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89 Entry RAF College Cranwell Reunions


2013 (50th since joining)     2008 (45th since joining)        2006 (40th since graduation)       2003 (40th since joining)

Squadron Reunions


2013 - 89 Entry 50 years after our creation

 (From left to right - the 89 survivors who could attend)


Back Row - Paddy Pyper (B); Steve Wrigley (D); Black Robertson (A); Dave Donnelly (C); Nigel Griffiths (B); Dave Harlow (C); JC Newland (C); Chris Saunby (C); Tony Ware (A); Roger Cresswell (A)


 Middle Row - Geoff Dryland (B); Simon Coy (B); Pete Crispin (A); Andy Griffin (B); Jock Reid (D); Malcolm Caygill (D); Mike Laundy (B); Alan Macdonald (D); Derek North (C); 

Dick Slogrove (B); Les Quigley (C)


Front Row - Ian Robertson (C); Chel Hibbert (A); Grant Taylor (D); Peter Squire (A): Alan Ferguson (A): Barry Chalkley (A); Henry Middleton (B); Dick Northcote (D); Dick Shuster (C); Ian Clark (A)


The start of the 2013 reunion


Black Robertson and Chel Hibbert meet again after several years with Pete Squire refereeing!


Left - Arriving in style Dave Donnelly, Dick Shuster, &, Les Quigley were welcomed at the front door of the College by Flt Lt Vikky Thorpe, the organiser of the weekend.


Below Left - Paddy Pyper, Black Robertson, Les Quigley and Pete Squire look as though someone has offered to buy them a drink

Above - Some young chap from 91 Entry telling us Scouse jokes ...

Left to right - Derek North, Les Quigley, Chris Coville (91 Entry); Paddy Pyper, Mike Smith (91) 

(Chris would have been in 89 if he hadn't spent his 6th Form partying with Les Q)

Pre-Dinner Drinking

Top Left - Dave Donnelly, Dick Shuster, & JC Newland. Dick & JC are looking a little despondent since no one has bought them a drink!


Top Right - Empty glasses -  all looking around hoping that someone would buy them a drink?


Left - Pete Crispin, Ian Clark, Ian Robertson & Alan Ferguson - Ian is he only one with a drink and, in true Scottish tradition, he's hanging on to it!


Below - 3 men who should have gone to Dartmouth - Chris Saunby, young Dick Northcote, & Les Quigley - all born on Trafalgar Day - Dick a year after his two elders!  The other coincidence is that Chris and Les have adjacent service numbers - Les having joined the RAF a minute or so before Chris!!

Derek North and Barry Chalkley - Barry's trying to get a top up from Derek

Chel Hibbert, Tony Ware and Grant Taylor in serious conversation - Must be talking about their pensions?

Barry - still trying to scrounge a drink - Dave Harlow the photographer and Paddy Pyper simply enjoying himself



As usual the banter and comradeship of very old friends meeting up after a few years, combined with liberal quantities of wine and port, made dinner very enjoyable.  However, although adequate, the dinner was not of the traditional top quality provided by RAF staff. Civilianising RAF services may save the exchequer a few pounds in the short term but the reducing quality and service will no doubt have a negative effect on the services morale and effectiveness in the future. Many in 89 felt let down by these falling standards. 

The speeches also lacked a touch of the RAF spirit, we had to sit, for what felt like hours but was probably only minutes, listening to some political drivel when what we wanted to hear was how the RAF is faring and will fare in the 21st century.  May be we are being unfair on everyone and it is old age and the "Victor" effect catching up with us! (Not victor as in victorious, but Victor as in Meldrew!)

Above left - Malcolm Caygill & Paddy Pyper    Above right - Dave Donnelly & Chel Hibbert

Left - Tony Ware - Praying? - But to whom & for what? - His eyes betray it all !!!

Below - Chel and Ian Clarke - Chel still can't work out when the guest speaker was in the RAF?


After dinner we retired to the bar (Habit!)....


More good natured banter until the bar closed promptly and without warning (No call for last orders) - another sign of falling service standards not normally associated with a Royal Air Force Mess



Left - Some even braved the elements outside - Ian Robertson, JC Newland, Dick Shuster & Derek North


Below - Most of us were billeted in the new Daedalus Officer's Mess - about 3 star hotel standard with ensuite facilities - unlike our old homes in the College which would rate as a 1 star hotel.

We either had to walk or catch a bus to our billets - many of us managed to get the last bus since the bar had closed pre-maturely


Sunday Church Parade

A religious bunch - 89 turn out in strength to watch the college being assembled for Church parade, before marching off ourselves!

Not a hangover between us!

Les Quigley, Dick Shuster & Chris Saunby

Barry Chalkly & Roger Cresswell

After Church

A "runner" comes hot foot with the cricket scores


It's obviously good news.....

Black Robertson - pleased with the score - Dave Donnelly, Dave Harlow & Les Quigley - watch on amused!

Waiting for the troops to turn up ....

Jock Reid, Dick Northcote, Grant Taylor, Malcolm Caygill, Paddy Pyper & Andy Griffin

Steve Wrigley & Ian Clarke

Above - Grant gets fed up waiting and trys to sell an genuine imitation to his mates!


Above Left - Paddy Pyper, Andy Griffin and Mike Laundy patiently waiting!


Left - Flt Lt Vikki Thorpe & Simon Coy -  Nothing changes - Simon reverts to 1963 - This is how he reacted when he was released from 3 months imprisonment in the South Brick Lines and saw his first pretty girl in 3 months!  - Must be something in the water!!

(PS Did any one stop to get him out of the guard room?)




Below Left - At last the troops arrive

Below Right - A line of old codgers watching the parade


Remembering our departed comrades

It is a tradition at 89 Entry re-unions to honour our dead by visiting the graves of two members of 89 Martin Barents and Frank Whitehouse.  Both who are buried in the RAF section in the cemetery at Cranwell Village Church. Martin was killed in a road accident in his second year at the RAF College whilst Frank was killed in a flying accident several years after leaving the college. This year we had to honour a further loss, Dave Foulger, making it 13 members of the original 89 Entry who are no longer with us. Each was remembered with a white lily being placed on the two graves.

Air Chief Marshall Sir Peter Squire leads the ceremony to lay 13 flowers one for each of our departed comrades

We shall remember them


Our thanks go to - 

Flt Lt Vikki Thorpe ADC to the Commandant for organising the RAF and OCA end of the weekend

Richard Slogrove for coordinating the 89 part of the weekend

Dave Donnelly, Dave Harlow, Dick Northcote and Tony Ware for supplying the photographs


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