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Take a look at the designs

* 103rd Window * Rhodesian Window

On Sunday, January 14th, 2001 we had the dedication service for our Entry window in St George's church, RAF Halton.  There was an excellent turnout by members of the entry, some with wives, and also younger family members.  All in all, there were about 60 of us.  It was cold day (no snow on the ground like January 1963) but very bright, so the window could be seen to good effect with the sun coming through.  Everyone was very well pleased with the end result, and there was a hint of a suggestion that we thought it was the best one there!  Well, we would, wouldn't we.

Most of those attending met up in Halton House for coffee before moving to the Church.  There was a certain hesitation by some at the thought of volunteering for church, but they overcame this manfully.  The event in the church was very relaxed.  Min Larkin made an appeal for those not already members of the RAHAAA to please join, Bob Mawson showed that he is human by blushing as fingers were pointed.  Barry Neal read the lesson, Les Shardlow gave a few words on the Entry, Chris Wales gave a brief history of the window design and the Vicar didn't make us sinners feel too uncomfortable.
The group photo below was taken on Gerry Miller's new digital camera.  It shows the group of Entry members who attended, minus other family members.  Photo taken outside the old schools building.  The second photo, also from Gerry, shows the window in place.  Top window, 3rd row from the left.  The bottom two shots were taken by JD.

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After the "church parade" and group photo we all moved off to the RAFA Club on the old airfield for a buffet lunch and another "do you remember when " session, punctuated by another Mawson demonstration that proved someone managed to clone our nearest animal relation back in 1963!  After wolfing the sandwiches, off to the Trenchard Museum to see their collection of Apprentice memorabilia.  All in all a good day, and a permanent reminder in the Church of the 103rd Entry.  I took the two photos below in the museum.  The kit layout is using apprentice equipment from a little earlier than our time, but I guess we can all recognise it.

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The section below is a brief reminder of the craftsman who did such a good job for us, and the work that was put in by Chris.  Although Chris didn't do it all on his own, it was very much his project, and he kept everyone else on track.  At the end of the day it's thanks to Chris that it all came together on time.

riverside glass sml.JPG (31855 bytes)In August (2001) we had a meeting at Chris Wales house so that we could go from there to Riverside Glass (in Wimborne, Dorset) who were making the Entry Window.  The chap seems very keen, and certainly likes the idea of what is being done with the whole church window appeal.  I took a couple of shots in his workshop.  In this one Chris is doing a bit of explaining, and leaning up against the wall (too bright to see the detail) is a full size drawing of the window, with a small colour version at the bottom by the guy's elbow.  The chap was explaining how he needs to use the glass and the lead to make our design.

The Window Commissioners : Craftsmen Brian Gibson and Bob Butler
of Riverside Stained Glass, 12 Mill Lane, Wimborne, Dorset, BH21 1LN.

For those who want to know the meaning behind the window design a brief description is given here:

103rd Entry Church Window


Jan 1963 to Dec 1965: period during which the 103rd Entry Apprentices received their Trade Training. The 103rd Entry consisted of members from all walks of life throughout the United Kingdom and also a number from Malaysia and Rhodesia.

The Wheel
Worn on the left arm to indicate an apprentice.
The red background depicts the flight. For the 103rd it was red throughout the whole of their training period. The eagle represents the arm flash worn on the shoulder of the uniforms.

The Shield
Roman numerals for 103rd .
Cockerel: This depicts the 'Cock-of-the-Walk' athletic trophy won by the Entry in their first term in 3 Wing. Traditionally the competition was always won by the senior entry of the Wing; the 103rd entry broke that tradition.
The blue background behind the cockerel in the shield represents the hat band colour of 2 Wing.

The Banner 103 rd Entry
The yellow background of the window represents the hat
band colour of 3 wing.

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Rhodesian Church Window
The Royal Rhodesian Air Force now have a window in St. George's Church.

Royal Rhodesian Air Force window in the Apprentice church.  Our entry number, I believe, is the bottom one in the list of entries.  There were no more Rhodesian apprentices after UDI was declared and our two guys went home.
Rhodesian Church Window

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