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Horse-play in the Mess

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Horse-play in the Mess

Old 23rd Mar 2017, 21:09
  #61 (permalink)  
Danny42C
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The Horse that Never Was.

Not really relevant, but within the terms of "Horse Play".

Extract from my Post p.213, #4252 on "Pilot's Brevet":
...My second gaffe some time later was really not my fault, but it was to go down in Manby legend. There was nothing on the board (ATC Nirvana !). R/T monitor pipes up: "M-ABCD on 117.9 for you, sir". What followed I will never forget.

Verbatim: "M-ABCD, Manby Approach, pass your message"...."Manby, CD approaching from the North at 2,000 ft, range 20 miles, request landing instructions"...."CD, 11 left, (QFE), circuit clear, call joining"....

(Manby is Prior Permission Only, we have had no advice of this visitor, but that is not my business: I cannot turn him away - but he must answer for it when he gets down)...."CD, what is the purpose of your visit ?" .... "To drop off a horse" .... "Say again" ...."Horse"...."Spell it !"...."H-O-R-S E" ....."What is your aircraft type ?"...."Anson".

My brain reeled. Reason tottered on her throne. You clutch desperately at straws. "Perhaps it's a very small horse", I consoled myself, "might a Shetland pony go in all right ?" (In my defence, I must add that only a mere dozen years before I'd seen Dak-loads of mules go off [in Burma], and wished the pilots the best of British).

Now the final bitter twist in the story: Manby had an Equitation Club. My equally stupefied WRAF Assistant grabbed the Station phone book: "It's S/Ldr (X) i/c, sir"...."Ring him, tell him he's got a horse coming in in about ten minutes". S/Ldr (X) gets dragged out of Important Conference, not well pleased, organises groom and whistles up horsebox to the Tower. Anson comes in, parks, groom advances with horse-tackle at the ready. Anson crew see horsebox arrive alongside Tower.

Out of Anson comes a wooden hobby-horse. It appears that this was an adjunct to one of the silly games that are played at Dining-in nights. Station (x) had borrowed it from Manby for some festive occasion, and were now returning it. Pilots roll about Anson in mirth when they realise that they've not only fooled the Controller, but the College as well. (This will keep them in free beer for yonks) . Even with door closed, Anson rocks on its oleos for some time before crew sufficiently composed to ask for taxy clearance.

Danny is Buffoon du jour. Joke is all round Manby within the hour, round Strubby by nightfall and all round Lincolnshire by weekend. Back at Strubby my Bendix [GCA] crew shakes heads sorrowfully. First the HT door, then the stuck Matador, now this. Always said the poor chap must have been out in the tropic sun far too long.....
Next time two more disasters, but neither of my doing.

Danny42C.
 
Old 24th Mar 2017, 04:31
  #62 (permalink)  
 
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Carrier landings

My high school best friend and I were determined to join the Air Force at a young age.
He got in, I didn't (eyesight).
We kept in regular contact and he would relate astonishing (to me anyway) stories regarding Dining in Nights "activities", along with his other more regular aviation related experiences.
The one that intrigued me most were "carrier landings".
Apparently, after the formalities and a suitable quantity of imbibing had taken place, the tablecloths etc were removed and the table (very long apparently) was liberally lubricated with beverages (shocking waste). The idea then being, to then take a running leap and launch ones self (in full dress uniform) onto the table with the aim to see who could slide the furthest with full points achieved if you flew off the far end!
I was jealous, would loved to have given it a go...!
Said friend is now a very senior officer. I wonder what his attitude would be to such shenanigans nowadays? I shall ask him when I see him next and report back!

Cheers

Octane
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Old 24th Mar 2017, 10:24
  #63 (permalink)  
 
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Back in 1992 at Laarbruch, cant remember if it was XV or 20 Sqns leaving shindig (still love the XV banner across the Mess bar ' Won the Cold War, Won the Gulf War....Lost to the MOD!'). Anyway, piano was on fire and was on the last few flames, having had numerous folks jump over it. Colleague & I managed to scale up on the roof of the Mess (fortunately a single storey building) and dragged a fire hose from downstairs. Great to see startled piano fire watchers either scatter or merely look on becoming rather wet as we managed to get hose turned on and drench the whole of the patio area. Dont remember getting any bother from doing that.:

Sad to report though that family & I visited the Laarbruch Mess last year and it is in a shocking state, graffiti everywhere, doors hanging off hinges, windows all smashed....very sad, had some fantastic nights in that grand old place!
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Old 24th Mar 2017, 11:16
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I was never in the military, but I have attended a few occasions where a lot of mil personnel was present. At one of these hangar parties a plan was hatched to remove a piano from the stage where it had been used earlier in the evening. A cloth behind the stage, and the piano, allowed a forklift to be driven up behind it so that it could be lifted off and driven away (there was plenty of noise to allow this to happen unnoticed). Shortly afterwards, a construction built from pallets in a piano shape was set on fire outside on the platform so that the owner of the piano could get suitably annoyed and agitated before revealing the cunning plan.

Planning: 10 points
Execution: zero points, mainly due to the lesson learned about a piano's stability on the tips of forklift tines during corners.

The people involved were all good sports fortunately and the piano was just written off as collatoral damage.
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Old 24th Mar 2017, 11:22
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RAF Watton (Eastern Radar) had burned a lot of pianos outside the front door of the Mess. So much so that the tarmac was pitted and embedded with globules of previously-molten lead. Easily purchased at Noel Abel's auction for 5, with the cost embedded in the cost of the function.

In a century or so, archeologists will examine the remains and wonder "WTF".
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Old 24th Mar 2017, 13:15
  #66 (permalink)  
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Not an officer's mess piano burning but the NAAFI at Changi had a piano on the top (third) floor and a long staircase that went all the way down from there to the ground with a short flat bit halfway.

The piano was doused in Avgas and ignited by a celebrating maritime reconnaissance squadron ground crew and sent on its way, where the rest of us formed an honour guard on the middle floor and saluted as it rolled past on its way to the second flight of steps.

The piano was replaced with a new one but encased in a steel cage - with two arm holes for the player to reach the keyboard.
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Old 24th Mar 2017, 13:51
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Spoons 1v1(+1)

Spoons is a simple dueling game where A challenges B to a game of whalloping the other on the head with a big spoon held in the mouth, each with eyes closed and kneeling. As is only fair A, the challenger, allows B to go first. B does so and achieves a very satisfying 'clunk' as he makes contact between the spoon and A's head. Suitably lulled into a false sense of security, B is now on the receiving end and awaits the return blow from A. What he actually receives is an almighty blow from A's second. Extra points are achieved if A can convince B to play further rounds!
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Old 24th Mar 2017, 14:03
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Carrier Landings - current Vice Lord Lt for Greater London (and son of the then DFS) broke his arm when carrier landed in the Junior Cadets' Mess at the Towers, the night they (the propulsion) forgot we were on the first floor rather than the ground floor
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Old 24th Mar 2017, 14:16
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Fond memories (just!) of discharging both barrels of my 20-bore at the dartboard in the mess at Leeming during a guest night. Subsequently explained to the PMC that I had previously removed the shot from the cartridges and received a mild bollocking.

Fast forward many years and a C**b returned onboard Lusty with a live SAM7 that he had found outside Stanley. Luckily he was persuaded to ditch it over the stern before the next mess dinner!

Swing the lamp.
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Old 24th Mar 2017, 14:54
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Too many stories to tell!

Originally Posted by Mogwi View Post
Fond memories (just!) of discharging both barrels of my 20-bore at the dartboard in the mess at Leeming during a guest night. Subsequently explained to the PMC that I had previously removed the shot from the cartridges and received a mild bollocking.

Fast forward many years and a C**b returned onboard Lusty with a live SAM7 that he had found outside Stanley. Luckily he was persuaded to ditch it over the stern before the next mess dinner!

Swing the lamp.
Melting the newly laid tarmac with a burning piano, cue some even newer tarmac the following week!

JN fires a rocket towards a bunch of guys walking towards the door of OM bar, misses everybody but lead guy with no SA opens the door for the team, rocket duly enters the bar runs along the optics and misses everything else - no problem!
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Old 24th Mar 2017, 14:56
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An excellent Pilot / Instructor I worked with on Herks who had a promising career as a FJ but very nearly died playing "carrier landings" ... I believe he slipped on spilt ale and went face first into the end of the table, at a great rate of knots ..... only the fact that several PMRAFNS ladies were in attendance, and sober, saved his life. He did need several major operations and wore the scars from then on.

I was always grateful that the SNCOs Mess did not indulge in such self-inflicting injury type "sports" ....
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Old 24th Mar 2017, 16:10
  #72 (permalink)  
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IIRC the tarmac outside the mess at Coltishall had a permanent concrete patch amongst the tarmac for piano burning.

An abiding memory is John C***sham with his love of black powder and cannons. Biscuit tins bolted to the underside of the main table and detonated by wire amongst others.

The reception at West Drayton where the lift from the accommodation above opened directly opposite the desk. At a moment when full of dignitaries a ding of the lift arrival. All watch as the door opens to reveal a lone cannon on the floor with the fuze smoking - a loud bang ensues and reception fills with black smoke - the door shuts and the lift retreats back to the floors above....

Buchan - a crew life raft borrowed from LM concealed below the carpet under the top table with a hose to an air bottle under the bottom table. At a moment during desert there is a hiss and the individual tables start to rise and lift like Tower Bridge with the execs vainly grabbing and holding onto their plates and the mess silver as it inexorably starts sliding to the far ends and the floor.
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Old 24th Mar 2017, 16:56
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Originally Posted by ORAC View Post
IIRC the tarmac outside the mess at Coltishall had a permanent concrete patch amongst the tarmac for piano burning.
Which was all very well until the first use when it was discovered that PSA (?) had incorporated air bubbles into the concrete. When hot, air expands.....
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Old 24th Mar 2017, 17:00
  #74 (permalink)  
 
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1. Northolt. Another Dinghy inflation. Nothing new there, then!

2. West Drayton. The Close-Down Dining In, with domestic appliances hurtling down a few floors into the goldfish pond. (You would have to know the layout to fully understand).

3. Carrier Landings. I heard about a US Mil facility that had deck lights and arrestor wires ... hook the latter with your toes and you didn't fall off the far end.

4. An ATC mate had a scar on his forehead. When asked how he acquired it, he said "I was standing on the mantlepiece keeping out of the way when the AOC cam past on his bicycle and knocked me off with his broom." Adrian, care to confirm, if you're here?
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Old 24th Mar 2017, 17:46
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Just remembered a story from the late Mogwi senior; bunch of his fellow Seafire pilots after a mess dinner at Yeovs in c1944, decided it would be a bonza jape to flash up the traction engine that had been mending the Tarmac in front of the Wardroom and take it for a ride. After much stoking of boilers and pulling of levers, the ancient beast roared into life and they had great fun driving it around the domestic site. After all, what could go wrong at 4 mph?

Huge interview with the Cdr next morning, when it was discovered that one of the pulled levers had dropped the plough on the rear of the infernal machine and all the roads travelled had a not-so-neat 2 ft deep trench down the middle.

Next stop Arctic convoys!!
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Old 24th Mar 2017, 17:58
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Originally Posted by ACW VGL View Post
Spoons is a simple dueling game where A challenges B to a game of whalloping the other on the head with a big spoon held in the mouth, each with eyes closed and kneeling. As is only fair A, the challenger, allows B to go first. B does so and achieves a very satisfying 'clunk' as he makes contact between the spoon and A's head. Suitably lulled into a false sense of security, B is now on the receiving end and awaits the return blow from A. What he actually receives is an almighty blow from A's second. Extra points are achieved if A can convince B to play further rounds!
Tom Hardy and his stunt double on the set of Taboo provide an excellent example of the genre:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mWH45cGFp3A

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Old 24th Mar 2017, 19:41
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Thank you, Stuff ... never encountered that one!
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Old 25th Mar 2017, 09:37
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Originally Posted by Brian W May View Post
Remember it well.

At Wyton in the late 80s. The young 'gentlemen' decided it would be good to celebrate the Dining In and burn the piano in front of the Mess and start the conflagration with a Canberra starter cartridge. With 720 grammes of cordite it worked well.

One small problem. They hadn't warned the Guard Commander whose men were armed with loaded rifles and thought there was a terrorist attack underway at the Officers' Mess. They turned out the Guard.

The young 'gentlemen' were fortunate not to end up with 7.62mm holes in their Mess Dress. That would have been a jolly jape eh?

I was deputy O I/C Airmans' Club at the time and was ordered to charge a Corporal for throwing a chair through a window in the NAAFI.

I have very mixed feelings about 'high spirits' . . .
I was on the Station Guard force at Wyton the night that happened, but I was manning the sangar up at the camp entrance when they responded...and that incident was not long after the night roof tiles were thrown down at the armed Roving Patrol from the roof of the mess by some 'lubricated gentlemen'
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Old 25th Mar 2017, 10:20
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Hmm, Wyton Mess on Taranto Night could be a dangerous place, and there were a few jolly japes with cars at the Towers in the 60s, including a well known officer cadet "borrowing" a sqn cdr's Jaguar and taking it for a spin. Al Deere's staff car (he was Asst Commandant at the time) also made an appearance in the Rotunda ISTR
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Old 25th Mar 2017, 10:46
  #80 (permalink)  
 
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The night before Graduation at Feltwell, one of the guys brought his motorcycle in to the Mess and started driving it briskly down the corridor. As he approached the end, where the Bar door was, he applied the brakes. The hall carpet followed him, with no discernible deceleration, as he ploughed in to the end wall, just missing our flt lt RAF Regt DS who was leaving the Bar.

ISTR he wasn't on the Parade the next day.
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