Brats Yarns

This page is for your stories of amusing incidents both during the three years at Halton and  during our many years of service all over the world. 

There must be many interesting stories lurking in our memories in the thousands of service/years the 68th have between us. This is the place to share them - but do remember, the world is watching, so, if in doubt about offending someone or security, 'mum's the word'.

Halton Days

Submitted by: Brian McCarthy - (Published on 20 May 01)

Astra - camp cinema, very popular with brats, notwithstanding the mayhem to get in through the side entrance. Price of admission was 6d I believe. Senior Entries took the privilege to go to the front of the half hour or so queue, occasionally some of them using the heads of the junior brats as a walkway!. There was a great surge when the metal door opened. The bulky cinema manager hurled himself at the heaving mass to little avail. Then suddenly all went quiet - you were inside - you'd made it. You could now look forward to the roar and shouts of "Good old Fred" as Fred Quimby's name came up on the credits for 'Tom and Gerry'. 

There was that time when, during a cowboy film, I forget the title, when the uproar was such that a screen appeared (not for the first time, or last) with the warning 'Until the unruly behaviour stops the film will continue to roll but without sound or vision' - or something to that effect. We were only cheering the fact that the hero named 'Ring' had found the lost heroine. "Where did you find her Ring?" one of the gang asked.


Submitted by: Brian McCarthy - (Published on 20 May 01)

 Innocent I was in those days, I thought 'camp bicycle' was one of those black 'sit-up and beg' bikes one could borrow from the SWO. Couldn't understand what all the fuss was about. I was later to learn that it was one of those lie down and beg friendly local lasses they were talking about.


Post- Halton Days

Submitted by: Brian McCarthy - (Published on 20 May 01)
Whilst serving in Jever 2nd TAF, I had bought a 1937 BMW for the grand sum of twenty pounds. (I had the original Logbook; complete with swastikas). It was not, understandably, in good condition for that price. On being posted back to the UK for a Bristol Bloodhound course I decided at the last minute to take it with me. Just in case it didn't make it, I packed everything in two suitcases so that I could dump the car en route and continue my journey on foot and public transport. The journey went well in spite of my having to top up the radiator every hundred kilometers due to a leaky water pump. When I arrived at Dover, HM Customs and Excise asked for papers. I had none apart from the original logbook. After some amusement they got over that problem. They then asked me for 110 import tax i.e. 110%. I told them it only cost 20. They were not interested. I asked them what they would do if I refused to pay. "We will confiscate your vehicle" was their smug reply. "It's yours" I said as I took my two suitcases out of the car and proceeded to leave the Customs hall. "Stop" they called. "We didn't mean confiscate, we meant impound and you will have to pay warehouse charges until you pay the tax." It was rumoured  that the AA would dump cars outside territorial waters for twenty pounds. I started negotiations with the local AA official. In the meantime the HM C&E  had been doing some checking of their own. I think they were having second thoughts about garaging this very leaky vehicle.  "We've spoken to London and they've given us permission to give an on the spot valuation as opposed to the book price." they said. "Please show this official any faults with the car and we'll see what we can come up with". I walked with him around the car. "There's the leak of course. The stop light is made from half a beer bottle. The speedo is broken but I've replaced it with a Mach meter (I'd contrived an arrangement of a vane in the slipstream and pushrods.) It drops out of third, hence the sprung bolt mechanism under the dash" etc. etc. "Will a valuation of 10 be acceptable? That means 11 to pay". "Fine" I said. By this time, that is four and a half hours later, the customs hall was awash with rusty water. After some help from the AA to top up and clear up, I was on my way.