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230 Course South Cerney

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230 Course South Cerney

Old 16th Mar 2010, 18:40
  #61 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: The Deep South (Sussex)
Posts: 773
Don't think it was your course Nav. Rad,.

We were caught by the previous lot who had us out on the Parade Ground in doing PT in front of the amused WAAFS so we did the same (with refinements) to the course that followed .

As I knew a couple of guys it was my job to set them up for the event. I breezed into their barrack block and in no time had the whole course gathered around to pick up information.

I explained that no one would be giving them the run-around and that if you didn't want to do anything at Cerney you just stood up for your rights and told the staff member. There was, after all, nothing they could do about it and it was their job to keep all the officer cadets happy. Having wittered on building their confidence and convincing them that all the horror stories were totally untrue, in came Barry Cheverton dressed as the Sergeant Drill Instructor, complete with a pace stick.

I snapped to attention clearly terrified, and Barry screamed at me for a good two minutes after which I ran in panic from the room leaving a room full of once confident men now reduced to gibbering wrecks.

A few minutes of the "Drill Sergeant" was followed by a visit from the "Directing Staff" who decided that a spot of PT would be in order under " Sergeant" Eric Rochester suitably dressed as a PTI..

Two cadets, one of them a serving airman who should have twigged were marched down to 2 Mess for a haircut.

The barber had been waylaid and locked in a room and replaced by Charles and ex Etonian wearing a white coat. Not surprisingly Charles had never cut anything in his life before, but armed with the electric trimmers started work. Every time his victim gasped at the amount that was falling to the floor Charles intoned. "They do like it short at South Cerney Sir,... they do like it short!

It took the real barber some time, and he charged extra to even up the resulting shearings.

Meanwhile, down on the parade ground we had "staff" to ensure that nobody escaped from the parade ground and admonished those that eventually collapsed on the beds for not showering first."We don't like dirty officers in the Royal Air Force!"

As we marched past the new boys the next day we could see the lights coming on over their heads as they stated to find some of us strangely familiar!
Lou Scannon is offline  
Old 16th Mar 2010, 19:14
  #62 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: 35,000ft
Posts: 197
My memories were the lads from Halton who claimed to have jumped their motorbikes from the second floor window of the barrack block across the void into the next block....only one was killed.
Fights with the boys from the Ag. College - Trips to the Teachers Training Colleges in Cheltenham & Bath - Jumping out of a moving truck for parachute training - running round that peri track......had a great time, did a re-course and was demoted from Pilot Officer U/T to AC2 and out in the street in a week......I subsequently heard that only two people made it through to Flt. Lieutenants Brian Danger and Shane O'Neil
Vizsla is offline  
Old 17th Mar 2010, 18:45
  #63 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Sussex
Posts: 38
I was on 206 between Nov 64 and Mar 65.

Our DS was Sgt. Biggam, whose advice after observing my lamentable performance with the .303 rifle was, "Get yourself down to Station Workshops and get your bayonet sharpened up!".

The Red Arrows (Gnats in those days) often beat up the place on the way back to Kemble, going between the hangers well below roof-top height, scattering any cadets who were being drilled outside.

Having incurred the displeasure of "Killer" Kerry one day, we were invited to run round the peri track carrying the benches from the gym instead of the usual medicine balls. On another occasion, running in the fog, a couple of wise guys took a short cut across the airfield and romped home well ahead of the field, only to be rewarded with recruitment into the Station cross-country squad!

Finally, who can forget leadership exercises in the gravel pits at Ashton Keynes (now the Cotswold Water Park), which usually ended with collapsing rope bridges dunking the users into ice cold water accompanied by a volley of Thunderflashes thoughtfully supplied by the Directing Staff.

Happy memories.
Tommy Tipee is offline  
Old 18th Mar 2010, 22:03
  #64 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Longton, Lancs, UK
Age: 75
Posts: 1,508
Here's a piccy of what I think is my graduation, Jul 62 - 172 Course, I now think. Some of those pictured are Semark, Chilvers, Norris, Smith and Ian Stephens (RIP off Masirah).

Others available if anyone interested (if I can change the file tpe association, that is)
jindabyne is offline  
Old 19th Mar 2010, 09:26
  #65 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 558
Hi Jindabyne,

Just noticed your 172 Course Graduation in July 62, I was on 211 & we graduated in June 65.
I noticed one of the names you gave was `Chilvers`, as a matter of interest, was this Graham Chilvers by chance? If it was, he was my QFI (creamed off) at Leeming on JPs 65/66 & the main reason for me getting through initial flying training. Graham was a super chap, expected 100%, but also very understanding & helpful when the time was right & for me, just the sort of QFI I needed. I remember being so very sorry indeed when he lost his life in a flying accident in Germany many years later.
Be interesting to know if it was the same bloke, he looked rather like the chap second from the right.
Cheers & thanks,
kaikohe76 is offline  
Old 19th Mar 2010, 10:50
  #66 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Longton, Lancs, UK
Age: 75
Posts: 1,508
Hi 76,

I'm almost certain that the guy to which you refer was/is Hugh Chilvers. I think he'd previously been a techy on Vulcans. After Vampire AFTS at Linton, he was posted to the V-Force. Thereafter??
jindabyne is offline  
Old 19th Mar 2010, 20:28
  #67 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 558
Jin & Basil,
OK guys, thanks for the info, long time ago for us all, but still mainly happy memories.
Thanks again.
kaikohe76 is offline  
Old 19th Mar 2010, 21:28
  #68 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: UK
Age: 78
Posts: 3,682
152 Course for me (August - November 1960) and I think it was 151 Course that got Lou Scannon etc on the parade square etc by pretending to be DS.

Flt Sgt Drakeford was the man. He had a pigeon chest, a broken nose and a scar on one cheek. Not a person to be meddled with. To enter his office it was necessary to step upon two bumper pads and slither up to his desk. He could manage to swear at you a dozen times before you got there but every event was punctuated by a thinly disguised "Sir"!

We also had Sgts Ford and Maunder.

The worst part of the whole event was the pillock boss, commonly known as Little Boy Blue.

Luckily, the flight commanders were great. I particularly remember Pete Webb and Brian Weskett with fondness.

Half way through the course we were joined by the annual UAS intake. Of great note and of high entertainment value was Angus Douglas Hamilton, Marquis of Clydesdale. His father, Air Commodore, The Duke of Hamilton took the passing-out parade and presented us with our commissioning scrolls.
JW411 is offline  
Old 19th Mar 2010, 21:34
  #69 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 299
More Creeps

Yo Jock,

I thought you went through Jurby, or was it Kirton-in-Lindsey!

I well remember the Marquis. He turned up at Syerston, allegedly to sharpen up in preparation for HRH Charles. He punched out Tim Thorn for resented remarks about "blue blood" and the like.
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Old 19th Mar 2010, 21:49
  #70 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: UK
Age: 78
Posts: 3,682
It is my understanding that Angus is now Duke of Hamilton. That makes him Mrs Windsor's representative in Scotland.

Therefore, I shall simply say that we had a lot of fun and Little Boy Blue's power trip was somewhat truncated on occasions.
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Old 20th Mar 2010, 13:42
  #71 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 1999
Posts: 13
215 Course South Cerney

Hi Barksdale Boy

I was on 215 course and on my dunny wall I have a photo of the course members at South Cerney (with Sgt Greenop in back centre) taken by Alek Cox (a course member). I look at it often and wonder what happened to some of these people. Unfortunately, both of the 'injured' (Ton Wilbourne and Malcolm Bray) are no longer with us as is another course member near the centre of the front row. Other members of the course went on to great things with far east airlines or got hijacked whilst serving with boac.

For myself, I had a modest career in aviation am now comfortably retired in Western Australia, enjoying good weather, good food and good wine.


figjam is offline  
Old 20th Mar 2010, 15:24
  #72 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Hong Kong
Age: 75
Posts: 297
215 Course South Cerney

Hi Figjam

Thanks for your PM and your post. Tom Willbourne was a great friend and I have happy memories of Jock Bray (Sgt Greenop: what are you, Mr Bray? A screaming idiot, Sgt.). Didn't know he had died - a sad loss,

I don't have the benefit of a course photo, but from memory:

D/S: Sgt Vic Greenop (the best); PTI: Sgt Davies (you'll thank me when we get to the Black Mountains, gentlemen); Wg Cdr Thorburn: politics and intrnational affairs; Wg Cdr Cheshire: MO (I wouldn't put my walking stick where some of you put your p-----). Wg Cdr Price: padre ( WAAF officers are your sisters). Sqn Cdr: Sqn Ldr Turner (ex-Swifts). Flt Cdrs: The immortal JR Smith ( saw him in 1978; had changed not a whit); Colin Glidle; Moose David; Mike Smith ( danced a jig of celebration at the news of Rhodesian UDI); Ridley Hall; Stu Chapman. F/O Ian Ross: science; F/L Reddihoff: maths; F/L Dave Duncombe: English.

Students: Bob Alcock, Paul Bennett, Taf Willis, Al Threadgould, Harry Nelson, Mick Sedman, Jock McLaren, Stevie ----? (short scotsman),Alec Cox, Pete Marsh (baled out after a month), Andy Fifield, Paul Harris, Tony Wyatt (still owe him a quid after a Malta Ranger in 1970), Tom Willbourne (RIP), ----? Pocock (RIP), Keith Lewis (a wizard at knots), -----? Lambert, Chris Piper, Brian Meehan (RIP), Stu (rotate) Gosling, Chris Yeo, Paul Gallanders, Dave Millington, Paul Hearn, Derek Hauton, Jock Lees, Gerry McMillan, Martin Temple, John Jukes, Adrian Grantham, Kiwi Anderson, Brian Hanson, Les Powell, Chris Smallwood, Paul Tame, Euan Black, another serious looking guy whom I can see vividly, but whose name totally escapes me, and me. I guess there must be one or two more.

Figjam, not sure at all which of the above you are.

Happy days.
Barksdale Boy is offline  
Old 20th Mar 2010, 16:58
  #73 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: The Deep South (Sussex)
Posts: 773
One thing that has always concerned me over the years were some of the really good blokes who were scrubbed for "officer qualities" or suchlike. What did they go on to become?

One was the ex-Etonian "Barber" that I mentioned earlier. Another was a northern lad called John Rothwell. Rather shambolic in manner he is remembered for being much brighter mathematically than the average and I often thought what a cracking navigator he would have made.

Regarding "little boy blue", he wrote in my docs: "It is a constant source of amazement to both Osborne and myself that he was ever selected for aircrew training in the RAF."

I am both proud and relieved to admit that this amazement was the only thing we ever had in common!.
Lou Scannon is offline  
Old 20th Mar 2010, 17:21
  #74 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 1999
Posts: 13
215 Course South Cerney

Hi Barksdale Boy

Yes, I am among the (living) whom you mentioned. However, I googled barksdale and it gave me no clue to whom you might be. Colin Ruston came to mind (barksdale - yorkshire).

I took the course photo (Alek Cox) from the bog wall and compared it with the names in your last post. Most of the names were familiar, but matching them to the faces was quite difficult. Time seems to do that to us.....

If you would like a a copy of Alex's photo then please PM me and I will try to scan it and send you a copy. Did you meet Moose David's dachshund dog? It had a great affinity for humping legs. Very embarrassing when taking tea with the Flight Commander's wife!

Ridley Hall flew the BAC 1-11 for Dan Air. I can't remember the name of the educator who taught Service Writing but I remember he was skinny and wore specs.

Bob Alcock went on to win the AFC and John Lambert became a paraplegic following a motor cycle accident and successfully sued the local council regarding the road signage.

Tony Jukes was extremely tall (well over 6 feet) and collapsed whilst running aroud the perry track at South Cerney with a gym bench and was found to have a collapsed lung. He was operated on and recovered to continue his career.

I met up with Paul Bennet in Almeria in the late 80's. He was there doing hot weather trials on a BAC aircraft and I had an engine problem. His engineering team assisted us.


figjam is offline  
Old 23rd Mar 2010, 11:26
  #75 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Barnes, London
Posts: 68
Angus Clydesdale was in fact our 'escape' as mentioned in post No 27.
Much frivolity was enjoyed on that course and subsequently at Syerston and Oakington. Angus was much involved with motor racing with Lolas and won the Singapore Grand prix later when serving in the Far East.
Boxkite Montgolfier is offline  
Old 24th Mar 2010, 01:29
  #76 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 558
211 Course No1 ITS South Cerney

Hi Guys,
Although I started with 210 Course, I graduated with 211 & I've managed to find most of the names, hopefully this may stir the odd memory.

John Edward, Norm Hartnell, R Bibby, John Cosgrove, Paul Draper,
I Parfitt, Rod Newman, M Fowler, A Smith, G Woods, R Ross, Chris Kabwe,
P Kelly, S Conway, R Jenkyn, R White, Graham Clarke, Des Arneson,
Nigel Jones, Dave Roome, P Webb, Bob Kirkham, Tom Suffolk, Ian Durstan, Mike Arthur, Mel Cornwell, G Woolley, T Bailey, D Wilby,
Nic Hall, Stu Stevenson, Keith Gordon, Stu McManus

F/L Clayphan, F/L Brook, F/L Russell, F/L Bond, F/L Maynard, , S/L Cunnington, W/Cdr Sparrow & Sgt Naylor. I also had the occassion to speak with W/O Peake, the ITS SWO once, a very sobering experiencefor me!

To my knowledge at least two of the above chaps are no longer with us, God Bless, it was hard work, but still good times.
Regards K76
kaikohe76 is offline  
Old 5th Apr 2010, 15:07
  #77 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: australia
Posts: 5
Thumbs up 230 Course Indeed

I was there, I was there.
Newt, please give me a number to ring you old chap.
raven77 is offline  
Old 5th Apr 2010, 16:26
  #78 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: 45 yards from a tropical beach
Posts: 1,104
South Cerney and Schwyerston!

So many familiar names in this great thread. What amazes me is that with four FTSs going at the time, Syerston is the most mentioned. Of course, it was the best, nothing to do with the fact that it was the only FTS with WRAFs!

Now, . Having done the ab initio jet course, Varsities and gone onto Shacks, I was a new F/O at ISK and, following the best advice from my Syerston QFI, Master Pilot Andy Anderson, I volunteered to be Air Cadet Liaison Officer, (ACLO) rather than wait to be saddled with a barrack block inventory or some such secondary duty.

As ACLO, I had to be able to fly ATC cadets in the Chipmunk for the Easter and Summer Camps at ISK. Not ever having flown single pistons, I was detached to Edinburgh UAS (Turnhouse) for two glorious weeks to get to grips with the beast. To my eternal good fortune, my Chippie QFI was (let's get it right) Flt Lt Sir Angus Clydesdale. What a great bloke! Aristocrat, but completely down to earth. Happy days flying, then off for a 'run ashore' into Edinburgh in his snazzy sports car.

Neptunus Rex is offline  
Old 5th Apr 2010, 17:24
  #79 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: North Pole
Posts: 952
Hi raven77. Glad to hear there is someone out there who was actually on 230 Course!! Now maybe a few more will appear!

Check you PMs


newt is offline  
Old 5th Apr 2010, 21:52
  #80 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Brexitland
Posts: 1,114
232 Course

Anyone got the names of 232 course? We actually had to move from SC to Churh Fenton. Did Outward Bound at the Moray Sea School late '67 too. Never been that fit again!
Arfur Dent is offline  

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