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Marches in and out tales

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Marches in and out tales

Old 18th Nov 2023, 12:43
  #21 (permalink)  
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March-in, dirty. But as removal van and family waiting outside, accept.
March-out super clean. Failed! But as long journey, accept and move on.
How did that always happen?

Cotton-wool buds recommended for cleaning electrical sockets......

"Too many nails in wall" on march-out, damages £15. Yet all those I fitted were proper picture hooks. Previous occupants!

Background: I was in the Mess, son sleeping on floor. We had another child in a local hospital, my wife staying with a friend and our third child.
"Not ready yet - needs barrack items moving in". I explained we were unfurnished.
They needed to put certain items in, regardless and had no transport. "Would they fit into a Landrover"? "Yes"
"Fine, I'll put in a F658 and be round at 1330 today to collect items"
"Ah, we can move you in the day after tomorrow........"

Three doors down, retired Warrant Officer, sitting tenant for perhaps 18 months.
When he went, they started by throwing the front door in a skip, followed by carpets, curtains, etc, etc.

lsh
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Old 18th Nov 2023, 13:40
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Originally Posted by 57mm
The Memsahib was an RAF brat. She remembers the families officer donning white gloves on march out, then brushing them over the bedstead springs to check for dust.....

When we marched out of a Leeming OMQ in '79, the WRAF Familiies Officer scraped her nails round the toilet bowl to check for limescale. She was so pre-occupied with this that she missed me standing over a landing carpet stain....

IIRC, an army officer at JHQ kept his horse in the cellar; good luck with that March out....
spelling
Said horse also frequented the
lounge. It was in my time.
full colonel, nobody seemed too upset, it was sort of normal.
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Old 18th Nov 2023, 14:04
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My first RAF quarter, at Halton, had a bonus door in the lounge. It was supposed to have been a window but somebody copied the plans down wrong and they built an estate's worth. The extra draught was refreshing helped by the fact that nobody knew the state of the back boiler behind the fire so, rather than find out, they banned having a fire. Twenty years later I was back at Halton and spare doors had been turned into windows and a piece of hardboard had been fixed into the hearth - so there was no way were were going to have a fire.
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Old 18th Nov 2023, 14:29
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One of the signature blocks on the clearance chits was for the 'Station Bicycle Store'. No-one at a unit where I was serving knew where that was, or even whether there was such a thing on the station...

But some helpful soul had amended the crew room phone directory with 'Station Bike Store.......(extn. no)'.

Except the extension was for someone else..... OC WRAF eventually complained to her boss about people ringing her to ask "Is that the station bike store"?
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Old 18th Nov 2023, 14:34
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No-one had told one of my FIs that his OMQ had a back boiler. As soon as the temperature dropped with the onset of Autumn, he lit the fire and settled down with his wife to watch TV. After a little while they were nice and warm, but a bit perturbed by the mysterious gurgling noises they could hear.......until with an almighty bang the whole thing blew up and his wife was hit by a piece of red hot shrapnel from the wretched thing, which scarred her for life.
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Old 18th Nov 2023, 15:26
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When my family marched out of Leuchars in 1954, so did a rather nice glass vase bearing RAF wings and logo. Mother treasured it as a sort of trophy won in her battles with MPPW over many years. She's long gone to dispute her march in with St Peter but I still have that damned vase, can't bear to part with it.
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Old 18th Nov 2023, 15:40
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Apparently at Halton, some of the back boilers had been drilled, some hadn't and some were just plain broke and risked gassing the occupants, allegedly. The bit of paper on which it had all been written down, if it ever existed, had been lost, so the solution was a blanket ban on all fires. I have to admit, in the depths of winter, I chanced it and got away with it without killing us. I even managed to set the chimney on fire, so I could not have been the first. The Stn fire brigade were very good about it and put it out without bubbling me to the powers that be.

The heating boiler in the kitchen was fuelled by anthracite beans. The sequence was, open the hopper, pour in the beans, make a pot of tea, pick up the dustpan and brush and sit in the lounge enjoying the tea. After around 10 minutes, there would be an explosion and a clang from the kitchen. This would be your cue to finish the tea, go into the kitchen, shut the hopper lid again and clean coal dust of all the surfaces and the floor. It seems the warmth of the boiler caused the anthracite to degas and then the fire caused an explosion which blew all the dust out of the hopper. A neighbour happened to be looking at our quarter one evening when it happened and said about 3 feet of blue flame came out of the chimney at the time. It was a common trait to most of the boilers in the patch.

The other side-effect of turning the heating on was it woke all the fleas in the house. The first we knew was spotting one crawling across our firstborn, who was just a few weeks old at the time. Mum was not a happy bunny.
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Old 18th Nov 2023, 15:43
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I often wondered about, at some point, the ensuing conversation with the occupant of the next room to me at Valley.

He had, at his own expense please note, tastefully decorated it by painting the walls and ceiling a fetching shade of...pillar box red.

The resident mice population were undeterred however.
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Old 18th Nov 2023, 16:11
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Returning from Flugplatz Gutersloh to Finningley we marched in to a semi on Lilac Grove, (sounds idyllic, a bit like Wisteria Avenue or Ocean Drive). The house still had an open coal fire with a hearth and carpets that didn't reach the walls. The Families geezer said we're putting fitted carpets in soon and upgrading the estate to gas fires. This work was to take place whilst we had our disembarkation leave. On returning from leave sure enough we now had a lovely wall mounted gas fire but the sequence of works hadn't really gone to plan as the fitted orange carpet featured a cut out where the hearth had been.
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Old 18th Nov 2023, 16:15
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The RAF Cranwell quarters, that were part of the civvy estate in the village, had the back boilers and when we finally got through the snow from RAF Wyton late afternoon and as it was cold I got started on getting fire started, opened the vent and lit paper with kindling and coal as one does, and closed the door nothing seemed to happen for approximately an hour despite trying all the tricks I knew from previous similar fires, as it was really cold we packed the kids in the car and went to visit family for warmth and food.

On our return the house was glowing as if we had left lights on and sparks were coming out of the chimney, opened the door and it was extremely hot and pipes banging, opened taps to stop the noise, closed the fire damp and called the fire brigade, they were good and said I was lucky as the chimney had been cleaned otherwise we might have had a bigger issue and different outcome, families flight were pretty good about the cracks in the wall in the living room and stair well, never left a fire unattended again.
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Old 18th Nov 2023, 17:32
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Strange, all these comments about fires and back boilers.

My mums cottage which was a few hundred years old had one and even though the house had an electric immersion tank, it also had a coal fire and back boiler in the living room.
She would use it as the main source for heating the house and water from when I was little, right up until I was in my late 40’s and only changed over to electric fires as she got older. The large main living room and dining room both had fireplaces as did the large three double bedrooms.
Though one was only in use and in winter we would be shivering trying to absorb some of the heat in a morning from the freshly lit fire before heading off to primary school.

It surprises me everyone appears to have had issues with them, though I can remember a single chimney fire but that’s it.
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Old 18th Nov 2023, 18:55
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Nutty, wifey had a minor chimney fire in Porter Close, Odi. Again, the fireboys were great and reassuring given I was in Ireland. A lovely quarter, other than the solid fuel fire. We painted the kitchen sh1t brown- after securing a big tin of sh1t magnolia from property services, and it looked great. Two coats of mag a week before march out, all sorted. We were newlyweds, and bought our first bits of furniture on that tour too. We put the orange, square-edged issue suite in the loft!

CG

Last edited by charliegolf; 18th Nov 2023 at 22:51.
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Old 18th Nov 2023, 19:38
  #33 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by BEagle
One of the signature blocks on the clearance chits was for the 'Station Bicycle Store'. No-one at a unit where I was serving knew where that was, or even whether there was such a thing on the station...

But some helpful soul had amended the crew room phone directory with 'Station Bike Store.......(extn. no)'.

Except the extension was for someone else..... OC WRAF eventually complained to her boss about people ringing her to ask "Is that the station bike store"?
Surely the answer should have been "Bike Store, Duty Bike speaking!"
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Old 18th Nov 2023, 19:42
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Originally Posted by charliegolf
Nutty, wifey had a minor chimney fire in Porter Close, Odi. Again, the fireboys were great and reassuring given I was in Ireland. A lovely quarter, other than the solid fuel fire. We painted the kitchen sh1t brown- after securing a big tin of sh1t magnolia from property services, and it looked great. Two coats of mag a week before march out, all sorted. We were newlyweds, and bought our first bits of furniture on that tour too. We put the oragne, square-edged issue suite in the loft!

CG
That orange! Ever since the first glimpse, my unfavourite colour. Hence Sainsbury's shops give me the heeby-jeebies.
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Old 18th Nov 2023, 20:14
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Referred to as RAF G-Plan IIRC. There as a green spattered with brown cover too that looked a bit like and unfortunate accident. If you sat on it wearing DPM, you disappeared.
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Old 18th Nov 2023, 21:38
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My tale comes from the other side. Two years after building our first house, a change of employment meant a move overseas and we decided to rent our pride & joy out. Tenants were recommended to us, a young couple with one child. He was in the RAAF. He would pay the rent and the RAAF would reimburse him.
Not long after they moved in, he asked if he could use excess bricks I had stored to build a barbecue. I had poured a concrete pad in anticipation of doing so myself, so had no objection. Over time, there were successive requests - if we bought the materials could they make some improvements. After two years, the next chance we had to look at the place, they had done so much work we gave them their bond back. When they eventually bought their own house, ours was spotless and in much better condition than when we left it. They confided that they had hoped to buy it from us.
Unfortunately, the next tenants undid most of their good work.
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Old 19th Nov 2023, 07:40
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Originally Posted by langleybaston
That orange! Ever since the first glimpse, my unfavourite colour. Hence Sainsbury's shops give me the heeby-jeebies.
Luxury!

We had an orange carpet and green suite!

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Old 19th Nov 2023, 10:45
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Originally Posted by lsh
Luxury!
We had an orange carpet and green suite!
The joy of it was that different furnishings had different 'lives", so the chances of getting Carpet, Curtains and Chair covers even vaguely coordinating were virtually nil.
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Old 19th Nov 2023, 10:57
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There as a green spattered with brown cover too that looked a bit like an unfortunate accident
Remember it well! But not with affection ....... we always called it "squashed frog".
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Old 19th Nov 2023, 11:58
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We moved into a quarter that had a gas fire in front of an open hearth, so I removed the gas fire (Corgi qualified? Well I had some Corgi cars as a kid, does that count?). I then decided that the chimney needed a clean before use, so I scrunched up a couple of sheets of newspaper, shoved them up the flue and lit them. Seconds later, they were well alight and there was a roaring sound and a strong draught at my feet as the flames made their way up the chimney, pulling all the air in Hampshire with them. It was a quiet Sunday summer’s morning and when I went outside to see what was happening, to my horror, there was a huge plume of black smoke emerging from the chimney pot, along with copious amounts of red sparks. The smoke plume grew to a good hundred feet or so and then began drifting slowly towards to the staish’s house. There followed an agonising ten minutes or so while this black column made its way over the airfield before finally dispersing. Luckily, no one called the fire brigade. With the chimney now clean as a whistle, we had a couple of cosy winters with a log fire in the lounge, although I was always a tiny bit concerned by the proximity of the gas pipe that fed the original fire, which was no more than a foot from the flames.
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