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

Vets visiting a UK Officer's Mess

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.

Vets visiting a UK Officer's Mess

Old 28th Aug 2022, 23:55
  #61 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Baston
Posts: 2,530
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
JHQ RAF Mess was excellent. Great entertainments: jazz curry lunches on Summer Sundays, super Oktoberfest, the usual Christmas and New Year,
Air Staff breakfast at knocking off day before Christmas, The cavalry charge on Fridays on bikes over the field down to the Mess.
Summer balls with survivors' breakfasts ............. nostalgia is not what it used to be.

Also great away games: a coach or two to the Clutch stations for their receptions, never a minute early, never a minute late.

And all this for a very average grammar school boy who had wanted never to be anything but RAF and failed the medicals.
I still have a lot of Mess silver, auctioned to members immediately before the dreadful merger with the army to become Churchill.
I still have the Weber and the lawnmower from the PX.

Golden days, and we who experienced them knew it. Many of us are sad to see the fruits of winning the cold war, squandered.
Thank you to those serving now.
langleybaston is offline  
Old 29th Aug 2022, 00:23
  #62 (permalink)  
ICM
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Bishops Stortford, UK
Age: 81
Posts: 447
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I agree that the JHQ Mess was excellent but, despite my initial misgivings, the Churchill Mess era turned out to be something of a success, in large part thanks to the closure of the RAFH Wegberg Mess and the move of its PM officers across to Rheindahlen. In fact, the Mess remained RAF-heavy as regards livers-in and I could not have wished for better company throughout my final 3 years of service.
ICM is offline  
Old 29th Aug 2022, 00:29
  #63 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Baston
Posts: 2,530
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by ICM View Post
I agree that the JHQ Mess was excellent but, despite my initial misgivings, the Churchill Mess era turned out to be something of a success, in large part thanks to the closure of the RAFH Wegberg Mess and the move of its PM officers across to Rheindahlen. In fact, the Mess remained RAF-heavy as regards livers-in and I could not have wished for better company throughout my final 3 years of service.
Fair enough ...... perhaps a few bad experiences soured .me. We left Jan 96.
langleybaston is offline  
Old 29th Aug 2022, 01:49
  #64 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Thailand
Age: 80
Posts: 584
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Erks mess

The worst,Bahrein 1962 in the summer.No air con long narrow room with murals of cool flowery gardens .Queing for your meal(of course!)you went through a set of batwing doors to the servery and out another pair to the"dining tables".
I remember the walls covered in large stains where the awful food had been thrown at the walls!Never saw a duty officer enter to enquire how your meal was!!
Khormaksar was a 5 star compared to Bahrein!!
oldpax is offline  
Old 29th Aug 2022, 02:02
  #65 (permalink)  
Gne
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: With the Wizard
Posts: 87
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
If I may be permitted to enter the discussion by inserting some antipodean thoughts as it seems the RAF and RAAF experiences over time are somewhat similar.

As an ATC Cadet Under Officer in the 60's Amberley was great and then to return as a newly minted ATC (the real sort) in 1973 the memories came back with a vengeance.

Butterworth for the social activities for expats having fun but getting shot at during night flying took some of the shine off the experience.

East Sale as a student was one thing but later on as.an instructor I came to appreciate the finer points of that style of mess environment and interaction with honorary members.

Tindal in the early days when pay night shouts were a bottle of Hill of Grace with the boss.

These days the ex students are too ashamed of the state of the mess life to even invite the old instructor on to the base. Shame really as mess life was a valuable part of the overall RAAF officer training and development - well to my mind at least.


Gne
Gne is offline  
Old 29th Aug 2022, 02:19
  #66 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: England
Posts: 900
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
There’s an Air Sea Rescue base on the east of Majorca, that has plush sea side accommodation any ex NATO service personnel can utilise.
tonker is offline  
Old 29th Aug 2022, 10:19
  #67 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Quite near 'An aerodrome somewhere in England'
Posts: 26,255
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by tonker View Post
There’s an Air Sea Rescue base on the east of Majorca, that has plush sea side accommodation any ex NATO service personnel can utilise.
Is that at Pollensa? I remember watching their Do 24 flying boats during a family holiday about 50 or so years ago!
BEagle is offline  
Old 31st Aug 2022, 10:35
  #68 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Planet Earth
Posts: 145
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Serving Military Officer

Only a Serving Military Officer should be allowed to dine in the Officers Mess
That will make security vetting of any others unnecessary.
Bueno Hombre is offline  
Old 31st Aug 2022, 12:04
  #69 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Glorious Devon
Posts: 834
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Bueno Hombre View Post
Only a Serving Military Officer should be allowed to dine in the Officers Mess
That will make security vetting of any others unnecessary.
What, no Met men or women? Sounds harsh. We had teachers and nurses and all sorts in my day.
Ninthace is offline  
Old 31st Aug 2022, 12:40
  #70 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Mallorca
Age: 75
Posts: 7
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
BEagle!
Yes that would be Porto Pollenca. They have Canadairs at the moment.
Cannot send URL.
TYTO
TYTOENG232 is offline  
Old 31st Aug 2022, 13:14
  #71 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Herefordshire
Posts: 347
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by langleybaston View Post
JHQ RAF Mess was excellent. Great entertainments: jazz curry lunches on Summer Sundays, super Oktoberfest, the usual Christmas and New Year,
Air Staff breakfast at knocking off day before Christmas, The cavalry charge on Fridays on bikes over the field down to the Mess.
Summer balls with survivors' breakfasts ............. nostalgia is not what it used to be.
May I put in a word for the staff who worked so hard at these events, including Mrs VM who sadly passed away recently.
Video Mixdown is offline  
Old 31st Aug 2022, 14:16
  #72 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Boulevard of Broken Dreams
Age: 50
Posts: 193
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Video Mixdown View Post
May I put in a word for the staff who worked so hard at these events, including Mrs VM who sadly passed away recently.
VM - I'm sorry for your loss - must be a tough time for you.

I wholeheartedly agree with you - staff worked very hard at these events and had to deal with a whole load of (usually) drunken buffoons in the early hours (I include myself in that cohort!).

I was just up the road from JHQ at Laarbruch - we had a lovely German chap called Paul that worked in our mess - had been there for years and years and had seen it all. Chatting to him after the final ball (1998?) he just mentioned in passing that he was hoping to have been invited as a guest as a thank you for all his years of service, but it never happened. I so wish he had mentioned it to one of us before the event - many people (myself included) would have had a word with the Mess Manager and paid for him & his wife to attend...
NickB is offline  
Old 31st Aug 2022, 22:10
  #73 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Wiltshire
Posts: 51
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Bueno Hombre View Post
Only a Serving Military Officer should be allowed to dine in the Officers Mess
That will make security vetting of any others unnecessary.
That will make Ladies Guest Nights pretty dull affairs with the only spouses present those who are also serving officers.
Paying Guest is offline  
Old 31st Aug 2022, 23:11
  #74 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Baston
Posts: 2,530
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Ninthace View Post
What, no Met men or women? Sounds harsh. We had teachers and nurses and all sorts in my day.
Met folk were vetted. They also paid Mess Subs according to EMR [which some said was Equivalent Military Rank, but I believe to be Equivalent Messing Rate]. The idea that a civvy could be equivalent to someone signed 24/7 to lay life on the line was and is presumptuous.

That said, happy hour on Friday was when a lot of business was transacted, a lot of beefs delivered in both directions, and a very valuable plus for the RAF and the civvy.
langleybaston is offline  
Old 1st Sep 2022, 06:02
  #75 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: aus
Posts: 833
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Gne View Post
If I may be permitted to enter the discussion by inserting some antipodean thoughts as it seems the RAF and RAAF experiences over time are somewhat similar.
Know in the late 90's, Australian army had enough the shit the messes were causing and started to shut them down, one base I know that had about 5K army based there shut down every NCO mess with the exception of 1 SGT's mess and replaced it with an upgraded sports bar / canteen for the enlisted, all the officer messes were shut down with the exception of two.
rattman is online now  
Old 1st Sep 2022, 18:42
  #76 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Yorkshire
Posts: 7
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I had worked most of the messes in the JHQ area, including the pre and post Churchill era. Some of you may remember "Charlie" the sole pathologist who had been imported from Wegberg. One NYE Charlie had run out of steam, and was taking a short breather in one of the armchairs, resting his eyes and generally unaware of the presence of the rest of us. At this point three very junior Army officers, enjoying their first NYE in the Churchill, considered it would be a jolly good wheeze to move the armchair, plus Charlie, on to the patio via the sliding doors. Bearing in mind it was below freezing out there, I persuaded them to leave him in situ, by asking who would carry out his post mortem if he should perish?
paf1950 is offline  
Old 1st Sep 2022, 22:52
  #77 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Baston
Posts: 2,530
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Sleeping in armchairs in Messes can be as dangerous as standing by a window in Russia.

As witness Gutersloh, post lunch [remember decent lunches in Messes?] when an elderly SATCO succumbed to noisy sleep behind his D Tel, and OC Ops set light to it. I learned a few new swear words in the aftermath.
langleybaston is offline  
Old 1st Sep 2022, 23:51
  #78 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Hanging off the end of a thread
Posts: 25,656
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Heck at Brize you had to be a civi to get a lane at the bowling alley, or it felt like it
NutLoose is offline  
Old 1st Sep 2022, 23:57
  #79 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Hanging off the end of a thread
Posts: 25,656
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by langleybaston View Post
Sleeping in armchairs in Messes can be as dangerous as standing by a window in Russia.

As witness Gutersloh, post lunch [remember decent lunches in Messes?] when an elderly SATCO succumbed to noisy sleep behind his D Tel, and OC Ops set light to it. I learned a few new swear words in the aftermath.
Setting the rubber soles of your shoes on fire used to be a favourite at Work at Brize if you fell a sleep, eventually the heat woke you up followed by more heat as you tried to stamp them out. Or lighting the outer sheet of the newspaper you were reading.
NutLoose is offline  
Old 2nd Sep 2022, 21:59
  #80 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Location: Location!
Posts: 2,196
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
A intriguing glimpse of the changing nature of life in light blue officers' messes, and good to see that Shawbury seems to have bucked the trend. In the spirit of the OP's original point, submarine officers automatically used to become life members of the Wardroom Messes of HMS NEPTUNE and HMS DOLPHIN, when the latter still existed.

Jack
Union Jack is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright © 2022 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.