Those Days!!

Select from the photo galleries below:

January 16th, 1963 to December 17th, 1965
Here you can reminisce about those days we all spent at Halton.
Weren't they just great. Don't you wish you could turn the clock back? Select from the menu on the left to recall just what life then was all about in Those days!!
First though, take look at this page of John Dillon's photos.

189 of us started in that cold January, 1963 including 2 Rhodesians and 8 Malayans.
In December 1965 176 Graduated; of these there were 43 Airframes, 14 Engines, 69 Electrical, 13 Inst Gen, and 37 Inst Nav.  6 were awarded Cadetships to Cranwell, and 2 were selected for Direct Entry Commissions.
The following are just a few of JD's recollections, but I would hope that some of you will send me content that I can include on the site mail me at:  Photos would be ideal, either prints or digital format.

The Entry

John Dillon recollects the following of him & his brother's journey to Halton:

" For Kevin and myself, the trip to Halton started a couple of weeks before the Entry got together.  We were living in Kuala Lumpur, Malaya, at the time, and were joining from Singapore.  We flew out of Singapore by RAF Comet of 216 Sqn on the 29th December, with various stops en-route, one of which was El Adem in Libya.  When we got there we were told the weather in UK was too bad to land, so we spent a freezing New Years Eve in a Nissen hut in Libya.  God that part of the world looked bleak, and bloody cold at that time of the year. 
Her Majesty's hospitality knew no bounds, because some days later we  found ourselves in Nissen huts on Cardington airfield for some days prior to arrival at Halton. 
I still remember the linoleum floor, the little cast iron pot-bellied stove in the middle of the room, pushing coal in, trying to keep warm, sausage rolls in the NAAFI.  I want my mum!  What the hell were we doing here!"

That winter of 62/63 was bitterly cold, but it did not seem to stop all those big hearted Corporals and Sergeants from inviting us to go for cross country runs in the snow.  It must have seemed dreadful for the poor Malayans who had never seen snow before.

Can you find yourself?

I have it on good authority that the rumours about certain drill Corporals having no parents is only rumour.  But Corporal Stewart..................

3 wing room. Well, Spring and Summer came at 3 Wing, and by then we were shaping up to a fine body of men the nation could rely on.  Some of the "grand chaps" in JD's room.  Names he can remember are Eddie Craig (3rd from left back row), then myself, Jock Davis, Al Collard and Loh (the last 2 on back row), "Tiny" Cowsill (left front) Pete Coate and Bill Davidson (3rd & 4th at front).  Can anyone help with other names?

Three_Wing_blocks.JPG (18060 bytes) Home for the next 3 years, these are 3 Wing.  Photo Mick Bath.

3 in London.Somehow we seemed to get by on about £4 a week, and could even afford to go into London and have a few beers on that money. 
Paddy Gallagher, Pete Coate and Al Collard showing how suave you could look on the Queen's shilling.

"Bull Nights" seemed to be every Friday, with interminable kit inspections every Saturday.
Al Collard demonstrates the finer points of floor preparation prior to waxing and buffing with the "bumper".
But on Sunday!!  The 3 Wing Hilton
Collard scrubbing
Tidy room
Mick Bath's room didn't look such a picture either.
Mick and Dave Arnold were doubling
as "clippies" on the buses. 
See also Paul Collins photos.
Mick Bath's room.
One evening on 3 Wing we found that our favourite drill NCOs, Sgt "Paddy" Buckley, and Cpl Stewart had left their uniforms in their office, so we promoted ourselves.  Shot above on the left shows Ron Dent, Jock Davis (wonder if he's still got the hair for a Billy Fury wave), Eddie Craig and Bill Davidson.  
This photo on the right shows "Yogi" Forbear about to shoot himself, ably watched by Eddie, Ron and Bill.
NCOs with rifles.
Our NCOs
Ken Bannister

"Eddie" Cochran has sent me this photo of the "real" NCO's.  Flt Sgt Bettell,  Sgt Buckley, and our favourite Cpl Stewart.

Ken Bannister looking as though he fancied himself!

Ron DentNot many people probably know it, but Ron Dent had a spell training as an electrician
in the mines before joining the Entry.  If you see this Ron, hope you don't mind,
I couldn't resist the photo of you in full "kit" for a spell underground.
The hill to senior wing. The walk back up the hill on a snowy Sunday. 
Senior Wing Guardroom on the top left.
Schools, Workshops, Airfields, they all seemed to be milestones on the way through the 3 years, and I guess in a way Airfields was what we were all waiting for.   "A chance to screw up on a real airplane, instead of just something on a bench".   Well, that's how it seemed then.  The engine wallahs had the front half of an old Beaufighter (is that how you spell it?) to play hangar pilots with.
At the Airfield New Classroom New workshops as it then was. ( Photo Mick Bath.)
Chris Wales - winning the mile raceOne thing we were "Cock-a-Hoop" about was winning the "Cock-o-the-Walk" inter-entry sports competition.  That's why we have the "Cock" in our Entry badge, as I'm sure you all remember.  Can't say I remember any personal contribution towards winning!  But here's Chris Wales in a slightly OTT finish to his race.
Paddy Gallagher and Pete Coate are the two on the right.  Sadly, Pete died in a C130 crash in 1973, and Paddy died in 1997. 

Acker in 400One of the characters of the entry was "Acker" Davis.   Here he is winning the 400 yards as it was then.  On the immediate right, wearing the trilby is Sqn Ldr John Tulk. 
Farm Scarecrow It was traditional to pull some sort of a stunt in your week of training that corresponded to your entry number (i.e. 103 entry, so 103rd week of training).   I wonder if they still do that?  The MP's, Orderly Officer and the rest all knew the tradition, so I'm sure they were all waiting for us to do something, but I can't help feeling they turned a blind eye.  Anyway, for those who remember, off we all went into the hills one night that week, after lights out.  The plan was to haul hay bales, earth, cabbages, a tractor, gates off the Air Commodore's "Lodge", and build the 103rd Entry farm on the parade ground. "Paddy" Gallagher again with  Chris Edgley.  The sign on the gate shows it belonged to the Air Commodore.
Trolley RaceRacing the trolleys on the parade ground next morning before breakfast, and the job of cleaning up the whole lot.  Kevin reminds me that the punishment was to clean the station pig farm and stables.  Don't remember, maybe I skived off!   Don't recognize anyone in the photo.  Will the guy on the trolley please own up!
Paul Collins & Malc CottlePaul Collins and Malc Cottle, photo from Mick Bath.
George Rattray

We used to take the Band Competitions pretty serious back then, and we had the best Piper of the lot in George Rattray .

A photo of George Rattray by Mick Bath.

Bernie Angus's Passion WagonDave "Eddie" Cochran tells me that it is Bernie Angus, proud owner of this passion wagon.
Brighton, here we come. 
John Dillon, "Eddie" Cochran, "Yogi" Forbear and Ron Dent.
3 at Brighton-1 Ron, 'Eddie' & 'Yogi' 3 at brighton-2 Ron, 'Eddie' & John
'Eddie' Cochran
"Eddie" also sent this photo of himself in the early days, and a shot of Johnny Carhart, one of our Rhodesian colleagues, in 1974 with his young family.
Johnny Carhart

Winston Churcuhill's funeral rehearsalOne of the events we took part in was the State Funeral for Winston Churchill. I can still remember how cold it was that day, and how far it seemed at "reverse arms" from Whitehall to St Paul's cathedral. As well as the day itself there was a lot of time given over to rehearsals. Gerry Miller has sent me the attached photo. It shows us on a rehearsal going down the hill. Ernie Fox I recognize at the front as one of our flight commanders, also Johnny Carhart and Pete Coate I can spot, I'm sure some of you can do much better. I have left it as a large jpg file because if I compress it too much you will not be able to spot people. Use the thumbnail to get the larger photo.

A couple of photos from Bob Mawson, taken in the block on a Bull night, over in 3 Wing. 
I'm reliably informed by Les Garden that the photos show;

Bob Mawson - 3wing
Bob Mawson - 3wing
Terry Cawthorne (back to camera), Tiny, Bob Mawson, John Brom, Ken Burn.
Tiny, Dixie Cameron (blue shirt), Bob Mawson, Paul Gallagher behind Bob (we think), a slimline Ken Burn
Then we all "Passed out" and moved into the big wide world.