud of the fact that I was one of the many who spent three years there. Thatís a start guys, there have got to be more interesting stories that mine.  I await the postman.


Regards to you and your families have a great Christmas and New Year.