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Honourable Company of Air Pilots

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Honourable Company of Air Pilots

Old 23rd Feb 2014, 08:59
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Thumbs up Honourable Company of Air Pilots

GAPAN (the Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators) is no more.
Royal Charter
Last Wednesday 19 February, our own Flying Lawyer presided over a splendid Banquet held at the City of London Guildhall to celebrate not only the grant of a Royal Charter to what used to be GAPAN but HM The Queen bestowing upon it the title 'Honourable Company'.
Several other livery companies have obtained Royal Charters over the centuries but only one other has ever received this rare honour, when King George V bestowed the title on the Master Mariners.



HRH The Duke of Edinburgh being welcomed by HH Judge Tudor Owen, Master of the Honourable Company of Air Pilots



The Master and the Duke with Alderman Sir David Howard Lord Mayor Locum Tenens & City Sheriff Adrian Waddingham



Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach Vice Chief Defence Staff



Mrs Maria Evans & Air Vice Marshal Edward Stringer ACAS



Admiral of the Fleet, Sir Benjamin Bathurst



Lt Cdr Chris Barber OC 847 Naval Air Squadron



Air Marshal Barry North



Air Chief Marshal Sir Peter Squire



Air Cdre & Mrs Malcolm White



Air Cdre Rick Peacock-Edwards (Past Master)



Gp Capt Tom Eeles


Rear Admiral and Mrs Colin Cooke-Priest (Past Master)



Gp Capt & Mrs Roger Gault (Past Master)


Sqn Ldr Nick Goodwyn & fiancée




More to follow when the carrier pigeon refuels on the way from wet and damp UK to warm and fireswept Australia
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Old 23rd Feb 2014, 08:59
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Honourable Company of Air Pilots' Banquet

HRH The Duke of Edinburgh presents a sword to HH Judge Tudor Owen (Master)
commemorating the granting of a Royal Charter and Honourable status.












"I know you'll find it very hard to believe that the Duke of Edinburgh would speak his mind."
Honourable Company of Air Pilots Judge Tudor Owen
Guildhall London


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Old 24th Feb 2014, 23:27
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Since when did 'Ted' become 'Edward'?

Plus what happened to the 'Honorable Company of Pilots incorporating Air Navigators' - espcially as Stu Peach is one!
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Old 25th Feb 2014, 06:01
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Since when did Ted become Edward
about when he got his 2nd star I believe

VMR being unable to attend the Dinner; I hope a good time was had by all!
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Old 25th Feb 2014, 07:04
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So what is the sketch with white bow-ties and waistcoats? I thought it may have been a VSO thing but SO2s as well?
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Old 25th Feb 2014, 07:28
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Could be the last, the order of dress for this Royal Banquet stipulated 'white tie', which is traditional for royal functions.

For RAF officers, the equivalent is Full Ceremonial Evening Dress (No. 5A SD), which includes a white waistcoat and white bow tie; for officers of the Royal Navy, I believe that it is No 2A Dress, which includes a white waistcoat but a black bow tie. There will be a plethora of equivalents for the Army, of course!

No 5A used to be worn at Officers Mess Summer Balls; however, the practice was discontinued many years ago and is now, I understand, only required at evening functions if royalty is present.
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Old 25th Feb 2014, 07:48
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I remember being issued with a white waistcoat, white stiff-fronted shirt and single ended bow tie (black) at the Towers in 196.........3. Single ended bow tie was a [email protected]@er to tie, ISTR
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Old 25th Feb 2014, 07:48
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Crossing over from the apocryphal stories thread....


There is the tale of a newly graduated RAF Regiment acting pilot officer who went to Buckingham Palace as part of QCS when they were given the honour of mounting guard for a couple of weeks. Being off duty one evening, the said officer was invited to dine with the "Family". Knowing nothing of horses and corgis, the conversation passed over his head as he sat there looking miserable. Prince Philip decided to break the ice:


"Tell me young man. The army regiments all seem to arrive with mess dress in several colours and styles and yet you RAF chaps always seem to wear the same thing."


"Well Sir", the Rock triumphantly replied as he at last knew something that he could contribute. " I am wearing No 5B Mess Dress which has a black bow tie, a soft white golf-ball shirt, and a blue waistcoat. We also have 5A dress which was a white waistcoat and a stiff wing collar, but we only wear that on special occasions".
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Old 25th Feb 2014, 07:53
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And there was me thinking this was all a secret squirrel affair with funny handshakes etc!
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Old 25th Feb 2014, 08:03
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Wensleydale, I believe that story was recounted by the Prince of Wales?

Wasn't the final comment from the Duke "Such as dining with the Queen?".

No newt, no rituals or brotherly grips are practised!
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Old 25th Feb 2014, 08:19
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What a splendid evening it was! And the "post party party" in the Cowdray Room was a good one too!

5A did indeed used to be worn "when ladies were present", and so was the rig at Summer Balls and LGNs, but IIRC (which I may not ) was worn with black tie.

There were a few black tie wearers with Mess Kit last week (yes you are guilty Sir Stephen!!), and even the occasional cummerbund. There seemed to be very few proper stiff shirts with separate starched collars, and rather too many soft fronted "wing collared" shirts for my liking, which one might associate with travelling salesmen .......

One half expected them to be matched with white socks and suede shoes......

And as to the single-winged cohort, one did glimpse a VSO (pilot) pointedly obscuring the words "Incorporating Air Navigators" on the menu with his knife!
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Old 25th Feb 2014, 09:44
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I had forgotten the loose starched wing collar that went with the stiff shirt
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Old 25th Feb 2014, 09:47
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Still in possession of the white waistcoat, tie and stiff shirt and collars ... albeit a bit yellowed and probably now too small (they seem to shrink over time)

I have no regrets about the general withdrawal of 5A ... bloody painful if you sat down carelessly, an uncomfortable rig when standing, and one invariably got the shirt creased when installing the studs.
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Old 25th Feb 2014, 10:58
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Rumour at Cranners during flight cadet days was that the 5A mess kit (stiff-fronted shirt, detachable winged collar, white waistcoat, black bow tie) was required because females were only allowed over the threshold twice a year for grad balls, and once you had your 5A on it functioned better than the average chastity belt. (It was always useful the following day to keep your eyes peeled to locate and restock collar and shirt studs that had popped-off during the evening.)
ISTR that one of the main reasons for the demise of the outfit was the increasing difficulty in finding laundries that could actually wash and starch the shirt and collar.
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Old 25th Feb 2014, 11:13
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Old Bricks, I remember wearing 5A for your Grad Ball, to which those of us who'd escaped to University were invited. I was staying overnight in Grantham and can assure you that trying to drive a car with a wing collar trying to cut ones throat is emphatically not to be recommended! Her ladyship of the time thought it most amusing though....

Perhaps another reason for the demise was that increasing numbers of oikish individuals had taken to wearing elasticated bow ties , which could not be worn with a wing collar?
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Old 25th Feb 2014, 11:20
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Air Cdre Chris Luck Commandant RAF College Cranwell & Robert Pooley (Past Master)


Sqn Ldr Chris Ford


AVM Ray Pentland, Chaplain in Chief RAF, ACM Sir Stephen Dalton, Mrs Christine Pentland


Capt John Robinson & AM Ian Macfadyen
Formerly Poacher 1 & Poacher 3


Sir Gerald & Lady Howarth


AVM & Mrs Steve Nicholl


Col Andrew Cash Regimental Colonel Army Air Corps
Fg Off Ben Chapman RAFVR(T)
?
Wg Cdr Naeem OC London Wing ATC


AVM David Stubbs



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Old 25th Feb 2014, 13:37
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BEagle
In those days, a chap could drive from Cranwell to Grantham in full mess kit at dawn without any busybody even suggesting that one was anything but stone-cold sober. It's all gone downhill since then.
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Old 25th Feb 2014, 15:21
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Very impressed by the splendid record of the whole affair -and fascinated by the wingspan of the white tie Air Vice Marshal Nicholls is wearing.

He could easily have spared half of it for CAS, and indeed I'm surprised that no career-conscious junior officer offered to swap ties....
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Old 25th Feb 2014, 15:44
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He could easily have spared half of it for CAS, and indeed I'm surprised that no career-conscious junior officer offered to swap ties....
If it is Dalton to whom you refer to as CAS then you're a bit behind the times as he hasn't been CAS (or in the RAF) since 31 July 2013. Of course this means he no longer has a (free) PSO / SO / ADC / House Steward etc to remind him which uniform is required when. Perhaps the dress regs don't apply to retired officers.....

Edited to add ....

Just had a look at his bio. He is retired but

Dalton was appointed as Honorary Air Commodore to the RAF Regiment on 21 September 2013, in succession to Air Chief Marshal Sir Richard Johns
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Old 25th Feb 2014, 15:54
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There was a thread some time ago concerning the wearing of miniatures at formal functions by those in civilian dress. The answer seems to be when military personnel are present in mess kit.

At Old Cranwellian Reunion dinners, the dress for all, serving and retired, is black tie, no medals or neck decorations. At Test Pilot Dinners at Boscombe, where serving and retired guests are present, dress is mess kit or black tie, miniatures to be worn.
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