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What's your best Mess?

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What's your best Mess?

Old 15th Aug 2013, 18:21
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What's your best Mess?

I managed to get a few years in as a adult staff member of the Air Cadets and in that time helped at a few annual camps.

As a result I spent some time in the Sgt's Mess at Lyneham x 2, Wattisham, Swanton Morley, West Raynham and Finningley.

My favourites were Lyneham and Swanton Morley but the others not far behind.

What's your best Mess and why?

Both of mine were because the folks there supported what we did with the kids and joined in, very friendly and a few decent evenings propping up the bar. I had heard that some in both Officer's and Sgt's Messes didn't speak to the cadet folk and that made the camps unpleasant at times. Glad to say I never found one of those stations.

Good way of telling if you fitted in was by the bill at the end of the week. One year only got charged for a daily paper
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Old 15th Aug 2013, 18:53
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Coltishall and Binbrook.

Coltishall because I lived there for about 2 years, diverse mess with lots of young officers who lived in, a mix of Jaguar aircrew mixed with Fighter Controllers from Neatishead - great memories.

Binbrook albeit at the end of its life, with that fantastic cellar bar, I would love to have seen that place in its hey day.
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Old 15th Aug 2013, 19:07
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Brawdy Sgts mess with the yanks.
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Old 15th Aug 2013, 19:39
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Northolt late 80's or Akrotiri early 90's. Both awesome with a fantastic group of 'Livers In'.
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Old 15th Aug 2013, 19:44
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Salalah, in 1974/5. I had a room in the RAF block of the SOAF officers' mess.

We used to be invited to the sgts' mess from time to time - the best barbecues I've every had in my life: goat kebabs, crayfish tails, Dubai prawns, pork chops, fillet steaks, roast vegetables (delicious but unidentifiable), rice, various sauces and fantastic salads plus a lot of the lager that reaches the places...

We were also invited to the Indian workers mess occasionally - without doubt the best curries I have ever experienced, also the most painful (both ways).

Rgds SOS
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Old 15th Aug 2013, 19:53
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The Officers' Mess at RAF Hospital Wegberg was closed and amalgamated with the HQ Mess at Rheindahlen on/about 1 July 1993. Despite initial misgivings, the result of mixing the nursing officers with the RAF at large worked exceedingly well and the living-in experience became hectic beyond words. A remarkable time .... says the ex-Senior Living-In Member!
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Old 15th Aug 2013, 20:25
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Wyton in 1973 was pretty good as well because:

a. All the rooms were occupied by livers-in so the mess was alive 7 days a week.

b. There was a respectable number of multi-crew sqns based there so lots of air and ground crew and banter.

c. Every 4 months or so there was a new intake of students for the Joint School of Photographic Interpretation (JSPI) usually including a number of young WRNS, WAAC, WRAF and overseas female students (the Israelis were particularly spectacular).

d. We had a disco in the bar most weekends (see item c. above).

e. Health and safety hadn't been invented and after the weekend disco when we invaded the kitchens and fried our own chicken and chips no one became hysterical (only mildly disapproving).

f. It was my first tour out of training.

g. There was a swimming pool in front of the mess and in the summer (remember when we had summers?) the young ladies from item c. above used to take advantage of it!

h. Cambridge was only a few miles away down the A604 and my favourite undergraduate had a flat (that her parents had bought for her) in De Freville Avenue, near the Fort St George pub.

I could go on but I don't want to bore you.

Rgds SOS

Last edited by SOSL; 16th Aug 2013 at 11:35.
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Old 15th Aug 2013, 20:33
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The pool at Wyton was not far from the front door of our MQ. I moved there when Master W was about 2, and by the time we left he could almost swim. There were tennis courts right outside the door - I recall at a Pathfinder Reunion Ly Bennett (Widow of AVM Don Bennett) telling me she had played tennis there during the war with Anthony Eden. Best night in the Mess - Taranto Night, including the Band of HM Royal Marines playing in the dining room.
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Old 15th Aug 2013, 20:43
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A swimming pool by the Mess at Wyton? That must have been long gone by the time I got there. By then there were very few living in at all: a small number of baby pilots and the very small number left from the largely empty Pavilions. Not particularly exciting by then.

I liked Kinloss a lot. There wasn't the rush away come the weekend that's happened anywhere else I've been, so the social side was good, the Mess staff were friendly - it still felt like a home in a way that nowhere else I've been a LI member have, all of which have been post contractorisation.
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Old 15th Aug 2013, 21:30
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Best mess - Binbrook early 80s despite the internal tensions amongst the higher echelons. Neatishead was pretty good too, especially under Aunty Joan.
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Old 15th Aug 2013, 22:03
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I think it all comes down to the folk that you are with at the time and the stage of your career. For me it was definitely Kinloss and Lossie, fantastic memories, excellent messes and great part of the country.
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Old 15th Aug 2013, 22:06
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Got to be Akrotiri

Now come on..... OK so Coltishall in the late seventies, with 3 Jaguar Squadrons, was fantastic, one simple could not beat Akrotiri in the late Sixties. One Lightning Sqn, three strike/attack Canberra Sqns, a Hastings/Argosy outfit and some Whirlwinds, not to mention rock apes and nurses.

Oh, and I forgot, loads of free booze.

There again, RAF Wildenrath in the very late sixties with cheap cars, cheap petrol and free schoolies was heaven.
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Old 15th Aug 2013, 22:11
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Gutersloh seemed pretty fine to me, especially when the Rinteln Rhinos or the Munster Monsters pooped over for a pint and a poke.
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Old 15th Aug 2013, 22:15
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Well, obviously none of you went to Decci early 70s.

Breakfast in the Yanks' mess; lunch from the pizza waggon and dins in the Italian mess.

No-one ever ate in the British mess.

Ever.
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Old 15th Aug 2013, 22:36
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Garrison Sergeants Mess at Aldershot. [Once we got over the extreme formality in their dining room and they got over the shock of having Royal Air Force "guests".]
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Old 16th Aug 2013, 01:08
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Lived in Nursing Officers Mess at Halton 5 guys the rest ladies, what more is there to say, some of the most fantastic people in the world.
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Old 16th Aug 2013, 04:07
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I quite enjoyed RAF Church Fenton Officers' Mess, when the station was still 7 FTS. Small but very friendly and lively.
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Old 16th Aug 2013, 09:44
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Catterick in the mid 60s. Loads of livers-in, lovely oak-panelled bar with Thompson of Kilburn bar stools! Nearly all the marrieds lived in nearby OMQ (nobody bought houses in those days) and they came in and swelled the numbers quite regularly. Very lively atmosphere with regular dining-in nights and parties which everyone attended.

All part of an RAF which if what I read on here is true seems to have gone for ever.

Worst one Gaydon - soulless barn of a place.

(I liked Church Fenton too, Mr Bernoulli )

Last edited by Tankertrashnav; 16th Aug 2013 at 09:49.
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Old 16th Aug 2013, 09:46
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Coltishall.

Great Mess, very lively and fantastic location. Lived there as a singly and in MQs.

Very happy memories and still try to go back once a year for a look round. Bit sad now though
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Old 16th Aug 2013, 09:48
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The OM at Gutersloh. Goering's Room and the Kellar Bar: happy memories!
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