To date we have only held one reunion, to celebrate our Golden
Anniversary. This was held on 20th/22nd April 2001 at the Falcon
Hotel in Stratford upon Avon when 19 of the Entry and their ladies attended.
The attendees were John Boulden and Jo Taylor, Brian and May Bullock,
Phil and Dorothy Claridge, Dennis and Pat Davey, Malcolm and Thelma Gissing
(from Canada), Pete and Doreen Golding, Bob and Celia Haslam, Les and Betty
Lawson, Alan and Brenda Letts, Bryan and Chris Linnell, Roy and Joy Marshall, Jim and Barbara Morris (who organised the reunion
- who else),
John Robinson, Pete and Gladys Smith, John and Lorna Snook, Maurice and Pat
Stocks, John and Sheila Tonkinson, Ron Watson, Tony and Pamela Wyman. Three
other couples had planned to attend but circumstances and the years conspired
against them. They were Pam and Bob Barker, Peter and Christine
Brown and Stan and Pat Gibson.
Arriving on Friday afternoon we enjoyed meeting and catching
up with friends most of us hadn't seen for 50 years. Common themes
heard in conversations were how we could all have circulated around what is
an ever shrinking number of RAF stations without meeting up, and secondly, when
you imagined a little more hair and a little less weight, how little we had
changed since Cranwell days! The latter remarks says something about
how our eyesight/memory has deteriorated!! We gathered together
in the evening in a reserved room for a casual evening of chat, the odd bevy
or two, viewing old photographs and other memorabilia that we had variously
brought along. We also viewed a video of apprentice training at
Cranwell which included a small sequence taken at our passing out parade.
One of the highlights of the evening was the unveiling of a
large board, lovingly created by Les Lawson, who had spent months and many hours
searching out from many sources photos of entry members taken while at Cranwell.
Amazingly from our original intake he had only failed in six cases,
three of whom were members who did not complete training. He has
since found one of the other three who did pass out. He even managed
to get photos of 4 of the 11 who joined us from senior entries. This
board is now held by the Apprentice Museum at RAF Halton with the rest
of the Cranwell Apprentice memorabilia. If you look on the "Entry
List" page, those for whom we have no photo are marked "NoP".
If anyone can fill these gaps we will be delighted to receive copies
of the photo. A thumbnail photo of the "Lawson Board"
appears below. Click on these photos to obtain enlarged versions.
Saturday morning and early afternoon were allocated as "free
time" and most spent this wandering around the delightful town of Stratford
upon Avon. In the afternoon we met up for a "photo shoot"
and a thumbnails of two of the many photos taken are shown above. View
enlargements as before. Those of you who have been following this
story closely will perhaps notice that Pete and Doreen Golding were absent from photo
parade! It was later found out that they were in the hotel at the
time, in fact in their room, but they said they had forgotten the photo call!!!
Sentence is still awaited.
In the evening we all gathered for a formal dinner where
we enjoyed an excellent meal, and listened
to three short speeches. First Jim Morris opened with the Loyal
Toast. He then told us about his experiences as Entry Representative and closed by leading
us in toasting
Absent Friends. He was followed
by Dennis Davey who spoke on days at Cranwell and toasted "The Entry",
and finally Malcolm Gissing toasted "The Ladies".
Sunday came and we all departed for home. All agreed
it had been a wonderful weekend and despite the difficulties hoped we could
do it again. Perhaps it was not really surprising how after a so
very short time back together we were all happily chatting about past experiences
as if we had never really been apart. This born out of the common
bond of our three years at Cranwell. What was more surprising was
how quickly and how well our ladies too found they had so much in common, and
it was even rumoured that when it came to talking about "doing it all again"
their arms were the highest in the air!
RAF CAA Annual General Meeting & Reunion 17th September,
Once again the Entry were represented at the CAA
Reunion. This year Pete Smith, Alan Letts, Jim Morris,
Boulden, Gordon Heath, Maurice Hill,
John Snook and John Robinson made it to the Reunion. Apologies
were received from Peter Brown, Len West and Dennis Davey - all
hope to be back on parade next year.
Pete Smith, John Boulden and Jim
Morris together with their ladies stayed overnight at the Swan Hotel
in Stratford-upon-Avon and joined with members of the 61st Entry
for dinner on Friday evening.
The three photographs
below, taken at the 2004, repeat 2004, Reunion come to us courtesy of the 61st Entry who came to the reunion
at the ready. The middle of the three pictures shows
all those 1M9er's who made it in 2004.
Click on each photo to obtain an enlarged version.
RAF CAA Annual General Meeting & Reunion 16th September,
Nine of us made it yet again. This
year we were pleased to catch up with Peter Brown, John Boulden,
Gordon Heath, Dennis Davey, Alan Letts, Jim
West, John Snook, and Phil Claridge. They all appear
on the center photograph below standing from left to right in the
order listed. Apologies were received from
Peter Golding and Maurice Hill.
Jim and Barbara Morris, Peter and Christine
Brown and Dennis and Pat Davey had all planned to join up with the
61st Entry at the Angel Hotel Leamington for a get together on Friday
15th but, because of health or other reasons, all failed to make it.
The three photos below were taken during
the reunion. Click on each photo to obtain an enlarged
We hope to see even more members there next year
Mark up your diary - Saturday 15th September 2007 at