30 Years On
Last Modified On
So where is everyone thirty years on?
In September 2001 I attended my first RAFHAAA Triennial reunion at RAF Halton. I was hoping to see at least a few familiar faces. I was to be disappointed as I was the only representative of the 124th Entry to attend. There were ex-brats in attendance from the very earliest entries to the last, but none of my old entry were to be seen amongst the 1500 or so there.
Not to be deterred I decided to have a look around at the old camp that engendered so many memories. I felt very lonely and conspicuous wandering around but soon I found myself being greeted by contacts I had made within the RAFHAAA and began to feel at ease.
The highlight of the whole day for me came at the end. Everyone made their way over to the workshops and formed up by entries. The Golden Oldies Pipe Band struck up and we were marched up the hill to the accompaniment of DIís shouting at us just like the old days. Just like the old days we acted up! Arriving at Henderson Square we formed up on three sides around a grandstand for the Sunset Ceremony.
This was the first time I had clapped eyes on our old block since leaving. The emotional impact was way too much for me and tears streamed down my face as a lone bugler played and distant memories suddenly came into sharp relief.
††††††††† All that history and tradition was assembled there before my very eyes. I was a part of that, it hadnít been some distant half forgotten dream after all. Despite all that I have been through in my life, here was something I could lay claim to. Something that was historic and worthwhile. Something to be justifiably proud of.
††††††††† I am proud to say ďI was a part of the 124thĒ
Contacts to date
Mike Arnott, Martin Austin, John (Ron) Burchell, Mick Gillatt, Bob Gould, Scott Harris, Ginny Bourne (Mike Hinchliffe), Keith Longmire, John McGee, John McIntyre, John Skoyles, Chris Sprott, Clive Weldon, Bruce Woodruff.
Not all of these have responded yet to my e-mails. Many of the names I can remember I have been unable to trace. Keith Longmire has told me he will try to find his entry photo, with the names of those who made it to the passing out, so that we can continue to try to find others. If you know the whereabouts of others please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or give them this web address. If you have any pictures from back then that you would like included on this site contact me.
St Georges Church at Halton. The one next to the Schools building. If you remember the front is made up of many small windows. These are being used to commemorate the entries. Each entry designs a stained glass window to be placed in one of the frames. Many entries have already had windows designed, fitted and dedicated. If anyone has any ideas for designs (and/or a bit of spare cash) and would like to contribute towards one for the 124th please let us know.
RAFHAAA the Royal Air Force Halton Aircraft Apprentices Association is an association run by ex-brats for ex-brats.
†Check their web site out at http://members.aol.com/haltonapps/maintext.html and join. It doesnít cost much and it keeps the tradition alive. There are no more apprentice entries, the last was the 155th. The later entries are under-represented so lets address that. (the 125ís are represented and have an official web site..surely a bunch of rookies like them are not better than us are they?)
©Ginny Bourne 2002