RAF College Cranwell
The 2022 "89 Bash"
Despite 89's shrinking numbers we do have a two day get together scheduled for April 2022....
Interestingly we had more dots on the map for operational airfields in 1963 than we have for surviving 89ers today!
89's Happy Hour Continues
It is planned to continue the 89 Thursday Zoom Happy Hour for as long as members enjoy it The last one of 2021 was on New Years Eve -1 and was attended by 12 members of which 2 were from overseas - John Liddell in Melbourne Australia and Ian Clarke in Southern France. As usual the banter flowed free covering a range of subjects from saving ourselves from the ailments of Old Age to saving the world from the ailments of all ages.
The next Happy Hour is scheduled for 18:00 Hrs on Thursday 13th. If you haven't Zoomed in before make your New Year's resolution to join the Happy Hour Zoomers!
Last Years News - 89 Entry 2021...
Happy Hour 2021 ... Started at the beginning of lockdown in 2020 and kept as a regular two week meet by Chris Saunby, the 89 "Zoom Happy Hour" has proved an ongoing success. With 19 overall members and a regular turn out of 8 to 12 members the Zoom meetings have proved interesting, fun and didactic. 89er's have joined from all over the UK as well as from overseas. We have had 89ers joining from Australia, Peru, Turkey, Barbados, France and even from sea in the Mediterranean and Caribbean as well as from the air at 36,000 feet above the Indian Ocean!
Members at the 18:00 Hrs Zoom Happy Hour on 2nd December - working their way through Chris Saunby's agenda...
The man in the middle, Ian Robertson, is over the wall - in Scotland - hence the fog
We didn't actually follow the agenda other than to speculate about item 2, plan for minefields in the channel (on the French side) to fix item 3, and generally make fun of life. Some time was spent on item 7 "AOB". This appeared to be the abbreviation for "All Over Balls" since that is where the conversation headed! Needless to say solving the worlds problems has been adjourned until the next meeting.
It is planned to keep the Zoom Happy Hours going at 2 weekly intervals until members decide otherwise or numbers drop to unsustainable levels. On one occasion we had just five 89ers, but nevertheless the chat and repartee resulted in much mirth and a happy hour!
News in 2021 has been a bit thin!
Thanks to Covid, and an otherwise engaged editor, published news and accompanying photographs have been a bit thin in 2021. However, we are making a final push to gather in news (new & old) from the individual squadrons. Before it's too late, and we have all zoomed off to meet our creator, please have a look in your archives, scan & forward your stories and photographs. I am sure that everyone has a least one good tale to tell that is connected to his membership of the inglorious 89?
Thanks to Dick Northcote and Alan Macdonald for their tale for 1964. (See "D" Squadron below)
In the meantime here is some brief news from the squadrons....
ANOTHER BOOK - Black has written another best seller to match "Fighters in the Blood" - as soon as we have the full info we'll publish the details.
Chel Hibbert is the last 89er flying JP's - albeit mark 5's...,
A CONDOM LUNCH - Two 89ers, Ian Clarke of "A" Squadron, who now permanently lives in his French Chateaux in the Dordogne , & Les Quigley of "C" who has a country house further South in Gascony met up for lunch in September as a result of 89's Happy Hour. Remembering the good old days when condom meant so much more - They chose CONDOM as their RV and report it as an excellent place for a lunch time reunion.
A HELPING HAND - In June Andy Griffin came to Dick Northcote's rescue when he produced the following photographs from his archives - plus the Barkston Heath photo below
ANNUAL REUNION - It is rumored that "B" Squadron was to hold their annual re-union in November. However, it was cancelled due to Covid restrictions (In truth they were probably banned for trying to seduce the barmaids during their previous bashes.) No doubt the news will filter through once they have re-organised.
A SHRINKING MEMBERSHIP - Despite their shrinking numbers, with Dick Shuster and Derek North having completed their final take-off, "C" Squadron have maintained their ascendancy in Happy Hour by fielding 4 players at virtually every Zoom-in.
On a sadder note, despite 1/2 the 89 survivors being hit by medical problems 3 members of 89C, and their wives - Chris & Kate Saunby, Dave & Elizabeth Harlow and JC and Carro Newland - did attend Derek North's memorial service which was held on 13th October almost exactly one year after his tragic death. They reported that the service was well attended. In addition to Derek's wife, Val (an ex-Sqn Ldr), and family, there were many ex-RAF colleagues from Derek's old squadrons, representatives from the British Legion and representatives from the County of West Sussex. Derek had been Sussex County President of the British Legion from 2002 to 2016 and was Deputy Lord Lieutenant of the same county.
NATIONAL SHORTAGES - Latest intelligence info is that Chris has decided to come clean and admit several offences under the planned Official Stuffing & Smoking Secrets and Sharing Act (2063). Following disclosure of his clandestine sausage factory, he has also admitted to the secret processing and distribution of other strategic foodstuffs. This has lead to severe UK shortages due to stock piling resulting from rumors of a driver shortage, as drivers are refusing to carry such dangerous goods without adequate compensation. There is also a further shortage of Loo Rolls, again caused by stockpiling in anticipation of the country's increase in the consumption of such quality foodstuffs!
CAVERNA DI CRANWELL 1964
Old but very interesting - Alan MacDonald sent this note to Dick Northcote ....
"Dick, You might be interested to hear that during some recent rummaging around the home, I came across a copy of a very old report headed “Trenchard Memorial Award”. It details a trip taken by the Potholing Society to Finale Ligure during August and September 1964. The report itself is a little long-winded, covering some sixteen A4 pages but I thought you would like to share few selected excerpts, including those where we are mentioned. There are references to some other events / names that may jog the grey matter! I take no responsibility for the grammar, spelling or accuracy of the items attached that are in quotation marks .................
Incredible to think this all occurred some 54 years ago. Nostalgia Lives!
Yours aye, Alan"
Click here - for the attached report and some olde photographs
HELP FOR DICK - As mentioned above in the "B2 Squadon report, in June, Dick Northcote requested photographs of JP's and Chipmunks from our days at Cranwell. -
Anyone got a colour photo of a JP Mk3 or 4 or of a Chipmunk from our time at Cranwell?
Needed for a bit of model making for the Grandsons.
Needless to say he was rewarded with a selection from a number of members including those from Andy Griffin.
The reason Dick had to ask everyone was because the photographs on this website had all disappeared due to finger trouble by your editor. Somehow I had wiped them all out when changing servers and, since I was locked in Australia for over 6 months, I was unable to update them all. Hopefully this has now been remedied and our 89 historic photos re-instated.
Have you spotted the error - How did it happen? Answers to the Editor - First prize - a weekend in the South of France (paying your own fares)
We have organised a 2 day re-union bash for 89 survivors and their wives/mistresses/girl friends, and, to follow the RAF's latest trends, "boy friends" and "in betweenies" ??? - No! (The Barkston Heath photos above prove that the world has gone "a" about "f" since we joined?)
The venue is to be the RAF Club and the dates are 6th & 7th April. For those wishing to make the best of their London visit, your stay at the RAF Club can be extended.
Estimated costs = 4 course lunch with wine £65 per head; double room from £155 for members (£190 for non members) ; breakfast £12.50 per head + drinks & bar supper/dinner, etc down to individual choice. (Without doubt the best prices in Mayfair - these are 1/2 the cost of the Sheraton next door!)
The outline programme is ........
To book a slot and introduce your loved one to your old mates - email Les Q - firstname.lastname@example.org - Currently have 12 89ers & 10 wives confirmed ....
Space is running low so act soon!