Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Aircrew Forums > Military Aviation
Reload this Page >

Can you help me? RAF 1960s.

Military Aviation A forum for the professionals who fly military hardware. Also for the backroom boys and girls who support the flying and maintain the equipment, and without whom nothing would ever leave the ground. All armies, navies and air forces of the world equally welcome here.

Can you help me? RAF 1960s.

Old 31st Dec 2018, 07:30
  #61 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Quite near 'An aerodrome somewhere in England'
Posts: 25,446
The topic of religious persuasion cropped up fairly early in my time at RAFC Cranwell. However, amongst our number were quite a few ex-'Super Techs' who'd been selected from their apprentice training to become officers. Thinking they were clever, they did a bit of investigation...

The CofE contingent had a weekly Church parade at 10:30, inspection and then marched to the god shop. The service went on for ages (brightened up only by the AsCom's very pretty teenage daughter's backside), then we marched back again - with luck we were free by mid-day at the earliest.

The CSFC Church of Jocks and Others gathered a little earlier at 10:00 in the Junior Mess entrance, strolled to their church and were out again pretty quick.

Whereas the RC chaps simply turned up at their church at 09:30, mumbled some Latin and were done and dusted PDQ.... No inspection, no marching and a couple of hours of extra freedom.

So one morning, some of the ex-Super Techs asked to see the RC god-botherer, on the grounds that, after much thought, they'd come to the conclusion that Roman Catholicism was the best chance there was to rescue their heathen spirits. The RC sky-pilot was astonished and was almost on the point of ringing the Pope, or similar, to spread the good news.... But even he began to smell a rat. He told the would-be converts that instruction in Roman Catholicism would involve many hours of study and prayer - so were they really sure they were prepared to submit themselves to such hard work, given all the other pressures of Flight Cadet training.....the instruction would take place on Saturday afternoons.

Needless to say, there were quite a few more CofE cadets marching to church the following week!
BEagle is online now  
Old 31st Dec 2018, 12:18
  #62 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: East Anglia
Age: 73
Posts: 159
'Whereas the RC chaps simply turned up at their church at 09:30, mumbled some Latin and were done and dusted PDQ '

And we atheists didn't parade at all.
nipva is offline  
Old 31st Dec 2018, 12:30
  #63 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Quite near 'An aerodrome somewhere in England'
Posts: 25,446
Our Junior Entry Sgt had a solution for so-called atheists and agnostics. He told them that they would have to attend the same parade, inspection and march to the church as the CoE cadets, but would then be required to remain outside standing easy until the service was over...

Some of the quickest conversions since Paul on the Road to Damascus soon followed...
BEagle is online now  
Old 31st Dec 2018, 12:35
  #64 (permalink)  
I don't own this space under my name. I should have leased it while I still could
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Lincolnshire
Age: 76
Posts: 16,593
Did I mention that RC padres used to live in? As they were celebrate they were not entitled to a MQ.

I recall two. One was Irish and available to his flock every night in the bar. He would have given Rudolf a run for his money.

A years later we had a Jesuit priest and he gave us serious thought on converting. He too would minister in the bar too. In fact he went one better and volunteered as bar member but his bishop objected.
Pontius Navigator is offline  
Old 31st Dec 2018, 15:33
  #65 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Co. Down
Age: 78
Posts: 502
AT RAF Khormaksar in 1951 the Church Parade was a major occasion requiring best uniforms and maximum bull, putting my Dad in bad form for the preceding week. The Station Parade was one of my most vivid childhood memories albeit with a painful sequel. Our late and much missed friend Danny 42C said it was one of his favourite stories on the Brevet thread, you should still find it at #3558 on p176 or try here
Geriaviator is offline  
Old 31st Dec 2018, 16:16
  #66 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Huntingdon
Posts: 14
Thanks for the additional colour all - very helpful hearing from those who were there at the time.

I was brought up on the tale end of the church going era for many families, hated it at the time, but quite enjoy the odd service now - a love for some of the hymns and quiet time must have sunk in.

As for the questionable statements regards religion etc, you should know that I have no intention of white washing the past, so some language and observations, normal for the time, are included without apology.

Regards the Argosy, I got hold of the pilots' notes, which have been very helpful to add to what I've learned here.
James Blatch is offline  
Old 31st Dec 2018, 19:42
  #67 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Often in Jersey, but mainly in the past.
Age: 74
Posts: 5,236
I confess ( ) never having attended a Church Parade since ... ever? 1965-1994. Am I damned?
MPN11 is online now  
Old 31st Dec 2018, 19:45
  #68 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: M4 Corridor
Posts: 544
As a point of interest. In the mid 60s there was an RC Padre at Khormaksar called Father Sean O'Shea. each month we would fly him on the "God Special" to minister unto his little flocks in Riyan, Salalah and Masirah, all in one day. At the bar in Masirah he would indulge in a few brandy and Benedictines, most apposite and regale the crew and interested bystanders with stories of his ministry. "What about hearing confessions from the desert outpost troops?" we asked. "It's rather like being stoned to death with popcorn" he replied,
Dougie M is offline  
Old 1st Jan 2019, 11:13
  #69 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: SW England
Age: 72
Posts: 3,734
As they were celebrate they were not entitled to a MQ.
One of your more amusing typos, P-N !

Mind you, from what I can gather, not All RC priests are as "celebrate" as they are supposed to be

I confess ( ) never having attended a Church Parade since ... ever? 1965-1994. Am I damned?
When I went to my sister in law's requiem mass about 10 years ago I told the priest after the service that it was the first time I had been to mass since attending the RC service after my passing out parade at Feltwell in 1964, and had been in Latin. I dont think he was too shocked, although he expressed a wish that one day I might return to the fold. Did a few C of E church parades when serving, including a memorable one at Durham Cathedral when I was terrified of slipping on the cobbles and making an idiot of myself as we marched up the hill to the Cathedral.
Tankertrashnav is offline  
Old 1st Jan 2019, 11:23
  #70 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 4,599
!960 to 1978, dodged the lot. The only parades I went on were my Passing Out Parade at South Cerney and my Wings Parade at Oakington. The closest I got to a real one was standing behind the reviewing stand and in all the rest I was in the fly past.
Fareastdriver is online now  
Old 1st Jan 2019, 19:41
  #71 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Sunrise Senior Living
Posts: 1,298
And then there was the expectation that an officer new to a station would leave his card at the stn cdrs house and would be invited to afternoon tea some time thereafter. This slowly faded away in the mid to late 60s when 'living out' was beginning to be countenanced - especially at Benson where, with 2 large Argosy squadrons, TQF and other units, the mess was simply not big enough to house all the 'singlies' - great area for pubs and restaurants. Happy days.
Cheers all,
mcdhu
mcdhu is offline  
Old 1st Jan 2019, 21:38
  #72 (permalink)  
I don't own this space under my name. I should have leased it while I still could
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Lincolnshire
Age: 76
Posts: 16,593
Originally Posted by mcdhu View Post
And then there was the expectation that an officer new to a station would leave his card at the stn cdrs house and would be invited to afternoon tea some time thereafter. This slowly faded away in the mid to late 60s when 'living out' was beginning to be countenanced - especially at Benson where, with 2 large Argosy squadrons, TQF and other units, the mess was simply not big enough to house all the 'singlies' - great area for pubs and restaurants. Happy days.
Cheers all,
mcdhu
Two cards, one in the Mess and one for Mrs Stn Cdr. Given an aircrew complement on a bomber base of 180 or so and over 200 all told, there would be a turn over of about 70 per year and Mrs SC would have been pretty busy.

On posting the officer again left cards in the Mess and with Mrs SC but annotated ppc. The cards were a standard size for RAF officers and WRAF officers had a slightly larger one. Cards were engraved and never printed. Apart from one's name, rank etc you could put the name of your Club on them. The Club was of course the RAF Club which served as a permanent address.
Pontius Navigator is offline  
Old 2nd Jan 2019, 00:06
  #73 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: SW England
Age: 72
Posts: 3,734
I called on Mrs Commandant at Catterick shortly after arriving, and went along with another newly arrived chap. They were RCs and had a big family and when we called we were given tea in the company of a couple of her under fives. Rather than the stiff "tea and cucumber sandwiches" occasion we were expecting it turned out to be a riot, which we thoroughly enjoyed. This was in 1965 and by the time I was posted to a new station in 1967 the practice appeared to have died out.

Re "ppc", when we were having a lecture on calling etc, the officer giving the lecture asked if anyone knew what "PPC" stood for. One of our number stuck his hand up and answered "pour prendre congé sir" (to take one's leave). The officer was a bit taken aback that someone had known, and I suspect marked the cadet down as a smart-arse.
Tankertrashnav is offline  
Old 2nd Jan 2019, 00:21
  #74 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Toronto
Posts: 139
[QUOTE=Tankertrashnav;10348712]One of your more amusing typos, P-N !

Mind you, from what I can gather, not All RC priests are as "celebrate" as they are supposed to be

/QUOTE]
Actually, they will take a married Anglican priest, they are so short. Don't know if he has to sign a declaration of celibacy though!
ve3id is offline  
Old 2nd Jan 2019, 07:38
  #75 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Quite near 'An aerodrome somewhere in England'
Posts: 25,446
I'm not sure when calling cards were no longer needed? In 1968 our copies of Stradling at RAFC still included descriptions of the etiquette involved, but we were told to ignore it.

Quite entertaining to read about all that nowadays, but it seems so quaint and Downton Abbey in this day and age!
BEagle is online now  
Old 2nd Jan 2019, 09:02
  #76 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Often in Jersey, but mainly in the past.
Age: 74
Posts: 5,236
I remember my only use of those expensive calling cards quite well. RAFCAW Manby, 1965, and the long lonely walk to the Commandant's Residence to deposit a card on a silver tray. Was the door left open for me? Did I ring the doorbell? I can only recall being somewhat nervous about the whole process. But I did get invited back.

Rambling and irrelevant recollection ... One Saturday night the Commandant and family turned up in the Bar. Fixing me with his one eye, he called me over. ""Look after these two for me - use my Bar Book.". Accompanied by my fellow plt off, Dave G***e, we entertained his son [16-yo? Interested in target shooting, so good] and daughter [17-yo? Exquisitely gorgeous, so even better]. At closing time, "Cyclops' said something like "If you're going to keep drinking, you'd better come home with me." So we did. And more stimulating chat with gorgeous daughter ensued, in the 1* Drawing Room, drinking 1* booze.. Some hours later (0100-ish?), "Cyclops" re-enters the room. "It's about time you went home. If you want to drink more, come back at lunchtime tomorrow." Which Dave and I duly did.

Much more fun than a cucumber sandwich!

Last edited by MPN11; 3rd Jan 2019 at 10:28.
MPN11 is online now  
Old 2nd Jan 2019, 09:38
  #77 (permalink)  
I don't own this space under my name. I should have leased it while I still could
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Lincolnshire
Age: 76
Posts: 16,593
Browne per chance?
Pontius Navigator is offline  
Old 2nd Jan 2019, 10:14
  #78 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Often in Jersey, but mainly in the past.
Age: 74
Posts: 5,236
Originally Posted by Pontius Navigator View Post
Browne per chance?
The very same ... but without the 'e'. I see his daughter married a Vulcan pilot

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obi...ops-Brown.html

Very much in character!!
On one occasion he gathered together a one-armed colleague and another with a broken leg, and - with Brown sporting his eye patch at a jaunty angle - the trio hobbled arm-in-arm into the officers' mess bar to announce to the new students that they were the staff running the test pilots' course.
MPN11 is online now  
Old 8th Jan 2019, 11:45
  #79 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Oxford
Posts: 74
I was notionally RC when at Cranwell (68-71) but availed myself of the opportunity to not go on Church parade, unlike the CofEs, who were lumbered every week. Even worse, the CofE flight cadets were despatched to Armpit House for weekends of meaningful "g*dbothering", whereas the RCs were ignored. Needless to say, the day came when the Religious Fun Detectors spotted that the RCs had got away with it, and we were all sent "voluntarily" for a weekend in a big country house owned by some diocese in Yorkshire. As you can imagine, this was not universally welcomed, especially when we got there on Friday evening on RAF bus to be met by a super-enthusiastic swinging vicar, who told us that the whole content and timing of the weekend was up to us. When he asked what time we wanted to start on Saturday, the first enquiry was when lunch would be served. It all went downhill from there, especially when the Swinging Vic's statement that there was a bar available turned out to be a crate of bottled shandies. We all escaped that evening and went to local pub, arriving back very late and not in sparkling condition to be greeted by Swinging Vic with major bollocking. Next morning we were all dragged out of bed at 0700 and forced to discuss religion all day. Atmosphere among flight cadets got more and more bolshie, and eventually Swinging Vic phoned Cranwell and had us all transported back to base Sunday morning in disgrace. Monday morning No 1s, no coffee, extra duties, wrath of God (aka Wg Cdr Cadets) etc.....but I don't think they ever tried it again!
Old Bricks is offline  
Old 8th Jan 2019, 16:38
  #80 (permalink)  
I don't own this space under my name. I should have leased it while I still could
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Lincolnshire
Age: 76
Posts: 16,593
There used to be regular notices about a CofE God bothering course but I don't remember seeing and adverts after the 60s.

Thank you BEagle, Amport House. Maybe they will but some ecumenical and graceless building with a mosque attached instead.

Last edited by Pontius Navigator; 9th Jan 2019 at 08:12.
Pontius Navigator is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.