89 Entry RAF College Cranwell Reunions
Individual Squadron Reunions
89B lead the way with reunions in 2014
It's amazing how "old boys" stick together - well the boys of 89B must be much older than the survivors of the other three 89 Entry squadrons because they really do stick together with a reunion every year!
This year the re-union was again held at the George in Wallingford. (We suspect someone in 89B has their pension fund invested there as they seem to get all 89B's business?) Geoff Dryland, 89's local reporter, reported that things did not quite get into the rousing start that we were used to - "It was a sign of old age that when people started to arrive in the afternoon, instead of a pint in the bar, it was a pot of tea in the lounge!!"
It is 51 years since 89B Squadron was formed at the RAF College - then there were 18 members. At the reunion this year there were 10 members - Simon Coy; Geoff Dryland; Andy Griffin; Nigel Griffiths; Mike Laundy; Henry Middleton; Paddy Pyper; Ron Shimmons; Dick Slogrove; Tony Steel; and one guest - Tony Ware from 89A.
The Squadron scrubbed up and formed up on time except for Nigel who arrived fairly late, apparently straight from his day job, hence his incorrect dress! A quick change after the "bubbly" saw him arrive in the correct attire for the dinner. The pretty barmaid was not in attendance so it was into the lounge for pre dinner drinks and long chats about old times and old timers! It was hard to believe that the party consisted of 69 and 70 year olds! Mind it was noticeable that the 70 year olds still had their hair and looked much younger whilst the "soixante neufers" had lost theirs and looked much older - obviously too much excitement at their age!!!
In summary it was an excellent reunion and despite 51 years since everyone first met, boys will be boys so the boys enjoyed another good night together remembering the good old times whilst we still can!
Thanks to Geoff Dryland for the report and the photographs.
"89C" Squadron 2011 Reunion
The 2011 89C re-union took place in France over 3 days and followed the usual eat, drink and be merry routine that one expects from the best Squadron in 89 entry! Sadly only 7 of members could make it, Dave Harlow, JC Newland, Derek North, Les Quigley, Ian Robertson, Dick Shuster and Brian Synott, but we swelled our ranks by having our lady wives with us. The reunion was scheduled to coincide with "Battle of Britain" day - 15th September.
"Battle of Britain Day" 2011
89c Honours 7 young airmen "KIA with no known graves"
The inscription on the wreath placed by 89C
One of the highlights of the reunion was a trek in the mountains to honour the crew of a 624 Squadron Halifax that had crashed nearby in the Pyrenees in July 1944 whilst delivering supplies to the local French Resistance. The crew, although still listed as "missing in action with no known graves" are actually buried at 4,500 feet up in the mountains. The aircraft had left RAF Blida in Algeria on a secret mission to drop supplies to the French Resistance. The French Resistance found the crashed Halifax and buried the crew in the canisters that they were supposed to drop.
Years later with the help of a French Air Force helicopter to ferry the materials to the site they built a special cemetery next to the remains of the Halifax. It was here that we hiked to lay wreaths to honour this young crew.
89's withdrawal - Age is beginning to tell!
"89C" Squadron 2005 Reunion
89C decided it was time to catch up with "B" and have a squadron re-union. This was held at the "Whipper Inn" (very appropriate I hear you all saying) in Oakham. The event was well attended with 9 of the original 14 surviving 1963 cadets making it. A further 4 sent apologies. There is only one that we can't find - Crag Carter - Crag if you're out there drop us a line!
Those making it were - Dave Donnelly, Dave Harlow, "JC" Newland, Derek North, Les Quigley, Chris Saunby, Dick Shuster, Duncan Swift, Brian Synott. - Apologies were received from Dave Foulger, John Liddell, Keith Jackson and Ian Robertson.
In addition as our special guest we invited Jerry Pook - We needed someone to buy the drinks! - Although Ian [who's wife Pat was recovering from a serious operation] kindly sent a bottle of vintage port! - we all managed to get at least one glass before Dick downed it!
Back - left to right - Dave Harlow, Derek North, JC Newland, Brian Synott, Duncan Swift
Front - Jerry Pook ("A" guest), Les Quigley, Dave Donnelly, Chris Saunby, Dick Shuster
Not to be out done by the boys in "B", "C" held their first formal reunion since parting company in 1966. The reunion was held in Oakham in the "Whipper Inn" Hotel. The original plan was to hold it in the mess at Wittering as this was determined to be central for everyone. However, this proved impossible as, unbelievably, the Mess is closed at weekends! How times have changed!
The venue proved to be popular with 9 former members attending including 2 who hadn't seen any of us since we left Cranwell in '66. In addition we had invited Jerry Pook as our special guest. Needless to say much beer, wine, champagne, port and jollity was had by all.
Apologies were received from 4 other members, Ian Robertson, John Liddell, Keith Jackson and Dave Foulger. In addition Ian Robertson sent a bottle of Port, and John Liddell sent lots of photographs. (Which are now on this website.) The photographs were also put to good use in an audio visual presentation that helped revive memories.
A toast was drunk to our fallen comrades Pete Thompson and Paul Cooper and to those who couldn't make it.
POST SCRIPT - Whilst still sober, everyone present contributed to send a bouquet to Ian's wife Pat as she had just come out of hospital having had a serious operation. Ian and Pat wrote and thanked us all.
Thanks again Ian for the Port!
SOUTH BRICK LINES 2004 ANNUAL DINNER
Relaxing after the Port but before the Champagne was attacked by a sabre ....
Les, Richard, Nigel, Ron, Simon (upfront), Paddy (trying to get a look in), Henry, Tony, Andy
For more photographs click on "B" Squadron"
Some of 89C got together at RAF Linton-on-Ouse in 2002
Dick Shuster, Les Quigley, Brian Synott & Chris Saunby deciding whether to go home and drink their ill gotten gains or pinch the JP - or both!!
(You can tell it's not a Cranwell JP - they have to have an arrow to tell the students which way it goes!)