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Memories of RAFG

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Memories of RAFG

Old 22nd Dec 2017, 16:00
  #341 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by ian16th View Post
Did you get to eat from that same menu every day?
Only if you wanted to, most of us didn't - train crew had access to different rations than the passengers; plus you worked a shift pattern that meant you didn't work the passenger train every day.
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Old 29th Dec 2017, 05:06
  #342 (permalink)  
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Many Thanks for the memories Gentlemen, anyone I haven't PM'd yet I'll get round to shortly!

FB
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Old 29th Dec 2017, 22:55
  #343 (permalink)  
 
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Finningley Boy

A bit more for your memories pages


Fasching or Karneval (Carnival)

An abiding memory of service in Germany was Fasching or Karneval (Carnival) that made for a refreshing change of mood for what we Brits perceived as the sometimes very serious disposition of many Germans in the towns and cities in the Rhineland and the ones we worked alongside at JHQ.
So the start of Lent is the time when towns in the Rhineland hold their carnival processions. In the big towns or cities such as Cologne or Dusseldorf Rosenmontag (Rose Monday) is the highlight of the German “Karneval” (carnival) season and is on the Monday before Ash Wednesday. Celebrations become quieter the next day, known as Veilchendienstag (“Violet Tuesday”, (Shrove Tuesday), and end on “Aschermittwoch” (Ash Wednesday). Monchengladbach’s carnival procession was titled Veilchendienstagszug (Violet Tuesday Train) and traditionally takes place on the Tuesday. JHQ some other units in the area treated the day as a holiday so we all had the day off, which was ideal as BFES schools in the area were closed too so the kids had the day off as well and were keen to participate in the celebrations.

Traditionally, as I recorded alongside the photos in my photo album, the 1973 carnival procession consisted of 80 floats, 30 marching bands, and 24 dance troupes. I took my kids and a couple of neighbours kids from our MG married quarter patch to enjoy the procession – forewarned that kids should have bags to catch the sweets (Kamelle) thrown from the carnival floats into the crowds lining the streets among cries of “Helau” or “Alaaf”. The kids were not disappointed and came back well laden. Mum was also rewarded because flowers (tulips) were thrown into the crowd too. As seen the kids were dressed and made up to blend in with the German crowd.

Many girls in the parade “Tanzmariechen” or “Funkenmariechen” (marching girls) wear a very fetching uniform styled outfit. This consists of a very short skirt copied from 18th Century designs. Originally worn as jacket and trousers the trousers evolved into a short dress with a pleated skirt and very frilly knickers (to maintain their modesty as they “high-kicked” their way through town). A wig with braided pigtails was worn and on top of that a Tricorn hat. White boots finished off the outfit.

Many of the dancers (“fools”) perform energetic dances emulating St Vitus, whose name is given to the Monastery after which Mönchengladbach is named. The Monastery of St. Vitus is a large Roman Catholic Church / Abbey set high on a hill overlooking the town. The Karneval traditionally has floats of “fools” or troops of dancers who emulate St Vitus in their mad dancing. According to legend, if suffering from various ailments one would say a prayer to the early Christian martyr St Vitus, and your prayer would be answered. St Vitus is reputed to have miraculous healing powers especially for those suffering from seizures, epilepsy, rabies, Sydenham’s chorea (St Vitus Dance), bedwetting, and snakebite, he is also said to protect against lightning strikes, animal attacks and oversleeping! To add to his attributes he is the patron saint of pharmacists, innkeepers, brewers, wine makers, coppersmiths, dancers and actors.

As for military participation in the procession JHQ Rheindahlen was represented by a float as was 79 Sqn Royal Corps of Transport based at Ayrshire barracks in Moenchengladbach. 79 Sqn RCT was responsible for administering the various military ambulance trains positioned in sidings at R.A.F. Wildenrath and in Moenchengladbach. In addition 79 Sqn RCT was also responsible for overall control of the British Military Train “The Berliner” that ran through the Soviet Zone to Berlin. The RCT “float” was appropriately in the form of a locomotive sporting a Union Jack.

Carnival preparations traditionally begin in November with the election of officials etc. to run the carnival. The carnival celebrations proper kick off just before Lent with the “Women’s Carnival” on the Thursday of the week before Ash Wednesday. This is a special day for women called “Altweiber” (Old Women) or “Weiberfastnacht” (Women’s Day). On this day women are allowed to kiss any man they like as long as they cut off his tie beforehand (Tip: Beware any mad-looking women wielding a pair of scissors!) unless of course you fancy the lady in question in which case wear a very old tie!

German friends tell me that nowadays Weiberfastnacht has morphed into a more modern form as an excuse for the women to go out by themselves for a girl’s only night out, leaving the kids at home with their men.



Enjoy these memories as recorded by me in 1973.











































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Old 29th Dec 2017, 23:14
  #344 (permalink)  
 
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They bring back memories of the "Der Adler" and the carnival we had in the hangar at Bruggen. They were fantastic events. I still own my Der Adler stoneware tankards. Often wondered if the pongoes carried it on after we left.
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Old 30th Dec 2017, 11:02
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Nutloose (#344),

Fein Scmect der Wein
Aus einem Krug von Stein !
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Old 30th Dec 2017, 11:57
  #346 (permalink)  
 
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I saw the Rosenmontag in Cologne in '56 it was very colourful as I recall. Wasn't there a Frausnacht whereby the ladies had a night out to do whatever the wished? Rumour had it that they would ravish any young man they fancied. My mates and I returned to Base completely un- ravished... another myth!
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Old 30th Dec 2017, 12:40
  #347 (permalink)  
 
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goudie (#346),

We were living in the Volkspark there, and saw the '61 Carnival in Cologne. Don't remember a Frauennacnt, but as far as we could see, it was a case of "anything goes" .....

But I was a respectable married man .....................dammit !
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Old 30th Dec 2017, 15:32
  #348 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by goudie View Post
I saw the Rosenmontag in Cologne in '56 it was very colourful as I recall. Wasn't there a Frausnacht whereby the ladies had a night out to do whatever the wished? Rumour had it that they would ravish any young man they fancied. My mates and I returned to Base completely un- ravished... another myth!
There was something about Frausnacht which involved the ladies cutting off the gentleman's tie if I remember correctly.
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Old 30th Dec 2017, 15:43
  #349 (permalink)  
 
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Yes, dreaded going near the bank on camp as they had a collection of them, if they cut it off, you were the "chosen" one but it just became a part of it all, stores must have gone through hundreds of ties.
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Old 30th Dec 2017, 16:02
  #350 (permalink)  
 
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Warmtoast, many thanks, that brought back memories. Even little Rheindahlen village/town had its parade, and one morning we were held up for yonks while the procession went on and on and on.
All very well but we were off to Switzerland, rather a long journey!

Our record time to the Swiss border in a nice 6 cylinder Cavalier was so fast that nobody believed us, but it was at dead of night in good weather and we ignored speed limits such as thay were. When my wife closed her eyes for a doze I managed 150 mph indicated, whatever that was in real money.
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Old 30th Dec 2017, 16:06
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Danny and Vendee

Cutting off men's ties on Weiberfastnacht (Women’s Day), took place on the Thursday of the week before Ash Wednesday.

See towards the bottom of my #343 above.
WT
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Old 30th Dec 2017, 16:43
  #352 (permalink)  
 
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Oh woe, oh willowy waley !

So long as that was all they cut off ............
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Old 30th Dec 2017, 16:46
  #353 (permalink)  
 
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Cutting off men's ties seems uncomfortably symbolic to me!. I do remember a Bar somewhere that had them pegged on a line.

Eye watering Danny!
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Old 30th Dec 2017, 16:48
  #354 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by goudie View Post
Cutting off men's ties seems uncomfortably symbolic to me!. I do remember a Bar somewhere that had them pegged on a line.

Eye watering Danny!
Ties or todgers?
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Old 30th Dec 2017, 17:44
  #355 (permalink)  
 
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Ties, in this case LB. Mind you if a woman approached with a pair of scissors one wouldn't clutch at one's tie, even though it would be easier to find!
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Old 31st Dec 2017, 13:32
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Wasn't there some folklore that if she became pregnant on the day the state would pick up the tab for the Kid.
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Old 31st Dec 2017, 15:41
  #357 (permalink)  
 
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in UK that is every day!
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Old 31st Dec 2017, 16:49
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Lol and throw in a house...... So true.
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Old 9th Jan 2018, 11:46
  #359 (permalink)  
 
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From JHQ to Switzerland on leave and an encounter with the Swiss Navy

This thread has gone a bit quiet so here's something to liven it up a bit.
One of the joys of a posting to Germany was the ease and ability to travel throughout Europe aided of course with petrol at duty-free prices when you filled up your tank whilst in Germany. During my 3½-years at JHQ Rheindahlen, I together with my family visited Holland, Belgium, Denmark, France, Austria, Italy and Switzerland, plus of course Germany from north to south.
One of my more outstanding holiday trips was to Lake Lucerne (Vierwaldstättersee) in Switzerland some 400+ miles from Rheindahlen, so a good days drive. The reason for this trip was to visit the hotel in Flüelen on the banks of the lake where my wife had worked for about a year as a commis chef shortly after graduating as a cook from a catering college in Austria. This we did and in the hotel where she had worked 14-years earlier we enjoyed the best fondue ever!














Lake Lucerne is an impressively scenic lake and we took the regular lake steamer from Flüelen to Weggis and return admiring the scenery on the way, but one thing that I remember vividly to this day was seeing the Swiss Navy in action in a boat firing a cannon at a target on the far bank of the lake. See my photo of the event. What looks like a safety boat flying a red flag can just be seen in the background and looking closely, a member of the crew can be seen using his camera to take a photo of us taking a photo of him!

From Flüelen we drove a couple of miles along the lake to visit Tellskapelle (“Tell’s chapel“) which we’d passed earlier on the boat. A memorial chapel has stood here since the 16th century and was erected to commemorate some of the deeds of Swiss folk hero William Tell. William Tell initiated the rebellion in the 14th-century that led to the foundation of the Old Swiss Confederacy.











Reputedly to prove a point he also shot an apple from his son’s head with a crossbow, (an old c.1554 print shows this event) and if you know your music you’ll probably be familiar with the “William Tell” overture by Rossini.
(Watch here:
).


The Rigi Mountain is adjacent to the lake and the summit at 1,800m is easily reached by the Rigi Bahn cog railway. So again we motored along the shore to Vitznau and took the cog railway direct to the summit.
















The Swiss in their wisdom had placed a couple of very docile cows for the tourists (including my kids) to admire and pat on the head! Views from the top are absolutely stunning and we were blessed with super weather whilst we were there.



I must have made this trip towards the end of my tour in Germany because my photos show my Volvo purchased in June 1974 parked alongside the lake (I returned to the UK in July 1975).
Anyway enjoy these photos that bring back memories of this memorable family holiday that almost certainly I would not have made if I hadn’t been stationed in Germany at JHQ Rheindahlen – so a big thank you HMG – and to think I got paid as well!

Last edited by Warmtoast; 9th Jan 2018 at 12:00.
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Old 9th Jan 2018, 13:00
  #360 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Warmtoast View Post
From JHQ to Switzerland on leave and an encounter with the Swiss Navy


That's what our Navy will look like in a few years time
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