Where Are They Now?Please feel free to post contact information here if you are looking for long lost friends or trying to find out what has happened to colleagues. Obituaries and condolences can be posted here too.
Well, if Freemasonry was a requirement for GF then I can think of a whole lot of people, including myself, who wouldn't have got in! Plenty of chaps via the civil route too, Richard Corbett, Fokkerwokker, Paul Stedmon, Dave Palmer and the list goes on and on.
I heard a tale that some time in the late sixties early seventies a pair of RAF Hunters landed and taxied in, the canopy's were raised and as the second, (I think), Hunter came abeam the control tower the pilot stood on his seat and gave a very smart eyes left and salute to the tower. A few years later when I actually worked for GF I heard the story again and it was embellished with the addition that it was the pilots rotten luck that the Station Commander was in the tower at the time! True or false?
Could someone please P.M. me the email adresses for Captains Simon Hinton or Phil Tablanche both ex GF pilots. The son... of a friend of mine... is urgently in need of a job...B737-800 qualified.... with frozen JAA ATPL...his ex RAF helicoptors career completed...and now with an ex XL airline pilot career in bits. Anyway we can help this guy?...Sorry if this off topic!
Len Midgely is alive and well in Cape Town as is Bob Scott. Anyone remember the Paynes "Curly" and "Catering". Anyone remember "Vanessa", Mary Singleton, Joan Murray, Hayley Cook, Jane Parsons, Gill Johnson, Pat Gregory ??? PS great thread and yes it was an amasing time in my life.
He would lean over my shoulder and say quite loudly "You don't mind me smoking MY pipe on YOUR Line Check do you!"
Also remember the rumours of him acquiring a passport, when in East Africa, with a date of birth much later than the original. Wouldn't surprise me but there were no flies on him as an aviator.
Memory of Midge travelling home one day in First. I was under a teensy weensy bit of pressure with a flapless/slatless landing into LHR about to happen with a stonking wind blowing. Thought about asking Midge up front to keep an eye on things as the local gentleman in the RHS was a bit behind the game. Chief comes in and says 'Nah I wouldn't bother - he's paralytic'!
Danny Duffain, Colin Prichard and a tall well spoken E/O ex RAF with a tash to suit ???( Len Fairclough), Trica Barrett, Tony and Pauline Ashby, Tubby Bowers, Mike Piddlestone, Jock Ness, Terry Murphy, Bill Murry, Nick Von Burgh and a E/O big Irish guy who flew choppers for the Irish Defence Force. Cant remember his name.( Jim Mc Cabe) and Dicky Dale-Green and Jenny Green Darling ? where are they all.
Currly Payne....crewed with L1011 Fleet Captain...was asked to just " sign off my line check for me on the next sector".... Airborne passing 3000ft...Currly was told...
... you do not seem very interested Currly in my check... are you usually this relaxed?.. Afraid you failed it twice before we got airborne.... was the reply! I know Currly latterly really wanted to get into the simulator.. but GF wanted to keep him line training so they told him he was too old...and after all the line training he had done for them he did not like that one bit. One dark night he sucked hard on his pipe and leaned across and said ... John... Gulf Air management are a bunch of swap rats and dont you ever forget it! Another time he leaned across and said..John everyone on this crew thinks I am deaf...remember... it is sometimes a very good idea for a Gf Captain to be deaf! Wife and I visited Currly and his wife in retirement in Cyprus and sadly after a few further years their Xmas cards ceased and someone told us he had died. Currly Payne I think was an Eastender lad...a wireless operator...An East African Airways pilot and a Gulf air VC10 and L1011 pilot. Mrs Currly Payne was the first head of the womans section of the Kenyan police...and also class act...she ensured no young pilot like me was ever going to rock up for a chat unannounced and disturb Captain Paynes afternoon snoozes before his night Bombays...she looked after him a treat.
There was an E/o ex RAF named John Fairclough....he would caution me...."You are now entering the court marshelling area" as we taxied into the parking areas...he made excellent but expensive Grandfarther clocks in retirement. E/O Mike Piddelston immediately resigned when GF had its annual Xmas cull of senior cabin and "Reamer" his Danish lady arriving to report for c.c. duty after two days off was informed she had been sacked three days ago...pretty sure they went hand in hand to Cyprus. E/O ex RAF Bill Harris..his PAs always began with..."This is the talking hat rack!"...Had a few beers with Bill one night as his divorce from his wife whom he called the "Ayotola" got warmed up.....he was fed up as she had chained up his yacht and removed the mast! That messed up Bills annual leave sailing plans. I recommended he check out Fran Tiernay when he was ready to rejoin the human race...later he sent me a Xmas card saying Fran was wearing his new mainsail on her finger and he had also got his mast and boat back. He had got himself a new divorce lawyer who detested females in any shape or form and he had destroyed the Ayotolas team...so if I ever needed a good lawyer etc etc...bit premature as I was not married! Bill and Fran would have been married now 20 + years and I met up with Bill in Scotland a couple of years ago. Barry Scott...I believe retired to NZ...and married a mother who was visiting her GF CC daughter....everyone seemed to get eachother fixed up as a SOP.
Thanks for the further update. Very pleased to hear about Fran- really nice lady. I,m still unsure about reunions-some go well and some dont-some of us are a long way from an eve that dose'nt go well. Also thanks for the news on John. I spent my 40th b/d with Mike and Reema and get a brief xmas card from him, they were ok the last time I heard. I did meet Nick VB a few years ago when he was still flying for Air UK, not sure what happened to him after that. Bumped into Tubby at ### aeroclub a few years ago. He was well and flying his own wings "GTUBB". I met Jane Peacock by accident working for BA in LA best part of 15 years ago. Tony and Pauline Ashby retired to Surrey, Tony had a heart scare and recovered and Pauline finally retired from Air Canada a while ago ,they were well last time I heard.
Perhaps I can provide a bit more info about the reunions. These are held at the BA Club near Heathrow. They actually start at 1200 to about 1700 with the die-hards carrying on to what usually turns in to a large crew party! Just like the old days!
Haven't been to a bad one yet. There's always someone there you want to see again and people travel from Australia, America and all points in between to attend. All in all - well worth the effort!
Have to add my contribution to names on the list;some may not be familiar to everybody in the pantheon of professional aviation, but I felt they all did a good job in the training departments in what were also good old GF days (for me at least!) in the '80's/90's,(having previously flown a lot with them as SLF-sample PA quote from Tim L-P "We are now flying over Munich, home of the best cars in the world-BMW !"); here goes;
737; Jim Brown, Majid P, Ali AbuB and the Thompson brothers. 767; Erik M; Dicky D-G;Steve C. 340; Rad Gammage; Naus M, Yakub Al-A.